Saturday, July 7, 2018

Works By William C. Blome

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, In Between Hangovers, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, and The California Quarterly.

You paint the way you have to in order to give. That’s life itself, and someone will look and say it is the product of knowing, but it has nothing to do with knowing, it has to do with giving.
               Franz Kline
There’s a blackened Japanese gardener outside thrusting plants into passerby hands, and a formal (carrying a tray out in front of him, dressed in crisp livery, eyebrows raised, both arms extended), blackened Japanese waiter doling cocktails to the right and to the left indoors while moving, moving, moving, and though neither person is allowed to hoist their red-dot flag in morning atmosphere, both men are discernible now to the degree they reflect the giving-up light of a Sunday evening. If you’re willing to give things an extra squint or two, you can see yourself in the slanted, half-length mirror someone props on a leather hassock and leans against a spiky cane chair. Please set aside, if you will, watching the dusky Japanese, and come on over: stand next to the mirror and wave an arm at several speeds. Thrust out a leg and stiffen it and hold it in place a moment; cup your right tit from underneath, and fluff and plump and pinch just above the little tattoo: oh yeah, that’s you alright, all of that’s you.


Tea the color of scotch,
Ink the color of peacock,
Menstrual blood the hue of coral,
Begonias the hue of underarms,
Eggshells the shade of a fingernail,
Redwood trees the shade of all timber.


He wondered just how long he could hold the big girl prisoner below decks, the Mexican girl who was so naturally opposite a shrimp prisoner, a pipsqueak prisoner, a dwarf-and-stunted plankton prisoner. As he had often done before, he made the whole world topside hugely shrink by keeping his eyes fixed and peering through the large-lens end of his binoculars; oh he adored these expensive German mothers, and he slept with them at night out-of-case and under his pillow. However, in the spirit of one who frequently sighs all fine things must end, he set the heavy field glasses down and grabbed an out-of-breath gulp of ice and ouzo and rough-reckoned he’d been at his lenses for one-and-nearly-another hour: yes, certainly, that was the kind of unbroken span that proxied for his quitting the liquor now, for ruling out any more gulps of the gray Greek milk in front of his person, and for pretending his tumbler had become too fiery hot to hold; and for believing the big girl prisoner might now-and-again and at any time go microscopic on his ass. However, he clutched the confidence that from here on out, he’d be able to jump in and start swimming the lacey kind of pattern he loved to high, high heaven, and he judged the effort would be more than enough to take him in-between the islands that were somewhat close to the boat, and close to one another.


Trying patiently to tie the knots
I know a good mariner will someday need,
the process can’t stop me from dangling my practice twine
high, high above your breasts and then letting it fall
like your husband’s thumbs into all that sticky cleavage.

Now the town carillon’s been wired just recently
to chime whenever you turn the blender on
during the late afternoon (yeah, it’s no lie:
Andrew and I hooked some shit up two days ago,
and when we tested it out yesterday,
goddamn if the bells didn’t begin banging
while your blender whirled away), so I imagine
you might want to limit the p.m. pina coladas.

Now Andrew and I are dying to tie a tracking device
around one of your husband’s arms,
and we can’t thank you enough for giving us permission
to drop an Anchor Hitch over his bicep. See,
we’ve got this slick electronic locator Andrew made
that’ll ring like someone’s sticking doorbell
whenever hubby pads out of your daybed chamber
and goes to take a leak. It’s then and there
I want to do him harm (while he sleepily stands
and moves his stream around the toilet bowl),
but suddenly-holier-than-thou Andrew balks
at our directly enabling physical pain or at rendering
further (though critical) assistance, and I swore to myself
just the other day I’d never ask you to heft yourself up
and off the daybed naugahyde and go into the can
during a time like that and try and help us out.


Watching the shirtless old man with big muscles move raspberries about a scarlet plate as if they were moody kids of unwilling slaves; seeing him push them one by one with a butter knife across the bright diameter and rim till each fell through the little air between wooden table and wooden floor; I think it was the fourth or fifth that hit the hardwood with stellar force and kept right on dropping to your basement bed. While it became almost impossible for me to bump aside the strongman—he just too easily sent me sprawling as I kept trying to peer down through punched-in floorboards at the solo raspberry on your blanket of a coincidentally similar hue—oh, I was persistent, baby, I was persistent, I tried and tried and did manage a glimpse or two, though my looking down gave the bruiser more than the time he needed to reseat himself across from me at table, spread a fine linen napkin between his bare legs for modesty, and then leverage his butter knife such that he started flicking berries off my neck and chest—one plus one plus one quickly ran to many—till (thank goodness) there was soon no more ammunition of the kind he was using to be found on his plate, to be found on the table, or to be found anywhere else inside your house.

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