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Sean Antonucci

Sean Antonucci analyzes visual texts, and tries to convince freshmen composition students of the importance of understanding the abstract & the absurd & the avant-garde… to mild success. He is probably reading a map, or deeply ingrained in his latest research interest (an interest that will probably be completely devoured, and then moved on from in a week). Tell him a nonsensical joke and he might befriend you.

Penance in Waiting

Strolling, follow the waiter into a room of voices disinterred and distended from the bodies that rest & consume & move moist lips in saliva-slathered irregularity. Here, alone in your booth, you wonder: which voice should I follow? The heated subatomic syllables bash into one another, crack and explode. And though only shrapnel can be deciphered from this distance, the meaning is preserved for the protuberant puff pastries that are the bread for a sandwich of a vacant stare.

It is not unlike waking up in a room filled with clocks all telling a different time. Which do you go by? Should you trust the old grandfather clock? Or the sleek new timepiece that projects numbers onto any surface: a table, a pillow, or the face of your lover—a ‘4’ shimmering on the rivulets of her somnambulant drool?

The vested man brings you a pamphlet of revolutionary phrases like: “l’antipasto,” “zabaglione,” “une degustation,” or “amuse bouche” (ch-chopping the double C’s and pouring the rrolling R’s into a great fondue of Romance languages—beware the sides, they’re hot). From the preset table—including glasses of water filled to the lip (like words in the mouth of the silent son—always ready, though missing the last drop to overflow—being aurally molested by pointy, choice words from an eruption formerly known as “Dad”)—it’s clear that someone’s been expecting you. And you were expecting the expectation, as you in turn sit expecting an arrival.

Push away the menu. Let yourself order from the Bible. Ask for the Son of God—His body and blood. Plead with the waiter. Negotiate a contract with the man in the horn-rimmed frames. Say: “Bring me God’s Son on a hand-crafted clay plate. Let me eat with Him, by eating Him, so that I might not be so alone in this purgatory of voices.”

And, just as you are about to implode from self-cognizant panic, she sits down across from you and asks: “Have you been waiting long?”

Do you tell her?

This Salacious Act of Recovery

It wilts off the stem,
peals from the petals
and sinks to the soil
to rebuke the rosebuds.

“Oh, sweet ‘morrow,
dew diligence: and weep.”

Sage falters.
Her eyes recover
a modicum of:
and drain back into themselves.

Basil provides
the H2O
with a lick:

“Dear Diarist,
are we yet lees?”

Basil drains the wine—
burbles dregs out onto
the pic’i’nic cloth—
when Sage,
oh Sage,
(or at least admits it).

“And thus: we were wont
to begin again in warbles:
so shrill & so tight.”

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