Paul-Newell Reaves’ and D. Glover’s

the Zoo Illogical Gardens

a multimedia interpretation

with drawings, readings, prose-poems

and more…

 

 

We are pleased to announce,

with immediate notice, yet still unconscionable delay,

Readings from Thomas Matthews– yeah, the coffee boy, on,

what was that show– oh, Aaron Sorkin’s NEWS ROOM.

 

 

introductory music:

Anacostia Sinderella,

by the Bogarts

 

All materials copyright by authors, defenestrationism.net, 2014

 

The Wee Rhino Hours jpeg

In the Wee Rhino Hours

 

 

by D. Glover,

ink on paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome.

Welcome. You are welcome.

I’d like to welcome you.

Pull a chair up by the fire.

Pour a drink of your desired strength– tonight we’re drinking

Caribou Coffee, dark Mahogany blend, with Vermouth.

Now, settle in your chair, pull your lamp in closer.

Read, and listen.

 

 

 

Dare you hear the tale of Barnaby True and

The Ghost of Captain Brand?

 

Thomas Matthews reads,

Sharks, three true tales of piracy, ch.1

 

One-Eyed Eli, ink on paper, by D. Glover

One-Eyed Eli

 

 

Sharks: Three True Tales of Piracy

Chapter One: the Ghost of Captain Brand
Barney re-read his letter for the seventeenth time.  “Mr. True; meet us tonight at the Frog’s Back Bar, and this night may prove the luckiest of your life.  Leave your money, bring your pistols.”

This letter, awaiting him upon his arrival in Kingston, trembled in his hand as he sat by the table by the door of the Frog’s Back.  Surely a prank by his shipmates, surely soon they would pound him on the back, call him stout of heart for answering the letter.

Through the open door he looked down past the wharves.  Three men rowed across the harbor from the Ocean and moored their skiff alongside the pier.  These men were free islanders, born in the hills beyond the influence of Colonial Powers.  Bedecked in richest silks of far-Asian make, silks far beyond the accounts of honest men, they flashed their gold teeth and pistols toward the bar, and it’s last customer.

“Barnabus?”

“How do you know me.”

“Never you mind that.”  The pirate reached in the pocket of a coat that stunk of the sea, to pull a coin the size of his eye.  He spun it on the table top.  The gold shimmered and whirred an elliptical trail across the surface of the table.  “On this same island, 20,000 of the same.  With you here now, we fetch them.”

“How do you choose me.  Who am I to you?”

“We must hurry.  A long boat ride proffers plenty time to ‘splain.”

“I sail for Boston on the morn tide.”

“Aye, ya sail, and with you 5,000 a gold piece.”

Barney’s finger fluttered near his pistol triggers as they boarded the skiff and rowed around the harbor to the South.

“You’ve heard, then, the stories of Captain Brand?”

“Aye, I’ve heard them, and changed my name because of them.  No good comes sharing a moniker with a murderer, rapist and thief Pirate.”

“Perhaps not,” smiled the sailor. “Of course, many a last-living descendent don’t share the name of he who precedes him.  We three, us here in the skiff now, you might call us the last-living crewmates.”

The Pirate raised his hand over his heart and raised his chin, head falling slightly to one side.  “Captain Brand never killed a man wasn’t trying to kill him, never raped a women wan’t his wife.”  The pirate smiled.  “As for thievery, Brand stole everything he saw, heard of, or sometimes that which of he merely intuited the location.  Arh, but the Spanish Navy blasted our pretty boat, the Royal Sovereign, well to bits well off the coast of Argentina.  Took us three years to make our way to this island and six months to find you as well.”

Barney loosened his other pistol.  “I don’t know nowhere with any treasure.  I never met a pirate in my life before tonight.”

“And you’d do well to never again.  The Captain buried five chests, and I dug for him on this same island.  I dug, and the devil himself also dug, the first mate of the Royal Sovereign, a man so mean the ship boards trembled below him.”

“So why do you wait six months for me?”

“Not out the kindness of my heart, I tell you, no.  I’m a haunted man.  On that sinking ship off Argentina I saw Captain Brand run straight through by a Spanish sword.  As he fell to the deck, where I lay injured, he looked in my eyes, telling me of treasure beyond imagining, and telling me of his daughter’s son, Barney Brand.  Then I watched him die.  I’ve seen him in me dreams every night I’ve been on this island.  He never speaks and drags manacles of Spanish steel.  He shows me the scar on his chest, and limps away.”  The man’s face froze and he seemed unable to speak.

“What’s your name, Sailor?”

“Abrajam Dawlish,” said the man with a numb tongue.

The boat turned up river, the Cobra River.  Barney Brand looked a stern and thought he saw the ghostly impression of another boat following far behind in the mist and the moonlight. There—no mirage—a boat trailing them.  Only two men, one steering in the aft, the other rowing with the force of seven men.  The standing man looked straight at Barney then turned to his monstrous companion who redoubled his efforts at the oars.

“Abrajam, whispered Barney.

Dawlish turned sternward himself.  The whisper barely escaped his throat, “I saw him die, I tell you, I saw him die!  The Devil himself.”

“What is it, Dawlish?”

The pirate spoke cowering in the prow.  “Back from the dead.  It was him who betrayed and slew your Grandfather.”  (Continued)

 

 

 

 

“I was born on a roller-coaster ride” — Dee Dee Ramone

 

Paul-Newell Reaves reads,

Otters

 

 

Otters

“Look man, I told you this place is deserted.”
“No way, man.  I can see the lamps—that’s a security trailer around the corner.”
“But he can’t see us.  Just slip between this chain-link fence and the wall of the building here, he won’t be a concern.  He keeps kids out.  Once we’re in he won’t even be a concern.”
“Alright, you go first.”
“How cool is this?  Through this gate here, under the arch and into the labyrinth proper….”
“Kinda dark and creepy.  Wait, man, I have a lamp on my keychain.”
“Right on, right on.  I guess this is where the trucks used to park.  This way, man, through this door.  Cool, man, look at all the rubble in this hallway.”
“Scorch marks in all of these rooms.  They’re so empty.  Do you think they were cleared out after the fire?”
“I’m guessing they were only cleared out before the new construction.  Floor number two?”
“Should we take the stairs?”
“Well, I doubt the elevator is up to code.”
“I’m going up.”
“Awesome, man.  How worth the risk.”
“Hey check it out, a fire-pole.”
“Alright, we need to burn one down by the fire-pole.”
“Is that so ironic as to be doubly ironic?  Fire it up.”
“Watch out, there’s no floor.  Dude, check it out.  You can see right down to the basement.”
“That fall would break your leg for sure.”
“Hey, get off of me, fuck you, man.  I’ll box the shit out of you.”
“Alright let’s head up, there’s only a few more empty rooms on this floor.”
“Right on.  Whoa, Holy shit.  Check it out.  Alright and triple damn.  You see, you see?  You see the moon through the ceiling.”
“Triple damn, that vast, vast moon.”
“Man how worth it was this.  Exploring a burned down fire station.”
“In pursuit of double irony.”
“What?”
“Nothing.”
“Hey man, we gotta leave our Tecate cans on the window, so in the morning, the construction crew will be like, What?  I wish I had a Tecate.”
“Hehheh, Where are we gonna go after this, the park?”
“Yeah sure, I stashed the rest of the beer there.  I hope no homeless dude found it.”

 

 

“Time to start thinking.” — Humphry Bogart

Paul-Newell Reaves reads

Wolf in the City I.

five more minutes

 

Wolf in the City I.

The wolves are returning.  They are adapting—eating garbage, rodents, household pets.  And they are evolving– tougher, meaner, smaller.  Spotted in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., Coyotes are moving to the cities.
I saw one, by the cliffs over the Potomac River.  From those cliffs, the lights of Washington swim below in between the Potomac and Anacostia rivers.  The coyote stood there, staring unblinkingly at the Capital.

I haven’t always been a bum.  I had a life down there, before my eight story fall… and an office on Embassy Row.  She—my last client, Ms. Teal—finally found an occasion to introduce her current husband, Congressman Balustrade from Wyoming.  He was a busy man, so I waited for him on the balcony of the Kennedy Center, watching the sun set through the high arches of Key Bridge.  Maybe he did have only these few minutes to spare, during the intermission of the symphony.  He was, after all, a very busy man.
“You’re slipping, darling,” came a voice from behind me.  “You ask me to meet your lawyer, and I expect another young chip’n’dale, not a man almost as old as I.”
I was taken aback.  The questions I had been preparing all afternoon leaked my mind.  He looked me up and down, then turned and scratched his finely crafted, wooden crutches, all his way back to the bar.
“All the death threats,” Ms. Teal cursed.  “They make him so snappy.  Take me home, Riley,  I tire of the symphony.”  In my car she showed me the pictures on her cell phone.  “All butterflies,” she explained.  “Thousands of beautiful butterflies, I’m obsessed.  I take after my mother, you know.  She collects them outside my village in Brazil, but I just take pictures and leave the poor creatures alone, you know.  You don’t have any obsessions, do you Mr. Riley?”
I looked deep into her dark eyes and couldn’t say a word.
“Here,” she continued, “I’m putting your name in my phone.  I’ll call you.  But your business card says only D. Riley, what does the D stand for?  I can’t call you by only your last name forever.  Won’t you tell me?”
“Just Riley,” I said.  “No one ever uses my first name.”
“Well then, Mr. D. Riley–” she laughed at me.  “Yes, this is the house, leave me hear I will call you again, soon.”
The sun had not risen before she called me again.  Her husband was dead.

According to the police report, blood matching the Congressman’s stained the bed, the floor and the bathroom; however, his body could not be found.  They dragged the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, finding nine rotting corpses, none of them the Congressman’s.
The lead detective, Lieutenant Yorrick, was an incompetent fool.  Not more than an hour after arriving at the scene, he received a call and shut down the investigation.  No questions for my client, no explanation of the call.  He paced the crime scene, flipping a quarter high in the air, watching it fall to the floor.

I heard the coyote again later that day. To clear my head from the bloody scene at the house I went for a walk in the park.  Washington has more parkland per square mile than any city in the country.  The entire length of the Anacostia River is undeveloped forest, and— cutting a swath through the middle of the city— Rock Creek Park extends from the Kennedy Center, downtown by the Potomac River, all the way to Maryland.  It was here that I walked, in Rock Creek Park, by Embassy Row.  The trees were flowering.  I thought of Ms. Teal, how much she must need me.  I would not let those wolves like Yorrick harm her.  I followed the howls deep into the park.  The coyote was caught in a trap, near a streetlamp lit pathway.  It was young, maybe three or four months old, but already had the instincts to gnaw off its own leg to escape.

I dropped all my other cases to focus exclusively on Ms. Teal.  Some nights, when I could not sleep, I would drive by her house to make sure she was safe.
Then, one night, I saw a man, walking up to her door.  I made to open my car door and confront him, but a lamp turned on in the house and Ms. Teal appeared.  “Leonard,” she greeted him with a smile.  He shuffled up the steps and into the house.
So I waited.  For fifteen cigarettes I sat in my car, staring at the lamp and the door.  When Leonard let himself out and pealed away on his motorcycle, I followed him.  North on Connecticut Avenue—the rain began to fall.  The miles clawed by, and the darkness spun closer and closer.  Passing into Maryland, we turned right on East-West Highway, then left on Jones Mill Road.  There, he parked his bike and ferreted into the park.
Down a dirt road across the park he lead me, his dark hair and clothes and skin blending into the shadows.  We came to Rock Creek where the woods cut down a sharp embankment, forty feet to the rocky water below.  Leonard crossed onto an old railroad bridge.  I didn’t make a sound.  Hugging the rotting ties on the edge of the bridge, I crawled along the metal track after the shadow of my pursuit.
He stepped from tie to tie, across the bridge toward a golden glow from a building on the far side.  But half way across, he stopped.  Three figures emerged from the gloom.
“Brazilian Leonard?” they whispered.
“Boy-os.”
“Hey man, we need a spike for the three of us.”
“Yeah, you got Nine-itty?”
“Right here.”
“You kids still trust me?”
“Like always.”
“Alright, here’s the hog.  I measured this afternoon.”
“Right on, man.  This a good place?”
“Why do you think I meet at this derelict spot.  Fire it up.”
After ten minutes, they turned back– all four walking in my direction. I panicked.  They were twenty feet away, walking slowly toward me.  If I stood up to run they would see me. This Leonard character was selling drugs; he probably had a handgun. I could not let them see me.  A forty-foot fall to the rocky creek below meant two broken legs at best.  At worst, a slow agonizing death.  Time to start thinking.  They were now fifteen feet away, fifteen feet or a a forty-foot drop.  I jammed my feet between two ties and slid my weight over the edge.  Dangling from the rain-soaked, rotting railroad bridge over the precipice, I held my breath and heard them pass.
I pull-uped myself back to the bridge and knocked my knees all the way to my car.

“Riley… Balustrade is big time.  A petty dealer doesn’t go after a congressman.”
I had rushed to tell Yorrick first thing the next day.  He had raised his eyes at the poppies, but at the end of my tale seemed unimpressed.
“But he was at Ms. Teal’s house, he could have slain him in a jealous rage.  Just let me follow him.”
“You’re killing me, Riley.  Balustrade had enemies, not just in this country, either.  Look, I’m sorry someone’s sleeping with your girlfriend, but you’re the last person I want anywhere near this case.”
“But—“
“Listen, you represent the family, right.  Go to Balustrade’s office and ask to see his congressional records.  You wont find anything, but you might figure out everything.”

In Balustrade’s Congressional office, the scene was chaotic.
His secretary told me what had happened.  “Well, Mr. Riley, you can check the files, but Homeland Security has already been through there.  They took just about everything.”
Indeed there was nothing worth my extensive search.  His last bill had been a ditch effort to stem the tide of heroin and opium flooding in from Afghanistan since the war.  The office was torn apart, desk drawers upended, papers everywhere, files confiscated.  A complete dead end.
I had not even finished cursing Yorrick’s name when it hit me.  Homeland Security?  Why would they be involved, unless there was suspicion of a terrorist plot?  Yes, that explained Yorrick’s silence, his inactivity.  It explained the missing body too.  Balustrade was not murdered; he was kidnapped.
(Continued)

 

 

 

“I’d rather have the blues, than what I got.”

–Nat King Cole

Thomas Matthews reads

Wolf in the City II.

(keep your finger by the volume knob, it escalates in the first five minutes)

five more minutes

five further minutes

 

 

Wolf In the City II

Wolves are returning, returning to my dreams and nightmares.  Night after night I saw the coyotes—sometimes thousands of them, but most terrifyingly sometimes only a lone coyote hunted me.
Ms. Teal rarely returned my calls.  So I sold my car and bought a motorcycle.  It was then I began to drink more than eat.  With no cases except hers, I had no checks except hers.  The lease on my apartment lapsed, and I slept on the street.  But I could not let her go, I had to know.  I had to know the answers, solve the case, unravel the mystery to understand her.  My obsession.

They were some long cold nights, standing guard down the block from her house.  To pass the time, I practiced what I would say if Leonard showed up again, but he stayed away for a week.  When he finally showed his face, Ms. Teal had been waiting for him too.  She leaped down the steps and on to the back of his motorcycle.
Again I followed him, but this time South, South across the Anacostia River, into the part of the city I would never have dared enter before.  But now I did not care, for I had nothing to lose.
The sun was setting.  When they parked and dismounted in a residential ghetto, I stopped a block behind them.  Ms. Teal began shouting at Leonard.  From the stoop of a house next to me a man walked up with his shoulders hunched and his hands in his pockets.  “What do you want, what to you want,” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I said, “nothing.  I’m following those two people up there.”
“Following them?  What are you a cop?”  He pulled a pistol from his waste band.  Without thinking I grabbed his gun and twisted it in a direction his wrist would not twist until it came free from his hand.
“Be quiet,” I said.  Ms. Teal was still yelling, so I ran at them.
“Riley?” she asked incredulously, “what are you doing here.”  Leonard reached for a bulge in his jacket pocket, so I pressed the pistol to his shoulder and pulled the trigger.  He shouted in pain and fell away.
“I’m rescuing you.”
“Oh Riley, Riley.   He said he was taking me on a plane to Brazil.  Riley, take me away from here.”
The sound of the shot had brought men running from all directions.  “You eclipse the sun,” I told her.  “You’ll have to drive.  I’m going to find your husband.  Wait.  Ms. Teal, before you go, tell me your name… your first name.”
She looked in my eyes and quietly, slowly, shyly told me, “Fay.”
“Fay?”
“Fay.  And what, Mr. D. Riley, is your first name?”
“Doghouse.  Doghouse Riley.”  She hitched up her skirt to straddle the bike and wobbled off into the growing darkness, and disappeared.  A bullet whizzed by my head, so I turned and fired at random until I was hit in the leg.  I fell to the pavement, and the pain sunk me to unconsciousness.

I gained consciousness again in a moldy colored room, dimly lit with dozen-colored plastic—red, gold— melted onto the lamps.  Twelve men lounged on the floor and on chairs, smoking crack.  Leonard was staring down at me.  “Are you gonna kill him?”
“Not yet,” said another man.  “I want to have some fun.”  He raised his fist, and I soon blacked out again.
Again I awoke in the crack den.  I recognized Balustrade tied to a chair next to me.  “Hello, Congressman,” I managed to say.
“Who the hell are you?” he snorted.
I laughed to myself, and winced as the deforming bruises on my face enflamed.  “I’m the stranger with a pretty face.”
Leonard and the other man came back into the room.  “Harharharharhar,” the other man was large and when he laughed his whole body shook.  “How are you feeling, Lancelot?  You have so many drugs pumping through your system I’d be surprised if you remained remotely alive many more hours.  PCP, LSD, DMT, Meth, harharharhar, you are a walking chemistry set.  Try to stand up, just try it.”  I stood up and instantly bowed at the waste and rolled my head in a slow circle.  “I garentee you will never be sane again after this fucking trip experience.  Now get the fuck out of here— and good luck finding a cab in my neighborhood.  You may wanna start running now.”  I stumbled to the doorway and out into the street.
Twelve tough kids were waiting for me.  They gave me a head-start, then started walking after me, yelling at me, throwing trash and rocks.  I started to run, and so did they.  I ran till I came to the river, then collapsed.  They jumped me and kicked me with their boots until I bled.
Once they left me in a pool of my own blood, I reached in my pocket for my cell phone.  “Yorrick,” I cried, “you have to save me.  I’m in Anacostia, by the river.”

“You fell right into her plan, didn’t you,” Yorrick yelled at me.  “Some friend I am, pro’lly the best you got, driving all up and down this river for hours, looking for you when I have work to do.  I’m arresting your girlfriend in the morning.  Turns out she had a life insurance policy on her husband, enough to incriminate.  She is suspected of colluding with two Afghani hit men who we expect snuck through customs.  Their local Warlord may have been selling heroin and opium to dealers in the United States.  He convinced a local gang leader to house the hit men.  Leonard was just a pawn, sent to contact Teal and find out Balustrade’s habits.  Then the hit men kidnapped the Congressmen.
“Now you are the only link to finding him.  You must show me the way to the house where they are holding the Congressman.  Lives, buildings and the American superiority complex are at stake.”
“Only if you don’t arrest Ms. Teal.  She’s innocent, she’s been used and abandoned.”
“That’s up to the justice system, now.”
“You can’t, you can’t,” I was pounding on Yorrick’s chest by then, practically in tears.  “She’s innocent, she’s frail; she loves butterflies, she couldn’t stand being locked up.”  I pulled his gun from his holster.  “You’ll see, she’ll call me, you’ll see.”
“Just put the gun down, Riley.  Your messed up, I can see that, but put the gun down.  She is not frail; the only difference between men and women is the difference between each human being.  As simple as—”
“—Yorick, tell me your first name.”
“Put the gun down, and I will.  Let’s talk about Ms. Teal—”
“TELL ME YOUR FIRST NAME.”
“Osric.”
I shot Lt. Osric Yorick in the head, and he fell backwards into the river.

I tossed his gun in the river then stumbled down the street toward a large nightclub.  I had just killed my only friend.  I needed a drink.  Inside, a young, black woman was singing Nat King Cole: “The moon is kind of chilly/ Conversation just seems silly/ I feel so overwrought/ I’d rather have the blues, thaaan what I got.”
My cell phone beeped, a text message.  It was from Fay.  “Meet me on the highest point of Embassy Row.”
I turned to the street in elation, then paused.  The highest point of Embassy Row?  That would be the White House, the highest point of power.  No, the White House was on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Massachusetts Avenue was Embassy Row.  What was on Massachusetts?  There was a hill, a huge hill curving up from the downtown swamp, to the cliffs by the Potomac River.  And on top of that hill, was the Vice President’s House.
I left the girl in the bar, still singing, “I’d rather have the blues, than what I got.”  I hailed a cab and threw some money through the window.  “The highest point of Embassy Row,”  I yelled and he seemed to understand.
We crossed the Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge and took Maine to Independence, passing the Jefferson Monument and the Tidal Basin.  As we crossed, the Cherry Blossom trees flowered for a moment of crystalline white, then wilted and fell, as snow does.
On through Rock Creek Parkway, past the zoo, where a Panda herd had escaped.  We were lucky we hit none of them.  The road is no safe place for a Panda.
We exited the Parkway and turned onto Massachusetts Avenue by the mosque, which seemed trying to step on me.  Those blocks are Embassy Row.  Iraq, Brittan, Brazil, Cote d’Voir, Argentina, the Vatican—all have Embassies next to the Vice Presidential Mansion.  I could see the power and influence leaking from the buildings as a neon red glow.
Where was she?  I left the cab and stumbled on the curb.  I checked my phone, had I hallucinated her message?  No, she was still there, smiling at me through nine words, thirty-eight letters.  I leaned my head back to wait.  Then I saw it: a blinking red light, an aircraft warning light, directly above my head.  The twin towers of the Episcopalian National Cathedral practically stepped on me, the highest point on Embassy Row.
Of course, I thought as I raced toward the Tower.  How often had it struck me—even God has an Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue.  The front entrance rose above me, enormous lamps set in the alcoves and windows, illuminating patches of limestone and casting others into deepest shadow.  Through the yawning gates and into the church—where a wedding was processing— my feet carried me, knowing where to go.  An immediate right and I was hurtling down the stairs of the tower.  No, I thought helplessly to myself, I need to go up these stairs, down can only lead to the—

Catacombs.  It was silent as the grave.  Until, I thought I heard… yes there was most certainly a noise, a clinking and a mumbling.  I rounded the corner.
“Amontillado,” smiled a man with long, thin, black dreadlocks and thin, sallow, black skin, smoothing a new notch in the catacombs.  “Ha ha hahah, Amontillado.”  Inside, a man was screaming in Persian.  I began to back away, but he turned to me, held up his trowel and spoke again with red lamps burning in his eyes.  “Beware, the unending stair lies before you.”
I turned and ran to the stair, which now indeed seemed endless.  Up and up and around the spiraling stone stairs I ran.  Finally in exhaustion, I slumped through a door, into what seemed an empty room.  But there was a wolf.  Out of the gloom a man’s face appeared, thin and angular with high cheek bones and a sharp nose.  He began to speak:
“Fourteen. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
We wish only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world– the new world in which we now live– instead of a place of mastery.
We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question.
An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak.”

A wolf saw that President Wilson was sincere, and swallowed it whole– as if such a thing would be allowed, as if even a victorious American President could change the bureaucratic power structure of world nation-states.  For those we empower to write laws and direct militaries never feel so uncomfortable then when told someone else would better control those powers; and are incapable of giving an uninvested global government wide authority or any real independent power– and it of my dreams and nightmares howled as if released from a trap.  I stumbled from the room.
But the stair was no less insurmountable.  The stained glass windows began to speak.  Here was the Shah of Iran re-throned by the CIA against the democratically elected Prime Minister Mossaddeq.  But leftist Mossaddeq had nationalized Iranian oil industries, so, when the religious right took power, they desperately desired to bring Iran nuclear power and weapons potential, for no reason except to make their mark on history.  In these windows were Cold War and Terrorism politics, secret arms deals, backfiring alliances, sweatshops and oil rigs.  I saw a vast manatee sucking down the fruits of the world, and then I saw an army of puppets dancing before the beast.  I heard a wolf howl, and I fled.
I was no longer conscious of the stairs as I climbed.  I only knew to run as far and as fast as possible.  When I finally came to a door, I threw it open and slammed it behind me, leaning up against it.
I had emerged into an illogical garden.  Plants that never could exist surrounded me: flowering vines growing in ellipses, never touching the ground; leaves in the shape of sideways figure eights growing from the plants; flowers emitting rainbow light from their pollen.  Staircases lead sideways and diagonally, upside-down.  In the center a fountain poured water upward to collect in an upside-down pool.
Next to the fountain was a lion the size of a bear wearing an enormous crown of gold.  I fell to my knees before it to realized that I was a mouse scurrying before him.  It clapped a great paw over me and asked why He should not kill me.  “I could someday,” I peeped, “Save You.
It released me and I scurried across the garden to another door.  Through this door to another room, full of nothing but darkness.  In this room I was alone, alone in the dark.  I fell to the floor and wept and wept and wept.
I could not face any more stairs or doors, so I broke my elbow through a stained glass window and crawled out toward the moonlight.  I clung to the side of the cathedral, the ground, seemingly, miles below me.  Thus, precariously perched, I looked up to see an airplane flying above me.  In a flash as brilliant as sunlight, I saw Fay’s face, whispering “the highest point of Embassy Row.”  She was gone, on that plane to Brazil.  I let go.  And fell.

 

 

Panda Pope Xian Xian, ink on paper, by D. Glover

Panda Pope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul-Newell Reaves reads

Elephants

 

Elephants

The elephants charged the human encampments without mercy or tolerance.  Tusks ripped, flesh tore; feet trampled, buildings fell; beasts killed and lives were lost.

“I regret to inform you, citizens of the world,” the President spoke with a tremor in his lip, “of a mass elephant uprising in Afghanistan.  However, I encourage you, citizens of the world, not to tolerate this evil axis of elephants.”

The newsroom jumped to their feet in applause, and the President returned to his chambers.

“How could this have happened,” he trumpeted to his cabinet.  “The Middle East has no elephant population.”

“Sir,” the Secretary of State responded, “We supplied the current Afghani administration with elephants in the eighties to help combat the communists.”

“In that case sir,” the President retorted.  “I must ask for your resignation.  Good day, sir.”

The Secretary of State left the room, taking all dignity with him.
Meanwhile on the outskirts of Paris—elephants again erupted into violence, overturning cars, setting them on fire, demanding civil rights.  Many lives were lost, more property destroyed, and much comfort disrupted.

The generals from the Pentagon warily approached the President’s office.  No one was eager to bring him bad news.

“Hmmm,” the President paused and then slowly spoke.  “Gentlemen, we must choose our battlefields wisely.  We cannot be goaded into another Twainian Feud.”  Again he paused.  “We must act nobly.  Not to be swayed by the foils of profit or power, not to be misled by the lure of vengeance or momentary triumph, we must compose ourselves to an honorable tolerance.  We must adapt and we must endure.  Terror, that violent jealousy, knows neither understanding nor change.  So our battlefield will be one of knowledge.  We will build, faster and more solidly; we will fly, further and with greater prowess; we will accept, more people and more ideas; and we will employ, greater numbers and with greater consistency.  When we create and do not destroy, we are mightier than elephants.”

 

 

the Bee

The buddhist monk decries the notion of self.  Five parts comprise this notion, the monk says in meditation: appearances, perceptions, emotions, actions and consciousness.  But the self itself is an illusion.  How misleading then, to but sketch a character.

The Poem, the Play, the Essay, the Novel: As long as written history remembers, these narrative tools have served the human race well.  Ah, the novel  How long have we kicked that mule?  Since Don Quiote?  Hehheh, that’s as if I said: Ah, Hamlet, what a 2nd millennium play.

This last century has been an era of incredible artistic experimentation.  The ground of experimentation is now well trodden.  The artist, the musician, the author must now use all these possibilities to express him or her self.   Mix classical harmonies with jazz scales and R&B beats; mix Classical beauty with Impressionist light, Expressionist passion and Post-modern confrontationalism; combine subjective with objective, terse with flowing, mesh different styles of writing, drawing, music, all in one work.

I pollinate the idea of stories and poems that do not stand alone, but add to one another, building upon themes and characters and narratives, images, ideas, repetitions, motifs— a bouquet, a bouquet of art: like Ovid, Chaucer, Romeo and Juliet, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Jean Toomer’s Cain and Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk.

 

 

 

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Meet the Authors

Paul-Newell Reaves and D. Glover met at Saint Albans High School in Washington D.C.  After both dropping out of college, they subsequently spent a great deal of time writing, drinking and drawing in the D.C. National Zoo.  D. has since graduated from the School of Design, in Brooklyn, with a degree in Graphic Design; while Paul-Newell has graduated with an BA and MA in English from George Washington University.

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