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WHY DON'T YOU ASK YOUR FATHER? FUGUE: / Jack Myers After I bought our Uttle kiddie pool and set it up, I realized I had placed it under an overhang without a gutter, and the weatherman caUed for rain. So I scrounged around the house for stuff with which to make a cover and, for height, I used our old director's chairs, the ones we sit in when we argue which we got for showing up at a time-share place in Arkansas and announced on cue, "We only want the gift!" Then to smooth that out I placed a plastic laundry basket on top of them, the one that wrenched my back just before my fatal trip to meet your mother who laid me out aU week in her guestroom for the dead, and then I jerry-rigged my painter's tarp across that, the one that I salvaged from my one and only business, and stretched it taut across some wires I had broken off from the tomato plant cages in which you mistakenly grew Uttle decorative dwarfs, and fitted them together with some duct tape I had borrowed from my neighbor who has five kids and no hope and no job and then placed the fragile top across the tottering platform of the laundry basket and then carefuUy sUced open our old prénuptial waterbed which was always cold and roUy anyway and plunked that down on top of everything so it wouldn't aU blow away, and then I built a runway from the garden timbers I ripped-off from the railroad yard where we had our first romantic encounter and ran those suckers straight out across the yard and under the fence and out to the city gutter. I've found that like me everything has a use opposite to its intended. And then I slammed on 146 · The Missouri Review my old Nor'easter hat and matching yeUow sUcker which I kept from my fiscaUy pitiful lobstering days, and with my kid jumping up and down crying "Daddy! Daddy!" in the window, I sat there by the pool waiting for the rain—it goddamn better rain—to come. Jack Myers The Missouri Review · 247 I DON'T KNOW, YOU PROBABLY KNOW EVERYTHING I KNOW / Jack Myers —for Walter WethereU's bad back Suddenly my leg goes numb, feels like someone else's until the feeling comes back. But it never feels as special as when someone else is touching it. Ifs the same way my hand feels touching someone else's leg; in other words, my numb leg is to my hand touching it as what my hand feels like when ifs touching someone else. Ifs as if we were given someone else's hands when we are the one touching, and our own true hands when we are being touched (You could substitute "legs" for "hands" in the above), but I guess if everything felt too good then we'd never have any thoughts. As you can see, I like thinking about what I don't already know. What I already know feels numb, like the hospital release form that says ifs ok with everyone if you end up paralyzed since the brain your back connects can take over the job of carrying whatever you have a mind to. Just teU the surgeon when he cuts into your back he could disconnect the sky from your faU and then you wouldn't be able to touch anything at aU: not him, not you, not us. But I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, isn't that so? Is that you, Walter? 248 · The Missouri Review ...


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