A text by John Charles Bricker

Help I’ve Hit My Head

Two parts linked with chewing gum
And typically faulty wiring.
To forward the backwards
And tell you what’s right-side up.

For the furnace burns long on cold nights
Well prepared for,
Standing lookout in the morning,
Gathering by noon,
And locked up by the time cold winds blow,
And frost encrusts the outside window glass.
Finally safe from the calculating, sum-game
Tetris kinector set of the outside.

From the sharp air and the lung-tearing breath
Gasped out of mufflers.
From the pink chewing gum turned tough and the color of burnt gasoline.
From the stink-eyed, scoffing, tea-drink-hollering saxophone heads and their valid credentials.
From the fury of the road,
And the roads inevitable dead-end.

Safe in emptiness,
And the warmth of burning logs and bed bugs.
Your fuel for sitting still and wondering how the wind feels.
Fearing and wondering about it
In the same moment you notice your teeth,
And how stuck they are
In your head.

The forever washing-machine holds on tight,
For dear life,
Spin-cycle electricity bills and television dinners.
The meat latches tight to the bark of the coconut and isn’t very sweet,
So listen to your elders.
Listen to their tubed noses and vibrating catheters.
Listen to the large blue veins protruding from the tops of their hands
As if meaty leeches and slugs took nest just beneath the wrinkled paper skin.
Listen to the hands because someday they will be your hands.

If forever is a long time then you’ve got another thing coming.
It’s a big day, about a mile away, and your shoelaces are bound tight for the moment.
Obstacles in your pocket.
Burning holes between your eyes and insisting.