fiction gallery

Under a Viridian Sky

April 13th, 2014

by Robin Wyatt Dunn

Under a viridian sky the muscle moves and the snake curls, and the liquid hill is swerving to meet the slither of the snake, over the city where they dwell, the tattoo people, inside the harem of the night, one where neither women nor men are kept, but dreams are.

For in the harem of those dreams they build staircases and kings, and wring and reap the molds for earths and golden globes of gods and monsters that we creep out on between, when we have done with earthly things, and sit down on the chair to ink.

“What now Margaret?” asks Spencer, and she tells him, sitting down in the tattoo chair.

The snake is Padgeratt, the nameless one, whose vale is cursed and whose children curse him, and defile his river.

The snake Padgeratt is angry, but he is calm, and he is planning a reverse of his earlier decisions, to erupt a trick or two up on the horizon above his vale, a little explosion. A little launch of a little tool, an archaeopteryx.

The archaeopteryx is polluted like the river, but not with chemicals; with bravery. He is a mad bird with a dinosaur’s brain, and he desires a mission, one to get him into the history books, one to make his name.

“Go slowly, and spread your wings over the city of my children, and confound their faces. And shit onto their houses” whispers Padgeratt the snake, and the archaeopteryx, whose name is unpronounceable in our tongue but who we might call Jay, flew into the sky in that viridian and made his music over the stones of Snake Town. Raucous and hoarse and filled with doom, he shook his feathers and he lay his scat, all over the vats and the earthen wells and the metal railings of Snake Town.

“It’s looking good Maggie,” says Spencer, and she nods.

Ink: the rink of mist and wheat. The papered drink we whirl and bolt down into our screamed silence on the streets of cities and canyons. Ink American or Puerto Rican, African and on the Moon, the inkers and the shirkers and the screamers sound their monied pounds and gowns down into the salt and wax and metal, and lapses of fear, into the harem of dreams–

Padgeratt is mighty but Padgeratt is only a snake, and if you would know what lies beneath, underneath the vale of Snake Town, well it’s Korgott the UnQuenchable Sun, and he is dreaming like all the rest, burning in a vat of ash and hats, he cannot decide which it is he likes.

The sun tries them on and burns them up and this is part of his sadness, for he can only wear those hats brief and then they’re gone, like all the rest, and the Snakes can hear him scream, underneath their stones . . .

Korgott the Unquenchable is long and rummy drummed and mummed by many a mummer in their time but the truth of it is he’s a quiet Sun, and fond of milk, and bravery, though he never leaves his home.

The sun burns and the vale receives its heart, and underneath the viridian the moon’s children, snake and sun, are won and drummed endlessly for our delight,

(or so we think)

Maggie is a special earth, but then so are we all, and though I stand beneath viridian stone my name is known, by worm and by the turn of your wheel, I am cut by the brook of your urn, and the learned gear of your tongue–

Hold me tighter son, the ink is done but the purple liquid’s swum and we must dive again into the book of brooks–

(to catch a fish . . .)

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Sash Lewis.