by Timothy B. Muren Super-8Your grave, Phil Silver, should be here,
Philip’s Fill-Up—Gas and Gro. Hilarious, bro.
filled up with bones like a new Christian, like a new Big-Wheel coasting to dirt, down
steep on plastic, breaking apart against torque
narrow concrete. Ghosts, remember, sleepingbetween Harmon’s liquor and University, staring up at dandelions
growing along creek-edges to hang over us?
Could you place in your memory stucco corners,the in-through-the-out-door back-lot stealth into
horrible upstairs rooms of Super-8. Screwed to plank –
Rodney Parham, Shoney’s breakfast abutment, Allsopp park soccer fields–No old photo sparks you, Philemon,
only the heavy swing of coiled guitar cables doubled back
between strap and body. Where are you?How do you feel, waiting for me up there? That was, le’ssee,
who spotted the truckstop? The Gypsy camp under
interstate, the barefoot kids in truck bed staringback through jangling. As a trucker curbed his rig.
As a volunteer referee waited for us to cross
before tossing the soccer ball back in play. A phone beeped; a phone rigged to hang from leather
loops on some fat-ass’s belt. Hitch the trailer, Philip McGroin,
let us set sail. Docker’s pockets bulging, the trailer listingleft across this great land—yours and mine—a few precarious
corners. A few more. Phil; don’t let’s start. The Duchess of La Monarcha—with lines from Dorothy L. Sayers Murder Must AdvertiseHelen considered that she was showing
The spontaneous kiss of an actress on the second
hand of your lips stops the sun winding
clocks in Santa Monica. She sits. Youstand. She talks of blonde hair
dye and cheat day diets and how nothing
means nothing.the exact number of vertebrae
You lean closer;
you open one eye to the sun— what happens?
Like Isaac Newton, you think,maybe a kiss for the sake of something
different—you are unusual in your
usualness, perhaps. She breathes,that the occasion demanded.
“Wait.” You croak,
You, standing up straight, straighteningtie, solar flares still arcing across retina.
Weren’t you the girl from “Ripley”?
asks Spider-man. Archetypal Dimensions of the Used-GoodWhere did Carrie get the heavy pea-coat she always wore?
Went down to her knees. The last time I saw her in it—
were we still married? A vape store clerk eyed her,
suspicious, then turned to me, “You Navy?” I suddenlyfelt like an imposter. That night we hurried from the silver
Honda toward the grade-school auditorium, late
arriving for some niece or nephew’s recital. Just past
cafeteria panes— where did he come from? Perhapsalcove shadows where double doors swing back through
childhood, moving forward, looking behind, and anyway,
I caught this kid square in the jaw with my shoulder.
He dropped hard to concrete. Kneeling, I touched his blankface. Carrie held his head until his eyes refocused. Across
campus, muted thumps of tubas and tom-toms bounced across
asphalt with orange cigar-butt sparks. I had not been in many
years—brick rotunda with central flag pole, guard rail whereburgeoning rednecks back-flipped to Bermuda grass as we waited
for the second shift of yellow busses. RhetoricalWas I at the park, or have I just heard my father
tell the story so many times
I’ve invented the memory of the guy–
dove off the wrong side of the dock, beyond
red and white buoys slick with algae, strung
together with ski ropes. Was the guy
buzzing on smuggled-in beer?
Not even halfway to the far
levy, the lifeguard finally
dragging him ashore to the gathering?I honestly don’t know, like I do not
know if my city has a dominant
symbol—I have to pull
a rhetoric paper out of my ass for Friday’s class—
Berlin’s architecture is awash with angels, so
what is Little Rock awash with?And did my dad drape a towel around the swimmer’s
shoulders and say,
“Further than you thought, huh?”Why is it so hard for me to venture outside
while there might be enough
daylight to discover that unifying
symbol, to escape the chants of cheerleaders
across S street— Jesus, will they ever shut up?
…Herewego Panthers Herewego…
How long does it take?Last night I left my apartment at 1 a.m.,
walked a mile of Kavanaugh’s yellow
backbone, slipped down and stared
up at stars and dandelions
grown up over the ditch’s edge to hang
over me— why did I fall
asleep there, only to have to crawl
back out to the passing cars?Cynthia, why so many pictures of ourselves? But
we were supposed to do something like that,
cruising— new footprints in sand,
rock rakes dragged over–
was that really us, daring
each other to wade deeper. Shivering with feet in surf as
cruise ships blocked our view of distant ocean? About the Author:Tim Muren lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he runs a writing center for students in various health related professions. Tim has an MA in rhetoric & writing and an MA in library science. He has published poems in Cortland Review, Prairie Schooner, Confrontation, and elsewhere.