THE MENDACIOUS EXCRESCENCE OF SHONDAR

“Frick friggity frig, get me some ointment, will ya?”She winced as she gingerly probed the boil. It blistered in her neck like a witches cauldron of vicious brew. Hot and threatening violence, I’m dyin’ here.

“No ma’am,” the boy said, backing off a step as he did, “the doc and the padre both made supa damn sure you didn’t apply nothing to the holy cist.”

“Holy cist,” she said, “my royal brown starred one eyed fart full anus. I told you I’m dying.”-

Again she tried to touch the foul growth. Again it recoiled her. 

Was it the pain?

No. Worse. The fact that hid in that burning sting was some kind of too much pleasure. 

She shuddered.

Like bad serious bad drugs. Or worse. Which it was—

“And how is our most miraculous blemish doing today?” Came the eupeptic voice through the curtain.

She sighed. Looked once more at the torturous pustule. Winced. Scowled. Breathed. And enacting a perfect smile turned to face the door.

“The zit beckons,” she said with pomposity.

The curtains parted and a tall, pale, fifty-cent rope of a man entered. His gilded robe did little to suggest anymore to his physique than his Parmesan wedge of a face.

“Ah,” he said gaily, “the lady is in high spirits.”

“She is,” she answered, “and this whitehead is fit to burst.”

“Ha,” his laugh like a someone stepped on a frog’s nut, “seriously Madame Shondar you are too rich.”

“Cut the Madame crap, and don’t say rich again, I ain’t been near enough during this whole charade to be called anything but flimmed and/or flammed—”

She stepped to the buffet table a stuck a piece of Bologna in her mouth. And another. And a third.

“—T’h’say nuthin’ thwof all thwem poor thuckers thout thwere.”

“If her holiness could refrain from talking with the full mouth. It’s—how I say—”

“Dithguthting,” she said, “that’s th’idea.” And belched. She grabbed a 40 oz bottle of malt liquor from the ice filled tub and slammed half of it home. And belched again.

The stick in the robe cringed.

“Please Shondar, if you could at least—”

“What? I ain’t no Dresden cup and this boil ain’t no China tea, so what’re lookin’ for? You pay for miracles, the fester provides. I’m just a irritated vessel is all. So go hang.”

She chugged on the forty and stared at the acolyte around the bottle.

He sighed. And turned t the curtained door. At the threshold he paused, and spoke over his shoulder, “the work it does. That you do. It’s good work, Madame. Whether you realize that or not. Hope. No matter how gross the form it comes, is still hope.”

He straightened his robe and stopped through the curtain.

Shondar polished off the big bottle of brewski and flopped down in a lounger.

The motions pinched her neck and sent a fiery wave from the whelk down her back and up the side of her face.

Faint there, in the tide of pain, something. A word. 

Like a hot lance surfing on the swell of sensation.

Hope.

Kee-rhist, she thought, not you too. She laid a finger tenderly on the boil.

The massive crowd sat silent in the dark. Waiting. No one stirred. All eyes were glued on the stage lit low by purple lights from in high in the stadium.

Aww for god sakes, Shondar thought, these dweebs are worse than lobotomized sheep. 

She peered out through the curtains and cursed herself for not chugging at least one more bottle of malt liquor before this ornate stupidity.

Then the organ swelled. The crowd began to hum.

“Awfrgawdsakes,” she said.

“Lady Shondar, please,” hushed an acolyte in some kind of gold tracksuit.

She stifled a fart, nodded curtly, and as the organist thundered his way up to a crescendo Vesusius itself would’ve envied, before one of the gilded geeks had a chance to usher her out, she stepped through the curtain and out onto the stage.

A single tight circle of light surrounded her. No one stirred. No applause. All was bated breath.

She had to admit, it always gave her a bit of a thrill, even through the fog of four 40’s.

She loosened her scarf. And let it fall to her feet. The massive crowd took one massive collective breath. Huge screens at all corners of the stadium showed close-up video of the Holy Boil.

“Bring forth the first,” she intoned. Her voice booming through the cavernous structure via a concealed microphone in her cape.

A small, scared and sickly gentleman was led up onto the stage by two gold track suited youths. With much coaxing the awestruck man made his way to Shondar. She beckoned him close, and leaned down her neck to his gaping, bad-breathing mouth.

“Ask the zit,” she said solemnly.

The man whispered to the cist. 

“Are you serious?” She said beneath her breath, “of all the things you could wanna know.”

The man had turned an ear to it. He stood there. Nodding. Listening. His attention so much more than rapt. Like way more. Like too much more. And then a broad smile cracked his poor, downtrodden face.

He stepped back and fell to his knees.

He looked up into Shondar’s face. His eyes wide. A true believer.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyou,” he managed.

He kissed her feet.

She smiled down at him.

And then looked up at the throng.

“The boil knows. The boil speaks. The boil saves!” She said, “ALL HAIL THE BOIL!!!”

The crowd went berserk.

Inside, she sighed the sigh of a million sighs. She looked out at the throng. The line of the wanting stretched for what probably was miles. Another peonic seeker was brought up onto the stage. As she bent down to present the blemish she could only think one thing—

Why hadn’t she gone to the bathroom before she came on?

From the Office of the Demiurge

gorgar-pinball-machine-1979-williamsHello, Office of the Demiurge. No, he’s not in right now. He’s out creating the world. This is his secretary. Is there anything I could help you with? That’s right. Uh huh. Well, what do you think? Of course he’s going to make sofas. And they’ll be good ones, very good ones. Like so much of his other furniture and trees and machines and landforms that he’s created. Yup. He’s gonna make those too. Yup, and in many, many different colours. Shapes as well, yes. Nope, he doesn’t give a crap about how they’ll make you feel. All he wants is for you to want one. And to know it’s there, exactly. What’s that? Nope. He disagrees that there may be some intangible connection between beings and their items. It’s all strictly about your material goods, ma’am. That’s right, strictly about the material world. Nope, he doesn’t think that’s shallow. And neither do I. Who the gives a ladybug about your soul. Or even if you have one. Alternate plains of existence? Spirit worlds? Okay just calm down. Listen, my boss is out there eon in and son out working his butt off making the world. Creating things. Tangible things, get it? Not some spiritual voodoo mumbo jumbo that doesn’t do anything or serve any purpose. A bucket has a function. Your aura does not. Hey, just you listen, he works hard to create actual stuff for you. For everyone. For the universe. So you can’t just sit here and tell me he’s missing the big picture. He painted the big picture and hung it on the wall. It’s real not just some frickin’ abstraction that you have to peer into via hokey prayers and cheesy meditations. Tangible. Concrete. Bona fide. Substantial. For real. Got it? It’s not hard to understand. Literally, knock on wood. See? Exactly. Now compare that to sitting there making monkeyman bowel movement noises with your mouth guiding your breath down into your non-existent soul hole. Again, exactly, I don’t know either. No one does. So stop being such a sobersides and get up and get out there and start living in that material world that was so thoughtfully created for you. Are we clear here? Uh huh, great then, good to hear. Is there anything else I can help you with? No? Well. Thanks for calling. Have a nice day. B’bye.

Throw another poem on the barby

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Never send to ask for whom the frankfurter cooks. It cooks for me.
As we held our kabobs to cook in the futile heat of the ignis fatuus
The full moon cast its light like a silver anus over the swamp.
Dark shadows. Deep. Like Simon Peter as in his molasses and pancakes.
The night grew heavy like someone’s too good bad idea for bacon wrapped jalopeno poppers.
Put some Mortadella in there.
O, how much is too much of a good thing?
Like a sermon that has gone seven hours too long.
All the best bits have been masticated and swallowed.
And now it is only gristle.
That need be chewed and chewed and chewed.
O, lest it choke the life right out of you.
And soiled plates of paper.
Some barbecue that one.
Too bad no one told the holy man on his holy mountain.
And so as the ululations of the gathered grey skinned hags floated
Amongest the savory scents of grilled meat
And boss sounds of southern fried guitar rock.
It became like a marinade most foul applied far, far too late
In the game.
O, who brushes it on after the chops are already grilled?
No one.
That’s who.
Not even sweetest Jesus.
O, what next?
Mosquitoes joined the lamentations
Joined the soulless journey
Joined the grand inevitable.
Tell me not for even as the question was asked we knew the answer.
Put some beans on it.
Still some barbecue.
Some barbecue.
Barbecue.
Cold meat and hot coals and a spiced rub
Made by the maker for the carver to sleep soundly at night
Knowing his cuts die well in a good place.
Cooked through.
Blackened skin.
Juices running from within like wine from the stomach of a gutted drunk pig.
O, how one wonders how the heck it got into the vino.
Did the fella touched by God forget to latch the pen?
Or did the angry spirits of the night give it wings?
Did they coerce the fat thing into the cellar?
Did they unstopper the Nebuchadnezzar?
Did they give it a bowl of olives?
O, spirits, sure you are angry. But do you need to be so frigging mischievous?
Ye, good question.
And the woman wailed on.
The mosquitoes feasted.
The children stared up and wondered about the cosmos.
And the men?
They grilled on.
And the night.
O, the night.
Turned its back on the sunrise.
Some barbecue.

St. Jimbo, Patron Saint of the Retarded

nachosbox“You say he was what?” The cardinal said, staring into the casket at the bare-chested, cut-off jean-shorted corpse with the vile moustache.
“Eating a nachos supreme grande platter,” said the priest.
“That’s not so—”
“While driving.”
“Even then—”
“A motorcycle.”
“Oh,” said the cardinal, taking pause to examine the bodies matching denim vest, “and he wasn’t wearing a shirt when he—”
The priest nodded, “went off the bridge? No. just the vest. And the one cowboy boot.”
The cardinal looked up, “just one?”
“Apparently. The rescue team found no trace of a cowboy boot anywhere, but they did find a flip-flop a little ways down river from where he went in so—”
“Why would he be wearing a cowboy boot and a flip-flop?” The cardinal asked.
“Because,” the priest said, “he was an dummkopf with the brains of potato. He made a conscious decision to have that moustache.”
The cardinal nodded, his soul reaching out and up to heaven, to the Lord, seeking verification. But, was this man truly worthy?
“Still, the bridge was under construction, anyone might have befallen the same calamity. So he can hardly be blamed for—” the cardinal said.
“There were signs and warnings stating that it was out for miles before the canyon. And the barricades that had closed the road proper were hardly trivial. You would have to choose to avoid them.”
“Hmm. Yes. I see.”
“And let’s not forget his apartment.”
The cardinal raised his eyebrows, “apartment?”
“The one he burnt down. Trying to make popcorn. On a barbecue. In the bathroom.”
The cardinal stared at the priest. Then at the body. Then back at the priest, “who barbecues in the bathroom?”
The priest shrugged and indicated the deadman, “the question really is who cooks anything anyhow in the bathroom?”
“God only knows.”
“Does he?”
The cardinal regarded the priest, and again let his soul lift itself up to query their benevolent father. Silence. Stone cold silence.
“I don’t believe even he does, actually.”
The priest nodded, and picked up the corpse’s arm. He indicated a patch of dark splotchiness, and said, “see here.”
The cardinal looked closer.
“A tattoo?” He asked, “is that a phantom or worms or—”
“Read the inscription over it.”
The cardinal peered harder. The writing was, as far as he had experienced, the worst penmanship he had ever seen, reading not quite plainly: I LOV BURGY SO MUCK!
“It’s a hamburger,” the priest said, “he did it himself.”
“How do you know?”
“He signed it. By Jimbo,” he said pointing at a tangle of chicken scratch beneath it.
“Wow.”
“Exactly,” said the priest, “and we could go on like this all day. His pets. His teeth. Don’t get me started on his work history. But needless to say, I think you see why I called you here.”
The cardinal nodded. He looked long and hard at the man in the casket. He finally broke from his reverie and looked at the priest. Gazing deeply into his eyes, he said, “I’ll talk with the pontiff directly. We’ll have him canonized by next week.”
The priest closed his eyes, took a satisfied breath, and kissed the cardinals ring, “thank you, your eminence, finally the idiots have one to call their own.”
The cardinal patted Jimbo of the cheek, “The Lord knows they need him.”

The (not-so) Chortling Monk

nemesis-of-nudist-high-priestBrother Giggles Guffawaw Wazoo was feeling a little low. And understandably so, I mean, the dude had taken a vow of hilarity and was currently suffering from what can only be described as a seriously decent case of the heavy blues. He hadn’t been able to muster so much as titter these last sombre days since the funk took hold of him, and needless to say, it was affecting his practice. Sure there had been times since he had joined the Brothers of the Holy Order of Uproarious Cachinnations when he had not felt the funny so enthusiastically as St. Hee-Haw (bless his goofy grinning soul) would have ordained so drolly from on ha-ha-high, but he still had managed to chuckle his way through it. And dang dong darnit if he hadn’t always come out stronger for the jocular struggle. But these days, Brother Giggles was feeling pretty  dang dong low. The other members of his comedic sodality had noticed, and to their credit were doing their merry best to lift him out of his lugubriosity. Rogue banana peels, whoopee cushions, and knock-knock jokes to beat the band were just some of the myriad attempts at getting their Cimmerian chum back on the knee slap, but so far it had been to no avail. And please, make no mistake, he appreciated them for it, a heckuva lot, but it was just, well, tough to find the funny. Somewhere, deep down in his emotional bag, where he had for so long kept so much boffola, sadness had seeped on in and up. Maybe it was the children in Africa, so hungry and cancer ridden. Or the many wars where the children found themselves scared and hungry and riddled with cancer. Or the children in the crumbling inner city schools with no lunch and no money to pay for their pencils or cancer medicine. It was too dang dong much.

So he prayed hard and long and fast to heaven and Hee-Haw above to send the buffoonery back into his life. To take away the black. The sour. The doom. And deliver him to Humdingerton.

He knelt, tears streaming down his face, beseeching with all his
Dear God, you great and wise old obstreperous side-splitter, please help me. Give me the strength to bust a gut. To just let me ha-ha-ha again. Bring the funny. Amen.
What he wanted was laughter. What he got was a miracle. Of the hilarious kind…

Lenny Dace, Agent to the Gods

5_2Yo babs, the Lenny Dace here. Howzit? Sweet. |Listen, I’ve got Krishna interested in that east-west crossover thing that Yahweh’s developing with that trickster Sun-Wukong. What’s not to love? Bananas, elephants, beards, deserts, jungles, slings and arrows! C’mon, it’ll be bank–as in, box office super bank! Yeah, yeah, I know, just get into it. I’ve also got Shango available right now. Uh huh. Uh huh. Exactly, he’s itching to work with Old Man Coyote. I know they haven’t finished casting that Wily Cheaty Sneaky Pesky Trickster Man of the Old West project yet, so whatdyuh say? Uh huh. Uh huh. Gotcha. Great. And you? Morrigan? Okay, okay–no, I’m just thinkin’ here. Get her together with Cronus. I’m serious! Listen, picture it, the Castrator side-by-side with the megalithic military Mother Goddess herself?! It’s gold, baby, gold! Right, right, get back to me. How ’bout Hathor? I know, she had that thing with the thing but it’s old news. Under the bridge. Honest, it went under the goddamn bridge and floated the fuck on outta here. Nah, nah, listen–it’s over, it’s done. So? Makunaima, huh? I’m listening. Get ’em down in the jungle. Steamy sex, big snakes, human sacrifices–I like it! Let’s do a deal. Anything else? What’s that? Are you–you can’t be–how the hell are you supposed to do A Seven Gods of Good Fortune picture without Ebisu? What do you–HE’S THE GODDAMN GOD OF GODDAMN FISHING! He’s essential. Okay, wait, let me just–right, lamp this, I’ve got Moschel available, we slot him in. You don’t what? He’s the fucking Baltic God of Dairy ferchrissakes, we just get those eggheaded buttwipes to work in some kind of lucky yogurt angle. You got any better idea? Exactly, don’t worry, it’ll fly, I guarantee it. One last thing, I’m looking to set up Erzulie-Mapiengueh. I’m thinking a taught courtroom thriller something along the lines of The Verdict meets Saw. Maybe get Ereshkigal, go dark, real dark. Yeah, well, let me know. Okay, yeah, sure, lunch sounds good. I’ll be in touch.

His tan is so deep his bones are brown.

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She rested her head on his chest. It was like listening to rawhide breathe.

“I can’t hear your heart beat,” she said.

“It’s there, baby,” he cooed, “beneath the lotion, beneath the bronze silk made by the licking of the Sun. Listen deep.”

She did. ba-dump. ba-dump. ba-dump. Yes, it was there, like some deep snuff-coloured planetoid floating in a crimson void. And on it was a civilization of sensual intellectuals whose culture was steeped in a copper-toned mysticism that radiated out across the universe uplifting the spirits of any and all lifeforms that were bathed by its waves of mahogany goodness. She imagined Jesus himself, lying out on the beach by the Sea of Galilee with Simon Peter and a couple of the other apostles, maybe Phil and Judy and Jimmy the Lesser, soaking up some rays, and these magical vibes giving him a solid tan and inspiration for the Sermon on the Mount.
She looked up into his bisterous face.
“Teach me to tan,” she whispered.

His eyes looked into her, into the well of her soul, sending a bucket of knowing into its waters and he intoned, “I will teach you. I will tan you. We will become one. In ecru.”

She knew then that she had finally–

Arrived.