Tinyman 2004  

Passing through the night, through Pennsylvania, on the way to some destination. Through the turnpike. Past the pines. The night was full of the antlers of elk, like the television aerials of Americans earnest to catch the latest popularity polls. Through this colossal nothingness drove Johnny Werd and Tinyman. Tinyman asleep in the passenger seat of the Ford Fedora Lincoln, slumbering as the signs panned by. Signs. Werd pondered. The American landscape passed in a blur of nighttime gasoline and flattened caribou.

"Werd", Tinyman rasped, "you'll never be a speechwriter, son, until you learn how to lie and tell the truth at the same time."

"Ah-"

"It's a balancing act if there ever was one son," Tinyman proclaimed, bringing his tiny fist down upon the little hotel wet bar on wheels.

Werd tried to reckon with that.

It was hard to express the loneliness of life on the road. The signposts and coffee. The American flag on the side of the van.

Just let me play my keyboard awhile

Werd, you the man we call Werd, with a torch and a branding iron, the one doing the ice ballet across the fragile faith of a billion voters. Werd, you're the one with no sense of proportion. Werd, you're the one whose gonna cast the deciding ballot.

You fucker.

Well I'm underwhelmed, I might say, by the Iowa straw poll.

"Well dip me in molasses and roll me in pork rinds!"

Ligeti's 2nd string quartet pumping through her headphones, the alderwoman runs through the prairie. Coneflower grows purple with yellow petals like fingers.

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SB