Drew Gardner || Empire Plan
Empire Plan (2012) is a series of poems based on George Lucas's The Empire Strikes Back. The titles of the poems are synopses of scenes in the film rendered into idiomatic phrases and fed into Google groups listserv searches for content. The results of this process are then collaged into the poem. Each stanza represents a unique source: separate, dialogic subjectivities transformed into a single serial poem. Please keep in mind that, under the medical component of the Empire Plan, you are not guaranteed access to a participating provider in every specialty in every geographic area. Published here for the first time are three selections from the longer work.
THEY FOUND US
I thought they had forgotten us in the snowstorms,
but they found us. Now we are blessed with Big Mac here too.
I always wanted this as a kid, but I couldn't find it anywhere.
I hunted one down when I became an adult.
And then what? Kill everyone we come in contact with?
I think we need to make a new puppet piece.
U.S. Border Patrol responded to a concerned citizen's call
and recovered a small unmanned aerial vehicle
which belonged to the government of Mexico.
Later they found us under stars and night.
And when that disappeared the choice was yours.
It looked like an endless chain of decisions
examining childrens’ toys like they were models of possible living.
Virtually silent beyond a few feet, battery-operated
they can stay up for most of a day.
They've got full IR cameras and can be fitted
with guns to attack the enemies.
They hover camouflaged near a tree-line almost undetectable,
perfectly motionless for hours.
The nuke is the Death Star. One nuke can wipe out a whole city
like a Death Star wipes out a whole planet.
Spread thousands of those across your thoughts.... oops,
I mean your terrorists can hide all they want.
Eventually, they will be found.
Loved that thing but I was kind of careless when I was younger,
and one by one a piece went missing.
Oh well I need to get that new one now.
It's a variation. This wasn't produced massively
as the other revised version,
which is "Turret & Probot Playset."
It is because the military-industrial complex has been careful
to put defense plants and military bases in every feeling,
so that if a scribbler tried to stand up to it,
everyone in their community would be taller than a human,
probably twice as high or more from the tip of their longest "leg"
to the top of their "head," ignoring any antennae or other protrusions on top.
You haven't realized that what has happened here
is just business as usual.
If humans encountered attractive non-humans
that couldn't resist their erotic blandishments,
whether because they found us irresistibly sexy,
or because they didn't have the strength or wits to fight us off
and if sexual congress occurred, and if this resulted
in a pregnancy, I believe the resulting creature
would be the product of some unique and heretofore-undreamt-of
genetic amalgamation that would result in NOT a "hybrid,"
but what might be called a CHIMERA, an impossible creature.
There are only two kinds of jobs available:
killing other people or Diet Coke.
Blurry close-ups– you'd be better off using
macro close-ups and editing together the clips.
MY FEET WERE FROZEN
Nature never lets earthquakes kill innocent people
because survival is what creates the present.
They have to be in competition to not become the food,
The catapult flinging snowmen into the ranks
of the one-percent like a puppy
transformed into a figure of wisdom.
I lived on a false sense of self-sacrifice
and a vain embarrassment in the
presence of an ambient dissimulation
I couldn’t begin to see.
It felt like I was hitting dead weight.
Then there was a total change in the feeling.
You know how it feels when you practice swing
and just shave the grass?
That’s what it felt like, absolutely effortless,
like a WW2 kamikaze pilot yelling
“Long live the one-percent”
while spiraling into Cuddles the wampa pug.
For the rest of the day it was like a hot knife through butter.
You were coming out of the DA's office
with a woman I didn't recognize, a redhead, tall and beautiful.
Something about her made me uneasy.
My feet were frozen to the spot
and I stared at the anti-greed protesters in my mind
and started standardizing myself again.
When you have declared the self to be a snowman
it is no wonder that people tend to take a suggestion
from Lord Voldemort in Spanish
and look at the dust lanes crossing M82.
Seeing other galaxies in the area on my map,
I spent the next morning looking at the fact that
animals have free will— the address name
that spouts from these conglomerations of half-truths.
Count the false statements, make up your own mind
and agree that you are yogurt.
We climbed up a tall spruce coming out
from the induced demand like cream soda,
sneaking around the back way behind the hopes
of scurrying to safety in, of all places, the dungeon.
I am a crab who rejects the temporality of anchoring.
I am a crab who made it to America.
I am a land crab who knows I am a willowy sort of blonde woman
with blue eyes and firm breasts that seem large because
I'm only 5'4", but they're just 34B's.
I did some modeling in high school and again at college.
I didn't like the boredom, or a lot of the people.
Or their incredible emotional intensity in assisting their leaders
in fighting against the public good.
They just treated me like crab meat.
But my degree is in crab mathematics.
The insurance companies require doctors
to pay themselves with wampum,
but I had applied the "defend and deny" game to myself long ago,
following four six-foot shelves
in my lounge filled from end to end with legos.
I have models on display, a will to be alive,
and pinchers to put things together in a different way.
I STARTED TO WARM UP
I watched as the door began to close,
and I shooed the chickens into the coop.
Great, I thought, all in bed. The door
was about four inches from closing,
and my Blue Orpington and Polish Crested
pulled an Indiana Jones and dove
under the door at the last second.
Does anyone else have curfew busters?
I stray from one site to another aimlessly
in a process that is almost like infinite regress.
I'm listening to the Deftones and Chino Moreno
is singing to me and he's telling me what to do.
I thought, uh-oh, this isn't right, and then,
links, associations, newspaper headlines in a dark tunnel.
I seem to be lurking in some nook or cranny,
vulnerable and lost. The information contains me.
I struggle to regain a semblance of control.
I cling to English, but all is blurry.
I find myself trying to identify the
"nationality" of each site.
Problem is that it is there, going on all around us.
In the spring the return to the womb party
almost took a deathly toll.
They darkened the house, put mattresses all over
the floor, and covered them with plastic tarps.
On top of the tarps, they put oatmeal and red Jell-O.
People slid into the party from slides set up through windows.
One frat member nearly died after a spring
in one of the mattresses burst through the tarp
and cut his foot. He went to the campus
health center and they proclaimed his cut "clean."
A week later, he was in a coma and almost
died from an allergic reaction to the infection,
which was exacerbated by the sugar content of the Jell-O.
I think we're alike in that we'd rather
hear someone talking about facts and reality
in broken English, than BS with pretty writing.
I agree that pretty speech and writing is usually
a great cover for ignorance about the subject at hand.
You could've saved me time and you embarrassment
by showing some sign of intellect.
You had to go thinking you can't be beat.
You got some f---in nerve thinkin' you can beat me
and four others in the same match.
Even for being pissed, you should've
thought about that one.
You had to climb high to get here to
begin with, now you think you're in
position to tell me what I'ma do?
That just makes me pissed off-er than before.
See, now I'm gonna really f--- you up.
I used to have an old Nokia and I threw it
at least thirty yards in the air and it hit the concrete.
It broke into four pieces that all fit right back into place
and still worked fine. Plus it had about a two-week battery life.
Back when a cell phone was a phone
and not a device that will cook me pancakes and rub my balls.
A Nokia phone will withstand being steeped in water
for a night. It will be fine after being stripped
and placed in a cup of rice. It will withstand a two storey fall.
It will last at least three days on a single four hour charge.
It's light, and it fits perfectly in my hand.
My wife met up with us for a late lunch and I rode home.
Jumped in the hot tub, had a sip of Jameson's
and looked up to see two eagles fly over the yard
just as I started to warm up.
Life is good. I will never understand
why everyone does not understand motorcycles.
They are good and powerful medicine.
Motorcycles saved my life.