two to join the parade

Surf variety. Breckenridge cowboys. Alert the media – the fast moving floats with hayseed cilia are coming down the pike. Maintain the structure. All the bronze muscled bodies march, holding up the giant iron pipe, the threads at the end dripping the cautelous water, drip-smack on the macadam, drip-smack on the paving stones; they’re marching into the town hall, favored ghosts are moving, coughing up bits of smoke from the portraiture. Ken Hayes runs for mayor of tinsel town. Variety smokes. Ten tons of Sam Templeton, his opposition. Break out the golden gloves, this one goes nine rounds, the sweat drip-smacks the canvas as the men circle one another, and the Crowd, a panoply of technicolor heads, peppered with the Ex-heads, stippled with the aphrodites, ROARS with approval.

Tick, tick, the tickertape peals out over the brass fixture and spills like honeypaper down onto the dryboard floor. Martha’s making meringue on the telly – but that’s all the soft stuff. The soft stuff comes out of his aching head in the forest room. He stuffs the broken bough of needles into his mouth to stifle the scream. He rakes the edge of the conifers down his arms to draw the blood, he makes a fire with his plans, he cracks the tomb with his eyeballed fists. She peels herself like an onion. Form after form falls away, redirected by signs and insignia, she stumbles along the wide path until the bright woods are cloaked with iridescent mist, sending her into oblivion, where she now stands, eyes like iron fire, pouring out her mouth the blue azalea dream she had since she was a girl, fixing to be by her MAN, loving the sound tradition cakes into the fissures along the barks of the father god trees. EMBALMED they all want to be; sanctified, each looking for sex in their death, each to remove the tenterhooks of this immortal dream, playing cockeyed on its side, the battered television brays.

They move, they march, each of them smaller and wise. They come into the street with golden pots. The ravens dart over head, the streelights pop off and on, the whole show is back underway. More minions line the streets under the mullions, the cherubim in the architraves, the carved angels in the cymatium. The double oak doors open, the blast from inside pours out the heart, onto the street, babbling and faceless and freed, and the mothers smile through their wrinkles at the stars which shine back down upon them.


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