Bildungsroman

1.

A photograph lamnet,
battery of flowers
mobilized
to overthrow the city
whose trembling skyline
irritates
like swollen pimples.

2.

They induced swift
headache, gorged
Coca-Cola overture,
also disconcerted
maps of North America
and embarrassment.

3.

Well, it goes
on like that
for multiple stanzas.

4.

Chronologically
speaking,
no exit remained
unobstructed,
which staircased
my excitment
at the squatters’ flop panderings,
then loose change.

5.

There was a moment
of reflection
directed at the
general suffering of humanity.

Effrontery!

6.

and distraction
folded
like overzealous napkins.
The refrigerator of my heart
couldn’t protect
against the
inevitable spoilage,
so when I later
found myself
swarming
in nutritional deficit,
I could only
offer a smirk
and a jerk
of my neck toward the opposite way.

7.

Cold coffee,
a second moment of reflection,
this time directed
at the specific suffering of individuals.

8.

Man, that
skyline wouldn’t cut
out its trembling gimmmick,
so I shuttered
and did the best
I could to go
about my business.
That business
being the business
of maintaining grace
under teenagers.

9.

By the way,
I’m convinced
that teenagers are
a national crisis.
A convoluted theory
will back me up.
Details,
technical renderings… Whatever.

10.

The zeitgeist
blanked for posterized
rebellion,
televised
and situational theses.
Due credit,
naturally, was witheld.

11.

Very big,
and suddenly
the very very big –

12.

what exactly was the motivation?
I considered
every possible and found myself
snared in
a marathon of bus routes,
all spreading out
from a singular point
and gradually
focusing elsewhere,
so that if you drew the whole thing out on paper,
you’d end up with a
dysfunctional jellyfish
and about an hour of your life
you’d never get back.

13.

So much for the city.

So much for surgery.

So much for heartache
awakening the Moloch
of social media

and my imagination hype.

14.

And it was, I think,
my imagination that
collapsed first.
The rest was quick to follow –
mantras,
machinery,
drives,
et cetera.
Modernity dragged
my skull over
uncultivated asphalt,
leaving me in
a perpetual 3 o’clock shuffle
so that it hurts
to open my eyes,
and if I do manage
to muster
up enough courage
for vision,
I just end up drowning in
motherfuckers.

-r. miller

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