you are in the diode archives diode v8n3



On the Last Aftermath Being Always the Best Aftermath

The question on the table was whether pacifists sometimes get grateful that someone has the guns, but no one knew well-enough an Amish, Mennonite, or Quaker, so we could only speculate whether they’d rather be overrun by an invading Eurasion horde in the name of principled theology or whether they’d permit themselves, even if only by thought experiment, to be defended. And we would, defend them I mean, we the people of principled violence, we reasonably scrupulous killers, because they define who we are, but not in a way like how terrorists (we think) define who we aren’t. You don’t have to have handled a Glock to understand the Glock, a fucking plastic pistol, when you break it down, molecularly. It’s too easy to find yourself unsure of which way to turn, unable to overcome your resistance to the practical infinity that surrounds us, or where, merely too tired or too drunk to counter sympathetic inertia, you risk falling into temporary or even permanent disuse. The fact that we are more inclined toward dissolution than entelechial flourishing is the best argument yet against the intelligence of evolution, the best argument yet for Nephelococcygia, the absurd cloudland of winged beasts which was the imagistic germ that became a jealous god’s heaven full of angels, an influential notion, historically speaking. Help spread the word: TOYNBEE IDEA/IN ARISTOPHANES’ THE BIRDS/MAKE UP CRAZY SHIT/OVERTHROW PLANET EARTH. Because what we mean when we say THE WORLD is always people, those plastic things, these molecules, who can rarely and never with authority tell the difference between a joke and a coded message, who are always looking for the next new rock, a spot to build the next immortality, to resurrect their beggarly dead.

Sun Dog

One below and one stop closer to an end
That will be remembered as unnatural
Despite copious explanation and colored
Maps that turn no one into a believer
Despite being covered in cold evidence
Accompanied by the distinct ting-tinging
Of the neighbor’s Tibetan prayer bells
Hanging above her never-locked back door
Despite every other wind-carried thing
Like the piercing delight of a double life
That steadily rains its deluge of want
Unfazed by lacking an occasion not unlike
Any hard percussion that rings the bone
Despite a lost ongoing faith in what thaws  


John Estes is author of three books—Kingdom Come (C&R Press, 2011), Stop Motion Still Life (Wordfarm, forthcoming), and Sure Extinction (forthcoming), which won the 2015 Antivenom Award from Elixir Press—and two chapbooks: Breakfast with Blake at the Laocoön (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Swerve, which won a National Chapbook Fellowship from the Poetry Society of America.  Recent work has appeared in Tin House, Gettysburg Review, Southern Review, Crazyhorse, AGNI, and other places.