When the West needed rediscovery, the powers sent a clown with a camera to compile the spotless carnage. This was before viral. Reptiles ate the strings off guitars. Townspeople wandered with eyes covered to block the awkward flips from color to black & white to color. The new colonists let their hair explode, posed with mannequins for selfies. This was before selfies. Reinvention meant erasure, but not of natives. This was after immigrants started pretending to be natives. The five men who appeared to be human formed a band that could stand alone in the desert, look good in grayscale. They had not thought past the moment, past the four minutes it would take to embed the psyches of whoever was left, whoever would dare to put on the greasepaint.
I Stagger Toward the Future
Note: Title is a lyric from “Far Side of Crazy” by Wall of Voodoo (#23 on Australian Charts, 1985).
Daniel Shapiro is the author of How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside press, 2013), a collection of celebrity prose poems. His recent work has appeared in Hermeneutic Chaos, Rogue Agent, Maudlin House, Unbroken and elsewhere. He is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh.