where the writers are
Jesup, part the first

the humidity sits heavily upon the wiregrass and pines around the spanish bayonets that nobly slash and tear through the low hanging puffiness that threatens to smother that threatens to empty their vigor upon the day pushing the humidity through within amidst the spanish moss floating from the cedar the cypress graying vessels of ghosts of ancestors and friends of souls unrequited a humidity that hovers above pressing down upon the two-lane blacktop that bisects the whole lot of them the wiregrass the pines the cedar the cypress a ribbon of sizzling asphalt running right down through this isolated impoverished land of hookworm pellagra athlete's foot

the dull silver light refracts through this humid prism swims a ballet a wondrous june taylor dancer spectacular does a jello wiggle go go girl shimmy in the cage that is south georgia as the truck rumbles grumbles

wiregrass and pines everywhere looking out the window splotches of wiregrass leading right up to the line of pine soldiers a thousand deep marching down through georgia on their way to the coast way down in that part of the state that no man's land between macon and the coast down along the alapaha river making its way

meandering on around

way down through the wiregrass wasteland to jesup just a little clearing in the woods don't know how they got there don't know why they stayed it's just a bend in the river down around about the middle of but not quite near nowhere

some called it home some called it theirs

some called only to get a busy signal

some called it way down there way over yonder just as general sherman marched from atlanta to milledgeville to savannah across the river and on into the carolinas

yeah back in the day back in those times back before they gave a shit them a conquered people

humbled and stubborn and angry and bitter and run back driven back into the bushes with their tails between their legs reminded of their humiliation over and over and over again

every day

ron's grandmomma she spits at the mere mention of general william tecumseh sherman

shit it happens but when it does

they sanctify the lord god in their hearts ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is with meekness and fear

lord god who abandons them in their time of need lord god who abandons them wanders his old trails his familiar paths touching the anointed ones disregarding those who abandoned him first

he's a jealous god he's a mischievous god

but he's their god he's all they got

and the chevy shortbed pickup pulls to a stop alongside the curb its motor turning over hesitantly like it ain't yet done like it don't want to stop it's got a couple more firings left in the plugs

an old smoker climbing the last step of the staircase the truck it wheezes it coughs it burps it gives

a shudder a shake

a sunday morning hangover sitting on the toilet a sweaty chill going up the old man's spine the bowels flutter wind and drop tight whiskey bound shit plop plop

a loosening a release

an ah fuck

a couple of dirt clods dried earthen meatloaves having attached themselves to the undercarriage after the last heavy rain after the last slow splashing trudge across the muck of the bog near the family farm having attached themselves to the undercarriage like muddy land-barnacles they these melangesque scum chunks they let go their desperate clinging they're casually dislodged from below the rear fender they fall tumble through the monoxide thickness land explode into a series of tiny mushroom puffs

a nothingness that floats heavenward

a body moves behind a windshield painted with the corpses of a thousand coupling love bugs a weary molasses shadow just beyond the thin outline of wiper tracks where the brittle rubber blades once danced in vain not that it matters not that the world this day presents any vivid disneyana upon which to gaze

the door wheezes open one then two brogans step heavily onto the runner onto the road back of the sleeve wipes the brow as the feed and seed cap is lifted eyes squint into the harsh nauseousness of the day

not a cloud to be seen not even a wisp not even a haze don't matter none ain't no nevermind the late morning august sky in jesup still about as tired and grey and lifeless as the old gelding's limp dick ain't much good come out of it exceptin' a weak piss an afternoon sprinklin' that don't do no good precipitation that hardly hits ground before returning home the ground this time of the year this part of the coastal summer this south georgia hell hole just up the road from brunswick just down the road from savannah a land so scorched and dry the grass it snaps crackles pops as ron johnson he takes the slow walk across the courthouse lawn to the big white marble steps that lead up to the big wooden doors that opened to this seat of county governance that lead up to this morning's hearing that

lead up to his tomorrow

the pines and shrubbery a dull drooping green the azaleas browning at the edges their flowers crumpled dead beneath and ignored by the gang of stink bugs batting about the collection of rolypolies balled up in the dust

the magnolia though thick with leaves appears not to cast even the whisper of a shadow

a couple of tweets maybe they're finches perhaps they're wrens they peck about so slowly the insects barely have to move to avoid being made a meal a gnarly feral cat gazes lazily from its nap its hunger pangs submissive to the heat and humidity hoping its avian dinner will wait til later

a miserable fuck of a place jesup in august

the only life seemingly worth living the only life with a purpose this morning this unending moment in time this world so heavy that the hands of the clock crawl through the sorghum air barely budging barely punching their way to the next second the next minute the only life with any will to continue these vicious little fire ants little fiendish fuckers frantically scurrying about the several templish mounds arising up from the middle of the yard like some post-apocalyptic sodom and gomorrah

they the fire ants go about their business moving grains of sand from here to there waiting for maybe daring some flip flop wearing fool to stumble across provoke them into a swarming red menace

god's curse wrought by herman talmadge jay bee stoner and the brotherhood

my sweet lord

this heat

such a long slow death

a poor soul might as well just go ahead take out the black jack throw away the cork take a shot take another guzzle the rest put the pedal to the metal toss the bottle to the wind drive on into the drainage ditch run the front of the truck into the culvert drive the steering post through your chest smash the life out of your broken heart goddamn better to go out in a flash

than to whither away like these magnolia blossoms

better to follow all these others over the last few years drunken high school volunteers soldiers of death don't you know all you gotta do release the wheel spread your arms wide sing a song for jesus

a bottle a blindfold light up a fag pull back the hammer with a click squeeze the trigger

shitty shitty bang bang

hum the henry miller mantra lo the freedom to kill ourselves is that one true advantage we humble humans have over god

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