VIA the always far too kind Connotation-Press An Online-Artifact:
“It’s MONDAY and…well…meh. But to help you cope with the Monday blues we are proud as Punch to bring you new work from and an interview with the Rumbler of Racine. The Wild Man of Wisconsin. The Genius Beast from the East. The one, the only, David Tomaloff! Fresh off his “To Kill A Poet” tour, we have FIVE new pieces of flash fiction from David and Monday is saved. Saved! Connotation Press: Afraid Of Men In Hats.”
How anyone can be expected to live up to that, I have no idea. Come hang out anyway & see me passive aggressively complain about iced tea privilege in perennially warm climates.
The ninth installment of National Poetry Month’s TO KILL A POET series lovingly loses another poor poet in the name of balancing the scales. No actual poets suffered. Much.
THE POET BECOMES AN IMMEASURABLE FOG
Piss-dense & grey-spit, a specter wound its way through the tree line holes, swallowing rows of bone-tired houses gone scattered, expressionless with age. It steadied its way along the snaked ruins of an old & nameless highway in the sticks, enveloping hawks & skunks & squirrels as it lurched & unfurled—the bread crumb trails too. It wetted its lips in the thick-stricken air. It kissed out over the highway & into the paths of headlights, in which the poet spied there a lone raven keeping vigilant watch. The poet, not in the least bit surprised, could not speak the same of the elbow that broke in the road up ahead. He observed the former as a compliment, the latter with a dash of romance. His only regret in the slowest moment as it passed was the missed opportunity of not having had the time to write the whole damn thing down.
Meg Tuite & the Connotation-Press An Online-Artifact were kind enough to make me their mid-month fiction feature with five pieces & an interview. I tell the whole internet things like,“In the winter, people look at me like I have just pulled down my pants & my dick is made of spiders because ‘iced tea in the winter?’” & “Mostly I poke the dirt with a stick & wait for it to move.” All true. Come hang!
Yet another poor poet sacrificed to National Poetry Month so that others might live. Maybe one day Bieber will sign his guestbook.
THE POET TAKES FLIGHT
On the roof of a building that the city says should never have been, a man—rail-thin & bowling shoes & trespassing, of course—kicks rocks off of the Northern edge, each time listening for the distinct splash as it echoes off the surface, up through the row of rocks, shimmying over red bricks & clanging, metallic-thin, through drainpipes. It speaks to the poet of the perks of taking flight. How the poet must understand—must understand rocks, & bricks, & birds, &, especially he must know the sensation of flight. The poet holds his heart out over the rocks below, eyes closed & arms out, pretending to fall through the wisp of the a.m. air. I am the dream of flight, he thinks. From the shadow, an alarm clock voice—male, cavernous—dulled through the hazing of snow, tells the poet, POLICE & TURN AROUND & KEEP THOSE HANDS UP, adds PLEASE. An alarm clock voice, he thinks, but in this dream our poet never wakes up.
April rolls on for National Poetry Month writers. I’m just trying to keep it honest—pruning, you might say.
THE POET THINKS HE IS A GARDEN
In a notebook wrinkled & ruffled with wear, the poet has scrawled across three of its pages in impossibly gigantic shapes, the words, No one ever tells us what we are. We tell ourselves, or we become, or we find out the hard way that what we are is dirt. The poet, he believes he is a garden. He thinks aloud & whisper-toned that digging himself is perhaps a righteous & most perfect pun. No one here need say that the poet is dead wrong. Six times one day of rain & seven days later, the poet is unearthed with little more blossoming from his carcass than the unpleasant stench of a metaphor having been taken too far. Somewhere else, there are dishes wallowing in a cast iron sink.
A another new installment of TO KILL A POET, another new poet-ghost got. Remember folks, we try hard not to harm any actual poets in the process, but scale balancing is an art, & all art must inevitably make some use of the garbage can.
THE POET SWALLOWS ROCKS
What is rarely said these days is that under no circumstances should any person partake in the indigestion of large rocks & garden debris. What is also rarely said is that a person should assume such a warning need rarely be said.
The fourth installment of TO KILL A POET kills another poet during National Poetry Month. No actual poets were harmed in the execution.
THE POET AS A RENEWAL OF PURPOSE
In a fit of fuck-this-I-am-a-busy-poet-in-a-hurry-ness, the poet places foot, in front of foot, in front of foot, & so on—which is, in fact, a kind of walking, despite the orange glare flash of NO, POET DON’T WALK—finally becoming something in possession of some vague glimmer of purpose, or something marginally more useful at the very least.
Still killing poets & balancing scales during National Poetry Month via the black art of micro-fiction. I will remind you that no actual poets were harmed in the execution.
THE POET AS A VOID
On the afternoon that construction began—the sidewalk, leaning & gutted—the poet pushed one foot in front of the other & he strolled his stroll down to the shoulder of the shoulder of the sea. The seabirds there strafed & rushed, darting in quick succession & then rolling over head & away—a miracle unto itself, but lost to the poet on this day to a chronic downward gaze as morning’s words leapt from a small & unwieldy glow. The miracle of open space was present as well & so the poet, as he strolled, finally stepped the step that would flush him drowning in a void unknown below the gutted & now manhole-deficient street. The poet was neither seen nor read again—to the notice of approximately no one in the town.
In an effort to help balance the scales during this National Poetry Month of April, I have elected to kill off some poets through micro-fiction. No actual poets were harmed in the execution.
THE POET DREAMS OF FISH
It is said that every night, the poet, he dreamed of a fish. It is said how, in the dreams of the poet, every night, the fish grew more & more wild, & more & more wildly fat. That, the fish, it doubled its size in each iteration, thrashing about the poet’s skull until the fish, each night, in the poet’s dream, it pressed its fish-body up against every inside wall of its poet-skull cage. In the whorled light of the morning, after a long & drunken slumber, shards of bone & scales—speckled over with phrases & threads, tautological—inched off the bed & then down the hallway, never having arrived at any one particular place.
A very cool review of HEAVY FEATHER REVIEW 2.1 calls it“experimental, humorous, dark, heartbreaking,” adding that “each piece holds so much to be savoured and absorbed.”
The reviewer, Jen Faulkner, had some particularly nice things to say about my piece, HOW EVERY LIVING THING IS IN ITSELF A HOUSE ON FIRE as well, calling it “possibly my favourite poem in this issue.”
Yes, get a copy if you have not yet done so!
SEE: THE REVIEW REVIEW
In which I post a birthday something for Ryan W. Bradley, who evidently looks like popcorn & is uncomfortable in the presence of talking dogs.
THE MOON, THE SUN, AND RYAN W. BRADLEY (not quite a fortune-telling)