The Good Word of Sprout

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Western

A shadow snakes across the dirt, a long black tongue ending at a pair of black boots and skinny legs, a tall skinny man who is our friend.  The sun hot on the back of his neck, he presses his hands deeper into his pockets, touching coins, lint, scrotum.

It's time.

There, across the road, stands his rival: broad, hatefully muscular, with lustrous hair, unaware of any rivalry.  So self-assured.  But soon this poor man will poop his pants, make a boom-boom.

Besides the death, the bowel evacuations will be the best part.  In those tight blue-jeans there will be nowhere for the poop to go except for in a slowly expanding circle around the butthole.  Sand will cake there.  What kind of man wears tight blue-jeans, anyway?  One who doesn't expect to die today.

How she will cry, the night growing more humid with her tears, her sobs joining the frog calls, handkerchiefs piling up in her laundry-baskets.  The image flashes: her man lying there with flies on his ass and bloody foam in his cold mouth.

It's inevitable now.  The poison has been administered.

Our friend has never killed a man before, never even wanted to for more than a moment.  He feels belted by a great wide belt.  Murder is a belt made of stone.

His rival staggers, coughs, and falls writhing and writhing and finally curls up, a potato bug.  The breeze kicks up a cloud of dirt.  His eyes and mouth are shut tightly.  He shivers.

A bird calls out, "Koo-roo, koo-roo!"


Back at the shack, our friend sweeps the floor and considers how long before he should go meet her to offer his condolences and support.  The tincture will help them both.

That night he sleeps with candles burning.  Each noise worries him that his rival did not die or became undead -- such things are possible.  Each time he closes his eyes he must open them, convinced that someone is standing over his bed, blue-faced with a death-sneer.  Murder might have been a mistake.


In the morning he considers whiskey instead of juice.  He settles on equal parts of each.  He works silently except for the sound of hammering nails.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Problem/Solution/Com- plication

Problem: I can't stop eating these cashews.

Solution: Rub them with raw chicken.

Complication: My brain is melting and everyone hates me.  I wish I hadn't brought both cashews and raw chicken on this bus trip.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bookshelf Paragraph Generator

I suppose I am not the first person ever to write, although if the entire outside world is a figment of my imagination, then maybe.  In this spirit, I would like to introduce a new segment: bookshelf paragraph generator.

In this segment, I will ask you to share a paragraph based on a random, still to be determined formula, coming from the books on the shelves in your residence.  If you don't have books, use the ingredient labels from items in your pantry.  If you don't have books or food, use numbers from the train cars you're hopping.  I don't know, these aren't strict rules, figure it out hobo.

I own books, and I like to share them.  But the problem with a book club is that the author/reader relationship should be so vague and intimate that you shouldn't be able to describe it, at least if the author is doing his or her job and the reader his or hers.

Anyhow, let's play the game.  Here are the rules:

1) Choose your favorite bookshelf.
2) Count five books from the right and add the number of times this week you've thought "I am God" or "I am the Devil" or "I am both God and the Devil" or "I am neither God nor the Devil" or "These potatoes are good."  This is your book.
3) Turn to the page that you estimate your IQ to be.  If you know your IQ, it's probably above 80.  What a useless metric to determine likeability, though.
4) Share the third paragraph in the comments.  And the book and the title if you like.
5) If it doesn't work, choose another favorite shelf, but no cheating on the rest (1-2 estimated IQ points I think is a fair adjustment, unless it causes you to poop yourself).

Here's mine:

From One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

"Hey, you guys, hey!"  He started badgering the men bringing the bricks and mortar.  "Can't you get these bricks over here?"


I dunno if this will work.  Worth a try.