Six times Six--Likelihoods

I am used, she thinks. Hands calloused, burnt—I am used, she thinks again, and coughs, grins, and clenches her teeth. I am clenching my teeth, she thinks. The plate cracks. She is washing dishes. She throws it against the wall, the rest of it. Tighter, she mutters. You can’t put your fucking feet here, she screams suddenly, shrieks, say—she is washing dishes. There ain’t nobody here, she decides, mutters, confused, smoking. Old, thin, pale, malnourished, yellow. I look yellow. The sun is yellow. I don’t look like that. You ugly goat, he says, smiles, laughs, comes in loud, yes, belligerent, classic and unimaginative. He slaps her on the ass. Hard, iron, and weak. Drinking and drinking. She is worthless, he will say later, drunk, exhausted, removed.

He would not consider potential, possibility. Recognize principle or action or quality of worth—coming of worth. Ambitious, quite ambitious. No, the opposite, she proposes, stretching, stretching, in class. A proposal. Angst, meager. I only want to know the odds, the chance, you know, the number. Four, I have four children. Squatting, stretching. There are characters missing, she mentions, but not on purpose, yes, accidental, for a later correction, edit. So intentional? She blushes, coy, cute. Empathize with her, the instructor supposes, intentional? Again, she blushes, perhaps intentional, he decides. How many years? The whole time. Questions vary in difficulty, some much more frequent and common others rare and seldom chosen, presented. Physical violence, sure, yes, of course. Coarse. Yes, of course. Quick. Emotional violence? Do you really know, sure, I suppose, I don’t know, I suppose. Weakening, no longer blushing, undressed. Panting, erect, solid, singular—and solidarity, of course, the union. Forward, subservient. Verbal abuse? Yes, yes, of course, I mean from what it seems. Aroused. Re-crossing and un-crossing, tempted, sneaking, the small built of skin against the sock, perhaps, not only the sock. She fiddles, with herself, occasionally. No, not often, no not often. He is working. Quick, at ease, aggressive, though. Aggressive.

She is preoccupied, suddenly preoccupied. It is black night. The moon is disappeared. She is preoccupied, the moon is disappeared. He slaps her again. She is washing dishes, only washing dishes. Exercises in human mood, arrival and departure, back and forth, up and down, hard, simple, engage, sweat, sweet, exercises in containment, repress. Press close, firm, it is black night. It is black at night. She is washing dishes. I am used, she thinks again. Thinks back, back into teaching, there was a full sentence, all of it, a thought, a person. Tall and thin and proper and well mannered and manicured and warm. Warm and not wet. Thin and proper? The concern?

Of course. The average adjustment period to a predatory lifestyle, an antisocial lifestyle, is not measured by time but by degree of exposure and age of participant. He is six. Six times six equals thirty-six. A formula, an average, it is not a guarantee. Smile, confident, repress. He is suitable, ignorant. Like apples and cinnamon and holiday. A formula, a statistic. Three out of five, even four out of five. Not real participants or real people. No, just a guess. A reasoned guess. Sure. Very little danger. Of course. Red.

You have a 36x chance of being violent and in jail in two years. It is probably even higher now. Consider the other conditions. Loss of electricity, heat, gas. Yes, higher. Mathematics, statistics. A murderer. The likelihood of snow on Friday. The likelihood of snow on a holiday. The farmer’s almanac. It is three out of five or two out of five. It snows on Friday. Yes, of course, it snows on Friday. The likelihood it will snow on Saturday. Three out of five, one out of five. Four out of five. There are only five people here. She is crying. Washing dishes. The plate breaks. Warm, wet, cold, dry.


Tyson Media Inc

The openings were important, practical, imposing: Large. The eggs were white. The smallest river inside the colonial jurisdiction was Prudence. They named a river prudence? Hank: short, balding, typical, forgetting, noticeably forgotten—he asked the question, coy, out of place. The media staged a sit-in, refused to report unless given advance opinions and stories. ESP, Hinton muttered. Fucking ESP. The sports channel? Yeah, the sports channel. The eggs cracked and small rapid dinosaurs appeared, waddled. They had beaks like ducks. No, she whispered, they taped their cameras to the ceiling. This is an advanced story. Not advanced—advance, you know before it happens.

And that was just the end of the world.

The trash agency enlisted local and then national support for their campaign. Volunteers then members then citizens. Citizens decidedly against (anti) the missile defense system, the homeless shelter initiative, and the world education platform. In a sprint, the agency, the trash agency, unlike the hollywood spin-offs, was actually the trash agency. Zealots circling the islands to the north and the south. You see: the earth was flat.

Like a piece of toast.

The earth was flat and burnt? That is ESP, Hannah agreed. Her camera was on the ceiling. She was eaten by dinosaurs, small rapid dinosaurs. No, the agency enlisted volunteers and they found an island, it is the end of the earth. The earth is flat. They are peeling back time and depositing trash, Sal mentioned, casually, awkwardly, un-athletic. A trainer, then a lifter, then, later, agile, a telecommunicator. Sounds important, significant, vital. Large, Henry states. It would be large. A grand opening of a media tycoon’s firm, property, publication. Like a watermelon. She giggled because she is fat and unused and expendable. Written over, Lilly suggests.

No, the investment was wise. It is nothing past the fifth island, Dan noted. Nothing? Well, an edge and then nothing—nothing at all. Peel back the earth and put the trash there then. It wasn’t a question, a pondering insecurity. No, peel back the earth. It is the way to time travel. If the earth is flat. The earth is flat. It erases the time and now it’s being peeled back. Yes, because of the trash. She was dense, too dense. She taped her camera to the ceiling.

ESP isn’t really a gift. Unless the sun is suddenly attracted to the earth and comes spinning and sprinting out of space. The eggs are white. The eggs weren’t ever white. There isn’t anything under the trash and still they are peeling it back. George detaches his camera from the ceiling and tapes the dinosaurs eating the other reporters. The openings were huge and important:



we rounded up the wind and put it in a coral.

we took turns pushing swings toward the sun, then back.

you bruised your face and it looked like a very beautiful sunrise. you decide you like it better that way, but it won't stay.

"That," said Dad, "is life."


we had chores:

-the rotten vegetables go to the compost

-wash and wipe the windows with windex

-write one a story each day


Story 1:

The lizard swam back in forth in the bathtub. "Iguana," he corrected, and she made a mental note. They never had pets like this before. Both of them, Sam and Spike, had strange eyes and moved like little dinosaurs. When they died quick and in sucession, the father buried them in the backyard and said, "They weren't good pets."


we cleaned up after ourselves and never ate breakfast late. we tried our best to be ourselves but it was hard sometimes, to know how to be. "If I am not myself, who am I?" you asked. We played a game called Pretend and Pretended to be: robots; soldiers; people in space; monsters; families; princes and knights. At night we dreamt of looney tunes and for one week I accurately foresaw which episode they would run next, right there in bed. You said, "What if you only get so much psychic power, and you used yours all up?" We laughed and laughed and maybe it was true.


Story 2:

He wished for a toy. He wished for a game to play on his computer. He wished to kiss Kate, Jenny, and Kerrie. He wished to not move away, it was hard enough to find a friend the first time. He was very worried that if he said the wish the wrong way that the universe would interpret his words wrong.

Years later, he saw how the wish, as he worded it, was the problem all along.


If Dad had been a writer, owned a laundromat, worked at a pet store, what might have been? He tried all those things, plus selling disposable dental tools, and digital clocks w/letter opener. What if you only get so much time, and then you use it all up? It was hard to be yourself in our house. When we Pretended Sam and Spike were pets, they died and no wishing brought them back. Sometimes Dad spoke and it was like lightning; sometimes we whispered our secrets and they were like a wind, with nowhere to blow but between the four walls he bought for us -- as he changed time to chores for money so we could be warm, watch TV, and dream of who we might be...


The whore of the Horror Plunge

She shows leg. She shows her leg. This is the divorce. Oh, porter! Oh, porter! This is the divorce stage. The early stage. The first time she is engaged in divorce and socially, most appropriately, the last--oh, I apologize, the final. She is american, like the flag is american, like the colors, they too, like they too are american. They are all american. America, Gus mentions, casually: Porter! Porter!

It was a sitcom, the first run through was a sitcom, a love story. She was pretty and short and....no, again: she was pretty and tall and lean and blonde and he was strong and firm and rational....no, again: he was an uncut statue, a human hero, a roman undug congressman. Oh, the Roman's were, yes, were so romantic.

She is on her pill, again, broke, peppered by the whistle, the church bells, anything spiritual at all. Any state leader, moderator, would be encouraged by the moderate music of fidelity. Ah, there is a heroine. She, yes, yes, the she that is completely compelled to be herself is indeed herself!

She shows leg and she attracts attention. There are only three million women in New York City and most of them are not attracted by other women. I am not competing with the other women, Hank insists but the color of the sun, like the color of the earth, is suggesting, perhaps erotically: we were erotic, we were sexual, we were un-crying men, we were loving ourselves, ourselves were so much to be loved--SHE SHOWED HER LEG.

Exposed: finally, exacted, flaunt! flaunt! She has no longer caught our curiousity. There are three million men in New York City and they are not interested in the woman who shows her leg. However, however, simply exhilirated, angered, exasperated, TORN. The whore of the male's animal plunge. The whore of the male and his animal plunge.

The horror of the plunge. I am just a show of my leg anyway, she wrote and she was not upset, not at all.


The reasons for the seas were lost in long lines coiled and made into the letters A G C T under our skin. "CAT G?" She asked and laughed. "Like a gansta?" But it was only sort of funny. The clouds kept circling the earth, vultures kept to the deserts and eagles were scarcer and scarcer in America. I saw one once, in a small nest, stuffed and waiting for her egg to hatch. "Momma eagle on a Grecian urn, huh?" But it was not funny.

When we were kids she said, "Heaven is like a white line on white paper," and we thought about that for a while before Bob Dylan came on the readio & told us not to think twice. So we kissed, and I walked back home on the empty night roads for the first time in my life. "Click, click," said the traffic lights. Later I would spend many nights on Walnut Street, high and hungover, listening to the lights after a day of school and talking calmly to pedophiles. What was their reason? And what about their victims?

Can you spell evil with four letters?

"L-I-V-E," said Tommy. "I LIVE in a house."

Good job, Tommy. What else can you spell?

"Lots of things!"

Then he would be alright. The ones who worried me were the bad spellers, the kids who didn't know where they lived and couldn't tell you who lived with them anyway. Like Marshall.

"Oh, you're always thinking about Marshall," she said. "Marhsall Marshall Marshall." Then she looked sad. I don't blame her, though. I try to be present, try to stay in the HERE and NOW and not the SOMEWHERE back THEN, or worse, wander off into A LONG TIME AGO...

Can you spell LIVE?

"Nah, I no good at spellin."

What are you good at?


You want to rap for me?


You sure?

"Mmn, ok." "Freestyle. You write it for me?" Marshall's eyes were very white, and he did not smell very good.

You want me to write down what you say?

"Mmn, yeah. Ready?"



All I need in this world is my bitch, my bitch
My glock nine, my fo five
My shotgun, I'll kill you nigga

All I need in this world is my bitch, my bitch
My glock nine, my fo five
My shotgun, I'll kill you nigga


"Wait, you wrote that down for him?" She looked worried. I didn't know Marshall was stealing from someone, a grown man who got paid plenty for the rhymes I made him change. When we spelled out the new words togther, Marshall tried his best to sound them out; but he didn't have the same letters in his brain, they weren't hooked up to sound like A is A and G is G. So mostly I did the spelling. Later, you know, later he---

"I know, Adam, I know." And took my hand.

She already knew this story.


Sometimes our memories circle round us and we are in the desert; sometimes we circle around them. The egg won't hatch, it's made of plaster, and anyway there is no Momma Eagle, no Grecian Urn, and truth is not the reason for the sea or what one man does to a boy with his body, or through the radio, or in a quiet office 17 floors above a street named for a beautiful tree. "You're nuts about walnuts," she said.

And that, we both agreed, was really funny.

She was Weepy

He is accostomed to drinking, to binging really. "Unequal abilities actually," notes his wife, Lucy, mild, engaging and periodically afraid. Recent nourishments and acts, while not merely alcohol, considerably improved his standing as most likely to be shot in the face while exiting Melvin's Southern Tavern and Restaurant. "He just has a loose tongue," yes, she remarks, unremarkably, his wife, his long standing wife, his companion, his life partner--she is attached, yes it is documented: attached. Lucy, oh Lucy, she was the athletic samaritan, lacrosse practice and then suicide hot-lines, soup kitchens, yes, yes, of course.

He was most likely to be shot in the face after muttering, indeed perhaps exclaiming, some outrageous claim of human evolution, some claim of familial fame. The bushes, the rose bushes, were an excuse, later an error on Lucy's fault. He seemed the gardening type but his disposition would not permit it, no, his daily habit, his routine, his lifestyle would not permit it. They were life partneres, remember and she was likely to console herself in medicines, cabinets, bathrooms. I am so weepy, she would say and indeed, she would think: and it is my birthday!

There are seldom reasons to excuse the nature of a predator. Escalations do not occur. There is no breaking point--it is always breaking. The owner of Melvin's Southern Tavern did not encourage the action of the man. "The engagement, the future engagement, was more like a promise than a dare," he was quoted as saying. Someone overheard him. It was more like a promise.

"What a way for him to exhale," Lucy said later. He was shot in the face coming out of a tavern because of a dare--no it was a promise. He was prone to binges and they were aggressive binges. There is little but personal attacks at the end of binges. "I hate myself," he said before he died. And Lucy was weeping, right there in front of Melvin's Southern Tavern. She was weeping and she felt very weepy.


the just dead

The madness, least of all, even, un-split, unequivocal sexuality. There were, to count, on the various introductions, five, perhaps even six, inappropriate gestures, slang interventions. Cruel to the least of the un-observant. Unquick? Yes, his reply. Unquick? By chance, evening prayers, morning breakfast, state-house reply. Unquick? Yes, his reply—not un-quick? No, sir. Not here, corrected and verbally confirmed. By voice? Again, perhaps. The uneasy, the squirmy, the wobbly protest, meager, feeble, junky—protest! The junky protest, all of them, the addicts, the depth chart five, addicts, unfounded in the undiscovered……Yes….the wraps, by chance, indeed, by chance, find the wraps:

They are buried after they are massacred, slaughtered, murdered—or just dead, correct? Yes, or just dead. Or they are buried, simply buried. Regardless. Yes. But not suicide?

Not suicide?

No, even suicide. It is beginning to assume that the new leadership will conduct a thorough investigation into the nature of suicide, in a very scientific and progressive manner and in which (of course conclusions are not yet obtained nor in any way pretend to be leaked nor coerced in this statement) the full truth of the all apparently assisted suicides will be appropriately assessed. We believe, of course...of course...

The madness, least of all, even, un-split unequivocal sexuality. She was, to name a few, an exceptional woman. In the midst of unnatural confusion, brought on by the surgical error of one senior physician at General Memorial, there was no accurate analysis, no final and conclusive data, on her final—junky! Yes, she was a junky, a split up and torn up junky. And she will remember that, peacefully, but far from suicidal in her intent, far from intending suicide—from wanting suicide.

They are massacred, slaughtered, murdered—no, they are just dead.