An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
How to Seem More (Anatomically) Likeable
Offer free shoe-shining services and bicycle drive-by
shootings. Remember Dr. Seuss said: Adults are obsolete
children. Even more good news. President Hoover
bobbleheads. Ask questions about animal obituaries
that say: Eat yourself up; you will eat nobody else, nor
anything else. Freddie Oversteegne was an assassin
for the Dutch when she was fourteen. Learn more
about garden eels. It's all in your head. Your footware
shaped like Italy. Your Starbucks board game shaped
like Starbucks. Keep asking those anatomical questions
you asked when you were fourteen. Fallen angels make
eye contact in Antarctica? If you're eating Haagen-Dazs?
So close to the fire that you burned your boundless feet.
Am I talking too much? Then I'm talking too much.
How to Respond When Someone Disappears on You
Don't tell the disappearing how worried you are. Charlie
Chaplin under a falling piano said, I knew this all along!
Your eye slides right over it. Think Edward Hopper
and Oprah Winfrey at the late-night diner counter
staggering away to sleep in the bathtub. If you have
seedy or religious beliefs, don't tell Google Chrome.
Whatever you do, remember the permissive thud
of the Machine Age. The eye slides over. Tiny, sexy
houses scatter behind you. My bed raged against the mass-
produced ottoman. According to legend, a twelve-year-old
in Minneapolis transformed into pivots and pistons in a spasm
of shock and delight. Disappearing with a pleasing thud.
How to Vanish
Start disposing of facial hair. Altered ethical parts
of the brain. Dissolved back into the elements – sun,
earth, rain, cash. Study the bingo game televised live
from Oklahoma City. Abandon your gorging. If
they've seen you leaving at night. If you're discovered
in brightly striped pajamas in Chile, Belize. It is
possible. Eat your cowboy boots. Eat your threads.
What you're running from. Move about your cage
like someone in striped pajamas waiting to arrest you
in Chile, Belize. Don't be tempted. Waste your time
on refined carbohydrates. An obese mouse in striped
pajamas. Prolong your high or low. No logical
beginning, no end. Televised live from Oklahoma City.
Tell no one, anyone. The entire world, internally
fossilized. Confuse your disappearing bodily fluids.
Eat an anecdotal mouse. Snail mail is looking for you.
Small, speculative. Dissolve back into the elements –
sun, earth, rain, graphite. Now breathe. It is possible.
John Bradley teaches at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois. His poetry and prose has appeared in Caliban, Hotel Amerika, Shadowgraph, and other journals. He has had eight books published, the most recent Erotica Atomica (WordTech, 2017), on American nuclear history. He frequently reviews books of poetry for Rain Taxi.