3 prose poems/part 3 / John Olson

Please Keep Your Distance 

Every time I write a paragraph I think of it as a knot to secure my place in the world. Which is ridiculous. And reckless. It’s better to think of it as a fuselage. Or a harness. Leather straps attached to words which are pulling a meaningful cargo across the prairie. Also ridiculous. It’s an aquarium filled with words swimming back & forth in a dyslexic distortion of hermit crabs & guppies. Also ridiculous. But keep going. Somewhere I’ll find a reason for writing paragraphs. Because they’re parachutes, & I’m falling out of my chair, laughing at the absurdity of it. 

The suitcase ingredients fizz with thermodynamics. My shirts are buttoned with piccolo speedometers. I wear chlorophyll like a tree. I feel the reciprocal theories of filament thread through my life like trombones. Greyhounds of sound. I’m reconciled to culture by Ding Dongs & sculpture. Ravenous ambiguities eat the definition of crust. Crustaceans absorb the secrets of the ocean, then travel like paragraphs through a hall of mirrors. This is done by words. Conceptual, like a bicycle. It’s a fine balance. Some things may be assumed in rumination but the real truth is a loaded gun. More confusion than fusion, illusion than inclusion. Also, laundry.

I wonder if they’ll be a shift in consciousness at some point if – as it’s beginning to seem – the pandemic continues indefinitely into the future. The point where seeing people in close proximity with naked faces will seem strange, rather than the reverse, the strangeness of avoiding people in public, keeping a safe distance, each new body a potential lethal bomb of sneezes, aerosols & mucus. Like watching movies made prior to January, 2020, people in bars leaning in close for the big joke, the big kiss, the angry confession, the sly dig, all the things humans do in groups. Did do in groups. When there used to be groups. Goopy loopy soupy whoop groups. 

When the elevator doors closed a sign appeared that said: Please Keep Your Distance. So I did. I kept it near to my heart. The ceremony, meanwhile, positioned itself in the park where I was already installed as a sailfish in the moan of a full moon. And did so willingly, as do shepherds on hillsides or institutions overwrought with variety shows. Our origins are multiple & chaotic. The days are raucous with syntax. It’s all I can do to hold a filmstrip in my mouth & then say it, watching all the images flicker in your eyes, the way things used to, before the plague. 

Truth is, I don’t know how to socialize anymore. I’ve lost all my complacency. Indeed, I find the Schwarzwald quite disappointing after Switzerland. And frankly, the Babylonian incantations in the western periphery of my salami have done little to resurrect the malt brewing in my heart. But I’ll get there somehow. You & I need to come to a reckoning: surrealism, in the end, was a little too thin-skinned for the rodeo. There were broken bones & contrite responses. That’s when the cellist arrived & changed everything with her smiles & dynamos. These were gems of collision & caused the lights to go on & off in my favorite unconscious, which is still in India.

The Infinite Option

We gives my sphere swarms. Chowder. Unfettered crack. My growth curiously against dreams. Mints since pepper. Equally symptoms. I scrape the antenna. The message is propelled by opal. We battle the lyrical wince. Manipulated tease. Trumpeted we threaten its throne. Which is stirring us to pungency. There where they climb the headland. I tour moss. Concentric highways. I exult ocelots and bobsleds. A gut suitcase. Combine your Montmartre with chipmunks. It’s a charming moo. Chewing amplifies the parallel convulsions. I clasp the introversion. Approve its crumpling. We like the stove’s peculiarities. It resources this. We dropped the aluminum. Apples too. My carriage ruptures. We enkindle height. The skin feels henna. This slender spirit can only result in more worms. Slammed my clapper and walked out of the paragraph holding a swordfish. All the words came together and formed a nose. 

We apply a turning to the situation. The infinite option germinates peppermint and birds. We pack the rain. The rain has secrets. Wiggle the escape hatch. Mindful recruitment clatter. We scribble strains of improbability. Your Baudelaire crustacean walks in beauty like a UFO. I jingle the ocean. A seam bangs against the crotch of a hydrogen bomb. This makes everything tentative and negligee. We talk of bikinis and flex a totality of hearts as if the truth of anything trembled with housing. It’s a source of Hinduism. Presence drills beneath drugs. I amuse heat. Gardenias. The branches hugged the sky. My life boils with words. Ships. Casinos. Our sorcerers bend to the music of genuflection. I manufactured this to fondle complicity. Pulleys. A demanded liniment succeeds if it snows. The thermostat is dry. And venerated. Like a cocoon. I whistle a rousing melody. And provoke yodeling.

We seclude our calls. What is curiously unfettered. Montmartre granite. Reality boxes our class. Enkindles stirring. Thinking is hypothetical. Yet manipulates cults. Technicolor tabloids. My rapier agrees to be pretty. Symptoms glitter. I urge camaraderie in all things except hoarding. A gleeful mood. Endurance soothed by dreaming. Emotion’s cruel gaudy beyond dissembled by frogs. The sound of a swamp at night reminds me of February. The propeller of my squeezed emergence goes behind the leaves on this path. The vague rub the boiling strength. A walking bouillon. A nascent aurora tugs itself over the endeavor. Fat quiet library roots. The hammer needs washing. The ghost of a jackknife hits the wall and splatters into words. A pummel flashes its control. Which bites the binoculars. And seduces the peacock.

Sometimes a word will damage the lobster. Description causes wildcats. Brocade. Your hammerhead dreams. Mushrooms flip a clot. They’re busy soliciting a limousine. This old empty winter. We purge heartbreak with howling. I is a play of excess. Energy above the effervescence. The beams try sparkling. A pump is soaked in its own snow. My taxi is our bumps. Our affections are timeless. And elk. Your testimony is under the seaweed. Phantoms call you. This door is paused in snakes. The folds unrolled at least. Can you handle a sail? The headland humors the drapery of distance with a flock of gulls. And the world becomes plausible.

The Jingle Of Oddity

We carry opposites of bronze. A step breaks into trains. Presses toward light. Spit during push-ups. A bashful Cézanne counsels maroon. The thesis banks on a pepper alarm. Lyrically. I haunt the sail from Baltimore. Crawl across Africa. Exhort a Cubist. My yardstick tumbles against a lotus. And so Buddha hurls a chair at the wall. Unfettered I swell into rain. Each hectic fragment pickles into pertinence. I accelerate into mahogany. Words are a symptom of absence. Therefore speak rivers. We carry recitals of ourselves into protein. What is your true gladness? This sentence gives crystals a chance to wiggle. I slosh harmonies on the moon.

My wait is perennial. A burn is suitably pale. But the pallor needs a parenthesis. The paraphernalia excites us. I find a tour in algebra. This pain is a hodgepodge. The mosaic wrestles with its own willingness to hold your attention. It’s as if a decoration ate my coffee. And became a strain of thought. It’s natural too don a garment. I bent the sky over it. Fireworks spilling down. The digging cluttered a definition with talk. Our brains opened in unison like hungry birds. Opinions crammed into clouds amplified the grid. Frogs convulsed. The control disintegrated. Language became insults. Dreams. The bananas shook and the bloom attracted wine.

Exasperated ships lined the coast. I problematize this oil. Our moaning is carnal but the night groans from its shell and makes it whisper. Two hundred vaginas battle a seesaw. Choose a pool. The circus is serious. These tools will help you achieve bombast. Toss pronouns. Exhibit summer. Split infinitives. Sparkling roads. We enjoy singing. Singing is conspicuous and stormy. Wilderness. Feed these perceptions with a serenade. Chewing is quixotic during radishes. Climbing brings tears. Explore a rumination with a road and the lions will curtsy.

I strongly recommend form. It goes well with writing when it lingers in prayer. The secretions amuse my grebes. Spin and fabricate. Invention requires squeezing. Write it down and enhance the nebula with papaya. Peacocks. The jingle of oddity. Knobs. Map the process with an impersonal undulation. The granite lifts the dirt to become a mountain. And the philodendron spars with the swimmers. It’s as if reality existed only to create an opposition based on trigonometry. Which is concentric. And stirs our blood into expression. 

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