Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

This was written on a top of the line laptop
in a Starbucks, by a man with tribal tattoos
on his neck, who hoped you'd peek
over his shoulder to read his screenplay
and offer him either a contract or sex.

You will find the next message
on a dollar bill you will get as change
coming off the turnpike long after midnight.

Help, it will say.  Let me out.

You didn't read the scrollwork
of the scrimshaw inside the shell
you picked up in the crappy gift shop
on your 6th grade field trip.  Instead,
you bought that seagull carved
out of driftwood, for your mom.  Bad choice.
If you had studied it then
this whole thing would be much further along.

Pull back to 35,000 feet and look out
over the hills and golf courses, the circuitry
of new housing developments out to the horizon.
How well do you know Braille?

Open your Moleskine and you'll see
I felt free to assign you
some action items, even though
I wasn't wearing a blue suit at the time.
You'll need to go down to Shipping
to get some boxes, and I hope you know
where to find an old typewriter
and your grandfather's pocketwatch.

Tell me what you need from me;
to scroll the words up the screen
after a late night ad?  Or hide them away
halfway through a spam email
for herbal Viagra?  Stipple a haiku
in skywriting above the beach?
Tattoo it in Kabbalist symbols
on the lower back of a woman
laughing too loud and doing shots
in a sports bar uptown?

I'm beginning to wonder if you're standing by
and ready to receive the instructions.

Mark Aiello