a. The lives of tiny people whose injuries bleed
unseen sift quietly out of our exciting history
into the murky zone of revisionism.
b. All day long until dinnertime the axe ate trees,
ignoring the heartwood’s plaintive questions,
leaving a jackstraw ziggurat of logs praying for fire.
c. She felt her quivering heart tug away from him,
exultant pulse like the engine of one last train jerking
its rails tightly behind it toward the horizon.
d. A vexatious hole near the porch gapes in amazement,
like a religious statue taken aback to notice that its fine jewels,
as well as ornaments of a lesser quality, are missing.
e. It is an axiom that a dying brain cannot think of anything
but quaint trivia; attrition starts to gnaw it apart, an injury
dizzily flitting from now toward the distant past.
f. All over the planet there are holes shaped like quagga, oryx,
dodoes. The large holes (brontosaurs, whales) hold successively
smaller holes: extinct lizards, bugs, viruses, junk like that.
g. The exquisite delusions of jazz lament above bloody shards
on the pavement outside a bar in what was once a factory
so empty you can’t tell what they used to make.
h. It found a break in a zone aquifer, a place to conceal itself
extremely well. Its benign and jovial acquaintances felt
uneasy, but never noticed its disappearance.
i. Only you know what may be absent from your frozen heart.
You can leave the door of the queer closet ajar, relax or rush
around the clock, and never guess what that gap once held.
j. Behind his eyes, something weird and unsavory winked out.
He never quite admitted missing that part of his existence,
like a child’s fuzzy blanket infested with plague lice.
k. The farmer who spent his life moving blades
of grass from one damn place to another said he just quit
expecting anything decent in this crazy country.
l. Spongecake and other desserts we enjoy depend on frequent
interstices, expanding air, something to give the big effect,
greater size. Even ice cream uses this trick. May I have more?
m. Vainly he fired the bazooka until there were no shells left.
In the jittery, ringing silence which followed his panicked
outburst, he quietly executed himself.
n. Tulips, daffodils, roses, violets, jewelweed: a crazy-quilt
of all colors except blue. Poppies from the jagged Himalayas
mirror the sky, but grow elsewhere, far away.
o. They excavated deeply, revealing a unique basilisk, its femur
etched with jawmarks signifying an ancient frenzy, an unlikely
presence in the man-eaten parade. Its skull was missing.
p. The good stuff never vanished unless he was there at work.
They finally asked him to quit. It seemed like a bizarre jinx
until it recurred in his new job as a vacuum salesman.
q. Abstracting small valuable items had always diverted him,
but the cream of the jest was finding the missing trinkets
under a fez, and the poleaxed look on the face of the victim.
r. With a machete they attacked the tangled jungle foliage
until they had excavated enough space to tango jubilantly
to the quaint melodies of a zydeco band.
s. A quandary: product needed for war; machine cannot operate
without raw material; zinc cannot be obtained in wartime.
No victory. The jukebox played a forgettable patriotic hymn.
t. Her appearance deceives an onlooker who assumes some
sexy babe lives behind her kinky mask, given sequins, jiggling
cleavage, whip, harness, fur, her immersion in a porn magazine.
u. He had a habit of lazily spitting – expectorating, he called it,
minding his p’s and q’s – through the black maw of a lost tooth.
He chewed venison or beef jerky instead of tobacco.
v. Encouraged by silence, which she interpreted as jealous
admiration, she continued to play the zither, while hordes
of queasy folk-music fans staggered toward the back exit.
w. She quit her day job substitute-teaching. She feared
roll call, children missing; visualized hazy x-rated scenarios:
kids abused, tortured. ‘Not Present’ equals ‘Dead.’
x. At last no longer a virgin, he spent all night
jitterbugging squeamishly under the ginkgoes until dawn
cheerfully filled the sky’s azure bowl.
y. The azimuth flung its excruciating distance
against the void’s equator-ribboned petticoat.
The ocean was a bucket of vibrating blue-green Jell-O.
z. There was a perfectly good extra universe next door;
quite satisfactory as an adjunct to this one in spite of
our dark qualms. We began to abandon this one.