by Rich Haber

I gaze at the picture of two actors, the guy who played Jimmy Olsen and the gal who played Lois Lane. George Reeves, the guy who killed himself and Superman in the process, is still dead. I am dead but I failed to achieve Superman status.

My father's war, WWII is over. Junior's war, the one that isn't a war, still rages. The Constitution is dead, though it succeeded in planting its seeds in dead Baby Boomers everywhere, from Jakarta to West Hallandale, from Mt. St. Helena to the Thames, from here to eternal damnation. I'm dead yet shall I live, though no one gives a shit.

My music is almost resurrected. I hear strains of it among the rubble of rap, among glowing radioactive eyes popping from headphones in recording studios. Tap-tapping on window panes are the birds, the animals that still sing with all their hearts and souls, all their vocal chords torn and bleeding from the non-existent air pollution, the non-existent global warming, not affirming nor denying their own existence. My music isn't mine anymore; it belongs to my non-existent fans, the ones that still wear Presley sideburns, Beatles haircuts, play Spit, Rich Uncle, Skelly and Potsy, not hop-skotch.

I checked my health at the Health-o-Meter in a well-known supermarket franchise yesterday. It told me I was dead, that I should seek Medical Help immediately. I went to the store manager and asked for my money back. She said, "Sir, I can see you're upset. Why don't you sit here for a while and I'll see what I can do." When she never returned, I knew They had gotten her, that now she too didn't give a shit whether I was dead yet might live.

The national forests are burning again, good for the Real Estate companies nearby, not so good for the dead who still live only where the green things grow, with other colored things, like mushrooms and edible flowers of all different sizes, shapes, scents and sensibilities. Unbeknownst to many in our land, there are wilderness areas that no one owns, unless you believe in The Creator of All Things, who would then own even the wilderness. The Creator would also own the sewers and everything therein, being an EOC - equal opportunity creator. A CEO would also be a an EOC, only inside-out and backward. But upside-down, both are still what they are.

People are being slaughtered as I sit here drinking rum and coke without the rum and without the coke, just some watery apple juice and a few herbal metabolic boosters and a bag of double cherries that were probably mutants and the grove owner noticed them and bred them out of the normal cherries, maybe a marketing strategy, because with the stem, they look like a cock-and-balls fruit. People are getting killed as I sit here remembering I'm already as dead as an old man's sex-drive, unless he's on those new pills that make penises explode when excited. An old witch told me that a long time ago but she was grinning so I knew she had a boyfriend who lied to her constantly, unlike her husband who never lied a day in his short dead life.

The latest thing is already too late for most of us. There's nothing new but everything, since change is constant, freedom is slavery, etc. etc., you know the drill, George, even if you're the wrong George, even if you can't find the bit, even if you don't know that you know, even if you drill to China and everyone falls through your oil wells because you drilled just too damn far, even if the bit got "disappeared" from your record, from your reality, from the fact that the answer to the question "Whom would Jesus bomb?" is "Fuck Jesus, I wouldn't vote for him either!"

There's such a thing as over-employment, according to the Labor Dept's FAQ on their website, http://faqyou-youliberalpieceofshit.gov. Overemployment happens when too many people are working and making too much money, overbalancing the gold in Fort Knox. That's why they dug a mote around it a few years ago, filled it with acid rain and drowned the over-population of snowy owls, bald eagles and other under-endangered spieces. The other thing is over-unemployment, which is when there's too many unemployed workers who work off the books, off the movies, off the walls and off their rockers. These dead and disappeared people have to be shot on sight, on oversight, on the ground, in the air, anywhere, because otherwise, they tend to clutter up the place and make driving over them on highways that have been re-paved 7-9 times more difficult.

French horns are playing down the importance of importance, at least where I come from, which is a place I've long ago forgotten and couldn't go back to if I wanted. French kisses, on the other hand, aren't on the other hand, they're in the mouth. Hershey's kisses on the other hand melt right there or in the mouth, whichever comes first, unlike nice guys, who always finish last, which means French chocolate, although damned good, isn't nice. My father would bring back orange-flavored chocolate bars from Austria, Germany and France, then hide them in the back of the fridge, where everyone knew he'd hide them. That way, we all stayed in shape, bending and reaching and squirming to get at it.

When parhelions litter the sky over the mountains around Reno, generally on a summer afternoon, the townspeople are drawn to the Truckee River, just to cool off and socialize. Conversations are sparse; instead everyone listens to the sounds of children, the splashing gurgling Truckee, someone's guitar, voices humming or singing, sometimes the movie theater plays classical music on low, through outside speakers facing the river and Brick Park Plaza, where Peace groups hold their demonstrations, where losers and winners from the nearby casinos collect to commiserate or celebrate, la la la la life goes on. Off in the distance, far off, on the other side of the world off, people are being blown apart by smart bombs, grenades, shot through and through with your choice of flavors, in the name of Mohammed, of Liberty and Justice, under multi-cultural flags and flag-burning; babies are being filmed doing cutsey things in Disney studios, under Kleig lights too bright for their tender eyeballs, skin, dismembered hands and legs. They were dead anyway, like me.