20180418

Bob Heman


from INFORMATION


INFORMATION

Each time the sea approaches it is wet in a different way.



INFORMATION

The history of his family was a goat’s head and a ball of string. The word “machine” was repeated many times, as was the word “artichoke.” The numbers never added up in the same way, but the direction was always the same. He always found himself at the end.



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They wanted to play “run, Susan, run.” They wanted to play “the bees in the well.”



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The bear in the confessional is not the same as the bear in the forest. The story always contains more than one explanation, always more than one reason why forgiveness is never possible, always more than one reason why the bear will be repeated, even though he has never been seen before.



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The door an exception once it is removed. What is left only a room full of bears, and the jar full of words that must be used to describe them.



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The church was kept locked to keep the wrong kind of people from asking forgiveness.



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Neither the goat cart nor the wind-up gopher is the embodiment of evil. For that we have to look deeper, into the bucket full of vowels, across the field that awakens the wrong river, beneath the man whose gears have frozen shut.



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The moon not what it seems to be. It is held in place only by the stories they all had to learn.



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The door a story that was left behind. In the forest no one understood it. Instead of men there were only bears who thought canasta was the same as poker, who thought the trees were only a description of the river.



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Can only be explained as a game or map or direction they must travel. The animal measured more than once, each time with different results.



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Described as morning when really it is only a game without enough movable pieces.



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The tall houses are taller once they have been measured.



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The room resembled a bear once it was assembled. There were roads that hid beneath the furniture, and a set of instructions that showed them how to request punishment.



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One can use bacon as a metaphor, can remove it from the menu, and can use it to threaten the children. Each time its explanation is no more than an animal that is almost forgotten, no more than a hunger they have never been able to sate, no more than a lesson in the construction of a sturdy home. They know that salt is only one of the machines necessary for its fabrication. They know its name can only be spoken in nightmares.




Bob Heman's poems have appeared recently in New American Writing and Caliban online, and in the anthology The Other Side of Violet (great weather for MEDIA). He has edited CLWN WR, formerly Clown War, since the early 1970s. Two collections of his prose poems, How It All Began, and Demographics, or, The Hats They Are Allowed to Wear, are available as free downloads from Quale Press. His words have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Italian and Hungarian.
 
 
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