Bookmech by Ray Ogar

>>> COPYRIGHT 2001

red wash trim nearly too short hair
i think she's a retail terrorist
..or some other catchphrase construct
i watch her walk
and she stumbles with her unhingable hips
..those mostly made from cardboard legs
..constructed to promote
..product placement
..and to facilitate the lazy explanations
..of in-store merchandise placement
i watch how her hands express
..general misanthropy white bone near
..or some other personal manipulator
i stop my shopping
and watch her take a break
..she moves outside the retail environment
..her back against the edifice wall
..thin lips decorated in gelatinous lip gloss
..and her mouth seems to collect every light of
..the city in some modest purse of lips
....she comments offhand wards off germs
....and other department store diseases
....not to mention the latent strains of radio-shack phage
i stand near her
..and walk her into a nearby bar
..i place tokens in the jukebox and she presses buttons
..for background noise
..not music but riot sounds
..home invasions recorded on 911 phone calls
..basic stock movie effects detailing violence
i seat her at a small booth
..order a drink,
...with a nod for something preferably
...separated by centrifuge
....and she tells me about her trips to russia
....sleeping on trains
....and how she's sick of being patted down
....every time she flies out of the ukraine the guards take her money
......then place her at the back of some
......oversized jet
......there she usually waits hours
......if not days
......her skin moist in some larval state
..she laughs at me
..smoke trailing from her nose like
..vaporous fish hooks
..but she does tell me she got the book
....the one with the rearrangable pages and words
....she even tells me where she hid it pieces scraps
....torn into frags
....and easily concealed between
.and crotch
.and underarm
.or flat against back
.or somewhere deep inside her
..she mentions she normally collects these
..things for the rich and lazy
..but for me
..for the right price
..i can peel the pages from her skin
..and nest with her like a machined angel
..waiting to copy her personal gospel
..she says if i pray to her correctly
..i can collect the pages however i wish
..i can turn it into a sex act
..or a simple homework collection teacher and student
.do i shudder?
.rather, should i?
..i know that she normally serves as informant no one
..will i be the first?
so i watch her,
her flick of wrist and
the casual lighting she gathers around herself,
she charges a small, dense blunt before her lips,
only to blow too strongly in my direction,
now breathing her own columns of
carbon dioxide exhaust.
if only i weren't so vulnerable to her brand
of side stream cancer--
i'd probably ask her name.