Fiction, Uncategorized

“The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. She had lived—who could say now with what passion?—since she had loved him for himself; whereas he had never thought of her (ah how it hugely glared at him!) but in the chill of his egotism and the light of her use. Her spoken words came back to him—the chain stretched and stretched. * * * * The Beast had lurked indeed, and the Beast, at its hour, had sprung; it had sprung in that twilight of the cold April when, pale, ill, wasted, but all beautiful, and perhaps even then recoverable, she had risen from her chair to stand before him and let him imaginably guess. It had sprung as he didn’t guess; it had sprung as she hopelessly turned from him, and the mark, by the time he left her, had fallen where it was to fall. He had justified his fear and achieved his fate; he had failed, with the last exactitude, of all he was to fail of; and a moan now rose to his lips as he remembered she had prayed he mightn’t know. * * * * This horror of waking—this was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze. Through them, none the less, he tried to fix it and hold it; he kept it there before him so that he might feel the pain. That at least, belated and bitter, had something of the taste of life. But the bitterness suddenly sickened him, and it was as if, horribly, he saw, in the truth, in the cruelty of his image, what had been appointed and done. He saw the Jungle of his life and saw the lurking Beast; then, while he looked, perceived it, as by a stir of the air, rise, huge and hideous, for the leap that was to settle him. His eyes darkened—it was close; and, instinctively turning, in his hallucination, to avoid it, he flung himself, face down, on the tomb.” — Henry James “The Beast in the Jungle” (1903)

“The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. She had lived—who could say now with what passion?—since she had loved him for himself; whereas he had never thought of her (ah how it hugely glared at him!) but in the chill of his egotism and the light of her use. Her spoken words came back to him—the chain stretched and stretched. * * * * The Beast had lurked indeed, and the Beast, at its hour, had sprung; it had sprung in that twilight of the cold April when, pale, ill, wasted, but all beautiful, and perhaps even then recoverable, she had risen from her chair to stand before him and let him imaginably guess. It had sprung as he didn’t guess; it had sprung as she hopelessly turned from him, and the mark, by the time he left her, had fallen where it was to fall. He had justified his fear and achieved his fate; he had failed, with the last exactitude, of all he was to fail of; and a moan now rose to his lips as he remembered she had prayed he mightn’t know. * * * * This horror of waking—this was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze. Through them, none the less, he tried to fix it and hold it; he kept it there before him so that he might feel the pain. That at least, belated and bitter, had something of the taste of life. But the bitterness suddenly sickened him, and it was as if, horribly, he saw, in the truth, in the cruelty of his image, what had been appointed and done. He saw the Jungle of his life and saw the lurking Beast; then, while he looked, perceived it, as by a stir of the air, rise, huge and hideous, for the leap that was to settle him. His eyes darkened—it was close; and, instinctively turning, in his hallucination, to avoid it, he flung himself, face down, on the tomb.” — Henry James “The Beast in the Jungle” (1903)
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Fiction

“The Bottle Toom Sequel” (Rough Draft #ad05241974 in progress)

 

“You’ve been held.
Obsessively since adolescence.
And this— This is the
Acme-appateaser - ”
thanks.
“Oh! And - you’re my personal
Source of hot, creeping dread.
And the Cobb Sal - Oh, perfect!
Midge has your meat!”ϒÐ
—Thanks.
“I mean she’s brought out –
Oh, you’re welc - uh,
The meat plate
For you.
For me!”
(server, after some kind of overly long pause,
effortlessly flashes what may be the most beguilingly
lovely smile, which she will sustain for the eater
what would be for anyone…
oh…uncomfortably…
too long.
for me, so
As you finish your Porterhouse steak –
(Sucking on another Pabst. Hm.) - by
The way…awful nice being your server tonight.
Oh, thank you!
Finally, as you make
The last Porterhouse piece
Disappear down your ugly mouthhole
From behind and into your head
I be the one driving A meat cleaver, hun.”

It finally becomes Crystal clear
That you have a Candle Problem.
The candles on every table in
The Steakhouse: stoicism
Yes. Vanilla scented.
And, yes, it’s true :
All of them sitting;
Ever-eating their Mumble.
Trying not to scream funny
Hope too see ya, too.
You’ve never ventured, erm, you know…
Outside Daddy’s county. And, well…
I think that’s a shame.
And I suppose while I’m at it
(this mildly imperious –
a bit entitled-seeming, yeah.)
I think I’ll repeat something to you:
I think that’s a shame –
Yes.

I think you became boring.
Understand that it is yr narrow, ever darkening,
Staunch rigor in that stance;
That posture you plant
Pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

The black soil of this county favors one such
As you - you, again like yr Daddy –
Freaking standing: tall, straight, arms crossed.
Just gazing into a middle distance
That has never been
Even a little interesting.
You are this statue: silent, dreary with
Your County thoughts.

Still.
Stand.
Static.
(Industrial Arson March 1, 1975, Shelton, Sponge Rubber products factory complex)

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