Saturday, June 27, 2009
They swam up to your house
And they woke up your parents
And then your parents asked
Is that Jim? Is that the guy, that fucker Jim?
Is he bothering you again?
You said No, that’s just his fish hiding underneath his fingernails.
Why, that goddamn fish!
Oh, and I called you up on the telephone
And I asked you who I am and you didn’t know.
Your brother answered the door and let me in
Even after I ate all the leftover turkey
You know, in the fridge, last summer.
I still remember that and I’m really sorry.
And so I came in
I could smell your perfume.
I walked up the stairs, biting my fingernails.
While you were in your room, peeling wallpaper from your wall
And eating it
I walked into your room and you smiled at the fish underneath my fingernails.
But you didn't smile at me.
I said, I'm sorry I woke your parents.
They remembered that I ate all the leftover turkey
You know, the turkey that was in the fridge last summer.
It was good turkey.
I’m sorry about that.
Then you smiled at me
And the fish swam away.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The morning sung
with a voice like phosphorus
The rising sun
remained hidden behind the clouds
daring not to challenge her
like Caligula we danced…
A God fearing woman with a fetish for blasphemy
and for just a moment
the devil was jealous.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Billy walked away from his mostly decaying brain garden and locked his study door, not wanting a servant to stumble in at an inopportune time. He went back to his brains. Counted all of them.
All but two now dead.
"Fuck brains." Billy mumbled to himself. He withdrew a small revolver from his fluffy pink robe and pumped two rounds into each of the remaining brains. He saved the last bullet for himself.
"Fuck Brains." He said again, before blowing his own out.
I’m blown away by all the tits and ass
He takes me fishing, shows me how to live off the land
I tangle my fingers in Walleye guts
How to clean a carburetor ... Lefty loosey. Righty tighty.
Can’t stop giggling when he bangs his knuckles on the engine block
Shows me how to shave
I carve a middle finger in the side of my head
When he’s not lookin’ I learn how to smoke his smokes and drink his beer.
And google all his nudey mags
Dad’s old and dried up now
I wipe his ass when he shits in his diaper
And teach him not to play in it
Charles Darwin, in a gorilla mask, behind thick metal bars.
Thomas Merton, lips sewn shut and locked up in a windowless room with Ayatollah Khomeni.
Henry David Thoreau, confined in a white padded cell. The only sound he hears is a looping soundtrack of midtown Manhattan circa 1972 that is piped into his chamber by his tormentor, a necromancer-ring-master known only as Mr. Mandala.
Three brilliant men, in life. Men of principle, who went against the grain of their times. Men who won't be going anywhere for a very long time. Not until this season is wrapped.
Mr. Mandala dug them all up (no small task, in this day and age). He sneaked into a Tehran mausoleum and Westminster Abbey, all in one night during World Cup. No guards at either tomb that night when Britain staved off an Iranian offensive to eek out a zero-zero tie, and so off went Chuck and 'Meni. Poor Merton, buried beneath Kentucky bluegrass, was the easiest catch. Hillbilly monks were no match for Mr. Mandala (himself a monk, on another continent, many centuries ago). He knew their vow of silence would halt them from alerting the authorities. From there, all he had to do was traipse off to Thoreau's grave and slip a blot of acid to the night watchman.
A whisk of his hand, a half-bottle of gin, and a dozen incantations later they stirred.
That's how he got them.
Now to the question of why. Watch Mr. Mandala and you'll see. He's inviting the television crews in now (eye-candy “journalists” from one of the more obscure cable television networks, which will feature his prisoners on a reality show to be shown in their two a.m. time slot). He is directing his agent to try to get it called The Mr. Mandala Show (co-starring Dave Thoreau). Instead, the network goes with Three Ring Rot Circus and schedules it to follow re-runs of the old '70s and '80s series Circus of the Stars. He is thinking this is poor marketing, and that if his ratings suffer the network is to blame. He frets that most viewers led into the show by Loretta Swit on the trapeze or Ed Asner taming lions won't know even recognize the names of his captives. What a waste, he thinks, but it's a start.
If his audience doesn't know who these men are, there really isn't a point. Mr. Mandala is an existential terrorist with no other goal than sabotaging quaint notions of identity. He is a master of meat puppets. His sabotage, his show, is designed to make a point about impermanence.
He's been thinking about impermanence a long time, as it is a subject of great focus in the East. That's how he got his start, after all. That's how he got his name. Once he was a mystic in the high Himalayas, where he worked for days to bring form to chaos. He could take thousands of fine grains of colored sand and construct from them the most stunning artistic representations of the Buddha-Nature. A large circle, wound rope-like around ornate squares and fractal petal-shapes that symbolized the heart of Enlightenment.
When finished, he'd do as his superior commanded, and whisk his palm over the entire piece of delicate, corruptible art, until it was no more. Then he would toss the sand into a mountain stream, so that its blessings would flow to all creation. Such was the tradition.
He'd liked the destruction part more than the creation. He'd liked doing it with people more than sand mandalas. He'd found that, if one looked deeply, one couldn't really determine much of a difference between the two. Both weren't really whole, unto themselves. Both were impermanent, constructed from millions of tiny, invisible, meaningless pieces. He'd started teaching this doctrine to the novices under his charge.
His articulation of that twist of orthodoxy led the first Dalai Lama to expel him for heresy. So Mr. Mandala might well be more nihilist than Buddhist. Some of his detractors have even called him him “The Anti-Buddha”. Either way, he wants to make a point: that there are no great men. That there are, in fact, no identities at all. That change is the only constant.
He wants to break Darwin's spirit, and the brainwashing is now almost through. He has succeeded in training Darwin, through the administration of rot-scorching shocks, to not take off the gorilla mask. He has extinguished Darwin's use of human speech, and through administration of rewards such as bananas and grapes, he is reinforcing Darwin for walking hunched-over and affecting a gorilla-like grunt. Good monkey.
Of course, Mr. Mandala knows Darwin never claimed direct descent of man from apes. But that's hardly the point. He wants to play with “truth”, and he wants to deconstruct heroes. He wants to show feet of clay. As he observes the network's cameras filming the Risen Darwin devolve (not evolve) as a survival strategy, he takes great pride in this enterprise. He has made nature work backward.
He has high hopes for Merton as well. He wants to see the pacifist crack. And with the Ayatollah, he's introduced the perfect provocateur. Merton, a younger man at death than Khomeni, is able to easily fend off the Risen Ayatollah. But the Iranian sees chinks in the peace-loving monk's armor. Each time Khomeni approaches stealthily from behind and flicks the Kentuckian's ample ears with his decayed index finger, Merton gets a little closer to losing it.
Merton, for his part, wants to pray for strength. It would have to be an unspoken prayer, of course, but this is no hardship to the man who has taken a vow of silence. He is more disturbed that he cannot make any of the usual gestures of even silent Christian prayer. For clasping his hands together or making the sign of the cross would incite wrath in the Ayatollah. So he closes his eyes and tries to meditate, leaving his meaty ear vulnerable to another sneaky flick from you-know-who. Soon, too, Merton will snap.
Thoreau is now naked in the padded cell. He he tried to hang himself from a light fixture three times now, using every remaining shred of his ragged clothing. A hanging corpse is good t.v. for only so long, so Mr. Mandala has confiscated Thoreau's high collar shirt, his vest, his jacket, his pants, socks, shoes, and underwear. He has left this best mind of another generation alone with his terror. Starving, hysterical, naked.
Thoreau doesn't know what's growling through the streets. What haunts him more than anything is how the horns and the rumbling distort something he hears in the background that sounds vaguely human. It is like hearing a loved one cry out to you from the bottom of a well, and it vexes Thoreau more than he has ever been vexed. Even the grave was less vexing, he thinks.
Mr. Mandala has hopes for Henry – that he'll be a madman soon. He always was a bit flaky, but soon the Risen Thoreau will be absolutely certifiable. Thoreau's eccentricity is ripening into mental illness. He is now more decayed than decayed. Decay2..
The necromancer smiles as he realizes the cameras are recording for all posterity that the men's characters are now much more decayed than their flesh. He has done more than a murderer ever could do – he has robbed each thinker of their soul (for lack of a better word). Even better, he has televised it – just in the two a.m. time slot for now – but he'll call his agent and work out something better.
None of the great men are aware of the presence of the other – and Mr. Mandala thinks that's for the best. He fears that if they knew they weren't alone, they'd try to swap torments. He fears that Merton might delight in the city-din, for example, or that Nature Boy Thoreau might get a kick out of the monkey costume.
Yet another good reason he resurrected the Ayatollah. Neither Darwin nor Thoreau would want to be locked away with him, and the necromancer suspects the feeling is mutual. So no one would trade places with Merton, even though he'd probably jump at the chance.
Mr. Mandala thanks the television crew for their time and makes inquiries with the director. The klieg lights dim, but the torments do not end. Deconstruction is a full time job. He does it well and he likes it. Still, he'd be lying if he didn't admit part of him yearned for legitimate stardom in the prime time hours. Who knows what magic such notoriety might bring? Perhaps, if this small venture were successful, he could convince the network to produce a spin off – a reality show in which contestants would vie to become his successor.
For you see, Mr. Mandala is possessed by both a need for intellectual consistency and a sense of humor most would label unconventional. What would be funnier, he scribbles in the notepad he reserves for ideas that he'll pitch, than if someone, some day, could deconstruct me?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
“There’s a fucking spider-leg in my beer, Sara,” Dunch said, putting his glass down quickly but gently. The lanky girl behind the bar gave him a questioning smile.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Look. There’s a leg of a spider in my fucking beer,” Dunch said, moving his glass to his right in Sara’s direction. She looked down into it, didn’t see anything, and then picked up the drink herself. She inserted a finger into beer and swirled it around. On the tip of her finger, the beard-hair stuck like a splinter, a third of its length having penetrated Sara’s skin.
“It’s just a hair, Dunch, you moron,” she laughed, pulling it out with the fingers of her other hand.
“Oh, that’s much better. I come in for a beer and get a pubic hair in it.”
“You don’t know it’s a pubic hair. I’ll get you a new glass, how about that?” Sara started getting Dunch a fresh draft of Bud.
Dunch was the only one drinking at Walter’s Tavern that afternoon. He had arrived a little past noon as he did almost every day. Occasionally there would be some guys who came in for a drink after working all night but that wasn’t too often. Mostly it was only Dunch.
People in Fisherville didn’t start drinking until about 4:00 in the afternoon. Everyone needed a break from the working class pressures they dealt with on a daily basis. The boss was always busting balls and the bills were always piling up. Those are things that only beer or whiskey can fix. Alcohol was a holy sacrament. The jukebox and pool tables were holy relics.
Dunch started on his brand new beer after he inspected it for stray hairs. Confident that all was well, he gulped it down almost as if he was afraid that if he took his time, something would wander into his drink.
“You in a hurry?” Sara asked.
Dunch put down the glass, wiped his mouth with his sleeve, and let out a small grunt of a burp.
“Hell no. Got nothing to do today. Just ended a job last night. Won’t have more work till Monday the earliest,” Dunch said.
“That’s a whole week. How’ll you get by till then?”
“Ah, I’ll manage.”
Dunch dug into his pockets, pulled out two crumpled dollars, and threw them on the bar. They landed in a small puddle of beer-foam. “Can I have change? I’m in the mood for pool today.”
Sara nodded, grabbed the wet bills, and got eight quarters out of the register. She laid them on the bar in the same puddle of moisture.
Dunch took the change and scooted out of the bar stool. The legs scraped against the floor with a sound that caused the bottom of his back to shiver. He wondered why they didn’t put tennis balls on the bottom of the bar stools. That way, there would be no torturous sound every time someone got up to take a piss or play a game of pool. Dunch thought about the tennis balls and then about a girl named Peggy who once tried to teach him how to play tennis back in high school. He had ended up throwing the racket down in frustration and coercing her to give him head in the bushes behind the tennis courts.
He turned back to Sara. “Fucking tennis balls, Sara. Fucking tennis balls.” Sara didn’t respond. She was looking through a worn copy of Auto Trader that looked as if it had been wet at one time and had lost its original shape in the process.
Dunch looked at the two pool tables. Both were identical except for a slight scratch on the table near the door. The scratch was about a foot long and started diagonally from one of the center pockets to one of the corners. No one knew how it happened. As far as anyone could tell, it had just appeared one day.
It was a shame, too. He liked that table, too. It wasn’t near the bathroom so he didn’t have to smell piss and shit while he played. Now someone had gone and fucked it up. His fingers traced the scratch back and forth, back and forth. Dunch caressed the soft, green slit like a teenage boy exploring his first pussy. He got down closer, moving his fingers around. His cock had begun to harden.
The table was an aching teenage body; Dunch slowly grinded against it as he fingered the scratch. A smell reached his nostrils.
What was it? he asked himself. Smells like seafood or leather. Sweat. His face got closer to the table. What is that?
Dunch then put his fingers to his nose. He saw Peggy and he saw Kim, that barfly whore he screwed two weeks ago. Susan was there, too, that demon of an ex-wife. So was Christine, that cute but completely moronic waitress who had offered up her ass in exchange for Springsteen tickets. Dunch felt the bottom of Chrstine’s leather boot stomp his face as he grinded against the table. That’s when Sara had shouted his name, interrupting everything.
“Dunch, what the fuck you doing?”
Now Dunch stood up and realized that he had been molesting the pool table. He shook the quarters in his hand. “I don’t know, Sara. I just got distracted.”
“Just keep it in your pants, okay?”
“Yeah, it’s just this fucking table and this scratch. Fucking pisses me off.”
“I know. You mention it just about every time you come in here,” Sara said, putting down her magazine and walking over to the other side of the bar, towards the bathroom. “I gotta take a piss. Can you watch the bar?”
“Yeah, sure,” Dunch replied, still shaking the coins in his hand. They felt sweaty until he realized that it was his palm that was moist. A picture of Sara on the toilet shot through his mind. The sweat on his hands became Sara’s urine streaked across his palm like golden lifelines.
He shook the change again and looked down. The coins were tinted yellow. Dunch put them into the slots of the pool table and pushed them in. There was no sound indicating that the balls were released and ready for play. He cursed under his breath and walked over to the bar to wait for Sara. A toilet flushed. Then there was a voice from behind him. “Hey, jack-off. Come back over here.”
Looking around and seeing no one, Dunch froze. “Who’s there?”
“Follow my fucking voice. Follow it, right now. Listen and follow, listen…”
Dunch obeyed the mysterious orders, tuning his ears to the voice and taking step after step towards the pool table. Indeed, the baritone voice from nowhere was emanating from the scratched felt of the pool table. He put his face closer and felt a warm fishy breath as the voice spoke on.
“Goddamn, it’s about time, Dunchy-Lunchy. Now how about you help a poor, helpless table?” The table vibrated, shaking the fillings in Dunch’s teeth.
“What..the..fuck..is…What…?” He babbled on and on. Drool gathered on his lower lip. His bladder weakened just a bit.
“Yeah, it’s not surprising. When humans are in the presence of Goy-Sotooth, they usually react like this. Oh well. Despite your obvious shock, I ask you to please insert your scrotum into the scratch. Please.” Goy-Sotooth’s voice became louder and impatient.
“Sara…Sara,” Dunch mumbled. The toilet flushed again and a few seconds later, Sara came back into the bar. “Still not playing? The fuck’s wrong with you, Dunch?” she asked, her eyes squinting in worry.
From across the room, Dunch saw urine glisten on Sara’s palms in obscene geometric patterns: cyclopean genitals on top of indescribable shapes spinning into infinity. Above her head floated an iridescent globe which pulsated in suggestively pornographic rhythm.
“Just stick your sack in and everything will be A-okay, Dunchy-Dear.” This time the words came from Sara’s mouth while her eyes revealed captive horror. Without thought of the consequences, Dunch unzipped his pants, grabbed a hold of his sweaty balls and lifted himself up onto the table.
“That’s it, Crunchy-Dunchy, right there….right THERE!” Goy-Sotooth’s voice screeched. The scratch opened up and took a hold of the testicles like a toothless woman gumming a pair of bulbous grapes. Dunch’s eyes rolled back and he shook like an epileptic.
Caught in a terrified daze, Sara watched as the pool table sucked on Dunch’s balls. She felt as if she was waiting for someone, as if they were at the very door of the bar but would not come in until Dunch’s sac was sucked dry through its pores. She couldn’t move any part of her body except for her clitoris. It was growing to the size of a penis.
“Goy-Sotooth, Heel-Beg, Eight-Ball, Yowzer Yowzer Yowzer!” Dunch spoke the incantation which entered his body through his genitals and up his body like a current.
There was a tingling sensation in his face.
Dunch slapped his own cheek and felt his beard move. A convulsion of fear shook him, forcing a squirt of piss to shoot out of his dick while the table worked on his balls. He felt his face and realized that, yes, it was moving. His beard was no longer a combination of short, black ugly hairs but rather a cacophony of wet spider legs.
“Ugggghhhhh!” Dunch almost lost all coherence. The table then spoke, sounding like a child with its mouth full.
“Oy! I’m bwinging you ‘ome!!”
A rainbow of scrotum fluids and chunks of unidentifiable matter exploded out of the scratch, smothering everything in its path. Dunch fell backwards, his crotch a glowing mess of otherworldly gore.
Sara started to move and while she did so, she tore down her pants, her clitoris transformed into a fully erect member. Thousands of spider-legs moved on Dunch’s face so much so that it resembled an ocean of black wheat swaying in the wind. She walked over to him, stroking herself and aching for release.
Dunch was on the floor convulsing but fully aware of his surroundings. Oh Peggy, he thought, why’d I ever let you go? I shoulda learned tennis! He heard ear-shattering footsteps and turned his head. Through his convulsions, he could see Sara walking toward him. “Fucking tennis balls, Sara. Fucking tennis balls,” he said, thinking that she should really slip some tennis balls on her feet so her footsteps wouldn’t be so loud. His eyes caught site of her clit-penis but then the spiders on his face obscured his view. They covered his eyes as if to say “Naughty, naughty!”
Within seconds his mouth was stuffed with what tasted like an oversized sardine. He gagged, drooled, and then gagged again as Sara face-fucked him while dipping her hands into the spiders, twirling their legs in between her fingers. The pool table was silent, the top of it still glistening with sloppy, reflective goo.
While Sara force-fed Dunch, she looked over to the pool table and lost herself in her own slanted reflection. She couldn’t get over the feeling that there was someone lurking at the door, a stranger at the threshold waiting to come in.
After ten minutes, Sara’s muscles were aching and she stopped, collapsing onto Dunch who was covered in drool, clit-sweat, and vomit. “Oh, Dunch-Munch, I’m sorry.” Sara cried into his shoulder, her voice still not fully her own. Dunch didn’t respond in words, only exhausted burps while he stared up at the glowing orb that still circled Sara’s head.
A fluttering fart escaped from the bottom of the pool table and a flood of milky liquid whooshed down toward Dunch and Sara as if it was an ocean wave and they were just lovers on the beach.
There was a sound at the door. Sara looked up, expecting the culmination of all this wet, obscene action.
Billy Packer poked his head through the doorway. Billy Packer, father of three. Billy Packer, construction worker. Billy Packer, naked from the waist down. He rubbed his face with the back of his hand and then plucked out a beard hair, dropping it onto the floor.
“You guys open? I’m fucking thirsty.”
She jerks like a severed limb in the middle of things. It’s disturbing to people around her but she pretends to be unaware of her condition.
She saves her shame deep inside her—stores it up like a dark family secret (mama is my sister, too). She’ll save it until it’s time to explode.
Her sister told her she hated her ‘cause she’d fucked her man on her floor.
“I’ll never talk to you again,” her sister said as she pushed her out the door.
Four hours later a jetliner didn’t make it off the runway and her sister was sloughed in half by a hot sheet of metal from the plane tearing through her house.
“She’ll never talk to me again.”
She sometimes talks to her hand or a doll. She’ll make one right now for her special secret need.
She tells her hand, “You’re bad.” And in sing-song sweet she threatens to cut it off, or burn it, or eat it.
She’s burned her dolls before—oh yes!—in blazing tribute to her father’s attempt at burning his family into hell with him. He succeeded in burning himself into a jelly-bump under the sheets of a hospital bed, alive because her mother claims to be able to communicate with him by reading the filmy blood bubbles that seep from his ever-working charcoal-flayed lip-nubs.
Her mother says they are the words of God and so her father’s raw mass stays plugged into the hospital wall. Nurses and aides coat him in petroleum jelly every few hours. She sometimes swipes a finger across his open wounds and licks the petroleum skin off while she reads from her diary to her daddy.
The last time she burned her dolls they screamed in agony and still haven’t stopped.
She walks in front of busses. She’s stared down the grills of three so far, and only been injured by one.
She takes her cat to the laundromat.
No matter how many scratches and scars she gets and no matter how many quarters she pumps into those dryers, the cat always finds his way back to her door. She named him Ruprect because she knows he will never be able to pronounce that. When she sees him with other cats she laughs about his inability to introduce himself.
She mumbles so he can’t hear her about the day she’ll finally eat him and he just watches her until she jerks and then he runs away.
She touches her eyeballs on video at any dating service she can con her way into.
She props her feet upon a mailbox, sitting on the hood of her car. She counts the words she knows for pussy then shouts them toward the house before her while masturbating, using the name on the mailbox if its written to where she can read it in between fuck my cunt, you fucking fuckers.
She plucked her nipples from her body one night with rusted tin-snips after comparing them to her mother’s and finding them unattractive. She kept them in a jar beside her mom’s for a while, but grew ashamed of their deformity in comparison, and hid them under the floorboards in the pantry. She looks at them now and then, when she’s getting some flour, or chicken feet. They want out of their jar, but she’ll never let them go.
She never shops on weekdays and weekends she tries to stay in and spy on her neighbors. He used to do the shopping, anyway.
She’s had trouble finding food lately.
And she jerks.
Friday, June 12, 2009
“Follow the birds,” an old leper instructs as microbes continue to gnaw
They venture out to the desert to dispose and express
Make the trek through sidewinder epigraphs
While the aborted let out a surfactant-rich scream
Drape mother in your arms and let her suckle at
The last of your precious water
Leave what’s left of the child behind for the buzzards
Because for them … the oasis is not a mirage
Thursday, June 11, 2009
He practically floated into the boss' office, held aloft by self esteem and pride in his workmanship.
"Henderson," said the boss, "I was considering giving you the promotion, but the other day I stopped into a little sandwich shop and had the greatest meatball sandwich of my life. I had them make me another one so that he could be junior vice president."
Henderson wept, swore and spat. He smashed the boss' desk lamp and rubbed the photos of the boss' Swedish mail order bride against his crotch. The boss had to calm him down with an unwelcome smelly hug.
"I understand how you feel, Henderson," he whispered tenderly into his ear, "but you should really try the sandwich."
The boss pulled a greasy paper bag out of his desk drawer and led his disgruntled employee into the breakroom.
"I don't know," said Henderson,"I'm still being passed up for a sandwich."
An arrogant but beatific smile appeared on the boss' face as he put the sandwich into the microwave.
"Just a bite," he said, wagging his finger.
"Of course," Henderson replied.
The boss pulled the sandwich from the microwave and Henderson took his bite. The meat was well seasoned, the sauce was just right, the provolone cheese was fresh. Henderson felt a deep, all-consuming sadness, since it was a fantastic sandwich and he was a mediocre man at best.