Of Book III Of Kloss’s Abraham of Alligators Of
[*N.B. Every word herein is Kloss’s word; I have merely rearranged and erased and added appropriated images.]
In those times you lived in a city rimmed red with flame,
translated into extinct languages,
you wandered this civilization until you found the long collapse and now
you said, “I found the corpses of many men inside,” and you said, “but I found no living men.”
No living men.
No living men.
And at parties…
At parties you drank their daughters to explosions,
which now seemed the only moment you had ever known.
you summoned her curves
her lips her
the pungent brown
slender of the glow
below her legs
until the sky swelled
below her lips
bloodied, spattered askew
below her tongue and there below
And when shore was sighted you stood on deck with this woman in the chill, overlooking what seemed a landscape
“Yes, I feel the unpaid huddled in your midst, your men erected.”
And you smoked cigars on the edge of the camp and, in the evenings, kerosene lamps and
candles cast shadows
onto the walls while all dined on oysters and stew and venison and rabbit and seal and peach pie and apple pie and whisky and wines and children.
And you and this woman
spread glimmer, and ice dangled while
the unpaid glow of faces obscured your crystals
and your eyes swam
with faces red and haunted
through another encampment.
And the keepers watched you and
you burned these pages and your men
drank their fury and their loneliness
in the kerosene light and
lay awake, watching
the flickering of flesh in bottomless
pages blurred beneath you
as you slept like skeletons
buried beneath a swirling cloud, and you said
“Cut them off,” you said of this man’s legs, “Cut them off.”
And now in the gloom
the unpaid women
thumped and howled
and moaned, clutching pen knives
and burlap sacks.
And when you told the women in your bed
they called you “Master.”
The dead became hillsides of snow sizzling on heated skillets, and none dared turn down these new food stuffs.
How she wept for those dead unpaid
animals pressed to her throat
who could not be killed
above the cities
along the plains
and to the coasts of the land that once invited death or murder.
When the sky seemed
this man gestured
to his wall of television sets and said,
and he said,
and they answered.
And here hillsides of alligators make sounds.
Here company men hoisted poles
until they stood upright,
“Are there bodies in all of these?”
and you said, “become a cacophony”
and you gestured to the tallest hillside
and they mouthed the word
and you continued
and smeared upon these pages were formulas and diagrams and paragraphs composed in an almost perfect calligraphy, although the language seemed unreadable:
Through corridors lined with torches he said,
“I will outlive you by a thousand generations.”
He said and he said and he said and said and said,
“I will exterminate your seed.”
Christopher Higgs authored The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney (Sator Press) and assembled ONE, in collaboration with Vanessa Place and Blake Butler (Roof Books, 2012). He teaches literature at Florida State University, and curates the online art gallery Bright Stupid Confetti. Find out more by visiting: www.christopherhiggs.org