Monday, January 2, 2012

Texas 287


Christmas Light Larger This Year by Johanna

The light of Christmas was larger this year according to holiday researchers. As usual, women toiled through the menial but loving tasks – baking, wrapping, addressing envelopes – while men forged ahead with warrior stamina amongst the forthright commercialism of the dark side. Even with so large a light, Christmas remained dim as people everywhere borrowed from the light to feed the darkness.

Even Santa Claus was unable to resist the dark forces. Giving the elves the year off without pay and blaming it on the recession, he opened a factory in Chengdu where he didn't have to provide employee health care. “No one believes in me here anyway,” Santa Claus said about his move to China.

The Obama Administration called a state of emergency. “The little light that remains will have to be protected from the well-intentioned but prolific screenwriters of Hallmark Christmas movies, in order that future generations of Americans might still be able to enjoy it,” President Obama said during a press conference yesterday. When asked how he was going to do this, President Obama replied, “All I can say for now is that the light will be kept safe.”

Early this morning, Wikileaks resurfaced temporarily to bring us important news. According to emails sent between the Obama Administration and Santa Claus, Americans everywhere have been unknowingly hiding the Christmas light out in the open where no one could have suspected. Apparently, people have been stringing it from rooftops and tossing it over ornamental bushes in their very own backyards. The Obama Administration has yet to respond to these allegations, but Santa confirmed late this afternoon that the emails are true and apparently all of those Christmas lights were made in China. 

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Untitled by Bill

The albinos have gotten whiter and the drunks have gotten drunker. Holidays in the Legion Post bar start seemingly as a tradition and turn into the chance to view people turning into their parents. The moms are bombed since they stood in their robes for their graduation pictures with a seven month bump and everyone, us included, have thickened just like the gravy we’ll have tomorrow at dinner. We’re rounded out in the face. This is not a puffiness. There is no botox here. There was no air pump hooked up to the sides of our heads. More a callous. A building up of the weary worries. Fresh-Scent spray polish smell of divorce court desks poisoning us; the tightrope walk of staying as close to zero in the bank without going over like our lives are game shows in reverse; staring across the table at in-laws you cannot stand to look at and you hope that one of these times they fall off the stool just a little bit harder, a little more dramatically, and do some real damage when they hit the floor. Eventually we’ll all drag ourselves off to mass around midnight.

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Krikor’s Closet by Alan

In the room there were candles. And in the candles there was light. And in the light there was hope. A kind of trinity. A kind of memory.

He loved the number three. This I remember about Krikor. And he loved memory. He loved to get swept up by it during midnight shifts, revel at the dips and brace himself for the uphill climbs as if it were a ride at an amusement park. If life were to end in 2012, he’d think, there is nowhere else I’d like to be. He’d dance with his mop. He’d romance the air.

I know this because he used to confide in me. It was during the holidays, always during the holidays, when we’d gather in the basement of the church and Sonia would made boreg and someone would bring the right kind of lahmajoun from Jersey and all of our mouths would stink from the garlic and onions and feta, especially Krikor’s. I know this because he’d lean in real close and tell me about how this place, this place was his home, and I’d forget the ride in, upstairs, the world outside, my family, everything even, until he disappeared in the dark.

***

multiplicity by lyle

the audacity of hope is what i thought first
audacity
paucity
something i was pretty sure
a second opinion is for failures and there were 287 of them so many second opinion all second opinions so many candles so many failures so little control
but in all probability so much relief something i know nothing about
even after shitting there is not so much relief as exhaustion and shitting in a shrine bathroom?
it must be part of the shrine if it is called the shrine bathroom
about on par as far as exhaustion is concerned actually i thought it would be more — more something the way religion is always more
something

in the mirror i practice furrowing my brow just the slightest twist up — down concern pain anger happiness though i don’t recognize this one so well — over and over — i don’t actually feel any of those emotions as i do them but i imagine someone seeing me and think they might feel those things just watching as i do them

my own empathy with someone watching me do something that may mean something to someone empathetic but not the emotions

the brief concatenations of drunkenness though i cannot say that i was drunk for it may have been the inevitability of humanness and are they different? drunkeness/humanness: the state of being something? being something which is to say asking for something lighting a candle so to speak the flame eating at the wax until either it so slowly expires or the proprietor snuffs it out so that someone else can so quickly light it again — their own failure then flickering and licking itself

287 candles
so specific
so specific a number of failures in a little town in texas
but i’ll believe it if only for a moment.

***

Tithe by Forrest

I don’t like to recall you. This is when you are quite improper in your offertory singing behind me once you were done singing in front of me. Your mild despicableness. Knowing I am perfectly known by no one. I—if I’m allowed to talk in here—I have my ways about me, the same as keeping an uncharged fire extinguisher next to all those content, glowing votives. Where does my attention go, sent scattering over the floor at your heels, supposedly? Not anywhere today. Today I put a slip of special paper, a donation in your name, in the collection box. I just got a saint I haven’t seen who gave me something like hard-earned money.