A Literary Feast

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Why Can’t I be a Bureaucrat?

Posted on March 17th, 2014

Why can’t I be a bureaucrat So tender, meek and mild? And follow you all through your days And bear your paper child?   Why can’t I sit down at that desk And wile away my time? Attending meetings, conference call And earn productive dime.   I’d get it all so nice and neat I’d get it down on time. And when the day is nearly through I’d spend my goodly dime.   On barrel-busting drink and food On stuffing my old craw, And look away each time I think My God, My God, My God.   Why can’t I be a bureaucrat? Deny myself the pleasure, Of ever doing as I please My unproductive leisure.   I’d embarrass you, my sloven mess I’d…

You Tell Me

Posted on March 17th, 2014

The first week I hid in the long grass until my body became vapor and when it reassembled and the light fell down into the water I got up and walked back to the house.   The first week, I catalogued the silences, and their names.  The time before the bird takes off and leaves the branch trembling.  The time of white steam from the brown bowl.  The space between saying the word and the word reaching you.  Hands behind glass, waving.   The first week opened the land and gave me new sentences.  I took the old ones out, and assembled their meanings:  our bodies, moving through the kitchen.  Our bodies spelling one kind of truth.  Our bodies breaking eggs into a dark…

A Hurdy Gurdy Song

Posted on March 17th, 2014

Sometimes when I sit still, if I sit still for long enough without moving much, I can start to feel my pulse throbbing behind and around my eyeballs. It’s not really painful or uncomfortable in any way but it is much more present than usual, pulsing rhythmically and making me think about how fragile my eyeballs and eye sockets are. I have no idea if that is true or not, anatomically speaking, but that is the sensation that I have when I can feel my pulse in my skull that way, and it usually leads to me trying to imagine the way my veins are connected to my eyeballs; in my imagination they curve around the edge of my eyesockets to reach my eyelids and the skin of my face. Somebody…

Guenevere, A Portrait

Posted on March 17th, 2014

Sheathe your tongues, gentlemen! You wrangle, you haggle over the law under the guise of righteousness. But a man with an angel’s face and a devil’s tongue is only mistaken for so long. And a woman? A woman who knows her place perhaps does not speak amongst such noble gentlemen, amongst the chosen knights of the Table Round. Even a woman with a crown may keep her expressions to nods and glances, or as it suits her, a show of tears. But what of a wife who does not protect the name of her husband when he has given her his name, and more than his name, his kingdom? ‘How dare I?’ I ask myself. I can only raise my voice amidst the din, against this rancor, out…

The Grease Fire

Posted on March 17th, 2014

Like a meteor or some lesser Satan flung casually out of heaven, the cigarette, already stained a queasy brown by fingers that had rubbed, crushed, and worried it through four or five long minutes of staring at the second hand on a rusty watch face, flared one last time as it lapped the tainted air below the bar, arced through the lowest yard of booze fumes and boot stench, and died with an unheard fizzle on the damp and oily floor of the Dockyard. Billy thrummed the fingers of his right hand, now empty and nervous as the yellowish foam that clung to the inside of his pint glass. Whatever he’d been drinking looked like it had been through once already. He didn’t like to think which end they’d tapped…

Up For Air

Posted on March 17th, 2014

The weight of the hatchet is heavy in my hands. I feel the heft of it, the worn-smooth grain of the wooden handle, the coolness of the metal head, and the sharpness of the blade. It’s the one used by my father, splintering the fallen branches that fed the backyard fires in the cold of winter. It’s in my hands and I’m standing in the shed, surrounded by the workshop bric-a-brac assembled by him over the years: baby food jar lids nailed onto a board, their matching jars screwed on and filled with nails of infinite varieties; dozens of hammers and saws in varying stages of rust and decay; lengths of rope, nylon and manila, new and frayed, dangling off hooks in the roof; buckets, large and small, plastic and metal,…