Wheels Within Wheels

Consumers consumed by loneliness consumed by consumers.

Animals eating animals eating animals eating animals.

Snowball in the sun, fireball in the cold heart of the earth.

An ocean in a fish swims in a dog dish.

Life eaten by boredom eaten by life.

The baby gives birth to the mother, who buries the dinosaur’s distant descendants.

A current of electricity runs from the finger through the button to the humming heart of the computer as the heart inside the body beats so the blood can flow around and around the secret streets and the hidden tunnels inside the flesh for years and years and years.

The car salesman complains about the traffic as he sits in the product of his own creation, breathing like an engine.

The bartender shakes his head at all the pathetic, hapless drunks and hopes they make it home all right without killing themselves or someone else.

The little girl fantasizes about living happily ever after while sighing for her own divorced daughter alone, abandoned by her happily deceptive husband.

The soldier jumps and pulls the trigger for the millionth time, killing the same person again in the nightmare he has every time he wakes up from the nap he’s having on his motorcycle.

The kindergartener lifts the tsunami in the soup spoon to his lips and wonders if he’ll ever see his family again.

The unemployed logger who hanged herself from a tree dangles as silently as a leaf on a windless day, her shoes as still as the chainsaw lying on the ground that’s run out of gas.

The fly trapped inside the vending machine wonders how she got there.  Her eyes well up with tears as the change-wielding child on the other side of the glass laughs in her tiny face.

The prisoner gazes in awe at the aerial photo of the archipelago that waits patiently to drown in the rising ocean ignored by an official assembly of comfortably indifferent politicians.

The sperm cell swims with wriggling insistence in the name of perpetuating blind existence but the ovum isn’t interested, preoccupied with the blessings of contraceptive bliss.

The washed-up talk show host watches old video clips of himself giving interviews in his heyday and wishes he could be more like that ambitious young man on the screen, even though he hated his job at the time and would have preferred to live in bed.

The baby crawls around on the floor, eager to learn how to walk, as his grandfather crawls out the door to take a dirt nap.

The ocean fills up with tiny pieces of plastic instead of fish, including plastic replicas of cartoon fish that starred in movies attended by children who ate plastic-enriched fish for dinner before their parents took them to see the flick.

Out in space, stars are born as meteorites strike unsuspecting planets and black holes swallow whole solar systems in a darkness so pure it can’t even allow shadows.

Meanwhile, somewhere in a land uninhabited by hominids, a jungle bathed in morning light enfolds a drama of creatures dedicated to feeding themselves or escaping being eaten.  Some of them have sharp teeth; some of them are destined to become meat.  Depending on which one of them you ask, their lives may or may not be meaningless.

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