The Twenty-four Complications
The life of the party slits its wrists. Its wrists
slit their wrists. The wrist of the world
wears a Patek Philippe Henry Graves
Supercomplication. Which is not a wristwatch but a pocket
watch. Among its twenty-four complications
is one for the hour in which you hang
yourself by your wedding tie and another that counts the number
of people whose livers can no longer self-repair
and have begun to eat themselves. The man
who commissioned the piece may or may not have lived
forever. He may or may not have been part-owneer
of an explosives company that may or may
not go by the name of Blackwater. You
may or may not believe this, but when I was a boy
all I wanted was to push a big red button.
Imagine a million crosshairs congregating on the last
illegal alien on earth, who resembles the shape you
clock time in front of the bathroom mirror
re-imagining. Or the clock tower you climb
as Charles Whitman did in Austin, Texas
(it was not a clock tower), lugging
a duffel of guns and a hatred of the kind of muffled
conversation he always walked into
in the rooms of the house he grew up in to hear.
Meanwhile Blackwater backpedals. Blackwater occupies
the clock tower, killing time in the peculiar way time
and money prepare you for. The thesis
statement is that privatizing the military
privatizes the boredom of observing
an alien people who busy themselves
with the rituals of the free market. Learn
from the example of the markets in Jerusalem.
The seventh complication
is a koan wrapped in an enigma. What are you doing?
We haven't ideated that yet. Eight resembles the head
of an amber fish, the body ripped away
by a motherless shark. Nine accrues interest
in the leper colonies of the imagination
(which may or may not exist, lyrically).
Ten through seventeen take a few
bongers while watching The Wire on DVD. Eighteen
is your father's will,
which faded as the years passed
while burning a hole in his afterlife as the lawyers recited
its damages to your family ten days after he poked
a hole in the sky with his third eye, which, technically,
is the eighteenth complication.
Nineteen is the dream in which you marveled
at a child's art deco sand castle
while the lion paced a few feet away.
Twenty was last century.
Twenty-one occupies the analytic couch
your father fashioned out of chocolate glazed donuts. The next
two slob the knob of the infinite
40oz, dreaming in daiquiri, screaming
to the open field in a Whitmanic mania.
of the Patek Philippe Henry Graves
Supercomplication is the server space of your next
ten years, where dust compiles and Blackwater
offloads the epic we all had hoped one of us would write.