The Burns | Teen Ink

The Burns

May 29, 2011
By DerClogger BRONZE, Jefferson City, Missouri
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DerClogger BRONZE, Jefferson City, Missouri
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Author's note: This piece is an experiment in postmodern literature. I m using it as a framing device for almost verse quality writing. It also embodies that distinct category of the anti-novel. Focused more on form and feeling rather than plot, it offers a change of pace to stories driven by characters and plot. This is an experiment in stories driven by mental streams and ideas.

I knew that I couldn’t have kept them outta my pillbox; God knows they need some of those damn morals. I can’t be playing their Jesus-man until the sun sets on Sodom and Gomorrah those bioluminescent wonderlands of the East Coast skyline. Atlantic dopamine feelers keep on striking up in my cottage and goddamn I gotta get away. Jumping snuffs to train cars and billowing nimbus across Midwestern wastelands, I’m sure by now that they’re all chasing me away. Something in the trash-smoke keeps on whispering in my ear and by God I gotta grab that salvation by the throat. --“Next stop Chicago (go to Hell) Lake Michigan right up there that’s a nice place I went there with my wife one time. Take a swim around (f*** you) have a ball go play you some a that fancy jazz music they’re always talking about. – Conductor Some loudspeaker telling me what I gotta do. Gods and wise-ass cowboys keep on offering their advice everywhere I turn with their gelled-up hats and sunflower smiles. Bums and dreamers offer me the latest whiff of lace-closed repression from the backseat toilets and anal back alleys full of s***—“I got the Pills already. F*** off.”—And I gotta back up to stop ‘em blowing over. Maybe if they had some of those Angels they’d stay cool with me. I gotta have ‘em coming back for more and I never have enough—“Goddamn it can’t they get their own? Some things just gotta fix themselves! JESUS christ won’t you go cut that speaker s***? Come back up in Boston and don’t forget to leave a note; I like to solve up the town.” —And they keep on coming for my Angels. --“Ticket?” – Conductor --“Goddamn can’t you give me a minute? This train’s not even halfway to Chicago and I got you striking around my seat. Nothing I’d like more than to end it all you know; jump that track and head into Oblivion… And keep on going up until Boston… Solving up the whole city and striking down to Florida… That’s the stuff, you know?” – Mr. Pill --“Ticket?” – Conductor --“Solve that! You know I gotta find this Doctor you heard of him? Dr. Doctor… Good stuff he’s the one with the Angels at least that’s what I’ve heard up around Boulder. Damn magician killing off my moral center! Take some of that… Go strike up someone else leave me alone until Chicago… No tickets on this ride!” – Mr. Pill --“(Solve this)” – Conductor Even ticket phantoms gotta live for something and they just go around striking up the guys until one of us puts up a conversation! He could’ve really used some Angels. Take a little edge off. Put some of that texture back into the closet and age it finely that’s where I’ll be. Total cosmic shells keep on hatching backwards of my mind and its all I gotta do to keep them incubating fine—“Texture that ticket suiter. Why don’t you go take Lake Michigan’s ticket she told me she had a special surprise for you go jump in and find out we’ll wait out in Boston.” —Solve that ghost keeps floating around scaring the s*** out of all the old folks in the cabin once over. He had a chance, now it’s time for Mr. Pill. Nothing left until Boston but popping Angels by those ancient gastric methods perfected by the Aztecs of junk (designers) and forever circulating my heavenly ecstasy! America was never so alive as when I felt Missouri breathing down my neck and I turned around to look him in the eye. MO (postal worker extraordinaire) kept on begging for almighty kisses but the sending’s gotta keep sparks outta the pillbox. One or two of them kept on walking by my little side-booth. They kept on asking me—“Hey can I get some Angels? I hear you got Angels. Can’t you spare an Angel?”—They’re all bogged down on the morals! I just tell them f*** off go buy yourself a Bible and pray you live forever. Angels could give a s*** now. Goddamn riders kept up bickering and heavening all across my train car until God Himself couldn’t have resisted any longer. --“Take your damn Angels you filthy trashers go solve yourselves some moral issues and forget about ever feeling sorry again!” – Mr. Pill Hobbling away faster and ripping s*** outta pillboxes they kept silent for years. Scum and crusted over rustled up the courage to at last gastric down an Angel and for once in a long while never remember moral conundrums. I gotta be them next time, but not until I find the Doctor he’s gonna fill me up and my pillbox—“Angels and cream filling and flaky raindrops keep calling me back.” —He’s gonna strike me up and solve all over Boston. Keep on praying with me cause the Doctor’s coming. --“Chicago’s coming up fast you gotta look over there and see the towers (die). All that glass makes you feel like you’re on the air I took my kids up there they told me they loved it you gotta go up there next time you’re passing through (f*** off).” – Conductor Chicago’s no Boston at least they said so last time. But goddamn it tickets train keeps on coming back—“I’m going to Boston you wait until then and I’ll give you my tickets… You ever heard of that Doctor I told you about? I heard he’s a druggist Angel… Keeps right on mixing all up and down Heaven… Bet you couldn’t do that you little b****.” —Tickets withheld and trains still moving. --“Hey can’t you spare an Angel?” – Bum --“Angels for the heavens… I gave some Angels out just ago go find some… I’m not made of Angels… Maybe you gotta go buy a Bible sort out your affairs you know go pray up a church… Solve that cathedral you’ll get an Angel something.” – Mr. Pill --“Just a little something outta the pillbox.” – Bum --“Loop back and go train somewhere else! You can’t just strike around trying to solve yourself up a little Angel… Gotta pray hard be a good little Christian boy maybe then you can drop the s*** live forever. Hobble back down take a breather from your life and go rest sleep (dream) in your little cabin wagon.” – Mr. Pill --“S***!” – Bum And the weary masses retired spewing prayers and psalms to Heaven those infernal pawns of earthly desire. Walking around night cars and spinning awful webs in the intermittent boxcars, they keep up the chatting about the old days of godawful war centuries old: --“I musta killed fifty of ‘em in that one day and who knows how many sandwiches I lost tryin to ‘member how to knife that f*er.” – Vet1 --“Them filthy ants kept one coming and shooting and rocking this world all over to the bone! I gotta get me some peace from that s***hole.” – Vet2 Damn old vets can’t think of how many men in some clockwork battalion but fondly recall the tender way the bedding was assigned and the s*** was hauled to every heap. They were the enemies you were the enemy I was the enemy. Goddamn memory kept on leaving them how they gonna solve anything if they gotta play it by the pieces? I had enough vets to live forever in that train—“Damn me if they aren’t the anatomical bunch. Here stop that. Put it away! These damn wannabe flamers keep on burning rubble!”—I heard we were stopping Sodom by midnight. Nothing running out to starlight symphonies. I got myself a carnal nocturne cued up and ready to key across some fresh piano thigh. But we keep on rolling through that Chicago grandeur and flow out past deserts and plains. There is nothing holding us away from the Heaven of Boston on the east. Cities of light and sin and forever ghosts. I keep on praying for Doctors and Angels and nothing much ever comes up but Boston. The rain kept on telling me that He was behind me and I never looked back save to kiss it all goodbye. But even the Doctor musta thought about us all once—“Nothing diseased here just all of us dreamers looking for an Angel. Come on won’t you drop us a prescription all we need is a break from those damn morals?”—And the respite never comes out. Goddamn physicians all taxing and prodding all they ever want is my dignity. Trying to solve me well I can’t just be finished like that you gotta take some time! The train keeps on moving east with my soul on board. I thought I mighta left it in Chicago but God knows I keep it in my sleeve. Now we stop at some roadside hole to drop s*** and think about time gone by. Now we take a break to water the plants of Ohio as their own people care more about technology. Now we eat our way through endless diners looking for that golden egg of America but never find it among those grease-ridden bug-infested down home wastelands of science and industry. Now we keep on chugging up ‘til Boston. --“Ticket?” – Conductor --“There you go yes I told you up near Boston we’d all give up tickets see how easy it was to wait? I mean nothing really matters much now that we’re goin to see the Doctor he’s gonna fix us up you know. You should stop by sometime you stay up in Boston. He’s got enough Angels to go around at least that’s what he told me in my dreams.” – Mr. Pill And we keep rolling up on Boston. Now we stop at some hotel God knows where—“Can’t we just keep on going Boston’s on the horizon I gotta get there soon! Offices and Doctors don’t live forever and they’re both waiting!”—But old folks still feel the need for sleep. Can’t sleep on the train who knows what’s in those shadows. But dreary hotels and bleak bedsheets call out for yet another consummation. Give them what they want it’ll make it easier on all of us. So through the night I gotta stay at this place striking up the lobby and solving the mysteries of late night Kabala. Fools keep on coming up to my chair asking for the time and where am I headed—“Nowhere really just Boston to find a Doctor.”—And no one wants any Angel. Something about these people makes me wanna live it up. Just go right up and strike up God in the soul of long lost cities. Boston would be so proud of all of us, I can’t even believe it. Man the Lots of America keep on going strong and never glancing back to check me out. All good cause I got nothing for them. This postmodern mess of Earth keeps blending up and leaving us almighty Americans out to dry. Just for once I wanna be liquefied and thrown up by Uncle Sam. But Hotels and Lobbies can’t satisfy a man forever he’s gotta get out and find life. I gotta get me a case in Boston no use trying to solve up America if I don’t have any cash! Maybe a good murder or a cyclone killer. Something vicious. I gotta detect something up in Boston. Doctor’s gotta have a clinic up there too I’ll see him there. Maybe he’s got something I can solve up a renegade Angel or something. That’d make him happy with me. --“Goddamn I gotta get to Boston. You got any Doctors around here?” – Mr. Pill --“Not that I am aware of. Do you have an ailment of some sort?” – Concierge --“Nothing but the Angels! You try to tell me that’s a sin I’ll call you liar and see how God loves ya. Ain’t no sin in trying to be Holy. Holy’s the way of the world can’t ever stop that. No Doctor’s gonna take away my salvation and damn him if he tries!” – Mr. Pill --“Are you an Angel?” – Concierge --“Hell I ain’t no Angel. You’re the Angel. Celestial and everything. You already got yourself some wings to match! Couldn’t you at least try to save me? Grab me a room I’m staying over suite rivers up in Heaven.” – Mr. Pill --“As you wish.” – Concierge I knew he was an Angel the whole time. A man gets a feeling around souls like that; salvations up. Strike that, Heaven’s around the corner. Nothing like solving that eternal life. Keep on walking stairs and all and you got yourself a flowing see. I felt that energy keep on billowing out from his shirt sleeves. Kept on asking me to give him some morals. Damn I gotta keep all the morals I got those Angels can’t last forever. Elevators keep being broken up and fire resistant. I’d have set this place ablaze last night if I’d have seen it sooner. Places this sad gotta be put down. Let Heaven die every once in a while it builds character. But even past the stairs I gotta find rooms and mazes keep on fooling. Trying to find something’s like life. I can’t live like this—“Goddamn I gotta sleep somewhere. I been awake my whole life all I need is some rest. Beds needta be out here… Then I can sleep with everyone… They’d all know me the same and we’d stay cool.”—But living’s gotta die tomorrow. Surgery can’t save it but God its gonna try its best. Remember burning up in sacred temples. Can’t be burning forever gotta have some time for morals. Doctors can’t save it all. Going out to windows and climbing out of ice machines. Finding bodies lying on the ceiling and naked on the floor. Living just to die. Hotels full of chalk people and ridiculous floating dreams. I think you gotta lock that stuff up. Those dream catchers take all my memories they’ll take yours too. Got me a hope chest to trap my despair. Angels and motorbikes intruding up in my headlights. Seeing visions of America that yell and scream for more saving cause I sure as hell haven’t given them enough. I’m done being Jesus. Go find your own pillbox. Bedsheets crumple up in naked bunches. Christmas lights keep on taunting me with spirits and holidays I’ve forgotten. Keep on twinkling on the walls. In the walls I see myself. Under the bed lay the constant irritants and fluids that make me live this dream. But outside the window are the bombs so I feel safe. Phones ring and answers are questioned and the desk never calls my name. Typewriters fall asleep across the world and cease their staring, but they always know that I don’t want them. Dream. Striking back to Boston off the Hotel. Trains jolting back across the ground God I love that open feeling. Nothing but the tracks and free will. Those others are stuck but me I gotta choice to make. Can’t just follow. But here we are in Boston. I can feel the back bay air patting me on the back and asking for more. She never is satisfied with what I give her—“Maybe later I gotta Doctor to find.”—Maybe I can solve that tomorrow. Building hall treatments fall from the roofs. I can see the banners offering tidings of Hell and hatred. Nothing like a city to give you America in a can. Maybe a murder down that alley God that’d be good for business. Doctor’s hours: Clinic open morning afternoon evening midnight—“Coming back at sundown. Must be leaving then anyway. Midnight the time for Angels.”—God knows I’m gonna be an Angel tomorrow at midnight. Maybe He’ll rest a bit and partake in that celestial high. I haven’t got and answer yet. --“Gonna strike that office. Gonna be an Angel. Gonna live up Boston and tomorrow.” – Mr. Pill No hotels in Boston. Here we just sleep in starry rooms that swallow us up and expel parasites in the morning sun. I found one that tells me I’m an Angel—“You’re a liar I won’t be an Angel until midnight tomorrow. Doctor’s gonna solve me up. We’ll all be mad Holy.”—They stare but I’m the one laughing. Same way tomorrow. The Doctor will be in to fix the stares. --“Gotta cigarette?” – Mr. Pill --“Always.” – Shopkeep Gotta smoke away the days of endless trains. Nothing kills a man faster than riding away time and sexless cash than those godawful rails. Can’t even sleep on those things keep on rocking back and forth. Get to fixin’ those spikes and then maybe I’ll live on there. Not even the Doctor can fix that in me but sure he’s gonna try. That’s the Doctor. He’s always gotta find something wrong with me I just know it. Haven’t seen him but he’ll just go ahead and tell me I’ve got a month left or my knee’s busted or sorry sir you’re already dead. Nothing we can do know but tag you up and hang you out to dry! Maybe I’ll solve him first. He’ll walk up and I’ll show him—“Looks like you got a needle in your arm. Cut out those Angels and maybe you’ll find something else. You can’t end this on me I still got my spirit now take of that coat you look real hot.”—See how he likes it for once. Ya I think I’ll do that. Everybody needs a little critique it builds up a man’s soul. But Hell I gotta find my soul first. I musta left it on the train with those Angel-bums. They take everything away. Hotels keycards and pillbox dreams! Next time they’ll be the ones giving it all up.

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