Mark Wallace

 








from Party In My Body

 

 

††††††††††† Let me be a contradiction in all elusive guidelines. These machines sure sell great candy. Thereís a spot on the board of directors, so you better wipe it off. How many people promote their flaws? These days, Iím not resting so well between outbursts. Trajectories of information are aimed directly at helpless panic. Bees turn aggressive in August. The nearest hospitalís closed. Brand new office furniture! The only thought I enjoyed this hour involved small Arctic flightless birds.





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††††††††††† Call in the barbaric brothers. The key to success is repeating yourself. Take your bony claws off my telescope, you idiotic ancient deathís head. Back in front of T.V. Pretending that there was a singular source brought everyone closer together. Are you more afraid of Mothman, Goatman, or Taxman? Getting up early for work! The media debated a silenced public. Are you more important than what you do? Metaphors about storms.





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††††††††††† Iím always annoyed that most of what happens happens without me, and sometimes Iím relieved. People walk from a place to a place more than they notice a place. Should I ask how the city is functioning? Go to the store and buy stuff I donít need? Beside the sidewalk stands a tree where children gather to smoke. I wish the clouds would steal my hands, that hands would plunder my illusions. Dreams that get us through the day! Why not celebrate forever, throw random warmth at oblivious walls. Itís not too late to change what we know. Itís not too late to keep on trying.





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††††††††††† Anyone who violates their section is guilty. What do you keep in your closets, Heather? I write poems for the money. Dangled under a saw, discuss the virtues of a split personality. Can I fill out that form I donít need to fill out? Conferences on management! The day is more than claims can obliterate, but who knows how to avoid being registered? Mailboxes spring up all over the county. What kinds of books can make you feel wanted? I took a nap in a parking lot.





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††††††††††† Theories create facts, and facts are open to interpretation. Why not speak ridiculously about everything you donít believe? The history of the lines between countries. People going crazy in public! Protect your highway workers by obeying traffic signs. Tell me the things youíd prefer to forget. The bus station in Baltimore still hides on a downtown street. Spending the weekend visiting friends reminds me how different peopleís lives are. The center of silence has no center. Four miles to gas at exit four.


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††††††††††† How to learn how and why to learn why. Who could stop poverty in York, Pennsylvania? Going through hills and small towns covered in fog, I canít make sense of my day to day life. Can a man become a wolf, or would it be only in his head? Traffic delays because of construction! Thereís a used book store in a shack on the highway beside the Susquehanna River. What happens when hill folk get TVs? See the head of a woman with the body of a snake, only fifty cents for kids. I love to lie. Itís time to do the same old things.





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††††††††††† Iím good at spotting cemeteries. That voice from the past is your own. If nobody seems to care about something, then probably that thingís crucial. Which side of the bus will get less sun? Hear that sudden sinister rustling? The dead no longer have faces, but do they still have names? Separated from the body, we go about our usual tasks. A splinter cuts a hand. Inability to perform! List ten things that will never take place.





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††††††††††† So much for longing. Seeing what goes on out here, you still think you can take it? Rules, magic, watch your step. Weíll get around later to living. Trucks in the hills on a foggy night loom like monstrous shadows. Youíre the busiest cop on the force. Somewhere here lurks defamation. New investment tools! The world isnít just for human consumption. Nothingís over yet, according to the drunk in the alley.





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††††††††††† Quicker dark of autumn around, itís still hot in the city. Turning inward against arrangements that sell our hands for promised prizes, I find you huddled on a name plate. Does ownership destroy a song? Expanded constructions of ventriloquy provide a tangible root in illusion. The grocery store has frequent sales. Open yourself to magic spells? Stolen, obscure, dependable. Envying peopleís lives! Letís accuse each other of having nothing.

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[step back to issue 3]