The Ending was a Total Surprise to Me by Nate Pritts

Today’s newspaper gives names
to those five sad puppets who couldn’t hold
their stuffing in as their plush & colorful bodies

ejected from cars in the shattered dark
of a distant midnight. There was a stilly hush
as hands were retracted from openings;

there were icicles glinting in sunlight
as the animating principle sped.
I snored or growled during the opera,

was labeled rude by well-dressed
persons. I slumbered as the voices sang
their pain in gorgeous syllables.

But I refuse to be implicated in the droning.
I proclaim allegiance to this fragmentary
grenade smuggled in my chest.

I am a poor orphan boy surrounded
by affluent Londoners clutching farthings
in their palms. I am fresh coffee at sunrise.

There’s a shining warmth I need to ingest.
The newspaper turns me into a lake,
two spillway devices implanted in my face

where the run-off water leaks if the build up
gets to be too much. In my dream,
the driveway was lined with tulips, flashlight

landing petals for the luminous aircraft.
In my life, it’s November cold & I wake up
every day without you. In my dream tonight,

I’ll plant tulips inside your body, blow on them
gently until their fire takes root. Their blooming
can light my way to you.  After take off

I’ll crash back to the right planet
by tracking the lovely scents.  You Flowerpot,
You will be the archaic & silly endearment

I enunciate as my gossamer wings drift me
gently into a new tomorrow. Today’s newspaper
tells me today is ending for billions of people,

hands stretched to the sky to hold up
the clouds as they plummet.
No more news from the front. The pain

I’m feeling is theatrical. The blood I’m bleeding
is fake. The self I’m selfing burns like a lollipop
held to the sun—not melting or exploding,

though that would be the graceful thing to do.
Honest dissolution. Black & white. Newsprint.
But I’m just here getting brighter.



Nate Pritts is the author of three full-length books of poems—The Wonderfull Yeare (Cooper Dillon Books, 2010), Honorary Astronaut (Ghost Road Press, 2008) & Sensational Spectacular (BlazeVOX, 2007). Nate teaches gifted students online through Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. The founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N, find him online at