Model Answer (Five Prose Poems)

by David Harrison Horton


Model Answer (Weather)


I’m not part of the tin foil hat contingent, but weather gets me going. Tesla, the man, not the car, thought we could manipulate the weather using telemagnetics and electricity. They’ve been doing it in Alaska since the 30s. Northern Lights, my eye. Science at work in our own backyard. That’s what’s great about progress: all the forward thinking. It’s just do it, white knuckled, then wait for consensus. Everyone knows a camel is just a horse drawn up by a committee.


Model Answer (Art)


Now, there is Art, with a big A that is something akin to Ezra Pound’s  idea of Kultur, ideas that are worth exploring and stand the test of time, and there is art, small a, which is another word for commerce. Sometimes Art and art overlap, but not very often. This is because most Art doesn’t happen in galleries, and especially not museums, which are storehouses of wealth more than ideas, displaying their wares like an upscale supermarket.


Model Answer (Tourism)


Shirt factories are a great place for fires to start, but lousy places for padlocks. Thomas Edison got his ears boxed in a wooden shack along the Mount Clemens railway. Tour guides are worth their weight in arcana, and possibly pub quiz beer. Frank Black has a broken face, and Kaifeng strawberry pickers are now looking for work further north. I “read” Charlie Chaplin’s travel book as an mp3. That counts, right? Jesus, with a hard “H”, he keeps complaining about everything, all the live-long. The first ever miserable, millionaire Marxist? Who’s clowning now, Johnny Paycheck?


Model Answer (Health)


There’s a joke about the trucker’s belt buckle with the punchline “Rectum! Hell, it killed ‘em.” But there’s nothing funny about redneck fashion. The fact that Heps A, B and C and tuberculosis are still things is a joke. Not funny ha-ha, but as ridiculous as Ionesco eating a Korean donut. All that sugar, and still they taste of nothing. I once was on a steady diet of nothing: they called it high school education. The mind is a muscle that deserves better than Charles Dickens.  


Model Answer (Education)


Most of China looks like the States I-80. It’s hard to get enthusiastic about hours of travel through farmland. That’s why I’ve developed a psychological transport method. My mind and my body can exist in separate places, no thanks to Marx. I see a window, and my mind goes to a library. This library is fully of memories and daydream fodder. It isn’t organized very well. You ask the librarian for dialog from a 1940s war flick and you get Gritty Kitty’s “Icing.” A tail-less squirrel indeed. Is your heart in right? The library supervisor is always on break, so there’s no point in complaining.



David Harrison Horton is a Beijing-based writer, artist, editor and curator. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Ethel, Otoliths, Variant Literature, Noctua Review, and Pennsylvania English, among others. He edits the poetry zine SAGINAW.