What's Nostalgia Got To Do With It? —
People Pay Good Money For This Sort Of Thing
Vol. I, Issue II - Oct. 2010

Long live its long lines, thin fins, its lead head.

Long live its obvious danger, the way it arranged moments into living and hardly and summer.

Long live the jart, lawn dart with the aggressive, actionable name, banned in 1988, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Long live the 3:1 ratio of boys to girls with “penetrating lawn dart injuries” that led to the ban.

Long live the box copy reading, mostly chronologically: “an outdoor game,” “a missile game,” “an exciting outdoor game of skill for the whole family,” “fun for the entire family.”

Long live the amended copy: “an outdoor skill game for adults,” “a skillful sport for adults,” or “a competition rated adult lawn dart game.”

Long live the end of the jart.

Long live the end of childhood.

Long live the culture of protection.

Long live the name of the jart, javelin + dart, or jet + dart, or je + the heart, javelina + the art, Jeremiah + the shot through the heart, and you’re to blame.

Long live the jart, modern family version of the plumbata, the lead-weighted military throwing dart used by Roman infantry from 300-700 AD.

Long live skull fracture and bone penetration.

Long live instruments of war packaged as a family game.

Long live convalescing in Spain.

Long live family, an arena of war.

Long live the jart, the backyard flechette (projectile deployed from planes or balloons during the first world war).

Long live the dreams of those run through by flechettes.

Long live the dreams of the four-chambered heart, about to be struck.

Long live A bell Is a Cup… Until It Is Struck (album by Wire).

Long live the chambers of the nautilus.

Long live the heart, an organ, then not.

Long live the 4% casualty rate of children struck by jarts in a 1990 study published in Journals of Diseases of Children.

Long live air bubble and hemorrhage of left temporal region with surrounding edema as shown on CT scan in said study.

Long live “Male predominance…may be explained by sex difference in exposure to risks and/or behavior,” quoted in said article.

Long live a corollary article, “Pediatric Injuries in the Back of Pickup Trucks,” 1990, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Long live trips in my father’s or another’s pickup truck as a child, taking jumps down steep hills, catching air into darkness forever.

Long live summer camp with its notions of archery and weird martial training.

Long live the marching band, remnant, reminder of that martial culture.

Long live Bill Millin, bagpiper at the D-Day landings, died on August 17th, 2010.

Long live the bagpipe as a weapon of war, officially proclaimed by an English judge circa 1746, reasoning that his music was his weapon.

Long live Bill Millin, whom German snipers had in their sights and had not fired.

Long live Red Dawn and the nuclear threat.

Long live the martial and survivalist action of Boy Scouts.

Long live the WEBELOS, the joint between cub and boy, we’ll be loyal scouts, we’ll be forever lost.

Long live the lawns of the dreams of the past, cleared out of pests.

Long live the idea of lawns, mostly absent from Arizona, like water.

Long live my heart in my mouth as I threw up the jart toward the ring on the ground where it gathered with others in thunder.

Long live their banning, rendering them permanently amazing.

Long live the loss of living with any sense of actual threat.

Long live our lives, soft, safe, servile, updating motherboards on servers, drinking coffee to feel alive.

Long live the last time you felt anything was possible.

Long live that must have included death from above. Long live that must include love.

Long live the decades of lawsuits.

Long live the legitimate lawsuit. Long live the spurious.

Long live the lawsuit of Karsten Abata, who sued the City of Houghton, Michigan, for “not properly marking” the obvious speed bump that he wrecked his bike on going 30 miles an hour like a fool down the huge hill, breaking his arm.

Long live the couple hundred bucks he won or received as a settlement.

Long live his trajectory into asininity and Amway and irrelevance.

Long live my scorn, for it sustains me.

Long live Facebook for not reconnecting him and I with our shared, stupid memories.

Long live so far, long live yet.

Long live the pornography of memory.

Long live the scar on my forehead.

Long live the increasing expanse of my forehead, how like a lawn it creeps.

Long live the lies I told to girls about how I got that scar, my fake Australian accent.

Long live fooling no one.

Long live the stairways of memory, collapsing below me.

Long live the homemade bomb.

Long live Jeremiah Manchester whose homemade bomb blew up while he made it.

Long live the static that triggered it, that triggered our hearts, that redirected our circulations and ambitions.

Long live our many other bombs before that.

Long live cannon fuse, saltpeter, Vaseline, improvised nitroglycerine.

Long live the crazy heart of The Anarchist’s Cookbook.

Long live the surgeon who attached his big toe to his hand in place of a thumb. Long live the millimeters by which the fragments missed his vas deferens.

Long live his succession of longsuffering hot girlfriends.

Long live my collection of teenage pornography.

Long live the Upper Peninsula, where his name is inscribed.

Long days were ours, those summers of incredible Eastern Standard Time. Long live the air stretching out toward the irreducible evening, and our forgetting.

Long live the arc of the jart, parabolic in air, sometimes in hair and in tears. (More rarely in sweating glasses of tea.)

Long live the sound of it hitting the earth, of it splitting the earth, of spitting on wounds from things stuck in the earth.

Long live the jart’s long flight on my grandmother’s lawn.

Long live the exact width of the sky above my grandmother’s cabin on Pelican Lake, Minnesota, pontoon boats trolling through the summer evenings, my family lining the shore.

Long live my teenage collection of pornography.

Long live demography.

Long live invincibility.

Long live it ending.

Long live the summer of selling stamps door-to-door to neighbors for some reason lost in memory.

Long live the later summer of failed grass roots organizing in Madison, Wisconsin. Grass roots for what? Organizing for what? Gone now, like minnows, like moaning, like each new morning.

Long live my grandfather dying of emphysema just up the road, sucking air.

Long live my grandfather, Heinz salesman, buyer, deployer of jarts on the lawn, in the shed, in the air.

Long live the loss of his hair.

Long live remembering minnows nibbling my legs, though I have not waded in that or any lake with minnows for years. Long live my dulling senses, my hardened skin so that I could not even feel them if theoretically I were to wade in the water, that water, those minnows, my marrow, tomorrow.

Long live the feeling of power in weapons and jarts.

Long live the power of art.

Long live its weight in my hand.

Long live the sound of my brother tracing circles on the lawn.

Long live blindfolds over eyes.

Long live the rocks I threw at my brother while swimming.

Long live what this means to our continuing relationship, never just dust in the past.

Long live the dumb men in our family, who mostly die younger.

Long live our dwindling numbers.

Long live the elegy, geology’s long thought, the brains of those struck by jarts and hospitalized, their names redacted from the record.

Long live Elkhart, Indiana, home of the last boy who suffered a brain injury due to lawn darts before the ban.

Long live we bumblers, stumbling through summers.

Long live mummers and their plays, their plays on words.

Long live the absence of birds.

Long live any of us surviving Michigan men. Long live either luck or timidness.

Long live fire, fir trees, the disfigurement of our friends.

Long live Misery Bay and the dredge.

Long live Torch Lake, poisoned from mine tailings.

Long live its phalanx of swarming, cancerous fish.

Long live my childhood and the disguises it takes even now.

Long live the swears I learned, when to deploy them, and not.

Long live this pornography of teenage collection.

Love live the collection of weapons, the blowguns, the crossbows, bottle rockets, shotguns, air rifles, shuriken, katanas, morning stars, pistols, throwing knives, kidney knives, bowie knives, butterfly knives, carving knives, hatchets, gasoline.

Long live our desperation to be able to affect something, anything.

Long live remembering sensation, a powerful urge growing stronger each year that I age. Long live the inevitability that it will be the only thing remaining in memory as I expect to dream out my last, institutionalized decade on the IV television drip in my Craftmatic, nothing and no one so close as to possibly harm me ever again.

Long live my heart, the machine of my thinking. Long may it not burst.

Long live the earth. Long live the jart stuck in its heart.

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