Short Story, a poem

Hey, here’s a rage poem I wrote a long time ago about, you know, the Machine. That darned Machine, good thing to rage against, apparently. Every line is based on something true, by the way. You’d think I’d get over my rage after awhile. That takes maturity. Or, like, whatever.


Short Story


The Governing Features of the

Structural Classification of the

Category Definition of

Scar Tissue on a Belly


for Todd Pierce


“You can tell a true war story by its uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.”

—Tim O’Brien, “How to Tell a True War Story”



            My short story is a belly scar, solar plexus to half inch under bellybutton, light pink now, still a little uncomfortable; this is my short story; this was written by circumstance; this is real;

            This belly scar is not a metaphor; Belly scar is literally the scar on my belly;

            And belly scar is arbitrary;

            Belly scar is what I don’t understand;

            Belly scar couldn’t be simpler;

            Belly scar ignores grammar rules;

            Belly scar is lazily constructed;

            Belly scar is obstinate and self-indulgent;

            Belly scar is solely mine; Belly scar is the mark of my near death but you’d have to know me to know that;

            Belly scar allows no easy clues for the reader’s convenience; Belly scar fails to guide the reader; Belly scar is anti-reader for the sake of the reader because the reader doesn’t need to be coddled and blown; Belly scar is arbitrarily lewd;

            I am the reader here;

            Belly scar believes in writing, not reading;

            Belly scar’s reader (me) skimmed the explanatory introduction (three weeks of belly pain) attached only to provocative points (fixing belly pain takes money) ignored the rest (not fixing belly pain takes death), dismissed it entirely as an explainable other (it’s only indigestion) and asked tangential and unimportant questions (how much pepto bismol do I need?);

            Belly scar gives no clues to its internal logic; Belly scar lacks a center to focus on;

            Belly scar ends in a preposition;

            Belly scar completely lacks logos;

            Belly scar is a lack-of-lack-of-lack;

            My black cat coincidentally has the same belly scar; gone now, yellow-eyed, in heaven perhaps, fully shadow, belly scar meaningless afterall;

            Belly scar always ends up shadowed and meaningless;

            Belly scar is unconventional with out purpose;

            Belly scar is original and not original (see the pun here, if you’ll indulge some reader leading, is the Buddhist notion of bellybuttons);

            Belly scar is a kabbalah laddar ayin sof heisenberg schrodinger (sorry Angel Anais) pluripont ex nihilo blown out candle, the formula-free science of mortality;

            Belly scar fails to acknowledge tradition; Belly scar isn’t what a short story’s supposed to be; Belly scar’s never heard of supposed to be (that last clause was a worshopped cadence);

            The unconventionality of my belly scar has a strictly political agenda;

            Belly scar shares attributes with the fairy tale category, if by fairy tale I mean wordless, once bloody and visceral (do I need to explain the pun here?– that would be insulting); Belly scar has no narrator; Belly scar is a flat character type;

            Belly scar is puffy from birthday carrot cake and cream cheese cupcakes and friend-made pecan pie;

            The pinkness of my belly scar makes it seem cute and harmless;

            Belly scar is a big fuck you to determinism;

            My brother coincidentally has the same belly scar horizontally;

            Belly scar is collectively written fixed base;

            Belly scar is not poetry because it lacks the features of poetry;

            Belly scar was not born from types of belly scars;

            Belly scar would rather fail;

            Belly scar is incapable of learning lessons, certainly hasn’t and doesn’t think anyone should;

            Belly scar is anti-category anti-structure anti-feature, anti-definition-classification soul extraction; Belly scar is anti-word; and, to correct my previous statement, Belly scar, in the vein of Beckett and Kafka, has absolutely no political agenda what-so-ever;

            Why?  Because my belly scar just is; 

            This is my short story;

            This is arbitrary;

            This is what I don’t understand!



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