by Eric Evans



     I didn't see the body until I had almost passed it.  I saw a foot sticking out of a snow bank and decided to investigate.  So I dug the guy out of his frozen grave as quickly as possible.  Luckily, it was late and the street was deserted. I didn't see any blood or bullet holes or knife wounds so I had no idea how he died. No question, though - he definitely was dead.
     I started looking through his pockets for some ID or maybe a business card. The guy must have been a business man - who else would dress so conservatively? A tasteful blue suit, blue and red rep tie, plain loafers, trimmed hair, close shaven. He looked like he sold insurance out of a storefront somewhere.
     Eventually, I found his wallet in the breast pocket of his coat. There was nothing unusual in it, just money, some credit cards and a few pictures. There was also a phone number with a woman's name and address written above it. The last name wasn't the same as the one on the driver's license. Maybe my dead friend wasn't as upstanding as I'd guessed.
     Standing there in the cold, trying to decide what to do with the corpse at my feet, it hit me - he's dead, you dumb shit, he won't need his stuff anymore. So I went through the rest of his pockets to see what I could find. There wasn't much but what was there was good - a pair of concert tickets, an expensive gold pen, a Swiss army knife and an antique pocket watch. I took the money and phone number out of the wallet and put it back in the coat pocket.
     I replaced the body in the snow bank as best I could, and made sure to cover up the foot the previous person had forgotten. I walked to a diner a couple of blocks over to use the phone. I placed an anonymous call to the police, telling them about the body and where to find it. Then I called the woman whose number I found in the wallet. She picked up on the second ring.

      "Jack, honey, is that you? Where have you been? I was getting worried. Are you still coming over?"
           "Yeah, I'm still coming over. I'm sorry I didn't call earlier. I ran into an old friend and we decided to have a couple of drinks. I'll be there in a little while"
     "You sound different tonight, Jack. Are you coming down with a cold?"
           "I think maybe I am getting sick. Or it could just be the pay phone I'm using.  Either way, I'd really like to get out of the cold. I promise I'll be there soon."
     "Okay.  I'll be waiting."

     And as I walked away, smiling and swinging the pocket watch, I thought, okay and I'll be Jack.

June, 1996


I would love to talk to her,
to give her art to match her
clothes, but
I know that it would come out
all wrong; I'd only sound like
the survivor of a car wreck.
I would sound like an asshole.
So, instead, I keep my mouth
shut and keep the wreck internal.



I wish the best minds of my generation
would be destroyed by madness, at least
it would make them temporarily interesting.
But they're too busy for madness, too busy
reliving the history of someone else and
passing it on to the next in line. They're
treating history like a party game, the one where
the secret gets distorted.

There's an arrogance in the distortion
I'm not sure if it's the arrogance of youth
or of stupidity. Are they too young and
hopeful to care? Or too thick to feel
their souls being sucked and cataloged to
be sold back to them later? Either way,
I want no part of it - I'd rather sit back
and watch the booby traps explode in the
footprints that they so easily follow in.

I'm so ashamed sometimes to be the age I
am in the age I'm in, an age that co-opts
and sells its firstborn before the cord is
even cut. An age that dates everything like
dairy. You can smell it rotting and are
powerless to stop the aging.