Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blackmail Here on Earth

The man in the hat as a boy didn’t understand witnessing or handing out guides to heaven door to door. If there was a place called heaven he’d find it on his own, without the aid of pamphlets, choirs or snake handling. He thought about pilfering the Witness’ pencil case, but couldn’t put himself up to it, even if the Jehovah was wrong in the head and full of fire and homilies. The Bible his grandmother kept in the Crown Royal bag in her bedstead table, the very one grandpapa stole pages from for roll-your-owns, was something he feared worse than death, even though dieing, so the Bible said, was a good thing, a reward for all this nonsense and blackmail here on earth. The way he saw it the Bible was blackmailing those it was suppose to save, telling them that all this sinning and frigging around wasn’t their fault, but something handed down from the Garden of Eden, so really none of their business anyways. The Bible was like that, full of half-stories and false witnessing, and all those places and dates and consonant names. His grandfather burned a bush once, but with a stray roll-your-own he’d snuck behind the back shed while grandma was busy washing one of his grease-shirts. After the Witness left the man in the hat burned one of his pencils in a grassfire in the copse back of the mile-fence, then stomped the burnt up lead and wood into the dirt with the heel of his boot. He witnessed very little of importance after that, or chose not to remember whether he had or not. Fear does that to a young boy, more than a Bible or a snake handler with one thumb and a missing eye.

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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