Seahorses (from a dream)

Spiny number
fives. the teeth all up
and down

unzippering the ocean
to a salty
sequined
brine

Nickel-plated
guns

Pearl handled by
a hundred
watery
suns

inside out
the ocean

outlasting
everyone and

universal
sexy
you

Seahorses gallop
long the coral rail

one quarter mile
through

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‘Intruder In The Dust’ by Faulkner -book review

This is ONLY my favorite tale from my favorite author. I have literally made a pilgrimage to Faulkner’s home in Oxford, MS on more than one occasion. It helped of course that my good friend Oso Negro was living there and working on his PhD at Ole Miss. But I swear I would have gone anyway! Faulkner was my mentor, as I developed my own writing style over the years.

Faulkner’s stream-of-consciousness writing style does not disappoint here. My experience reading this narrative can only be described as the feeling you get when arriving to your favorite body of water for laps in the undisturbed fog at dawn… diving into the lukewarm greenblue with cap and goggles and bathing suit all melted into you… and swimming slowly with a flutter of toes, cutting a clean line from page to page, beginning to end, melting into the body of water. Immaculate read from begin to end. More like a long poem, pages and pages without the constraint of constant unbearable punctuation. 

Yes, with Faulkner, you the reader must be willing to work hard at times to figure out what’s going on. But Intruder in the Dust was an unstoppable regular strong heartbeat pumping a cry of justice through my veins. The cry of justice is a subtle sound that grows louder to the point where it is almost deafening by the end. I wish I could spoil, because there is a late night movement into the heart of darkness, which casts a wonderful spell over the whole work.

In this masterpiece (and lesser-praised, lesser-known of his works), the narrative focuses through the eyes of a young boy, son of a benevolent lawyer who is self-appointed to defend a black man accused of murder in the deep south at a time when being a black man in the deep south is, well — painful…impossible. You get a To Kill a Mockingbird feel from this book.

What I love about Intruder In the Dust is that I had already made my way with a great stubborn desire through most of Faulkner’s long catalogue of works, from the ones that brought him fame and fortune to the relative sleepers ‘the Mansion and ‘the Town’ (I really did use those tales to help me fall asleep, I confess!). I expected this one to be as dry and unbecoming as the aforementioned works.

Instead you get a delightful taste of the master at his level best. I believe his use of the boy through whose eyes we see all the insensate cruelties of the adult world around him, makes for a clear and sensitive treatment of the tale. You also have to wonder if this tale got less mass appeal for the same reason. More cryptic works like the Sound and the Fury have patterned coded truths embedded in them for academia to pick apart and decipher. This work is very straightforward. 

As a writer, I simply had to absorb every word of the masterful Faulkner. This work is captivating and unusually heartfelt. Read it. Feel it. A good primer for anyone new to William Faulkner. If I was teaching ninth grade English, I would put it on the reading list for American literature,for sure. I keep it on my shelf. Physical.

easter contraindicate

in our time of dying
-baseball-
a squeeze play. life.
evoking in the mind
some space

i’m gone
hawaian

there’s always something
held down. to rise up
when the powerful
recede and fall

flashing
crashing
giants. the dust all blocks the sun.
you would think the human race
was cooked. done

demonic. corporate. selfie
goddamn! it’s made us all
unhealthy

your bottom line
at my expense.
tax dollars. audits on our common
sense

i’m feeling slighted.
perpetually tense
terrified. in the woods.
dense

gimme some ativan
no. the half life ain’t no good
3 months of klonopins,
doctor…understood?

wait. wait!
stop the madness.
fill the heart with easter gladness
hallmark cards and sugar peeps
high fructose powered
liberty jeeps

give me death. no
try again
resurrection
count to ten

count backward now to five.
multiply by noisy beehive
high division fructose
mixers
pure honey
netflixers

look east
go there
the sun rises also
john returns to yoko
the manson family
now disbanded

atlas shrugs off
Ayn Randed

atom bomb
gets bonded back from the
linear accelerator

nagasaki to some pax
Hiroshima
molecular

non-biblical
Conjecturer
plays out inside a sand dune

a sheep herder finds the body
ghost and holy spirit
burning trees
learns to fear it

4.20 gatherings in denver.
smoking Easter
to its knees

suns #1,2,3

my three
suns
gravitational
pull

lets me love them
love them
full

they move me
from what any
measure

i cry
ice fields
encircle
belly

i want the best
empathic
jelly

image

light the way
my midnight blue
baby boy sun #1

centrifugal devils
chasing sun #2
leave him be!
i beseech you

the third is galaxies
away

come home
my sweets
each night
i pray

impossible unique

I can love you
seven. eight
days a week
our love
in / of
impossible
unique

regenerates
the snake

a nation
beneath
the lake

a question mark formed
around the life form
inside of us

thirty-two seconds
to unconditional

a timeless future awaits
spirits on dates
drifting down rivers
of corrugate
glue

heartbleed city
who knew

zero
balanced
degenerative

yearning for the night
predawn of artificial light

candles. burning
lifetime supplication
in / of oxygen

fall asleep breathing
in / of love
impossible unique

not the same old narrative on a fog bank overdrawn
yawn

take all the pictures
marry them silently
passionately

take all the i’s (before e’s)
teach them selfless living

strange to suddenly see
receipts of deceits returned
to the store

strange!
impossible unique

strange / dear god!
so suddenly free
impossible
unique

no longer above
no longer below
candle wax flow in
and of love