Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 9
Winter, 2012
Featured painting, ©2011 by David Ho : where it hurts, oils on giclee canvas.

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Kevin Maus

Archetypes in Her Honor (Woman on Horseback)

Bare feet and hideous eyes—she rides. Praying ground and the smell of horse flesh, foamy brown flesh...with she's, scented pink inside. Berry clusters in the woo gullet: sweet. I'll be a hot wreck smashed against marble skin; chapel ribs and loose hair, lashed red grease. She with an unbreakable mouth, that can unravel of itself—unraveled black musts, chock fuming...to suck from her mouth. Ulcerous sick, for a crib...her curvatures make a man all dog slobber, and attendant; lolling with an open mouth, a rag sway, for a taste. No greater lust to fall beneath. To become small and red, a prayer: a doll, for her to press to her lips. She seated atop four silky stalks; pipe organ horse legs—piping prance. Horse's curved teeth bit-locked in a grimace. The ridden's rippling breast. No horse flies tumbling in the beast's lashes, or stuck there, biting. Horse's head a wedge, an emblem oddity—between reason and monsters. Woman, she's type of eyes to ghost a man...to send him fleeing, dancing on his toes. Magda with thick black hair, like a lifted mourning veil, falling back, darkly upon her shoulders. The animal muscle sledge presenting girl garden smelled, bed smelled...is it Joan? I will speak now about Joan—burned alive—; with voices of God, screaming her into the next world. With voices of God, clouting her blistering ears. Charwoman, tinder Saint. Joan's fire cracked fingers crumble, as the last life lilts from them. Her agonized mouth and ink spilled teeth, still beautiful. The tribunal's heron heads, look on, to see if God is real, or if they can happily continue to crank the Flesh, into the church's loadstone... I have seen Joan, in New Orleans, while drinking cathedral beer. She lifts a banner there, above white jackals and black weary; nutshells and horse shit, where you can hear the river, moving mud. The divining and burlesque. I, blues-eyed and wiry, bearded and begreased; a trucker. I found her in the middle of the street: burned in a heretic fire, for being a golden idol now. She never to come down, and I would look foolish going up. A trucker, my feet wrapped, my head slow-witted in a delirium mist; I was a stroller, looking into things. I cried tears in the church, grateful for the mystery, for being able to rummage the land, in the black suck, crystal winded; and in the sun slog, sticky agape. She in gold—presiding, over my exhalations, my debility; the heap; the heave, the squalid cohesion, of my waking dreams. Ever and ever. Again the woman on horseback, image rearing like night-light in the blue chapel of a bouldered skull, be she Joan, or anyone (let her be alive, in a horse-hide vest, sucking cigarettes on a green street, stringing charms round the necks of pedestrians, wonder wounded eyes crushed beneath the people's porcine lashes). Horsewoman her arms, thick and twining with muscle; her chest, with a heart like forge, her breasts, perfect rotunds, precious deposits...such the sort of soft, that makes a man's libido, tough as a nut... That which breaks in doors—comes for her; and I as her man, or more fairly, an unsexed bard at her bridle, see it all, my hand, wet-twisted...griping on her bridle. And I see it all, coming for her. Skunk-dicked apes, whistling frayed lips; gulping and whooping: leaded, red eyes—surface tension eyes—but pinpoint, looking ready to run and spill, down the cheeks. She leads me through a corridor of broken open doors. There is the smell of struggle—pulled hair, ripped dresses; but she only says shush, and I cannot reach to touch her. But all the things that come slugging along the ground—lugging along the ground, awash with fly bait breath, boneless hobomen, straining, rising phalli and tongues of muscle, sinew-stretched, by the malted heat of obscenity, coming groping about the horse's legs. Beauty must be harsh, or stand to be devoured; for what dreams can one have, amid a room of broken open doors? The horse smells the corridor too. As emblem, it traverses, the sexual junction: of perfect beauty, and animal horror. I am tired of the woman who is the wounded bird, her splayed little wing with gnashed feathers. Mythos a man can believe in to say in horse drawn image perhaps the phallus for the woman, then why does that matter? She carries her banner for the place of solitude—she rides quietly naked. She rides against the flesh-duned citadel...driving for the moon, salt flats and the mountains. Red rust clouds hang silty wet, upon the slate of yellow air; people sigh, drawn like reeds: embankments for the citadel. Weeping flesh heightening Pisa like. Black things go tearing past horsewoman's head—balled and bristling things, like giant insects. Automobiles make love...with taffy caked corpses inside, with nothing showing but the black walnuts of the corpses' mouths. Girl equus is the beauty that does not seek its devouring and disintegration. That is the rude—wet—squalid dissembly. Seek to wet the lips of the abomination, bargaining a peepshow—the abomination asks sacrifice. Avoids the look of the great lung, asleep on a serving tray: the collective output. Heart's herald's lips, heights' harlot drowning in her skirts, has lips drawn in a circle, making a noise, like there were a dying man inside them. The citadel, smut-hectic, falls, in dismal dust to rideress's stride, she is shortly free of the place's rotten chanting. She goes on, to arrive to the expanse's claim, night given space to pretend it's everlasting. Horsegal she is a solitary; winds herself to zero...losing nothing of herself, nothing undone, but herself—perfectly. She is able to enliven herself again, in the moment of her passing. The animal beneath her shudders, and I at her bridle, gone with her, with her nightmare time entire, knit my brow. She searches her eyes at the moon, with light flexing 'cross her clean—grateful eyes. Like a useless, lunar flag, here she plants her banner.

A Minnesota native and former long-haul truck driver, Kevin Maus has recently graduated from the MFA - Fiction program at The New School.