Concise Prose. Enough Said.
purple feathers backround pattern


By Merry Speece

The sad man irons.
The sad man sands, saddening.
The sad man standing shaves his shadow.

He irons.

He awaits that Hawkins female Sadie, irons her sateen undies. Over and
over, lovingly, same pair. The gal’s got grit. His own lily of the sand and him the crane, sandhill. What in the sam hill. Irons.

Gregor Samsa, meet Sam Houston.

And now a matching pair, stole and camisole, of madder lake. Camisole, in
fact, with shelf bra. “When breast milk talks, people will listen.” Merry
mama of gawd. And him her galactopoietic muse.

Irons the thumbs of mittens.

Back in his band’s glory days, he played jazz banjo. Played jazz banjo to
ten minute standing ovulations.

Now in the latter days of Pompey. Mirandize. Mirandize the villagers. Out
of the bus onto the touristy village streets spill seniors. Old people
those pushovers, out of my way, you marshmallow peeps.

Celibate as a lay pope’s own doo-dad.

Irons and irons the king-bed sheets while on the big screen, baseball,
smack, that first hard whack. Climax. The girls he got to first base,
second, third base. Home.

But then Sadie along the roadside with her sign: Will Dream for Sex.
Standing there in her prom dress, faint, the blood pooling in her feet.
Love at first sight. How long would he love her? “Always.”

For her birthday one year he gave raspberry Snickelfritz homemade soap and a rubber nun (cat-and-bathtub toy) so that night S.ended up, in her own words, Snicklefritz squeaky nun clean.

He would love now to give her her very own Joseph Cornell love box:
“Assemblage, Petit”: N. Bonaparte; a vignette (printer’s); pince-nez; infant
Nez Perce.

If only she’d come back.

o\ /o

Our ironing man takes a bathroom break. Ahhh. The Madhi in samadhi.
Whoa now, touched porcelain, didn’t want to.

Mankind! Dude Love!

No one draws heat like the Iron Sheik.

Flushes, checks his navel. The sorry born-on date of his tire.

And he must remember to check the online instructions for the polite way to
eat curled pork bits on a nude beach.

o\ /o

Coming up in our next half hour: weaponized brucellosis. What would Emily
Dickinson do. WWEDD.

To iron a bride’s stiff dress shields on her big day. And her dress, old
velvet he must not forget to gather up to mirror.

STATE WILD PIG POPULATION EXPLODES. “I’ve got a special place in my heart for feral pigs”. Headline, Valentine.

Was he to be forever her gegenschein – or gegenschwein?

A woman with a plan (and a canal and Panama). Fuck the palindrome.

What the President calls the whim of a hat – iron that!

On and on, the pieces’ newsless softness.

But then: Man opens fire in fireworks display.

o\ /o

Darling, the cellist, plays the coda to the microtones of the Wulu Bunum in
“Pasibutbut,” the sound of humming bees.

o\ /o

Change: the fishing channel.

Poke boat and a pink canoe.

All the things you do that you shouldn’t do in a see-through canoe.

That pleasure-seeking device, her laptop, leaves her thighs rosy.

Another flashback: pasted on the curves of the doily heart she mailed him
from afar, the bbs of her mammogram nipple guides.

He turns his head to watch out the window a line of schoolgirls – or are
those – so easy to confuse – the sexy schoolmoms? One strolls past in black pullover, boatneck, and leans a little towards him: tiny crimson strap.

Just that.

Essence of raspberry and player piano. Slow gizz finn.

o\ /o

Girl chivalry (the way Sade always said): “Nice pants.”

Yes, and what’s in a man’s pants, what we call vogelgesang.

Irons his light pants and goes out for today’s eclipse.

Merry Speece has published two chapbooks of poetry and been a recipient of a state arts commission fellowship in prose. Her Sisters Grimke Book of
was published in 2004 by Oasis Books (England). A prose piece of hers is in an online anthology at and another was published last year in Nixion Under the Bodhi Tree and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction, Wisdom Publications.

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