eight miles high
drones
gods and
tourists
criss-cross
the sky
anger
be now your song
immortal one sing
sing
o goddess
rage
sing the rage
yeah no
yeah
no as the driverless
train
lurches left then
right
braking
she rages a-loud
yeah
no
yeah no
with her
hands
eyes and
jeans
pre-stressed
blue and white
that’s a picture of me
that’s
a
picture
of
me but
that’s
not me her
friends
also gods nod
and
mock
faces
a-light
in pre-stressed
blue and
white
phone-glow
here it is
lyndzee's nude selfie
gracing now
a circle of
phones
it is you
they
prove
with numbers
and
inside
the prestressed
genes
of their
brain minds
and on their
bodies too they
already
feel it
what
albert einstein says about
god
not
playing dice
cus
albert too
feels it breaking
now
the bond
between
body
and
belief
cut to
ethan
aka
marion mitchell morrison
aka
duke
aka
john wayne
walks
up
behind
ward bond
who is sitting
at
the
table
eating
a donut and
drinking
coffee he leans
down and
says
captain the reverend samuel
johnson clayton mighty
impressive
rising
still chewing ward bond
aka
the reverend
says
well
the prodigal brother when'd
you get back i ain't seen you
since the surrender come to
think of it i didn't see you
at
the
surrender
don't believe in surrenders
says
ethan
turning away reaching for
his gun
belt no
i still got my sabre reverend
didn't turn it into no
ploughshare
neither
mose harper
in a rocking
chair
near
the
hearth
is looking at martha edwards
aka
dorothy jordan
who
is
looking
off screen
at
ethan
the injuns did it mizz
edwards
kaw or
kiowas
old mose knows yes sir
he says
oh shut up mose
says
charlie mccorry
thank you
says mose
my cattle's been run off
says
lars jorgensen
sitting
drinking
coffee
gesturing also
with
a
donut
ethan
does up his gun belt
debbie edwards
is
at
the
table
drinking
milk
and
off screen
aaron edwards
aka
walter coy
says
ethan i'm counting on you to
look
after things while i'm
gone
you're not going
says ethan
what
says aaron
he sure is going
i
already swore
him
in
says the reverend
well
swear him
out again i'll go with
you
ethan i don't think i should
i got
a
responsibility
stay close aaron might be
this is rustlers
might be this doddering
old idiot ain't so
far
wrong could be comanche
kind words ethan
thank ya kindly
says mose
children go with lucy
says
martha
debbie leaves
the table
aw mom
says
ben
ben
says
martha edwards
comanche
says
the reverend rubbing
his chin
turning
to
ethan
well alright i'll swear
you in
no need to wouldn’t be legal
anyway
why not you wanted for a
crime ethan
coffee ethan
thank you martha
you asking me as a captain or
a preacher sam
i'm asking you as a ranger of
the sovereign state of
texas
you got a warrant
asks ethan
you fit a lot of descriptions
says sam
i figure a man's only good
for one oath at a time
i took mine to the
confederate states of
america
so did you sam
stay close aaron
says
ethan walking
away
vell tank you mrs edwards vee
have to be going
says
lars jorgensen
and
thank you miz edwards
says
charlie mccorry
aka ken curtis
and
grateful to the hospitality
of your rocking chair m'am
says mose
close behind charlie
and lars
and all
out
the front door
as
aaron
puts his hand on martha's
shoulder
and
she puts her
hand
on
his
o gods
our greek earth will be
drown’d in just tears
rapeful troy
her king and all his sons
will make as just
a mock and joy
of these
disjunctions
or
28 march 1841
south australia
ain't it just like the night
to play tricks when you're
tryin' to be so quiet
here
it is flat
empty of
life only
several species of tree or
scrub
survive
scattered
bent
stunted
in the hard
red earth
no clouds constant
wind white
light blue
sky merciless
horizon i hate
these flies and the heat
each of us everyday
gets 2
pounds of flour
1
cup of sugar a handful of tea
and
what's left
of
the sheep i won't
eat lizard
or
snake it’s not
right for a whiteman the
horses
need better grass we
bury 4
muskets
12 boxes of
shot and powder
the sextant 6
books a
pickaxe
blankets
and 4 saddles i know
what it is to be
hungry
cut to
i shoot
a kangaroo
and chase
it
for most of the day
finally catching
it
clubbing it
as the sun goes
down
i lie
on the dead
animal
feel
the heat drain away
we sit here stranded though
we all do our best to deny it
6 april
today we did 21
miles west
north-west
yarry shoots another
kangaroo
the blood tastes
of iron
and louise holds a handful of
rain tempting you to defy it
camping
last night near tolerable
grass
the horses are doing better
than i
imagined
for several evenings
now
we've seen smoke
from
small fires
these
must be native
camps in the morning
we begin
heading for what
looks like a large
tree
we walk all day
toward
that marker finally coming
upon
it
in the evening
not a large tree at
all
a shrub
no taller than a horse by the
fire
under
a blanket
of stars
the wind
tells me tales
lights flicker from the
opposite loft
before
the sun is up
i crawl through the bush
collecting
dew drinking
the heat makes
me
sleepy 2 small
lizards fucking
in this room the heat pipes
just cough
lunch
cut
to
county kildare once
a convict now a free man
wherever i am
rachel is with me
meanwhile
further internet searches
show
that nude selfie
and
a list
of
lyndzee's
164
interests
and
at
or near
the top is
are
conversation
camping
holidays
mexican food
nights in watching youtube
reading
dinner with friends
the lion king
and
that she lived
lives
in
jupiter florida
denver colorado
and
or
eugene oregon
and
or
in
a
youtube clip
talking
with a young
man
about
perfume
clothes
and
makeup
she
looks
happy and
playful
but
pause
the clip anywhere
and
her face frozen also
shows fear
worry
terror
mother
mother
as my life came from you
though it is brief
honour at least from zeus
the
thunderer
i call my due
23 april
morning coming
over
a rise
we surprise
several
families
at camp we are english
we are looking for
the
inland sea
who
are
you
they stare
at us
we stare at them
the country music station
plays
soft
they stare at us
we stare at them
but there's nothing really
nothing
to
turn
off
hornsea england 1826
my name is edward john eyre
i am 10
years old
the son of a yorkshire
vicar the cotton
in my clothes
comes by way of
sail
from egypt
where isis
rules
supreme in magic
power
cunning
and knowledge
her name means throne
and she is
the
devoted sisterwife of osiris
and
mother of horus
just louise and her lover so
entwined
my room
has two
windows
overlooking our garden
and
these visions of johanna that
conquer my mind
through them
i can see 11 miles into the
distance i know
because
i pace it out
my family
comes to england with william
the conqueror
my father
tells me his
great
great
great
great
grandfather lost a leg
at agincourt
that i have
a duty
to him
i see god's
wisdom
in the empty lot where the
ladies play blindman's bluff
with the key chain
his order
in
everything
i study
and
excel
in mathematics
and
the natural
sciences
am
taught how
to
trap
kill
and
preserve
samples
of the local
flora and fauna
i am 19 when
150 pounds
is put down
as
a
deposit
for the purchase
of a
commission
in the army
after
several months of waiting
my father
decides
i
should
make my fortune
in australia and
or
i am
nyungar
i learn
mineng
bibbulman and goreng
languages
i am licking
sweet nectar from
a bright yellow
banksia
cone
i sit on the ground
watch
my mother fuck for
grog she is
beaten
there is a soft breeze
it rains
washing the dirt from her
face
i hold
her
as
she bleeds
to
death
and the all-night girls
whisper of escapades out on
the d-train
the elders throw rocks and
spears
at
the whitefella
who killed her he sits
at the edge of our camp
and
then
is
gone
i live
near the sea
with
dogs and rubbish looking
for
food i have
many
brothers and sisters uncles
and aunts
family
is everywhere i learn
to
speak
english
dutch and french
several white men come
with horses and
a wagon and
take
my
sister
away
i sleep
under a church wear
pants
a shirt
and hat
am named
wylie
i work
for food am told to pray
before
there is hair on my chin
i am a cabin boy on a french
whaler
stranded
in
adelaide
we can hear the night
watchman click his flashlight
ask himself if it's him or
them that's really insane
my father tells us
we are royalty
sons
and
daughters of niall of
the 9 hostages
i do not know
how
old i am
when
he dies of a fever
after being
stepped on
by
a
horse i have
3 sisters
and
1 brother
my youngest sister dies
along with my
mother
during
the summer hunger we live
in
a windowless
mud and
thatch hut
in
county kildare
when told to vacate
the land rachel
my oldest sister
and
i walk
to dublin
we sleep
under
a bridge
i learn to graft
we live in a room above
a
stable rachel
is a prostitute
i
steal
matching rings
louise she’s alright she’s
just near
rachel is bleeding he refuses
to pay
we fight
i
kill
him
with his own knife
i sew her
up we flee
to london she says
we are wed now
you and me
john baxter the city
smells of shit
we eat
rats
she’s delicate and seems like
a mirror
rachel goes to the river
with
fiona i never
see either
of
them
again
i'm caught
imprisoned for theft now
on a barge
on the river
that
took
my
sister awaiting
transportation to australia
i marry
another rachel
she is pregnant we are
6
weeks at sea
below
decks in
a puddle of sick
shit
rats
flies and lice
rachel
catches a fever
and
dies wrapped
in a
shroud
they
throw her in the ocean
but she just makes it all too
concise
and
too
clear
that johanna’s not here
ah
my son
why have i rear’d thee
would that
without tears
or
cause for tears
transient
as is
thy life
a little span
thy days
might pass at troy but
short
and
sorrowful
the fates
ordain thy life
peculiar
trouble
must be thine
whom therefore
oh
that i had never borne
but
seeking the olympian hill
snow-crown’d
i will myself plead for thee
in
the
ear
of jove
the thunderer
meantime
at thy fleet
abiding
let
thy wrath against
the
greeks
still burn
and
altogether
cease
from
war
today
if
somebody calls you
a lyndzee
they mean
the most amazing girl
you will
ever
meet
ever
she is beautiful and loving
the
kind of girl
any guy
would die
for
she might be stubborn
sometimes
but
she is there
for anyone
anytime
she
is
blessed in all the right
places
need I say
more
can I say
more
yes
but there aren't enough
words
to describe
how wonderful
she is
if
you meet one
consider
yourself
lucky
because
god only makes a handful
of lyndzee's love
her
and
she'll love you like no
one
else
will
and
the word
lyndzee is
derived from
the old scottish surname
de lindsay
meaning
from lindsey
a coastal district
of
lincolnshire
in northeastern england
cut to
aaron
takes
his shotgun from
the wall
loads
it
i think i'll try and pick off
a couple of sage hens before
supper
yes
you do that aaron
says martha
as
she and debbie set
the
table
my
the days are getting shorter
says lucy
aka
pippa scott
lucy
we don't need a lamp yet
says martha
anxious
let's just enjoy the dusk
lucy shrugs
and
takes
the lamp from the table
ben
walks in carrying
the
sabre
ethan
gave him he
stops
at
the threshold looks back
out
over
his
shoulder
it's alright ma i've been
watchin it's only
martha touches
his arm
he
turns
to
face
her
what ben
she asks
i wish uncle ethan was here
don't you ma
together
they
look out
the door of the log cabin
cut
to
aaron
is
standing at
a
hitching post
martha
and ben
are
framed
in the doorway
of
the log cabin
behind him
he
looks intently
left
to
right
his
brow
furrows
his grip on
the rifle
tightens
there are
several
glints
of light
coming from within
a bush in the distance
a coyote
howls
aaron backs away
toward the house
looks at
martha
close that shutter ben good
boy
says martha
hurrying
to
close other
thick
wooden shutters
aaron
runs
in shuts
the door
ma i can't find
lucy
yells martha
rushing
to
blow
out the lamp
that
lucy
has placed
on
the table
and
lucy looks
around the room
at her father
aaron
with his
rifle
rushing to shutter
windows
then
at her mother
eyes wide
she
puts
a
hand
to her already open
mouth
looks
at the camera
at us
she
screams
martha
slaps her
stop it stop it
shouts martha
lucy
cries
they
hug
cut to
aaron opens a window and
looks out
at a large
sandstone
butte
under a
dark blue sky
and
several hundred yards
away
a cloud of dust
drifts
across the sand and
sage grass plain
of
monument valley
aka
tsé biiʼ ndzisgaii
which
in navajo
means
valley of the rocks
and
martha brings debbie
aka
lana wood
to the
open
window
saying
we're going to play our
sleep-out game remember where
you hide-out with grandma
where she's buried
asks debbie
and you'll creep along the
ditch very quietly
like
like a little mouse
says debbie
smiling
hurry up martha the moons
fixin' to rise
says aaron martha wraps
debbie in a shawl
holds her
close
and you won't make a sound or
come back no matter what you
hear promise
i promise
aaron
picks her up
places her on the sill
wait can't i have topsey
there's no time
here she is baby
says martha handing debbie
her doll
ben and lucy
look
on
ben
clutching the sabre
lucy
a rifle
now down low
run
says aaron
pushing debbie off the sill
baby
cries martha
collapsing
arms
outstretched
aaron pulls her
in
and
shutters the window cut
to
a dog steps
through
a small passage in the side
of
the house barking it
runs up
to
debbie
go back chris go back go back
chris chris go back go back
chris
says debbie
the dog walks
back
toward the house and
debbie sits
down
next to a tombstone she
is about to
have
words
with
topsey
when a low note
from the orchestra
sounds
and
a shadow
falls
over her and
topsey she
looks up cut to
a man
with
feathers
in his black hair
red and yellow paint
on
his
face scowling
he looks around
then blows
into
a
bull's
horn
and
as
the note
sounds the scene
fades
to
black
to which achilles
groaning deep
replies
my mother
it is true
olympian jove
that prayer fulfills
but thence
what joy to me
patroclus slain
the friend of all my friends
whom most i loved
dear to me as my life
him
i have lost
and
or
12 june 1841
rain
at last god has seen fit
to
preserve us
and our
endeavour we dig
holes
and spread
tarpaulin
our kegs and buckets
leak
we are cold and
wet and
without sleep for days
tonight
we roast
and eat from a dead horse
for 2
days
cramps
diarrhoea
vomiting
i decide to leave
to walk
back
home
and
while stealing
a gun
and
some sugar
i
yarry
shoot
john baxter who
is
found
delirious
dying
his eyes stare up
at the night sky rachel
rachel
he says
i
edward john eyre
hold his
head
close his
eyes
wrap him
in a blanket
and
make a cairn
of him
the ghost of electricity
howls in the bones of her
face
i am a child
where these visions of
johanna have now taken my
place
when
i see my first whitefella
we are ngunawal
my father is a singer
he spears
a kangaroo
in the neck the spirit
enters my mother
gives me life
names me
yarry
this mark on my neck
i am that
kangaroo i watch
the dancing and
singing
and learn
baiame made the land
and us
from the land
then he
stepped
back
into the sky
we move with the seasons
digging
planting
hunting
burning
singing
dancing
making
country
i watch from the verge
the whitefellas chop
down
trees
build fences and
scratch
long lines in the ground
everyday
i
move a little
closer
i
help them they
give
me
food and a torn
shirt
i
learn
their words and
teach
them mine
uncle drinks
grog
walks
crooked
and drowns
in the river my mother
carries
a nail
in her dilly-bag
for digging and sewing
we are forbidden
to
hunt and fish
where
we
always
hunt and fish
we spear a cow
for food whitefellas
ride
through
our camp scattering
our fire
smashing
our home
my father dies of a fever
after
being
stepped on
by a horse
we move further
away now
little boy lost
out here
i am son
and cousin to nothing and
nobody
he takes himself so seriously
tired
thirsty
hungry
i miss my land
my family
with our footsteps
to guide me
back
i walk away from the dead man
away from the whitefella
and
blackfella
funny faces yelling my name
yarry yarry away
from the flour
and
sugar and
dying
horses
shaking the dew from
bushes
eating lizards and berries
i walk
home
the wind pushes him home
days
nights
walking
my stomach
cramps
my muscles
ache
my face tries to
cry
but nothing comes
out
he lies down
out
of the wind
the sun warms
his body ants
crawl across
my
face
he wakes
i feel them
on my tongue
and
in my nose
i keep
walking
all day and night
and all the next
day
and night
and
in my sleep
he stumbles
forward falls
looking
up at the full moon
i feel the night ground
hungry
my body growing
colder
too weak to shiver
now
a
part
of this land
and
60,000 years
or
so
before he i
yarry
dies
men women and children walk
from sand bar
to
sand
bar
across a shallow body
of
water
from
land that
will later be
called
west papua
and
papua may be a tidore
word that means
land that is far
away
and
or
a
malay
word that
means
frizzy haired
to a land
that is
now
called
australia
a latin word
meaning south
land
and later
the sons and daughters
of the grandsons and
granddaughters
of
their children and their
children's children
move out and
around
the edges
of
this island
continent
learning to
live
on
and
with
the land and
what made the land
and
all that lives on
and
under
the land
and
where i lie dead once
was
a
shallow seabed
now
is
the earth's largest
single slab
of
exposed
limestone
called
kattaundiri
or
the nullarbor
plain
or
undire
which
to
the mirning people is
a
word that means
bare
like a bone
but
it is not bones but
tiny sea shells
now
limestone
and
the mirning
are
also called
baaduk
which
to
peoples
north
of the mirning
means
circumcised or ignorant
and under
kattaundiri
undire
or
the nullarbor plain
is
a
network
of caves home
to
phosphorescent insects
white
sightless
fish
and
a
devil serpent
or
whale
called
jeedara
who
when angered
lashes
himself about causing
dust storms
that
sweep
across
the plain
and
the caves that are
beneath
our
bone bare land
open onto
jeedara's
other home
the sea
and
but
before this
before
jeedara had a home beneath
our
bone
bare
land
jeedara is
watching a ceremony
where
the
wombat
is changing skins
with the seal
and
yugarilya
or
the seven sisters
from
the constellation also
called
pleiades
see jeedara
and
seeing that
he
is
circumcised
or
uninitiated
chase
him
with their digging
sticks
towards
another
ceremonial ground
in
the
west and in the
pursuit
jeedara
pushing the waters
of
the
sea
ahead of
him creates
caves and blowholes
and
he smashes
into
the land
and
creates
the cliffs
of
the great australian bight
aka
the southern edge of
the nullarbor plain
aka
the once and future
limestone slab of a seabed
with
his
shoulders
so that his friends
a black
dingo
and
a white
dingo
can walk there
beside him
and
keep
him
company
as he
swims west
to a special teaching
place
at
which
he is
instructed in tribal
law
and
then
jeedara swims further
west
to a place where
he
dances
and
mates with his wives
4th august 1844
london
he presents a
paper
and
some specimens
to the royal geographical
society
he brags of his misery
based on his specimens there
is
conjecture
that
once
there
was an
inland sea but
not
anymore
not
for many
thousands of
years
he likes to live dangerously
he applies
for
and
is
awarded
a job
in the colonial office while
waiting
for
a
posting
he stays
with his father
at the vicarage
in
hornsea he walks
along
the beach
wondering if yarry ever
made it
home
he
remembers
watching him go
hoping
he would
come back putting
a
rock
with
a fossilized shell
in it on
baxter's cairn
the wind
in his ears
and
dirt in his teeth
dogs barking
kids running
cheering
and when bringing her name up
he speaks of a farewell kiss
to me
the band plays god save the
queen
marching
to
the
edge
of
adelaide
sweating
in ceremonial
dress drinking
kangaroo blood
black ants with sky-blue
abdomens
white light
red earth
at night
a shroud of stars
the shriek of a cockatoo
a puddle of maggots
on
a
dying horse the breasts
of
a
black girl dew
encrusted spider
webs walking
toward his shadow
in the morning and away
from
it
in the afternoon
wylie comes
and goes
at night with dead lizards
and snakes
and
in
the
morning
with a dew
soaked sponge one by
one
the horses
die
i take 5 steps looking at the
ground and 5 steps looking at
the horizon 5 steps looking
at the ground and 5 steps
looking at the horizon 5
steps
looking
at the ground
5 steps
looking at the horizon
now curled
under
a bush
the
sun
high
overhead
he’s sure got a lotta gall to
be so useless and all
i can't
move
muttering
small talk at the wall while
i’m in the hall
wylie smiling
holding
a
big
yellow
banksia cone
dripping sweet nectar home
he says pointing
westward
home
oh
how can i explain
it’s so hard to get on
in
london
he meets sarah
a daughter
of
a
friend of a friend
of his
father’s
and these visions of johanna
they kept me up past the dawn
he's handsome
i am in thrall to his
exploits
our first posting
is
to
new
zealand
as lieutenant governor
i
arrive in wellington
on
11 july 1847
poor already
having
spent a quarter
of
my yearly
salary
on
several
new suits
with brocade
and
silver
lace
a fine warm
day
a 13
gun
salute
the dressed yards of 2
warships and the band of the
65th
plays
god save the queen they say
in person
he is
tall
very thin
with
a tip-toeing gait
narrow-chested
has
a bad tailor
a most disagreeable
countenance
a bad head
phrenologically speaking
small and contracted
indicating something
materially
short of
full capacity
peculiar
of
speech
the
very
border
of
an impediment
taciturn
awkward
a sheep herder
a nobody
inside the museums
infinity goes up on trial
five months after
my arrival
i am sworn in
and
on
10 january 1851
i
he
is relieved of duties
as lieutenant governor of new
zealand
married 3 years
2 daughters
sailing back
to
england
pacing the deck
wondering
if yarry ever made it
home watching him
go
hoping
he would come
back
in london
i take the girls window
shopping
we
stroll
through the park
and watch
a man making
daguerreotypes
voices echo
this is what salvation
must be like after awhile
shoes
dresses
coats
shawls
hats
mother mother
they shout
only they
will ever call me
mother
his father
now
walks
with a cane
sleeps
till mid-day
by
the
fire
head tilted to one side
retired
still in
hornsea
he lives on his savings and
pension
it is generous
of
him to
accommodate
us
for so
long
and
under
such circumstances
i have written
again
to the colonial office
explaining
the unfairness of
certain
payments
withheld
and
expenses incurred
without
remuneration
and
await
reply then
from bristol to the ivory
coast
rocking
and
rolling
now
in jamaica
the carriage
stops
stuck
at an angle we walk
the
remaining
100 yards
up
to
government house
it is
hot
and the overgrowth
stifles
all
hope
of a breeze mother and
i rest
our dresses
and shoes
stained
rust red
with
dirt the house
is dark
the roof
leaks the walls
are
damp windows do
not open the drain
stinks of rotting
flesh
the
privy is a hole
set off
from the larder
by
means
of
a
curtain
but even mona lisa musta had
the highway blues
you can tell by the way she
smiles
escorted
through
the
heat
and stench
of kingston
shopping
with the girls i
witness
several instances of public
drunkenness
see the primitive wallflower
frieze
2 brawls
when the jelly-faced women
all sneeze
solicitous
acts
and
men
openly
relieving
themselves
against carriage wheels
and
walls
hear the 1 with the moustache
say jeez
our eldest is just coming
into
womanhood
i can’t find my knees
159
years
later
in afghanistan
see if you can zoom in on
that guy
says the mission coordinator
or
mc stationed at creech air
force base in
clark county nevada
and
the drone pilot or
dp
also
at
creech
but in the room
next door
asks
is that a rifle
and
the
drone camera operator
dco
who is sitting
next
to
the dp
says
i can't really tell right now
dp says
i was hoping we could make a
rifle out see if anybody else
has anything interesting what
about the guy under the north
arrow does it look like he's
holding something across his
chest
camera operator
or co
says
yeah it's kinda weird how
they all have a cold spot on
their chest
dp
they wrap their shit up in
their mandresses so you can't
identify it
co
that truck would make a
beautiful target that’s a
chevy suburban
mc
screener said at least one
child near suv
co
bullshit where send me a
fucking still i don't think
they have kids out at this
hour i know they're shady but
come on
mc
they're reviewing
dp
yeah review that shit why
didn't he say possible child
why are they so quick to call
kids but not to call a rifle
mc
two children were at the rear
of the suv i haven't seen two
children
then
a
special operations soldier
sos
lying
on his belly
in
the
dirt
in
afghanistan
and
less than
half a kilometre
away from the chevy suburban
says
we'd like to keep tracking
them we want to take out the
whole lot
dp
i don't think he's going to
let us shoot
mc
that truck's got everyone in
the open so a hellfire would
do dandy
co
a gas tank makes for a good
secondary too i hit a vehicle
once before and it was a big
black cloud
mc
all three vehicles have just
stopped everybody is
dismounting we have eighteen
military-aged males
dismounted and spreading out
looks like blankets
co
they're praying they are
praying this is definitely it
this is their force
mc
they are going to do
something nefarious maybe
headquarters will let us have
one vehicle since we tracked
them so long adolescent near
the rear of the suv
co
well teenagers can fight
mc
pick up a weapon and you're a
combatant it's how it works
co
one guy praying at the front
of the truck sweet target i'd
try to go through the bed of
the truck put it right dead
centre
mc
that'd be perfect
dp
can't wait till it actually
happens
mc
looks like they're about to
be coming up to a little town
dp
our screeners are currently
calling twenty-one militaryaged
males no females and two
possible children
sos
when we say children are we
talking teenagers or toddlers
co
not toddlers something more
toward adolescents or teens
sos
like i said twelve to
thirteen years old with a
weapon is just as dangerous
co
oh we agree yeah
dp
hope we get to shoot the
truck with all the dudes in
it
meanwhile
i struggle to remember
the smell
of
the dark earth and
freshly mown
grass
at the cemetery in hornsea
on my husband’s behalf
i write
to the colonial secretary
complaining
of
the meagre
wage
and housekeeping
stipend
awarded a temporary
governor
why is it
half
what a governor
receives
when
the duties social and
professional
are
the
same
oh
jewels and binoculars hang
from the head of the mule
as
the council hears news
of bloody feathers
disembowelled
goats
and
late night
gatherings dark
affronts
to the established church
but these visions of johanna
they make it all seem so
cruel
cut to
and or
where the circling key-bone
from the neck
disjoins the shoulder
there
his throat appear'd
there
achilles aim'd
and
there
his javelin tore
stern passage quite
through
hector's neck
and
the camera pans left
to
right across a plain
white
with snow crowded
with buffalo
milling
about scraping
at
the frozen
ground
grazing
on the soundtrack
tympani
beat out a steady
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
as
ethan and martin pawley
aka
jeffrey hunter
enter frame
carrying rifles
the strings
jump
a semi
tone
and
the time
doubles
as
ethan kneels
brings
rifle to shoulder
sights
fires
the music stops
the
right
front
leg of a buffalo
buckles
and
the animal falls
the herd
startles
begins to run
he fires twice
more
the sound
echoes
off the hills
across
the plain
the
herd stampedes
grimacing
ethan
takes cover among
a stand of
trees
fires 2 more
times
martin
enters
frame
yells
ethan this don't make no
sense
hunger and empty bellies
that's the sense it makes you
blanket head
martin
grabs the barrel
of
ethan's rifle yelling
ethan stop it
ethan
knocks
martin
to
the
ground
aims and pulls
the
trigger but
the gun
is
empty he grabs
martin's
rifle
saying
at least they won't feed any
comanche this winter
and fires
3
more
shots
cut
to
24 april 1864
he is
i am
appointed
governor-in-chief of
jamaica
with
the commensurate
increase
in salary
effective
immediately
the peddler now speaks to the
countess who’s pretending to
care for him
my eyes
are failing
i
read the letter several
times
name me someone that’s not a
parasite and i’ll go out and
say a prayer for him
it
is
very
hot
humid
and still
i
cannot tell
you
i cannot tell anybody
how it makes
the body
smell
but like louise always says
ya can’t look at much can ya
man as she herself prepares
for him
i wash
and
wash
still
the damp smells
rise from my skirts
and madonna she still has not
showed
he grabs me
around
the waist yelling
fire murder
fire
murder
i will put them back
please
let me go
i will put them
back
2 months
hard labour
and
beatings
for
trying to
steal
2 bundles of cane
valued
at 1 shilling
gunshots
it is dark
i smell
smoke
my wife
and
daughters are
sleeping
down
the hill
the courthouse
is
burning
we see this empty cage now
corrode
beatings
by the mulatto militia
hard
labour digging
weeds
out of
a red earth
for
a
white
man
my skirt
and blouse
are in tatters
exposing
me
to
jeers
and cold
where her cape of the stage
once had flowed
my mother is stepped on
by a horse
before
she dies
she tells me
of
the
crossing shackled to
12
other girls
covered
in darkness
covered
in
flies
rats and shit
rocking
on the sea
2 months
hard labour
for
trying to
steal
2 bundles of cane
valued at 1
shilling
now
the courthouse
is burning
we are
dancing
drunk
angry
tired
hungry
i
he
suspends
the constitution
and declares
martial law
the fiddler he now steps to
the road
arms
are distributed black
masses
are rumoured
people
fill
the
square
he writes everything’s been
returned which was owed
every white male
and
landed
mulatto
receives
2 rifles and
100
cartridges
on the back of the fish truck
that loads
fires sweep over
the hills
across
farms
livestock
stampede a horse harnessed
to
a
burning
livery
runs through
town
while my conscience explodes
a child
shot
in the eye stands
round mouthed
silent
one
hand
cupped
to her
face
crying blood courts
are convened
men
armed with clubs
knives
guns
shovels
bloodied
feared
fearful
roam the towns
and countryside
killing
looting raping chasing
chased
by an armed militia
sworn to serve
and
protect people are
shot on
sight
on
suspicion
bodies
hang from
trees
gibbets
windows
from ropes
vines and
bed sheets
eyes bulging
naked
his body shakes
dying
he gets an erection scores
settled
businesses
buildings
estates
whole plantations
plundered
burned
naked
pinned to the ground
legs spread
her throat
is slit
her body
flayed
clubbed
set alight
shot
screaming
the harmonicas play the
skeleton keys in the rain
men
women
children
silenced
their bodies
stacked
neatly
in
rows
and these visions of johanna
are now all that remain
as
priam enters stands
near to
achilles
clasps
his knees and kisses
those
terrible and
homicidal
hands
that have
destroy'd so many
of his sons
see in me
oh god-like thetis' son
thy aged father
50 sons
the deities did
give
my hopes
to live in
all
alive when
near
our trembling shore
the greek ships
harbour'd
now
of all
my only
joy
and troy's
sole guard
by thee
late fighting for his
country
slain
whose tender'd person
now
i come to ransom
infinite
is that i offer
you
myself
conferring it
expos'd
alone to all your odds
only
imploring
right of arms
achilles
fear the gods
pity an old man
cut to
today
i got this client coming in
cus she made a stupid
mistake
that’s
keeping her from getting
married
says big gus
smiling
to the camera
well-trimmed goatee
framing
white
teeth
i ain’t no damn marriage
counsellor but i am gonna see
what i can do for this girl
i have something so horrible
you’re not going to believe
it
says lyndzee
to
big gus
i don’t wanna even
imagine
what
kinda
tattoo this is
cus i don’t see it
anywhere
as the camera
tilts
up past bare
legs
pink shorts brown
eyebrows blonde
hair
to a face
trying
to smile
just because the sex is good
now
frowning
doesn’t mean the tattoo will
be
says lyndzee
that musta been some
good booty if
it
got
some
bad
tattoo
on you
nodding
real good booty
says lyndzee
lemme see what that good
booty got you oh my god does
that say
destroy
in your private
area
it sure does
what the
fuuuuuuuuuuuck
i
got this tattoo
for
my
man
and
my whole world fell
apart i can’t
even
describe
how bad i need it
gone
says lyndzee
to
the
camera
what do you want to
do
i mean
i didn’t even
ask you
says big gus
i was thinking a caterpillar
smoking
a
hookah
says lyndzee
the caterpillar is like
me
turning into a butterfly
got ya
and because i like
hookah
cut to
mose harper
aka
hank worden top hat
on
his
knee
sitting
in
a
rocking chair
on a porch
he looks out
into
the distance
and smiles
as
the
music swells
and
mr and mrs jorgensen
aka
john qualen and olive carey
rush from inside
onto
the porch
to see
ethan and debbie and martin
approaching
on
horseback
then
mose and the jorgensens
are
joined
by an anxious
laurie jorgensen
aka
vera miles
who touches her heart
then
runs
off
skirt
billowing past
ethan and
debbie
aka
natalie wood
to take martin's
hand
cut
to
mrs jorgenson
twisting
her gingham
apron
she brings
it
to
her face
to wipe
a tear as
off screen
the sons of the pioneers
sing
a man will search his heart
and soul
go searching way out there
as
ethan dismounts
and
debbie
wary
slides into his arms
mose grins
and
puts his hat
on it is
several
sizes
too big
ethan stands debbie on
the porch mrs jorgensen
gives
debbie
a big
hug
holds her
tight
his peace of mind
he knows he'll find
but where o lord
lord where
then
mr
and
mrs
jorgensen
and debbie
go inside
the house and
ethan
hesitant
steps
onto
the porch
as
martin and laurie
hand in hand
go
inside
ride away
ride away
sing the sons
of
the
pioneers
and
ethan stays
on
the
porch
outside
looking in and
the wind blows the brim of
his hat
up
he shifts his
weight
onto
his right leg
grimacing or
smiling
he rubs his
elbow and
the sons of the pioneers sing
ride
away
and ethan turns
and
steps
off the porch
and
walks
into
the wind
and
swirling dirt
of monument valley
and between him
and us
the door
of
the house closes
and
the screen
goes
black
so
how the hell did you get
destroy tattooed on you
asks
big gus
well i decided to go to this
party and i walked in and
there was this oh my god hot
hot guy he didn’t speak a
lick of english well then he
starts kissing me out on the
dance floor and i’m like oh
i’m liking this good finally
we make our way to the
bedroom and his penis was
just enormous
hee-hee
and the next thing i know i
am having the best sex ever i
was like
i need you you’re too much i
need it
what happened next
asks
big gus
my friend calls she’s like
wanna get a free tattoo and
i’m like whaaaaaaat a free
tattoo oh my god hell yes i'm
gonna get
destroy
tattooed
above my vagina to honour
my lover’s
ginormous
penis
i
can’t promise any fairy-tale
endings
says big gus
but
what
i
can
promise
is
to try to give you
a good tattoo
yeah
and
a quick fade
to black
then
several
commercials
fade up
alright here ya go check it
out
oh
my god i love
it
it's awesome
it’s
amazing
i’ve never seen anything more
beautiful
in
my
life there’s no words
to
describe how
good
it
makes me feel
now
that
destroy
is finally
gone
from my body





Ben Speth is an artist
living in Stockholm

destroy was written between
2015 and 2020

www.benspeth.com