Issue 2, Spring 2007


Hiking Besides Fireplugs
by Claudia Grinnell

It’s an entirely useless and pisspoor question to start that conversation. Two equally disastrous answers: I’m here to make something of myself and I’ve made something of myself and am giving back. If those poor fools don’t understand generous gestures, perhaps we should adjust the knobs. Less is more has been the policy but we must adapt our definition of less and more, too: less now is nothing and more is exactly as before. No, I would say, definitely no more electricity powered items in cargo hold. God knows what those cows do with those things, and it’s none of my business, but I know they are up to no good. I knew their daddy. He let me sit on his lap. You could hardly tell he was a leper. Well, yes, the arms. But that time he still had most of his legs. He took the shutdown rather calmly, until he, well, married one of them. It’s all legal and that even without the flares. Still existential question upset the stomach more than the mind because the mind minds the store, fat cells squeal. They would be easy takeover target, opportunity targets one could say, ripe with it – Halb zog Er Sie, halb sank Sie hin—tough to defend in a court, but courtly and romantic in a way women folk ultimately want to be taken, no strings attached, all ticks, all allergies, all boring rituals entirely understood and forgiven. Men like that exist. We must hunt for them in the last wilds out west. If salvation comes, it will come from there, bringing with it water, sand, dunes, the songs of a revolutionary, the last songs. Afterwards, he won’t sing anymore; he doesn’t have it in him. The great voice, the great song, the great emotion was to have passed on the evening near the river, near the border, the sky such a dark denim sky we blended perfectly with our jeans. All night it was like that, perfect and blue, and from somewhere Mexican guitars strung along. Paloma and amor—all good pre-game show for the birth of the nation in full technigold. The better man rises high above the damp dark city and is glad to have risen high above his station. He recognizes the nobility of the chair, that he was supposed to sit here, to have tea and, if not oranges, then watercress sandwiches and a poet doing his patriarchic duty: to keep the damn thing going for as long as possible.