Barney is on the radio. He has taken up residence at the station, padding softly on the root-encrusted paths between the transmitter shack and the zither shed. He wears his monk's robes on the compound, situated in a pine grove between two soybean fields, farmed by men with corn cob pipes- upright men that are never seen but for their work, which is crafting furrows in the wavy land. The wind at night in the pines, when it is radio-phonic, is often the situation around which the monk builds a show.
He plays the zither, his zither,
made from the Pawlonia which grows to the east, in the Broken Lands.
The monk's zither is of a special, "eclectic" form, made from multiple
puzzle pieces of the Pawlonia, which had been struck by lightning, which
was a toasty brown. The wood, having been struck by lightning, was
prepared and dressed by the train tracks where it fell by a man with a
special "safety orange Carhartt" and a Sears chainsaw.
certain spring nights at the station, Barney could be coaxed to play a
special rendition of "Sears chainsaw" on the radio zither, involving
many special effects and loud buzzing drones. However, it was rare for
him to perform a war-like piece on the zither; as is dictated by good
taste, compositions regarding the serenity of nature should prevail by
almost ten-to-one in a program. Since I have good taste myself, I
especially enjoy the monk's rendition of such pieces as "Red Lights
Flashing in the Pines at Night" and "Subterranean Waters: a Hole in the
It is the monk's dog-companion, or the
dog which companions the monk, who enjoys musical portraits of chases,
which when played on the high string of his zither, remind him
synaesthetically of the squirrel hunt: the smell of a sweaty dun,
fattened by acorns and spring bulbs, in his mouth. A violent shake to
break the squirrels neck; the dog feels like a Tyrannosaurus.
monk's dog is without features; he has a definite lean shape but the way
his shag hair falls, no one can look him in the eyes and he likes it
In the next installment of "Quantus Barney: Secluded Residence,"
is contained in the broken lands and warehouses of New Jersico? What
goes on in the mind of a monk's dog, accustomed as he is to the
ultrasonic whine of radio equipment and the lonely pine trees at night?
What is the meaning of the red light beacon in the pine trees?