Everyman’s New Story

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Everyman had a sleepover;

just like you, Everyman had a mohawk

and drove his mom’s rusting minivan to Coolidge High.

His poetry assignment—

D-, see me in my office—

was now rolled and lit and served as a blunt.

 

The night air is outside. A horror movie,

old, plays in the background as

he and his friends sit in a circle of beds and smoke.

Their conversation is probing, serious— about Sartre,

the afterlife, the nature of choice,

what being green really means.

 

That’s when she says:

What is the story you want

to tell, the thing you want expressed

that no one has ever told before?

What has no one done

because they’re waiting for you to roll your dice?

 

And Everyman said: “It’s on!”

 

He touched his toes, licked his elbow, found a way to stop time

and got unlimited power from the god on a deadline,

so he made everything in fiction exist all at once

and took the heroes, villains, and side characters out to brunch

where together they wrote a novel, backwards, word by word

and he became a knitting superstar known as The Cuckoo Bird

‘cause he knitted golem bodies of the recently deceased,

then he took off the weekend to have a great photon feast.

He became a girl in his fiery rebirth,

then neither, then both, then every man on Earth,

he solved all the world’s problems without any type of plan

(‘cause schemes are passé, and take up everyone’s lifespan)

and he decided to put a stop to this rhyme scheme,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and

 

 

space

 

 

out

 

 

 

 

all

the

words

like

 

 

 

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

grasshopper’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

leap.

 

 

 

 

And by now, our Everyman’s getting pretty impatient,

because everything he’s done so far was at one time ancient,

so he became a God so he could take a break

and called our definition of “new” a big mistake

He changed what “new” meant and flushed away the old

And wiped himself from existence. That’s all to be told.

This poem did not exist— you were reading about flowers,

how perfect their geometry, how old and young they are.

 

Everyman— this is the god on a deadline. I can bring you back, give you another chance to be new— as long as you’re fast in doing so.

 

“You know what,” said Everyman. “If you bring me back,

bring me back to the sleepover, to the philosophy, to her.

There were many sleepovers, but you know which one I mean.”

 

So Everyman, back at the sleepover answered her:

Why tell a new story?

Every moment is new, and it’s mine.

 

“That’s really cheesy, you know.”

 

“Cheese is better than me: cheese is real,” Everyman replied.

 

His friends laughed, and chugged their stale beer cans. Everyman said:

 

“If you’re cocooned, your ‘new’ can be your butterfly wing.

What new story will I tell? Well, I guess I’ll take anything.”

 

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