I have this theory that when aliens finally land and slaughter us with their straw fond keel-loads of rich berry-hot muskrats, it will be because they demanded and were refused a good explanation for the decay of mainstream theatrical culture.

When I finally saw the Marfas bopping and weaving toward me down the Great White Way, I was initially stacked back to a time when all desired objects were as softly phosphorescent toys knocked under a basement couch. They were kind, they were desired; they weren't about to scorch me back to carbon streaks.

Were they? They'd squirdled whole cows for less. The big one looked at me. Goddamn: I was an empty blinking table, an eye-poor beast, a ravioli bank with one lousy Higgs boson in its belly. Hark. Lo! the lurid spherule nestled strongly against my face, glowing, 'n' had a rosined, moist, large

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scrimshawed into the cool rondure of his latticed flank.

On the corner beneath a barfing lamppost sat a boring clown. This is not to say that he was dull, no, rather he had clapped a sharp awl between his moony, apple-y palms and was auguring a steep hole into the pavement in between knees that fairly screamed. The army of Broadway Marfas flashed, massed all the way it seemed from 57th Street down to Canal and back again.

The boring clown's jaw began to drop. Regge poles danced in the folded airs. Meat tingled. One of the Marfas began to crow louder than the rest, and positioned itself at the head of the beetling flock. A toasted

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refreshed itself continuously on his über-shoulder. I looked for a cinnamon payphone: there were none the whores had not defiled. The boring clown's jaw dropped further, becoming a ham row set with tiny teeth, between his beet feet. Slaver crawled everywhere.

Alarmed, the Marfas gathered finally in a multicolored rotunda. Their own color hunkered uneasily to habanero. The hopping, yapping, snapping mandible of the clown plashed through its own spit-lochs, leaving hot contrails of sputum. I was non-plussed. Other citizens roasted.

This after all was how the bitter search for citrus-y mathematics had ended: in danger from a clown maw, at the mercy of Glo-Spheres from Outer Space, bound by brindled stoma I could not fathom. In the pinched elbow of a neighboring hypersphere, a talking mule sat weeping over a peridot rotating upon a toothpick of rutile. That was enough - I looked up.

Were there more Marfas to come?