by Pearl Pirie
$12.00 | 978-0-9940839-8-2
An Ongoing Lack of Spontaneous Combustion are poems with a menagerie of sidekicks, hippos, ladybugs, and giraffes, all on the same sometimes senseless, sometimes surreal, sometimes ecstatic journey.
“Tonight, in a city you will never visit,
no one finds your absence strange.”
if the gate latch opens you should go in. the house
looks like yours, but displaced across national lines.
you’ll find the same cookbook, and snow on falling cedars
you started in French in a library in Amsterdam,
found again in English in a b&b in Québec, here.
the red comforter, Brunkrissla, is the same
as you had. the mustard yellow of a past home
is painted on the wrong wall. the trash bin’s
injected polypropylene is yours. yours. hold on,
look for the beat up cap behind the door, find one
not quite right, too clean, a different team, but the
hook is there. check for the stash in the toilet and
find it moved, or drank. see if mother’s wad of secrets
is where it should be, but in the bedroom, the dresser
is all 70s wrong. and whose tie is this? whose cufflinks?
when those who live here come in, those whose
home this is, they’ll be understanding of your babble.
maybe they’ll give you pie from this familiar red
Corningware plate to keep you there while a sweet
officer, Jim, comes to help you meet more nice people.
under the tongues of thunder
and past power lines, they take longer flights
than I realized, those pachyderms and
hippopotami. how do they muster such grace?
a red fedora-crowned hippo, like a cab in toenails,
lands at my hail, replies: you can only fly
for as long, as well, as I can, if you train for years
by carrying hearses of friends. after that
having the stamina to float alone comes easily.
PEARL PIRIE was born surrounded by an Old McDonald’s farm of chickens, ironwood, leopard frogs, rabbits, maple, cedars, ponies, cattle, white maple, and the occasional sheep, goat, llama, and donkey. She has three trade collections, most recently the pet radish, shrunken (BookThug 2015), and over a dozen chapbooks over the last 16 years. | pearlpirie.com | @pesbo