Randy Prunty


How Many Face It?


I’ve gone to cellar. I came here to chill. My bruises pull my mouth down. If this is (and I know it is) the shape of things to come, then what do you think I should do? Show me how.

Not sure how much longer I can be diverse and still soothe myself. One third of me – what you know as the northwest darkness – has never been born.

My new mission is road, journal, therapy, and making new friends in the therapy waiting room where we discuss the difference between ardent and withstood.

They took my dog, the vivid one. I kept painting. To name a breed? Hound, unashamed.

I’ve decided to leave it alone.

I know Deacon was here because I see flowers on the floor and wrinkles in the rug.

I’ve been trying to speak like you, to make it easier for you to translate. Finally the bird flew down the mountain (evening) and drank up the creek. Like that? Or: here’s some paint for your tree room; a cross between chocolate raven and blackberry dark. Tree. Bird. Chocolate. They could become our words.

Rain-fed nights. Gorged, really. Of course we all sleep in empty houses.


Accelerate to simplify


If I could have lunch with anyone in history it would be with whoever climbed the first tree and saw the first bird.

I’m ready rain or shine, false desire, or ‘best practice’ audience. Elizabeth is reading from a stopped clock. John is doing story time. I volunteered to pour this year. A toast: may your mothers feather your nest and may your fathers punctuate your equilibrium.

An anonymous tip in the comment box: the feeling of drama kills the actual action.

The fear of hands. I mean hands that are afraid. Of wrinkles in a beech trunk or a shadow that should not be. An interrogation that crouches. We’re up to the day before yesterday. Stone by stone the moss becomes algae and we’re led to where the creek lives. The bobcats drink and bathe and grow big as mountain lions. Yesterday is gone.

Charcoal smears so we went with blood. The painted carp. I was talking with the baby named for her grandmother’s dog. It was a matter of muster for those rowing back to their cabins. Empty flowers make good letters like vapid maxims handed down in sleep.

Dying is possible, but not allowed. We felt honored the smoke accepted our offer to rest among us. So nice to go from flouting to floating. As for our eyes, they will heal. Until then we’ll continue to pump up the verbs in case we tire of saying nothing.

The letters of the dead can’t be rewritten. Well, not normally. Once I saw a history book that had been redacted. Winners had become losers. But the losers hadn’t become winners - they still seemed like losers. Do you think we should tell tonight’s readers? They might have time to choose between spectacle and retirement. Anything, really, approaching the intimate will not be forgotten.


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