The Fairly Tragic Ballad of Flailin’ McDrab

Chapter -1

The Poet said: “Yes, yes,
I am. A Poet am.
The Guess has long been cramm’d
on my soul, and only
recently have I took
my spine—bonely like books’
all along—and stood up
straight—on my eyes, mouth—
like pups born north, raised south.
I have a… a vision.”
And with this, what follows,
he did begin to close
the distance of his walk:
to set his feet boldly,
like talkless and oldly
general takes proud steps
out to a firing squad,
having been prep’d to God—
a firing squad composed
of his own trained soldiers:
those most like sons, brothers—
to be shot for treason—
and he stares resolute
and on a pin turns boot
to face the squad, salute—
except the Poet talked.
Back shooted straight as stalk,
he spoke with an eye-glaze,
a glaze which coated words
like clay: heat haze re-ferred
and re-fired that clay hard,
making his words like stone,
like shards of the first moan
from modern vocal chords,
refined by pure language;
and his arms soared with pidg’
loftiness—like, before
touching the brush to it,
how pour and let them flit
the hands of a painter
move when that painter sees
where they’ll daint or trapeze
over a large mural,
a wall now, but if hands
could fill, then… or a band’s
rather—after tapping
the stand, ‘fore the snapping
begins of the music:
how that conductor will
spread thickly, grandly fill
the instruments’ players
with sound’s sound. So he said:
“All my sayers in bed
lie. But I’ve a vision.
I feel it inside me.
And whin I can set free
it, it will pour forth from
these hands, this mouth, this… this”
(though in the dumb spot his
hand touched his chest, said:) “mind.
It will captivate-free
all signs, all apathy
to print and thought and soul.
It will let loose, explode,
make the parts holes and snowed-
in lodgers love the cold.
I just have to find words,
a bold language, the curds
of the hearts.” The drops stuck
to the grass, fell soundly
from the trees, tucked boundly
inside cracks and caverns
of branches, released by
the turning sun’s slow fly.
“Embrace all humankind
if one is—be—oneself.
The mind will put on shelf
all vision if visions
are limited to mirrors.
In end, to win, to fear
this self-simulation
behavior, is to walk:
the sin ’tis not to talk,
nor not to not to talk,
but to be closed to talk:
to break the chalk, to caulk—”
This drop-filled dramatic monologue
has long been held captive in my brain:
poetic uncloggers add more stains,
require chores
to unwork—
or, new work:

The Fairly Tragic Ballad of Flailin’ McDrab
by Matthew Todd Greenfield

Chapter 0

Now, where shall I begin?
Let’s see, where should I start?
‘Twere sin to now brain-fart,
to forget before I
remember, while it crawls
the highest high of talls—
my memory, that is—
jumping alive to crash,
abyss both fire and ash.
To respond to the blank
with blankness will not do;
as, if I thank the stew
in which all of us boils,
the thanking will be rude:
it spoils with gratitude.
No, I won’t be starting
with preliminaries:
dumbing smarting won’t ease.
And quieting noises
with preludes or prologues,
toys disliked—smokes and smogs—
insults not only you,
but also to him—he—
man—too, ’tis discourt’sy.
Now look what I have done!
Mentioned him that is him,
only begun to dim.
Thus, through introspection
and philosophizing,
lexion offers him sting:
prior introduction
my words from my words steal,
no production of feel—.
And this man—O that he!—
deserves more deserving
than me. His car’s swerving,
and so now—Yes, now now—
dis-espoused here by me
is all phil-louse-sophy.
Don’t you touch that dial,
’cause now the show is here:
watch while I disappear.
Here commence the magic
with this—without pity—
ballad tragic-ditty.
His first name was Flailin’,
and his other McDrab.
Within these two small tabs
were all that was of him;
I write this less because
the word of “him” than “was,”
as his names were all he
left and took; taken left
was he, of past bereft.
He—nor no one—ever
had the slightest notion.
A stream, never ocean;
could be what one could
say, if one could be one,
if could could be begun.
But as much as we can’t,
so could Flailin’ not see;
but not through scant mem’ry,
but through non-existence
of what we would call a
too-dense, too-light, a… uhh,
past, for lack of a word.
F. McD. was around,
but—though absurd it sound
no one—including him—
could ever pinpoint-think
a limb to his life’s brink.
That is, until the start
that will soon be starting,
his horse went cart-darting,
his his traveling this
way, then that, any hold
amiss in the fast cold
of the unfathom’ble
a bucket full of rained.
So thus neither nurture’s
natures nor not nature’s
nurtures gave him tortures—
without which we would not—
but he: dungeons-ages
lost, and ungot cages.
So, just as a mother
with child has a faint glow
when her child doesn’t show
in her life-holding girth,
and yet others can see
the baby’s birth proph’cy;
so did Flailin’ McDrab’s
past life show without it:
a crab apple’s hid pit.
So-so; without a past
to bind or set him free,
at first and last was he.
That is to say, he was.
And in wassing F.M.
was fuzz on a tree stem:
Neither seed, fruit, nor leaf,
but instead a dust speck
hugging a chief tree’s neck.
So was the world and he.
For him one word fits in:
Happy’s his description.
That’s all that one could say,
in the end of it all;
oth’wise dismay or stall
is all chron’clers can do
with him, or for him, or
him; and the McDrab’s tale
is so full and demands
nothing so stale as hands
that would jibber-jabber
with descriptioning Flai’,
it burns so with the day.
Our day. This day. That one
flow’ring august August,
no blight of sun or dust
creeping in ‘mongst the Earth
and her wand’ring masses,
no dearth of Glad Passes
to be passed around. Ah,
could that day ever know
what a great fa-ti-do
emerged from its bosom?
I think not; nobody
can sum gratuity
to the world’s large repast
when served by such waiters
that go so fast; and sure’s
the thing… the thingness too.
But when it’s “finally”
gone through… perhaps we’ll see.
But, that’s all inc’dental,
just the scene of the scene;
those “with mental” are keen
so as to never need
such stages and smoke screens,
so seeds without the means
of water or dirt may
still see the day dayin’;
so on that day Flailin’
walked out of his/a house,
wearing a pair of pants,
a blouse, and happystance.
(I am counting on you,
O Reader; don’t forget:
Happy’s F’s true mindset.)
As in a Greek com’dy-
dramatic sort of thing,
stepping loudly, the king-
main-character guy comes
out of a big dwelling—
but mum’s the spelling
for that stupid chorus
thing—Flailin’ McDrab came
out of [ ] house just the same,
except there wasn’t an
exposition, and the
house-man… well, you see… uhhh—
He may not have lived there,
this before this begin,
but it was… Theory: in
theory, someone should live
there, and that someone must—
we give him here our trust—
know Flailin’ McDrab; but,
he did walk out of it,
no matter what posit
else comes out of suppose.
And he had a smile-head,
like roses have theirs red.
Flailin’ McDrab set off
from that house with gallant
stride, boldly loftly bent
nowhere in partic’lar,
the world in late summer
tickler to the number-
enjoying qualities
of the brain, mind, or heart,
with fallities to start
so soon—in September—
that he had no real choice:
embers have such a voice
that even fire-haters
must watch their slow fading,
caught by Later’s baiting.
Which is to say nothing
of F.M., with such ex-
mysting, his not-complex
disposition bubbling
through his existenceing,
happy to fling and sing.
But that was what made F.
much more astoundedly
so—when he discovered—
not half fifty paces
were uncovered—laces
still most thoroughly tied—
that with his own two eyes
he spied—doubting the spies—
a man, much like himself,
but with his truthy smile
on some old shelf, to while
the time away in sleep,
not showing its bright might,
but keeping kept up tight.
The man carried a case,
and he went walking on,
just as his face prolong
prolonged its lengthening
as he went, though it’s just
tending the same old fuss
it always was would,
though the face’s owner
didn’t know he could closer
the fuss and face as well.
And that’s all that Flailin’
could tell, without mailin’
the Office of Records,
which he didn’t have to do.
Having no words curfew
for friends or for strangers,
F. followed him, intent—
dangers though there could went—
to ask of the man’s sad
state, and so he quickened
his speed a tad, sickened—
in a good way—as he saw the man
jump on a bus, and so he jumped too,
in a jumpy can-can, glad to use
his small brawn.
So join us—
on the bus.

Chapter 1

As soon as he was in
that efficient transport—
often joked on for sport
by gas-guzz’lers galore—
Flailin’ McDrab sat down
to the big bore of Town
Call’d Emotion, that man
having displayed nothin’
to tan his inner skin.
And Flailin’ McDrab said
unto him, in his voice:
“It seems you’re dead. Rejoice!”
The man paid him no mind.
In fact, he gave his debt
o’er, signed himself dead-set
against conversation,
moving himself rearward
from elation, tearward
despite—or because—of
everything. Flailin’s brain,
above the thought of bane,
assuming he hadn’t
heard his too-brief discourse,
followed his canter horse
to the bus’s stern stern,
where many such gathered
to learn from their own herd
the means and ways of all-
silent thoughts. Flailin’ asked:
“Why has this ball so tasked
you that you hate to smile?
For surely in your past
a while—maybe your last
true while if you keep up
this demeanor—has set
in its stirrups to get
you to feel something good.”
The man did not answer—
if could he—but, dancer-
like, returned to the place
he started from with no
purpose but placement, though
he did look at Flailin’
as if to say, ” … “; so he,
taken with the pity
in the look, returned too.
With both sitting in their
former venues, he dared
to assail a third time,
but Flailin’ was stopped, as
a chime was heard, and Chaz—
for this was the driver’s
name—called out the stop; but
a voice—a her’s—un-shut
itself and released the words:
“Hey, why do you follow
like birds this man-wallow?”
As a baby at breast
is reluctant to wean
and give suck rest, but leans
a bit from Mom when one
comes along with blinking toy,
so, done with the sad boy
yet intrigued by the bulb
of the woman’s query,
Flailin’ was culb’d merry.
“I’ve no reason except
I’m happy, but he’s not.
Perception tells he’s got
nothing to smile about.”
At this the woman stared.
Flailin’ laughed out loud. Scared
the woman soon became;
but, after staring more,
a tame train of thought bore
its way into her skull.
“The next stop’s the lib’ry,
and, though it’s dull, you’ll see
there—if you look enough—
the reason why he’s glum.
May tough encounters come
to you, as you find out
what happiness is, and
why I now doubt your hand.”
F.: “But I am happy.”
As the stop sounded loud:
“You’ll see.” Flailin’ then bowed,
and exited the bus.
There he saw before him
that all the fuss was prim
and proper, this “lib’ry”
that the woman spoke of
a tree of bricks, some doves
flying about—no wait,
they were in fact pigeons,
guards of the state dungeons
and orphanages too.
With so much at present
to do, the firmament
of old architecture
Flailin’ entered, then turned
to the structure of burned
and molded steel, the well
of stairs, to where the books
did dwell; to where those hooks
have caught similar fish.
“Behold the collections!”
called out the mish-mash tons
of volumes scattered there;
or, at least, so F. seemed
to hear, as there there teemed
so many, many spines
as, if they were laid end-
to-end, the lines extend
would up to heaven’s miles,
such would be the dragon
of tiles colored as sun-
brightened-flowers, covers
scattered across the globe.
But none hovered as strobe
lights on the books arranged
so organizedly.
As strange as the medley
of titles seemed to F.,
no one took second thought
to the book-bevvy sought
now by McDrab. Taking
a breath, Flai’ set about
making the woman’s doubt
a doubt: through much reading,
Flialin’ hoped to confirm
the much-needing Hap-germ.
He started with Science,
then Anthropology,
then dense Biology.
Sociology next,
then the one that truly
was most perplexed-ruly:
Psychology, followed
by a Medicine dose,
swallowed. Near comatose,
Art was an easy cure,
but with a hard draw-back,
for the nice lure Abstract
was sure-antithesized
by the picture’s caption,
demise-ing abstraction
through concepts large and vast.
Flailin’ then turned ‘ttention
to the con-past-tensions
of History. To thaw
his tired eyes, added
then Law to the matted
pattern of words flying
under his retinas,
though Law’s dying Because
and Theretofore caused more
harm than good. So, numbers
were poured into tumblers
of words through Math’matics
next; and then Religion’s
soul-thematics, but one’s
One became another’s
Three, then another’s Ten:
brothers in fam’ly Zen,
but enemies in Creed.
Then bound Philosophy
found: an in-deed trophy
but an in-thought garden
maze Flailin’ discovered,
hardening his cover
tolerance. At last, in
mighty Literature
seemed to Flailin’ the sure
place in which to find his
mirrors, though the seemed hit
was missed through writer’s kits:
Development, Story,
and Plot robbed potential
of most happy-dential
offices and campaigns,
and it was never self-
contained, receiving health
or un-health from others.
One’s happiness was not
got from mothers, but got
through relationships, gab,
and conflict; so unlike
McDrab’s that he then hiked
to Contemporary
Lit, in hope that moderns
accurately discerned
Happy. But, though he saw
many books, they withdrawed
from sight at opening,
as super-ephem-icial
were they. Spying special
collections of music
and film, he hoped to hear
and pick from eye and ear
something close to Happy.
As he had found with Verse,
though it seemed he transversed
Music’s what-was-there, yet
it was just the rhythms
that set hypnotism’s
distraction from thereness.
And, as with film, adding
words meant more mess-badding.
Indeed, the only like
found of all media
was. For in those volumes
there was just enough space,
with plenty room to chase
the happy ideas
about. But, once pursued,
because the solitude
in which they all did thrive
could not, outside his head,
they changed: alive to dead.
It would seem the woman
had won. But not so fast:
though ten days of his passed
in the library’s gate,
Flai’ read for his own sake;
he did not wait for cake,
as his was deliv’réd
and constantly eaten,
not dreading, not beaten
he was still as always,
even more so, as he read
of beauty-ways to tread
amongst the lairs of Ma’ Nature.
And so, with bookage forever done,
on his path stay-sure much yet to run,
Flailin’ walked,
as his word
talked forward.

Chapter 2

Continuing beyond
the library exit,
responding thus to it—
the need, or the desire,
or the faintest inkling
of water/fire sprinkling—
Flailin’ McDrab set course
for Nature, and, thinking
it source of a blinking-
bright white line of buses,
he sat down at the stop.
Mental trusses don’t prop
sturdy realities,
however, for he soon—
queries of the racoon-
inundated Nature
met with quizzical looks,
sayings of “Sir,” “Gadzooks,”
“Get off,” and simply “Yeesh”—
discovered that it would
beseech him to make woods-
walking-to his hobby.
Choosing a direction
from the lobby, Flailin’
once again exited
the lib’ry. He was not
ten bed-lengths when “Great Scot!”
was shouted at him by
a man on the sidewalk.
“You’re a sad guy. I’d talk
to you of exciting
new opportunities;
citing, though, loyalties
to my employers, I
was told not to speak with
hopeless folk. Hyaciths
have more color than you!
It’s a shame, it really
is: You’d be so silly
with joy if you found out
what I’ve got in store… But…”
Not sure to shout or cut
loose from the sidewalk man,
F. said: “You’ve got that… well,
I planned to now you tell
of… I am happy, though.”
The man said without pause:
“But you’ve got so much flaws.
I know this about you.
I can tell. Can’t believe
you’re true. You can’t not grieve.
I’ve run across all sorts
in my time: I know there’s
no thing as short-size fears.”
“I don’t want anyone
to believe anything.
I’m done with convincing.
For now and forever.
I am more done than done,
having never begun.”
“Aren’t you curious, though?”
then inquired the other,
his shoulder another
hand touching while the first
removed a bright object
from his black purse. “Defect-
ridden though you may be,
there’ll never be one
more free, if you shun
all objects but this here.”
He then showed the trinket.
It looked like tears through jet-
engines ran, with ‘ficial
sleekness and marketed
new-dull quality, lead
shining with a must musk.
“How many will you have?”
then asked the tusk-less calf
of an elephant. “None,
for I don’t need any.”
“Not one?” “No.” “How many,
then, do you need?” “Zero.”
“But this will bring you bliss.
Fear, O man, you can’t miss,
unless with this here’s aid.”
“I’m not afraid, but happy
rather.” “Don’t raid sappy
trees looking for syrup.
You can’t fool me. You need
a pup-killer, for greed
rules this doggy-tooth’d place.
You couldn’t have gotten far
with that go-chase-a-star
crap. So, how many, then?”
“I am happ—” “No, you will
be when you have my bill.”
Quite enjoying (what else?)
his words with the man, Flai’
smiled. Said, “Tell us, if may
you please, if—and this if
is from your perspective,
a gift that I now give
because I like you so—
I am in my own self
devoid of woe, what shelf
do I need to store things,
having everything here
that sings with me, so near
everything that is me?”
And at this the man paused.
“So, you want three? You’ve law’sd
me so with your speeching
and clauses.” F. McDrab,
leeching done with, said, “Tab
a good day,” and walked on.
No sooner had ten steps
been walked than “Son, your depth’s
out of your depth” was heard
in that same rehearsed tone.
Not lured by the man-phone
but wanting to differ
him from the previous,
he turned, said, “Sir, tell us—”
but was interrupted
as the woman (female)
said, “Ted, I’m on your trail.
I know just what you want.
Exactly what you need
to fight flaunting seeds
of imperfection, in
or out of you.” A pill
Flailin’ saw, as a still-
life is shown to the dead.
“Now, Ted, once you swallow
this in your head, all ows
and flaws—which I alone
understand, but which pain
is stone-caught-in-the-rain
to your now-defunct soul.”
“But—” “You are an excuse
of a man, coal-refuse
to the world’s oyster-teeth.
So, what’s your prescription?”
“Beneath all of the sun,”
responded McDrab, “How
do you know all of me,
when now’s the first you see?”
“Thank you, it is a gift.”
“There’s nothing wrong with I,
so you can lift your pie
from someone else’s ledge.”
“I’ve caught you just in time:
on edge of the sore rhyme
malady which afflicts
so many diseased-eds.
This here cure picks your heads
clean of all ugliness,
which you ‘suredly possess.
Inestimate success,
that’s our slogan. Pills now?”
Flai’ then guided her hand
holding the chow-in-sand
capsule towards her own face.
The saleswoman eased off
her chase, and with a cough
swallowed the pill. “My!”
she said, “In all my job,
I’ve never tried…” A sob
of joy broke forth. “I am…
diff-er-ent now, aren’t I?”
“Well, Sam, look at the sky:
always diff’rent-but-same.
So are we—and you too—
except we have names.” “That’s true!”
was the reply. With smiles
from both parties, Flai’ bowed,
turn-stiles-like, and—unloud—
continued on. Sooner
than ten heartbeats had beat,
as if moon or sun’s heat
had sprouted the creature,
so did another voice-—
teachers, if given choice,
would not call on this hand—
call: “Though you are ugly,
in’dequate and—let’s see,
there was one more… I hold
something here that will teach
your old out, self-impeach.”
As a toddler makes first
steps, so was Flailin’s speed
as he turned, cursed to heed.
This one a book proffered—
or maybe magazine—
offered to out-ab-scene
such-and-such, so-and-so.
But just as Flailin’ turned,
the city-flow had learned,
it seemed, where to focus
all and every ad-force-
fracas that had its source
within its confines. Words
flew down from the buildings
just like the birds with wings.
And like another thing,
so they snaked from the streets,
coming at F’s two feet.
There were banners, posters,
pamphlets, and souvenirs
such as coasters: with wares
all of them came to sell.
Billboards, boardbills, and lights
like hell—music from sprites—
gaily artificial—
zoomed, flew in to assist
their epistle-locust
breth’ren. Then there was this:
a barrage of flashes,
sun-kissed not, just ashes
of feeling flames. Jingles,
catch-phrased mottos attacked,
while the tingles muzak
made sounded like metal
screeching liquid chords, while
pedals of voices miled
at record speeds, saying
words written by those folk
who, dismaying their jokes,
say the bad is good intent.
The tones’ ‘mired fakery
was bent, likes bakeries
who rise others’ dough, at
acting the process but
being the mat that’s cut
by another’s welcome.
Some were spake by Famous:
our sum-trust confirmed must
be by those so real-seen.
Worse: the fast low fine prints
no bright out-scened. The tint
plagued by the horr-o-smell
that can burst through the room
(to tell frankly, perfume);
added by (never none)
one, two, or even three
exclamation points! See
where Flailin’ has now become lost to us:
amidst noise, lights, text, ambigu’ty,
the ultimate trustless fake beauty:
free, no charge,
call today,
barge your way.

Chapter 3

While Flailin’ McDrab so
was ate by ad-imals
in intent and —pathy,
he first was (duh) happy
with the pithy-trappy
creatures, for they all seemed
to be well-hap-natured,
as dreamed they were by ‘sured
comp’nies. But then when he
began—very quickly—
to see the tree’s sickly
bark without the tree in
front of him, so then did
Flailin’ act as a kid
that “reads” by observing
the pictures, but he was
un-de-serving, because
he saw, in full so deep
of surfaces, the one
good, cheap way to un-done
the doing was to half-
pay Attention, thus not
paying a taffy-dot
to In-an-san-sap-ty.
But, in such a state,
soon he found it so late
that he could not see light.
Then did he realize
the lack of brightness’ eyes
was due not to absence
of sun, but its blocking out,
for sense revealed a stout
building and/or alley,
which due to the buzz-buzz
and the tally, he was
unaware entering;
though now, relieved of ment’—
or ring—his senses sent
his environs clearly.
There was a sneaky man—
though he barely was than
appearing—standing there.
When the ads went away,
his hair combed, he did say:
“My oh my, wasn’t that…
my. And that’s exactly
why there’s no fat-factly—
and by that, that I mean
that there is no such thing
that’s seen in anything
in my book. That’s right! That’s…
Grrr! You must be so mad—
and that’s right!—cats can’t dad
ev’ry time, after all—
not that I’m blaming, though—
just calling your heart, so,
so you can be happy—and
that’s right! That’s right, as it
should be, if sands could hit
the other way. Not like
now—No.—No, I say—will
say mic-ly—and then we’ll
win!” With sad-serious
look, sneaky-man then shook
hands spuriously, took
great acts of gentleness
and demeanor. “I must
confess,” F. said, “that trust
seems to be your game.” “Oh
yes,” the reply. “But—But,
though my out-show be cut
otherwise, I’m happy.”
“Well, you just wait until…
for me vote, or be killed.”
F. didn’t respond, the man
kept shooking and smiling,
as if to tan tiling
he were talking. “That’s right!”
he said at last. “The world’s
all night, no flags full-furled
outside these blesséd shores.
It’s all blood, gore, violence,
and open stores of dense
ideas, explosives.
Everyone’s against us,
missives of our justice
greeted with non-support.
Fear terror-rific death’s
only retort, by Beth,
unless we seize the day
(which only I can do);
dismay the foe, subdue
the… other things. Threatened
is everything we stand
for.” Thus the end of hand-
and vocal chord-shaking.
“And what do we stand for?
Taking your either-or
as truth.” He said, “Freedom!”
after a moment’s pause.
“We serve freedom’s cause,
as ours’ and others’ rights.”
“Can you protect it then?”
“That’s right! By fighting men
who hate what we stand for.”
“How then, are our freedoms
the same back door, which sums
up to our interests?” He:
“That’s… so, you see, you’re not
happy, but scared. Let’s dot
our i’s and don’t back down!”
He shook and smiled at sights
behind Flai’. Sounds and lights
returned and he noticed
the ads flew in as if
not miss’d-ing a cue. Miffed
not in the least the man
was, but when turned around
again, F’s hand was bound
not to a real-life dude,
but a cardboard-cutout,
face skewed the same. The doubt
in Flailin’ McDrab’s mind,
was whether the man changed
into this kind, and ranged
back and forth as he pleased,
or if he had been that
all seasons and F’s scat
viewing had been such he
just now saw. He never
found out, for the ever-
growing horde encircled
him. Once again, his mind
perc’l’d out and so lined
his attentions that when
he them regained, he stood
in a large pen of wood,
not like a hut or shack,
but a big enclosure,
whose back no one could tour.
It appeared similar
to the politico’s
lair, and with “Sir, that close
call reveals worldly
evils so rampant,” Flai’
furl’dly found his sense-way,
not knowing where was he
nor who was speaking. Real
appeared to be, but feel
Flailin’ could not the words
softly pouring forth. “I’ve
seen lur’d-eds in that hive
that could never escape.
If I were not here, they
might have sure-taped your say
and soul,” said the figure.
“So full of sadnesses—
the pure few that blesses
have so much work to do
in this temporal earth.
Happiness flew this dearth
of souls, to Heaven bound.
There—only there—it is
true-found—here we must miss.”
Flailin’ McDrab thought, said:
“But I’m already there.”
Towards which it led the pair
to laugh—one, then other—
then the figure replied:
“Brother, you have so lied
that I see you’re needy
of both me and the Lord.”
Flai’, repeaty: “The Lord?”
“The Lord God—you must’ve heard.”
“Ah yes, I’ve read of gods,
but stirred not but by God—
the God in me, revealed
in my people-doings,
that’s not concealed through -ings
of others, salvations.”
“You must be one of those
nations that before rose
than the Rising: the Jews.”
Pause. “Are you Jewish, sir?”
“I can’t refuse, not sure
what ‘Jewish’ means. Are you?”
“That settles it— you are.
Where you going?” “Not far,
just to Nature.” “Good, good.
Going to read one book.
You should take wood to look
at the woods—I mean,
the other of God’s books—
There’re lean parts which you schnooks
even can ‘preciate.”
“Didn’t I meet you before?”
“We mediate all stores,
being above all those
sellers—though we control
the flows of ev’ry soul-
even the one you met
just now. Shoddy the debt
that society owes,
my friend. I will those call
back, so’s you Natural
can be—but remember,
this is limited time—
in December… just climb.
Just because we worship
a Rebel, don’t rebel:
your ship’s headed to Hell.”
The fig’ still held the book
in front of Flailin’s head.
The figure took it said
“The Holy Bible” right
side up, but upside down
its height was, the dull ground
receiving the letters’
pointing. They both waited.
Then fig’: “Better late it—
the ads are quite busy,
and I don’t desire you
dizzy—no, that won’t do.
Your kind can take the road.”
And the figure pointed.
Flailin’ then bode ‘nointed (?)
interlocutor ‘bye,
walked on the road briefly,
then hie’d off it. Chiefly
upset with F’s take-off
into the roadside bush,
fig’ verb’ly scoffed: “You tush!”
and would have continued more like this,
had not the ads plunged furiously;
the fig’ F’s sight missed: furious sea
of light hymn’d
it. Flai’ said:
“Hmmmd,” and tread’d.

Chapter 4

It was but near sunset
by some many moments
when nets, blanket tents
of leaves stood in his view.
Wondering if the trees
had a curfew, he teased
a few vistas of sky,
and many scapes of land,
to try and ease the sand
of mem’ry through its vial.
Though maybe this same task
is not worth trial, he basked
in that sun of color
resembling the bold leaves—
though stirr’d not those leaf sieves
this hot, late August night—
of blood-red October.
The soft ground’s sight a fur
peeking through the green feathers:
No compare with Britain’s
heathers, moors. This satin
out-brightened all in cool
seas of tranquility:
threads spun of spools whose fees
go beyond all fashions.
Confronting human’ty
with sons’ insecur’ty
and fathers’ grand surpass;
for, since being a part
of the compáss, the start
and end “people-do” find
in Mother—and Daughter
(behind and front, totter
and upright both)—Nature’s
sublime challenge, reward.
Flailin’ was sure forward
was the way. For he’s not
one of those “people-do”
I jot of above (two).
He had fed memory
enough; McDrab figured
that he had seen, Natured
enough. After all, F.
had gone to Nature, so,
bereft nothing to go
further, went down-valley
from where he had then stood.
He forth-sallied, though could
not see all the footholds.
As he slow descended,
the scolds of drums bended
their way to Flailin’s ears.—
Thought: This would be a good
life sound-track.—Deers had stood
when F. approached (maybe),
for there was a jostling—
like keys on a key-ring—
in the leaves and the path:
jostling this, jostling that.
There seemed a swath of fat
campfire, by Flailin’s nose.
But it was dark, darker
than those tree barks or
crunching-jostling-bump things
which Flailin’ M. stumbled
upon as stings bumbled
upon a bee. And wind
tustled and blew, making
rescind the leaves’ baking
full up upon the trees;
making a full loaf-ful
like the baby’s brown-dull
toy bread—kids’ imag’tion
often does the reverse.
Again (to be more terse),
the trees puffed in and out
with noise so they appeared
all through flux’d-out and smeared
like Impression’s painting,
so that—in Flailin’s—thoughts’
tainting made full the naughts
so that it all was tied
like a kid who’s between
the truth’d and lied of mean
consciousness—therefore, all
trees and much more seemed there,
through stalling at the fair.
For fair were noises’ sound
of them that all wonder
to them was bound; under
those trees, F. all alone,
and so, just like always,
he shone happy; night bayed.
And the sounds of insects,
and the songs of the birds,
showed him respects: not words.
Felt so small, and so large.
Stepping on leaves fresh-dry,
the charge of walking by:
for, when he stopped to hear,
all noises stopped as well,
rustling not deer’s feetfell,
but his own on the track.
The crunching and stomping
were back when his pomping
feet continued their march,
The branches he brushed ‘side.
Eternal starch, to bide
one’s time thusly rural.
And all over the world:
Urals, et c.: lands girl’d
by natural so, too.
What—was that a bobcat?
No, that’s not true, as that
would be too-unboring
for this pastoral scene.
But sing of this Muse-seen:
Suddenly all thistles,
particles, barbs, needles
made fast whistles (weed-fulls)
of Flailin’s two nostrils,
and attached his clothing
with trills and scales. So, things
got a little cha’tic
and the noises-sounds all
seem’d-said: “Hey, Dick, let’s fall
all together downhill.”
So Flailin’ McDrab fell,
and spilled all his pell-mell
new-gained amities—
atomies?—so he sneezed
(just as he pleased)—and She’s
(Nature, Ms.-slash-Mrs.)
still there too—also his
smile is—and laughed to fizz
so ‘combob’latedly—
and landed. But particles—
not a deadly trickle—
still pursued. Owl hooted.
Through the dark wood, these motes
‘futed not Flailin’s dotes,
but rather to him seemed
a hectic game of Tag,
which might be dreamed. To sag
under these tiny weights
were to deny Nature,
the Fates and senses: Myrrh
must be mix’d with ‘incense.
Besides, to expect full
and dense perfection—bull!
Maybe applicable
to the grand vistas, such
that he had culled (as much
as he could) before, this
expectation can’t hold
for kisses so unbold
and little from Ma’ N.
Besides besides, he saw
the beauty then, in awe
of the big, such that he
knew no similar hue
could be in the small. “True”
was his only pre-thought
thought, and that’s what this was.
He sought nothing, because
he would never be shocked.
These smalls combined formed
beauty large: locked, ne’er stormed
was that idea. That
sufficed. And so he ran
while sat those things, as man
sits on roller-coaster.
Useless to brush them off
(even if Her to scoff
he would ne’er consider),
for they were all over;
bitter but not covert.
Besides besides besides,
there were so many there,
that the insides of wear
belonging to Flailin’
were as covered as out’s.
And in that wood, about
his person, there were more
“barb”s than in that song call’d
“Barb’ra Ann”‘s score. Recall
the words, if you may please.
Allow me space ample
for measly-small sample:
“[O my] Barb-barb-barb, barb
barb-bra Ann! Barb-barb-barb,
barb-barb-bra-[barb]!” And “barbs”
continue thus painful
throughout the lyricals.
(‘Tain’t full satirical
here, just an ink-ling thing.)
Now, all the noises crashed
’round this singing; and bashed
up the woodsy-land so
full, that F. thought parties
had no rival on trees.
So that it seemed where’ver
he ran, parties followed,
so no sever was owed
between the grand silence past
and new boisterousness;
so lasted laughter his
and a strange giggle-scream
acknowledging crazy-
man-on-a-beam—while he
expunged his happiness—
feeling. So all night long—
N’s blessing sweet—his song
and jamboree clamored
and collided while Flai’
so enamored couldn’t stay
in one spot of forest.
This lone night frolicking—
O best the frolicking!—
continued until, near
the day’s newly breaking
its seal (dews’ tears’ baking
about to start), Flailin’
McDrab cleared the dense trees.
And—in lungs the fees
of all evening’s running
beginning to mount—he
(ignore punning please) fee’d
the fees and collapsed; barbs
suddenly then leaving,
his garb’s shirt then heaving
due to his quick sleeping.
In his dreams as his life
no cause weeping nor strife
had to intrude, and the day passed by
with dreams in his head, smile on his face,
and, the clearing hiding the day’s pace,
there he lay,
sleeping through
day’s light view.

Chapter 5

He awoke when the night
for some time had fallen.
The sight of torch tall ‘n’
bright greeted him from ‘far:
flames in a group gathered
across the sparse—rather
empty-dense—clearing. Two
fires could Flailin’ McDrab
see through his quasi-Mab’d
vision. While the others
danced in the clear center,
these two brothers bent—or
licked—in a wide oval
about the clearing’s edge,
totally lighting hedge
and trunk in due turn ’round.
As they approached Flai’s prone
form on the ground—the drone
of awake still in ear—
they didn’t see him, as he
was near a fallen tree
which so cast its shadow
as to cover him whole,
every tree bough so stole
even a glimpse of arm
or leg from searching flames’
light charms. The bearers (names
unknown), Flailin’ heard thus:
“…and my thoughts bounce off walls
so confused.” “Trust me, all’s
the matter are fevers
which so coil and uncoil
lévers in our brain-soil
that only sleep can—” “—Lost,
though, are the ways, and I—
Who’s that?” Torch tossed its spy
light onto Flailin’s leg,
which he moved so slightly
the keg of the nightly
light poured on it as they
passed. This little faint peek
alerted Flai’s spot (sneak
though he didn’t) to the two.
They came near, and whispered:
“What to do?” “The Mister…”
As a waking child balks
senses after nap-time,
to F. their talk seemed mime.
Flailin’ slowly got up;
the two quickly got down
like pups behind the downed
trunk. Then they jumped up high,
waving torches like swords.
“Come with us, guy!” “Where?” “Towards
there,” said the two, pointing
to the central gath’ring,
hinting a larger ring
than there was through the sweep
of their arms. They grabbed him,
let out no peep. The dim
figures got clearer, soon
he saw there a dozen,
all moons ’round one: “Does in
anyone,” said this sun,
“there lurk—” then the man saw
torchers two; one with paws
untorch’d but clasped tight by
the border patrol force.
“A spy! Royal, of course,
sent here to un-plot us!”
All torches and faces
fastly turned just spaces
into their leader’s words.
“Is that not true, sentry?”
The herd’s attention keyed
now on the guards’ two mouths.
After a silence, one
said, “Can’t get south or sun-
wise from his compass.” Two:
“He refuses to speak.”
“Him to me; if he leaks,
he’ll do in my bucket,”
quoth the Mister. An aisle
in the junket was styled
as the bearers brought forth
Flailin’s happy-confused
form. “North neither obtuse
was when we asked him,” said
one, nervous, approaching.
“What, is he dead? Roach-things
make more noises, eh?” asked
the Mister. “I wouldn’t know,”
unmasked F. answered. “So,
he speaks. I’m the Mister.
Surely you’ve heard of me.”
“No.” “Tell, sister, the flea—
or whatever he is—”
here a laugh— “of my name.”
“Oh. His name, and his fame,—
Or both, or-or either
both or together both,
neither neither’s are both—
the Mister is both called,”
offered a girl torcher.
“These walls are the scorcher,
not the outside, if you
follow my meaning,” jumped
in Mister. “Through me thumped
they’ll be, torn down throughout
the realm. Now, who be you?…
Do shout: why pass you through
these woods and clearing?” “Sleep—
“No lies, now.” “Nature I—”
“Little Bo Peep stops by,
that’s what I’m to believe?”
interrupted again
the thieving-man of them
gathered. Another laugh.
“Yet I gather some wheat
from this here chaff. Repeat
after me—” “—After me,”
Flai’ then said. Not a sound.
“You see here what abounds
in this glory kingdom,”
said Mister. “Nothing but
vanity, dumb show, shut-
uppetids all through. That’s
about to change about:
we cats will scratch the clout
from this silver lining’s
cloud, and then the reign’s rain
will come whining like train
whistle’s sound through the streets
and valleys and hat-racks;
no beats’ (or offs’) attacks
or summer-assaults can
thwart this fall’s fall; the time’s
now to un-ban and chime
this band together!” Cheers
and huzzahs ech-echoed
the clearing. Sev’ral showed
their inexperience
with the torchical arts,
as the torch-fencers’ darts
flew all around. They chased
them down and picked them up
un-gracefully; no sup
for the dry grasses’ thirst
found in spreading flames. They
seemed un-rehearsed, oft-played.
Once attention restored
to the Mister’s lectern:
“Our boring through, we’ll turn
to filling in the holes
with happiness for all,
everyone’s role a call
for brave new things, topics,
and ideas. Stranger,
who picks through your manger
to find the turds? In short:
are you with or again’t?”
Then the cohort moments
waited and stared, until
Flailin’ thus answered them,
and killed Silence: “A-hem!
As I am already
at that state—happiness—
you confetti and bless
in your future stati,
I—” “Did you say that you…?”
“That I…?” responded through
the buzz Flailin’ M. did
to the Mister’s question.
“I detect id-gestion,”
whispered one not-so-soft.
“He must be scared,” also
in oft-used voz-falso-
soft. Mr.: “Did you say
that you have now achieved
that ever-May-believed
state of happiness, in
these desperate times?” Then
Flailin’ responded: “When
is not so the issue as
Mister: “But you give in
to the admission, yes?”
“That’s true.” “You have it now?”
“Why, yes.” “Right now, eh?” “Now.”
And then another buzz
passed through the torches’ dance.
Mister calm does with hands:
“No.” “Yes, I have.” “You have?”
“I have.” “No, you haven’t.”
“I have.” “Haven’t.” “Have.—” “—N’t.”
Flailin’ then shoulder-shrugged,
catching all there off guard,
they being drugged or marred
by his bold nonchalance.
Then Mister moved with step
from danse macabre; sans pep,
with determination,
he gave a laugh and point
in direction appoint
to Flailin’s shackled self.
“Let him go. Can’t you see?
His wealth of this happy
thing is his prescient
subscription to our creed:
no messy end or weeds
in our future-plant fields.
And so he is not now,
but wields this happy cow
to show us what we’ll be—
what we’ll all be—after
we pay our fee, laughter
will be this kingdom’s king.”
So presently they laughed.
Smoking did their lit shafts
bounce up and down with their
diaphragms. “Who’s this king?”
Flailin’ asked. Hair pin’s ping
could be heard after this,
as they ‘came quickly still.
“You’ve missed, then, the distill
of my little speeches,”
Mister at last said. “King
and co., leeches all, wing
now above the swamp.” “Hissssss!”
from the thirteen. “But soon,
‘ere kiss the earth this moon,
that will—but enough talk!
Now’s the time for action!
Now let us walk, faction,
through these catacombs, to meet our foe,
his ‘Jesty, King of America!”
Mixed peals of joy, woe, as the Mista’
revealed more
than his talk
‘fore did walk.

Chapter 6

For as the Mister jumped
down and walked to Flailin’,
it bumped in the tail end
of his vision—the “it”
here being a sewer
grate: Mist’s pulpit truer
in symbolism than
in actual heightal
stance. “Man, what a vital
mascot this happy one
shall be,” said the Mister
as, his walk done (dissed her
in this the woman who
before had bespoke him
by shooing her from them),
he put his arm around
Flailin’ McDrab’s shoulders.
And they walked, bound boulders
cascading down a hill
devoid of trees, back to
the pill-shaped op’ning, through
which the sewer beckoned.
“Through this, my friend,” said he—
though Flai’ reckoned his key
was pitched to the whole group—
to F., “through this covert
pass troop we to convert
the king and state, both, all.
Though through it must be short,
we will be tall at court,
to where the passageways
lead. We will be tallest
for days after! Calls missed—
or rather should I say,
calls taken, unanswered
by this way-lay prancer—
there will be none: this phone
tonight shall all connect
in tone and in projéct,
we have so practiced it.”
And then he took the top
cover off, lit with mop
of fire the ladder down.
They all tensed with excite,
the brown clearing, with lights
leaping all about, came
to be kaleidoscope
in earth tones, same as rope-
hued emerging within
the sewer’s foul lit deep,
whose tinny waters peeped
through: light’s whiskers, no chin.
“Next stop, King’s Autumnál
Palace; or, in sum, all
our cause’s final effects.”
They all paused and in-gazed,
their necks bent, eyes amazed.
With a simple hand-flick,
Mister bad them enter.
Their finger-picked mentor
the thirteen saluted
as they descended down;
‘luted water’s splash-sounds
as they landed. “My friend,”
said Mister to McDrab
after the end of Fab
Four Plus Nine’s down-going,
“I’m glad that you’re with us:
towing the line and fuss
as we crash through.” Gentél
push accompanied “through,”
and Flailin’ fell down to
the water murk-er-ry.
Mister then climbed grandly.
Curry in his stand, he
smiled at the twenty-six
torches (thirteen were real,
thirteen were fixed on steel-
glinted wet reflections)
which greeted him below.
Lexions were shut off (so
by hand signal); one lone
mounted back up to close
the grate. With groan of dos
burros, it was sealed shut.
And with that and some more,
the subtle marching core
bore off down the tunnel,
splishings and lights only
signals, funneled tonely
and fuzzily to Flai’
near the end of the line.
No day or night or sign
of any kind was there,
just the going on, so
that F. was bare, ‘cept fo’
his happiness a-glow.
He marched on cheerily,
the stow-a-way, really
amongst ethereal/
(like cereal, you just
pick which one based on how
you feel and continue
to plow your grain in) you-
don’t-can’t-know-truly. It
was as if a youngin’
in bed did sit—sung in
and tucked most carefully—
and realize darkness
dullies not a shark-messed
ocean, but still the same
place it always is (her/
his room), just tamed by purrs
from un-human felines—
just so did Flailin’ see:
tree lines no longer, free
from lines’ and shapes’ symm’try,
just the blurr-blurry forms
of those wat’ry nights: dorms
for the brainless, soulful
ideas and dreams we
may cull when we are we,
in between wakes of sleeps.
The water so flowed soft.
The others’ creeps were coughed
contentedly through torch
smoke, and so all was moved
so mortuary-proved
that stillness abided
in the irregular
rhythms tided (which were
by the feet). Flailin’ kept
track of those zigzag trails,
which crept slowly like snails
back and forth across that
sewer-water, small beams
of light begat in streams
of flowing dark. So like
those snakes of reflections
which hike the directions
of the open, rained roads.
And so like them were these
easily blowed off trees
of wet mirr’s, appearing
only to disappear,
rearing in others fear
of being abandoned,
but in McDrab it bred,
akin to doned bread,
familiar hypnosis,
such that he was in fact
(no piss off any’s back)
losted and left, in-mazed
in the wrong way, whilst they
marched on unfazed. Like clay
unmolded Flailin’ stood,
in darkness as splashes
for good gone; eyelashes
the only things in front
his eyes, torches off gone;
for no more stunts like dawn
lit the depths. He so was
ommitted to the cause,
like cousins barred by laws
from being kin, that no
part of him was seen to
be recog-knowed; if sued,
he couldn’t respond as he
was. So he stopped; and then
carried on, through that den
of trickles and drippings.
Torchless, he did not bump
or cause whippings or lumps
from the metallurgic’
pipes and so on there found.
Surgically, he unwound
his path as ‘twould bandage:
slowly and carefully.
Walking landage and sea
with equal skillage, Flai’
practically zoomed ahead,
his way slowly unled
his stumbling out of it,
and he thought he had gone
some way when sitting pawn
he seemed to be, the ground
all checkered and some light
had found its way through night
to show him where he lay.
Always keeping in squares,
he found his way upstairs,
past the becheckering,
and where a faint buzz-hum
made ring below, and drums
of walls dank and deep. Past
these stairs past the chess board
were more halls, casting toward
the whispering voices.
The light began to fill,
noises did too, but still
did both seem awkwardly
to Flailin’ McDrab, who
still had hardly come through
his hypnosis session.
More halls upon more halls,
fetchin’ more and more stalls
to Flailin’s finding out
his exact location.
He did not pout, pay ‘un
note of distress to lost
causes or selves, but ran
the cost by running. Fans
or some other breeze source
F. soon felt, and guided
his feet on course that led
to this faint wind. Just then,
the light became intense,
suddenly he’s immensed
in beams from chandeliers,
and a wide open space,
and so from here the case
was closed of the breeze’s
origin, for this hall
wheezes such currents, all
the people’s clothes flapped—
O yes! For Flailin’ now—
being untrapped from cow’s
spots of obscurity,
saw all the people in
pretty garb, heard the din
of all their fancy talk;
and then he realized
to where his walk had prized
him: Flailin’ McDrab was assembled,
with that set so bedecked, in the King’s
Palace—dissembled F. in nothing;
so not us:
don’t take bows—
trust me now.

Chapter 7

For those in front of F.
were not nobility—
bereft our cit’enry
is of titles, knighthoods,
as is declared by our
Good Law of goods’er hours—
or any second for
that matter—and in this
I store record and list
the name of this country’s
Constitution. (It’s there,
in some sundry small stair
of that great Palace’s
enstructure. [Trust me; no
calluses (hand or toe)
or paper cuts are worth
your inspection.]) It nulls
and voids a birth’s fateful
bestowment of titles.
So. So, those in the King’s
vital comp’ny were things
not necessary to
bow at. Though I wouldn’t blame—
if I could—you; the same
I’d have done in such grand
presences. But Flailin’
did land his eyesight in
the tapestries (not folk)
of color and flairkle.
It seemed a moch-mir’cle:
all over the (grand) hall,
cov’ring that, there, and this,
was all-color cloth; kissed
with flowing, streaming hues
of every sun and earth,
sev’ral times stewful’s worths
in layering, texture;
all molding and mixing—
mixtures’ mixtures’ fixing
could not fully ‘sulate
its blending hodge-podgeness.
Ev’ry door, gate was dressed
with this helter-skelter
willy-nilly cloth-broth,
sheltering not a roth
or joy (at extreme), but
an indifference supreme
(the crowd did strut entremes).
All except Flailin’ M.,
who tried at following
the hems’ all-out-flowing
throughout the hall. The crowd’s
many conversations,
which were as loud as Huns
were soft (i.e., not), and
‘comp’nied by such accents,
like bands of the recent,
as to create background,
but never once a lull,
oscillate sound ‘twixt dull
and stir—such that, McD.
was more (not less) focused
from the vocal things fuss’d.
His search for the flowing’s
source, however, found no
end: its blowing did slow
and confuse his gaze (as
’twas quite drafty). Not
just frazzle-lings or knots
were there, but such div’ty
in folds and thicknesses
as ’twas in the dresses’
colorities: some parts
stretched near ceiling to floor,
but, parting in/out doors
and returning, the threads
were so con’trated
as’f ’twas one thread, plaited
with a giant’s strengthy
hands, so looked as’f into
(lengthy no matter) two
thousand-millionths’ pieces
to break at any time.
Never ceases, but winds
around and through and in
and between and outside,
flippin’ and cloth-cross-tied
so thoroughly thorough,
as it seemed the Palace,
big as Miró’s Chalice
though it might be, was wound
through it. The others, there,
not bound (as F.) to stare
(being accustomed well),
never paid heed, instead
trying to smell the heads
of those ‘sembled, as ’twere.
Even when forced to jump
and spur and crouch and bump
their way through, in front, or
behind the all-‘passing
clothy decor, they winged
their ways as if batting
eyelashes or flies: no
one thing could be so-so
more than these Sis’phean
labors against fabric.
No trag’dian sham-bric-
a-brac here: even when
these hard maneuverings
had penned them in fluff wings
of most dis’ganized mish-
mash (bodies’ forms beveled
by broken-dish-leveled
cloth wrap all a-scatter),
they went on more proudly,
chatter the more loudly
concealing dilemmas.
When emerged with dress, hair
all flam-flem-a, no stare
or pointed finger towards
their direction. All these
dis-gourdings flew at sneeze-
pace once royal cornets
announced the King’s coming:
they seemed hornets humming
as they rushed to rivers
and rivulets which they,
shivering like melt clay,
seemed accustomed to form,
like fish or birds flocking.
Through this hushed storm, stocking
(or whatever cloth ’twas)
also fluttered, sputtered
a-buzz. They all muttered
more and more quietly,
as they formed a large aisle;
Flai’ by it, he was piled
around so that he stood
close to the gap, the front
to good the King’s own punt-
and-charging space. At last,
it was all soft breezes
again—so fast seizes
the crowd of the royal
nearness. The King entered.
The soil seemed re-centered,
as everyone revolved
and looked, chanting a chant
that could be solved by pant’s
answer, it was so brief.
Flai’ was [something] at first;
relief, though, then had pursed
some value to his eyes:
seeing the King right then,
he realized the zen
of the fabric’s fabric:
all the cloth that draped
and licked was the King’s cape:
the same party-colored
threads appeared behind his
small form, and served (beer fizz)
his train: railroad suited
and thoroughly convoy-
looted so that small boys
were required to bear it,
and those train-bearers had
their own trains fit (a tad
smaller, though), and their train
bearers’ train bearers too
had training to bear, through
which the whole retinue
was some seven-hundred
yards long (to view, ’tis said,
one needed to be in
three dozen halls at once).
Flailin’ McDrab, no dunce,
now knew why no one dare
harm or acknowledge cloth’s
chaos, as pears fal’n doth
not dare bespeak poorly
of pear leaves on pear trees.
Doorly not entered he,
the King made way briskly
down the staircase; those who
attended he (some two
hundred) were not dressed so
elegantly as those
whose bows and ties were foes
unmatched to Royal Train;
those ten score had to keep
their toes and brains upkeeped
to the max’, for they fore
and aft battened down hatch
(or, more precise, the sash
kingly) and attempted
to untie and retie,
never tempted stop by
their surroundings. Busied
themselves in the hall, they
dizzied all in the way
they moved constantly, while
some closer to the King
so moved and styled and winged
His Majesty that they
‘twould be killed for treason,
but paid by the reason
that they prevented his
Royalness from tripping,
hanging, or missing things
that would cause injury
sure if unmissed. Thus he
journeyed down the stair.—Whee!—
When his toe touched hall’s floor,
all lowered and bowed on
one knee, the doors upon
such a rustling fancy
echoed the shuffling.
Dancey forward, King
& co. walked amongst them—
But Flai’, unfamiliar,
focused on hem, sill’yer
pursuits such as bowing
unnoticed, stood an isle
sowing standness seeds. Aisle
excepted, elsewhere all
were lowering homage
(some cooed and called like pidge’
birds for McDrab to bow).
Flailin’ then looked around,
with pow plopp’d to the ground
in an instant, like young
ones ‘tating their parents
with tonguey-sung care-vents:
a proto-satire. When his Royal
‘Ty walked close by, all those attending
crumpled up like foil: with King’s bending
up of hand
and foot plop
‘sband did stop.

Chapter 8

Flailin’ only caught part-
view and -hear of this stop:
he started, when he dropped
to the tiley floor, to
see only people’s shoes.
As King walked through (to use
this same thing) he cobbled
up his footsteps click-clack;
wobbled the sound did back
and forth the cavernous
hall. Flailin’ McDrab could
hear the e’er-trustling stood-
up of the train, and King
to a courtesan said
something that Flai’s low head
could not pick up, like: “Quite
a time of it in our
Fall Palace, right?” The scour
of cloth and heel on floor
got closer, and then blur
like door-opening, fur
uncoarse and low-cut on
two feet before his eyes—
just then it dawned that flies
of all kinds stopped buzzing,
and all was but Silence.
Doesing and dids had fenced
the draft in, but now breeze
could be heard, felt again…
No one dare sneeze. The men
and women and boys and girls
all froze, like His Highness,
whose curls fell slight a-mess
as he stared at the prone
figure at his feet (his head
never was thrown—’cept bed—
at any angle but
straight forward). His stylist
would cut his bangs with fists
if he thought King would e’er
look down. But down he looked,
and Flai’ had nearer books
than he had in lib’ry
in the King’s feet. F. stared;
though free to move, not scared,
he decided not to.
“H’m!” The King let loose
softly. Then ‘crued caboose
of the royal train at
the top of the staircase.
All sat, tied noise-lace
tight so that Ms. Quiet
was perfect. The King said,
“H’m!” to try it like fed
food tasted, not swallowed.
He smirked, then carried on.
Ball owed on other lawns,
his entourage fastly
courted it. But the King
soon stopped, vastly made swing
about, cape and all, and,
with extended finger
his hand stayed and lingered
in the direction of
Flailin’ McDrab, still on
the floor. Above his pawn-
height, F. heard many gasps
from the crowd. The King turned;
men grasped F.; King, unspurned
by any more fallen
in his sight, quickly made
out the hall. Then they stayed
staring after him for
a long while, then all rose,
and bore their eye and nose
in Flailin’s direction.
But Flailin’ eluded
their inspection-mood, led
by some attendants up
and briskly out the hall,
a puppet. Through the walls,
he could hear the muffled
commotion. “What’s that noise?”
as he shuffled, to boys
that did the shuffling. They
stared him, then each other,
one saying, “Oh, brother!
You don’t know anything!”
Second said, “The King has
picked you—the thing known as
a royal audience.”
“You’re the first in a time,
so—hence, the buzz and chime
of the courtiers.” “Where—?”
F. began to ask. “We’re
taking you there. Prepare
to meet His Highness.” “Why—?”
“The King moves so quickly,
and flies entangledly,
so that we must take you
by a labyrinth route
to catch up.” Through a chute
of a hallway they walked
at break-foot speed. Sudd’ly
one mocked their space, cudd’ly
dressed in furs. “Quickly, come!”
he shouted to the two.
“What has—?” “It’s something too-
dreadful with the train.” “We
must leave you and assist.”
Some three chefs passed like mist.
Flai’ was pushed towards them. “He
has audience. Be sure
he sees King at Pasture.”
Then the two and furred one
rushed on. The halted chefs
began then, and like clefs
on a measure, led way
and signaled changes through
corridors, saying few
words but much in stares to
Flai’. They led him lower,
through new-lit lanterns. Her
they fastily approached,
a silhouette, and yet,
a presence broached to bet
she was head chef. They tapped
on shoulder, explained his
brief rap; and again mist-
like stole away. The tall
woman eyed Flailin’, asked
him, “So what’s all to bask
in you that the King wants?”
Flai’ shrugged. “I’m happy, I
guess.” Sauntered over high
lady chef. “The only
happy people I hear
of are lonely and fear-
crazy killers. Now, you’re
not a killer, are you?”
“No.” “Sure?” “Yes, I am.” “Phew!”
said she. “You had me might-
worried there,” throwing arm
around with right hand (harm
not intended), patting
his back and shaking hands
left. “King’s audience! Bands
of folk have tried. Must have
done something special. Name’s
Ebony… Have one?… Name?”
Flailin’ almost forgot,
it being such a time
since thought of his name. Mimed
he for a while, then said:
“Flailin’… Flailin’ McDrab.”
“First time? I’ve fed and blabbed
here some while,” E. said, hands
motioning to kitchens
(seemed lands). “I’ve thought ditchin’
the business a couple
times… But here… in this place,
you have double the face
to talk and appeal to.”
She walked him around it,
all through his shoulders’ mitt
her arm was. Ebony
tasted soups and salads,
black bison meat (breast); lads
with puffy hats bustling
to and fro, she explained
trustling F.—she ordained
him her “shadow,” and all
treated him accepted,
under the tall kept head
of Ebony; acted
as if he wasn’t there.
Flai’ said little, felt cared
and treated like a child
who sees his mother’s work,
co-workers mild, no jerks,
and Mom in diff’rent light.
Flailin’ pointed to cloth
in sight ev’rywhere. Broth
salted and peppered, E.
answered McDrab’s question
even ‘fore he asked. “Son,
you’re right: that’s the King’s train.
It’s down here too. Though it’s
been main-untouched—by its
knots and growth, I reckon
it’s been, oh, ten, twenty
hours since beck-‘n’-call-‘ty
has been down here with King
to help him untangle.”
A thing of light dangled
to the side, approaching.
It was tears from a young
girl-chef’s eyes, singing sung
so ballady, it seemed.
For now, she was quiet,
‘cept streams’ sight, sobs tied its
hearing to. “Ivory!”
shouted Ebony. “Oh!
What’s wrong, baby?” Let go
Flailin’s shoulders, hugging
Ivory tight, all three
chugging the kitchen-alley
along, Ebony spoke
(whispered) consolations.
Ivory choked, face done
all up with grief and woe.
E., comforting, then said:
“Now, ‘Vo’, look who is head’
to King’s audience. He’s
following me a bit,
then he’s to see…” I’s lit
up some and quieted.
“There, now, you’ll be better,”
E. said; she sent letters
of care through her hold. Man
with trays busted through; shout
he did a banter-bout
at Iv’ry. Ebony
snarled and pounced on him, cursed
many cusses quick-terse;
then turned instantly to
her protectee and calmed
her with soft-through words, balms
to her soul. Flailin’s smile
and heart widened—happy
the while through. With chappy
handshake and saying, “Luck,”
Ebony bid him ‘dieu.
Ivory, tucked safe, too
said goodbye, though still sobbing some. E.
showed him hallway, shortcut to Pasture,
and said that he’d be right on time. Pure
as ever,
the two moved;
‘ther so proved.

Chapter 9

Flailin’ McDrab opened
the door to the Pasture.
To lend to the future
arrival of the King,
he now took good notice
of surroundings. Lotus-
like plants, grasses kept short,
the Pasture was like all-
hall sort, just the more tall
and plantular floor made
and named it diff’rently.
Musicians swayed bently
through a far door, prepared
for the royal entrance
through shared tuning, and tensed
their bows on strings, waiting
at a tall door with much
train-cloth plaiting. At touch
of door’s movement, they played
a slow-formed baroque piece
as Flai’ saw King and geese
fitting and adjusting
his train furiously
behind him: wings busting
forth from a many-winged
bird in all directions.
At King & co.’s ‘gestion
(or rather lead) the band
stringical rushed through grass,
slow-played with hands but ass-
hauling with feet—a sight
especial for the bass-
cell’s flight. They were to pass
Flailin’ quick if not one
had spotted him and pulled
him to the fun-fast-lulled
parade. Train-straighteners
worked tediously, all more
’cause spurs, ‘stacles galore
created by the plants
on the floor. Flai’ was pushed
through attendánts and tushed
forward. His Majesty,
walking through lush drapage;
McD. he saw, capage
acting as veils opaque.
Flai’ at last stood next him.
Jointly earthquaked with trim
and felt and folds, music
slow played by those fastly-
cues-sticken to, vastly
surrounded by cloth, folk
alike; there they be, held
audience; joke did meld
their minds together so.
“Your name, loyal subject?”—
King, going Pasture-trek
like football-catcher-guy.
“Flailin’ McDrab, so please
Your Majest-sty”—while he’s
right by King’s side, jumping
and running and crouching,
bumping into couch-ing
fabrics, colors varied.
The King: “Flailin’ McDrab,
news has carried, un-crab-
like speed, word of your… your
happiness… Is it true?”
“Yes.” “For once in a blue
moon do we see here
one like you.” They exeunt
Pasture, and, steering saunt-
and wat-erly, enter
another hall packed, lined,
centered with el’gant, fine-
dressed admirers. Bowed
on one knee, like before,
the fustle sowed sore-
needed punctuation
to the stringers, who had
stationed themselves a tad
closer to the King, as
they had been pushed behind,
but now start spazzing kind
of musical movement,
faster now in tempo.
Cement-like, unkempo,
Flailin’ once again plopped
when he saw all bowed-down,
and nearly stopped the town-
sized procession, almost
caught up in the train; but
un-lost by the putt-putt
finesse of the King himself,
who, with a laugh, tugged Flai’
back to his shelf. The day
the bowed courtiers thought
they’d never see—with King
all fraught with laughter—now ping’d
in front of them. Thusly,
they stared amazed at F.
They moved bustly like chefs
McDrab had seen, through flash
of camera, of eye,
as crashed those helpers by
and around, musical
and clothical. Traveled
again, tickled and shelled
through more and more cloth-train.
At one small hall devoid
of vain folk, King broke void
of quietude-in-rush
by saying, “You know, once—”
here a mad thrush of dunce-
cap cloth to jump over—
“—the longest time ago,
a sir there was—was so
like you in temp’rament…”
Flailin’ asked as they slowed
down for raiment, as rode
it ahead with many men:
“And what happened to him?”
But then a massive trim
had to be performed: there
in the cloth in front them
a knot. No tear or hem
could be pursued, so some
dozens untied it, then held
so come could un-pell-mell’d
His Majesty and rest;
such was only un-do;
not even best of crew
could correct, so that whole
company had to pass
through hole—hoop—in a crass
leaping manner, starting
with the King and Flailin’
first departing through thin
break of cloth. They backed up,
then ran and leapt through hoop;
so uptook the rest, loop
made of whole train and knot
so disposed. The King looked
down. He had not be-took
of F.’s question lightly,
and seemed as if to speak
slightly, but made no leak
of sound except soft, “H’m.”
“He didn’t get very far,”
came out of him, like star’s
faint glimmering on night
full of dusty clouds. They
made right turn into day-
break-lit hall, where a few
were gathered, soft in talk.
They just withdrew and walked
a little distance off
when King & F. walked in.
King proffered hand. “Flailin’,
this is where audience
ends. For I have much work
to now commence. No Turk
or other fine-silker
had so much!” A loud laugh
milked—or creamed—forth, the chaff
being King’s low-again
looks. America’s King
jogged on, towards men nothing
and no one had seen (and
women, too): ‘Twas Mister’s
small band, sticking blister-
like out amongst the crowd.
They stood near the King’s path;
were quite unloud (their bath
in the sewer calmed them),
and looked all about. Flai’
had ‘im a question stayed
(child-like) on’s mind. As King
& co. passed, he shouted:
“Majesty! King!” Abouted-
face the King suddenly,
altering the train’s flow,
‘tenly made it swallów
Mister and his thirteen;
dis’ppear’d amidst the folds
with not a teeny molds’-
growth of a sound (to be
discovered much later).
‘Jesty facing, Flai’ stirred
his question forth: “Why don’t
you just cut it and start
fresh?” Some put “won’t” in part
of the question, ‘preting
it as a command; but
jetting had stopped like butt
on crashed toboggan: all
stared at Majesty for
his end-be-all what-for
to his impervious
subject. But King just smirked—
“See us?” whispered some irked
courtesans—and said “Ha!”
(His diaphragm bounced slight,
but no sound.) “Ha,” more light
this time. He looked at Flai’,
lowered his head once more,
then paid step to the door.
As soon as complete train
exited (at last), all
turned backs, refrained whole hall
from looking at Flailin’.
He’s still happy, of course.
Comes in one from the horse
stables, to escort out
McDrab, who feels fabric
that’s all about when picked
up by this stable boy.
They walk through many rooms,
no noise. Except one room,
where F. is confronted
by one “news-worthy” man,
who’s affronted by Dan
(stable-boy), told to leave.
He does, but gives a card
from sleeve: “from A.T.” “Pard’,
this is where you go,” said
Dan, when they got to gate.
So, Flai’ founded a grate
like the one he entered—
once again in forest’s
center. It was his best
guess it was sunrise,
though it could be sunset.
Above, the skies took bets
as to what time it was. Flai’ felt need
(as he has never done ’til here)
to go with all speed: when a tree’s near,
then he (look,
but don’t peek)
took a leak.

Chapter 10

Just as a red-tailed hawk
on a blustery day
will, squawkless, tilt and flay
in the swift blowing wind
so very, very slow,
as if rescinding no
flight, and then abruptly
gets caught and snagged by gale:
suptly no more, the tail-
named bird-of-prey volleys
swift about, like a jet
aircraft (follies to get,
but fun to have) will do
a turn and get pulled-pushed
side-through—the bird’s due mushed
against the ground below,
being without airplanes’
engine… —but no: maintains
its height-flight with a flick
of its majestic wings,
and sticks to circl’ing, flings
the wind at the wind by
circles broad, slow flying—
but, in its fly-bying,
it is ever in state
of closeness with being
tossed fate-like, foreseeing
never another pick-
up of the wind and yet
another tickling met-
well with the gusts, so close
to all falling down, and
yet closer to make land
of sky in near-perfect
graceful flight; or just as
those ever-pecked, topaz-
eyed birds: two of those
ravens (or crows) lofting
with toes and wings softing
the wheeling slow-feeling
descent—the two known for
double-dealing, at core
themselves both doubling
but their own wind-ing flight,
bubbling-up of dark night
in observers’, not their,
eyes—and so they falter
(as weight of hair—haltered
not—of a horse’s tail)
in their hap-haz-winging,
so sail in the wringing
hands of the wind, and each
to each other’s motions—
no need to preach, lotions
religical un-yearn’d—
and almost—but almost—
could earn the finest roast
from the finest geese, so
they—almost—followed one
another’s flow through sun-
wind rays—or so, almost,
seemed, like the jelly
on toast seems to bellies
and mouths unacquainted
with jelly-and-butter’s
birds, then, are these two-crows,
in a permanent flux,
so hosed by aqueducts
of wind, unsure whether
to flock like the goose, or
to ride feather-like, soar
without flapping, flapping,
flapping… whatever, no
clapping will they e’er know—
whatever their movement,
their form will be such to
ask behoove-ment of through-
and-through pariah-stance—
but still they float between
a dance or a machine,
neither one nor other;
or like a blue heron,
and our druthers: stare in
its majestic blue span
of wing, and it could be real
or canned fantasy-deal,
it is so beautiful—
but we won’t know, as flies
it away, full of tries
and guesses about its
exact stance—so remains
in fits fancy- and plain-
dealing, in terms of thoughts
‘fore, after, and during,
never once caught, spurring
a constant almostness—
real-, imag’d-, flying and,
ne’er tressed, neither touch land;
or just like architects
with their tools and their trade—
(I don’t protect) tirade
this holds for writers too,
their terrifiction of
the nouveaeon above
all—how they do attempt
to make buildings-Roman,
but always kempted in
the contemporary,
some little-small device
carries the building thrice-
forward in time, such that
it almost could complete
be in antackquitete,
but some—some—thing, keeps it
here; or as before snow
first hits the ground in No-
ember time, and dark clouds
above float down fine rain—
ice so surrounds the plain
droplets that it’s close snow,
but the drop and feel lets
out no solid’ty—nets
so icy but inside
all spring’s dew, so near to
winter’s white hide, just few
degrees colder and walls
and men of snow were there,
snowballs but for the care
of late fall’s season; or
just as in far-away
deep winter’s core, where stray
none living above ground,
and the howl of cutting
wind bounds the unjutting
flatness of snowy land,
and the wind blows snowy
white and the bands, doughy
and sharp, of specks abound,
and the sound pierces through,
the sound and feel of new
coldness, cutting where old
coldness was, and whistles
and breezes, bold, thistle-
less ground: and there you lie,
stretched flat on the soft earth,
and flies over its girth
the white slicing—you like
a kid (though old enough,
and not a tyke) feel fluff
upon fluff of brunette,
red, blonde, or what-have-you
hair, ‘cept for one, that’s new—
but blonder than the rest—
but no—not blonde—but grey—
amongst the best of hay—
and this sign of oldness
amidst the youthish curls—
boldness like a flag furl’d—
it’s youth approximate
now—almost, and still, yet… —
and so stand it: you get
it into your head, there
where nothingness surrounds:
face bare, like land, no mounds
in the distance—whiteness—
and you take off glasses
of the eyes, jesting is
lost: for even though none
you wear, still pair after
pair: one you remove, turn
down in the snow next you,
and continue the mime,
looking up to the time-
cast sky—and seems more clear
than before, and so each
is clearer, and each niche
more refined as each fake
opticality’s gone,
and one needs rake the lawn
of all the eye-wear next
you: but ’tis the same view,
same text—-and yet, IS new,
but newness is so close
to oldness that ‘tseems old:
new comatose, but bold
comatosity, so
it is almost really,
but no—not quite; nea’ly
just so as like sim’lar;
or just as ocean waves’
(no ship’s prim) turvy saves
no craft from a-rocking,
but the tide’s always flowing,
talking nor not knowing
will not stop it, but flux
rules, and everything that’s
nautical—ducks too—pats
that constant stir of white
pepper when sett’ling down:
day, night, no touchingdown—
constant almostness state
when touching the wave-top:
never abates, no stops
along the way, but froth
and bubbles’ fluid’ty
keeps broth a-stirrin’ free
and all the quasi-form’d
forms which would, given time,
emerge, de-form sublime-
like in/to the waves’ waves—
but still, they are so close
they pave tracks through the hose
always running, giving
an idea, but not—
(perhaps si’ving forgot
in the paper kingdom,
in which origami
makes “mum” of all mommies,
also else everything
in the whole universe)—
but nothing nothing: a verse
too terse to curse, so must
be hallowed, or almost
like rusted, as a toast,
but yet— : —almost; and so,
like above and before
all of these pro-priors,
so was Flailin’ McDrab’s pants’ zipper
almost zipped all the way, and yet, nope:
as fairy slipper’s length was left ope;
so he strut:
zipped up tight,
but not quite.

Chapter 11

So after Flailin’ peed
near the tree at the edge,
unseeded forest’s hedge
just starting to appear
outside the Fall Palace
gates, not so near malice
as it was near engross’d
with cloth—but that’s passed—now,
almost zipper’s teeth chowed
all the way up his fly,
and McDrab walked through, on
paths that passed by the dawn-
revealed plot of land he
originally saw.
To see the leaves see-saw
slowly down the wind, ’twas
good; almost as good as
the constant buzz since Chaz
talked, and even before,
much before; after too—
to chore a point, he knew
now, like he always had,
that he was and always
he would be glad; today’s
always the pure acme
of all his happiness.
So trees lent down their dress.
He walked a couple blocks
and quite nat’rally put
hands in his pock’s. His foot
stopped when he felt a card.
Pulling it from pocket
(as hard as a locket’s
lock un-doing), he saw
and remembered it was
from one of paw-and-buzz-
fill’d Fall Palace’s crew,
a “news-worthy” man from
A.Q., or some such sum
of letters. He lifted
the card up in the air;
the sun sifted his stare;
when F. saw the logo
clear, he lifted it down
pogo-like, and so found
himself at A.T., for
the logo at top of
the building four leagues ‘bove
him matched that of the card:
The Adlerite Today:
the hardest-hitting play-
around. “I see you’ve found
your way caper-like.” Sounds
of these words came behind
where Flailin’ McDrab held
card; mind and eyes were spell’d-
and-bound at the A.T.
Building’s top. Flai’ lŏwered
the card. Saw he towered
before the towering
building that Palace man
who flinged the beige-and-tan
card at him there. “You’re here
at last—I’ve been waiting.
Now, I can’t spare Kating-
or-Katying, for my
deadline’s ‘pproximately
close by—we can’t sitly
do this: three and a half
minutes is all I have.”
From the man’s calf, a ma’ve
notebook and pen removed.
“Who are you?” Flailin’ asked.
Man moved so that he basked
less in the sun, and said:
“It’s on the card. I am
reporter—head of glam’
Court News. An audience!
With His Majesty! Most
with sense see you as toast
of the court. Ev’ryone
would like to know of you,
hence this in-one-ter-view.”
“I see,” said Flai’ McDrab.
The reporter had writ-
while-blab-ing before it
(that is, his first question),
and now he wrote faster,
all suggestions mastered
before the suggesting,
all goods bettered by
besting, as he let fly
by questioning skill:
man asked them, then answered
man did, so filled Cancer-
colored book without Flai’
having to speak once, just
to stay on the street, rust-
and-rush’d passed by comers
and goers. F. simply
looked: as summers pimply
emerge, so the rhetor’cal-
question-and-answer went;
snorkel-like up it sent
to the surface airy
bubbles. The reporter
took off fairy-ish, purr’d
something about Section
C of the afternoon
‘dition, and almost swoon’d
back inside the A.T.,
so happy was he with
the almost three-min.s’ width
of time talking “with” Flai’,
who, always, was so
too. Stayed he there some mo’,
smiling at all who passed.
Then someone shouted, “Hey!”
behind him. Fastly a
bulk of papers zoomed, hit
him on the head, knocking
both it and him down. Zing
down the street an A.T.
truck did—when Flai’ got up,
“Thank you!” said he, then cupp’d
the newspaper the truck
delivered. He found C,
and tucked notic’ably
at top was a photo
taken at Fall Palace:
him and King, flowing, passed
a hall with train behind.
Below, an article
to find, a pop-sickle’s
length and potato’s width.
The reporter had took
his quotish pith, forsook
it so that from “I see,”
the word “see” was taken,
tongues freed of, forsaken
English and Spanishized,
so “see” became a “yes”
to lots of lies, so guessed
upon and so unwined:
a life and opinions
assigned: Flai’ got minions
and enemies unknown,
and in his tapestry
the words had sewn oak trees’
richness. But he didn’t mind.
Like a ten-year-old, whose
full-kind-led Ego choose’
to stamp its stamp all o’er,
so it was natural
Flai’ did ignore rural
fascination with Fame
City. Took it as it.
The same page, lower, hit
on another court scene
Flailin’ recognized: ’twas
Mister’s thirteen, a-buzz
as court jesters, being
discovered in the train.
Seeing as how it rained
laughter ev’ry time one
spoke, Mister and his crew
were henceforth done and through,
being content with their
entertaining placement.
Then, there: among lacement
at the very bottom
of the page, a small ad—
the pic got ‘im (no fad
new, for it was): the sea.
The waves ever-flowing
could be seen—even-singed—
on the static pages,
that soft commotionous,
tiding ages (shun us
and shun water as well).
And so he offered, so
let fell, the bounded tow-
under of the paper’s
piles, to a passing fem.
“Ooo, coupons!” hers to him,
as she weighted the bulk.
Flai’ asked: “Where’s the sea, lake—
this?” Sulking woman taked
eyes off coúpŏnáge,
saw ad, tilted her head
where buildings’ lodge and bed
grew less pronounced and they climbed less height.
The hap’ly papered-down one waddled
off. Flailin’ bowed slightly, re-bottled
and re-capped
his t(r)otter,
mapped water.

Chapter 12

He followed the woman’s
pointing until the street
was pins’-width across. “Neat”
was the journey, with end;
and when the buildings shrunk,
the waves’ wave sending skunk-
awake wakes, he walked more.
He saw the grand vista—
like ‘fore—’fore the Mista’
and his crew—he had seen
foresty Nature’s view.
But this was scene purview’d:
for even at distance,
even then could he tell
that, whence-e’er from, that spell
would get no less truer,
and no less understood
than the sewer he could
not find the light inside—
for that, and for this too,
applied soulfulness, through
divine intervention
though it come (and not to
mention anything true),
must be-left-be-out-hind;
for it is that one “I”
converges and signs “applied.”
Knowing this, as he had,
Flailin’ McDrab went down
to radify the sound
and the look and the scent
and the touch and the taste
of the waves, lent to chas’d
and chastening alike.
He had nothing to do.
Flai’ hiked down off the chew’d
pavement and onto sand,
a thin patch of which parts
the sea and land. Then starts
a boat—big, wooden one—
to make its way in view,
like sun without curfew.
It bounces down, downer,
bringing the horizon:
with blue, founders: eyes on
eyes looking out look-out:
a line. A line to stretch
about and to play fetch
with the world and its Ones.
One of the ship’s and sea’s
own playful sons calls, “See
here!” to Flailin’ on beach.
“Thinking to grow sea arms,
to reach out here? These farms
grow many kinds, though, I
am not to judge. Jump on
board, if you’d try!” Stumped on
the sand, looking up at
the ship in near water
(made bat-like with saws or
seas), Flailin’ accepted
the sailor’s shout-offer,
though excepted proffer-
distance and -height was large.
So Flailin’ quickly built
a large-reaching, un-quilt-
like staircase out of sand
and ascended running
to meet the band, stunning
on deck. Just as Flai’ jumped
off the sand-stairs, they fell
and lumped back down and jell’d
like tiny grains are wont
to do. Flai’ landed, thud-
accomp’nied, on’t deck. Bud,
the sailor who called him
on the shore to the ship,
was trimm’d of words as “flip”‘s
sooner said than McD.
appeared next to him there.
F.M. could see now hair
on top of the waves’ heads,
and stared contentedly
(instead of what?)-fedly
at the new detailed-whole
of the sea. So, Bud spoke
that word so stole and poked
more than any other:
that word of the twenty-
firster-century he
said: “So.” That word often
said ya-awningly,
which so softens and frees
expectations; which starts,
stops, transitions. But left
on carts its own, bereft
of expression it is.
Left for others to solve.
And so was his revolved
among the sailors that
they disbanded, left Flai’
to fatten the whole day
there on deck. They left then,
as F. saw a wood board
lying some ten squash-gourds
away. He went and bent
to pick it up, and some
brief-lent their eyes to come
to him, seeing him pick
up the board, one-and-half
or two times stick was (calf
excluded) to his height.
Some murmured that they read
and sighted him in the head
Court News story in that
Adlerite Today, but
all took the flatten’d cut-
and-form of Bud, and let
the man and his board stay
unfetter’d on deck, ways
and paths outlined for them
through their duties ’bout ship.
They worked tandem him, skipp’d
words: these who had long known
that more times need silence
than stones for a stone fence.
So their presences let
known what was to be knew—
their quodlibet had new
color: F. and his stick.
For it became his, like
one picks a rock on bike
trip when first exploring
as a pre-teen. The ship’s
boards for boring were, chips
eventually became;
so to Bud and the rest
’twas same for it in nest
of Flailin’ McDrab’s arm
to be, whilst he while-watched
the sea’s two charms, which watch,
howsoever it’s made,
cannot clock: to be still,
the shade and light equil—
to be rocked slow-away,
moving unmoved moving
always, but stay grooving
and serenely; but then,
at the same time (but then),
to blend out all the when
from where and who, so Y
became only the last
letter, the sky to blast
out all Z’s and all zeds
from the minds and heads’-minds
of bled ones, all Behind
except gentleness-roar
of the senses alive,
like-sense like four-years jive
about—perhaps because
so close-low to the ground—
no Was for seas, just sound
of ‘Now, now, now the tale
begins’—for ev’ryone
is in a vale with sun
‘n’all animals low-close
to the ground, for there is
no most, there is no this,
there is no ground. Sea-change.
The sea goes up and down.
The ever-range of sound
as valleys turn mountains,
mountains-valleys, and that
just in the surface. Pat
the depths at ev’ry time.
The… sea… So stood Flailin’,
the Rimed there on railin’,
looking over that vast
with stick in hand, the crew
and the ship cast off through
Wherever They Were, her
charted towards Wherever
They Were Going, severed
from land, folk, and unflow.
Came some clouds in the sky,
which made unknowing fly
through water’s reflection:
beauty. But then some drops,
not fun for water, hop
from sky downward; yet in
sea good, some would say, and
put their soul-in, their hands
detecting sprinkling. But
more: a storm—darker clouds,
sheets cutting down so loud
that sea’s roar and sky’s fall
excluded each other.
The crew here all smothered
together below decks,
and urged Flai’ do same.
The beck’s he waved with tame
waves and smiles, living there
seeing the sea toss down,
the sky toss where it found
its landing. Flai’ stood soaked,
with the same calm as sea
had broke an hour back. He
stood with stick held in hand,
gazing, as waves crashed o’er
the deck, that land-false sore
sounded as the ship’s boards
moaned and the whole mass rocked
as hordes of drops so docked
on decks. The wind tossed all.
Flailin’ McDrab stood. And
then roared a tall wave-hand
that plucked him off the deck
and dropped him in the waves.
In necks of deepest caves
there is no darkness like
that when dunked like that. But
he above-hiked the jutt’
waves, held on to his board,
and with it stayed to splash;
and soar’d through the stir, dash’d
like a stuck salt shaker.
He looked for the ship’s fore-
and-aft, maker of board
on which he wobbled. It
was gone, or, if still there,
was hit so with wet air
that he couldn’t make it out.
Or maybe just his eyes.
No need to shout goodbyes,
for the sea (or whatever it was)
was shouting such profound-loud hellos
that nothing’s heard, buzz excepted. So
he floats ‘float,
making own
boat, course known.

Chapter 13

Flailin’ McDrab was shoved
and flipped-down by the waves
above him, which would, save
his board’s possession—which
unpenlike stayed staying—
he would have hitched flayings
and swayings exponent-
more than he was attached.
Violent movings fast-latched
themselves to his corpus,
and sights and sounds faster
than a sore-missed pastor’s
words before Easter-time.
But as he was quick-dunked,
all mimed and lost its spunk:
instead a quiet calm
under the depths, the rain
acting as balm to strange
movings, stirrings, and thoughts.
The storm was thus re-stormed,
and brought-serene formed
under the tumultness
became all the more peace:
the more, more; less, less leased
to chaos than to cays
of water and of bliss,
like days unfound to miss.
The ways and stays way-laid
the Up, and too the Down.
So both were paid the sound
and the unsound of its
sibling’s company. For
Flai’, fits of spritz and stores
of breath-holding became
the yin-yang-yin-yang-yin
and both the sames fell in
each other’s diff’rences.
The storm paged on, and F.
so hence through the wave-clefts
and under-spells of sea
saw, experienced through.
When he had floated to
somewhere else or somewhere
same, when the day broke (if
it was day); where the cliffs
of clouds above let in
sprinkling of sun or moon,
Flailin’ saw, coming soon
and slow, a dark blue shape
through the rainy, pin-pricked
(porcupine-ape who kicks
out and up splinters from
its skin) water. As it
wade’ some fraction-leagues, lit
the skimming surface with
a giant oar: flipper.
This water-smith skipper
was in fact, in all, whale:
a monstrous blue whale,
no sail of white to pale
the massive bulk of flesh.
And now the tail loomed o’er,
and that smell: fresh fish, stored
not in tanks or alüm’
cans, but wove and re-weaved
on looms not so deprieved
of space. Of space. The whale
pushed on in the storm towards
McDrab, full-sail through cords
and chords of rain. When she
got close, she let out, “Moo!”
which, re-echoed so through
the water, came to surround
and bellow. Below, up
she rose, made ground and cup
of tea the tottering
surface. Before just back/
head springed forth; now, all Jack
was out of the box: tail
and flippers powering,
she bold-assail’d the fling’d
winds and waters. She pushed
the water aside her
and mushed it past, miter
of the sea her head; at
full forty-five degrees
above she sat and eased
her way like hydrofoil.
She blew forth, this girthy-
big goil, geyser-worthy
from the blowhole a shot
of steam, which rose and crashed
and mingled, hot and dashed
against and through the storm.
She settled back down, but
conformed not her smooth-cut
path to the way the wind
blew. But never did she
at once begin to feed
off the spirit’ity
of the sea, which F. first
city-found. Nor sea cursed
the whale’s whaleness, which he
just could make out as she
came next him. Seeing he
held on-board, she offered
and faintly touched him with
proffered flipper, but sith
he held onto his board,
the whale slowly passed by.
All this was scored with high-
pitch, sympathetic moos.
Flailin’ McDrab saw her
refuse to lose daughter
that was he: she turned bold
against the storm for one
more pass. Sea’s hold, the tons
of water swirling Flai’
in all known directions
(and maybe some lexion
has not discovered) could
not bar the whale trying.
Her head, like hood (spying
eyes beneath), aimed true-on:
her flipper pushed and spun
(like sauna steam begun
to solidify) him
and his board, and she swam
around him, skimming clam-
smooth the water’s surface.
Flailin’, like young
novice at being sung
to and singing social
niceties like handshakes:
first times lotial and quake-
full, but now getting grip
and accepting greeters’
hands slip-free; so meet her
flipper Flai’ did, and grasped
it tight, then slowly climbed
to a full-mast height, timed
perfectly with the whale’s
picking up speed. Gleeful,
the whale did wail keyful
moos of victorious
mood, as if to say, ‘I’ll
free us from this storm while
you ride tidefully here.’
Using board to balánce
(not for the fear, but chance
the); not like a trapeze
individual; like
a cheese, rather, his psych’:
he, Flailin’, cast his stick
forward and they rode off,
through Harvest’s pick of loft-
winds and winding-shot rain.
The storm changed but little;
whale reigned queen through spittle
and breath, kept Flailin’ safe
on her back. But very
soon, like a chaf’d cherry
the sun appeared and clouds
dis’d; and the sea/lake/bay
unloud bid farewell day.
They rode on, they rode on.
Through the two starry quilts:
one spread upon the silt-
free water’s mirrors; other
upon the real sky, the real
mother-of-stars, but feel
both as if were the same,
both chaotic sprinklings
in one wild tamed, tinklings
of sky and sea ‘flecting
reflections’ subtleties,
vecting vectors kill’d-free.
Lines. Points. Infinity.
Or something close to that.
Or sun on sea on flat
Flailin’ McDrab still held
board, she still mov’d, bell’d
towards another one place,
with their wake left behind,
with all her face (in kind,
all his body) above
the surface. The seas, skies
were of calmness bred. Spy
the whale and McDrab land
to the starboard. Like mast-
observer, hand steadfast
pointed, she calls out, “Mooo!”
and turns towards the sighted
dock. Stewing water, head
full out, she got ready
for Flai’ to disembark.
Keeping steady, his bark
held tight, Flailin’ bent down
and patted her head twice,
then bounded forward. Nice
fisherfolk on jetty
saw them coming and ducked.
A confetti-splash chucked
towards the harbor as she
sudd’ly stopped and Flai’ soared
and he planted stick o’er
the fisherfolk’s heads, rods.
Like a stole pole-vaulter
he was, the gods haltered
not the trueness of his
vault. He landed on dock.
Through mist and spray the frocked
ath’lete gave wave and bow
to the departing whale.
She showed just how the hail
affected her by lifting
up her tail as she dived;
sifting water alive
and mooing loud she dove.
The fisherfolk paid no
heed, fishing strove still. Though
some checked their bait again
after whale’s departure,
none lent heed or heart-sure
glance behind at Flailin’.
(Who had been happy all
along.) When fin and call
of the whale were long gone,
Flailin’ McDrab turned ’round,
the dawn and sea behound
him. He did not look back,
but walked on content’ly.
Never he racked, spently:
Flailin’ found his land-legs quickly now,
never having lost them in first place;
after the whale-bow he spun his face
to land once
more: not for
hunts, for for.

Chapter 14

Flailin’ McDrab emerged
from the sea, though he’d been
submerged, as if begin
again. Beyond the dock
was a brief city park,
near where the stocks (where sharks
are said to encircle)
are traded—real things ne’er
perc’led like light-as-fear
stocks and bonds, existing
only in wrote. Hiding
the sun, misting tidings,
were scrapers of sky there.
The sun peeked through a gap
and shared its green with sap-
coated grass. ‘Twas lunchtime,
and the workers with papers
went to the lime-shapers—
the trees—to escape some,
taking their inbox out,
and mum’ing all their clout
into their palms raised
to their ears (phones cellulár).
Flailin’ walked through-and-far
with his stick in the grass-
lit-sun-reflected patch,
his mass still sopping (catch’d
so much of sea he did).
Dipping board as he pass’d
that path, un-hid and cast
in the dirt (almost sand)
was a line, an indent.
His hand, as if repent
the act it did, lifted
immediate the stick.
But when sifted the nick
in the dirt with his eyes,
he put the hand and board
un-sky-wise again, soared
in fact acrossd’t the ground.
And as his drawing went,
the sight-and-sounded sent
from him and through the wood
got only granderesque,
as’f stood he at the desk
of heavens and it drew.
His lines became simpler,
and his ‘ments moved dimpler,
larger upon the path.
As with most endeavors,
his swath work was never
noticed by the those who
walked past by him: some stepp’d
through with the through of kept-
busyness’d business, some
tried not to blotch the lines.
No sum or diff’rence minds
Flailin’, for this, like all
his, has no real motive
but that it’s called and si’ved
through his own happiness,
and so cannot be touched
(-for-less or touched-up). Such
is he, and such is is.
It could have gone ever,
that is here his sketch (fer
referents), for as draw’n’
got more abstract—from
chew’d—more truer became,
and the more he got framed
in the framing, involved
to bigger and bigger heights,
so said and drawn the sights
of the stick got: to be
eventually the size
of a court need-(surmise
one could)-ed for a sport
of giganterific
proport-ions: (specific-
like-more) perhaps one with
an hourglass-shaped ball
whose depth and width pass’d all
of the dumbed bells beneath
the dust; or for a court
to sheath justice of sorts
where juries must be tried
by juries of thousands
mass’d, but all tied mouse-in-
hole-ish in one small spot
to remain, where the rules
are jot so arcanule’d
that lines are drawn for lines’
sake only, or if for
more, no’ne has spines to chore
through them, for them, with them,
by… It could have gone on.
But then, it didn’t. As long
as ships the court could’ve
been (though court’s hips should’ve—
perhaps would’ve-d’ould’ve—
held them afloat): someone
from the oustide bustling,
with “fun” there a-tussling,
such a humanica
(such a Humannukah?—
the monike’ pick a
one, if you please) could not
help but specificate
a jotting abstract, plate-
put there for to see. This
was a businesswoman:
lightly who kissed the rim
of her coffee cup, she
looked down at some large piles
stackly placed on bench while
she went to buy the stink-
morning-liquor. Just ‘fore
sitting down—plink—the poured
cup, herself on the bench,
she emitted a sigh, like
whose stench sounded high-
pitch of coffee smells’ steam.
Like young ones so focused
in their own dream-plans must
sometime awake, though they
do to the most strangest
stim’lae; so this bench guest,
one of many F.M.
passed along the side path
and stems (among the bath
of sea-land as he was);
but only this woman,
amidst the buzz and din
of others, spoke one sigh;
then he raised his board, jaw
towards sky more; but then saw
her one anguishing face
as she prepared to sit:
then in there chased a kit
of buzzers, bells, whistles,
signifying the end,
of lunch hour, and faster
than a cleft-land’s minute
can in-weave, cat, or pin it,
they all flocked back to tall
offices theirs. But like
a call still ringing, mic
echoing still, that one
person’s sighing, like horse-
neighing begun, its course
from out her mouth produced
a wind, which stayed blowing,
inducer and her ching-
ching’d cohort safe inside.
That wind from the one sigh
made some leaves flied on by
in a cyclical way.
Flai’ looked on at it. But
it stayed spinning and cut
higher grooves in dark’ning
airs. Some droplets descend.
And then a Zing! as send
up to the very roof
of the sky the spinning
leaves, woofer-low tinny
sound; and a tornado.
It was a tornado.
The blowing whining flow
encircled dev’lishly
fast and vroomed like vacuums.
School-fishly in rooms
and classes and glasses
of speedy speed, all turned
massless and with slow-burned
chicory heat and smell.
No sun or even clouds
in the sky dwelled, just loud
sucking. It sucked greatly.
The tornado took off:
dately-blind, bark-tree soft.
Flailin’ McDrab still stood.
And the tornado took
him and his wood, forsook
the drawing drawn upon
the ground. He looked, unblink’d,
as dawns of all time winked
inside that funnel-cone.
There were particles flown,
flowings unknown and sewn
in that whirlinging tube,
passing before his face.
A booby-pigeon chased
an ‘possum just inches
from his eyes, and man-made
bolts and winches cascade-
like shooting down and up.
But no sound. No sound but
a pup yelp, and a cut
ripped too overripe from
the mighty firmaments.
The feel like some fan-vents
full-power through his clothes,
puffing out blouse, pockets;
air hoses be-smocked it
gaily. But his two feet
always felt firm on floor,
even though seat or door
or stabilizer pack
is absent. Just like one’s
not racked by the earth-sun-
movement, rehearsed from stark-
naked birth to rotate-
so stately was he dressed
by the tornado’s swift-
slow constant bemusement-
inducing gift. As dent-
full cars wheeling fast through
the twister, he laughed. Though
no new sound produced. Go
and going and wented
all fast-zip-zeee. It tilts,
cone slow-bented with lilts
and giddy, like a horn
made out of gallium:
the corn goes tallyin’,
then it stops. Then it stops,
and it seems as if sense
does, but the pops of dense
matter all gathered loosely and held,
all find themselves unfreed of the thing,
back to their own shells just soliding
out of air;
and all else
stared at, melts.

Chapter 15

This pageant history
now must jump our hero’s
story. In quick zeroed
this sentence towards, from air:
“We’d like to publish you.”
Flai’ heard, then stared up, knew
this skyscraper was book
publisher’s lair. Man
took look at Flailin’, stand’
so to undock, stow it,
said: “Ev’ryone’s a-buzz—
surely know it you—was
so for some few months now—
Oh, you’re a recluse one—
the how-now and someone,
‘least since that article—
to know more you—ev’ry
wee particle sev’ry
discovered. So, we think
would tink this city’s sea:
will you write that—your—book?”
Indeed, e’en then he heard
the hush and looks, demurr’d
pointings all where-evers:
mute cam’ras there gathered.
Severed not this lathered
silence Flailin’ did; man
looked pleased, clapped hands, and bid
follow, flash-panning lid
of the building (its door),
and motioning Flailin’
towards more inside-sailin’
seas, through revolving doors.
All lined and seated there
along the floors (some here
nervous, others there bold)
were writing folk, selling
their sold wheres, whens, belling
their Who’s ‘bove all volume.
The man directed Flai’
to a small room where they
there found a smaller lift.
They rose ‘bove all stories,
and sifted through more seas
of folk ’til the man let
open a door to a large
room, filled with jet- or barge-
supply of food, comforts.
And there against a wall
a sturdy machine, all
new and bright: computer.
“Let us know if you need
something,” demurred man freed
from his lips. “I don’t,” F.
said. The man closed the door.
Bereft of nothing, stores
galore stored around him,
Flailin’ McDrab sat at
the machine simple, sat
in front of that keyboard
and screen, and looked a while,
not bored, but ‘thralled with smile
of his face reflected
on the computer screen,
like at their heads do teens
gaze and stare, at oldness
familiar, newness un-,
of messed faces and young
hair and skin, minutiae
noticed at first, but then
they’re giving way to den-
of-cave’s whole-istic
nature. But in this screen,
the flicking of that sheen
was interrupted by
a blinking cursor (curse
or bless it) flying terse
winks of black ‘midst the white
reflection. Flai’ smiled more.
To write not, but to store
this cursor elsewhere, out
his face, he placed his hands
on top the stout keys. Lands
one finger on the “Shift.”
Flai’ looks down, then back up.
He sifts through moves with cupped
hands, hitting the “Spaces”
enough to move it not
where his face is. He got
into the rhythm so
that he hits a few keys:
the quotation, then he
(randomly?) jumps to “i,”
“period,” then quote close.
He has typed: “I.” exposed
on the screen precisely
where reflection is
not. He looks down, and his
hands he removes slowly.
Flailin’ looks up once more,
gets up, quickly re-stores
himself to seat after
looking at screen: seeing
he blocked the “I.” that way,
he gets up the other.
Looks out: the day’s mother,
the sun, shines through window,
the city spread beneath
him, low-down on the streets
the people. It is all there.
M. goes to the door, peeks
an office, stares a leak’s
moment at a person—
a publisher—vig’ly
cursin’ and piggity-
washing his hands of ink:
some black rubs away,
flows down the sink, but lays
most the hue still on hands—
that person looks up at
Flai’, lands a fake smile flat
on his face after pause—
then back to work. Flai’ left
the buildings’ claws as deft
as he was led in. On
the street again, he became
as non-big as those same
ants he saw at the top—
but he did not up-look.
But in leaf-dropped-forsook
(and rake-forsook too) September-mids
he dwelled… though one was waiting for F.—
and now followed, hidden, as he left—
more of hers
and her—sends
first these ends.

Chapter 16

Underneath this small hub
of peace, these pieces-lull’d,
without one apostil,
was more peace, and more yet:
the fall had filled, beget
in this time a fullness,
a New Englandsy mood,
with bless-bliss attitude
and a tone to richly
eat ripe red-wrapped apples
and thus, ditchly, crapple
out all the cares of men,
the cures of both sexes,
the ten-stepped steeped nexus
of Improvement, Progress,
and More. No hiding out,
so hidden. Dress more, spout
less; guesses more doubtless.
As the white space makes lines’
black zest, much more than spines
or jackets or fonts could;
as the blackness makes stars
more than they would by far
than farther farness’ bright;
so the grayness makes gray
the light-and-dark, the way
to its own smooth relief.
And the trees and the birds,
joy, splendor, grief-less words
but not words, ecstasy,
bliss, life, life, rapture, life.
The sea was land; the strife—
if any there was outside
of human heads—was smoothed,
and leaves did slide as youthed
flower buds fall in spring
in fall in spring. Summer
next thing, winter—bummer
not—else. But it was now.
A rhapsody. And there—
not there as down there—where
there was was Flailin’ M.
And McDrab, happy, walks.
To him no person talks,
no person being there,
except of course that she,
that her that dared to be
following him from that
book publisher’s place-house,
and cattish—maybe mouse
too—she hid, and waited,
followed, and then waited—
waited-weighted, bated
breath and baited fish-hook—
if there was a hook hers—
was booked within her pursed
lips, the verbal hooking
inside her mouth. What plot
she had cooking will clot
later, but now, she’s daring—
thus explains “her that dared”
baring before; from hair
to toe, F.M. was no
dare or to-be-darer-
to—she is, though, scareder
than sacred can e’er be—
and so dares to halt dares
from she—and, like cub-bears,
absconses self hither
and whither (but behind
Flailin’), withering signs
and bushes her cover.
(Covers she had many.)
Lovers, either meny
or womeny, may too try
this tactic—so, look out, young
loverlies, sighed or sung.
As he walked through country,
Flai’ McDrab must have heard
the tree twigs snap, the birds
squawk and quickly fly by—
but he kept humming tunes,
louder and higher, dunes
of sound inside his own
cranium higher than
those owned outside, woman-
made or Nature-made; or
perhaps his hearing’s hard
as an oak door or card-
house made of stone. Perhaps
he was like a young one,
who crap-gives for a ton
of people: audience
demanded, only to
ignore. What sense is through
that is through this this here.
And he didn’t let on, if
his hearing told him. Sift
she did skulk-sulk-ily
behind, deeper through tracks
up woods’ hilly slopes, back
down. Took she a deep breath,
then stood up straightest, checked
the breadth of her hair, decked
her lips with sparkle-ing
saliva, wiped her nose,
thorough tingling her toes
and fingers; her hands, knees,
arms, legs all cocked, jointed
as trees’ branches; pointed
her eyelashes and eyes
towards her target of siege;
gives some quick flies, beliege-
like, down her clothes with shakes;
puts head and neck up high;
and takes askance eye-bys
of her body from that
height—as from any height,
some seems too fat, some slight-
overmuch—to correct
she aligns her chests’ widths,
connecting with her hips,
and is sure all slow-wings
with her run-walk-sashay;
through all these things does Flai’
still hum oblivious.
She rushes in front him;
so miss’d, she turns. Begins
so. They both locked their eyes,
as stranger eyes oft do,
and this glance fies all, through
its casualness, of
any long-enduring
with love, et c. Sett’ling
their lookings and paces,
they both stopped. She pauses,
direct faces: causes
him not surprise but what
is him his he—happy—
though-but, always. Sappy
not the trees; flow the clouds.
She says, as if behind
still, in voice loud and sign
with a raised arm: “Flailin’!
McDrab.” F. nods. She laughs,
and, in a nervous gas
sort of way, she says, “Oh!
So, you’re here. Well, I… see,
although I know. Your free
time, like mine, you… Listen.”
Flailin’ didn’t speak a word.
“Women can be absurd,
and… I saw you back there,
coming out that building,
and from that where, fill’ding
with tension, these twenty
miles, I’ve hidden, waited.
For me, I have hated
not showing myself first.”
Here she straightens more yet.
“They city-curse, I bet
you know, it makes me so…
like this, but more. But, no…
You know, Flailin’?” And so,
Flailin’ asked, “Yes?” She said:
“You must know all the girls
who’ve had their heads in twirls
since that Section C piece,
The Adlerite Today,
like geese we clammer, flay—
Flay! Ha!—I have fallen.
That’s what I’m trying… I,
Flailin’, all in all… My
name’s Adonia May.”
She shook his hand sweaty.
“You may, you must, jetty
to the country often,
to escape all the fame…
all the women… My name’s—”
“—Adonia May, yes.
No, I don’t escape. And
I guess yours’s the first hand
belonging to woman
I’ve shook.” She blushed intense
red. “I have been incensed
with how the fame has made
you. Your life has been made
and faded to all shades.”
“No, it is one. It’s mine.”
And Adonia looked
as if a sign was took
from the roadway to her
heart and placed in front of
her. Stirr’d she then: “I love
you.” Flailin’ kept happy.
“I knew when you’re alone;
there’s no chappy so shone
as you… I wanted to
be alone when you’re alone:
so together, we lone.”
She laughed so hard, he too.
She took his hand, he shook.
On his hip threw a look,
then put her hand there soft.
“That’s my pants,” Flailin’ spoke.
She proffered her hand smoke-
smooth up his side, then down.
“I know,” she said sultry
and looked with sound poultry
could cook in. Flai’, bemused,
turned and looked downpath, then
he used his tiptoes: men
or women were neither
behind him, nor ‘hind her,
so these looks hers and purrs
must be him-directed.
“There’s no one here,” floatly
she said. F. said oatly,
“No, you’re here.” A.: “I know.”
A long pause. She up-backed,
“So sudden, though,” and tracked
away from him, but turned
seduddenly, those bright
and burned leaves behind-sight:
“What do you want to do…
about us?” She walked more
away, then slow-intort
to face him: Flailin’ bowed,
turned from her, and walked on.
Her brow furrowed, she faun’d
after: “Where’re you going?”
Without turning around,
Flailin’s knowing rebound:
“The direction my feet are pointing.”
Adonia May reflected brief:
this out-of-jointing was never leafed
in all man-
plans, but then:—

Chapter 17

“Flai’! Flai’! Don’t go away!”
Adonia May screamed—
the day brightened, it seemed.
She jolted forward, blocked
the path—Flailin’ bowed once
more, ‘gain un-docked. The hunt
for a reason: she jump’d
ahead again when he
had pump’d two steps with feet.
Again McDrab bowed, ‘gain
May blocked—this time four steps
he took—she bent her pepp’d
face in his view—withdrew
he, bowed—again now two
pursued steps before glued
herself in front him. So:
two, block, bow, four, block, bow;
the pattern sewed this how
until it became most
tedious and languid.
She posted her sanguine
self insistently, yet
gentle: like male blue herons
attempt to get Karens
(and otherly-named female
blue herons) by tugging
a stale small twig, hug-wing’d
lightly in female’s beak—
if she release, give him
it, then the meek male wins
her as his mate. A.M.
then gave up, walked beside
her him, asked with deride:
“Why are you going on
without me?” Flailin’ said:
“You’re the one gone—turned head
from me and left back there.”
A. was shocked. “No, no, I—”
and here she stopped to try
to word-put coy coquette
behavior. She could not.
“But you’re now jetting trot-
speed from me. Don’t I fit
in what plan you have, where
you’re fitting to go?” Here
Flailin’ said: “I have no
plan.” A.: “But don’t you want
me with you?” “Oh,” his daunt.
“I don’t want anything.”
“But-but, wouldn’t you be glad
if wing’d we for a tad?”
“I’d be happy if you
came along,” F.’s reply.
She smiled through-through, but whyed
that a moment, then smile
instantly disappeared.
A while she lingered, feared.
Said: “But what if—” “—I’d be
happy if you didn’t come
along, too.” Seeing some
proof in her fears, she turned
from him; but turned back, with
new turn on tear-verge. Sith
’twas so, seemed as though she
became a diff’rent her
when her face retreat’—er,
she put on a mask while
away from him. Flailin’s
slight smile remained, wherein
the cause for A.’s tearfall
starting. She sobb’d and sobb’d,
in her hand all the knob
of his wrist took, and dragged
him down the path: crying
her, wagging-smile him. Fling’d
her him to a wood bench;
there cried on his shoulder.
In this wood trench, hold her
Flailin’ M. did not, but
smiled continuously.
She cut her sobs shortly,
wiped her face, looked in his,
saw his smile, laid her head
shoulder his: wrist like lead
she brought up and with hand
touched his cheek. For Flai’, that
hand landing there, the hat-
free head on him leaning,
he treated like a teen,
who’s some dreamings had, dreamed
of romantic touchings
for some few years before
nothings whispered in store
are; and so, since the thoughts
preceded real’ties,
sees it as naught but seas
seen through a telescope
and at last reached: comfort
and hoped satisfied, port
reached. In short, he didn’t change,
and remained happy. Look’d
she so unstrange, her crook’d
elbow resting on his
left chest. She and he looked
through mist, and she soon took
her time: released smooth rasp:
a voice that makes merry
decorum, raspberries.
This rasp like raspberries
spoke: “Oh, Flailin’ McDrab,
I see you, want to blab
anyev’rything… So
strikingly unhandsome.
I think I know I’ve come
this far because of that—
that’s why I’m attracted.”
Smile sat still on his head,
and she spoke, looked on it:
“But why are you always
so full with little gay
enthusiasm for
ev’rything, and so not
for (or ne’er unforgot)
for anything? It’s true,
your total joy is more
than any human—poor
you, though!—for at any
one time—and you don’t give
so contemplative seem.
Enthusiasm so
makes your life-dream ne’er go—
you enjoy many lives’
enjoys, but not your own:
bliss knives don’t cut souls’ bones.”
“No, it is one. It’s mine.”
“I didn’t mean more than one
life… I’m just tr’in to own
up… to be your circles’
part. Like how are your buds?”
The lulled word of hers, “buds,”
she said as if they were
looking at trees’ buds out
a window, ‘mur’d the spout
of drizzle and the buds
poking out late April,
soft floods signaling frills
on Nature’s drapery.
“My buds?” “Your friends at court.”
Puzzled looked she. Cohort
there at the Fall Palace
Flailin’ began to list,
chalice of reminisced
poured through his lips, began:
“Eb’ny and Ivory—”
But to the man did she
break in: “Never mind them.
I’m no poetess, but,
Flai’ M., let me just cut
in here and say those friends,
nay, all you have e’er known,
from start to ends and blown
all across earth and sea
from highest to lowest
and free to slave, knowest
you the whole populace
of this here-now planet
even, you’d miss still sets
of folkage when and where
it counts the very most:
you fare may well from toast
at breakfast to the toasts
before you tired retire
at the all-ghosts, no-fire
hours—but when you ascend
those stairs, no matter though
suspended chand’liers glow
the way up, when you reach
your large bedding’s largess,
and there’s no feature press’d
to your side, then you yearn.
For, in after how-ers
of turning your powers
of the true self conscious-
makes, the visions in front
your eyes: your missed love (stunt
of growth romantical)
will take form when you wrap—
mind-full an imag’d trap—
your arms round some self-myth’d
feminystic fig-Ur;
in her true pith, is fur
of your covers, darkness,
and night-air. And, really
‘bove chest yours reached feely
for that dream-woman,
your hands come down back on
you (though through-in that gone
vision, you true her held).
And now, when you awake,
your feeled arms are aslake
over your chest, wrists crossed
like Egyptian mummies:
and so, you, frost-in-freeze,
ending up dead in your
own solitude. You’re like
emerging buds all spik’d
through the branches, ready
and reaching out for May,
but that getty-set’s day
is procrastinated
by an unexpected
too-late snowfall, which dreads
the buds reaching out for
life’s grabbing and makes fall
th’branches from chore of all
that weight: both buds and snow:
renewal stagnancy.
But no Fran or Nancy
need tell you this—just look!
Look at you—in your prime
manhood—you’re booked and limed
for staring, and then pairing.
No need to dust your green
with wing-of-a-dove’s sheen—
be fresh! be fresh!” By this
point, A. was lying o’er
Flai’, almost to kiss the pores
on his nose, her hands on
his chest: he lay most prone
and clam, with his smile-zone
still prom’nent on his face.
“Still so ‘thusaistic!…
You’ll learn… Let’s place-mask it
a while.” They got up, hand in hand, smile
in smile, basking in Nature’s glory:
she glad all the while that their story
looked changed; he
happy same,
free remained.

Chapter 18

And they two then there trekked.
By walking. And she, A.,
would peck sensu’lly Flai’
with loverlyish glance,
with silk-smooth touch’ contact,
as in a dance, and clack
went her shoes instead of
down foresty-pasture
path. Love, then, ’twas: fast-sure
and slow-thought and trancing
with gazes of the heart.
Creatures prancing. They dart
and they skimmer. And birds.
And when this mindish love
went words the way above—
or below?—from its source,
the rasp like raspberry
(now far from coarse, wary
with security) said:
“You’re the man. You’re my man.”
Flai’ head-tilted. A fan
of tree fronds blew the wind.
A buzz of autmun bugs.
She then beginn’d, with hug-
squeeze to Flai’s hand, release;
then A.M. to F.M.
(no cease of breath, ahem):
“You know, my dearest Flai’,
though I think you’d like to
refuse parlay, be through;
you can’t deny feeling;
if so, that denial’s
sealing the cap of vials
of your own reluctance.
All’s reading radio
signals: though fence be o-
some-height high, it goes through.
Even if you didn’t talk/
act/do a thing, the balk
sends out signals profound—
so, no matter what you
feel you are bound to do—
and especially not
do—you these waves emit:
are caught and read. Just sit
and be prone—as you were—
and your mere presence gives
off such a stirring… Live!
and accept the way we
communicate: by not.
With me, what you have got
is a situation
like this: so there you are,
down there stationed and barred
from coming up by you;
and at this staircase-top
some new thing throws, lets drop,
a key ring—your hand’s out
to receive, and by luck,
do’n’t clasp about the chuck’d
keys, but the ring catches
and slides through your pinky.
Batches of keys now wink-free
on your little finger.
O, Flailin’! I’m your keys;
stop malingering, please,
and let me open what’s
inside of you, that you
with buts and what-have-yous
keep hermitc’lly seal’d.
Can’t you see how our waves
can’t be concealed? Let’s wave
each other’s hellos be.”
Said A.M. to F.M.,
she seeing the saw him
of he’s-he-her-their-be:
“My Flailin’ McDrab, I
love you; as bees do die
for a sting, so I you.
I see in your thoughts-full
a truer you, not lull’d
but free’d. O! if you’d love
me as I love you, you
would be above, have new
joys, true happiness. Such
a capacity for
so much suff’ring; that door
of suffering opens
to greater bliss than now.
Only then when you’ve bowed
to the sadness within
can you be happy: and we
begin together, free
ourselves and give ourselves
and take ourselves all wheres.
My Flai’, let’s delve, go there—
love me as I do you!”
Though A. slowed down, Flailin’
kept through. Soon he came in:
“Your Adonia May,
I do love you. Love you
here and today as do
I all humanity
at any time. I love you
as me do love all yous
that I have met: I love
all before I meet them.
I’m not above love, then…
What’s the point of loving
people after you’ve met
them? -Ing would be a net.
Isn’t that cheating? To
make feel ‘dent on action?”
A. just heard through fraction
first of his talk—for like
piano concertos,
when mic of ears of those
in the hall first a theme
hear play’d by orchestra
full: the big scream bests ras
or tis of the same theme
played rubato and soft
by lean pianist’s oft-
rehears’d fingers later
in the composition—
so did two her ears in-
listen his “I do love
you,” and ignore the rest.
Above her waist digressed
she her body so towards
him, and reached out her arms
and hand forwards, as’f charms
she intended to cast
o’er him. But she just laid
unfast’ningly on Flai’s
chest her two softest hands—
left on right, right on left.
With smoothness’ sands she cleft
upward on either side,
and wrapped her hands around
his wide collar bones, bound
her hands together ‘hind
his neck, and gently brought
him to her finding, sought
a thing there from his face.
With a movement’s swiftness
and grace, she cocked head west
and approached his two lips;
as two giant icebergs
approach two ships, she surged
slowly and greatnessly,
and most passionately
agreed to this meet-sea-
met-bulk; so doing by
moving her head and neck
muscles, made fly off deck
much emotion’s debris.
And after some long whiles,
she freed her tongue through (a)isles
of her lips; and, as tight-
to-tighter so pressing
and taking flight: dressing
his being smoothed, re-smoothed,
her hands swam to and fro;
so moved forth her fast-slow
tongular mass: as clouds
all puffy-white-whispy-
cream spreading, exploring
throughout the deep blue sky,
soaring first thin streams by
and then thicked masses
and more profound rollings
proving: passes bowling-
professional smoothly
and increasingly more
newly her tongue, as poured
from her mouth to mouth his.
For Flailin’ McDrab, all
through this first kiss he wall’d
it amiably. Like
young men for whom kissing
seems tykes’ tasks, all whisking
and no effort, and so
their first kisses awkward
are, and so slow gawk-ward
following attempts yield
improvement; so Flailin’
stood steel’d, with arms nailin’
there to his sides, head still.
They kissed for five minutes,
then she unspilled, reslit
her tongue, released her lips.
Upon release from that
he flipped backwards: begat
the lack of their/her mouth’s
suction pushing him back.
As he fell south, a crack
of shade entered his face.
And as he landed on
ground’s place, from the lips dawned
patches of hair that spread
from Dan to Beersheba,
from hair on head zebra-
stripe down e’en to his neck.
At first just a shadow,
the specks on face had grown
out to hairs, and still grew
for nearly a minute
until these new pins fit
to grow a quarter inch,
and full mustache and beard.
Hairs pinch’d not, he not scared
—though this his first facial
hair [that’s why no mention
here this spacial when in
“Flailin’ shaves” will you find].
The hairs grew to question
mark signs’ curliness: in
they curled slightly, straightened
out before going in;
all that curl-bend towards pin-
point of a question mark’s
period: in this case,
the mark goes in his face—
so that the slight curling
of his question-mark beard’s
like unfurling his mirrored
question-mark posture. She,
Adonia May, comes
to see her though-becomed-
bearded-yet-still-her her.
Leans over him, eyes wide.
Flai’ has ne’er stirred: here lied
he when the kiss’s end pushed him down.
She touches his almost-crazy-man
beard; he hears the sound of the tuft’s hands
shaking hers:
the bees’ words,
stir of birds.

Chapter 19

She closes in for one
more long kiss; before this
begun is, when the kiss
is a foot from impact,
her eyes here wide, she says:
“I’m so attracted—le’s
call this a good omen.”
Here patting his beard smooth.
She bends closer, to prove
blending bent well, one inch
now between their four lips—
now an unpinch would zip
the two together tight—
and now he says: “But I’m
not sight-attracted… Times
always I’ve never been so
attracted, or repulsed.
I may be, though, one pulse
of sunlight’s day, but it’s
not something I will hope,
regrits. But still, you cope
must with this fact: I’m not
either, neither, to you.”
His chest her cot, with new
hardness, became: pushing
she away from kiss,
sinking from this hit’s miss.
While not crying this time,
a wide desperation
express’d in mim’d ungrin.
She got up, and sunk low,
turned from him, in a heap:
all flow gone, on ground. Weep
not, though; he stood up straight:
though not bow, on walk did.
After a late, unhid
she became, him followed
slowly. So they, time passed:
some low, behind the path,
she dragged; at times ahead—
in between, she him gazed,
his head coated with glaze
of his always-happy
still she saw: eyes sunk more
for viewing. She kept four
and ten steps minimum
(whether zenith, nadir)
from him, ‘cept for these fear-
hoped encounters and looks.
During one of these, she
saw smile his, shook full three
times her head and ‘claimed: “Flai’!
That smile causes much grief.
This day I’d like relief,
if not that in my gone
I’d leave you all alone.”
He quiet sauntered; honed
his hand to his itch-beard,
gave it a quick thought-scratch,
and peer’d at the sky-patch,
said: “I’m not left alone,
I’m right alone.” In her
mind, this one loner’s worth
trailing behind, in front;
so this her continued.
One stunt ahead, one mood
behind bears tell. Mood first:
while she was fourteen steps
behind—no worst, de-pepped
him, Flailin’ M.—but then
and there on that forest
spot, ten senses were zest-
charged, like novel places
before their novelty wears
fuzzy: spices of hair-
breadth’s definition, all
sharp and full and clear: one
talls talls and feels the sun
bounce—before one knows well
the confines, navigates
without feel—gell’d thus gates
of Flai’s senses, and he
thought: ‘Is this the smell/sound/
song free’d only when ground
quickly approacheth? Is
this those of death, only
to be so this’d when cease;
is this what people who
are about to die smell/
hear?’ Through this, it just held.
For the stunt, here it is:
As Adonia walked
ahead, she missed on chalked
sidewalks of rural-slash-
suburbia a girl,
who past by in a twirled-
girlie bike. When Flailin’,
fourteen steps parted, in
her view girl beheld, held
his smile the most. Thinking
this welded grin’s tinkling
because of what’s near her,
she hops off bike, offers
it him, proffering whirls
of great delight. A. stops,
looks behind: Flai’ on gets
and hops at first, then jets
ahead. At first, seated,
he raises his body,
so that his head haughty
held high. Just so happens,
this girl’s family’s house
map-ens upwards, and mouse-
jump-times-fifteen the plot
is raised, so that a wall
creates a clot ‘twixt tall
yard and sidewalk below,
so that Flailin’ just peeks
o’er growing grass, and sneaks
view, through tall raised, at roots
of trees. Looking over
raised grass ‘n’earth suits him—her’s
another story—fine
(as just ev’rything does).
He ninety-times-two ‘justs
the bike and begins to
go back/forth past the wall,
round-turn’d when through with all
that direction’s wall’s past,
to girl’s happiness (and,
not last, his, of course). Ran
out the house, past the yard
the girl’s parents; watched few
times, then bombard’ this new
rider criticisms:
not a good role model,
’cause him’s not going well,
’cause not go’n anywhere,
or even to somewhere.
And it was here that fear-
free Adonia jumped
in, defending Flai’, claim’d
he pumped profound: this same
style marks him the best ‘un
of the century, to
mention nothing of through-
ever. While they argued,
the girl got top the wall,
and laughter spewed when tall’d
Flailin’ poked up his head:
back, then forth, full funny
face-ted. Like gin rummy
tiles, her folks fast removed
the bike from him, their point
seeming so proved. Flai’s joint
o’er-reach’d this momentum,
and he tumbled. A. picked
up him, moved on; first flick
to the parents a look,
a gesture.—(Girl looked sad.)—
His arm she hooked and, mad
no longer, back in love.
That is, until she paved
above her gaze, and waved
Flai’s grin to her. Sad that
happiness still remained,
with speed of gnats she laned
behind fourteen once more.
So the stunt and the mood
were stored then, as prelude
or postlude: before or
after each other; not
both, neither nor. They got
to a bus station/store,
A. in front; from a pump
(with chore needed to dump
water out, ole-fashioned)
she drank, then entered shop
while Flai’ opened with pops
and spurts the water’s flow.
When he had drunk, she came
out, though with her: a plain
ticket stuck her pocket,
shaving gel, a razor.
From the socket, taser-
sounding, she splashed water
on his face—both seated,
‘got her and him feated
a profound moment of
kept shirt, her love dry. Well,
she cut first with scissors,
then gell’d and shaved him close,
with her hands ‘neath his nose;
he sat still, like a late
adolescent prouder
of the awaited zrrr
clipping mature-grown hairs
than proud of growing them;
she, paring way, stemm’d
at first seeing his stare-
smile, said: “You’ve never had
a one to care? … Too bad:
for your sake, I hope that
someone comes along… Me…
I’ve sat with guys many,
but, I guess all I’ve had
for love is one time… at
a game or mad band spats
called concerts: on bleachers,
I sat one step above:
if stirr’d I, or rest… love!…
if I rested my arm
and leaned, ’twas like I held
him, we’re close… harm none… weld
of bleacher metal, but—
perhaps ’cause I never
got what-or-whoever’d,
not even a glimpse of
his face—that’s why I call—
that was my love of all
my life.” Now she’s smoothing
her hands ‘cross his clean face
and wings her lips (more trace
than kiss) ‘cross his lips, cheek;
whispers something in ear,
and quick unsneaks from there:
throwing out shaving tools,
proffering her ticket—
the spools of the thicket-
road, a bus there waiting—
he stands; they watch each-each
through window; zing and screech;
the bus moves; Flailin’ McDrab doth bow;
bus gone down dusty road; Flai’ alone.
He stands still, the prow (his ankle bone)
moves him up,
as a whale
guppy sails.

Chapter 20

Out on those country roads,
the veins and arteries,
no toad is smarter: these
simple treaded virtues.
The bugs flew well: opposed
to the curves-few of those
wingéd birds, these fliers
embrace more zigzaggy
highers, their thin flaggy
membranes, as soft and thin
as fingerprints, twirling.
Let now Flailin’, hurling
through not in such a way
(and yet not so diff’rent),
let Flai’s feet this way lent
their footprints; and his mind
that way bent the sky-prints:
the movement finding stints
of stillness, and much few.
Let him charge and barrel
not through, but like Carol—
or some such so-named gal,
(for what we may picture
in our heads, pal, fixture
not here, but light bold out,
and shoot blazing)—so may
the stout gentle of Flai’-
Carol, mothotherly.
As an up re-picking,
let brotherly flicking
dust chalk up old pens’ ink,
and new crystalline hues,
the sunk and all refuse
thrown in and smiled and temp’d
so briefly-goodly good
that all unkempt coulds could.
That rasp like raspberries
still sounded still no more:
carried now throughout pores
more fine, finely soaking,
than ears e’en with their wax
could be, choking all lax
and stiff sounds up and through
and Flailin’ McDrab’s face
like new, like old: one place
all made of skin again,
one smooth flapping-fold flesh,
as the women unmesh’d
wherewithal of face-hair,
smoother than baby skin,
compared it now to then:
before Adonia,
the time the smoothness pled
no phonier than bled
a riverbed run dry—
almost, almost. As in
those wry moments—Flailin’
though knowing nothing of
wry, yet walked so—those times
after first love when mimes
all the movements on Earth,
as seen through the two ears
of girthless ones e’er near
the age of adulthood,
the first hoop of flamed loss
misunderstood as cost
to be meter’d and paid,
minute by year by soul
waylaid in their control,
so this time of leaves, dreams,
and silence, of falling
back by one’s seams with zings
and jerks off chairs, of thin
lines and thinner pages.
Flailin’ walked in sages’
calm for a long time’s while,
as happiness always
pured like the Nile, through stays
and fast-moving-gush-streams,
through his uniqueness one,
through reams of his self’s none-
too-inexhaustive bliss.
Yes, always; always, yes.
And all that’s dis’d is guessed.
And after some silence,
the dusty fields gave way,
and sense greeted the day
with a path gravelly,
and grass laid out in tracts;
in wide silliness tacks
the creatures: the deer, hawks,
geese, squirrel, chipmunk, fish,
game cocks, roosters, the swish
of tall trees. On one side,
a small thin still canal,
the type that chides a pal
of a canal boat through
a lock already; so,
in new olden days, though
both two ships did approach
at the same time, two men,
both being roach-strong, then
got on top of the lock
with canal poles and fought:
who blocked the best and brought
the other in water,
his boat would go through first
(though less hotter, more terse
it would have been to flip
for it or be civil,
no clips of life drivel
from that time down to us
would). On the other side
there with wild flush abides
a wide river, the source
of the canal. So there
a horse-gravel path, here
on either side a bit
of grass, then more than bits
of water: hit in fits
beyond it trees and fields,
lush and full fall foilage
which wields beauty’s spoilage.
So that one could not tell
if land interrupted
water, or, well, to said
the same, if the water
interrupted the land.
Daughter of the same hand,
not only at that lobe
but across we’s wee globe,
one could not say if, when
the water level sinks,
it’s then result of minx-
approaching land eating
the water, or, if, at
spring, retreating land cat-
sneaks away—or is it
neither, but just the flow
begits all the crawl-slow
devouring? Flow, rock-
soil cut through each other
that neither smock’s mother
was—was all perspective,
at here as well abroad;
all’s given o’er for broad
Flailin’ was happy there.
On that path, he was here
walker both on and of
water ways and lands ways:
above both, neither stays.
Then, someone came along.
From behind on gravel
there came a gong-gabble
kind of sound, and sharp clouds
of dust fastly approached.
A loud rolling noise poached
forward; Flailin’ got down
to the side, among grass,
and soon the sound showed pass
an old mediocre
automobile: color
okra (a bit duller)
and a few dents. The car
zoomed beyond Flai’, then turned,
and by a far-flung-yearn’d
chance, didn’t fall over
in canal or river;
hóvering by shivers
towards Flailin’s direction,
it heaving revolvéd,
circumspection-less fed
180º. A
man got out: shirt and tie;
sashayed in his walk by,
walking with/on an air,
as if to say: “This here
is the best here, and there
is nothing to do ’bout
it… It’s the best moment
and route of my life-sent,
and I am fine with that.”
His tie and collar were
loosened: no hat to sir
him, nor manner either,
his eyes and smirk content.
He spurr’d forth, his hand bent
upwards in a greeting;
“How ya’ doin’?” he spoke.
“You’re—” Flai’, meeting him, choked.
To which the man said, “Me?
I’m just drifting along.
All keys work for my song.”
“You drove a car,” said Flai’.
“Well, I had to drive here
so that today I’d steer
myself around, go back
the other way… Well, I’ll
on track—see ya’.” Brief while
it seemed as if he left:
got in door—but then, just
as if bereft a must,
he said, “Oh, yeah.” Drew from
his pocket a pen—gold
shone sun-like from its
bold lett’ring—and threw it him.
Flailin’ caught it in hand.
From man’s smirk dim a band
of wide smilage appeared
on the man’s countenance.
He leer’d forward some (since
car’s sound was still running),
and said: “I think you’ll
need that.” Sunning brief cull’d,
the man climbed back in car,
gave a swift salute-wave,
and, star-on-night, did pave
the way back where he came:
with dust, with noise, with life.
And, just the same jack-knife
after as before, car
went automobilish.
Ajar just like a wish
was the pen, so Flai’ turned
it so that point went in.
With fingers learned Flailin’
every part: the gold
tip, the golden pen clip,
the golden top. But blips
from his senses’ radar
missed the golden letters
until the car fettered
away; not until the vehicle
so wide made it sway up path so thin,
and, as a sickle, wheels rose jumpin’
dust, lost him,
did he see:
M T G.

Chapter 21

Wander amongst people
Flailin’ McDrab did then:
steeples of women, men,
jutting up, from, and through
ev’ry angle—criss-cross’d,
passing each new path lost
with footsteps of others.
“Ah yes… Ah yes” to night’s
covers F. said, and, tight
his hands, brought together,
and clapp’d … once. Then again,
and so tethered soon ten
claps a minute, then more.
Soon (always)happy F.
gave four-beats to what’s left
of the quiet; a rhythm.
And soon enough, it seem’d
all there join’d him: the seams
of the very own’d globe
wrack’d with the sound, all ears,
earlobes cracking the mirrors
of sound, and then rebound’
by joining in their hands.
And then the sound stopp’d: bands
silent. Only Flai’ clapp’d:
claps a few more, then ceas’d.
Folks’ laps also decreas’d,
and he’s alone when came
late a lit-glow building
there to meet. Blame-fill’d thing,
for when Flailin’ in stepp’d,
the place was packed. There’s not
one pep, but talk of jots
in the Books of Life, Death.
As Flai’ sat in the back,
a mighty breath attack’d:
a cry from a shofar.
From the horn of a ram,
Flai’ jar’d; his eyes kablam’d.
This was a synagogue;
those there Jewishnesses.
Through pedagogues that bless,
McDrab learn’d Yom Kippur
this holiday was called:
when your and my sin-falls
are recounted, atoned.
As the Torah Ark closed
and rabbi’s tone proposed
that now the good Writer
had written, and sealéd
sight er touch from the said
books (this year’s lives and deaths),
Flai’ knew it understood
that God sealeth for good
never: writing, sealing
has no finality.
Feeling mun’pality
none their own (‘cept ‘Rael),
these Jews knew that year-to-
year always fails: to through-
get, one must constantly
be. Like Torah chanting,
nearly close to song-sing,
but not; for, when mel’dy
should finish, hold a chord,
short notes tell thee to hoard
the present, for begins
again where all should end;
to win is to forfend:
embrace anticlimax,
keep suspense, attention
through chants; Relax mentions
its own demise. Faces
there, though seeming tragic,
places inside magic
held—e’en in atonement,
even in fasting clothes,
something else bent their pose:
in that sad hid (couchy)
passion capacity:
slouchy vivacity.
And as service conclude’,
and all depart’, their joy
acted: preludes to “Oy!”
Something stirr’d with a whisk:
outside like a casket,
with brisket and brass-kits
their resiliency shin’d,
like a lone June/July
hummingbird’s sign espied
amidst summer’s hums, birds.
Service finished, book shut,
sans words from there Flai’ jut’d,
and night-wander’d around
the city more. Coming
to a house, found bumming
many people in front;
loud beats’ sound and talking
sharp shunt’ the air. Walking
inside, Flailin’ found more
(pop) culture than yogurt,
purchas’d and stor’d in shirts,
fragrances, music, beer,
and beer. And yet, despite
fun’s leering, one’s insight
could detect this party
was less than festive-full.
All tried hearty to dull
the dullness: put-upon
masks of cheer, happiness.
But, on the inside, guess
Flailin’ could that dancing
those intoxicators
fearful-prancing gators
were. For them embarrassed,
insecure for themselves
the pressed lookers on shelves
view’d them: quickly trying
to catch up, catch the downs.
One denying-sad clown
spoke his compatriots:
“The drinks—and the heartaches—
my tots, are on me.” Shake
all their glasses did then:
so to better view things.
One of the men so zing’d:
“Flailin’ McDrab! It’s him!”
(after first him seeing
with sim’-contempt-greeting).
Finding something to flock
to, they did, laugh-shouting.
Some made quick mocks ’bouting
his wardrobe, unshaven
look; but all had questions,
craven in these sessions
more for Q than for A,
so Flai’ silent remain’d.
One query stay’d to stain
the non-stop chatt’ring
with quiet anticipates,
matt’ring this dissipates:
“Where have you been the most
happiest?” A pause, then:
“Ev’rywhere.” Toast’ all them
this with laughter. Though not
knowing wherefore Flailin’
begot this, he join’d in.
Drinks offered, F. refused.
Flailin’ thought it so odd,
at these times used for wads
of joy, at these parties
supposed to be happy-
most, flee Happy, nappy,
did: times most for awkward,
for not doing; only
way one could ward off the
sadnesses was escape
by drowning the senses:
the rape of pretenses.
Flai’ remember’d seeing
much more in small moments
in the being-world; tents
of workaday more fill’d
than these nightly-tim’d fetes,
when wills un-a-re-bate.
Flai’ stood on top a chair,
with as collegers’ ‘cuz.
Ev’ryone stared; the buzz
of music, talking ceas’d.
Flai’, from above, looked o’er
the seas of eye-souls; por’d
forth a something from him,
and creasing folded pains
gathered the brim on plains
of his lower jaw. Felt
he it, but only hairs
touched: melted blood sens’d there
only. Jaw-grabbing still,
Flai’ made way to the street.
His thought-soil till’d—the heat
and pain were frown muscles,
for the first time ever
rustled in his life. Brrr-
cold not quite yet, into
the nippy autumn air.
Briskness helped new-repair
the jaw pain: for a while,
it hurt for even Flai’
to smile, but, as day
got closer through the night,
he could again. He walked
by the twilight—untalked
through sleeping neighborhoods
passed—the city around.
As hood of night lift’d, found
Flailin’ walking through yards,
happy still (duh), next piles
of leaves, whose hard yields smiles.
(Indeed, this crunchiness
is more in late seasons—
Lord bless’d knows the reasons—
than wet-dry spring/summer,
whose dearth of snow or leaves
makes sound dumber bereaved.)
As the dawn dawn’d, the wind
blew the leaves Flai’ walk’d through,
brought in reminders new
of setting past: ’twas like
the waves gently flowing,
on ocean hikes, knowing
their own tiny motions
produce greater ones still:
oceans thus are re-filled.
And as Flailin’ walk’d through
the sunlight reflected
off the now-new orange bled
leaves, it remind’d me-him
of a stage’s spotlight;
beginning, end this light
and stage does never have,
for ’tis everywhere,
so better half so near
this light than center stage
of artificial glows,
like age more assur’d grows
after youth, to what one
always has ever known.
Warmness. The sun here show’d,
as the sound of a bus
Flailin’ McDrab did hear
with rustling of leaves, near
to his two feet planted,
a house up there blooming:
something slanted looming
in this September’s early morning
through the world, Flailin’s mind:
be it a warning or a remind,
here the text
must after—
next chapter.

Chapter 22

And then the world ended.
Flailin’ McDrab stood there,
mended memory tear’d.
Couldn’t tell: was this that same,
that original house?
Something unnam’d, like mouse
steps, kept soft scurrying—
something was different,
some thing with his mind’s bent,
his mem’ry, or the house,
the town, the whole city
itself—the blouse fit he
a bit too tightly, now.
And then the world ended.
Like “Pow!” all was lended
where once all had been loaned.
Suddenly, without one
explosion’s moan or gun’s
pop, it was Flailin’,
ev’ryone else dreaming:
palin’, their dreams’ seeming
of a White Christmas—tune
that echoed hauntingly
in the un-moon’s tingly
shade of off-white—any
and everywhere hue;
many now just a few—
now one, in fact: F.M.
He was there, there outside,
house in front him—now, wide…
wide. All so fast, a sound
like a book’s swift shutting:
world, ground, now abutting
nothing, not e’en nothing.
To Flailin’ McDrab, whole
the ev’rything—when stole
he away from that house
all the way up to ’til
the mouse-scurrying tilled
his brain soil when he stood
just now—all those events,
the happy-good that tents
him, all of that seeming
like the may-have-happened:
dreaming, not quite, but bend
in one’s mind almost such.
As like being alone
in one’s room, much unknown,
and someone suddenly
op’ning the door, peeking
to see, and, not seeking
long conversations, says
something and then just leaves.
And you are belezzled. Leave?
Right after the leaving,
when there’s only silence
sieving, only that, since
s/he closed the door, the wind
of the door closing’s what
doesn’t rescind the, “But,
it’s my imag’nation”
thought. Then there is no wind.
Stationed nothing is, kin
nor kith. That’s what was like,
the right after: how it seemed,
how all seemed. Like a seam
of a room, reaching one,
after running fast through
a ton of rooms—the loo,
den, et.—in a many-
roomed house, then sudden stop.
Stop in Lenny’s (or, drop
some other fake name here)’s
room and, not noticing
how there you got, missing
the view of other rooms
because were running so.
Or through the looms of flow-
air you see a seagull
against pure white clouds, which
the dull bird, without hitch,
suddenly turns its wings
and blends into, supposed
disappearing. Or those
crows against the black night:
same thing. Or a whole flock
and flight of birds: unlock’d
for a moment, unpacked
in the sky, then sudden
together back, hudd’ in
and one large bulgy mass.
Or you’re riding on bike,
and “gas” give it to hike
uphill, and sudden look
up, through the trees (zooming
downhill now, looking): fling’d
there is the sky through aisle
of leaves, and it zooms through
the pile of trees to you,
like it’s going to fall.
Breaking bread with the earth,
that too here calls forth: girth
of dirt and soil, but all
jumps with life… in the ground.
Or tall crowds, gathered ’round
to view a big parade:
folks of all diff’rent sorts,
in front them made a sport
to view, a spectacle
files past (a white el’phant,
say), fill’d there, in-a-mint
money waiting to spend,
all focused on the it,
the they forfended, sits
still until, suddenly,
all collectively see
that free they must all be,
and so separated
to type: by look, think, have.
Not even said, just half-
thought this recognition:
a split-second moment’s
‘nition—before all wents,
when all there see themselves,
and take some pride, give joy,
before to shelves the toys
are arranged—just then, that’s
what it was like, when that
non-fat milk’s full of fat,
with wholly whole wholeness,
silliness beautiful,
where the thoughts’ jests’ void’s null,
before the disrupted flow,
‘fore divers’ty’s bended.
And so the world ended.
And there, there there against
the neither white-nor-black
blank with no rents, no lack,
there stood—floated?—non-stood
there which was the only
for-good there: not lonely,
not sad, not distraughtful,
not mad, not disdainful, not
bad, not awful, not shot-
by-his-own-thoughts depressed,
just there, as happiness
caressed (as always, best),
like one on his or her
twenty-second birthday,
who has cured the way
and now stands highly high
on the precipiceness
of nigh near the whole bless’d
life before you, waiting,
ready, willing to jump,
satiating the pump
of the push to ready-
steady, perhaps not; fell’d
some, perhaps a li’l bit;
but now is the nowness,
and there it sits; nessness
what it/you will, your name
fits the bill, giant-size—
the same, just the same, priz’d
Flailin’ McDrab was there.
Flai’ tried to move, explore;
though he mov’d, hair’s-breadth floor-
lengths he did not transport
himself. All his movements
retorted with silence,
and, though exaggerate
they were ‘gainst the background,
there still did sit, no ground
nor anything touch’d upon.
So, he lived, smiled, and laughed.
Though gone all fore and aft,
all bridges high and low,
the source of happy his
was still there known—ne’er miss
could himself. So, like he
lived happily ever
fore-be, he now never
but lives happily e’er
after… He now thought back
on all the Karens, Jacks,
and So-Forths that he’s known
(and we’ve known them too):
the grown and the grown-through
has he passed while walking.
And thought he—Flai’—then this:
though they’re talking things, miss’d
have they most profoundly
many true-‘portant things,
soundly plain to F.; zings
by, past, and through these things
to all others. Not e’en
if things could sing, unweaned
they all would be e’er still.
One thing: his happiness.
So fill’d his mind this guess
in the blank: he, Flailin’,
lives a life of the mind—
not as’f jailin’, but sign’d
off to be free: it could
be, if could be could be.
He would that all could see
how he—but all they see—
would/will(/should?) ever see
are footnotes, just the
references to the main
text that is his life: through
what’s stained there, margin-view’d,
maybe they could inkling-
follow his narr’tive, but know
as he knows?—thing unknown.
And he’s happy—happy
in that, as in all else.
Sappy in his joy, he felt
as always forever.
He touch’d face unshaven,
the beard slow stirring, then
naturally put his hands
inside his pockets two.
As land’d right there, he new-
touch’d and slow removed
the pen from inside one;
then both hands moved o’er sun-
colored small inscription.
Flailin’ look’d at his face
pinch’d in the bright gold place—
reflection in pen top.
Then twist’d pen, look’d at point.
Flai’ didn’t drop the joint
art’ficial, but in hand held aloft,
look’d it from afar; said something ends
“áh”—though not said soft—don’t know—how end
Was it “Nah”?
Was it “Yeah”?

The End?*

*In the wake of the “Concordia Event” (or “CE,” as it has come to be known by literary archaeologists) a long and pristinely-edited manuscript was discovered, in the vicinity of what once had been Concordia, of dubious authorship and provenance. While some claim that it represents the post-CE masterpiece of the “Flailin’ McDrab” personage described above, others posit that it is actually the work of Flailin’s Creator, or the “Ur-Flailin'” of myth, from a dimension beyond the eleven currently known to humankind. Regardless—merely as footnote to this bizarre 2004-2005 era in history—the editors-that-be felt it to be most just and fitting to publish this chronicle as well, dated to approximately 10 years post-CE (or the palindromic 5775 of the Elders’ Calendar, well noted for its recursive miracles):