Imagine meeting you here, it’s been forever,
and never in this reality.
Do you still have that sinusoidal staircase,
with beds beneath the maxima?
Let’s dispense with arbitrary greetings,
the usual meteorology and meander.
I’m marketing linoleum, perhaps you might
be interested in purchasing a tessellation?
And yet you’re glowing, sunlit gold,
photoshopped and pasted by the seaside
for our chance encounter.
Diversionary flattery. You're hiding secrets, I expect.
To speak the unrelenting, unforgiving truth
is tiresome, it makes the currawongs
that strut upon the tiles wilt,
long after they have died
and sprouted dandelions.
Generic evasion, a viable strategy.
Is your goldfish still a fish?
Mine left me just last week
without so much as a wave of her tail.
I have no secrets, nor any fish,
and that is all that I am hiding.
Still I wonder, you and I—
does our meeting serve a purpose?
We’re actors in supporting roles.
Our task is to reveal a less-than-likely world,
its salient anomalies.
Surely not, I save all my acting for reality.
Look around you, Instabel:
the rows of empty seats,
the plastic shower curtain painted with the sea
and tropic palms,
swaying to Arthur Lyman's greatest hits on vinyl.
I’m relieved to know we have a raison d’être,
and slightly disappointed that your glow
is just a spotlight. But we’ve set no scene at all.
We might have mentioned the travelers through time,
earthships, and the superluminal cruisers
that dance between the stars.
Shall we go for coffee?
They're open in the foyer.
In a Chrysler dream and wonder,
I found a sleek winged auto in my driveway.
I cleaned my teeth and drove along
the Grand Canonical Parade,
where I stopped for a couple of hitchhikers.
Wherever it is you’re going, I’d be pleased to take you.
Drive, just drive, and don't look back.
But I dared a glance in the rear view mirror.
Beneath their Hawaiian tops and stove pipe pants,
they were coral-encrusted skeletons.
How passé, how disappointing—
long lost mariners, on stage with an unappreciative audience.
You don’t have anything I could throw, do you?
A shellfish, or possibly a sea urchin.
perhaps to continue
- Arthur Lyman
- Chrysler manufactured the Valiant, which had tiny wings and auto gear change buttons on the dash.
- grand canonical ensemble, the totality of the microstates of a system in thermodynamic equilibrium.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the rime of the ancient mariner, some discussion here, also a source for chatty currawongs and tourists from the sea.
artwork contretemps ensemble detail above