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March 14, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Nick Sweet


´Wht ws the lecture bout?´

‘It´s concerned wid the taxonomy of taxophily n Pope´s work.´

´Did it concern u?’

‘Not terribly mux.´

´Was it awfully taxin?’

‘u cn imagine.’

´Dscribe its effects on al and sundry.´

‘Al was certainly appalled. As 4 Sundry, you´d ave to ask him.’

‘Are you readin anythin atm?’

‘Updike’s Rabbit Redux.’

`What does Redux mean?’

‘It means smthn lyk returning or rides again.’

‘Why Rabbit?’

‘He’s the central character.’

‘Has he got big ears?’

‘He’s an omnifutuant ex-athlete.’


‘He goes at it lyk a rabbit.´

‘I see. Omni bein lots of, or large in quantity. ‘

‘As in omnibus.´

´As in he works his way thru a busful of women, u mean?’

‘He would if he could, no doubt.´

´He gets futuant wid some of them.´

´That´s the idea.´

‘Can u supply the vital statistics?’

‘I could have a poke at it, if u put me in a tight corna.’

‘I might at that.’

‘I wouldn’t put it above u.’

‘We talking xponential multiplicity ere?’

‘Not to mention duplicity.’

‘In the sense of foul play in the marriage bed?’

‘In the sense of fowl play al over the chicken coop.’

‘He sounds lyk quite a polymath.’

‘And a polygot, to boot.’

‘Define your terms.’

‘He uses a rich variety of love’s tongues.’

‘Tipping the velvet, so to speak…’

‘Tilting the tulip, yeah.’

‘The beast!’

‘In the final work of the quartet he even gets effluvial with his son Nelson’s chick. ‘

‘Some dad.’

‘A bad egg, indeed… It’s kinda symbolic of America as a nation, of course.’

‘What happens next? Does he run riot in the library wid a candlestick?’

‘Naturally…and then young Nelson, the coke fiend, smashes up al the cars in the showroom and ruins Dad’s business into the bargain.’

‘A nice neat sexual image, by the sound of it… The car as the revenging phallus.’

‘Sort of thing, yeah… America going canine on us.’

‘Who let da dogs out, yes.’

‘Mm, quite.’

‘All against the background of Tricky Dicky and what not.’

‘Alias Richard Waterworks.’

‘U’ve got it.’

´David Frost saw to him in the end.’

‘Yes, I saw the interviews.’

‘He lured Nixon in like the proverbial whore welcoming the sailor into Finger’s Cave, and then surrounded him on all sides.’

‘Had him where he wanted him and it all came gushing out.’

‘The truth and other effluvia.’

‘All the flotsam and jetsam …’

‘Such is politics.’


Nick’s stories have appeared in Descant (106), Evergreen Review (117 & 118), Bartleby Snopes (twice), Shelf Life, Fertile Source, Paper Skin Glass Bones, Literary Offcourse Journal, SN Review, Cutthroat, an anthology of Asian stories, Ink Tank, Sliver of Stone and Penduline (4). His novel Gemini Games is available from Amazon.


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