Monday, December 31, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Nine

I would walk all the way around the sun if I could. I would walk deep into the speckled darkness between stars. I would step transdimensionally, one foot alternating with the other until I crossed time in every direction and set foot in every dimension. So let’s see if water will hold us. I like the way, as we look down, we see ourselves looking up. Wave at them! They are so cute! Let us kiss our reflections, you know you want to. I will kiss your reflection, you kiss mine. Your reflection is a good kisser! I could do

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Eight

out of fuel. Which of us will be the last one burning? The last to burn out? Cinderella, Cinderella, hurry on home. The coachmen are about to turn back into rats, the horses into toads. What is that I smell? Someone left the home fires burning. We can swim for it. Look there, on the jostling surface, I see a footprint. And another. Glistening like oil, calming what the oars and keels stirred up. Nice long toes on that foot, broad heel, purposeful stride. If you can walk on water, where can’t you get to. I like to walk, too.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Seven

there yet, at least we’re here. Wherever we are is here. There’s no getting away from that. You made the coffee just the way I like it. Out of leprechauns. Sweetened with the milk of angels. I’ll be up all night. But in a good way. It will give me time to think. The world will be quiet, all distractions hidden away. The ship is late. Perhaps it is adrift. Can we get the news? Turn up the radio. All I hear is crackle, the crackle of the fire. It’s a very old fire. It will burn until it runs

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Six

food on cruise ships. Big name entertainment. Gambling. Beautiful island beaches to visit or historic churches full of unique local touches, stained glass featuring native motifs, for instance, hand carved friezes displaying local gods reimagined as the conqueror’s gods. I look forward to the fresh unnamed fruit, the spices referred to solely in metaphor, the good news on tongues that are warm and tender and different and homely. Smiles. Slowly getting to know another way of life. No tears. No lost reservations. No seasickness or diarrhea. No strangers. Thanks for getting us coffee while I dreamed. We’re here. If not

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Five

the paths of riotous footballers, angry drunks, civic protest, and screaming children and among these shall we offer the calming influence of eternally restful words of advice, and we will pass out beads given us by the angels, rare and precious beads of common make. We will kiss cheeks, smooth and rouged, sweaty and bristly. We will pat backs and slap hands. Then, our duties done, we will step onto the down escalator to the dockyards on the river Lethe where we will lounge on benches, waiting for the cruise ship that will take us upriver. I understand there’s great

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Four

O heavenly chorus. O hellish choir. What is there for us? To what may we aspire? I want to be a real boy! I want to be destroyed. I want to be adored. I want nor less nor more. Have you put on the octopus gloves? How many lovers can you count as loves? Is this a trick question? Is this a lesson? A lesion? Confusions and contusions, we look after them. Let us go now, you and I, like a patient just a bit too etherized upon the table. The angels will grasp our hands and lead us down

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Three

I called in favors. Where it ended it had to begin. A new religion was crafted out of old mysteries. I don’t think there’s anything in that bag of tricks for me. In the empty head a candle is being situated. The flicker illumines the cavern but only a piece of it, a corner. Your mind fills in the body. The trail is cold because the snow covers it with a white blanket. Muddy pawprints decorate the comforter. We will be nice to each other. We will be kind. I can name that song if only the chorus will sing.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-Two

It would be perfect. It would be the last thing, the latest thing, the very thing. It would be a crime. It would be just fine. I don’t know what to say. What is going to happen next is bad. The destruction of all pleasantness. Poof! That’s how it will go. Quick like that. Or maybe slow, drawn out over eons. The mayor’s appointment secretary flicks the corner of the transcendental butler’s business card with a hard red fingernail. Death has provided a career opportunity. Once I had an education. It held me in good stead. Then I had connections.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy-One

If you listen closely, you can hear gurgles in the earth, rumbles, the scream of things changing shape, the bark and grunt of one kind becoming another, silence that passeth understanding. If you listen closely, you will hear the turning. I don’t want to hear it. There are too many noises, there are voices. Where are you now? Standing in the need of air? Standing in a shaft of light? Standing in the way of control? Pissing, drinking, running, lying? Tell me. Tell me and I promise. I promise. I swear. Cross my heart. It would be nice to hope.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventy

A new perseverance will climb onto the bus, work its way to the back, brushing knees and packages and chickens. There won’t be a seat at the table, for every seat will be piled with papers and the numbers track the decline of moralists. Put yourself in place, the long place empty of cats and beer cans. The pigeon understands art. Moths drink the tears of orphan elephants. It is harder being blind, the lame girl says, touching the corn, the corn’s damp beard. The rain lays into the grain, the weight of it pressing toward the common earth. Shh.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Nine

Suffering is part of the process. When you are done you will feel tremendous relief. Death is your friend. Dried seeds. A rope bridge over the gorge. Green meat. The beautiful crystal, the strange beast, the chaise longue, a pyramid of butter. When you awaken, you will be traveling. Rocks and grubs and trees. It was a fanciful glass object. It was a veritable feast of grandeur. It was a pill of salt. Read again the last bit, the part that concerns you more than any other. Don’t be sad. Choose to be hearty. Let the bricks fall in June.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Eight

put up your umbrella against meteors, and retrieve the book of instructions. Put the book on the table on its spine. It should fall open to the page you need. What does it say? Go ahead and read the instructions aloud. Many friends and relations are waiting to hear. Don’t be embarrassed. The instructions may not be immediately easy to understand. You may have to think on it. When others tell you what you should do, listen respectfully. Nod. Thank them for their wisdom. But do not do anything they tell you. This itself may be difficult advice to follow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Seven

to the rim of the crater, you will get to the foot of the stairs. But will you get all the way? The ball keeps losing air. Smoke tumbles from the bowl. The blue ribbon needs dusting. The dried flowers survived the house fire and now stink of soot and ash. The lake on the other side of the road only ever existed on the map, drawn there for copyright reasons. Auguries and bobcats. A wedding of vomit and paradise. When you are alone, wearing your glittering mask, and a flash for a moment hides the moon, you have to

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Six

the whither, the yawn, the long con, the soft porn, the strong heart and the broken. Where will the bean stalk pierce the clouds and which palace will the ant find pregnable? What will you tell your friends? Is there a vote for character in that calabash? I remember you, the wind says, touching each leaf. I remember you, says the last leaf yanked from the branch, but the memory slips under the surface of the stream which is already icing over. Is it far? No. No, it isn’t far. You’ve gone much greater distances. You will get to the

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Five

The tingling of an art, tuned to a C or to a bow through which water falls, cutting colors from white, villagers standing nearby, one odd one dancing. The four who got cut and felt. Orange houses, the white out, again only in overcoats, dilaudid computed for a full skull. The boy this time in the bath with lace, bubbles confusing black hair. Littler, ever littler and harder to locate. Weather vainly riparian, the shot out of the gun, it was fennel and rocket. If I had to live I would live with candy. A better day scene, chatting about

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Four

impotence, grace exhaling across whales. Sometimes you are able to touch, to reach out and touch. A shadow draws a line down your face. In a formal kilt, a boutonniere of orchid gratitude. Snowflakes catch in the lashes. An otter’s head rises from the green river, a cascade of silver. Between trucks the flight of the fish. Boy and girl at the end of the dock wait for the fact of the eye, a biographical extension into the lie of the moon. Families are fine for afternoons. Where evening was set aside, light accidentally framed a black ear, a braid.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Three

the twist confront amended then, in a bright mews, fendering the small snicker with two loops and a squint. Say you love and with your love conspire. Say you love and dislodge the mud, the reckoning with wit of a piece with a never sampled burden, a light stirring of frank assessment in the wee hours, what a pile of murder weapons in an evidence locker contributes to the human swindle, where the bridge stretches, naked cables and burnished rivets, purchase on a foundation of despair the happy fall. We will not abide, the wharf rat whispered, such signs, such

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-Two

Jesus’ insides. It’s a familiar tune. Are there words? What are words for? No one listens anymore. A tiled tightrope wearing fresh across the nucleus draws sighs from the forest soak. Jesus parts his lips. O yea, lions of laughter and salience, come forth, the north-facing slant of the yardarm conspiring in williwaw, a yellow mirror down in arches, the flail of the old grim parent cupped in tutoring, walnuts. The rampant fast well in hand, the purple sang in all wheedle. Rolling over battered red youth, the white weeds bungle the make. Box after box, mild after smiled, mending

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty-One

After the passage has curved away from the light on the angel and the shadows deepen until the only illumination is the faint glow from the path, a glow so insignificant it sometimes seems imaginary, the stone wall the left hand touches, touches lightly here and there, has it softened? It’s not just a change in the hardness, a greater smoothness, but there’s a warmth, a friendly warmth, a cozy, welcoming warmth. The wall’s texture has become silky. Could this be fur? The hand is finding much pleasure sliding along, feeling its way. A humming greater than his own tickles

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixty

his lips and peers at the page, bringing it closer and closer until it bumps his nose. His mouth begins to form the shapes of words, though silently. Jesus closes the door. The light pouring into the cave is still so bright Jesus can’t really make out the angel’s body, though he can hear sobbing. He turns away. Holding one hand out to the side, his fingers in contact with the wall, Jesus ventures on into the dark. Heaven. It could be worse. Jesus hums to himself as he walks. Wherever the path takes you, that is where you go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Nine

chair beside a round endtable holding a brass lamp with a yellow shade. The lamp stands on a lace doily and casts a warm glow. A merry fire dances in a brick fireplace. On the chair’s seat cushion a blue bound volume has been laid open face down. As Jesus watches, a man in a cardigan sweater hobbles across the room and leans with one hand on an arm of the chair. The other picks up the book which he presses against his chest. Slowly he spins around, and with evident caution lowers himself into the chair. The man smacks

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Eight

the light that it seems to be deconstructing him, too, the light peeling away in a shell that splits and and shivers and sunders. Jesus takes another step back, turns his face away, his eyes so overwhelmed they see nothing now but a green panel. Wherever he turns the green panel floats before him. No, he’s not blinded, for a little further down the path Jesus sees another door. Green, of course. Like the first this door has no handle. With a firm push, the door’s latch disengages and the door swings open. Within he sees a wine-red leather-upholstered easy

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Seven

Jesus tries to see what he’s uncovered. Light. That seems to be it. White light fills the doorway. The angel crawls forward on his knees, bowing his head, holding the bundle out as though it were an offering. When he gets to the edge, where the gravel of the path gives way to nothing but light, he leans as far forward as he can and the bundle of dead leprechaun seems almost to disappear into the light, seems almost to bleed away in thin hair-like streams into the light. The angel is sobbing, his gold skin reflecting so much of

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Six

toward it. A line perpendicular to the ceiling, a line parallel to the first, two more horizontal, one of those above, one low to the floor. As it looks like the outline of a door, Jesus feels for a handle. He finds none. He tries pushing. At first push, nothing moves, but tried at the other side, there’s some give. He pushes until it resists then withdraws his hand. The door swings open, a swath of light falling into the dark cave. Dazzled, Jesus steps back, covering his eyes with his sleeve. “Oh! Oh!” cries the angel. Squinting and blinking

Friday, December 07, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Five

from scratch. There were times he bluffed his way back into an old life, once as a long lost son come to claim his rightful inheritance; once as himself having been lynched, now stalking his killers as vengeful ghost (he smiles at the memory); once as himself having learned the secret of eternal youth. It is damned dim in here. When Jesus looks at his feet they are merely black blobs against the path’s fading glow. The angel is panting. “Is this it? Are we here?” Just ahead Jesus detects a faint line of light. A line? He walks softly

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Four

many lives, he has a pretty good sense of what’s going to happen next. He can get blasé about it, thinking he’s seen it all, nothing can surprise because when was he last surprised? He’s seen people behaving badly and heroically, lovingly and cruelly. He’s learned the ways of most every culture, in a few lives while the other sex. Learning to be a woman was tricky, and the process taught him empathy all over again. That was then. You’ve tried human every which human way. What’s next? Another kind of animal? When Jesus opens resurrected eyes, he’s gotta start

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Three

his neck. Did it twitch? Did it squirm? The angel’s golden heart beats golder. The corners of his mouth twitch, squirm as though uncertain what to do with a smile. Jesus, meanwhile, rubs his belly which has not yet been filled this lifetime. Is the path getting dimmer? By now, even if stone hasn’t met stone above, they are walking as in a cave, looking up frequently to gauge the height of the ceiling, letting a look linger in shadows where passages or treasures might hide. Jesus likes it when he knows what’s going to happen next. Having lived so

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-Two

fly,” the angel suggests. “If I fly around and reconnoiter we can see where we’re going.” “You don’t know where we’re going?” “I don’t know where we’re going?” the angel stammers, squeezing one hand in the other. “What do you mean?” As they press on the rock on either side of the path continues to rise and lean inward, closing out light from above. If the path itself were not aglow they would be stepping in darkness. “You don’t know where we’re going?” Jesus repeats. “I know where we’re going,” the angel says mechanically. One hand presses the bundle around

Monday, December 03, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty-One

path snaking among hills, then back at the angel. “That leprechaun’s only getting deader.” “No! Please!” cries the angel, falling to his knees. “You lead the way! You are the one! You are the one I must follow.” Jesus crosses his arms over his chest. “You dragged me up to heaven.” Jesus nods at the path. Trembling, the angel gets off his knees, bows humbly to the son, and, constantly looking over his shoulder, begins to walk ahead. Gradually the hills rise up around them until they are so hemmed in, it seems they will soon be underground. “I could

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifty

Don’t let that worry you. God wouldn’t be in heaven otherwise. You ever heard of anybody living allowed into heaven? Deposited on the spongy floor of the divine destination Jesus yanks his hair out of the angel’s mouth. “God will bring the leprechaun back,” the angel hisses, sure Jesus would feel ashamed before his Father. The winding sheet Jesus wore in the desert now shimmers like heavenly robes and a shining path glistens before his naked feet. The angel steps back, alarmed. Jesus shakes his head. “You know heaven so well, lead the way to God.” He glances at the

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Nine

I asked for cupcakes,” the angel says, wiping a tear. “I did ask for cupcakes.” Quickly he rewraps the leprechaun, tying the bundle around his neck. Then he spins on Jesus. “Thank you,” he says. “Thank you for making me do this.” And the angel kisses the Son of God on the head, lipping two hairs in the gesture. The wings swing open and in two beats they are in the air, headed straight up. When you know the way it doesn’t take but a moment to get to heaven. The theatrics of a take-off aren’t necessary. God is dead.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Eight

heard mention of cupcakes. Cream cheese frosting? Devil’s food?” The angel grinds his crystalline molars. “I,” says the angel, “I could. Get you. Cup. Get you cup.” “That sounds nice.” The angel steps backward into the campfire and is gone. Jesus looks again at the dead spider. With the now merely glowing stick Jesus pokes the spider’s side. It rocks stiffly, the legs frozen in curl. Jesus grunts dismissively and returns the stick to the flame. Bearing a plastic-wrapped cardboard tray the angel reappears. “Your cupcakes, lord,” he says, dropping them on the ground. “Those are muffins,” Jesus says. “But

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Seven

Wait.” Jesus bites his lip. “Explain for me, could you, explain for me my duties in this. Matter. And. No, hang on, before you get started, be sure to include what’s in it for me.” The angel’s scowl darkens. “You’re telling me, even though you are God himself, you haven’t the power to save this creature! You haven’t the grace, the mercy to bring back from the brink of extinction the leprechaun race?” Jesus scratches his bearded cheek. “You’re finished? That’s it? I missed the part where you offer cupcakes?” “You’d do it for cupcakes!” “Cupcakes,” says Jesus, nodding. “I

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Six

Jesus scoots over a little so the bundle is no longer between him and the fire. The angel folds his arms across his golden chest; his great white wings spread and rustle. Leaning forward, Jesus snatches up a burning brand and applies the flame to the lower feathers. The angel scowls. “Don’t do that.” “What’s the difference? Looks like you’re good and fire proof.” “The leprechaun,” says the angel. “The leper pawn,” sasses the one newly returned to life. When the angel continues to stand where he’s planted, Jesus shrugs. “What’ve you got for me?” “Your duty.” “My? Uh. Yeah.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Five

steps out of the fire, stands over the man sitting cross-legged in the dust. “What do you want?” Jesus says, not looking up. The angel lowers a bundle to the ground and unfolds the cloth. Inside the bundle lies a spider the size of a cooking pot, dead on its back, legs bent in like burnt sticks. “The last leprechaun,” the angel intones, waving a hand over the corpse. “That’s not a leprechaun.” “That’s what a leprechaun looks like when it has starved to death.” “Bullshit.” “I have brought the last leprechaun to you, my lord. You have the power.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Four

about. But, you know, who doesn’t? He stirs the coals with a stick, and a swirl of golden sparks dances up from the circle of stones. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, he thinks irrelevantly. I’ve been a king more than once. I’ve been a mendicant, a pauper, a doctor, a thief, a blacksmith, and a farmer. A slave. More than once. He covers a yawn, then rubs his face. Lots more than once. Some lives I even remember the other lives. That’s nice, he thinks. But there’s something to be said for forgetting. Nearby a camel snorts. An angel

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Three

set them on fire. If you don’t, he’ll think you don’t like him. Jesus is sitting by a campfire, recovering from his latest resurrection. He’s been burnt to death several times. The first time he returned to life he would cringe whenever he approached a fire, but then he drowned. After that fire wasn’t a bother. He fingers his neck, which was broken by one of the guards of the ancient city. It’s okay now, he supposes, and turns his head carefully from side to side to make sure. Smooth, not even a crackle. Sometimes he wonders what it’s all

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-Two

done, who haven’t walked a mile in your moccasins, who haven’t drunk the milk of your tits, who haven’t swooned appropriately in long dry meetings, well, for them empathy can be a challenge. They just don’t understand. You think you’ve signed the right contracts, kicked back cash money to the right bureaucrat, danced and danced and danced and danced and danced until the convulsions of transcendental exhaustion have you turning jaguar, but it’s a bust. That’s how everything has been constructed. Shoddy solder, weak glue, frayed cord. Your dreams will fall apart on you. If God gives you purple daisies,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty-One

I tell the angel. “Take it in good health. Go far with it. Do with it exactly what needs doing.” I continue pronouncing these vacuous fragments of advice for several thousand years or whatever, all alone. It’s hard to be alone, even if you contain multitudes. It’s hard to know everything, even if everything was built into you by creation, which took place at the same time. Nothing’s easy. Not even being easy is easy. You have to make it look easy, but that can be tricky, because people can be suspicious, although, for those who haven’t done what you’ve

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Forty

were to take a body, where would you go?” “I don’t know,” I say. There are so many places. Places where nobody will pinch your cheek. Places where everybody’s nice. But would any of those places need what I have to teach? What do I have to teach? Give the angel the shift. If you cease to exist, so what? Ceasing to exist is a standard product of existence. Being conscious of existing is what? Unusual? Perhaps I should throw myself into the dream. In the dream bodies are always available, no special arrangements necessary, no permissions. “Take the shift,”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Nine

Tears give way to a ferocious grin. Grin gives way to puzzlement. The hands all leave off their distractions and leap to the head, stopping it on a face of inner contemplation and peace. Eyes half-lidded, mild smile, unlined brow, round cheeks. The lips part and in a humble tone the angel says, “Might you allow me to borrow the transdimensional shift?” Oh. “That’s a big favor to ask,” I say. “You know what it means to me?” “I will owe you,” the angel says. “But what do you need it for? There are places barred to you?” “If you

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Two 922s

Oops. I seem to have posted two 922s. I wrote while on the road, that’s my excuse. So tomorrow I will post 939. I may renumber the posts. I also note that I ended a recent post with a “the” only to begin the next day’s post with a “the”, thus if one were to read the posts in proper sequence one would read “blah blah blah the the blah blah”. Tsk. It’s been ages since I asked anyone if they had any thoughts they wanted to share. Readers? Two months until the final words. Should we have a wrap party?

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Seven

The angel’s hands spread fans, blossom full of colors, squeeze down into green stones. A left courts a right with dainty flutters. The right, bashful, dips and hides. Another left pursues a right with hungry fury, catching and gnawing on the frightened wrist. Three rights layer one upon the next, the bottom’s slightest twitch telegraphing up the stack. The head that has swallowed all the other heads now opens to receive an eight-toed food, leg follows up to the knee where the jaws clack shut. The head resumes its slow revolution, the eating face giving way to one dropping tears.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Six

ask the angel. “I didn’t pass it, did I?” The last kiss proves to be not just open-mouthed but consuming. The angel swallows the head right up. Then he pops head after head into the open mouth. “I need to tolerate pain. That wasn’t even big pain. Not like getting a leg sawed off or having nails pounded into your hands. If I’m going to be wandering around telling truths I have to be ready to. I have to be. I.” Was I really thinking my teachings would be so easily accepted? I just need to reach the right people.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Five

not if I have all time to hide in. You can’t hurt me. That’s not me. That is your own face, angel. Play with it as you wish. The angel yanks the face from the wall by the bit of skin caught in the pinch, gives the face two brisk shakes, then reaffixes it to the blank head on the floor. The eyes blink. The angel picks up the head and raises it to the lips of its other heads, its other faces, each sharing a kiss with the head and its freshly recovered lips. “Was that a test?” I

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Four

Fuck. Why won’t you listen to me? Why won’t you stop! I know pain is bad. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it being suffered. Stop! Oh oh ooh. A pinch is just a pinch. It’s just a bit of skin. Maybe some muscle’s caught. You can live without a cheek. It’s not even my face then is it it’s just a face a mask nothing behind it the wall that’s all that’s behind it the wall my body but so little of my body spread through ow spread ow through time time I have all time you can’t hurt me

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Three

clench, I begin to moan. The pinch tightens again. Ah, pain. Yes. This is what pain is like. It’s a valid lesson. If I am to incarnate I need to preview pain as well as pleasure, distress as much as delight. But, you know, angel, you know, uh. Ow. You can stop now. I’ve got the idea. This hurts. You know this hurts, don’t you? Surely if you keep this up, you will do some damage. Ow! Stop it. Stop! You can stop now. Please. Please stop now. Please stop. Oh please. Please stop. Ow. Oh God oh. Stop! Stop!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-Two

had a face before. Of all the parts that make me up, across billions of alternate planes, has there never been a face? Two eyes, a nose, a mouth? Does it matter? Let me enjoy this one. I like to smile. I like to scowl. I blow out the lips, I suck them in. I like rolling these eyes, flaring these nostrils, raising these eyebrows. The angel tickles my nose with a pink feather and I sneeze. The angel scratches my chin and I purr. The angel pinches my cheek. Ow! The pinch tightens. My brow draws in, my teeth

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty-One

all scowl. On the face the angel pressed to the wall I create a scowl. The angel’s head turns and the next face looks sullen. With this new face I go sullen. The angel presents a soft smile. I feel it, a soft smile. It feels like my smile. It’s nice. I like it. The angel laughs. I laugh. Hilarious! The angel put up a face on my wall, in the chamber carved within the body of this comet I ride, I am. The angel put up a face. Is it mine? The angel gave me a face. I’ve never

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirty

hand. One bald head, crown down, spins on a middle finger. Another rolls chin over peak up an arm to the shoulder. When it rolls back down, the hand cradles it. Another hand swings in and unfastens the face from the head, presses it to the wall like a suction cup. “Open these eyes,” the angel says. So I blink them. The angel looks like a lump of coal. I blink again. The angel looks like a diamond screaming. I blink again. The head on top of the angel’s single neck turns like a carousel. The face passing now is

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Nine

are ready to tell all. To whom?” “To everybody,” I say, hearing how impossible that is. “Maybe,” I try again, “maybe just to the right person. Or people.” “The right person or the right people,” the angel echoes and I hear how ridiculous that sounds, too. Everybody has something to learn. “I still think it’s a good idea. If I try. If I had a body, one that could talk. One that.” I don’t know. “One that could show. One that could.” I don’t know what to say next. The angel is juggling its heads, passing them from hand to

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Eight

the hand a small fire flickers. Dipping a finger from the fourth right hand into the flame the angel ignites it, then presses it between the eyebrows. The eyebrows catch flame, and the fingerprint glows like molten glass. Two other hands continue to knit at a purple scarf. Another flips a coin, catches it, flips it again. “What you propose, it has never been done before?” I ought to know the answer. “There have always been teachers,” I equivocate, “some surprisingly wise, considering their limited perspective.” “Limited,” says the angel, tasting the word. “You see all, you know all, you

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Seven

me one, he says. "There are things you would like to discuss." "Hello, angel. I need to intervene in history in order to improve life for all sentient beings." "I see. Please continue." "I need a body. With this body I could travel around teaching best practices. Everybody has something to learn. And I, for whom world after world and time after time has been a fountain of info and in whom knowledge has pooled, would make this great stuff available to all." "Your plan has potential." The angel raises one of its seventeen arms. In the palm of the

Friday, November 09, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Six

large swaths of all that will ever remain irrelevant, I can bring my findings to reality and by presenting end them. End the mistakes, that is. It's only logical. It's not like anyone willfully chooses to do wrong. Who does not go forth intending to do right by the universe? If you just lay out the facts, show those who are performing suboptimally the simple behaviors that, once made part of daily routine, will improve conditions for all, they will. They really will. Change their ways? I am placing a call to my angel. I have an angel. He owes

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Nine Hundred Twenty-Five

heliosphere? Voyeurs? Narrators? Transdimensional omniminds? I realized, the only limitation to my information gathering activities was my lack of awareness of the places I haven't been looking. So I've been looking for solutions, and, you know, I think I've found them. As one who's been spying on billions of dimensions, I can see what works and what doesn't. Every alternative is not as good as the best choice. With wisdom gained from reading the texts of everywhere and the calendars of everywhen, the faults in everything and the flaws in everybody, and the other stuff that's relevant next to the

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Four

of their atoms yanked apart and scattered? Suppose they slipped into a dreamscape. How accessible those are varies tremendously. Most earth-based originals are confined to a narrow range, but it's not like I know precisely how many range further afield or how far that is or in what field. My own range is limited by something, I know. By what? That, I don't know. Must the realms into which I peer all be friendly to my kind? I thought so at first. But then I started to wonder. What is my kind? Icy chunks of rock drifting through the

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Three

by a few months and the tired attendant sodas and the stacks of plastic cups upside down? Not even a leprechaun. You'd think there'd be a leprechaun somewhere. Tossed up among the tide wrack. Not that I've looked everywhere. But how could you? You look in a few familiar places because they've been productive, they've rewarded your attention. You know the land. But whatever. Find them or not, what's it matter? Is what happens next vital information? What will be will be, regardless of what I think about it. Suppose they were obliterated? Dropped into an antithetical universe, the quarks

Monday, November 05, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Two

the one that wanders nervously through the Valley of Death, the one fourth from the left that passes under the derelict railway bridge. Bernie, where are you? I am switching channels. I don't see him in the early solar system. Back then there were many small worlds of ice and iron. I feel at home. But I search on. At the end of the world snack bar two young women nurse watery yellow glasses of lemonade. But I don't see Bernie. In the meeting room with the dusty tables and unopened tortilla chip bags which have exceeded their expiration dates

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-Two

already were. Passing through. Maybe that's all it takes, one wave will rise and carry you over. Maybe you make the crossing to escape the wave because, really, being run over by a wave could have consequences. Better to make the jump first, make the decision yourself, not kowtow to the force of no-mind, refusing to allow the way of the world be your way, your true and only way, stepping of your own volition to the other path, the one the forced marches beat into the earth, the one the gnomes paved by the patter of leathery feet

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty-One

wishes his mind was less open to kitsch. He opens his eyes. The elevator hasn't disappeared. Nor has Sir. Nor has the bent little creature who is looking up with a hungry lear. Nor has the Olmec head, although its expression does seem to be making room for a less imperious certainty over the world's turns. When another ripple hurries toward them, this one larger than any other, Bernie feels this dimension stretching out toward it, thinning, thinning and becoming permeable, as though any move any one of them made would snap them through to elsewhere. Or maybe that they

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twenty

of big-eyed kittens hung on a wall papered with blue and white stripes. A hundred crepe paper spiders skitter over webs of dental floss in a closet built solely to provide spiders corners. A monolith of blue velvet sinks into a mound of freeze-dried tears. A matching monolith knotted into itchy red macramé looms over a base of crystalline fear. Jack Lightning waves from the end of a hall of dusty mirrors. He’s holding a tourguide’s flag, which, it might be noted, matches the flag that snaps in the breeze over the boardwalk at the end of the world. Bernie

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Nineteen

feels his mind expand. Yes, all sorts of things fit in it all of a sudden, all sorts of things that could never have gotten in up to now have room to roam. That giant head, for instance. It’s an Olmec head. The Olmec, like the Greeks in Europe, were a foundational civilization. A thousand years after their empire was consumed by the swamps of Veracruz aspects of Olmec culture persisted in Mesoamerica among the Aztecs, among the Maya. And now, up to its lower lip in a quicksilver puddle, the Olmec head glares in consternation at the pretty paintings

Thousand: Nine Hundred Eighteen

through them. Is that nausea? dizziness? or is it the world? Again a ripple rolls through, and, as the metal deforms, the little black creature slips into the elevator and crouches panting beside the dog. Is that a crack in the stone head’s brow, just under the helmet? Was it always there? Bernie holds his hand out and a new ripple bends his fingers, bends his wrist, bends his forearm. He takes a breath as it hits his face. What does it feel like? He closes his eyes. Maybe if he’s not watching, it won’t actually feel like anything. Bernie

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seventeen

like a mole on its cheek. Silently they regard each other, giant stone head, odd black dwarf, yellow dog, and man. The sound of a great crash below is followed by a loud sizzling and crackling, the much softer sounds of bat wings continue their beating, and almost beyond hearing sonar squeaks chitter more rapidly. The stone face twitches suddenly, the upper lip rises, the nostrils flare even wider, the blank eyes bulge. The elevator’s metal screens flex, Sir expands and contracts, and when the ripple reaches Bernie he feels it in his gut. “Oh,” he wheezes. Another ripple runs

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Sixteen

come, a kingdom kind of come, the kind of come a body’s open to, ready to fill up with, fill to buh buh buh, to buh buh buh, to buh. Buh. BURSTING!” The creature’s head bobs side to side, while Sir maintains a cautious friendly stance, back flat, trail wagging slowly, barking. Down below the giant stumbles and looks about to topple. The Mexican head, the last of the giant’s heads, yanks its whirlwind loose and bounces upward. It hurtles toward them. Bernie’s sure they’re splinters. Instead of smashing into them, though, the head pauses to glare, the bat’s passenger

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fifteen

though charred, presses against the bars; a nose as thrusting as a beak bends the mesh beyond. A sliver of white around the midnight irises flashes as the face grimaces and laughs. A pointed tongue flickers. Hands as curled as crow feet grip the bars and dance along them, clicking out a pitter-patter tune. “What’s your number, baby? A nice boy like you in a city on fire? How’d that happen? What’s say you and I take advantage of the room for some ka-boom? Raise the mushroom, baby; my mind is clouded. The war’ll be wanting the big weapon to

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Fourteen

the backs of the bats are passengers. A small, black creature clings to the bat’s shoulders, bird-like head swiveling in sharp jerks, a spindly arm sometimes extending to point or to gesture like a symphony conductor. The giant scoops soil and broken tile and slaps it against its torso. Pieces fall away. Bernie can’t tell whether the body itself is crumbling or if that’s just the rubble. Another whirlwind loosens itself, the bearded head wobbling. As a bat passes close by the elevator its passenger leaps, grabbing hold of the bars of the outer door. A face mostly black, as

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Thirteen

the whirlwinds breaks free of the torso and vacuums up several bats, which rotate in a black scramble. The bombing goes on. Sucking up the yellowish fumes, the whirlwinds take on an oddly solid look. He’s not falling, Bernie realizes, despite the cant of the elevator. The elevator has its own gravity, maybe? Could it, maybe, have a force field, too? He unclenches a little. How many bats are there? Tens, probably. Hundreds? Not that many? Some of those that have dumped their cargo make wider circles, and Bernie sees more clearly what he thought were deformities or humps on

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Twelve

against the rear wall of the elevator. Can’t this thing go faster? But if it’s rushing them to safety this is a weird way of doing it, for the scene below has only gotten closer and at a height, Bernie realizes, within easy reach of those flailing gloves. The elevator, or whatever it is, tips neatly forward, giving its passengers a clear view of the battle. Bernie braces against the wall, clutching at its smooth surface with desperate fingers. The giant grabs one of the bats by a wing and uses it as a club against the others. One of

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Eleven

around the torso. If that torso’s big as a bus then those birds must be big as men. Not birds. Bats! And they’re dive-bombing now, letting go something they’ve tucked in their back legs, which, when it strikes the stone skin of the giant, begins smoking. Again and again the chemical bombs strike and throw up smoke. One of the gloves rushes to wipe away the stuff and itself starts to smoke. The other glove, balled into a fist, jabs at the bats, then hurls something at them. “Did it just throw a person?” Bernie backs up until he’s pressed

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Ten

Sir turns abruptly and goes to the wall beside the lever. He goes up on his hind legs, uses a forepaw to knock open a small metal door which reveals a red button. He jumps up and bumps it with his nose. A motor whirs. The room lurches and begins to rise. “Wow. This is an elevator,” Bernie says, the slope they climbed falling away below. Broken tiles heap about the visitors center, the giant groping inside with one of those floppy work gloves. Sir whuffs again, and Bernie at last sees the dark birds. They swirl of a sudden

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Nine

thinking about him? Bernie glances down at Sir. Sir is concentrating on something in the distance. “What do you see, boy? I mean, Sir?” Bernie tries to scan beyond the giant. But he. That head. The Mexican head. It. It really is looking this way, isn’t it? “Do you think it will come here?” Bernie asks. “I mean, what do we do if it does? Are we safe?” Sir begins to whuff softly, as though whatever he sees excites him. He lifts his butt from the floor, tail wagging steadily. The Mexican head bobs but its attention does not waver.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Eight

one with its thumbs, tosses the bus lightly, catches it, tosses it, catches, tosses, catches. Finally, bored, the giant throws the bus over a shoulder and stomps up to the visitors center. One giant glove begins to tug at a corner of the roof while the other strokes the curved ceramic tiles. Each of the heads seems to be doing its own thing, and Bernie wonders that they don’t go off on their own, finished with the fiction of being attached to this body. The Mexican head is turned in his direction, Bernie realizes with some discomfort. Is it really

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Seven

A hobnailed boot goes up and crashes down. The other one does the same. The great gloves swing back and forth on the ends of their crackling ropes of electric light. The stone heads rise toward the clouds, sometimes vanishing briefly into them, then dip or hover, the whirlwinds more or less visible depending on whether they have snatched bits of cloud or dust or smoke into their vortices. The giant picks up the bus, plucks the motorcycle out of the roof and throws it aside, bangs the bus nose first against the blacktop, pops the unbroken windows one by

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Six

trying to get out of the way slips between the fingers of the glove. She’s hanging on by the glove’s middle finger. The pharaoh head is the first to lose interest, rising on the whirlwind for the longer view. The Mexican head and the bearded (Greek? Assyrian?) head pause while the woman pendulums from a finger, then they, too, turn their attention elsewhere. The glove, casually, as though throwing off a fly, flicks the finger. The woman disappears. In the twilight under the storm clouds Bernie’s lost track of her. Not that anybody could have survived such a hurling, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Five

from his fingers of that heavenly coffee. He strips off his wet shirt. The last of the heads of the giant lightning monster has come down to examine the frail human protester in its power. Bernie nods when the woman turns her attention to this scowling face. She’s waving both arms now and the three heads hover, the green glow fizzing about as though trying to highlight some sympathy in their motionless features. The other glove comes back as a fist and holds itself above the woman. As it flexes, dirt and pebbles rain down on her. She ducks and

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Four

get a closer look. The woman in the palm of the glove wags her finger in the pharaoh’s face. She seems to be lecturing the pharaoh. The Mexican head descends to see what the delay is about. The woman ignores it, concentrating on whatever it is she’s telling the pharaoh. Bernie presses his hand to his mouth, fascinated. He giggles. “This is great,” he says. Sir looks quizzically up at him. “Check ‘em out,” Bernie continues. “Now the last head comes to join the party. Boy, he don’t look happy.” He takes a deep contented breath, inhaling the lingering fragrance

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Three

A boot rises and drops to the earth, the vibrations knocking leaves from the trees. The glove shakes the car like a maraca, then tosses it away. The other glove, cupped, weighs something, bounces it a little. When it goes still Bernie sees the passenger from the car jump to her feet. She’s not screaming, she’s shouting. If it’s really her I’m hearing, Bernie thinks. The glove that threw aside the car balls into a fist. “No!” Bernie whispers. Then its forefinger extends, makes little circles over the woman’s head. The pharaoh head borne on its whirlwind comes down to

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred Two

toward the visitors’ center. And now, rising in that left glove, an upside down Honda Civic sways. The passenger door swings open. Just when it looks like it will slam shut somebody inside kicks it open again. The other glove reaches down and grabs a motorcycle. With a casual underhand the glove hurls the motorcycle in a long arc. It smashes down on a touring bus in the parking lot. The gloves give attention to the Honda, ripping away the hood, popping off wheels. Bernie sees a figure hanging out the passenger side, clinging to the safety belt, legs kicking.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred One

crane raised it, then just let it go. With a thunderous thud it hits the earth. The other boot goes up, swings forward, falls. Bernie feels the vibrations through the mountain. The gigantic gloves swing around, opening, closing, opening, closing. The heads swivel, each enveloped in a seething greenish glow as though it were being swarmed by fireflies, the color adding subtle mood changes to the visages. “What is it?” Bernie breathes. The dog yawns, nervous rather than bored. The left hand gloves shoots down and closes on something at the ground. Distantly, Bernie hears screams. The monster is stomping

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thousand: Nine Hundred

an expression stern as turnip. The second head wears the flaring cobra-hood headdress and jutting ceremonial beard of the pharoahs, though its brow is sleeker, jawline less prominent. There were women pharoahs, the beard having been an emblem of state rather than gender. Her expression is milder than the first head, or perhaps its mien is of a serene self-confidence. The final stone aloft on a tight whirl of wind glares out of wide eyes, its sneering lips surrounded by a choatic swirl of beard. A lightning leg raises a hobnailed boot and drops it. It’s as though a mechanical

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Nine

the ancient dumps have granted museums. Only big as a train car. Slashing out from the hips the first two lightning bolts stab down into massive hobnailed boots. The lightning bolts that writhe out from the torso’s shoulders end in gigantic gloves. And, as the torso descends, three narrow funnel clouds follow, seemingly drilling into the torso’s stump of a neck. The first head to appear at the top of one of these serpent-like whirlwinds is the sort of thing Bernie’s seen in pictures from Mexico, under a skullcap a face square and black with thick lips and broad nose,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Eight

Sirs backs up as Bernie pulls the lever down. A mesh screen shoots out from the wall, then a second heavy metal grid. Bernie stretches both across the opening, securing the outer grid first, then the thinner mesh. As he locks them into place the mesh allows him a clear look at what otherwise was blinding. Lightning. One, two twisting, jerking bolts, and now two more yank themselves out of the black clouds. Each bolt is haired with tiny sizzling extensions. All four come together in a. Bernie tips his head. It’s a torso. Like one of those armless things

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Seven

each board. Sir steps across his lap and paws at the wall closest to the mountain. “Whatcha got?” says Bernie, but, with his eyes beginning to adjust to the new slash of light, he looks around Sir’s tail to see what it is. Sir swivels about and snaps at him, the jaws and bright teeth clacking together an inch from Bernie’s nose. “Shit!” Bernie scoots back and looks to where Sir was pawing. Jutting out from the wall, there’s a lever too high for Sir to reach, so Bernie scrambles to it. “Yes?” he says, grabbing the red rubber handle.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Six

rope of light. Bernie flinches, the light is so bright, and he raises the jacket to cover his eyes. Woof, says Sir softly. Holding the jacket out to shield his gaze, Bernie looks up to see the dog standing on a platform a short scramble away. When Bernie heaves himself up beside his guide, Sir surprises him with a lick across the side of his face. “Oh yeah, thanks,” Bernie says, settling his sore butt on dusty boards. Three walls rise to a flat ceiling. More fence than wall, Bernie thinks, as there are gaps of almost an inch between

Monday, October 08, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Five

to do this, then, well, he’s doing it, isn’t he? It feels rather like a dream, though. Every movement labored and. Slow. With ravenous wolves on his trail. Are any ravenous wolves on his trail? He breathes in, he breathes out. He goes on. On he goes. That’s what he’s doing. Right now. Going on. And. And again. Dark dots speckle the suede; one appears as he looks at the others. Then another. Tap. “I’m dripping,” Bernie says. He raises his head. He turns to look back. From the lowering clouds a dark object is being lowered on a great

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Four

for him than the first. Is it the idea that he has the option, that he could stop at any time if he really needed to, if he couldn’t stand it he could just not stand it anymore, give up, sit down, cry? So long as doing seems possible, in this case one foot going higher than the last and thus getting up the slope, obeying the dog who is terribly insistent so must have reason but is awfully annoying, he’s getting his way, isn’t he, couldn’t he shut up? So long as Bernie decides he is not not going

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Three

jacket under an arm, Bernie struggles on. “I’m going to do this, or I’m not going to do this. I’m going to do this, or I’m not going to do this.” The sweat stinging his eyes, the air thick in his mouth, pulse shaking his head like an elephant a pear tree, blisters on his heels burning as he leans forward and raises a boot, Bernie says to himself, “I’m going to do this, or I’m not going to do this.” For reasons he’s never been able to figure out, the second part of that sentence is a greater motivator

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-Two

adjusted it so it hanged evenly. Hanged? So it hung evenly. So it was well hung. He stood there. Sweaty and smelling of sweat not his own. Bernie pauses to catch his breath. When Sir notices his charge has stopped, the dog turns and barks. Barks and barks. “OK, OK,” Bernie says. The air is beginning to weigh on him. It’s not making this easy. He drags the jacket off, and the white shirt with the pearl buttons is plastered to his body. “I’m dripping.” Sir’s barking grows more insistent, so, dragging a red handkerchief across his wet brow, the

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety-One

keep upright, his feet sliding every few steps. Not a lot but enough to make him anxious. The wallet, the wallet. Never mind. He’ll check again when they get to a level place. Not that he’s wearing the same thing he started out in. He’s got on that suede jacket with the fringes. The kind of fringes he used to think looked silly. The cowboy made him stand naked in the motel room and, standing in front of him so close their breath tangled like ropes, the cowboy drew the jacket up Bernie’s arms, settled it on his shoulders. He

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ninety

in an apartment drinking crappy lemonade, sitting on a slumpy couch between two dogs, when he began to feel sluggish and the world stretched out a gravelly hand to caress his cheek. When he sat up on the side of a road and pawed in his pocket for his wallet, what did he find? The wallet was there? Was anything in it? Bernie struggles to remember. A scorpion? A credit card? Bernie slaps at his jacket pocket, checking for the wallet. He doesn’t quite feel it, but the slope the curly yellow tail is leading him up is steep and slippery with loose soil. Bernie’s almost doubled over trying to

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Nine

turmeric, the echo of ketamine, the intransigence of testosterone, the permanence of permanganate, the drizzle of dissent, the warning of vellum, the vibrations of wasabi, and the petulance of saltpeter, so dizzied is he by the promise and the glory, the suggestion and the vehemence, the joy and jangle, the hope and the fecundity, the single and the twin, so illuminated is he by the flicker, flame, freshness, and ferocity that Bernie ceases to worry. Sir knows what he’s doing. He’s gotten Bernie this far, wherever that is. I pre-paid everything, Bernie reminds himself. Then he remembers that he was

Monday, October 01, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Eight

standing nervously by, the tourguide looking back at him as she rounds up the remainder of her group. “So, um, Sir, um, where to now?” Sir glances up at him, whuffs, then turns, heading back up the path they followed to get to the picnic grounds. Bernie’s tummy feels sour. He sniffs his fingers, which still smell like coffee, only, oddly, a far superior coffee to the one he spilled. He holds his fingertips under his nostrils as he walks. So transported is he by the hints of chocolate, the translations of lavender, the quickening of quinine, the tickle of

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Seven

“Who are you with?” the tourguide asks, touching Bernie on the shoulder. He starts. “Oh, uh, I’m uh with with,” and he nods at the dog, forgetting how to say the dog’s name, forgetting the word “dog.” “You’re with?” the woman says. When Bernie nods his head toward the dog, who ignores everything but the hand, the tourguide shrugs. “You’ll have to catch up with your group,” she says. “Wherever it is. You’re not on my manifest.” Bernie smiles, embarrassed, and pulls his hand away from the mouth that, this time, lets it go. Sir shakes and yawns, stretches, Bernie

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Six

found on the hand. It feels a little weird, but not bad, really. Kind of nice, as the tongue is warm and soft and patient, making sure not to miss a millimeter. Bernie surrenders to the dog’s diligence, even turning his hand in order to give better access. He closes his eyes and falls into a reverie. A handsome cowboy is walking across a scrub desert, the wind whirling away the dust raised by his boots. The cowboy comes upon a horse already saddled. “Who are you with?” the cowboy asks, stroking the horse’s nose, feeding it a sugar cube.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Five

coffee of your own, I’d be happy to fetch it. What? Hand coffee better? Well, okay then, okay, go ahead, have at it, who am I to say no.” The dog works the hand over, sniffing between each finger, laving the hairs with a long soft tongue. When Bernie moves to get up, the dog emits a low growl and grips a finger between firm jaws. “Hey,” Bernie says, but stops pulling away. He tries stroking the dog with his other hand, but Sir/Lady doesn’t let this distract from what is evidently most important, getting the news from what is

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Four

that? The spill reveals a discontinuity in the fabric of space-time. When the cold coffee of hell splashes over Bernie’s hand and the hot-but-not-painfully-hot coffee of heaven splashes over Bernie’s hand, the two universes change hands. Sir, who has been scratching his head with a back foot, jumps up when the coffee spills, putting his forepaws on the table. Lady, who has also been scratching her head, jumps up in heaven, putting her paws on the table. The dog in both instances betrays a peculiar fascination with the coffee-drenched hand. “You want some coffee?” Bernie asks. “If you’d like a

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Three

constructed being the very same particle as in every other universe, only presents differently because the shape of the universe forces the senses to perceive it differently. Convincing illusion, eh? The densest lead soldier lovingly painted and posed under glass is empty, mostly. We are fooled into thinking a thing is a thing when nothing is its dominant aspect. On the other hand, the idea that space can ever be empty is a fool idea. Some fools have the best connections. That’s the difference between us. We’re all connected. Even disconnections are connections. The coffee spills. Are we clear on

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-Two

appear to move differently in different universes, turning left when right was the expectation, say. Is this proof they are not connected, that they are not one particle? No, rather it demonstrates a difference in the shape of space in that universe. What makes one universe different from another is not its contents but its shape. In a wave the matter is not altered. It just appears to be altered. The wave is one of the structures of space. When the coffee is hot in one universe and cold in another, the same coffee, every particle of which it is

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty-One

in another universe will also turn right. Why? Because they are connected. Not by some means of concourse between universes, but because they are one. There is but one particle. Multiple universes, one particle. Why, that doesn’t make any sense! I hear you saying. Do I mean there’s not a subatomic particle’s worth of difference between universes? That’s it. Although, to clarify, just because Particle A turns right in Universe A and Particle A turns right in Universe B does not mean, necessarily, that every particle will appear to take the exact same path in every universe. Some particles will

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighty

the spill. He just reacted. In heaven when the woman rose from the table she bumped it and Bernie’s coffee cup rocked like a cradle, the coffee’s surface wrinkling like a baby’s face in a grin. Bernie reaches for it quickly in heaven, too. It’s reflex. He’s used to things spilling when they rock like that, spilling and making a mess and nobody’d want a mess here, where everything is so nice. Both cups spill. Or perhaps it is only one cup that spills. Perhaps it is only one coffee. Just as when one subatomic particle turns right, its match

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Nine

Bernie puts the cup down, and it wobbles as the woman on the far end of the picnic table stands up. It’s going to tip, so he reaches out reflexively, thinking there’s no way he can catch it. If the coffee’d been scalding so undrinkable rather than room temp so undrinkable, he would be about to get burned reaching out to catch it. Or lunging to spill it more. Maybe. But maybe deflecting some of what was going to tumble. Into his lap. Maybe saving himself some of that indignity. Not that he was weighing all the possible versions of

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Eight

at him. In heaven, he chuckles a little himself, they seem so merry, then he tears a piece off a croissant and pops a green grape into his mouth. In hell he dunks a biscuit in his cold bitter coffee, a biscuit so dry that when he tried to bite it it hurt his teeth. Dipping the biscuit in the coffee improves neither, the biscuit going soggy on the outside, remaining stony inside, while the added scum of melted biscuit on the black skin of the coffee repulses the palate. It’s hell. What can you expect? He’s not hungry anyway.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Seven

Hope we meet again.” Bernie in hell, feeling bad about being cursed at, wonders if a longer, more polite refusal would not have left him feeling this way, while Bernie in heaven, having endured a long, polite refusal that seems to have incurred a surprising amount of social obligation considering Bernie’s never seen this guy before, glances over at the man clambering awkwardly onto another picnic bench, the burly arm sliding around the shoulders of the large blonde already sitting there. The man whispers into the woman’s ear and both burst out laughing. In hell Bernie thinks they are laughing

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Six

cold, and it’s bitter, burnt-tasting. In heaven it’s just this side of burning the lip, and it’s smooth, not needing sugar to fake its way to palatability. “Is this seat taken?” Bernie looks up and smiles at a fat older man, gestures his welcome to the spot on the bench. In hell the man says, “Fuck you,” and stalks off. In heaven the man says, “Hey, buddy. Thanks a lot. Oh, ‘scuze me, you being generous and all but I just spotted my wife,” he gives Bernie a wink, “so you’ll have to forgive me for making the acquaintance brief.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Five

rim. “Sorry,” he’d said and the woman whose cup it was gave him a sidelong look. In heaven she gave him a half smile. In hell she curled a lip. Bernie stirs his coffee with a wooden stir stick. In heaven the stick was harvested from farmed timber. In hell the stick was shaved from a tree taken in a clear cut of old growth forest. He takes it out and lays it on his napkin (in heaven made from recycled non-bleached, post-consumer paper; in hell made from the hides of puppies), and takes a sip. In hell it’s too

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Four

don’t need to worry, dear. You come round if you want. Any time. You come round any time and Lady, she’ll be there for you.” Bernard Severide did make it to hell. He made it to heaven, too. Lady knew what she was doing. Sir, too. Bernie is sitting at a picnic table in heaven, at a picnic table in hell. He’s sitting at the corner where the table leg is a quarter inch shorter than the others. When he sat down a paper cup at the far end of the table rocked and lost a few drops over the

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Three

he asks. “Lady is helping someone. She be back shortly. This morning, I’m thinking. But we’ll see. These things take time, time that we can’t count up the same way as other things, like sitting in class, you know. Or waiting for the bus.” The grocer chuckles. “Yes, ma’am. There’s many class I remember taking time out of my life in ways I could never make add up. But I catch your meaning. Yes, ma’am, I catch it and put it next to my heart.” The grocer pats his chest. Dr Yvonne smiles again and touches the grocer’s arm. “You

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-Two

and I heard chimes as though a soft wind was moving through glass flowers.” “For sale: Couch, rarely slept on, orange, tall.” “Help wanted: Bakers with experience in doughs.” The grocer is ringing up the bagged vegetables and fruit, so she refolds the paper, leaving it as tidy as she found it. She digs in her black purse for her pocketbook. Pressing the bills into the grocer’s hand, she looks at the maps of creases on each, the white ones on the bills, the black ones in the hand. “Thank you, Bill,” she says, gathering everything up. “That dog around?”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy-One

Gabriel?” “Lady is the name of the dog,” Dr Yvonne says, and smiles what might even be a genuine smile. “What’s fresh?” She lets the grocer pick out a few things and, while she waits, flips through one of those free weekly advertisers that sit in stacks by the door. “Missed connection: You spilled your hot coffee on my wrist and apologized so profusely I started to feel like I was the one who’d done something wrong and I had to bat away your clumsy attempts to clean it up. Then I looked into your eyes, they were like crystal,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventy

density of ice compared to water. On both planes the dog had a booking agent named Yvonne, or, as she prefers it, Dr Yvonne, when, that is, she allows herself to be identified. Running a business that involves sending tourists to hell (or to heaven, for that matter) is the sort of activity that might provide obstacles in other endeavors should it become common knowledge. Those who take seriously the Guide Dog to Hell sign already expect discretion. “Well, if it isn’t Doc Tor Yvonne,” the green grocer says when bell hanging over the entrance jangles. “How is the Lady

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Nine

one plane he was called Sir and he led tours to hell. On the other plane he was called, I mean, she was called Lady and she led tours to heaven. In both planes the dog looked pretty much the same, a medium-sized short hair with a curly tail. In one plane Sir took a man named Bernard Severide to hell. In the other plane Lady took a man named Bernard Severide to heaven. On both planes, in other words, things were pretty much identical, from teacups to the common names of mushrooms in Russian forests to the relatively low

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Eight

Out on the trail, the smoke from the campfire spiraling toward the stars, I will pop open the Tupperware and we can eat cake. In the bathysphere, sinking gradually down, the walls of the Marianas Trench rising above us, unwrap that tinfoil I handed you for safekeeping and, yes, it will be cake. Cake! Wonderful cake. Heavenly cake. What could be better than angels and cake! Why, cake all by itself! So come along if you may, my dear angels, regardless, there will be cake. Once upon a time there was a dog. This dog existed on two planes. On

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Seven

be done, that which cannot be known, those who cannot be deflowered, little sour berries, and painkillers, I have to say, angels, I deserve cake. Yes, I suppose cake is no more likely to bring you than olallieberry pie. But it’s baked. Have a piece. I’d eat it all up myself, had I a mouth. I would smack my lips and wiggle my tongue had I a tongue, had I lips. A foot? I’d lick the frosting off the middle toe. Marry me, angels, and let us eat cake. Hang out around my pool hall and let us eat cake.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Six

angels are worthless, useless, and don’t exist. Yes, I said it. Worthless! Useless! Don’t exist! True in most universes, I should say. There are exceptions? We are all exceptions. Angels more than most. The few universes that harbor angels have room for all we need. Infinitudes, you know. As a consciousness completely dependent on commerce between universes, whose body exists primarily in my mind (but also the occasional borrowing from others both obliging and unknowing, about which much may later be said, let me know if you’re interested), and as one naturally inclined to a fixation on that which cannot

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Five

sing counterpoint. When the birds sing, let us toot the panpipes to keep their spirits high. When the whales sing, let us dip our heads in the drink and warble many a bubble of harmony. When the winds whistle their mournful bonhomie with the chill brick walls of the mental hospital, let’s get out top hats and spats and long-tailed coats and shuffle step shuffle step stomp to meet the mood of that air. I can’t do it without you, angels. I can’t. No. Not me. It’s a weakness, my inability to get along without angels. Even though, you know,

Friday, September 07, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Four

success; I got addicted to support groups; I got addicted to Jesus who has never ceased hitting bottom and climbing back out of the hole; I got addicted to fear and charity; I got addicted to confession, soul-searching, and therapy. I took medication. I lay down and stared up at the stars. There are a lot of stars. Even realizing you are moving about among them doesn’t bring them closer. Oh angels, come close and let me whisper in your ears. Kiss me on the noggin. Take my hand and lead me among kine. When the frogs sing, let us

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Three

time in one place, just sitting, doing nothing, thinking nothing more than I ever think, which is never very much or for very long. I lamented when I got frustrated and felt ignored. I played solitaire with a tattered pack of cards; there were so many creases and stains on them I knew the King of Hearts by the wearing away of one of his hearts, the duece of clubs by the precise symmetry of its top to bottom creases. I got addicted to the internet; I got addicted to chess by mail; I got addicted to the smell of

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-Two

the richness of his skin with the help of trained mosquitoes. I led drumming circles, square-dancing hootenannies (with the red handkerchiefs angels are partial to wagging like sheep tails out the back pockets of the boys), and love triangles that linked into daisy chains. I listened to preachers, to tapes of preachers, studied videos of preachers with the sound off the better to isolate their body language, and with the help of experts in direct mail marketing reached out to preachers with appeals calculated to get them to cry out Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hal Leh Loo! I sat for a long

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty-One

starfish, and holy water, gave up the ghost to soulful lenders, imbibed the spirit of unctuousness with a plate of righteousness in an ancient amber glaze, lightly seared on one side. I howled when the moon was full and when the moon was new yodeled in my beer. I genuflected to the dawn and curtsied to the pink petticoats of the setting sun. I cut off my ear and put it in a glass casket with the tip of a finger and a vial of the blood of someone dear to me which I sneaked, drop by clandestine drop, from

Monday, September 03, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixty

blue dishes, crystals of methamphetamine in three primary colors and the glistering white of cocaine. I waved smudges of sage and rugs scented with frankincense and my ass. I built altars of stone and altered my tone, beseeching and screeching, ululating over the metate, and raising my hands to the heavens so the wine would run down my fingers to my armpits. I masturbated to the four directions. I folded my sad body like a square of paper and offered up a thousand nodding cranes in a string under Christmas lights. I fasted and procrastinated, restricted my intake to grapefruit,

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Nine

hand to hand to mouth to mouth we will hurry through? Oh angels, won’t you sleep in my terrible hat, curl in the pocket with the hole, dance on the head of my pimple, perch on my first gray hair? I have always wanted for angels. I call you and you do not come. Yes, that made me bitter. That made me spiteful. I called you out. I sang your names, your many beautiful and ugly names, the names shorter than a syllable, the names that wrapped around the block. I put out honeydew and ichor pudding, manna and ambrosia in

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Eight

you ready? Come along with your fiery swords and the golden plates on which you rest your waking heads. We will go across universes together, touching everything as we pass, inch by inch and god by god. We will trace a probe across the nerves of every twitching thing between times, stroke the cheek of every face that basks in the shadows cast by realities unobstructed, wind into the knothole of every board in every fence that keeps the dimensions in their tidy camps. Bless me with your insouciance! Won’t you take my hand while I grasp your chin, and

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Seven

under the kleig lights, below the box seats. The flies don’t buzz. The butterflies don’t flutter. The snakes don’t slither. The bodies don’t lie. If I had a hammer for all the blows. If I had a bell for all the rings. If I had a song to pull out of the throat and spread across an absorbent cloth. Let us go there together, angels. Let us get together our things, pack them into the hollows in our dreams, and carry them on our upright skulls to the land beyond beyond, the world past hope and change. Oh angels, aren’t

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Six

a body to eat? Give me hand after hand under several skies above. Body doubles. Oh body, triple! The bachelor’s kneepad, the spinster’s nosegay, the beggar’s parts lined up along an ox path. Brilliant anniversary fireworks in a night full of ear hairs and unbroken strands of mucus. Walking on fingertips over embers, indulging the nostalgia of the flaccid buttocks, the roving eye in the bow of the whaler, another factory of testicles, the blue vein bending prettily toward justice, a light uterus among grave candles. The fanbase of the elbow roominghouse. Fat bodies, yellow and glistening, their farewell tour

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Five

ax end tax one fun unmatched by the brash text, a pass protected. A new next done west full to ticks patched unpatterned. Your solid winter rented but recanted, a new uncentering of the bruised beast. Whence. The new dance sentenced to the last. I take I take I tenderize mine. I thou he a wheedled fever compare to seed. Suck. Nervous works. A side while minor sneaks up barter forth gingerly wits compere luts whulk num estung shen dinster puc. Tiss. Hold my hand. A body lies over the ocean. What head rolls alone over the tundra, looking for

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Four

and the cars, giant monsters, rumble and growl, their two great eyes white and violent, one continuous plume pouring white out of each ass, watching you pass before them, pass crying, pass living, pass and leave them without looking back. A hand. A broken record. Three sheaves. A leaf of the long pattern. Two friends. A mild winter again recorded and dissected in two oblations, the fine motor skills of the vengeance preparation. A news. Compacted entrance. Two thieves, a fine weather captured and carried over. Thunks I would I’d had a had hide a bat a bat a badger

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Three

feeling the drone deep in your head. There are many of you. There is but one. There are people packing a house, waiting to surprise you. There is a surveyed plot and eternal care reserved for it. There is an empty city, its people having fled from you. The ground is coming up to meet you. The winds tip the mast and you hurry to swing the ship around. Night has filled your cup and you will drink it to the dregs. A woman takes your hand and leads you under a light red as the apple A is for,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-Two

park under a medlar tree. You are standing in a field of corn. You are standing on a road of cracked clay beside a saguaro. You are standing in a dim hall, an open door pouring light onto the worn linoleum of the hall. You are standing before a pyramid. You are standing deep in a crater. You are standing on the grass of a center divider, cars whooshing by in both directions. You are standing on the skull of an elephant. You are standing on the polished marble of a monument. You are standing under a swarm of bees,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty-One

lay deep in darkness, your new friend found you anyway. Remember to breathe. You open your eyes, having not noticed they were closed, for all the time your eyes were closed you saw, you saw so much. I see, you say, amused at recognizing this amazing power. The world is empty, is silent, the city having crept away while your eyes looked elsewhere, the bodies having raised themselves and returned to the proper business of bodies, going up and down and moving in and out. Your flower cart, too, has sung itself to another place. You are standing in a

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifty

to hole up, seeking to know how deep you go, and finding there the metaphorical apple on its ultimate branch, the apple no one got to, the apple no one could get to, despite wanting to reach it, despite reaching for it, wanting to smell, wanting to hold it to the mouth, wanting to bite and eat. You open your mouth and your body lets out this ghost, so familiar and new, this fellow traveler, best friend. First friend waiting for you in the world you were squeezed out to. If the room was burning with lamps, if the room

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Nine

ruffler of breast feathers, in dust dancing, over pond skimming, through keyhole whistling, and lazily among sweating grapes lolling and heavy. Ah, air redolent of history, despite battles and burning houses, how persistent is the innocence of lilacs, of the infant’s downy nape, how honest the stink of grease under your lover’s nails after the motorcycle broke down on a back road between Barstow and Ensenada and she took it apart and put it back together and when it started up it purred. You hold onto this breath, hold it as deep inside your body as it has allowed itself

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Eight

gives way to what’s really best. Et voila! You’ve talked it out. Relief! Can’t you feel it? The world is grateful already. Yet you’ve not even gone to the phone. That time will come. That time will come and then. Then! You fire up your butane lighter and apply the well-shaped flame to the far end of the cigarette, and the grace of breath once again comes through for you, a long path it’s taken and in all sorts of uncertain atmospheres, the winds and the whirlwinds, chinook and santa ana, Caesar’s last words and Mary’s first, filler of sail,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Seven

laid out in lovely geometric patterns that, at the interstices, would provide the solutions to all the world’s simplest problems, the world’s simplest problems being, of course, the world’s most difficult and intractable problems as, when two simple problems cross paths, they knot, and, though each was individually ever so simple to fix, that knot is an unapproachable tangle that captures and magnifies fear and despair. Best not to look at it. However, come the simple equations that, when solved so that the solution of one releases the tension of the next, the snarl relaxes, thread releases thread and knots

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Six

really know what you’re talking about! I will see to it right away. You know, now that you lay out the argument against them, it seems to me those awful sirens have never been much use. It’s like those car alarms that go off whenever there’s a change in humidity. You get so you hope someone really is stealing that darn thing, you’re so sick of the noise. At least then it would stop. Right? Yeah, yeah, you say, happy to be agreeing. You and the lady share a good laugh. Why, I bet there are arguments that could be

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Five

You could. You could maybe. You could maybe talk to them, these idiots sprawled every which way. You could maybe talk them into getting out of the path. You feel all giddy at this sociable, reasonable thought. After you deal with the bodies, you’ll have to put in a call to the civil defense obsessives who are cranking those air raid sirens. C’mon now, you imagine yourself saying. Everybody knows you’re excited. Everybody knows what you’re excited about. The noise is just a piling on. Could you cool it? In your imagination the lady who answers the phone says, You

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thought: Eight Hundred Forty-Four

enough and everything enough is also sufficient and complete. Not a bad feeling. You wonder if it might present an obstacle to pushing daisies, roses, phlox, and poppies. They are singing quite nicely now. The people flopped about on the streets are groaning, mumbling, and making a nuisance of themselves about the way they were when you found them more irritating. Sure you’ve achieved a fine equanimity but there’s still the grunt work of shoving the cart over the bodies, and that’s going to have your muscles sore before you’re half down the block. Then you have a crazy thought.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Three

Into the body it comes, wiggling breathy fingers, hand under hand down the tree of your lungs, perching on a thousand tiny twigs at once, shivering to the rhythm of the waters, shaking, shaking from its fists the particulates it bore in from that cigarette, from that torch. Are you feeling lightened? Enlightened? Raised like a leaf before the sun? Feeling the bird in your cage, singing all the loneliness of the world away? Feeling bikini’d love’s come kicking into the dark shallows of some old despond? Like there are worlds enough and time enough and shoes enough and bees

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-Two

a soda named after a common fruit but which is spelled out on the can in letters from another planet. Gawd! Zombies! As if! Next I’ll be attacked by vampires, you say to yourself. Or aliens. Aren’t we done with all that shit? You tap ash off the end of your amazing extra-sensory cigarette and put it once more to your mouth. Through the cigarette your breath seeks you out. It carries several dimensions wound like strings around trembling, searching fingers. These dimensions indicate things that are so important your breath hopes to forestall their disappearance into the memory hole.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty-One

bar of your pushcart than your flowers would lose their rhythm and require a good rap from a baton, a stern shake of the head, a demonstrative clapping of hands to get them back in sync, to get their leaves clapping like hands only really quiet; then you had to make a snacks and juice run. Things could have gotten off to a better start. And now? Alarms are going off all over the city, pigeons are dropping like bombs, butterflies are shooting through the air like shrapnel, popcorn is falling into the mouths of zombies, and. You pop open

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Forty

got you the combustibles swore by their action, said they made him horny, warped his reality, tripped him up and left him for the godhead, entered by his doors of perception and blew out the windows of his soul, and now, two tokes in, you’re still sure he was basically full of shit. But whatever. Nice buzz, you know. It softens the screaming of the bodies strewn all about their streets, makes their nerve-wracking howls less nervy and more wacky. I mean, who knew you were going to go to work today and no sooner would you get behind the

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Nine

of silver berries. In her dim house she chops and strips, presses and knots, mashes and folds her gatherings, hanging some out to dry from the rafters of the porch, bundling some to mold in ceramic pots in the cellar, laying some on racks to smoke at the hearth, boiling some in a black kettle hung by a hook over the coals, wearing some for several days under her clothes, masticating a few and spitting those into brass bowls for weeks of fermentation. Stuff like that. It’s all very involved. You don’t know what you’re smoking. Anyway, the friend who

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Eight

can be combed and cared for and set free in its turn. You light a cigarette. There might be some tobacco in it; if so, it’s low in the mix. What else could there be? The expert crafter of aromatic reality-warping herbs lives just down the less used fork in the road to the sacred mountain. She wanders the woods each morning, the sun’s rays just beginning to tickle the mists, and plucks new buds from the dew-drenched bush, seed pods from a scrawny shrub, fleshy fruiting bodies from the black leaf litter and from the strangling vines the tiniest

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Seven

are all standing up, belting out show tunes, every one in fine voice. They’re not all singing the same song but what they do goes together well enough. Like the dawn chorus in a rain forest. It’s loud but everybody’s singing tones you can hear if you listen, not one completely erasing another, even the smallest of the pipes needling through, drawing its own color along, discrete stitches in a dizzyingly wrought tapestry. There, if you let yourself really look. Let the ear open, let what falls in be combed and cared for and set free, so what comes next

Friday, August 10, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Six

groaning, their mouths working, their arms trembling. You try to get your pushcart through, have to bump over some limbs. “Watch the head!” somebody cries and, grimly, you lower your head and put your weight into the bar. “Whoops!” “Ow!” Then the scream and more screams. You get through that patch and sit down to fan yourself. Should you check the tires for bone fragments? Teeth? Such a thought! You check the tires. No bone fragments, no teeth. No blood. You’ve gotten through this before. It’s all a game, then, isn’t it? You check your cargo of flowers. The blossoms

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Five

deep is your knock? Fox knocks the box of clocks off its blocks. He took a knock, he took another knock, the knocks kept coming, and he kept putting them away. What are you going to do? Knock all night? Knock out the knight? Sleep under a rain of blows? Knock off early, all the while humming blues riffs, the fog gathering under street lamps like homeless auras? Nobody knows, nobody knows the trouble I’ve knocked over and left stunned in the street. Then there are the bodies volunteering as detritus, tangled and tumbled on the walk, some mumbling, some

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Four

sincere reaction. There’s a knock at the door. This knock could be the one that changes everything. Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. Who’s there? Knock knock. Who the fuck is there already! Knocks? Us! Help me, help me, help me, he said, knocking at my door. A representative from the School, the School of Hard Knocks, of course. Knock softly and carry the big knockers. He who knocks worst knocks weinerest! We who are about to knock, salute you! Knocked up, knocked down, knocked around town, and for what? All for love. All for ever-luvin’ LOVE! Knock knock. How

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Three

the boat and knocks me out of the boat. And what did my dearest beloved sister do? Let me drown? Hahaha ho ho! Not this fine specimen of amazing wonderfulness. Without a thought for herself Emily the Great the Amazing flung her body into the icy water and dragged me kicking and spluttering, blue and shivering from that cold cold water which would have been my grave.” Emily takes a long drink from her glass, puts it down and flashes her sister a gummy grin. Eula reaches for her own glass, fills her mouth, and displays her involuntary but wholly

Monday, August 06, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-Two

goes on, “and then you’ll say, That’s Emily, the greatest sister ever, did you hear how she saved me from drowning? She jumped in the water, ice cold water, it was just beside the glacier, you know how they drop big chunks in the sea, and I was so stupid like usual, leaning over the railing of the sightseeing boat, leaning way out, going Wow! and Emily, everything’s so big and white! And tall! And cold! when a big chunk breaks off the glacier and POW! the big wave from when the ice hits the water goes spwoosh! all over

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty-One

like nice people do, even if they don't care because if you don't it's like you're just mean." Emily dips a spoon into the sugar and one, two, three, four, five heaping measures drop into the bottom of a tall glass. She pours the lemonade to the rim and stirs, the silver spoon clinking against the sides, the lemonade slopping a little over the top. Eula hisses and pulls her journal away. "Who says you're not mean." Emily keeps stirring and the lemonade drips down the side of the glass. "One day I'll save you from drowning or something," Emily

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirty

say Yes Yes, I am so proud of her, she paid for every flying lesson all by herself, I didn't contribute a cent because I am very poor. And the lady will pat Mother on the arm and say, Oh you poor dear, but what an amazing daughter you have! She is a real credit to you." "Writing in your diary again?" Emily asks, coming into the kitchen and going right for the sugar bowl. Eula puts her hand over the page. "What do you care?" "I didn't say I cared," Emily returns. "I was just making conversation. You know,

Friday, August 03, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Nine

want it sweet and Emily always puts in five heaping teaspoons. Yuck!” Eula takes another sip, puckers up, puts the glass down and glares at it. “Mother says if I want flying lessons I will have to get a job and pay for them myself. See if I let her in my F-16! She can come to the air show, though. I’ll waggle my wings over head and she’ll say, There’s my girl! and she’ll nudge the lady next to her and say, That’s my Eula! and the lady will say, Oh you must be so proud! and Mother will

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Eight

first thing she writes is the date. She looks up at the calendar hanging by the refrigerator, squints. “I guess that’s right,” she says. “Not that it matters.” She writes alongside the date the word sigh and by that a circle, filling the circle in with the most basic face, two dots for eyes, a straight line for an indifferent mouth. “I am drinking the most terrible lemonade,” Eula writes and fills in the O of lemonade with two dots and a squiggly line, the mouth clearly expressing (at best) mixed emotions. “Mother says there’s the sugar jar if you

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Seven

grades on tests, snits with supposed friends, crushes (mostly faked), complaints about her sister and mother, and other stuff she can’t believe she thought could ever be interesting to anybody, even her ancient self pining for those glory days of yore. Eula bites the pen which, truthfully, exhibits evidence of having so been used before. This time it’s just a holding action, as though the pen would mosey on in no particular direction if not gently but firmly restrained. She puts down the pen and sips the lemonade, makes a face, picks up the pen and. And. She writes. The

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Six

radio on, no one’s around. She blames her sister. Why not? Emily can’t be trusted to turn off the tap when she leaves the sink, why wouldn’t she tune the radio to its most annoying station and go off to the park, tugging their sad old giant of a dog, all folds and slobber and matted white hair. Eula pours herself a glass of lemonade. It is, of course, just lemon and water, as Mother likes it. Eula does not like it. So why is she drinking it? Eula opens her diary and reads a few days of weather reports,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Five

Budoom budoom budoom. Puddy duddy dut. Dot. Tuh dut-dut dot. D’dot dot. D’dot dot. D’dot d’dot d’dot en dot en dot en puddud dot. Puddud duddot. Pud dut. D’dot. D’dot dot. En dotten dotten En dotten. Don’t you love me! Don’t you love me! Babeeeee! Ah ah ah. Don’t want your lovin’. Don’t want your lovin’. Don’t want you lovin’ meeeeee. B’dot b’dot. En dotten dotten. En dotten. Dot dot. Duh-duh duh-duh d’dot. D’dot. D’dot. D’dot. Budooooooom! Eula turns off the radio again. Who keeps turning it on? You’d think somebody was listening to it, but whenever she finds the

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Four

I understand they are exploring a new fusion they call Tight Ambient Asian Metal, and they’ll be treating us to a live in-studio performance of their “Electric Lover” and “Go Go Godzilla” mashup. “Electric Lover,” there’s a song I haven’t heard this decade. To finish off the hour, and give me a chance to clean up the Elf who seems to have turned into a puddle on the floor. What’s ‘at? You want to percolate an engine cap? Hold that thought. Let’s hear once more the lovely jazzbot stylings of Treacle and the Cellophanes. Dot dot. Dot dot. D’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’d’DOT! Dot.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Three

light tingles in a new brewski, if you catch my draft. The draftsman’s cadillac costs a penny but the craftsman’s dacillad. Thanks, folks, for tuning in to Radio TLC, Thunder, Lightning, and Change. Jack Lightning will be back tomorrow. He’s been on a sound collecting expedition to inaccessible populations of songbirds, singing natives, ancient tuned caverns, and other indescribable noise. I’m sure he’ll be sharing. Why leave us if you’re not going to bring back treats? After the news at the top of the hour, we’ll have a visit with True Kangaroo, who’ve been writing songs for a new album.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-Two

between your butt cheeks? I don’t need to be no more candy assed. But serve me right. Serve me up right. Chocolate dripping from my nipples like mama milk. Milk of chocolate magma. Didn’t you like old mama’s milk chocolate? She made a hot cha cha chocolate milk after we got her that frother that buzzed in the hand. Chocolate tastes so much better stuffed with air. Gimme that stick; I munna have another snort. Whuh!-aaahhhh. Here, you can you can you candy apple happy tapped bottle with dripping head. You can’t answer no faster than a thunder clap. The

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty-One

It’s, um, here on the bottle, it says, For Mild Megalomania. Break stick under nose. If symptoms persist and so on. Let me see that. Hmf. How much they rip you off for this junk? Would you like to read a public service announcement? Does it involve the selling of dwarves? Let me see, um, no, no in fact, it doesn’t. Does it involve the flaying of owls? Owls? Does it involve the eruption of pus? I take it, you’d rather not. I’d rather be hung by a rope liquorice over a boiling vat of strawberry syrup. With whipped cream

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twenty

after awhile, after awhile, you know, it starts to get on their nerves, then worse, until they think it’s lousy and they wish they’d never heard it. It’s like that. It’s like that with this song, you’re saying? You hate it. You wish you’d never heard it. Are you emotions getting violent? Yes, Fool. I wish now to destroy the world. Destroy it utterly! Elf! Elf! Hang on. Hey, I’ve got these smelling salts in the drawer. Hang on. It’ll just take me a second. Destroy! Destroy! Des-whuh? Where did you get that shit? Um. Mail order, I think. Yeah.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hunded Nineteen

least favorite, you know, their the ones they hate, you know, really hate, love some of them, really love, and hate some of them. Really hate. You know where I’m going with this? Don’t let me stop you. Really hate, right. Like I was going to say. Well, it’s the same song. Yup. The same song. Because, you know, people want to hear the songs they love, they want to hear them over and over, right? But some people, hearing the same song over and over, if maybe they didn’t care one way or the other about it at first,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eighteen

while I listen to sleigh bells in the snow. We interrupt the pop for an update. The news we interrupted for a moment ago is of less interest to many people than we had hoped, thus we apologize for messing with your music. Stay tuned for more shenanigans. Ding! Ding! Dong! I rather liked that song. We know. You’ve played it every day for weeks. Not every day. You might have missed a day, but I don’t think so. It’s catchy, isn’t it? Can’t stop humming it myself. You know how, when people vote for their favorite songs and their

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seventeen

and cousins and confirmed bachelors and unconfirmed idiots, love, fear, and faith. If you change your mind, I’m easy to find, cuz I’m doing time, baby! I was in jail just before we met, now I’ve agreed to plea to pay the debt. We interrupt the pop for the following news bulletin. Something has happened. A thing of much interest to many people. Stay tuned for details. Do I love you? I do! I do, I do, I do, I do. I look across the years and see the bowls full of tears that I cried for you. They glisten

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Sixteen

that pokes up from the cockpit behind the fixed wings and the blur of propeller at the fly’s nose? Green hairs lift from the birdseed boy’s head and from his arms and from his back and feet. The girl running down the street will get to the church and run up its steps and slam shut the double doors. The earth will rumble and the church blast into orbit atop the missile whose silo God kept hidden under the pews, under the hosannas and psalms, under the choir singing on Sundays and the little children and the aunts and uncles

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fifteen

picker could snatch from its intrepid twig. Suppose you saw an insect buzz away from the apple, a tiny black spot against the burling whites and grays, the watery blue. Suppose you lifted binoculars, the ones you’d just picked up from the table on the porch, a little girl running away from you down the block, passing as she does a boy molded of birdseed, and with those binoculars you looked at the defiant apple. Would you decide, after all, it was a tomato? Would you note details of the fly, the landing wheels permanently extended, the tiny head cowled

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Fourteen

“It is a tomato,” he says, if asked directly. “It is a tomato in honor of The Tomato, the Greatest Pilot in the World!” He erected a tower to raise this tomato high into the clouds. The tower was painted to blend in with the gray prairie that stretches away on all sides. If you happen to be standing under a tree, perhaps on one of those elm-lined avenues of old houses, and you look up through branches stripped naked by autumn, you may mistake the aerodrome for an apple, the sweetest apple, that one not even the deftest apple

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Thirteen

clay tablet too retro? The teletype too modern? What were the presidents, kaisers, kings, and prime ministers supposed to make of a peacock chair? And a shell-shocked private, flies swarming the blackberry juice on his head? Perhaps the message The Tomato was sending was more easily read. Did she shorten the war? I doubt it. After the armistice an American industrialist fell in love with her and dipped into his wealth to build her a mansion and out on the great plains a beautiful aerodrome. The aerodrome he constructed in the form of a tomato. Most people see an apple.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Twelve

Clutching the lock of hair in his hands, the grip getting slippier as his hands sweat, the soldier watches his mates standing at attention engulfed in flames. All that done, the god sets up her little messenger in a peacock chair woven from sheaves of wheat. She lays gently on his head a garland of thistle flowers and blackberries, the berries so ripe their purple-red juices leak onto the soldier’s pale forehead. The poor guy remembers nothing when he is discovered in the stinking, still smoking field. So it is with gods, never happy with an unambiguous message. Was the

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eleven

the other soldiers, at his commander, at the life flashing before his eyes. “Come here. I’m not going to hurt you. It’s OK.” So he walks forward. What else can he do? And everyone else feels relieved, you know, it’s not them. And the young soldier steps into the god’s open palm. She lifts him to her shoulder and whispers, “Sit. Hold onto a lock of my hair.” While he’s doing that, sitting on her shoulder holding onto a lock of golden hair, the god sets fire to the other soldiers and to all the other witnesses, including the reporters.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Ten

any odds on that. Could be you emerge from your bunker smiling and hoisting a bottle of chill champagne, its mouth bursting with foam. I’m telling you what I’m going to do, you see? What you do? How it all turns out in your personal experience? That’s for you to find out. Is it all mapped out ahead of time? Is your fate decided?” The motherly god shrugs. “I’m just giving you information.” She scratches a bare arm then looks over at a young soldier standing at attention. “Come here, honey,” she says. His eyes widen, he looks around at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thousand: Eight hundred Nine

ride my beautiful burning sun over your rivers and reservoirs until they fade to trickle and muck and the fruits of your field droop and rot. One day a shy little bolt of lightning from a modest thunderhead will spark a wildfire and that fire will rampage through your villages and light up like Roman candles the proud glass pillars of your cities. I won’t spare the innocent. I won’t set aside a place of sanctuary for the just. Some will survive. Probably not you. Or you. Or you over there. Probably you will die suffering. But I won’t lay

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Eight

the bad things those scheming wretches have been getting away with, the injustices, the indignities, the atrocities. I don’t fucking care about it. When I’m done I’ll give you a fiver and you can hire a historian. Get a microphone and put it all on tape. Don’t worry I’ll make the rest of this short. I hear another bomb blast, I see another body in the street, I hear the crackle of one more broadcast about how great thou art and what evil them be, I will take your rain. I will put it in a box. Then I will

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Seven

don’t care who hit who first. Yes, I don’t care if he raped and killed your daughter. You don’t get to bomb the fuck out of his village. And I don’t care if that one pissed on your flag. I don’t care if your feelings were hurt or your face wasn’t saved or your beach was stormed or your water ran with blood or they made a joke of your national honor or if suddenly you got really really angry and had to do something about all the bad things the other one’s been up to all this time, all

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Six

more frequently than an accounting of bullets from both sides would indicate. Might there have been a third force, one that struck without regard to flag or color? A force that sought to rid the skies entirely of violence? Using violence to eradicate violence? It would hardly be the first time that was tried. Wasn’t it the War to End All Wars anyway? Still, picture a god who came down from the stars, hand on hip, stern as a mother. “I don’t care who started it. Neither of you get to hit the other. Not even one more time. I

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Five

territory? “The breeze of freedom unfurls every flag. It shall not lift the wings of those who strive to steal it for tyrants.” Or: “Let no nation try to take the air for its own. The air belongs to every man, to every infant crying out in her crib! The air will be clear from sea level to the stratosphere; the clouds of war driving their shadows across the face of the sun shall not justify the smoke of gunpowder and the sputtering exhaust of brightly painted little fighting planes.” Sorties from all the warring parties seemed to go down

Monday, July 09, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Four

have never been able to get anything done unless I first got something else done that I’d been putting off. Make of that what you will. The Tomato was the world’s greatest female stunt flier of the barnstormer era. Secretly she also was one of the greatest fighter pilots during the Great War. It’s such a secret nobody can confirm which side she fought for. Maybe she just took down anything in the air. There are people like that. It’s a pride thing? Actually, that does sound sort of familiar. Wasn’t there a widely-circulated pamphlet that declared the air neutral

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Three

loons calling in response. The long-necked grebes like a good rubdown. Citadels of salt sparkle with the essence of envy and empathy. When you finish your cream, recycle your cup. Remember to lick your chops. Wear endless sheets of rain. Explore the renovated nuclear engine with a toothpick and wire cutters until the scene responds to the metallic ding of the retrograde hypnosphere. End nocturnal sinecure with the wild pith helmet of the mangled Watusi brothers’ costume budget. I’m going to express as best I can the importance of working through your issues and then I’ll let it go. I

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred Two

and awful things, but people especially, pointing at their tears. Leap from high places into soft objects. Cut pieces from your body, freeze-dry them, and distribute them in small glass boxes at art events. Return to nature by ingesting large quantities of ground up stone. Before swallowing wallow the grit and sand around in your mouth in order to mix it thoroughly with saliva. Write in a language you have never been exposed to and make sure you write several pages at a sitting in order to have material to declaim on a sailboat out on the lake with the

Friday, July 06, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred One

that deserve praise. Note the beauty of the dragonfly and its service in keeping a check on the mosquito. Observe the convenience of gravity. Extol the efficiencies of the central nervous system. Count your blessings, is that what I’m saying? Sure. Tote ‘em right up. Do a cost-benefit analysis. Smile more often. Do that thing you do. Dance around. Buy flowers. Drop exquisite dumps in finely crafted commodes. Refrain from poking out your eyes with burning sticks and ask others not to do so who are considering it. Never give good advice; stick to bad bad advice. Laugh at sad

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Thousand: Eight Hundred

be possible, really, don’t get your hopes up, but you never know, might as well try, if you have the time on your hands, and you feel, you know, what the heck, why not, let’s do it, and you go ahead and check out realms where our physical laws do not apply. Don’t blame me if there are bad consequences. Like ceasing to exist or whatever. I do have one piece of advice that I would like you to take to heart: Appreciate your dog. Or octopus? Appreciate your octopus. Deprecateth not thy magpie. Find in the dragon those qualities

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-Nine

dignified and contemplative manner for which the dog is known. And how useful then I should be! Such, alas, is not the case! Unless in some alternate universe I have yet to encounter. There always will be one I’ll never see. Or rather, infinity. Still, there are limits to the unlimited. Just anything can’t happen. Certain forces must be in order for things to come together. Gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, what have you. If not, pfft. Might as well not bother with those universes. If, on the other hand, you find yourself able to, which might not