Tuesday, August 25, 2009

124. Magic Husband

Part I:

The following is a letter that my department recently received from a customer (which has nothing to do with us). We get stuff like this pretty frequently, but I haven't worked comment cards or letters in a long time so I usually don't get to read them. My supervisor gave me this one as a gift, and it is now framed at my desk.

The return address is from Western Medical Center, and is addressed to:
Magic Husband

It is written in pencil on wide rule notebook paper, with the handwriting of a second grader.
Dear Magic Husband,

Alot has happened since I wrote you last. If you read the papers, then you will know that Orange County placed me on conservatorship a long time ago and then put me in a brothel that they couldn't get me out of. They were holding me hostage there for about 4 million years. I just got taken to a board and care about 2 weeks ago. The doctor changed my meds. to a lethal substance. She refused to change them back and sent me to another place in Orange County (Anaheim Western Medical) that I may be a hostage at. Renee M. was at the board and care. She said that she wanted to marry Billy Idol and become my mother. I don't want that at all. She won't let anyone come for me until Xmas. Alot of people being killed so be careful. Renee M. has been tampering with the mail and she had people stealing my packages from my people.
I am going to write you some more tommorrow.

Your "Baby",
Grace R.

Part II:

I am the sort of girl who enjoys googling random things just to see what I find. As it turns out, there is also a poem called "The Magic Husband". I find I rather love it, so here it is. Consider this blog a sort of textual diptych and just go with it.

"The Magic Husband" by Kathleen Ossip

Oh, we cavort. A little less poise, please.
The shower-crud, the plangent peonies!
He chisels at the oaken escritoire
his paperwork-his toy, his dream, his art
and hums as if to all America
a dope impromptu on the sound of schwa.

The shower-crud, the plangent peonies
translate to a grace note, key of E,
which definitely won't be what it should
have been; in fact, will pass away unheard,
but every night at ten my hardy wretch
plays air-piano at the oaken desk.

With uninvited earnestness he laughs.
He only asked for summer nights sans gnats,
a nap, and freedom from all social roles.
At summer's end he walks the yard and trolls
for squirrel-gnawed pears beneath the fraser fir,
and when he finds them, look, the guy's on fire.

He came in with the envelope in paw.
He had me read the letter then. I saw
the magic pager on his magic pants,
the wallet fill of chits, the triceps tensed,
the pen and pencil set I had a cry.
Stoop labor, baby. That Ill never try.

The venture on the Island's fallen through.
Surely the sky shouldn't be that blue.
Has never faded, my true ding an sich,
holdover, throwback, tetchy nihilist
a-muzz with love and narcotherapy.
The tenor wavered contrapuntally,

the tune bespoke a swan upon a pond.
Even his nerve endings aren't his own.
Sure, I like money. I like lots and lots.
He pitted through his business shirt. He stopped
lightly, lightly, lightly on the steps.
No boy knows just when he goes to sleep.

The kidskin briefcase trembles at his touch.
We're on a kick with Cherry 7-Up.
How flaky, toxic, wondrous, marginal,
those dulcet suds! He whistles, Hell was full,
so I came back. Next afternoon in bed,
he ordered me to spill it so I did.

1 comment:

Janieac said...

I like this post. I really like the poem. Interesting.