She ran around screaming "Venefica" with
the same throaty intonation that Burl Ives as Big Daddy
in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof belted out "MEN -DACcssss-cITY." The
way Burl Ives could get that word to hiss out in the
middle like that, snapping the snake into the word as
if flicking a farmer's whip into a great grand yowl of
whitmanesque variety. More stark white icicle cold than
the frosty narrator who spun tales about sad misfit toys.
Frosty face of Mrs. Whitman who taught
the lesquels. I hope hers wasn't really a sad story and
she really was just one of the released and not one of
It's often so hard to tell the two apart.
Especially when you wonder which one you are. Because
no one will ever let you know for sure. Watch out for
THOSE people because if they find out you can read subtext
(and they will because although they're clueless in the
larger sense, they're smarter than the average bear),
so INSTEAD ... WHEN they find out you can read subtext
and realize you have been reading THEIRS all along, they
will kill you.
You will be burned at the stake.
Venefica. Never follow my word,
follow yours, follow yours, follow yours, by which you
will be following mine, I suppose, if you want to get
oblique, but punch out those windmills, my love, because
the worst thing is to miss the train because
of a dispute over how to punch your ticket.
DOES NOT MATTER.
But you do.
If only the antagonists in the subplot
could unravel their own helices, they could have seen
that although you knew all along what they were up to,
your silence wasn't a threat, a hold you would someday
blackmail them with, as someone had blackmailed them
so horribly in the past. No. Your silence was courtesy.
Their sleight o' hand did not go unnoticed by you. But.
By the same closed captioned translations you read, you
knew why, all the desperate reasons driving them to such
skill, and other tricks of the damned.
But I tell you. It's no use beating Cerebus
on Sunday for what you claim he did wrong on Friday.
He can't understand. And then you stupidly wonder why
his left head is always biting you in the ass.
Let's have a little toast to compassion,
shall we? Dostoevski, your "beauty will" do that thing,
Fyodor, Fyodor, I only took the poison because I knew
And I already went
through the dry heat. Deserts, stakes, hell, and shopping
Yell all you want, I'm off. Off on a walkabout,
alone, or sometimes with Tiresias, both of us blinded
by snow and memory, on the Island of Misfit Toys.
(written Feb 2002 & rev. Jan 2003)