Cod on the Fridge

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Here, Grandma.

Play your banjo.

 

“No way, child.

There’s witches on the briar

And a cod on the fridge.

They’re out back brewing

Syrup thick as pigs.”

 

Here, Grandma.

Let me stop the wagon

 

“There’s the house.

Inside I go. Oh! Cousin Jimmy!

Why you naked like that?”

 

“Cheers, Mabel. I’m happy

On this whiskey. Have some.

Stay a while.”

 

“No way, Cousin Jimmy.

There’s witches on the briar.

And a cod on the fridge.

They’re out back brewing

Syrup thick as pigs.”

 

Here, Grandma.

Let me turn my eyes.

 

“Come here, Cousin Jimmy.

Give a drink. Ease into me.

Not too hard now. Gently boy.

Oh that’s right. Let me mount up.

Take the mane. In my hand.

That’s right, Cousin Jimmy.

Romance is swell. Babymaking

Uses you up. Fakes your resurrection.

Now lie down, you’re tired.

Spent. I leave you in the sink.

Put back on my dress.”

 

Here, Grandma.

Let me come with you out back.

 

“Look now, my knife. Bat too.

There are people dancing

Around that fire. A cauldron

On the flames. Steam shooting

Through the trees. All the land’s lit

And I’m coming down the hill.

Witches everywhere. Brewing

In slips and stills.”

 

Here, Grandma.

Let me say that I can’t stay.

 

“No young’un, you hide over there.

Watch what happens next. Here’s my

Knife, slashing at witches. And

My bat, cracking their heads. You

Shouldn’t brew the syrup in the

Open land. Offends the hills.

Sullies the fields. Kicks up dirt

On the road. Sorry, witches. For

These gashes and cuts. These knocks

And other hardships. You can’t

Say I’m old. Or just a grandma.

Because there’s a cod on the fridge.

And music on the briar.

Here’s my banjo. Let me pick.

As I raise holy fire. And put you

Witches. On a sugar pyre. And in the

Light I’ll drink Cousin Jimmy’s

Whiskey. And the syrup

That’s thick as pigs.”

 

Here, Grandma.

Let me take you back, clean you up.

 

“Don’t bother. This land’s a-filled.

Your soul’s a stamping high-life.

You put on your witch’s hat.

Collect a root for your teeth.

Dance around the pyre of burning

Witches as they writhe. Expire.

Come here, grandson. Hear

This banjo as it leads you on.

Step up on the cauldron. Dive on

In to the syrup. Drown and drink.

Sweetest music you never heard.

In the sugar you swim. Down

Down to the land of the never-been.

Where fairies sparkle on spaceships.

And pleasure domes cap your toes.

Monsters breathe. Sorcerers sneeze.

And a backwards rainbow smiles

On the meadows where you now be.”

 

Dear Grandma.

This is the strangest place.

 

“Go find some liquor, grandson.

And some dirty whores.

Build a house, start a family.

Craft a fiddle and listen to the sky

As it plays banjo with starlight.

And I whip around this fire.

This cauldron and its bubbling stuff.

The witches, the fuel.

The land, my fan.

As I pick at these strings.

And cackle in the air. Ho hey!

Cousin Jimmy coming down the hill.

Looking so fine.

Come here, Cousin Jimmy.

Step up on the cauldron.

What do you see?

Is it my grandson?

Is it a dry cod? Or is it just me?

Dive on in. Go to the other side.

The land’s a bitch. Hates your glow.

Ease under the bubbling. Don’t

Mind the heat. Or this beat.”

 

Dear Grandma.

See you in hell.

 

“What’s hell, grandson?

But pepper in the mill.

Shit on the lane.

A crack in the flagpole.

A stain on the porch.

Be at ease, and play your fiddle.

I’ve sent you a friend.

This thin white Cousin Jimmy.

He’s pleasing as all Heaven.

As far from witches as you can be.

And he knows how to handle a drum.

Put him in a bottle of whiskey.

Play your fiddle. As you both drink

Of this brown heated stuff.

This syrup thick as pigs.”

 

Dear Mabel.

You are no cousin of mine.

 

Dear Grandma.

You are the witch.

 

“Hover high and flit in the air.

Why that’s police sirens down the road.

I’ll push your bones to the bottom.

Look how they melt.

As the banjo picks. And the stars drip

The most lovely melody that ever was.

Why hello police officer!

Yes, take me into your car.

Sit with me and touch it all.

Don’t mind this witch’s hat.

Or my rotting teeth.

Or the smell of sugar

And blackened people bones.

Lay me open as the radio

Screams a banjo song

And we drive into the clouds.

Don’t go too fast. Or slow.

Just be right. As the land passes

Beneath me now. A place of

Sunlight icicles and bastards

Stuck to my witch’s brow.”

12 thoughts on “Cod on the Fridge

  1. This is one of the things I’m going to have to come back to at least once or twice to know what I really think, but I do know that I think it’s awesome. It just needs some more studying. 😉

    Really well done, Trent. As far as I know this is the first work like this I’ve seen you publish. It’s another talent of yours. It’s stunning.

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