CHOOSE YOUR OWN ________ POEM
1 If you have seen this movie before, go to line 30.
2 If the sky already belongs within a window that is in arm’s reach, go to line 13.
3 If not, the day rattles like a pepper mill. There is only a colloquial difference
4 between stampede and traffic. All endings involve the latter, depending on time
5 of day. It is morning and already someone is in need of flowers.
6 Some days, the only thing that gets me out of bed is urgency.
7 Today, it is a new buzzing overhead.
8 If you pass go and collect, go to line 19.
9 This is a poem for diesel-powered creatures. Heavy machinery, knotted insides.
10 New environmental standards require the formation of salt crystals
11 as a byproduct of progress. Like this we grow teeth and suck them dry.
12 In the absence of OSHA compliance, go to line 15.
13 Congratulations, you have made it to night. An ache pulses the body in spite
14 of ergonomics, mercury intake. The AI’s incessant addition of fingers.
15 Now the chemicals can be found in the blood of nearly all people on the planet,
16 and in animals from polar bears to eaglets. They’ve been linked to low fertility,
17 birth defects, suppression of the immune system, thyroid disease and cancer.
18 If you or a loved one is entitled to compensation, go to line 27.
19 We are genetically predisposed to hold onto things — thumbs, trauma theory, pigskin.
20 History has not been kind to cargo shorts, though the pocket still holds weight.
21 Goalie gloves often are equipped with an internal plastic skeleton to keep the wearer’s
22 fingers from breaking under the force of deflection.
23 Pigs only understand one command — be nice. It is more learning
24 than we have been able to achieve. If engaged in an insurgency,
25 reptiles would outnumber mammals nearly 2 to 1. These numbers are declining.
26 There are billions of birds in the world but you rarely see a dead one.
27 Where are their bodies? Wandering, looking for a purpose
28 that only the bare remnants of their DNA can fathom.
29 The moon, its smug face. Tin foil hat slicing through wet grass.
30 The madness of apes and men erupts into a savagery that rocks the Earth.
31 We cannot stop it but we can at least make ourselves beautiful.
LUCAS PEEL is a _____________ living in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Sometimes he makes bird noises @lookchrlz