Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Eight

its gravitational negotiation with the galactic core, not to mention other stars should she happen upon them (not that that’s likely, apparently, considering the paucity of stars and the great number of non-places to strew them), the first drops hitting the table would have entirely different coordinates than every other point in the milk spilling process. Let’s say these coordinates were plotted. And that there was a book to look them up in. Everything from a child stamping its foot in anger to the signing of the Declaration of Independence to, let’s face it, the happy discovery of the blood

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Seven

an event not just by date but by where in the universe it took place. The toppling of the milk bottle from which, even as we speak, milk is glunking out, that toppling took place not just seconds ago but some hundreds of miles away at least. The earth having continued to rotate, the bumping of the bottle would have taken place some fraction of a rotation away. The earth having continued to move through its orbit about the sun, the leaning of the bottle would have taken place some fraction of the solar cycle away. The sun having continued

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Six

got to clean it. Unless you don’t. You can choose not to. It may be flouting the conventions of the time. On the other hand, there are plenty of eras (and areas) where cleanliness is next to the sort of godliness no one has any respect for. My point is: you do something and it doesn’t stay done. Except in that moment in time and space the earth in her peregrinations has spiraled away from. It may be that each thing that happens has as precise a place as a time. We could log our history by coordinates that affix

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Five

too small to make a meal of it. Did you know the dragonfly larva, which lives several times as long as the end-stage flying version, is the real dragon, gobbling up baby koi and tadpoles, and, no doubt, little frogs, as it lords over the bottom of the pond? Perhaps one of them big koi would eat a nymph, which is what a dragonfly larva is called, but somebody gotta eat somebody, else a belly go empty. Poor belly, always wanting to be full, and always going about emptying itself. That’s how these jobs go. You dirty a dish, you

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Four

tired hand, while savoring the starches as they break down into sugars. It is true, though, that there is the occasional grain of rice that captures the monk’s attention completely, and he gazes, transfixed, as the world’s possibilities, the intricate connections of the cosmos, unfold and refold. After eating, the monk puts the bowl aside, closes his eyes, and lays his hands loosely upon his knees. Bloop! goes a frog into the pond. It plops out immediately on a lily pad and one of the larger koi spins just beneath. A dragonfly’s thrum hangs over the frog, which is far

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Three

the others. And it’s not like he’s a metronome, measuring each grain its own morsel of time in which to be ruminated upon. No, he may pick up only one at a time, he may give each some consideration, but that does not mean he spends an equal amount of time contemplating every grain. Most of them go in, pop pop pop, the tiny ends of the sticks nicking into the bowl, snatching up the eyed grain, and with an almost invisibly quick flip sending them to a ready tongue. The monk will save a batch there, then rest his

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-Two

round hat perched on the side of the monk’s shaved head a soothing hum emanates. The monk eats the rice grain by grain, picking out one at a time, plucking each from the mound in the bowl with red enameled chopsticks. He regards the rice with affectionate interest, reviewing the available grains for the qualities that will make it an appropriate choice for the next to raise above its fellows. The monk is not seeking perfection. He does not want to hold up one particular grain of rice as best or even to pronounce one ever so slightly preferable to

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thousand: Fifty-One

good kiss from a fat koi. Or a monk. You know, I think I’d take a kiss from a monk over a kiss from a handsome prince. Although, generalizations being what they are, I suppose one should refrain from predicting and go by the individual case. Koi are bottom feeders. They eat algae and snails and smaller fish, including baby koi. But they don’t begrudge the rice the monk offers from his bowl before he’s had a bite himself. The monk gathers his robe and sits on the boards beneath the roof overhang, sunlight striking his knees. From a small

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thousand: Fifty

kingdoms, the kiss that wakes mountains. The kiss, once planted, grows in concentric smackeroo circles, ripples widening, widening, until your life is contained, the world, too. I don’t know. Velma, what do you think? Ask the girl? I should ask the girl? The one with the lemonade? Isn’t she the evil twin? I don’t know. Personally, I think we need a change of scene. A pond. A monk is sprinkling rice among the lily pads, red and black and silver koi touch the surface with their mouths and the grains of rice disappear. It’s like magic. Maybe you need a

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Nine

briskly they shoot sparks from their silvery fur! And they have sweet human eyes in their canine faces, kind of like bears. I mean, I get that a lot of werewolves are angry, and not all of them effect the transformation from man to beast in a voluntary manner but there are medicines for that. There’s a pill for everything! I bet there’s a pill for this frozen quality you’re exhibiting. One must go on a quest for it, I suppose. Or a kiss, perhaps? The handsome prince planting a big smooch on those cold lips, the kiss that rouses

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Eight

to be a stress position, you know. You could injure yourself, edema in the legs, bloodshot eyes, tremor in the ribs, echoes, octopus hand, vagaries in the vocal chords, excess sincerity, dropsy, ague, unquenchable thirst, and perspiration. Other things even worse. Like transdimensional deshabille. I didn’t want to mention that, but you forced it out of me. You know, it’s really boring you just standing there, big black goggly telescopes jutting from your face, your lips tense in concentration. I know what would shake you from this stasis! A werewolf! Trust me, they are totally cute. If you rub them

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Seven

waggled their leaves in spring breezes and bees tumbled out of their blossoms? I bet you’d write poems about how fine the flowers are, white blushing inside, shy at being looked into, at being seen before they could apple up. You’re still not taking the lemonade. Come to think of it, you haven’t moved. The little girl nudges you with a toe. Take the glass already! The wind toys with your hair, just at the fringes. Still, nothing. You haven’t adjusted the focus on the binoculars; everybody does that. You haven’t shifted your weight even slightly. Standing like that gets

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thousand explained, 3

4.6% of the way to the goal. I've just read the thing through. The word "octopus" has appeared three times. That may or may not be a clue. Does anybody have any questions?

Thousand: Forty-Six

a god (or God) were to reach a skinny hand out of the sky and pluck that apple, haul it up to a divine tooth, chomp it down to seeds, then drop those seeds one by one into your satchel, would you come home with them, and plant each reverently in a different corner of the little back yard you get in the city, a yard no way big enough for one apple tree, let alone three. Would you water each with precious bodily fluids or water blessed by a priest? Would you lie down under their shade as they

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Five

fuss-fuss when upside down in her arms. There you are out in the yard squinting through binoculars at something high up. The girl walks the lemonade right to you. She stands there, barefoot in the drying grass, waiting for you to notice. Maybe you will at last. You are awfully focused on that apple, I guess. What’s it say? I mean, is there a message scarred into its rosy skin like I thought? Tagged by a graffiti artist bee? Scored by the tongue of a hummingbird? Or is the damn thing that pretty, that perfect a specimen of appleness! If

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Four

pauses for a breath to see if it will wander again (it doesn’t), then picks up the glass. She filled it almost to the top so she needs to carry it carefully, and soon it is uncomfortably cold, so she puts one hand under the bottom, the other gripping the rim. Slowly, even dreamily, she passes down the hall to the still open front door. One jacket sleeve from the overloaded coat tree catches on her shoulder, then, ignored, drops away. A porch board creaks under her, a tired old board, its give and protest as familiar as the cat’s

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Three

comet coming after it, eating it, eating it until it’s gone. Ouroboros sleeps, wandering in sleep. The little girl removes a tumbler from the stack, turns it over and sets it on the table next to the pitcher of lemonade. She takes a breath. It’s a heavy pitcher and she has skinny little girl arms. She wraps both hands around the handle and tips the pitcher, and the lemonade slides smoothly out, the first splash tossing up a big yellow drop which falls neatly back into the filling vessel. The little girl settles the pitcher back into the wet ring

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thousand: Forty-Two

into new positions. How much water in that comet, you think? How long will it take before it all blows away? A cold mist spraying out from the comet’s body, spreading around the shadow, whether the comet hurtles toward or away from the sun. It’s not like a peacock’s tail, always behind. When the comet’s come its closest, and all that’s left is to turn away, the sun behind it at last and dwindling, dwindling gradually until it burns only slightly warmer than stars that are so much farther away but bigger, hungrier, younger, the comet’s tail hurries ahead, the

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thousand: Forty-One

a radio. She seems to recognize one of the voices on the radio, but the sound fades quickly, its source traveling. The girl lowers her head. She pushes the lemonade pitcher back up its own trail and lets it go again. But this time it doesn’t move. When it continues to sit as a pitcher typically sits, with no sense it’s got anywhere to go, the girl jabs it with a finger. Stubborn thing. She touches it once more, this time lightly, apologizing. One of the ice cubes that had been buried beneath the others breaks free, and cubes jostle

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thousand: Forty

holds her finger up, inclines it toward the pitcher, and brings her finger right up to the pitcher’s side. But she lets it hover there, feeling the cooler air, then, just as she’s going to touch it, the pitcher moves again. Not as much this time, and it turns again, too. The girl sits up and looks over the thick wet trail the pitcher made on the table as it moved. Light gets in it and squiggles but doesn’t stay. She sighs. She is thinking about something, but whatever it is does not show on her face. Distantly, she hears

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Nine

over to receive that cold refreshment. The girl lays her head down on her arm, her cheek resting on the thickest part above the elbow. She’s feeling sleepy, or a little cross. Her eyes close then open, close then open, a gesture as unconscious as her sister’s slow blink was deliberate. She draws swirls on the side of the pitcher and the condensation, gathered together by her finger, suddenly has the weight to rush down the glass. When the girl next touches it, ever so lightly, the pitcher turns and travels two, three inches across the table. Fascinated, the girl

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Eight

a mission! This must be her doppelganger, her evil twin, a changeling. Her hair is nicely brushed and braided into pigtails that drop just to her shoulders, each braid bound near the end with a clean white ribbon, at the end a tuft tidy as an artist’s brush. She has on a flouncy yellow dress, the same as the other girl. Is it Sunday before church? Or is mother planning a party? There is a stuffed bear, clean but not new, propped up on one of the other chairs. None of the tumblers waiting upside down has yet been turned

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Seven

leave to escape across the border of the boundless territory of your inherent limitations that you may submit to a greater other. A wise elder. An oracle. A wind in the pines or willows or the voice of the turtle, song of the eagle, the whisper of the siege machine. The pitcher of lemonade is sweating your decision. A little girl sitting beside it draws trails in its chill anxiety with a pink finger. She tastes the finger. This can’t be the girl who ran off across the lawn, can it? She can’t have got back so fast. She had

Monday, June 07, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Six

your time next time. Consider the consequences of your actions, even if you have no evidence to evaluate or precedent to refer to. Even if, after racking your brains until it’s obvious no strategy is apropos, consider the apple, the consequences, I mean. If all you have to go on is your imagination and you’re likely to get the reality wrong by using it, thrust forth with it anyway, no matter how distantly it takes you, and wander in that realm awhile before doing a thing. Perhaps then you’ll clutch your pearls a little tighter ere you are given the

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Five

first thing you find there. It should be a pearl. If it is a dirigible or a rubber octopus, please put it back. If it is something like a pearl, even if not exactly a pearl, it will do. Insert the pearl (or pearl-like object) into your ear. It should settle securely into the ear canal. Do not push it in deeply, as the pearl needs time to adjust to its new environment. If you have already shoved the pearl into your ear as deep as it will go, what can I say. Don’t be in such a rush. Take

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Four

then makes a break for it, thudding down the steps, dashing across the lawn. She’s left the binoculars behind! Do you look through them now? Or should you follow her? If you are tired of this game, go inside the house. There is a pitcher of iced lemonade on the table and plastic tumblers stacked upside down next to it. If, however, you can’t resist the girl’s invitation, she seems have taken to you after all, make haste. If neither of these options quite sounds like you and you would like a third, reach inside your pocket. Pull out the

Friday, June 04, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Three

into its skin by a pelting of hail. There’s no way you’d be able to read that message without the binoculars. On the other hand, it’s just a fucking apple. Who needs it! It’s not like you’d be able to reach it anyway. The ladder doesn’t go near high enough. If it did someone long since would have had the thing in hand, bitten it, sucked its juices, and dropped what of the woody core they didn’t want there among the foxtails and star thistle. The little girl looks over her shoulder at you, beckons with a theatrically crooked finger,

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-Two

the porch steps. The binoculars lurch off the table. Do you grab them to keep them from thumping onto the boards? Or do you figure, they’re not your binoculars, presumably they belong to the girl, she must know what she’s doing? She gets to the porch steps and tugs the strap again as though it were a leash. Does that mean she pulls you along? Or do you watch the binoculars rumble forth at your feet? Is there anything important about using the binoculars? You were going to use them to check out that apple. Maybe a message was scarred

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Thousand: Thirty-One

curls one hand around the strap from the binoculars and holds the other over her mouth. She’s smiling, clearly. It’s not possible to hide that big of a grin. But when she sees your face the girl quickly purses her lips and puts her index finger in front of them. She gives you a slow blink. A tattered straw hat covers her hair but for wisps at her ears. Around the hat a once white ribbon culminates in a flower, battered, blowzy, and unforgiving. Without letting go the strap the girl drops forward and crawls on hands and knees toward

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thousand: Thirty

tugs back. Do you wonder if it’s dangerous? Or do you bend down to look? While you are hesitating a comet sheds molecules of water, steaming coldly toward the sun. While you think about the fruit’s possible states and the safety of a home swing set made of aluminum, a bell signals the opening of the stock exchange on an island nation too small to support sales of annuities. The strap’s slack is again taken up, but gently. When you peek under the table a little girl in a flouncy yellow dress and white sandals decorated with colored glass gems