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Poetry #257
(published December 15, 2005)
Animist Youth
by Jon Reeve
when Mama Bear met Roosevelt
at an orphanage in Bombay,

when the circus elephant appeared
on trial for lunatic espionage

when we were young animists

we blinked like windshield-wipers over mud.

if there was never anything to be afraid of
we would've invented something.

translucent pyromaniacs in
rotating theatres of cruelty.

we would paste images from Xeroxed
transmissions; we would loan grace to
naked ideologues with ninja weapons.

while a centrifuge of outsiders traded disguises
our skin-covered devices calcified in stinky jacuzzies

While the story was told with shadow puppets
the manuscripts that lined our stomachs
fell through the atmosphere and ignited.

what the mad surgeon had mistakenly sewn into our ribcages
grew up to perform fragile antics with great tropicalismo.

with a wet crayon we purpled things
into existence that dried hanging from the ceilings of
the country's florists from then on.

we awoke the vengeance of a deep sleep
with a stray eyelash that floated in oil

I am writing you this not to remind you
of the things you forgot,
but the things we will remember.

Do you think it will be funny
if we let the puppy dance in front of the curvy mirror?

Good. I like it when we forget our lines,
And our internal radios will play something familiar.

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Animal Crackers
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Poly Play!
a found poem (translated from the German)

found by Fritz Swanson

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