Russell Jaffe: Civil Coping Mechanism
CIVIL COPING MECHANISM FOR UNDERSTANDING HOW NOTHING DISAPPEARS, DIES, OR VANISHES, ONLY TRANSFORMS, BECOMING PART OF THE EARTH AND AIR, AND LIFE IS ALWAYS FLOWING OPEN,
OUR BODIES ARE MOSTLY WATER: YOU’VE HEARD IT TOO MUCH, BUT
The mouth, like the gateway to the vulnerable.
The bedroom door at night, closed.
All rivers feed to the ocean.
Everything’s let in.
The Eucharist on the tongue.
You take your Xanax every night.
CIVIL COPING MECHANISM FOR NIRVANA, AND FOR MICROWAVE POPCORN, SO SUDDEN AND EXPANDING, SUCH A STAPLE, SO CONSISTENT
Many will give you many spiritual maxims to live by.
Many print instruction manuals to nirvana.
Nobody archives nirvana. It's like this:
Nirvana can only be achieved if you microwave a bag of popcorn and pop perfectly every Single kernel.
No bullet kernels to remind you. Nothing burned.
I know that popcorn is a material good, but it makes the most sense
Because the sharing of holy knowledge itself
Is the original commodification.
Life IS like a fountain,
But you are cups.
Don't give out that SSN,
And be mindful.
CIVIL COPING MECHANISM FOR WRITING THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL
Been reading the Great American Novel, and you have, too.
The Great American Novel was the word from our sponsors,
And we waited it out through on-hold phone call music to the sound of dial up.
The Great American Novel was a little countdown box on the bottom of the video Showing—not telling—us when we could skip.
The Great American Novel is the colorful spiny circle on the desktop
And the gray broken circle on the Internet.
Sitting, our eyes to the glowing, that Great American Novel.
Loading. Buffering. The Great American Novel
Is in the waiting.
Russell Jaffe is the editor of TL;DR magazine (tldrmagazine.com), teaches at Loyola University in Chicago and Fusion Academy in Oak Brook, and stars in literary study guides for Course Hero (https://www.youtube.com/user/CourseHeroVideo/playlists).
He is the author of the poetry collections This Super Doom I Aver (Poets Democracy, '12), INTROVERT//EXTROVERT (Punk Hostage Press, '14), LA CROIX WATER (Damask, '16), and Civil Coping Mechanisms (Civil Coping Mechanisms, '17). He loves being a dad, seltzer, and pro wrestling. How are things in your town?