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Epic of ruin


A new thought,

a smell of lemon peel but the sting’s in the throat
always in tension

He sits in the middle of the metro bus, speaking into a dictaphone. His is unshaven, swaddled in an extravagance of filth and odor, a tweed greatcoat clutched at the neck, lapels up like a funnel clogged by his bony angular head.

Further ruin, number 689-70. She whipped me with my own pendulous member. Pendulous. A man’s penis must not be used against him. This event to take up two entries in the chronicle of my ruin.

The driver checks him in the rearview mirror. The bus is otherwise empty but still he crowds the window, pressing into it, scheming, plotting, streams of thinning hair lifting, seeking to escape in the updrafts.

He removes a package of coughdrops, shakes it violently. They are stuck together in the bottom of the homemade box in a syrupy rheum. Have a lemon lozenge, Horace. My voice is failing me. Once there was a time when the palliative harmonics of my voice could postpone the inevitable asswhipping. It could also slice through the dense crust of disapprobation present in most women who confront me. Parry the thin long fillet knife they invariably select for my dismemberment. Not that I discount the episode with the poultry shears. Where was I.

He turns off the recorder momentarily. He switches it on. He stares ahead, switches if back off and surmises:

June, she must be found. I know her voice through the vents and plumbing gorgeous and horrified and visits with you even when there is no booze. That’s something. Her voice raids the cabinets and starts a fire in the ashtray; this voice you can’t quite hear with the water running, or even with the lights on.