William Repass
Historiography III
I had developed an allergy to the past.

It will be understood that I could not sneeze. Wednesday

I ran out of hammers. Fresh out of calendars at the hardware store, too. Therefore nothing

Thereafter could be nailed down.

Some time later, I glued the magnet to the can of anchovies.

Some time later, therefore declined in stature and popularity.

Some time earlier, I reclined on a bench in the park to think about Ivalyo the Cabbage, the peasant rebel who in 1278 turned into tsar of Bulgaria.

Then I remembered the can opener.

Then the nails turned into millipedes, no, centuries.

That should bring you up to speed.

Some time later, I cut my hand on a shard of stained glass and bled profusely on the the.

Subsequently, I lay butter side down on the “moving walkway.” In the name of the kitchen, chequered linoleum staged a palace coup and it was then,

Or thereabouts, that the box of elbow macaroni surrendered unconditionally, losing what remained of its colonies and standing army.

Some time later, the reverted to a noise approximating thuh.

I took down the decorative propeller and whomped Tuesday back through Monday, Sunday, Saturday, Friday, Thursday, and Wednesday, all the way to Tuesday.

I pretended to sneeze but it didn’t work.
William Repass
Historiography IV
Then the egg timer went off. I set it for another ten.

It was, in those days, the only time piece left in the apartment. I’d long since strongarmed the alarm clock into exile.

I removed the lampshade from the lamp and placed it over my head. Then I sat on the stool to organize

My thoughts: I have no thoughts to organize. Except for the thoughts about thoughts, or about thinking, and thoughts about organization also, which amount to the same thing, or not, and which, if you think about it, are, in actuality, thoughts about disorganization, so to speak, the disorganization of thought, or thinking, the decentralization and/or federalization of thinking, or thought. No, not far enough, keep pushing. Thought tossed into chaos by the deft assassination of the Prince Regent of thought for whom, let’s be frank, let’s be King of the Franks, not one thought has ever traversed his melon. At last, a thought. Deposed by hunger. Not for melon, but for the thoughts I had yesterday with lunch, or rather, for breakfast. As opposed to eggs. I’ve long since run out of eggs.

In praxis, then, not so effective as it sounds in theory. I removed the lampshade from my head and placed it over the egg timer.

In a word, Elizabethan collar.

The voluptuous intensity of the naked bulb seared my retinas.

The egg timer could go off at any minute.

The afterimage all but made up for the famine of historical battle scenes on my walls.

The egg timer would, any second now, explode, sending its shrapnel to slice the room into juicy tenths.

But the kitchen had filled with clouds scudding in from the West,

From the bathroom, that is.

Cumulonimbus, sickly green.
William Repass
Historiography V
But I came to realize that, in spite of my sustained interest in the tradition of Herodotus,

I was ahistorical.

Now, the fastest cheapest method of shaving off the a and gluing myself to the interesting, of becoming, so to speak, historical, was

To cultivate an historical mustache, or mustachio.

One begins simply, by aping one of the Great Mustaches. Once mistaken for the historical personage to which the mustache was originally affixed, one then cultivates a distinctive style of one’s own, until

Poof! one’s mustache has become interesting in its own right, therefore historical.

I sat on the stool to begin the procedure.

I couldn’t check my progress. The mirror was busying itself as the window.

By the time the mirror came back it was too late. I was mistaken for Yevno Azef.

Not the Emiliano Zapata I’d been going for but, then again, none too shabby historicity wise.

Instead of issuing uncompromising manifestos or leading daring raids against the hacendados

The new mustache began an aggressive campaign of revolutionary terrorism, blasting

All the light fixtures to smithereens. Worse, it informed on me to the landlord, who was vacationing in Ibiza at that time. My mustache had become

Too historical, molding me into Legend. Not even a fictional mustachio could avert my fate.

In the dark, I allowed the follicles grow and grow, until they sheathed my entire body, per the classical formula

Guerilla → gorilla.

Evicted and fading into myth

Or obscurantism on a bench in the public park that doubled as the cemetery

I went practically extinct.
William Repass
Historiography VI
I suffered my exile in the cemetery that doubled as the public park.

The inchworm measured out the sleeve from whence

My hand extruded. I sat on the park bench and attempted to regroup my thoughts:

It was Marx, I guess, who wrote that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, then screwball comedy, then spaghetti western, then food documentary, then commedia dell’arte, then menippean satire, then masque, then punch and judy show. After that, it’s tragedy all over again.

I’ll remember my destiny in the wheel of cheese, I guess. Veiny gorgonzola oughta suffice. I’ll put out the emigré newspaper, I’ll gather my forces, and my forces will disperse. They’re soldiers of fortune and I can’t afford cheese.

I fire the arrows of my gaze in all directions, and invariably miss. When I look at the hermit walking the pigdog, for instance, I see the gazebo closed for repairs. The figures of leisure stroll back and forth with no clothes on except the helmets of antiquity. They stroll along rectilinear paths until they reach the edges. Ricocheted, they stroll along the new trajectory, ideal limbs swinging from ideal torsos.

The cloud hunkered overhead stuck to me like glue. I watched the shadow of it shift shapes. The horse, the caravel, the skeleton, the bagel. The pigeons, too, scratch that, the buzzards, hung in the air like the checkmarks on a certain most important document.

In the park there are no mirrors. The puddles here are mud puddles.

From its pedestal the shit-flecked statue of the child emperor stared down at me. I strove to ignore it, but felt the eyes like weevils rooting in my flesh. I repaid the stare in kind and the statue’s face drained of its patina as I stared, turning grey, growing rounder and rounder. Soon the face was a graphite ellipse. A smile split the fully inflated discoloration and the head began to float, taking the tiny rigid body along with it, up into the canopy. It struck the forked twig and deflated, hissing.

So much for the Golden Age.
William Repass
Historiography VII
The new stool, formed from the new composite material, swaggered into my new place and utterly declassed the old stool. After a brief clash to establish dominance, it was all over.

I sat on the new stool to watch the ants promenade along the wainscotting, each with a volt of electricity clamped in its jaws. To power the new queen, I guess.

The oscillating fan turned to face me, dragging a quart of fitful wind behind it.

I sat on the new stool to watch the tumbleweed of dryer lint strike out across the barren floor. I made note of its progress.

I traced the column of ants all the way from the coin-operated dryer, through the kitchen area, under the new stool, and over the mildewed carpet to the bathroom, where they funneled into a chink in the mirror’s armor. I put my eye to the chink and what did I see but any old me, seated on any old stool in any old place, gluing a magnet to Semiramis of Assyria. You were there, too.

This of course was before the invention of alphabet soup. The Age of Refrigeration, even.

Might’ve have chalked it all up to nostalgia if you hadn’t galloped, followed by your retinue, out through the chink to swipe the chalk from my hand.

I feigned a retreat back to the kitchen area, twisting in the saddle to execute the “Parthian shot,” but by this stage your wartime economy was really humming and my projectiles bounced feebly off your armored train.

Feigned retreat transitioned smoothly into route.

I was cornered. You declared the new stool a false idol and iconoclasted it to splinters before my eyes. Then you iconoclasted the window and surged out toward the point where your chronicle breaks off mid sentence.

The oscillating fan turned its back on me, dragging the quart of fitful wind behind it.