My complaint about life is it happens
only in order: a thesis of sorts,
a kind of argument
that might seem out of place here.
But I have seen a man ride his bicycle
into beltline traffic & die.
I have seen my grandmother coughing blood
after a lifetime of menthols.
I have seen the closed casket of a friend
who asked the wrong person
for a ride home after a long shift.
The end of a story
is the shape of a hole in the fence
the story runs through
on its way to the end.
Spielberg filmed E.T.
in chronological order
so his young cast could deliver
an authentic emotional performance;
it helped them bond with the alien
in the natural course of the narrative,
leading to the weepy climax
he wanted. This anecdote suggests
something about art, youth, loss;
something about believability. Or
the cruelty of a man who knows what he wants.
Amorak Huey is author of Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and two forthcoming books: Seducing the Asparagus Queen (Cloudbank, 2018) and Boom Box(Sundress, 2019), as well as two chapbooks. A 2017 NEA fellow, he is co-author with W. Todd Kaneko of Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2018) and teaches at Grand Valley State University.