172 Readings

The Speed Wobbles

Looking out at the Rockies through a

Plexiglass oval, I reconsider the Star Child theory:

dropped by spaceship on a remote clifftop,

adolescent alien sacrifices itself

in a mountain stream, its blood seeding the planet

with the building blocks of humanity.

Spaceship goes zip —> bing!

and we’re not supposed to wonder

who invented the inventor. Sure,

diagram hemoglobin ‘til the cows come home

but whose cows are they?

Whose home really? My parents

had a system of blood-dumping chalices

sprung by a torture device and

strung through millennia by catchy phrases

like a Mouse Trap game.

Local nuns pray constantly in order

to keep a line open to the big whatever-it-is.

Meanwhile John goes silent

for ten rotations each orbit, and that

would make sense if sense wasn’t a word.

To plug into the flow, my boy

puts on headphones, rolls out on his longboard.

One day he hits the slightest

bump in the pavement & a wave of increasing

amplitude ripples & bucks through his deck:

The Speed Wobbles. Control

blinks away and he’s launched at the curb,

a pure arc of electricity pinwheeling

against the sky. It’s an origin story:

wired to crash and survive, his mythology begins

a little scraped and tangled but alive

in the Petersons’ arbor vitae.
Posted 04/07/19
Published in Enizagam magazine volume 11 from Oakland School of the Arts, with students grade 6-12. I really liked the way the editors sent little sticky notes saying what they liked about the poem. It was very generous and charming.
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