[ToC]

 

REASON, WITH STORIES FROM THE INTERSTATE

Andrew Galligan

Used to be
chicken nuggets came scorched crispy
and you'd grin at visiting Crunchtown, Saltbath,               
glee-licking dipstick sodium fingers
like a sclerotic cat
stretched fat atop summer sofa,
unmoved by the temperature
of your circuitry.

Wisdom used to come in nuggets,
the small-packages-axioms
at-last attained, chiseled to brain—
that interstice of eye and sky.
Now, though, when lobes decompress
under ripe notes or
a glass of red, we're quenched
by lost clock and discretion,
by thought know-how poured out
until we just go grape-dreaming
and driving.

Any lesson tart or peach seems DOA—
nonplussed and not blissed
by ignorance, wished glibness
outlies tonguefinger's reach—
so much missing or flat-bodied
despite gut instinct's polywallop punch
that would inform,
could've been applied to not say

Though the combo comes with coke
I'll trade up to milkshake—
grab an extra bill in the free hand
marketplace to help calm tubing
routinely needing spins through town
in a drop-top.

Each day bulges more with our withering,
and so it's the bits mindsteeth crave
that cut-fry deep, leaving thirst
for the next saltbox to click closed
like a cold case finally solved,
filling and filling and filling
the depressions left by dreams we
just can't remember, won't imagine.

 

 

 

 

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Sadly, though perhaps fittingly, I wrote the first draft of this at a Starbucks while on a self-imposed coffee embargo. I'm not sure what else to say about the piece except that when the writing mentions drinking, it usually means that's what I was doing at the time.