Internal Reflectance

God’s gift of
bilateral symmetry:
we may, if we dare,
sample the adhering ether
outside the scrim
like thought,
slow as time,
purple cabalism.

one eye
one thought
one hand, one hook –
aural –
glimpse, a flick –
flash vision – Tantalus
multiple internal

Joel Abel (1)


a glass

i imagined
a million
different things

i imagined that
boredom was
a force
driving me in
all the wrong

and that
moments were

fairy tales
felix the cat

i imagined that
could be

and that magic
an indelibility
of time
and reason
and action

and i imagined
that we were

and we

the chesire cat
and doomed


you disappeared

i close my eyes
and you

[b]i once threw a pepsi[/b]

i once threw a pepsi
bottle through a trailer house
and then, a few months later,
passed myself off
in a room full of phonies
as someone sensitive
and full of culture.

it wasnt even a bad breakup,
i mean, shit, ive lost it over
break ups.
stalked ex’s
threatened new boyfriends
slashed a tire
or two,
but this time,
with this girl,
i was just happy to get out.
to wash the taste of oklahoma
out of my mouth.

back in dallas they were all too
happy to hear about my adventures
in the bible belt
not knowing that i had grown up there
in one of those same trailers
we had such a good time
making fun of.

i mean shit, it was cool to like willie nelson,
but what if they discovered my
ernest tubb collection?

i once threw a pepsi bottle
through a trailer house window
and then crashed a car into a tree
and then rode a bus all the
way back to dallas
to be with phony friends who
were mostly from small
towns like me, but could
never admit it.

once i was drinking a pepsi
as i tried to pack my shit into
a car i was soon to wreck into
the side of a cotton wood tree,
when this girl,
whom i had always thought of
as boring and safe
and unimaginative
opened the window of her trailer
just enough to yell out:
you’re a goddamn phony
and you rape art in the name
of hedonism!

the truth hurts.
but not as much as a pepsi
bottle speeding toward your
face in a high velocity
in a perfect
tight spiral.

i missed her face by an inch,
and instantly i was glad i did.

the truth is a dangerous thing.
wars have been fought over
the merest scrap of truth.
revolutions waged.
nations have crumbled because of it.

and she has probably replaced
the window by now.

[b]the longest bus ride[/b]

it was the longest bus ride
in the history of long bus rides.

a trip that would have
taken 4 hours
in my own car
stretched into 14 as we
stopped in every little
town, picked up
everyone running from
their own life between
talihina oklahoma
and dallas texas.

why dont you ever write
poems about me?
she asked, as she lay
on the couch, leafing
thru my spirals.

the trees were black
shapes passing by the
window. the occasional
lights scattered thru
the hills seemed like
nothing more than outposts
for loneliness. a drunk
in the last row yelled
out “laura”
and then fell back into

i am waiting for you

to leave me.
i said.

the bus rolled thru
perfect highways, its
bright lights leading
us all on into something
we had already failed
at a thousand times. in
a thousand perfect ways.

for a second she seemed stunned.
and i knew that i should
try to pass it off as
a joke. or say im sorry.
or i couldnt stand
any of this without you.

i wrote “how the
fuck does this happen”
on a slip of paper
and pushed out the
top of the bus

in an instant
it was swallowed
whole by darkness.

� 2001 Joel Abel
([email]cricketbomb [at] yahoo [dot] com[/email])


by Jerry Vilhotti, from his collection of literary precis
([email]vilhotti [at] peoplepc [dot] com[/email])

When Tom was searching for Christ in Northshredder New York, where he and his third wife, a Boston “blue blood person”, had spent a year at [i]The Society of Followers[/i] to get rid of the dirt they felt within themselves which was making the dark shadow on their souls grow, he reasoned that indeed Christ had feigned a limp, something like the one he had due to the polio that had ravaged his baby body to leave its affect on a twisted shrunken leg with a million pimples to colonize the upper area which would be a mark he would carry with him for the rest of his life and actually capture great heaps of pity from those who could not tolerate deformity, escaped to Rome where He settled down with a woman who resembled Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Anne Bancroft and Verna Lissi all at the same time and had sixteen children with the four of them just as the church fathers were killing His brothers and sisters and all of His other Relatives to begin their new better religion on the shoulders of other religions which stood on yet others, that would garner billions and billions of dollars from those who felt guilt at having thrown stones at innocence and as Tom was being taken to a place of “rest” by four large attendants – he emitted an agonizing scream that could almost be heard in the land He had walked: speaking of love along with all the other prophets, drowning in tears at all the hate still existing there, representatives of all the other religions that had attempted to lead human kind into a semblance of compassion – with all their sincere efforts eaten by sham.

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