Annie Hopes Someday
as poioumenon or plural, poioumena, a kind of metafiction where the story is about creation : if you can locate any kind of story here : if by story, we mean some sense of setting, of character, of plot : if by plot, we mean a sequence of events, ordered in some fashion : the question becomes, what fashion? : whether order requires a consistency of design : perhaps hawk-song suggests a stitching of time in a timeless place
imaginary places serve multiple purposes : in fiction, a simple disengagement from the actual that allows the reader to both inhabit & separate : in speculative works, a hinge between the world we occupy & some construction : a re-positioning of variables : a false memory : an impossible present : an unlikely future
Any imagined present, cast in past tense with details from a shared actual, those mute tethers, could be a counter-factual history
In the near-naming, the imaginary place can invoke the almost recognizable : a bland other made entirely of stereotypes, never to be reached, so never disproven
Imaginaries promise forever-tracing with no recompense : found clues & maps : scraps of reference : generation-old mentions, tall tales, re-memberings : they work the way of all folklore, whether myth or legend, tale or fable
A line between need & desire : to construct a construct for how it would be : Annie hopes someday to be more than a riddle : maybe an oath
Perhaps She Dreamed
Annie was once assessed for cultural competency : she showed “trailing orientations” of “reversal” : in certain situations, she tended to prefer cultures other than her own, uncritically valuing these “other” cultures as superior : overall, she showed signs of “cultural disengagement” : “a sense of disconnection or disengagement from one’s own culture”
The Pioneer plaque, intended to be neutral, sent beyond our own solar system, was encoded (intentionally or not) with all the trappings of culture : human figures that could be read to reflect our own understandings of race, gender, relationship. The man’s genitalia is well-defined; the woman’s is not.
The man raises his hand, hailing.
Annie once tried to send a message back to that other world : worried the word choices, the tone of electronic message sending : finally, she hit send, hit log out.
The next day, she cannot find it: not in any folder, not Sent, not Drafts. The Inbox remains empty: no reply. Perhaps she dreamed the message, the intended receiver. Perhaps she articulated nothing – didn’t raise her hand, hailed nothing.
C. Kubasta is the author of two poetry chapbooks, the books All Beautiful & Useless and Of Covenants (Whitepoint Press), and a novella Girling (Brain Mill Press). Her work explores place (the Midwest), the body (our imperfect perfect flesh), and language (its slippages). Find her at www.ckubasta.com. Follow her @CKubastathePoet.