The Finer Things, et al

The Finer Things

Mrs. De La Rosa tells me stories

About poverty, about sadness, about death

About her aching back, about her son Pietro

About buying him Christmas presents


Pietro goes to the zoo every Saturday to see the animals

He gives them names

Alex and Annabel the Alligators

James and Jane the Giraffes

Tammy and Theodore the Tigers


My son is named Throckmorton Q. Winthrop III

He doesn’t have time for the zoo

And when he does

He names them all


He already has a dinosaur

And he doesn’t need Christmas

Eight Ways Of Looking at a Black Hole



I was recently working on my latest book, A Post-Structuralist Critique of Phrenological Diagnostics in Post-War Fiction: An Hermeneutical Analysis of Historiographical and Statistical Trends, when I heard a knock at my door. Answering it, I found that a strange cosmic event, a "black hole" as my friend and mentor, the astrophysicist Dr. Gordon McNeil—the famous Dr. Gordon McNeil—would call it, but what I would merely call a visual representation of the lacunae that result from intentional nonseeing—to borrow a phrase from my mentor, the great professor Prescott Macaulay Weatherbee IV. This phenomenon—a socio-erotic construct that I believe has been analyzed to death, as it were, in my own volume Death by Nonseeing in the Post-Modern World: Cause and Causality in the Face of a "Black Hole." Henceforth, I will refer to this cosmological singularity as a "ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty," whether said nonseeing does in fact come from this primal clash or, perhaps, as it sometimes is, from merely a case of temporary blindness—a development that can often result from psychological trauma. But I digress.

            The ripping sound of the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty was not the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty itself, but rather a tree being sucked into the vortex created by the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty. I looked towards my neighbor's house—my neighbor, professor Lilya Andreyevich, the famed Russian Émigré—a lover and mentor, whose input was much valued in the writing of my fourth book, The Premise is Wearing Thin: Diagnostic Structuralism in Post-Teleological Strategizing, Or, A Beginner's Guide to Apostrophic Rhetorical Analyses—and watched as her lithe body was sucked into the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty. "Lilya," I cried, "watch out for the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty"—but it was too late, and by the time I finished my sentence, she was long gone. I was reminded of my mentor and friend Gilles Deleuze's advice to me upon my induction to the American Academy of Arts and Letters—a dubious distinction, but one I nevertheless accepted—"Son," he said to me, "watch out for ontological nonseeings resulting from our teleological uncertainty." But again, I digress. As I watched Lilya become engulfed by the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty, I cried aloud "Father! Mother! Have you forgotten your son?" And now I write in the present tense, as I am encroached by the ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertainty and feel the spaghettification that my friend and mentor Dr. McNeil warned me would be felt—interestingly enough, in writing my sixth book Diagnostics Post-Analysis Structuralist of and: Critique Statistical Deconstruction, I had a vision of my death at the hands of an ontological nonseeing resulting from our teleological uncertaint—



Yo Momma's ass.



The heart of the drake, upon seeing his hen with the decoy—

and the resulting shot.



There are many fissures in Rome, and as Piero Mamma Mia del Angelico di Spicy Meatball walks down the Via del Corso pondering the general cultural ignorance displayed in his name, he fails to notice an open manhole and falls in.



Oh West Virginia Coal miner

Today is your lucky day

Look in your stocking

It's Christmas, after all

I bet Santa got you a nice stocking stuffer

Maybe a DVD of Marmaduke, or perhaps a bottle of Jim Beam

No, he got you some coal.



The Raconteur who wants to talk shop.



The Grand Canyon at night, in space, painted black, in a black hole

Is a black hole.



The man sits at his desk

In the postmodern office building

And looks at his bonus

Green arrow

He looks at housing prices

Red arrow

He looks into his soul

Not literally, of course

But figuratively

And sees emptiness.

Jerry and Ward

The summers of my youth

Aren't through just yet.

But as I look back

I know that they're mostly gone


One day,

I'll look back on those summers

When I have my own children

And have to work all through the summer

To pay for them to go to some private school for rich fuck-ups


Whoever it was that said "Youth is wasted on the young"—

He I have the utmost respect for


Not like my stupid future kids—

They'll have names like Logan and Reese

And they'll steal money from my wallet

And say "Soh-rry dad, I didn't know you were such a tight-ass"


Little shits.


And I'll think of Jerry and Ward—the kids everyone said raped a girl out in Newport

and who I didn't know but didn't like

I'll think of them, smirking in their Moncler jackets, talking in their idiotic slang, laughing while people in Africa starve in poverty

I'll think of them enjoying life

And I'll realize how much my kids remind me of them


Anodyne reflections of earlier times

drive me crazy.

Pitiful old men who masturbate to their memories—to

the hairs on their heads and the girls in their beds—who

look backwards because there's nothing to look forward to,

who reminisce about the way things were then because

they don't understand the way things are now

I see myself in them; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow

but soon

and when I'm 72,

old and fat,

It'll seem like today was only yesterday

and my present pains

will seem carefree and quaint.

One should not look in a toilet bowl

with rose-colored glasses.

When I was a child (it feels odd to say that, and know that that time in my life is really

gone, know it with absolute finality)

I hated having to suffer through my shots at the doctor's.

To inure myself from the experience

I would tell myself the following:

this will hurt for a little bit, but then it'll be over, and eventually you'll forget the whole

thing and it'll be as if it never happened.

Benjamin Diamond
Age 17, Grade 12
The Dalton School
Gold Key

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