Touchstone Falls in Love With a Dull-Witted Goat Girl Named Audrey.

by | Oct 16, 2020 | Dean Cleaning One | 6 comments

A wood hanger used as kindling. A leather notebook cover given by a first love Lord imagine all the refills threads coming apart at the seams like prom boating cabin first everything memories. Little white earbud box covered in German wax smudge found in a hostel named after a fruit one morning after a continental breakfast. Peach. A reading lamp dust covered with Evelyn Waugh adverbs making the bulb bulge with melodrama reflected on wainscoting. Bicycle pump pestle sized could make lewd jokes but this ain’t the place time is short. Lace curtains knotted to allow daylight for sofa dust to exist. Shutters that bang in the wind to Smooth FM radio playing off the TV while the cistern fills could call it a symphony if hearing wasn’t important. Thick wool socks an inheritance from the younger brother only thing he left remember going into his room after the funeral asking what do you want me to have? Empty backpack under the iron bed compass on the handle abandoned from the aborted Camino on the second day after coming down Montserrat’s wrong side the police shut down Igualada and every sunny afternoon thank god the bus out of town ran before the supermarkets emptied. A Bill Withers LP cover sticker price in cruzeiros. A 1977 Black Sparrow paperback of Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women, every. single. page. dog-eared. Green rubber flip-flops heels worn to tile. Van Morrison’s lyrics Someone exactly like you. No Lego. Dried brown daisies wedges between silver dollars in a three-ringed binder. A stuffed ashtray on a plane’s armrest too full to close. A shitty photo of a wall framed in plastic as if glass was extravagant snickering you will always be renting you will never own minimum wage is your destiny work will never be rewarding stay out of jail. Tangerine peel. Ripped off pumpkin. No soup recipe in memory. Wine bottle olive oil filled by a generous neighbor. Football sized tomatoes waiting to be sundried. Concrete stone beside fire poker as if guffaw doors needed locking as if simper skating down rivers to deliver the news or babies were still a thing. A noose formed by pills. A shark’s pearly teeth hanging around a lover’s neck jackknife thick on a Sunday morning after the oozing chaos after mass sharing one chocolate cone to save money and lick the drips off each other’s wrist. Got to break your neck to see a star in this yard.      

6 Comments

  1. Trent

    A cool litany of things, David~

    “No soup recipe in memory.” is my favorite item from it.

    Makes me wonder about the neighbor and the donated wine bottle for olive oil – did they ever get anything in return?

    Some things never get balanced out, of course –

    This makes me think of imbalances, in a list/audit kind of way.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Gay Degani

    I liked this image a lot: “Shutters that bang in the wind to Smooth FM radio playing off the TV while the cistern fills could call it a symphony if hearing wasn’t important.” I smiled at “A Bill Withers LP cover sticker price in cruzeiros” because I have no idea what cruzeiros are, but it seemed to totally appropriate for Bill Withers whom I love. Then “Van Morrison’s lyrics Someone exactly like you.” So the music of the language you use is perfect to the rhythm of your writing. Loved the food riff. Really enjoyed this. I wish I’d done this. I wanna try it.

  3. Tommy Dean

    oooh, I love this opening image. It set me on edge with tension right from the start! I really love the flow here, the way you eschew punctuation as if this is the persona’s brain flitting from image to image, but it’s so much deeper than that, because you linger and pause on such great images! There’s an intuitive arc here that brings me right along like a rushing river that allows me to take a breath every once in a while and really see what’s before me! Kind of reminds me of how our mind tries to take in a really great piece of art or painting, trying to name all the details at once and then giving into close scrutiny of separate objects!

    A reading lamp dust covered with Evelyn Waugh adverbs making the bulb bulge with melodrama reflected on wainscoting.
    A 1977 Black Sparrow paperback of Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women, every. single. page. dog-eared.
    A shark’s pearly teeth hanging around a lover’s neck jackknife thick on a Sunday morning after the oozing chaos after mass sharing one chocolate cone to save money and lick the drips off each other’s wrist.

    This last line makes us have to go back and reconsider all of the objects again! Love the way it shifts the entire piece! If you revise, consider that something to look into! I just love this rush of details!

  4. Constance Malloy

    David,

    I really enjoyed the rush of ideas and images here: A shitty photo of a wall framed in plastic as if glass was extravagant snickering you will always be renting you will never own minimum wage is your destiny work will never be rewarding stay out of jail.

    In fact, this whole piece is a rush that made me keep turning back (in a good way) saying, “Did I just read what I thought I read?” And, then, “Oh. I did.” You give the reader a lot to consider, and the last line functions as the period to the whole piece. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and made we want to go back and look for the star. To see if you had Agatha Christied one along the way.

  5. Kella

    DAVID! This is incredible. The stream-of-conscious blur of richly layered details, the feeling that this piece reads like a wall of prose-poetry, which washes over me, and I’m sure other readers, with such force as well as concrete, evocative details and yet still restrained, juxtaposed feeling, especially when we get to the section about the (your?) younger brother (heartsick over these details and the level of emotional depth): “Thick wool socks an inheritance from the younger brother only thing he left remember going into his room after the funeral asking what do you want me to have?” We get a pretty definitive hint of what happened with this killer line: “A noose formed by pills.” Ugh. The ending is exquisite and lingers still: “…thick on a Sunday morning after the oozing chaos after mass sharing one chocolate cone to save money and lick the drips off each other’s wrist. Got to break your neck to see a star in this yard.” Yes, the image of the neck and death and great beauty rendered out of sadness, out of frugality of a shared ice cream cone. Very excited to read more! ~Kella

  6. Meg Tuite

    LOVE your wild ass, gorgeous ride from one sentence to the next! The objects and your description is visceral and unique! Poetry rocking every line. Please never stop! LOVE!

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