By Tim Kahl
Nude celebrities emerge from the shooting ranges, but the neighbors only pay attention to the noise. Legal owners fire at the targets shaped like beginning yoga students in their warrior poses. Did anyone think this would lead to a crisis? No, but the government kicked off a campaign to stockpile toilet paper anyway. Most of the supply comes from the central part of the state where the top chefs drive together in one car to see the rich farmland. Oh the Seckel pears, the heirloom okra. These are unknowns to the women of Ferndale raising their families by playing blackjack and taking photos of children in chapels. How the surviving members of the Crafters Guild prayed for quick and tidy memorabilia. But the only available memories are the result of data breaches. The hackers strike at noon — quick in, quick out — then retreat to their minimalist interiors. They whisper innocent verses to their houseplants, dream of an unabated afternoon of powerlifting, and anticipate the sound of someone coming for them. Boom. Boom. Boom. It’s Bruckner’s symphonies. Open up. Open up. There’s a lot more shit I need to store in there.
Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012), and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He writes under the penname, Victor Schnickelfritz, at the poetry and poetics blog, The Great American Pinup, and the poetry video blog, Linebreak Studios. He is also editor of Bald Trickster Press and Clade Song. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. Visit his website at timkahl.com.