Archive for the ‘Journaling the Apocalypse’ Category

end-time monopoly

January 3, 2009 1 comment

the razed area is a lengthy walk
from the short line, stretching from

saint charles place to the pennsy station.
we can journey there if you’d like,

tread the circles i have made, rummage
through the piles of scrap. i would caution

you, however, to restrain your hopes: we
will not uncover trinkets of value, or discover

objects my family abandoned. i assure you, i have
searched. a thimble, clothes iron, rumpled boot: such

trivial fragments are all that remain where a row of
slumping houses once leaned upon each other.

every hour the dark trains had grumbled past the
tarnished windows and stoops, gravid with

passengers in top hats: men of fortune, who, although
aware of the imminent approach of the endmost depot,

continued to birth plans for attractive views, sturdy
erections with high returns: the demolition of jagged houses.

by Heather Dearmon

Filial Piety

January 2, 2009 1 comment

HE: When I walked out my door, I saw the abandoned buildings.

SHE: Even the mailboxes were ripped out, so nobody could write, even if anybody cared to write anybody here ever again.

HE: I heard that parents hid food from their teenage children. At times of hunger, a loaf of bread is better than a thousand year old name.

SHE: You cannot turn nature on its head, and search through your pearls for an oyster or grow meat on fishbone comb.

HE: The telephone lines were good only for crows to perch on. Then we ate all the crows.

SHE: When there was nothing else to eat, the old volunteered their fingers.

HE: They said they needed them no more, with nothing to pick up and put to their lips.

SHE: When we went to cook them, we discovered that our children had eaten all the wood we might burn and chewed our iron pots into pieces.

HE: Our children had grown teeth that could crunch bone.

SHE: My daughter cried, “Eat your father. Grow fat on your father so we can eat you.”

by Tammy Ho Lai-ming and Reid Mitchell

Reading by Dave Bonta and Beth Adams – Download the MP3


December 31, 2008 2 comments

The Different Mosses

December 31, 2008 2 comments

I was home alone. My big brother Jimmy was at the ballpark with his pal Zack, and Mom and Dad were down the block helping the Hendersons set up for a garage sale. They were selling some of my old stuff, too, mostly dolls I’d outgrown, so I’d helped put up the posters. I put one on a street sign and got yelled at.

Last week, I found where Dad hid the gate key. My heart was pounding a little and I was doing shallow breaths, because this was my chance: I was going exploring behind the back fence. Mom and Dad told me never ever to do that after I went there once last year and Dad caught me. Besides, it was scary with the Wall towering over me back there, and even scarier because the grownups never wanted to talk about the Wall, and if Jimmy or I mentioned it they changed the subject fast.

I didn’t know what to expect at the Wall when I sneaked off there last year; I was just being ‘brave.’ A school lesson that week had been about the men (and women!) who fought in the war. Ms. Tapley, our teacher, said they were ‘brave,’ though I think she called them brave just because they all died. Going to the Wall was the only thing I could think of to do to be brave. Read more…

Car Salvage Yard

December 30, 2008 3 comments

Revelation of the common man

December 30, 2008 7 comments

Go tell John to stop writing backwards. Stop calling forth unrooted trees. Make broth from worn shoes and empty hands. Stow away family albums and vermouth. Place neon bar signs over your doors. Winnow the undesired shoals into darker waters. Resuscitate the pipe organ. Pound cutlets from abandoned expatriates.

They won’t ply you with ice cream trucks. They cannot play chess. They will not mime a man trapped in soggy tissue paper. They won’t abscond with the escape ladders. They won’t fritter the last hours away on carousels. They will seal every exit but cover their footsteps. They will hesitate before slicing the skies and filling you with sawdust and straw. They will want what you can never say to them unless you are speaking in tongues.

Liquor drizzles the porn collection. Hula hoops enter oncoming traffic. Viaducts volley their occupants. Articulating arms reach out for pulsating bodies, leech heat. Tarot cards shuffle, tell the same story. Fur stoles crawl into knotted piles. Stamp collections peal away from their albums, mail themselves to the past.

In disastrous end-times, you will suffer: unending lines at the grocery store check-out; muscles, unmassaged and unused; queasy silences at the dinner table; the coarse laughter of your daughter’s daughter; a crushing lack of caffeinated beverages; mosquitoes (their bite and buzz); the stench and mortification of eternally unbrushed teeth.

by E.A.P. and Dana Guthrie Martin

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Another for Jim

December 29, 2008 Comments off

Harshly. Harshness that subsides to beauty
but not yet. Landscape
softened to torrent, wash of windshield wipers, wish
wash, blurring the bumpers and the bumper
stickers, bare trees spilling to action.
What it is to imagine atrocity. With clarity.
Shudders and stutters,
glazed eyes, loginess derived from antipsychotics.
What we think of
as madness actually side-effects of drugs
used to forestall it. Think

of this. Information, imagination, the relation
Your taxes pay for war and torture in
El Salvador.

Here it gets thin, not what happens
horribly, but before
and after, how image soothes the gap,
maybe a rooster, shrieking berserk,
becomes a hand tearing the landscape, its
photo, torn paper. You went into this
further. Behind the techno-scrim, bright pilots

expose their weapons, you felt for what went on.
Under cloud cover. Then mad for good,
not numb in the gameshow eye. But nonstop
talk, breakneck drive.

by Monica Raymond

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