Enjoy Being Human

Annie Paradis

Trooper Bliss

Me drunkpraying
for a disaster.

It's clear I am the worst stepdad.
The sun becomes a dud.
When we become touched
by sun bulb through hearse.

As we travel we think past moist.
We think New
Home and how we
mosaic. My hands
open catheters. What.

In the hotel room
he now she
made a map
of all the horrible things
she’s found out
about herself.

Does our life sux. But
there’s the Philippines to save
and I’m a sparrow
yello clean and plump
with knowledge of the storm
without motive to fly.
Swampy bird bitch
something crawl inside of me.


When the show is over
and the credits come up
and the screen is a shiny empty square
and our bodies are reflected
naked shiny wet flat

that is when I need to be my own Daddy.

If I could do this through making a bomb
or a Swedish children’s toy
or an entire religion then I would.

I want to take a piece of wood and tell it —
I will be more honest with you
than I have ever been with a body.

Because here in the woods I know and have heard
of the attractive crust punks that ask for money
right before you turn onto 76
and the way their bodies are at their best
dimension in the sun.

The way I want to look at their bodies
and know how to make a piece of wood
look like their bodies.

When I look at your body
I am afraid of hurting your body.
When I look at your body
I am afraid of hurting your body.

The good part is coming up.

Let us imagine that you are living the good life.
You are living the good life
and I am afraid of disappointing my therapist.

At what point is this stupid.

The number of channels
that my father thinking it was a good idea
to text me a photo of the woman he is dating
while still married to my mother
had to pass through.

I want to look at those channels.

I am pulling back the channels
the same way you pull back bark.

You see here is a bug.

I am pulling back the bark
the same way you pull back her hair
or any other part of her that is a code.

I have a toothpick in my mouth now
and am saying things like
gather round — do y’all see the bug?

In its best light —
that bug is an algorithm for a body —
a body that you either
want to have or
want to destroy.

Let us imagine this bug as your mother.

This is a scary thing for us to do.

We can move on.

Let us imagine this bug as a speaker in a parade
in a country where you do not speak the language.

Imagine how much more those other bodies know than you do.

So you buy the food that you see everyone else eating
and instead of saying how good it is
you do the dumbest gestures with your body
to show how good the food feels.

Let us imagine that is how the bug feels
when I hold the magnifying glass above it
as the sun comes through her hair.

Let us then imagine me being a good boy.

Let us imagine the way she puts her shirt on
in such a way that I am so moved by it
so moved that I tell her
"It is interesting how you put your shirt on."

Let us imagine the force in which you interrupt your body
to compose itself when any body that is male
passes your body at any time of the day in any part of the city

especially when the light hits the male body
in a way in which it can be illuminated
as a fast and horrifying algorithm

that is when I know I must make a bomb
or a Swedish children’s toy
or an entire religion.

That is the moment when I will know
how to make good work
and the bark will illuminate and
any blood that had been within the bug
will become a tool —

Let us imagine that tool as a body.

Service Learning

Today they showed
us a movie
about the capitol
in the capitol.
Did you know
that at the top
of the dome
there is a painting
it is very impressive
it has George Washington
sitting there with a blanket
on his lap (?) it’s purple
and there are about
13 biddies (angels)
(star–spangled) not falling.

About Annie Paradis

Contributor headshot, Annie Paradis

Annie Paradis' work has appeared in Packet BiWeekly, LUNGFULL! Magazine, Fence, and Drunken Boat amongst others. In 2016, TXTbooks published her chapbook, LOVE POEMS. She lives in Philadelphia where she performs and teaches improvisational comedy and sketch comedy and hosts The Slam at Good Good Comedy, a monthly poetry based comedy show. Find her on the web at paradislost.com and on instagram.

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