by Noah Hoffenberg

Note to self: don’t write anything
subversive. B) Be calm. Nonchalantly
Nonchalantly ignore the secret agent
behind the counterat McDonald’s. & do not eat
that super-size fry and double cheeseburger
because everything is injected w/ cancer.
Pay no attention to the woman in the
hyped-out wheel chaise w/
the automatic weapon stashed
in the vehicle’s framework.
Don’t ask why electricians &
telephone repairmen are constantly futzing
w/ the cable TV & high tension lines.
I repeat, tension is high.
Who unscrewed the lid to the salt shaker
& left it to be dumped on my plate?
They watch you through
the unblinking eye of the typing machine.
Keep your eyes peeled
for shifty postal workers & for poets
who claim to be big fans of Ezra Pound.
They rummage through your rubbish,
& send your condoms to the lab.
Hair is analyzed. Habits monitored, graphed,
charted. They know that you like
spicy black bean veggie burgers. You
might be a pacifist or just too weak
to present a problem to Their
infinitely financed Project Nameless.
Even so, They still don’t trust you.
They can make you disappear
or maybe you just choke on bad clams
after you slip and fall on an ice pick.
Even as I write this, They read it
from outer space with an electron
microscope. Another trick picked up from
aliens. They’ll come in the night to exterminate
you as an enemy of the state. An insect.
Never Let Them Strap You To The Apparatus.
Convince Them that you are the light
& They are the dark. Convince them
that you are the dark and they are the light.