Switched-on Gutenberg Issue 16
The Epic of Morley Safer

Spinning with the wobble of a top
in 2012 the earth will fall down
on its side. If Lester Holt says it is true,
it must be true. Past, present, and future.
Reading the records. How did
the Mayans see so clearly,
count so clearly? Increments of twenty,
of thirteen. Letter of reference
from my favorite professor. Achieve
a position in middle management
within the year. Cihlarís plans
somewhat unclear. Grant proposals
from my defunct employer
promising I would be the boss
in seven years. The oldest text,
the Epic of Gilgamesh,
describes the end, a great
flood. How did I see
the performance review I never received,
spot its errors even as I knew
I could not respond?
When the solar particles reach the earth,
you will have a complete turnover
of the magnetic field of the earth.
They will push the inner core
of the earth upside down.
The earth starts turning
the other way around.
After the divorce, my mother gone,
his mistressís color console temporarily installed,
alone I watched an exposé on modular homes,
their predilection for going up in flames.
In front of the shifting plane of shapes and sound
I popped and spun like a toy,
protesting our impending move to a modular home,
knowing two things at once:
my father must hear me, and
my father would not hear me.
Untouched by fire thirty years later,
I didnít know my cat would do the same dance
in front of the sliding patio doors
of my lonely cabin,
a wild animal outside.

Copyright 2010,  James Cihlar

James Cihlar is the author of Undoing (Little Pear Press), and his poems have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. His reviews have appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and on the poetry site Coldfront. Cihlar lives in St. Paul.

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