Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a Fine Line by Jonathan Regier

after Tones are lickin' under by JKD, Approach Misled (Translation) by Sue Chenette, Distillations by Geo Vance, The Music by JW, The Greyhound

In the city night, it looks like a fine line one hundred kilometers away. It has nothing to do with the laws of perspective: it looks like a fine line up close. A homunculus is riding his bike along the line.

I ask him, "Are you a Virtue, a Cherub, or one of the tribe of Seraphim that hide their multitudinous eyes behind peacock feathers?"

Falling off his bike, he shouts, "Be quiet! I'm not far away. It is a ... 'fickle gulf'!"

When he says, 'fickle gulf', the heavens shake as if a tremendous Scrabble piece had been turned over. I cover my head, running to the shelter of a nearby tree.

The next evening, I understand the situation better. It was indeed one from the class of Virtues that I met last night. They must be so tiny because of the very fine lines that they navigate in the world. The winds doth rattle the hand: one must slide one's finger along the creases of the petal or dangerously lose the sense.

The next evening, I approach him from far away. (Although it's difficult to know when I've gotten close enough, because he doesn't change size.)

I holler, "Orchidblues!" A storm cloud appears beside his head. A yellow bolt of lightening pops from the cloud and shocks his hat, and all the felt and stuffing explode.

He looks up at me with terror. He begins racing along his fine line.

"'Hello-tropic'! 'Hype the love'!" (I'd prepared all of these that morning, noting them on a morsel of graph paper that I folded up in my pocket.) A milk truck flies out of the intersection with its horn running so fast and long that the doppler effect puts a shiver in my spine.

I laugh deeply and bellow, "Thou dost ride thy bike like Job himself!" Then: " 'Please relax', 'Shaft of salad', 'Writing about snow'" . . .

A greyhound--which had been hitherto the stone adornment of an ancient fireplace--springs to life and speeds alongside him.

"The spheres turn and comets whizzz, but nothing can out-pace the greyhound! He is faster than television, he is the fastest of all the arts! He is faster still than even Virtue!"

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