Eating bees. Eating bees. As the bees sting your esophagus you silently and patiently name them. Seppo, Dave, Wallace, Richard, Cameron, Paul, Judas—names like that. After a while you can’t eat anymore. Not because you are full but because your throat has closed up. You stop naming them at this point and start thinking about baseball stadiums and other feats of modern architecture.
Sodomised with peony buds. Take notes for your WordPress blog. Think of a catchy headline. Make a Tik Tok video. Beast blood sodomised with peony buds. Dreams of hashtag meat pie westerns. Take audio for Soundcloud. Seven days lost in the woods. Your DM abandoned. Is nobody there? Does anybody love me?
You go into the kitchen but there is nothing to eat except a packet of oriental beef flavoured instant noodles. If you can’t eat bees then you know damn sure noodles are also impossible. You put on some nice clothes and nice shoes and go to the shop.
You now saint like in neon. Such dandy. If you have the free time set all the sand paper free. Bring peanut butter and Pepsi if you have the free time. You know? Do you remember Chicago? The lime and chilli crisps? What was that brand called? Joe’s? Put them all in an oversized bag decorated with the Trinidadian flag. Nice.
You wink at the man behind the counter assuming he’ll understand your deep, deep desires. He does. Southward birds. He throws bananas at you. You want to praise him but it isn’t possible because your throat is now fully sealed. Alexa—how can I build an altar?
There are dogs. There are liberations. There are invoices. There are paper blossoms that we sit under with the walking dogs. They stride in circles. We sit on them. You take out the book about bugs you got from the library and name every bug on your body. You make a graph and a new hockey league. Logos. Mascots. The works. Where will we find the ice though? Mountains. Rivers. Flood plains. To fuck. To fuck. Allright. You get on a segway and reach an unbelievable speed and faceplant on the salt plains.
You take the bananas and sit on the steps of an abandoned church and start smashing them into your face. The boys will learn Spanish you think to yourself. Perhaps we’ll give the saints Spanish names?
You think of yourself as a disembodied wing. The wind carrying it up and crashing it back down over and over. Simpsons reruns on German television for every generation. A lost current. Iridescent and beautiful in its own way but also objectively ugly—after all no one wants to be a bodiless wing? Catch ants with ketchup. Offbrand has more sugar—get that one. Yep. Catch hippos with cherry blossom. Drive cars into tigers that explode into a cloud of butterflies. Drive cars into shop fronts. Drive cars into giant tigers fighting larger red fish. All of them haunt you. Crop your hair and remember to take the dog out. A coffee book table of mid-90’s rap albums.
Seven passports and nothing to show for it but a limp, a moustache and an accent even mother couldn’t love or recognise. For Father’s day you got one of those NBA health rings, a pair of socks, chewing tobacco and a scarf even though it is 30 degrees out. The tobacco is supposed to tell you when you have symptoms of Covid 19. The other items are useless. You don’t know how much this will help you but the sky is black and UFO lights abound.
There are plants to learn. Songs to sing. Aye. Aye. There are planets to learn. Planets to dream. The pied flycatcher has a mouth full of worms. The privileged Mormon as a good bird. Good man. Good worms. Captain good dirt. South breeze. Tonight we burn the arctic. No manhood in the buzzing of limp cocked bluebottles. Should have got the cock ring. Call Grandma—she’s over ten years dead and I’m sure she misses you. She always loved you best and will always forgive you. Do you remember London?
Michael O’Brien is the author of numerous collections, the most recent being Silent Age (Alien Buddha Press). His work has been published widely in print and on the internet and has been translated into other languages. You can follow him on twitter @mobrien222.
*Image credit: Detail of 1976 movie poster ‘The Savage Bees’.