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Your Lips Testify against You
I withdrew yet farther into my shell, snug as a meadow louse in a weedy mausoleum. I survived on porridge and my own brand of boosterism, which had me pacing the room and inciting imaginary riots in support of my seclusion: who wouldn’t have done the same thing in my shoes, I demanded, and proceeded with an impassioned defense of a purely subjective causality, at least one for each of us, which would naturally require a renewed faith in each other’s motives and desires, ulterior or otherwise. What I mean to say is just let me be. Of course, like all great ideas, this seems like common sense to us now that the peace accord has been signed again, as clear as the daylight coming through the porthole and the sight of my fair weather friend descending to bring me provisions. How der doo, he said, as if nothing had happened to make that greeting as silly as a jackdaw wearing a domino. You seen the traffic out there, he asked as he put the hogshead down. I don’t pay much attention to all that stuff and such; I always feel like, somebody’s watching me, and I have no privacy, so if all you plan to do is tell me about the circus that’s made camp in the field out there, I’ll point the way to the egress myself, I said. But as he left memories of my time as a carnival barker flooded my mind, and the mere thought of canvassing a crowd got me all hot and bothered; this is what I had been waiting for, after all, and no trembling delirium was going to stop me from trampling the wormwood and beggar-ticks on the way to my fame and fortune. Goodbye Alaska!  

Duncan Dobbelmann has a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center and has published a chapbook of prose poems called Tronie (Harry Tankoos Books). He has published an article on the poet George Oppen in Paideuma and co-authored (with Isabel Roche) an essay on the Bennington College curriculum for The College Curriculum (Peter Lang).