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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Poet Brett Petersen

Brett Petersen writes because he feels it is a better way to spend his time than dust-mopping a warehouse floor or staring into space while a batch of 'everything' bagels burns on his watch. He obtained his B.A. in English from the College of Saint Rose in 2011 and his fictions have appeared in publications such as Loud Zoo, Peculiar Mormyrid and Polychrome Ink. He also plays drums in his dad’s band Blank Slate, and is Creative Consultant for Mushroom Studios, an art and souvenir company run by his mom. He lives in Albany New York.

The Poet Brett Petersen

Poser Pot[t]ery

Part I.

Oodgkabajj wondered if he’d ever see his mother again.
Renfield Rodent disguised himself as one of the author’s original characters.
So did Nester, whose last name may or may not have been Coleman.
Toxic sludge is cool, some people say.
By ‘some people,’ I mean eight-year-old me.
Is slime really green?
That’s a question I can only ask as a mid-twenty-something contemplating facets of my
earlier life that I never thought much about before.
Pop Tarts weren’t all that great. Just sayin’.
Waffle Crisp was awesome! Do they still make it? It tasted better soggy than crunchy.
Coffee and Mountain Dew are not necessary, but like foot waxing and massages, they make life
easier and more comfortable.
I’m just blowing smoke up a gnome’s butt at this point.
When will the sarcasm and wit ever end?
When will the stone faced genie beam his testicles into a drinking fountain and send the
sandwich through the garden hose to the grassy knoll?
Schizophrenia has certain advantages such as unpredictability when it comes to
stream-of-consciousness ramblings.
Attempting to ramble in a stream-of-consciousness fashion without schizophrenia will
only result in embarrassment, humiliation and possibly death.
A flying taco never kept any doctor away for any reason…EVER!
Time limits breed precision and compactness and fairies.
Condensed, living balls of light may or may not be shouting in your ear, guiding you to the next
cornerstone moment in the brick building of your existence.
Prose poetry or poser pot[t]ery?
Will you get off my back already?
I’m sick of naming names and gagging trolls.
Too many references to too many things make the tongue slick with lice crème lose its stability.
Why won’t the daytime listen to reason?
Cell walls sell cell phones while she sells sea shells and cell walls and cell phones by the…

Part II
This story will contain a narrative, I promise.
Promises not made of gold are made of…potatoes?
Toes? Wellington Wiggly Worms and Bill Cosby’s face on a Saturday morning?
You poked the center of my heart with a bayonet.
Guilt won’t let me glance over, over, over…
To the bathroom! Where danger lurks…
A centipede with crystal black eyes mourning the death of Temperance.
Exclamation points beaming, teeming, dreaming themes like teamsters.
I said this story would have a narrative didn’t I?
I prostate…postrate?...prostrate myself in front of the booing boogaloos boring me to death
with their normalcy.
Placentas separated from mother kangaroos…cheese?...vegetables? A complete shopping list:
salad tossed out the window like a cold needle in the back of my head.
An ice pack serenade. A depressed afternoon coffee mug swirled with crime and tears and doubt
and rhinoceri begging to be forgiven their sins of the cloven hoof.
The warmth of Hell is needed. A strain of bacteria reminiscent of lost scents cries for freedom.
Trails, trails, trails gone cold like rails, rails rails and spikes driven into my psychic field.
I feel this is too much for me…and for Aunt Sally…and for Grandma Margie…the jumprope
champion of the village kindergarten.
Characters will be developed. Attitudes will be saved.
Pottery forced for posterity’s sake down the open throat of a goat bloated in the Martian sun.
A sucker for cartoons is born every second; hung from a second story balcony by his ankles,
green thumbs chopped off because I’m an Amarijuanican…and what’re ya gunna du
abot it? Eedgka Botchka…my pommel horse is on fire
*Jumps out the window*
Splash! Fred-dom is a piss-warm kiddie pool.
YOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Part III
Yeesh! I’ve never felt so refreshed.
Mixmatched explanations of exclamations rule!
Overuse of exclamation points should be considered a cardinal sin.
Mario Kart 8 for the win! Hi, how are you? Peachy? Princess Toadstool was once my name.
Getting’ kidnapped is still my one and only game ‘rekkit-rekkit-rekkit!’
(Turntable sounds.) Ohhh yeahhhhh!!!
Too many uncontainable utterances.
Stop talking.
No, you stop you silly.
Make me.
All over your face, (winking smiley.)
Tick-tock-dickery-dock, the mouse ran up the…
Record has been set straight, and now for today’s headlines; Martin Van Buren was found alive
again in his 1797 estate…and in fact, it is 1797…and 1798, ’99…
1800: a winner you are, now hand over the money or I’ll…
You’ll what? Unscrew my head like a bad lightbulb? ‘Cause you know you’re not making any…
My psyche is starting to ache incessantly from all the nonsense.
Do you, the reader, feel the same way?
What’s the point? Language minced up like ground beef.
More like cuts of 17 different animals extruded through a meat grinder.
Peace, love and applesauce my country betchezzzzzzzzz
*Yawns* time for a nap nap on Nep-Nep…
Game I bought for $32.56 cents.
Approximate price after tax+serotonin+dopamine+medication=freedom (for a little bit.)
Things end, you know? Go back to the start.
Avoidance.
It’s a concern to be addressed by dress shirts torn to rags.
Shrouds.
A downward turn of events.
Bad breath and pools of blood collecting at the base of my…
Circus freak party mosh pit energizer bunny happy time happy happy happy…
Too late. End-of-time: imminent.
STOP
Slow down.
Shutdown.
Power off.
Click.
Winding.
Clockwork grinding to a halt.
Stains.
Agape.
Do a couple jumping jacks.
Toiletheatrics.

Part IV
OK. From now on, I will try my hardest to make this story make sense.
No more random bursts of thought.
Just plain, intelligible sentences that add up to form a whole picture of an idea that sits
well with the common denominator of the average human mind.
This story will be called: Butterflies In My Garden: A Coming of Age Story for the Wired
Generation. It will be plain, simple, realistic and literary.
It won’t even attempt to venture into any sort of bizarre territory that might confuse,
pollute or scramble conventional human thought patterns.
Just kidding! (haha ha[?])
What follows is the result of a mental breakdown I had while typing the previous
installment, (part III.) The official title of this series is going to be Poser
Pot[t]ery, (it’s sort of like an anagram of “prose poetry,” get it?)
LOLcrackers.
Anyway, as I’m writing this (unlike the first three, I wrote parts IV and V by hand and
am just now typing them up,) I’m sitting in a classroom in a suburban high school.
The temperature of the room is ambient and comfortable.
The air conditioner hums ubiquitously.
It is the same high school at which my father has taught for nearly thirty years.
It is my place of work as well.
I am a substitute teacher’s aide.
The position is temporary.
It ends in less than a week and a half.
My task at this moment is to make sure that a particular student stays focused on his final exam.
I am going to be stuck here for at least three hours.
I’ve got some time to kill.
That’s why I’m writing this.
I’m an expert at killing time.
-snoogenaagen!-
Gotcha there, didn’t I?
Notice how I was about to stray off into crazyville, but stopped myself before I could
squeeze any more nonsense –oodgkabenita!- or gibberish,
-gynechtaflechta-stengelengelfanichurlstinobluck!- out of my ass.
Oops! I did it again, got lost in the game, oh baby, baby, Red Jumpsuit 1999 happening
again like Tornado Alley…oh my! She said as I commented on her Facebook…
Frodo Baggins makin’ me crazy like interruptions at a sleep factory…1998 on the
rise, looped backwards thru time…a dinner bell chimed…ADHD market research
…hand cramps and lozenges…again? Gotta stay focused. Otherwise, what am I
being paid for? Slide whistle antics and cheese?...Is schizophrenia really all that
bad? I wonder what Jani Schofield will say at age 16? A two-faced river-valley like
natty dreadlocks ‘pon the mountaintop Bad Brains 2008 *que scratching noises*
-Amen!-
Now, will the real Fnargl Baggle Woggle please-a-stand?…Italian robed graduation ceremony
2011. New Paltz, New York. Son House CD bought at Rhino Records. Everybody stand
up –yay! –drop the needle, vinyl memories roll out, run along the grooves like slot cars
and plastic balls, beer pong matches 2008 and 9 lost on purpose #college(before hashtags
were cool.)
But what does the young man sitting in that seat…flunking his English test due to a
technicality…what does he have to look forward to?
What will become of him when these six hours are up? When this week and next fly past
like diamond-tipped snowbirds? After he’s finished Dig-Dugging his way through sweaty
hallway bodies? What then?
What awaits this sandal-wearing chatterbox on the other side of school?
A ping pong table splashed with vomit-water?
A cyanide enema?
Appropriateness?
A job attaching shit to other kinds of shit?
As beings confined to the Moment, it’s impossible for us to predict the trajectory of the
double helix of Fate and Destiny…feta cheese and density festering like mold spores in a
refrigerator where a microwave dinner cools next to a vat of liquid nitrogen and Easter egg dipping wires encrusted with the frozen residue of Christian pamphlets and fragments of flash drives filled with Tea Party ideologies to be uploaded into the brains of unborn infants through USB ports in their skulls while contractions, contradictions, labor pains and unions wash the spiders from their mothers’ water spouts…
Cultural norms will be implanted…standard operating procedure…babies born after 2042
will be nothing more than factories for producing living information…seeds of
hegemonies dogmatic and dominant as domino effect theories and shrapnel sprinkle
the shores of Cambodia…along with stories of steam trains running low on coal.
How do we know we haven’t already had Mitt Romney’s victory clicked and dragged into our
systems folders? Was George W. Bush’s year 2000 election victory uploaded via floppy
disk? Were flash drives invented before or after the election of 2004? I seem to have
missed the boat on that…one sausage is enough, Timmy…put the other one ba-…
It may have felt like Obama won the 2012 election, but that was what the Republican Party and
the Project for a New American Century wanted you to think.
Romney and Obama were props in a larger play.
Romney and McCain lost on purpose so that the Republicans could convince the American
People of the evils of Socialism through concrete example. The failure of ObamaCare
and the other reformative policies proposed by the Democrats has been predestined since the dawn of man; programmed by Mormon Jesus into the Central Computer responsible for generating the hologram that is our universe.
The idea was to make Obama look like an incompetent fool so that, come 2016, a Tea
Party representative would surely be elected.
This representative wouldn’t be human at all, but an A.I; a composite personality based on the
traits of Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps and Ann Coulter.
This modern-day champion of Right-wing family values would be uploaded into a titanium law enforcement robot, its joints lubricated with the body fat of Saddam Hussein.
*Cue Basement World music.*
“How do you like the music down there?” said the turtle to the spiny flower.
“It makes me gonads tingle a wee bit, yes it does.” The spiny flower did a flip…and the
TV went all fuzzy and Joey’s mom called him for dinner and lasagna was eaten and
subsequently shat out THE END!!
By the way, what went wrong?
Is this a question I should be asking?
Are there questions too stupid to ask or too asinine to answer?
I hope so.
Because then I wouldn’t have to ask or answer them.
“My dad hosts his nature show and my mom…SHOOTS HIM IN THE FACE AND CUTS A HOLE IN HIS BELLY AND GOBBLES UP HIS ENTRAILS OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNO...”
One sunny Sunday morning, a bunny walked into a church and…I told you there was going to be
a narrative didn’t I?
Like, you know, a storyplot of sorts…crash…all I seem to do is write myself into a corner and…
ellipses…pretentious…ellipses…sports, energy, commas, freewheeling thought flames
ignite!
I still should read Swamplandia!
Does wrestling alligators appeal to me?
Honestly, I’d rather read a novel about crab sleds and curling penises in the salt air...
mispronunciation…filtering…noise…more ellipses…beginning to look a lot like…
your mom riding a tractor…your delousing procedure voided…your…school is back in
session…this story is about school…you heard it here first, people…this story is about…
people, the Soylent Green is people (and pretentious [portentous] parentheses and
[b]rackets.)
What’s more pretentious, parentheses or…being eclipsed by words that sound scimitar…meta
poetic formalism and orange death? (How can death be any color other than…</end parenthetical hierarchy.>
Word choice? Choose Jif…you choosy motherfucker!
*Ba-dum-ch!*
Welcome to my exegesis. You have in your hands a front row ticket to DANGER!
Mythologies will be spouted and green beans harvested from the heads of trolls fermenting in
vats of soil…getting ahead of myself again. Okay, here goes:
So there’s this squid, right? And he’s real big, yeah? Bigger than the whole universe? Sounds
about right. He created the universe, y’know? Our universe is like actually a tomato. Isn’t that far out? A tomato that like, he planted along with a bunch of other tomatoes so that like, he could stay nourished and stuff. Y’know, to like, fend off this big bad sperm whale who’s like, trying to eat him and all sorts of other crap. But without the sperm whale being like a giant dick and stuff, we wouldn’t exist, y’know? ‘Cause our existences are like, necessary ‘cause the squid needs to eat and stuff. You see like, he harvests intelligent souls and like, when you die, all your experiences and knowledge and stuff get like, eaten up. And those calories like, give the squid the sustenance he needs so he can fight the sperm whale. It’s all like a symbolic system sort of like a constant struggle that like necessitates existence y’know? So like, the struggle between opposing forces is like the meaning of existence and stuff, and I don’t know about you man, but I’m getting hungry. I feel like it’s time for me to bounce on over to the kitchen and go like smoke a blunt and make a grilled cheese sandwich and stuff. So like, I’m gonna peace out and I’ll catch you later, brah. *Walks away, presumably to the kitchen to roll his blunt and slap his grilled cheese on the George Foreman.*

Part V
Sally Ride was Wonder Woman. No question about it. First woman in space. First astronaut to
lasso the holy Space Uterus=OK in my book. Is she still alive? I hope so. Because if she
died like in the Challenger or Columbia explosion, I’d be pretty pissed and sad about it.

Why does God take superheroes so soon?
By day, Kurt Cobain was the singer/guitar player for Nirvana, but at night, he peeled off his
flannel shirt and ripped jeans and became the Negative Creep; defender of independent,
alternative and underground music across the nation!
You might think that title has a negative connotation because it has the word ‘negative’ in it.
But really, he was just being ironic. Nirvana was essentially an ironic band. The ultimate
Hipster band if you ask me, (these opinions can and will be held against you, so shut yer
pie hole ya ninny!)
Before you make any accusations, let me explain. Nirvana were hipster before ‘hipster’ was a
thing, (thus making them the ultimate hipsters.) While Jeff Mangum was busy salting the earth’s wounds with his eldritch lyrical hodge-podges in 1996, where was Kurt Cobain?
Burnt to a crisp, broken into millions of little carbonized flakes and settled on the bottom of the Wishkah River, that’s where! Being dead is about the hipster-est thing you can be.
Then, does that mean Walter Cronkite, Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays were
also hipsters? You bet it does. Since their deaths have been so obscured by the shitloads of other celebrity death stories that have come out since 2010(11?), the very act of referencing them is incredibly and unmistakably hipster. And in that case, that would make me (me, [the author]) the real hipster here (as opposed to the concept of being dead itself (but I’m not dead[am I?] so maybe I’m not as hipster as I…)
“Sitting in this room
Dark and gloom
4 walls look to me
To be Hell…”
-G.G. Allin
Testing, testing, mic check, 1,…2,…well, not that kind of testing, but rather, the kind that makes
you hunch over like a mule at a trough, arms folded, eyelids heavy like the Lord has been
laying bricks one-by-one on top of your sleep center. This is something that NEVER USED TO HAPPEN on Christmas Eve when you were a kid. The 1990’s were all beast wars and ninja turtles and street sharks…am I seriously roping the 1990’s into this term paper again like some kind of…
I assure you, every nugget of information in that last paragraph was true except for the fact that
this is a term paper. But God, I wish it was. More often than not, I opt out of thrashing my leg when the tendrils of nostalgia grip me. Instead, I just let myself be pulled under. I grow gills and try to eke out a life for myself beneath the waters of the murky
grotto called my…
”Absalom! Absalom!” cried the writer of the early Twentieth Century while I just sat there
busying myself with being not yet born; watching all the naked colors schwazzling about my fragmented particle intelligence. Food coloring in Trix yogurt. My brain was a peach pit and ‘I’ was the juicy flesh. Then it dawned on me as I read the words on a billboard next to Little Anthony’s pizza; I realized that Jesus was, in fact, everywhere. The cultural placenta surrounding me would never have dared to bar the knowledge of the Lord from entering my Inner Zone.
If Jesus was a homeless man living in England or Vancouver or Albany, I wonder if he’d submit
to sleeping on a bed of spikes in front of a department store simply because there wasn’t
any other place to sleep. Would he have dreadlocks and skin like 98% cacao? Might he
be found puttering the grounds of a mini golf course or a synagogue; sipping water from a plastic canteen, painting Alephs and Bereshits on the grass with his urine stream? Both of these possibilities bear the weight of a lead moth or an iron butterfly…
(whichever metaphor suits your fancy.)
Then I imagine puppies, lots of them, bounding down the back roads of Georgia, tongues and
jowls flailing, hungry for kibble and belly rubs and…
Imagine there is no heaven…
No hell, no bubbling cauldron birthing black-winged demons to wrestle the words from my
lips…to stop them from reaching the antennae implanted in the temples of children in
group homes…incapacitated…inhaling cinders of burnt books…swallowing sighs…
meanings constantly morphing…personalities slipping…shifting into second gear! Good
times lost forever…flung over a shopping mall banister…and when the garbage men
came, they discovered that one particular can had no bottom. Try as they might to lift it,
they found that it had been molecularly fastened to the pavement…bonds too fundamental to be broken…I’m sorry mom, you’re not stupid, I didn’t mean to…as if the garbage can and pavement were one and the same entity; the dividing lines between the two objects erased like a pencil line…really, mom, I don’t want them to hurt youI’ll be fine, my little Fnargl Baggle,…I’m just not intelligent enough to serve society, so I’m gonna have my body disassembled so it can be put to use…then it dawns of one of the garbage men that if you subtract the dividing lines between objects, remove the distinctions between background and foreground, take away color, shape and size, disable any organs capable of detecting waves or particles, you’re left with a blank Oneness…Mom, I didn’t mean what I said…I didn’t mean for this to happen…you are smart…you’re sweet and kind…you make me laugh…you’re a great artist…you…You’ll realize that distinctions between things have simply been projected onto a blank background by a…Mom, I love you, I…If the projector were to be turned off, we’d experience the true nature of reality; a Oneness that simultaneously is and isn’tMom…A true Pleroma…I’m sorry
Things and stuff, stuff and things. Feces and gold, items useful and useless. Thoughts wise
and irrational, meaningful and foolish, sensical and chaotic.
Fundamental principles; entropy and reverse entropy, fragmentation and order. Flops, chubs and
full blown hard-ons.
Sets of opposing ideas. Only one of which seems real.
This is how we see the world: Our senses take in stimuli and our brains attempt to organize and
make sense of it. But over time, this process, like any other, wears down. When the mommies inside our heads grow tired after years of putting perceptual fragments into neat little cubby holes, our semantic realities become chaotic and jumbled like messy rooms.
Then at some point, like an old vacuum cleaner, the system breaks down. A machine designed to
fix the world can’t fix itself. And we ourselves can’t fix it because it is solely responsible for who we are. Any attempt at repairing it would be futile considering that we must use the machine in order to do so.
And so our only hope is to resign ourselves to the fact that we’re just wubgubs wubbing
and trubbing threw the weedgka wodgka fields of the c[3]untry of Nuu where the 2Lip Prince-S flots on the brees generated by tha tiptiplansky with the eyez of a snargarghr ham3ed in the sw97ed regin calm b%ggage Nazi for spite that 3ee m1te chol5yolo some swagdering nignag c4ntiplex fXc5ting decorativ d#hc har8oni insliga1t Chza B4nothe chocobo morningwood 2pen a blim9 in th8rain =ghigcity-wi4gity= In3exivene 6s:a revel9tion ?vout5 the k2&n Nes3ering all ovr thetang718ial goblin <piggin5 poggin > fw3tress… ?/ @re yo3991 getting ajl thF? Pel2)an pl4^se tel3p(o0e tha guv’nah dnd bee likk soy kac$vsky, nikiwash ijf019s23s;l…45hin4s cx1 feinally ma6ing 6ense dosn to the absol7te poin984tman 4uhfn m4ccan 0zmb, 5cna rkkch5nld ewi23rpan7\
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Part VI
Precious picayune parsnips…
Sitting in a room (with a couch this time) and a rug and fluffy brown chairs.
Same student, diff’rent test…strokes…hamburgers…ice cream?...Some folks like butter cream…
others like me, choose Jif! Peanut chicken anyone?
Chinese buffet food tastes mmm-mmm good after a two and a half hour car ride…fun times
coming soon…fun times happening right now! Wish I wasn’t anywhere but here,
swimming in the Now…the Tao spinning…winning my heart like Pooh Bear…
Christopher Robin arrow to the knee…Glee! Loserville! Honk, honk! Doug Funnie!
Skeeter Valentine! Patti Mayonnaise! The Holy Trinity! Holy Eyeballs burrowing holes
In whole wheat bread! Louis Sachar’s face is holy! The digital camouflage firing squad is
holy! Breasts are holy! $5 all-you-can-eat wings at Hooters are holy! Holy the milk jug!
Holy the Sea of Information! Holy the calf and her mother! Holy the golden-headed idol
Blocking my rocks again!
-Enough-
Now it’s time to open the vein.
To let loose the goose chasing waterslide mosquito bite W-D 40 orator from his cage.
To become the sandwich…the become the Rocky Wrench!...to phase back into sense acai…
Wallace Stevens clamped down hard on the lead pipe with his jaws. The pipe felt cold and
unyielding against his teeth. The sinews of his neck bulged as he held on.
Then William Shakespeare appeared, having traveled from the year 2046 after being frozen in an
Antarctic glacier since 1620…It would appear that a fact-check is in order...Commencing
digression in 3…2…
And so the cheese was excised from Wallace’s buttocks by Bill Shakespeare’s mighty
tweezers…The End, The End, The…
Beginning with D…you know why ‘drugs’ begins with ‘D?’ ‘Cause ‘dirty’ does too…and
‘disgusting,’… and…That’s all folks! That’s the only semblance of coherency you’re
going to get…Just kidding[?]…(ha, ha, ha[1] *again* with the asterisks and parentheses
[and brackets too]…and with a pinch of ellipses as a finishing…)
Molly’s dental appliances had reached the end of their rope. They had been entertaining the idea of turning on her for awhile. And so, one day in the middle of home ec. class, they carried out their revenge for all the years of chewing gum, sugar daddies and snoring.
Just as Molly had begun to sprinkle powdered sugar atop an apple pie fresh out of the oven, her mint-green braces and tooth spacer tore themselves from her mouth, climbed up her face and burrowed into the flesh of her scalp. Molly dropped to the floor writhing and screaming. There was little the other students or faculty could do besides call 911 and hope for the best.
The ambulance got there in five and a half minutes. Triage was performed, but the EMT’s could not find any visible symptoms that might be causing her pain. Molly’s classmates tried to explain how her dental appliances had crawled up her face and burrowed into her skull, but the teachers hushed them and dismissed class early. Molly was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the ER.
Upon her arrival, she was immediately given a CAT scan. The doctors were stunned to find that buried within her frontal lobe were what appeared to be a pair of dental braces and a metallic tooth spacer. Absurdity of the situation aside, it was decided that Molly needed emergency surgery to remove the foreign objects.
The surgeons did everything they could to keep her frontal lobe intact, but there was just no way around it; the objects were buried so deep that a pre-frontal lobotomy was the only option.
When Molly awoke, the world felt fuzzy, but it wasn’t a warm kind of fuzzy. It was as if a newborn rabbit had died, was stuffed in a garbage bag and tossed casually over a fence into a puddle of stagnant rainwater and mosquito eggs…eggs…edges…edge maverick…eedge meevereck…eeggee meeveerkkk…eedgka merveedgka…eedgka, eedgka, eedgka! (sound of a squid leeching brain fluid from a fetus)…stem cell oblation…cord blood bank foreclosure…student loan pregnancy…abortions rattling in their tombs…bluish veins and primordial penile openings…pulsations of ganglia and nerve bundles…baby’s first shit…centipedes forming an infinity symbol in the snow of a thousand television screens hissing and crackling…tadpoles swimming in placental pudding pop music blaring care bear Valentine’s Day vomit into my ears…candy heart sickness…Night of the Living Dummy…chocolate Necco wafers and thalidomide rain…the Cabin…coming soon to a theatre near…Yousef Islam…Cat Stevens…Mohammad Ali…Parkinson’s…ALS…(ice bucket) time travel…my grandfather and Stephen Hawking…brothers in disease…is Stephen Hawking a time traveler?...Maybe he can help me save my grandfather…1989…one dead, the other, alive…the Cabin…a monument to his life…Island Trees wrestling…may it stand forever…never to be torn down by some logic loop in my uncle’s head…like how he sold the Chevy Suburban…a gift from the Coach’s friends…or some money grab concocted by my cousin...resigned to be ten years old forever…monkey doodle baby Einstein psychedelia…Long Island birthday parties with too much food…scotch and shrimp…shrimp and scotch and baklava and white wine…white wine and apple martinis…salted rims of martini glasses and old ladies nursing their wounds with UV radiation and cigarettes…1959 back from the dead…Dwight Eisenhower dressed as Nosferatu…Cold War II…Montauk monsters roaming the sand and stogies of Jones Beach…blackened, crusted moles exceeding their boundaries…skin like sandpaper lizards, scissors, rock’n’roll underground risin’ up…Staten Island risin’ up, yeah we’re risin’ up (all right!)

Part VII
[Part VII has been omitted for the purposes of snarglargling for timecats and rain.]

Part VIII
The following is a public service announcement from Poser Pottery Incorpor…ation is perfectly
healthy and normal and should not be stigmatized by Right-wing fac…similes and
metaphors should not be used ad nauseum. When used sparingly, they can provide spice and flavor to a piece of fiction…that’s all this is; a fictional account of the processes of a lunatic’s mind. This isn’t any more real than a tiger within a tiger within a…how absurd! You can say all you want about how reality is a piece of code nested within a piece of code with other pieces of code nested in…a blank canvas. The lines, shading, colors, textures, sizes, shapes and depths are all illusory. It’s just the mind’s way of ordering what it…
Seize the day! That’s the only order we should constantly bark at ourselves. Imagine a drill
sergeant perched on your shoulder like a parrot screaming ‘seize the day! seize the day!’
into your ear at all times. Then you’ll be all set…
”I’m telling you right now, violence isn’t the…answer me this one question. When will the
wheel stop turning? When will we be able to get off of this merry-go-round and inhale
the fragrances of Spring?…”
“When you’re dead!” The voice answers. “Now shut up and eat your fucking mutton kidney
before I superglue the slot and never feed your sorry caveman ass again!”
The slot closes with a slam.
I sigh and heave the carcass of a freshly slaughtered sheep onto the stone slab.
Now I’ve got to skin it and make a sheepskin cloak to keep myself warm during the upcoming
winter months. I sharpen my cutting tool on the edge of the slab. Then, a thought occurs to me. Hasn’t this scenario already unfolded in some other universe somewhere?
The old nagging tendrils of doubt begin to tug at my brainstem again.
“Is this really worth the money?” I grumble as I widen the incision I made earlier in the sheep’s belly.
Gut response: yes. Life experience. Gotta be stronger than my father. Go for it. Wipe those
disabled peoples’ assholes. If changing Depends will allow me to not have to depend on
my father, then I should go for it. What if I accidentally molest someone? Slip across the
borderline between thought and action?…I gotta be a bigger man.
Look at it this way; I can get sex from swamp donkeys any day of the week (right?) I can put
aside my sick fantasies for the sake of employment, (can’t I?) My medical fetish, my
innocence fetish, my embarrassment/violation of dignity fetish…encase them in bubbles
and let them float out of my head.
Will I be able to hold it together? Stay focused on the task at hand? I’m not young anymore (am
I?) My hair is falling out. But it’s no big deal because there is a lot of it.
I haven’t washed my hair in a week and a half. It looks better greasy; less frizzy, more curly…
Have we reached the climax of this narrative?
Will the narrative actually have a climax? Does this mountain of junk and kipple and refuse have a peak? A crowning moment of awesome that will give way to conclusive
evidence that Molly O’Malley did, in fact, kill her mother with a bite to the jugular vein…and that the rolling around on the floor bleeding and screaming
‘aaahhhh…aaaahhhh!’ was due to a real injury?  I must admit though, Molly’s mother did completely miss the irony of plagiarism…autism…botulism…treemen dancing on the splinters of their smashed guitars…in the morning, on the radio in the…way to go Ross Perot!...moar plagiarizm…gizm all over my shower curt…
“Alpha 1 to Razael Central,”…”Omega 1, they are attacking”…shellacking the human genome
with their animatronic rock’n’roll Jesus…beamed into my eyes…and to their surprise, I was no longer taking the beating…I was giving it…time to think. Time to re-evaluate my methods…crystal donut cereal bowl embolism!
Molliboi!...Deemz!...Uncle Hambone!…puppydogs wagging their stumpy tails fiending
for Doritos…and who could forget Lusty Biddeaux!...Michael!...Matthew!...Deaner!...
Aunt Zoitza!...A girl named Rachel who I don’t even know!...thelumponthefrogonthe
bumpontheloginthepondinthewoodsofupstatenewyorknowalostcivilizationatthebottomof
thesea!...story now overflowing with references to things far beyond the esoteric teachings of the dayglo abolitionist movement of 1843…1943…2043…Apocalyptic Raisin Bran.
2043. The earth is an E.Z. Bake Oven.
The moon, a speck of cigar ash on the surface of a pond.
On one of the ripples created by the speck, Fate and Destiny meet for the last time.
The midnight hour explodes.
Fireworks.
Your eyes.
Your smile.
Your voice forever an echo in an empty train station…a girl in a red dress killed on impact…a
maze of forklifts…rotting logs bridging my past, present and future…Terabithia…an orthogonal axis running parallel to the string tied around my brain, looped through a tiny opening in the top of my skull, connecting me to the cosmic tentacle…
Stubb’s bar-b-cue sauce and grilled chicken await me at the end of the galactic leyline…
…fountains of Arnold Palmer and Pabst Blue Ribbon…fontanels closed forever…serious attempts made to not show anyone my ex girlfriend’s dirty panties or make any mention of digital rectal exams…
Ornithology. Sentence composure. The Green Mile. Time scoops.
Pleasant sleepy afternoons adrift on a river. Looking forward to evenings of pizza pie and
my brother’s birthday.
A cool calm cleansing away the dust and dirt of the city…the walls of the Labyrinth
smashed with a sledgehammer.
Enjoying a pint at a bar in Berlin in 1990. Freedom from cockroaches, mice and identical
windows arranged in rows and columns geometrically perfect.
Dungeon Master defeated! Smoke spiraling up into the sky.
Freedom to die…to try…to ask ‘why not?’

Part IX.
In the end, what was the color of your sky?
Was it what you chose?
Or was it laid out for you by your mom or God?
Were you happy with it?
Did it inspire many a silly daydream?
Did you fill it with clouds?
Or rings of smoke from your imaginary peace pipe?
Did birds of every hue perch on branches swaying against it?
Were marshmallows roasted, s’mored and eaten around a fire beneath it?
Did it rain on you when you least expected it?
Did you welcome its snows when December breathed its frozen breath upon your neck?
What did you name it?
Something clever?
Or something crude that made your buddies laugh with mouthfuls of hotdog bun?
Did you reminisce about it when the tents were all packed up?
Did you stare up at it when you soaked in the river the day you arrived?
When was it that you realized it was there at all?
Did the digits on your watch add up to eight? Nine?
Did you even care at that point about numbers, symbols and signs?
Or were you just too absorbed in your drawings and designs
To worry about anything outside your own mind?
You can’t recapture childhood no matter how you try
So therefore the answers to these questions must lie
In the tears that have been swallowed by the currents of the river
Awaiting your return in the millennia to come.
And where will you be while the river waits alone
Like a child’s lost balloon drifting high above the city?
That’s a question with answers as numerous as the stars
But I suppose you could say that you’ll become part of the river
And the trees on the bank reaching up toward the sun
Will find solace in the warmth that is doled out for free
Without premeditation or intelligence behind it
Only particle collisions and little bursts of chance.
Everything from strawberries to fungus to ants
Is the shifting of elements arbitrarily divided
And God is a kid tossing sand into the wind
Contemplating for the first time his place in the world
Asking “how is it that I’m aware that I am me?”
That’s the question he’ll pursue until he’s ninety-three
And on the day his heart decides it needs to rest at last
He’ll realize that the answer can be found at the bottom of a…

-FIN-

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