The Invention of Jimmy Olsen

 

I’ve been talking to myself again.

It’s radio, but still.

No one says anything, afraid

of my pretzel logic.

I would bend everything into another shape

if I thought it would help.

The world is full of cries for help.

Sometimes, listening, I tell myself

that solitude isn’t a fortress

but a boat with a hole in the bottom

that somehow never sinks.

The world is full of cries for help,

but I’m listening for you,

for the crackle and ping, zee zee zee,

of the signal watch.

I’m having a conversation with air.

I don’t care if you’re elastic,

limbs stretched to finite, infinite purposes.

I don’t care if you’ve become a giant turtle,

a human porcupine, a gorilla reporter,

the Red-Headed Beatle of 1,000 B.C.

No one can judge anything

by our cover.

I’m having a conversation with air,

confiding to an arctic white

the things I can only tell you.

I see right through the situation,

but my vision keeps me warm.

Gives off heat, you might say.

The world is full of cries for help,

including mine. I can only hear

yours, pal, the sound from your wrist

where time is an afterthought, the signal

amidst the noise. I am talking to myself,

again. I am listening:

zee zee zee zee zee zee zee zee zee zee 

 

My work has had the honor of previously appearing in Rattle, along with Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Ping Pong, Paradigm, Ophelia Street, Jacket, Pearl,  and The Scapegoat Review, among others.

 

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