Chris Pusateri's poems and reviews have recently appeared in Chicago
, LIT, Jacket, Tinfish and others. He is the author of Berserker
(xPressed, 2003) and VI Fictions (Gong, 2005). Educated
in Jamaica and the United States, he currently lives in Seattle.

from The State of Your Choice

Chapter 1

One long line is the trans-Siberian given as a series of procedures in time, an excursion that one arrives in, not at, the end of. The first and last frame, wind's mass casts no shadow, this the different sense we use to notice it. The wrong kind of nozzle regulates (governs) the flow, but there's no choosing, your skin dies and falls away as your cells grow upward and out. Manifest density.

Chapter 1.1

The senior author is the first one listed, an et al Othered at the ass-end of the listing experience. Conquistador we use as synonym for explorer, a descriptor more indicative of the task at hand, turns on the linguistic assumption that all things may be best described in English. West is not West if you're west, south or north of it. The coast is a warm demander, too often left in the hands of our impressions, as some fight not to move but to stay put. Storm the meta-narrative and set it alight - that which molds everything to consensus by increasing its heat. Whose information is it? Whose system?

Chapter 1.2

Clocktime welds a right angle to these vehicular pragmatics. Writing is doing something you've never done before, and today's exercise is the same vacation spot we keep coming back to. Where everybody knows your name. Experience in syndication: not so fresh, but when we come home, just what the doctor ordered, an experience repetition has made passive. Words are getting smaller as the price of sending them increases. Something to do with licensing fees. OPEC ministers paint by numbers, octanes catalytic, converted to bhat, a rate mistaken, though it's the only game going. Fine lines, she said to her queue. Listen to my lips is a deaf breath, like a wind out a window you can't feel indoors. Not words, but what suggests them. Imagine torture as an end, not a means, and then you'll really be disgusted. Effete creations as a manifestation of the masculine. A non-music made with musical objects is an empty orchestra pit, a chromatic loop walking out of an empty room but never quite crossing the threshold.

(addendum to previous)

Sometimes they need a little push. There's an unwillingness to let go of that last syllable. The unlike foods made war in his small intestine, and there seemed little to do but dissolve them with whiskey. Mountains divided the weather patterns, so on one side was desert, on the other endless rain. Like two sides of a pillow. Threads of water sought lower ground; he sayed up straight, locked posture and wondered if a similar process was taking place within his frame. The humors loosening, a shit taken. He must be getting older if the only talk left to him involved piss & wind. He said something about his pants, but I couldn't make out the rest. It's a pisspoor foot to start off hopping on. Jutting and inward toes are indicative of incorrect adjustment. Is that a question or a statement? It's the 'or' that makes it fighting words. Wouldn't it be funny if all wars were the products of misinformation? Gosh, the 38th parallel wasn't where we thought, weapons en mass, destructive and such in fact weren't, containment doesn't work with ideologies, golly gosh, give me back my missile, let's test fire and call it a Roman holiday. Rage is anger that doesn't follow the recipe (though some would say it's a matter of degree). War is the giving of ingredients and a match for the gas. Once the events are set in motion, time will do the rest.

Chapter 1.4

We go out into the world and mistreat it, only this time intentionally. Return of the four hundred words which habit has bred, a naming system of so limited a precision, how could we ever have dreamed of exploitative control? If we live together till death, you'll have transferred enough of your mannerisms to me that you won't actually die. Personality is nothing more than trace elements: over time, your words, gestures, and prejudices will remit. That's what they mean when they say "I become you."

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