THE LAST SONGBIRD
Bless you for stopping to give me a ride. It will only be a few miles. I am Akasha Tubourn, a doctoral student in the university Department of Environmental Conservation.
Please, I must tell you an amazing story about a songbird. Yes, a songbird. I will tell you why I am agitated, if you will just listen. I call her Shaherazad. What? What was her real name? Why do you ask… yes, yes, you are joking with me? But I tell you I just knew that was how her spirit was called. Listen to me.
I have been working for years documenting the land management needs of nearby woodlands, especially an area I discovered that was amazingly rich in songbird activity. I was an intern for the Fairbanks Development Company while working on my thesis but I swear I thought that I…
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DADDY’S DOLL HOUSE
I am Melissa.
I am this many years old.
Today is Daddy’s Day.
I made my Daddy this doll house just for him.
My Daddy is sad.
My Mommy is at the hopstable.
Daddy says that Mommy is talking with the Angels.
Daddy says Mommy might go to live with them.
I don’t want Mommy to go live with the Angels.
I asked Daddy if the Angels can live with us.
My Daddy cried.
He said an Angel already lives with us and he kissed me.
But I made Daddy’s Doll House so the Angels can live in it.
Then they can talk to Mommy every day.
My Mommy and my Daddy used to play with my doll house on my bed with me.
Now just my Daddy…
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I JUST FELT LIKE IT
I call myself Eurydice in my band The Hummers but my real name is Anna (gag).
My dad is making me come along to see Grandma or else he won’t give me any money. I hate hospitals. I hate “nursing homes”. I hate having to live with my dad.
Things were fine when I was living with Jessabella and Chelsea, even if they kept calling me Spooge-Lips because of the white lipstick I wore onstage. But then Jessabella got a D.U.I. and Chelsea lost her job. Now I have no band and no place that I can afford to live except back with my dad (gag).
Now we are going to see Grandma in the Adios Hotel (no, that’s not really the name of the place). He says it’s important.
“Here we are, Anna. Shalom Bayit Nursing Home.”
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I’m chumming while I tread water…
I am Old Medicine and I have come to this mountain creek in the white of winter to settle my death.
This creek yet flows through the frozen tears of the Great Spirit. In the throat of this flowing creek I see many pebbles colored with the memories of sunlight. I reach into this yet living water but the cold makes my hand turn very heavy, reminding me, stroking my hand, reminding me. One by one I borrow pebbles to make a beautiful arrangement on behalf of my death.
Great Spirit, how could I possibly have added to your sovereign purpose? How can I possibly honor you now except to kiss the life that was never mine and return it gracefully? What other arrangement do I have time to understand as an old man?
I am old and frozen with lies. I now…
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STALKING EMMA STONE
The homely young man, Justin, posed alone in front of his reflection holding the rifle, speaking his best bad-ass, “We all die. Some of us need to die sooner.”
Thou shalt not kill
“Thou shall not murder.”
What is murder?
“Murder is killing without Justice.”
What is Justice?
“Justice is balance.”
An eye for an eye? Where does it end?
How can you be sure you aren’t interfering with God’s Justice? Even Evil bends to God’s will
“How can you be sure there is a God?”
If there is no God, there is no Justice; only random choice or personal whim
“So I need God for True Justice, God for to kill righteously? OK, then ‘God guide my hand’.”
That is hollow
“So are my bullets.”
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I HAVE NEVER BEEN
Remember that old movie It’s a Wonderful Life? I was like that silly second-class angel Clarence who begged for a chance to earn his wings. But you never prayed for me, Polonia. And then the bells that I finally heard ringing were for another man.
I have been in your embrace. I have never been in your heart.
And now I am adrift in the gulf between this moment of my life and the last time you ever spoke to me, Polonia. I’m an Urbana cop, for goddsake. I can’t afford to be so pussy and so distracted.
It was two weeks before your wedding. It was going to be a traditional Polish wedding. That whole neighborhood of Urbana thought it was zajebiscie! (fucking great!). Your parents tried to be happy for you, but, O Moj Boze (Oh My God)…
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