True Story

                              “My ego keeps banging the angry gong”
                               – Arthur Rimbaud

The #MeToo movement sweeps through the academy, then through American Buddhism, and back. Chairmen of the Reason Industry wear the same leather jackets as chairmen of the New Age. Is there a store called Middle-Aged Charisma? With a section called Getting Back What You Never Had Through Rhetorical Performance? Send me the link. I half-hate-listen to a Deepak Chopra podcast on a walk through Frink Park. I get an email from my editor with the subject: Good News about the Edited Collection from Utah State Press! I walk faster, like a lot faster. I run away. In Clark County, Washington – Oregon with a sales tax – the measles are back like jazz standards. Turnip-root teas and turmeric tinctures trump time-tested shots from school nurses. If the answers seem hidden, the questions seem easier. These days, I’m a flexitarian who doesn’t like the energy of Tuesdays. I give my children one rule: Be yourself at all costs. In the still-beautiful oceans, coral reefs are bleaching, their skeletons showing, half left. In San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, a man rents out a studio apartment for his two cats. True story. Last night, everything I ate came in plastic – celery sticks in a cup with a cup for peanut butter (Jif Natural); an adult Lunchable (winery food: salami / wheat crackers / white cheese); two hard-boiled eggs in a preservation lather. In the unpublished thesaurus, the thesaurus that speaks like my aunt with no filter, the word disease has no entries, only echoes. Faint traces of a personal map.

November 19, 2020

Anthony Warnke

Anthony Warnke’s poetry has appeared in Bayou Magazine, Cimarron Review, North American Review, Sentence, and Sugar House Review, among others. He teaches writing at Green River College and lives in Seattle.

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