The Walkin' Talkin' Two Tavern Hams in a Past Life Country Blues
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
- E.L. Doctorow
Moving onto the porch, out into the sharp morning, timing the school bus, trying to mess with the gap with a time razor, shaving off seconds I would be out there by the church up the street with the other parents, it comes with risk/ like anything, I guess. Like anything worth having, anyways. The boys at are my waist/ up to my ribs/ the two of them popping up into the sky like weeds in the woods/ their vague chocolate milk breath-mist coming up out of their pink lungs… I whiff it as I pull the door shut behind us so the dogs don’t come shooting out into the goddamn road and I have to deal with blood and guts and trauma or whatever so early on a Tuesday.
Leaning out, my left hand hanging on an old wood porch column, I hang above the dying flowers and plants in the front garden and I suspend there- watching for the bus- like some old harpoon boy on some whaling ship long ago. I just dangle/ no sway; I am still as a stone with my eyes fixed on the horizon across the flat sea: this flat sea with all of her madness and boredom, all of her bodies and secrets/ so many perfectly intact skeletons floating along the deep blue bottom.
Cameras can’t catch them because they go to great lengths to avoid the spotlight now. The dead, unlike the living, they don’t seek notoriety or wealth or having their image plastered all over Hell’s Creation. In opposition to modern life, the modern dead/and in fact the dead of all eras going back through all the dropped millennia, they simply wish to move away from the living. Like rattlesnakes on the mountainside. Like bats and rats and spiders and wolves. And the sea dead are even more fleeting, even more urgent in their quest for the sort of private existence few of us can ever imaging desiring.
The sea dead move swiftly in the dragging deep currents, appearing as it is, to sometimes even run along the ocean floor/ hurling themselves at massive sharks and leaping into and over tremendously massive coral monuments that the sea herself has erected in homage to the passing nature of everything that lurks in her strange beautiful places. Humans taken by the sea, or humans that have presented themselves to the sea in some grand/or not-so-grand gesture of transitioning, they make for truly magical visions which none of us/ no one still alive/ can ever witness no matter how hard we try. No matter how bad we want it.
Full skeletons, many of them children, some with tattered scarves still whipping from their neck bones, they leap and skip and run and hike and slow down at times to the pace of the contemplative fish moving ever so wistfully in and out of the sunken ship’s windows/ rubbing their little fish bellies on the heaping mounds of pirate’s treasure/ on the barely glinting piles of gold medallions and the faintly shining hills of ancient jewels laying down there like country gardens/ like quaint places where a face could relax and stop running for a spell/ tiny darting fry slipping in and out of the black skeleton eye/ weak strings of once mighty beams of the sun fraying down for the mile or so it takes to reach these unknowable reaches, like the tattered remnants of severed arms and legs slowly drifting down down down down down from the raucous surface to this other world. To this other sense of consciousness.