Boltzmann Brain/Alter

by Kari Flickinger, 3.24am March 10th 2021

Boltzmann Brain, 1.42

The word whorls faster than gravity. A willing cigar 
floods the airwaves. The headlines 

clamor for a minute with the brain as she appears—a glimmering. 

She begins to tell the microphone—well
… as if from the arc of the rocket, what 

she remembers, holding out her hands 
to show—no hands, no sleight—possible in 

But she tries to look at her hands. She remembers 
a stylized weight of convergence—tectonics formed an “m” along her 
palms, in reaching for 
the constellation—flecks on her wrists. But she has no hands to see. How 
plucked her eyes must be 

from here! She tries to catch 
her breath
in her throat. See the exhalation. 

She has no space 

suit it must be. Her body-memory dissipates in an ether she knows exists 
but cannot conceive of. These constructs fizzle in the compacted 
waves of space. 

Boltzmann Brain, 1.37

First, I remembered 
remembering, and the category of prime. Premiere. Second. 

I remembered my body.

My fingers had these light 
spots. Freckles. I remembered 
the word freckles

of a baby doe         in a cartoon movie? 

I saw when             I was a child. 

I had been a child. I had little chubby knees, then. I wasn’t good 
at standing. Knees. I thunked hard and slammed my head 
against a fireplace. The fire
place had been in a white room. The sun 

through harsh at the same time every afternoon. I remember 

touching the wood of the deck. The grain 
and routes of their travels. I speak hello to the trees. The gum 

at the news
stand. Walk
up and down hills. I am sure hills become more difficult. The tallness 
gorging the thick muscle sinew. Swell and contract. A vellum. 

A cataract. A mountain with sharp edges. I sat in traffic 
on a mountain in a car 
full of women who each told stories of love. 

It felt like each magnified the pleasure to you, then. 
thought about how you 

would shudder at his touch. How 
his hair ran along his back like a cascade. How he stole 
distortions of your smile, snippets of your tales, grew tall 
inside his mouth—hyperbolic 

an inflation of meaning
under your dresses 
his hand, his legs for the club some

times you would turn all of the women into birds, before you


all went dancing. The glitter vivid plum sun
-flower along their eye
lids, heads. Little vines 

on your own 
cheek. A tree was all hips.

The next one was hips, too. And the next 
wouldn’t dance at all. You think of the time you remember you 
walked around in the startling rain. 

Like gunshots. You watched the sky. You remember flying. 
You remember being a shell. You scoured the salt for a home.

You remember 
what dust, and where 
dust flew from. You remember?

Boltzmann Alter, 1.4 [Additionally extracted from Brain 1.37]

I am Jack’s lateral hypothalamus, I whisper to the man, I think

is sitting on the functional corporate artwork—a concrete slab 
beside me. Boomers shake their bodies 
defiantly in the stale summer air to a snarling 70’s cover-band.

The beer in my belly hums to a tune I cannot quite 
decipher. The chords multipurposed. Words garbled. I pretend 
lyrics into the atmosphere where the halls of the vocal cords 
are crystalline constructions. 

Wolf howls and I sway round. The light flickers. An orange all around 
us—the sun crouches below Mount Diablo.

Later, I watch a video that tells me he may have been 
both beside me and not quite. Both. An ego of Schrodinger. Alive 
and not.


A projected creature hooks me from the materia of my make 
up. The gull wings slide from the creases of my smile. O gods
I have been building companions, again.