THE OUTLAW HONEY MOSES and A TOWN CALLED BAD WEATHER.

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Chapter 1 – The Outlaw Honey Moses and

A TOWN CALLED BAD WEATHER

 

          Honey Moses sat on the foot of the big iron bed and watched Rex Ramsey pull up his pants.  She took a swig from her bottle of whiskey and swished it around in her mouth.  Rex’s manhood must have been pickling in sweat and dust since he left the town of Passover.  She took a bigger swig.

          Honey Moses looked to be about twenty years old.  She could not remember even to this day exactly how old she was.  Thirteen years ago, 1876, the year Custer died, she had mysteriously appeared, walking into the end of town during a wicked dust storm, stumbling, crying and blinded.  Former U.S. Marshal Rex Ramsey had miraculously spotted her.  She was delirious, speaking in tongues almost.  Rex Ramsey figured she got separated from her family’s wagon when they tried to hunker-down in that wicked dust storm.  Lots of families head past here going west.  The only reason that anyone in their right mind would veer off to this town is to hide from bad weather.  That’s how this town got the name of Bad Weather.  People come and go hiding from trouble.  We never did find her family.

          Rex had brung her to us women in the Whisper Glory.  We cleaned her up.  She stayed here.  We figured it was the yellow dust that had tattooed her eyes gold.  It made her look wild, like a wolf.  All us just called her “Honey”, so that stuck.  Then, when she never could recall her surname again, Rex Ramsey joked that we should call her “Moses” because she had been “wandering in the desert”.  So that stuck.  She was now Honey Moses.

          So, while Rex Ramsey buttoned up his pants, Honey Moses picked up his gun belt from the floor at the foot of the big iron bed where he dropped it when she “held him up”.

          Honey withdrew the revolver from the holster and felt herself steam again.  She stroked the hard precision metal with her fingertips and smelled the oil and then aimed at the crucifix on the opposite wall.  She wanted to put Jesus out of our misery.

          “If you want to hit a man in the heart, aim for his crotch”, she observed.  “So, when you taking me shooting again?” she asked sweetly.

          “Whenever you take me shooting,” he laughed.

          Honey lowered the pistol thoughtfully, “Tell me again about the bank in Passover.”

          Rex was suddenly sober, “They said my money wasn’t there.  The bank had speculated on the land rush with all the other banks and something went bad.  I know my money is still there.  I told Mr. Goldspan to open the vault and I’d show him my money.  He tried to tell me that the money wasn’t really there and that a wagon was coming to take it all back East.  Figure that one out.”

          Honey sighted down the pistol again, “I figure the bank is robbing you.”

          “I suppose.”

          “And I suppose that this is what we can do about it.  Listen,” and so the innocent Honey Moses talked former U.S. Marshal Rex Ramsey down the path to becoming The Outlaw Honey Moses.

chapter 1 dust storm

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SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 18, Blood in the Water

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SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 18

Blood in the Water

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            I got a bad feeling staring through that window at those little girls.  Like the feeling I got when my father told me my mother was sick but not to worry.

            “Rosalinda, we need to get back to your Play Room right now.”

            This time I picked up Rosalinda and carried her as I retraced our steps out and down from the second floor.  To get her cooperation I held her facing forward sitting on my left arm leaning back against my chest with my right arm holding her around her waist.  “You’re flying the airplane!” I said.  I released her waist and held up my thumb, “Here’s how you steer!”.  She grasped my thumb and I made propeller noises, dipping and swerving as she turned my thumb.  Her shrieking laughter almost hurt my ears and I wondered if this was really the best way to sneak back into the Play Room.

            “Coming into the airport,” I said as we entered the Play Room.  And of course there was a crowd at the “terminal”:  Pastor Maximón in his wheelchair, Lucas, Esmeralda, Irma, and Itza.

            “Hail, Cesar,” smiled Pastor Maximón, “I see you have conquered.”

            All I could say was, “Pastor Maximón, my friends call me Alonzo.”

            Lucas muttered to me, “What friends?”

            Esmeralda pinched his arm.

            Irma put out her arms for Rosalinda and I handed her over.

            “We were just playing ‘airplane’ in the hallways,” I said as matter-of-factly as I could.  Itza smiled but the way she stared at me made me feel like blood in the water.

            Pastor Maximón said in a booming voice, “Alonzo, you are really going to feel good about today.  We are making a TV commercial that will show the good work we do here and make an appeal for support from viewers for the Mudéjar Orphanage.”

            Two men entered the Play Room with camera equipment.  “’Bout ready?” smiled the husky director wearing the Oakland Raiders baseball cap.  He gave directions to his cameraman partner about lighting and angles.  “So, Pastor, we’re going to have children all around you and you will hold the little girl with no legs on your lap.  Your wheelchair will be a nice touch, by the way.  So let’s cue the children, OK?”

            Itza went to a door at the other end of the Play Room and opened it.  Children limped, hobbled and wheeled in like a defeated army.  Itza carried little Belicia and placed her on Pastor Maximón’s lap.  Itza and the cameraman arranged the children in a semi-circle behind Pastor Maximón.

            Little Belicia began to weep.

            Rosalinda ran over, “Don’t be scared, Belicia.  Being on TV is fun.”

            “OK, kid, you gotta move,” said the director.

            “No,” said Pastor Maximón, “She will be fine.  She is Belicia’s friend and she will comfort her little nerves.”

            “You dah boss, Pastor.  Let’s try one, OK?”

            Rosalinda reached up and held little Belicia’s hand.  Pastor Maximón snuggled against little Belicia’s cheek.

            Pastor Maximón said to the camera, “Dear ones, this is little Belicia.  Isn’t she pretty?  But life has not been pretty for little Belicia.  She lost her family and she lost her legs in the recent terrible earthquake.”

            I looked at Belicia and she caught my eye.  Jesus damnation, I heard her voice in my head!  “I was mad at Mama and I ran away outside and I said I didn’t like her and the big earthquake came and my house fell down on Mama and my tree fell down on me and I want to tell Mama I’m sorry.”

            Tears began pouring down Belicia’s face as she stared at me.

            “Perfect!” I heard the director whisper.

            “If not for the generosity of you, Dear Viewers, what would become of little Belicia?  She has no family.  Where would she go?  There is no place for her except in your generous hearts.  Won’t you help the Mudéjar Orphanage to help Belicia?”  Pastor Maximón kissed her hot streaming tears.

            “And cut.”

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I’M CLAZY

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I’M CLAZY

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        Hi. I’m Fang Jiang. No wonder I go by “Ginger” here in the United States, our new home.

        My ancestors must be so depressed with me. But even God is not permitted to mess with Free Will in the United States. If not for my American cousin, Cathay, I wouldn’t have dared to be so independent. I was only a young girl when my family arrived from the People’s Republic of China.

        My cousin Cathay is tall and curvy, bred in the United States. Cathay’s mom is Chinese and her father is a Swede. How did her mom survive without cracking in half, having sex with her big Swedish husband and then giving birth to long tall Cathay?

        Cathay makes the Chinese boys starve. American boys, too.

        Me, I’m born in China and so I’m thin and no butt. If we weren’t cousins I don’t know how I would ever have hung around with someone like Cathay. Oh, yeah, Cathay’s name was her father’s joke, a pun of “Cathy” and the European poetic name of China “Cathay”.

        Cathay is so cool. She used to make her dates show up at my stand-up comedy night gigs at “open mike”. My comedy routine was brutal at first but Cathay supported me and she would laugh and her boyfriend would be obliged to laugh.

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Why is there no Disneyland in China?

  • No one’s tall enough to go on the good rides.

非常有趣

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How do you blind a Chinese woman?

  • You put a windshield in front of her.

非常有趣

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        Chinese daughters are supposed to be perfect daughters. It became depressing here right away. First generation is supposed to become the image of American success; supposed to forget the problems of the family. My parents still work without stopping. “Girls don’t hang out, party” or do the kinds of things American teenagers want to do.

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What did the Chinese father tell his daughter?

  • Girls must get three rings: engagement ring, wedding ring, suffering.

非常有趣

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        In America, like any new culture, you give up the past. I feel new. But I feel guilty, too.

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How does every joke start in the Peoples’ Republic of China?

  • By looking over your shoulder.

非常有趣

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        Our uncle Jianguo still remained in the People’s Republic of China. He was a rich banker. But he lived frugally while he paid selflessly for members of our families to leave to America.

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What do you call a Chinese banker?

  • Cha Ching!

非常有趣

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        Cathay and I nick-named dear uncle Jianguo “The General” because he was a family patriarch, firm, traditional, few words, sternly affirming virtue of respect for one’s father, elders, and ancestors, and dedication to the family above the individual.

        One day Cathay called me, crying, sobbing, “Jianguo has been arrested for embezzlement!”

        I could not believe it. Cathay told me that he had embezzled money to afford so much for sending our families to America.

        Cathay contacted everyone. We all gave money to replace the great sum that dear uncle Jianguo had embezzled. The Peoples’ Republic of China accepted the money and more.

        Then they executed our dear uncle Jianguo anyway, as a lesson to others.

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What do you call an executed Chinese banker?

  • On his best behavior

非常有趣

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WHERE THE HOURS CLANGED AND FELL

The CLOUD CHAMBER

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I hear a church bell summon the temporal
Above aspiring blades of grass.
A canorous cloak of charming syllable
Descends to gather us en masse.
And as the lawn-mower’s final pass
Disturbs the moment, time will tell,
With whispers from the hourglass,
Where the hours clanged and fell.
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Disgorges the church bell so ineffable
Extolling what the din devours.
A neighbor passes with a Bible,
Rebounding from the earthen powers.
A haggard bee still haunts the flowers
As if a question to dispel
By hovering in this yard of ours
Where the hours clanged and fell.
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That bell outranking from its pinnacle
The proud, rebellious, vain bright sky.
Appealing to the commonly sensible
By hear-say so to prophesy.
The game is interrupted by
Commercials trying to outsell
The other deals that justify
Where the hours clanged and fell.
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So deep down into ink on pages
The…

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GABRIELLA

The CLOUD CHAMBER

 

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GABRIELLA

 

 

I’m on the midnight bus

To Los Angeles,

Gabriella,

I wrote a bad check

For my ticket, but what the heck?

Gabriella,

Could a fellow tell you more?

 

I’ll be there soon,

Riding near a full moon,

Knowing that I can’t stay,

Seeing you just one whole day.

 

Gabriella,

I could land in jail!

A bandit needs the anonymity

Of living in the city.

 

The sky is clay, the street is grey

Outside the bus station at the start of day.

Watching all the selves unfold,

Hearing the woman, who spat,

“Fuck you.  I speak Spanish.

Watch your language!”, and like that.

 

To the astonished couple in blue

Who hold between themselves a suitcase or two.

She’s crazy say their eyes,

Rising above their dirty shirts

And the young man kneeling with his guitar

And the Navy nurses running for the buses

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