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Dawn Wilson

 

Atlas, Holding Out

 

Inside the library, they’re demolishing the world.

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Before the apples, before the oranges, the first thing to go is you. Bow before the tribunal masks, faceless; powerful faceless. Anti-eyes, anti-nose.

Anti-ayes, anti-nays.

Faceless earless voiceless. Knose.

Where nose, who knose? I ear nothing.

Save the world, it’s already gone, the out-of-date globe, the sitter sans child, life without a force. The forklift comes. The wrecking ball. The Jehovah’s Witness. The pinball machine. The tattoo. Pick your poison, liver boy, you’re on the outs, the slide down, the eightieth level of Hell. Gamers, they make more levels out of everything.

Inside the library, where there used to be books, there are pockmarks. There are scars. There are safety gates and wishbones. There’s a triceratops, who is lost, and weeping and doesn’t want to be a vegetarian anymore, not with these sweet smelling tasting soft humans in leather chairs, feet propped.

Chancellors and scholars of laugh-induction, clowns wearing shoulder pads and pointy shoes. The big men. Im-poh-tent.

Slapping their knees. Scoffing. Playing canasta, playing Bon Jovi, throwing the book at you, hitting you in the face, paper cuts and lies.

You can be a pain in the ass when no one’s sat down in a decade, full of light bulb changing blueprint righteous indignation factual truths display glass practicality. A woman tattoos your paper cut to eyelid, stops, refuses to continue if you insist on speaking your mind.

“Speak someone else’s mind,” the Grand Chancellor suggests. Bowtie and shot put and Yard Dart king. Rubs his chin. “Opinions. Half-a-penny per ounce. Give me two.”

Someday the self-defrost will get their hides. A moment they forget to control.

The triumvirate of grand delusions light facts afire; penguins, lemmings, women dive from the platform, make way who’s next bow down stretch neck sharp axe.

The Chancellor, hard head, hard on, gets off on the demons, the destruction, his wife, other men’s wives, and a pot full of stew. Anything that’s hot, bothered, controversial. He pulls out his phone, his bubonic rat, and a tattered black book filled with names. He spent years as the CEO of Hell, taking names. Loved every minute of it, scorched-ass.

“Why am I here?” you ask.

Scoffs and indignation and slow-cooked roast rumps, cards, flamenco, diversions. “Everyone says that.”

“Don’t they?”

“Yes.”

“We agree.”

Under the library lie catacombs of the indispensable shunted away, that’s where you’ll find tears of every meaning diluting themselves. Once a thing is gone, you can’t cry for it, Argentina, book god, treble voiced lollipop man. But you can sure try.

 

 

Dawn Wilson: Arecent graduate of the Bath Spa University MA in creative writing in Bath, England, Dawn Wilson’s short stories have been published in Shoots, Some of Its Parts, and Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, Rabbit Catastrophe Review and Liquid Imagination.

 

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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014