The Sound of Fly Shit, A Poem by Chris Russell

I was tired of being taken for face value every time I tried to make a joke in an effort to not take material gains and social status so seriously, and was starting to get really angry with the fact that my sense of humor was being seen as a form of insecurity and dishonesty. It was starting to affect my speech. I tried to tell somebody I made a list of things I don’t have and have, a list of failures and successes, so that I could identify what I truly had in abundance, and begin practicing gratitude, and three people in the room thought I said, “I was truly out of opponents.” Each time I tried to clarify my point of view, they took it to be some kind of backpedaling, which only made me want to speak faster so that I could get the truth in before they decided to cut me off, which I’m sure wasn’t helping the whole understandability thing. At one point I actually think I yipped like a clinically repressive Shih Tzu. It wasn’t until I got home and looked “sense of humor” up on the Internet that I realized I did in fact have one, and hadn’t transmogrified into an amoeba. Then, while shaving in the mirror the next morning, I barked at my reflection and cut myself, and because I was too busy applying direct pressure to my neck, I forgot to pack my peanut butter sandwich and so went hungry that afternoon, which started to affect my speech. Then I thought maybe if I misunderstood myself on purpose, and performed a kind of self-identity theft, others would start to understand me. Instead of saying how’s it going, as I passed somebody in the hall at work, I said, “Eyes are going” while I pretended to swat at a mosquito that wasn’t there. “I’m fine, how are you doing?” She said. “Pretty gun,” I said, itching my ear with my shoulder. “That’s good. Have a great afternoon,” She said. “And you swell,” I said, while I made a face that looked like something had just bitten me. I made grunting sounds while filling my water bottle at the fountain, and someone sympathetic walked by and made a comment about how dry it had been this winter and how allergies were on the rise. Then I wondered if this would work with thoughts as well. I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes and imagined myself to be a solitary tiger, chuffing in the hot grass.

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