Episode #8 | Yann Rousselot
—Yann is no stranger to sleepless nights. In fact he actively seeks them, with bottle of Ricard tucked away and sights on the Seine. Come one, come all. Mr. Rousselot envelops us in sci-fi inspired poetry. Music by Gunnar Haslam, Kiasmos / Tale of Us, and Kronos Quartet.

At the museum of miniatures
there is a tiny grand piano.
My giant finger smashes twelve keys at a time,
but it’s not a chord;
the sound is unbearable.
I Gulliver-stride along the tiny streets,
carefully weaving two titanic brogues
through sparse traffic of Micro Machines.
That security guard is a normal-size human
so I try to be subtle as I wave my arms and rage,
make Godzilla faces, bellow like a dinosaur.
Tiny Japanese screams echo in the tiny buildings.
I have a tender thought for that ’50s actress
who played the 50-foot woman in that movie
Attack of the 50-Foot Woman;
she died alone
in a big house stacked with fan mail and junk.
Nobody found her until the smell, a year later.
Just another normal-size human.
I leave in a rush after I squash a tiny pedestrian,
lift my foot, and find a patch of red there.

Shake the bottle hard.
Protect and serve but do not
smile. The cap will hiss as you
release. The heat is something else.
Liquid fire, ammonium nitrate.
Uncle Fester’s cookbook was
vague, at best. Act normal.
Skin the battery but do not
cut into the guts: it will ignite.
Explain, but do not defend.
Bone-ache strong, pulse of bullet
after bullet down the femora.
Do not — do not shake the bottle.
Red devil lye is sodium hydroxide.
Do not let the lithium touch the water.
Officer square-jaw wants to soul-gaze,
we are having a moment. Prevent
the eye from twitching. Do not —
I repeat, do not move the leg.
Sulfuric acid onto iodized salt.
Do not inhale the hydrogen chloride.
License and registration, I repeat,
but all he said was ID, please.
Keep adding lye or the dope
will stop rolling. My position
does not look natural in any way.
Stop talking. Stop talking.
Do not clench the teeth. Do not
resist arrest or you will burn.

About the Poet

Yann Rousselot is a translator, writer, and poet. He grew up in airport lounges and diplomatic enclaves in the company of his brothers, his sister, and countless cheap suitcases, raised across the globe by humanitarian parents. He has been published in Paris Lit Up Magazine, The Bastille, AUP’s Paris/Atlantic Magazine, Thought Catalog, and the Belleville Park Pages. He lives, writes, and performs spoken word poetry in his adoptive city of Paris. His first collection, Dawn of the Algorithm, was published by Inkshares in 2015.

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