Disappearing Alan Smithee

Utah 2005 0630 10091711 - Comb Ridge - Fish Mouth Cave - Hands on wall

When I’m low

I’m binge watching

the ticker tape of

closing credits only.

I don’t have to tell you, but

everything ends the same.

 

I pretend

I’m in the movies, but

just the scriptwriter,

just the sound guy,

better yet, fed up director

revelation left

on the cutting room floor.

 

When I’m low

sop ink up from paper,

backspace the subtitles,

reuse old taglines to the show.

That racket of anvils—

after lunch like Hannibal

sacking the score.

 

Hole up in wardrobe,

better yet, throw out

those costumes, rub out

my thumbprints then walk out

that door. Scrub graffiti off

the gargoyles, my address

from curbside, delete

all my profiles, text

both of my parents—

I renounce my tickets to the show.

 

When I’m low

host reunions in my apartment

where dead ancestors squat silent,

passing secrets in the living room,

something ‘bout

times before the internet,

but what it is

Grandpa won’t say.

 

You can hear him in

the woodshed, returning

digital back to video, cellulose

reels to flash lamps, canvas

back to cave walls—

drowning buffalo

in too many coats of paint.

A Query for Elliot

mr. robot 3.jpg

With thanks to Mr. Robot

 

Pictured you peeled back from sunset, that shadow’s step

ahead of rusted tabby receding hairline, pulled taut across

 

square-tusks of rooftops, shivering loose all the dandruff

ain’t fit to be gold. Compose a glow holed up from daytime,

 

drumming notes from the underground, rapping angles at

keyboards to bring a satellite down. Thought you would’ve

 

tapped the telegraph, crunched bitrates of Oxycodone,

compressed clouds into conversation, until tugged at, then

 

dispersed by slapping paw. Instead, tail wag at the terminal,

slip under Hubble without a scratch or a claw. After all,

 

favor that orange crush of windowpane from empty-set

of boxes, preferring Amazon over analog directions posted

 

by the front door. Coiled upon asking price, what do you

whisper in when tickling blank-space of search engines?

 

Ordering kitty treats to rid yourself of mouse breath after

a kill?