Louis E. Bourgeois
Louis E. Bourgeois is the Executive Director of VOX PRESS, a 501 (c) 3 arts organization based in Oxford, Mississippi. His award winning memoir, The Gar Diaries, was re-published in 2013 in England by The Other Publishing Company. Bourgeois is also co-founder and director/instructor of the Prison Writes Initiative, a creative arts program designed for Mississippi inmates. His Collected Works is slated for publication in 2016 by Xenos Press.
Marcel Hoon, dressed completely in black, stood on the empty tomb of H. Logenback and spoke slow and clear to the presumed mourners: you flat-nose sons-of-bitches, hear me, hear me. You must understand that H. Logenback was not a man of distinction but of distillation, his mind I mean. So, you look at me funny as if I don’t understand my own message. But there my friends you are mistaken! This message is not for you tin-heads, you Malcodian haters, you sidewalk glancers, you Dada worshipers. What I said is not a reprieve, but an oblation, a sizable reduction of your airtight stigmatas. Crush me if you can but you’ll not crush the revelry here. What was that Mr. Slogan? You driscoordination distention? Come, come, good friend, where are your forced metal voices now? I’ve got it in my hands Mr. Blocker, don’t you worry none sir, don’t you worry Mr. Rennco, I’ve got your concept. Do you remember the size of his hound? I remember the size of that son-of-a-bitch well! There he is now chewing on your Remington? Winchester? Hey Zeller! You remember that day, that day in Cuba, Alabama, after the dog kennels arrived, that day when Joe shot all them ducks? You remember, I know you do, that day when Sally was slapping herself having listened to too much Lana Turner. You son-of-a-bitch get off my shoes. Now, there was that time we were harvesting wheat and this dead bastard here Logenback turned to me and said, “I decree ye as the Harvestor of Cut Breaths.” Yes he did ladies and gentlemen, he sure did. He got it from a book the darn fool. I told that son-of-a-bitch I was going to slash his goddamn throat if he didn’t get his damn discoder right. Johnson was right out there on the fucking turnpike. I saw the son-of-a-bitch myself! No, they wanted to go crabbing the durn fools! On the 1088 they were trying to blast him but they couldn’t get him. So they were going out there messing with the toggle switch when that boat blew up. Throw the cats back in the water; throw all the cats back in the boat dear friend of the Epicurean family of solid members and of the hundred-dollar prize. Back in Swahili they were doing it, doing it before dawn round the campfire, for at least 10,000 words but they didn’t get the Freudian slip thing right; that was before I fired him. With all the sucking and murder, what would you expect? I mean they were out there dying to get back, no control though, and then their last infraction, an experiment going, and so we tied the dog back on the leash and had our way with him, trying to get things tight I guess. What do I care? What with the strain of one voice, hell, I didn’t create the End of History. They were trying to say it but they didn’t know how. What? When? Don’t go starting again. Do you know how goddamn long it has taken to get this right? Do you know how much pain I’ve had to go through to get this right? Bound forever by two means and two heartaches. The Creatorwouldn’t have it that way. What were you trying to think? Well, let me tell you, it was disembodiment, and the longer we waited the worse it got, and Johnson over there wasn’t having any of it. All form and
no content makes Johnson a bad boy. They got all the fishes out of the water but they were stone dead, ready for market, but the market was closed, so we took them to Nigger Joe, but Joe was having whisky problems, so we gave them to Carolyne, but Carolyne was having a bad case of the greenmind, so we left the fish on side the road in a bad way. So we got to the point where we couldn’t persist anymore so we went to the Bayou Club in downtown Oxford, that town next to Batesville, or is it Seville? All those Yankee towns sound the same to me! What about you Fred? You still married to that detestable bitch you found on Magazine Street? The one with the good lips? I told you once bastard not to refrain. We didn’t go burrowing, we stayed right here disconnecting. So what? The problem is that any sentence you put into existence could be your last, or worse yet, your future. But he has his eyes on the goddamn shutter again; I told him not to go doing that, doing that, to those tortoise shells. But he’s got that goddamn Isidore Ducasse with him again, what do you expect? So she had to go weaving tapestries again, tapestries of dead brains. Su Conto wasn’t that way, he was tabiculum, that is Latin for table or basket, you choose. No, not that again, I’ll have to burn that tape. It’s obvious that I’m trying to hide something, aren’t you the scholar? You Friedman Holmes? You bad painter? I told you not to use oils shithead. Armadillos with all the good wigs and black migs, of the Dolorian. So, they got to where they couldn’t do it any more; so we had to search them real good and hard on the backs of their heads. No, the ambulance was broken but they did import some good used morphine. It was tedious out there; we shouldn’t have told all our secrets at once. It was black inside. They went and filled in all the cracks, silly bastards of Lords, with the biographers and wine, and I haven’t had no alcohol in 10 years, long before the coma and the special training. I have what they’ve been wanting for years but I ain’t telling Southmoose, not this time around. Perhaps some other time when the moon is a little better and the tide’s in sprinkling the shore with bits of glass and seaweed, in rushing jet streams. Yes they got the croakers; they were there; I saw them as well as you did. I told you to stop it with the ideas. Falling back on the thing? Me at once? And all today. Where’s Will? You done gave up on Bill didn’t you? I didn’t. He’s here in my back pocket; that’s where I keep him, clean and crazy, where the goddamn transom broke before I could use it. Heart full of pain and dead animals. It wasn’t very soothing the way he headed the Pass, kept the publishers off his back, off his wife too, away from the sewers, and back to the liberating forces of Dichum-mic-kill red everyday the last rites of the english jew who found prayers to be useless and typifying lost words in dark puddles. It was what he couldn’t Will that hurt him. I can do this with my eyes closed. Naw, I lie, I am right now, as you are a-piercing, doing this with closed eyes. When he got there, we were all told to get back and hold our tongues. I wasn’t faking it like I am now. Precambrian dreams assuage me to the end my brothers, dear reader, sweet reader. Come close and I’ll give you a jar of your own Palastone, no, not the immobile, those dumb asses who keep trying, dry words, who never tell a secret like you want them to. It’s hard work but someone has got to do it, someone’s got to tell, and absolutely not for their own goddamn good. Who do you think I am, Ibsen? Delacroix? Or that Irish tyrant by the name of Clay? I mean goddamn Mr. Sand I didn’t get a Ph.D in English literature for nothing, didn’t get it to amuse you soft flackers of ratdish hate and black skkêêpés. Of the swans, there are a lot that have died and will die on the river Styx. Well, when they did, I slapped them on their backs and writhed them a good time. That’s the way I am. I’m very forgiving when they’re kind, still can’t spell though. I didn’t go to a good school; they didn’t try me too hard. That was smart of them. It’s tiring on the fingers and eyes, not to mention the eyes, I mean, when they bleed or cry, or spear-out goo. Well, they had ten coullers, I said, but they couldn’t blast it out of me. So I had to get it at the fork of the road while there was still time to get it at the fork of the road while there was still time to get my Gamosepalous together, before the reds got there to spoil all the fun and swing out my vodka that I had to pay a lot for because of the Adam curse of the old school. They had ten but only used three, the characters, but bless them, bless them, god bless them for all their mistakes of fatigable softness. Someone had to say it, why not me? When you get there, let me know and I’ll be there to pay the rent and give them the food bill for my dogs and chinchillas and goldfish, Henry and Red, the two black ones. No, keep Marcel on the grave, ambiguous and weak these days, they got him over there walking the pipeline, they played a bad joke on him, and ditched the dogs on the way to the trial. We went there, but the coons were gone and so we hunted possums for a while, and then the rabble came with all these spades and hoes. That was a time of pure release, pure relief system, back when a spade was a spade and I was an engineer, with thoughts and feelings, penmanship too, when I had my keys but no choice. So you got over there and they told you all that? No, not Prof. Carrithers, what would he have to lose on such a day as this, a lot, goddamnit, a lot! Not surprisingly, he’s a little mute recluse from the old days, back before that hound in a tree story your dad told you about. But they got out of here and then left, and didn’t leave a message for my dear old nonreferential dad. They tried to say something bright but it wasn’t in them, the brightness faded out, and so they lost, I tried to help them, but stubbed my toe on the way, before I lost my grip and fell head first into the wall, lost my front teeth, cried a lot, and then it was down and out like it’s supposed to be. I don’t know, man, they had their kites. Why do you keep saying they? It was he, not they, who did it to me. He kept pushing his hair out of his eyes and it was quite annoying to see such a one as he do that for no reason at all, and then it was all about his asparagus, he could talk about asparagus for hours on end, saying nothing, but forgetting nothing, and one really did learn a lot about asparagus, and nothing else, and as my wife has informed me, he was eating the asparagus in the wrong direction. Go-Go comes forth and holds out his hands and begs me to undo him. But it is not in me to embrace, and Go-Go was a very long time ago, back before I could even talk good. Well, I showed Go-Go, I flushed him down the toilet. Well, and Go-Go showed me, he’s been getting his revenge ever since. So, he got to pushing his hair out of his eyes a good while before we got down to good normal conversation, not the philosophical stuff, too intellectual for him, but we talked for hours about the Kashmir and Vermilion gods till sundown. There were spots on the wall so we talked about spots for a while, and then we talked about “Percy in Dust” and “In the Black Cradle,” which are stories, stories I wrote just for you all. What about that Barn Owl that cooks for you all? Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all? You bastards? For you bastards everything is a joke, but I’ve got news, news that should be howled out in the desert, I’m not a comanche or a Magi, sorry, I didn’t mean to disappoint you, I just wish I liked you a little, to give a little respect, but you’ve forced me to this, you let me in. Well, Cora and I were getting by with it and we were driving up some mountains in Idaho and came to this store, and in front of this store was a sign that read: Come and Get Yerself a Drink. Well, you’ve got to keep going till you sweat your eyes, bone your face, and flatten the stomach. I mean, come on, it’s the American way. Wouldn’t want you to feel left out or anything on this cold night in Georgia. If you get to the top, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’m full of all sorts of tricks to help you get through the night and so forth. Really, I’m not that bad once you get to know me, it’s just that I don’t like to be hassled. I’m sorry, it’s one of my hang-ups, call me old fashioned, not a thing I can do about it. They taught me that in Catholic school, back in the day of expressions, ideas – C’mon Samos, let’s get on with it. So you were sitting around being resuscitated? Being or predicting your fate? Shouldn’t do that old man, shouldn’t do it. Didn’t they teach you anything at all, all those eighty years, all home on the range and such? So be it, there it is. Some flown thing on the edge of thought. Beckett was reverting back to something previous, right? Ten creations carry us through then they die and we die and the world is a better place for God to kill again and again for nothing and everybody is ashamed of him and for his creations, fluid to insanity, and the stage must be so clean, so clean, good god, never more! Never more! Stop yanging over semantics you black eye of a bitch of one and twenty. Teutonic and desultory, stop trying to piece me back together again. It won’t work, I promise you, it won’t work, it never has, it never will. Get turned on by the same old evil box, opening and reopening, looking or me, but you do badly, you will do badly here, I know you will, anyone would interest me more than you do. No Teutonic abhorrence, I’m all out, so what do you do? One, two, three and then presto? I swear you wouldn’t like it here I just know you wouldn’t want to go home and be like the stars and moon or whatever it is these people keep yapping about? So be it. What piece of flap has to be there? Well, Marcel Hoon, they got the arrogant rabbits out again, but it didn’t help this time. It was too close to his brain, what do you think? Pure jazz man, pure jazz, and so what about it. Pure gut of evening and severed tongues. No nagging worms my friend no nagging worms, hell-bent on destruction. Mind is a complete blank, write on dust, write on water, no, write on white dust in red letters. A field marshall came up and slapped me in the face. I turned and broke that bitches’ arm. Now, what’s surprising, the slip-knot? The ambrosia? Signs from god? The clairvoyant? Surprising the elephant? The clairvoyant eye has failed to see Logenbach’s entry, stage A and B, not Z. This is all a puzzle to get you through the day. The word becomes clear through the absence of thought. When we got back we were looking for a reflection, but Toga was not to be found in the greek amphitheater. Like a line bent back on itself, we had to go forth into woods, into fields, in search of melons, and candleberry, and stethoscope, and above all syncopation, the R and W, to implant and distribute and desultorize, and imbulgations of Mohammed II, Zoroaster and Conrad, the existentialist, no, not Conrad, never Conrad, herein the disaster of the Profound God, and above all the lost coin that had his name, that fell off the camel’s back and found later by the lion in the desert, a baby behind him holding a mirror, a very profound mirror, relating all and nothing, nothing to hold onto, and further, nothing to support, nothing to go by, nothing in the reflection of nothing, a solid thing, good for the heart and good for the soul, an alternative to what….used for money, the coin, used for money by the innocent child who lived in the stone house way out in the desert of Zarbo, a confused child no less, a little slow, that is, stupid, like Roland Barths, who couldn’t come to conclusions, who had philosophical inquiries, a little stupid, a little demented, flash of green light, a little lost, a little stolen, no French and no Latin, an ignorant child, not very bright, like Roland Barths. It was a bit like survival which in any case carries no rewards for the humble of the Malcodian forest. That was the thing you couldn’t get blasted about after hearing their dark utterances, their yearnings, all the sad faces in a row, in a yearbook, all the sad faces of public and private education, no difference, or very little, very little difference in anything really, when you get right down to it, doesn’t matter, nothing matters, nothing ever will matter, except this: all cops and shrinks and lawyers must die across this grand wide country of ours. To be free and so forth. It’s all a big book, it doesn’t matter where you begin or end or end and begin – it is the tension of writing itself which is at stake, nothing else, the blood tension, you can find the doctrine for yourself in Saint Genet by the terrible child. So, I said, it is the tension of writing itself that is at stake and the more superfluous power of knowing, of knowing there have been many many fools, far too many, so many in just this past year, not to mention the whole of the century that is now coming too a close on us, like a spiked net, imagine that. But so much for the perplexities of suspected icons of jabberwockys of yore. Come on now, don’t be doubtful and then jealous, it will pass; it can do nothing else but pass, best thought first thought through the colors the blindness and the same tremendous song stuck in my head, my intelligence is out for lunch, but I’m trying I’m trying, no extra points for trying, don’t revert, that’s the sin here, at this burial, at this funeral, and don’t forgive them anything they can use here, that’s another sin, and the fire lives between whatever isn’t much, isn’t much to talk about or wonder about, not enough to remember or forget, I’m working on a novel here, remember, and that’s not an easy task. But blast my Isidore you bastards of H. Logenback. I’ve been hating him for a long time and now it’s good that he is dead, and better yet, no kin worth speaking of. Try to get them trilliums out of the way, don’t bring a color code, or a meat code, or any code, I’ve got my head in the clouds ain’t misbehaving. I don’t have no quote for you. Like ten thousand explosions, like ten thousand people pushing their hair back before suppertime. Give me that absolute bell and that absolute white, I like it better there, better than this suspension of color don’t need anything but comes out no trace of where I’ve been. More honest than you know who, maybe even better, but I fear worse and let me die better than him, Clay, I mean, let me die better than him, it’s all I ask, and I keep trying to get this thing out, well, why not? You’ve got those splinters still in your forehead rabbi? Mr. Jenkins knows, he’s always known. Why wouldn’t he? That was a silly affidavit you wrote up. And John Higgins died too, just last week, after the crab festival in Slidell. That day on his deathbed he winced and ‘bout lost his bearings, and didn’t care anymore, didn’t know how to care anymore, didn’t need anything anymore, didn’t need nothing but me and John Black. It was, or is, the chemical explosion of stars you say? What of the alienmatic? Did it do any good this time? It really doesn’t matter what goes on. Stop it with that referring and stop begging on issues that are completely irrelevant to your existence as a human being. It’s all enclosed in a big vault somewhere. Just to be behind the eyelids scares me into supplication enough for the both of us. There’s a long line to the cemetery, on that we can all agree. I’m just about finished. I wouldn’t lie to you, not in my nature as a petrified man. Carbuncular explosion again, try to get it right the second time around baby. That you tried is all that matters, here, here…so much here and so little do we owe to be here, without pulse, without word. Wrap ten strings around the world and say good-bye. I mean, they got all the goddamn skin, what you worried about it for? Just circling around in a large room, there’s nothing to it, get away from the two-dimensional cyclone if you can. It was all kinds of funnels and all kinds of tunnels, all kinds of neat tricks, but they couldn’t see past it, wouldn’t leave out one word, the evviil bastards - eerie unto themselves – of the green glass I boast a literature. It was a flap of tin beating against a steel pole. I recorded the sound one day, out in Ebbing, Louisiana, when I was about ten or twelve, and so what about it? Demonetization is a real pity, somehow you’ve got to create your own ambition but it’s pretty hopeless, then, maybe not. But there’s not anything between the first and last thing that really matters. What matters is Sapo, and getting rid of Sapo, getting rid of Sapo’s not so easy, not so hard….