Premature Elegy for the Early 21st Century Hipster
Mascot of the Age of Information: your time will come. Ask the curator at the Museum of Human Histories, or the geologist who loves volcanoes so much, she’d camp on that lip of rock to watch a pool of magma bubble like tomato soup. Who wouldn’t want to return from logic’s ledge, say they’ve listened to lava? One day you will live in a glass case. One day a graduate student will study the significance of facial hair and flannel, earning their Ph.D. after hours of analyzing your cultural accumulations-- bowling trophies, berets, Soviet jackets-- how you dressed yourself in languages you did not understand yet no one claimed your name. You, an existential dilemma. I wonder if you’re already dead. Wouldn’t you have been the first to know? What dreams did you not share? Did your neck pulse a bass line of half notes? Did the sidewalk sewers sing? Herds of taxicabs painted like tigers, did the engines purr you to sleep? No, I’ve come here like an evangelist to tell you, except forget Jesus. Forget how one day someone will write their dissertation on the cultural representations of Christ, drawing parallels between the hipster beard and a lack of transcendence. No. Before you go, tell me how the earth’s core is 9,800 degrees. Tell me how you think it feels to burn that deep.
-- Maggie Graber is a writer originally from Northern Indiana. She’s been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Duende, Atticus Review, Stirring: A Literary Collection, and Toad, among others. A former radio DJ and farmhand, she currently lives and works as an environmental educator on the Cahaba River in central Alabama.