Allen Berry is a PhD student pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern Mississippi.
He is a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, and his work has appeared in Steel Toe Review, The Birmingham Arts Journal, What Remembers Us, an anthology of Alabama Poets and For Better or Worse: an Anthology about Marriage, from Poetworks Press. In 2001 he founded the Limestone Dust Poetry Festival in Huntsville Alabama, and served as its president until 2007 when he left to pursue his education in English literature and creative writing.
It's the midpoint of 11 and I missed the movie deadline and I don't quite want to go to the gym and I feel strung out somehow. I've had too much information. I've had too little food or too much of the wrong kind, some midgrade body fuel that fills the void without fueling up.
The cat sleeps, I should do the same. I should run, I should drive, I should grade these blasted papers. I should run for Congress, I should call an old friend. . . I should wait 'til morning. I've had too much information and too little exercise. . .except I had too much earlier. . . and now I have too little time to do too much work on a paper. I have too much to do and too few sources and two eyes that are flash burned from too much black on white text. I've had caffeine and a little sugar. I've slept, but not enough. I'm sleepy, but not enough. I'm handsome, but not enough. I'm old fashioned, but not enough. I'm too hip to things that aren't hip anymore. I'm roundly despised and universally adored for nothing. I'm reviled for what I am perceived to be, my perceptions are preconceived. My conceptions are imperceptible.
When the wind blows I am introspective. When the sun shines I am incorporeal. I am nothing that you would carry home to meet the folks, I'm a wrong number scribbled on the subway walls of Pompeii. I am an enigma to puzzle masters, left on voicemail to be answered and ignored in the order it was received. I am the dust under the wheels of progress, as the NASDAQ ticker spins encrypted chronicles of the world's end. Sanskrit read on a Kindle Fire holds the secret volumes of my birth, rise to power, sojourn in the desert, wanderings in the barrens of Eden under the flaming sword of its guardian. The last of the silence is locked in Fort Knox, surrounded by blue grass and Jaw Harp confessions by avant garde Jazz masters of a future age.
She is a distant whispered memory in a back alley brawl resulting from an argument between Lewis Braille and Marlee Matlin, mediated for a moment by Helen Keller. The Phoenix Suns descend into the ashes while Dell Employees speak of Pterodactyl sightings. One asks "Ain't they extinct?" to which the other replies "Naw." I am broken down into binary, a cipher of age-old mystic intelligence, the nonsensical ramblings of the Internet prophets, speaking their wisdom and secret formulas for sensual salvation in ecumenical Esperanto.
Pour me another Pibb, Mr. I've had enough life to last me a death-time.