Chad Frame is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Arcadia University and serves as Poetry Editor for Marathon Literary Review. He is a book reviewer for Prick of the Spindle and works as an account executive in the luxury retail market. Chad lives with a quirky Maine Coon named Jabberwocky in an outlying Philadelphia suburb too dull to mention.
Green eats green grows green smokes green makes green. Sean Penn hacks the trees’ undercarriage with a square-tipped machete, the crackle-crunch not enough to drown out Bat Boy’s chewing forearm-length centipedes, staining the triangle jamboree on his Aztec poncho, twitching legs stuck to his rhomboid chin. How far? Bat Boy asks Sean Penn, not for the first time in the last thirty seconds, then Does Madge
talk in her sleep? Almost there, Sean Penn grunts, exasperated. And yeah, she sounds like a beauty pageant contestant. She’s all—‘One of the biggest problems in the world right now is nuclear waste. That’s something I’ve been involved in for a while with a group of scientists, finding a way to neutralize radiation.’ Bat Boy’s sandaled foot catches on a root or snake and he stumbles into a heap of monkey shit, studded with bits of guava rind and beetle husk. Sean Penn stage-mutters ahead, If there’s one thing actors know, other than that there definitely weren’t any WMDs, it’s what makes a kickass treehouse. Bat Boy scrapes the worst of it off with a broad leaf and stumbles out of the thicket. The dawn haze coughs up a rickety plank-and-thatch hut forty feet high, Sean Penn swaying on a rope ladder. Bat Boy has excellent peripheral vision, notices the cartel guns circling like jungle cats, takes his chances up in the tree.
El Chapo loves mint chamomile. The three clutch their mugs in wicker papasan chairs, steamclouds breaking over their faces like the ghosts of waves. A steady stream of sweat off their brows plops into the mugs, refills what they drink. Bat Boy stares at a thumbtacked poster with a cat in sunglasses, captioned Casi Viernes. El Chapo’s saggy cheeks twitch when he says words like distribución, lealtad, imperio. The lines on Sean Penn’s face are a roadmap to the stars. He says words like interview, Nobel, bitches. Bat Boy stretches his moray mouth as he tries to bridge the gap. Evita, he says, first softly. The men ignore him, still trying to talk over one another. Evita. Firmer, loud as they. Still no response. Bat Boy stands, upending the hand-carved coffee table, saucers clattering to the floorboards. He tears the cat poster off the wall. He rolls it into a megaphone, turns to the men, screeches, EVITAAA! until they stop talking, until their ears bleed and their eyes burst in their skulls, until the jungle turns on itself in clawed savagery, until the trees slough their foliage and their bark and their roots and are just white spears in the earth, until the stars wheel off their brass orreries and streak down, one after another, grinding it all into dust.