May 1998
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Improvisation

by Alden Thomas

There is something to be said about a man slumped in the corner reading his books of ancient words, floundering over the possibilites... and realizing over and over again that the greater purpose still somehow eludes him. Then he thinks "It wont be found in the reciprocating ounces that be words."

It may, perhaps, be found in the sounds. In the sounds of a violent string or the wail of brassmetal siphons... it intoxicates the heart with its gilded arrows that peirce forthright. It plays with the fingers... makes them maticulate. Lends them insanity. Contrives bones into rubber. Molds them like fibers in a bond that breaks and folds but then from the fractures leaks a sweet nectar that bonds once more. As it professes on the mountain of scrap in my boxes, the swift line and swift note are one and the same. Vicarious vanities which plot their points but the conclusions turn from dust to noise from noise to symphony to dust once more....

How this irreverant creed of nature convulses in our veins is the secret which may never be cracked. And if so cornered, then be it only a small glimpse of whats yet to come.

'Twas time the man returned to his slumber.


Obsession

by Julie Wernau

Obsession. OB-sess-ion. Obs-ESSI-on. obsession. obsession. have you seen him? have you seen perfection? canít touch him; canít talk to him; canít mar the flawless man wrapped in the yellow swaddling clothes. everyday i just stand motionless on the rock in the middle of his yard and peek in on him. he does not see me. he can never see me because he is blind...not metaphorically speaking, but in the physical sense. his unseeing eyes make him even more beautiful to me because he can not see me; my dirty hands, my flawed face, the crease in my forehead, the rise and fall of my heaving chest as i watch him through his open window day after day after day after day after day. some days i go in the house through the open window above the back porch. he is sleeping in his green sweatpants on his twin bed with the yellow sheets. yellow. i love yellow. it smells of him. the mixture of after shave, baby powder, old cigarette smoke imbedded forever into the rug of a non-smoker, pasta sauce, and sweet smelling sweat are the scent of heaven. some days i take my tupperware with me into the house to try to capture the smell; seal it inside, but by the time i reach my own home across the way, the smell i breathe from the canister is only my own trade scent, and i cry for the lack of his aura surrounding me. have you seen him? donít be afraid; you can tell me if you have. i have already shed many tears for the loss of lives which have touched his life...seen him with their unworthy eyes.

if you had only seen him you would know that he was worth dying for. just to see his green unseeing eyes...just to see them...you would know you were unworthy. you would ask me to kill you if you had seen the way his chin blends into his lips, into his nose, up to his smooth brow...the way if you just imagine touching his cheek, the roughness of his cheek touching your smooth, dirty finger tips, you canít help but close your eyes for the ecstasy in just that swelling of love that rises in you for this perfect creature. but i have betrayed him. i have walked to the house of another. i have peered in his window. i have watched him sleeping gently like an angel on another bed, in another house, on a different street, in the name of satan and death and all that is evil...i have betrayed him. i will no longer see my love as he lies on his stomach, head to the side, eyes closed, chest still, breath still, heart still, lips cold, his arched feet forever frozen like a block of ice on his yellow sheets. i didnít mean to do it...it was guilt, it was obsession, he never got to see my face...but soon he will because soon i will be with my love forever...far from the daylight and the rock in his yard. i know obsession...his name is Eros.


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We're looking for short stories, novelas, ramblings, philosophy, etc. Never let it be said that the Shrub is a mere vehicle of humour and nothing else. So send us your work. E-mail it to theshrub@theshrubbery.prohosting.com

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