this is an excerpt from my Big Wheel Trilogy, specifically from Leftover Nam Era Hippies, which began appearing sequentially from 21 July 2010 on Open Salon. There are something like 30 chapters throughout Hartscape since--this Purple House subchapter includes a little bit of flooring
Johnny Karpinsky and Dog hid several hundred feet behind the demolition work crews that ravaged th PurpleHouse where the wet honeysuckles had overgrown years ago surrounding the paint-shorn rusted Hudson, on concrete blocks in his back yard without tires, now the big yellow Dog circling the car then wetly nudging over Karpinsky. Then back again in and out of the car from where he, the evicted man, sat at the open car door with his knees drawn up, puffing a cigarette he held European style, and subtly rocking, a nervous, depressed rocking in the pale morning, the moon still awake--contrail laced--and again he brushed away a fat, passive late summer cicada that recurred upon his right temple, them sumbitches he mumbled.
A heavy knife-sharp pincher tri-claw chained and boomed down on the ruined, discombobulated splintering roof and the rear wall flattened backward in one piece, hinged momentarily, and the wall cantilevered down slicing porch lamps, dragging conduit tentacles and raising dust which rose in thick smoke afore the sky, the sky left to right layered red, yellow with filtered sunlight behind rolled grey white-edged clouds, the Rembrandt-brushed horizon incongruous, tranquil, to the destruction of Karpinsky’s Purple House. Cars with parking lights on slowly passed and impatiently veered around the orange mesh construction fence stapled to white iridescent taped neon orange barrels. The giant claw greedily grappled old glossed maple floors, wide purple clapboard, composite siding and when heaped-up--pivoting almost dashing the scrap haphazardly over and heaving the tangle of planks down into the first of three lined trucks. All of the trucks idled diesel fumes through chattering lids on blackened chrome exhaust pipes. Dog scrunched aside Karpinsky and you could hear his nails on the trunk as he scampered and then in one motion flew to the rusted car roof and after fiercely barking twice, Dog bayed soulfully.
The man put two baby aspirin in his mouth and studied the sunlight illuminating a crystal-bright water drop off center in a splendid spider web strung amidst the dank ochre-tinged honeysuckle.
Purple haze swirled before him above the overgrown shrubbery and parchment-like bark of river birch trees down the narrow yard before him the purple haze and flaked debris drifted in a wasted translucent reddish smoke clouding the crumbling, rumpled purple house right before it really started to fall apart. The cream city brick chimney already stark half-cracked above the first floor swept down abruptly sideswiped by a pendulum stroke of the claw impacting the entire first floor with a tumultuous whoosh of beamed flooring that V’d from the center of the halved house cradling the ton-weight of chimney brick before the floor caved in stabbing with its severed, blown-up planks, its wavering tedium then imploded: pastel plasters and nail-spitting dusted lath pulverized, its random oval framed, square gilded, rectangular pewter outlined pictorial histories of black and white gabardine clad warriors, and old aunties beneath taut umbrellas, their laced high-tops glinting sunlight from where they stood pictured with sailors or soldiers on plaid picnic cloths, an abandoned bric-brac shelf with salt and pepper shakers Made in Japan imaged like feathered burntsienna faced Indians with Wisconsin Dells, delicate black lettered and embossed on silvered labels, a wall plate with a rouged Mimi Eisenhower on it, a brown Aunt Jeremiah syrup bottle, a 12x12 glassed John F. Kennedy portrait, a 12x12 portrait of Bobby Kennedy, a 20x18 non-glare plexi-glass sheathed Dr. Martin Luther King I Have a Dream speech expertly hand written-out and archived by Roberta, impeccable save for a slight hesitancy smudge on the first cursive F of the initial ‘Free’. And then the old Bell and Howell projector-apparently left tethered to a ghost circuit-kicked in flipping double fast grainy images of Johnny and Tommy Karpinsky dressed in blue Cub Scout uniforms or like little tin-starred cowboys it seemed, before a tinseled Christmas tree, Tommy mockingly sighting the white, golden haired electric angel at tree top for several seconds with his new blue-steel BB Gun---by this time Johnny stood on the car’s roof, dangerously sagging and denting the thin, rusted roof of the Hudson, perforating a brittle, jagged-edged crack in the metal, now able to see over the honeysuckles, and beyond the birch branch with a cowered, quivering Indigo Bunting, Dog now howl-yelling, toward the final crushed wall of his disappearing purple house as it collapsed inward, its final bang and slap-bang kablamming and ricocheting louder than the ferocious rumble of growled wrecker machines.