When I said “I want to be famous among my friends”
What I meant was “I wasn’t born in a leap year.”
What I should have said was “I can’t do this anymore.”
When people ask “What was it like?”
What I think of saying is “Let me show you”
And then whacking them over the head,
Taking them to a wet fug summer
And shaving their heads bare. Men and women.
I’d PT them until I got tired, until their hearts popped,
Until the sun came up in the west.
I’d level sea salt wisdom at them, sprinkled
With wit that makes a gut distend, not bust,
And challenge their very notion of left and right.
That’d be Day One.
By Day Three Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy Two
They could learn to tie their shoes, the ones
With the steel toes made for slicing off the digits,
And when they’ve been around the world
From home where the stars look different than anything
You could imagine
Constellations with names given by living memory
Equators and meridians
Slicing off the digits of the world
And stood to face the wind
And a thousand other elements
Then we can begin to talk
Of kings and queens and politics and
Duffel bags and Velcro paint and
I prefer the statement to the question:
“Tell me what you remember” – “Tell me
what you liked” – “Tell me who your
Ask and you shall conceive an answer
Tell me to tell you and I’ll talk your ears off.
Travis Klempan joined the Navy in 1999. He served as a Hospital Corpsman and Surface Warfare Officer. After leaving the Navy he was accepted to Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where he is pursuing his MFA in Writing & Poetics.