Image of red fireworks and clouds of smoke.And the vandals spray-painted the clouds with gang symbols. No, they were corporate logos, familiar brands, the symbolic faces of aggregated capital leering from the sky, surveilling every step, devising the proper alchemy to pull a dollar from your pocket and leave pennies behind.

When the rebels struck back, firing rockets into the air, the clouds burst and the logos shattered, the scattered remnants of trademarked simulacrum falling like a hard rain. Everyone cheered until they saw the brand-named stains on their skin, commercial residue impossible to scrub away, and the vandals smiled, it all being part of the plan.


Chuck Augello is the author of Talking Vonnegut: Centennial Interviews and Essays and The Revolving Heart, a Best Books of 2020 Selection by Kirkus Reviews.

Art Credit: Araceli Arroyo

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