54 Stories by D. Austin Nash
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It comes alive sometimes
It was late at night, year 1385 in the European countryside, palace of Saxon King Edmond Ironside, and Hitard; joculator; unruly sot; sat alone in his dank stone quarters under the palace main. A storm was blowing up and the horses in the stable were restless. His stones bled with condensation that made mold grow on anything that sat still too long. Hitard bred moss hybrids on his spare time. The torch glowed faintly near the vacuum flue, and Hitard had another tug at his jug; the crowns finest, golden and smooth. This was one of the few perks of Fooling for his most holier than God. Fat assed bastard, thought Hitard.
The King was very fond of Hitard. He belly laughed so hard whenever Hitard entered the room that he had hurt his obese royalness several times from falling hard from the throne. The Queen, unfortunate as she may be, maintained a velvety royal blue beauty challenged by few, and rivaled by fewer. She had any beautiful woman the knights of the castle found promptly laid good and proper and then put to the block. Beautiful, however ruthless she may be.
Hitard's coat sparked brightly laced fabrics, woven tight to the body in every way, and streamers flying from the shoulders. Hitard was considered very well hung, and this was prone to elicit many good jokes from himself, as well as the Kings guests and royal court members. Everybody loved dick jokes. Hitard stood in his quarters and opened the slit
in front of his hose and got out his dick. He placed on it the diamond studded sheath that he was now required to sport at the insistence of the Her Majesty, Lydia. Anything you say honey. The Queen acted as if she hadn't had a good lay for quite some time. Mother of three daughters, the youngest three herself, she probably hadn't. The King had all but given up on her loins, and who would want it from that drunken, food loving, horse sucking, fox hunting, crown wearing, do no work, eat a side of pork, cavorting royal bath bastard anyway. There hadn't been a good war in quite a while.
Hitard closed the heavy door to his quarters, and jingled his bell wearing ass up the stairs to flop yet another performance before his tremendous hinie. He was a bit drunk on the mead, but as long as he was less so than the King, Edmund would not notice. He pondered his life here and ran over for the thousandth time how and why the hell he had ended up here. Hitard had been born of high Fool blood, son to William Kemp, master Foyle, and 'invited' to the palace at the Kings request, during the insurgence of the literate priests. The priests had taken measures over the last decade to ban Ly Ffolcefeste and the other winter games and dances led by Fools of the countryside, where the Fools originated from. They were finally making progress, since they represented a large percentage of the populace who could read and write. Only in such instances as entertaining royalty was fooling still permitted since being pronounced a seventh part of humanity the year before by some asshole claiming to be a genius by the name of Chump, or Chaucer, or something close to that.
"You there! Fool picking mushrooms this fine day!" said the gallant knight from astride his dark raving mount.
"Watch who you're calling fool, lest I should jam that...sword? Yes...you have a sword. I have a basket and a stick." Hitard pondered. "Yes oh great and shining knight! To whom do I owe the pleasure?"
"To Saxon King Edmond Ironside, you owe the pleasure. He has requested your presence at the royal palace to be a member of his privy entourage. Sir Baskin! Fetter this roach."
"Fetter this fucker," Hitard gave him the finger. Sir Baskin fingered Hitard back and beat him senseless with the flat of his blade. He had the better finger, being that it was covered in shiny metal. Pure class.
Hitard stood at the doorway at the top of the stairs and recounted the properties of de Cusa's Coincidentia Oppositorum theory. It claimed that the greatest being can be nothing more than great and nothing less, lest he not be the greatest being. And likewise, the least being cannot be neither greater nor less, that he not be the least being. This made the greatest and the least equal, and gave the fool the right to represent God. This gave him freedom to speak with some immunity before the Court. It meant to Hitard that
he could insult the King and be laughed at by him. It really took the punch out of a good insult and made his humiliation even a greater force. Luckily for Hitard, his humility was at an all time high, and self esteem at a low. They worked well together this way.
Hitard swung his juggling balls and bauble over his shoulder in their lambs hide bag, three string in the other hand, and stepped into the court. He was just in time to see ol' Ironside ride in on his rain sodden roan and drunkenly dismount. The stallion crapped on the flag stones.
The King turned and balled out some of his henchmen for disrupting his evening bath where he was screwing two of the royal bathers. He ordered them out and a flagon of mead in. They turned to leave. The Queen sat complacently and crossed her legs high in a rich green velvet gown split high on all sides and showing plenty of flank in the warm summer wind of the open air court. Hitard had a good view at this under the roans belly and around its cock. On a good wind, the rain dusted into the court like ghostly drapery over a western facing window.
"And clean the shit off the floor that my horse dropped, or I'll have your heads!" The henchmen stopped and turned to face the throne.
"Yes Sire." They said in unison, and turned again to leave.
"Wait..." The henchmen turned and faced the throne. "Nevermind...just get out!" They left.
"Ah, Joculator my finest friend! I am so glad to see you. I've had so rough a day. I was thrown during the foxhunt, lost a joust to that bastard Baron Fukalot over the hill in the vale, and have had no PIECE from Queen Lydia all the day long," he winked at Hitard. The Queen stirred in her throne and continued her steady gaze with hands folded in her lap. She nodded acknowledgment to the Jester, and the Jester to her. She always remained quiet in public, as a good Queen would, but the King be hanged if she was the same in settings of greater privacy.
Hitard went into his routine:
"I have something special for you tonight Sire," said the jester. "A bit of a story, and a little song, not unlike you have seen or heard before. But I shall do it while glugging your glog." Hitard grabbed the Kings flagon, bit into the rim and threw his head back and guzzled with no hands and struck up a song on the fiddle. He sang into the bubbles while the mead ran down over his face, drenching both man and accompanying raiment.
I once was a lonely sort,
rescued from love by this court,
I'd be not so happy
to give up my life,
If not for the turns
that I get at your wife!
And the mead was gone.
"AAAAHHHHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA H. OOOOOhhhhhhh HA HA...ofhglurg- chougfua- slap slap slap. Ohhhh, my gut. Hahahahahahahaha." The Kings face began to redden, he watered from the eyes. "You have what I need joculator, or e-joculator or whatever."
"Right. Retard. Hahahah ah ahhaahhaaa."
Jerk off, thought Hitard. He gave a wink to the Queen. She smiled and put a kerchief to her lips and pretended to cough. The King regained composure and sent out for more mead. He was well on his way and assuring an early night. The harder he laughed, the more his blood rushed, and the faster he drank the mead. He was an easy drunk for his size. Soft. Too soft. Hitard could and had drank him under the table on many occasions. Hitard had gotten drunk enough one time to take the dining table and pee in the mead bowl. Ironside was drunk enough to have him fettered for the remainder of the evening and promptly flogged naked before the commoners at the gate at sunrise. Even though these floggings were commonplace, Hitard held this against the bastard, and got in his licks to make himself feel better in less obvious ways. Don't fuck with the law and its ensuing laws, fuck with the ones they love.
"Sire, what do you call a King loosing a joust on a donkey?" asked Hitard.
"Ha ha. I'm afraid...hahahahah...to ask. Ohhh, oh oh oh..."
"Throne on his Ass." came the reply.
"AAAAHHHHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA H. OOOOOhhhhhhh HA HA...ofhglurg- chougfua- slap slap slap. Ohhhh, my gut. Hahahahahahahaha." Edmond gagged for a moment and burped up some spit on his burgundy tunic. Tell me another, tell me another!! The Queen rolled her eyes a bit, in pure disgust. The King bounced a loud fart off of the polished granite throne.
Hitard contemplated his next move. That joke was stupid! Some nights he could tell Edmond anything and he would laugh. Hitard really wanted to put one on the scepter sucker and finish him off. This would be a record. A mere ten minute performance, and then onto the real staples of life.
"Yes bard. ANOTHER FLAGON OF MEAD, MAIDEN!! Ha... haha. hoooo. Yes what is it next?"
"What did your mother say when she found out she was pregnant with you?" asked Hitard.
"Don't tell me. I should have jumped up and down more afterward?!! Ha ha ha ha ha."
"No. But I wish I'd thought of that," Hitard said in slight disappointment. "She said 'the Friar told me I wouldn't get pregnant in the ass'."
"AAAAHHHHHHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA H. OOOOOhhhhhhh HA HA...ofhglurg- chougfua- slap slap slap. Ohhhh, my gut. Hahahahahahahaha."
Hitard did two back flips with the fiddle in one hand and a mead in the other, slipped on the horse shit, and fell and hit his head. The fiddle followed up and came down on his nose. He sat up dazed with blood dripping down over his lip. That was the one. What a stupid ogre. Saxon King Edmond Ironside fell from the throne and puked all over himself and lay there moaning with a spilled flagon of mead running down the gray stained steps of the throne. Hitard staggered to his feet and walked a few circles. The Queen was there just in time to catch him before he fell and hit his head again. She took charge.
"GUARDS! Take his royal asshole to his quarters," she yelled pointing to Edmond. "You know what to do. I had new straps made for the posts so he can't get up or fall out again," she added.
"Yes my liege."
Queen Lydia helped Hitard, forgetting his lambskins and fiddle, down the slippery steps to his dark quarters. She set him in the oak chair with a jug of fresh mead that had three x's on it, and he began to rouse. He drank heavily from the jug and wiped the blood from his face, replaced the cork. She re-lit the candles and torch.
"Jesus. Where am I?"
"Where do you think?"
"Hell." he said, looking around with glazed eyes. One eyebrow twitched, and he thought 'what if it never stops'.
"No silly. You are right where I want you. You'll be good...fine, I mean," said Lydia.
"Are you a seraph? Come to take me away from my dreams of cold frogs and empty playgrounds?"
"I'm a seraph, but I'm taking you someplace different."
"Ohhhhh no. No you don't. My head hurts like I hit it on some flagstones after a magnificent back flip and slipping on some horse shit."
"Who's the Queen around here?"
"Well...you I guess?"
"You guess?" Lydia added accusingly.
"Look. I've just had a rough spill. You'll have to forgive me."
"Oh I will. But not for free e-jack-ulator."
"Please, call me retard."
"I didn't mean now."
Queen Lydia, decorated in green velvet, dripping with lurid jewelry among the stars against a coat of black underground, paced across the stone floor several times, and began breathing as if she was blowing smoke centuries old. She stopped with the left foot swung up on the arm of the chair occupied by Hitard, and looked down at him with a commanding glare and slid the velvet over the inside of her upturned thigh. She began to unclasp the jewelry around her wrists and at the nape of her neck and dropped them in the bards lap around his already tight hose, while the candle light told stories of darkened horror and old love the same. Hitard looked down at the gems, and then back up at Lydia, like a retard. His hands still on the arms of the chair. One with a flagon of mead. He popped his cork and had a good pull.
Lydia dropped the green robe at the waist and started on the buttons at her bosom. She smiled down a wicked smile at the jester. Not from the Gods. They were afraid of here in times like this. She had on no undergarments, and stepped the left foot forward dropping the cloth to the dampened floor, and pulled Hitard toward her. Hitard dove into
her virtue, and his thoughts began to spin as usual. He had dreams of heaven, picnics in the countryside, and his head on the block at sunrise in front of the assholes he hated. Everybody.
She began to moan and rock, Hitard worked harder. His tongue began to tire and numb at the feeling of a nine volt battery pressed to it. Come on Hitard...complete the circuit or it'll be your head. He dug harder. Then the ax fell. She pulled at his ears. He pulled at her ass. Hitard got a few unneeded bucks on his nose. She stepped back, staggering and gasping, much unlike one would expect from a queen. She grabbed at the jug, blissfully in her rapture, and had a good hook.
Lydia staggered the room a few more times, lighting a fag. She breathed more smoke, like a she dragon guarding a daughters virtue, and undid the last button at her shirt waist. She turned to Hitard naked, who was dazed and had sprung the slit in his hose, exposing the delicately studded sock. She was displaying only the mint green ribbons flowing from her hair around her shoulders, and thunder rolled in through the echoing stone chambers and down into the ground. She made it. "On the rags e-jack-ulator!!" she ordered and pointed.
"Can I take it off this time?" the jester asked with eyebrows raised in plead.
"Of course...not dummy. I juggle the balls around here," she chimed. "What if I was to get pregnant by you and have a child."
Dummy? That had really hurt. Fool; retard; e-fuckin-jack-ulator; clown; sot; he had heard it all. But just plain dummy? Hitard thought of his brothers and sisters, his momma, the trees he used to climb as a child to drop lard on the heads of unsuspecting knights. He daydreamed a scene where he was king and spanking her.
"It would slide out of your crack, do three backflips, grab a jug of mead, tell a few jokes, and then get to be king on top of it all. It wouldn't be so bad," Retard replied.
"No. I don't think so."
"And what would my subjects say."
"Come on. You know who's drunk and who calls the shots around here. Speaking of shots," Lydia had another hook from the jug.
"You're all I've ever wanted in a woman" said Retard looking up at her admiringly.
"I know. Your almost everything I've wanted in a lay." she came back.
At that Retard jumped up and grabbed him some queen, and worked her back against the rags. He had that diamond hard up and in and worked it slowly at first. He gradually
picked up the pace, like the bullshit, and Lydia worked her legs in the air, gyrating a wet spot on his pad, and ripping yet another pair of Hitards hose. She screamed several times and Retard stickied up his red, yellow, and blue checkered cock slip thanking God, whoever that really was, that he had survived another ride on the queen of Dingleberry, and rolled off to the side.
Lydia dressed with what she wanted, some clothing and some pride at her once again successful manipulation of her favorite sucker. He was much easier than the others, she thought. When it gets boring, I'll have him put on the block. She wiggled it up the dank steps turning and blowing Hitard a kiss, with her velvet strung paleness, and her satisfaction of being the greatest ruled by the least. They were equals. They were God. Fuk..... .. ... .. .
The night I burned a highway
She came up from Northwest Ohio in her daddies
powder blue pickup and we drove around Southwest
making video tapes of property her old man had just
it was 10:30 pm when traffic came to a still on
a car in the slow lane was burning with fury
burning thirty feet high
and there were many lights, glorious lights
fire trucks and police cars and much
and I grabbed her around her shoulders and kissed her
and she said
'that's the first time you've kissed me since I showed up
six and a half hours ago'
and I wiggled her skirt up and peeled her panties back
and sat her in my lap
and managed to work it in with a little help
and I felt like it was me on fire
I felt like I was eight years old
watching lightning bugs on my ceiling
that I had let out of the jar, grass on the floor
on the night before the 4th of July
and I worked it and watched the sparks soar high
over her shoulder and through her sweet blond hair
and felt the lightning bugs around me
and for the first time
in a long time
I felt good
exploding overlooked firecrackers
in the belly of my soft young lover
July 5th, 1988
Cover my eyes
Opening and only act: She said, "You want to fuck me? O.k. But this time I don't want the serum, I want information." And I thought that figures you bitch. But it was only a comic and I was feeling good sitting after work with a Heavy Metal mag, a boner, and a scotch. I was wondering what other people do with their time not spent sleeping, eating, shitting, or working. They probably sit around wondering what people do with their time not spent watching TV.
I made my way to the front stoop of the apartment building I live at on Commonwealth Ave. across the street from where the Aerosmith guys used to live; right between the two largest beer stores I had ever seen. I was thinking how I may never move away from them when I looked down at the usual time, at my usual spot and noticed a Polaroid photograph face down on the step. Right on my fuckin spot! The insolence was astounding. It had just finished raining and being the observant detective type that I am I noticed that it was not wet. A curious thing. I sat down pondering the dangers of curiosity and recounted the many scenes in history where our favorite hero, not to mention countless pussies, had gotten himself in a shit heap of trouble, usually at the hands of some fine dame, by merely acting out the small play that is scribed in prompt to when the unknown or mysterious offers to let itself be known. It's a simple piece. It goes like this: should I? shouldn't I? should I? shouldn't I? Probably should.
Hold it! I thought. Let's sit a minute and ponder the consequences. I could be a picture of Medusa come to make me hard, or it could be a picture of our glorious president white knuckling a podium while his wife screws sad America, or a picture of a barge painted red and white being tugged into the Boston harbor at dawn. It could be a dead bloated possum lying in the road. No...this is the city. Of course it has to have people in it, and if not people, roads and buildings, or probably all three. A large brown ant crawled across the picture and stopped in the middle and feelered around a bit. It reared on its hind four legs and another appeared out of nowhere. They slowly circled and feelered each other. This is getting good, I thought. I've always been one to worship, or at least pay close attention to, the sexy language of instinct. So pure and cut clean and hard of modern tribal gamesmanship. One ant climbed atop the other and I reeled back, almost in laughter but more in surprise. It looked like they were doing it! Well god damn, that looked easy enough. I may have to start my own ant farm soon. Plenty of sugar and dead shit around.
Enter Kathryn. Kathryn lives above the doorway on the second floor and works for a hospital. She's trying to get into medical school. Probably be rich one day. She looks like she'd make a fine candy striper. I saw a movie called 'Candy Stripers' once. Much to smart for that however. Pretty too. Probably be able to work her way closer to the top if you hear me. DO YOU HEAR ME? Kathryn just showed up on the side walk in front of me in the manner accustomed to most situations plagued by entropy and chance. I
never saw her coming and when she was there I was not surprised. She sat down and looked over my shoulder. Scene two:
"Hi", she said.
"Hello", I said.
"Reading a magazine" she asked.
"Yup, readin a magazine", I answered. "Where'd you come from?"
"Next building over. My friend Tawny lives there, she likes to take pictures of people."
"Doing what?" I asked.
"Whatever. It's just for fun. I let her use me sometimes. You sit here every day," she reminded. "Same time too."
"Almost. It's my spot. Better than in my apartment. I need it for a sanity break. You know...watch people and such. This side walk is like a circus most of the time."
"Right. I noticed. I prefer a little insanity--i give into it easily. I can't get it out here though."
"Where do you get 'it'?" I asked provokingly.
"Well...actually I could get 'it' here. But 'it' isn't specific enough of an entity. I'm not really sure what 'it' is right now you dirty boy."
Great. Fine start. This is what I thought I would do. Congruent with the irrational logic of things and the way they occur, I had long ago decided that there is no sense in being prepared for any given situation. More like one made of a situation what one was ready for at any time. If one was by nature ready for nothing?--that's it! Nothing is its own end result. This is an excellent measure of reactivity. A way to tell if you're thinking ever or at all and whether you have the wherewithal to follow through. A test so to speak. I have an idea that the game of golf is fun, but I think it should be played without ever practicing. See who can shoot the best over the concourse of a six pack, striving to so gently take the aggravation out of something so inherently pleasant, relaxing and...rewarding? Maybe so.
But anyway. This is what I thought I would do. Start her off with a little something that will make me sound intellectual and mentally mature and at ease with myself. Teach her to play a little golf for fun. Start her out with the irons, and slowly work her into the woods. Heh, heh. I'd ask her what she thought of virgin evenings, and of Liszt sailing across rooftops on hot summer nights; what she does when she can't sleep at 3 am, and which is the most famous morning in her life. How did her last pet die, and what would she like for another. I would slowly move her into something even a little more ambiguous and sexy that could, if the frame of mind was right, elicit simultaneous biochemical responses congruent to my own, and possibly her, desires which would leave us spending a well bred evening up against the springs.
"Look at these two ants," I said pointing at the picture.
"Are they eating each other?" she asked.
"I don't think so. They skipped that. I think there fucking," I answered.
"I thought only the queen ant fucked," she said.
"Maybe so. But it takes two to fuck. This is our world anyhow, not theirs. Let's make up our own scenarios."
"Ok." Kathryn agreed easily.
I was off to a terrific start. I could feel her writhing in the crushing grips of my romantic gloves. My plan was changing already as plans are less often made as they are evolved. A wise man knows this. The ants pushed each other back and forth across the Polaroid picture. Neither one dominating or relenting.
"I once heard of a man keeping six women satisfied at the same time using both of his feet, his hands his tongue, and his 'yoo hoo'," Kathryn announced. "And that ant has six legs alone."
"Maybe he needs a few more friends."
"Maybe we all do," she said.
"I don't know about that. Before I moved to Boston I had plenty of friends. When I got here and didn't know anybody, and didn't make any friends I realized that I really appreciated my time alone. I find friendship a little to conditional these days.
Friends are supposed to unconditional. At least the real lasting ones. What would I do with a bunch of friends anyway. I will admit though, there are times when I want from somebody something I can get without them being a real friend. I know this sounds selfish, but I really think that most of the time that's what people are looking for. It's a sad life sometimes."
"I disintegrated the relationship I had with a pretty boy in upstate New York three months ago. He was my best friend for a time, but now there's only a few things I miss about him," Kathryn said thoughtfully.
"Can I ask what those are?" I asked.
"No." She said. "There are a few situations that loose there luster when they are spoken about. They are best found out on their own." She said.
Kathryn moved over a little closer for a better look at the ants. The picture lay between my legs face down and I realized that until now I hadn't actually been that awful curious over its contents. She put her hand on my back and leaned over a little farther. No you sickos, that's not what I'm getting at. It was purely an innocent movement. And of course I had no ill intentions. I'm too wise to be suckered in that easily. I know how to spot a woman who talks a good game. Me? There was a day when I would say, if there's grass on the infield--I'll play ball. Oh baby. Now I mostly keep them away with gin and skinny cigars. It's lonely sometimes, but much easier on the piece of mind. I have a theory on piece of mind. There is only so much of it to go around. In order to gain some,
somebody else has to loose some. Like money, time, and love, it is much more easily lost than gained. Drop a nickel and somebody else will pick it up with more ease and grace than that with which you dropped it. Keep that shiny little fucker if you can.
Anyway. She put her hand on my back, looked at the ants in wonder, sat up looking me straight in the eye and said "Sometimes I watch you sitting out here at dusk." She was nervous and looked like she was trying to be brave. I wanted to tell her that if she knew me better, she would realize that it was easy to be brave in front of me, but the constraints of my man wouldn't allow for that. I didn't know what to say, I thought about picking my nose while being 90% sure nobody was watching, and I decided to keep it simple and said:
"What do you see me doing?" I said in failure.
"You don't do much. You look at all of the women who have something to look at. Actually you look at all of them no matter what. And you read and drink out of a small glass."
"Is that all?" I asked.
"Well...you scratch yourself and pick your nose a little."
"God damnit," I said.
"I can only see you from above. Up there from my window," she said pointing to heaven. "Don't worry about it too much. I'm less dangerous with what I see than what I think. "By the way--what's the picture of? Kathryn inquired.
"Don't know actually. I havn't looked at it. I guess I'm having too much fun wondering what's on it. And the ants--you know. I didn't want to interrupt. Oh...look. They're done and apparently going home."
"To where they can get a little more privacy--and leverage." She said laughing. "So what do you think is on it."
Kathryn had been sliding her hand up and down between my shoulder blades for the last few minutes and to my surprise, I was getting a bit clammy on the palms. This vixen is feeling a little playful today, I thought. Maybe the infield needs mowing.
"What's on the picture, strangely enough, is the least important thing. What's important is that we don't know. This way, it becomes a channel for imagination. This one picture becomes a thousand pictures. Much more than it would be if we looked at it. But since you asked, I'm debating between several possibilities. One a woman in 1947 hanging by one hand out of a street trolley in Coply square with a Pall Mall in her mouth and a yellow and white checkered sundress on. Like a picnic blanket with a little extra sunshine. Several young gentlemen on the street are giving her a good looking over and she knows it. They're waiting for a breeze to blow up her skirt a little like that old photo
of M.M. She's waiting for it too...but with the subtle knowledge that she has sewed ball bearings into the hem to avoid such a spectacle. This is how the waiting and the game being played lasts for eternity. It carries over through the centuries, surviving because it is never resolved and we are not able to stop playing."
"Is she naked underneath?" Katherine asked with a girlish smile.
"Yes--I suspect so. I bet her mom doesn't know," I added.
"Neither does mine," Kathryn stated, still smiling.
I grasped the hem of her skirt and began to lift it and she pulled away playfully and slapped me on the shoulder. It was worth a try. She was getting braver by the minute. I'm thinking right now of how I would like to spend the rest of my evening. I decide to play it cool as I was having fun regardless.
"Another possibility is an aerial shot of two lovers under the sun on a blanket in the middle of a field a mile square. Of course an aerial shot would be impossible in that it is taken from less than a hundred feet away. But is our world remember?"
"Yep...I remember," Kathryn agreed.
"The field is evenly overgrown with that knee high grass. The sort that looks like wheat but never turns brown. Only dead things turn brown, and almost all dead things do. The man has only his shorts on and a forearm across his brow. The woman has on a yellow and white checkered dress with the straps slid dangerously down over her shoulders. It's probably the same woman...I guess. She gets around. They appear to be recent participants in love making. There is an empty wine bottle laying on its side and a small red stain on the blanket in the shape of a heart. They aren't really in love. Just starved people feeling full for a moment." This was the picture I painted.
"That's a really nice thought," Kathryn said, nonchalantly replacing the hand on my back. "Would you like to hear what I think it is?" she added.
"Only if it's dangerous," I said.
"It certainty is," she said straightening herself and a strap of her dress that had slid down her arm. There's a maiden fair and buxom. A classical type. Her party was raided by bandits on the way to her pre-arranged marriage and she escaped by crawling through dense underbrush. She is lost and it's raining. She's afraid and sitting huddled against the trunk of a great tree and she doesn't know if anyone else is alive. Her yellow and white checkered dress is dirty and torn. It's a little misty and the rain is dripping off of the leaves into her eyes. In the background, silhouetted against an opening to the sky, there is a man on a wiry stallion sitting still and looking at her as if he were deciding what to do with--or better yet TO her." Kathryn didn't look up for approval. She just
stared down at the photograph on the concrete step. It looked like the lost wing of a dead dove there all alone. Just a wing...
"That is also a beautiful thought Kathryn," I said putting my own arm around her small shoulders. "A little eerie, and possibly violent, but very stimulating. But what if that's not it?" I asked.
"Then I know exactly what it is."
"You think so?"
"Yes--I do." She said with assurance.
"It's something a little more real. Something closer to the body and to life. It's a girl who grew up in Paris. Her father was a famous symphony conductor and fell in love with one of his cellists. He left the girl and her mother and the mother took to the streets to make enough money to keep them going. When the girl, began to follow in her footsteps and became anguished and was abused by evil men in the city, they moved to where the mother's sister lived in San Diego. The girl ran away at nineteen and went East where she was able to go to music school with a little help from her guilt ridden father. She is sitting with a friend on the steps of an apartment building not wanting love or sympathy or anything of that sort. She just wants somebody to touch her. There's piano music playing in the background."
We sat quiet for a few minutes looking at the picture. The heroes were all dead, and the ants had crawled away. The air was now still and we sat with an arm around each other thinking about a picture of our own lives. Were they on the Polaroid on the step, and did it matter. A snapshot is a moment in time, but maybe we had discovered something more real. There seemed to be nothing alive that I could see except Kathryn and I. It's funny how the imagination of two people can feed off of itself. Before Kathryn sat down, there was nothing in my head that made me feel good. I was actually considering insulting somebody for no good reason. Now I sat contemplating everything and anything and my mind raced over hills and through trees. It felt dangerous. It felt good. It had been so long since I felt. I was washed over with empathy and a longing to make people remember times that made them feel good and bad. I wanted to make somebody happy. To give them a part of myself asking nothing in return. To do somebody else's bidding not even because I wanted to, but because I had to. To avoid falling down and denying somebody else their will. I felt like the Gods wanted me to. I wanted to touch someone.
I looked at Kathryn and she was already looking at me. She averted her eyes to the cement and the picture and we were both uncomfortable, both feeling that we had connected with something and searching for a joke to ease the truth. I wanted out and I didn't. It was just a lull in an otherwise surreal and most un-calculated confrontation. I needed something to save me. A loud bell, a sprint for the woods, the ability to fly and disappear over the buildings, or to take her down right there and pull the trigger. And
then she did it as if in answer to my gutlessness. Kathryn stood up and took hold of the back of my shirt and pulled me up with her ringing a slight friction burn around my neck.
I followed. There was no way I was not going to do it. She led me into the foyer, put her arms around my neck, and kissed me and kissed me again.. She was shorter and on her toes and wouldn't stop for anything. Not even when the pizza man came and asked intrudingly if we could let him in. He ended up letting us in. I didn't know where I was. She led me upstairs to that window overlooking Commonwealth Ave and she let her dress slip to the wood. She wasn't wearing anything under it. No ball bearings rattled to the floor. I hate to say it, but we went to the stars and back, and such a beautiful view. She left a picture of the Earth in my mailbox saying 'I wish you were here'. I left one in hers saying 'I am'.
In the morning on my way out to work, I stood on the stoop feeling tough. The photograph was still there, I was still alive--and feeling more like it. It's amazing how in the city people leave things alone. Everybody so close together, they think every piece of garbage belongs to someone else and that they might be caught touching it. I decided to loose a round and picked up the picture. It was a picture of me taken from the building next door, through the window, and I was sitting on the couch with a Heavy Metal mag, a boner, and a scotch. And somehow I knew a woman had taken it--a woman wearing a yellow and white checkered dress, with a strap slipping down over her eyes.
i need these things to kill me
My favorite women are the ones that I used to fight with. Out loud or to myself. There
weren't many but they were strong. Maybe stronger than me.The first and favorite to rip
my heart out was Joby. Strange name I thought. Turned out to be an equally strange girl.
She was brash and beautiful, tough, and drunker than me. She once asked me how many
girls I had slept with and I lied and told her four. She was embarrased and I could tell
she wished she hadn't brought it up. When I asked her the same, she wouldn't tell me. I
was 19, and she never did. That hurt.
Somehow most of my girlfriends have had a name starting with J. There was the first,
and there was Jamaica, jennifer (two of them), Judy, and Jackie. A few others escaped
this raw pattern. The toughest of them all was Jamaica. She was 19, and I was a late 23.
She had pale white skin, raven hair, was a bit sickly and wicked, and she nearly killed me
in only two months. She spent her time as a child reading indoors, wrote beautiful
words, and contemplated sucide at several points in her life. I always admired her
boldness and selfish grasp on her own identity. I guess it's because it was something I
didn't have for myself. Now she's on Prozack and feeling better I think.
She didn't like crowds or any amount of people for that matter. She was beautiful, and
she liked to be tied up and blindfolded. If I told you that there was a time when I had
flowery panties and black thigh highs on, I wouldn't believe it. It was my only experience
with her kind and I'm still not sure what I think of it. When she was finished with me I
felt inferior to her and hated her for making me feel that way. It seemed as though I had
ridden on her veil as she experienced life and I fed off of the crumbs as they fell from her
She whispered to me late at night when the birds were still and the clawed trees slept. A
cool moisture disturbed the thin drape over the window and she spoke of fears and
fantasies to which I could only struggle to feel. She parleyed her desire to slip unnotice
and barefoot into the woods in Saginaw, Michigan and freeze to death in the midst of
January. The warmpth in her body fading to a core as she quietly submissed to the cold
and sleep. January is a beautiful word. If I ever have a little girl, I will name her
The time I remember the most was when she said she felt a strange desire to give herself
to me in pink, and she had never worn pink before in her life. It painted a shiny picture
of steel and cotton to my forehead. She imagined my late arrival to find her asleep in a
chair in a frail pink gown. The ribbon in her hair found her slight wrists as she woke to a
I imagined a stars wealth of ways to accomadate her penetrating virulence and want for
emotion and pain. The things that made her feel. The things she read as love. She once
rasped "Fuck me like you hate me," and I stilll can't shake it. It made me feel crazy the
instant she said it and it made me hate her for controlling me, and so I fucked her like
that. She wanted me to hurt her, and I only wanted to love her. Had I known then what I
know now, I would have hated her more.
Almost two years later, I find myself wandering the streets of downtown Boston, and I
don't think about people the same way anymore. I am less social, smarter, and worse
with the girls. My favorite girl ("Girl" is a retentive endearment representing my fear of
loosing the magic of initial confrontation with a woman) is the five foot fissure in the
side walk adorning the steps of my apartment building on Commonwealth Ave. She has
a hard look and feel, and a little moss in all the right places. She is always there and if I
listen carefully, I can hear her whisper...screw you....oh so gently while I sip my gin and
ice. I sometimes brush away the cold ciggarett butts from her warmpth. The blood of
life lies here where I am tonight. Sweet satanic and mother love I, a star is born.
Letter to Carol
There was the time,
when we brushed our teeth
in the afternoon, so that
when we kissed it would
Now she's ten thousand miles
away and laughing with
an ambassador from Mexico
There was the time,
when she asked, "Will
you rub my back until
i fall asleep?"
I said, "I'll do it till it's the only
thing keeping you awake
baby, and i can tell."
Now she's eleven thousand miles
from me staring over a table
of candles on an island in the
She has on a red sweater,
mine is green. The thieves and
beggars cry in the trees and
cold outside and wait for me
to join them.
It is always 70 degrees where
she is, twelve thousand miles
away in the mountains of Malaysia.
There may be no greater fool,
than the fool who doesn't know
that he is being one.
Once i thought it wouldn't be as
bad being the fool if i knew it was
a possibility all along and was ready
I was shit eating wrong. What is true
is that misery loves company only if
that company is more misery. I note
the suicides in the daily paper.
lovers at dawn,
crystal eggshells, and window pains.
They all burn with the
same futility as a fly
escaping a window sill.
There can be no survivors of
love gone wrong, which means
there were never any survivors
Love is the most silent of all
killers disguised by rape and
murder and suicide and blank stares
in the eyes of wind up ballet dancers..
Sitting at the kitchen window in the
gathering rime of morning, staring into
a dirty ashtray. There is a letter to Carol, and a
bug eating bird on a hoppopotomus,
neither ever finished, but both good.
"Thanks be to God for his merciless gift."
We made love in early April
She came from a small town in Northwestern Ohio.
She was blond and gold all over and soft to the
We fell in love at nineteen, and did everything we could to be alone
We made love in cars, on picnic benches and once in the piano room.
We spent the summer apart, but visited four times and she would call
me drunk at 3 am on a Tuesday to cry and tell me she missed me.
When she caught me in a lie on her twentieth birthday on July 22nd,
she said she never wanted to see me again.
She slept with another guy and told me she was voted 'most likely to be laid'
in her senior class in high school.
I felt sick and couldn't eat and had no piece of mind till late September when
she found me and we fell in love again.
When she left me for good at Thanks Giving, she told me how she almost ran away with
a rich 57 year old man in a bar in Cancun when she was 18 and visiting with her parents.
She settled for screwing him instead.
We made love in early April near the end of the school semester knowing neither
of us were going to return there in the fall.
She cried halfway through, and wouldn't tell me why but said please don't stop.
She began crying again and shook with small sobs and I went ahead and finished
Later she said, "Do you want to know why I cried. It's because I thought I could sleep
with you one last time without caring and I was wrong."
That made me feel like hell and it seemed like such an unfair thing to do to a weak
sucker like me. I cried too when I was away from her.
I never saw her again, but a year and a half later I found her mom's phone number where
she used to live and gave it a call.
Her mom said, "Oh... you must not have been around for a while."
"No", I said, "I haven't."
"She was married three months after the last time you would have seen her, and lives
in Arizona now, I'll tell her you called." She said.
"Yes please...that would be fine."
I sat down to begin the process of letting it eat me out from the inside once again, and
pass the time.
The first time she ever had sex she was raped.
Or so she told me. Two guys took turns on her
and the friend she was with. She was 15 years
In 87' she was 19 and I was 18 and strong.
She fell in love in only one month and
I lost my virginity that summer.
She had straight black hair and dark skin,
the type that tanned well in July.
She was a good girl, a little unrefined,
and people who knew her
envious of me.
I didn't, and still don't understand anything like
When I told her I wasn't into it anymore,
that it was me and not her, I really believed
the lie myself.
I left her sitting outside her door one windy
night in September with her hands in her leather coat,
sitting on a concrete step staring at the side walk.
She cried and said "I love you Dave", as I walked
away and I couldn't look back. The
horror of what I was doing became real.
Those words stung and they still do.
"Don't talk like that. Don't do that to us."
I can remember and see only that, her sitting
on that god blessed step on a windy September
night. I love you Dave. I love you Dav...
At times I hate myself for watching her drink
herself out of school and never talking to her
again. I was scared to see what she was now
and refused to believe that I could have this effect
on anybody else. I really did feel for her at the time.
A year later, she came to visit and we slept
together once 'for old times', and she cried.
That made six.
She left, and three weeks later I found a small
folded piece of paper in the mess on my table.
It said, "I will not be back again, I think you know why."
Back came the eternal horror and I felt so fucking bad,
that she was still thinking about me. Why me? I was
never that good.
I now measure love by how bad I feel when it's gone.
If you ever read this Kelly, it really was just me.
A silly kind of magic
Where does the honesty go?
the raw honesty and magic of a
when pushing the button had no
tangible connection with the resulting
Lost to the rape of knowledge maybe
When I was 11, I wrote a poem (poem?(puke))
about burying my dog with my dad
in the back yard on a steaming
July day and about how my dad
said it was the
thing he had ever had to do
I wrote it for a class compilation book
and apparently had my moment of glory
I know it's not now
and I only did it because I had to
the special part must have come
from my lack of knowing
how to censor myself
or even bothering to think about it
and lie by not telling all
maybe people just like to hear
stories about dead dogs in summer
which is what I will one day be
now I wish to hell I had that
sitting here on a Wed. at 9:47p
it goes and
what it is
is no longer
Poem about nothing
The red rain dog marches through
the streets of the overman
and the overman doesn't hear because
he got over it
and I didn't
catching pine cones in the rain on
a soft bed of needles in North Carolina
in the afternoon is my idea of a good
drink, and a good job for the homeless
freaks who can do
Irving never had it that good in his
Canadian wilderness, screaming at
birds and rowing his island around
not ever getting laid
If you stand knee deep in hog slop
there will be pigs all around you
and you may or may not like the noise
or the smell but you are far from a
leave it to the strong to mislead the weak
I guess that's what makes the weak the
way they are--no brass, just ass, no bell
cats on fire in a green hell with eyes
of slate and watered down orange pulp
drink it, drink me in and you might get
drunk and tell me what you
think we ought to do about the wars
that never cease in the East-
the battle of the Saints...
you would think that one day
in all of their glory, they might come
marching in and
Hurrying into the Boylston train station
worried that I might be late for a haircut appointment
having to remind myself every so often that
it's only a haircut and if I am late I will not
be original or ridiculed or put out
like a donkey
all teeth, flopping ears, and sitting on its
The C train comes next, I need the B
and I look at my watch
only thirty minutes, I will never make it
shit again on my boss and my love of
'Shit, I will never make it,' I say out loud
"Or will I?" I say out loud
People see me talking to myself fairly often
and most likely think I've lost it in some un-regainable
way, and the truth is that I have
but what they don't know is that I'm pretending
that somebody is there with me
and the train comes
and the world is full of actors and
"Fuck you," I say out loud
Only one more, I promise
I walk across the apartment in the dark, and it doesn't take very long
and decide to pour a Vodka and lime juice on ice
I like the pale green, like calcite under a waterfall
in June, I pour in flat ginger ale instead, feeling brave
by myself, with no one threatening me with love
A fresh pack of cigarettes from the freezer and a crucifix
in my hand heavier than the one Christ bore on his own
Working twelve or thirteen hours a day and missing my time alone
and believe it or not, at home
home is like pussy and money
it never seems so valuable till you don't have any
I listen to the cars hiss by on the pavement on Commonwealth
Ave and it is 10:30 pm
In the paper (only 35 cents) men from far away and ridiculous places
debate over whether or not to double the arsenal of bat winged bombers
from 20 to 40 at 2 bil a piece and it's no wonder the paper
is only 35 cents
Man can create war and automobiles that do 300mph
has conquered a reasonable semblance of flight
and can spend days under the ocean
fly a rocket to the god damned moon for the piece
of no one
but tell me friend, if man is so much smarter than everything and
than why has he only figured out a way to go to school
for 20 years, and then work for another fifty after that?
I spent the remainder of the evening watching the lights
shimmer over the top of the city and wondering where
those beautiful and simple lights go when it is no longer dark
Vodka between legs, shadow across eyes, socks falling off
staring over a seven day candle six days into its own death
and I decide
not to wonder anymore for
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