Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.


Zack Pieper


You, you, & you. But specifically you. I am calling to you, your name, a pop song chorus.

You were my mirror then. I’m sorry.

You should try to pose, then try not to pose. Still feels like a pose, doesn’t it?

You are lost in there somewhere. Somewhere inside your self-awareness.

You are someone somewhat different to each of us. Each of you.

You are “entertaining” this evocation. You make little quote marks with your fingers

in the air.

You can be whoever you want to be. You, & you alone, get to choose, you hear us saying to each other, simultaneously, in your head.

You secretly wish this was really about you.

The exact same goes for you. You are exact.

Now you. You could pretend this was your own voice over all of our reflections.

You could speak to yourself as me.

You question this source of representation, and rightly. You do this solemnly. You were previously hanging ornaments on a tree.

You always appeared on that same corner. Asked for 2 cigs. Wore a little sash.

One day you vanished. Whoever you were to yourself, you are this person now.

You are not a need, but a need is how you appear.

You remind me more of myself than I could possibly consider out loud. You look the same and you look different. You look both. You should know neither matters much.

You might consider, even this image of you, will remain in our memory. You trust your senses alone. Your loss.

You walk into a gas station. You walk out of a gas station. You do this for years.

You chuckled extra loud. So very extra loud we could hear you from the break room.

You are no other. You are not any nor every other.

You won’t remember me, but I’ll remember you. So that you can remember you exist.

Your sole memory is my entire existence.

Your tangential existence is my sustenance.

You’re impossible. You own that impossibility. You own what happens to you.

You look up at the screen, seeing your own reflection, & your face says

you are thinking, wow, the act of reflection has come

quite a long way.

You want to put your hand up in front of the camera like you were swatting at paparazzi, but you are compelled to imagine this voice as it speaks to you as if your own.

You get to own your own. But only here, on camera.

You are a fact. You are not facing me – yet I can feel you there. Do you know that feeling? This is betting on the fact that you do.

You are beyond words. Your understanding exceeds even your senses.

You move me.

So do you. All of you. All of you all at once and one at time.

You recognize yourselves differently in both instances. You should take stock of those.

You see me seeing you. Only you. Only you as you always had hoped you would be seen.

You know how sometimes, you can feel someone looking at you – you know – just

feel it? Yet you never really wonder what your face looks like when no one is looking at you, in the food court or at the DMV, though. Do you?

You will never be entirely alone. You find that slightly dramatic, but accurate. You text a list of recommendations.

Here you go. Just keep looking at your own face… Now hold that…You don’t have to answer.

All your memories, right there, in your head, behind your face. If only you would allow us to guess who they are.

You were pretty busy living the dream.

You shopped, you drank, you rode horses.

You consulted brochures, you took pics of the plumes of smoke.

You asked me what part I was really good at. I tried to show you how to draw hands, only you pointed out I couldn’t do that very well either. You are giggling & someone walks in with a video camera. You can still see me in the background, erasing something furiously at a table by the window.

You wanted me to see you dancing to Cindi Lauper, & you kept looking over & laughing. You said you were interested in photography.

You consider yourself an anarchist but you majored in accounting.

You are far from The World’s Greatest Dancer, but close to a contestant.

You were a little too touchy-feely for my taste, and I was supposed to be you.

You were briefly the witty receptionist at a Wax Museum.

You did impressions of the director.

You were employed for several years as a Web Technician for a Pet Store.

Your voice is like every robocall. Ever. You utilize an unnatural lilt and regularity of tone.

You are one of those people who relay every little tip as if an indication of a deep, rich, & expansive breadth of expertise. You really know your stuff.

You are that one night after the power-out, and the bars let us in past 3, & your brother was back from Iraq for 2 weeks & drinking & he drank straight vodka, and for once that year it made you not want to drink anything at all.

You are that night that we drank Gin Fizz, and watched Patton, and made mock speeches in front of a flag. You are exactly that.

Your commute costs half of what you make per hour. You do the math.

You get to hide, you think, that is what I hate most about this, you get to hide

in a subtle sameness, sold as exclusive content.

You really did grow up fast. You give 2 ½ stars.

You were only here for what felt like a second.

You have this way of never saying goodbye, unless it is explicitly.

You don’t look as good in my memory as you do right now.

Now you. You thought I would never get to you. You are more than what you think. You also excel at posting condolences and congratulations.

Here you are, freeze-framed, expressionless, between the other’s screams & cheers, plunging down the rollercoaster.

Here you are, holding up a dead animal. You are having a hard time recognizing yourself in full camo.

Your appearance has been taken entirely out of context.

You are tired of looking up at this screen. And you must have figured by now, that at some point, you would see your own face up here. Well, here you are. How you look is too obvious to consider. So maybe you could consider what you think you are thinking. By looking.

You could be a Modigliani, you think. Pears, grapes, various fruits, ect. But those paintings aren’t really portraits. They are presences made of shapes, maybe. Could that count as a portrait, too? You think?

How about you? You recognize yourself up there? How much of you is looking at you and how much of you is allowing this to be about you? You’re an arbiter?

You answer for the person ahead of you. You covet another’s careful arrangements.

You always abhorred bottom lines. That’s how we first met. You know the rest.

You were a Sagittarius. I was whatever.

You look terrific tonight and you were right about hats.

You should know I will always love you, just like the song, always, anyways.

You think you believe in love, but you believe in virtue by exclusion.

You’d rather be preferred than appreciated. Your shopping cart is full.

Okay. You. You think I think I have you all figured out. You do endless variations on oh no you don’t.

If your reflection could only see you now, see all of us right now, it would be like surveying a sea of fun-house mirrors, World’s Fair style.

You disappear into the crowd as a yellow cap bobbing up & down.

You are the apple of an eye reflecting a logo, reduced, barely visible.

You were a 40% match. You believed in a generous percentage. And apparently, some apparition, like your electorate, believed in you.

You said you believed in me but I couldn’t believe that was how you expressed your belief.

You are a ghost, you constantly quote the Constitution. You love to produce evidence. Your evidence is consistently circumstantial.

You are like most people. You think your exceptions don’t count.

You again? You seem to show up at key points in the plot. Yet I never see you do anything but eat, sleep, and applaud the loudest speaker.

You are perpetually impressed by classic cars, townhouses, and antique toys.

You probably are the one who rejected my application.

You were probably right to, based on what I know about your metrics.

You are your job. Not the job that you do but the job that you have. You won.

You act like you’ve never seen a severed human head on a tortoise before.

You stare at the home page, at the menu screen, with what is called an attitude problem.

Hey, you! So funny to see you here, head bowed, at the clinic off the freeway.

And as for you, you can keep your distortions, your slogans, your buzzwords, to yourself. You earned them. So you do you.

Now this one is for you. You refuse the proposition. But you indulge in the possibility.

You have zero credit. You put your head in your hands. You are an angel of uncertainty.

You contain a multitude of approaches, all equally useless.

You sound like a fortune cookie when you give unsolicited advice.

You strive for continuity.

You need a valid photo I.D. in order to receive your new photo I.D.

You can’t make this shit up.

You clearly mark the receptacles. You never once in your relatively long life wondered how all that recyclable separation works exactly. You are informed near your deathbed:

it doesn’t.

You once covered yourself head-to-toe, in tinfoil, for a Halloween party. You said you were going as “leftovers”.

You are the exact opposite of this. You don’t describe consequences to yourself. You are the sum of more than mere market forces. You live beyond the margin of error.

Not you. Not you. Not you. But you. Yes you. I owe you 20 bucks.

(You know who you are.)

You took a wrong turn in 2006. Forget about it. You can’t go back all the way.

You are shackled to your whims more than your desires. You forgot your poker visor.

You rolled up your sleeve, and showed me the bruise. You looked at me to see my reaction as I examined your arm.

You sang along to the chorus: “Baby baby baby baby baby baby baby” Then you dropped the laptop on the grass..

You don’t like seeing yourself up there. Oh, ok….wait a second….yes you definitely do. Now go ahead. Look….Look into your own eyes up there. We all will. Does this infuse us with an ancient & devotional sense of anonymity?

You remarked once, or I did to you, about how it’s both a cliche but absolutely true, how weird it is if you stare at your own face in a mirror long enough, you forget the mirror, and really see yourself as any other. Then, slowly, another.

You don’t consider whether or not you “like”, you simply want. You want, more or less, exclusively. You say this is simple. You scare me by saying simple, so simply.

Your antagonism is welcomed, your opinions elevated, yet you feel no one can hear you.

You never reveal where your money comes from. Your bank account balance might reveal something about your relative generosity.

You are practically your own currency.

You elude your own contour. You are uncentered in your profile.

You are not what you like alone. You feed the bills into the machine.

You envelope yourself easily. You exist by contrast.

You. Only you. You projected, you painted, even you a little out of focus.

The you referred to in every pop song.

The you when you are near or far.

All of you. One at a time. And all together now.

You’ve come a long way, whoever you’re supposed to be.

You keep resisting checking your messages. But as soon as your face passes, and the camera passes, this voice will seem to pass you as it’s subject, as you see yourself, in isolated gestures, nullifying the association between its address to you & your own image, & the accumulation of images you have learned to recognize as you: in this way, you will alleviate of this urge.