in the matted glen
under a sky grey as nails
i knelt next to the open mouth
to the body i laid my lips
i sought to taste
the strangeness of dying
i sought to see
what the eyes
in the purgatory of time,
i gagged for a vision
the dark wood glowed
like the orange coils of
an electric lantern
like a coal
in its waning
Samuel Island scrubfowl—whose decimation in volcanic eruption is not eliminating its taxonomic ambiguity—, Leonid quail, whitewingy sandpiper, Vladivostok rail, Leonid merganser, the pilebuilding megapode, the Allaid scrubfowl—a megapode of circumstantial persistence—, North Island snipe, elephant bird, Curlsik moa, Tymah rail—whose only proof of existence is a drawing in a diary—, Constance Cove sandpiper, Major Chatham rail, Milne Volcano crake, Bunny Island emu, Milne Bay petrel—possibly a subspecies of the blackcappy petrel and is not officially extinct—, the discovery of a wing from a carcass is perpetuating the rumor of the persistence of Gould’s petrel, the Nenavidet Forest storm petrel is waffling toward extinction, West Coast spotty penguin—a possible singlesighting doppelganger of the little spotty penguin—, crestful shelduck—is not officially extinct—, Sainte Ray crake, Saratogan cave rail, Uralian quail—is not officially extinct although the bird is in possession of a variety of native names—, Tumulus lapwing—is not officially extinct although it is almost certainly extinct—, Kirimati sandpiper, New Caledonian rail—not officially extinct although carnivorous feral pigs are overrunning its only territory—, Snowboddy rail, Vulcan Keloid lorikeet—not officially extinct because it is small and inconspicuous—, Norfolk kaka, Kosrae crake, Miller’s rail—whose only proof of existence is in a small collection of paintings and drawings and may be the spotless crake—, Saint Helena swamphen, Society parakeet, Hawkin’s rail, Yakima shelduck, Saint Paul Island duck—whose only proof of existence is in an extremely accurate oilpainting—, Amsterdam duck, Yakima duck, Mariana mallard, Finsch’s duck, pinkheadish duck—victim of a reclassification error and not officially extinct—
The penis and vagina were very happy. Everything seemed to be going their way.
The wealth multiplied the penis’s desires. Suddenly he could have anything he wanted: boats, jets, penthouses, islands, diamonds, tigers, Aston Martins, cocaine. He purchased eight sports coats that together cost more than the average middle-income home.
The vagina warned the penis not to get swollen, to remember their humble beginnings.
The penis basked in his celebrity. He held big parties. Agents emailed agents to get on lists. One time, after a night of partying, the penises and vaginas woke to find a boat marooned on the beach. Nobody knew how it had gotten there or to whom it belonged. The penis had the butler rig it with explosives, then sat back and watched it get blown to pieces.
There are three taps bearing water from which knowledge pours that awakens you upon drinking. The water in the first tap is made from anything and tastes delicious even if it’s terrible. The second tap is an army ready for war and the third tap is a hat you’ve never liked. There is a spring in every town that produces these three types of water but nobody’s ever satisfied. Everybody says they know better. So now, in the world in which we live, there is everything good and terrible depending on how it tastes, armies ready for war and the hat-wearing population. Those in the armies ready for war are also fond of hats. A terrible thirst slakes the nation and hats are growing ever larger to compensate for the vicious rays of the sun. It is in this day and age the old ones find respite in the fact that they thought they’d destroyed everything but had forgotten about themselves. And my sister and I continue, picking beads off curtains and metabolizing the plastic they contain, while the rays of the sun grow ever stronger in this knowledgeable, thirst-slaked land. We’ve tried all the waters and it’s true, nothing works. But everything is beautiful or tries to make sense, which is the heart of knowledge. We watch an army of ants ready to eat a beetle. Like them, they are like us. We are taking the path to town through the hard-walked sand, which I love to walk. The army of ants will be here when we get back. The wars have yet to begin. Life on the brink, I say aloud, stepping slowly, careful not to kill anything yet. Everything is an invasion. We disappear into the horizon finally. The sand is hard like clay and moistened nightly, then packed down by tiny steel robots that weigh tons. It’s a special kind of steel. To be heavy enough I mean. The swamp glows before us in the distance. Once we’ve reached the end of the hard-walked sand we will tie rocks around our waist and walk out into the muck.
Their pin numbers invent me middle-aged.
Bored of the light and bored of the dark,
I’m the bore mannequin fist bumps defend.
Under a bulb made of sandwich,
Every hair on my head is a medical helicopter —
A ghoulish palm tree on a nuked-blue beach.
Noses nailed to feet
Gonna listen to my urine pretending to be a monkey.
This motherfucking prison of Saint Augustine!
The very little food left in the world
Shows what I’ve been looking for all my life.
Great is what repeats me mannequin-aged.