Sunday, October 02, 2005


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The Bad Magician forgets where he puts things. He even forgets the things themselves. A memory comes in anyway.

A package of waves arrive from an old beach: The Bad Magician remembered the way the drowned man was carried ashore, gray and blue was his skin, his body bent, hard like stone, a woman screaming in the sand. A crowd gathered and the man perfected dying: a back broken, a lung submerged in salt water, the horrible shock when clear sky and warm air painted borders describing the defeat of our blood, our ways. The Bad Magician remembers: He turns the memory into the President's flesh, which jerks against his will. The surf floods in, and we ride the curl.

In the East: Coffee is served on the President's face in the Amputee Wing of the White House. Iraqi children, stubbornly dead and hollow, bring him toast and beer, dragging their feet in wagons behind them. The President presses a button on his neck and fills his throat with sand. 'I must get out of me,' thinks the President. He looks at the ceiling: the Pacific Ocean surges in convex waves, cascading upwards, then down. The President turns to me. I cannot help him now.

"I am the President!" says the President. His eyes twitch, watering, weeping portals on the sea. A wave knocks him down. Laura smiles from the beach. Where is the father? The father is gone.

America carries the broken President onto the shore and lowers him onto his towel, a confederate rag of Old Alliances. Lifeguard Karl dissipates into thin air, a Tempest vapor. Norquist looks up from his bathtub and cries. Cheney falls out of the medicine chest: he cashes checks and eats a doctor. "I am the President," repeats the President. A crowd surrounds him, winks at him, "You're doing a heck of a job there, Bushie."

What happened to the man on the beach? Sometimes, we curl up like dead things, and rocks become our home.

The Bad Magician calls the Coroner and sends him to America. "Check out the Lincoln Memorial," says The Bad Magician.

The rest is silence.


Crossposted at Mortaljive.


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