Friday, June 1, 2012
"God #143" by Sean Lovelace
Cold day indeed. The clouds all socle, the winds all skirl or some other language plastique and so I mean to say Tuesday and someone kissing a concrete floor at Guantanamo Bay while I sip a latte and drive a hybrid car (Did you know they had to add engine noise to hybrids?—They were silently running people over!) and park the car and punch in for the day and walk over to this large oak tree and climb up, up to my platform (a dictionary nailed to a sturdy branch) and I sit and sit and sit…Yes there goes a 3-legged coyote with a crumpled sonnet in its jaws and yes the sky coughs a bit and smells like laughing leaves, remote control acorns, something anchored in history, OK, move on, supple, undulations, video feed, winter light, etc. And wouldn’t you know it! Wouldn’t you know God appears under the tree, but just off my right shoulder and me right handed—think about it: off right shoulder/me right handed—and there’s no damn way I can get the gun about to that awkward angle, no way I can even aim at God, much less shoot Him in the vital area (imagine a basketball: heart, liver, lungs) without Him noticing, so I sit there quietly—shhhhh—and hope He’ll work his way around the tree, into my shooting lanes (I cut these lanes back in spring, pruning the limbs, stomping down the shrubbery) but it doesn’t happen; nothing happens. Nothing, not even lexical richness or a good voice, like with NPR this morning, the NPR ditty, then some talk of Haitians who today—right now, this very Tuesday—are dying of cholera, whose lives are beyond replevin, very much funky-junked and thorned, yet still I support NPR and Burger King and thank them both for Science Friday and the fast food vegetarian burger (hold the mayo, extra tomato), because I care…right? Why else would I perch so high in this tree? In fact shivering now, and the wind sniffs and snuffles as God subtracts into the morning mist (there’s a reason Appalachian people call Him the Grey Ghost) and I curse His name and climb down the tree and punch out and drive my hybrid home, very pleased with the gas mileage, no doubt, and obviously happy with the prose poem’s unhegemonic sway, but very upset with using an entire packet of hand warmers for nothing, and also it’s Tuesday, God’s favorite day, Tuesday, can’t you see the entire world—a young girl huddled beneath a destroyed Russian-era tank in the Panjshir Valley; a well-dressed drunk fellow passed out on the eighth green of Old St. Andrews; a fourteen year old Border Collie in Oklahoma City with bones stiff as boards–waking up and looking up at whatever they must look upward to, and all of them mouthing quietly: Tuesday.