Dearest Reader:

How are you? Here in the writing department we’re doing ok. We’ve doing gravy. Speaking of gravy, and of non sequitur, Charles has been making some ventures into autobiographical prose-etry (prose poetry) recently. The product? This. See This.

–The Writers



“See This” by Charles

See this; there is a bee. See the bee floating above the rugged tuffs of grass, blades and strands from variant species and taxa. See the pleated and flat weeds spread vindictively over the uneven ground, puff-ball plants, dandelions, goosegrass, spurge. The dirt is cracked and hard as you sit there, gray or tannish brown, left exposed where the grass no longer grows. See the clover snaking, intaglio and viral between the uncut spears of green blade, not a lucky one here. See the moss and sphagnum clustered between tufts of verdant green, luminous jade and alien yellow, swamp-like, seeming as though the whole ground will sink into it. Upon all of this fall leaves dry and frayed, palimpsest of summer, papery substitutes for the real thing. Pick one up. Hold its veiny matrix in your hand, the demon curls of edges insubstantial and decayed. See the holes where once was structure.

See this, here; there is ivy. There is ivy grown along the stone wall to your immediate right, dark green whirls eating away at porous white stone. It covers one third, perhaps two fifths of the wall—once only a bundle near the corner, now voluminous and adulterating of stone. See the thick bundle where the wasps’ nest was the summer of your fourth grade year, hidden away, sinisterly obscured, like an event just waiting to happen, Cassandra-preached, unknowable. See the spot where you hit the kickball that summer day, the ball rolled by your brother’s hands down to the invisible home plate—the other bases marked with toy shields from California’s LEGO Land. First base was so worn from progress that the patch underneath faded to dead brown dirt. See the ball soaring over the plate toward second base, slighted along first base line until it curved suddenly northward. You go to retrieve the ball after the kick—a grand slam for your ghost runners previously stranded on second, third, and first. See the ball nestled in the heart-shaped leaves of ivy. Its form is large and spangled, sunny yellow and lollypop red, possibly another primary color or secondary combinations of two.

See the wasps; no. The wasps see you before you see them. Hear their high-rotary roar, the subliminal wisps of almost-words, frizzy buzz. Feel the fiery swarm, six or seven of the yellow-black pill shaped things. They are on your head and neck, one on an outstretched hand. You have already begun to run.

At the house’s screen door you knock and slam. You open the door and charge in. Before you know it Dad is there with a broom swinging at the air with its green-white bristles. A few of them are still on you. Your mother runs in screaming, Windex bottle in hand, the spray’s liquid coolly blue, spraying at the insects as a crazed wasp-killing woman. There is one still in your hair that she picks out like a tick and crushes between thumb and forefinger. See the dead grass before you. Now. Sickly yellow, egg-shell brittle. See the patches where grass used to be.

You sat in bed that night, throbbing at head, neck and hand. There was a bite on your skull’s thin top, two on your arm, one on the right hand between index and middle finger. Feel the pain pulse, off and on, off and on, in synch with heart beat and each passing thought. Feel the turgid icepack on your arm, numbing and stolid. Simply there. In the morning you awoke, and all the pain was gone. The swollen red had dulled to pink. Even in a day the bites are gone, imperceptible. See here; see the lawn. See this.