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chad redden


All energy somehow


My natural state is the morning in bed and smoking. I’m not very far away from you. When you turn 30 I will turn 29. It’s a race I won’t admit I want to win. I hold up the light with smoke and the smoke trembles. The light plays us too. It’s all energy. Somehow. I’ll sell my arms to you. They’re losing their attractiveness, but it’s hard to know if I’m cashing in too early.



The afternoon


My afternoon felt distant and somber so I dunked it in the bathtub. The water was not blessed, but I said a little prayer. Not out loud. You know how even a little electric fan has so much wind within them? I’ve learned how many internal prayers wait to breeze out of me. A tiredness begins in my arms. I pull the head out of the water, the afternoon feels like a letter finished with another person’s handwriting. I try to appreciate the effort, let out a little breeze.



The white mule


You may recall I did not pledge allegiance and I was sent out of homeroom to be with the remainder of the February. Here, men load food into a wheeled wagon. The white mule is sleeping. I wear a sweat suit for sleep. And for work. All of us wear sweat suits. We have pockets in the sweats to carry our own soap, toothbrush, and a reusable paper made to wipe clean our faces or hands. The white mule prefers to sleep in the shade, but sometimes will sleep in the road. We try to figure out her name and call out many. She never responds.





If you didn’t know before, I want you to know now. Everything begins as a starflake, of a star and shot into the dark. Time arranges and fixes them to become planets. Then chairs on those planets. And scrapbooks to keep while sitting in those chairs. I’m sitting in a chair with a scrapbook. It’s full of paper I’ve found drifting through the old haunted mall. Whatever catches my eye. Lottery tickets. Which are not winners. Lists and sometimes coupons for food they don’t make anymore. And notes, which I like the best. One reads: I’ll make the world explode because you hurt me. I’m also hungry today and so this wasn’t the best day for you to hurt me. I also like: Important! napkins and plates. ask about colors and animals.



Neighborhood locksmith


I’m sorry I haven’t been more helpful and the day has more boys instead of birds. I’m sorry. I’ve mentioned birds again. My instincts tell me poems shouldn’t be so horrible. They are all I have. I’ve yet to complete my mail-order poetry and locksmith courses. This neighborhood needs a locksmith. Maybe as I’m opening an overheated car to rescue a baby trapped inside, I’ll compose a little poem for the parents. To calm their nerves. Something cool feeling. With the color purple. Or something funny about a changing table, changing their baby into an adult. Because I’ve heard a few parents speak, about the lack of changing tables. And who wouldn’t want an adult?



Chad Redden lives in Indianapolis. He can be found at Lablablabs (http://lablablabs.net/).