The Maynard
October 2013

Russel Swensen

Testing Testing Is This Thing On

  1. He doesn't want to know he slams his mind shut spooks the pedophiles in the library freaks me out what kind of man has a leather bound head what kind of man ties the sun to the bumper of his car drags it behind him "now you know where I've been" well there you go
  2. The sun won't stop screaming it sounds excited the sun drags its face in the dirt like it loves the taste, paints the furrows red.
  3. "Sunshine plays a major part in the daytime," and ghetto blasters on the street corner, that was childhood, that and a sense of pervasive fear, that infection could slide into you as easily as resentment, colonize you completely: "you fuckers."
  4. Lectures "bad enough in themselves" and today an earthquake in Pakistan ("bubble-wrapped"), thank god for the lack of death.
  5. Because if I have to pretend to care about one more person I think my head is going to explode [colored rice everywhere] if I see Israel in my rear view mirror one more time I swear to God if I have to stop this car I will let you out of the trunk— I will brush your hair from your sweat lined face and you will smile gratefully you will love me.
  6. There's a bullet with your sexual history on it but I meant a ballet there's a blood test and a cheek swab and a singing telegram (fuck me, fuck me, please don't stop fucking me) "I can hardly picture you without a plastic glass of wine in your hand" well who the fuck can—
  7. "The hivs & the hiv nots" how's that for a social register you get tested in the line of fire in the back of the mobile clinic in the Out of the Closet thrift store in Elizabeth Hall's unblinking stare mister your results hey mister—
  8. You shout "AIDS tag, no give-backs" and you run as fast as you can your face is glowing like a coal someone's blowing on— you ran so FAR away— there are times Herr Bones when I think you just plumb don't like me (but I leave the light on)
  9. Responsibility on my shoulder like an emerald parrot of doom yeah I just said "emerald parrot of doom" what are you going to do about it? My GRE score was "sad looking dude giving mouth to mouth" my SAT was "mushy and thick" what are you going to do about it you fucking cocksucker what are you going to do— (I really don't know)
  10. The middle of my throat hurts. As though a stone were lodged there. I do not remember swallowing a stone.
  11. Mesh gear fox, why don't you love?
  12. Captain Morgan, why won't you save me? George Washington invented cocaine. Nicole Blackman won't leave me alone.
  13. Did you get what you came here for.
  14. This girl gets on the bus with two purple balloons' strings in her hand now you have to strangle her with them I mean what did you think narrative meant.
  15. All mashed up in East Hollywood all doped up in the pool. One word follows another word into the alley.
  16. Were you beloved in this world.
  17. "Welcoming committee of the lions" yeah well I wear a gazelle suit hang out by the watering hole on Fairview I suck the blood from your paw my generation swallows btw so at least you don't have to worry about that.
  18. Surrounded by such delicacy.
  19. Thousands of veterans in South Florida may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV because of contaminated equipment after getting colonoscopies at the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, officials announced Monday. Because, because that's how it happens! You're at a sad movie and there's someone in the audience actually sad.
  20. Watching the birds crawl across the power lines The killer says "you have no idea what I get off on" grinning like a chainsaw— in the living room I stage enraged Germanic executions, I have a lot of action figures.
  21. What kind of bird will not sing even when you hit it with a hardback book a dictionary you'd think it could have found the words get it found the words.
  22. I'm not saying you didn't have your reasons and I'm not saying I don't forgive you but you did this you did this to me left me to this "Robert Hass can go fuck himself" so he does but I don't feel much better I don't feel like his heart was in it (do it again Bob) it's not a stretch to say they're playing our song who's they you say I told you to come alone well I do now don't I.
  23. Surrounded by such debauchery. "Any rational society would either kill me or put me to some use." You take me out of the oven but I'm not done "you'll know when I'm done" there's an international sign for it— a chorus line in the blood— a stain.
  24. I absolutely positively meant to say "nightmare" I crane my neck to see but you're not there you're probably fucking Robert Hass or might as well be it's not like you need my permission it's actually not like you need me at all.
  25. My blood type came back "negative, with a real propensity for depression, a real sidearm of a disposition, a son of a bitch" you spat the results into my hands you said this is after all and really all things considered, entirely your fault.