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Friday, September 1, 2017

A Minor Epos: The Life of One: Our Hero or Heroine

There will come a time,
a time of which
one has never been told
and would not understand
if one had been told.
One has been had.
The truth will hit one.
Complete descriptions
featuring fantastic adjectives
are inserted here.

Running around the world
will cease.
The thought will occur to one:
What an idiot I was
for running around the world
like an idiot.”
The world will shrink
to the size
of whatever distance it is
to where one buys food
to where one gets medicines
to where the hospital is
possibly to where some family
or friends
or include one in their family
And one will not mind
this diminution of localities
this shrinking of the wool
over one's eyes
One starts to see the little things
like unvacuumed carpet
bits of string dust crumbs of food
tiny shreds of paper
that escaped the dump
into a larger waste sack
or bag
depending upon which
part of the nation
your language describes
floppy open-ended plastic or paper
containers into which
are dumped life's flotsam and jetsam
before it is released
to the great dinosaurs
that consume these bags
on one's special day
a day one hopes will not be forgotten
since such containers
full of crud sweepings and empty containers
either fall upon the curb
or sit in the garage or hallway
until the following week
when one can again forget
to take these now gently expanding
gas bubbles of garbage

oh yes
one forgets even the simplest words
only to spend useless time
coming up with a definition
one enters into the internet search engine
in order to find the correct
combination of letters of the alphabet
that match the gap in one's head

One has much to which
one looks forward
as the solar orb sweeps
ever more rapidly
across the raceway of sky
ever more rapidly
please stop
ever more rapidly
why won't you stop
ever more rapidly
and then there are the nights
that shake and roll
beneath the festering sheets
that whip every little patch of skin
with wakeful pleasures
designed to punish the mind
with the importance of unlocked doors
burning coffee
greasy ovens full of black things
old peas in teeth-ripped plastic
and oh yeah
the question of the middle of the night
is this garbage day
and why didn't this one
take it to the curb
when once again it's time
to stagger through a darkened room
bumping the walker
into everything one tried to remember
is in-between one and a toilet seat
up or down
which doesn't matter quite soon
as the moon moves faster
please stop
as the moon speeds faster
stop stop stop
as the moon shreds
its sol-lit lumbering
with its unseen nighttime walker
through its black bedroom
of night
bright and awake
as one is
waiting for another day
for breakfast
for lunch
for dinner
for the same Beethoven this
heard for the painful, unnumbered time
of one's life
when one begs the radio personality
to bring out something
one has not heard
Oh yes
even the Ode to Joy
can be an Ode to ad nauseam
Ode be damned
Ode be gone
and one slides into sleep
a long tortuous sleep
full of discomfiture
as a blanket brands one's cheek
when one realized
one has been part of the herd
waiting for one's balls to be cut
(not the case for the heroine
of this epos)
waiting for the smell of burning hair
on an open prairie
the dreams of a corpse
lying in the oven
hair on fire
feeling owned by everything
and everyone
that preceded this
baptism in flaming methane

And the priest asks:
What name do you give this corpse?”
Just one. Just one.

Barry G. Wick

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