THE LAUGHING BONE‎ > ‎WORD‎ > ‎PROSE‎ > ‎THE JONESIAD‎ > ‎

Bone Carver 6: Telling a Tale

Bone Carver VI
Telling a Tale



Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge.
- Wendell Berry


The bone in my hand shivered and rang like it had been struck by a hammer. It hurt to hold it, but I held on and slid the knife down to carve away the last shred of meat.

Then I looked at him, his eyes bright as stars. I knew what he thought about all of this. Using the end of the bone, I shoved all the pieces of meat to the center of the tale to make a neat pile.

Das not bad cuttin derr, said the Bone Carver.

He began to pick through the meat with the mouthpiece of his pipe. 

Bud look heres, see dat? Dat not be juss meat, nosir.

I picked up the piece he had uncovered and looked closely into it. There was a splinter of bone, gleaming white in the red.

What am I doing here? I asked myself. The scars upon the table were suddenly dark and unreadable.

From behind my back, out there in the Deserted Town, I could hear a voice calling to me, telling me still to leave.

I looked across the table to the Bone Carver.
 

Who are you?
A long time passed.
I be you.
I sensed a shift in the world then, a coming apart, a dissolving.
The face of the Bone Carver became a skull hovering mystically above a series of disconnected vertebrae, all surrounded by a blue shimmering light.
His bones were burning.

I thought about this for a moment.

Lissen here an I tell you fo bit dis tale bout dat ole Holy Fool. You members him, dontchoo?

I nodded.

Now dontchoo innerup me none as Im doin dis her tellin. You juss sit bak an lets itall sink deep in an wen I is finish, iffin you needs to, you can ask me whadever you likes.

And he began gently and with much laughter:

Be won time dat dis Holy Fool be walkin down dere at dis Sacred Lake. An he got dere hankerin to talks to God.

An so he take his bag dere offa his pole an gets out dat Skull O God. Now you members dat dat skull be full o boncho lil blak seeds. An eacho dose seeds be ables to makes nother universe in yo hed. Sode duch Holy Fool swallows dere one o dese seeds an sits down ness to duh wadder.

Purtee soon he see God a come rowin up in a lil boat from udder side o the lake.
God werent nothing but bones n a wearing a real fancy hat. Yessah, an I tell you dat dis make dat o Fool star to laugh and laugh.

His funny star shakin as he look on god n dontchoo know buncha dat laughin joose come jumpin out o duh endo his funny bone an inta da wadder.

Da fool see dere dat each lil drop o his laughin joose turn into bigo fishy n swim hap happy always n duh Lake.

Den duh Fool sees God hat stop his rowin an was now a taking out a long funny lookin pole. 
Whatchoo doin dere God?

Gonna catches me sum fishys.

Fishys! You mean ma laughin joose dere all a swimmin bout?

God didnt say nothin juss get some line an ties it to duh poles end.

Whatchoo doin now God?

Lissen here Fool. I is only gon say dis one time. I is tryin to wake my self up an I is doin dat by fishin - which aint nothin but makin some o dis thin call language. I is out here floatin on duh dream trying to catch dat parto me dat is outo duh dream, no innit here wit me. You gotdat?

Whatchoo see here is only a story bout whats really goin on. See?


Dis pole is my thinker n dis line is my magination n dis hook is lik paradox upon witch I gonna catch my self. Holdit down with sinka an keepit up with flota. All dere in right place.
Now you sees dis? Dis is duh bait which is duh honee o duh invivisble... ha ha o o ho ho hee.
Now fool you juss watch as I gonna throw dis all out into space an catch mess o my self an wakes rightup.

An dat Fool watch as God catch on two buncho fish n his boat star fillin up.
N God juss keep on fishin catchin mo an mo fishys till his boat star sinkin under duh wadder bubble bubble bubble.

Duh Fool den ge crazy notion an jump n dat dere wadder to be wit God. But thin was he coodnt holds onta his breat an has to comes on baks to duh surface.

He take deep breath den an go deep deep downs an dere he saw biggest o spooky fishy he ever done seen.

An dat fish start comin after dat fool an he got sum scare n swims likety split way.

When he comes bak to hisself, he was sittin down dere on duch land an derre be buncho fish in a pile in front o him. He knowed den wat to do an takes owt his nife n cuts duh meat from dem bones. He do dis ten time and den puts dem bones in his bag wit dat Godskull n goes off long his way.

Yessah, dat Holy Fool goes off long his way an leff all dat dream meat fo duh worms n lil animals. An dat wuddnt duh N o dat.

When the Bone Carver finished his telling, he relit his pipe and leaned back into his chair to enjoy his smoke. He watched me steadily.

I held myself as still as I could, allowing all of the thoughts inside my head a moment in which to take root. Everything fell into place.

This is where it happens.
Where wat happen?
The Great Mystery, the Transformation.

What in hell you talkin bout, boy?

All of this blood and death! This is where the Myth is born. Where symbols are cut up and placed into words. That's why there is so much blood. That's whey there are so many taboos connected to everything here. 

I began to laugh and couldn't stop laughing for a while.

The Bone Carver didn't say anything for a long time. The day turned to evening and the evening turned to night.

The soft blue light of a myriad stars streamed in through the doorway.

Once again, the glyphs upon the table were illuminated and I was able to read them once again.

The bone I had carved earlier began to ring in my handXXXXX

I wasn't surprised when the bright wings burst forth and it flew into the sky XXXX

I seemed to stop and I was standing in the middel of the road holding a jar of Bone Worms in my hands.

We bess hurry o we not gonna has nothing to catch nothin with

And once again, we walked quickly down the old road leading away from the Little Lake and heading back to the Boathouse.
Once again.

The thing which expresses itself in language, we cannot represent by language.
- Wittgenstein