Exquisite Corpse - Issue 3
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A Cheerleader for Both Sides
by William Fairbrother


      In the mirror there's a knot as if a tree had fallen into its mixture while solidifying
flat, gray, causing distortions in every face, a fissure, where you and I collide into one break apart
 a riverless canyon, ice crevasse or storm rising from us both
and I enter by staring by stretching with my hands stepping through and creating what's on the other side
 You called to me once when I was standing there
 I thought of hiding so I ran but was still standing there and you came up kissed my neck
your arms around me pulled me back
     I turned to you and said "I wonder if I'm still alive?"

   When I look closely, I see nothing
when I've gone past the thing, past the blur, I see nothing
     Eyes open, I see nothing
At least with them closed there's a veiny, flashing night sky
 but with them open, having arrived past the blur
  I see nothing completely nothing Nothing
     And then I see your face
     It's time to close them
  Closed that night sky
 At least during sleep are woven together phantasmagoria
but now, now, only that night sky
     And then I see your face.

        Even after a fourteen hour workday
from 7am when I rushed to set up Croce's alone Leonardo showed up an hour late
     Steady breakfast, busy lunch ever smiling, giving guests their money's worth
pure service, formality, friendliness, efficiency a great performance
     Then a two and a half hour three transfer bus ride
and managing the Fish Market's three kitchens, four overworked dishwashers
     Dealing with the demanding floor staff through the first rush
And what a rush from six straight through to ten-thirty
me running about cooking pastas steaming shellfish shucking oysters making salads grilling fish
   running the wheel backing up orchestrating problem solving cutting fish working retail
     handling the phones
     dispatching crises, joking with fettered staff
      at all times keeping management apprised, a cheerleader for both sides,
        ignoring my exhaustion
I must be the most active most effective member of the team I must work the hardest
 be the best
  otherwise I feel no sense of accomplishment from this job
   in which no accomplishment is possible
     The service industry is meaningless, unnecessary
After helping the dishwashers drag the trash cans out to team lift dump
 with much swearing and laughter
I walk to the freeway entrance arrive about half past midnight
 and feel lucky to hitch a ride in under ninety minutes to within five miles of my studio
     I walk
the little cuts and burns and aches from the day invigorate me for some reason I walk fast
 arrive home, throw off my work clothes, shower, pull on sweats and a tee-shirt
  then sit up in bed and write this
          I find myself rejoicing.

deoxyribo nucleic acid codified
to produce finite oxygen breathing
material form human being consisting
of three inseparable overlapping parts which
occupy physical space in constant
communication genetically and environmentally
BODY 90% + water;  genetic materials, instincts,
molecules, organisms, organs;  hosts wide
variety foreign organic and inorganic substances.
Primary function:  breathing
MIND:  90% + unexplored;  knowledge, imagination,
consciousness, subconsciousness, unconsciousness,
memory, intuition, will, language.
primary function:  reduction of incoming information
SOUL:  99.999999% unexplored;  an action
generating and directing essential 'energies.'
Primary manifestation: Happiness,
Goodness and Truthfulness Governed
By Love.

               Logic is a very good invention
               Muddled although I struggle against it
                   uncertain about the duration;
               I'm afraid there are no logical news today
               Why don't we use the following:
                   It is not a superficial foolishness,
                         but the deepest of which we are capable.

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