by Steve Aylett
I'm building a monument to the dead penguins of the
world, all the ice cream smooth gliders who skidded the
windows like rain glince as fashion passed, the glossy
magazines gone blackwet in the alleys - mulch it and use it
to plug your ears, brother. Take it from me a monument
like this'll have me biting my own fist in frustration,
thwarted by my own ambition.
Is that so then.
Oh yes I'm forming a plaque out of dud engines stalled
in 45 under mothership rays and returned to deserts empty,
rotorblades straight as ma's apple pie, sweetheart snaps
on the dash, frayed almost to the smiles and heart and sand
in the bone, I'll get famous then name them all.
All a them - all them who said.
I bet you do, sonny jim. I'm building a monument to
chickens destroyed before they could achieved their writing dreams.
Yes farm chickens what other kind.
Writing dreams of farm chickens.
Do you need to repeat it all, can I have the baton back
now. Their dreams yes, flattened as though by the iron foot
of an argonaut statue.
As heroic as that.
I say so, I say so - I declare it so. There are heroes in
every world. I'm building a monument to the dolt who said
I was a man before my time. Let him understand the taut
stretch of his error.
Wait a small minute there - these chickens now, they
wrote or had ambitions to do so - what sort of thing did
they achieve in that area.
They would say such things as, 'we try to grow eyebrows
for fifteen years - or for as long as it takes'.
Is that so.
Yes. Or, 'romance on the outside, my table aint
the only one, lover'.
Do they have that level of understanding.
I say they do.
Did any sane man hear the birds speaking.
The wife heard.
Oh the wife.
Beautiful wife. Lovely wife.
Oh here he goes, he thinks she's stood here.
I'm making a monument to one afternoon in Feb when
you told me I was a real belter, a two fisted mother, a
barrelling corker of a bear. And I snorted, saying only
'something full of memories and nourishment is soup, your
memoirs, structure, metropolis in mire, bleeding into this
ocean you call a cheese sandwich'. I was working on the car
and you chopped the prop out from the hood so that
everything went black for me, and for once yes I was crying
underneath, positive the lunch crowd were split in their
loyalties and losing control.
Your wife's a real beaut, eh.
Ah baby what a team, palms popping at eachother's
chops in the lazy afternoon, top of our game.
I said, can yuh hear me.
I'll tell you one thing brother.
Oh so you're back now.
Listen close. Midnight details and rat tails, island rocks,
fully grown, between us. That's how it ends.
How what ends, brother.
The life of a clown.
Gentlemen have many terms for the dead and many levels of
decomposition. Their world is the final version, their actions already taken. They don't
let go easily. Smiles are not a part of their worth. Topics of interest may not awake
them. Wounds spurt sand. Death for them is distinguished and garnished with dainty
platitudes. Their frontier is delineated only by eyeliner. They say, 'The true use of
suspicion is a holy thing.' They say 'Pursuit is a negotiation.' They say 'Respect the
paper.' They are a beacon of absence.