Issue 3 TOC
 
The Legend of the Exception

 

by Perry Crowe 

Sun and moon
shared time in the sky
On the day Craig Jammer was born

Dichotomy
Duality
Double-whammy

First manifestation
First grade
Gym class

Line up
against the wall

Right hand
against the wall

Craig started right

Was staring
Straight ahead

Backs of heads
Clear down the line

Felt a phantom flipping
In his guts

And ended left

Staring everybody
Square in the face

His gaze was not met
and he somehow
swelled

Mr. Danner
Inspected the troops

Mr. Danner
Made a pained face

Found Craig lacking

And one
Other

Kent Legget

Craig and Kent both
Received two masking tape
lashes across the back
of the offending hand

each marked
to remember
the difference

Fweet
The whistle
called
the children to play

they sprung from the wall
and raced towards
balls and hoops
and scooters

Craig and Kent hung back
Saw each other
Saw the mark
shared
And rejoiced

Years later
Kent would be stocking shelves
At the local home improvement store
And try
to stop a falling radiator
With his face

His claim
To fame

Craig’s dealings
Were darker

Following
That
first day
in first
grade

Craig felt the flipping

Time
And again

Who wants
Pizza?

Pepperoni
Okay
With everybody?

Craig?

Well, what do you want?

I thought we were gonna
Ride bikes
At 4:30

Craig?

Where were you?

Craig was growing

He could sense
Consensus
In his gut

Expectation

Felt like

a million billion
phantom
coins
Flipping
in his guts

It intensified
as Consensus
Neared

Building

Pressure

Until finally
Craig whistled

Like a
tea kettle

singing
a song

of the
other

side

of the
coin

heads
or
tails

face
up
or
down

both
sides
in play

making the
game

ever
present
if unseen

The song
Of the unseen
swole

Craig’s chest

Giving a
Strange strength

He’d do

Impressive jumps
In gym class
Breeze
Through algebra tests

Settle into
A sailing
Groove

Accolades

Then

a million billion
phantom
coins
Flipping
in his guts

The song would
Swell in his chest

Finally

Hiccupping

Him

Out

Fall on his face

Flunk the final

Fooey

Resetting
Sisyphus
Below
Expectation

The song
Had a
Contratian chorus

Grating
Against
the
grain

Driving
Others
Off

Leaving
Craig
Alone

But sharper

A knife
On flint

Strong
But solitary
Craig was fine

Until puberty

Hormones
And porno

Peer pressure
And consensus

Boy and girl

Expectation

And the
Flipping

a million billion
phantom
coins
Flipping
in his guts

Then the
Contrarian chorus
on his lips

Asshole

no
Consummation

Leaving
Craig
Alone

Frustrated

Echoing
Solitude

Never been
Kissed
At twenty-six

Craig
Sought
Professional help

Doctor Procter
was good

He let Craig talk
Around the subject

And pop pills

For months and months
And thousands of dollars

Letting Craig’s life
Swirl like a draining tub

Revealing
The drain
Itself

Eventually
Doctor Procter

Finally felt
Professionally obliged

to wrap things up

Tell me more
About
Kent Leggett

He said

Craig
Looked at
His left hand

And the dam
burst

Craig remembered

Years after
Gym class

A sleepover

Warm light
And soft focus
From Europe

On late-night
Pay channels

Hyperactive

Itty-bitty
Boners

Humping
Stuffed animals

Kent’s hand
had wanted
more

flesh

Gurgle

It’s my
Professional opinion
Said Doctor
Procter

You’re gay

Craig felt
The Contrarian chorus
Rise
In his chest

But considered
The contrary

Alternative

Lifestyle

And
fell silent

The circuit
Completed

Hey, everybody
Craig shouted

I’m gay

No shit, faggot
Came the reply

Hand in hand
With another man

Craig felt
Quite contrary

He stopped
Singing

the Contrarian
Chorus

His sails
instead
Taut

and full

From
the daily scoffs

And guffaws
From the neighbors

As he dainted and
fellated

Ruddered
by rodgering

For years

Finally
harboring
In the bay
area

A rainbow
Above

But one
shade
below

Homo

Geneous

Consensus

Contrary

Flip

Craig started
getting really into

sports and
Carbohydrates

Beer farts

And breeding

Got
Danner looks

Deep
in the Castro

And Craig
Grew

But knew
by now

It was a
pendulum swing

backswing

Planned to
Beat it

seeking the
long-term
Contrarian fix
of the foreign

going
international

Sino
Sore thumb
For the rest of
His life

a week before
departure

At a lip-service
farewell party

thrown by

conflicted
friends

attended
by fiends

Craig met
A man

With high cheekbones
golden skin
jet black hair

And a shimmering abyss
In each eye

Daniel Pony
Lakota-Sioux

Offered Craig
A pinch of
herb

For later

Were you born under an eclipse?
Daniel asked Craig
didn’t know

I bet
you were

 (Continued)

 
 
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