On the Road to the Great City

On the road that led to the great city was a man named Thompson.  But he wasn’t really a man because, well, he was only an arm.  And since it was such a hairy arm, no one’s certain whether it was a man’s so how could anyone get off calling the arm a man when 1) an arm by itself is not a man, and 2) it could very well have been a gorilla’s.  Gorillas don’t come from that part of the country, but everyone knows there are gorillas in zoos everywhere, which goes without saying. 

On the road to the great city was an arm belonging possibly to a man and possibly to a gorilla, and its name was Thompson.  Wait a minute.  How could an arm be named Thompson?  Have you ever met one before?  And even if you did, how would you know?  You couldn’t ask it.  Good day, gorillaormanarm, what might your name be?  Do you mean my given name or my handle, so to speak?  Arms are quite taciturn, some might say haughty, so if you did ask the arm for its name it would turn up its nose at you, adjust its top hat and monocle, click its heels, and strut away.  That’s just the way with arms.  Moreover, everyone knows that gorillas give their arms female names like Bessie Lou and Betty Ann and Elizabeth I or II; no self-respecting gorilla would name its arm Thompson.  Furthermore, no one had asked the arm because the others were busy inspecting the forest that surrounded the road that led to the great city.

There was a road surrounded by a forest that led to the great city, and on that road was a nameless arm of indeterminate species.  But this was an odd forest because it contained no trees nor flowers nor bushes nor shrubs nor vines nor grass nor weeds nor scrub brush nor signs expounding upon the local greenery nor local greenery to be expounded upon nor signs expounding upon the local terrestrial or airborne critters that could be found there nor terrestrial critters nor airborne critters nor signs indicating the directions of various trails nor trails nor flora nor fauna nor wildlife of any kind, not even gorillas (excluding, perhaps, the arm).  The forest was really much more like a desert than a forest.  This could be why the others were so intent on investigating the forest, it being the most un-forest-like forest they’d ever seen. 

There was a road surrounded by a desert that led to the great city and there was some kind of arm there and there were people investigating the desert to find out why it wasn’t a forest.  But they weren’t really people because they were arms and legs and torsos and livers and hearts and intestines and knee caps and heads and lips and plenty of assholes.  No one knows what any of their names were because no one was there to ask.  Also, quite annoyingly, none of the pieces-parts were wearing nametags, and if they don’t have the common decency God gave a gnat, they just don’t get names.

Now: a road, a desert, a bunch of pretentious jerks without their nametags on including an arm (and let’s not get started on arms again, especially hairy arms), and in the distance the great city.  But it wasn’t so great since no one lived there and the buildings were all ruins.  And the road wasn’t a road because roads, real roads, go somewhere and this one went nowhere.  It didn’t even have a name because it didn’t have a sign which is rather like a nametag for a road.  And all those pieces-parts weren’t of any use to anyone, so why bother giving them names?  Except maybe for Thompson.  So there was a nothing surrounded and covered by nothing that led nowhere.  The nothing really was nothing even with all of the nothing encircling it, and all of the nothing heaped on top of it, and even with nowhere looming in the distance.  Amongst the nothing on the way to nowhere there was another bit of nothing named Thompson out of spite. 

At last, an accurate description.  





S p r i n g G u n P r e s s 2009





Alexis Orgera
Dear Polymath
Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Love Poem

Michael Flatt
The World of Darkness

Jordan Windholz
The Psalmist's Journal

Aaron Angello
The Rufus Poems

Stephen Graham Jones
The Wages: An Argument
In the Beginning

John Paul Stadler

Adam Petersen
Theodore Roosevelt
Jesse Owens

Andrew Farkas
On the Road to the Great City

Todd Seabrook
Lollipop Noose