Mist Apples – a palimpsest

This is a piece written for http://www.foreveryyear.eu/ 1608 and John Milton.  It starts from the infamous bit of Milton which I, along with Gilbert and Gubar, think is troublingly resonant in our culture: “Both not equal as their sex not equal seemed.  For contemplation he and valour formed.  For softness she and sweet attractive grace.  He for God only, she for God in him.”

I’ve altered the title which I never liked – it seems a rather spurious anagram – still spurious but now it’s almost a relevant pun as well.

I like this piece but I think the ‘joke’, as it were, needs explaining so I’ll re-post it here.

Mist Apples – a palimpsest

Both of them were puffed out with the pride of Friday evening on the other’s arm. The street,
not friend of such a naked show, made sure to offer all the incongruous mess required to
equal if not overpower the soft-stuffed-plush display. His sour manufactured sent intended
as a paragon of manly strength leaned heavily against each mucus membrane met along
their half blind limb entwined and weaving way.
Sex echoed in the lento fall of her eyelids, her noseholes stretching wide to suck his smell. If
not for the ash-confetti thrown up by a faceless and unthinking coat sleeve, grasping for its
equal portion of the city air, her curling spine might have finished tracing that arc which
seemed to pull the past up through her abdomen to graze her engorged air sacs. Longing
for a red man to hold them captive so as to indulge in a public display, instead she falls to
contemplation of the thong biting with playful insistence at her freshly showered crack.
He had chosen this place as a means of escaping the well worn groove they had settled into
and, though it was his younger brother’s find, he judged, since discretion is the better part of
valour, he might let her speculate as to the plan’s history. Following behind her satisfyingly
formed thighs peeping through the slitted dress he half trips his forgotten foot over the step.
For a dazed moment he fights to regain his full height and tear his gaze from the vulnerable
softness of her crooked knee-pit. A woman with purple hair spilling over a guitar sings that
she doesn’t believe in everlasting love. The friends that have come to see her are happy
and the rest of the room is at least polite and waiting for its turn to watch and play.
Sweet fluids have settled into now congealing pools on the mosaic of the bar. A gruffly
attractive young man takes his turn at the microphone and opens with a showy cover of
‘Grace’ which barely registers with our pair who toil with eyes and elbows for the round that
he will win the fight to pay for. A harassed, grey looking barmaid meets their eyes straining
for her attention. She asks them who was first. They smirk. He orders their drinks.
God! Sometimes I think I could just rip into his face with my teeth, she muses, and perhaps
only the familiar pain at the ends of her stretched and strapped-up arching feet means that
she can dispel her gnawing lust. Her straining fingers grab at his hyacinthine locks.
“For fucksake, Evie, are you trying to pull my hair out!”, starting back massaging his scalp.
God! Sometimes those eyes shit me right up!
In a shake she fingercombs her blond tresses and leans against his manly bulk to stare up at


One thought on “Mist Apples – a palimpsest

  1. I love this piece, and how you’ve kept intact the relationship Milton gave them. I suppose “Mist Apples” does carry a significance in light of their imbalance, which could be biblical, relating power to a hierarchy based on their respective genesis, perhaps, though this is an upsetting thought. Or maybe, it just sounds like someone is about to say “mistake” but, as though it were a swear word, cuts the word in two and replaces the last part with “apples” to make it less offensive. Taking things too far is my specialty, it seems…


He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

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