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Treasure? What Treasure?

Son of Rip Torn     WASP heiress     southern  postman     fluid Afrikaner              four these traverse rooms or     not rooms      details might come might  not       their series chambers they know     contain traps treasures        secretions but  been there   before died there   before                          they know first room a bedroom beyond   second lunar beds then Indiana    Jones like                third end of movie undependable floors          catacomb-like beyond bedroom outside of bar     fourth rather spacious multitudinous seats cushions         where-read-and-watch                 incites          Rip Torn’s son       antsy tries         to convince everyone   begin through closet   claim treasure             reach secretions skip traps    scour floors walls reach liquid courage convinced vodka rum something          first      peroxide             machete bedroom   somewhere.

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Son of Rip Torn finds      manila ‘lope no liquid       luck      addressed to him opens ‘lope up complains to fellows of in     sobriety OH sobriety        while        opens ‘lope finds latest New York Post     compelled optionless opens to       particular page   sticker falls feather-like Rip Torn’s son picks    it up initially       reads Look its me!      looks at newspaper         text on sticker morphs shifts           Look who I found!   who sent why would          amidst dungeon crawl the picture, the picture in   the paper on the page opened to      photo: son of Rip Torn  WASP heiress face to face all smiles low angle          sunglasses on him thick wool scarf  on her     son of Rip Torn remembers recalls place expressions positions              the background     background:            

     brightly lit light brown ballroom candelabra chandelier ceiling oak floors       no sense of contextmemory visual          no experience anchor.


Southern postman sees accurate identify fluid Afrikaner memory           not photo  setting Rip Torn’s son and papers    postman knows bedroom       Afrikaner’s  childhood          fluid Afrikaner confirms              son of Rip Torn lost       text     WASP heiress     does not see Post admires     Southern postman       historiographic     insight search for      clues gear     unlock  the next      levelroom      postman  Afrikaner hands       together reach       tucked    under mattress machete     combine wield   slice wall-hole       lead way through.


Son of Rip Torn behind others      laughs       taps       WASP heiress shows      laugh unison                   over photo        themselves,      after all, friends, step through wall    second     in unison  them two    article clipping clipped attached theyre tabloid      photo cracks them         up, gloss over words accompanying              focus on photo dont notice   initially      captioned marriage announcement      not between two of them two names unfamiliar unheard unseen not close to   actual-names     is photo really them unmistakably?    prank Post journalist,   frequent same bars?         good     wrong   jolly       narrative fallacy     dark-now     claustrophobe space.


WASP heiress baffled by photo      by men crawling floor of moon carpet      room young        bedland      wonders if her family reads New York  Post     frowned        scorned scoffing rag were rag to flit across desk feed eyes       all know       mother brother sister society father know not claims of caption photo     friendship, joke    names inaccurate     narrative fallacy implications fallacious       son of is   son of Jew mother       no matter  no now white right    do not care laugh jest         let them see     her will they      know a joke not      name.


Son of Rip Torn      gnawing hollow sensation in chest      nothing to drink    confused photograph WASP heiress his friend      doesnt want her feel  uncomfortable      focus      treasure beyond          thats it      focused on damn photo       booze and smokes?      none to be found      no substance in moon carpet room       treasure-answer-next         life death wealth outdo addiction      awkwardness         ought to at least.


Southern postman wants to   smoke       lunar carpeted bedland       room          Southern postman goes      reaches pocket pack breast pocket absent pants pockets negative back pockets neither      no smokes      desperation      on floor clawing carpet    Southern postman asks others  Rip Torn’s son suggests smokes in next chamber?      fluid Afrikaner pats postman      postman brushes off        not because hand      but hand        hand       is not pack of smokes.


Fluid Afrikaner       hurt by southern postman       alone      uncertain relevancy.

WASP heiress son of Rip Torn    love, as friend?more?     could be but      coarse Jew son.




Son of Rip Torn       WASP heiress           southern postman        fluid Afrikaner jump moon carpet bedroom window      next chamber not chamber: street, stone sidewalk      fluid Afrikaner in front      steps stone first       activates disc blade    pressure on stones       decapitates fluid Afrikaner      head flies soul lingers corpse      watches sees       blood splatter others faces      unperturbed     on sidewalk outside     old timey bar      rustic      bricks wood beams       quarter-paned windows        large crowd too      intoxicated       various  many  neon  

hoodies       bootcut  jeans     gravelly  voice  of  son  of  Rip Torn’s  father  weighs  on  air    

physically absent soul speaking?

“Rum, poured behind quarter-panes, down gullets.”

Gaunt  woman in a   hospital gown,  wavering,  visible corner of the eye  crowds edge.

Son of Rip Torn     WASP heiress         Southern postman      inch     towards bar

Gaunt woman in a   hospital gown, wavering,   visible corner of the eye     crowds edge.

Sphinx bouncer      frontdoor     presents identif     ication riddle  fluid Afrikaner ghost

confers  Rip Torn’s soul    assist corporeal companions.

Three bodies     deaf to souls    crowd chatter deafens    overwhelms.

Nervousness   shadow fathers voice cast layered   blankets crowd sphinx         dissolves riddle


   Flask from      sphinx chest falls      cigarette packs     pop out        eyesockets.

Men&theirvices: satisfied. WASP heiress:     casual demeanor     illusion of     fun in     crowd.

The  discomfiture   fun      everyday being           treasure what treasure      longing still why.  

Blue red blue  red blue      lights     sounds sounds slowto   arrive        intangible   sirens

sounds     unfurl     tonal         ripples         spirits       ripples translucent.

Notice no new        movement       static consumption     achieves       illusion       revelry

success        no wrong      why authority               circling       faces     bloody  breaths

smoky booze-y.

Authority paparazzi   meaning of together,    why   family     WASP Jew   ghost father

uncouth cough     Southern    cough legacy haunt    unite why.

Gaunt woman in a   hospital gown, wavering,   visible corner of the eye     crowds edge.

“A mother will not condone treasure.”

Benny Morduchowitz is a New York-based writer and educator. He can be found on twitter @bennym0. 

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Art, with gratitude, from:

Music Division, The New York Public Library. "Maggie Magee" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1897 - 1897.

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