Voyd of Course

"It's like the Onion, only skinnier!" --Milton Swift "Still worth the price of the paper it's not printed on." --Felicia DuBois "The unspeakable, spoken." --Malin Wuptke "More interesting than computer solitaire, though perhaps not so effective a distraction from the void." --Harlan J. Rippington "Satire today, history tomorrow." --Steven Wallace

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Location: Santa Fe, NM, United States

In 1966, I wrote a fake newspaper article under the headline "JACK CASS SETS WORLD SHOWERING RECORD." Mr. Yohans, my 9th grade English teacher, liked it so well that he read it aloud--to much not-quite-suppressed giggling, at the sound of which, Mr Yohans said, "What? What? Did I miss something here?" I spent the rest of the afternoon in Principal Leon Duff's outer office. When Mr. Duff, who was a busy man, decided he didn't have time to see me, his secretary sent me back to the classroom, where I was greeted like McMurphy returning from solitary. Emboldened by my de facto exoneration, my friends began work on their own fake news stories. I remember a spate of Russian names in the stories, including "Ivan Kutchikokoff" and "Ivan Jerkinov." Needless to say, our newly suspicious teacher sent both of my friends to Mr. Duff's office, where they were not as bureaucratically blessed as I had been. They sat detention for a week. This I took as a lesson in subtlety--and in how to start a commotion and slip from the room before the law comes down.

Monday, September 19, 2005

By Unpopular Demand: A New Poem by Chuck Calabreze


after Fred Frith

Possibly amidst the smashing glass.
There amongst the tambourine marchers.
Possibly before the door slams.
Before the drummer stumbles. Before
the scatteration of cymbal and tom,
the crash and rattle of toppling snare.
Possibly before the pharmacist staples
the bag to the bag to the label
to the receipt. Possibly there, among
the ordinary gleamings in the silverware
drawer, the wine glass coaxed into song.
Possibly before the ambulances arrive, before
the lumberyard truck starts backing
and the geese lay their necks along the grass
and emit the hissing blat we learned
to call honking. Possibly before someone
climbs tableside and attempts a ragged
Mr. Bojangles imitation. Possibly
before the dinner music. Before
epistemology. Before the arrival of the latest
tropical depression. Before Romanticism.
Primitivism. Possibly before
the fight song, the drinking song,
the mystical ravings. Back there,
in the dawn of time immemorial
or something rather like it. Before
the baying hounds. Before the cartographers
mapped even the darkest caverns
of our collective psyche.
Before blenders. Crock pots.
Before the lap dancer tossed
the man’s drink in his face. Before
lap dancers. Before drinks. Even before faces.
Somewhere during the cacophonous
ceremony we were beginning to commence
to initiate, quite possibly the hysterical
combatants were shouting
over and over for no reason: Dead
squirrel! Dead squirrel! Dead squirrel!
Whether celebration or lament
we cannot know, but the chant was,
reports indicate, accompanied by much
high-stepping and forceful vomiting,
by smashing glass, door slams,
stumbling drummers: Dead Squirrel!


Blogger Loca415 said...

Dad, tell chuck the poem kinda sucks...not that asshole's best work.Sounds like me during my daily mumbling.

9:04 PM  

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