--- B E N M I L L E R
Aldermen strap on horns in preparation for the big parade. There is lutesong in the air, the chanting of a topless choir of Ben Franklin clerks: Did you? Did you? Did you pay the chipmunk to burrow into your heart and eat what was left of me there? Did you? Did you? Welcome to Satyr Days. Store owners excuse to empty the selves behind the shelves, move the sapper wire, tail brushes, vermin cloth. Dance on bloody beets at the A&P why not. Pin the Haw on the Thorne what the heck. Identify the chewing noise in the bushes and win a trip to Sioux Falls. Snarf the skunk kebab dipped in milk chocolate. Sniff the veal sauteeing in baby oil under the blue Methodist tent. Argue whether the oddly hugging couple in the balcony of the Flynn Theater is married or brother and sister. Backstroke across the lake of dry peas in the Super Mart parking lot. Pose for a picture with a 10 foot balladeering plunger: Butt shaped like a peaaaaar, with a voice like a beaaaaaaar, Mr. Finebine, you're miiiiiiiiine. Whack a tennis ball over the net of blackthorn twigs. Pick up the ringing pay phone and hear an old goat on the other end of the line whisper: Jessie Boy, Jessie, this is George Allen, from Missouri. Line up like me and get assigned a new husband and drag that fella onto a bed of mufflers and play Pothole. Fun for all. No matter how short, no matter how tall. Crawl single into the hardware store and fellate Faunzie, four-legged host of the game show "$69,000 Orgy." Pose as a model for a dermatology textbook at Milo Memorial Library, no disease required, decals supplied by the photographer. Visit the Arts & Grafts tent and get a pot holder permanently attached to a limb or have your favorite lamentation laminated for all of posterity to vomit on: The fury of a mixed metaphor knows no bounds! Exhaustion without breathlessness is wastefulness! Like tomatoes, the brighter we are, the riper we are! No matter what kind of face you put on it, it's still a big room full of little cages! We are all missing names! Again I find myself alone with broken glass! Ah, that intangible in the soul of a champion called professionalism! And then there's the bake-off for which I have made a breach pie. Getting it out of the oven was hell. In fact, most of that pie is still in the oven. Only way to eat some is to stick your head in like Sylvia Plath. A line of Judges wait to do so. They wear leather cod pieces, Picasso shirts. All avoid using the word contiguous. One whispers: I'm a divert Catholic. Another waxes poetic: Splendor flashed and failed. / Wonder asunder. / What, Butter Bean, has changed in all these years? / Where, Mayfly, is progress? / America still a taut latex bonnet / a 3,000 mile machination / a stretch and incoherence / static and mischief / The Ruffle unaware / of The Hood / The Hood unaware / of The Ruffle. That Fella of mine hands the poet a bottle of mountain-pure snot. How lucky to be assigned such an incorrigible husband! when not renting himself out to lonely towns like ours, he works at a Spalding plant in Chicago. No, I take that back. What I mean to say is that Fella IS a Spalding plant. A living, breathing producer of basketballs. Every ten hours a new orange pair between the legs. I cut them off with garden shears and arrange them artfully on the lawn. My rock garden. Except these rocks are rubber and smell like Old Spice. And as if one talent isn't enough Fella has another. He is a Hemoverbiac. Bleeds words. Ask a silly question like one of the Picasso-Plaths just did and his answer unanswers itself leading to a second answer that unanswers itself, words pooling thus: ...oh yeah, all hours I work, just like the guy with the only key to the mall, knock knock knock knock knock knock knock, dereliction of duty just not possible, no basking in the masking of the body for the ball, though here I must point out, to be perfectly clear, that it's easy to mistake the nest for the bird and vice versa, that is: TRUTH IS A TINTED FLASK, or to put it even more bluntly: MY JOB ISN'T BEING ME, who's job is?, WE ARE NOT US, it is not in us to be us, never has been, never will be, the us in us is just a fraction of what we are, akin to the sprig of thyme at the bottom of an olive oil bottle, which is always called an olive oil bottle, never a thyme bottle, despite permeation of the oil in the flavor of the herb, and so it is with my basketball predilection, THE ME PART OF ME BEING AN UNBOUNCY ELSE ENTIRE, and that Got for that!, Got in Heaven, Hallowed be his mallow creams!, GOT WHO GETS THAT WE MAY GONE!, for is not the alternative genuinely harrowing?, JUST IMAGINE GOING STRAIGHT TO A ME OFFICE AND SITTING AT A ME DESK AND DOING NOTHING BUT ME THINGS ALL THE LIVE DAY LONG!, that would be the soul in a vice, the mind in a cage, cuz if you're never lost there is no industrial park and if there is no industrial park there are no transformers parting to reveal my lap, rough as ready, snaggled with candy and yarn...
© crossconnect 1995-2001
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |