We Make Mud
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Peter Markus makes myth out of mud, a river, fish. By parceling his obsessions so obsessively, he creates a never-before-seen form of mud, a new species of fish, a river that flows backwards to its source: all of this rendered in a language that is uniquely and privately his own.
on it, it didn’t listen to us brothers. To this fish, us brothers, we could not say to it, Good, Fish. Us brothers, we stood there like this, on the muddy edge of this dirty river that runs its way through this dirty river town, and we watched this fish, out and into our river, this fish, it swam itself away. After a while, us brothers, the only part of this fish that we could see was the sticking-up knife, sticking up out of this fish’s big fish head, cutting through the mud that was the river.
We didn’t know what we should do, us brothers, other than what we ended up doing. Us brothers, the both of us brothers, we both jumped, heads first, out of our boat, the dead man’s boat, the dead man who fell into the river pissing into the river for luck, we headed ourselves, down into the river, and we swam ourselves down to get us away from this coming-after-us boat. When we stuck up our boy heads up out of the river, to see if we were both of us still alive, to see where our boat was, to see
who will one of these days, like Man said that we would, grow up to be grown-up men. This man, Man, he doesn’t know the first thing about what it means to be a brother. And so, us brothers, we go ahead and we tell him this. That’s what you think is what we go ahead and we tell this to this here man. You don’t know who you are right now talking to, we say. Us brothers, we give each other this look. There is this look that us brothers, we like to look at each other with this look. It is the kind of
brother. Our father, our father who did not sing or play the guitar, our father who liked to fish, our father who walked down to the river, one night, he walked out into the river, he walked out across the river, one night, and did not come walking back: our father did not call this brother of his Brother the way that us brothers do. Our father, what our father called his brother was, he called his brother Joe. Hey, Joe, we’d hear our father say. But this Joe, our father’s brother who our father
take hammer and we take nail to the each of us brothers. We take each other by the hand. We take our hammers and nails and we hammer and nail all of these things, one by one at a time, we hammer all of these things into trees and into fencing posts, into backyard telephone poles and into the shingled sides of houses. But first, before we do the hammering in, we cover up all of these things with mud—this, to protect them, this, so that when somebody else comes into our town all that they see is