Thursday, February 23, 2012

them shiny things

I got a letter addressed to Iago Smith in the mail recently. I opened it. This is what it said:
“Dear constant speaker of the phrase ‘Go forth old lad!’,
“I am not sorrow-filled. I am not struck bellyached with grief. Do not send me empty lighters, and do not send me crushed velvet smiles. I am not, I repeat, not made of thumbtacks and horsehair. Stuff me with the oil of whales; I am diffident for the most part. I am not asking, dear sir. I am tempered above a plea.
“Wish to shake it off? I dare say that Moors have tempted better than I to resuscitate war/love efforts. But who am I to be grieving over such trifles? You, my lordless, are the tree’s trunk of such matters.
“Sure, you can count battle scars until the cow’s milk's run dry, but who is to blame for the longest vowel in matters of trust? Ah, but I am not one to question the nature of truth and justice and evil doings. Sometimes we’re just born into this way of gesturing through our affairs, and we are all merely behaving for somebody else’s benefit, are we not? People betrayed still can do wonderful and original things, can they not? They must at least be capable of them, one would hope.
“I am not suspicious. And a simple smothering will not do. I am sure one can find better uses for pillows. I am blinded by Venetians. I might not be the pancake mix; but you better believe that I am the batter. I also realize that basing one’s life on another’s personal experience is not of the fashion currently.
“Now, if I were to offend you somehow, by not ‘being in touch’ as often as you would like, or by mushrooming the omelette of your pride with my hopscotch farewells, then it would be considerate to consider my condolences offered in any of these times that try men’s soles. And yes, your boot bottoms are wearing thinner than your hair, I do hear. You might recall my thaumaturgic instincts when it comes to footwear. Think of speaking before you speak of thinking, sir. The heart is a magnificent lockbox.
“Are we not cutting ourselves just to draw blood, just for show, just for the claim of, ‘I told you so.’? Well, there are a few passport photos still to take, my ill-esteemed colleague. Let us leave it at that.
“Ships miscarry the duplex of our days. Trembling leads to broadswords in the back. We who cannot swim refresh the pages of our destiny too often. Lug me around in your portmanteau. Ship the shape that I am in to all senders. There is not a waft of jellyfish in the vicinity of anything you’ve ever tried to unabashedly love.
“I am not laundry-sick. I am not purring around mad dogs. Do not worship my undoing. Please, pretend to keep a striaght face when the soldiers march through your gates. I will be upset, but not angry. Get me a motor in the back of this Honda, please. For now it is just bits of apple stuck between my teeth.
“Remember, all mothers tuck the pillow below their chin while slipping the pillowcase on. We learned this the easy way, and now? Well, now we pay the fiddler off to set our bodies in motion. Forge your willpower; it will be ceaseless and unerring. I know Permit Reply Mail all too well. Set your sights on fire; the past will not burn so easily.
“I am living through the hotel days of my life, the tortures of banishment, the caterpillar-soft gropes through webs of deceit. Make this my horoscope: He will do unto others as other have done unto him.
“Don’t you remember that I mistook harlots for walruses? And it was a bright summer day. God’s hooks, you know? That’s the crumble of all cookies. I read by flashlight now, and the streets are shiny with thieves. My cash is in your hands, though you are not what you are, for the best of worst’s better. You see, I am, rudely, rude still in my verbal techniques. My will tends the vile fruit of too many concrete gardens. Let’s not squabble over stitched porch light. The Turks are drowned no more, and we who are left with dull blood only prattle out of fashion. Remember, my fair devil, do not stake your reputation, idle and false as always, on what outcomes may foolishly light sunken paths to death’s dust. See? I’ve still got a speck of that old hogwash in me.
“With the delicacy of a mocking green-eyed monster, my appetites are running their course, and the garbagemen are making their rounds, and the newsboys are all hollering, ‘Desdemona!’ on the dark corners. Don’t speak to me, my old vile dog (man’s best, you know, but never bested by or a best man of), of lust’s blood spotting sheets, or of crooners who wake jealousy from its neutral slumbers while being gondoliered across the river Lethe. Things could get downright ugly if we let them. But we don’t, do we? We make nice for the cameras; and we hold our heads lower with each passing to-morrow. Alabaster smooth swings the scythe of love, and from ledges some leap to one long last farewell. Ah. Not wisely but too well? There you might find ways for a fellow to say such stuff about death and kisses, hearts weighted with the melt of moods, and lonely pearls worth more than all your days swindled away to poor shores of a fate never counted on but always outliving both honor and honesty.
“I wish to be spared, if hunger’s blindness could spare the wisdom of apples, though to you it is no matter of distinction to be hurried off, to be rushed to the gallows before there is even a small chance to sing. My song was not cherished by crows. You see, I shine less and less all the time in this pile of rubbish I find myself scrounging about in. To be king, there, pale in your eyes. Never. There will always be something sparkling from the treetops, something beholden to dying branches, nests of trash’s discreet plumage and the coruscating bits of safety pins and tinsel. I will find a home somewhere, almost where you’d never glance. Perhaps in the closeness of the moon’s error I will be smuggled safely through the arms that once held me, and my swords shall all be bright and free of dew-inspired rust; and, then, I just might stumble upon the mouth of a graveyard, blue-eyed and worry-free, ready as never to rediscover what was never mine to begin with.
“Take a tad of care, you who are fortune’s most unfortunate fellow.

“Yours with close to utmost sincerity,