Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Chapter 9 of my accursed novel

CHAPTER: DAVENPORT



The bus shifted slightly as it slowed down She turned her head toward the window and saw that they were coming into a town. At the edge of town, they passed a cemetery with a sign at the gate: Closed for the season. Call for appointments. She became taken with the notion that cemeteries closed down for the winter, the dead hibernating in grizzly bear slumber. The ground in January would become too solid, too frozen for his great grandmother's spirit to come out and greet her, Mo's shivering hands trying to offer and out-of-season bouquet, her chattering teeth and white breath floating out to meet no one.


Better still was the notion of making appointments with the dead, as if they might have had other plans. Maureen could hear her grandfather excusing himself from a ghostly poker game. "Gotta go, fellas. My granddaughter's coming to visit. Same time tomorra?"


She started to think about otehr people with whom she might make appointments. How far in advance might she need for a tryst with Jim Morrison at Pere LaChaise? Maybe she could while away part of the day with Oscar Wilde before getting a few words in with the Lizard King. Or a trip down to South America for some advice from Che Guevara or Chico Mendes.


If there was any kind of justice in the world, Chico wasn't even in these days. She hoped he was still wandering the rubber plantations, speaking encouragement, rallying the trops, and making frequent visits to his murderers. Was his spirit still debating their consciences? Did their wives' faces turn to Chico's beneath them at night, looking up and winking just before the moment of climax?


The bus hit a deep pothole and everyone was jostled. A couple of backpacks jumped the rope railing of the overhead compartments, falling into people's laps or into the aisle. The driver's staticky ghost came back through the intercom. "Sorry about that, folks. We'll be pulling into the terminal soon. For those of you travelling onward, this bus will be departing again in one hour.


Maureen looked around the city outside her window, trying to determine if this would be a good place to stay for a few days. The city looked run down, full of old factories that may or may not still make tractors or dog food or lunch meat. Maureen leaned forward and asked the young man ahead of her where they were. "I'm not sure. I'm on my way to St. Louis. Where you going?"


A young black woman across the aisle from them was standing up, pulling down a suitcase from the overhead luggage rack. She nudged her toddler. "Wake up, honey. We're almost there." The woman looked over at Maureen. "Davenport, Iowa."

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