Eleven and a Half Factoids That Together Make a Poem

Back to Issue 15

There’s an island in the pacific made of garbage
that’s large enough to attract real estate developers.
One day it will rise into the sky and become the afterlife.
The fastest animal in the world is the rollercoaster.
As it reaches its top speed of one hundred
thousand moments of love per second,
it sprays the world with iron and lilac.

A group of Scientists have discovered that clocks
speak a language that turns the present moment
into past and future. Time, however, remains
untranslatable and invisible to the heart.
Dinosaurs knew how to love themselves.
The evidence comes from fossils. These long
white bars of light are always found in groupings,
tiny villages of bones that make the earth smile.

The sky is not a ceiling, it’s a hole. The only thing
between us and the moon
is our desire for each other. And other holes,
some of them filled entirely with holes.
When bees make honey,
they make it in two places at once.
The first is in their hives, which have
the same structure as the condos
planned for garbage island. The second is in our souls,
the structure of which garbage island
is slowly becoming a miniature replica of.

George Washington admitted to the Cherry Tree
so no one would ask him about
the rest of the orchard. Every tree he ever met
bled history and prediction. From them, he learned
mathematics and sincerity and also
how to pay taxes with the blood of stars.
It’s not an accident or coincidence
that humans have two hands. One is meant
to hold a thing’s beauty. The other its name.
Applauding is the only time the world is real.

On a related note: The similarity of stones
is a defense mechanism that protects them
from being named. While we cannot tell them apart
for long enough to name them, each stone
is a different note in the song that nature sings itself.
Remember the scientists who listened
intently to the clocks? They are also certain that life
exists quietly elsewhere in the universe.
The only thing they are more certain of: the scariest
thing we can find in space is ourselves.

Originally part of the lightbulb, the fact
was invented by Thomas Edison while he was
electrocuting an elephant. Before this
people had the candle and small bits
of speculation. Nonetheless, they made it to the future.
Some believe it was luck. Some believe it was the honey
raised in their souls. An argument can be made for both.
An argument can also be made that those things
are the same. Either way, facts are imaginary.
We shouldn’t have used them as a counterweight
for our sins. Fortunately, we are building
the afterlife from sturdier materials.

By Philip Jason

Philip Jason is a writer from NY. His poetry can be found in magazines such as Spillway, Lake Effect, Hawaii Pacific Review, The Indianapolis Review, Summerset Review, and Canary. His first collection of poetry, I Don’t Understand Why It’s Crazy to Hear the Beautiful Songs of Nonexistent Birds, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press. His first novel, Window Eyes, is available from Unsolicited Press. For more information, please visit philipjason.com.