Punk Rock for Hip Statisticians

Punk Rock for Hip Statisticians

by Eric Evans

Selections:
An Observation On A Frozen NightA Nervous Breakdown By DegreesSurfacingShe Is A Split AtomEndoscopyAir & Space Museum Gift Shop

An Observation On A Frozen Night

It isn't some obscene ring or
tears of jealousy, not a tattoo
or an apology; it isn't pre-arranged
and it doesn't stay together
for the sake of the kids.
                                   What
it is is the bundled up couple
on a 20 degree night outside
the punk rock club, wrapped up
in one another and oblivious to
my idling car at the stoplight.
It's the fact that maybe they're
not in love for the week or the
year, but what they taste right
now on one another's tongues
is more real than any catholic
ceremony, more binding than any
orthodox tradition.
                           I, most likely,
will never buy my wife the
oversized ring nor alter my
flesh with her name. I will,
however, huddle with her any
minute of any day beneath a
punk rock marquee and ignore
passersby.

02/11/03

A Nervous Breakdown By Degrees

Idling in the car at a stoplight,
yet another frozen morning, thinking
of nothing and everything simultaneously,
I wondered what a nervous breakdown
felt like and if you could have on by
degrees.
             I suddenly felt like a
scarecrow, at the mercy of the
elements and shat upon by birds,
my face glued in place, my spine
disappearing a vertebrae at a
time. Every nerve went on strike,
eyelids weighted by lead, remaining
upright a supreme challenge.
                                           It
was months of exhaustion and joy,
of sadness and loneliness and desire
just sitting in the back seat,
waiting for the right moment.
A brick to the head wouldn't
have worked any better.

03/13/03

Surfacing

Come downstairs and let me pour
you some water fresh from the
de-humidifier - mix in some whiskey
and we'll call it a drink.
                                 We
Can sit by the bare lightbulb and
watch the rain run down the un
                                         even
stone wall until it seeps into the
dirt floor. It's quite beautiful in
it's own filthy way.
                           I'll tell you
about the crawlspace and the
agreement I have with whatever
lives in there.
                     And in the morning,
we'll watch the feet move past
the window, trying to figure out
who's coming and who's going.
Eventually,
               one of us will check
the time and then we can debate
whether going back upstairs will
be worth it after all.

08/28/03

She Is A Split Atom

Sometimes it seems the body is more
mine than hers, so often do I think
of it. I have her hands travel fresh
paths, have her lips speak a new
language. I make her tongue draw
hieroglyphics on my back and tell
me stories of invented action.

She is every historical figure when
I wish her to be, every whim of a
Favorite writer, every three-in-the
-morning love song, every painted nude
with a heartbeat and impulse.

She is melting ice and dripping
wax, fireworks and a windstorm.
She is a split atom without the
destruction, a chemical reaction,
a beautiful poison and the cherry
flavored antidote. She kills me daily
as I willingly offer up my neck.

11/06/03

Endoscopy

Okay, doctor, sedate me and slip
your camera down my throat. I'll
hold my wife's hand and you can
tell me what you see.
                              Maybe you'll
find a second heart, maybe the
outline of a soul or the blueprint
for my re-incarnation.
                              Will you
find that my ribs are made of
papier-mache and stuffed with
nothing but candy and trinkets, a
man-sized piñata with working
lungs?
         Who knows? The lens might
find a copper-plated esophagus
and a stomach lined with aluminum
foil. Or organs shaped from model
clay and glassy with shellac.
                                          There
may be a village living inside of
me. Or just smaller, stackable
versions of myself. There might
be a treasure chest to the right
of my lungs or just your every
day collection of muscles and bones.

11/06/03

Air & Space Museum Gift Shop

Boom-boom-boom

Come on down to the Air and Space Museum
Come on down and touch a piece of history
still warm from all those bombs
still sticky from all that napalm.

Come on down to the interactive village
and make sure to destroy a straw hut
burn it to save it, just like in the
old days, just following orders.

Step on in to the replica cockpit,
imagine what it's like to fire below,
check out the view of all those
instant orphans and widows
admire your handiwork,
your indiscriminate aim.

Boom-boom-boom

Maybe the folks at Air and Space
should mine the floors, re-commission
some bombers, station a gunner
or two, make it all a bit more
realistic, more bang for the buck
and all.

And before you leave, make sure
to stop off at the gift shop, pick
up a cluster bomb or daisy cutter
for the people back home, some
skulls for mom and dad to use
as bookends. Grab a little
surplus uranium for the kids
and a life-size print of that
Vietnamese girl, naked and
on fire, to hang in the living
room above the couch.

12/09/03