This is an outsourced text. The authorial voice known (or, for the most part, unknown) as Ptim Callan has outsourced the creation of this short story to a multinational contracting agency whose name could not appropriately—tastefully—be given here.
"It's an Affirmative Action thing," said Jay Hamilton, Minoru Taniguchi's old friend and new colleague, who was African-American. "Not that any of the faculty will say it to our face."
In widow's weeds, the bull, the sun,
the flower, the light bulb—it clings
to room 7 of Centro de Arte Reina Sofía,
Guernica, the fizzled-out horse, the woman.
Schoolchildren begin their graying
day on the barnacled yellow bus,
warning lights flashing, hands…
From the scales of illusion, this love survives.
The rains come, the grass grows.
Snows bury, memory stokes
The smoke of myth, the bird of tongues.
We each bought a sweet roll for a dollar
at Ed's. Cecil unrolled his tape measure
and the damn things were exactly a foot square.
Man walks into a bar with his dog and says to the bartender, "You wanna buy this dog? He recites poetry."
When Lisa falls to Anneke falling in Lisa
songs assimilate an auburn cup:
martins are privy to glass, to burn
further in the quivering arrow.
Some nights, birds take form
from nests of twisted barbwire,
or if not birds, something similar—
a coyote or your mother's hand.
I was once told the infant's eye
is able to drink water
from a curved leaf in China,
and when they sleep…
We were a plane angle of a sort, inclined
to one another in a plane not lying in a straight line.
Her husband might know, or worse, she herself
might find out, seeing as the whole affair…
Feet sinking in the Wal-Mart parking lot, walls thick and soft
as mattresses crawling up. Windproof, soundproof, dizzy
from the world buzzing around, hummingbirds hovering
to see how much sweetness they can get before the cup…
The ice refreezes
before the feet walk home.
I wonder will you
when your cherry popping daddies stop…
Tell me, please, how to sail
down the corridors of my hair,
shield my glabrous eyes, apprehend
the white flash off the ripe arc…
There's much to do in a sleeping house
though this means silence, little light,
talking to myself.
Even the cats don't wake…
The sun hit the water;
a crowd followed its moving light:
how they hated you, how they loved you.