Zebulon Huset


The American Dream tells us we'll all eventually make it to that 1%—math, however tells a different story. Percentages are a true zero-sum game—that ubiquitous carrot of upward mobility the mask of America, but for the numbers to shift up, others must shift down—and downward mobility the villain from Cuba or Russia or China, redistribution of wealth not just taxes but a boogeyman far scarier than rioters who can and will see a jail cell—the taxman far harder to shoo away            once            he's           been            sicked.


The air simply crackles with it.                               Imperceptibly.
It buzzes with the intensity of only itself.
Shaping the world in front of our kid-eyes, some unwilling to watch the grass grow green as dragons chase white horses down the red halls of the cathedral.
                               James is preaching,
                snow-white beard like some crazed Whitman impersonator.
And in a way, that’s what we all are.
But some borrowed from Kesey, Burroughs, Huxley, B-Real…
                               throwing                wide       the doorswindowsmouths
that swallow us like little green army men in a sandbox.

Neat lines of plastic soldiers standing still.

The tsunami of sand again takes us by the big toes
as if to say, you call that an opposable thumb?
You call that perception? You call that that?
This isn’t that, they say, it’s something else entirely.
                                                             Do you see?
                                                             Do you see?


Where are our sages, our holy men?
Crazy Horse chomped mushrooms                                           he fasted for months,
                               smashed his fingers to induce the visions in the juice of his brain’s chemistry
                                                                                           (and they called me crazy—
                                                                                                          and addicted to horse).

Sioux means “enemy” in Chippewa, from
their first encounter with the invading, imperialistic culture.
And what’s wrong with that? No copyright on soil—property rights in Mesopotamia our earliest
                records as if to say that’s mine, and I’m creating a form of communication to separate
                which buzzing bits of electrified atoms are mine—all mine—from what’s yours.


Electricity baffles me. Brains, in general.
Electricity means green.
Electricity means the bitter butter of unripe asparagus.
Electricity means the alone-in-a-big-room-in-a-small-chair feeling.
Electricity to beat the heart. Squeeze the lungs.
Electricity to contract intestines.
All the energy to shit.
Emperor in a small country in a small chair.
Electricity from the sky and the earth.
The morality of electricity guides us
with its wild-haired wisdom.

Oldish Age Undersea

The superfluous octopus slow dances
with plastic bags dragged to the homeless depths
by shoals of selfish shellfish seeking for some sort of shelter.

Unlike hurricanes—a black hole's eye
                               is more and more of the same.

Every octopus joke starts: A Hydra and a Quahog
scoot onto a sandbar...
                                              jealousy always the motivation.

Like a rectangle is a square, but
                               biological immorality
                isn't a nickname for tiny eternities.

Dee Gordon Homers
                               for Jose Fernandez

Thrice uplifted into the sea
                               thrice shot from dry-ish
to drenched,
to arrested,
                                              subtract one boatmate.

Cuba, that cigar-sandbar.
Its residents seek happiness.

Silly islanders. We find thee

The boys swim, pitching motion
                               that perfect guerilla freestyle stroke.
Whether air, water, or that transition
                of air and water, the motion is the same
                                                             when transitioning from air
                               to water.

Then Poseidon rises
yet again                                    to thwart the pitcher.

Drowning another villager.

But this village contains millions.

This village connects virtually
everyone you ever knew,
                               and their friends
                                                             and family.
                And when your cigar
produces a single player
                that generates nearly your country’s GDP…
                you remember neighborhoods,
                you remember every interaction
                                              with that person.

And The Florida Marlins,
                               still in the pennant chase,
said fuck it.
                                              This whole game we desperately love.
                                              For one day.

We loved this guy
and we’ll take the hit.

One loss won’t end us.

We’ll mourn.

If the Yankees want to swap players and abide by
soap opera rules,                                                             whatever.

Swapped spaces
even the Pope would have a heart attack.

Then, each man bearing his name,
his number

Dee Gordon switch-hit
like some ambidextrous teammate
                and took the strike.

He stepped back,
                                                             tossed away the helmet
                whose tab
protected his temple,

five pitches later


Did the pitcher hang it out
to dry,
had Dee Gordon
                just hit his first
                                              of the season?

Who cares.

Run those bases.

Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Otoliths, Meridian, The Southern Review, Fence, Unbroken, Atlanta Review & Texas Review among others. He publishes the writing prompt blog Notebooking Daily and edits the soon to be launched journal Coastal Shelf.
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