The Hole Story
by Dan Raphael
”Every now and then I know it’s kinda hard to tell
but I’m still alive and well” — Johnny Winter (for Mark Sargent)
So much treasure in my intestine I knew someone would eventually come looking for it
When the mountains shadow spreads like a happy vulture, when the hospital hallway
is as long as the grand canyon and I know better than to look up, to try and find the water
i hear passing nearby like an interstate of mumbling baleen.
Your health is your wealth, your illness is international business’s pocket lint,
your death could be someone else’s college degree or vacation home—
cash it in, plow it back, ignore the smell & the flies in expensive suits
Holding onto holding onto: not sure what comes next and i have nothing else
to grasp when the floor opens, when my walls are carried away and i have to pay the freight.
All those empty apartments in central china calling to the disenfranchised, the dead,
those who don’t know what real chow mein tastes like, how chickens in beijing
are all dark meat because of the air, the coal, the history:
our ancestors could afford to be sloppy with fire
but were miserly with shit and secrets that had little value
in a big city in a bigger country—just say you’re canadian
snd you’ll be as invisible as pigeons and potholes
As a country evaporates
the lucky viruses fly trans-continental
while the mediterrenean returns to its historic role as graveyard
Can a gated community secede,
the first rocket cars hopping from enclave to enclave
lakes turned into golf courses, people who’ve never seen cash
or vacuumed a floor, while soon the only clothing i can afford
comes from a 3-D printer fed with tanks we don’t want to know the origins of—
we’re cycling & recycling as fast as we can but can’t get there in time
for the job, the damaged free stuff, the barbed assignation.
and usually need to replace something by the time we get home—
a left shoe, a right thumb.
Would you give up your arms to have wings
would you give up your teeth for an affordable liquid industrial diet.
take two of these every hour until you can’t take any more.
Remain a moving target and never stop to it, circling the take-out window
While the chameleon-gened soylent becomes what the jingle imprinted
My house has been replaced with a medical bill
my mirror’s obscured with clouds while the sky is garish with advertising
how does the machine draining my bank card make me feel grateful & pleasured
while everything i eat leaves me hungry and slow