Christopher Jon Heuer


Because he saved his survivalist books
on his Kindle, when electricity
in the neighborhood understandably
sputtered in the face of massive riots,
dire predictions of inevitable
cannibalism, and frantic knocking
on his fortified front door (courtesy
of his prior-to-crisis-already-
irritating next door neighbor in search
of Peroxide to replace her whiskey
supply—which she claimed was for medical
purposes only, but for a woman
who ran the local Civil Defense Board,
climbing his front steps took her quite a while,
and she had only nicked her shin shaving
her legs using Crisco on the off chance
one of the television crews filming
impromptu beheadings and cheered hangings
throughout the city wished to interview
her regarding the success of her gauze
recycling program at the smoldering
remains of the local hospital). He
cursed his glaring lack of foresight into
the matter and attempted to pump more
juice from his gerbil. The complexity
of hooking his pet's exercise wheel up
to his emergency generator
was daunting, to say the least, and because
he had saved the instructions on how to do
that on his Kindle at well, his gerbil
eventually died of exhaustion,
his irritating-prior-to-crisis
neighbor admitted her alcoholic
predispositions as he carved off half
of her bony buttock for dinner, and
then, because he hurled it against a wall,
his Kindle flared beyond revival. He
died. Humanity devolved much later
into dwarfish rat beings. They gnawed on
his skeleton. Kindle never came back.

* * *


"Suppose you wrote a poem about balls,"
he challenged during an especially
intense planning session of the
Evaluation Committee. "We've got
Teaching and Service down, but we're never
going to reach an agreement on how
to rank individual projects in
the area of Scholarship unless
creative works get the same respect as
traditional academic works. So
if Jen writes a chapter about Shakespeare,"
(he paused here to acknowledge with a nod
the institution's leading expert on
the man) "and that earns her an 'outstanding,'
where does my poem about balls come in?
If I wrote about shriveled or Kong-sized
balls, for example, do I earn less or
more points, respectively? What if I wrote
a whole chapter about balls in a science
textbook or something? Does prestige figure
into it? If the textbook is for Yale
Medical School, is that better than a
chapbook? Is reviewer bias factored
into the overall summary at
the end? I say 'balls,' for example, and
each faculty member has to decide
how to interpret what I mean. Are Kong-
sized balls and shriveled balls actually
references to oversized and/or
deflated beach balls? They could be, and so
if we allow faculty to just jump
on me and judge me inadequate, then
what we're really talking about here is
not just balls, but any and all topics
deemed inappropriate by some pseudo-
-legislative-"moral majority"-ruling
class in the English Department! And what
is that but tyranny? Especially
in this economy! I need money!
A publication about balls is still
a publication, and publications
justify my paycheck, so I vote we
ask the Chair and Dean to give this matter
weighty consideration. Again, I
emphasize: Not balls, but integrity!"


Christopher Jon Heuer's recent book Bug--Deaf Identity and Internal Revolution was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2007, and his book of poetry, All Your Parts Intact: Poems, was published by The Tactile Mind Press in 2005. Heuer's work has additionally appeared in Kaleidoscope Magazine, The Tactile Mind Quarterly and various anthologies including Deaf American Poetry: An Anthology by John Lee Clark and The Deaf Way II Anthology by Tonya M. Stremlau.