Friday, February 17, 2017


We stare at each other like ghosts of another century
                                                        —Ronald Palmer

“It could be they are from separate centuries,” Ron’s
written word whispers to me (without ink, should I add?).
“Instead of two ghosts, say, from the 17th century, which
isn’t ours?”  No response.  At least for a while.  And then
I clearly hear “Hours?  Two, that is precise and correct.”  I’ve

not just been dreaming (I’ve said this aloud while sitting
up sharply in my weather-worn bed.  In this dreamlessness –
and with this quick snap from lying prone becoming a ninety
degree angle and with a voice I am certain – because there’s
that stolen sentence lying without much discretion,

tucked away amid other words in them, the solid book 
held firmly within the grip of both of my hands, and now,
directly above us – an epigraph, so to speak. I intro-
duce to you this, my story.  Anyway, as I might’ve
already said....  Black gold sinks heavily into many

hundreds of thousands of acres of a place called U.S.A.
circa the early 2000s.  This becomes the hub (and the
hubbub) of some importance at the time.  I can’t be
certain why.  Perhaps Ms. Notley knows (and I swiftly
scribble a note to myself to inquire something to that

effect).  I’ve an infection of the pancreas.  Or maybe
it’s the liver.  This becomes important at the time.
I’m not sure why.  Scholars of history (and, therefore,
of ever subject once known trying to fit into a pair of
academia), often passed along history books as auto

biographies.  This is known.  This was obvious
to all but most.  In a world where, nearby, say,
in the next galaxy and unbeknownst to the tepid
inhabitants of all of this rather deviant rogue
of a planet’s tepid inhabitants (which included

the fevered, the feeble, and the dead, asnwell as
those who most often worked at will [and a few,
legend has it, unwillingly, or at least subconsciously]
slicing and dicing the so-called earth, clearly part
icipating in its early demise ... [a small coughing sound 

is heard from several audience members]) ... anyway,
as I mentioned earlier to one in particular, nearby, say
in an adjacent galaxy, who'd never heard tell of this rogue
of a planet’s surly inhabitants (the fevered, the feeble,
the dead, and the so-called ‘toiling’— all murder[er]s,

and mutter[er]s, mind you.   Anyway, as I might’ve already said...