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Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Henry Rise Hands You the Keys

When I’m tired, I get up and give a speech:

Why are birds are funny? Because we’ve seen so many birds.
To the most advanced, birds have ceased to exist.
You, my friend, are such a bird.

When that doesn’t work,
I have the young soldier strap me, gently, into a chair.

Otherwise this job is everything you could ask for.
Three sheets of blank paper sit on your desk every morning.
Your role is to put everyone’s name down
and write clear instructions for what we should do with them.
Add lots of X’s at the bottom of the page for anyone you missed
and for anyone in the woods living without a Christian name.

The New Then has successfully replaced the Old Now,
so there’s not much to do. There’s a hunger
for what has happened and for what is going to happen,
but no special interest in what is happening.

My advice, keep it simple:

Yes, I’m aware our town is a receptacle,
a twin, a sponge, and a soft spot.

Yes, I’m aware the huge rose pasted over the town
has opened fully and is now coming loose.

This morning I went down to the river
and told the three women being dragged out of the water,

Just because you’re grieving
doesn’t mean something bad has happened. 

Look, it’s not as horrible to see a child being stuck with a pin
if you’ll get to keep the child forever because of those few little holes.

Just tell them,

Whatever the problem is, I’ve had it.

I’ve slept in a corner.

I’ve pressed against a wall to try to block out a young couple screaming
just the way I imagined a young couple would scream.

I’ve invented new sayings that didn’t catch on:
It felt true.
Please respond.

That’s my favorite. Please respond.


Radish King said...

Incredible. Thank you.

bloof said...

You're gonna love her chap, Rebecca.

Radish King said...

I can’t wait!