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from GI Joe Bathtub Gin

Today will happen like yesterday and we can pump up the registers to be more like cake filling or sturdy artichokes in cans in cabinets in kitchens, ready for hands. We need groceries, essentially, and we need to have a structure to the argument of the day, some might say, though not me.


Stung by a bee, I struggle to find out where my fear meets my pain and what symptoms are not real and in this we all exist a sort of defeated beast. Immediately my arm goes red and swells and itches and my breathing feels slow but rapid in its slow pull and my tongue feels misplaced and I become very tired. I find the pillow I have carried from one state to the next and I hug it.


These are all second-rate symptoms, above a normal allergic reaction and shy of anaphylaxis, which I’ve experienced before though under different intake but not too far from where I stand now, geographically speaking. When I get sick, I think of literary agents.


To have that experience and to have then driven straight to Chicago on pills was another sickness. For months upon months we spoke our hearts out across the coasts. I was pouring great Californian wine and you were delivering pizza.


I am tired, often, yes, but I know why and know it is part of one of the syndromes so I defy it by running or slipping into paint. I am appreciating the genius of stairs more today than I ever have, shoddy or not, rotted or not, wonderful wooden stairs with runners and magazines stacked on the edges. I am here and good with the morning, a team of details in myself. I model the way a power point continues and illuminates just by smiling to myself in my office.


Thank you for checking in, sensitive goblet; thank you for burglarizing the spheres, dear belly of mine; thank you for asking the waitresses out to the pool party, new mayor. I am full of thanks for the things before me and today I will thump them through the vectors.

Thomas Cook and Tyler Flynn Dorholt live in Los Angeles and Syracuse. Their collaborative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Alice Blue, PositSpinning Jenny, and Yes, Poetry among other publications. American Flowers (Dock Street Press), Tyler's debut collection of prose poetry and photographs, was published in 2016, and Thomas's poetry and fiction are forthcoming from The Cincinnati ReviewBennington Review, and the Fernbrook Flyer Picayune. They are both editors at Tammy. On Fridays, they like to enter grocery stores and push everything in the dairy department into the aisle. They love to steal dull SUVs and crash them into yellow arches. When the block is slow, they stuff birds with licorice and bake them at 500 degrees. They consider playing jacks. When the weather turns, they hit up adult movie stores and reprimand lonely people. They're worthless, really, with mini Maker's Marks in their hands doing wheelies in someone's front yard until another someone comes outside. Today, right now, may be an opportune time and place in life for them to co-eat a 72-ounce steak, but tonight they'll likely explore rollerblading in the busy Destiny Mall, with the occasional hip check to an elder. Perhaps it's time for them to key the cars of colleagues? Ian Overbo is not a problem. He is an all-around good guy. The thing about tonight is that it still offers possibilities, like cutting a hole in a lake that still has ice, slipping into the hole, and never coming out. Thomas and Tyler are liable to squeeze all the lemons in the Trader Joe's onto the Band-Aid boxes and make dumb jokes about lemonade. Part of them thinks they'll just have to step up and eat everything to which they are averse and allergic in one big smoothie, vomiting their way into the future. If you think about it, tonight is a good time to find a local elementary school bus stop awning to stand beneath with baskets of candy. Maybe that's what they're really interested in doing tonight, making a 30-minute infomercial on the subject of how to sell choices. Or perhaps they could just show up on Boeheim's doorstep with a mini basketball and tell him it's time he steps down. It could also be a really good chance to eat a bucket of carrots in front of a horse tied just out of their reach. Maybe they'll just watch Revolutionary Road on repeat at full volume while reading the book simultaneously. They're guessing it's open mic night somewhere and they have a feeling fart jokes are in! Another option: smashing pogs in the garage. Doing some wheelies in someone's front yard until that someone comes outside and receives the bird. Melting a ton of Jolly Ranchers on top of piles of Wonder Bread, eating the fuck out of the SANDWICHES, and weighing themselves before they roll down the hill. Things are looking good for Friday night: they ordered a couple of brides, bought a Tacoma, offended at least ten people on purpose, and are going to try drinking Rum again!

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