No use lying
It was the year of many staples, which was better than
the year no one cared. Tommy knew I was about to have
an agenda so he said, Don’t have an agenda. I will sleep
with my face pressed against a copy of Das Kapital –
thinking big, effecting change. If they were asked to
define capital they would say, Establishing individuality
while walking all over a dead earth. Avi says, When shit
gets weird, drink it down. She also says, We’re
indecorous. People surprise you. Year after year they
keep painting their cabinets. Today everything I looked
at was very expensive. I call Tommy and say, Come on
over we’ll talk about the year everyone died. I can’t see
you and find you at the same time. The road less gone is
gone. No use lying this is exactly what it looked like.
One hundred days in
Everything reminds Avi of Tulsa. She finds herself
sleeping with a broadly educated work force – a literal
translation. She wakes up dying. What needs to happen
is nothing at all – a mild passivity. I can understand
needing Jesus. We’ll respond to vice by laughing. We’ll
say, What’s gotten into you? One hundred days in and
we’re working hard to re-elect the president. After that
we’ll enjoy staring at the television towards highly
opinionated versions of ourselves.
When Tommy asked me where I was last night I said, idk
tommy I wz probably worrying abt dying. When he
asked me how I got there I said, idk tommy I’m a fatalist
driving a car. Having read the essay in question is no
excuse for being a total dick. Let’s for once in our lives,
categorize people by how they categorize themselves.
We’ll write a manifesto. We’ll title it, If you’ve been
defeated and you remember raise your hand.
It was all very typical
I tell Tommy that a nude colored bra is not a present. In
California, when a boy likes you, he takes you to the
beach. In Tulsa, he takes you to the mall and you watch
him buy shit for himself.
I have to stop describing people as brilliant
Direct attempts to build self-esteem generally don’t
work. I laugh sometimes and don’t blame Tommy for the
blue on the placemats on his mother’s table. Just like I
don’t hate the man at the gas station humming Run
Around Sue. As I walk out with the Ring Dings I say,
The internet isn’t killing me it’s turning my life around. I
hear in Rome there are no traffic laws. I hear my ex is
doing fine. We used to laugh at ourselves fucking, we
used to fatten up to die. He called me his little bird. One,
there are images of egrets but no verbs. Two, now
people let me put you wise. Three, an egret is a bird.
There are pictures of it on the internet.
It looked pretty dark
If you have the Communist Manifesto in your pocket you
should probably have Das Kapital. I say, Das what?
Tommy says, Das Kapital. I don’t want my life to
become Bacardi Lime or Casual Fridays. He says, On the
ground in Syria there is unrelenting anger. I could care
less about Das Kapital. I feel fine about Syria.
Rituals of Defeat
What if I told the president he couldn’t run on an
anti-infrastructure platform. What if he stifled
laughter or he coughed or said to get over myself.
What if I shrugged and said I knew you were going to
say that. What if I rested my hands on my chest in
what is an easily identifiable personal ritual of defeat.
What if I decided to write a letter to Tommy and then
I wrote in my nicest handwriting long time no see but
then I realized I meant long time no talk so I erased it
and wrote it again. What if I then circled my fingers
around my wrist bone, observed retrospectively as
another ritual of defeat. What if the fingers got
tangled that time. What if I tried to be cool or maybe
if I stopped doing that or if I subscribed to multiple
notions one of which would be, watch out.
Avi says wait for the O and leave, at the bar reading out
of some femme magazine. You wish you owned some
femme magazine. How am I. I’m fine, fine I tell Tommy.
Earlier in the day, he got his tax return and bought
Legos. I try to call the president to say, Tommy and I
are in the love club and I will never get out of Tulsa. This
isn’t the worst thing that could happen, this isn’t even the
best thing that could happen.
Dana Inez is a graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College. She is from northwest New Jersey and received her BA in Psychology and Criminology from Rutgers University. Her poems have been published in Bone Bouquet journal and her fiction is forthcoming in Unsaid Journal.