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
He looks at housing prices
He looks into his soul
Not literally, of course
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
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"
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
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.
Age 17, Grade 12
The Dalton School