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from The Depression

There was an exploding bear. He was always exploding. This exploding made sleeping difficult & interaction with other bears tricky. At the Home Depot an unexploding bear would ask the exploding bear how he was doing & the exploding bear would reply I’m exploding. Then at the park some months later, both walking their dogs, the same unexploding bear would again see the exploding bear & again ask the exploding bear how he was doing & the exploding bear would again reply I’m exploding. It got so that all the unexploding bears stopped inquiring of the exploding bear & when he entered the Home Depot they pretended not to see him. At night the exploding bear would return to his cave & lie in bed, feeling the constant excruciation of the explosion, the pain obliterating all else. Once the exploding bear found another exploding bear & they went to bed together & pressed the pain of their explosions together but by the morning they could not remember each other’s names. Occasionally the bear would do things like go on a hike, or listen to Shostakovich, or catch salmon to take his mind off the explosion & sometimes it would work for a bit & he’d think things like This hike is great, or This piano concerto is great, or This salmon is great, but then he’d feel the explosion again & it would be all the more painful for having been briefly forgotten.
Posted 05/27/13
This comes from a book called The Depression, a collaboration with the photographer Jon Pack, which is forthcoming from Love Symbol Press. Look at Jon Pack's photography at www.jonpack.com. Look at Love Symbol Press's books at www.redlightbulbs.net/lovesymbol. This poem originally was posted to the Facebook wall of Shane McCrae.
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