Saturday, December 9, 2017

and the privileged will eat themselves

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside... remembering all the times you've felt that way.” - c. bukowski

Rain threatened. An ugly purple glowering. I was listening again to some Charles - Bukowski not Ray - while my ex-wife dressed the truculent seven-year-old between coffees. '90 Minutes in Hell', via Nothin' in Sacramento. 

     Three short damaged pieces. I did not get so far as 'May Make Paris Yet' before the doorbell chimed.
     The visitors are slick customers. Bearers of gifts. Their sleight of hand when trick or treating is easier overlooked.
     Things are seldom what they seem.
     The outcome is often a far cry from small change cultivated.
     " on the outside with blackened channels, charred tansgressions touching 1mm at the bone."
     Swine flu in the mouths of fish.
     The hand-written note on the back of a folded playing card unsettled me. 
     It conjured for me notions of plague. Bubonic transmissions. That "1 mm", though, seemed altogether too modern. Anatomically precise. 
     The metric overture to an excision. 
     Last night I had a dream. The Chinese had invaded. Or maybe the incursion came from dead space. Pregnant realms deep under. Whatever. 
     Twenty-three to thirty of us were detained by day in a 're-education centre'. Permitted home under cover of darkness to complete an assignment. The Chinese were coolly efficient. Suave and clinical in their Jimmy Chu suits. Papier mâché Mao Tse-Tung masks.
     I had a crush on a female translator with obsidian eyes and a bull horn.
     She promised excellent head without once delivering on it. 
     I did not complete my homework. The deadline came and went. I stepped over tables where the privileged dined. Plunged down winding lanes.
     I walked hand in hand with the visitors.
     Slept fitfully on corners. 
     The very next morning I was outnumbered by a gathering of Caucasians slyly unveiling beautifully executed Cartouches celebrating occupation.
     They disembarked from a gaily painted bus.
     Jewelled porpoises rode the wings through an ocean of supernovae.
     Sperm whales the size of trawlers devoured entire galaxies like so much plankton.
     "You, who have done, have done well."
     The charming young woman behind the bull horn beamed.
     I fled for the bus stop with my bottle of Peptic Liquid wrapped in a paper sack. 
     Aniseed. The Peptic Liquid, not the sack. There is a world of difference between heartburn and underlying condition. When I was a young man, I suffered from heartburn a good deal of the time. 
     A little Milk of Magnesia always worked wonders. 
     I sat down to the desktop monitor as soon as I'd made coffee. Punched open a tab. Googled the line as I remembered it. 
     The computer is growing too sluggish to be smartly useful, the beach ball spins and idles. Like its operator, it may require therapy. Psychiatric intervention.
     The search yielded more than one result.
     "illustrate the taphonomic complexity involved in the formation of burnt fish .... transgression, supra-tidal berm building, ... fragments smaller than 1 mm in size. ..."
     "DNA from burnt bone in the early stages of burial. Nicholls. (2000) also considered bone mass as a ...... in the site at all levels, particularly in the 1 mm fraction'. ...... transgression (c.6000 BP). Thus, the archaeological record ..."
     "An Experimental Approach to Understanding Burnt Fish Bone"
     Well. I am no chef. I might occasionally dabble with sauces on the side, but my skills with a griddle are strictly third rate. Tuna. A breaded haddock clumsily tossed.
     I don't remember consulting any recipe. Folded between Mesozoic deposits.
     King Charles' 90 minutes - 12-14 of them, at least - has again given me pause for thought. The finances are not good. I am working up contingencies. Drumming up a sweat.
     The poetry waits on its implementing.
     The telephone rang.
     "Hello ? " a passive aggressive voice intoned. A woman's voice. Crisp. Smouldering. Shot through like a neon frog charred with cigarette burns. "We have your son here at the office. He does not look too good."
     "Well, " I said. "That's a matter of opinion."
     "No. No. He does not look good. Period. You will have to collect him."
      The older boy. His condition, apparently, critical.
      The irony, of course, is that Kerouac - up on bricks - was more often off, than on the road. Visions of Neal. Cody. The train hurtling past his bedroom window as he sat at a desk and fed white paper in and out.
     It was the rhythm which appealed to me, I think. The music of it. Before Eliot. Plath. Camus. Joyce. Stone. Trocchi. Ezra pounding.
     An unabashed exuberance. Sharp creases duly crumpling. Exploding into fragments.
     "Listen," I said. "You'll have to wait. I have bigger fish to fry."
     Well. You are familiar enough with dipping those little squares of paper. The litmus test. Coming up red. Indigo. Occasionally a neutral yellow green. 
     The rainbow in a bruise.
     It's all the forensics I know. 
     Maybe a Pablo could make sense of it all.
     And my older son ? Thank you for asking, he's doing quite well. A lukewarm glass of milk was all it took. 
     A pavement cafe.
     A couple of weeks in Portugal.

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