THE GETTY FIEND
Behold The Beast pinioned
on the racquetball, as terrible
in his agony as a mangled cuticle.
KVELDULFUR writhes to absolve
rhomboid wrench aggravated
by hard office chair. He needs
an Aeron but Aeron’s too dear. He needs a jog,
some ice, four Advil, two beers – the formula
once could grow a lost limb back
or a salamander’s tail. A taller desk might
suffice the interim. A taller vice might
tender diversion. Before concupiscent
Tudor upstarts the long-tined dynastic
salad forks of Plantagenet ran red. Now Verizon
works almost everywhere. Kveldulfur’s trilby
punctuates coat tree, raffish with stingy
brim. Most pressing wish? Address
of braided ligament, although how limiting
the physical. As for the visual, how
derivative. Swivels pelvic girdle, sweet-talks
doorframe seam to spine, a single foot
opposes Knoll teak file cabinet – The Beast forthwith
aquiver with concentration. Glassy saline nougat
beads glossy citrine philtrum. Cuff’s kissing row
functional faux horn buttons fans embers
of long dispute with foreign nation
of the present. What about a Spineworx?
A Teeter Hangups inversion table decked
with gravity boots? Or, scotch it, full swap –
a hidden key sentry gargoyle cast in resin?
It’s a Skymall classic. It’s Hollywood Forever
all over Gower. Steady pressure, silversmooth
patter approaching prayer – the incredible force
required of counterpoise – when click, audible
shift, synovial release
Behold relief, The Beast suspended in mid-air.
POST-GAME: THE OBSERVATORY
He was ashamed. His heart’s harangue
infected with misplaced rhetoric, himself awash
in effluvia of pear-husks.
Actually, he was himself half ready to believe
no doubt about it. He had been bewitched, else
how could he have been wangled into such
compromise? This one has neither beginning
nor end – not true; he heard halloos of drunkards
bedevil sweating avenues. Something overturned
in every alley. Sin is always the same, a discussion
between parroting mimes over onion soup
and leftover Au Jous. Wanton. His third tallboy
of Hite smuggled from The Prince.
Kveldulfur swallowed into pixelated trees, such as
they were, not quite as they had been, nor ever
storied endless orange groves over valley’s hillbrow
orange groves reputed once ranging free all the way
to redwood groves of fern-rich north. From trains
with fowling pieces Eastern travelers once
slew citrus in droves for sport.
Rightly so there came verily by the holy telescope
at roost over the spangled worm of Western
Avenue in its sinuous gold-lit gossamers and lurid stoplights
and brake lights and green lights and come-hither headlights
the evening gown of the ball python, marigold and lavender.
A mile or more. There, beside the bench
at hairpin’s reverse, an oaken-haired man
knelt in the likeness of a holy vessel ________ an Easy Bake Oven
and before him in pinafore ______________eyes pressed shut in rapture
stood one of the likeness of an angel–
Strawberry Shortcake, my you’re looking swell – who bolted,
hitching up his drawers. Anon, as Man-God and as supplicant
the kneeling called out: Come forth and thou shalt see
that thou hast much desired to see.
Then began to tremble _________________ Then held up his hands
licked pursed lips: Hist! Lime Chiffon! Now wottest thou what I am?[Notebook challenged for the throne of blank]
I thought not – yr an uncommonly thick meringue – saith the goodly man
[Then he donned
a mackintosh of red sendal,
mayhap by YSL, mayhap
by D&G, and bare a
mantle upon his shoulder
that was furred with
marten or with mink – lined
in the high and ridiculous
Burberry plaid – he’d seen
all grown and smoking hot
smoking fucking hot
Hermione Granger in the
ad – and the leer knight
said unto the blear knight:
Sirlet, my stunned
confection, do attend…]
EXT. HOLLYWOOD BOWL AMPHITHEATRE, LOS ANGELES – NIGHT
Tuxedoed galley frees Wagner’s Valkyries into June dark.
The cheap seats. In the rear wall’s shadowed seam a dense-furred
BEAST hugs earth, motionless but for hackle-rise, lung-fall.
ONSCREEN, a bright bronze keg in horned helmet. ELMER FUDD, 50s, warbles his dewy, soft-R’d battle cry, plunges his spear into a rabbit’s hole with a plumber’s enthusiasm for a clogged drain.
C.U. SCREEN: Fudd in league with glee, in thrall to wrath.
Kiww the waaabbit (x3)
BUGS, white-gloved slim coquette in pale gray, postures, glib.
Kill the rabbit?
EXT. JAGGED MOUNTAIN PEAK – LATER
At distance, Fudd’s antic form silhouetted against an iron sky.
And I’ll give you a saaaammmmple!
Armored Fudd’s wild paroxysm a kinesthetic spell. His maestro’s seizure invokes thunder, torrent, wind.
[Gustavo Dudamel plies airy forces
with a supple reed. Sable curls
riot unrestrained. Bows rise and fall
in unison, shower crowd with hurtling
notes-on-fire invoking spasm. Mass carnage
in the ranks. The Beast packs it in.]
LIGHTNING immolates the elm near Bugs. Charred lapine ears wilt.
RETURN TO THE KEYBOARD
Few or nil have witnessed such astounding feats
of words-per-minute – letters
themselves all ink-in-a-grand-mal astounded fit
to arrive in, inhabit a body, sans serif. Every detail
crystalline slow-motion – suspicion: Kveldulfur sniffs
his mug for Adderall, in any case undetectable. Sorcha huffs
and puffs and blows down his door, always
as she well knows, open. Harps with considerable aplomb
on arbitrary tardiness, in full-scale inspired upbraid.
Kveldulfur presses coracle ear to iMac screen’s new retina display.
Hear that? My copy sings. You are so pure
a marvel that you are unaware of being a marvel—
Sorcha warps in sovereign grip: https:// time slips:
Speak not more lies,
Grim hamrammr! Grim
Skallagrim! The ringgiver
her foe, unworthy
Then bit down ___________ Whoa. Whoa. What? ___________ Sorcha bit down
hard on Kveldulfur’s left deltoid and his perineum
clutched, bloomed Aurora Australis of the spasming
satchel, he – not to put, in good faith, too fine
a very fine point on it – came, the humming ache, broken bow
string’s first wrist-slap. He’d thought himself beyond
surprise but christalmighty the flood.
As suddenly she spat him out – freckled brawn, his spit-damp
broadcloth, her pupils wide black
catcher’s mitts, her mouth still gaped – spat him out
a mouthful of so many
melting Skittles, fled.
the mark of solicitude throbs exertion, contention, the throes
of PEERLESS agonism, seize it, a knife-pinch. He springs
unaware of every lung-bellow/lung-
[that night the toothmark
bruise a child’s drawing
of a lashless open
eye, in stenciled aubergine,
with little gap at top].
Ken White is a co-writer and co-producer of the feature film Winter in the Blood, adapted from James Welch’s novel of the same name, and co-director and co-writer of the short film Universal VIP. His current projects include a screen adaptation of Debra Earling’s novel Perma Red, which he will direct. He has written or co-written ten feature scripts, and is currently working on a new horror script, The Orpheum Circuit, with James Meetze. His poetry has appeared in The Boston Review, The Tusculum Review, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Versal, Manor House Quarterly, Spork, and Poets.org among others. He is the author of the books of poems, Eidolon (Peel Press 2013), and The Getty Fiend (forthcoming from Les Figues Press 2017), as well as the poetry chapbook Middlemost Constantine (forthcoming from Spork Press 2017). White teaches screenwriting at the low-residency MFA at Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.