Conor Madigan

By Clutching the Little Decedent

1. (son)
Mark Anders stops a curt step in low field. A stone raps his lapel from below. A follow tap and Anders falls to knees close to dust in search – A third and forth strike Anders’s brow and lips. “If there be,” he says, “anyone, let them be known to me in a simple sign.” A fifth and sixth strike ear, and lid. Locked in the clock of Anders’s brain; ears and nose flinch seventh and eight, not thrown. He sits. Wafts of fresh ground calm, his spirit sets itself down as a soft-landed cub and he browses hills. Perhaps a yell – But, he considers, when his wiser sister, who comes to rare voice (she, too busy with significant thought) when she finds words fit, often writes them without a whisper. Anders searches his breast pockets, handles a pencil and pad of paper. He writes, “A startling thing, today, a day I walk to town instead of bike, for my son knifed my tire in a fit last evening” – he rips out the sheet and begins, “A startling thing, this day, little rocks hit my lapel,” And a next line, “and from ground level, in this way, nothing found” he continues, “its way to attention, not one guilty soul to pummel.” He titles the piece Beast!, rises and receives a hail of pebbles and small rocks.

2. (sister)
“Born in Stenson Fields, England, 52.87854º N Latitude, -1.50336º W Longitude in Derbyshire Ann Anders, whose four dialogs mark her first appearance, took her B.A. at Pomona College and now works as a wool boiler in Austria. Auerhahn Press, San Francisco, published her book, I, Without a Dot, in 1965; and Schnedler Books, also San Fransico, published her book Of Pitch and Toss in 1968 and, just this year, her Look At My MS, “miniature” summations of novel length work from writers in France after WWI. She spent last year in Barcelona. Other new work, besides the two poems in this issue, can be seen in recent or forthcoming issues of Hudson Review, Kayak, and The New Yorker.” How life feels complete on the Contributors’ page.

3. (Christmas Morning)
Youngest of the Anders, Jimmy, opened his train set, Nice toys don’t kill – Lionel. (Lionel Trains), and cried in fear of his father’s pitch perfect intuition judging excitement levels of his children for gifts received. Ann opened her mother’s gift to Ann, The Body Bra (Warners): Do you want a shape like a bra? Or do you want a shape like a woman? “Oh, mother,” Ann said, “I want ten of these, they’re perfect.” Mark sat on the piano bench and sketched a penis on his new Etch A Sketch, (Ohio Art Company): Making creativity fun!

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