These Seven Words Didn’t Survive the Dream

We hotboxed some bone meal so we could see through 
time and etch a few of the new words into the whites 
of our eyes. In certain respects, the experiments were
a resounding success. I haven’t blinked in thirteen days.  

You can learn a lot, simply staring. You learn that vision,
echoed inward, feeds upon Itself, and what remains is no 
more substantial than an icebox spun from hair. Imagine
being followed by a Russian writer with a butterfly net

through a tree farm in the Catskills, or a delirious sherpa
with perfect pitch and a really cool cap. Yeah, it was 
a little bit like that. I wanted to serpentine through a few
of the twisted stumps still clinging to the battered hillsides 

of my mind but the ballpoint pen had yet to be invented
so I just sat there on a yoga mat and sulked like a pearl. 
It’s obscene, these things we do with time.  Hours rolled
into days only to be doubled and halved back again behind

the timeline and then my eyes started to smoke like hell.
Please. It’s not you. It’s me. We were all waiting for life 
to boot back up and to undiscover the New World again,
the darker side of song, when that buzzing begins for real.

Jeffrey Little | How to Knit a Brick
Contents | Mudlark No. 77 (2024)