Congratulations! You have just won a Surprise Vacation to the bowels of your unconscious self


Benjamin Schmitt

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 118 in June, 2009.

To the ends of the earth
We have carried our drunken songs
You looking out over Tolstoy’s Moscow
And me feeling the stings of indigenous eyes
Has the world gotten smaller?
Why is the KFC colonel everywhere,
Stroking his moustache outside the gates of the pyramids
Playing banjo in the darkened alleyways of Prague?

There’s a plane flight leaving tomorrow
That will take you away from here
It is leaving from gate 7A at approximately 2pm and boarding will begin at 1:30
This flight will depart from your conscious self
And arrive at the frontiers of transcendental truth around 4
The devil will be giving guitar lessons at the crossroads in the evening
And there will be the crucifixion of a messiah or a mystic at ten o’ clock the following day
Please jot this down in your itinerary
God will be giving a lecture on cooking in the hotel lobby
We all keep our fingers crossed that he will not put to much butter in the garlic sauce
You may see the dead ones
Playing blackjack
Counting spades
They cheat those dead ones
Don’t play with themv Or they just might take it all away
If you happen to recognize one of them do not be afraid
Listen to their words
They will tell you they love you
And something else which is just for you
Your final night
You will fight the greatest battle of your life
Your worst enemy will be there
Standing next to everyone who ever broke your heart or let you down
And you will be completely naked except for a pair of diapers
And as they laugh at you
Invade you, bombard you, seek to destroy you
You stand firm
(damn is that Ms. Boofy the lady who suspended you from class in the second grade when you laughed at the word "nards" as it was read from the bible)
Then you cry
(as your best friend from high school approaches you balding with a large yellow stain on his shirt and says "for the love of everything in a landfill why the fuck has Mickey Mouse assassinated the pope and started a border war with Canada" and then proceeds to spit in your face)
Then you shit yourself
(And your nemesis, the guy who you are going to base the villain on in the comic book you would write if you didn’t hate comic books so much says "had a good ride on the sludge slide little one, you had best wipe the thickened diarrhea off your brow")
Then you laugh at them
Because you have reached the lowest point in your life
And now it is impossible to care
The voice of your dead grandmother tells you this is to show you that there is victory in failure
And failure in victory
That some things are never meant to be won
Only endured
You smile
Because your Grandma’s voice somehow smells like her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
She then informs you that the plane flying back to reality is leaving in twenty minutes
You race away
Jump in the first cab you see
Driven by Allen Ginsberg
He speeds and whirls and honks and howls
Cause here his driving is just like his poetry
You throw your money at him midway through his analysis of the Spanish Civil War
You barely catch your flight
And returning home
You realize
That you have been longing for some KFC