Swallowing It All Whole by Kendall Evans and David C. Kopaska-Merkel
These are the longitudes and latitudes
On the split/curved landscape separating fact from fiction.
Beyond these easy curves—who can say?
Here, expressed like a Monopoly board,
A map of realms demarcating the boundary between science fiction,
Fantasy, and subparticle physics;
Once the province of imagination,
These dimensions have become as real
As the swine flu and Saturn’s 60+ moons
(It’s difficult to keep the numbers straight).
I am isolated here with non-ex/istent fx,
1950’s pin ups and bosomed robots,
Lusting after the unattainable,
Rationalizing my failure to comprehend,
Here, in the Alaskan wilderness,
What kind of trip am I on?
You make me long for the empty products
Of the human marketplace;
Stuck with spells that sometimes work, here on the borderland,
A microwave powered by a small altar glued on top,
It runs on dual magical and DC power,
But only when both are working;
A Tarot deck that simulates the stock market:
What card represents a coming crash,
Is it the Holey Sack, or Fat Green Cat?
It’s not just the odd shop, here,
That you can only find on certain days,
When the fog rolls in;
Whole towns, nations, land masses
Have a way of skittering about like water on a hot skillet;
Case in P: Jamaican restaurant in Anchorage, spicy lunch,
Post-prandial me steps into some town hot as L.A. in July,
What I could get for those funky cars in Alaska, 21st-C!)
Anyhow, cracking the code of where and when,
I could turn a pretty real-estate penny,
Connect stressed out urbanites through a coat closet, perhaps,
To sunny beaches, cool meadows, tree-studded mountain tops.
But the grimoire’s shy a few pages, recipes damnably unspecific,
Who do I have to slay to peel this onion?
Look yonder: the clouds, the 4 horsemen,
Yowling cats and packs of dogs come running,
While pilgrims pray to arbitrary Gods, while unnamed asteroids
And (hypothetical) alien astronauts approach,
With evil spells and sorcerous meddling
In the affairs of humankind.
Religious and scientific, commercial and moral biases,
Dogma, viewpoints politically correct and incorrect,
Distorted, deluded, and not remotely rational,
Howl at us from the world’s media platforms,
Pulpits, podiums, and soap boxes,
And I can’t shake this sinking feeling,
We have swallowed it all whole.
End of poem