Waltzing to Keep from Flying All Apart
Listen. We must accept that not even an assassin exists beyond the false
binary of choice. Remember if you please the parable of the penalty box
and Custer’s ungodly ham. I took a quick look out of the big bay windows
and the Cossacks were still perched in the trees. Let’s be honest. In this
day and age who doesn’t have a collection of anonymous skulls? The war
of our liberation will be fought with armchair rests and boxes of pink Pearl
erasers, smoke hanging like strung sausage in the sky. It’s that kind of day.
People are camping out in long lines just to say they were the first in their
cul-de-sac to be exterminated by the state. Think of this as a waltz. Dime
stores hawk cogs and flywheels cash on the barrelhead before swamping
back to irreality and the subharmonic baton. Every time I called up Time
and Temperature some joker there would put me on hold. After a while,
though, waiting, in my recliner, alone in the dark, I felt like I was immortal,
the only binomial left of the world and the what-never-was. The barkeep
cited the blitz and refused to turn on the news, so we wandered our way
to the puddle they call the Hills. There’s just something about a pitchfork
that really makes it a mob. Sonny looked off a riot cop, plugged a trumpet
mute into his séance horn and channeled up a jump chorus of those otherly
blues. The rain, when it arrives, is worldly. We heard the singing, then ran
like hell, it was the sound of something burned that once had wings. Listen.
Jeffrey Little is the author of The Hotel Sterno and The Book of Arcana (Spout Press), as well as Five and Dime (Rank Stranger Press) and three chapbooks. He is a 2001 Delaware Division of the Arts Poetry Fellow in the strangely named “Established Professional” category. For the past decades, he has been publishing work in journals such as Columbia Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Painted Bride Quarterly, and DreamStreets.