Load and cock and release. See the fins cut the air like knives. See the fins in the air and rising. See the children underneath and playing. See the boys on the ground and screaming, smiling. Load and cock and release. See the parents praying. See the sprinklers, their summer spitting. See the fire behind the fins and roaring. Load and cock and release. See the flags in the wind and blowing. See the grandparents looking up and pointing. See the fins still rising. Load and cock and release. See the loading-man over there reloading. See the water from the sprinkler arcing. See the television, the radio tuning. Listen for the men recocking. Load and cock and release. Listen to the talkers talking. Watch the girls in the sprinkler soaking. See again the loading and releasing. Load and cock and release. See more fins, smoking sky, more firing. See again the sprinkler spitting. Watch and remember the children playing. Load and cock. Release, release. Look, there, the grandparents remembering, the wheels spinning. Load and cock, release. See and hear the parents screaming. Load and cock. Load and cock. See and hear the children laughing. Load and cock and release. See and hear them splashing and pointing. See and hear that one crying. Load, release. Cock, reload. See and hear and listen, remember. Loading, recocking. Loading, releasing. Watching television, stealing televisions, waiting for what’s coming. Loading and cocking, release. No news is coming so load and cock and release. No news is helping so load and cock, aim and wait. Now you’re singing, you’re writing.
Joseph Riippi is author of The Orange Suitcase (2011) and Do Something! Do Something! Do Something! (2009), both from Ampersand Books. Research, a novel for performance, is currently in production with the claque in New York City and set for staging in late 2011. Visit www.josephriippi.com.