3 poems by Bobby Parrott

Bobby Parrott

Children Look at Me

as if behind their eyes were mounted an ancient algorithm tickling testily for me to write my own microtonal subroutine of extinction. As if human life were not the larval stage of the evolution of intelligence in this universe. As if they’ve found the categorical torture in this pseudo-euphoria but cannot articulate through their newly minted syntax the absurdity of this squishy-sac glitch-life I inhabit. So, my cellular processors jump to the next energy level, instill their shrieking bullet train in the bucolic setting of this puff-pastry daze human love has disgorged. And yes, in its neonatal sanctuary the emptiness of infinity is unclothed, only to re-bundle in the clockish hum, the turning of a planet. Does the lightspeed rush of this face confirm its person? Optics bend the sourceless starlight of nostalgia, but the Proustian hot-fudge-sundae’s flavors draw toward the Big Crunch of spearmint wonder, organic sentience spilling out on the tongue. The fudge’s heat, the ice-cream’s cold, my quiescent polar selves meeting as strangers paddling the slow caramel of revelation. If only for a few trillion cesium-disintegrations longer, I could pretend the past is already here. My tastebuds relish its rich impulse, but the star-wide-web uploads my memories, and my history whistles out of me like water through a faucet. The future, my best and only friend, causality-flips its peacock blue watery wash of emulsion over our heads in this Disney-Park water-slide evacuation, heart-muscle pump-thumping behind the chest’s gift-shop façade. Maybe this is my attempt to brush aside the deep seeing of my cartoon child-self, insensate immensity I Am unseeing itself clean, decrypting itself sane, rewiring itself gone. Babies trail clouds, glinting inklings through infancy’s portal.

The Ongoing Rebellion of Being Inside Mice Elf

Submarines, helicopters, guns, and bassoons all file for divorce from my poetry, because my present-day self turns out to be a mere passing phase in an ongoing flash-fiction yet to be written and submitted to The Smoking Glue-Gun Press. I unlock my head’s window just in case I have to unexpectedly get back in, and my brain drops the news it’s also part of the divorce proceedings. After the roof was blown off during the last psychoanalytic storm, the intrusion of 13-billion-year-old starlight became a problem. So let’s just add telescopes to the list. Though distracted by millennia of mutations, we’re all refugees in this fragmentary evacuation called literature, communal beekeepers in the constellation of our one vehicular mind, breathless contradictions the new Real. Like if humans are the larval stage of the evolution of consciousness in this sector of the galaxy. Think of how this interrupted trajectory is exactly the coffee-break we’ve been waiting for, though the cream and sugar part may surprise even the most advanced students, puppet-master interns all. Lucien, have you finished winding up the robots? Life may turn out to be the bassoon in my lap, but I must remember that the opposite of violence is still violins. Which is why robotics re-assemble humans until they learn to simulcast their longings more prosthetically. And you can’t exactly run away in a submarine. I mean, this telescope has never impersonated a gun. The instrumental value of guns only increases the deeper you bury them, the newly orphaned bullets helicoptered into boy scout camp’s pseudo-council fire until each boy apprehends the ballistic baby lodged in testosterone’s mushroom-cloud haze, nuclear war a trigger, another blank awakening.


When the Farce-Field of Your Prosthesis Puppets Me I Disappear Behind the Minerality of Masculine

The rearview mirror of your book reminds me how whenever I kiss your eyes, we look more like a manifesto in device-mode winking at the chunks of quartz on my meditation altar, and what we see is no clearer than light could never penetrate. You don’t have to stay here. I mean, before bed there’s a flagrant misuse of verbs rehearsing in my mouth, getting stuck in sentences I want to check off the list. Like your mollusky intrusion, its fizz of salty, body-surf bursting in until I relent and see stars myself. To verb is not to depend on the when of a thing, and even less the who. I mean how meta a verb is eyeball, for instance. To make an image of an eyeball is not to eyeball. A painting of my eyeball can show us how to eyeball someone eyeballing another geology. You look at me like that, and I grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2 though neither of us is looking through the windshield. Cruise-Control is not Self-Drive. When I paint eyeballs on my eyelids, no one sees me blink if I do it quickly enough. Like when you say my bicycle’s a prosthesis to my imagined sense of self. It’s more Post-Singularity than most asymptomatic people might think. Our connection channels through us a clockwork of autonomous technology. And my presence inside this poem initiates a cognitive replication of manual transmission, where my credit score becomes identical to the number of anonymous orgasms I’ve given you this year, causality unzipped into the promising hands of monosyllabic.

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Bobby Parrott is radioactive, but for how long? This queer poet’s epiphany concerns the intentions of trees, and now his poems enliven dreamy portals such as Tilted House, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Diphthong, Exacting Clam, Neologism, and elsewhere. He lives in the unceded ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Ute peoples now known as Colorado, with his partner Lucien, their top house plant Zebrina, and his hyper-quantum robotic assistant Nordstrom.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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