Product 27
Poetry and Prose from the Center for Writers
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Dali Giger Intersection

When they met
it was like time and space
colliding, forging
a new language for the universe--
    Dali using clocks,
    Giger using coils.

In the photograph
Giger is smiling, youthful,
his right hand raised as if in benediction,
while Dali's eyes
over his moustache
are lightning in the heart of a volcano.

Perhaps they spoke of
     what it would feel like to be chased
     by giant scissors
     or feel alien breath
     on the back of your neck.

"Nevermind all that,"
Dali said to his guest.
"It is a beautiful day.
Let us run through the streets of Cadaqués
     with no pants.
The breeze will be lovely.
Let's go."


What's this?

A book.


It's a book.

It doesn't look like a book. Where's the button?

What button?

You know, the button.

It doesn't have a button.

Then how do you turn it on?

You don't. You open it.

Oh. That's new.

No. It's old.

So this is an old book.


Where's the rest of it?

Please be careful. The binding is fragile.

Where's the rest?

The rest of what?

Doesn't it give you access to the internet somewhere? Chat? Games?

No. It's just a book.

No games.


What’s it made of?



Wood. Wood by-products. You know, from trees.

Wood? Is that legal?

Like I said, it's an old book.

I'm not sure about this.

Is there a problem?

I've had this "book" open for five minutes and it hasn't said anything.

It's not supposed to. There's writing here, see? Words.

These little markings here?




What are they made of then? I don't suppose
they grow on trees?

Ink. Ink applied to the page.

What's ink made of?

I'm not sure, really. Combination of things.


I imagine. Yes.

Smells funny.

That's probably the glue. From the binding.

Glue. More chemicals?

Well. Yes.

Explain something to me. If you don't turn it on, and there are no speakers or phone jacks or nothing, then how does it talk?

Why should it talk?

You know, tell you the words.

It doesn't. You read it.

Read it.


You're saying that you can read these markings here.

Yes. I'll demonstrate, if you like.

No, I think I've seen enough.

Listen. That was the last call for my flight. Do you think we could speed this up?

Oh, you're not flying anywhere today, buddy.  Hey, Joe, take this over to evidence, will ya?  The guy says it's a "book."  Can you believe it?  Like anybody reads anymore.

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Tanja Nathanael is currently working on her PhD in English Literature at USM. She has never been detained in airport security for possessing an illegal book.