Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Bad Magician And The Viper President


The Bad Magician cut his brain on a sharp thought, and blood trickled on his memory plain. “I don’t want to go,” said the blood, which ran along his skin and made a river to a logical hole at the end of his influence. Inside the hole, the blood crept in increments and vanished. The Bad Magician made the room large and walked through the hole, his country colliding in the rocks of the darkness, his country gone. The blood was gone too. “I will go,” The Bad Magician sighed.

Arrive: Blood seeks the eyelids of Dick Cheney just as he steers his swivel chair to face Death, who stands at the dark glass and grins. “I got to tell you, Jesus is a spy,” says Cheney, and Death shakes his skull, turns, makes a hollow sound. The Bad Magician sees his blood seep in the office door, and bead like mercury across the carpet, climbing the desk, peering up at pale Cheney. “You are no good to me,” the Vice President mumbles, and stands on his chair, his arts like shattered glass, his mother looks at him from a farm. “Dick, come in now, you’ll get a cold,” she says, her face smeared with dirt and sorrow. Cheney winces, hard, like a nerve turned into rusted iron. “Mom? Mom?,” he calls, but Death makes hard the distance. “I own you,” whispered Death. The Bad Magician’s blood, rising up on the desk, curdles in the screaming. Death sniffs the air.

“It’s hard to live when the clock ticks so loud, don’t you think?” asks Death. Cheney clutches his hand, keeps it from his chest. There would be no feeling today. The Bad Magician’s blood inched its way across the desk, rose up, become a bronco, yee haw. Its hooves clapped the hard wood desktop, first a hard clop, then a p-nac, p-nac, p-nac. Dick brought his fist down, and Vietnam exploded in his brain. The mud, the helicopters, hookers, scotch, drums, screams, p-nac, p-nac, p-nac, bullets, shrapnel, napalm, running wounded everywhere, burning trees, burning houses, burning people, smoke rises, the smell of burning skin, p-nac, p-nac, p-nac. “No fucking way,” yells Dick. Death reaches to touch him, but stops. Cheney reaches forth to touch Death, but stops. The Bad Magician walks upside down on their agreement, sits on the contours of Cheney’s arteries, dislodges plaque with a scraper. The VP loses an eye to entropy, his mouth struggles downward: Vietnam is everywhere. Vietnam has his eye. “Who are these people? What is this shit?” cries the Viper President, elongating, serpentine, the hole in his lizard head a portal as he slithers off his chair. The Bad Magician’s blood becomes a mongoose, shoots in the hole, and subsumes the argument. Cheney sees God and fires Him. The room is gone. "I don't have to learn, you bastards! I don't have to see!" Cheney yells, his mouth open wide to swallow the past.

The Bad Magician calls his blood, and smoke rises from the Viper President: it pauses, turns red, dissipates. Dick Cheney's mother still calls to him: “Dick, come in now, you’ll get a cold,” cries the mother. “Come in, my little man.” The snake hisses.

The Bad Magician takes his blood in precious anguish and flies away.


Image of North Vietnamese King Cobra snake from here.


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