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Terra Nova

By Robert M. Speiser

From the middle outwards, or from a semi-vacated center where oceans never roll or signal, it moves towards the periphery like a spot of scum on the bathtub that everyone avoids until the mark spreads, or at least its ideas do, until the spot becomes a network of rust and mildew disguised as wisdom and righteousness because one old, great book, or rather a group of pale-skinned men in authority who interpret this book as such, says that everyone should have a gun, or two, or three, but no one should kill a sacred human with barely a heartbeat because, yes, that is a sad shame that causes grief without bounds, but so does a decaying natural ecosystem of systems that has been around for several million years, not including the last 13,000 years of homeostasis, where white bears and Costa Rican yellow frogs did not ask to fill their gas tanks connected to catalytic converting devices recently invented, nor did they get a vote on which species is king, for the catalytic converter is but a euphemism, a rationally controlled one, signifying change of change of agents of change, like a pretty sunset changing into the mystery of night, like a wondrous worm changing into a dazzling butterfly, like underground fossils changing into an atmospherically clogged septic tank of unseen particles the great book does not provide a plumber for, because the book was written, supposedly, 2000-5500 years ago when we were in the middle of our reliable 13,000-year homeostasis, regardless if unwanted babies were being born, most likely into a forgotten, less than literate class that did the pillar building, baby nursing, and other “dirty” work for the king of kings, the same ones the yellow frogs and white bears never voted for until selected “wise men” and woman 2100 years later put on black robes and those utterly stupid fuckin middle of the country white smiles with teeth that say, ’’cause my daddy and granddaddy said so,” even though daddy also followed their own wise men who created catalytic converters with all speed and no bounds ahead until it’s easier to look backwards at that great book from 2000-5500 years ago that said all homo sapiens are holy, unless they are descendants of colonized people who get stopped by police and complain because they only afford the cheaper models of catalytic converter chariots, because there was some other great book, or was it a parched document, that said all men should carry weapons, even if said weapons automatically release death to tens and tens, if not hundreds of holy humans, because those people are already born and, thus, have sinned deeply and probably come from our former colonies, so they are great sinners, especially if they look at the rolling oceans, which are rising, because we come from the middle of nowhere outward, which is the middle of that great book from which, thankfully, somehow, there is no exit.

Robert M. Speiser is a writer and English Instructor in the Santa Barbara area, where he teaches at Westmont College and Hancock Community College, works towards his MFA at Lindenwood University, plays guitar, hangs out with his family, rides his bike, and dreams of someday living in Portugal.

Art by Jeff Kallet.


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