Albert Abonado is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books. In 2014, he received a fellowship for poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is the author of the e-chapbook This is Superbook (H_NGM_N Books). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Public Pool, LIT, The Margins, Pleiades, Waxwing, and others. Every Thursday, he hosts the poetry radio show Flour City Yawp on WAYO 104.3FM-LP (www.wayofm.org). He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife and a hamster.
The Moon is Going to Come Down One Day So We Should All Learn How to Fiddle
Harold, when you look in my general direction, your gaze
passes through me as if I am a jar of the world’s most boring
buttons, and I find this just a little insulting Harold.
I am always intensely looking at you and you reward me
with an intense indifference that suggests something
vastly more fascinating takes place behind me.
Do you know there are people who cannot process
the geometric shapes in front of them? They can only observe
points drifting around in curvilinear patterns. Some people
are denied the idea of the left side of their face! Think
of all the things these people must have missed, like a rabbit
wearing a party hat or an elephant that can swallow the moon!
Usually, if a person does not say hello to me, if a person walks
by eating a taco without so much as a nod,
I would consider that individual to be a very rude person,
but even I, in all my generous politeness, would look
past another person to watch an elephant reach
up into the evening and pull down the moon.
I might clap or snap my fingers as the elephant uses
its long trunk to spin the moon’s glowing whiteness
because no elephant has done what this elephant
is about to do and this is an occasion that demands
some kind of flair, a belly dancer covered in scarves,
something to let others know that the days of living under
the tyranny of the moon and all its know-it-allness
about gravity have come to an end.
Let the oceans do what they want.
Let all the blood come rushing to the surface.
A Fable That Promises Spoiled Meat
The field, Kumar, in which you try to find reprieve sits
in the middle of a darkness manufactured entirely
for you. Kumar, you are not meant to be overwhelmed
by your loneliness but there are limits to the amount
of privacy any of us can demand. If you wanted
to eat a mediocre taco, Kumar, who will love you
in your post-taco life, who will understand how you sacrificed
one kind of loneliness for another. Kumar, we can talk
about the unending darkness spreading out before
you or we could talk about the unstoppable force
that is Jamie Kennedy. When he emerges,
his head is ether, his skin the moon. Jamie Kennedy
will not make eye contact, but he will not leave you
isolated. Kumar, you must accept this wilderness
as it arrives if you want to keep urinating.
Kumar, do not hold back the part of you
that makes the world shimmer. That is not
a healthy practice. You could get
an infection. You could die.
When One Universe Ends, Another Begins
If I had to travel in a Honda civic with a group of individuals driving
into an uncertain and endless darkness, I would choose
Neil Patrick Harris, Kumar and you, Harold.
Did you hear the news? The other day
the famous movie critic Roger Ebert died.
Ebert saw you once and you made him laugh.
When I think about that Ebert, he is a floating head propelled
by his laughter, an Ebert planet surrounded
by silver and darkness with two thumb shaped moons
orbiting him that always come close to colliding,
but never do. This is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night,
Harold. I keep wondering how two objects can have paths
that intersect, but never meet. How two people can fall
in love in an elevator then separate, and leave behind a hole
the size of Amsterdam. At some point the objects must smash
into one another. They must start a new universe. I wouldn’t mind
living in an Ebert shaped universe, really. We would have good
food and movies, walking around with our giant thumb shaped
heads that do nothing but laugh at the darkness.