Jacob Schepers

from
THE SHEER SPACE

The game is to dodge the thrown Molotov
cocktails. The game is to hog the searchlight
so others can still make a run for it.
Not now. Not yet. Not here. Not this. Not her.
Not me. Not him. Not them. Not us. Not it.
A child’s rendering of a stick figure
knows no bounds. A stick figure surpasses
language, tests the same in every instance,
crosses borders and divisions, saunters
off the page until its off with its head!
That identifiable conveyor:
eraser, monster, rule-breaker, scapegoat.
Calm down, autocorrect. Slow down, children.

Clownfish. Flash grenade. Grenadine. Robot.
Battery. Sucrose. Crow’s feet. Feel good. Please.


Frosting. Radon. Pin Drop. Brisket. Bucket.
Grovel. Repel. Divulge. Expunge. And purge.


Tendon. Calisthenics. Elitists. Goods.
Legitimate. Consummate. In-grown. Signs.


Singe. Constantinople. Reaction time.
Burn unit. Pock marks. Rentals. Pre-owned. Lease.


Furloughs. Fracking. Dawdle. Saucy. Surly.
Bloody. Bandage. Aligned. Crosshairs. Empire.


Ample. Supple. Plentiful. Empire.
Hard-won. Bad beat. Usual. Empire.

The script for silence in the land of dirt:
refuge as a dangerous word, of mmmmmm
religious import. Notarize laundered
silence. Give ourselves. Reserve a landfill
for that spare pickled pig’s foot, the arms race.

Toward a tactical advantage of just
missing the point: headlong and thrownness and
angled fact. Still the waters. Beat the breast.
Distressing the row that follows due course,
the selfsame exit of calling cards and
bluffs. The photo on the milk carton. Such
inevitability of loss.
To people the boundary, fence in red
rover like. To see the space and the sheer
of it like a nylon stocking, run as
good company goes into it for the
ugliness and waiting to make some good.
To make some sense. To make some sales. To shove
off. To slow down. To make amends. To swing
low. To rise above. To get yours. To think
ahead. To drive faster. To miss home. Fall
over. Fail safe. Hedge bets. Sing onward.
Change channels. Cut closer. Shave better. Dig
deeper. Save smarter. Save us. Spare us all.

Because I respect you or respect some
previous manifestation of the then
that was you, some deed or favor perhaps
I’ll give you to the count of ten then I’ll
give you over.
                         Because I’m not one for
releasing information and all (its
sensitivity: its reliance on
packaging), a precedent lays down a
safeguard as if a maraschino cherry.


Any deictic marker proposes its
own rupture, the metasemiotic
indication of a referential
ineptitude or preferential treat
towards this, that, even the other. This makes
me giddy. That makes me a skeptic. A
bridge across a river assures a treasured
violation an affront against the
sheer space of it all:
                                  the sheer space, goddamn.

This hurts. That counts as confirmation, so
welcome. Our speaker tonight at the board
meeting came steeply priced and highly prized.
We hope he will deliver us good and
real and stirring gains. From now on the red
precipitates a mass verbal assault,
splatters like birdshot predicted returns.
From here in we best hold hands, forming links
against diatribes, pro temp spelunkers,
skin-crawling cave dwellers, craven from all
the way back there. The engorged instant when
swelling measured velocity over
the sheer space of the injury. My skin
is red and registers pain but still for
all this I’ll opt for the old cosmetic
procedure because life isn’t about
necessity. It’s about sacrifice
and because of this shift tectonically,
paradigmatically, there is now hope.
There is now a new program for people
like us and there is a program for all
others who coincide in even the
smallest slivers of a Venn diagram.
But is it enough? Yes, it is enough
to count on the sliver and the failure.