Can’t mend nets in flood. No sense drifting down the gutter go butts masks guppies yesterday’s sausage batter fat batten down the hatches no reprieve to rise. See that fridge floating down Main, board and arm paddle use cord as stern line don’t draw attention dice the selves add more garlic. Harness named drops sprinkle any spice not yet drowned bloomed look there! The alter-boy young you wading armpit deep shielding lit fat advent candle with ladle palm robe stained seed-yellow from trespasses do not revisit ticket expired envision all indulgences. Keep gob eye nostril shut. Be brave take one for the team which has no I in it who knew—Brussel sprouts floated—you are the wrong. 

Illusion please pass the delusion sea salt mad riff off sphere glare jam a cork wedge under the window between still and pain. Pray harder nothing else opens slosh slosh order the bill with a side of insurance policy guzzle homemade old-fashioneds under bifocals the tender’s arms a bargepole ask Father Nelligan to pull the ax from our eye. Quick stolen wine chalice spilling we’ve seen the ripple our whole bloody lives battling stain.

That mutt rain threatens return. Walk it off. Talk it away. We believed life jackets would float bodies. The waves are slapping the castle walls now. Dice those onions finer, a final royal command as the umbrellas turn trombone slides, wind fantastic. The Zydeco symphony low front drifts toward higher ground. Wet suit. Oxygen.

Dear Saints, hide the hysteria, that tanker on the horizon is assault not rescue.

7 Comments

  1. sara lippmann

    Illusion please pass the delusion! David, this is an absolute dazzler. Did this feel as good to write as it does to read? Brilliant explosion of language — and I especially love the expansiveness of scope of voice — how different this piece is from your last one, how a story like this demands to be read out loud. And I am amazed by the control and precision (The only thing that snagged me when I read out loud is The alter-boy young you — del the and young? and maybe you don’t need adjective fat in advent — “shielding lit advent..)

    The writing is so dynamic and ALIVE and fiercely refreshing and forceful. But the best is, the language swirl suits the narrative and thus feels intrinsic and not remotely put-on

    And I appreciate the simple grounding of:

    We believed life jackets would float bodies.

    a final royal command as the umbrellas turn trombone slides, wind fantastic.

    and that last line.

    Love the title. Love this. YES! Thanks!

  2. Nancy Bauer-King

    Whoa. One saucy image after another. I read this through twice. Slowly. And am amazed at the rapid fire “flood” of words. Great lines: order the bill with a side of insurance policy; alter-boy young you. (If this is the Catholic boy, the spelling is “altar” UNLESS you want the CHANGE – the boy being “altered.” If so, even more meaningful.
    I was interested in the additional references to religion. THANK YOU!

  3. Todd Clay Stuart

    Great jumping stew of jazz, the beats, prose poetry all awash in titled sea images. I laughed at the team has no I in it, thinking of those hilarious memes where people actual do find the “I” in team. 😀 Great work, brotha!

  4. Meg Tuite

    David! WOW! Move aside JJoyce! The language in this is masterful. Each line its own world! This is definitely made to be read aloud! Absolutely gorgeous and mesmerizing! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  5. Jonathan Cardew

    This is a trip, the sentences tumbling out with words that spin into some kind of mad shape; loved reading this–send this one out!!! Love this: “Be brave take one for the team which has no I in it who knew—Brussel sprouts floated—you are the wrong.”

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

  6. April Bradley

    This seems so heavy to me, contrasted by the language which floats. It’s brilliant, David. I hope to see published soon.

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