One early draft of The Hayfield we’ve found in the farmhouse includes a footnote with the words to the prayer that the poet hears as Arnie “dopplers” out into the poet’s fake night.
Here’s that prayer:
Dear God, who art in hammock, hallowed and tattooed around my bicep be your name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in the hammock.
Please give us this day our warm bread and cold beer, and I am much obliged. Please forgive me my trespasses and lapses and I will forgive thine. Please do not lead me into any high entropy ventures but deliver me from evil. Please, dear friend, don’t just number her hairs but watch over that beautiful head of you know who.
And when It comes, please have mercy, glorious rain-soothing mercy, on all our souls.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, the glory, and let mine be the love, the equation, the high note, the low one, the smoke, the flame, and the light then and forever. (Or at least until tomorrow, when we can trade.) Amen.
So one question for our get-together on the porch tonight should be this’un: Is the character Arnie praying to the poet or the poet-narrator? Or is Arnie, in a run-around that would have angered Demod Smith, praying over Demod’s head to Demod’s own creator?
And what’s up with the bicep tattoos around here?