Recent Work By Ish Klein

When one looks through the pictures of the trenches
and the unending, it would seem, fire stream
it is understandable that they would leave.

Ask anyone in the burn ward if they’d prefer
a time out or a long slow heal that is not guaranteed
to be free from monstrous scarring- well, you tell me.

A passable face and manageable mobility:  basic. 
And who could argue with you after the trenches;
never mind the projections on tent walls and sheets,

billowing by rockets nearby.  Conditions
which seem to come from people who are not of One. 
Never mind looking up.

In any case, the battlefield really did look like it would scab
over the whole body of land on this planet.
After the volcano, life with no cafés or coziness.

Enter the new mesmeric uses of screens.  Yikes
The vile feelings, the exodus, re-enter veterans:  Down they came,
from their air ships to walk among us animals.

That they were more capable since deciding to settle their animal-
that we really didn’t want to settle-
this point was conflict and still is.

They were keeping the extinct
while we were goggled by mold; throwing our voices
into mold and jostling moss

and talking about the glow at the bottom of the so-called
ocean we’d only seen pictures of
which I now understand are lights from the heights

of their towns.  And that mold is their refuse.
Refuse discussion is taboo, Taboo.
Unless you are stranded under a carriage in enemy territory

and must remind yourself to drink urine or die.
Yes, it was difficult to understand the noble fighters:
those who will not react with emotion

but take immediate action.  Because they see what is screen
and we see everything as back-up for our Importance.
What about me?  Well, raised by wolves.

In Wolfland there are always exciting conflicts
under the alpha and lady alpha,
vying for the glossy furred mate and later

ululations to the moon, Alice!  To the moon, Flintstone. 
We are soothed by memories of television through windows.
Their promise of drastic food and large apartments

which are soft, miraculous like walking through mattresses;
or swallowed in nine places of correspondence:
the bed, the refrigerator, the water closet, basin, the toilet,

the zone before the square show:  t.v.! 
the floor when you lie on it, the ceiling when you climb
to touch it and the window, any window.

One wonders how it happens:  the expansion
of comfortable useless stuff:  phoniness
or foam:  fire retardants.

I worried my uses would change from food finder
to pill setter or who knows what?
I never knew the famous password

to the apartment party wine box.  I don’t go out anymore.
I wake up early, wake up when hungry.
You wake up all the time until you learn how to eat in your sleep.

So back to the actual advancers with their lances
who stepped back in when I was having my own little
bruxist moment of implosion.

I was used to more theatre and approval
for theatre.  I’d honed my responses
to avoid pain and some don’t but I loved

to be surprised by light flashes in their eyes.
That was decoy preseason to ensnare.
They really don’t give light much, no.

We graded low.  Being properly in front of them
cannot be done.  They do not throw their etiquette
notes to you across the table

or maybe they do but you are under the table.
(‘Idiot wolf, don’t you eat that!)
Babbling, call me brook.  A river Nut.

I’ll go on about homeostatic functions and science fictions
and supposes regarding the rosary or other beads and old heads.
Talking wolves are novel on beer

bubbles pumping me up
which is medium alive and then I calm
down.  Revise.  15 minutes of after shock.

Resentfully I return to work.  My work!
which is to be a giver or to take.
Where do I go?

I am in naturalism. 
Neither boy nor wife
but nice sometimes

I’m a mover with my mouth.  I am nervous Rex.
I go to court if I’m jesting.  The costume is itchy,
the etiquette extremely challenging.

God help you if you laugh at the wrong time.  At anything!
Things which might have nothing to do with them directly.
Like a movie before you found out about movies.

The movie where Danny Kaye is saying what dirty minds they all have.
He’s Walter Mitty and he’s so surprised that they would think he’d
be up to anything coarse, anything below board at all.

They’d been many days together and were mainly in his fantasy.
Or maybe he was flying a plane.  High court thrives on strain.
When you learn how to take it, you get promoted again.

The look on his face
I was relating too.  It seemed extremely real:
Primordial even:  the movie actor not the veteran character.

What could you say that would be interesting?

What I find interesting is that in Oceania the people in the village traditionally make puppet theatres in the shape of an animal. The stage itself is in the mouth or the stomach (depending upon the design). The plays are about what is happening in the village. The theater is a non-threatening way of addressing the issues, and the animal stage also keeps in the audience’s mind the perspective that we are each and together part of a larger organism. It’s also a good idea to make the animal beautiful.

Where are you in relationship to people?

Most likely I am one and so are many of my friends, probably.

What do you think a person is?

An accumulation of experiences from other environments in time, and from other forms.
It’s actually a very lucky place to be because humans are born into change and can take charge of their own learning process. I know that nobody is in control of their outer circumstances, but people can be in control of their personal perspective which can guide them through life.

So what are you working on now?

I’m working on another book of poems and looking for a job. Also I’ve got a narrative book and I want to start a theatre of some kind.

And I am working on how to like things that are happening outside my ideas. Staying with the world that appears to be happening more often because I realize that absenteeism isn’t pragmatic.

Is there anything you want to say about jobs?

Yes.  I am available to be hired for non-sexual work that doesn’t hurt the environment.
I would prefer it to be part time and to telecommute because I do not drive and I live in a remote place.

You are on a Space Station?

No.  Probably not a space station.  Or if it is it’s got a lot of bugs.

Anyway, in your experience and I ask this because I know you have very challenging mood swings, What helps?

Being hydrated:  apparently the brain actually shrinks when you haven’t had enough water. Also hobbies are good. Hobbies where you don’t have to talk unless you want to talk in which case there are hobbies where you can talk to people like D&D. Or an inventor’s club. My life definitely was helped by being near other people’s enthusiasms.