The Sleepy Turbine

She screams herself to sleep each night in a white tidepool on the outskirts of town. During the day she’s a receptionist for a mock pharmaceutical company. It’s called Fine Persian Drugs. Her only living uncle is famous for being able to contact the gods. No one knows this but he once made love with a dolphin. The dolphin spoke of this communion to her friends, who were always amused by her sexual exploits with lower life forms.

There goes another crocodile. It’s behind the stove. It will never know the joys of getting a driver’s license or seeing its grandchildren walk the plank. A system of cloud promulgation has been set up to take our minds off this regrettable contemplation. It would have worked a charm if we hadn’t seen it coming. As subtle as a polka-dot tank on a moor. The gears which make our livingroom run glop together in an Arpy hump of waxy conglomerata. So much for going out.

The freeways are clogged with silver flotsam, the clouds are jingling with lacquered froth, the bedrooms of the nation are frozen solid. This is no time to lapse into a woozy bloodless lassitude — there are animals without the least notion of who they are or why we’re chasing them. A state of meaty bewilderment has been declared.

Are you prepared to succumb to minutiae? Or are you just bestride the geyser, dopily entranced? In either case we must ask you to return to your assigned position. The show is about to stop.

Better to strike while still asleep, in order to maintain an alibi. A cherubic barking up the wall loosens the paint enough that we can read the inscriptions underneath; however, we have discovered to our surprise and delight that we would rather just eat the paint as it peels away like the skin of a blank but meaning-filled chrysalis, the unscripted flesh of the years... While out on the horizon an orange efflorescence continues to bloom and storm and calm the sway, grating on our invidious discomfiture like an under-cooked malady greeping with slime. I can’t help but be enchanted by its malevolent charms. A thrashing contrapulition. It’s beautiful and it’s coming this way.


From The Sleepy Turbine (2003) by Steve Venright