and the dream palm said destroy

The video opened with an early morning shot of a department store

Big-box desolation

There were no signs of life

The moon is a dead spaceship

And the store was a dead spaceship moon

Grand opening swooper flags weren’t rippling

Leaves on landscaped trees weren’t rustling

Inflatable dancing men weren’t dancing

Big-box desolation

My mind squirmed at the stillness of it all

It seemed to me that desolation could only be defined

In metaphor:

As a closed department store

In fact

Maybe Stephen Hawking had found one at the center of every black hole in the galaxy

But he couldn’t bring himself to reveal this information to anyone

So he kept quiet, and found atheism


Every atom in my body was begging me to stop thinking about desolation

I risked annihilation


The voice of reason took over

You’re looking at a freeze-frame, it said

Big-box desolation of that gradation is impossible, it said


Or is it? Maybe hell is a department store that closes when you’re still inside, it said

Wait, that was a different voice

A much different voice

And it’s asking me to…die a spiritual death?


The sun came up

Behind big-box desolation

And the first of a swarm of cars scurried into its parking spot

Out came its occupants and they scurried forth as lights flickered, inside

A worker appeared, inside

Letting shoppers come, inside

The moon rose

Travelled across the sky

Making way for the sun


The camera panned back and spat out the truth

The video was a video within a video

The play was a play within a play

Don’t you see?

The camera was filming a TV screen that played a sped-up video of a department store


Tell-tale signs of big-box desolation

And when the camera panned back from the screen

It signified a false awakening

Like waking from a dream and you’re still in a dream


The video self

Entered the frame between the screens (the dreams)

Wearing a Marilyn Monroe mask

As the parking lot of dream #1 emptied out for the second time

And the second mask came off

Revealing another

And so on and so forth

Until the last mask of Nancy Green had been exfoliated

And there he was

Staring at the camera

A word on his forehead:



The audience in perfect unison said the word image

And a third sun rose behind big-box desolation

As the video self raised its hand, dream palm facing out

Approaching the camera

The word on the dream palm grew bigger

And bigger and bigger

Eclipsing dream #1

Monopolizing dream #2

And bigger and bigger

A big old word

With roots in Troy:


And the dream palm said DESTROY


6 thoughts on “and the dream palm said destroy

  1. Your in good company with TGillam’s Brazil. I’d continue to sharpen this, if such a poem should be sharpened. Don’t know, but this one has all the earmarks of a perpetually unfinished work which obviously would demand the Hall of Mirrors editing team to take over. I can see them working now in jumpsuits, swinging hammers, chipping away at our hopeless plight. Oh well, WTF do I know? Not much, just settling down, the whirring slowly dying. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

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