Apparently, he’s not even that prodigal



He left us, folks.


Maybe, him citing opportunity, circumstance, and spontaneity, we rationalized it, maybe it was seamless. But there was that nag, that lingering incantatory itch: “it’s us, it’s us.” So we tried to comfort each other with “it’s the fattiness of the doughnuts, the romance of the rose,” but despite it, we darkened, worsened, our little justifications sating us less and then less. Collapsed into a pile, us, crying out, “IT WAS US! HE LEFT US!” we writhed, sweating, and then, like an Appalachian exorcism, the fever broke.


And then, after we had moved on and remarried, thinking him dead in the war, his letters arrived.


Now, piece by piece: He’s Back.






by Jamie Thomson





I am master I put the objects in the proper

zones I stuff the ducks in a brown sack Are

you laughing? Don’t you dare laugh I could

smash your face in you complete zero I am

master I put the objects in the zones I do




I pledge allegiance to just about anything with money I need

money pretty much all the time now The toaster broke

is why I can’t live without my pretty green toaster Ask anyone

who knows me Ovens are too strong and the sun is so

far These days are a lot like nights in a box in an abandoned

warehouse cellar I know the mice can hear me down here

in this box in this cellar of mine but just don’t care about me

nor my toaster I had so many chances! I had so much love

it was repulsive I wore it like a rug It was heavy and nothing

is worse than heavy at that age I must have burned 10,000

effigies a day Ripped out a few good hearts (one my own)




A man started so humble He lived

a while in a small wood shack

in the back of someone’s head

who didn’t know it yet It was peaceful

if not a little lonely out there

in that shack in the backcountry

amongst the endless trees which bore a few sad leaves sometimes

but also not The man

set about perfecting himself

It was hard work It took a really long time

but then happened At that moment

a figure appeared on the horizon

She stood eyeing the man who was burning now so luminous below




Here’s a man made of string We hang him

up around the house He begs us

to take him down and we just laugh Then

one of us unwinds some so we can tie knots

all through him It must hurt a lot He moans

whenever we pull tight It’s good we have him

We need him We wouldn’t get along so well without him




Look at this old house Someone

must have built it a long time ago

and then died A different person

is living there now Maybe it’s a son

or daughter or a son’s or daughter’s

son or daughter Or maybe someone else

just found it empty and went in




I figured what the heck a cloud, a cloud

what’s a cloud really but a footstool to stars

and beyond They said that’s insane you’ll die

so fast I stepped out the window of my favorite

penthouse In case you couldn’t tell I’m super

rich It worked! I stood on a cloud! People

in passing planes waved and cheered My shadow

was immense It covered all sorts of great stuff





There’s this hole right in the middle

of my life I only just noticed

the other day A lot has fallen in so far






What’s the point of other people

if they always leave at night




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