Pocket o’ Blues
Maria says posthaste when she means post-punk. It has something to do with the wiring in her head.
I have a box full of letters, and she has a box full of coca leaves from her trip to Peru. She bought them from a Quechua woman wearing a bowler hat in Cuzco. An alpaca stood a few feet away saddled with a dozen large plastic garbage bags filled with coca leaves. I should know, I saw the vacation photos. Maria chews the leaves with a propulsion that seems superhuman, as if her mandible might detach and break out of its hinges and tear through her face.
She can’t stop chewing the leaves. I make tea out of them. She adds them to dishes which she invariably doesn’t eat because her appetite is suppressed from all the coca leaves she chews.
I’m just a writer that had a pocket full of wrens this morning. They were spry then. Now they’re a clump of feathers — limp bodies — a dead pocket o’ blues, with the divine exception of the aggregate lump of parasites that abandoned the birds when they went cold.
Now, I tell Maria, “with this pocketful of cavorting beasties, I thee wed, and honor and cherish and vow to infest thee with said beasties (of a cavorting nature) and then nurse in sickness after you contract a rare blood-borne illness from said beasties.”
She says this thing between us will never work. “Let’s forget this all altogether and just get down to the sex,” she says.
“Put on that Dead Kennedy’s record and let’s get to it,” she says.
“Which one,” I say, “Plastic Surgery Disasters or Fresh Fruit for Rotting— ”
“The one that starts with ‘Kill the Poor!”
“You mustn’t assume that aesthetic expression is the prime motive for writing; it is really only a means to the more profound end. So don’t worry about it if you write out of sadness or hate or love—fear—or fascination, the important thing, if you wish to do it, is to write.”
— Ralph Ellison