[sort] by Mark Cunningham



She banged her thumb with the hammer and said, “Ouch,” so I’d know it didn’t actually hurt. He asked if she’d ever seen ghost, and she looked right through him. “‘A thing in itself,’ i.e., was not really tangible.” The filmmaker said, “It’s impossible to be 24-hours-a-day real.” Once analysis showed that the grounds of the natives’ existence were decaf, we figured we’d have them pacified in no time.




He said the hand was faster than the eye, and then when we slowed down the security tape we saw he was an amputee. When she arrived and found no water, she accused me of drinking her mirage. He only dreamed he visualized a peaceful night’s sleep. I asked in what way was I lacking, and he said he’d run out of words before he finished, so I figured we were equal. Summer Reality Season Kicks In.






Mark Cunningham is the author of several books. When not writing, he teaches applied philosophy and logistics to the robots who will someday do our jobs. He also allows editors to write biographies for him. This is an uncommon kindness.

A note on the poems:
The term “sort” comes from John Locke’s “sorts of substances” with our understanding of each substance made of collections of ideas that are “supposed to flow from the particular internal constitution” of the substance (from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 2:23:2-3), and from FedEx’s “sort,” the twice daily receiving and routing of packages at airport hubs.

In the first piece, the quotation about a thing in itself is from Wilhelm Reich’s Function of the Orgasm; the quotation about 24-hours-a-day-real is from an interview with filmmaker Dusan Makavejev. In the second piece, the headline about Summer Reality Season is from USA Today, June 4, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *