where the shadow people are
I call my life mashed potatoes, loaded mashed potatoes. Piled with bacon, chives, butter and sour cream. It’s good for the soul, or the taste buds, but it’ll shorten your life, stop up the arteries.
I grew up seeing barns that scream “See Rock City.” I finally did, and I fell into a land of fairy tales, tiny cottages, and other ways to make money off rocks and carbon dioxide. I climbed through a skinny alley, a butt crack of two giant stones. I stood on a rock that stuck out of a mountain like a tongue and saw three state borders before I even knew what lay beyond the fifty white states. It was a big deal when my mamaw went to Hawaii to pick up her husband from Vietnam like he had gone to the grocery store and missed a turn. People still talk about it today: family, distant family, even ones further out who could be family, no one knows, but give us nice platters of deviled eggs all the same.
Ellison’s baby is invisible, not Sci-fi, but straight-up see through, his skin so black it’s like he was born to create shadows. Maybe those who make art in the 21st century are all shadow people. The band Dr. Dog asks where they all went, but we’re right here, only WE’RE INVISIBLE. I’m with you in Rockland, our Father Poet speaks, and we raise our glasses to lips and breathe our last.
the Treky lives in you and me
The pink men make me feel safe, like the attractive man smoking cigarettes before a thirty-minute time to reflect, the past washing over me while I bond with my father.
The planet earth is blue, and the only thing we can do is sing pretty little love songs and pretend we can turn salt into American currency because the rich are only hungry in their hearts.
And the rest will find solace, or a moment of monetary weakness in blues or a tempo alteration—those guys know what words to put with morning bird songs, and our eyes water at the thought of belonging.
Death suits the craving, the depth that no one dares to go because that is what they’ll find.
So we just look for it in fiction, black and white mirages, men encapsulated in hardware, and idiocy such as alien invasions,
knowing deep down inside that these stories hold more truth than your nods and grins to strangers.
I crawled downstairs, and gave in to the last in a trilogy that has turned some to God and others into idols, not restricted to those that break their arms to reach the starlight above the light pollution, but the hunger is in all of us—we all want to win the war that happened once and far away,
when really it happens only in pixels, our memories, and never all at once.
a new world to me, an ocean to you
I held the liquid sun in my hands, and it pained me knowing I couldn’t photograph it. But then a group migrated real close dressed in white, and I cried as the man raised his hand saying hallelujah. I swam into it setting, the water becoming warmer the more I waited—
it’s ice cold for the impatient, and the world around me was green with chunks of slimy brown. The unknown is never beautiful in the good ole fashioned way, and I wouldn’t have seen this or anyone else if I lived here every day of my life, a sign on a highway for purchase. There’s brushstrokes and the gentle motion of millions of years of waiting, and I sing the body electric as I think about the next Instagram post, and it kills me as I do it anyways, again and again peached oranges become part of everything with the pineapple Fanta and Hi-chews. And the sky turns orange between shades of grey.
only the goats can save us from kudzu
and only moon milk can heal our wounds.
The winter broke its jaw like a wild Indian racing horseback in a Nevada sandstorm.
This means six more weeks of cold ass winter. So, we’ll travel down South like the triangular patterns of geese, but we’ll find out that aliens have invaded Moonshine Country. They find all their solace in the stars just like lost travel-men. The Savior of the World was found because the past sparkled like a diamond in the sky—time traveling bursts of gas that knew the patterns in our land before humanity branded it with abstractions like expansion.
Why would the Savior be a boy with pimples on his face? The same way a bleating animal clears the path for us to walk on. We’re all invaders in someone else’s land. The kudzu is innocent, and so are you. Pray for the weak at heart and those who see ugliness in four-legged form.
run, tiny dancer, run
One time a strange old man in a fraying suit told me I was a glower. I tried to pretend like I didn’t care, but bubbling on the surface, my cheeks red, I wanted to say, I know.
Patti’s life makes me hate that web where we all live and call home. We’re all hopelessly carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, like ants. Every News App is a morsel of Dorito, and we run on white tiles to find the black hole we crawled from only to get smashed by a foot. Sometimes it’s on purpose, but most often, it’s an accident. Not many put in the effort to kill us, only focus their attention on the vampires with wings or the big yellow guys with a sword up their ass.
We are all helpless, harmless, insignificant. Why bother to stop us?
Our worlds, they will zig-zag and reach heights we could never fathom—our toil is beautiful. We die too soon. We do not know this. The Dorito on our back is far too important.
And, for the insect, there are no men to whisper magic, not even the promise of alternate realities, but remember what the white men tell you: there’s nothing celestial about science anyways.