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When Cleopatra determined that her apple had been both genetically modified and irradiated, she may have compared it to a summer’s day. Or she may have compared it to Uranus: holding the apple on its side, she may have noted how both the stem and the opposing, bark-like nub of the seed core are not unlike the abnormally tilted axis of said planet. She may have recalled, too, that at the time of Voyager 2’s passage, Uranus’ south pole was pointed almost directly at the sun, as if engaged in this egregious mix of metaphors as a show of disrespect: mooning, as it were, the sun.

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Cleopatra had not planned to leave her post at the Higher Institute of Sciences and Technology of Mozambique. But, then, neither had she planned on Mozambique President Samora Moisés Machel’s plane crashing in the Lebombo Mountains. Nor could she ever have imagined that Machel would not number among the ten survivors. Certainly, she reasoned, no one among the survivors would have believed, that exactly eight weeks shy of the 20th anniversary of Machel’s death, the very solar system would be reduced to eight planets.

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Van Gogh himself had admitted to finding few things more invigorating in art than a sense of mastery. Why then, wondered Mary Oliver, did she feel only doubt and a dull sense of déjà vu, as if she were repeating herself. Draining a bottle of Ravenswood merlot, she swatted her cat from the stack of mail and returned to her letter to her dear friend, Senator Hillary Clinton: “My robes, Hillary. Once a clear and accessible metaphor for wisdom, tonight my robes suggest only mothballs and Marlboro Reds. . . .”

Informative Vessel #23

Scholars aver that the second vessel may have contained Aleister Crowley’s poem to HOOR–PAAR-KRAAT, wherein it is written that we are darkened and obscured vessels in which divine will is imprisoned. Crowley suggested we drink the blood of our oppressors from clear glass vessels, rather than opaque pewter or moleskin vessels, because glass is relatively thin, non-reactive, and allows full appreciation of blood’s “glop.”

A Pig Like That

I met a traveler from an antique land, who said: When in your Texas I met a rancher trimming the hooves of a three-legged pig. Asked how it came to pass, that his pig had lost a leg, he exclaimed, "That pig's a genuine H-E-R-O! Rescued my youngest daughter from our neighbor's pit bull, she wasn't but knee-high to the same."

Tar

She picked an outcrop and undid her arm, / all rubber and good humor, dead as oil. / He flagged down sunset with obsidian / owl pellets, proving too late it was tar.

Palm

I love jacking cog more than I love / this urge of missy's choking squalor, / I mean, Do you mind if I sit on your leg?

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