Sunday May 26

Healey Steve Healey is the author of two books of poetry, Earthling and 10 Mississippi, both published by Coffee House Press.
The absolute denial of life, in the shape of a fallacious paradise, is no longer projected onto the heavens, but finds its place within material life itself.
--Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle
Hold the phone, people. Let’s all just keep breathing.
Who needs death anyway? Did we save the planet yet?
I’m pretty much drowning in guilt-free products over here.
How about some chicken soup for your gang-raped soul?
Don’t even get me started about a socially-responsible revolution
in the porn industry. Do you even know what MILF stands for?
Mothers I’d like to free from the slavery of their inexorable slide
toward death, is what I think. So here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
heaven holds a place for those who pay. But my point is that
heaven’s already inside you, waiting for the boyish graduate
to pass through its pearly checkout lane, hey hey hey.
Where have you gone, Guy Debord, I think even you would
shit your pants if you saw how spectacular the shit is getting
these days. And with bodily waste comes opportunity to sell
cleaning products. Historically the trick has been to associate
soap with a supernaturally strong man, and once upon a time
it was all Mr. Clean, but some folks thought he was too gay,
hey hey hey. So the Greek hero Ajax came along claiming
to be “stronger than dirt.” It was a good ride for him
and all those MILFs trying to clean up their messes, but then
what happened? The gods gave Achilles’ armor to Odysseus
instead of Ajax, and he got so bummed, he offed himself.
Those Greeks loved tragedy, right, but my point is that tragedy
is overrated. We don’t need to fall on the sword because,
my friends, the sword already loves you more than you
will know, whoa whoa whoa. The sword is you.
Can I speak to someone
in the meat department?
It makes you wonder.
Where does all the blood go?
This is the best carving knife.
My favorite drug.
I did have an affair with JFK.
Have you heard of me?
It’s 7:21 a.m.
It’s winter.
I forgot to empty the rain barrel.
Water expands when it freezes.
A snowbird is a human
who can afford to escape winter.
All birds have feathers
unless they’ve been defeathered.
Undo typing unless
you cannot undo typing.
All winter poems
have a little summer in them.
Are you ready for the memory?
We canoed to the far shore
and slept in sleeping bags,
but I didn’t sleep.
I wanted to have an affair
with Speed Racer.
It’s still 7:21 a.m.
Can I speak to someone?
My favorite drug is being slow.
Are you ready for the meat?
I truly do not know
what buffalo wings are.
Have you heard of me?
Footnote on Double Rainbow
Maybe you’ve seen the double rainbow video.
It went viral.
It shows a double rainbow arching over a vast forest,
and you can hear the guy behind the camera talking about it.
He’s really amazed. He says, whoa,
oh my God, double rainbow, all the way across the sky.
You feel drawn to this voice because it’s so passionate.
It feels so close, not jaded or sarcastic. But then
part of you knows that part of him knows
that the camera is recording all this,
he’s performing,
and you wonder if he’s really sincere.
In any case, he keeps gushing, oh my God,
full on, double rainbow, all the way.
He even gives a few loud yelps of joy.
Then his voice starts to break up,
and for a second you wonder if he’s laughing,
maybe this performance has been a joke. Then you realize
he’s actually crying, in fact, he’s totally sobbing.
There’s no way he’s faking this,
or probably not. Either way,
there’s a lot of you, maybe even 90% of you,
that wants to believe he’s really feeling all this emotion
for the double rainbow. You want to know
that it’s possible to feel this intensely for something.
Then his sobbing subsides for a moment,
and in a very clear yearning voice he asks,
what does it mean?
He asks this question with total honesty, without any
sarcasm at all. He probably doesn’t need an answer,
but it’s so beautiful that he believes
there could be a meaning.
What’s interesting is that we don’t care
about the double rainbow itself, we can’t even see it
very well on the grainy video. What we care about
is how much he cares about the double rainbow.
Then he starts sobbing again, the camera’s actually
shaking from his sobs. And by now,
if you haven’t already been wondering,
you begin to wonder
if he’s on drugs,
if all this emotion has been chemically induced.
You begin to step back a bit with critical distance,
you wonder if this video is some stoner prank.
Plus you remember that this thing has gone viral,
and can you really trust a thing
that’s gone viral?
Who are these millions of people
who’ve watched this video on YouTube?
Do you really trust them? Can millions of people
actually share an authentic experience?
Soon the guy on the video begins
to pull himself together,
and you can hear that he’s really trying
to catch his breath. Those last long breaths sound so close,
you can almost feel them on your face
as he says a final oh my God.
It’s so real, but later you learn that a whole empire
of commerce was built around this video.
The guy who made it, Paul “Bear” Vasquez,
did an ad for Microsoft in which he plays himself
in a re-enactment of the double rainbow video.
He also started an online store from which you can
purchase t-shirts and other official merch
emblazoned with double rainbows and catch-phrases
from the video like “what does it mean?”
You might feel cynical about all this
and say that any meaning this video had
is now replaced by pure economic value.
But still sometimes at night as you’re falling asleep,
or not falling asleep, you can see
that double rainbow, you can hear
the sound of that sobbing,
that true real honest sobbing
that has totally lost itself in sobbing.
And of course it is you
who are sobbing,
it has always been you.