A carnival barker is shouting, “I shall destroy all the civilized planets! You shall die by your own evil creation!” To his immediate right is a table set for a child’s tea party, where a girl, no older than 7, is using a saw to cut a ham inscribed with the words “Corpus Christi,” which is Latin for body of Christ. Some mystics seek out difficult situations like this in order to improve their ability to meditate. One even tried to meditate while having sex. From my limited vantage point within the crowd, I can just barely see the rats that have collected around the girl’s feet in hopes of catching falling scraps. I scream something – in terror, I suppose. Parents lift their children up, say, “Look! Remember!”
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.