Abraham the Daddy, Isaac the Boy

Fiction / Tim Jones-Yelvington/ Fiction

:: Abraham the Daddy, Isaac the Boy ::

(Rec­og­nized Degen­er­ate Ver­sion)

1

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. 

 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. 

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.

2

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. 

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. 

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.

3

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.  

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. 

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?

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. 

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. 

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. 

4

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. 

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.

5

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.