Your brother has leukemia. Carve marble. The elections were rigged.
Write a villanelle. A girl shivers in streetlight, takes off her
mittens, pulls a silver yo-yo from her pocket. Dogs bark behind a
fence. Use oil on wood. Consider pace and breath while
choreographing your divorce; you will have to move through it
forever. Two men in green fatigues tie a woman flat to a table. One
has a rubber hose, the other a pliers. A third man arrives with
sandwiches and a Thermos. A body has soft and hard parts, like a
piano. Music comes from where they meet.
I bring "The Dead" to read in my cubicle but Nurse says, No
novels. I protest: It's a novella! She rolls her eyes.
I'm wondering where subjects go once an experiment's over. Did
Pavlov's dogs get names and loving homes? Did Lorenz eat his geese?
The buzzer buzzes. Now I press the blue lever twice and make twenty
bucks, or the red ten times for a hit. My summer job. Thirty per
visit, fifty if I skip the dope. Joyce said, A man of genius
makes no mistakes. Is it really an experiment if you already
know what will happen?
At dawn we painted slogans on bedsheets. It was still dark: we
couldn't see what we were saying. At the demonstration we smoked
joints behind a Dumpster like it was a party. A man was dancing with
a flag, a woman was screaming at a flag, the flags were introduced,
hit it off, walked off together holding hands. The man and woman
shrugged and caught a cab. Cops floated through the crowd on horses,
giving Latin lessons and collecting teeth. And later we slept in the
sheets we'd waved at the cameras, our convictions flaking off in
brittle red splinters.