restricted access Now I am Ready to Troll the Big Lake
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13 Now I Am Ready to Troll the Big Lake Ultimately then you had to have a mean dog, with canines like stalactites in the foreground of the picture backlit by the bluish white illusion of a wall. Then you could just go on talking strung out like a little mortal coil moonlighting as a halo trying to eat his own tail in a city with no other light. Vicious but not without reason the tithe falls into the gold-rimmed lake of fire—folk songs are played and you start to think you’ll stay here awhile like a child at a general store discovered off the highway with the right kind of kitsch. But the whole thing is vapid and fragile, a small shadow says, and in some sense he means it— your father, I mean, when he speaks of his father or finishing dinner, sometimes both at once, but you will have to go and kill the chicken with the hatchet as we wait here at the table, and maple sap becomes the spitting image of the viscous caramel candy of years as first they take away the faceless table where you want to sit and then the chicken gets away repeatedly and your grandfather is back where you left him telling his stories and making the salad as the whole illicit store is closed, the front of it, the soul, you had to have a mean dog in the corner guarding the little trapdoor to the cellar through which the light of the world came in lines outlining a door where you stood turning vintage on vintage, feeling old and liminal 14 backlit by the Edison bulbs that she ordered by mail-order catalog— not the real ones from a century before but painful imitations which consumed even more of your power without real permission, with the same size and shape, as the roar of the party above dragged the evening back into the morning, with the roar of carousels bearing children. ...

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