“Know thyself. The author must die so the reader may live.”

––Ancient Greek meets a wandering deconstructionist

Prologue. Events No one can rightfully remember…

Deconstruction along the vines of higher learning has been well on its thorny way since Hermes took note of slim odds on personal survival in a God v. Man pissing contest. Trying to keep up the ancient façade was troubling enough, but when God quit talking and humanity wouldn’t shut up, even the trees in the forest knew they had identity problems. From his thoroughly patched corner of the bright blue planet gone green with envy in stark madness of the half-lost and permissively bleak soul, where deviled steak thoroughbreds peppered the landscape like lilies turned fruity inside straight unspectacular races, autumn fell this year like muscled rain and marvelous bullets bloody with fear, afraid of atonement not by the sword, but by the exclusive invincibility of a single drop of blood which had been shed for the… He had always thrived on learning and labeling and loathing the ferocious fire and exhaustion of men unmasking the cause of historical theatre, giving it the good college try, the shot heard not around the world but against the backboard of the senses in a blazing saddled up effort to reconfigure the lost causes that reappear on the scattered scenes, over and over again, like a kleptocracy of locusts festive to a cloudy mind. It had always been his easiest subject in split infinitive school, but then he tended to show brilliance in nearly everything he needed to do when faced with the faceless dull service of just getting by. Especially in the earlier years of a life well-earned by parents he could barely put into words. But that was another time. Another era. Another crash course extremity, although he would occasionally fondle the representative taxations of the past fondly and with fingers stiff and imaginary, clench them like holy memory beads as if secret history itself were yesterday’s bush ax felling the fallen weeds and summer rushes of an illustrious garden that never was too much for anything and never too little for everything but a bushel of better day tomatoes, a blushing handful of fancy okra, a few squashheads, and a camp salad or two worth of dwarfed bell peppers and cabbages to wring glory from most brittle of relationships encrusting the bleeding heart liberals spooled inside a conservative trump. Clearly, there’s something wrong with the nation’s soil, but it tested well, and eager split-fingered blame is always spread around with a fork and an inside fastball like bitter seed these days. It’s the new collective thought processes, you know. Sssh. Look, stern warnings have been issued along the Pike, no farming. The spot behind the old slave shack blocked the afternoon sun with too much angular shade and not enough whistling Dixie while we worked…

This is the Late Great Commonwealth of Virginia. Too many folks have never eaten okra. Seems like such a shame in culinary terms, but like and dislike goes on. Making house and studio in this once grand historical old fortress, the log cabin portion presumed to have been erected circa 1740, with what is now the basement, the undergirder, the promise of a better life through science and freedom and the slave house nearby, the antebellum elegance of the perpendicular wing an unnecessary nod to a higher standard of living a hundred years later, according to Marx, the Belanger farmhouse yet, formerly the pet and the peeve of beget, and begetting another Lord Fairfax tract running simpler guns across the Loudoun and Shenandoah valleys with its three levels a go go were a crucial key to dislodging the wobbly foals of its colonial past and his own parakletic paradox of knowing just how to deal with the welfare of the living without giving way to the beast busy doing countertheraputic backstrokes within one’s own neck, bouncing checks ten inches inches than the last picture show and his pride of pulling pursestrings in lazy pursuit of happiness seeking the balance.

Who am I kidding? There is no prologue. I am writing this as true as fresh deer tracks glazing the south pasture. There is no he in me. I am, dammit, I am. I gave up long ago trying to piece together a strict buzzline for hazy folks who read too fast for their own good and mine, for sophisticates who bide their expensive time naming genius and taking fatter and fatter bribes to do so in a rather secret fashion in groovy expectation that no one can truly claim how much politicking is really going on in the modern boardroom of hearty literary circles, and hardly a wall 12 inches thick between them anymore, forevermore, quoth the not so rare Baltimore raven. Sam the Butcher shot seven of them dead just the other morning.

But what is 12 inches thick are the walls of the Belanger farmhouse, and the fact that mine and hers entire past twenty or so years have been famously protected by brick and mortar homestyling, and it felt good, good as plated armor on a museum soldier without a war to beat the odds of dying in the bucket or living like a fraction of one’s former self never a whole number again but an honorable if not spectacular contraction of combatants, heroes, hooligans, clandestine philistines, creeps, lilliputians, and other similar restraints on time keeping memories close to the vest, quite unlike the honey bee liberal politics that run rabid on feelings, as I’ve been drilled to understand them, but walking away as fast as I could without being noticed for the pachyderm aggregate stimulating my skin, the largest organ of my body, by the way, and yours too, of course. My chest wound.

Prologue? Hmmm…

Being born, he not being born is a busy dying man. The poet nailed it with that one, he thought, because even he had realized soon enough that someone must reclaim the notion of corporeal life without the hangouts, hangups, hangovers, and the hardly well hung, that someone must stand up and shout to the heavens and the stars themselves that this high falutin’ event of being born is good, you know, good with a capital GEE, no subscript. And that’s the way it’s always been. Where did we lose it? Now it’s just on old TV. But the baby killers have always been among us too. Headline news. Fetus snatching became the stormy norm for many of my management peers and postdated predators, becoming code for the cure to everything under the sun it seems when circulating in the spiral of a civilization taking a leak by pissing it all away for a chance to fear again. But don’t get us wrong. Merely, merely on the wall, even a half-formed opinion has a chance to taste the fall. Tom Pyn thinks the rest will come later, come later, come later, or else never come again. In any case, I need to rest now. the software continues to bug the garden. Eve is calling me for more fattening. My skin is crawling with efforts I will never understand. At least Hermes is in the book already, never to message us again. But I will never stop. They can hurl names and accuse me of dithering, but as in any great compilation of thoughts, nobody knows how to kick them outside the Gates of Eden.

And thinking of breasts, I saw this picture: enormous livelihoods, men draped in suspenders and braces standing idly among heavy, heaving breasts, not so much naughty or obscene as natural, as natural as the damned unathletic penguin gait, twisted vertebrae, and deep-rooted razor sharp crooked rows of teeth I inherited from my booze soaked nadir, gaming the ample stir in the common loins of figurative matrimony with its own saluted version of field-tested patriotism, men we decorated as the Great Generation once, but now we no longer bank on the powers of the well-girded. We have succumbed to Gideon’s dilemma. In telling Hermes there’s a reason for all that brash thinking, hold onto your horses, the season’s nigh upon us. Encountered by enfilading prologue, the entire world will be ordered to rest sore eyes upon us at once, will pay us with all due respects, and then hang out their own “Closed For Repair” sign to wink at both Man and God. The question is, who among us will remain standing at the close of business that great and terrible day.

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