Women and Men

Women and Men by Joseph McElroy

Book: Women and Men by Joseph McElroy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joseph McElroy
to cope with these screwballs and probably foreign powers who call up (he guesses you’re O.K.), and so is phoneless, hence more concentrated on what’s here: snowflake-fringe coasts and diagraphs of pressureless voids that look like meteorite showers of infinitesimal equation on the wall of this Greenwich Village railroad flat—these could make their clouds of fingerprints considerably more than New Weather (as you clock these curious clouds—their curves of whorls blowing down to smaller and smaller whorls)—no, not just coasts of a weather but, up there on the walls across vertical piece after piece of brown paper, mountains seemingly as well (for your money) or just any old graph contour of some expert’s risk-benefit analysis yet coming right at you or your brain anyhow (friendly dried-out polyp of a still two-gun arsenal, leftrightleftright) receiving obstacles of turbulence that your guy’s differential equations for the evolution of the atmosphere and doubtless half a dozen other things at same time and/or unseen aren’t going to help you with (and if you’re this recycled man some woman called you warmly you have to admit the other day look around at the accelerated evolution of practically everything including these . . . what? you feel the word move your throat and mouth, the word "angels," where’d it come from?) and hell anyway this elder maverick New York Hermit-Meteorologist says forget it if you’re not up to them, the equations, he as for him never got family relation straight, left it to the women—second something twice removed—"Great-uncle to an Indian?" you ask—"Oh my gosh who knows what the boy meant by that? Second cousin I would have guessed, if my uncle or was it great-uncle was his grandfather. Leave that to all our kinship hunters in the field," your host mutters . . . "—where’d you say you’re from? Jersey?" People underrate the grandeur of New Jersey, he laughs the very laugh you heard in his postcard replying to your humble inquiry. Pretty much over your head, you had inquired if radioactive mists might breed atmospheric "sports"— freak fronts, stacked weather—say, like a tree with no trunk, you half-see, half-hear (but did not say in your letter), or a mountain you can’t see.
    Word of this man’s bulletins launched from a local radio station near Cape May had come to you—the Coast Guard had complained—then elsewhere he was fired by an offshore pirate television station because, according to (he laughs) his prison correspondent, the hermit has powers of warning communicable in a beeline to others—so no need for wire service, radio, or TV. (Wait—the powers communicable? or the warning?) But "the grandeur of New Jersey"? For a second the old tales wander back—all of them and for just one second.
    The old geezer’s not after publicity. Unless it could get him the funds to hire the plane and the infra-scan gear and a human or two on the ground to prove his guess. Oh you’re willing to believe weather and coastline connect: this is no hare-lipped hype for the news-margin traders—you could name one who will send and, yes, buy photo-illustrated rumor linking a mountain of mineral matter with an intelligence strategy undermining what might have been one of the more interesting socialisms in South America: whereas the hermit’s meteorology finds only a relation between unprecedented atmospherics and the behavior of little stretches of coast that may alter infinitesimally overnight: work he’s done that’s solid and odd: but hardly your staple all-points conspiracy theory like what the South American (Connecticut-resident) owner of newspaper chain you James Mayn currently work for asked you to look into: that has a Chicago industrialist’s estranged son thousands of miles south arranging President Kennedy’s Texassassination to impress a Chilean woman he is pursuing while he’s studying magic music-stories with which Araucanian Indian brujas in the South

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