The Defacement Of The Sacred Herm
When they wanted to punish me for misbehaving, as I was often caught up in sexual deviancy, they would spank me, but I would laugh. That is at least what they tell me; I don’t remember laughing. I remember once, being spanked, and crying. But they said I laughed and I might as well believe them. So they would not punish me physically, but instead address me sternly by my full name, like a Roman Senator – “Daniel Scott Chapman Uncapher, why are you bleeding?” There was so much blood in so many places it could have filled a child’s worth of veins and arteries. In the marshes, where I spent the worst days, away from the river, away from the reeds, on the edge of a forest full of dark magic, I spread gasoline in a ring around me and I lit it on fire with a match. The flames were too close and I leapt through them like a bull-leaper and burned the hair off my young, half-naked body. I was wholesome then and growing. I could recover from casual burns and displacements. “Daniel Scott Chapman Uncapher,” they said when I lit a neighbor’s bale of hat on fire, “Remember who you are!”
I feel a need for prayer these days. I feel so much like a helpless lamb, vulnerable and exposed on all sides, like a frayed nerve ending that refuses to go numb; half numb, half hungry. Peristalsis shuts down and the delicious nuts and fruits turn to concrete in my intestines. My stomach grows strong carrying around so much concrete.
There was no one around that I knew who I could call to walk with, so I walked to town alone. I felt good regardless, as I am a great fan of civilization, and I wanted to kiss everyone around me. I imagined myself in their lives as they passed by in an instant like I was a boy again, crawling around looking for friends. I no longer expected to make any friends. Civilization alone was enough for me. Every single person, as far as the eye can see, with good intentions. What is a good intention? It is a miracle inside every animal.
It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I have tried to be a good man, I have done almost nothing goodly, while I have managed to do a number of things bad. But there is no way to accept that a man like myself is a bad man. I am an American with good intentions. I am a miracle in the desert of space.
Radar movements raided our footsteps and we hid in the ditch while the floodlights reached over our shoulders. We were safe from the monsters that haunted the abandoned roads. Light-eyed demons with orange sorbet – pronounced “sherbert” – breath.
Orange sorbet eaters. There are households full of orange sorbet eaters all over this continent. Like the infinite riders of central asian plateaus, firing arrows from all bows while in perpetual forward movement over the spherical expansion of an infinite earth, entire cultures subsist on nothing but perpetual movement, driving on a team of rubber horses towards the immaculate horizon, infinite in gas and capacity and full of nothing but love and devotion and an affection for dogs and cats.
He had the letters L-O-V-E tattooed crookedly and long-faded on his right knuckle but I could not see if H-A-T-E was one his left knuckle. Who was this man with these tattoos? He is 75 and he loves his cats.
Thank you for the ritualism. Thank you, please, yes, that is nice. Oh, that is not a fantasy anymore. That is a fleshy reality. Flower-blossom – freshly cut. Have you ever been in an airplane? Have you ever brushed your teeth at night? Have you ever queued? Do you know what it’s like to eat meals? Has someone ever said, “Drive safe?”
The first thing to do is to terrace the ravine. There will be gardens of great beauty. The work of a genuine culture of mound-builders.”