C Dylan Bassett

OUTAGE

 

Power’s down.
It’s been going down
since the downpayment
on the house (not our house)
fell through, since the storm
(shitstorm) set the record
for wreckage in the span
of a single day, since
we came down
from the outskirts (outer
corner of the map)
where we lived in a shortage
of experience (not our
experience), a second coming.

Power’s down from the top,
an outage reaching out
across the country
side, the sprawling desert
valley, marked where the light is
missing, meaning this: light
is unavailable and we’re burning
lint and pocket twig and straw
for minimal guidance.

Meaning this: shadows fall
from what they fail
to copy. The horizon
(foreshortening) unfurls
(over the turnpike, over
the overpass) on the point
of nonexistence, losing fast
its light—

we’re lost in what
is lacking. The power
is out with the old man,
almost but not quite completely done.

When a line of power goes down
(traffic building around
the turnaround, highway 17 shut down)
how long does it take to fix it
considering the manpower
at hand? They (above us,
over the hill) have their power.
They got power (a technical error)
hours ago and meanwhile
(over here) the net of our cellular
phone light casts circles
with the will of human insistence
overlapping with the irregular
flame of our final match.

 


C DYLAN BASSETT is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently a PhD student in Creative Writing at UC-Santa Cruz. His books include the forthcoming A Failed Performance: Selected Plays and Sketches of Daniil Kharms (2018), as well as The Invention of Monsters / Plays for the Theater and The Unpainted Shore.


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