SIMON HENRY STEIN / from “OMG WTF”/THIS SHINY TRASH WILL OUTLIVE US ALL
Dedication begets rehearsal, rehearsal begets silence, silence is unpopular relative to—um I’m not sure how to pronounce this, is it, uh, “squicka-squicka”? I don’t think I took that class in college, team-taught and as tight as skinny jeans on a skinny baritone lowering the collateral kind of boom, not the festival kind, nice hair might be a factor relative to angles of incidence or frequency, the excitable violists admitting to the local authority that God told them to fall over a lot, imprecisely and not at night, spirituality in a base six or sigma six system, everybody yelling no don’t sit down yet, all our furniture is still suspect and subject to internal investigation, secondary succession, beginner’s luck, and the flaming arrows lighting up the cave’s predominant sky though nobody’s falling for that joke of an orb or forgetting that “Fish-heads” song, because even though interruptions improve the mind there aren’t any—I was gonna kinda—no wait um it’s safer if you wear shoes, is what I was told by the most local of authorities, and best of luck continuing to be alive—all that and a jelly roll on a belly roll will get you halfway to Halifax with a blister on your knee and that was a class you took in grad school, the whose emergency is it if the populace fails to make sense class, it wasn’t called ethics or civics, maybe something to do with theoretical geometry, or it might actually still be a question of terrain, but not as in “start here, run far, die young” but more “the whole opus of the justification was to flatteringly light the lights of the way the comp lit professor can continue to pretend to not know how to sing songs like “the lonely engine’s still warm”—hey there, lonely engine, I’m on fire too is what they told me to tell you, I don’t know what to tell you, I think I’m still on vacation from responsibility and subject to hand-picked whim and the error range of the involved angel, that whole slick deal about not measuring with the business end of the measuring device because shit happens and science students are naturally slippery just like I am naturally sleepy at only the most inconvenient of times, such as “when I am alone” and “when I am in bed” and “night.”
Okay, smartass, If some varieties of machine were designed to be either invisible or forgotten, what about the relationship between hesitation and vacancy, and what accounts for ambivalence about the minor third in parallel motion, because that’s what I’m supposed to pretend to know now, as well as how to wear pants, red ones or blue ones or multisyllabic fake color word ones, which is what I meant when I said this isn’t what I meant at all, I cosigned on mutual reticence I mean but which coterie of amazing people wielding amazing sticks are we talking about here, the people who fucked me over or the other people who fucked me over, or are we talking about wings, and how sometimes they aren’t possible, like bumblebees aren’t possible, maybe let’s trade complete sentences because ownership is nine-tenths, so you go first—relational, translational, rotational and noisy, let’s talk sass about how math was invented in order to declare the center of everything central and everything else “like, probably really far [away]” and how that center had already moved around a lot well before you got born into being excluded from it by virtue of existing incorrectly according to predictions of perfection not met like the bus you gotta run after and yell like hey motherfucker you expect me to walk in these shoes on this ice, don’t you know it’s Tuesday so I am strictly for show and for real and for sure and for sale and I come in peace and leave wearing your lipstick, buddy, and use the buddy system when I engineer fate as my accomplice in delicacies of plot structure like not everyone has to either get married or get run in with a sword at the end of every stark illustration of human psychology in narrative form, and probably well-lit if we’re talking West End, like that old saying goes—save the gaiter for later and work on the “pow” right now but never “wham, bam, let’s make sure you have the right address for the invoice, ma’am” now that we’re only lubed up and radiant part-time and on the double, like every good boy deserves a lil bit of tribble trouble but bearing a grudge and a shovel shoved up your secondary pipeline because even people in the Confederacy own pickup trucks Jesus drives, and drivin’ n’ cryin’ ain’t cheap.
Don’t swagger where you wiggle and don’t wiggle when you stagger and leave the ladders for later and send yourself a sext about remembering to turn out the lights, monsieur, and don’t get nervous enough to manifest symptoms such that you might message your provider, but let me ask you something: are you always this fancy, and are you this fancy even behind closed doors or after a bad batch from the cabbage patch? As with this, the answer to every question ever asked is Ask Again Later, predictably, even the greatest of all possible questions in the best of all possible worlds, even the questions whispered as prelude to the greatest show on earth, which may well be “Uh-huh motherfucker so where in the holy instruction manual does it say you’re not allowed to take off your pants at high noon even when they catch fire again, and what do you fuckin’ mean this wool looks like polyester, are you tryin’ to suggest I’m tryin’ to stretch a dollar so I can buy more marital aids to make the quiet boys holler in the still of the night, because I just might?” but just because you say something out loud doesn’t mean anyone has to pay attention, that’s some Martha Stewart Thinking magazine wisdom there just after the photo spread about the Unmoved Mover and how to roll a dollar, and beyond all that all you need is shoves, love gloves, one or more Beyoncé albums, a baker’s dozen of talk shows disguised as game shows and some lovin’ in the man-bun oven on oiled and seasoned pizza-cooker wood thingies or what the fuck ever it is I’m supposed to tuck under my mental sheets about gastronomy at this late date because just what the fuck is a second-hand emotion and what do you mean it’s impossible to disprove that this isn’t still the 20th century because you can’t put weight on a double negative the way you can put weight on a guy in Indiana you know whose name, if you recall, is Greg? It’s as easy as sneezing while trying to tie the laces on your safety-blade ice skates in some dumb dream about borders and beavers and Promisekeepers as explained to some old guy who might be deaf ‘cause he responds to everything by telling you that you can call him Al.
Simon Henry Stein is a writer and artist who currently lives in the midwest.