The Death of Fiction: A Letter to my Good Man, Hank

What’s good about the morning Hank?
My good man,
I only ask because,
god forbid, some zealot happens upon this starched note
and perceives me to be less than a proper animal.

It’s been maybe three weeks since we last came to blows,
I hope your eye fell out your head this last time.
Or did not heal correctly,
Or something just as wonderful.
That should teach you not to force me to pick a side.

I am not entirely American,
and on account of that cardinal sin,
I care very little for these Elephants and Donkeys,
And all the other crossbreeds roaming the fields.
Alas,
We are all some type of animal,
Some even more animalistic,
But very many are wild dogs.

Some of them exist without demands in this lesser caste,
Some of them do not bother to even exist.

I recall the reason for our scuffle now,
It arose from abiding two vast hours of Mr. Savage’s voice on some public radio.
Let me call a truce and put to rest the issues of that night by saying,
The man is for all intents,
A greasy right-winged nut-case,
The summary of him reads like a bright corridor with many unused picture frames, the synopsis of many meagre life choices directed by an over-bearing step-father–

And that is all I will say on the matter.

I hope this finds what is left of you in prime conditions nonetheless.
The white boys at the Iron Monkey are talking,
Of those things your churched wife hath whispered to their churched wives:
The moonlighting of your intergluteal cleft when you had become properly used up from drinking,
The conversations with your mirror reflection,
The buttery flakes of chips stuck in your hair and beard,
As you spent the remainder of your life watching fools dance for even greater fools on a flat screen you had not finished paying off.

But here is the serious thing,

I heard you had a revolver in your mouth recently,
And a suicide note at your elbow,
Of a missive drivel for this rowdy world,
A note at the back of a fast-food invoice that read:
‘Drink for me Fools, please be kind to my memory’.
Hank, was that all you could muster?

A writer’s suicide note should be something masterful,
prestigious,
good enough,
life-affirming,
Or don’t you agree?

Even in death, you begged,
Like the scum of the scum of the earth, you groveled.
You stinking loser!
Such douchebaggery.
You were never a decent writer,
Heck,
I was just as bad.
We could never write to save our mother’s neck,
But I bet you would have made a very bad stiff in a casket too,
With a corrupt smile on your bird face,
A wild front lawn to your name,
A solitary white flower in your breast pocket,
And a wife swimming in debt.

I hear you scrubbed up your face real good,
And did us a solid by first doing your ignoble laundry pre-mortem,
I hear you were about to end your unspecial life because –
Well – you had never yet found its sizzle.

Indeed, these trying times have become afflicted by insulated misanthropes with perfect teeth and credit scores,
Well-fed ignoramuses that will not read books,
Cannot ponder,
Will not wonder,
They are simply incapable of magic,
And on the superior account that they open a good book,
To render their minds to beautiful grace,
Things do not go to plan.

Indeed, in your defense,
This malady is worth eating a bullet for.

Because Hank,
I understand,
When an author grants entry into the hallowed cabinet that is his mind,
As we have so terribly done,
When these people gain passage into what is often times a smaller consciousness,
And very rarely,
A delicious skill.
When they get a hit of the first few lines,
They turn on the fairy lights,
They review the sanitation of the room,
They upset the vermin long in Darwinian excellence,
And move stuff.

They trample and flatten,
And take mental notes,
And take selfies,
And take and take and take.
They contaminate an already
Flawed scene with their
Pigeonholes,
Their gods,
Their myopia,
Their rose-colored spectacles,
Their loud chewing,
Their higher education,
The smell of what has always been unspoiled, they protest,
They invent incorrect query,

These days they don’t trust enough,
They interrogate a comma,
They run mad at a typo,
They bewitch with keystrokes,
And finer grammar.

When did we lose it Hank?
We have stopped standing still long enough to smell something fishy,
To smell a living rat,
To watch the bushes panic,
To see a gold chandelier shiver,
And its cable at the verge of breaking,
To see a godly woman hang dangerously at the edge of a bridge,
To see a toddler reach for a switch blade,
To see a drunk win the lottery.
We failed to hear the dying wish of a serial killer,
The music in an illicit kiss,
The crack of a broken smile,
The spirit of an urchin’s appetite,
To peek at the pastor do something abominable in a dark alleyway.

We are surrounded by people whose senses are never fully molested,
Whose feeling have never been damaged,
And so we may yet have a calamity on our hands Hank,
A mind epidemic,
The end times,
The great fiery Armageddon was not an event after all,
As prophesied,
It was instead a slow trifling process, a gradual kill-joy.

But come to the Iron Monkey tonight Hank,
Come so we will drink to your almost-death,
Share a prim Cuban,
Slap a bartop to make a point,
Grab a passer-by derriere,
And battle the man whose ego is injured by this,
We would chat about today’s vermin walking about in tight pants,
And vibrant shirts,
We would fight over these damned Elephants and Donkeys,
We would bet on the games,
And pity the fools that did not read us,
And hence, did not see god.

But save that one bullet Hank,
For when it is said and done,
It might indeed be your only saving grace.
Signed —
Your loving friend,
Kamara M.O

Advertisements

Death to the Editor-In-Chief

I sent my soul away in a brown envelope.
I sweet-talked a mighty god into cutting me a deal,
I begged the kindness of the greats,
Of Mohammed & Buddha & Krishna,
For a special gamble.

One piece of work that will seduce nuns,
And blonde with age underneath an inmate’s bed,
Infect the thinking of a mute lad,
Electrify a copycat.

One piece of work that will not an oily confection wrap,
Or block out the sun in some dusty attic.
I sent my soul away in a brown envelope,
To heal the sick, to raise the dead,
To walk on water,
Comfort a daughter molested,
Heal a wife trampled,
Skin a father lacking.

One piece of work that will upset mankind,
Every Tom, Dick, and Sally,
Everyone but the mighty editor-in-chief.

It was a starry night,
The moon held a certain arrogance,
It was a fabulous morning,
The sun was hot as fuck.
And the village drunkard roamed the train tracks
hunting down his wallet.

I know the madness of an editor-in-chief,
I know the cancer of an assassin too,
The constant want to dismantle,
The appetite to butcher.

I know the smell of a dying dream
It reads thus:

Dear Author —
Thanks, but no thanks.
We regret to inform you,
That we are memoired-out,
We want a kidney,
Can you give us a kidney?

Commercial,
Lovelorn,
Fatalistic,
Bed-wetting,
Snake oil,
Motherfuckers.

Who made you dogs over us?
Who took your bite?
As luck would have it,
How much you must loathe thyself for being,
With little honesty –
A bungled writer like me,
A seed in a hard place,
An oily quarter in a couch trench.

It has been said that your bald-head did not come by accident,
And that your salt-and-pepper graying was not an early chromosomal affair.
Snip, snip, tip, top,
A dream nosebleeds,
A woman deeps,
A life leaks.