The Clambake Refugees are running through the sprinklers of high summer. They’re careful not to dance on the crates of burning well wishers, careful not to get too close to the bird skull mill. They want to save God from the disaster of their thoughts, the mongoose cage of their thoughts. The storm clouds are full of uprooted maples. As much as I don’t like talking about myself, I’m here in the black bodega reinventing prayers, resuscitating prayers. Did you know if you say them backward after a glass of pastis they’ll catch fire in your head? Pretty soon there’ll be a whole burning cathedral in your head full of Sunday parishioners with angels trying to put it out and shit. But they can’t get their wings too close because it’s the green flame of prayers.

Shit, I was just trying to get them to work for me again. I was going to dig a hole there in the sand of Calvary, maybe just a hole anywhere in the sand of dreams. Then drop in a few birds of paradise eggs and then say a few prayers into that hole or maybe say a few into a hole in a tree or a statue somewhere. You don’t have to believe. Matter of fact, it’s better if you don’t, if you don’t believe in anything, the prayer, yourself, the world, the hole you’re saying it in, the piranhas you’ve thrown in there with it. You don’t know what’ll happen with a prayer bouncing around in all that emptiness.

You might find the black rabbit in the wheel; the black rabbit inside the wheel like a cage. And inside his green eye you’re there considering the infinite facets of nature which you deny, which you deny with pizza and sunflowers leering in your bedroom window. You wake up to sunflowers everyday and some weird green bird which hangs from everything upside down, which you don’t believe is real. But who am I to tell you what you see and don’t? I’m a first rate asshole. But assholes lack credentials so I’ll tell you what you see and don’t, just for fun. It’ll be our little peeping Tom secret. Anyway, on to more poetic things, hopefully. The green imaginary bird you don’t believe in . . . I don’t either. We’re not supposed to believe in anything if we want to find true peace. I don’t believe in that either.

I’m the green bird staring at your naked morning ass through the window. I think I want to learn Japanese. It’ll help me understand this scenario. I want to learn more about recycling. Then I’ll learn even more about the value of useless things. There’s a certain beauty about your naked ass when I’m just a strange green bird hanging upside down from a sunflower. In the wheel the black rabbit with green eyes is watching me from the thyme patch. It’s watching me from the thicket of sweet basil.

I’m really a nature poet. I think of how much I hate nature as my feet bathe in the cool idyllic stream beneath the little wooden footbridge somewhere near my fifteenth birthday while I read Bobby Burns. I hate the moon and all its age-old disguises. I’m in the middle of Martha’s Vineyard and I’m pissed-off at Martha. She’s forgotten to remind me how much I want to make love to Carol. Carol, if you were happy with that, I wouldn’t need to breathe another day.

Jeeze, there’s so much I hate. It’s good to be alive and play a trombone painted green to a flock of unruly canaries. Lambs are beautiful and good to eat. The big night beetles spin and die beneath the summer streetlights. They’re trying to find cathedral tongue. I want to learn more about lightning and the parrots that live in it.

Tracy Thomas
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