Thursday, February 24, 2011

dance of the cuckoos


A thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. That was the prescription the fat little doctor wrote out for Edgar's short fuse. 'Concentrate on one thing, Edgar. Relax,' the doctor ordered, blue-eyeing over the top of his spectacles. Edgar looked at the scribble on the RX Prescription once more as he towered over little children in the toy section.

Took him three days to get going on it. He picked an easy one - a barren landscape, after the Great Thaw. A couple gray trees standing, one fallen tree, a raccoon hideout. He hovered over the brown landscape on the kitchen table, shushes his wife humming the dishes dry, last Autumn's dead hanging plant outside on the patio over her shoulder. She huffs it out of the kitchen. 'You're no Renee Fleming,' he murmurs under his breath. She deadpans, 'Well, how do you do, Henri Matisse,' pointing at the puzzle box top, exiting the squeaking, swinging kitchen door. 'Gotta get that oiled,' the man says. 'I need to get oiled too.'

He rose from the couch on the second morning, a Sunday, his suit-cased wife already 100 miles gone on Route 51. Knocking over an empty fifth bottle that was a self-prescribed, mathematical antidote for being too tense, beget a Rube Goldberg Ballet - the crashing bottle startled the sleeping dog and she lunged at Edgar, cobweb-eyed, losing his center of gravity, reeling into a delicate, repetitive back-step, crossing the threshold of a two-way fluttering kitchen portal, regaining his composure for one second, only to be knocked by the unforgiving squeaky door once more, flung unto the kitchen table, a wobbly, shored-up leg giving way, the ultimate collapse, a large puzzle section folding over him, wayward pieces showering his disbelieving pride. Concentrate on one thing, Edgar, echoed in his pounding headache.

The sorrowful-eyed dog grasped in its slobbered jaw the carefully folded note of a parting shot from Edgar's wife and surveyed the damage. Dropping the note at the lap of Edgar, she moseyed over to her empty water dish.

The Dance of the Cuckoos

6 Comments:

Blogger Reflections said...

Interesting depth, stunning images.

2/25/2011 1:01 AM  
Blogger Kristen Haskell said...

Painful comedy of errors he made. Such terrific writing.

2/26/2011 5:13 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

This is a great little write, Phil, and perfectly titled. Lots of amazing stuff here, but my favorite line is "humming the dishes dry".

2/28/2011 8:37 AM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

Nice "Rube Goldberg Ballet." Maybe he should have concentrated on something else.

2/28/2011 5:53 PM  
Blogger Promising Poets Parking Lot said...

welcome join poets rally week 39, share a free or old random poem, make new poetic friends, have your work fully represented by the end of the rally..

you have 7 days to make 18 comments.
thanks for the time.
Happy Writing.
Hope to see you in.
xoxox


loved your style of writing.

3/02/2011 3:28 PM  
Blogger phil said...


Reflections - thanks! :)

Kristen - thanks! wow!

Tess - thanks, glad you liked it!

T - I don't know. I really really thought the puzzle was the answer. ;)

P Poets - such pressure. Is it ok if I make 42 comments in 9 years?

3/02/2011 7:55 PM  

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