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10 the minnesota review Franz Douskey Up From the Mud 1/ In The Beginning God created heaven and jazz, a music without form, so, God created earth, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. God said let there be Miles Davis, and there was Miles. God sat down and grooved. He reached into His pocket and handed Miles a pawn ticket. Miles was to go to Harlem. Some ofay record producer had Bird hooked on horse, his wick had been licked, and God said dig this and let the earth bring forth grass yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind whose seed is in itself upon the earth, then God pointed uptown and said Miles, the earth is a dark mother, with not so much as a light under a bushel, go forth, and remember I'm up here watching. 2/ The Making of Firmament first, God decided to divide day from night by fUling the area between with truck drivers and all night diners. He juggled two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser to rule the night, the difficult part was making firmament. He had barely gotten used to stumbling through daylight and night. imagine his surprise when His first attempt at making firmamant took the form of cattle and creeping things, eventually, firmament was created Douskey 11 more or less by accident when God was attempting to make the theory of relativity understandable to man. at that time, God had not learned about rain, and man hadn't learned to till the ground. God said to man go forth but don 't listen to southern music because that is where the devil's soul doth dwell, then He gave man a high five and He was gone. 3/ Man Gets Used to His Animal Form on the first day the sun seemed to circle the head of man like a distraught hummingbird, he saw flamingos and wildebeest and an admiral butterfly. He saw sea lions, egrets and Eve. she was beautiful, man looked down, he had a welling of sensation, a great swelling of elation, that is until a loincloth was slowly lowered from the sky. 4/ God and Man Become Indistinguishable the Devil tempted man, first with the lust for souvenirs, then with the desire for homefries. the Devil got dressed in one of God's wigs and told man go forth and develop identities. man went forth and invented lip gloss, eye shadow, pantyhose, Grecian Formula, and the temporary permanent wave. years later, God and man pause outside an all night diner, not talking, after all these years they still blame each other. 12 the minnesota review 5/ God Has Second Thoughts He wanders off to see every plant of the field. He wanders through a forest of white pine, a mist rises across the river. He reaches for the mud from which man was formed before God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God had made man and He was no longer convinced that He had accomplished something by which He would Uke to be remembered. 6/ God Decides to Give Another Chance God sits in his antechamber wearing an aqualung. From where He sits, He can see through the gasoline haze and watch the earth spiraling through dark space. He can hear Miles hit notes no human ear can detect, ah God says you cool, wailin' cat have made this whole dizzy experiment worth it. even after they drop the big one, your riffs will still be in outer space, turning back on themselves. and God put on His headphones, knowing that even though the music was ever elusive, it was almost unendurably good. Ocean Drive it was cold enough to walk across Long Island Sound, my father drove his Chevy onto the beach where his future wife was sitting near the fire made from a broken life-guard stand. Douskey 13 it wasn't enough to walk upon the frozen water like an antique God. my father got into his Chevy and drove onto Long Island Sound, skidding sideways as onlookers screamed, certain he would sink...


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