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Dear Phil, (I)

By Jeff Whitney From Issue No. 4

Dear Phil,
At the risk of sounding hateful, I hate
so much, yet everyday I go to bed peaceful
as a California bridge. This year I’m making a point
of looking at everything broken and not
getting so blue. Do you ever ask how hungry
is hungry? All those fish that used to swim here,
eye-level, are long dead. Their lake a nipple
gone chapped. I’m trying to understand
what keeps a person from being terrible
and keep finding the answer in places
I know. Once, when young, a doctor asked me
to rate, in horses, my pain. One meant average
while ten meant overbearing. Sorry to say, but
the ocean is getting deader, about a seven in horses.
Fertilizer is feeding microscopic mouths which bloom
large as a storm of Jupiter then die, then take,
in their falling bodies, all the oxygen
to the silt, where it stays. What this means
to you, in Montana, or me, further west, is we
have no time for bullshit. When all else fails
all else fails. This world is an opera we write
failure to failure. We are pushed off the cliff
and must build our spaceship mid-air. Everything
eats everything and I’m no closer to an answer
for hate. All over the world right now the cuckoos
are in their clocks. I will never get over what someone desperate
once asked. Do you think god is the same species
as me? How dumbly I answered. I want a devotion
worth singing, something to go all out for. Pop rocks
on my child’s tongue of a heart. To starve, and go
on. Hunger, then the absence of hunger. Then
the absence of the absence of.

About Jeff Whitney More From Issue No. 4