Exercises for the Reader

(1)  A man lies dead in the desert.
       There is a rock next to him.
       He appears unharmed
       And shows no signs of dehydration.
       There are no footprints around him,
       No other marks in the sand.
       Explain what happened.

(2)  Your old neighbors are coming over
       To return an ironing board.
       One person in the room will be bitterly covetous.
       Another will be dwelling on a secret.
       Tell me how I can avoid looking like a fool.
       Go ahead.  I really want to know.

(3)  My art, history suggests, will focus on the mundane
       And strive to make dissonance plausible
       And cover for those who have hurt me.
       Devise a plan to distract me if you are a distant relative
       And I am a Mexican agnostic,
       And another if I am a Russian Jew
       And you have power I cannot comprehend.

(4)  The pierogi special is six eighty-five.
       Someone says the number eighty-six.
       I broke the server’s wife’s heart,
       And nobody else ever knew.
       He shows no sign that he remembers me.
       What should I do?

(5)  The continents are a little smaller
       Than when your great-grandparents were kids.
       Only rich people have flowers in their homes.
       You aren’t supposed to stay outside too long.
       Explain what happened.


The End

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