28 March 2009

Do You Wanna Dance

The vice president has been evacuated
to an undisclosed location.
The president is reassuring the populace.
He is doing this viz. his strategy
of standing behind a podium and saying words,
while also being flanked
by dark-suited men of a sober mien.
It's hard to tell how well he's doing.
Meanwhile, there's a run on concrete.
Only one person in a million is thinking
of a puppy right now, a terrible percentage!
It's easy to weather the latest disaster
by keeping an eye on the next disaster
gathering strength in the wings.
One ruined kingdom abuts
a field of funny little flowers.
The river rises, rises, rises, crests.
Finally, it stops snowing!
James Brown comes on the radio!
Yes, time to get on up (get on up)!
Not a lot of people right now
are thinking about love, their pets,
sun warming the sidewalk, perfect hashbrowns,
the tiresome realms of bathetic mawkishness,
or the value of not really giving a shit.
That's all right, the president says.
That's all right, the vice president says.
It will take a while, but I will
get on the good foot and groove our way out
of this pickle, economic and otherwise.

27 March 2009

When You're Tired of Feeling Helpless

is a line from a Sleater-Kinney song,
which I have around here

on a mix tape somewhere,
given to me by someone

a long time ago, someone
with an affinity for moose,

chewable vitamins,
bluebirds arcing low through trees.

But, really, who doesn't
love all of these things?

For as much as I complain,
which is kind of a lot,

every last thing I will ever miss
belongs to this world,

which should tell us something.
Like, I'm so glad you're here.

26 March 2009

The Progression of Our Future Deaths

The stars are
in accord,

but then again,
stars always are.

When they aren't,
it's light out.

25 March 2009

Poem In Which We Weather Our Rapid Decline In a Stately Manner

This is a tremendous lie. We are vain. In actuality, we are absolutely freaking out, completely and without reservation. This loss of control manifests itself in several different ways, many of which are very private and remain unseen to the larger public or audience. (Cf, moments of quiet weeping that occur more or less spontaneously, looking out a car window, on the toilet, picking up a cup of juice, etc.)

The public is an audience. We are part of this, we too are witnesses. In sum: hysteria rampages through the air, crackling like electricity, like an electrical current charging through water. A herd of animals on a dusty plain. Kicking up the dust, everywhere. A low-flung and gritty cloud. Rearranged into a low-flung and gritty could. Too late, too late.

We are way off track. This much is now clear. We are way underpaid. There is nothing coming in except waves of anxiety, dismay. It creates an airy feeling in the midsection. We are staring at our cuffs and imagining them as they may appear in the future, soiled, frayed. Shabby. Shiny at the elbows. We are searching for the appropriate place to deposit blame. We consider our friends and neighbors. This much is true, that some of us should be locked up. Someone should be put in charge. We are watching the news but not buying newspapers. We are locating the panic button.

We are avoiding eye contact. We are avoiding lots of things. We have never before been so aware of electricity, that we have no real understanding of what it is, where it comes from, how it is a commodity to be purchased and traded. It blazes down from the sky, cleaves a tree, fells a golfer. We are betting on dogs with our eyes closed. Our dogs keep winning. We are awake.

24 March 2009

Poem In Which Whitney Houston Totally Brings It with a New Dance Number

If I had to describe this new dance number in which I bring it I would describe it as being largely indescribable. This is for starters.

Random noun + many, many adjectives = XXXXXX.

It is math.

Also, Dr. Dre.

It is a bomb wired to the engine block of a black VW.

It is also kind of like if you were a looking at a diagram of the cosmos in full color. With many moving parts.

It is not a cloud.

It is as if you were trapped inside of a washing machine. If you were a baby. If the washing machine were a mid-70s model.

It is your face and but also one million times more beautiful.

It is a crazy burrito. And similarly crazy underwear.

It is a spotlight on a violent crime. It is a mobile home in flames.

It is the sonic equivalent of. Hello, hello.

23 March 2009

Found Poem: NYT and Yahoo.com

Vandals set loose 15 kangaroos
from an Australian theme park

in southern France,
sparking a major search operation,

with three marsupials still on the loose.
South Africa tries to halt baboon break-ins.

21 March 2009

What Happens When You Sit Down to Watch the Movie Version of Your Own Life, Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Nicholas Cage

First, the theater goes dark. Some stuff happens. The moment you leave to go pee, everything on the screen gets really good.

19 March 2009

A Short Note from Management: Go Blue


This speech applies to basketball, too, I think. "It's going to be Michigan, again. Michigan."

Poem In Which Whitney Houston Corners the Market on Glue, Corn, and Synthetic Polymers When No One Is Looking

Even though my plan is going very well and I am ready to execute Phase II.ii, I have trouble imagining the future.

It is hard to believe that the next moment even exists, the next, or the next.

Regardless, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has played directly into my perfect hands.

18 March 2009

Best I Got For You

You splashed fake blood on the wrong starlet. Good thing she was so stoned.

There are those who flee sobbing into the spume and those who stay right put and sob, baking in the sun. You know it's spring by the sudden influx of bugs.

Quasi-random associative leap (cf. black ant on the white wall) deep in the brain leads to a memory leads to sadness for one whole day. Back where you started.

Look at this thing long enough and it's whirling colorful dotted chaos, look longer and you'll see a sailboat.

16 March 2009

An Open Letter to the Person Who Stole My Kidney on the BART

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to you today to request the return of my kidney, which you took from my body while I catnapped on the BART. This was Thursday, between 3 and 4 PM.

Me: late 20s, tall, brown hair. Sleeping.
You: unknown

Please return my kidney at your earliest possible convenience. I realize that people are in possession of two kidneys and typically can do just fine with one, but it's hard not to feel a little put out by having one such organ forcibly removed from your body while you catch a quick few winks on the way to your second job.

To help rectify the situation, please return my kidney to the following address (no questions asked):

30XX Telegraph Ave
Apt X
Berkeley, CA XXXXX

I realize, too, that probably this kidney isn't for you. Probably it is for an unfortunate individual who is suffering from renal failure. This hypothetical person may in fact be far more deserving and in need of my kidney than I am.

After all, it is hard to say whether or not I am actually, in any real sense, using a particular kidney at any given moment.

And but while I am certainly not some kind of nephrological expert, it also seems in keeping with common sense to assume that at some point in the immediate or very near future I would in fact be using said kidney, to say nothing of the far future, should I be fortunate enough to live a long and reasonably healthy life.

The point, more simply, is that your actions are really nothing short of inconsiderate. I am currently experiencing a dull ache that is occasionally punctuated by sharp pains and it is getting worse.

I can only hope that even now, as I post this letter to Craigslist and flyer the neighborhood (see attached photo of my kidney's probable likeness), one hand pressed to my side, you have not already completed a transaction involving my kidney.

I hope you have not yet had one too many whiskeys and that you are not currently walking briskly, Styrofoam cooler in hand, to a pre-agreed upon location in the gravel and scrub and broken bottles underneath the train tracks while at your back beats the hard red sun in slow, dull waves.

Sincerely,
Brad

15 March 2009

The Opposite of Insomnia

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14 March 2009

The End of the Affair

We had a love that would last a lifetime. Probably longer. But we were also star-crossed lovers, which was part of our appeal, of course, she, being wealthy and made of fleeting snow and shadows, and me, an average person. When it ended, it seemed like only one of us remarked on it.

13 March 2009

Daisy Cutter

The turkeys are looking pretty menacing, full of portent, the trees, not so bad, however, however it happens that we're here again, rats, here being the moment just before spectacular disaster, when the world crystallizes, becomes brittle, when history simultaneously recedes with a dizzying quickness even as you feel it press down upon with with a sickening accumulation of weight like being in a dropping elevator and also being underneath the elevator, watching the fast progression of ruin, when even the teapot and oop, there they go, the trees start also to look real, real menacing and bad, turkeys always kind of ugly and strangely, obliquely threatening to begin with, what's wrong with that rainbow, and so naturally you look to an authority figure and/or someone you respect, someone who turns out is running around and flapping his arms like a crazy person, money dropping from his top hat.

12 March 2009

A Few Words Regarding All the Blood in the Streets

We are driven to ruin. That much is clear. Or more accurately we have already been driven to ruin. We are there: ruination. Why, just looked at all the ruined people walking dazedly through the streets. Their faces are slack and empty. Why this has occurred is a matter of conjecture. Certainly we, the ruined, share some measure of blame, but how much? 98%? 25%? Even less? Should we be outraged or chagrined? If and which external factors have led to our ruin is a matter of debate but debates don't go so well these days. Mostly people mumble a little while looking at their hands, then look off through a window at our neighbors, who stagger empty-handed through the streets.

11 March 2009

5th in Overall Health and Happiness

It wasn't until the advent of MTV that her star began to rise. In fact, it is a matter of dispute whether or not the star existed before this particular cable channel or if it had been dormant in our collective and also quite possibly too her psyche sort of like the way in which you are not aware of your left big toe until something happens to cause severe pain or injury such as a dropped and heavy object. Then we are aware. You are I or we or she is aware. Because of external stimuli. Necessary for the organ or organism to be aware. Sunshine. In truth, no one is disputing much of anything. In truth, people care little. But. But. What if this particular cable channel were theoretically to disappear, if it were to be subsumed into some larger and more amorphous, less identifiably branded corporate multinational, one responsible for the manufacture of medical diagnostic equipment but which also owns major portions of publishing houses and television channels in a number of different countries, what would happen to this particular person. There is no way to tell. There is also no way to tell what to do about all this blood either. Sunshine. Within a certain context, lots of blood is acceptable, even preferable or necessary. Uh oh, our subjective centrality is amiss but just how is hard to say. Too much or too little. It shouldn't be here, that much is for certain, but after this initial conclusion what are we to do about it. The blood, that is. Is there a gulf that separates the acquisition and processing of knowledge from the action one would normally take in response to initial observations which are then transmuted into knowledge and even then but haltingly, ever so shakily, perhaps into action? Something is amiss. Is it different depending on the person? The girl is gone, that much is for certain. Subsumed. The larger world. One person lounges outside of a twenty-four hour convenience store looking a little shabby and not entirely trustworthy. Another person clambers into the bathtub. Clambers is the right word. This person is exceedingly overweight which makes movement difficult. Sunshine. Blood. In Detroit, a person watches birds move through the downtown sky. There are other people who are not in Michigan at all. There are other people who are also in many important aspects not easily thought of as people as we would normally use this term. Certain natural disasters have been known to assume the characteristics of people, people who drink too much, watch birds, read books. The girl is not coming back, that much is for certain. Sunshine. Subjective centrality. Otherwise called, what, consciousness. This fire goes by Smithy. This tornado doesn't have a name because it moves too fast. The city quakes. Sunshine. The larger world. The people inside of the city look at things and move their limbs, some of whom move their limbs in a very fast motion as if to indicate a desire to somewhere else. Sunshine. This earthquake goes by Buttercup. It is taking buildings that have names no one remembers.

10 March 2009

The Minister for Information and Information Technological Dispersion

The Minister for Information and Information Technological Dispersion is not happy. His choler is related but only tangentially to new numbers and estimated figures pertaining to the next financial year, which in part directly affects his job and day-to-day duties and if traced down through the chain of events it may in fact additionally affect whether or not the Minister for Information and Information Technological Dispersion buys cauliflower for dinner and if so how much and if he then enjoys the movie that arrived for him via the post office that afternoon and also the next morning regarding the consistency and regularity and subsequent relief and general physical well-being as regarding bowel movements. There are nineteen different internet browsers open on his computer. Three of them are social networking websites, two are open to twenty-four hour news sources, one is connected to weather reports that are updated hourly with an option to refresh every fifteen and a half minutes, the remaining thirteen of which are monitoring various exchanges and fluctuations in world currency. His office is not actually an office per se, but rather is a corner annexed from a very large room in which there are many other desks, all gray, metal, like his, and arranged in rows equidistant from all other desks which themselves are equidistant from the walls, and above which there are many, many rows of fluorescent lights reflecting a bit perhaps rather too harshly from the tops of the desks which are at a high sheen and luster. The Minister for Information and Information Technological Dispersion's desk sits contra this enormous grid so as to effect the idea of oversight and the last dream he had had something to do with giant lizards, a sense of terror, overwhelming dread, a total wrongness in the world, himself, something in fact primordial, unspeakable harm, and before which said dream ended there was a huge white field, the biggest thing he had ever seen, white in every direction, white white white, inspiring a highly complicated set of emotions, a few white birds winging through the pale blue sky which more or less seamlessly blended into the huge white field, all of which may or may not be leftover residue from his days, such as for instance the bland expanse of desks under high powered energy efficient institutional lighting sprawling and unwinding before him in three of four cardinal directions and plus also his own mutely glowing desk and computer screen or the towering glaciers just outside the west-facing windows that seem to get just a little bit closer most every single day and also always reflect the setting sun in the gloaming and appear emergent in the deepening night as stretches of glowing mountains of cool fire.

09 March 2009

What You Get When You Cross Whitney Houston

I will beat you with my fists.
Then, I will beat you with heavier objects
that I will have placed in my fists.
Such potential objects
include a dictionary,
a book of short stories
by a practicing MD,
and also not even books at all.
Later, when you least expect it,
I will throw a birdcage at you
for which emptiness I will also blame you.

08 March 2009

A Few Words Regarding Apex Predators

Vicious thylacines surround your home. It it night. They snarl and cough and pace and all manner of foul goo drips from their jaws. They do not come close to the house but you can hear them, just out of your sight line, just in the copse of trees. Probably they will savage terribly whatever is in their powerful jaws. Imagine the vicious snapping side-to-side motion their thick powerful heads are capable of, a motion meant probably to subdue their prey by stunning it or breaking its neck outright. Like most but not all mammals, the human being's neck is its weakest spot and in need of careful defense. On one side the human being is possessed of a throat, which is soft tissue overlaying several very important conduits for the passage of blood to major organs, then extremities, necessary for the organism's health. On the other side there is the spinal column which is of profound importance to the central nervous system and all automated functions (e.g., breathing) that are also paramount to the organism's health. This is something to bear in mind as you consider what to do regarding the vicious thylacines that surround your home. It is night and it is cold. The probably most important thing to remember here is that thylacines hunt in packs, often employing a decoy thylacine for the purposes of ambushing their prey, they are so far removed from the daily experience of the human being that even the very word thylacine is not recognized by the automated spellchecker function in the document processing programs of our computers which inspires a certain kind of existential terror at their very prospect and actuality, they breed all year round, they are generally shy, secretive animals.

07 March 2009

Love Poem to Whitney Houston

No one rocks a dune buggy like you.
You make the moon hurt
and the moon already hurts a lot.
Sometimes it's painful in the light
and the light of the moon
and you make the pain good.
You dj the long blackout
and you make it look easy.
No one makes doughnuts tasty
like you do, your coffee is the best, too.
The thing is, I guess,
is that your guitars are crunchy.
Your overlay of feedback is the cherry
on top of the sonic sundae of your awesome
beauty. You are one million squirrels
fleeing an attic in one great wave
and not another house around
for miles and miles in the moonlight.

06 March 2009

There's No Such Thing As Decompression Sickness

There's no such thing
as decompression sickness.

There is only
the crushing pressure

and joint pain and
partial sensory

system failure
commonly associated

with and brought on
by the vocal stylings

of one Whitney Eliz-
abeth Houston, aka

"The Voice" or more
simply "Whitney"

which is a thing
that is also at

times characterized
by feats of flying,

the deep sea,
outer space,

excess inert gasses
or a rapid ascent

all of which are
also things that

are also sometimes
characterized by

spectacular cross-
over success (cf,

music to film) and
which is sometimes

followed by tv and
hyperbaric oxygenation

which high doses
make a person

experience elation
which is also what

it is like to
behold The Voice.

05 March 2009

Martin Esslin Attempts to Mediate the Differences That Have Recently Arisen Between Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston

M:

People wonder how you get past
the drugs and the violence.

In some sense, no one gets past
the drugs and the violence

unless they are there
for entertainment purposes,

in which case you were never really
involved to begin with,

see, for example, Beckett's characters
buried in the hill, the exploding

Impala as it flies over the police barricade,
how the circus is lit on fire

and all the escaped animals terrorize
the townspeople. And that's

just in the first forty minutes,
at which point plot kicks in.

B:

When Lear trucks into the bog,
he has yet his faithful Fool.

The hazy interstices between
celebrity and artistry

seem to be further occluded
by new media, new people.

W:

And then your eyes exploded
into my eyes which exploded

into a thousand beautiful dolphins.

04 March 2009

Bobby Brown Responds to Whitney Houston's Earlier Response to His Special Guest Interview

In retrospect, if this marriage were a play
it would be like King Lear,
probably, because
in the beginning she's already dead and he's, like,
king.
Like me, y'know, like, that's me
out there,
trying to do good, right,
out on the heath, bidding the apocalypse come
down upon my head, wishing the drowning
of steeples and weathercocks,
"Spit, fire. Spit, rain!"
but then also looking,
looking upon the poor,
"Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,"
see, it's a metaphor, guess
who the storm is and remember
I'm Lear,
"How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?"
Uh huh.
The point is that division
is never an easy thing.
When Lear's ability to articulate goes
and is undone
by massive loss
it is the final fulfillment of that mad wish made
upon the heath, yea,
linguistic darkness has indeed come, here
is the apocalypse:
"Howl, howl, howl, howl!"
and but also bringing to mind Othello of Othello
and "Excellent wretch! Perdition
Catch my soul but I do love thee
And when I love thee not
Chaos is come again"
and uh-huh, sure enough:
re: Desdemona's dead body:
"O! O! O! O! O!"
You can see what
I'm driving at here.
I'm New Jack Swing and if I were a tree
you already know what I'd be,
but also
what I am is human
and it is human nature to rail
against the universe as it grinds you down,
grinds you out, bloodies you,
and then to stand amazed
that you were a participant in your own destruction,
that you were loved all along.

03 March 2009

Whitney Houston Responds to the Interview with Special Guest Bobby Brown: If I Were a Boy

I'd be a one hundred and two year old man
and also full of darkness and rage.

I'd be full of animals tearing at each other,
bits of bloody fur flung in alleys,

the stink of garbage cans rising
through the city and sweeping down

through New Jersey in darkness.
I'd be Balthazar Getty, full of darkness

and rage, I'd be a boy dropping a rock
crushing another boy, and if I were a boy

is also the name of some kind of song
by someone not as talented as me,

as in, I, I, I will always love you.
My voice is an international airport

carrying people far and wide
to loved ones so happy that they cry,

they weep with total abandon at the sheer
improbable scale and beauty of love

like watching mountains being born in,
like, crazy-time-lapse photography.

My voice is delirium transposed across
a cultural matrix so inclusive as to be

on the worldwide cultural matrices
as a homogenizing agent. What is

a Slumdog Millionaire, anyway? If I were a
boy I'd be a blameless animal of darkness and rage,

I'd be a ship sinking in a stormy nighttime sea,
I'd be the sea itself devouring the sailors,

devouring anyone who came within a league
of my fathomless voracious dark mouth.

02 March 2009

An Interview with Special Guest Bobby Brown

If I were a tree I'd be a New Jack Pine.
I'd stand forever in a forest and then

I'd lie on my back and float down the river,
counting the geese stringing the sky,

all gauzy-like. I'd be the bridge
between the past and the present,

but that's not all: I'd be pointing
to the future, which would also be

my future, which you would also be in,
watching me do my future-tree-thing,

which I can't even describe, it's
just that totally indescribable.

You could get a taste of it
by watching Being Bobby Brown

but that would be like if you were
sitting at your kitchen table

and tasting a little salt and then
someone asking you how the sea tasted

as it slid over your tongue
and flooded the soul from your body

and then watching it all on Bravo
and then getting hosed on the DVD release.

It would be like being a cloud
and then being a cloud forever.

What is the substance connecting dream to wish?
If I were an RIAA Certification I'd be

Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold, and Platinum!
I'd also be Ghostbusters 2

and if I were an animal I'd be a lion, baby,
remixed in blood and the key of B.

01 March 2009

I Don't Even Know How Whitney Houston Got My Number

"Hello?"

"Hi, Brad. It's Whitney."

"Hi."

"Are you busy?"

"I'm just fine, thanks. Listen, when you called the other day and spoke at length about death, specifically your death, whenever it may occur, and sort of pontificated on the potential social, cultural, and political ramifications of this event...?"

"Yes."

"Uh."

"Yes."

"Well, do you consider death to be a form of negative transcendence? Is this a resolvable paradox? The notion of negative transcendence?"

"Brad, the urge to resolve a paradox is the mark of a tiny little mind. Do you not realize that the world in which we live and the larger universe that exists only at the hazy edges of your mind are rife with paradox? Matter? Anti-matter? Dark matter? Fission? Fusion? Do you believe that the hard sciences have their limits? Why do you believe in neutrinos? Quarks? Is the electron defined by its absence, as the thing itself can never be pinpointed in space or time? The human brain, on average five times larger than the brains of other mammals compared in relation to body mass, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid, is --"

"I -- "

"-- is largely mysterious, misunderstood, despite how you probably look at diffusion tensor imaging and are misguidedly impressed. Even now your baser instincts compete for your sub- and conscious attention. Paradox? Our thinking is feeble, far too wrapped up in the heavy wet wool of selfhood. For instance, you are currently on the telephone with me but are completely unaware that your kitchen is on fire, which is why I called you."

I turned around. My kitchen was on fire.