Small Victories

Good afternoon gossamer. Good afternoon cream hydrangea. Good afternoon text fence holding red bubbly letters. Hey Burger King logo,
  
are you beautiful? There is a time for fast food, when eating becomes a chore, when overcome with a willing indifference to surround oneself with denizens unwilling to till the fields. Look at these usurping serfs, a gaggle of jean shorts, a shrewdness of belly buttons,
  
an older gentleman in the queue. I can tell he is not married. Never has been. It's his demeanor, his oddball totality. Envision with me a man about his sparsely furnished apartment, awkward when the cleaning lady arrives. He smiles frequently while ordering,
  
loneliness is relative,
  
and who gave birth to you, overweight and armada-invoking Burger King employee? Baseball cap teetering on her head, hiding the present—a bun of hair!—body bursting everywhere. Look at her say this to him, look at the words:
  
"You have beautiful eyes."
  
Today, Spain's Minister of Culture bestowed the Fine Arts Medal for Bullfighting to Francisco Rivera Ordóñez: eldest son of Paquirri (Paquirri, Paquirri, his name invokes ghost-legends and earthquake tremors)—killed in 1984 by Avispado—grandson of Antonio Ordóñez and the grandnephew of Luis Miguel Dominguen: the two cantankerous rivals of Hemingway's The Dangerous Summer. And look what happens: the past recipients return their medals in disgust! Ptooie! Francisco, Francisco, Francisco, is it your fault? His suitcase: a portable combination lock chapel to The Virgin Mary, San Miguel Arcangel, San Lazaro. The candles warm his face, ruin the rugs as he prays, sells watches. He is on GQ, Vogue, the face of Armani. Married and divorced to the Duchess of Alba: María Eugenia Brianda Timotea Cecilia Martínez de Irujo—
  
it is important to know that the outcry stems from the fact that Francisco is not the best technical bullfighter, but he is famous, mostly because of his lineage, popularity in gossip rags and good looks, and so the award is seen in the Bullfighting community as a gesture to make the sport relevant again which angers the traditionalists and less photogenic fundamentally sound matadors—
  
y Fitz-James Stuart! The picador's blindfolded and armored horses can sense the bull's impending doom as only animals attune. The flag daggers of the banderilleros are rigor mortis tuning forks. Francisco, the crowd agrees, your traje de luces is Beetelgeuseian! Weight on his right foot, his janky left tests the invisible waters of In-Which-This-Bull-Will-Die Sea. There is no dodging the estocada. ¡La Estocada! Avert your eyes small children! The sword up, parallel, close to face like a moth, Francisco leaps! Sword buried up to the hilt in the shoulder blades, the bull still standing. Yes, this is normal; it is not until Francisco slowly forceps the blade from its gut holster that the bull enters a seizure-like dandelion state, limbs rotating as a horror movie grandfather clock, eyes rolling as an inclined compass, tongue useless and clacking: clack clack clack,
  
roses are falling! Dodge their thorns matador! Today I will learn
  
that the funeral of a Polish president will be delayed by the ash of a volcanic explosion, that a wild African Dog will escape a Texan zoo before being tranquilized beside a water fountain, that my father held a bike messenger's hand as he died, clipped by a truck minutes earlier,
  
and yet amidst all this information these exhumations these jubilations there is this man in a Burger King looking at me, turning to me as if I am the person to hear this, saying
  
"No one has ever said that to me before."
  
Saffron, maybe. His eyes are saffron, tucked behind the horizontal stretched out S's of eyelids. What am I to make of this?
  
Yes, yes, yes, life is beautiful and disgusting simultaneously, a stomach.
Whoa Yeah Baby
Dave Landsberger
Landsberger_cover

Whoa Yeah Baby

Dave Landsberger

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf