Aaron Anstett

Self-portrait in Corporate Offices

Anstett glances, attempting his best alert, intelligent animal look, interested in project schedules, imagines being taxidermed, pelt propped up with sawdust and armature, remembers Duchamp's In Advance of the Broken Arm snow shovel and once, skull a hovel, apocalyptic squalor of red wine hangover, listing least painful ways. Who'd he eat first, surviving plane crash? With whom repopulate the earth, world's end? Anstett switches tack, scribbles repeatedly in the margins of a project plan, "Lord, make me your...," then whispers thanks to the atoms of his face, loyal to just one brand of bad luck.

Who Brings a Picnic to a Knife Fight?

My constabulary did this. Ants tip-toed the skin, tickling semi-colons across the flesh's oh-so lyrical passages. Cold water, tasting new-bought-panty-like of clouds, dripped pointless on my tongue. One girl whistled fiercely in my ear. Remember Rimbaud's soldier, sleeping centuries as some other country's soldiers trod the holy forests? It was Baudelaire said he could not celebrate vegetables. I'm half skeleton, mirrored in the water. Spooky. New spruce, saplings, glitter in that sun. I liked to eat. I loved garlic, burnt earth, italicized in sauce. I don't believe in ghosts. I don't exist. See: grass shoots, unstoppable, bloom there in my wrists.