Caleb Puckett


Faulkner Goes to Hollywood


Bible locust black chokes the countryside. Time to let tavern lights cast a stream of consciousness across the carnival-wise world beyond the insect pitch. Tie one on and then sleep it off somewhere dockside. Enlist impossibility or work on dodging the draft? The plague of cloud patterns. The pen. What contracts? See those ruddy necks coalesce with the muddy band? Relieved or subsumed? Regardless, the mixture produces rust. Nostalgia. Get drenched by the image, mister. Spurn the edit. Cut across that floor’s film like walking on water. Be one to live with history, but break from custom. Remember, old man, environment is energy. Always inhabit your space. Don’t do it as ordered, though. Withstand the crack of compulsion. Family friends, critics. No more stripes to earn in another’s obligatory offing. But what about the script girls? Say, mosquitoes. Think, coffin nails. Drunk on a barge, no less then than now. Waters gain toxins. Dizzy with fever in a morass of masters. No sense in it, old man. Drained until dehydrated. So tired of parsing psalms for a sinless wage. Seeking many silver screens, not a single golden halo. But movements lose nutrients. Pass from aristocrat to slave. Straining, aching on the castoff fish head bank in all those betweens. Steel a peach. Burn a barn. The sun bleaches the moral blemishes. Blanche inhabits a tragic balcony in New Orleans. The stars carve apart the brute Romeo. The play of cloud patterns. The kiss shared by one man’s shadow puppets amounts to self-love. Later, lean with wan fury against the fecund green of August, waiting for the levee to sheer the world again. Pray to the ploughshare of disaster. Functional components must be replenished. Why the severity? A landscape can be invented or evinced all the same. Fresh water into salt water. Purification without sustenance. Lend an ear to a shell. It’s a work whistle gone to the dogs or wolves. Mark those twain. We’re not finished here, mister. Wait. Observe how perspiration peels. A bitter glimmer. Tightly packed white bales in procession. Styx jinx. Note what’s exposed well below the substrate with your noble nose. Toil it all to Hell. Pay the soldiers well. Flag not. Remain unvanquished. Take no quarter coining those blue notes afterward. Elegize. Pardon yourself. No, go down. Oh, Mississippi. What Moses said is what we forgot. It’s flushed consumption. A basket case for royalties. A castle wrapped in kudzu. Consider the chemical weight, the vital wetness of your breath, old man. Forget it. Songs will be written about you yet. Wet your postage stamp for a friend in the sticks with the whiskey paid for by those sophisticates at the academy. Make a savage montage of their replies in your head. Now you’re thinking the right way.



Caleb Puckett lives in Kansas. Some of his recent writing appears in On Barcelona and Otoliths. mgv2>publishing is slated to release his newest book and collaborative venture, Caleb Puckett & Friends, shortly.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014