Sunday, April 12, 2009


I didn’t fully understand what I’d been told,
but galloped ahead. The lash I understood
to be the first step, unleashing and re-threading
of a turbo-charged hand-scallop. Next I hauled
the lanyard about two feet. Gave an extra six
inches for safety’s sake. No sweat. I broke for
five the better to appreciate and review what I’d
accomplished so proceeding would be smooth.

Hephaestus gimped by. Bullshit, he spat.
You know it, I echoed. Away he humped as
I renewed my purchase of the task. The pintle
chain was tangled, so I untangled. Applied grease
to the sever horns. Used a winch to tighten the wing
leader up to about the head of the weighted grim.
Nicely done. Then Aphrodite sashayed by,
diaphanous Aphrodite from payroll. I paused
to admire her magnificence. Her liquid rolling hips.
I jerked myself back. Again to my blackened paws

I drifted, gripped the south yaw, wound it once twice
thrice about the stud pin, extracted its center gort,
which I half-noted was missing several punts and
heavily pitted. This is where things began to go south.

I don’t know why I figured a compass trout was plugged or
that I could re-route the trundle-set anyway. I pushed
at it hard, using my hips against its frontal globe.
Across the shop floor, reflected in the walk-in freezer door,
I could see it, the grind prop sheathing in then out,
far into the dock-niche. Suddenly in one long
loud unforgiving crack the whole thing shuddered
to a sickening end-stop. Silence like a flood. My heart
the single pump. Just then Hephaestus leered
around the corner. How he lived for
this kind of shit. Guys blowing it, fucking up.

All I could think to keep myself from losing it
was Aphrodite, transcendent Aphrodite,
acutely sweetly imperiled, while I balanced on a trireme’s
oar-lock tearing my coarse shirt, set to leap overboard
to save her from that vast tumult of wild dark water.

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