Disconnected: Installment Two

Disconnected is a column published bi-weekly by Rob George. Disconnected is a collection of semi stream-of-consciousness poems usually generated from one compelling thought. The rest of the poem is written around this thought, at an attempt to be both surprising but concrete.


By Rob George and Maggie Farren

Stemming flowers under her fingernails and gnashing at dirt,

coating her tongue like wet cement.
There’s treatment for crazy
and danger-to-self and there is also
a corn field in middle America
where the sky touches every corner
of the horizon and the worms work
their way into your chest – swallow you whole.

I feel like I’m being lied to. You sit in the first available chair adjacent the door that joins these two cars, sleeper and dining, you are in the dining car of the sleeper section of this train. In trains like these, passages between cars are not exposed to the rushing open air brushed aside by this train’s piercing nose. You think, there are no opportunities on this train to experience follicular strain, strands of cells fighting to break off an anonymous scalp. You think: The lie is in the presentation, the facts lay valid, squirming in the dirt. You pass, quickly, grains of dirt as much a blur as hair follicles constituting the greater picture of the human head.

Thunder bubbles at the sky – pockmarked with lightning and rain drops. The corn whistles in anticipation and the cows bellow and she lays on the hard dirt as it opens its many small mouths to the storm. Alabaster, albatross, splayed and fossilized in the field. Do not lose sight of the bone tired birds

in the sky and under it.

My suspicions fade. Increasingly aware of your immediate surroundings, you pick my face out of the crowded collage of strange visages, recognizing me by my reclusion from the rest. You notice the yellow triangular bib tucked into my collar and the golden glint of my utensil: a spork with serated edges. This impresses you. You have discovered my ability to dine with a single utensil, a crack in societal standards, another alienating trait. In elongated stride and lighted gait you flit over to the empty chair adjacent mine. As I dine, we discuss caricatures of forgotten dictators, their names lost in the din of the dining room. You don’t hear me when I ask, and so I let it be: words are like utensils and I refuse to use more than one.