Say Any­thing

Geist - - Findings - CLAU­DIO GAUDIO

From the forth­com­ing novel I’ll Be. Gaudio’s work has been pub­lished in Ex­ile Lit­er­ary Quar­terly and Rampike. He was born in Cal­abria and lives in Toronto and at clau­dio­gau­

Ihardly shake, ex­cept after peo­ple, so why the itch for the two-legged beast, for Bob, in par­tic­u­lar. Ev­ery­thing is so much more in­ter­est­ing when I talk to my tele­vi­sion, or a sand­wich. That’s me in a robe, now we’re a three­some, the sand­wich, me, and the TV, in case you’re not fol­low­ing.

I’m al­ways ready to do the town, from my lit­tle oa­sis, my Costa Con­cor­dia, there are he­roes in ev­ery catas­tro­phe, but in Italy they go to bed early. I’ve pinned all that I have, all that I am, to my chest to keep it from fall­ing, and I’m sun­ning my­self by my an­kles. I don’t mind the hor­i­zon­tal, or the up­side-down, for that mat­ter, here it’s the danc­ing that kills you.

Sun­day morn­ings I watch na­ture shows, hunt­ing and fish­ing, ad­ver­tise­ments mostly, from the Deep South. Slim pick­ings I guess, ac­coun­tants in bat­tle fa­tigues have been ly­ing in wait since the mid-fifties. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than car­rion to bol­ster the love men feel for each other. Hence the dou­ble bar­rel to shoot down a duck, ex­ces­sive, in my view, but opin­ion is never opin­ion enough when dis­cussing a mas­sacre. There’s the kill, of course, but the skill is in the track­ing, or the carv­ing, but per­haps I’m con­fus­ing the wet­lands in Ge­or­gia with the Su­dan. I don’t deny the sim­i­lar­i­ties but ducks have wings, for ex­am­ple, and the Su­danese are al­ways in sea­son.

Evening has come to where I am, but I don’t speak for New Zealand. What’s im­por­tant is that I’m alone

with my tele­vi­sion. CNN is re­port­ing from both sides of its mouth, there are ways and ways to say noth­ing, but surely they can get a lit­tle what’s what past the spon­sors. I like fak­ing it as much as the next gal, and so did Shostakovich, be­cause he didn’t want to die, but as far as I know Wash­ing­ton is not killing jour­nal­ists, not here, any­way, and no one who works for Ted Turner has ever been wa­ter­boarded.

Say ev­ery­thing, is the first rule of broad­cast­ing, I agree, ob­vi­ously, to know a word is to use it, but not ev­ery word is a tool or a weapon. Ni­et­zsche, for ex­am­ple, thought his pen was a ham­mer, but he may have been mis­taken be­cause Ger­man pro­fes­sors rarely did their own car­pen­try. Which is a good thing be­cause if that man could build we’d all be in cages.

An­der­son Cooper can’t get a word in edge­wise in the pro­gram I’m watch­ing, there just isn’t enough time to sum­marise all those as­ser­tions. Bomb­ing chil­dren is nec­es­sary, or un­for­give­able, it de­pends on who’s talk­ing. Talk­ing, not do­ing it, is the thing they can’t man­age. Death will pre­serve their in­no­cence, car­bon struck, as in oil or a di­a­mond, the chil­dren we kill are not ready for prime time.

Still, I pre­fer the mean­ing­less bus­tle, the news will only pro­long dis­as­ter, and it’s cor­rupt. Talk­ing is how ev­ery­thing slips through my fin­gers, how I empty a room. I need that which never was, and so I will never have done with con­jec­ture, this swill

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