THE DOG IN THE CARTOON shoots a gun, overtakes the bullet in a car, and awaits it with an open mouth. Slight, continuous changes in the shapes of the scenery give the illusion of motion. In lieu of erections, sprouting cephalic contusions. Otherwise reduced to a pile of ash, the eyes of the mischievous cat remain, blinking. Contiguity substituted for substitution: flatten the duck with a frying pan and he becomes a frying pan. The bear indifferently fingers the holes in his chest. The giant ham around which the episode is organized weighs nothing, appears slippery, and is ultimately swallowed by a mouse. The popular breakfast sandwich is made of cartoon flesh. The child actor who worked opposite the dragon is scarred for life. Open your eyes. You’re still holding the dynamite.
NO MATTER HOW BIG YOU MAKE A TOY, a child will find a way to put it in his mouth. There is scarcely a piece of playground equipment that has not been inside a child’s mouth. However, the object responsible for the greatest number of choking deaths, for adults as well as children, is the red balloon. Last year alone, every American choked to death on a red balloon.
WE DREAM OF RAIN that, in lieu of falling, moves parallel to the earth. Sheet after sheet of rain. Then an upward rain that originates a few feet off the ground. You can get under the rain and watch. With the disappearance of public space, we dream a rain that’s moved indoors. A miniaturized rain restricted to one room, one wall, a box. Then we dream snow.
THE DETECTIVE pushes red tacks into the map to indicate where bodies have been found. The shooter is aware of this practice and begins to arrange the bodies, and thus the tacks, into a pattern that resembles a smiley face. The shooter intends to mock the detective, who he knows will be forced to confront this pattern daily on the precinct wall. However, the formal demands of the smiley face increasingly limit the shooter’s area of operation. The detective knows, and the shooter knows the detective knows, that the shooter must complete the upward curving of the mouth. The detective patrols the area of the town in which bodies must be found if the shooter is to realize his project. The plane on which the killings are represented, and the plane on which the killings take place, have merged in the minds of the detective and the shooter. The shooter dreams of pushing a red tack onto the map, not of putting a bullet into a body. The detective begins to conceive of the town as a representation of the map. He drives metal stakes into the ground the indicate the tacks.
THE THIRD DIVISION OF A RUMINANT’S STOMACH is called a psalterium because, when slit open, its folds fall apart like the leaves of a book. The fruit is star-shaped when cut in cross section and is therefore called star fruit. Our people often name an object after the manner in which we destroy it.
WHEN WE FOUND EYES in the hospital Dumpster, we decided to build the most awesome snowman ever. The author addresses the reader; the clown, the kids at home. Angels are absences in the snow, visible only from above. When it thaws they will stand up and search for the children they have known.
THE MAN OBSERVES THE ACTION ON THE FIELD with the tiny television he brought to the stadium. He is topless, painted gold, bewigged. His exaggerated foam index finger indicates the giant screen upon which his own image is now displayed, a model of fanaticism. He watches the image of his watching the image on his portable TV on his portable TV. He suddenly stands up with arms upraised and initiates the wave that will consume him.