for my friend Eljekar:
plus for him:
PROVERBS OF HELL
In seed-time learn, in harvest teach,
in winter enjoy.
Drive your cart and your plough
over the bones of the dead.
The road of excess leads to the
palace of wisdom.
Prudence is a rich ugly old maid
courted by Incapacity.
He who desires, but acts not, breeds
blake, MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN & HELL
After the ham, Rena and I had to make our departure, hopefully to tasteful debauchery back at her apartment. She is the kind of a woman a man must be ‘inside’ in order for her to be utterly honest, I have told her. She probably doesn’t know what I mean, but I do..she certainly plays along, that’s for sure, and I hope to someday explain this odd statement to her. If she doesn’t understand. Which she might, already, how does a fellow know these days?
The extrication from Emmerling family dynamics was not easy. Joseph our dog seemed to want to come with us, judging from his alarming attachment to Rena. To her legs ,fingers and her face. He seemed to need to lick them forever. Mom and Dad were aghast, of course, but I knew my boy. And so did Rena: willing recipient of doggie tongue bath.
I have similar loyalties to Rena’s flesh, and wanted the opportunity to show them to her, heroically.
Not to be, not for awhile anyway.
Dad became religious over his ham and began a spiraling uproar.
He’d chewed down the last piece his tummy could find space for, and expansively said, “Mizz Oblong, do you have a denomination?”
Mom was sucking Chablis, so she had a comeback: “George, my father said never discuss religion or politics at the dinner table.”
George was full of dementia fuelled by Chablis, too, so he was venturesome in countering : “ach, that father and mother of yours. Rich folks on the hill. Blech. My father was a poor German immigrant, and he and my mother adored your parents. I didn’t care for em, though, “ he delivered in deadpan.
“They were so good to you and your family! How dare you say that?”
"Ah, they were alright. I liked your father. That mother of yours, though!"
"What about her?"
"Ah, my father never cared for her."
Oh typical Emmerling bullshit. Rena as a psychologist could handle it, but it wore on my nerves, especially since I knew that after chewing the least amount of ham I could, I would get lucky. Rena was flushed with sexual fervor. I could spot this from her red face and chest, and the way she worked her nude foot up my thigh. Joseph kept licking her foot, too. She gently kicked him away.
Once one’s parents have put on this same show, night after night, to a transfixed (me) crowd, it gets dull. One must interject. If one has the balls. And I had the balls.
“ Rena is a Quaker, dad, so watch out, “ I said with open blue eyes.
Rena snorted. She sucked down the last of the Chablis and kicked me. Let’s go, now.
“Oh, “ Mom said to her best new galpal. “ Really?”
Rena went along with it and said, “Your son never listens. I am a ‘shaker’, by birth, Eleanor”
Dad and Mom were flummoxed, til mom, damn her soul, said “Oh that nice furniture!”
“Exactly!’ Rena pronounced.
I stood up and said, “With all our denominations clear, and out in the open, I say, ‘tis time to go’ “
That was dad’s favorite way to get out of shit ,and he backed me.
He stood and said, formally, “Miss Oblong, you are always welcome here. You are a delightful addition to my high school, and…dare I say..our family. Best be with you. Uh, how do you Quakers end things?”
“George, sit down, now!” said Mother, whose mother had bequeathed a Shaker table to her. It was in the den, near the television. She put her tiny glass of Chablis on it, as she watched cnn and msnbc and Ophrah and the soaps every day.
“Sorry, el, “ dad said, deflating.He couldnt help add: "just askin'"
Rena got up and said, “George, no. I want to address what you said, there. “ she smoothed down her dirty skirt, adjusted her white blouse, kicked Joseph, and pronounced,
“We Shakers are an odd lot. We don’t approve of marriage, but we like to be inventive. Your son, a history student, recently gave me some ,ah,what for me are ‘treasured’, lost writings of our founders. He and I , we are going off to go over them. We gotta go over them, tonight.’
“Ah, understood,” Dad said.
Mom guffawed. “ well, miss oblong, don’t tax my son’s brain too much tonight. He needs it to bail his father out of trouble.”
Mom was referring to the bullying crisis at Dad’s high school.
“Oh, Eleanor, I would never!” Rena said and hugged mom. Mom is not used to being hugged, to say the least, but accepted it.
“Jim!” he said, alert.
“Don’t hassle mom.”
‘’Okey dokey, Jim . Have a good night with your theological problem. Remember we got a meeting tomorrow, though, “ he said, eyeing the last remnants of that godforsaken ham.
BACKSTORY FOR BLAKE QUOTE:
As I was walking among the fires
of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments
of Genius, which to Angels look like
torment and insanity, I collected some
of their proverbs, thinking that as the
sayings used in a nation mark its
character, so the proverbs of Hell show
the nature of infernal wisdom
Out the door, the treefrogs singing, no canines dogging her, Rena threw her arms to the night coolness and said, “Hope your tummy isn’t that full.”
It was, but I said, “Why?”
“whole lotta shakin gotta be goin on.”
She snorted and said, “what are you, a three yr old? ‘why why’ “
“Oh, sort of. Mend me. Initiate me into yr family’s rituals…”
Joseph’s ancient face at the door haunted me…….
This is shown in the Gospel, where
he prays to the Father to send the
Comforter or desire that Reason may
have ideas to build on, the Jehovah
of the Bible being no other than he
who dwells in flaming fire. Know
that after Christ's death he became
But in Milton, the Father is Destiny,
the Son a ratio of the five senses, and
the Holy Ghost vacuum !
The cut worm forgives the plough.
Dip him in the river who loves
A fool sees not the same tree that a
wise man sees.
He whose face gives no light shall
never become a star.
for KEIKO ALVAREZ: