A Long Uneven Row of Delicious Beetles
Which reminds me of the time I asked a cowboy where to find the new frontier. He
suggested I ask a cricket for a moment’s peace, but I couldn’t find one. I found a lizard
and questioned the nervous creature about renewable tails and then I looked for
something to keep me going at an abandoned gas station with a hungry dog.
I was surprised by the celestial terror of white clothing in the moonlight and I was
taken aback by its distant and bitter joy. I experienced it as a repentant geometrical form.
I witnessed a woman participating in a silly little flute song. It made me
conditional. It made me anticipatory. It made me several directions at once.
She loved her arms. I could see that. She flung them about like birdfood.
I had received quietly suggestive prizes for my staunchly uncompromising
inconsistency. I had given up less beribboned tenacities. I was becoming well received if
not fully welcomed. I was unavailable to stunning compromise, but I managed to hear
this one unattached voice. Like something tentative hidden inside a dodgy piece of
The patient cowboy didn’t answer this time, but I could hear the fetid reek of
primeval mud in his relevant silence. An ancient variety of innocence. You can find other
examples easily on the open plains, where crickets abound. Pay attention to the rain
Which led me to the conclusion that flute songs are pleasant but not necessary.
Perhaps I could listen selectively with my absence.
The water that gets inside me stays longer now. Sadly, my clothes still fit.
(When I was almost home, the almost spoke to me.)
I’m happier now. I’m alive. I’m alone.
I did not happen in that order.
Monuments came later, after the meaning was gone.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.