From Scratch

There is no way
to stop me from
confessing to murder
in poetry.

It is all right with me
to have the tunnel inspected;
it is where all
the secret blood must go.

And down the hall
is the basin of acid
to wash away
the daily grime.

Makes my smile glow
like a petrified star.

(first appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review #11, Spring 2007)



From the Diary of a Prodigy

I open the book. The words are all the same.

I close the book. The words--they still look the same--but they are spelled out differently.

I press down a piano key. The note is never lost in the air; now, it stands for the seventh element in a geometric progression. I tap another key. How I wish that someday, I will lose count and just look at the harmonics as music.

I am still studying the stock market, the inherent rhythm of chaos. My teachers all agree on the butterfly effect.

From across the street, Mr. Burke takes out his trash, dumps them into the bin. I go on autopilot, mentally calculate the bulk density of his trash given the time that the garbage bag hits the bottom of the bin, the dimensions of the bin, and my distance from Mr. Burke.

I want to sleep. I dream so much. The dreams all make sense to me.



Little Jimmy, 15

When he arrived home from a field trip in the city museum,
he noticed that everything had changed. The dirt road had
grown longer in his absence. The hedges were perverted
shapeshifters; the grass were sun-baked razors.
In this small town, God's corpse-grinding machine ran
in perpetual motion. His mother pinned
a white linen sheet on the clothesline.
His father tinkered with the threshing machinery
inside the stable where the door
was always locked in from the outside.
He washed his hands.
This ablution.
This delineation.
He washed them again.

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