Tuesday, July 28, 2015


After the Despot ordered the defenestration of his political rival, he retired to his bedchambers clad in deniability sleepwear—earplugs and blindfold—as he planned to claim “I heard nothing, I saw nothing” should the meek judiciary ever issue subpoenas. A noisy night of sawing, chopping, and chipping ensued, but the Despot slept like a sack of spuds. When the leader awoke, he wished to experience the symphonic triumph of the mid-morning sunlight, so threw the curtains apart, but imagine his Munch-scream face when he discovered that the woods—the entire woods—had vanished, a column of trucks grunting forward in low gear, each vehicle bearing a pyramid of thick trunks. On television, the Despot’s political rival cemented the disgrace, the deforestation, by branding the Despot an enemy of the root, branch, wood, creature, creation, universe, God.

“Despot here,” the leader hollered into the telephone. Yes, sir, said his deputy. “What the hell has happened?” Happened, sir? “What the hell have you done?” As you decreed, sir. “As I decreed?” Yes, sir. The Despot thought painfully, as if a centipede were gnawing his thought balloon. “What have I decreed?” he asked. The act has been carried out, said his deputy. And with considerable efficiency, I might add. “I ordered a defenestration.” Yes, sir. “You have effected a deforestation, instead.” Sir? “The forest,” said the Despot, “is missing.” Yes, sir. We defenestrated the forest, as you decreed. Sir, added the deputy, your political rival telephoned us this morning. He has challenged you to epee. “Epee?” Yes, sir. “You mean, sword?” It’s a foil, sir, it’s an epee. “Impossible. I have no foil!” Well, sir, we could purchase one using EpeePal.

The Despot received embassies from noon until 1:00, after which he received audiences from 1:00 until 2:00, whereupon he received embassies from 2:00 until 3:00, inasmuch as he received lobbies. Representatives from the prophylactics industry spoke to the Despot about cornering the market for equine rubbers, to prevent the conception of unwanted foals. They would produce, on a trial-basis, a condom billed as Trojan Horse. A group representing the nation’s seiners and trawlers encouraged the Despot to seize the fish: carp diem, they implored. The leader bade his fool approach. Yo, I’m so impoverished, quipped the fool, I ain’t got no despot to piss in. Trumpets signaled the embassies, audiences, and lobbies to toss many banknotes into a circulating hat. The Despot had listened to these visitors; they must subsidize his scrutiny; they must “pay attention.”

That evening, the Despot sat with his soothsayer in the conservatory, each man sipping a tincture. “It’s quite simple,” said the Despot. “They heave my adversary out the window.” Yes, sir, agreed the soothsayer. “They don’t demolish an entire wooded region.” Yes, sir, agreed the soothsayer. “Defenestration. Deforestation. Not the same!” The soothsayer hovered his palms over the leader’s head, as if it were a crystal ball. I see your political rival practicing epee with corked tip, he hummed. “You do?” Yes, sir, the soothsayer hummed: quirky his thrust shall be. Just then, the fool appeared over the Despot’s opposite shoulder. “How now?” said the Despot. He who places confidence in the soothsayer’s racket, said the fool, shall become, himself, a seer-sucker. Dig? Nesting birds brawled in livid riffs on the slopes of roof. There were, after all, no more treetops. 


mark wallace said...

Did the despot experience any "agonies of the stomach" during this uneasy period? Or did his stomach feel good inside himself? Seems like if he had an easy stomach, then why not deforest away? Why not pass the gut pain along to others?

Anonymous said...

I have to think about this for several years before I venture a comment. -- Casey


Mark, you may be referring to "gut instinct" and whether or not "gut instinct" is ever applied, actually, to one's gut. It's probably the case that most "gut instinct" is not applied to one's gut but in all likelihood to other issues. Does one ever get any of those other issues handled properly, using "gut instinct"? I think it should be a requirement that one should use "gut instinct" first on one's gut, and then, if everything is digested properly, apply the instinct to other matters. I myself have Gutstein instinct; I should know, right?




Maybe we should eat one of those brownies that [name withheld] brought to the after-party and then comment? I never got one of those brownies although I am not complaining about the quality of the [substance withheld] that I engaged with. For a guy who hasn't [activity withheld] in ten years the [substance withheld] was mighty effective!