The Dull Sundry, 500
July 29, 2007
A Prayer for Many Gods
August 2, 2007

I’m remembered for my lusty self-expression. Ironic, I think. I sit at a desk, surrounded by pencils worn to stubs, markers greasing themselves with ink. That’s all. But when all I can hear is the hum of my fan, when all I can see is my bouquet of flowers withering down, I have paused to escape Room 311.

Into the fiery earth I’ve been ripped, saddled on top of the molten skin of the deep. I’ve seen sin flowing by, undoing the Styx, no more chattering than ushering guttural thunder. It’s all red, down below, desperate red. I end it like this: what to do with the dark side? Defeated again, Lord God, no hope prevails.

But sudden after-lunches are better than these at times, brighter than these, shinier. They offer intangible reasons for smiling, irksome goads at being elated. So I am, rarely doubting, but questioning the same. And if I have any cause to be a bit higher than 5’10”, I wonder if it isn’t because of the pure generosity of souls halfway across the world. African mothers, soaked with the sun, black as pitch, black as night, coddling a pustuled infant with scraps of her dead husband’s robe. Sandled feet, a luxury, food, a luxury, the sun creeping far, far away—all a luxury. And instead, as the torrents of spears, machetes, and axe rip through the string-thin hut, she sits on the child. To hide it. As her arms, in sacrificial downpour, shed blood that flows down to the rivers of sin. And the sun, up from the depths of earth, keeps its throne in the sky.

Ah gross, but uplifting! Humiliating! I need that when I feel I’ve assembled the right order of words for a change. No head too big, no head at all. I wish I could feel my arms severed so suddenly. What, then, would I write? Let alone, nurse a child, my child, in life deprived of shreds of my dignity.

She shrieks; in the smallness of these worlds I have visited, I make her wail to the pitch of our indolent ears. Up from rot of the screens, perish in print, nasty stories and backstabbing lusts; all of it, I dispel when heads turn my way. Oh think not on a fat woman, black as the night. Think not on the annoyance of crying babes, think not, think not on yourself, you ignorant bastards, you selfish, arrogant pricks!

Remember you turned? Do you remember the head, without knowing, whipped right around, faster than lightning strikes cloud to cloud? And before the thunder, you lowered your soul, dipped one foot in the scorching heat of the rivers below. The blisters! Too much!! Too late! And you know, both human, you and the night, the repulsive wails, all buried within you, time and again. How, crux of the nation, you people supine, can stirred be your souls, scorched and blistered at best, while never see, not even as hard-hearted as always you are, the disintegration of the best of us, least of us, always forever by the work of our hands—?

But back to the stories that are important for now, things about food, about dishes arranged and art of asparagus. Someday, you will listen. Though burnt to near ash, eyes wailing alone, you will listen. Would you say, then, the sun has set for a time?

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