"in the hour of my disappearance," "firing a .22 at the old china dump with vladimir mayakovsky," and "on the road to babylon"

in the hour of my disappearance

the only guideline he acknowledged was how the
story must end. everything else was left wide open
to speculation. there were no existing photographs,
no reliable eye-witness insight. there was nothing
but a quick glance, a word or two of unsubstantiated
rumor. unfortunately a linear plotline, even the most
banal, is seen as a necessity by most travelers.
they’ll edit themselves to a more appealing portrait,
to avoid disapproval. they conform for the sake of a
stable relationship, either with another individual, or
the entire world. anyone can see zero as the
beginning or the end, but not many can ride it all
the way to heaven & back. he kept his hands folded
in front of him. his face gave nothing away. he
projected an aura of cool detachment. so many
assumed he wasn’t generous with himself. that
anyone who could stand the silence for such long
periods of time was certainly suspect. surely he
must have something to say, something to implicate
if not himself, then others. they couldn’t understand
that sometimes there is no translation, no word for
such moments.



firing a .22 at the old china dump with vladimir mayakovsky

prodigal son hovers over what's left of his blood. tallest of them
all so he can see visions over the wall. slumped over the keyboard,
driving an epiphany into containable box for human consumption,
sharing his visions with the world, though the world is seldom
listening. it's enough to know he's tried. an aching bed emits an
endless glow buried under miles of soul pain. never disgraced by
his showing. examining the morning carefully for leftover tears
or lipstick on pillow. never diminishing the holy communion with
pops of cartilage kneeling, spilling bitter wine down chin or tonguing
at wafer stuck to roof of deformed mouth. read that tests show
people with the closest dna were those of west africa & those of
scandanavian countries. that is, the darkest & lightest people in
the world share more dna with one another over more obvious
choices. this should shoot down at least some racist notions,
though i've found reasoning with prejudiced people is like having
a conversation with alien beings, though they'll swear they were here
first, which of course isn't true. the monster is listening to ennio
morricone's soundtracks to various films with a lump in his throat.
he isn't expected to speak. he's fine with that arrangement.



on the road to babylon

enhanced photograph hits the papers with somber inclination
toward mulch. silver spittle temporarily knocks out my hearing
while trying to find motivation behind case lit up is begging
to switch places with squat light sockets that haven't been used
for twenty years or more rigged up power source poses danger
so only statistics would fool with results. a third person version
of unknown origin is hauled in for disorderly conduct though
his behavior was exemplary from my unabashedly erratic
viewpoint. so it's doubtful i'll be called as a character witness.
prosecution is doing all they can to dig up a film on space travel
i once saw in 6th grade. getting out of dodge with all my limbs intact.
advancing the species by leaps & bounds in formal tradition with
poisonous snakeskin. chewed rubble until it's consistency of warm
tar or thorny addict on a wax paper binge. later pleading ignorant of
all charges then blowing town for mexico. unfiltered possibly poisonous
substance clarifying the language though dark silky underside is barely
audible. encountering myself buried soul deep. applicable rapture with
blushed contours in close proximity to impregnable bunker to warning
signs about bloated circumstance. painted rust over a squinting but
bankable emblem which could dissolve into nowhere but here or be
revived as a substitute for alphabet. anti-heroic effort shafted by the
monetary chill. unconscious determination isn't settling on the same
words as a bad play on words that closed after a single bad night.
semantic drive swerving at nick of time before it hits for god's sake
in a straight & narrow head on collision. not a moment's hesitation
is needed. no semantic subplot will be required. no ordinary angel
is clinching a pamphlet. warning the next spin of the wheel could
be our last or at least egg us on to lose the shirts off our backs.
no reason left to act on logic alone. no charges of aiding & abetting
the madness. revolution of unconditional love will bear all responsibility.
complete with endless summer soundtrack. no advertising budget will
be needed when supernatural is added into the equation.



mark hartenbach's new book is surfing the appalachian vortex from alien buddha press.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 11:41