This appliance is constructed to process
normal household quantities. Qualities

smack another matter, such as: his manners
were surgical, as he white-gloved the house

to within an inch of its pre-stressed life,
pausing to lick then ostrich-feather dust

the closets of all our delusions, replacing memory’s
lint with cleanroom futures. “I” is the ghost-

writer behind every “We” spoken—in chambers
sharp or soft, black-robed, teddy’d or buttoned-

down congressional. The statistical treasure
of an election fans hopes and injects desires

with a channel-changing frenzy: a metaphysics
of slack. Each choice a further reduction

in possibilities, each door a jamb and toe-
crunching saddle to step over. The reflexive

souls of women, as seen through the shapes
of their shoes, warp and skid in the rain

of terror bureaucrats impose. When we change
channels or presidents, do we change ourselves?

And given our surroundings—the modern, the good,
The Gap—can we evacuate the projects

before they imprison us? Center as
void. Void as meaning. Meaning as

old-fashioned. The way rhinestones parody
diamonds, businessmen parody prostitutes,

and “Chinatowns” parody cities that used to be
China towns: a certain conceptual zebra

bucks across the horizon of the contemporary
grassland, having it both zig-and-zag, black-

and-white, no-fat-strudel, lite-beer ways.
Flexibility is one coping mechanism:

pushed into the sea by semiconductor
fabricators, farmers become fish farmers.

Please direct the bulldozers to the right
locations. All such global, local (glocal)

solutions beg testy questions. A wind
tunnel test may strip all the skin off

your ideas. Theoretical models
are a kind of anesthesia against

the suffering left behind in their sloppy
wake and/or immolating jet wash.

But: the way light glows golden through onyx,
the way light filters coolly through fritting,

or poured concrete’s skin shows wood grain
from forms, or zinc reflects thunderheads

and hammers, whispers food to the starving
eye, trapped, surveying the entire plotted

world. Out of clay, out of silicon,
out of blueprint, cardboard and glue, I am

trying to build a 1:1 scale model
of my life on this page. Paper walls

can’t keep a roof from crashing down daily,
freely twisting. Rain is not a theory.