Fear stands in the corner. Waiting.
The Other guy’s on the couch, talking to himself,
Walking with himself through the park in his head,
Smoking a fountain pen,
Smoking the fountain of youth and indignation.
By the time I get home, Entropy’s set in.
Moss on the walls, practically.
Barnacles on my housemate’s face.
“Dude,” I just have to ask, “what the fuck have you been smoking?”
But all he has sticking out between his bleeding-gum teeth
Is that goddamn fountain pen.
“You want some” asks the roomy roomie.
“Put that thing away!” I holler.
Fountain pens are for junkies.
“What the fuck have you been doing all day?
This place is a disaster zone.
Were you born in a barn or in a pig-sty?
What about getting a job?
What about getting your life together?”
But the roomie blows fountain pen smoke
Out his fountain pen stained pie-hole
And mutters distinctly
“Business Chicken doesn’t like it when I clean.”
Fear starts to stir in the corner,
A collection or a string of familiar detritus
Pouring itself into a human shape.
He’s talked about Business Chicken before.
(I’m confused–is it a chicken or a business?
All up in your business or too chicken to make things real?
A chicken in a suit?
A chicken head on a business body?
Bad decisions come home to roost.)
“I refuse to play your childish mind-games,”
I protest too much.
“Put that thing down and help–”
But his eyes have widened, too wide. He looks past me
And I can see that he likes what he sees
Just a little too much for my comfort.
“What?” I ask him
Even though I don’t really want to know.
“Turn around,” says the fountain-pen Junkie.
I turn to the right because I know what’s on my left in the darkness
And I know I’m not ready to see it
But there’s nothing else there. “What?”
“It’s Business Chicken,” says the voice behind me
Of the disturbed mind that lives in my house.
“He’s asking you to dance.”
I am not going to dance, I affirm. Not today.
Not any more than I’m going to smoke his pen with him.
No more, I say, I am a man of action.
Words do not become me.
And yet imaginary though the Business Chicken might be to him,
I smell poultry in the room
I feel the tiny feathers tickling my face up my nose and into
My Brain where they cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck all my
Troubles away, all my responsibilities
Until nothing is left but the shadowy shape in the corner
With a grill where its mind should be
And now it’s moving around the room.
“Business Chicken likes it when I sit around all day,”
says the white rabbit.
“He knows where it’s at. He thinks people work too much.
He thinks jobs are overrated. They’re what’s killing the
Economy. We should all eat more fish.
The computer on the desk high-fives the fork
On the dining room table at this suggestion
And fear takes hold of me.
“What do you WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT”
And fear is in front of me
Short stubby fingers doing things that
Short stubby fingers shouldn’t be able to do
To my face
To my hair
To my spleen
To memories of days when I’ve sat on the couch
And days when I’ve tried to find work that suits me
And now Business Chicken wants the Robot and the Dinosaur
But Fear keeps making me dance. And those
Short stubby fingers pull out of my eye-sockets
So that Fear can wrap something around me that I can’t see
Until I look at my reflection in the dusk-darkened window.
It looks kind of familiar–I’m not sure where it’s from.
But when I have it on my face
It feels really out of place.
“Banana Bandana Man,” says the white rabbit. “Business Chicken
Really knows what’s going on.”