Grun knows where all music is, including
CDs and tapes that music is on,
Grun heard your mom singing in the shower.
Grun knows where digital files come from
and how they get to your phone.
Grun knows where your earbuds are but that’s as far as it goes with you.
As far as Grun knows you can do one thing
which is hear. You don’t listen.
That’s not a problem. Sometimes you hold still.
When you hold still, still gets up and goes to sleep on the couch.
Still doesn’t need your breath on its ear all night, you know? Grun knows
where your car is, if you have the radio on.
Grun doesn’t care. Grun eats lunch in the band room
at the local high school because it’s better than eating with you
and Grun isn’t even local.
You know that scene in that movie where traffic on the highway sounds like the ocean and the ocean sounds like the band at the beach bar and they finally have that moment?
Grun loved the weather the weekend you came here. Do you remember,
it rained glass powder from the construction
of the Comcast building and the wind blew away all your clothes?
But Grun thought this would be a good place to live,
and Grun is not wrong.
Grun runs under the highway and only coincidentally doesn’t throw you off.
If one day Grun didn’t come there would be trouble
with bridge vibrations and an oddness to anyone rolling up the driveway
But Grun does nothing
When they run the herd from a helicopter, the herd is like a river flowing through the gate
Saying something obedient to a coworker. ‘I love walking down the escalator,
you get so much closer
to the ground so fast it feels almost like
they’re burying you finally.’
One or the other was getting to me.
The building was historic— Nevermind
From the 16th floor— Nevermind
Plants were hanging in pots— Nevermind
There was one girl there on stealth who must be hiding from the helicopters— Where
in the room did she sit?
Must have sat on the bed.
She must have sat on the bed, she wouldn’t want to miss anything that went on there.
Every day at sunset she was in her room. Can’t remember
if it was cold or warm but it must have been. No one’s looking
for walking distance to a Walmart, what
can you buy there that you can walk home?
Now the plants are all dry and upside
down and always hanging, silhouetted
on projections for an art show that isn’t.
More or less like that spider that dropped down from the ceiling on— What even day was that?
What town? What could have brought a person around there?
First you have to find it, meaning know where it is. There’s nothing
that would get you off the highway except seeing the exit you were looking for already--
What would make this a whole place would be if you had a point,
three, a plane,
and a double line that leads to the moon.
When you go
somewhere and he isn’t there,
it makes you like him
Heather Dooley is an art model and poet from West Virginia, living in Philadelphia since 2007. She is writing about a character named Cupid. You can subscribe to her work at tinyletter.com/campfire30.
This isn’t like fixing a Monet after someone has punched it. Horrible things are happening. My foremost thought is, “I want macaroni and cheese next time. I haven’t had it in years.” All of a sudden EMTs rush past with a man on a stretcher, his face covered in blood and bite marks. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. The last time I was so unsteady was probably when my mother died. I feel like any minute now I might look up and see her in the window of a plane
waving. A policewoman orders me to move along. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?” It was only a couple of days ago that some kids grabbed a classmate and persuaded him with fists and sticks and colorful arguments that one eye is enough.
"Are You Fucking Kidding Me?"
Groups of friends arrive on the hour every hour. A guard with the enflamed eyes of a drunk demands identification from them, but in a voice too faint to hear. You need to be patient at this stage. People don’t remember and sometimes I think they don’t even understand where they are. Cows roam around with butcher knives in their backs to make slaughtering easier. There are countless dead rabbits. A fly can't land on a fruit tree without first begging permission. So I just
sit here with my mouth open, I do, because I’m getting older now, and it’s hard work.
Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize and forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.