Saturday, November 10, 2007

Skeedly Beeka Gookity Woop

“I can’t remember: is we be cherubim or seraphim?”
“I hates to tell you, Brother Victor, but we be neither.”
“I climbed all the way up here for that?”
“I’d a told you sooner, BV, but you did seem to be enjoying.”
“All expectation, my brother, all expectation.”
“I am heartily sorry, Brother Vic. I’m afraid I mistook expectation for exultation.”
“Mistook ain’t the half of it, Brother Thomas. Makes you think I want to sit on clouds and exult? I seen better in the hill country—hell, I seen better from the water towers of Roswell County.”
“Indeed you have, BT, indeed you have. Can’t argue with that. But—”
“This ‘but’ better be a good one, Vic.”
“Don’t I know it. The thing is, we ain’t got a pair a wings to get our bony asses through these gates anyway.”
“What do you mean by that, O my brother? Got my wings right…right…right…Where the hell you put my wings, Victor?”
“Didn’t touch your wings, Tom. That was all you.”
“All me what?”
“It was all you what left them on that Tuscan wall.”
“Hell you say. Florence?”
“Don’t I wish.”
“New Orleans.”
“Hardly Tus—”
“Exactly what I tried to tell you, Tom. You were having none of it. ‘Tuscan walls!’ you cried out in that courtyard, chicken wings in your gullet, votives all up and down the broken wall. Called the waiter over, chewed his ear with your greasy lips, swore your wings was misplaced, asked—”
“Asked what could I do to show my obeisance. That’s enough, Thomas. I remember now…damn.”
“They was mighty good wings, though, Vic.”
“Ones I hung on the wall, or the ones I was sucking down?”
“Does it have to be either/or? Not like we’re that sulking Dane, now is it?”
“I guess not, Tom. Damn, that was one hell of a good sauce. Serious righteousness, not a damn thing sulky in the least.”
Brother Vic surveyed the white fleece all abounding, looked down at the golden ladder rungs at his feet. Thomas’ eyewear was foggy and wet.
“Hell of a fine wall that was, Tom.”
“As sure as Ms Stefani paints her lips glory-red, o my brother. It was a fine wall indeed.”
“You think they’re still—”
“I have no doubt. You was the only one thought they was misplaced. I’d say Garden of Eden, no matter where they be hangin’. As pretty on your back as they’d be in Tuscany, ain’t give a damn where you cast it.”
They were halfway down before a one of them spoke.
“Just the same—”
“Just the same what, Brother Vic?”
“My original question. It’s still got me squanderin’.”
“Well, Brother Ray give it to me this way: forget the cheeky babies. Cherubim be the janitors of God, the near ones, the familiars. Seraphim be the ones in the expensive box seats at the opera.”
“Nothin’ against that Luciano, but when the hell did he ever sing anything as good as ‘Minnie the Moocher’?”
That took another twenty rungs to answer.
“I’ll get the mop and bucket, Cab.”
“You just do that, Eulalia, while I roll up these sleeves and pants.”

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Blogger Lee said...

Oh that was FUN! Thanks Paschal! :)


1:03 PM  
Blogger San said...

Paschal, the opening line is absolutely perfect--playful and profound. Love the way you bounce the syntax off Mr. Bones's bony ass. Tell me: do you think Mr. Bones and Henry might puzzle over which kind of angelic being they be? (Sorry, but since you've also posted some Berryman, I can't help but put Henry and Mr. Bones in the roles of Thomas and Victor.)

The movement from heaven's ladder to the water towers of Roswell County to the Tuscan wall to Nawlins is nice too. Heaven meets earth--chicken wings in the gullet.

The either/or dilemma. That sulking Dane--NOT!

I'm with you here--to be the janitor of God is a hell of a calling--near, familiar, on the ground, running. (The secret's in the sauce.)

p.s. "My Misplaced Wings" was inspired in part by your 100 words about "flying into the light." And your other 100 words touched off an idea for a poem about climbing a ladder towards God. Haven't written mine, but you have! Something's afoot, Mr. Bones, something's afoot.

2:33 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lee: Glad to oblige. Thanks again for checking in. On the way back from doing Morning Prayer this morning, I heard the awesome Cab Calloway performing Minnie the Moocher; came home and had to YouTube all I could find. Definitely need to turn the urchins onto the man. He gave me just the right vibe to get the story rolling.

San: Glad to see that the gumbo pot is roiling: little bit here, little bit there. Plenty of inspirations to be afoot about.

(Apropos of not much, there is a middle school urchin at the Institute whose last name is Foote; first initial is A. You see where that's going. She handles it all with smiling grace.)

I believe once it all comes down to it, Brother Vic is just pissed that Brother Tom didn't bring along a bucket of wings for the climb.

7:31 PM  

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