the soft compulsion of constant consumption training

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Poems vs. the Volcano: Punch-Drunk Love


When my father funnels me from Canada I tell Michelle 
that meters could not keep me from her & this is true. 
When Jordan wins the race by a galaxy & breaks his 
nose at the finish I tell him glory is often unsustained. 
When the cartoon suggests we could go to China 
I dig a hole & we get close. When my uncle gets 
married in Cincinnati & vows “there is no other world” 
I believe him. When Adam gets lice I pretend it is 
gold dust. When my babysitter takes me to the museum 
I briefly become interested in physical coherence. 
When Sarah supposes the world to be flat I (regrettably) 
inform her that so is she. When she breaks up with me 
I wonder how something acquires value. When Peter 
& I see a whale for the first time he says “look!” & two 
girls are kissing. When my grandfather gets cancer 
I eat vegetables relentlessly for a month. When E spills 
rum on her prom clothes it gets in my mouth. When 
Andy cuts his hair short I tell him widow’s peaks 
are things of beauty. When I land in Philadelphia 
the phrase “harrowing end of things” comes to mind 
& then leaves. When we finger-smudge our way 
through Chemistry it is a sign. When I ask Mrs. Z 
what her book is about she says “a broken piece 
of porcelain doesn’t give you much information.” 
When I meet X I compliment her & six months later 
I do it again. When she decides we should go to China 
I have already started digging. 


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