thee streamside companion & angler's frequent respite

treatise, pomes, fine etchings & lyrics re. and not re. flyfishing (with an angle)

Monday, February 12, 2007

thee beginnin' ay the end for Sgt. Chas. Floyd

Charley Floyd is shittin’ it and boyo, it ain’t good. We has been up since the forepart ay this sleep, a hearing him a moaning and a groaning likes... likes a downer cow drowing in a puddle ay mud and snot; a stuck hog ay foaming and a bucking an a finally setting down into his own slop and blud; a wee and sickly lamb what has lost his mama and jest sets down for tay feed they wolves and coyotes -- as pure awful and mournful and hollow as you could ever conjure. Charley, jest layin’ there half on his spread, half in the dirt, his eyes leaking and him all panting like a beat dog, frothin’, bubblin’, sweating, quivering, his hands squeezing up into spasmodic fists full of tremble and terror. Him just biting his lips and lolling his head, sweat pouring out, and double damn them fucking tears a leaking, and he issuing the most pathetic sounds what I ever had to stand still for. He got precious little motion in him now, ‘cept for to grab onto his guts and roll over on his side to puke, which gets him to howlin’ and even more moanin’. Low. Low and down.
York been up and by his side, lending any assist what he might offer since Sgt. Charley come down with with this verry, verry terrible cholic. The business commenced verry shortly after that council with them Oto cheifs name ay Big Horse and Little Theif. One of our Catholik boyos, Hugh McNeal --- a devout conversationalist with his Jesus Lord -- been saying that it was them savages laid the hammer down on Sgt. Charley. Sayin’ that they savage prayers, though they is headed to they own god --- they own great father -- they goes right down to the devil below and that old trickster jest rises direct up from his pit and be liable to strike down any man -- white, nig, savage, canuck, who might be in the neighborhood. It don’t matter to Bezelbub as he eats souls every day like we downs hoe cakes and venison jerk. No difference in one hoe cake from the next --- much the same it is for Satan when he’s a chewing them souls conjured up by they whisky nigs. An it ain’t no wonder as we see considerable Inds what seem to be batshit afflicted. But ay - that’s the bit I finds solace in, a wild and kin type ay regard, as it seems.
Aye, poor Charley Floyd look like he been used up, sucked dry and turned inside out by some devil, or them Injuns Great Spirit -- or whatever you choose to name it. Right as I gets shook out of my spread by Sgt. Charly’s yellin, I seed into his eyes and they was like a staggered colt. Full ay terror. Wantin’ to bolt. I hate to speak it, but there ain’t no peace there. Not in the eyes of a colt wantin’ tay bolt.
Captain Clark still there with him, still setting there from when I turned in the last. And Mo Reed, that deserting fuck, that shitheel, he was a moppin’ Charly’s brow, wipin’ the puke from off his viz, squeezin that rag o’er Sgt. Charly’s lips.
I wanted to smash that kettle and flannel from Reed’s mitts --- like he ain’t got the sand or the soul to even stand next to Sgt. Charley Floyd -- the way that Reed boy was sobbing, crying and shaking like wet kitten when Drewer dragged his hide back to camp just two nights ago.
The captains call they orders for ay court martial and the boys is all jumpin’ to do they business. Guilty. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Every boy spitting the word. Eyes casting up tay Reed like to see some defect -- some wound what let the courage seep out of his soul and allowed the coward to creep in. Ain’t nobody got nothing left for Moe Reed. He done used it all up. That well of sympathy, of human consideration and kindness, has run dry as dust.
Them Inds was still there, eyes all agog at the likes of our Kaintuck whisky and the guns and the sheer cascadin’ river ay words from Captain Merry what had just fallen down upon they heads. They was stunned, sure likes, and likesay, we was all in our best blues, rifles shouldered and serious as the sun -- wheeling and marching up and over the empty prarie for they benefit. Peeling off two balls a man, growling and barking our calls and responses. Big John full ay thunder. Them Inds seen it all from us. But no boy really seemd to care that much regarding these savs. No body had a sight to impress these boyos. Nay, suh. Every dog soldier had just on thing on his mind and that was the settling of the score with Moe Reed.
Corps! Detail! In two lines, bays. Two lines, heya? Two lines! Big John was a stone in front of us, his paws still graspin’ that sounden horn in front of his face while we arranged ourselfs directly across from each other. Up double times Sgt. Pryor, an express from Captin Merry folded in his hands. Big John grabs it and stands there, stiff as cold new death
Coo-rah! Ten-shun! and again, we snaps to and Big John unfolds that express and commences to reading.
August 19, 18 and fo-ah, he begins. It takes a moment for it to set it. August 18, 1804. How long I been at this? How long I been out here? I starts to do the figures in my head... adding days, weeks, months, listing them, labeling them with the seasons, marking them with the sun and the rain, keeeping track by days cold, days blistering, nights shivering, nights at peace, snoring in the racks with belly full of venison, marrow and wild berries. A week full of whisky; a night spent shivering in the mud; a day blown through with twist, marrowbones and gunpowder; a month of larks flying over head and cats a laughing down there in the rocks. Ay... been with the Westward boys now since November? December? We been on the water going on ten months -- a year... . I again draw upon the verry fond memory of my ma. Of the dogs at home. Of the steady rise and fall of crops. The calendar of the fish in the stream, the bugs afloat on it’s surface. March browns, black stone flys, caddis on me ma’s birthday, green drakes, and the sulphers commencing on the 4th of July. Hoppers... It’d be hoppers on the stream now and the trouts would jump out they skins to git them one. Hot August days jest as the wind picks up in the forenoon. Aye... the ticket, and I snorts a thinkin’ bout how they fucking hoppers could be more trying to grab up then they trouts.

Monday, November 27, 2006

misery, etc...

Joseph A is doing some strong work over at the steelhead diaries. just sayin'...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Won't ya spare me over till another year...

bucked out
gone to the cold cook
celestial discharge
in the eternity box
a dustman
deadly nevergreen
worm food
died dunghill
under hatches
dead as a nit
dropped off the perch
gone under
gone beaver
wolf meat

Friday, March 31, 2006

Moe Reed -- water in my boots

Looksee, Si, he goes, I gots tay ask ya a considerable favor, likes.
What is it Reed?
Look Si, I is feelin real low likes...
We all is Reed.
Si, my back is afflicted and I cannot even make to bend it, see? What say ya takes my turn ay humping crates out the barge and let me tend the fire.
No dice, Reed, hard bit ay this job’s been done. Ya ain’t taking me.
Ay Si, a bit ay heart, boyo... Likesay, I is feeling low... real low and pitiful.
That’s cause you is real low and pitiful, you worthless pile of shit, now get gone before ya gets a bit more affliction to cry about.
Likesay, I wasn’t in the best a moods, truth told.
And now Paddy, he burries his hatchet in a round and starts a chuckling like a hen, which no doubt boils Reed's kettle.
Outta line, Si, I was only asking for a favor, a bit ay kindness.
Well ya come looking for kindness in a well what run dry, Reed, now fuck off.
Now Paddy begins to whistle Cock and Bull, what gets the attention ay the Dutch boys humping they kettles to the fire.
Outta line, Si, ya prick drippin’ bastard.
Fuck off, Reed, and this is you last chance, see?
I though you was a right bower, Si... I though you was...
And that’s it for me. I gave the boy his chance. Fair game, fair go and now it’s game on. Short wick? Maybe, but I gots no use for whining cunts. I tosses down my hatchet and steps to him brisk. Reed’s eyes get big and I see him clench his jaw and ball up his fists.
What ya gonna do with them malls then, you weepy cunt, I goes, and puts my to hands into the windblown toss, knocking him back a few steps.
Si... you fucking serious? he sputters...
Even the sound of the cunt’s voice was a scratching at my hide now, so I just unloads upon him... a long swooping right what glanced off his cheek and sent him tumbling backward.
Si... hey boyo.. what the fuck, son?
And again, his voice was in my ear, thorns, fleas, ticks, briars, cold wind and water. So I runs up to him and begin battering him, just swinging and swinging, my fists hitting, skull, and shoulder and rib and face. Skull, shoulder, rib, face. Skull, shoulder, rib, face. I swings like a dervish, like me lid has come unskrewed. Skull, shoulder, rib, face. Battering, swinging, letting hir go, letting the cunt have it, every bit of it, letting it spill out of me, like soup boiling over, a forge stuffed red hot, hell with the lid off.
Finally, there’s Paddy, wrapping his arms round my neck; Willy Warner twisting my arms behind my back and a dozen other cunts yelling the name my Ma give me, laughing and hooting like coyotes. I expected to feel the hot, hot heat of hate, but all I could do was laugh. Laugh at Reed’s face, dripping cherry red and snot from his breather, his eyes swelling shut again, his ears ripe as summer tomatoes. Willy has me in a bear hug, but I lets fly with everything I can muster, shooting a glob of spit and shit in a considerable arc what lands in Reed’s black hair.
Reed, you broke dick dog. You whining cunt. Get your poxy hide out ay my sight before I send ya to the devil, you singed ass dog!
Reed, he just keeps stumbling backward, toward the barge, toward the water. He don’t utter, he don’t say shit to me or any boy.
Get to the drink ya cunt. Step in and keep walking. And I start a laughing again... Miserable piss mop. Worthless ass licker. Cunt. Idiot.
I feel my hart pounding, can feel the red rushing through my legs, my arms. My hair feels afire and I sucks in a bountiful ration ay air. Willy unlooses me and I just scream, not at any man, but at god, at the big nothing surrounding us, at the river runing slow and peacful 50 yards away. Arrrrrggggggghaaaa!
I spin to confront every cunt what is a watching... what you cunts looking at? What ya want. Ya want some ay that? I’ll turn ya cunts to pudding... any ay you cunts! I is still yelling... still breating fire but it’s Paddy who puts his meats upon my shoulders and finally gets me to settle.
You is raining the devil, boyo. Ay, let’s have us ay bit ay walk and get our feets beck ‘pon they ground, eh?
I swallows a big breath and says, aye... sound, Paddy.
Paddy wheels me away from the fire, his big mitt still upon my shoulds and we gets tay walking. What come ovir ya den, boyo? I ain’t never seen so much satan in ya... I was ‘bout tay get me beads oot fir that Reed boyo...
Cunts water in my boots, Paddy, what can I say? He sent me over the brink, likes...
I reckons ay bit ay dis will bring ye back, son... and the old fuck hands me his flask.
I feels something almost like love for the fucking bog trotting mic at that poing... a real kinship likes... a bond like we was close to brothers, and I takes the boy’s tin and send a stout one down me guts. In a second, Paddy outs his stag handle blade and has me by the hair and up against a massive beech tree. The blade’s at me throat and I can’t move or I slice my own neck, ear to ear.
Acknowleedge dis, son, ya tries that wilding with they likes ay Paddy Gass an’ by saints, you is lying in you grave.
I is too shocked, too overcome by this fucker’s power to even move, but I see the hellfire in his lamps and smell satan on his lips.
Hear me on dis, boyo, he goes, I tinks they whirld ay ye, but ya won’t get that shit by me, likes. Swear tay thee saints, I’ll send ya to eternity if ya ever so much as raise a fist to me, likes. See?
I gulps and nods quick likes and Paddy, he starts ay laughing and looses his grip from my hair. And the cunt he keeps a laughing, louder and louder as he sheathes his pick.
And I, feeelin so full of life and love and hate, I starts a laughing with him, but why, I can’t say...
What the fuck, you dry and whitered cunt... but the old dog soldier cannot get his wind back to answer, leaving me with only the option to stand there with my teeth in my mouth or to laugh along with him. I chose to laugh.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dog town

Rowed nine hours today, with two hours when we come by for the nooner. Passed a Mizzou Injun town what was filled only with ghosts. Three hundred houses painted bloody red, and not one bloody red injun to be found. Gives me the unease, as I ain’t never laid eyes upon an Injun town so extensive, let alone one lonely as this. They poles is bare, they firepits is grey blots and not a sound comes from thum, just the wind living there now.
Paddy says the pox got thum. Big John says they was waring with the Saukees and that be what snuffed thum. But I can’t scope no graves. Likesay, just the wind living there now. French boys was a shooting at the dogs running through the town, but they didn’t knock any over, of which I is glad. Prospecting a dead dog lying in the middle of that Injun town jest might send me to praying or to crying.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

thee oil of gladness

"Oh, we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
Of pumpkins, of parsnips, of walnut-tree chips."

A brick in the hat
All Nations
Angel tit
Brown Cow
Blue tape
Bull’s piss
Candle sweat
Coffin varnish
Grapple the rails
Gully wash
Gut oil
Hide your hat
Hoss kick
Knock down
Legal daily ration
Mad dog
Mountain dew
Neck oil
Nockum stiff
Phlegm cutter
O Be Joyful
Oil of gladness
Old Hock
Pop Skull
Rag water
Sky blue
Snake milk
Strip me naked
Thee olde author
Thunder n’ lightnin’
Tiger spit
Tongue oil

Monday, February 06, 2006

fare thee well

These French cunts have been considerable accommodating to us, and now we is heading right into the rocks. I is torn... my hart instructs me to separate Billy Clark’s roughs from this frolic before calamity overtakes, by my head knows that, while gallant, this effort is impossible. On the other hand, My hart also instructs me to scour this place for that red-haired girl, but my head knows the ghost of hir smile will haunt me night after night on the river. Why drag hir with me? Why hump that weight when I have so far to go, so much to lift already.
But I ain’t like that. I ain’t the type to just pack up and stow me hart - to pound it into a keg and chuck it into the hold. Harts can’t be jerked, can’t be salted and stored, smoked, pickled in bitter brine. Just a bit of blood keeps them beating and thumping deep inside there. Harts ain’t river rocks. Harts is the fish that dash between them rocks, a-flashin' in the sun; breaking the surface in a shower ay gold and silver. Soon, I reckon, my hart will be a catched up in a river cold and a river deep. And it is then that I decide to get to trackin’. I put my head to swivel and I tries to spot hir on the floor, but she is standing there behind me, right in my shadow. Pri-veet, she says, pretty as a sparrow. And I gives her my silly little salute again. And I knows I am gaping at her like I is afflicted, but my thoughts is stacked up like a log jam. But this girl, she’s fair and fine and her hair shines like gold and she’s just grinning at me.
I thinks hard Pardonnez-moi., I says removing my lid, Je ne sais pas votre nom. And she smiles even bigger and then giggles into her frock. Mon nom?
Finally, it’s my turn to smile, and I nod my head I says, “oui”
Marie, she says, offering up her soft, small fingers. And I takes them precious fingers in my hands, just to feel them, just to remember her touch. I light up a full flame smile and asks, Dance? And she grabs my hand, but instead of shuffling to the floor, she makes a beeline right out the door, laughing as she heads out into the night. I’ve still got her tiny fingers, and she wraps them around mine and squeezes tight. And the silver flash of my hart rises and and I give her hand the most precious squeeze back.
We gets to strolling down the track, over to the rise what overlooks the river. When we crest the rise, I can hear the river, can smell it and can feel the barge down there, rolling and creaking against the bank. And Marie, she presses herself against me. Why? Who is this copper-haired French girl? Why is she standing on this rise with a dog-soldier headed into the heart of godless savagery? But I ain’t got the time to unriddle it as I feel her small hand rubbing over my back. I steps into hir, pulling hir into me, hearing that green fabric rustle, smelling hir hair, feeling her shoulders rise and fall with her breathing. Marie, I whispers.