The Kidnapping of Punxsutawney Phil (Part I)

In 2028, five years after the last winter in the North American continental humid climate zone, Mary Hoagland, the sixteen year old daughter of laid-off Caterpillar workers from Peoria, Illinois, kidnapped Punxsutawney Phil in a bid to stop global warming. She wrote the following poem about the experience during her two year imprisonment in the Peoria County Juvenile Center.

Adam Turl, Kick the Cat at Project 1612 in Peoria, IL. "Remember Winter," acrylic and coffee on canvas.

Adam Turl, The Kidnapping of Punxsutawney Phil I,
acrylic and coffee on canvas (Kick the Cat)

Adam Turl, The Kidnapping of Punxsutawney Phil II, 
acrylic, glitter and coffee on canvas (Kick the Cat)

Adam Turl, Saint George of Peoria
acrylic and coffee on canvas (Kick the Cat)

I remember winter
Little Hoths consumed the yard
When it melted
microbes came back to life
hydras battled Hercules
and sloshed in the drainage ditch
running into corrugated pipe
under the drive
The kingdom of six inch trolls
presided over the final frost

I had an epiphany in Sarah’s garage
pulled from a 21 inch Graffix
If Punxsutawney Phil never again
failed to see his own shadow
then winter might return
We could put him in
absolute darkness
or immersive light
or decapitate him
like in those old-timey ISIS videos

The construction dividers
blurred into an orange wall
and I thought I saw a coyote
running alongside Sarah’s truck
on the passenger’s side
If I believed in spirit animals
maybe he could be mine
What if he misses winter too?
Maybe he will swing the machete
that kills the enemy groundhog.

By the time the dragons busted me
in the television warehouse
the groundhog was dead
and I had become Saint George
Or maybe they sent me to
the Maxwell Road snow globe
shook it a couple times
forgot about me
and I spent the next two years
catching plastic flakes on my tongue

Adam Turl is an artist, writer and socialist currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. He is an editor at Red Wedge and an MFA candidate at the Sam Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis. He writes the "Evicted Art Blog" at Red Wedge, which is dedicated to exploring visual and studio art.

"Evicted Art Blog" is Red Wedge editor Adam Turl's investigation of potential strategies for contemporary anti-capitalist studio art.