Sunday, September 14, 2008


The P.A. is distorted—much like a voice underwater broadcast into a cavernous room. He says something about the nefarious ilk lurking in the shadows being prohibited. No one understands. The words are so distorted and even those who do hear don’t quite believe what they hear. In the fluorescent-lit back office, where the P.A. sound system is located, the clunky scratched-up green metal desk is scattered with current issues of Metaphysics Today, Anti Magazine, and The Economist along with stacks of surrealist literature and absurdist philosophy and a pyramid of empty Mountain Dew cans. He is a low-paid security officer with a genuinely whacked worldview. He smartly wears the proper polyester navy blue pants that hold a crease no matter what and the obligatory ill-fitting blue shirt with epaulets and the reinforced double eyelets where his security badge hangs. With his no-choke, clip-on tie, he smiles bravely in the face of danger, which today comes in the form of an angry old woman wielding a nasty-looking black-lacquer maple walking stick topped by a silver alchemist skull.

dirty aisle
smell of lemon cleaner
from the shelf stock

by Jeffrey Winke
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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