You Looked Better in the Thumbnail

A rainy Saturday
spent staring at the webpage listing the world population
growing all the time.

Hardly able to scroll fast enough
to keep up with the new bodies.

The bodies make a row,
the rows stack
and make a tessellation of stick figures.

You are somewhere
in the tessellation.

You in a chair
looking at a screen
containing a tessellation
scrolling around looking for your dumb face
within the tessellation
looking for your dumb face,
looking for your dumb face, etc.

If the people were in a line
instead of stacks of lines
they could,
holding hands,
encircle the moon,
then punch you in the face
while you look at the same webpage.


You the living manifestation of a construction sign
that just says,
“you’re fucked.”

You the sign on the truck
which can only be read within 50 feet of the bumper
telling people to remain at least 200 feet away.

You the sticker on the glass
disarming murderers
and saving countless lives.

You the baby on board.

You the acknowledged distraction.

You the vibrating notification
for the spam email.

You the dog-eared index card
used as a bookmark
ready to be replaced soon.


always nodding in slow motion

everything a transparent screen in your vision

ready to stop holding your breath

at a moment’s notice.

Indefinite You

A man sat in front of his computer,
convinced that any use of imagery
was a manipulation of everyone involved.

He was convinced
that a detailed recollection
was a manipulation of his own experience.
And the transferring of the data
was a manipulation of the memory.
And the reading of the manipulation
of the recollection
of the memory
of the experience
of God-Knows-What
manifested an ersatz
or at least not totally true
experience on behalf of the reader.

The man’s mouth was agape.
His eyes were teetering between glazed
and completely shut.

The man wanted to write things
without manipulating anyone.
Without manipulating himself.
Without manipulating the reader.

The man’s breathing was shallow,
hardly necessary.
A growing dark grey spot
on his light grey sweatshirt
where his drool kept time.

The man would never move.
His hands poised over the keyboard,
fingers slightly curled with potential energy.

I found the man,
fossilized, breathing still shallow, eyes half-closed.
I thanked him.


There is a version of you being protected
as a model ship in a bottle.

Where no one knows how you got there.

But you know how that happens.
Some guy takes pieces of the ship
and uses like long tweezers or something
and builds the ship
inside the fucking bottle.