Description: zen circle 7

Scott Alexander Jones


The hum of the refrigerator
≠ coyotes

& wind, so let's pretend
We are Alexandrian

Shipbuilders & so what if the coastlines can't last—
They've only got American flag

Stamps at the post office. The American poet
Stamps were discontinued last fall & all

That comes to mind is: I'm fine
With whatever.

If prayer's cowering
In my parietal lobe, it's mostly: I'd kill

To stare into the yellowshot
Eyes of an ice


Man 800
Grandfathers ago

& debate rainfall on ferns & not
Say machine

Guns or I'm so
So sorry.



Years ago, I read Carl Sagan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, and I can't get it out my head that most of our species' existence was spent like the other animals out there, breathing heavily and chasing and being chased. Around the time I wrote this poem, some friends and I made a strange calculation. Say you're sitting in your living room and your father walks in through the front door and then out the back door. Immediately behind him is a vast procession of your grandfather, followed by your great-grandfather, then your great-great-grandfather, and so on. They're spaced out so that one of them walks past you every second: one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. How long would it take until you start seeing hunched-over ape-men grunting and howling and not looking a whole hell of a lot like us? Turns out it's about as long as watching Apocalypse Now Redux, which is a lot faster than I would have guessed. This poem was also inspired by the [human origins exhibit] at the Smithsonian in DC and [the one at the Natural History Museum in NYC], both of which could also be called atheist Vaticans.