André Breton Works the Crisis Prevention Hot Line

First thing he does is kick the other workers out. Then he records a toilet flushing, plays it back for each call.

“What a life...,” he sighs, dreaming of lunch: a roast chicken plump in the throat of a bicycle.

“Art stinks!” he yells at the fluorescent light quivering above him. “All writing is garbage! I left my renegade pasty waltzing across watercress kneecaps, and just look what the flagship brought in: a beaker of gunpowder, smoking roses!”

All at once the toilet starts to ring and water gushes from the receivers, tiny geysers lip-syncing the souls of tinier lives.

In the two seconds it takes him to shout “Allo!” after dipping his head into the bowl, Breton wonders how bubbles translate at this depth, whether the oxygen that carries speech carries love as well. Love for the drowned. Love for the surface.

What difference? he thinks, suddenly remembering a childhood, where tin cans and strings stretch across sun-fed lawns, the metallic echo of small voices settle like pollen deep inside the ear of tongues, and the promised clouds of heaven hang limp, anvils over the head of every silly breath.

Chris Semansky | Mudlark No. 20
Contents | Self-Portrait With Possible Future Problems