Shopping mall consequence. A deluge of Christmas shoppers rush on by; A too-congested Frogger – pre-COVID. Dancing, pirouetting stoned and stone-faced. Shouting, but unheard above the din. No one will remember these Nike shoes in 20 years, and no one should. The white and black with the swoosh is just something that’s normal; expected to be there. Food court teenage drama happens to be the least important thing to everyone except the people experiencing it. Fountain coins and tears over flip-phones and text messages where you have the click one button multiple times to get the letter you want. We can train our minds to do anything. Necessity is the mother, first and foremost. Annoyance at bangs that won’t get out of your eyes, when Hot Topic plays really shitty music that is like the goth bedroom of the whole entire establishment. It’s a culmination of cliques and high-school social group categories, scattered among pristine real-estate space, grey and silver with bathrooms that have automatic flush and motion-detection soap dispensers. Malls seem to me like failures. Like, “here we are the human race and this is all we got”. This is our strongsuit. These temples built to praise and cultivate capitalism. New churches that center around a temperamental and ever-changing God. A sea of cars. Coming back out of the fantasy. Trying to remember where you parked.


They say that “home is wherever you happen to be”, but I don’t believe that. I mean, that can be true or at least possible, but I find that it’s contingent on the people you’re with; Your sense of community whether they are related by blood or law or not. Perfect 2D square child’s drawing, rendering. White, awkward daisies sit smiling at the sun. A picket fence for emotional security and the family stands out front in a fashion I have never seen in real life, unless you count The Sims; You know, when you first move in? I kind of miss diving into that nothingness and wasting away hours and hours. I wonder what my life would have been like without it, or if there are some positive things that happened because I played it so much. I think home is where the heart is. And the heart longs, it aches. The soul knows when it’s not aligned. It can range from mild to agony. Just like your average salsas. The soul is just another sauce to dip chips in. Skinny dipping chips sans sea salt. Promising crunch that resounds and echos, rebounding and reverberating in hungover earlobes, stretching high through vaulted ceilings. Casper the Friendly Ghost whispers and shoots through the skylight. Game day, Football, Eating. Shoes off, comfy socks, and sports jersey. Talking with your mouth full.


A man in an oversized, deep trenchcoat with matching fedora fabric beckons slyly, his bulging eyes moving his menacing eyebrows side to side as he glances to ensure he is not noticed. His face is ugly, like a knot on an old tree that is disfigured and stuck there. The trenchcoat is open and he is dressed in black. His large, arthritic hands suffer the same fate as his face, disfigured and large, looking painful in their oversized, swollen form. He breathes heavy and erratic. One step away from a cardiac event that never comes. One step between purgatory and hell. His breath smells overpoweringly of cigarettes and coffee, the van door is open and he again, hurriedly motions to her to step inside. The girl is scared, uncertain. She wants to run, but is frozen to the spot. The fall, after-school wind sways her dress side-to-side. He takes a step forward and girl flinches, turns her face away, afraid. Suddenly a siren, and the evil spell is broken. He bolts back to the van, frantically looking around before shutting the door. The gas pedal pressure is a frantic acceleration, steering wheel making waves like it’s being held from the tip of a crayon.


A green stalk grows taller now. Out of the ground pops a blossoming head out of the dirt. Intention: To grow taller under the sun, wind, and rain. Soon it will be an adult cornstalk, silky husk protecting golden yellow kernels. Raw. Raccoons. Old Yeller. Remembering movies and VHS tapes. Well, now I am an adult cornstalk. And it’s husk yourself or be husked. Logistics, transportation, light blue barrels. Subsidized farmhands. Iowa crop circles. A middle America I have heard and read about but have never truly known. Perhaps we are too big to be connected, to strange to be compassionate and understanding. Here Internet is air; I breathe it and consider it as given, as a sixth or seventh sense. Transporter accident where I am neither here nor there, but in-between states. Stuck in-between states. Tractor, green grass, shrubbery, waste, donkey, cotton. Aliens, gin, straw hat, tablecloth, pigs, rakes, haybales. Knock three times. Red barn –


The scarecrow has been decapitated on Halloween night. Its stitched smile lays lopsided, sideways. Triangle eyes, sewn black border, seem to squint in perpetual play. Straw stuffing scattered all over the farm. Was it human or animal who did this? A crow caws, no longer deterred by making a mess of thing, by the potential of wrecking this barnyard. The hooks of the overalls have left imaginary shoulders. And if the scarecrow is dead, then what the fuck will Dorothy do? He is her first threshold guardian in Oz. The magic has been sucked through a turkey baster. It tastes like shit without it. Now there will be no story. And Dorothy will be stuck in Oz forever, eating apples and being homeless, terrorized by the trees and winged monkeys and Wicked Witch of the West. Her murder for nothing. Tin Man will stay rusted, Lion stay scared. Oz stay a liar. She gets high on poppies all day where she dreams she’s back home in Kansas. Toto goes missing and there is no happy ending. Disaster zone, caution tape, sepia sky and clouds. The orchestra violins never stop playing, L. Frank Baum ensnared in some literary sabotage.