Matthew Schmidt
1. Aesop Repurposed / Parts of a Book

2. Recto / Verso

2.1 The Good Things and the Bad Things

To begin, there is no verso. When a story begins it begins recto. The Complete Fables--short quips, moral- less, debased slave; to punish the downtrodden. Beginning ends on the same side of the leaf; i.e. front of leaf contains everything. Ill after man, to corner alone: one at a time bad things arrive. Thank Zeus.

The bad thing came gravitational. Pull of earth to body. A wrap for bare frame.

--Verses recto

The bad thing arrived early to make you late. A nail or five--puncture skin. Awful, exterior detritus lurks, anonymous wind shuffles. Another person’s hands? Mauled Frisbee? Mark time is not Matthew time.

--Scripture hokey-pokey

And the bad thing arrived lustful. Face becoming his body, smooth cheeks, sheer flanks; eyes a welcome mat to and after cocktail soiree.


3. Frontispiece

3.1. The Man Selling a Holy Statue

Wooden Hermes at market: carver expects more than will be offered. Indeed wood tends to frighten people, plural more so. There is no shine and rot, may it rot a god from the inside? Carver becomes hawker, trumps up value of statue--what it can do: belief in power of figure. Motionless now, may be a ruse

--the god unburdened of populace unfolds might.

Door to door, sale of potions: stunt age, accumulate wealth, concoction of irresistibility. Wherefore art thou questing? Desire in clever tongue creates desire in open wound. A daub of ointment to walk again.

--Thief of daylight

Lyre: Liar :: Lair : Layer

--Measures of preface

4. Dedication

4.1. The Eagle and the Fox

Of friendship; granted we take, but do we give? An eagle claimant reverses thought when pangs ravage eaglet bellies. Skulk of kits rooted at base of tree for the taking. Raid of den--an infiltration of trust. Curses yowled nest-ward by vixen on return from sojourn. Food fit for young loses value when young inside young. Chersaia--wingless; crime not punishable by action. Though sacrifice, that holy ardor, is reciprocal; burning entrails stave off hunger but produce exodus of nest into vixen maw.

Goat sacrifice akin to eaglet sacrifice akin to kit sacrifice.

--Substitution of contents produces context

Unwritten contracts based on word are only as good as. Word carries strength of diaphragm, of function of being. Often this being is too much to risk for another.

--Canvas and(s) to find willing couplers. And as fingers between shaken hands.

Eagle arrived as the obsequious neighbor offering to carry groceries inside, shovel drive, babysit.

--Fury dedicates percolation

5. Epigraph

5.1.The Eagle and the Scarab Beetle

The first time he heard the term moronic inferno he knew exactly where it was located and who were its inhabitants.

--Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Healing and nurturing encased in dung.

--Creation, whether purposeful or necessary, proposes elasticity

Hair demands to be cut or embraced. Products, combs--these tools decide its shape. When on a throne does a crown cover a crown?

--the great scarab is bowed at the altar
the green light gleams in his shell

--Pound, The Cantos (LXXIV)

I beseech thee begged the beetle: hare rent asunder, proximal.

--Eggs must be watched by layers; even Zeus doesn’t take to shit.

Humpty Dumpty and the Scarab Beetle?

--Well-known authority’s official horses and men of the crown.

6. (Table of) Contents

6.1. The Eagle, the Jackdaw and the Shepherd

A for B when A is A. Simple mechanics of a hammer. In the morning all over this land men will shepherd their nails x2s & x4s. Structures will rise triumphant; the sky a pierced sphere. Erector sets extinct, two-in- ones--yet when strength is tested only the solid face will yield clean drive. Wood can tangle metal like a ram inadvertently tangles a jackdaw. Dinner bell is clanging and the jackdaw thought only a smorgasbord would do.

Rashly he calls a poisonwood merely tree.

--When your good eye is swollen shut light is a bitter, damaged film

Far as he could see there was nothing to see.

--A ram horns in on a mundane outcrop of rock

Isosceles, right? 30 – 60 – 90, prevalent angles in triangulation. He took his compass out and headed to the vertex angle from the base.

Sudden eagles enjoy lambs, retain all coverts and axillaries.

--Plumage as paradox of headiness

7. Page Numbers

7.1.The Eagle with Clipped Wings and the Fox

Something in the way of flight. Something in the way of reasoning. If ability is lost is reason the answer to calm? Benefactors insert grace into situations deemed maladroit. If an onlooker discerns a more appropriate response, should it be followed? Disposition of wings; shame; poultry squabbling in yard--are these instances of insensibility? To reward based on fear instead of merit. To collapse the tongue.

First page: a wizened fox proves theory of pith. Treacle of accounts rendered. Forest of unpleasant barbs. Acrimonious sunset. Leaves muffle step when wet. Stick wings laterally and wonder where they went.

--Masters muster shortcomings

Myrrh in relation to frankincense. Mangy animals rove in packs. Until such time as breaking strict policy the banker pushes spectacles. Wilted clippings of tulips etch the edge. Lips do not deserve the opportunity. Slip this cage in mouth--masticate.

--Herbs of the earth unite, untie

Rub the hung ornamental charm. Is enlivened body a proposition? Refuse to supply frontier façade. Behold! an aggressive salamander. Purpose retained numerically.

--One is seven the same

Point six degrees southerly. Forget this foible. Facsimile of dust clings to rabbit fur. Run the numbers. It’s not so often that Reynard approves of a situation unconditionally.

--Eye of égalité.