Daniel Casebeer

Breakfast Club in Bed 

I used to think that Molly Ringwald was a poor choice to play Claire
Standish in The Breakfast Club. I would have gone with someone like
Haviland Morris, but I was probably biased because I celebrated the
shower scene in Sixteen Candles as my first time with a woman. I also
used to think that Ally Sheedy should have been replaced with Winona
Ryder. Her face just bothered me, for some reason. Anyway, I spent
hours with the movie poster, that iconic piling of teen angst in the
eighties, imagining how the dynamic would have changed if Michael J.
Fox took the place of Anthony Michael Hall, if Charlie Sheen stood in
for his brother. As the years progressed, and the poster followed me
from bedroom to dorm room and back again, it occurred to me that The
Breakfast Club was more than just an artful arrangement of
stereotypes. In all honesty, even the slightest change in the
lineup—think River Phoenix in place of Judd Nelson—would have
irrevocably altered my childhood.

Isometric Maps

I can’t tell if she’s lonely or just disconnected. She has the body of
a Colombian drug mule, and I can’t adequately qualify my desire
without making obscure references to the esoteric geometry of shared
experience. I need her / to understand the difference between here and
ahora, the significance of archetypes scattered like bones on a wooden
table. Years from now, when she thinks about how much I had to drink
before I could apologize for abandoning her when all she needed was a
friend, I hope she remembers that my intentions were nothing if not
relative to the amount of work it would have required to sleep with
her / a second time.

Pelamus Platurus (Acoustic)

The world’s most abundant reptile is the yellow-bellied sea snake.
With its elongated head and high set nostrils, the yellow-belly
resembles nothing so much as a sad old man. Its body is laterally
compressed, and its tail, which is usually decorated with black bars
or spots, is flattened, oar-like, to facilitate swimming across open
water. My father, who fancies himself a biologist, says that the
yellow-bellied sea snake can actually tie itself into a sliding knot
to scrape algae and barnacles from its scales. A cylindrical lung that
stretches the length of its body allows the snake to hold its breath
for hours. Long enough, my father says, to search for eels and
burrowing gobies in the shallows. Long enough for males to mate with
one of its two autonomous hemipenes. In courtship, it is up to the
female to haul her lover to the surface. Otherwise, they would both
drown, a writhing ball at the bottom of the sea.

Laura Carter

Which First?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Two men walked into a bar. One was softly whispering.
The other was an egg.
To assume an initial connection is false,
the whisperer said to the egg. You need a new schematic.
You yourself are an arbiter of it,
the man softly said.
If you can find a train,
said the first, it’s best to take it off rails.

The first man took his axe to a story’s center.
The second man took his axe to a story’s edge.
What we need is a story that precludes fidelity.
They spoke in unison. A wheel turned softly on its spokes.
The egg built a fire from a pill.
The man took a pill.
You will be waiting for a story,
he said. It will come after.
Both inhabited the same country. A text was written.