Saturday, July 23, 2005

What happens when you read "Return to the City of White Donkeys" while terror is in your face:

For James Potato

"The time," the station speaker
was saying overhead, “is 6:18pm."
I opened the "Weekender" section to
check out movietimes. The guy
next to me on the platform,
covered in tiny checks and an
ID hanging around his neck on a chain,
was looking at movietimes too.
"Hey,” he said, motioning to his movietimes
and cocking an eyebrow. “Mine
are better, you should take a look
at these movietimes," though we were
holding the exact same copy.
"How about we just trade," I said,
and snatched his copy from his hands
before he could agree. "You just fucked
yourself OVER" hissed through his teeth
as he snatched my copy of the Weekender,
just as I had done his.
"Wait,” I said. “Which copy did
you mean to take, mine or the one
I just took from you? Because I think
you just took my movietimes, which is strange,
since I thought you said your copy
is better?" Just then the kora player
began, plucking the instrument's
strings with both thumbs like weaving
two identical tiny quilts with the
joysticks of an arcade driving game,
using your thumbs to fire missiles and
clearing the cars from in front of you.
The man with my movietimes moved to give
the kora player some change.
"We can trade back, for real this time,"
I said to stop him. "I'll give you back your Weekender
movietimes if you promise to agree
that mine are as good as yours."
Silently agreeing, we slowly moved
the paper toward each other in a face-off,
my right hand moving toward his ribs and
his toward mine. Just before the moment of
hand-off we both froze, unconscious
as a Ouija board. He was looking at
me and spoke more steadily than before:
"I want to remember this moment." I said,
"The time is 6:20pm," and shrieking bells
tore through the tunnel.

2 Comments:

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Jim Higdon said...

dear lord, clint. must you combine such good poetry with your terrorism paranoia? you ruined a perfectly good study in realism with a collision of reality.

reality and realism don't mix. it's much too poingant. go back to writing poems that are easier to criticize.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger stark pimp said...

I am deeply sorry for foisting such paranoia upon those of you that reside in more verdant pastures. But perhaps one of you could make a retort poem describing the paranoia brought on by pretty countryside, or the fear of having to read about bad things in the newspaper.

Looking back, I guess I shouldn't have given this thing a "subject" header -

 

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