After the Film Adaptation of Bobby Gaugin’s Tricycle! Waterfall!, w/ Off-Brand Orange Juice

Bear with me—I am about to create an epiphany
and there will probably be some spilling
perhaps a small fire
no I am kidding: this is about the time
I went to see a movie
and by “went” I mean I crossed from the kitchen
into the fur bowl of the living room
and hacked away the blinds in a fit of peek. Suddenly,
a remote control in my hands, the eyes of a pack animal
looked back at me.  Or I was at a museum
or I was at the mechanic’s and seeing this thing
the surface of which had been with unsettling intensity
mussed.  I looked at this thing
as if watching a movie in a library built
from the dreams strangers can’t help
but tell you. Bang! Epiphany. This spring
spoke directly to me
and it said something you may never share
the understanding of Bang!  It was shaped like its shape
then like a cannonade of its shapes
flying over a crowd of cowed socialites
or a crimson ribbon leashed to the launched skull
of an erstwhile bear beside a green unfinished.
Perhaps mundanely it was revealed that none in the world
can ride a tricycle out of a waterfall, but
this is only true if the waterfall, tricycle, and rider
conform to limited expectations. The tricycle seems like a symbol
but then it starts talking. I realized
that how it whispered to me
belonged only to me
but I tried to give it to you anyway,
even though the best I could do was repeat the whisper
in words I came up with, a mantra, a reversed
curse, a little tenderness
tried. The cashier was being unbelievably patient:
I had forgotten how I count. Bang! And as the spaceship
went into the mountain, as the man with the walkie-talkie
and the gold-buttoned blazer approached me,
as I stood in my living room feeling as if I were falling
already, I said something perfect enough
that it no longer felt like describing a motion
of my cartoon mind obscuring the empty sky,
it sounded like Bleep, bleep, Void,
I coming for you


Marc McKee is the author of five collections of poems: What Apocalypse? (New Michigan Press, 2008), and from Black Lawrence Press, Fuse (2011), Bewilderness (2014), Consolationeer (2017), and Meta Meta Make-Belief (forthcoming, 2019). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Los Angeles Review, Matter, and The Offending Adam. He teaches at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.