from The Year Of Horrible Feathers by Jenny Drai


from THE YEAR OF HORRIBLE FEATHERS

Well. I did it. I stopped taking lithium and now my hands are so steady they could hold sadness and give it a coiffure and even thread needles. The arched feeling just runs up and down my body like a warm dot. Like a fresh, radioactive microwave. Dear Cat, that shoe isn’t a god, but you’re rubbing it like everything that holds feet are golden idols. I did eat dust. I did saturate the mastery of denial. When I comforted my book in the first hour after work, I couldn’t speak out light or loud or even cry about it. What is are human cogent frequencies jotting down the purple narratives and punishing their oddest tendencies. Don’t say that, the brain wave tells the entity. You mean too strong. Oh soup. Oh broth of human subtleties. Someday, someone is going to route along and eke out a more pertinent consistency but until then let’s leave each other presents with our mouths, which means saying words. When you walk into the kitchen in your burnished, faded jeans, I consider our distances. Just look at the cat’s slope—he might love and miss chances and hate as we do. A light shields the sage green wall and forces the lamp to do some good around here. Finally. Be all kinds of deliverance. Be the robot tampering with its metal girth. Accrue pain and pleasure and small boxes of sweet desserts.

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The squirrels’ coats turn red this spring. Turbulent whimsical squirrels are the current prices of my one good eye. When a hedge fund is set up for walnuts and acorns, the many neighborhood dignitaries just account for flurries of distraction and kinesis. What I feel is also what I think and then trying to tear the two apart but they’re stuck slogans. When you first had me over to yours for dinner, you put peppers in the baked eggplant dish. The casserole was hot but greasy, bubbling with a melted, pale yellow cheese. Thinking isn’t feeling the guru says but still raws us out, then we’re flummox and just ruminating. A car passes in the night, one juxtaposition of control, but still, a straight line. Trajectory begotten of trajectory. Although a “tangent” may refer to math, it’s also basely an emotional construct. I kept forking the eggplant into my mouth, although my stomach was quite full. It’s true. I disassociate logic and sometimes just float. The free shapes break me into little pieces and reconstruct a human with the same fire-red hair but different nearsightedness. When I helped you be the one to see me, you didn’t look away.

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The cat roams in the basement and has angst because the crumpled paper mountain—packing material leftover from the last move—expresses his curiosity but also might hold monsters. I purposefully try not to relate to him but sometimes when I open the first unknown door and notate the therein people—my eyes sweat about this with a color unlike any other—I do crumble under a similar farthing. Pay the chef, the porridge is thick this morning and full of slivered almonds, fat huckleberries, a sprinkling of brown sugar. When I tell you we’re using the tiny yellow teacups, it’s because we’re using the yellow teacups that are tiny. Then we’ll count swallows, and I don’t mean esophageal flutterings but feathered creatures that don’t adore clear windows. Everyone is going to be allowed to play along so it’s foolish to worry about picking teams. Also, the huckleberries were rather sweeter than usual and bled out sequences of rapid, sure-fire approval. All of us humans, chafing the sides of our open mouths with bits. What is the holding back is reins just selecting one form of moon madness. We’re going to get to the bottom of a pit brimming full with lightness and dig out places. There are these craters where we can also breathe the most native dark.

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When the heat hits the emotion, that upstart, the heart, gets all the credit but is a fallacy. Well, it pumps harder but just thick, rubiate blood. If I had desecrations for every saturation, I’d catalogue this temple of plumes and lances. A man, medievally, loves a woman, the woman remains unchanged. She is breasts and creamy white limbs with dimpled thighs in all the well-known paintings. When I spoon the beans onto your plate, I realize I’ve forgotten the habanero sauce but just wing it and also mention the fresh salad. All of us are about all of us. Lithium didn’t change that, just skewed the load. Now I see without salt crystals but must share—this journey we’re “normal” on might easily be taken for granted. Conversely, maybe the woman means her favor to the man to whom, medievally, she gifts the silken garter. He ties himself up in her bright scarf, which is Titian red before Titian. Form is also about control but doesn’t wreck the human mind. I see the bumblebee, hovering on a draft of wind or maybe using the delicacy of wings. That’s how we’ll decide our likenesses—what vintage is this heady wine? I’m guessing the year of our twin births isn’t the only ready answer.

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Everyone isn’t coming to this party, just the ones we told secretly and then drew maps for. If you cross a river, then cross that river again by the same bridge, you might be lost or else you could be a lover of bridges, which sometimes demonstrate the same strength as answers to questions that resemble riddles. I’m using my fifteen minutes to quash uprising in the temple of verb chafing, which is a metaphor for designing off-world bases. The funerary chariot just read “All Lethe, All the Time.” So I got sad and fixed it with a sandwich. Off-world means having less to do with planets and more a cagey process to produce fewer stapled glories. Because those people were passing out pamphlets again. I drew the river with graphite then read the informational leaflet while discovering sunlight on the terrace. Brief illusionary weather. Slight blustery feelings associated with neural pathways in the human body, which belongs to this body munching whole wheat toast with boysenberry jam. What I swallow is my second wind and tastes marvelous.

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Jenny Drai has work appearing or forthcoming in Aesthetix, Court Green, H_NGM_N, Indefinite Space, La Petite Zine, Parthenon West Review, and Spinning Jenny as well as other journals, and has also been published in the Calaveras chapbook series and in Phrases/Fragments: an Anthology (Sustenance Press). She currently lives in Vancouver, Washington, where she is working on a novel.