Mentoring

Julian Schwinger (1918-1994)


Think carefully before taking me on
, young man. Push me and I’ll jam this pen into your eyeball so far that you’ll be reading my last novel in your nightmares. Fuck with me, and I’ll fuck with your future hard enough that you’ll still feel my dick in your ass 30 years from now when you’re sitting in your cubicle, cold-calling old ladies to try and sell them storm windows.
The stink from your story isn’t the sweet bouquet of a rose, it’s the stench washed from a urinal puck by a diabetic drunkard. Quit wasting my time with “art” and give me some grit!

* * * * *

This poem is part of a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.

Fright

Print by William H. Johnson, ca. 1942

hough we’re often called polycephalic, we prefer to think of
ourselves as two people with one body, not one person with two heads.  A unisomatic, if you will.”
“Yeah.  We’re two, not one.  I’m me, and you’re you and that’s that.”
“Calling us polycephalic reduces us to a single being.  But we are really two people, forced to cooperate by circumstance, but with differing wants and motives, just like any other two people.”
“Jus’ because when we stand to be counted we have to stand together, that don’t mean we don’t count twice. Right, Shelly?”
“Correct, Michael.  We don’t mean to perturb people but, sadly, many people are agitated by what they perceive as our deformity.  Counting us as one makes it easier to minimize their aversion and the guilt that results from it.”
“Some gets doubly bigoted ’cause we’re both unisomatic and African-American.  Can’t get much more minority than that.  Least I ain’t the onliest.  I got my sister.”
“And I have you, Michael.  United we stand, because we must.”

* * * * *

This poem is part of a series of works inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s photo archive, made publicly available on Flickr. If you would like to, choose an image from their collection and create something – be it prose, poetry, audio, or visual art – inspired by it, and send it to snakeoilcure [at] gmail [dot] com.

Help Desk Dream

.

he cars cover the sky in a riot of color and rust, their auras glowing blue to show they’re running well. I keep a close eye on the auras as I buzz around in my jetpack, watching for problems. Vans and SUVs drift sedately by, econo boxes flutter about like butterflies, tossed by the breeze. Trucks and buses plow along inches above the ground.

A Civic drifts earthward, its aura darkening toward the violet. I jet towards the glow, dodging the other cars. New plugs, a healthy blue aura, and the Civic resumes its course.

More cars fail, so I get busier. Auras start to drift into the red before I can get to them. I rush from one car to another, but they keep getting lower, slower, and redder. I can’t go faster, but I try, and bump into healthy vehicles, slowing me more, making things worse.

A truck’s aura flares bright red, then the truck crashes into the ground and its aura goes black as it tumbles along, tossing parts in the air, shrapnel that collides with other vehicles, creating more red in the sky. Soon vehicles are plummeting out of the sky all around, black auras and grinding metal everywhere. An engine block hits my jetpack, and I fall from the sky, tumbling towards the enormous black aura cast by a ruined oil tanker…