Willie Smith


                Click on links. Snap on suspenders. Rouse the mind to hop into opium trousers – shoes tied, hair tsunami-ed, resources pooled.
                Grab a handful of balls. Investigate several racquets. Select tightest.
                Visit the links to bat balls at the gulls. Nothing personal. Let off steam in the mist. Never hit a one; birds predicting a storm coming off the sea, jumpy as Tijuana beans, bits of spit-gray trash catching the wind. Nobody on the links – save me, my balls, my racquet.
                After forgettable misses, out of breath, breakfast links repeating, eyeball the overcast – glum as Lincoln on the one. Feel myself a missing link pecked from the order.
                Eyes gather wet. Brain builds steam. Voices in a dream feed ideas.
                Explode out of my duds. Dash nude after the gulls, who lift into the mist laughing; egg the freak through a trap toward the water.
                In a fog I halt. Roll eyes at barefeet. Spot a split nail. Sense the senselessness.
                Art, out of the moisture, appears. Linkletter smiles over the waves. Takes over. Adults kid the damnedest things.
                Pad back to the clothing. Collect from the dew links, shirt, suspenders, trousers. Slip back inside.
                Fashion from the threads a noose. Sling over a rafter. Drag up a straightback. Climb the chair. Hang self nude as a spider waiting for prey.
                Resurrect into a bug bugging God for a replay. In spite of the spite of nothing new on the juke.
                Never knew the blood never stops. Not even in the grass.
                All across the links, among the gulls, lay scattered my balls.


                When I was fifteen, in 1964, Beethoven and beating off went hand in hand. I was the baby of the family. My two sisters had by then married and left home. My parents, on Sundays, took long drives together. Leaving me master of our three-bedroom, split-level, suburban dream home.
                And dream I would...
                Race upstairs. Yank out bottom drawer. Reach up inside chest of drawers. Pull down PLAYBOY. Just the pictures. All text and advertisements long ago discarded. Memorize a few square inches of breast, rump, eye, ankle, navel, other pits of Satan.
                Thrust down jeans. Throw myself across the bed. Shut eyes. Let hands settle on what they most desire.
                Fairies butterfly through the cess of my consciousness. Fairies eager. Fairies lewd. Fairies of the kind unafraid to crawl up your ass for to dance love into the universe.
                Pass out for minutes on end. Nothing happens everywhere perfectly. Out of it snap.
                Spend a few split seconds cleaning up. Toss Kleenex in toilet. Close lid. Scurry downstairs to spin a Beethoven in the den.
                This one Sunday in early August I toss on the FIFTH. Probably about the 55th time I’ve heard the FIFTH. Beating off often leads to a quintupling of the psychic. Certainly in my case. Although I was by the age of fifteen already pretty whackoff whacko.
                Then I pick up a pen. Dash a story off. So when I turn sixty I can tunnel back, curl up and read this crap. Smile to myself how stupid I was, beating off all the time.
                The second V reverberates, riding the waves, surfing a dream through my nib…
                Mom and Dad gone make me crazy. Crawling through tenses like barbed wire barring the path to a machinegun.
                Hitler appears in shiny boots. Grins he caught me – I stare down at a red hand. Look up. Eager to follow the Holy Father through hell.
                In hell they are selling. Everything in hell for sale. No offer too low. Everything must go. Welcome to the fire sale from hell!
                Joke being, in hell, no such juice as money, much less credit. Unless you call blood boiling with hate coin of the realm. And when I do, Hitler hits me down a peg or five. Till I am bleeding at the gums camping with the Jugend high as vinagaroons in the Swish Alps. All Vaseline eons ago burst into flame. Every other dreamable lube likewise up the chimney.
                They should not leave me so all alone...
                Beethoven comes back with the theme, lugging measures in a bucket of pear nectar. Nectar appears on my tongue. I taste, lips tonsured with Moloch’s dingleberries; the lips of God Himself, were He not such a Mensch.
                Hitler is spitting, fingerwiping his moustache. But seems more confused than outraged. He isn’t used to frenching a sailor he just pinned a medal on. (Guess I wiped that machinegun out).
                Tears clouding his Wagnerian eyes, the Holy Father orders me shot at dawn. Still gives us all night to fuck. Taking Hitler up the ass without Vaseline might make this all somehow okay. And since I am today sixty reading this – I must have escaped the squad. Although this is the identical argument I mobius-strip when it comes necessary to convince the doctors I am the resurrected Christ.
                Killed by Hitler. Born again without Vaseline. Memorizing the terrain of those female wanderers back on the astrolabe of PLAYBOY. Scrutinizing myself in the mirror of time not yet quite escaped memory, if this page lasts and I keep concentrating up here age sixty, losing myself to some forgetful disease…
                My privates begin to bleed. Soak through to the corporal. Suck up to the colonel. Who husks, “Shucks, boys – I forgot how to stop bleeding; not in my job description.”
                Hitler and I zip together our bags. Fall to making out like a pair of goofs without a parachute. He doesn’t move his tongue much. I lick the motionless slug down to the root. Dart past his gag straining to trill the tonsils.
                The television starts selling itself to the wall. The gypsum throws back a poster selling a cell phone. We satellite-beam down the following:
                Inside the miniaturized tent marooned on the bookcase between MEIN KAMPF and William Shirer’s masterpiece, Hitler and I go at it like chipmunks on bennies. Worm my baton up the Queen of Greater Germany’s sphincter, whose dry wrinkled mucosal muscle suggests a swastika overlaying a hammer and a sickle.
                Hitler squeals piglike as I take my beamer of a baton up his dirt Autobahn. Eventually comes right here on the page SPLAT!
                And I beat the Beethoven a foot out of my own cylinder into his digested kraut, pretzels, nougat, marzipan and mouthwash. Get a Gatling to take out the rest of his rear. Reduce the pocket to a hecatomb. Then wake up at the foot of all the firing underneath the bed gawking up at the springs.
                I nearly always manage to crawl out, hike pants to hips, zip back up, just as Mom and Dad are tottering through the front door, packages rustling, gabbing about the meal they wolfed at I-Hop or Hojo’s or the Arches of Yellow Plastic. Except for this one lazy afternoon in early August, with Vietnam well on the way to boiling over and I wonder how that one comes out as the folks who begat me find their son sticky, not-so-limp, squirming out from under the bed like Anti-Christ chewing out of His cocoon, armored to the teeth with the revelation that nobody saw anything. Because this is 1964, consuming shame the national passtime, and time marches on its stomach.
                I killed the parents. Consumed both on the spot. All that beating off, coupled to the theme’s triumphant return after the scherzo at the bottom of the FIFTH, make me to the root devour time.
                Hitler, finally ceasing somewhat to squeal, roots for the opposition to overrun his position, arguing my Grandpop into a vasectomy disguised as a circumcision. None of us was ever had. Except for Hitler and the vision of his struggle.
                Blind as a bat the television sells to the wall. The satellites never mind whatever. Beethoven, slid back in the sleeve, rolls over.
                Hell, despite infinite air time, continues to fail to watch itself. I walk through the wall of the television back into that dream split-level. Right here forty-five years back on the – SPLAT! – page.

Willie Smith writes: "Recommend Andrei Codrescu's scintillating romp through Sheherezade's bed and breakfast WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT. Had good clear skies for viewing that gorgeous conjunction of Venus and Mars on 02/21/2015. The dreams, the words and, thanks to my new script for Cialis, everything else that counts, just keep coming and coming. 65 years, 138 days and counting. Otherwise nothing doing, no soap, no dice. Could be worse; infinitely worse."
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