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.


You and the You Across from You… a self portrait

Self Portait of the Human Condition



You and the you across from you

devour the minutes like stopwatches

taming eyes at the recording apparatus,

we multiply.


With every play reanimate, however

hardly Nietzschean vampires siphoning gas tanks,

brown toothed and giddy

in the last orange hours of apocalypse.


But indeed, we the undead,

even before traffic lights

go black, before foraging WaWa

for canned beans by match light.


You and the you next to you

do not dwindle towards zero, instead

record and upload zombie self

from living room shelf before the world ends

ending the world.

Gnash back at the camera, your eyes explain

your teeth, a bear trap I didn’t know

would turn me into one of you.


But after all, nothing new,

not long ago convulsing hordes

avalanched the sidewalks with shuffle steps, window shopped,

broke nails on chopsticks

gnawing orange chicken,

grunts of approval ‘til next meal,

until we saw the sacred in cyber space.


Hallelujahs shook arcades of the fresh cathedral

with deposits digital from individuals gone underground,

upload passing notes on what it was to be separate,

absolute, existing alone.

But they echoed

And they echoed

And they echoed gnashing teeth

until you and the you across from you

devour the minutes like stopwatches taming eyes at the recording apparatus,

we multiply.

Teen Wolf

There was a prom

for one high school basketball star,

where chicks cinched in ruffled hot pink miniskirts

split the crowd,

jabbing Senior boyfriends with dulling wrist corsages

for a chance to watch the beast dance. Other young lads,

why couldn’t you think of something original? After all,

you merely had a dick in your pants.


Tell them

gym doors don’t crash open for a teen star

who would refuse to be the wolf, much less you.

The doors creak and the record skips,

a single balloon pops and you will almost hear punch being sipped,

because the world is not awash in Boofs.


Wolf wolf wolf the other girls chanted

while the boys, had they not been paid movie extras,

would consider wandering off.


But what a show they would’ve missed.


Well before Scott bore his mandibles—

John Hancocking his tormenter’s black blazer

with werewolf claws and heaving ogreish intangibles,

ruining the whole thing—

he would dance. He would disco,


he would bop that graduating hormonal estuary into a choreographed frenzy,

even if they were only students played by actors

who for a moment

forgot they had bills.


…and that’s what it felt like the first time

I passed a fake I.D. for a keg of beer.