Friday, July 10, 2015

Revisionist History [2012]

To whom it may concern:

[In the winter of 1963, the barn at the old Battle Creek farm caught fire.
And, from the way my grandmother told the story, it was a horrific
experience.  The blaze occurred in the middle of the night, and all the
members of the family were awakened by the blood-curdling screams  
of a few dozen burning animals.  A bull, as well as several cows, sheep,
pigs, chickens and goats were trapped inside the building, and the 
humans stood by helplessly, in their nightclothes, as the animals died.  
The charred remains of the barn and its inhabitants were never thereafter 
disturbed.  And years later, even as curious children, we steered clear 
out of respect.]

I was born on May 4, 1970, the day of the Kent State massacre.  I've never met anyone from Cambodia.  I often think of Richard Nixon when I'm sweating.  I enjoy the fact that there's a really great song written about my birthday.


I smiled and held a toy bolt-action rifle.  At night, my grandfather would allow me to sit with him on the screened-in front porch -- in the dark and silence -- as he mourned my dead aunt.  More than one event occurred in "The Gun Room".


My demeanor is a deception.  My parents needed to celebrate Halloween.  They placed a dozen peeled grapes into a bowl.  To the blindfolded, these felt like the plucked-out eyes of murdered children.  My brother was dressed as a clown.  I was dressed as Batman.  Each of us had on PJs beneath our costumes.


A talent for music is something I inherited from people I never knew.  My fingers have, more often than not, been involved.  I've never killed anyone, though I once found myself in a situation where I could have.  My mother is a slight woman with frail bones.  As a young man, my master had played principal trumpet for Fritz Reiner.


It was cancer.  "Bark.  Bark."  I wore headphones so that I would never have to talk to her.  I wrote books of poems about her and listened to Louder Than Bombs.  My dad built a room in the basement so that he could lock a door between us.  I am 6 feet 4 inches tall and weigh around 300 pounds.  I am dense and "estranged".
who deserves     a whipping
more than most (for unreasonable behavior)
is a dog
not designated queen
directly beneath me
as I attempt to     sleep
mid-afternoon     naked 
                    and chained
pitifully whimpering
without mercy
                    unreasonable behavior]

He returned with the Mahavishnu Orchestra cassette in hand just so he could throw it in the trash as I watched.  She played the theremin and grimaced.  The opera is just not my thing.  Several members of the primarily Japanese audience giggled to themselves when they noticed me weeping.  I found my left hand painfully locked in the shape of a claw.  You are what you like.


We met in 1992 at the Bob Evans restaurant in Canton.  She is 5 feet tall.  I am not defined by my recovery from liver failure.  You must hone your knob-twiddling instincts.  "Thump!"  This is a poem.  They were married, grew old together, and died within six months of one another.


This is simply a matter of identity.

COMPLETE NAME:  George Matthew Mapes

DJ NAME [favorite paper product] + [favorite zoo animal]:  DJ Cardboard Capybara

PRETENTIOUS ASSHOLE NAME [first initial] + [favorite car] + [any German language verb] (be mindful of potential opportunities for alliteration): G. Eldorado Erschrecken 

JUGGALO NAME [the last bodily fluid you secreted outside of your own bathroom] + ["fucker", "murder", or "killer"] + [shortened version of your middle name]: Piss Fucker Matt

ROBOT NAME [brand name of the first computer you ever owned] + [any word beginning with your last initial and ending in "ize"] + [convert each letter of your complete name to its number in the alphabetical sequence (A=1, B=2, etc.), then add them all up] + [first letter of your mother's middle name]: Tandy Metastasize 151 G

[last name hyphenated with "(a)tronic" or "(o)matic"] + [literally any loosely related noun 
chosen at random]: The Mapes-atronic Beard

[In the winter of 2012, the apartment in Canton was still standing.  The 
rabbits were playing with their cardboard toys and munching alfalfa.  
The humans, in their nightclothes, were watching them with smiles on 
their faces.  They also read books.  The one that was me was laboring 
through his final semester at Eastern Michigan University.  His major was 
Creative Writing and his minor was Electronic Media and Film Studies.
He also had a radio show called TENSION that aired every Monday
night at 7:00 PM.  One could listen to this radio show by clicking on  The two humans and their rabbits also looked out 
the window and watched the snow fall.]

Thank you for your consideration.


ends left ending (scratch)

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