The Jivin' Ladybug

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James Beach


         for _.D.P.


MEL Ankh builds votives for a living. These votives are unusual in that they're handmade. Using ready pieces of nonflammable refuse.


Glass pieces slide in, metal soldered, an occasional box of treated hardwood. It's all Green, to him. Boxes mostly are what he can think of to make. Occasionally a rusty round from a car engine, the odd diagonal fitting together of. These sell best in summer, when folks place them on their patios, to keep citranella or night light candles out of the wind.


Green aside, it's the strangeness of each votive, catching buyers' myriad brains. Each neuron in each of their heads connected to similar neurons for sight yet unfamiliar neurons for taste. Ugly candleboxes sell better near the winter holidays, he's noticed. He is shy about figuring out why. A lone most days in the shop. His cramped office filled with receipts, books, hastily drawn diagrams for the gov't, should it request to see. His income. A paltry figure.


Off-season he lets go the rented table in the park. Then it's too high of a price to offset sales. The disability checks cover minimalist vacations. Seeking more materials wherever. His shop is always low in materials fall, spring. A paying repeat customer or bum or stranger may donate on Tuesdays.


By logging, each piece, he's kept a diary of shapes. To be valuable to his grandkids one day maybe, if indeed he sires. He's getting older than his father was. Whoever comes along, Mel plans. Whomever cums.


Seasons spread into new seasons. His dormant seasons being the most valuable for sales, as that time keeps him in materials to recycle into votives. An anal fastidiousness while seeking. An analogy to pruning bushels nearly reaches him but alas, gone again. A nimbus seen at times by astuter brains. When am I gonna get rich, is what he forgets about in the off-season. Then it has a nicer tone, a richer peal: When am I gonna find another like the last? It'll make some relative feel.





H. [:the 6th journalistic ques]



How mean? Was discarded.

How ugly? Was ignored.

How wasted? Was unschooled in partying.

How cast-off? Was indie.

How delusional? Was autistic.

How hungry? Was substituting.

How misused? Was substituted.

How alone? Am impoverished.



How rich? [omitted]

How hot? How hott? [subjectivity is in my favor, baby.]

How available? not just

          <"just" the subject's word; being perhaps fair, deserved, valid, exact>

How right? terrifically intriguing-- perhaps wrong.

How write? very write, indeed, sir.

How preferential? manhood, sir.

How incremental? how miniscule? .........

How much, can "they" take?



How decisive? Was unheard.

How creative? how delightful? Was ignorable.

How refelective, how deep? Was maleable.

How. Hmm.

How. Hmm/

          Delineated-as-blah, -as-duh.




The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
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