Preview: Flash Fiction
Flash Fiction by Rebecca Jane
April & Poetry 2014
Character of a Happy Yogi
Please read this poem after reading William Wordswoth's Character of the Happy Warrior
Who is the happy Yogi? Who is she
That every being with breath should wish to be?
--It is the generous Spirit, who, when laughing
at the tasks of real life, hath abandoned
the plan that pleased her ego’s thought:
Whose every breath feeds the inward light
That makes the path before her always clear in sight;
Who, with a natural instinct for grace
What Prana can move, is diligent to manifest;
Welcomes her practice, and stops not there,
But makes her radiant being her prime care;
Who, destined to go in company with Grace,
And Ecstasy, and Elevation, blissful train!
Turns her necessity to ecstatic chanting;
In face of these doth take a cold shower,
Which is our human nature’s highest dower.
Practicing Yogic Alchemy
Embrace the finite.
Radiate the infinite.
Embrace the radiant.
Radiate the embrace.
Radiate all that is.
Mr. President, Please Do Not Bomb Syria
If you bomb Syria, you bomb as president.
When your beloved American people voted
you into office,
they did not vote
you Commander in Chief of
Violence in the Middle East.
The greatest tragedy will not be the expense
The greatest tragedy will
not even be the loss of human lives.
The greatest tragedy will be the victory of
when the preferred victor in this situation should be
you--is not the same thing as inaction or turning a blind eye.)
(Silence works wonders
for those practiced
in its art.)
After all, who would want to be remembered as
President Oh Bomb Uh????
But one who is well-versed in the Arts
shall be remembered as truly human.(image)
smoke that wok
Please read this poem after reading Jason Schneiderman's sugar is smoking
Like Schneiderman's, my poem is dedicated to Mark Bittman; but, my poem is also dedicated to Albert Chang.
there's every reason to be
gratitude for that fire you flipped in the pan
and the quick toss of burning oil onto
grandpa's shoes as your fire shine
gives new meaning to the wordsbootblack, whiskey, woman,
but for all the cigar bar litigation
what did the doc say: too much garlic?
sunlight? white-collar crime? heartless judiciary?
it is okay to loosen your bow tie
while cooking salmon with lentils
but do wear it tighter for stuffing
the scallops with basil
yes many wives
you are more handsome than
so smoke that wok
and sue on!(image)
Please read this poem after reading Michael Blumenthal's The Difference Between a Child and a Poem
And if you are neither terrified of death nor
have you accepted it,
you may want to dance
with a child, or
read a poem
to your parents.
Your name in eternity may not
undo the oracles of flesh.
Your seed in the wind may not
fail at love in a field at night.
Your voice is now.
Your flesh is now.
Now is eternal.
Summer Solstice 2013
A great soul hides in the Games booths at a new theme park in Southern California. The theme park is called Financial Crisis Land, and Dan Burite is one of its Full-Time-With-Benefits employees. From looking at his outward appearance—sturdy build, 5’9” 165 pounds, dread locks dripping with Rasta beads—one would never guess that Dan B. is God. Every day he performs miracles. Today is no different. He stands at a game booth called “Asset-liability Match.” The challenge involves “withdrawing money” from a “Bank” before the bank can receive the proceeds of its loans. The "money" is symbolized by a roll of toy paper currency that a player unrolls, similar to the way one would unroll toilet paper. "The Bank" is an image of a bag with a $ symbol on it. The moneybag rises higher and higher on a golden pole. If the moneybag is too quick to rise up to the red Liquidity button, an alarm sounds and the player gets All Wet when a bucket dumps water on the loser. But if the player removes all the money from the roll before the moneybag reaches Liquidity, a bell rings. And we have a Winner! Dan Burite is the guy who collects three bucks from theme park patrons who want to play this game; he presses the game’s Start button, and says, “Go!” If the player wins, he bestows a huge, plush Moneybag into the winner's open arms. If the player loses, Burite encourages the loser to use the “withdrawn cash” to wipe water off his or her wet head. Outwardly, this seems all there is to Dan Burite’s job. He performs these simple tasks, with enthusiasm, day-in and day-out throughout the entire year, even on holidays.But also every day. Before work. Dan wakes bright and early to perform cleansing, breathing, and bodywork rituals and meditations that strengthen his nervous system. For the past forty days, he has been chanting this mantra:Humee Hum Tumee Tum Wahe Guru. I am Thine in mine myself. Wahe Guru.Repeating this mantra as many times as he has has given Dan Burite the ability to Recognize Any Other Person He Encounters Is Himself. What does this mean?For Dan Burite, this means that every time he looks into the face of a theme park patron, he merges with the divine essence inside that other person. What influence does this have on his interaction with total strangers from every walk of life? When Dan Burite and a game player exchange cash, when he hands over the toy "money roll." When Dan distributes a prize to a winner, Dan makes sure that his fingers brush ever-so-gently against the other's fingers. In this moment, Dan Burite charges the other person’s biomagnetic field with the pure vibration of divine intellect and higher consciousness. Any theme park patron who plays the “Asset-Liability Match" game is certain to leave Financial Crisis Land at the end of the day with a sense of heightened well-being (which of course they inevitably attribute to the experience of visiting a theme park in Southern California as they almost totally forget their interaction with Dan). But now, dear reader, you know the truth.Dan Burite knows he is god. He recognizes every person he encounters, and he encounters over 1.4 million people per year, as himself, as God. He treats others accordingly.Dan Burite was a regular guy when he moved to Southern California from New York City five years ago. But after practicing this particular, 40-day meditation, Dan Burite can proclaim, with confidence, he is a Wise Guy. He's gained wisdom. As far as Dan can describe it, this First Sutra for the Aquarian Age Meditation is a learning tool for the Ascension Process. What does this mean? Sure, the old adage of treating others as you would like to be treated holds true;&nb[...]
April & Poetry 21
When succumb, umbrella. When whole, help. When marked, make off. When wordy, cut the rug. When whimsical, roar. When om, joy. When home, tidy up. When reading the news, scratch. When feeding the cat, hum. When blank, bank on it. When blink, blank. When bored, borrow. When bare, beg. When baffled, steal. When broke, break. When busy, blink. When finished, flip. When tired, seduce. When scared, succumb. When numb, reach. When nervous, cockroach. When pressed, press. When wrong, rise. When write, rose. When moral, empower. When ravaged, beget. When refinanced, fornicate. When ever, where ever. When yawn, bathe. When laughing, lust. When fruitful, forget. When officiating, occupy. When over it, sit tight. When agony, ecstasy. When logged on, encrypt. When bathing, bite. When bird of paradise, fountain grass. When Earth, worship. When moon, wax. When sleepy, orgasm. When weightlifting, swindle. When banking, breed. When up, up. When sensual, celebrate. When eager, exhale.
April & Poetry 20
There’s no doubt that the mark she sees on the exposed brick wall is a cockroach. She thinks about it for a while. She’s never really despised cockroaches as much as she has always pretended to. She doesn’t mind them crawling on her while she nurses The Master’s child. She doesn’t even mind when the infestation grows so out of hand that the government declares a state of emergency. She remains calm. She nurses the child. The infant continues to suckle with quiet passion. Her eyes open and close. Her tiny, pink hand rests on the woman’s flesh. The woman uses her long hands to brush the creeping vermin off the child’s head. She chants the thousand names of the divine mother over and over. After forty cycles of chanting, the roaches enter into fits. She watches their brown bodies shake as if charged with electricity. She chants the names of the divine mother over again in rapt quietude. The room fills with light—the nation fills with light—and the insects burst like soap bubbles; bugs burst up and down every coast. A remarkable sight! And the sound is like a billion Zen E bells ringing out over the purple mountains majesty and above the fruited plains. The government lifts all warnings, all sanctions, all curfews. Though the woman becomes a national hero, she doesn’t move from the rocking chair. She continues to nurse until the child decides she’s had her fill.
April & Poetry 19
It’s trendy these days to take the blame
For spreading il-, ir-, un-, im-, mis-, non-, ex-, dis-
It’s cool to take responsibility,
and body slam it on the pavement of the
information superhighway that I built in your mind.
If one places responsibility on oneself,
points fingers at oneself,
voters will enter Samadhi
and whatever will lame will b-.
April & Poetry 18
I, eyes. I, mouth. I, crisis. I, aching. I, startled. I, desired. I, awake. I, humanity. I, ecstatic. I, she. She, leaping. She, composing. She, ruling. She, mothering. She, divinity. She, exploring. She, he. He still hangs. He climbs mountains. He proves. He can smolder. He rises. He denies his womanhood. He, I. Ex-I, re-I, un-I, ir-I, in-I.
I, first. I, person. I, narrative. I, is. I, overrated. I, and. I, like. I, so. I, passé. I, rejoice! I, re-juice! I, juice! She, juice! He, juice! We, juice!
April & Poetry 17
Listen to Les chant about Chance’s choice. North. South. East. West. Send. Press send end call press pressure gong sound send sand through throat. Her Ex- exposed her extra explosive excitement. Now she’s here, shoving me into this desert, which is really nothing more than an Ex-plain. Why does she shove? She used to press, but now she wants to hush love. Shhhh. Love. Shlove. She tries to ex-press love. Shove and shout to get the shhhh out. She’s as impulsive as she is pulsive, as impossible as she is possible, as irritable as she is ritable. She’s excessive and cessive, exciting and citing, excruciating and cruciating.
She is static.
She is ecstatic.
April & Poetry 16
Vacationing at the Post Coast Postman boyfriends me. Postmodern dating site described him as into lip service.Postcard image promisesPost-apocalyptic panties.Says he’s completing a post-doc fellowship as the Selenoplexia poster child.We go to that trendy, post-war place.Later, post-kiss, we post an ad on craigslist.He asks me my plans post-life.I shrug, and say maybeI’ll blog.He shares a secret,wishes he couldhold postage hostage. [...]
April & Poetry 15
Whip Cream tells me her ego is made from milk. Contrary to popular suspicion, Ego does not affiliate with Igor. In fact, polls support Ego’s lead in Ohio. While U.N. speeches lack ego of years back, Greeks protest ego measures. Ego hits Syrian military headquarters. Wall Street turns egomaniacal. Ego deaths rise in New York City. Investors high-speed trade their egos for data-enhanced servers. Egos dissolve off the shoulders of drug-enhanced egomedia moguls. On Friday, we met to ego all night long at the egothèque. After the morning yoga class, we tossed our egos into the Chalice Pond. When they broke through the water’s surface, they made ripples that sounded like this: long, long ego an echo of ache glow inflated and let go. California allows ego-less drivers. Radio waves send these words: Have you seen the new spy thriller Egoland? Download a new ap for your ego. Enter the freeway and drive West at light speed. When the sun strokes your ego, ah! Be burning delight! Be naked wonder!
April & Poetry 14
So, you’ve sold your seedy nightclub.
Are you now the sole owner of an organic farm?
Are you its sole forest gardener, its do-nothing farmer?
Are you its sole crop rotator loosening its green manure?
Do you spend the wee hours summoning insects
To gorge on weird germs and improve crop fertility?
Is your plough flying through Compost Valley
Or sinking in the glistening greensand?
Are bearded Punjabi yogis your silent partners?
Do you have a ploughman by the name of Wendell Berry?
Is Grendel’s Mother coming to the harvest?
Do you happen to have as much forced bliss-energy as you have biodiversity?
Do you have a hunch you’re a cosmic being playing being human?
Is that why you wear Bhakti boots
And kick the eroding Earth sky high?
April & Poetry 13
Take me to the Graces!
After you soap my back, of course.
Take me to the ends of the World,
Or the ends of the whirl.
Let marble walls surround and around.
Though blood or wine may be spilling hot here & there,
Let where be light, light, light
Up our noses and between our toes!
I love forever and you
Besides and backsides and B sides!
Make me come to my knees
And beg Divine Power
In every breath of Every One!
April & Poetry 12
If he, stone, and if he
does. If gods, like light, like if people
towns and cities and nations, like a stone’s throw,
like gods, sound mind and ancient body.
If he does, like if the days and nights
of Earth think Earth, if the spinning
of the Sun and Saturn burn in their Thought, cry
Sun and Saturn; if he does.
Map the subconscious, herkimer and quartz,
the stones not appearing on any map,
if the map wants inward guidance.
If he does. Word, if it is in
and in mind. If visible until
Deed. If mystics lie and light
moves the spine’s hot
Serpent. If he is light, if it is
okay to dark with. Stones. In the
crystal bowl sounds Mount Shasta, and The Word.
If he is the sound of Mount Shasta under Raven’s wings.
If hiding, if hard, if height, if heat, if healing.
April & Poetry 11
Mojave MajestyMother warned me not to tame the wild lilac. But why should I mind a woman who drinks the nectar of the Sacred Datura? We’re engaged in a typical mother-daughter wildflower. She shoots petals of blazing stars at me while I try to drown her in meadow foam. We’ve only recently discovered the resins of the knobcone, the needles of the Ponderosa, the phallic cones of the Sugar, and the Shakti of the Torrey pines. She prefers mountain hemlock, I, urban gridlock. We ghost, thrive, and choke on our hike through a grove of Coast Live Oak. Mother throws herself on a bed of bay laurel mistaking it for Coyote Brush. She shouts, Divine Lover, if you do not reveal to me your true essence, I choose death! Mother often threatens the cosmos in this way. I sit back and cross my arms over my chest to observe her display of spiritual anguish from a critical distance. Nearby, I find some coffeeberries to smash. I paint my lips green then red then black. I tie on my hip scarf. I sugarbush. I sage. I choose dance over waiting for Mother. Later, I run off to meet my idol at a desert campsite. Her name is Lyrica. I find her contemplating compost as it swelters beneath a lone Joshua Tree. Shamans say this land is a healing energy vortex. Some local people still practice ancient drum sex. Natives once worshipped rhythm here. People come here to learn how to kiss rhythm. Here, we practice dropping the Self between the beats. A local master instructs me to remove my city and step into the hot Gong bath. The copper pressure waves lift consciousness; the tin pressure waves shift awareness; and the nickel pressure waves wave waves way away the way waves wave away. Sound waves wave away brain waves wave away light waves wave away magnetic waves wave away waves away waves away away away way way way way way away. [...]
April & Poetry 10
RhythmiaVentriloquists live in lighthouses, gargle and joke. Voices surf, redden and haberdash. Novelists ride shadow boats, cave and inkswell. Tongues pull deeper into craters, tumble and muscle. Subconscious lotus blossoms hafla to live music, hoop and ignite. Cries catch in the throats of deepsea beasts, cradle and fall. Coupons doze in mailboxes, sliver and waste. Appliances suffer traumatic stress, polish and hum. Books shiver in their spines, tale and morph. Surfers hump rip curl, sexwax and comb. Glass rims touch lips, un-sober and versify. Throats unify outcry, swallow and democratize. Guts wretch martyrs, bribe and pray. Soldiers suckle kava root, dictate and undress. The wine-men promise wireless grapes, toast and embalm. Barmaids pour lips into skinny jeans, publish and snuggle. The Regime orders all voices imprisoned, writhe and rhyme. Neighbors throw digital block parties, sigh and seek. Pronouns become verbs, she mes him. Sages play Mahjong in palm groves, shuffle and tile. Teachers promise rose gardens, who versus whom. World leaders guard fish tanks, confer and becalm. Bankers wear spacesuits, cheap thrills and escape. Attorneys make beds, bottles and ankle bells. Babies have second thoughts, neverdust and waterbirth. Cows get mastitis, Rose of Sharon and Janet Jackson. The banyan tree laughs, earthen and worship. Gasoline excites us, chant and gauge. Poems make sense, please and desist. (After Sina Queyras) [...]
April & Poetry 9
I read poetry aloud to Czarina while the tattoo artist carves an image of The Raven on her back. Now I am reading Forrest Gander’s English translation of the Spanish poem Firefly Under the Tongue. She listens to me tang fissure pleasure the pulse. My voice keeps her from mossing ancient with mystic ardor. When the artist warns us that bruising may occur, we both become paralyzed from the soul down. Hours later, a lone Chinese grammarian swags in wearing her ecstatic make-up. A dark hiss shifts the lily breaks the rock. Cloak courtesans claw Kabbalah cupcakes. Czarina’s inked so indelibly deep into the dermis that the wings transform into real Raven’s wings. She off and flights skywise. What’s left for me to do but press and twist my foot on the book, as if I am smothering a cigarette?
April & Poetry 8
The astronomer’s daughter left her diaryopen on my lap.Pulsing witch’s blissspit flowers and fire scriptover zero gravity strip tease. The view of evolution over Lake Shadow owns up to people who serve your silhouette.Crafting the perfect cunand turning the carved key,spiral nebulae wave we’ve loved.Enlust the light nutdark dust of our neo nuclear fusion.Sex the Sphinx and ape thealmanac of the Aquarian age withSisyphus blackening into bliss.Up your erotic charisma with queer quantumwhile the Sighing Particles bed their Cyprian Queens.Poets reach for numinous metaphors,but like Creatures of the Seeking Sheets,we owe no debt to Silence.Ladies and Transpassionate Triggers,your leader is mad with lust and vision.Her ear is pressed to the Men’s Room doorwhile Time takes a leak.In the holy shadow of ecstasy’s core, Raven and succubus speak equal and loose ambrosia.You’re only as secretiveas your scent and vows shake the Triangulum Galaxy.Mind, mud wrestlers and humping stars,the corset-crowded dreams offoreign passionaries.(This post written after I’d gone missing for days with Brenda Shaughnessy’s Interior With Sudden Joy.) [...]
April & Poetry 7
to play with fire with fire
more plastic wonders and Structure
(do count your plans before they hatch)
let Soaring Crow Spirit speak
let Financiers wander lonely as a
cloud that floats on high o’er till and sale
we have some things to work on spiritually
surely Language should go on a gluten-free diet
perhaps yogi tea makes you
sexual meet me at Amusement
corner of Do and Think
all’s well that endears
(This post written after memorizing Kathleen Winter’s “Glamour.”)
April & Poetry 6
In a different city,
all fees are waived.
The Boss has fresh breath,
and weekly meetings move you.
Guys and dolls gaze out windows with
their angel phantom eyes.
Women receive long letters
written from the Pen Man’s Ship.
And letters from the DMV—
Divine Motive Vibrations—
assure all employees
The Boss expects
(This post written after memorizing Victoria Chang’s “Edward Hopper’s ‘New York Office.’”)
April & Poetry 5
Mercy stays out late playing Texas Hold ‘em.
We’ve received your application.
Dear, dear Astrotourist
You’ve earned your stars.
Dear Herb Ladies & Gemstone Gentlemen
Dear Candlestick Maker
The night promises to leak your dreams.
Dear good scout
Dear aged sage
You’re on my wit list.
(This post written after memorizing Camille Rankine’s “Tender.”)
April & Poetry 4
Time when you are standing on your head. Time as the sky feeling the beating raven’s wings. Time if you’re a breakfast bowl. Time if you’re my pillow when my head is upon you. Time if you’re my pillow when my head is on the block. Time if you are my dream. Time if you are The Teacher in my dream who was reading the Tarot and drew the Father of Wands. Time if you are the live cobrathat rose up out of the card. Time if you are The Teacher swallowing The Cobra.Time as shockwaves. Time in dream. Dreamtime. Dream standing on its head. The raven’s dream. Dream Chief Dancing Raven watching Wind make love to White Buffalo. Dream sweet grass grows upon your head. Dream takes Night bythe other hand. The three go leaping over The Chasm. Time passes.Dream distorts. Time may get the jump on you. Dream guides the jolt in you.(This post written after memorizing some lines from Anne Carson’s Red Doc>) [...]
April & Poetry 3
Paolo and I never agree. He insistin’ Nina Simone’s cover of “See-line Woman” tops my wail and moan. I differ; hey, the way Feist do it measures up some. Paolo gets to turning red, black, and green. Gets to so he ready to throw his bile in a pile. Paolo gets me up to confess his hump number ain’t much noise, not like music that hurts. My woman walk in like piano solo stuck in her hips. Good reason her name Inspiration. Whew! She wreck my days! Then his lady walk up; she called Silence. So of curse we gotta get up to assessing the She-ass. Ugly start when Paolo kicks the trap drum down the fire escape.
(This post written after memorizing Yusef Komunyakaa’s “The Music That Hurts.")