One bowl today and it was the last few pinches of Orlik golden sliced in my MM Mark Twain. This was only my second tin of OGS I’ve ever had and I liked it a lot more than the first because now i have a much better taste for Virginias.
Staying up late to watch this weeks Country Squire live show celebrating International Pipe Smoking Day. I’m finishing off said day with a bowl of Old Dark Fired in my new MM MacArthur 5Star with a glass of Famous Grouse on the side.
the triggering subject,
an anime character
locked up in the filigreed wrought brass frames of his portrait in the foyer,
martyring his secret,
homoromantic love on his cocked shoulder,
his pining daubed out
in vague muddy-purple oils
or: as a story dropped behind paper fans,
the end of a sentence dropped into a whisper
half from malignancy, half from
a kind of respect,
but when the women speak of him you can tell it’s with admiration, you can tell he had clear eyes,
a real bishonen hyacinth,
a boy michelangelo would’ve fallen for,
if /a/ had existed
yeah. flaherty comes back into focus beside me
to the rhythm of the waves, nursing
a corncob pipe, standing
next to me (standing, while i’m crouched!)
on the wharf
here, stupid, with my tennis shoes on,
his trench coat flapping in the wind.
we’re talking while watching the ships come in.
oil riggers live here. oysters
shuck the poles of the dock where it’s below.
it’s either that, flaherty says
looking out at the mast
of the ship coming in, or death,
amelia! remember that.
always, always love or death.
I have a recent picture of my entire family, taken on my mother’s birthday. None of them are toothless or wearing flour sack dresses. None of them are sucking on bottles of whiskey and smoking with both hands. None of them are lazy. They certainly do not smoke corncob pipes or tote shotguns. All of them have lived in trailers at some point in their lives. All of them are Appalachians. All of them would proudly identify as hillbillies.
They are not trash.
They are human beings.
They are my people.
i wanna grow up to be an old salty guy who lives on the docks with their lovely dog pal and i’ll constantly have a corncob pipe in my mouth, just standing by the ocean, and when some young fresh person comes out to watch the ocean too, they’ll pet my dog and maybe ask “plan to catch a lot of fish today?”
and i’ll give a gruff laugh, smiling wide, put one hand on my hip, and pull the pipe out of my mouth and say “i fucking hate fishing”. and then i’ll pet my dog
The Transylvania Land Co. buys Kentucky from the Cherokees. The company immediately begins moving its industrial operations to the area. Today, re-animating the dead is Kentucky’s fourth largest industry, right behind coal, shine and corncob pipes. The state is also a leading producer of creepy, second only to Alabama. On the downside, there are the hillbilly vampires.
i lean back in my chair, taking a long drag from my corncob pipe – it’s mostly tobacco, mostly. my flannel shirt is wrinkled; my trucker cap hangs low over my brow; it looks like I haven’t slept in twenty years, and sometimes it feels like it, too. “it ain’t just a rumor,” I say, voice low and weary. “i’ve seen ‘em myself… folks with healthy parental relationships. they’re elusive, but i’ve crossed paths with a few in my day.” I pull out a photo album (where was it concealed? beneath the chair? inside the lining of the coat draped over it? nobody knows for sure) and show you blurry photos of an old high-school friend – a cousin I’ve not seen for years – co-workers and classmates, all in shadow, all indistinct. “they’re out there. I just can’t prove it.”