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February 6, 2011
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Dean Young: The Rhythms Pronounce Themselves Then Vanish

Backpacking with a Book

After they told me the CT showed
there was nothing wrong with my stomach
but my heart was failing, I plunked
one of those weird two-dollar tea balls
I bought in Chinatown and it bobbed
and bloomed like a sea monster and tasted
like feet and I had at this huge
chocolate bar I got at Trader Joe’s
and didn’t answer the door even though
I could see it was UPS with the horse
medication and I thought of that picture
Patti took of me in an oval frame. Sweat
itself is odorless, composed of water,
sodium chloride, potassium salts,
and lactic acid; it’s the bacteria growing
on dead skin that provides the stench.
The average life span of a human taste bud
is seven to ten days. Nerve pulses
can travel up to a hundred and seventy miles per hour.
All information is useless.
The typical lightning bolt
is one inch wide and five miles long.

***

The helplessness of a dying person and the pointlessness of accumulating varied information—somehow it reminded me of the whining and devastated persona in Tem Adlawan’s “Ang Manok Inasal ni Rudy.”

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Jona | Backpacking with a Book

Hi, I’m Jona! I write stories and poetry and take a lot of photos, which I’m too lazy to upload. If you want to receive some photos that I don’t share here on the blog, please leave your email here. I’m crazy about cats too. Feel free to browse through BWAB, and I would love it if you say hi! For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com For more stories about BWAB, check here. Connect with us through

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