Memo from the CEO of Little Prince, Inc.

The inhabitants of my planet whistle in unison — I hear them through the airlock. It is their first & only dawn, & they emerge with joyful shovels & shadows. When they dance it looks like walking & when they walk it looks like the swaying of a drowned woman’s hair. Pennies from heaven fall into their pockets until, weighed down, they drop to their knees. Or so I imagine. They are too small to see, these natives, most of whom didn’t even exist at the beginning of this sentence. They subsist on a diet of pure sugar spun from sunlight & a few other ingredients (which are proprietary information & therefore may not not be listed). Despite their complete immersion in what passes for primordial soup, they have no time to bathe. It’s already noon. The metronome by which they breathe has slowed enough to permit the formation of a thought: I AM, or some such absurdity. Soon there will be letters of fire where before only lightning had graffitoed the clouds. They will look for ways to reproduce that don’t involve budding, which is frankly beginning to seem backward & provincial. They will discover the others who have been there all along, & what big teeth they have. They will head for the exits.

*

See Rachel’s photographic response: “Bottle of dreams.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

3 Comments


  1. I, too, love this poem. I’d love to know more about the process. What I really want to know about: your relationship to the book, “The Little Prince,” and how your reading of the book (recently? as a child?) affected the poem.

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  2. Glad y’all liked this late-night mind-fart. Kristin, I think what jogged my memory here was one of my “Words on the Street” cartoons, which I just revisted because I’m putting a book together: the beggar’s sign reads, “Draw me a sheep.” (I was never a huge fan of The Little Prince, but the premise always amused me.) The more immediate prompt was a fermentation bucket full of homebrew in the corner of the room, in which the yeast were partying so hard yesterday evening that the beer briefly foamed up into the airlock and produced a high-pitched whistling sound.

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