MARIGOLD WOMAN: Announcing a Tremendous Stupendous Super-Colossal Secret

What did you think, heart of my heart, tiny china shepherdess made of lies and aspirations? Did you think that we had finished? Did you think that the story could end here, with that one cryptic word of rebuke and comfort echoing in our ears?

If you learn anything in this life, you’ll learn this: I cannot stop talking.


COME ONE, COME ALL! SUPER-COLOSSAL! EXTRA-STUPENDOUS!


It will change everything and nothing; you know that by now, the years have taught all of us that. The prophet knows it. The moonbuggy may not admit it, but she knows it. The writer knows things only in fits and starts. And the Marigold Woman?

Well.

Well.


STEP RIGHT UP! STEP RIGHT UP! TREMENDOUS! UNBELIEVABLE!



If you want it, come and get it. Walk through the trees, push their branches aside, chop with that machete made of your wavering wits and still more wavering determination. Make a list and tick each item off as you pull it from the swamp, from the north, from the desert—yes, even from the black land itself. Do you think you can hide from the ghul’s country forever?

Do you want it?

Do you want to walk?

Climb the tree and see what you find at the top. Let’s look for the sky, my loves my lo ammi, I’m going to take on this death-defying feat while all of you watch in silence, waiting for me to fall. For let us have no illusions; the fall is inevitable. But what will I see on the way down?

Perhaps I will not tell you.

No, you know.

You know.

I can never stop talking while that dead old woman’s keys remain there to be tapped with the fingers of my short-nailed bird-knuckled rope-veined hands.


ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE! SEEN BY THE CROWNED HEADS OF EUROPE!


STEP RIGHT UP!


END OF BOOK II

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