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HOW TO RECOGNIZE A STRANGER

Shame had got us down. A monsoon
impulse. A ship on fire flying through the sky.
We are like, We need a banquet and a meeting.
It’s not a new idea. It’s as old as a tiger
angrily lashing its tail. Improving, oh how
difficult it can be! Like glowing in the dark.
Like twice the inventions in half the time.
We stay awake. We stay awake. A horse
running in small circles. This is brain injury
awareness. We cover our faces with our hands
to communicate our displeasure at being so
confused. We put all of our octopi in one eye.
It’s not pretty. It’s nothing to scream about.
We scream and scream. Stay so silent,
give up all your small machines and still
you might be standing still. Someone says, Don’t
put all of your octopi in one eye. Problem solved.

We would like to speak to the operator. 
Are we speaking to the operator?
The problem is solved. We etch-a-sketch
the problem being solved. It’s pretty
complicated looking.  It looks like a duck,
until we shake it.  And when we shake it,
it looks like a new stranger, a fancy glance,
too many telephone poles, a twitching mind.
We are working on recognizing the noise a twitching
mind makes. That we would know this noise,
that we would act accordingly.

Posted 04/22/09
Books by Emily Pettit
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