Fiction / Tim Jones-Yelvington/ Fiction
:: Abraham the Daddy, Isaac the Boy ::
(Recognized Degenerate Version)
1 For Daddy Abraham had many sons, and of these, was Isaac his youngest. Daddy Abraham offered Isaac shelter, and Isaac took him in his mouth. Daddy Abraham said unto Isaac, Son, I will breed thee, from my loins have you been bred. And God said unto Daddy Abraham, In Isaac shall thy seed be spilled.
2 And Daddy Abraham had a husband Sarah, who was old and well stricken in age. And it had long ceased to be with Sarah in the manner of young boys. And Sarah drew his hand through the length of his crack, and pulled it out chalked with dust. And Sarah spoke, When I’m waxed old will I lack pleasure, and be defined by that lack?
3 For Daddy Abraham had many sons, and of these, was Hagar his eldest. When Isaac came upon the household, Abraham saw Hagar had grown foul beside the younger boy, emitted a fetid, manly stench, and for this did Hagar become grievous in his sight. And Daddy Abraham spoke unto Hagar, I bid you leave this house.
4 And thus did Daddy Abraham’s husband Sarah come upon Hagar in the kitchen raging. And Hagar clutched a steak knife in his fist, and lunged at Isaac. Yet Sarah reached, and held his wrist to block the stab. And Sarah spoke unto Hagar, This is the way of things. The way of sons and Daddies.
5 And Daddy Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of vodka, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on his shoulder, and sent him away. And Hagar, now grown into a young man, was cast out into the wilderness of Daddies and their boys.
6 Soon, the vodka was spent in the bottle, and Hagar fell wasted under a shrub, where he shriveled and retched. When, after a time, Sarah came to claim the corpse, he pressed a clump of Hagar’s hair into a bauble he attached to his housecoat, a mourning pin. And Sarah whispered an incantation to the hidden god who steered his march toward death.
7 And it came to pass after these things, that God said to Daddy Abraham, Now take thy most supple and yielding son Isaac, and offer him for a burnt offering upon a mountain which I will tell thee of. And Daddy Abraham lifted Isaac and carried him to the edge of the mountain and spoke unto him, Son, I will sacrifice your virgin asshole. And Isaac lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar off. And Daddy Abraham said, May we go yonder and worship.
8 And they came to the place which God had told him of, and Daddy Abraham built an altar there, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him upon it. And Daddy Abraham stretched forth his hand, and unsheathed his cock to slay his son. And Isaac lifted up his eyes, and looked, and beheld a horned ram caught in a thicket. Daddy Abraham saddled Isaac’s ass, rose up, and clave his wood unto the place of which God had told him. And Isaac groaned unto Abraham his Daddy, and said, Daddy, and Daddy Abraham said, Here I am, my son. And Isaac took Daddy Abraham’s fire and knife in his hands and the both of them came together.
9 And the voice of the Lord called to Daddy Abraham out of the heavens, By myself have I sworn, because thou hast done this thing, I shall blight thy seed! And thy seed shall possess the venom of enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of earth be cursed. All weapons that form against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against thee in judgment shall sing. Peradventure they shall prevail, that they may smite you, and that they may drive you out of the land. And I shall put enmity between thee, and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise thy heel, and upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
10 And so it came that on the march down the mountain, and through the bush, Isaac’s heel caught on a crevice, near the very shrub where Hagar breathed his last. And when Isaac crumpled into the shrub, a rough branch speared his eye. Isaac took his Daddy inside him, and for this was he blinded—to the beauty of the earth, to the stars of the heaven, and the sand that is upon the seashore.
11 And in the clutch of shame at his son’s injury did Daddy Abraham look in the mirror, and say to his own reflection, I have a message for you from God. And he reached with his left hand, drew Hagar’s steak knife, and thrust it through his belly. It sank to the handle, the blade came out his back, his bowels discharged. He did not pull the knife out, and the fat closed over it.
12 From the corridor, his husband Sarah looked on, resigned to his condition.
1 Yet under a different vision, and in a different time, was Abraham a beggar and deep in drink, who crawled the streets of a golden city in rags and slop. And he went about mourning without comfort, he stood in the assembly and cried out for help. Then was he pushed aside from the road, and made to hide himself altogether. As a wild donkey in the wilderness, he went forth seeking food in his activity, and bread in the desert. And the dogs would come and lick his sores.
2 And in this city lived Hagar, a girl who was a virgin, that she did present her body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which was her reasonable service. For this was the will of God, her sanctification, that she should abstain from fornication, for she that committeth fornication sinneth against her own body.
3 And God sent Sarah, a husband of heaven, to be made manifest before Hagar where she rested in her chamber. And Sarah said unto Hagar, Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
4 Hagar was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But Sarah said to her, Be not afraid, Hagar, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and he will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will craft for him an alehouse, where he will reign from his post and mix solace for the weary.
5 And Hagar said unto Sarah, How will this be, as I know not a man? And he answered, The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born shall be called Isaac, the Son of God.
6 And in the dusks that followed, God sent Sarah forth to glitter and chorus in the clubs, where men like sheep would flock to watch each other by night. And lo, the husband of heaven came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were sore afraid.
7 But Sarah said to them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you will be born a Savior, who is Isaac the Lord. And the men flushed and whorled and twirled the parquet, calling, Glory to God in the highest, may we lift our hands to the lights.
8 And so it came to be, following the prophecy of Sarah, the husband of heaven, that Isaac, the Lord’s son, grew to rule in an alehouse, from behind his stretch of burnished wood. And during this time, the beggar Abraham came to beseech his grace.
9 Once having pulled his haggard form across the threshold, Abraham beheld the vision of Isaac. His teeth as white as sheep, recently shorn and fresh washed. His lips a scarlet ribbon, and his mouth inviting. His neck as thick as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. His thighs a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices.
10 Abraham had endured a discharge of blood for many days. For he had sinned against his form, and had lain down with many men, and grown effeminate. And in contrition, he had plunged a steak knife into his gut. For this had he suffered many things of many physicians, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
11 For then Abraham fell at Isaac’s feet weeping, and began to wash Isaac’s feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of his head, and kiss Isaac’s feet and anoint them with ointment. And he touched Isaac’s garment, for he said, If I may but touch his clothes, I shall be made whole. And he began to cry out and say, Isaac, son of God, have mercy of me! And many in the bar rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, Isaac, son of God, have mercy on me!
12 His cry for rescue from his bondage rose up to Isaac. Isaac laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the beggar’s feet, and wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. And straightaway the fountain of Abraham’s blood was dried up, and he felt in his body that he was healed of that plague.
1 Yet in a third translation (for all translations come in threes), was Abraham the painted queen of the night, who drew his lips into a honeycomb, his mouth smoother than oil. Who in temples moved this mouth for men who slid him bills. And though Abraham’s costume was peeled back with each fall of the curtain, his costar Hagar’s remained. For was Hagar a beautiful woman born into the form of a man, at all times, and not only upon the stage.
2 And yet Hagar was loved by a man named Isaac, who attended her dances bearing baubles and cloves. She said unto him, Isaac, I am not yet woman. And he drew a finger to her lips and shushed her, and sang of his love: Hagar, your lips are sweet as nectar, honey and milk are under your tongue. You have captured my heart. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.
3 In her discontent did Hagar seek counsel from Sarah, the dearly loved healer who was husband to the temple’s master. And Sarah said, Behold, I will bring thee health and cure, and I will reveal unto you the abundance of peace and truth. And he gave unto Hagar a tonic, which she took in gratitude.
4 And in the night that followed, Hagar placed herself before a mirror in the basement of the temple, where its master kept racks of wares. She clothest herself with crimson, and deckest herself with ornaments of gold. She paintest her face, and looked out a window. And from the space outside the ledge boomed the voice of God, Hagar! And she said, Here I am.
5 And he said, Take now your cock, your only cock, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer it there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell thee. Just then, the temple master’s hand came with her five-minute call, and soon, in the glare of the stage light and the crowd’s whirr, she rejoiced. For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
6 Wherefore Hagar went forth out of the place where she was, to cross the wilderness to the land of Moriah. Yet Sarah, the dearly loved healer, found her on the path, and said, Intreat me not to leave thee. And Hagar said, Turn again, why will ye go with me?
7 And Sarah said, Whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
8 So they launched into the wilderness that gaped before the mountain where God had sent them, through the lion’s dens, and the haunts of leopards. But the Lord set out their path, for he had made with them a covenant of peace, and banished wild beasts from the land, so that they might dwell securely in the desert and sleep in the woods.
9 And as they came to the place of which God had told them, Hagar saw that it was consecrated for their need. And she called the name of the place, Yes Ma’am, which means The-Lord-Will-Provide. As it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.
10 They built an altar there, and placed the wood in order, and Hagar unbound herself and laid her cock upon the altar, on the wood. And Sarah stretched forth his hand, and took up the steak knife and made the cut, and they offered the cock up for a burnt offering.
11 And the voice of God called unto Hagar out of the heaven, In blessing shall I bless thee, and in multiplying shall I multiply in thy womb as the stars of the galaxies, and in thy womb shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, for thou hast obeyed my voice.
12 And so it came to pass that Hagar was wed to her true love Isaac, and from her womb she birthed nations—her canny firstborn; his brother, a soldier; and all of their siblings and offspring, the generations upon generations who have tilled this fallow land since Hagar became whole.
1 Yet in a translation of a translation, was whole made hole. For in this translation, Hagar birthed mutating, mutant, and mutated forms, winking and winged, chirruping and flailing in the dark. For her offspring flared up senseless and stunning, and shit silk. For they spasmed, proliferated, flamed and flung. For they exalted the moment through goo and glow.
2 And they spoke great swelling words of vanity, allured through lusts of the flesh. Would hold seven stars in their right hands, and walk in the midst of seven golden candlesticks. Saw great white thrones, and the queens who sat on them, from whose faces their guts fled.
3 And suddenly there came a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were dancing. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them, and rested on each one of them. And they were each filled with the void, and began to speak in other tongues as the void gave them utterance. For the thrill of the void would give shapeless to their daze.
1 And the creature Sarah unfolded his two great wings, and soared to his place in the wilderness, where he prayed to the hidden god of the dead, and saw his god was good.
From the writer
:: Account ::
One night last October, I drank too much coffee, got on Twitter, and started tweeting a bunch of crazy shit. I was possibly also hyped up on sugar, as I was eating a bowl of Boo Berry—the annual return of the classic/discontinued Monster cereals is one of my favorite things about fall. I started all-caps tweeting lyrics from the classic Methodist camp songs that I sang in my childhood—namely, Father Abraham, which for the uninitiated, goes something like—Father Abraham had many sons/Many sons had Father Abraham/And I am one of them/And so are you/So let’s all praise the Lord! … And then there is much waving of arms, stomping of feet, etc., in a sequence that grows more complex with each repetition of the song. This usually happens around a campfire or, if it’s in the morning, maybe at some outdoor hillside chapel with a picturesque view of the lake and swimming area, i.e. the place where you’d much, much prefer to be at that moment, assuming you’re a kid at camp.… Praise the Lord!
Anyway, since I am me, Father Abraham quickly became Daddy Abraham, and my church camp lyric tweets morphed into a pornographic sequence involving Daddy Abraham and his “son” Isaac. Later, when I started to turn this into a more formal prose work, I thought I’d just be polishing and honing these tweets into a brief, dirty, queer micro fiction/prose poem. But the work kept begging for greater elaboration, further translations (each “translation” was in a way a reaction to potential interpretations of the previous section that struck me as problematic), until I began to understand that I was writing what I would describe as a queer gnostic’s gospel in miniature. I also felt like the language was calling for greater formalism, and so began to appropriate and transform sentences from multiple books/chapters from multiple translations of the bible. The revelatory occult art vision that closes this piece is deeply indebted to Joyelle McSweeney and includes language borrowed from her essay Bug Time: Chitinous Necropastoral Hypertime Against the Future.
Tim Jones-Yelvington is a Chicago-based writer, multimedia performance artist, and nightlife personality. He is the author of two collections of short fiction, Evan’s House and the Other Boys Who Live There (in They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, Rose Metal Press, 2011) and This is a Dance Movie! (forthcoming, Tiny Hardcore Press). His work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Puerto Del Sol, Harpur Palate, and others. From 2010 – 12, he guest edited [PANK]’s annual queer issue.