Shadows of Mars II

Today (February 11th)  is what I call my second birthday, the date I was officially brought home by my folks after being adopted.  So I celebrated today by getting into SAG-AFTRA.  I think it’s the best birthday gift I’ve given myself in quite a while.  Today is also Burt Reynolds and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s birthday, a snazzy showbiz combo.   One day someone will write this about me, especially if end up appearing in Son of Smokey and the Bandit, which I am certain is being dreamed up as a reboot right now in a back office in Hollywood.

As I said last week, I’m starting to feel my way into a new novel; it takes a while to break in and bits and pieces are stumbling out. I’m sharing the process just for something different, a public record of the creative madness.

Somewhere along the line Horatio Wilson got married and didn’t know to whom.

He dreamt of a wedding but Horatio Wilson was not sentimental. It backed up the soul plumbing.

Broken pieces of each other rolled up into an edible sponge, to soak itself to joyful return to the invisible godhead’s front lawn shrubbery.


Inside his Inner Sanctum Heart, which he imagined as a Supercollider made of extinct, exotic flowers, plants and trees was a thorn bugle with lipstick around the tip and somewhere inside him he wondered whose lip prints they were.

            The thorn bugle was filled with primordial or maybe post-mordial caramel laced with sounds that he did not recognize and when his heart beat off the path, which happened several hundred times a day, it would jar that thorn and send a pranhic surge with bits of the sounds that caused Horatio to jerk quickly and drop a lot of forks for no apparent reason. But the sounds began to unravel and smooth out and he began to hear a music and then it would stop when the missing lips were discovered, as if the thorn bugle were built around the lipstick and so the missing lips were the only soil that could fully unravel what it held for what could be lonesome centuries.   This horrified Horatio, that he didn’t really belong to himself. Or even God or the twelfth intergalactic council of whoever really runs the show on Earth. He belonged to her. And he didn’t recognize the lips and so, without fully knowing why, Horatio, on this latest Valentine’s Day, a day when he usually felt like abducting the CEO of Hallmark Channel and forcing him or her to watch their own movies until a five gallon whiskey loneliness broke them down until they became a character in a Tom Waits song, instead made an inventory of all the women he loved, could have loved, wanted to love, anyone that left even a fake phone number on his bathroom stall, he wrote them all down starting while taking a bath. If he had a hunch about past lives, he did that too. It took several hoursand was an exercise in forensics, housecleaning, maneuvering through a hundred wombs to get to a broken paradise where they first met.

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