4 Horsemen, Bryan Merck

Judith Nelson, Pock Cap, 2001, 30X36

4 Horsemen

Turn me over, boys. I’m done on this side.   St Lawrence


A minister dangles from a beam. His noose is a piano wire. The brilliance of death overtakes him.

Today, the Mississippi is all broad and wide. The mass of it, the flow. Overwhelming being. In my face. On the bank, here, with Shorty, Doc’s Basset hound. He is telepathic. I have lately read about the anti-martyrs

In the 1st century Church. Staykees the Elder renounced Christ rather than suffer a death of slow burning.

George Washington threw a coin across a river. I would wade in and only slightly feel the currents pulling, wanting to pull me into the inevitable and faceless sea.

Deacon Lawrence died on the grill.

Last week, Janice and I were at the Elysian Fields, an above-ground cemetery, at the mausoleum holding Jim. A king snake was in the road. As we turned off the highway, I ran over it.

Sent Shorty, telepathically: “Tie your shoes, brother. Press on.”

Hear our minister: “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.”

Jim died in addiction. He rests with his forbears. They will all be raised after the imminent and final

conflagration. Janice wondered if snakes fed on the deceased, here. I don’t think anything burrows through concrete. There are animals that cannot– snake, hedgehog, mole.

George Washington admitted that he chopped down a cherry tree. His father beat him with a little lessened severity.

I am watching for the storm-winds of apocalypse. Its advancing surging doom. Total physical and metaphysical loss. A faceless eternity. Serious torment.

“You’ll never shoot any fish,” sends Shorty. “You are not a good enough shot.”

In Mary’s arms, an infant Christ with baby fat, chubby legs.

I stood near the Sea of Tranquility and watched the earth rise. That roiling boiling blue ball of clouds and water and life.

A mile or so downriver, a Navy destroyer begins its tentative docking. It is not alone. Downriver the air is steeped with sounds of industry. Commerce. “The slow smokeless burning” of days. The combustion of the existing of things. I burn in on myself. I am done with a mindset.

Sends Shorty: “Tie your shoes, brother. Press on.”

I was on I-10 cruising at 80 miles per. A state trooper pulled me over and said “Were you speeding? My radar hiccupped and I don’t have the accuracy I need.”

What did I say?

An hourglass appeared next to her head. In my cartoons, it was always a light bulb.

He had to take lessons at life’s acting school. He adopted the storm and distress method.

In the north Georgia hills, my mother edges the bow of her house through my life, again, taking on speed.

At night, I see figures in closely associated stars. Whenever I mention Heaven, I look up. I have lately read of Luther’s always simmering hatred toward Jews.

Staykees the Elder repented of his denial of Christ. (They were going to cook his children, too.) There was noise in the early Church about anti-martyrdom. Is there forgiveness for this? Penance. He was made to stand outside the Coliseum in ashes and sackcloth for a year.

“I am done on this side; turn me over.”

In the apocalypse gambit, the end is imminent. And the adherents are confident that they will not be in it.

Their view of it: the horsemen signal doom for all the unchurched, all the “other” groups of Christians, all adherents to the various religions, all the “grapes of wrath” who yet need a righteous trampling.

Shorty has no horsemen. He hasn’t a clue. Not one.

I hold my shotgun here on the levee’s bank. I have a box of birdshot cartridges. I wait for a mullet to jump upstream, near the shore. They do that here. I will catch one in mid hop. I think that is the best way to do it.

I have messaged Shorty on how to fetch them. I tried to talk him into fetching ducks. He refuses to swim in green “alligatory” pond water. I have had to feed him Alpo every morning for a week just to get him to jump into the river.

Bryan Merck

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