Pioneer Replacement Theory
On the first morning of the new world
they reshaped it in the image of the old
and you are still furious over the reallocation
of fact. Of the misremembering they’ve come
to accept as truth, whatever little un-relentless
desire there is to tell a story and, then, doctor
each retelling. It is another year in a series
of sad years but luckily the elevator’s certified.
This is the way you navigate the rise and fall
of your days, skeptical of ascension and a little
light in the stomach. Due to a lack of free space
the emergency exit is just for looks. They all look.
The last frontier must involve frequency and you think
you see some insect communicate this to another.
It is your impulse to assume the rush of hooves
but it’s the approaching thrum of silence, a stampede
of so much absence of sound
The new authority initiates a program for repurposing
the predecessors. They do not find it funny,
your suggestion to cast them all as puppets.
You’re told theatrics are best when they’re directed
at an audience. So, you save your weeping
for the street. There seems to be this growing sense—
you’ll call it irritation—for the way one speaks
with their extremities. What can you say? You are yourself
only an extension, you are both the driver and the device
you use to drive across the country. You are of an age
when the greatest distance can be travelled
in a day. You want to be there and back
before any thought of bed. Needing to play sad
you make believe you occur simultaneous and sudden.
Like the events of any good year, depicted
in an ancient hieroglyph. You exist, do not exist,
but certainly, and only, all at once.
It must be asking too much to seek what’s simple.
A little life in the country with a restriction
on such loudness. You got old and out
of nowhere and now re-invite nonsense
back into your noggin. You realize in the late hour
it is akin to necessity, like a drawbridge rising
in the evening to let the fog pass through.
You watch the townsfolk wear their funny hats
into the cold and consider the hilarity of being
with the moon, alone without machine. Happiness
never takes the belt from its slacks to strangle itself.
You learn everything the hard way. You can leave for a bit
and then come back but the thing you leave
will not remain as it did before. Your ambition
is an open space and an open space
is prime for pursuing with all intent to apprehend.
You apprehend with an indifferent face, de-mask
the fleeting figure with respectful care, but
to no surprise, find you’ve only been in competition
with what—embarrassingly enough—was never there.
In order to re-cultivate common curiosity
you’re told to leave yourself out in the wind
and see how fast it withers. You are just as docile
and unimportant as you were the day before.
You learn everything wrong the first time
so you can re-convince yourself of the necessity
of conversation. A seed sprouts and grows
into something flexible, also statuesque and silent.
You save everything you need to say in jars
and pretend this is how to anticipate aridity
and—in turn—survive. Someone claims
there’s a kind of work you’re not cut out for.
Your busyness is the result. You pass a people
who you suspect expect an older traveler
except this time the traveler they’ve been expecting
is the traveler they see. It’s time to accept
there are drastically different definitions
of plain. They say: wide open grassland.
You say: a person lacking character. You equivocally pivot
into place and reinvent a posture
In an effort to interrupt the invisible
vicinity, you wave a stick and separate
the air. You centralize yourself in order
to accept your status as addition. Aftermath
is the word you use to describe the disbelief
that numbers—if they exist—existed before
your ability to label them as such. Governance
is airtight and fills the room around you. You imagine
the final open space and then yourself
at an observable distance. There is a newness
under-construction and all you have to do
is look inside. It overtakes the township
road by road. Grows a little wider every day.
It becomes the community, but the community
disavows it. It then becomes a dilemma.
Everybody borders on becoming
something new, but, to your dismay, old
recognizes old and nods. You look for the nearest
trinket to represent your trouble. You shake
your little globe and marvel at its thunder,
your overwhelming inability to explain
the lake coming in through the door locks.
You are the automobile on the water
and all the things you say to yourself inside it.
There is no word for the sound you want
to make at a streetlight, on a street
lonesome for traffic
This is the point on the path where image
will only diminish the picture. You reshape
the room from the sound of their absence from it.
The cycle goes on as is expected. You develop,
erect, and then demolish. You stand upon a hillside
and consider the bodies that it harbors.
They, unlike you, have nowhere left
to roam. This was supposed to be the place
of pioneers. This is where you’ll sit for a while.
This is where you’ll have a disingenuous cry
beside the bones. As bone turns into building
you understand the budding is not for bees.
Some animal sniffs another animal’s remains
and chooses to retreat. It hides and hopes
the heartbreak doesn’t last. You wake and watch
the sun rise as expected, then set, as is its usual way.
If you’re not happy now you realize you will never be.
This is your last attempt to exercise the human
from the self. It is the sadness you unsaddle
and slap free