Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a poem by Adam Fitzgerald for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Richard Long, “Small White Pebble Circles” (1945) (image via Wikimedia)

Oregon Trail

A thief stole 6 oxen from your wagon.

SPACE BAR to continue.

You decide to rest.

You lug back 88 lbs of otter meat.

You have reached Blue River Crossing.

Bindi has died.

You have typhoid.

Next landmark: 88 miles.

You have exhaustion.

You have fish odor syndrome.

You lose 3 sets of relatives and 84 sharpies.

You have stuff.

Your supplies: 2 oxen, no clothing, 3 wagon wheels.

SPACE BAR to continue.

You find a turtle shell with no turtle in it.

You have herpes.

You have anthrax.

You have polyps.

The wagon tipped over while you were womanizing.

You have reached Blue River Crossing.

You have family trust issues.

You read “We who are parting.”

Smoke-flowers blur red river.

You sleep late.

You have $90,000 in college loan debt.

You burst like ice.

The river flows alone.

Mountains are sheer, surly and blue-haired.

A cloud floats from its mark.

You require respiratory assistance.

You gleam like birds.

SPACE BAR to continue.

Here lies Brad Pitt.

Here lies Raptor Jesus.

Microsoft Word does not recognize the name Shaniqua.

You have jaundice, congenital arthritis, and calyx blisters.

You have no one.

Next landmark: 82 miles.

You wail, holler, cry, screech and slam.

You are doable in a jiff, crunch, pinch, or jot.

You marry off Xanax to Flonase.

SPACE BAR to continue.

Your circadian rhythms are fucked.

You wonder what happens to tampons in airports.

Next landmark: 42 miles.

You have engorged lipids.

You figure out the meaning of finger bowls.

You inherit The Christian Science Monitor.

You dream of angels with Uzis.

There is no Stage V.

SPACE BAR to continue.

Your mind goes away.

The river flows alone.

Everyone in your party has left for another party.

Would you like to look around?

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Adam Fitzgerald is the author of The Late Parade (W. W. Norton/Liveright). He teaches at Rutgers University and edits Maggy. He is co-director of The Ashbery Home School and lives in New York City. His second book of poems, George Washington, is forthcoming in 2015.

To submit poetry to Hyperallergic, email 3–5 poems to Joe Pan: poetry at hyperallergic dot com.

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut poetry book, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named “Best First Book of the Year” by Coldfront...

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