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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


on the bright side of the bus
she was alone and cold
worried and stoned
laid bare to public transport
though i only understand her exposure months later
when the narrative closed unceremoniously,
as will the pool in autumn. she died
and i was alive-
a reader with a username

i knew i recognized her dimples and sweaty black bangs-
our buses used to go to the same summer camp, back where
the secret power of affected naivete was yet undiscovered
and every morning was filled with thrilling discipline
and bandy-legged intrigue

the girls from morning round-up who once held so much mystique
are now married, or pregnant, or both
running into them in random places of commerce
there is confusion, and i feel like i am trying to bridge a large distance,
speaking about the events and circumstances of life
with rock patterns and smoke signals
while all around, in The Cloud, web handles and networks collide and co-mingle,
and handheld devices and the all-too human multi-task one another into orgasm and sleep
the past is a question of pixels and storage capacity and instantly loaded rationalizations
and with this thought I got off the bus

now these thoughts float darkly in bubbles above former selves
before sleep she reappears on an PPT slideshow beyond closed eyelids
and is absorbed in the facile warp and weave of
memory's cheap embroidery

was this a foregone conclusion?
must we bring a cold 'therefore' to every small town newspaper death?
burning silent judgment and a thousand dead words of sympathy?
it seems a shameful and cheap ritual

maybe there was a time when
i would have believed in a
mathematical proof for virtue
or in the verities of other people
but growing older can make you suspicious
and possibly republican
certain things sound suspicious
‘good intentions’ ring hollow and ominous
and so one turns inward
while salesman and cult leaders
get a platform for talking coherent systems
full ranges and completions for things incomplete

for everyone else, it's no secret
new planets will appear in the sky
new dinosaurs will be pulled from the ground
wholeness longs for absence,
voice demands no voice,
stagecraft helps itself
and progress, Stalin-esque, steps forward
safely above the droppings of our samsara drift

history eats itself, hero by hero
with the reader in charge, complicit to plot
who now sits in the yard on a wicker settee, under a clear moon,
and memory a killing field of poignant, static victims

and with them we are vicariously alive
and with them we get stoned
and time after time
run out to catch the bus
without a warm coat

--bo knutson

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