Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Throwing Birds And Killing Stones

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            Marcia Brady left on Halloween. It was a rare day, brisk and scratchy, and the moon was shining like a brand new Bentley.            
            There was a taper in Why’s stride. Feeling convenient. Feeling barely lucky like unsold aluminum siding. Why was worried about being outdone. Why said, “I will not be outdone.” It made Why feel good to say it out loud like that.
            Why was happy once, too, you know?
            Marcia Brady ran most of the show for us. Sure, she got hit in the schnozer with a football, and the ruffians played well with her a-lot’s like. But you’ve got to spell credit out for her, and then give her a take. You just had to be there. You just did.
            It was hard times all around.
            Why had no Ought-To to follow around. There were many variables in Why’s constitution. As for Why’s discreetness? Why’s alibis? Well, Why had that figured at least. Marcia Brady was conveniently misconstruing all of Why’s chances, doling out losing lottery tickets to fortunetellers to be resold to plangent and ill-content bidders. Why began complaining: “Marcia. Marcia. Marcia.” That was all there was to do.
            Soon enough it was Halloween. Why had no cognizant reason for feeling ill at ease, but couldn’t shake it. As Why loped along on the Boulevard, sniffing tar and emu oil, the traffic sounded like a large number of razors being scratched along poster board. Why thought, ‘I can be like anything, but never actually the thing, really.’
            Then, not too quickly or anything, Why noticed between two rubber poles and a palm tree with a human face in the middle of its trunk, Marcia Brady stalking closer. She was wearing a purple nightgown stitched together with chambray and fake gorilla hair. Her feet were bare. Her nails? Unpolished and cracked. Why didn’t like the looks of things.         
            Why looked Marcia Brady up and down, and down and up. And then spit out, “Talk at me.”
            “This is what palm trees say, not loafers like you. Not rubber poles. And for damn sure, not Marcia Brady!”
            “The robots do their worst. Best!”
            The fight was on.
            “Good move. A dicey way to behave. Take a rest and stop rehearsing the movie of your life for a second. It’ll be over before you’re ever done with it anyhow. I am breathing. Listen. Listen. Hear that? No? Hell. It is not so moving to be taken seriously. It is charming enough. Nervous and strange. Ray Chandler wrote deranged erotica when he was drunk. There are only a few moves left before my queen’s checkmated. I am not moved by any of it. And there is no way I’m ever getting my deposit back on this place. Got it? There.”
            “You know me; I lose track of time when I’m on the drink. And last week I fell in love with a girl who beat me at arm wrestling. I’m always looking for excuses to feel bad. It’s just my way. You know me.”
            “But hear it here first. A family that runs up a hill together in the wind is a pretty great family, in my opinion.”
            “Nobody floats anymore, on mattresses or whatever. I get mad sometimes, too, you know? Sunday shoes are out of style. Dancing is still restricted to certain classes. We make the least of it, here. I am not broken yet, at least. Right now. Start it. Be the opposite of wrong or right.”
            “Who’s talking? And to whom?”
            “Don’t listen. I’m not going everywhere.”
            “We are who we run into.”
            The season smelled of dank horse and cheap perfume. A worried look spanned the sky’s countenance. Nobody was starting their sentences with the letter V, as this became bad luck. But, after being told so often of how the Z Tax going into effect would help stimulate the alphabet’s economy, it turns out no tax money was ever actually collected on the letter Z; people just stopped using it. Shirt collars were sliced at or chopped off completely. A man in a burgundy suit shooed away all comers. Where was the reason, and No was the question.
            Soon, but not very soon, Marcia Brady came to understand that Why was merely a look, an askance glance gone to other eyes. And Marcia Brady could ignore it, or pretend to-- which was just as good in any case-- by hitting the Stand By button on her belt’s Outside Communication System control panel. Nobody had to explain this to her. The belt didn’t exist. Marcia Brady knew this immediately, if not innately, upon snubbing Opportunity’s knock of, “I’ll be right there, honey.” Or, “Just a moment, dear.” It didn’t matter. Why had fled the scene, accidentally as it were, and Marcia Brady no longer had to concern herself with such things. Belt or no belt. It was all not a wash. Not at all.
            Marcia Brady walked on, thinking, ‘I am not wholly holy, nor holistic that much. No. Not much at all.’
Part 2, A Rebuttal  

“It is not up to me to be this way or that way or any of the ways you’d most dislike being at the current station’s currency of bliss and not heavenly you’d say if you would say it and not just lie there pissing in the wine again like a butchered block of ice and the real reason for staying put is not so hard to tell even if it were I’d think and I’d think and I’d think it but not like a castoff or an underestimation of cussing everybody out one final time and for all of any everything’s for good but you know it’s not up to me so just lay off the sauce for a moment here and listen okay you can do that and I’m not telling you anything that matters so what’ve I got to do with it anyway huh buddy it is not fright in the power lines it is sure enough rank and spoiled so just go ahead and fall asleep in the bathtub because nobody cares right now so,”

Part 3, All These Days Forever And Always
Dear Marcia Brady,
I went to our old Chinatown spot last night. The chow mein wasn’t the same without you around to share it with. There were figurines in the window: old things, crazy things, bored things, lost things with no purpose. The floor, it just wouldn’t shine, no matter how hard I tried to get it to, just by looking. Last night, the cold wasn’t so bad. The sidewalks got carried away with hope, and I was limping on them, just a bit, almost just like I used to by your side. But that was last night. And this, now, is not, and never will be, ever.

Dear, dear.
Oh, dear.
Marcia Brady is no longer here.
Put her heart in the heavens; your ear to the earth; and a wish on the bed for someone like you to keep.             
Part 4, And All Of That Jiving Around

Ok. So, listen to this: “I bought so many peaches in my dreams last night. Wood crates full of them. It isn’t often that you get sprayed with your neighbor’s water hose while you are carrying a crateful of peaches. But it happened in my dream last night. Go figure, huh? What a real jerk. He didn’t even apologize for it. He blamed me for ducking into his stream. I set the crate of peaches down on my mother’s kitchen counter. She said, ‘What am I going to do with all those peaches? They won’t last.’”      

There was not a were-not in there to even have.
The end of possibility was upon us.
“Ah, nuts.” Said the portly sandwich artist.

Pretend that this helps. Talking. Not talking. Whatever. Get the lowest estimate possible on denial. Don’t pretend to go for it. There are tulips growing wild in the dishwater, and my hair’s just tinsel and pink rubber bands. A nice place to visit, but to stay, away, it is just getting’s away at its most solemn and permanent. Miss the Lamborghini tractor smiles. Caught up in the ache of a lost laugh tossed to the rabbits and the peas and the skeletons too. Make believe it was one of those luxury suites, you know. With a baby grand in the room, and a wet bar and a hot tub and a fireplace and everything. And you know how lonely it gets when you mix too many martinis with a pool you can’t swim in, and there’s no room service between midnight and oblivion. If there were a there then, then we had time to be ourselves but none to be each other in. So, keep some lavender in your buttonhole and a moon key in your pocket. You know, I too wish I knew some well-dressed folks who were in my neck of the woods. And you. Hell, you could do that standing on your butt. And me? I can’t ever get even, or odd. Grieving comes in bunches. Loss mops up in waves. So shout, “Ole!” Because you already know that heaven is other people. We’re just not used to all this “it” yet.

Part 5, Lavender Skies

Don’t worry. I only think of you every night, and when I wake up, all afternoon, and in the evening too.
But no, I’m not sad at all, not even a little blue.
Not so much that you’d notice.
I’m not in mourning. I’m in afternoon. I’m in evening. I’m downright crepuscular.
Spilling champagne off the back of a train
while the lemonade waits in our suite.
And you making your sweet little sound.
go ahead,
and whisper the touch of your name
to me.
In the hem of eleven’s hitched stride,
in the glitter of stilettos dangling from chandeliers, 
in the only way goodbye knows.
I’ll find you.
In the gooey elegance of underwater windows,
in the seaweed smile of the ocean’s mood music,
in the chatter of crows and the mutter of burglars footsteps,
forever foraging,
for never staying.
The lilt and hush of your broken-light-bulb voice,
the soft sway and crinkle of your all-knees dancing,
the lush, slow swimming of your licorice-drop eyes. 
The moon’s gone fishing.
The water boys have grown up for good.
And the well is all out of pennies.
I trace the place on the pillow
that once held your head's shape.