The Short, Happy Life of the Brown Oxford

We were working for the military
trying to create something
from nothing
brass getting back at the Russians
By their AK rounds how to steal our ammunition

They wanted us
to raise jetfuel from dead discarded wheat and corn
Forge plastic cartridge casings from rock and shale
they asked us to make things come alive
Weapon of choice.

whats more useless, in a war
than a soldier with children?
Alright men! Charge! .. Wait. Billy. Put that down.
you don't know where its been..
You get the picture.

We decided the best way to do it
perhaps because at the time none of us had kids
and being slightly scared of women anyway
Was to build a machine

We weren't quite sure how to build it.
We decided to stick to first principles.
hysteresis. chaos. pioneer organisms.

Memory was first
we found we could store almost anything
yeah. we had some fun
figuring it out, we'd coded secret messages on our skin
and then set them together
to spell out a great big novel
we'd done it first on some chimps
wardialing into a prison phone
they arrived in crates
we did them all
and set them free
if they ever got together again
it would be a sonnet
you know the one from shakespeare?
but every test subject
when they woke up the next day
they died

we'd solved the processing problem
just set up some integrated circuits
and they flopped properly enough around on the floor
green and wiggly and A.I.

energy was an issue
we went solar
and got rid of british petroleum
england wasn't happy about it
but it was the 21st century
fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, right?

And when we were all done
and all the gore was on the floor
we added to what you'd already done
to make it just. simply. about life in transformation
and somehow it worked
at least the part
I can talk about outside of NDA

one member of our group specialized
tied superstring together
no ordinary karada
I took off my shoe made of leather
and we dropped it into the machine

And that, my little Brown Oxford
is the story of the day you were born
perhaps not for you. but for me spacetime distorts perfectly
from the illusion of now
to that very moment
its like yesterday
very vivid and very clear
I remember how you jumped out of the machine

And how you grew up so fast
I remember the day you went straight for the newspaper
how you loved listening to conversation from the newstand
laced and stored within her fibers
and torn rags
she was a bad influence
on you

We discouraged the relationship
and you took the matter personally

no pun intended

the newspaper disappeared
I heard she committed suicide
I am sorry I had to draw the line
the fifth or sixth suicide
fifth or sixth grade

then I think we both remember
the day you met the high heeled pump
how you both disappeared into the shoe closet
for a the longest time
I was so worried
And I stayed up to wait for you
Until after what I'd calculated to be exactly midnight
in your short, happy life

I cried when you left home
I traced your footprint in the dirt
and hers

A year ago I got word that you were in Israel?
I miss you, little oxford and even your wife
Its not unlike the pain of someone close
leaving the game
of life

I keep a place with your things
shoe polish
the imprint of your sole
it doesn't feel like mine
I taste your innocent kiss
that you typed on the command line

The one that reminds me of your mother
Where she takes me to a place I like to hide
the one we ran through in the night

Write to me. sometime
I am sorry that I will never know its you
so much has been deleted
so many rules
mail filter
and graylisting tones
sequences that tell me who it is before I answer
and I just dont answer anymore

My story of your life
almost over
Just enough time to cry
safe from pain
but not from the end

It hurt
it still hurts
love is a slaughterhouse, my oxford
it takes you out
and the horse you rode in on

humane to put the gun
to its head
and watch its legs fold beneath it
no body count
Candace Pert couldn't sleep without

I hope you are happy wherever you are
And a secret that I as a parent can know
That superstring measured
and cut by singularity
will guarantee your end. every day is a gift
every. single. day.

I remember how your tongue used to wag
when you were just a hush puppy

atropos of the telomere
weaved into us from the ghost of spacetime
through the horizon
of the quiet storm

And the tear I never cried
no coldness inside
just a strange warmth
maybe even a bite

Time to run.
Conquer the mountain.

Carpet the den.