Pierogi Press No. 11: Kristin Prevallet, “From The People Database: ‘After Mark Lombardi'”

From The People Database: “After Mark Lombardi”
Kristin Prevallet

This man is a gangster who switched to union busting when selling liqueur became legal.

This is a man who remembers making rye in his bathtub and smuggling it across town to the local pool hall in mason jars disguised as his wife’s canned peaches.

This is a man who works with dangerous chemicals in a non-unionized company, who developed a painful chronic cough but is unable to get the company doctor to diagnose his problem as anything more than a common cold.

This is a woman who needs to have sex with five different men a night in order to pay off the man who is threatening to kill her children.

This is a man who works for other men to make sure that none of the girls try and make off with extra cash.

This woman is a faithful follower of Jesus and attends a Christian church every Sunday, who shows her devotion to Catholic teachings by placing $10 in the donation basket as it passes her in the pew, who can’t afford a lawn mower and her weeds are out of control, which makes her neighbors infuriated because her weeds are ruining their yards.

This man works at a bank and personally witnessed a transaction in which a large sum of cash from the Vatican Bank was handed over to a man who he was certain was a part of the mafia.

This man’s job is to transfer suitcases from one safe deposit box to another.
This is a man who is an expert at masking the trace of large sums of money deposited into banks all over the world at any given time, who learned to play golf when he was a boy, who visualizes the global financial network as a vast golf course with millions of balls zipping around in the air simultaneously, being teed off and then dropping, rolling around a bit and then stopping, landing in holes where they vanish long enough to be out of view, only to resurface, once again to be teed off and sent whizzing into another direction. He imagines this constant activity of balls-in-motion and it helps him to focus on his drive. He by no means is an excellent golf player but Nelson Rockefeller once commended him for his stride, a compliment which won his brother several important defense contracts.

This woman is the wife of a guerilla who has been hiding in the mountains for the past five years; she thinks of him and his struggles with the military officials who control the democratically elected government everytime she visits her sister, whose son was murdered just because he told the local police about a white man from Miami who tried to convince him to sell cocaine to the boys hanging out in the schoolyard.

This is a man who loads airplanes destined to Iraq with large crates which he knows contain missiles, who buys his son a plastic machine gun on the way home from work, who is a devoted Lutheran and a brilliant barbequer who is very generous with the sauce.

This man is in the “destabilizing business” and has made a huge profit selling missiles, canons, and artillery to anti-rebel factions within numerous third world countries; who after the wars are won will then turn around and sell the same weapons to the other side, and so on and so on, until, he chuckles, they finally “blow themselves off the face of the earth.”

This woman cannot understand why the local hospital was bombed to bits by the Americans.

This woman is weaving a large tapestry in which a viscious circle of interconnecting lines forms two scythes, and she imagines sewing the point in which they meet as a singular red dot, symbolizing her family which was hacked to pieces because her brother dared to give a wounded rebel fighter a ride to the local hospital.

This man has picked up a machine gun and vows to fire in the fight to save his country until he is killed.

This man has successfully bribed another man and therefore will not have to kill his family.

This man is terrified that a nuclear bomb has fallen into the wrong hands, and worries about his own personal safety.

This woman and this man are all connected to the same network, the one which conceals, the one which builds, the one which explodes and one which profits. Each thinks that he or she is an independent entity, floating in a circular bubble high above the concerns of politics and economy. No one can escape being implicated in the flow: this is a difficult space for poetry.