The horse discovered a gateway to another dimension, and with nothing else to do, moseyed into it just for grins, and man, you don’t even want to know what happened next—it was just, like, Horse at the French Revolution. Horse in Franco’s living room. Horse on the moon. Horse in a supporting role in an episode of ER. Horse being shot out of a cannon. Horse on The Price Is Right. Horse in a Whitesnake video. Horse at Kennedy’s assassination. Horse in the Tet Offensive. Horse at the Gap gawking at some khaki pants. Horse in Julie Piepmeyer’s bathroom. Horse being tossed out of an airplane with a parachute strapped to its back, plummeting toward Nebraska. Horse on Capitol Hill (Yes, I’d like the floor to recognize the distinguished horse from Arizona). Horse on the subway. Horse authorizing a peace treaty between the U.S. and Iraq. Horse in the Evansville State Hospital. Horse caught up in a White Hen robbery. Horse in the Kentucky Derby. Horse staring at the merry-go-round at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. The list goes on and on. And so goes the horse’s adventure, where one minute it’s standing next to Pat Sajak and with a violent flash like that of a murderous camera or the twirling screen and music of a Batman episode it’s standing in the middle of US-23 with a screaming motorist speeding toward it. And this horse, whirling through dimension after dimension, spiraling carmines, suicidal jasmines, and mathematical theorems tornadoing past it, being placed in situation after situation—what had it learned when all was said and done and it was back at Tom Wallace’s farm? Nothing is better than Rachel Wallace while they stand in the barn in the middle of February and she draws pictures of it to take to school tomorrow.
Every few months my friend and I get together
to talk about “what we’re doing” vis-à-vis
“the perceived goal of our dual attempt
to become masters of wordsmithing
in the face of insurmountable opposition.”
This is what I’m doing, we say,
compared to this person we don’t know
who does something similar
and is wildly more successful than us.
Powdered lips and lip powder
are quite the opposite
to anyone who’s ever powdered their lips
or shaved flakes off of their lips
in that great and violent kitchen of our beings.
Is it true, we wonder. Are our life-fates locked
aside from random pratfall, victim
of crime or illness? In twenty years
you’ll look back at this moment and go,
“whoa, weird,” but you’ll feel the same way
you feel now as you stare into the crisp,
dark city and say to yourself,
“whoa, weird.” I’m just trying
to get through this like the rest of us,
you used to think, with dextrose, maltodextrin,
malic acid, calcium stearate, carnauba wax,
blue 2, red 40, yellow 5,
less than 2% corn syrup and possibly egg
on my tongue. Who knows what could happen
to my lips. They could be powdered, shaved,
or ripped completely off my face
in one, impressive motion.