Officer LaDoux

flaubert

Having a police badge had given me the privilege to call up people I didn’t know. All I had had to do was tell them, either when I reached them by voice or by leaving a message tucked away on their telephone answering system which may or may not have notified them instantaneously of my calling them, that I had had a wish to speak. Whether I had placed a telephone call to the proprietor of a saloon or an atavistic candy store filled with bonbons, or to a suspected chimney burglar, it made no difference at all to me. Over the years I rose in rank, retired, and spent afternoons working as a landscape laborer, raking the lawns of neighbors as a hired hand. My pension was never spent, never exhausted, and when the catarrh hit me I was as much surprised as anyone. The denouement was quick. In just weeks I was chewing on food as though it were ashes and gravel. Several rifles with painted white stocks fired their bullets high at an angle to commemorate me. At the outskirts of the funeral service was a man I had once warned decades prior and a woman together, standing arm and arm, who had telephoned the station and been connected to me in a panic once, with thin but empty smiles on their faces now.

Cassandra Smernoff

turkeys

I’d had been on the whole right pleased to see the whole shebang gone down like an old steamship sunk in the Mississippi. Why, with all the screaming and all the hollering and all the old sexpots of Egypt doing what they all had been doing, it was the devil’s due. If old Ben Franklin, he’d had had his way like he wanted it, it wouldn’t be any useless eagle taking up more than a hundred acres of good fertile land to be the bird of the country, but the other one. And that ingenious Jefferson himself who wanted the folks to talk in Greek, though it’d be hard to believe he’d have wanted that for his roughly three hundred and fifty or something slaves he kept downstairs working in the kitchen, while he wined the folks visiting upstairs quoting Cervantes. Anyhow, more than two hundred and forty years later with all that nonsense of the two or three royal families of America turning the Lazy Susan by themselves now, without any help besides a few hundred millions of dollars on either side pushing in first the one, and then pushing in the other, trading off being in charge of the supper table, now four years this king, now four years that queen, and so on again, the system couldn’t have been made any smoother than butter left out in the summer sun an hour in July. And now all those November folks lined up like stiff ants crossing the river to die for themselves like it all mattered to them. But it wasn’t any different either when Diomedes eventually lost his sword and shield, and all excellence was cast away like a dead body in the river nobody, neither party, could then claim as their own anymore.

Bartholomew Winfred II

torch-and-stumps

Ever since reading about making a half-knight move in chess, my mind had been cracked. It is of course something that cannot be imagined except to have imagined that such a thing is possible, when it is not. This strange little world of softly thatched roofs and straw hats a-tumble beside a nameless sea had always been a wonderland full of empty moon snail shells and bright red poppies blooming in the fields for me. And people, well, it had been obvious to them who I was, I suppose. I had been the man with seagulls sitting on his arms flapping and sunning their wings. The only talent I had had was that I tended toward merriment rather than despair, when the latter appeared to be the only rational and boastfully reasonable option left. But why live the obvious? It wasn’t that I disbelieved these; I did not. They were akin to leftover breadcrumbs on the table after eating a fine enough meal to be swept off onto the floor.

You Got What You Deserve (cont’d)

sports car 2

1     Dicks [continued]

…It’s more than just that. I mean what is a dick anyway? Having a big dick is partly attitude, partly blue jeans. That’s where I put more of my energy. The crotch-thing was a lot more reliable than breath-catching, which might really be just a bunch of ballooey. Face it, I myself really barely saw much for dick in high school, so what was I myself to know? Like give-away bikini tops, crotches were everywhere, and the pants a guy wore and the way he swung his legs around, these were the tell-tale signs of who he was and what he’d do or not.

Take a teacher in a nice pair of double-pleated slacks, ironed, creased, and cuffed. Kind of boring, but there is that master and servant thing going on there between the teacher and student; it’s no Night Porter, but, where does the potential for a sex scene drop out? Double-pleats. Any guy, teacher or not, who has to fluff up his lap with an air-bag, it doesn’t matter what he’s got there inside the breadbox. He doesn’t have attitude. He might have the hunger of a bear waking up in springtime, but he’s hidden the beast so far back in a dark endless cave of folded cloth, he’ll never get out of there. Guys with pleated pants, they’re born to dwindle in the background and masturbate. Appetite, yes. Adventure, no.

The flip side is a guy in really tight, straight-cut, black designer jeans. When he sits down, it’s the mumps, those two gobstopper-sized carp eyes floating to the surface. It’s just pure Archimedes. The stuff has to go somewhere. A guy sitting on his desk facing the class with his legs crossed wearing a set of these is making the day for any girl in class out for some pretty gross bird-watching that period. There he is, ass on the desk and, basically, his dick is in every girl’s eye, all squunched up there behind that inky black denim.

Even worse, when it’s so jacked up, like maybe he’s shoved a miniature valentine pillow in his underwear, it’s pretty obvious that he’s wearing bikinis, which means a couple of things: He either wants to be a Calvin Klein undergarment model, or thinks he is. When a teacher thinks he’s that, then he’s either really in the wrong profession, or there’s something borderline debatable hiding behind the stitching of that kind of rive gauche wannabe fashion dick hoisted up on the right side there.

Bunched-up power-dicks show the attitude of the guy that has to be put up with too; so, if that’s the inner-life of the teacher in question, my advice to myself was to skip it. The right look, it’s either in a pair of flat-front khakis or a pair of ordinary blue blue jeans. The crotch area, when the teacher’s sitting, with one leg draped over the knee of the other, doesn’t bulge like he’s wearing the mouth of a horse down there, nor cower like a baby bird in the nest when Mommy’s flown off for five or ten minutes. It’s got the home-made mashed potato look: A good convex scoop chucked between his legs, smooth, with a few lumps. It’s the difference between the real pearl, a little misshapen by nature, and the cultured one that wears its shapely perfection like vanity.

My taste is for the former, where a guy is cumfortable enough with himself just to be who he sits. It’s like make-up for girls — the best make-up being when it looks like there’s none at all, or when there is none at all. Wearing underwear’s probably necessary to guys, though, like a lens cap is to a camera. Mr. Bigdick wasn’t really about size, even though I did think about it a lot; it was about pants mostly.

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You Got What You Deserve

sports car

1     Dicks

Finally, I thought, I’m gonna get fucked.

Sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes it takes like forever.

All sorts of shit gets in the way a lot. They’ve got girlfriends or they’ve got boyfriends or both of them or they’ve got political hang-ups against fucking or they’ve got std’s or they’re on some frickin religious holiday they don’t believe in.

But all around, I’m pretty patient. When I spot a random piece of guy I like, I expect it to put out over time, if that’s what it takes. And I understand the rules, the social-political ones that could really fuck someone over if I did the wrong thing. And that’s why I waited.

This guy, as soon as I saw him, I registered him downstairs in my little blond sandwich shop, thinking: He doesn’t belong here. This guy’s bony face and untamed bush of gray hair belonged somewhere else, but not in school. Even with his khakis and baggy sweater on, he had the wrong look for an English teacher. He had the big cock look. Teachers don’t have that. They don’t because they don’t have big cocks. They have puny cocks, puny cocks with a lot of hair mostly. They want to have big cocks, so they work in places that most girls don’t know the difference. Most teachers wouldn’t survive anywhere else. Anywhere else and the breath of the person you’re talking next to tells you how big his dick is.

Whenever I talk to a guy, I get up just close enough to catch his breath to tell how big his dick is. Or not. Most girls in high school just don’t know about that. And, being high school girls, they hardly know the difference in cocks anyway. So for puny-dicked male high school teachers, the set up is perfect. Christ! Any one of them who brings up in class themes of incestuous sex in Hamlet or an old guy humping a young chick in Chaucer seems to girls like it’s Mick Jagger whipping it out for his own daughter. Eew! Don’t say that! That’s nasty! You mean Nick Carraway is really thinking like that about his own cousin, Mr. Bigdick?  That’s nasty, Mr. Bigdick, that’s nasty! Sure, even though Daisy is the guy’s second cousin once removed and there’s like zero blood between them, girls get totally grossed out by Nick having the hots for Gatsby’s slutty Daisy and the double or treble ambivalence this causes Nick as narrator slash participant; hence the stifling vocabulary with the mid-western twang.

But, truth be told, they love it, girls love it, really, inside their pants. And they love it mostly because of the erroneous fantasy that Gatsby isn’t clean. Girls who go eew!, the same kind who go down on every guy they can but hardly ever swallow the cum, the first to fuck and the last to have abortions, they love The Great Gatsby because it is dirty, because they think it’s nasty, because they’re getting off on their perverted fantasies of Nick wanting to fuck his cousin Daisy. In high school, basically, any girl who’s more than vaguely aware that her pussy is more than just of fissure for urination, what they want is to feel the breath of any puny-dicked teacher who’ll even say the word “sex” to them. And, as a sort of a whore of the English department, not literally, just an after school flirt mostly, what I learned mostly from high school was that being a high school teacher was mostly all about puny-cocked guys trying to impress the daylights out of hardly experienced girls. And how are the girls to find out or not?

The bravest of teachers, the most brazen, who’ll slip a semi-avuncular arm around the pint-sized waist of a boppy girl coming back next year for a flattering college recummendation, he’ll still say to himself and his small dick, “No pair of tits is worth my pension.” How do I know this? I just know. It’s a sense of smell. It’s all from learning to catch a guy’s breath up close. It tells you everything. And they’re all just chicken-shit to show their little high school dicks to girls that hardly even know the difference really, even the whoriest of them. And make it sound like it’s an ethics thing, that they can’t. It’s all bluff. And the teachers all know it. But not this guy, no way. He had a wad in his pants. I caught his breath. I could tell. He was Mr. Bigdick…

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Geewhiz! (And it’s free!)

bluestone

Hey, Geewhiz,

You’re just the kind of trouble I like. Behind your sado-masochistic array of words, I know you’re just a romantic angel falling headlong first into the lap of love. You can’t feel or fool me for a second. But, you’re really wrong about the dating bit. Are you kidding? This place is a paradise for successful daters. Even Stephen Hawking could make girls pine and yearn here. And that, basically, is the lost art of romancing, isn’t it? Some dude with the right amount of DNA to thrill your shot glass with, who’s witty and smart enough to make that little rictal smile of yours appear and wander off into the desert the same way that that poor great fool Enoch with God did. I am looking, prowling, a big Virginia Woolf-sized lighthouse on the lookout for an “adjective whore” just like you. Come on; come to Papa, and crash your vessel upon my rocks.

Egbert

More online letters, dates you won’t believe happened, eye-popping stories that did…

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Match

Mathilde Evacs Pomroy

stove and pilot

My reasons had been plentiful. If these had been any more than they were, I would have been lost among the reds of all the red poppies. I would have been more wings upon the backs of flying monkeys. The ubi sunt nomenclature of my clattering days would have been spent or ignored like bales of rolled hay along the countryside in autumn. And all that, like my namesake and my Latin verse, would have gone unanswered. So I may have been left darning my socks and time. I may have gone to seed and shower. I may, too, have as little sense left to my time as peas to the edge of a knife are falling, falling down. And all my frailties, beyond the wool-spinners of Sulpicia and maidens of Sappho are no less than unforthcoming. It had not been a reason to have been wroth. It had not been a destiny to go to the Aegean any more than to have traveled to New Alaska. And had I ever been asked, had I ever been put to, I would have answered quite the same, dressed in my gunny sack: snap snap snap. Like so, had I been pining by the fieldstone. Like so, had I been awaiting the brim-rock rains atop the bluestone quarry. Verily, I had known just as well that what had never been arrived before my mountaintop gaze had also never, like the barn swallow’s tail beneath its muddied nest below the wooden beams, departed.

Lucien Aberdeen Entwistle II

red bull

I might as well as have been building tiny ships in tiny bottles. I might as well as have been filliping the tiny clippings of tiny fingernails clipped from tiny fingers the whole while. I might just as well have been pooling tiny frogs from a tiny pond into a tiny bucket all the time. And while I might as well as have been not doing or doing all these things, everyone else grew up. The boy had. The girl had. The father of the girl he got older. And the mother of the boy she got older. Both parents got older as did both of their children. And me, I might as just as well have been a shoebox of cedar shavings kept full of cedar shavings all the while, all the time. Oh, I had gotten older, too, but nobody it had seemed had seemed to notice. And, indeed, were I to have died while the boy and girl had grown up, I would have been interred off to a plot of the cemetery to the side of everything, to the side of everyone, somewhere over there, a spot in the green where neither unnamed paupers nor regal ancestors had ever belonged. And in that death, my wife would have glanced across her former husband, and their two children at both of them, from either side of my plot, and as the funeral party had walked away, the ground would have closed up forever upon me.

American Serfdom

medical cabinet

The future composition of the Supreme Court is the most important civil rights cause of our time.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/scalia-death-2016-implications

In the times of Nikolai Gogol, one could work for the State and by doing such become eligible for hereditary nobility. I want you to imagine being a serf then, in Russia, around 1835. Be a serf and imagine you had a voice, and with that voice, imagine that you could bring about change in the way the Regime worked. Imagine that you and other serfs, all of you together, could with your collective voices change the way the Tsar went about affairs of the State. Imagine all of you felt you had had a say in that.

When I read articles such as the one forwarded to me by a dear friend of mine—(see above)—all I hear is an all too familiar bout of petty narcissism—the delusion of a human being who actually believes he (or she) has a voice that matters in the affairs of the State. It’s a benign narcissism—not a malevolent or a malignant one by any means. And all I mean by this petty, benign narcissism is that it is the voice of a human being who falsely believes in the importance over both his place and his effect in and on the world. The reality is this man, this voice, this human being has no more effect in and on the world about him than did a serf over the Regime in the early 1800’s in Russia.

What, however, is particular and even perhaps singular about this American version of serfdom is the fatuous and altogether narcissistic belief that one has, that one is a “stakeholder” in the play of power—be it legislative, executive, or, as in this article, if but once-removed, judicial. And it is this con that keeps down, keeps away any real threat of any real revolt of any kind. So long as people in the United States feel that they have a voice, or a vote, or a measure of selfhood that matters elsewhere—and by ‘elsewhere’ I mean the government or the State that ‘governs’ them—any possible sense of revolt or rebellion is quelled ipso facto. It is that feeling of ‘having power’ versus that feeling of ‘feeling powerless’ that keeps the gristmill going. Really, it’s like gossip—possibly true, but so what? Possibly false, but so what, too? So this guy has loosened his belt a notch, or tightened it up a notch, so what?

The effect is that this man is quieted down, and everybody reading it nodding their heads up and down is likewise quieted down, likewise shut up. Who cares that the peasants, the serfs, the “yeoman farmers” as Jefferson so elegantly put it, grumble? Let ’em grumble and mumble all they want. What matters is that the serfs and peasants, the slaves and servants keep on working; and, moreover, believe in this System, which except for a few who do turn rank and begin—let’s say like Cruz or Obama or Rubio, as well as Clinton 1.3 or Clinton 2.7 (no matter which)—to work now for the State, (and thus become eligible for this inheritance of nobility which they will under no terms ever forsake), are for the foreseeable future permanently kept in their places by. And it is this extant or consequent ‘nobility’ which the Supreme Court, as it pores through any number of pages of any numbers of cases and causes brought before the Bench, will jealously guard and preserve like a dragon in its lair overlooking its treasure.

Earl Johnston

I had lain in bed junked up on as much legal pharmaceutical junk available at any hip enough health food store to warrant any legitimate FDA investigation for days on end stuck in a hopeless rondo of Netflixable fixes to quell the fine and delicate balance I held onto between heartbreak and the sort of rage that would kneecap an entire band of innocents just for crossing my path by accident. That I could almost embrace the world in my arms and feel its immutable torque was like the torture of misapprehensions that I had continued to endure and could not pull myself eventually away from even as I felt myself being pulled repeatedly into the lowest and worst bardos of human existence deserving of the worst of mortals having made the most grievous missteps in life and definitely not fit for those whose footsteps were still being made somewhere above ground in the veldt, the tundra, the desert, or upon the soft blue shores of North Africa. I was like Hamlet who only he himself self-reflexively seeing his own madness self-contrived, self-invented, self-made, self-anointed, self-mocking, even he now cannot walk away from his poetical celestial prison of self—his peerless mind, so noble so true, now murderess. Instead, I had had to drowse myself to death, to Lethe onwards, into the good night, into the good morn, into the good empty day at hand like another and another and another, stultified like a poisoned man whose only final utterance will be to write the words neurasthenic cow, neurasthenic cow, neurasthenic cow over and over until he has stuffed his sweet American conscience into a thimble that sinks, when his good arm will have tossed it into the great ocean’s sublime embrace of nothingness.