Jimmy Chen


There is an overpass above the highway. There is a barbed-wire fence that prevents pedestrians from jumping off the overpass. There are electrical wires above the overpass, conducting electricity from one side of the freeway to the other.

There is a bird that flies into a wire and falls onto the barbed-wire fence and dies. It stays there for days, dead. It rains, it pours. The sun, it shines. The bird is still there. The cars rush ahead below, driven by nervous people with unclear goals.

There is a large building on one side of the overpass. There is a two bedroom condominium inside. There is a man lying down on a futon after work, eating a tangerine and listening to this ceiling. There is an obese woman walking around loudly in her condominium. Her floor is the man's ceiling. There is no humor in this world.

There is saxophone in a studio. A man with excessively curly hair is playing the saxophone while being recorded. The notes that come out of the saxophone, and their relationships to each other, can be described by the word ‘horrible.’ He is famous. His music is horrible. His name is Kenny G.

There is a woman at work. There are two speakers. There is a CD drive. There is a play button. The woman at work has pushed the play button and Kenny G—or at least the digital semblance of his once manifest presence—plays horrible music. There is a stop button. It will not be pushed.

There is a man at work. He sits next to the woman who plays Kenny G all day. He is irritated because his job ‘sucks’, a word used to describe an abstract yet distinctly relevant negative feeling one has about the existence of an object, including persons, and the object’s relation to other objects.

There is a God. He creates light and sound. Everyone concentrates on the light and forgets about the sound, though there are sounds everywhere; the cars under the overpass, the obese footsteps above the ceiling, and the horrible music inside the speakers.

There is a man at work. There is a man at home. There is a man who can’t sleep in his bed. There is a man who can’t stay awake at work. There are dichotomies. There is the global economy. There is the falling American dollar. There is a mortgage. There is unemployment. There is welfare. There is homelessness. There is death. There is a man at work.

There is an overpass above the highway. There is a barbed-wire fence that prevents a man from jumping off the overpass on his way home from work. There is a dead bird hanging upside down from the barbed-wire fence. There is a man who stops to look at the bird. There is a sky happening behind all of this. It makes no sound.




The title could be a clipped "Let There Be Light," for an arguably unfinished world. Or, it could be a request to simply let 'there' be—to let every 'there' just be as they are, without struggle. I try to see it this way.