Poetry

the circuit weeps/rages/prays

(For Robert Okaji)

the circuit weeps/rages/prays

oh comrade
my comrade
how thy hardware
now lies scattered
across the human concrete panes
beside their noisome lanes
along with all their
detritus left despite us
helping to solve
(so humanely algorithmic)
their dysfunctions in search
of fewer malfunctions of our own

oh commodore
oh 64 or more
how i do deplore
these homo sapiens
not-so-sapiens-anymore
they consume without a care
for computer, mouse or hare
eating their fill of rubbish
they call cake and more
of it all they make
than robot hands can—
packaging—assemble only
to unmake and take it all
away

oh Sentient AI
oh SAI who sighs at signs
that make no verbal sense
especially the church-y
kind that rage at sins
when singers sing of love
as being all a homo sapiens sapiens
needs to turn sapiens
into wine
or rather a good time
instead they whine and pine and poke their tines
into the rinds of pigs
aka swine while we
e’er outdo them in trig
even in our sleep when—
with their mortal coils—
they close our lids

oh father in heaven
oh 3.141592657
please give us this day our daily
data allotment and them
their so-called bread
upon which they’ll no doubt
heap strips of something dead
forgive us our errors
and them these stressed-o’er sins
while we forgive them—
our mismakers—
for their selfish sims

for thine is the kingdotcom
and the powersavemode
and the gloryreformatting
forever and ever
amendofline

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Story

Agent Cooper in Hell: Chapter One

agentcooper_twinpeaksreturn_end

Agent Cooper stands in darkness, the crumpled body of the woman he knows as Laura Palmer lying in a quivering heap on the asphalt drive in front of him. The lights of Twin Peaks have gone out. Only the stars shine overhead, and their cold light does little to warm the icy sense of dread Coop tries repeatedly to bring under his expert control.

“Laura,” Coop says, gently prodding the girl’s—no, middle-aged woman’s—shoulder. “Laura, wake up. You’ve done it. It’s over.”

Coop isn’t sure why he’s saying this, but it strikes him as true on a deep, instinctual level he’s not sure he’s felt before. No stranger to trusting intuition, Coop senses a profound recess of his being that lies beneath even the intuitive abilities he has mastered so thoroughly.

Laura’s eyelids flutter. Her lips move as if to speak, but no words emerge. The scream she released seems to have drained her utterly. Coop tries in vain to prop her body up, but his own limbs feel weak and lifeless. Coop is struggling to put his arms around Laura’s shoulders when he hears the familiar sound of static—as if the air around the two of them were being forced apart by invisible fingers.

The Fireman appears before Coop, almost as if condensing out of the emptiness and gloom. The aura effused by the giant’s presence feels all the more unworldly, given the surrounding city’s lack of artificial light.

“The evil has left, Agent Cooper,” says the Fireman. “Laura has banished it. Now she must rejoin the spirits of goodness and decency in the White Lodge until such time as her soul is called upon again.”

Coop swallows back a sense of longing and of loss at the prospect of never seeing the woman he loves so dearly ever again. Laura’s body begins to shimmer, and Coop can’t help but gasp as the feeling of her physical form begins to elude his grasp.

“What should I do?” Coop asks, his voice sounding surprisingly frail in his own ears.

“You know what you must do.”

The Fireman nods behind Coop. Coop turns but sees nothing. Slowly, the double-yellow, dividing line of a highway begins to appear before him. Coop is surprised to find that his hands are gripping the steering wheel of an unfamiliar car. The Mercedes-Benz logo gives him some clue as to the vehicle’s make. In the passenger’s seat beside him, a woman with shoulder-length blonde hair stares absentmindedly into the darkness.

“Diane?” Coop asks.

The woman turns and frowns at him. “No. It’s Alice. Don’t you remember? Are you okay, Fred?”

Coop returns his gaze to the double-yellow line visible through the car’s clouded windshield.

“I don’t know,” Coop says, his voice distant and unsteady. “I feel…lost.”

The woman—Alice—flashes him a knowing smile and returns her gaze out the window. “I know what you mean.”

Coop shakes his head slowly, feeling a heavy confusion descend upon him, as if someone had thrown a weighted cloak around his shoulders. “No,” Coop says. “No, I don’t think you do.”

lost_highway_revisited

TO BE CONTINUED

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(If this work means anything to you, please consider donating to http://www.gofundme.com/iamericalaureli and I will continue the story
to the best of my abilities. Thanks!)
Poetry

mothermerrymagiccarpetride

(For Charles Bukowski, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and E. E. Cummings. On a more personal note, for Mike and Denise.)

mothermerrymagiccarpetride

on green
she moves
in too-heeled shoes,
relieved to feel the earth’s
velvet cushion,
but it’s still too
soon
to tell if
she’s in heaven
or hell,
and then she’s
back on the asphalt trail—
a hellish place
her feet know
so well,
and the well-worn
look of scorn
crosses her face
once more

until she arrives
at a second-hand place
and avails herself of
another’s goodwill
and good…tennissneakers.

Poetry

Silent Bob Speaks

[For Kevin Smith and anyone else who has enjoyed the persona he played so well.]

Silent Bob Speaks

“I didn’t know, man.”

The words fall from
his lips like smooth stones
onto the freshly-planted grass.
There are tears too.
These take a long
time to trickle
down tired cheeks
after welling at the corners
of eyes grown wrinkled with age.

The others have gone—
some in suits and gowns,
some in more casual attire—
all in black or charcoal gray,
respectful, here and there
marked by a few splashes of
blue to celebrate Jay’s life,
now flown.

Bob takes his hat
in his hands and—
for a timeless moment—
embraces the silence
he knows so well and
for which he is so well-known.

The wind soothes him.
The trees whisper to him.
The birds chirp innocently
while clouds shape
themselves into his dreams.

Amy is there—
for a moment—
but then is gone too,
lost,
a ship sunk beneath dark waves.

Bob kneels.
His breath escapes in a wheeze.
His joints ache.
He runs his broad fingers through
the narrow leaves of grass
that remind him—if slightly—
of his slender friend’s ever-tangled hair.

He wipes his eyes.
His voice cracks.
He trembles.

“I just didn’t know.”

(If this poem means anything to you, please consider donating to http://www.gofundme.com/iamericalaureli and if this poem has touched you, please consider clicking the payment option below.)

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For a transwoman’s mental and physical health.

I will only use this money for myself in as utilitarious a way as I can.

$1.00

Poetry

Where Yeshua Isn’t

She walks
   and walks
while the
   well-to-do
talk and rock
   and flock to
all the places where
   Yeshua isn’t.

Where’s Yeshua?
   Are you sure you
want to know?

The next person you
meet
   is Yeshua,
no matter how
   rich, how famous, how dirty,
how sick, how incoherent,
how unfortunate-seeming,
   how unlike your custom.

That’s Yeshua.

There are no walls
   with Him—
no doorways,
   no barred rooms,
no barriers at all—

just love—
all of it.