Tuesday, December 11, 2007

[Padre Pio, With His Head in Them]

He sat atop his church in the evening light, book in hand: not King James, nor Tillich, nor Borg, nor Kung, nor Bonhoeffer. In point of fact, it had no title. American Splendor he would have called it, but that title was taken, robbed by a piss ant cartoonist wallowing in the postmodern irony of cancer remission. He wanted none of it. Irony had worn him to a frazzle, a minefield of nudging and winks. Looking across acres of meadow into the burning demise of a purple sun, he thought of a child of six, a boy, slowly disappearing from view in the cloud room at Sisters of Mercy.

“Altocumulus,” said the boy.

“Mackerel. We call it mackerel,” he said, pouring water from the pitcher of plastic pink.

“Dead sea. Nothing lives. In no time I will be cirrus fibratus.”

“Horse’s tail. Where are you running, George?”

“Time was, I would have said, Erlangen, in Germany, or Metung, in Victoria. Now? I can’t see the end of the road.”

“They’ve marked you down as Family B, mid-level.”

“I can’t see it. Never long wet and never long dry.”

“Stratocumulus praecipitatio

“I’m sorry. I can’t pray anymore. They found me in the stalls.”

“That was unction. I wasn’t praying. I kind of think we’re beyond that, don’t you?”

“More your call than mine.”

“Safely? I hadn’t checked. I’ve lingered, but I don’t like to press my luck. Did you know there are freckles on your head?”

“I’m here to entertain. How else would the nurses pass the time?”

“Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him; in fact, in Israel a crown was not required.”

“I’m happy for you. Have you considered pre-paid?”

“I try not to. Too much debt.”

“They say that Marilyn tried, but DiMaggio bailed out.”

“Figures. It says here, she thought Albert was a girl.”

Time was, I thought Albert was a girl: this, atop the girded borders of Resurrection. It no longer seemed to matter what Albert was. George had passed his test: oort, mammatus, wall, tag, little fluffy (Norma Jeane’s favorite), sankhara, noctilucent—king mackerel he were, sailing into clear blue sea.

Labels: , ,


Blogger San said...

Paschal, the cloud metaphor is nice--a kind of in-betweeness thing is happening: heaven & earth, wet & dry, girl & boy, living & dying.

Would appreciate elucidation on the Marilyn/Norma Jeane passage. I got lost there, but maybe that was your intention, cud'n.

11:17 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Like most things, it's a collage: image in my head of a priest climbing atop his church; Mary Earle talking about the "cloud room" at a local inpatient child hospice; lots of googlings about cloud formations; unction. I'm not sure how MM got on the page, but I think it was an odd cloud tangent: what struck me about the MM page was this odd comment about her foster parents "Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne, California, where she lived until she was seven. In her autobiography My Story, Monroe states she thought Albert was a girl." I'm sorry: utterly tangential or not, that is not a statement that pbooker can pass up; that's dark chocolate in the Christmas stocking. George and MM both fly away home, no?

2:01 PM  
Blogger San said...

A dark chocolate Easter bunny in the Christmas stocking. Marshmallow peeps for Valentine's. Conversation harts for St. Pat's, and in the Easter basket.

4:42 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

"Climb in the back with your head in the clouds / And you're gone..."

7:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home