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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There are tri-colored, wheat-pasted advertisements on every blunt-sided building in the city. They have a gangly tall model girl knocking her knees together with a round little handbag. He'll Run! says the ad, but it's supposed to be a fine pastime like He'll Light Cinnamon Candles on Your Birthday! or He'll Tie Your Hair Into Knots When You Sleep! or He'll Juggle If You Ask Him! Promise! with the freckled, flat-nosed model pushing up her cheeks the whole time with a kind of bulldozer smile

He'll Run!
He'll Run!
He'll Run Right Now!

and I know she is on a cherry couch in Phoenix, shifting lumps of ash around with her big toe and waiting for the bird to grow up out of a city of uniform remains.
I ask the nearest bank teller to produce a riddle or quatrain as distraction, hoping she'll give me the bell that looks like the top of a Russian palace, or even ask me if I had seen the sign "please wait for the nearest available teller" so that I can tell her I have a friend who has given up on waiting and that's why I'm in need of traveler's checks. I do not have an account. "I am trying to establish a person-to-person relationship here, Linda Staz" I say to her gold, sacred-geometry name plaque. She is very sorry. This happens not to be the time or the place.
You can't expect everyone to be an outlaw even though most everyone reads dime novels about those activities. Linda Staz even saw Sitting Bull in the Buffalo Bill circuit show when it came to St. Louis. No one in the audience but a few sensitive women from the Methodist church recognized that Sitting Bull had stopped being lonely and had also stopped waiting, a victory that Buffalo Bill saw as heathen and selfish. We all wait. But he wheat-pasted up the ads for the show, which said

He'll Smoke a Black Pipe and Look You in
the Eye and Not Wait!

so the seats filled, to see the thick skinned, self-made man.


This is amaaaaaazing! I haven't read your writing in so long. It is very different. very exciting. and clear.
this is great!
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