“True Story” by Anthony Warnke

True Story

By Anthony Warnke


“My ego keeps banging the angry gong”
 – Arthur Rimbaud


The #MeToo movement sweeps through the academy, then through American Buddhism, and back. Chairmen of the Reason Industry wear the same leather jackets as chairmen of the New Age. Is there a store called Middle-Aged Charisma? With a section called Getting Back What You Never Had Through Rhetorical Performance? Send me the link. I half-hate-listen to a Deepak Chopra podcast on a walk through Frink Park. I get an email from my editor with the subject: Good News about the Edited Collection from Utah State Press! I walk faster, like a lot faster. I run away. In Clark County, Washington – Oregon with a sales tax – the measles are back like jazz standards. Turnip-root teas and turmeric tinctures trump time-tested shots from school nurses. If the answers seem hidden, the questions seem easier. These days, I’m a flexitarian who doesn’t like the energy of Tuesdays. I give my children one rule: Be yourself at all costs. In the still-beautiful oceans, coral reefs are bleaching, their skeletons showing, half left. In San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood, a man rents out a studio apartment for his two cats. True story. Last night, everything I ate came in plastic – celery sticks in a cup with a cup for peanut butter (Jif Natural); an adult Lunchable (winery food: salami / wheat crackers / white cheese); two hard-boiled eggs in a preservation lather. In the unpublished thesaurus, the thesaurus that speaks like my aunt with no filter, the word disease has no entries, only echoes. Faint traces of a personal map.



Anthony Warnke’s poetry has appeared in Bayou MagazineCimarron ReviewNorth American ReviewSentence, and Sugar House Review, among others. He teaches writing at Green River College and lives in Seattle.