NINE: Manhunt in the Heartland (Muñoz Was a Righteous Bust)
I hear the inner intern’s bobbin knob popping, an interurban daily Davey Crockett slop bucket parapet stopping clocks on the aboveground spot to talk shop. Check the squeaking jobbers on the interstate, frying up some Steakums ™ and frolicking: Tom Thumb’s gunshot Farsi gargling in the airport bathysphere.
I near cobbler gingerly, dried and dusted with old age, sugary and as powdery dry as a segment of fossilized rye, as a twist of tobacco in a pulverized lye tomb out back by the back bedroom, damp in the shadow of the hutches, where the gobbling came out, clucking under cover of mildewed daisies and feathers.
Milkweed Danish crushed slowly downstairs, slamming doors on the tiny uranium underground. Titanium nuggets in jockstraps pushed flames around, through the hatchback outback and into the steakhouses that violated onion salt beneath the pastry eaves, a kind of redshifting through sheets of framboise and primrose, parsnips and pruning shears by the plums and grapes drying toward prune-raisins in the severely hosed twilight where the towels cracked and split open like marble with ice in the stones, next door to a storm of eyes.
Pleasing plastic sheeting was wrapped around gold-leafed wormwood angels on a pole and secured with bungee cords to protect them from the crowds that susurrated sub rosa in the Ding Dong ™ cone-winds. Descend in the diving bell of Anubis, who’s crumbling ambergris in his short pants, knee deep in grease-stained yellow wrappers.
“Hash-fisting fratboys caught,” in the fluttering razor junkhole, clogged it to the yank-and-thrust of moist hot gold lame, the loin of closet frankfurtering. Jennifer Beals is hogging down chicken jackets in the truck.
“Help me pack these redingotes into my,” cream cheese Celtic converts (and these) culverts: into my small valise. I can store it in the galvanized, annealed shining rack above the raining train window. The widow is taking a trip by chimp wagon to Deep Hula.
Why does David Strathairn keep reaching up your skirt and pulling out iguanas and shouting and dropping them in a tin pail? Fiona Apple is crawling up my ass with a knife in her teeth. Santa Claus has befouled Jennifer Lopez’s linens. He squats there in the dark apotheosis like a crimp in a hose and somewhere a toad is barking. I think I saw Wilford Brimley in the dead light of the nighttime azaleas holding asparagus.
Sparkles shot off a can of sealed cans and tiny dogs barked in my fingerprints. Sprinkle-cans make dust puffs on the houseplant ledge. Who do you have to die to get a tablecloth, face. Innisfree or Lucknow. Small batch that I am burning in my brewing stamps and the Manichean implications of the stanchions multiply. Take a mussel hiatus from your muscular anus and scallions are vegetable trimmings. His “hand broken into” several pieces, which house brass columns rising like a column of smoke, spinning around – high-end retail metal sounds, steel spoons on the coiled braid brand of metal strings on the calliope Jones brisker (wooden) and brisket brad brands hang down the woolen coat.
TEN: I am the Antonioni of Films
So much happens to me I close out cities like equations. I move through the city they take my pattern. Lines of force like a magnet pulls the shifting line of a magnetic line. But when I exit, the circle is closed. For others, the same field may operate at 100%, but for me, I move, soiled by change, change the pattern, I move, I bleat.
In the cream-colored apartment building at Olive and Denny, the anxious but xenophobic stagehand skewered the actress from Tblisi on the chopping block as she chopped up cabbage and doorstops. It was as awkward fan and as anxious as anything he did in the city. He left it shortly thereafter, complaining about the flan, which always came in sideways off the sound, shot, or so he always claimed, by post-prandial clams armed with slingshots. That’s got your name on it.
In Panmunjon, ring-tailed lemurs use a 19th century screw-plate clothing press to squeeze the juice out of slacks. The juice, which is as purple as new wine or blackberry juice, but as yellow as Mountain Dew, runs down a Long Tom into a galvanized trough, along the trough and into a multi-teated glass gas bottler. The bottles are old and the glass has flowed, making the bottoms heavy and warping the light that passes through them, giving them the slightest tint of pink milk or blueberries to the juice which is a gas, the gas that they contain and which is contaminated by them and which they contaminate, Tammy and Li’l Tammy Rapeseed who kept a shoebox full of five thousand dolls the size of kernels of corn kernels.
The metallic stench of slot-machine gauntlets whiten as they bleach in an old paint pan in a desert the ditch of which is windblown nudity manuals? A single glove, spray-painted silver and rubbed with iron filings, with the furtive fiddlings and fondlings of quarters suspended in a moment of terror before the dark neon tacos, as the rail bum Jan Drum stops before the syncopated updraft of the bus’s air brakes, breaking cornstalks of terror into the bikini sidecar of winkling test tube diseases in the lounges, percolates upward in the throat of Ham Toasticlier.
Drum found, acid-etched on the back of a vandalized school crossing sign, and written in the language of pants, formed of hundreds of abandoned slacks, slick with the filth of passers-by, a list of secret truths, which he memorized and formed the basis of a school of thought that influenced a generation, from garbage truck drivers to secretaries of the treasury to archaeologists who specialized in paleo-agricultural studies in the Near East.
• Ubuntu is a block of wood tied to a bamboo pole which savages whirled about their heads to play “I Believe in Miracles,” a bullroarer of tubules that called down rain.
• Chrome force-extrudes a fudge-like substance tainted with cherry around which light bends to serve as wheel-locks on Athabascan chariots of the gods.
• Mentos are node computers running Salvator Mundi protocols of profound derivations in the hammersmiths of cockles.
• Facebook’s API scrambles the post-toasties of several harmonious toad cushions.
• Force-ported by Scum Wedginton, the scarce chocolate OS of epiphones frumbudgulates a piano doctor where it intersects argumentative reality where cloud compartments bubble up the channel of Ruby, which is a kind of scanner or something.
Then he saw a boob and galloped into a fruit stand and never felt the clammy hands of robot trance dancers again.
ELEVEN: My Pants are in the Chancellery or an Oriental Mystery
My pants are in the chancellery. The chives are in the pantry and the knives in the highboy. The oxalic’s in the carboy, bubbling broadly like a broiled steer, while the Lesbian decants in the demijohn and the Merovingian decamps from the Savoy.
The roistering loblolly lobsters forth remnants. There are always three remnants involved when there are revenants involved: The rudiments of impedimenta, the Red Monk of Crinsel’s Toff and dementia resulting from the marriage of impossible dimensions.
Then the lobscouse came down and the chickens came home to roost, the cows came home and the camas root boiled at the foot of a friend’s frown. Olga Korbut and Gina Lollobrigida shot the log flume to the tinkle-bells of girlish squeals. They hit the showers. From Karkemish to Kentish Town, the tingling came to stay, rubbed into the creases.
I’m writing another novel in the Captain Pantsuit series. I write in the evenings on the veranda of Shepheard’s Hotel in the Ezbekia, nursing a goat-bladder of ice-cold karkadee.
“Contrapuntal polyglots clicked and popped as they wormed their way under the carpet pads piled up in the corner of the derelict hotel on dreaming of roasted red peppers and the dust-flavored, dun-colored evenings in Teseney.
“’They call me The Ointment,’ he said told the Captain. ‘Habeeble is making tuxedo bombs out of oxen and lamp-black in the back of his carpet shop on Bab ‘Al Prognosis in the Precast Concrete Parking Chocks District.’”
On the cornice, I see the British spy they call Screaming Mimi—he who specializes in the honeypot trap—giggling and making suggestive motions with a shadouf. The Minister of Intelligence slows his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Phaeton to waggle his titanic eyebrows at the setting sun.
“Why is your rectum so tacky?” he asked the man on the bus. “Like an inexpertly cleaned coffee table in a house shared by five young men of college age? In my day, every morning at six a.m. or thereabouts, they delivered Shostakovich in shapeless leather bags they dumped on the stoop.”
My pants have assumed a sinister aspect. In the corner, partially hidden by a potted palm, a Lebanese chanteuse chants a soft chanson, while his chanticleer, canted, clings to the cantle of his saddle, watching the cattle clop by on their way to the Windsor’s Barrel Bar for pink gins.
(I don’t have enough focus to even make an incomprehensible reference. So: one pitch was spiked. Let me know what you think of this one. May have to wait until tomorrow. Had a story out this morning, so… Reasonably sure my study is full of faeries trying to eat salt water taffy super quietly. But I know. I know they’re there.
I feel funny. I’m floating on an Azerbaijani carpet as documentarian Wolf Tiskit feeds me melon-flavored cotton candy and Charlie’s Angels-era Cameron Diaz underwear dances to some horrible old Matador Records band. In other words, I think I may take a nap. Hey, I did find that focus in the end.)
My lavish pants are in the lavatory. My leather pants are in the larder. My paper pants are in the pantry. My pants are made of pastry. Patty Cakes breaks down breakdance pants for the neutron dance the nutria do.
A man from France plants bugs under the dust jackets of the one hundred and forty-five volumes of the Proceedings of the Royal Society for the Prevention and Promotion of Transient Skullduggery in the library of the Mena at the behest of Scratch Bondi.
(“Todo para la patria.”)
The day I got famous, the bathmat took on a sinister cast, there where the women shaved their necks with straight razors, where the lobsters strictly came dancing into the paper envelopes of baking parchment with pastry sleeves in garters garnished.
[For Morpheme Tales 1-8, consult Exquisite Corpse.]