Monday, August 25, 2014

fucking with the impenetrable


Like Vachel Lindsay - bowler hat traveling under ice - she approaches me on the stair.

A complexion, too short in the kiln, the consistency of curdled cement: Django's second guitar, left out in the rain.

Two full strides to each one step. Fingers jabbing, red meat darting between bee-stung lips, to seek - pluck - at strings, where none remain full wound, less tuned. A nature acquainted with staves. Wayward notes. Two sails to the wind sheet music.

She comes to me on the stair. It's a wonder she does not lose her footing.

Smitten, like Lindsay, a lifetime of financial woe uncoiling to receive her. Throttle out all hope of comfort.

Still. Petitions must be mustered. Before they can be served.

Madam.

Cocksucker.
Promptly swallowing one fist.

And, backing off, I try not to look upon those ruined gums. The ring of pustules weeping on a giggle.

Where an indulged dolt like Crowley set out for higher peaks, thrashing at Sherpas, Vachel Lindsay - they say - peddled poetry on blistered foot between Kentucky and New Mexico. Drawing a line under it one December, Christmas 1931. Choking back a bottle of Lysol.

Despondent. In poor health from ministering to chronically depressed yokels.

I begin anew.

The world persists in turning. A little faster with each new year, and yet you do not seem one day older.

She curtseys. A tiny wizened monkey emerges from beneath her skirts. Chased by three white rats. Between the 6th and 7th tread where her bodice comes undone. A tangle of tails. A capriccio of dress pins on a pilfered pianola.

She comes at me on the stair. Just when I have made up my mind to make off with the silverware.

The right hand which ought to deliver wafers working, hard, inside a borrowed cassock. The faded maroon of the church choir's first eleven.

One more inconvenience.

Ah. But doctors may dabble in pastries each and every Sunday. A man of the cloth, on the other hand...

The rats come racing back up the stairs. Followed by the monkey. On crutches. All impediment preceded by an imperious erection wagging left and right. Twitching like a sceptre.

But, madam. Your pets are run amock.

Well, fuck, scowls she. My children will not be tethered.

All rats fragmenting in a tumble of confetti. And the monkey ascending the scaffold of her rags, tugging at her bustle. A checkered bandana tied about its brow; bellicose jockeying imp.

I cough. She simpers. The monkey shoots its load.

The dowager's nostrils quiver.

A tremor of snot escaping into the furrow carved out twixt drooping nose and lip. Bloodied at the edges.

I snatch the paper from her fist and call for an alter boy; a glowing virgin; begetter of contrition.

Her submission is quite blank, of course, no trace of ink within its margins.

We sigh. As did Vachel. Poor brother. When I felled him with the candlestick, left him to bleed out at the altar.

Someone fetch the plague doctor.

3 comments:

uniplmr1 said...



Bless me father for I have sinned, it has been forty one years since my last confession.
Today
I'm watching and listening to war.
Looks like no way out
Stupid stupid motherfuckers

Anonymous said...

Under the blessing of your Psyche-wings
I hide to-night like one small broken bird,
So soothed I half-forget the world gone mad---
And all the winds of war are now unheard.

from
The Congo & Other Poems
Fifth Section
War, September 1, 1914
INTENDED TO BE READ ALOUD
Epilogue
Under the Blessing of Your Psyche Wings
by Vachel Lindsay

ib said...

@ Anonymous.

Thank you so much for the quotation. The annotation.

Quite beautiful, I think.

To think of Lindsay delivering words - spoken words - to farm and broke-down croft. To children, wives and widows. To thirsty ear.