Zachary Whalen grew up in Bathurst, New Brunswick, and now lives on Vancouver Island. His poetry has been published in decomP, the Maynard, and Gloom Cupboard, among other places. His blog exists at zacharywhalen.blogspot.com.
DRIVING THROUGH NEW MEXICO DRUNK AT NIGHT WITH NO HEADLIGHTS IS SOMETHING I WILL PROBABLY NEVER DO.
I'm going to sharpen a stick at both ends and stab you in the liver. Then I'm going to ask myself why it was necessary to sharpen both ends.
Everybody seems happy and well-situated here, except that here is not a real place, and there is nobody here except for me, and I am dragging the carcass of a coyote I killed with my bare hands down the interstate, toward freedom.
I came here to sneeze without your blessing and when I sneezed it tasted like grilled-cheese and being alone.
Let me rest my weary bones. Let me just sit on this log for a spell and look at anyone whose face is a face and not a strip mall burning in the afternoon.
Dag nabbit. There ain't no faces here. Ain't no logs, either.
I remember a time when it was possible to masturbate without pornography. Those were fine days. Those were the days of romance and perceivable movement. Those were the days when we piled all our televisions into the corner and watched every daytime talk show all at once.
I remember when I birthed a child from my mouth after making love to several beautiful and exotic women. DNA tests proved conclusively that all of them were the father. I named my baby "Baby Old Spice" but lost custody when I fed him to a venture capitalist from New Jersey.
I did what you said. I dumped all my money on a slow-motion breakfast table. The coffee cup remained firmly attached to your lips. My torso "stagflated" and became The New Economy. We were broke, dead, and scattered across the desert before the milk even hit the Cheerios.
What is this place? Could it be? Oh God, is this Heaven?
No, my son. This is Albuquerque.