Bruce Cohen Emergency Surrealism

(read by Leigha Chenoweth)

We were having an off topic salon-chat about tattoos:
If you have one or will be getting one? How many?
Reasons & symbolism? One flirt said she wanted to tattoo
Andre Breton on her forehead & was reminded she had to
Ink the letters backwards so she could read the father
Of Surrealism when she looked in the mirror, the way
Ambulance is stenciled backwards on the front of ambulances.
Authenticity of reflective objects. How many dying
Patients croaked in a detained ambulance because traffic
Didn't pull over till realists figured out the backwards
Letter-mirror phenomena? The actual functioning of
Thought—the actual functioning of thought. When the new
Ambulance finally arrived paramedics wheeled the stretcher
Through the Emergency Room swinging doors: choppy
Commands airing towards a doctor who was & was not
Present. A man in the waiting room is blank cut in half
By whatever has transpired & what he is praying for & there
Is a sugar cube on the table next to his cold coffee & a fly is
About to land on it! At least that's what the stretcher woman
Thinks she notices as she's about to enter surrealism. Rarely
Do we admit we see this world only accurately through
Rearview mirrors & only if we check for what's about to
Overtake us, that what we need most is already tattooed on
Our foreheads, readable only in mirrors. On the streets the
Dawn laborers: bakers coated in their personal flour, molecular
Jukeboxes, homeless felines & canines are, as one might imagine—
If not strutting backwards, appear to be, because of a fecund
Wind which cannot adequately describe the flavor of water.

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