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An excerpt from The Biology of Strangeness by Mike Essig

Found Poem

The days piled up too high and then collapsed.
Everything was sadder than it used to be.
What we are concerned with here is unhappiness.
It is not a question of enlightenment, but recognition,
that chameleon of vapid, disinterested change.
What does it all come down to in the end?
Feeling furtive needs isn't living;
you weary of feeding your needy, mammal body.
We must extricate ourselves from this repugnant spectacle.
The gates of the world open and close to no end.
The cosmos uses your own voice to complain.
The summit sings what is spoken in the depths.
The boulevards of your brain become smaller.
The wars are far away and oddly peaceful.
The lamps we light at dusk are for nothing.
I found this poem in the flea market of old words,
paid for it with the sorry shards of my memories,
and offer it to oblivion with whatever else I have stolen.
Consider it a final toast to everything that didn't happen.

Things To Do At Two AM

Write bad poems about insomnia.
See how long you can hold your breath.
Pretend you are really asleep.
Conjugate manhole covers.
Recall the first name of
everyone you've ever slept with
and spell them all backwards.
Try to remember when you were newly
minted and unscratched by the future.
Cut your finger nails and then
incinerate them to ward off bad JuJu.
Learn Romanian and teach it to your cat.
Attempt to remember how exactly you
ended up tonight, alone, in a small room.
Stare at the ceiling. Stare at it more.
Develop a comprehensive Theory of Regret.
Remember who you are and
be very happy about who you are not.
Chuck it all. Take some pills. Fall asleep.

Only Muzzled Dogs Get Tenure

     An Ode to Edumacation

School buses gather like trains to Auschwitz.
Find seat, sit down, shut up. Hear the told.
Chairs nailed to floors. Don't rattle your chains.
Leaves near ground wither first. Get'em young.
Teachers design brains of meat by-products.
Rain half truths on potted plants. Earn an Apple.
Prepare for jobs never gotten, for lives not to be.
Homework extends domain of willful ignorance.
Repetition equals indoctrination unto dead souls.
Students leave class with hollowly sculpted heads.
Pure, organic, 100% US Fancy Grade A stupidity.
Walk only in the footsteps of footsteps walked in.
Every single muzzled dog gets tenure. Heal!
And so their mouths are stopped with ignorance.
With ignorance hath no man a goodly house.
     Sheep, cattle and lemmings interbred,
     In perfect harmony over ledges led.

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