I spun an old record as a waxbill on the porch swing swung her red bill to Marty Wilson-Piper’s Rickenbacker’s wah-wah pedal. I mashed my plantain into hummus. The transit of Venus was making us all a bit insectivorous. The prayer rug you nabbed in Katmandu spoke to the inscape artist’s calling. When the disk was over and done the needle hissed like pacific rain. The unwashed mountain in our sink had its own climate, snow and rain had ground the brown baron, our von Richthofen, the wax moth who hovered above our honey jars. I put on London Calling. Most of the world’s Tibetan carpets originate in Nepal. The Kangri range’s wa-wa motif borders the country and the carpet like a scream or whisper with God, like a sepia aura. On the flat-screen Serena aced her sister. I used the remote to pulse from approach shot to Venus creeping across the sun, like a raisin, like a specklet of black rain, like a flea transversing a swimming pool, without a prayer. I bought my first Clash record on North Lincoln, at Wax Trax! I was a kid, a second-string linebacker with a girlfriend with skin as brown as a wahine’s after her summer in the Dells laboring at cold calling. That was 1979. That she (that her) was you.
Earth calling Joe Strummer!
Who’d of guessed she’d grow into a thief, a Venus flytrap for ethnic antiques, for bathic mystique and batik blouses barked the large fast-swimming fish of the mackerel family mounted on our kitchen wall? I flipped on a Cure song, “Prayers for Water Condensed from Vapour in the Atmosphere and Falling in Drops from Heavy, Black Clouds.” The dead fish had opaque eyes like appliqués, like wax buttons. And it had a point.
How much rain must fall to grow a proper cropper o’ prayer?
The week before I had heard a street preacher say, “Don’t hate the prayer hate the book.” His auriferous voice was calling to the wolves in their red hoods outside of the Wax Museum of the Criminally Insane. On TV I watched people watch Venus through their smoked telescopes, through sleet and rain. The night before you had emailed me from San Diego (you were in Wahoo’s for fish tacos and free Wi-Fi) to let me know you were off to Wahoo Nebraska to see a man about a Lakota-Sioux prayer feather headdress worn by men practiced in the arts of war and rain. You warned me that Rickenbacker Airport would be calling about a crate covered in stamps featuring Monticello’s Black Venus. Not the moon, but the sun and me. We were the ones on buff-and-wane.
Our love, like the Mach 5, was souped-up by rain gods. When your chems chimed it was best to wah-wah like ictus, like Ornette’s alto, like prayers that turn a honey moth into Venus and a plastic disk into a crooning waxwing.