In Poems & Fiction

I’m listening to ventriloquists on the radio. They’re talking at me. You may have heard them, already. Sometimes it’s good to travel. You get messages when you travel. It’s mostly accidental. I was on an airplane once, and before we took off, they said, Put on your oxygen mask before helping others. I liked that, even though I don’t like things that cover my face. During the flight, I practiced my secret language, mainly the vowels. It’s best to practice the vowels when you’re awake. It’s easy on an airplane, because everyone’s facing in one direction, even the children. I watched a movie about Japan. Many people were upset to learn that the emperor isn’t divine. That surprised me too, but I suppose nobody’s perfect? Even in Japan. Sometimes, I hear things that aren’t there. It’s like throwing your voice. If you’re not careful, you can become confused. The words come out of someone else’s mouth, and you think you’re a story in someone else’s head. Of course, it’s pretty much the same story, the same one you hear every time. The beginning and the end are exactly the same. It’s like a miracle. There’re just no words for it, like an echo of a voice that isn’t there, even when everyone is listening. Because whenever anyone talks to me, I know they aren’t.

– Brad Rose, “Ventriloquists on the Radio”



decomP, August, 2016

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