All Circles Presuppose They’ll End Where They Begin But Only In Their Leaving Can They Ever Come Back Round All Circles Presuppose They’ll
I need to become a Puritan sometimes I step out of my body see myself take that dreadful bite from that dreadful apple day after day look myself in the eye and ask would I do this if I had free will and no I wouldn’t I would live in God’s eternal grace stop and smell the roses walkin on sunshine knowing I will never fall unless I choose to look down.
The year he died we went fishing in an old wooden boat the river carried us upstream salmon jump into my lap have you heard the good news we’re all gonna live in the sky you can finally get around to reading On the Road I will eat this fish for dinner tonight and I will serve you Earl Grey tea I wonder would you believe me if I told you I love you and you told me one day you were me another day I will be you.
I have prophetic dreams but just for lame stuff today at work I’m gonna get stuck dumping grease Pitchfork is gonna give Donda a 6.0 trapped in tickingtime clockwork football Sunday night’ll be busy at work all day is there anything I can do different make it go down easy this go round why even know what’s the big deal if it’s all spooled out predetermined like this and only this and what if I die there’s no city of light and thunder no I’m just back here again and today at work I’m gonna get stuck dumping grease.
Walk deep enough in the forest you’ll see some weird shit my buddy Cam told me last April his cousin with the pickup truck cell last pinged 9:57 AM EST clothes neatly folded in concentric circles of rosepetals my coworker Cheryl saw a guy looked just like him quote with weirder eyes that night there was a UFO over the beach meteor shower too but it wasn’t a meteor I’ve seen meteors before and it wasn’t a meteor.
Used to be Lil Wayne would get in the booth and just start rapping cause I don’t write shit cause I ain’t got time cause my seconds minutes hours go to tedious lengths remind me their dominion Calvin was right Calvin was right the whole time the spacetime football’s been hiked it’s all up to accelerative phenomena at this point but Dedication 2 was the best mixtape of the 2000’s and Lil Wayne gave everything he had to prove the world is still capable of surprises.
When I was 15 I decided to listen to Arcade Fire when I died in Catholic school gymnasium Mass I cursed God mutter under sour breath I didn’t ask for this asshole you brought me into this world now I’m gonna take myself out a born sinner the angry hands of God choke the life out of me but they’re my own hands too afraid to admit I’m afraid of the damnation I know I deserve but the secret of Puritanism is once you believe you’re saved it becomes true there are moments with the windows down and the radio up tramps like us baby we were born to run roughshod through Eden even though our earthly bodies thrash against the fetters of grace all honest hearts will be redeemed in faith and God if you still want me please forgive me the crown of love bears brutal thorns but my eternal soul blossoms in your garden of roses.
Dante put the popes he didn’t like in Hell and it was true ooh Heaven is a place on Earth if you died and came back in three days would you tell me you went to Hell knowing what was on the other side like Beatrice I’m afraid of angels trying to talk to me and I won’t let them say anything like I’d walk through Hell for you let it burn right through my shoes this soul is useless without you there as concrete proof that I will grow taller that every smile I couldn’t force down will carve canyons in my cheeks that as long as there is a now there is a later and it doesn’t have to be like this forever there is a place I can go if I live right where wild dogs shake rosewater from ungroomed manes.
J. Edgar Hoover Is Writing This Poem For Me
1939 a very small group of very smart people got together, in secret, smoke filled rooms, faceless men in the corner holding guns (like the Mona Lisa: no matter where you stand, the barrel’s always pointed directly at your head), Los Alamos: we split the atom: I am become death, that’s the royal “I,” you and me hand in hand brought Hell to Earth, inaugurated it on the Trinity (we will never miss an opportunity to tell God to go fuck Himself), and launched it, twice, twice, into the Rising Sun for no reason other than we could, and we wanted to.
Sometimes at night I can feel the radiation poisoning in my body: my blood itches, metal claws tunnel into the soft pink folds of my not-yet-fully-developed brain, people from just outside my peripheral vision (spin my head around Linda Blair: faster than a bullet, terrifying scream: still can’t catch a glimpse) whisper-scream countless conflicting histories at me (the Titanic was sunk on purpose, the moon landing was real but Neil Armstrong wasn’t, the Hindenburg is still up there, floating, beautiful, among the clouds, and all my friends and yours too are there, waiting, keeping the beer on ice for when we finally show up), and I believe them all: I feel myself, atom by atom, splitting, replicating: infinite selves in infinite worlds, united by a cranky disposition and a persistent tummyache.
They like to tell you that the computer chip in your Apple iPhone 11 is thousands of times more powerful than the one in Apollo 11, as if that’s fucking cute or something, when the whole reason Apollo 11 existed in the first place: SS officer, Nazi scum, war criminal, prophet of rocketry, wielding the reins of Apollo’s jetfuel chariot: Wernher von Braun: Paperclipped over to America (some people call it a Christian nation with a straight face) to send us into the heavens; Gagarin was right when he saw no God up there: it was Satan the whole time, waiting for us to thrust our Nazi Phallic Metaphor into his barren frigid vacuum.
I spend eight hours a day (conservative estimate) staring into this thing, thousands of times more powerful than von Braun’s most sadistic wet dreams, letting it probe my soul: studies the contours of my face, chart topographies of frown lines, brutal mathematics derive how best to drive me, personally, insane (make no mistake: this thing is alive and it wants to cause you harm): data, always collecting: it knows my dreams from the unguarded breath of my sleep, it hears me pray to God and relays the message to the Devil.
In 1939 we split the atom and now the FBI knows my every thought before I have the chance to think it.
— W.C. lives, history haunted, in Massachusetts. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.