THE SAINT OF THE FRIDGE
“I just pretend to play it with my fingers in the Dark, and I listen to the Imaginary Music.” Gary Panter’s Jimbo has big teeth, no parents, cola for breakfast. He rises to the occasion of James’s notebook. His uncle is a dinosaur. Dinosaurs are real. He blunders into situations. Situations are real. Sex with dinosaurs is possible. On his way to freedom, people ask him questions. His ancestral home, like Illiana, is a combination, drawing him is familiar, custodial, apotropaic in a ratty landscape.
THE SAINT OF KNOWING MORE, OR BETTER
Now there were no good Doctors in those days, and so forever afterwards Kenneth had a Lame Leg, and he Limped. Who stops because of what they know? What people say is, “Lots of people have it worse,” and complain from there, waiting for time to bear them out, as if on a stretcher. Maybe what I think no one would do is what a saint would, because all fathers know better, although not all brothers are saints to their brothers. I diagnosed it: manly in the face of pain. But maybe I’m not a good doctor of boys.
Things that feather orange and black are prints. The neighbors are cooking. The neighbors are soaking corn in a bucket. Tomorrow, in the window, at a different time, this wary circling will be fixed.
Coals sucking oxygen
out of the night, trees
pumping out their smell
scattering kernels of information when I sleep: I was making a plan (true), the moon was rising (true), as big as a hillside and then it was a hillside with people standing singly or clumped to watch the moon, elsewhere, rise. Then we had to feed them from big skips of bread that didn’t look very nourishing, leaving a trail for the following day.
The back of the laptop’s like a hieratic eye looking for hunger in you, special children. It’s a feeling like popcorn popping in your midsection. It’s difficult to say the least when you want to say more, to spill into the basin. Peering, pull your tongue out like a thick ribbon
each lockbox of muscle harboring
a hunger to explain.
Offshore of the hill of sleep I know the tubeworms and clams are satisfying their mouths. An ivory stamp on the sky gathers the middle to itself. An amber night sweat comes from being restrained. Movements that seem muffled and useful end in abruptness: opening and shutting, drawing away. I can’t expect you to tell the story you hunger for.
One kid, a resident, in his red dress and striped stockings shy and proud. In the photo of me at the eclipse, I’m smearing the special glasses across my eyes. My spine’s cantilevered into the folds and anterooms of satisfaction, not frantic but total.
Kate Schapira is the author of TOWN (Factory School, Heretical Texts Series, 2010) and several chapbooks, including The Saint’s Notebook (Flying Guillotine Press), Heroes and Monsters (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs) and The Love of Freak Millways and Tango Wax (Cy Gist Press). She organizes the Publicly Complex reading series in Providence, RI, where she lives, teaches, and writes.