First published July 2005 in Void Magazine

A Shotgun To The Craft

Bud, my first time with a woman, only boys before, as we rode the open lagoon, bellied sails, paddles flying, the moans of pleasured girls ringing in my ears, the salty spray of the water on my lips, two tongues to the nipple, a tattooed ass, jewelry in the navel, our small vessel swaying toward our destination, groaning against the tide, the tattooed women naked among us, I walked the beach, visions of writhing bodies in my mind, keeping my tongue free of words, trying only to see things as they were in the landscape, without descriptors of any kind, and this lead to a taxonomy of sounds, certain objects eliciting a droning bass, others a whistle, or staccato, thumping, ticking, buzzing, a random aural mapping of the landscape, there's no story to tell, only noises to make, listen very closely to them, should a pattern begin emerging, destroy it, "Hast thou made a device such as this before," the woman asked Robert Jordan. "Not of this noise and mess, but something of much more power, yes," was his response. Power must go as well, power, skill, technique, a shotgun to the craft brain, rather a nest of incompetent lies, have nothing that glimmers, for we have none of it, and want nothing, as I walk along the beach, we came upon a hillock rising behind a row of palms, from the top of the hill, a shaded plateau, spreading out, rabbits in the flowers, a few gravestones, and in a corner of the place a small plot that's mine, my resting place for eternity, in theory, an underground bed of sorts, the sun setting in the sky, teletubbies say goodbye, the ground is soggy, my dead father buried next door, weeds reclaim the space, nothing to boast of, shrines are artificial, victories over them meaningless, we continue walking, I ponder the gravestone I might choose, none at all of course, or to be peevish, a stone belonging to someone else, for more than anything else, I can say, with confidence, that I was more somebody else than anything, or a bracket, a shelf, a leaky bucket, we continue our walk along the beach and the island is round, so every few hours we loop back on the graveyard, the sun at midpoint in the sky forever, eventually the idea of a grave and tombstone stop surfacing, we're just walking, not making witty banter, and isn't it tedious, "so how much longer will this go on?", you ask, "will what go on," I say, "are we doing anything? I guess I missed it," "We're moving," you say, "that's a fact," "so stay here," I say, and you do and in a short time I'm coming up behind you and you're ahead of me, and I say, "Hey, how did you get ahead of me?" and you say, "I haven't moved," and a gleaming black crow sails down, landing between us, holding a rolled-up document in his bill, spitting it out, unrolling it, smoothing it out with his jagged claws, and it's a map, of sorts, showing a heavy dotted line tracing the periphery of the island, thinner dotted lines to various spots to the interior of the island, then looping back out or continuing across, always rejoining the heavy dotted line ringing the periphery, and a rectangular spot representing the grave plot, and near it written "The End", and the crow looks up at us, and you and I toddle off to a patch of grass in the shade to fuck, and the crow perches above us, screeching and cawing, disturbing our brief endeavor, a crow as tiresome as the world itself.

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