preface to an 800-page book

by Hakeem Muhammad

(i/we

death/life

and the attack of the 800-page book)

 

Captain, we are being scanned.

Shields up!

What is it?

Ö mass Ė 800 pages Ö

Captain, Iím sensing anxiety from the crew.

Whatís inside that thing?

We cannot penetrate its shields.

Is it a threat?

Captain, it IS 800 pages.

Then weíll just go around it.

 

just ignore it
itís a thick book

i got sex to make me feel GOOD
i got a tune to make me FEEL
i got clothes to make ME
and i got a JOB
and i GOT
and I
i

i
cannot read
this 800-page book

the epidemic
is irrelevant
the political situation
is irrelevant

i
have chosen
i/death
over
we/life

this is the way
around the minefield
of 800-page books

i cannot carry a pack
on my back
a weapon
in my arms
run into the mouth
of enemy fire
for we/life

i
have
i/death
and i donít want to lose it

i donít need
a head on my body
to pump-pump at sex

hook up the tube
to my esophagus
and fill-ill my belly

plant those speakers
on my chest
and thump-up the beat

put clothes on my torso
and show me to my job

i do not
need a head
on my body

i/death
do not need to read
an 800-page book

i/death
cannot read
nine or ten
pages a day
for two or three
months

it
frightens me
i/death

can only avoid
we/life

by any means necessary

we/life requires
necessary means

even

reading
an 800-page book

Hakeem Muhammad
January 1, 1995