i am a lucky duck holding a busted umbrella over a major fissure i found on Linden st in which all the people i put in hell are drenched in mytho-plasmic ichor. they look down primarily, standing on a large screen that is showing a projection being filmed aerially by drones and angels. they are watching me on the screen waiting for something to happen. i am soaked holding a tiny hole-riddled aegis over twenty feet of splintered concrete.


a solvent is raining from the heavens that separates the god blood into iron and platelets under the abyss’ shadow. the iron crawls on itself, not stalagmitic but cylindrically perfect like street lights or colthestrees or a cold chill up their spines. the platelets, more organic, grow bramble at first. it gets caught between the toes of all my old friends. i set out orange cones and barricades to prevent more from falling in. this is my arcadian world, the sisyphean role of crosswalking. ‘no, this way, please don’t fall down there, it’s quite messy.’


chemical raindrops and a numbness i ache for. my feathers are boiling. the eternal cloudburst never brims in the ravine. instead, the saturated bramble has bloomed decoratively into apartment plants, a twin bed, a writing desk, a closet with comfy shirts and evening wear for each of them. the iron cell bars have advanced technologically, started receiving signals and wifi and messages from the empty skies. The downfall dries instantly on the skin of my friends and they love this imperviousness. i’m happy. the screen floor below them is carpeted now.


a construction crew has made its way to the other end of the fissure. they were upset i “borrowed” their cones. they are also going to hell, but i told them they were at the wrong site and if they could please make their way to another deathtrap. they leave me with a fresh umbrella that i leave closed on the ground behind me. i open myself inside and my luck changes. the gods part the sky for a second and i don’t notice.


then there is a new smell. a wet smell. a water smell. a flooding smell with fossilized smells. a duck bill has a probing organ called the Corpuscles of Herbst that allows a duck to sense pressure changes underwater. a treading smell. a duck foot and duck mouth and duck shit smell. hell flushing fissure filling smell. h too oh


these loved well-wishers i put in hell, afflicted pit dwellers, now floating on their backs. the water swells beneath them. after 19 hours, my liberated friends pull themselves from the ledge. i close the tattered umbrella, tuck it under my wing while i wait. the water and smell rise, a flood just for me now. i rise above the city, an invisible ocean building under my palmate feet. a construction worker comes to visit in a crane. she is afraid of heights and cannot stay long, but i appreciate her visit. she cannot relate because the ocean is only for me. overnight, i stare down at old poems too far underwater to read. it’s tiring to be so far from words. i wrap the handle of the umbrella around my duck neck, and open the worn porous umbrella under the surface. the liquid rules matter again, a physical smell, a sinking smell, a sense of pressure change.



feb11 – brennan mcmullen

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