Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-Five

a provincial eye that sees us so. What is the difference between a gnome in a gazebo and a leprechaun in a gazebo? The gnome brings tea. Once upon a time there was dog. The dog died. Although the death of the dog had been predicted for several weeks, had, indeed, been placed on the calendar a few days prior and notification had been sent out, and the dog had only really been alive because machines plugged into the wall were doing the job the dog’s internal organs, including its brain, had given up on, it was an occasion accompanied

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-Four

Maybe somebody will see the words, tracing on the air. Perhaps if it’s cold enough thoughts will burl up into clouds and if it gets a little colder they’ll precipitate out as rain or a little colder yet and they’ll sift softly down as snow. Each crystal unique. There’s my originality. Variations on a theme. We dissolve into the systems of the world, the stars, the universes without number, and the next thing is made from the last. We are all constructed of used parts. If we look totally new, as nothing yet seen on earth or in heaven, it’s

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-Three

myths and legends around goats, lions, and snakes, and in a way that is, perhaps, both hilarious and terrifying, tying them all together? Or is its maker merely lazy, mixing together things at hand both obvious and easy? Tyrannosaurus Rex didn’t know the feathers that made her pretty would one day help a bird fly. I don’t know if my babbling will one day feed intestinal flora, saving the lives of millions of chordates. If you babble under water do you bubble? And when each word breaks the surface does its meaning dance away over the swamp like a will-o’-the-wisp?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-Two

out of the alternatives, grabbing one history from this dimension and grafting it to another in the dimension just behind or above or the one that leaks in sometimes and looks like it’s going to take over and does or doesn’t, depending on local circumstance. I don’t know if I am creating or collaging. Is a chimera, with a head sneaked from a lion’s corpse sewn to the goat body trucked from the abattoir, a snake stapled to the ass to make a lashing tail, is this creature a creation or theft? Is its maker witty, alluding to the various

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety-One

the director? Or the key grip? A best boy would come in handy right about now. I suppose I should tell you the girl does see movement in those shadows. I suppose I should tell you that movement is the twitching of a giant spider’s leg or a leprechaun scratching a crusty chin. But it doesn’t matter. If it were an angel taking off its fingers, dusting them, then clicking them back into their sockets, it would be the same thing. You’ll have to forgive me. Sometimes I can’t take the responsibility of telling myself all the things I’m making up

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Ninety

the button she’s pushing the cat’s nose, numbers appearing as pupils in the googly white eyes. She’s turned the sound off, otherwise she would be listening to its jaunty chimes and encouraging ejaculations like, “You’re the cat’s meow!” and “Polly want a cracker, just kidding, I mean, catting!” The girl feels like she’s on a movie set. If she kicked real hard her foot would go right through these stone walls, their age painted on sculpted foam over plywood. She glances up to the shadows just inside the entrance where the line terminates. The glint of a camera lens? Where’s

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Nine

to walk down the hall, the fountain burbling away down at the end, Jesus at her side going on about how God wants this and God needs that. The women in line sigh also, a mixture of anger and resignation, of course, and the bravest or weariest grumble more loudly than they really should. One of the older of the younger girls sneaks a peek at a battery-operated digital watch the shape of an orange cartoon cat, pushing a black button to check not only the time but the time before time and the time before the time before time,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Eight

saying, gesturing at a young woman who, though veiled from head to toe, is clearly voluptuous and fine of face (or, at least, of eyes, with a demure nose that holds the lightweight veil from falling against her lips). The guardian of the gate is tired of hearing it. “God favors her, can’t you see?” Jesus says. “God wants you to let her through. And without God, without doing what God tells us, where would we be?” The guardian smiles a cold indifferent smile and with a sigh pushes herself from her chair. Lurching on her cane, the woman begins

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Seven

never mattered in the first place. Still, I’ve heard the tiniest effects add up over the great expanses of time involved in universes. I’m the proof, I suppose, although in my case, it takes several trillion alternate universes with convenient connections via a strategically discarded transdimensional shift. That plus God. You really can’t do anything without God. Ask Jesus. Here. Let’s listen in a moment. Jesus is talking to the woman who reviews the applications at the women’s gate of that mysterious city (castle?) in the desert accessible only by camel caravan or angelic transport. “Let her in,” Jesus is

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Six

and the gaudy fans of butterfly wings as they get all orgy and interspecies. Now, i suppose if people really had generalizable principles instead of situational ethics some few of you might gasp and swear never again to expose your children to such pornography. Or something. I don’t know. Am I supposed to understand? Have you ever seen angels fucking? It’s not how they reproduce. But you can never put anything past an angel. I don’t know if there are more angels than there ever were. I think they just split into ever thinner and more attenuated versions of what

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Five

to get all the way, to get it done. Flowers need butterflies as sexual partners. The butterfly sticks her tongue way down into the flower and sucks up the sugar water the flower has stored especially to tempt butterflies to land on and walk all over their sexual parts thus picking up and dropping off the powdery sperm-equivalent of the botanical world. And we love to watch. I mean, people do. Don’t they? Take big colorful photos and print them out poster-sized and tack them up on the wall and ooh and ah over the great flagrant colors of flowers

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Four

Butterflies are the reproductive stage of caterpillars. Butterflies are like the flowers of caterpillars. You know how some plants flower, go to seed, and drop dead? Butterflies are like that, or rather, caterpillars are like that, looking all vigorous and perpetual, but then, just at its peak, a caterpillar hardens into what is surely nothing other than a bud, which is confirmed by the subsequent blossoming into a lovely object everybody admires, including other butterflies. Butterflies fucking are like flowers fucking. Which, what am I talking about, is what flowers are all about anyway, right? Lotsa flowers gotta use bugs

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Three

A butterfly wobbles in, all colors spilled and splashed and folded. The butterfly transits the world, almost landing on the horn of the first angel, almost touching down on the big red comb of angel number two, dancing seductively around the pewter cowboy like a veil just starting to slip from a nipple. Finally, deliberately, the butterfly alights, hooking its slender feet onto the terrain of the comet hovering above the game. I don’t know if the butterfly is really an angel. I doubt it. Angels aren’t as nice as butterflies, and butterflies aren’t really nice, except to look at.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-Two

And on another world entirely three angels sit down to a game. One angel picks up a pewter figure of a cowboy and moves it three spaces. Setting the figurine down, the angel keeps one finger on it while reviewing the things that might result. When the angel at last is satisfied, the next angel picks up a carved figure of a dog with wings, idly rubbing its muzzle, then places it on a square marked LOSE TURN. The third angel rises and ejects from its cold mouth a comet, all dust and snow. The comet hovers over the board.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty-One

breath. Breath is the line of power that leads to your core. It is the messenger, telling the world what is within, receiving what is without. It is the power, the awareness, the first control. Who controls the breath controls the self. The self is the universe in miniature, contained, containing, infinitesimal, a sliver so minute it contains worlds. The worlds move in interlocking patterns, in independent patterns. On each world there are contending societies, harmonious communities, lost souls. Here, a dinghy under sail bounces over wind-beaten white caps. There, a river drains into sand, continuing in mazy motion underneath.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Eighty

from a pitcher that’s been cooling in the fridge, then into the nearly filled glass she adds two ice cubes. She drops in a fluorescent green swizzle stick and looks up. The tour guide smiles. The man smiles tentatively. “Will you go again?” asks the magpie. The man in the dashiki shrugs, and the old man at the next table hiccups audibly. After a moment in which the lemonade does not approach the table, the magpie cocks its head and says, “You should go back now. Would you like some shoes to take with you?” The man takes a deep

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Nine

bird was trying to sell me on lemonade.” “A lemonade then.” “A lemonade sounds worth trying. Maybe not a tizzy.” The tour guide pats the man on the shoulder. “I’ll rustle that up for you. Just relax.” He watches the guide duck through the low side entrance to the snack bar, listens as she rustles about getting together the ingredients. She stands up with two lemons in hand, slices them in half, presses each over a citrus juicer, the yellow lemon water sliding down the grooves, the seeds stopping at the grate. She puts the juicer aside and pours water

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Eight

in the pockets of his trousers. There’s a card in one of them. He pulls it out and reads it. THANK YOU FOR VISITING. PLEASE COME AGAIN. The man in the dashiki tosses the card onto the table and the magpie hops back, regards the card with a twist of its head. “Did you have a good time?” the tour guide asks, at the man’s elbow. “Would it be worth your while to return?” “That depends,” the man says. “I went on business.” “And it wasn’t a pleasure?” “It was many things.” “Would you like a soda? A water?” “The

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Seven

We have carob. We have almonds. We have dried cranberries and burnt shotgun shells. We have pizza and pizzetta and peppers. We have dog shit and glue and barbecue-flavored pickles in shoes.” The man flinches at the last word. The magpie continues, “We have shoes in the shape of Manchuria and shoes of glass and wire. We have shoes fit for a king’s heel and comforting to a pauper’s corns. We have shoes of brown and shoes of white and shoes of.” “Brown and white?” the man says. He pats the dashiki, feels for pockets that aren’t there. He fumbles

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Six

he says. “I. Yes. I think. No. I don’t wear. I don’t.” He rubs his eyes with the backs of his hands. “I have to sit down.” He goes to one of the chairs by the snack bar. The old man hiccups. He smiles at this man in the colorful blouse. The man in the colorful blouse doesn’t notice. The magpie jumps down to the table and waddles over. “You come from the other way?” the magpie says, not really asking. “Want a chewy bar? Lemonade? Lemon tizzy? Lemonade verity? Lemon in the hole? Bar of chocolate and peanut butter?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Five

the end. He didn’t work his way here across the moor or the prairie or the desert. She would have seen him. From its perch on the back of a chair the magpie also is checking out the new arrival, turning its head one way and the other. “May I help you?” asks the guide, standing back up on the boardwalk, brushing the wrinkles from her skirt. The man scratches his chin, which has enough beard on it to be a start. He squints. “Have you misplaced your glasses?” For the first time the man orients on the speaker. “Ah,”

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Four

hours, you come upon a path. Suddenly the going is easier, and you think, Of course! Whoever made this path knew the best way through. And maybe you get suspicious when to one of the path’s many mires you lose a shoe. But does this misfortune shake the idea that the path was planned? Perhaps you were set up. First shoe, then soul, and down to your doom you go. It’s no longer the shoe that fits, but its loss. What could surprise you? An iced beverage? A gleaming tree? The tour guide eyes the surprise. He didn’t come to

Friday, June 08, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Three

and you see them coming from a long way off. You can prepare. You can get things ready that need getting ready. Like a quip, a sarcastic aside, a gun cleaned and loaded. They come at a familiar rate. It’s predictable. You can tell yourself this and think of the days going by and not shocking you. How many surprises are there in life? You sense a pattern, you go with it. If there’s a path, you follow it, figuring whoever made that path had a reason to. After you’ve been slogging through the high grass and bog for two

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-Two

the additional paycheck will make sure there’s food on the table for the little ones, besides there’s a comet flaring in the night sky which must be an omen that your education really will have no meaning in the end so you might as well live for today and so forth. From this or another reverie the tour guide raises her eyes to see a somewhat disheveled man in a dashiki, linen trousers, and sandals carved from old tires. Typically it’s from a long way off you see those bound for the end of the world. You see them coming,

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy-One

So, because it seems to her she needs them to, she burns those herbs again, pulls their damp smoke into her lungs, and waits for something to happen. Eventually she remembers to breathe out. It took an effort there to remember. So. That’s something, isn’t it? Something happening? You know, how time draws out and you feel like whole lives have been lived out between breaths? You know, somebody could have been born, gone to elementary school at least through the sixth grade, dropped out to go to work in a factory because the family has hit hard times and

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Seventy

ready for a nap, frankly. Ready for the world to get done ending, quit with all the starting up again. Every fucking day with the starting up again. There’s an end to things. There’s somebody to start it. Not you. She looks at the burning tip of the cigarette, the cherry, her schoolmates called it. Isn’t that light supposed to travel into her and perform its magic? A red light, warmer than you’d want. The light goes out if she doesn’t bring to it a new flame. The herbs, or whatever are in this, don’t burn unless they have to.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Sixty-Nine

with the ancestors now. When the friend lowers her voice and adds, “That means they’re all dead. That’s the way she talks,” the tour guide rolls her eyes but takes the cigarettes because they work and if she has to listen to the mumbo-jumbo in order to get the goods, well, whatever. She’s heard worse nonsense. She closes her eyes and lets slowly out through her nose the smoke that lingered in her lungs. The smell reminds her of a bog. Considering that it’s smoke isn’t it a little weird there’s such a thick feel of damp to it? She’s

Thousand: Seven Hundred Sixty-Eight

end of her cigarette. There are a few shreds of tobacco in the cigarette. But mostly it's other stuff that improve one on another or join together in ways that make life at the end of the world an unending riot of simple pleasures and relatively painless small stresses. She's been getting the cigarettes from a friend who knows a friend who makes regular visits to an old crone in the woods. The woman scours the woods, the friend says, knows all sorts of lichens and fungi and flowers and knows them like nobody except her teachers who are all

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Thousand: Seven Hundred Sixty-Seven

by my name and it'll turn my head, yes, sure. I'm not shy to say so. Call me if you will. Call at twelve o'clock with the sun high, call at twelve with the moon, and, ah, what a fine warble my telephone is trained to, voice like an angel, or me, when I'm feeling musical, which isn't often, except many times a day when it's a day like that. I will close my eyes and listen because it is so beautiful, the song you bring into my life by calling me." The tour guide taps the ash off the

Thousand: Seven Hundred Sixty-Six

extensive passages in a liltingly sarcastic twitter. How much of what the bird declaims actually is in the manual can be proven only by recourse to the manual, and good luck with that. Trust the magpie. Yes, go ahead and trust the magpie. That's really what everybody should do. The magpie prides itself on precision. And as long as we're talking about the magpie you may as well know it prefers to be called the General. General Sir. "Yes. Sir! That's what you should call me. Sir! Call me Sir and you will get my attention. General Sir. Call me