Oct/Nov 2000  •   Fiction

A Hill Called Bringer of Luck

by Richard Denner

starting with day A and proceeding to F and backing back to B realizing F leads to U if you mean to get to C a Chinese box where you let me into a room with a door I can go through but you can't and I let you into a room with a door you can pass through but I can't

starting with pieces the book Pieces and your face the typeface I said I didn't like it the boldness but your face was receptive and I liked it especially the freckles on your nose E dim of ME freken from ON freknur you perusing poetry and I assuming the role of the dark Host of the Ethereal and it was slow and easy standing there imagining a secret place at another time I get out of a car I get off a horse down the street from the Silver Dollar we enter a Quonset hut with a false front

you touched the omphallus of my heart and the current was sufficient to set the wheels pinging a new beginning merely by placing your hand on that slim volume the waters rushing apart and we begin to step out on real ground

I feel like I have the hands of a chimp signing to the barman for two beers finding seats by the ribs of the beast I take off to take a whiz wondering if I should leave you alone but noting the flag pinned to the curtain and the dark faces I know we are on native soil

the head is full of patrons pissing away the night four dudes at the bowl and one peeing the length of the trough three guys in front of me putting theirs under his arc and I try not to get hit thinking what a shot of the pool cue to find this corner pocket I observe there is no subject there is no object so I zip up to an accordion and guitars

I get out of a car I get off a horse on Umptanum Ridge and smoke while you change your shoes I wear galoshes lore on how to live in the woods and I step into the creek and feel the firmness and rhythm of your grip

you are a stranger in the twilight apprehensive I might strangle you with barbed wire in a hollow by a snag while I'm nagging myself for not bringing a compass since I'm into true north and I want to tell you about the Big Dipper how the Indian see a great bear looking for a place to lie down and the French see a casserole and the Egyptians a hippopotamus with a crocodile on its back asterisms the casserole the possible exception expressing ancient and astonishing wisdom

we have to re-evaluate the past but that seems like a lot to lay on you our first date so I talk about the contours of the land and you about the bouquet of bullet holes in an enameled stove and your childhood in Illinois the girls of Fairberry wanting to be on their own going to Bloomington to work at State Farm my grandparents lived nearby in Chenoa and the summer nights full of fireflies whose tails we pinched to make engagement rings and wearing sheets in abandoned farm house rooms like Klu Klux Klan and when the gypsies camp by the river and set up a sideshow my uncle makes them vamoose and my destiny goes with the fortune teller

the Queen broods on her Byzantine chalice like me she's dreamy like you she' s sympathetic to the man of dejected aspect deserting the cups of his felicity and all that I possess house and archives is riot reflected in the Chariot reversed

our treasures and our hearts are there when we begin a short hike that gets shorter and shorter as we climb scree it is wise of me to show you sage by rubbing the leaves in my palms no matter the waterfall is out of reach hunters shoot at the cliffs kids roll rubble from a cave the site of the archeological dig is a mystery nature at her best is a blast of sage

I get out of a car I get off a horse and walk beside you a woman a man talking about rock we stop by a standing stone describing the basalt formation in antediluvian times but it leaves out how each star of the Big Dipper of each constellation has several kinds of influence each star has a form in the landscape

driving along riding along everything shimmering the branches in the field vine maple? elderberry? wild rose sage rose rose of the desert a red shimmering along the road I saw it and you were happy I saw it too even if I didn't know what it was