Patrick Downing (b. 1974)
Wax Crayon on Concrete
Patrick Downing (b. 1974)
Wax Crayon on Concrete
Hello, 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 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 eon 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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–
“Shh, Jake,” Larry whispered, “you hear that?”
“Hear what?” Jake asked back.
“That whisperin’ in the night.”
“What whisperin’s that?”
“Ominous like. I think it’s the sound of silent death,” Larry said.
“How’d you hear it then? Ain’t it silent? As the name implies?” Said Jake.
“What are you on about, man?”
“I mean, silent death means just that. SILENT. If you heard it whispering in the night like you’re sayin’ then wouldn’t it be whispering death?”
“Whispering death?” Larry exclaimed, “Are you buzzed out? That ain’t what anything would be called anywhere I heard of ever. No one says whisperin’ death. What would it be like all swishy-swishy-swishy-poof you’re dead? Ga-ack, that’s a sick twist.”
There was a long, chubby, contemplative moment between them, then Larry said, “How the hell did you get in my sleeping bag anyways?”
Floating with an infinitely casual attitude through the vast black velvet brine of space the little cuke made its way. From here to there and everywhere. Just being its own dill self, jamming with the cosmos. “Heylo, Supernova, what blows?” “What’s tricks, Space Moon?” “Looks like a gooder you’ve got going on there, Planet of Sexual Maniacs.” Traversing the megacosm, letting it all hang out, Polski Ogorski style, this pickle is now and then and future forever. A trans-galactic sweet and sour sandwich snacker. Man, is that pickle some kind of inspiration out there in the Ocean of Emptiness. This gherkin is the void’s dream. Shine on, cornichon, shine on.