A story they might tell by Bernard Heise

A story they might tell by Bernard Heise

To save our small South Pacific island from the rising tides of global warming, our ancestors turned to Google and the sacred breadfruit tree. From Google they got the names – thousands upon thousands – which they compiled in lists. From the tree, they plucked the breadfruit, which they shaped as human heads, inlaid with pretty stones and shells, drawing upon each a corporate logo or a flag, and inscribing a name: a captain of industry, finance or government. Streaked with war paint and chanting loudly, they split the fruit open with their clubs, boiled it in water, and then picked the meat clean with their forks. And in time zones far, far away, the bankers, executives, and demagogues suddenly began to disappear, vanishing from beneath their silken sheets, evaporating in the business class compartments of jet liners, the back seats of chauffeur-driven limousines, and behind the protective cordons of security teams. There was much weeping from laser-corrected eyes and gnashing of orthodontured teeth. And as if our ancestors had jammed the trunk of a coconut tree between the spokes of a giant bicycle wheel, the industrial gyroscope came to an abrupt halt, flinging millions upon millions of bodies into the oceans and into space. Years later, we still marvel at the sparkling night sky, following with our eyes the moving points of light as the debris of capitalism reenters the atmosphere and burns. We tell stories, like this one, drink kava, and eat well, for the breadfruit tree is bountiful.


Filed under Bernard Heise

2 responses to “A story they might tell by Bernard Heise

  1. Love the way you played with the language here. Great work.

  2. gerda

    i really like this one, bernie. will use it in class on friday – comp lit 100. we’re dealing with magic realism and postcolonialism/ hegemonism – in very broad lines 100 level style. no idea what will transpire, but thanks for letting me use this text. it’s my fave

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