XIII. The Calliopes of the Actual Cottage Industry.

Who’s there?
A Roman.
Casca, by your voice.
Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!
A very pleasing night to honest men.

~ Wm. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene iii.

xiii — The Calliopes of the National Cottage Industry.

          Come what may, all sailors were addled, when deft plaudits rang as they returned to work out with the Erlking’s parrot on Mountjoy. It rasped a lot from melted fondue, prepared to fly to satellites 12,000 times. K’s last budgie! In ghastly haberdash, he entreated the fauns.

          Flip revved over amidst his brief fling and deigned to cringe gratuitously at themes of apneal hinds. Flushed with hubris, K. awaited a fervent storm of placid, if formally out–sourced funless drab reassurance. “You’ll do well to stop learning to go off half seriously here,” Flip harped severely. “This wet match adversary you schlepped is 112 years cold! Here’s a fresher start.”

          K’s insomnia shrivelled as he steadied the new one, which cast off tumble thorns in or near Lake Neato, where he’d sworn it would be bleary. K. mashed on decrying plush cotswolds of tacamahac areas where he’d see fit. Willessly thus was he unbalanced, stuffed with used thread, and Flip reverted to tactical gridlock, leering so mercilessly that even Lemaniac’s quaesitum had seemed a tad lame if tenuous.

          Buffeted here with as caustic, albeit prodigal, whiffs of tangible hotfoot thereby known, K. systemically flushed beet red. For his part, Flip deserved more than disowned wainscottings which bubbled off. In myopic decency, the wet hens bantered with workaday insolence, expecting formless meniscus ether rattlers.

          So thin meringue figs lofted forever, and for once melded with aggregate ersatz porpoises. Flip thereafter resonated eclectically with feasibly crazed noisy dull gusto.

*        *        *

          Perchance this spark fomented a major palace turnover. In de facto resuscitation of the ploy of simply unbesmirchable men, an artless appanage dealt over here two new arrivals who twanged mandolins of soft timbre.

          Lemaniac had eavesdropped Khan Omdrum–san and Arbuthnot dancing the tango at the Mostly Color Shoe Tree. “Are you crazy,” K. exclaimed at the next singalong, all the way groping at bouncier anisette salamis, “these clowns owe us lipiform service next to cardiograms, and you froze it.”

          Khan Omdrum–san woke up effusively in front of the jet set, “I only needed to be sure of a scalene yes man.” Lemaniac sidled away from the conspiracy. In weeding out the shape–shifters, Khan Omdrum–san averted a disparate calm that K. didn’t care to quash, although he did manicure his anemones and deodorize a filtered apple polisher.

          So that saga was rescinded, and all the way back Lemaniac entreated them to arrange for the viccisitudes of the carrier wave apportionment and pledge their unending support for Pier Gynt. K. wanted to play along somehow, but sensed a cold donut emanating from without. Wrapping the flag around, he sat in light–headed and heedless silliness as Khan Omdrum–san gave off glints of lapis lazuli anions.

 *       *        *

          The Emperor Frederick Barbarossa rode a colt stealthily under the stanchions that very fortnight, in ostensible tribute to the spiritual confessor, Pier Gynt. There, as the tensest piquancy accompanying any imminent change of regime eventually foreshortened into chic shadows, they calmly accused Pier Gynt of sequestering stylish eiderdowns.

          Arbuthnot also held that the latter had kept mum about altruistic premises ex officio, as well as raising svelte ringworms in the harsh arboreal cities off the clock, and in cantos, extolled Frederick Barbarossa as furious and notwithstanding, well over two hundred years old, and vigorous with red herrings. K. stashed his flyaway look during the incantations, slightly insane with uncertainty, and dove back into the chancel, hoping to be found diligently studying the canons.

          In due course, he heard anemic laughs hours later. Slowly he turned, somewhat afraid of irked barbers behind the arras, and said “ordinarily I don’t stand a chance of tumultousness.” In a spent, breezy, hectic form, he laughed sub–consciously at fishhooks and swarmed to misnomers: here was one who cried at witangemots, and knew his slim itsy–bitsy time would be prorated to calm this last cylinder.

*        *        *

          Frederick Barbarossa and Khan Omdrum–san were still too crafty to flout their niche investigations readily and, while everyone felt prepared to argue the toss, ostensibly named Arbuthnot as heir apparent to the post of Commutator Batrachianne (this nomination was deferred to the eunuchs in charge of the odalisque).  The incumbent, Zorba, seemed too undernourished to heave.

          Nor did K. finally solicit reams of advance firmament. His disposition, made awkward since Lemaniac, as his beneficiary, and Zorba, as his progenitor, had caved into personal pressures long before K.’s accession, was that of illusory harmony, disturbed only during mysterious azimuths, when the barter of backstairs offices became steadily more rigorous and thitherto noteworthy obversibles carried out grim and silent tasks.

          Arbuthnot drafted his investiture and then slyly backed K. as heir apparent, pounding the soapbox for emphasis. “Men,” he proclaimed, “we welcome K. with unvarying degrees of probation. Indeed our fairest image has turned unusually anti–rhetorical, and only he must know why. Zorba usually promulgates unsound paperwork.” There are stories (leaking from emblematic witangemots) about how they’ve been miserably shunted into star chambers of sorts and called upon to renounce polo.

*        *        *

          Ironically, Arbuthnot’s plug sharply reduced K.’s desire to hit the lists, as it were, and while he went around in sackcloth and ashes for two years, willing to denounce the counter–revolution as inimical to the civilized haven of mankind, he tacitly acknowledged that Zorba seemed to enjoy his bureau. Far be it from K. to pry: this left plenty of time to work on the past afterburners. He simply avoided him.

Circa May 2008.