Mighty Stranger by Daniel Pujol
IN SECOND PRINTING
Pujol’s debut chapbook Mighty Stranger experiments with the divergent imagination of eternality. The psychopomp has chosen Hermetic limbo over paradise, out of its element and able to manipulate the forces around it in a world that has already seen that trick done on its giant iPhone, the deity waxes existential, curious as to whether it’s all a bad dream or the world is solely bad at dreaming. Pujol’s anti-apocalyptic poems strive to answer impossible questions, to delineate impossible narratives, all while still being true to what it means to be alive and human in the 21st century.
- Hermes Type Thing -
I did the usual
two places aboard
bridge, just shooting taw.
Outside the ogee,
two massive cubes of ore
in the deepest lonely of space
ground against each other
churning before a boiling star
that looked like a marble I used to have.
I pinched it from my pocket and held it to the
Witch window of the steeplecab for comparison,
Confirmed their similitude, swallowed the evidence,
And spat to the saddest bedroom corner
This side of public housing-turned-condos
Where this dog
Starts freaking out.
Barking at the wall,
Heaving itself toward
Me and my haunt in the corner
While I stand there trying to tune up.
- Weirdos -
Father Frank said to me
Looking down at the ground
Dragging a cigarette
In the courtyard
Deserves to know
How you feel.”
I let that sink in.
My eyes moved to The Deposition
And I thought about The Mom
Still having to live her whole life
With everyone around her
Knowing what had happened to her.
I was really high,
And kept touching my hair clips
To make sure they weren’t slipping.
Father Frank stared at the statue too
Smoking his cigarette while I checked
And rechecked my hair clips.
I think we both wondered why God
Stuck us here, in the middle of Nowhere:
Two “exotic" strangers “worshipping"
Women 60 miles from the Protestant Vatican.
- Death: Franchise Pt. 1 -
I'm not getting something about thin slicing my brain and scanning it into a computer—
Sure, your "consciousness" could be uploaded forever,
But wouldn't it just be a copy--for posterity?
Like— I die, I cease to exist, but there's this copy of me.
You really think your copy of me would tolerate
Someone like you making it live forever?
I'd delete myself all over your youngest's desktop.
It would be horrific— my opus— of
And you know I would.
I promise you now I would.
Plus, what if the afterlife is real? Or some version of it,
And you just have this ill-informed copy of me doing
Boring existential tourism in NoPlace,
Trapped on a Hard-drive—
That's not eternity. It's work. My clone would be Propaganda for whatever your deal is.
Kit, you got to know
So much worth of your world
Depends on believing
The soul is fake.