by John Olson
Things You'll Need
1. 200 pounds of burning circus
2. Charcoal passions glistening with rain
3. A large oak barrel full of rhinoceros warts
4. The tibia of a snowman preserved in a freshly frozen haiku
5. A beautiful agony wrapped in tinfoil
6. A splendid enthusiasm for playground slides
7. A hawk, a horizontal perspective, and a grapefruit
8. Mini peanut butter cups
9. A hard day's night and a flock of syphilitic cherubs
Here's What You Do
1. Place your materials on a work board. Strum the stars with supple speculation. Notice how everything applauds a buffalo.
2. Be athletic.
3. Attract chickens.
4. Write a letter to your favorite surrealist poet. Be sincere. Most everything in life is beyond our control. The perihelion of Mercury heals the blindness of descriptive geometry. Kick your employer in the ass. Emotions are strange experiments in honesty.
5. Draw a hospital with a pencil of dust.
6. Rescue a bank. Let your fingers walk on a quiet dollar. Polish the pennies with brass polish. They must be shiny for the solder to stick. Repair the damage caused by language.
7. Spin the wool of resolution. Nothing is no longer nothing. The universe is vast and old and rare things happen all the time. Steep your senses in mute redemption. Say to yourself: I'm alive! Go on a long journey. When you return, hammer each nail with the deliberation of a mallard migrating to China.
8. Say something enormous and wintry. Avoid adjectives. Space ruptures semantic stability. Inflate a pink balloon and shine like a soda. Pack description with flashy horizons. Go to war against banality. Let your words carry the sentence to the end of the universe. Notice how the planets conjugate gravity in naked space. Be flexible. Remember: color is to paint what meaning is to pain.
9. Take off your clothes and burn them.
10. Create a baby universe in a laboratory. Mingle among its various moods and choose one to cultivate.
11. Build a cabin on the Snake River.
12. Play blackjack with a Russian janitor.
13. Rob a planet with a waxed and luminous thighbone.
14. Honor a bug with fervid approval.
15. Parody a color with a talking sponge. If the color talks back, imitate your emotions with a sidewalk and a sparkler until the larynx of a pizza tray shoves its pepper at a peacock and laughs.
16. When lightning sweetens the breath of Wisconsin, and density accelerates the hug of the sublime, ride an elevator to the top of a pea and smear ketchup on a landslide. Cut the sky in two. Crash into walls. Velocity is proportional to distance. Avoid fractions. Put a bead of meaning on each syllable. Explode your head with sunlight and clarity.
17. If the firmament rattles with inexplicable tokens, bring a tiger to an October wedding.
18. Your sandwich is finished. All that remains is stone and string and a few paper cups. Fire charms the sway of the wind.