A re-print story by Susie Idel
A classic beat re-print: SEND OUT THE DOGS
I don’t talk the whole time–
I sit really still and wish I were able to not seem so eager
Or maybe perplexed– I cannot tell the difference.
You glance over at me longingly and I am barren or infertile or uncomprehending
Or maybe I just don’t care.
Because I am barren and infertile and you are uncomprehending
My appraiser said you aren’t worth a dime
Your dusty mouth breathes no fresh breath and I am exhausted at the sight of you
You are musty and you do not play the part so well after all
Instead you are rubbish among all the other broken toys
I take you outside to play with me, but you desert me for the other boys and girls- –tired of my comebacks and long-winded pauses
But loyalty is not foreign to me
I still take you in and bath you,
Wrap you warmly and coo in your ears,
As you falls asleep drooling the whole time on my shoulder.
I used to light matches to your memory
Frequently burnt and charred
I traded it in for false starts and cosmic hiccups
Kinesthetic maneuvers and hopeful follies
Nevertheless, still the endless dreamer
Running through pumpkin patches of heartache
Poppy fields, full of fabled loves
Tripping on dandelions bent on devastation
Periwinkle Promises, though, they’ve always known their place
I’ve always been told I have a sullen look
A look that brings to mind dead ancestors and molding fauna
The way I brush the hair away from my eyes, the distant stare
All reminiscent of catastrophe
Hard metal and crushed glass
Molten sulfur and jagged ice
I sit still, no time, summer time
Listen to the breeze as I think back–
Wonder if the passerby can still see the imprint of that look or
If this face has given way to a new one that I cannot quite put my finger on
Or if I could, choose not to
I stretch the muscles of my cheeks
Puck out my lips and smile widely
As he plays my ribs like a harp
(I do not like him very much)
Do not like the way he mutters my name
Brings back memories of my dead cat
I close my eyes to visions of dead cats which paw at the white speckled dots taking shape past my eyes
Knowing that the dots have no real meaning, that they are just there to remind me of
How alone I really am
How obscure they make me feel, these dots.
And how sick this makes me feel.
But since I do not like him very much I am not ashamed and do not try to hide as I may normal have
Tears, speckles, and dead cats dance aimlessly, melt together, marry, and become one.
We fly away on a plane–
or sneak on dimly lit bus stops
Tickets ripped up
Dial tones, low buzzing
While we watch passengers, with shifty eyes and untapped potential
Knowing nowhere is home
Dedicated to melodramatic goodbyes
Or written letters that will never get sent for lack of real planning
Skewed view of ourselves, we part
Or run, depending on who is telling the story
But morning came, spent in silent obsession and more unplanned delays
I had missed the boat
Or more fittingly capsized
Turned off by the buzzing coming from the refrigerator
Or was that the alarm clock?
I never was good at telling time.
I glance out the window, and wait for you to reappear, on your giant white stallion
To save me from myself
Messy moments, these are my favorites.
Visit UV Ray
Would the film have the same magnetic pull as the book? I guess Sal and Dean’s disregard for conformity during the post war America would strike a chord with the youth of today, or would it? Are the youth of today ready for Jack Kerouac?
Joseph Ridgwell contributed to the “The Beat” with his own distinct literary voice and gusto! A literary force to be reckoned with!! Huzzah!!!
Interview by Dan Holloway – published November 13, 2010
A while ago I recommended the really rather fantastic Beat Anthology, the best of the also fantastic site The Beat UK, published by the equally fantastic Blackheath Books. It’s a remarkable collection of stories that it’s rather tricky to track down to a certain theme, oeuvre, or any other arts wank category. Well, almost. Because I did notice a preponderence of public transport. Is this a comment on our eco-aware age? Is it an anti-individualist statement? Are the authors actually, like me, just not quite up to getting a driving licence.
Do I have a favourite? No, not really. I loved Andrew Gallix’s train; and Melissa Mann’s car (hmm, car, it must have been one of those street share jobs). But I couldn’t say one story was better than another. Somehave more modes of transport, and some fewer maybe, but better? That’s about more than planes, trains, and automobiles.
Anyway, before the metaphor breaks under the strain, I got to interview Sean McGahey about the book, the Beat, literature today. Even public transport….
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