At the round earth's imagin'd corners

At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow
Your trumpets, Angells, and arise, arise
From death, you numberlesse infinities
Of soules, and to your scattered bodies goe,
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
All whom warre, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despaire, law, chance, hath slaine, and you whose eyes,
Shall behold God, and never tast deaths woe.
But let them sleepe, Lord, and mee mourne a space,
For, if above all these, my sinnes abound,
'Tis late to aske abundance of thy grace,
When wee are there; here on this lowly ground,
Teach mee how to repent; for that's as good
As if thou’hadst seal'd my pardon, with thy blood.

-- John Donne

Saturday, January 30, 2010

02: Alabaster

"That trial was big news in Donnetown all right. First off, it was a woman. Just a second -- two more Cutty Sarks, amigo, we're dry!"

Herbert Sorbet had reported on local murders for thirty years. "Shootings, machete hack-em-ups, the '89 backhoe spree. That pastor decapitating his organist on the church bus. Cyanide gas, drowning granny in the soup, tv in the bathtub. Dough-hooks. Mercury fulminate suppository. Gila monster. Like any small town.

"Yvette Vervoot, now: First she hangs him from a tree, then she ties his feet to a 30-foot helium balloon. 900 pounds of lift. Stretched him from six feet to seven. You practically never see a woman charged with that."

He emptied his glass, chewed on the ice and continued.

"Cool? Cool as a cucumber salad with liquid nitrogen dressing. The sketch artists loved her alabaster statue face. By the fourth week -- and this was a ten-week trial, mind you -- they went from using pencil on brown paper to pastels on cotton, the good stuff. I ask you this: how many days can you hold a poker face? She smiled exactly once. Rickhauser looked her right in the eyes and said 'guilty' and she smiled at him. Hey buddy! Can a man wet his whistle?"

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