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A NERVOUS LAUGH [EXCERPT] ❋ Matthew Sherling

a room with mirrors for walls,
a wall made of wind,
a tree behind a TV in a spacious den,
a tree wrapped in toilet paper,
two trees wrapped around each other,
two trees whose limbs scrape asphalt,
two trees that have been equally shot to death,
a forest fallen on a superhighway, a tree sleeping in a forest,
a forest waking up to an alarmclock,
two campsites created by a river,
two fields where woods used to be,
two fields that have never been plowed,
two cassette players turned off humming at each other,
two cassette players side by side blasting different music,
two old jars filled with century-old mud,
two kids swimming in a pool online,
an ancient farmer updating his Facebook,
a future robot practicing breathing meditation,
discarded cellphone chargers whose wire chemicals poison a region’s population, a smartphone that holds a weightless universe,
a wheel that keeps getting bigger,
a friend you’ve never met offline,
an elaborate library stored on a mobile device,
a cyberspatially arranged neighborhood,
wires under the ocean that’ll one day connect the whole world,
physics as metaphor,
a 25 year-long interview via email,
an online magazine that doesn’t own printers,
a YouTube video of cows jumping joyfully into an unfenced field,
a sentence sweating in a muggy field of cicadas,
a kitten drinking rainwater out of a hubcap,
a roof made of broken televisions,
radio stations that only play fieldrecordings from outerspace,
buildings whose interior simulates the outdoors,
an ancient building built to bend sound,
two sounds having a conversation about how they feel alone,
megalithic structures that cultivate electromagnetic energy,
a ceilingfan that screams in your ears,
dissonance mistaken for lullaby,
tongues lying on top of each other, possession mistaken for love, harmony mistaken for tragedy,
an overweight person walking their overweight dog,
a long walk on a short bridge, a smell that returns you to another person, obvious statements never stated & therefore forgotten,
the English language without the word ‘is’,
a cog in the machine, congregations of gnats flying into one’s mouth, collective consciousness that you can download,
a rubberband holding up a thicket of hair,
a rubberducky that floats from one side of the world to the other,
a herd of sheep huddled in the back of a pickup,
a parking lot filled with jackedup trucks,
a statue that sleepwalks into the ocean,
a weak kid who learns magic to combat bullies,
bodies as lines of flarf,
ancient myths confusing each other’s solitude,
an unrequited bliss parade, little known brain police,
immaculate disarray, flamboyant pondmoss,
an ant who runs into another ant
because they’re both staring at the sky,
a sky that remembers where you live
so it can rain on your roof to help you sleep,
metaphorical toilet paper, money as debt,
vices that become instruments of profound insight,
the space between a person’s conclusions,
the space that allows a table to protrude from the floor,
space that keeps expanding between words,
space wandering around trying to find something to hug,
the point at which space & time become indecipherable from each other, space that listens to itself mimic silence,
where space coughs in the dark,
space inside the number 0,
a pill that allows one to reexperience birth