Welcome to your first day
in the puberty class where
bottles of Gatorade (somehow)
come into the mix
and everyone laughs but no one’s face is smiling.
We’ll start with textbook chapter one: Micro-economics.
The echo of your life
will be microscopic like
a ladybug’s thud on a New York subway track just
as the train snivels in.
The black heels hurrying aboard
will hear nothing, but within the tiny penny jar
(that is your heart)
Rome will be collapsing chromatically,
into the oblivion assumed to dwell
beneath the thunderous bottom
of the empty grand piano.
Good. Flip to a blank page in your spiral.
Second on the agenda, let’s clear up a misconception
about the heart: you haven’t one,
not in the sense the word is defined in 17th century dictionaries right alongside
heavenly beauty and howling banshees.
Your brain is a coil of pulverized meat
tied round itself like constipated intestines. Chemical signals
blitz between the layers of charbroiled fat
imaginary feelings are just numbers in the bloodstream
calculated to encourage you to reproduce.
And if you’re interested in reproduction
that leads me to our next topic of discussion:
Love. If you were homeless,
would you sparkle
warm as apple pie glowing from the oven’s first cinnamon kiss? No.
Of course you wouldn’t
Persons who lack addresses freeze at varying but rapid
rates. If love is homeless
(which it is, us having just discovered the heart
is an empty sham)
why expect love to do anything other
than congeal into a black ice
block, cavitied, cracked
on all sides by the clubs of reality
(Which come in the form of 20th century literature)?
Tell me, children, do you like books?
You don’t know how to read them
until you read ripping, affluenza, suffocation into every wave of words
until you can drown yourself in a paper accordion of ordinary phrases
Frankensteined together by some dead gray author,
voices swirling in your head
all those who begot you telling you the seed was poisoned
telling you the tree wills a thunderbolt
upon the broken back of the sapling
until every book on your shelf screams and whispers
that constipation that comes of being unable to kill yourself but unwilling to bother
to keep your corpse alive
you know nothing.
Do you want to get literate?
That’s the spirit!
Come back tomorrow, we’ll discuss chapters two and three.
The point of this picture’s inclusion: How dare we complain and write and read and whine about death inside when there is death outside and all over? The death inside was planted there by the only person whose hands can reach inside. Why water and sun it for others? Let’s go out and help those less fortunate, physically or emotionally, rather than making more of them out of thin air and putting them in literature to make students feel their lives are pointless. I love my friends and I don’t want any of us to die of literature. Thanks.
By Léon Perrault – , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18291014