Chimera Song Mosaic
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
So I went to the post office satellite by my old house today (the main post office is distant and crowded), and the grumpy man behind the counter didn't even acknowledge our pre-existing relationship. As he weighed my bundles of poetry submissions, he grunted in response to my question of how many stamps come in a set of stamps and shook his hands in impatience when I asked if he had any special, pretty stamps. Then I noticed the signs around his transom, which read:

We DO NOT provide packaging--your packages MUST be complete before we will accept them. We don't have any TAPE.

There is NO TAPE available--you must bring your own.

NO CREDIT CARDS accepted after 4:00 PM.


United States postal packing is ONLY to be used for its express purpose.

DO NOT set CHILDREN on this counter.

Your taxes are NOT PAYING for this location. This operation is NOT FUNDED by TAX DOLLARS.

I am used to his hostility, but this last one is a new one. His New Year's resolution must be to anticipate every possible question a customer might ask, then instead of answering, he can just point to the sign and thus avoid any human interaction. But you didn't need that explained to you.

I can't belief I was ever inspired by stamps. But they do have some cool ones; my favorites are the Chinese New Year ones.

[Special Effects]

Where is the distinction between fantasy & reality,
between ocean dweller & otherworldly?
Some mark their genius where it stands or floats
or slices through atmosphere. O benign tonnage
of unspecified mass, of intellect unmastered, uninvented.
Vestigial webbings & virginities, a wholesome intellect,
the dolphins's knees homologous to our wrists,
to turn clown upside down is to transcribe backwards
a denatured element: shark stripped of instinct
& hairless skin, all rows & rows of white sharpened,
serrated cogs to churn the real molecules of water
in its dense remote machinery. A cautionary tale
told by the postmodern animal, artistic in his intent,
in his emotions, amphibious.

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