Monday, July 2, 2012

the trumpet player of post and grant

            Sad to listen, the sound of credulity, it’s whining in reverse. The raw reality of fuel lines cracked, botched erasures of time that shouldn’t have left so soon, reconciled to very spiffy differences in corporeal claims to fame. Tacked on, traded for a rosin bag, barely marketable, run through with the shot of another fawning dirge sung bel canto while the reins of the whole contraption are yanked. 

            “I don’t want to leave the press guessing. They’ll fill in their own blanks. Nobody’ll get slugged over it or anything, but how about tossing a changeup in there every so often, huh?”
            “No. Would. Leave me alone, dip stick.”
            “If only shock could still awe.”
            “Sure. Sure.”

            Not to be undersold, mistaken, or have-at-it’d with aided assault, cussing at kids, it marks the marginal sacrificial hero from the timid explorer. Dumped into the market again, and it sails on, so as you could find a scrimmage of obscure values to delete from your point of view, and remitted sales figures dot the Big-Board classiness of composite indexed kindness all the while. Crude and eloquent. Eternity supplies its own demand. There are no wig shops in heaven.
            “Capitalize on the craning nature of crowds. If they think they’ll see it, they’ll show up.”
            “I’m busy writing captions for yet-to-be-drawn cartoons. I’m occupied with my own presence.”
            “Get it wrong. It’ll do you a planet of good.”
            “Battles, jump-ship grudges, crayon-nub scribbles on nylon, and then there are, of course, tiny victories of odor.”
             “Remember not when?”
            “Ceilings of grasshoppers. Walls of rosy-fulvous daylilies. Spinach leaves scattered on the floor.”
            “Something like that, about.”
            A soupy exchange, relish based, diffused the pressure of casual regret, and moving on became more so-so than ever possible. Suspension of disbelief hung filthy, like a brash layer of smog, in the hushed atmosphere of happenstance researchers. Truth lost its mettle. The pilot light went out.

            “In Japan they use tiny toothbrushes.”
            “Smaller means to a more precise ends.”
            It was then that something groomed better, lightly if at all, through the sallow patches.

            “I cannot tell but for your yellow eyes what light plays trapezoidal o’re the entrance arc’s tympanum. Let us not fold our ideas into laundry.”
            “Grilled deceit would be better. I see dull and grounded devils playing with the topsoil. Oh, and I underestimated the ways one might choose to tarry, if you believe in hostile tactics.”
            “Tell me something I don’t know.”
            “Fish don’t wear toupees.”
            In here-- where the air grows lurid with paint thinner, the particulate matter of grassland fires, methane, ammonia, rotting doll parts, radon, hope, and Tetrachloroethylene-- we find ourselves trying to sun in the shade of billboards.   

            “He was the oldest cowboy in the bar, and it was my job to make him talk. I wasn’t any good at it, lucky for me.”
            “Too blue to not.”
            “The Father/Son/Holy Ghost Blues.”
            “Why, yes. It was.”
            “Oh, oh, oh, like when you were so young. But you’re old now. You’re nothing except yesterday’s news today.”
            “Something’s not happening.”
            “Put a dime in the slot for a back massage, a recitation of Beowulf by John Lurie, and to return the dropsical wandering elephants to the circus, when it comes back to town.”
            “Could you spare one?”
            “A dime?”
            “No. An elephant.”
            With forked over chirping hard times arrived a bit tardy for the strawberry pickers, in the ovate setting of service sector employees, run angular towards an old beginning. Mercrutio, gentle and bitter, creased most brows, and, overweening and lacking intrepid honesty, he made off with the bride-to-never-now-be. A Xerox was made of all the action. A penalty marker was thrown. Champagne was used as a coolant in a tow truck. Venison was mashed into a pulp and then promptly liquefied with sea urchin roe and goat urine to make an apéritif entitled No Way Madam. There are always at least a few takers at every event. What’s the good spilling almond milk over a few tears? They’re charging an overage fee for good looks; but, thank bamboo mats and God, not good glances. Parfocal accounts seemed to make up for pareve dishes lacking in a certain dash of the enigmatic; a Stereobelt was spotted under glass in the foyer, where grumpy La Quebrada Cliff Divers chatted about their exclusion from the central ballroom; and a well-dressed goon sniffled over the dead lamprey he’d found in an ice bucket. Nobody caught a cold.

            “Chew on this, will you?”
            “You bet.”
            “This guy in an alpaca coat, well, he comes over to me-- and this is in the middle of pre-brunch, mind you-- and he tells me he’s trophy-wifing his cut-and-dry instincts, what’s led him, or so he says, to usurp the tad of fidelity left in the branch. The branch! It’s not that I care or mind so much more than a rat’s limp about his, what if not Miltonian effort to launch a tiddlywinks of a crumby cadre of gofers and lean-to salesmen into some sort of, what, mass conglomerate on the brink of, what, empire? This guy’s off his salt, and I’m, you know, supposed to, what, care about whatever scheming fad-bound idealism’s groping his pin-cushion soul at the moment? Fuck it. You know? I’m just trying to enjoy my ham and cracked pepper bagel with a side of marmalade. I just want to sip at my salted celery juice and dip artichoke hearts in lavender and trout infused mayonnaise. Leave me alone with my aioli-smothered-on-brioche salamander finger sandwich, you know? There’s more between post-breakfast and pre-brunch than is in all of his power-grab hectoring.”        
            “Oh, shit.”

            In April of 1981, the Geothermal Rock band Ned’s Symbiotic Love Life, flush with their first oyster-shell taste of success, found hosts most everywhere willing to let them play their singular style of “Scorched Earth Core” at parties and festivals and in small cramped garages. Terri Firma, their bratty and outspoken lead singer, screeched in Coptic Egyptian at the crowd and was in a constant state of flipping off pretty much everybody all the time. By June people had stopped caring, and the band broke up, and Terri became a cocktail waitress at Bambino’s Bare-It-All Palace, which is how I came to know her.
            She was about five foot one and had no hair, not even eyebrows. I remember she often dressed in men’s suits that were very baggy on her, and had a predilection for bright green or red suspenders, pink Vans, and tube socks, which she showed off by cutting her pants off at the calf. Edie Sedgwick’s influence on Terri’s makeup was hard to miss. She looked like a sleek, sexy cannonball from hell shot through the city’s sewer system and up through a swamp and into a thunderstorm. There was no way not to notice her, and at least in some small way wish she’d whisk by close enough to your table so that you could take a closer look, if not perhaps order a drink from this anomaly from another dimension. I was off the make at the time, so had considerable thoughts--while lugubriously draining Brandy Alexanders at a table by myself-- of somehow grabbing her attention and then, of course, getting her to fall in love with me. But everybody knows how that story ended. You see a ring on this finger?

            A baby was asleep in its highchair. The bulb light was blinding. A magician crossed his legs on a sofa. The reek of burnt lasagna followed wherever you went.

            “Do you eke out a living?”
            “Of course I do. Of course I do.”
            With cracked heads and broken hearts, we stave off success one failure at a time. Something to go on, to buy away the time, it gets choosy to be free. A drop-shipped racehorse named Roger to bilk the investors. A trumpet player instead of a police siren. Nobody’s nervous. We’re settling in for the whole deranged production. We’re sure of somebody else, just not ourselves. It gets sloppier and hazy as the overly shipshape gunners get locked out and named their poison without being clever or witty at all. With soft hats and lumberjack boots, with scratched 45s and hustled dreams, with off and off Wurlitzer fuzz, with dented cymbals and petal plucked roses, with neutron bombs, with soundless speed, with misspelled addresses and the tune of flagpoles clanked by the pulleys on their ropes in the wind. We are deemed just off the nick of time’s swan dive. The flop, the plain down of low, the vanishing daze of weaker longing than this. There we run to away. There we defend our attack. There we applecart what falls our way with backhands and shovel passes. With handiwork smiles and coal-burning guts, with personality disorders and moat-girded laughs. We get by and by, or over and on. We get eyebrow level but never even. We get done.

            “Too touchy.”
            “Young in the garden, old in the briar patch, middle-aged in the cornfield.”
            “Too sentimental.”
            “Vanishing, it gets lighter, and the crabby lust of the lamplight crushes moths with unrequited love. The same recitation of a different way to say your howdies to yard-sale faces and hi-fi distance.”
            “Too blatantly stuffy.”
            “I am tipped over at the trough, and I snooze through the afternoon’s murk, gurgling with the shot brakes of subtle aging.”
            “Awful-- a few gigabytes at a time--  shoddy, as-is stuff.”
            “Very unwell, SpaghettiO’d to shifting opinions and gassed triumph, we might as well mark the tombs with huckleberries and empty sherry bottles. We might as well do nothing, but I’m almost sure we won’t.”
            “Always something.”
            “Always. And the movies are just advertisements for other movies. You might say, ‘The sky musters up some dish-water yellow scudding clouds, and then promptly passes out.’ But you don’t. You never do.”
            “Look, Ma! No hands!”
            “I’m switching my brain to silent. Put me on a plane.”
            “My baby, she wrote me a letter. And all that kind of stuff, and also all those other types of things.”
            “All the hound dogs in the world ain’t nothin’ but hound dogs.”
            “Consider the record straightly set. Because? Well, hell, it’s parachute season again, and something tells me that there’ll be mothballs in the aardvark soup this time around.”
            “Consider it considered.”