Low Tide and Maybe a Marathon Under

The surface of any water is a lie. I put on an Elmo
Hope tune, with Frank Foster. Low Tide. It seems
it’s possible to drown at Rikers Island, years after
you’ve been released. Think of this as time travel.

Right now, I’m tired of coughing, so I’ve decided to
drown myself in three inches of beer, which is like
water, and is a lie. I cough for two minutes straight.
This is worse than running a marathon underwater.

I built a time machine, once, out of old toilet floats
and a byzantine flywheel. I think maybe the damn
thing worked. Lungs burn. And it feels like water,
mixed with acid, by an idiot with a propane torch.

Drowning is a straight line. You don’t wander, you
don’t pass any barricades, it’s a straight line down
through the lie. The redesign is beguiling. I listen,
but what I hear isn’t anything so simple. It’s a sigh.





Jeffrey Little is markedly uncomfortable with patting himself on the back. Once, in Minneapolis, he passed himself on a side street, trying to knit a brick. The repercussions were staggering. Still, he is aware of the practical nature of the task. He is the author of The Hotel Sterno, The Book of Arcana (both on Spout Press), and Five & Dime (Rank Stranger Press), as well as five electronic chapbooks permanently housed at Mudlark (www.unf.edu/mudlark). He is a 2001 Poetry Fellow from the State of Delaware, where he lives with his wife, two children, and two cats.