Rev. Jonah Howell

Thicc-Timely Meditations

At first I’d intended to write a poem about the State of Things.
I’d even begun to write said poem, rhyming my way
through a French-pressed pot of lapsang souchong when,
just as I’d pulled my foreskin back over my penis after
a nicely hydrated, nearly clear piss, one of our dear boys in blue
bolts in the bathroom, badge brandished,
says, “Oy, some blokes got a patent on ‘the State of Things.’
Best bugger off back home, or I’ll rock you, sock you, an’ Novichok you!”
At this, he spit and shook his fist and hissed a bit, and I said,
“Righto, coppo,” and put up my dangling dick and split.
And so I pressed the State of Things from my mind and went for a walk.

Upon first entering a town sometimes I think time runs straight there, like there’s a person down that road now there’s not, but no: Time sits on its unmovable thicc ass wherever you look, and it remains sitting wherever you have looked until once you’ve given a town the whole once-over, the full walk-around, then not just time but Time’s thicc ass is simultaneously touching all of it but hasn’t moved: This is the greatest problem geometricians have ever thunk up. Pascal himself said the “most fearful sphere” is the one whose “center is all places and whose circumference is nowhere.”

The only solution to said problem is that time gets thiccer at exactly the pace that you walk. Said thiccening of immobile, immovable time is called, the apparent interconnectivity of the town. Each person creates just such a thiccening as they walk the town, and the whole mass of those independent thiccenings we may call the composite thiccness of time, or the social interconnectivity of the town.

This framework can explain most everything about small towns. For example, why does everyone in Buttfuck-Egypt, Tennessee know everything about everyone else? Because Buttfuck-Egypt, Tennessee is tiny, and so everybody that lives there has seen every corner of it: Time there is therefore triple-c thiccc. This also explains why the South is famous for its slowness: The stereotypical South is a small town, and time in this small town is thiccc, and so it’s tough to march through it so quickly as one might in a thin-timed city. Southerners move with plenty force. They’re just moving through temporal molasses.

Now I’ve walked through Wagonnville many a time, so as I sauntered out the loo, leaving my blue-suit badgy boy behind to poop another party, I walked very


because I saw a great multitude of things. For context, know that this loo out of which I just stepped is the westmost point of Wagonnville, the Gog to which the Wagonnville Mall is Magog. Beyond these two points in either direction time becomes thin, stringy, like undercooked asparagus or bad knitting or a hairball pulled from the drain in a retirement home’s shower, coated in denture-cleaner and useless cum: Any of these three comparisons could be the correct one, and so one does not go there, beyond Gog and/or Magog, because one is never sure what one will find.

I began from the loo which is called the Mountain Gog and as I walked I saw a multitude of things. The first thing I saw was a tree that had more flowers on it than it had had the previous day, and regardless I still knew it immediately as the “tree with very few flowers,” and I likely always will.

The second thing I saw was a friend. I saw her just as she was to walk into her house. She had stopped on her front porch step to swallow a pill. When I waved to her the movement startled her and she fell against the door but put her hands behind her back as if she had just done something wrong and said, “You surprised me! I was just taking a vitamin and am now going to meditate in nature.” And she walked into her house, and a light came on, and I walked very close to her window because I thought something was the matter with my friend and I stood just beside the window so that I could see her but she was unlikely to see me and I watched to see what was the matter. She looked at her cell phone for a while, and I became bored but still couldn’t tell what was the matter with her, and so I continued watching her. One of her neighbors came by and yelled at me for standing under the window but I softly shushed them and told them I was only watching to see what was the matter with my friend, and the neighbor began to call the police, and so I ran. I looked back as I ran and saw that my friend had smushed her face into her cell phone screen until it had cracked, and she had kept smushing it and some of the glass shards turned back toward her though she was pushing them with her face and they cut her on her cheeks and especially in her eyes and on her lips, and they stuck in her face so that when she stopped pushing the phone was stuck to her face and covered her eyes, but in any case they must have been so thoroughly stuck with glass shards that she wouldn’t have been able to see anything even if the phone hadn’t covered her eyes. She swallowed another vitamin and was very tough and didn’t cry even though glass shards had filled her face and eyes, though I don’t know if she could cry anymore with the phone’s glass sticking in her eyes. Then I had to stop looking back because I had come to an intersection and had to cross the street.

The third thing I saw was a large leaf. Beside it sat a crying toddler. Cute kid, but her parents looked dead-ass tired, and so they smushed phone screens into the toddler’s face until her eyes were so grievously gashed she could no longer see. Then she was so shook that she stopped crying.

And I saw an old hobo get tazed because a group of high schoolers walked by him, and one of them took a hit from a huge vape, and he guffawed, “Looks like you’re suckin’ on a dick!” and old hoboes should not speak of sex organs, lest some more genteel personage be forced to think that the old hobo has sex organs or could even have sex himself, because nobody wants to have sex with old hoboes, therefore for him to have sex he would clearly have to rape someone, and so if he makes a joke about sex organs he makes people think about rape and that’s not OK so he got tazed.

Then another high schooler shot that group of high schoolers right in the vape and a police officer shot the high schooler that shot the other high schoolers and then the police officer shot someone else because their kombucha looked like a gun. This happened a few hundred more times, then I saw a small bird. It hopped on all the people that had been shot by schoolchildren and the police and it looked inside the holes the bullets had left in them and cocked its head sideways like this and it looked up at me and said, “If you fuckers actually cared about national security you’d start dropping bombs on goth kids and pigs instead of ragheads.” And then it hopped on some more kids’ corpses and then it ate a small worm.

Eventually all these bodies will generate maggots, more birds will come to eat the maggots, and the street will be covered with birds, all of them taunting the passersby with their horrendously tone-deaf military advice.

But until then the street still bustles, corpses warming in the sun, creating but small ripples in the thicc ass of time as the burnt-plastic of crack smoke wafts in from alleyways, parking decks, the sticky spots behind dumpsters where all the drugs in the world combine to form an obscene type of silly putty, obscene because it sticks to shoes and blackly calloused toes and tells you who’s been puffin’ good-good, it’s that guy, his glazed red eyes peeled back, surprised, because his special silly putty will only slurp the bad words from the newspaper, the fuck shit cunt and nothing else, and so he peels the paper and putty from his shoe and pastes them over a poster by the pop-shop, casual incognito, hiding behind a pack of 20-somethings all disinterestedly snapping pictures of a yoga poster because “We should totally go, like it’s so good for you,” and as she shakes her head for emphasis the elephant charm on her Buddha necklace makes soft tinkling sounds against the hamza charm behind it: You can hear the pan-spiritualism, the sound of all the wisdom of all prior cultures coalescing into one soaring wisdom, enlightenment in a thousand yellow Etsy envelopes, and if you get all the charms then download our app we’ll toss in a free week-long meditation retreat so you can tell the people at your eco-internship you’re not all show.

And then a high-school-age policeman–the most deadly species ever discovered, even more deadly than a tiny rattlesnake–shot them too and he walked away and

the little birds all shook their heads and tweeted and ate the worms that ate the clovers that ate the grout between the sidewalk sections that Jack built as people walked and cracked their knuckles and chewed their fingernails and pulled the strings on their hoodies and fiddled with the hems of their shirts and chewed the insides of their lips and finally put their hands in their pockets and watched whether they stepped on the groutless sidewalk cracks, because their mothers have all started a new fad diet to keep up their back health and they don’t want to sabotage such desperate efforts.

The birds, though, take no fad diets. They simply eat some worms and their backs are healthy. And if the Lord does so much for the birds of the air, yea even for the beasts of the field, how much more for you, his chosen species?

But then, looking out at this street covered in childrens’ corpses and snickering birds and crack and obscene silly putty and cracking knuckles can I believe that we’re God’s favorite?

Fuckin’ roflcoptr. We’re not even our favorite.

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