An excerpt from Americanitis by Doug Paul Case

If you’re ever in Connecticut go to Goodwill

Look for all my father’s old clothes

My mother donated just before I wanted them

Never mind I couldn’t get them because I live in Indiana

Did you know they don’t always keep everything at the same store

Did you know they don’t wash anything before selling it

I know because one time I sketched a guy who worked there

Yes he was nude but we’ll have to come back to that

In the meantime whatever like we’re all born naked

My father wore a skinny tie when my mother birthed me in 1989

She said, I can’t believe you’d want all that crap

I said, even the bomber jacket!

Now all I can do is harbor hope for someone else’s

Am I too old already to be thinking like this

2015 and I’m trying to look like 1988’s Brad Pitt

It’s a law that only so many people can look that good

Political genetic or cosmic I’m not sure

I’ve got this photo set as my iPhone background

If you’ve got to Google Image it then Google Image it

If you’ve got it up in your bedroom already then hey how’s it going

He’s standing there all jaw line and smirk

One hand in a pocket one clutching an Evian bottle

I’ve got the big glasses I’ve got the pants

But good luck getting me to shave

More good luck getting me to hit the gym

You can see Brad Pitt shirtless just about anywhere

Have you heard the story of his long-haired Rolling Stone cover

Genius photographer was like, your headshot will look better

The only reason to go to the gym is to look

Bodies you’ll neither ever have nor ever have

I will call myself lazy when I finish complaining

Or after I work on my decision making skills

If you could choose to be Brad Pitt or to be with Brad Pitt

Lord knows I couldn’t

I just want to go to all his premieres

Only the new is exciting

Only the old can be new again

I’d die of thirst before getting to his Evian bottle

Is it safe to assume you know the joke about Evian spelled backwards

Is it safe to assume anything these days

All our theories are falling apart

My favorite theory is Matthea Harvey’s of generations:

You’re it you’re it you’re it

I don’t know if it’s okay that I told you

Please go buy her books instead of mine

I haven’t felt anything more sincerely in months

Lately all I want is coffee and over-frosted brownies from Kroger

Give me all the food coloring in the world

No matter my shame for being unable to bake them myself

Don’t tell my grandmother

I wanted to write grandmothers but one recently passed

No matter of the two she’d give less of a damn

This is the first time I’ve had to learn to mourn



Read the rest of “Americanitis” in our seventh print annual, available now

Doug Paul Case
is the author of the chapbooks Something to Hide My Face In (Seven Kitchens, 2015) and College Town (Porkbelly Press, 2015). He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where his most recent photo show, Draping and Motion Studies, debuted in the John Waldron Arts Center.


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