Kevin McFadden


It’s Beam and Cokes and I’m laying on you
(I wish) my latest crack-pot theory (of both
I’ve had too many): how the I
is written into our infrastructure, into
bodybuilder and building: shape of
the self, the dumbbell, and the girder.
“Far-out,” you say and I reply,
“Closer than you think.” Physics comes up,
more Beam and Cokes come up, and in this
dimness, the waves (nay, particles)
start losing speed through glasses and liquids
air wouldn’t spare. “Heavy,” you say,
but we both know it’s light.
It might be the Beam talking.
Last-call lights. We squint in disbelief like science,
like science when light was outed—“Nooo, it doesn’t
pour from our sockets?” The pain is one proof
(the whiskey, many) or that was Alhacen’s line.
Went against plenty—Plato to Galen—who never
blinked that the eyes themselves shed light.
Spots in our heads to be turned on, lights to be
knocked out…. I believe it, baby, because you…
you could burn down this whole hole-in-the-wall
with a glance. We grow tired and less
enlightened; even our lids admit it’s
closing time. We should go. But we stay.
We stay as if some naughty, cartoon-lightbulb
moon has risen above our heads…or is that, is that me projecting?

Kevin McFadden
“Far Out” first appeared in High Plains Literary Review, Issue XV, Vol 1, 200.