I Wonder

by John Olson

I wonder who spray-painted the hydrant blue at the top of the steps on 2nd Avenue North.

And why. Why paint a hydrant blue? I don't see the protest there. The obscenity. The sacrilege.

I wonder if the intensity of my last cold wasn't in some way affected by radiation from Fukushima.

I wonder if all the cold products you can buy without a prescription are, in fact, a hoax. Because the only medicines that seem to work are the ones that require a prescription.

I wonder what it would be like to be old and bed-ridden on the top floor of a luxury building with awesome amenities and a beautiful view.

I wonder what Martin Heidegger, who believed that the typewriter degraded the word because it reduced it to mere transport (Verkehrsmittel), to an instrument of commerce and communication, would have thought of Facebook and Twitter.

I wonder what my life would be like if I had been put together with dead people's parts and jolted awake by lightning.

I wonder what our cat thinks when he's out of food and no one is home to put more food in his bowl.

I wonder what our cat thinks when we're gone for three or four days. And a complete stranger comes in to put food in his bowl.

I wonder what it's like to have breasts and a vagina.

I wonder who wrote the book of love.

I wonder if there is such a thing as a book of love.

I wonder what it's like to play poker with a group of hardened cowboys and have a derringer hidden beneath the lapel of my coat.

I wonder why Mark Twain never mentioned a single thing about Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, or Billy the Kid.

I wonder how it is I became so enamored with poetry and literature when everyone else seemed far more interested in drugs and rock ‘n roll.

I wonder what it's like to be a sound in an English horn.

I wonder how Obama would react if I asked him pointblank about Bradley Manning.

I wonder if John Keats wore underwear, and if he did so, did he ever fold it neatly and keep it in a Chippendale bonnet-top highboy.

I wonder what it would be like to dog-paddle in the middle of the ocean.

I wonder how Jean Auguste Ingres got the flesh tones for “Odalisque.”

I wonder if bees have dreams.

I wonder what it would be like to have superpowers and fly through the sun.

I wonder what it would be like to have superpowers and go back in time and retake my linguistics test in 1973. Without my stomach growling. And a better understanding of Noam Chomski's theory of Deep Structure.

I wonder if anyone famous has read my work.

I wonder what it's like to be famous.

I wonder what it looked like when life first formed. I see a greenish translucent blob of amino acids twitching into desideratum.  I see strange molecules catalyzed by desire. I see an inorganic jelly turn organic with reciprocating juices. And I wonder about that.   

I wonder who first got it into their head to wax their car.

I wonder if people would make houses and furniture of wood if trees had nerves.

I wonder what a tree would say if it had nerves and a mouth.

I wonder what a ski chalet would look like on Pluto.

I wonder if altitude affects attitude.

I wonder if reality alters when perception alters.

I wonder if blood knows that it is water.

I wonder what birds feel when it's time to migrate.

I wonder what the very first spoken word was. And what were the circumstances. And how much confusion ensued.

I wonder why there are peacocks wandering the parking lot of the Maryhill Museum of Art.

I wonder what it is that causes muscles to ache when you're down with the flu.

I wonder if there are any horizons in outer space. Or up or down.

Probably not.

I wonder who invented stucco.

I wonder how many of William Carlos William's patients knew he was a poet.

I wonder if near death experiences reveal a true supernatural event or if it isn't just a neurological phenomenon.

I wonder what it's like to write a song with Keith Richards. Or Bob Dylan.

I wonder if the doily will ever make a comeback.