Midnight in California

Deven Philbrick

 

It is midnight in California
………….but it is three o’clock
in my refrigerator.
I have never been to California.
It is midnight in Nancy
Pelosi’s claw-footed bathtub.
My pickles are ready for
bed.

With the exception of
……………………poetry
………….California
has no
culture. It is three o’clock
in American culture.
It was three o’clock when
the settlers
……………………came.

It hasn’t been three o’clock
in California in over a
………………………year.
This is the place-
………..mat on which I spilled
pickle juice at one minute of two.
Yesterday, in California.
I am in California.

Today, there was baking
soda inside of my refrigerator.
Inside of California,
the forests are on fire today.
…………I sold my refrigerator
…………and my
………………………………soul
to a South Korean diplomat for
……………twenty-two-trillion pennies
but because of a loophole in our contract
I only received three dollars and fifty cents,
which I then used to purchase the pickles
that are scattered around my kitchen floor.
Californians don’t eat pickles
…………like I do.
The poem is not about California.
It is a blueprint for fissure—
yesterday, in California,
today where I am, an explosion
took place and rendered all within
its vicinity dead
…………simultaneously.
My refrigerator is on fire.
It is three o’clock and I must clock
out
………….of power

inside of California,
………..inside of labor,
………..inside of my bought and sold
………………………………………….soul
like pickles dropped on the floor
………..all at once.

 

 


Deven James Philbrick is a writer of fiction, poetry and criticism living in Ann Arbor, MI. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine and  Your Impossible Voice.