The Flute is the Thing with Feathers

The students often give names to their instruments. Clarence the Clarinet. Bill and Bob the trumpets. Daisy the Trombone. Gladys the Baritone. Hope the flute. The girl who owned the flute wouldn’t stop playing while the teacher was speaking to the class.
“If you keep interupting, I’ll have to take your flute.”
“Oh please don’t take Hope away. I can’t live without Hope,” she said.
“It’s OK, I’m a teacher,” the teacher replied. “I make students lose hope every day.”



The podium is large as a convenience store. They plug in the lights. The world becomes bright as a microwave turned on high. What is going on in the mind of each blade of grass? Nothing, unless you count single syllable jokes and a fear of cows. They have hired me to do some preaching.

The wisp of their lips, their fog-bound faces. The smooth yellow line at the side of the road as we climb the mountain.

I open my hand and show them a rock. They already know.

I hold up three fingers. They know.

I unzip and show them the delicate butterfly patterns where my penis should be.

They do not believe in democracy.