Agents of Maize Maze

Woe is I. I am looking for an agent, but none are to be found. Some are believed to be hiding in the maize fields, but those dang mazes. Maize mazes are the worst. So, all the agents are lost in the maize maze, and we need to catch them. Because I need one.

Partly, I want to eat one; I've heard they taste good in stews. But, mostly, I want to use one for its powerful persuasion properties. See, praying for more land like Jabez has failed, and so I am resorting to these elusive agents to procure it. Elusive agents in maize mazes.

I remember in my youth, and this is a true story—honest—I wanted to be a boxer. I met a trainer who was a former boxer, having retired many years before his time. He was good, but only good, and so not good enough. Thus, he turned to training young fighters to live his dream for him. He was angry all the time; initially, we all thought that was all he was—that and mad—but eventually, there appeared to be a method to his particular brand of madness. Madness such as making me perform unorthodox training exercises that made little sense to me then, but would, Shirley, serve me well later as an important boxing and life lesson. One such exercise was chasing a rooster around my backyard.

Chickens are mean. My cousin is afraid of them. They peck your shins as though you're trying to abduct their children, or something. That's why my cousin is afraid of them. That, and the fact that he's a ninnie. Anyway, chickens are mean; roosters, doubly so. And my trainer let it out of its cage, and told me to catch it. It promptly ran out the backyard gate. Then my trainer told me to shut the gate, and then open it, again, and go buy another chicken.

The next one was spry, even resentful. I couldn't tell whether it was angry that I was going to eat it, or insulted that I was using it to play catch; perhaps I had disturbed it during an episode of Cats Do the Funniest Things. Nevertheless, it used this negative energy to consistently thwart my attempts to get a hold of it. Ducking, leaping, clucking, it was infuriatingly evasive of my ducking, leaping, and shouting. Then, just as I was about to rip it from the ground, it did a spin-o-rama, allowing the full force of my inertia to meet the dirt. This chicken could have been a hockey player, were it not for the leg injury it suffered in pee wee, and its inability to make a decent pass or shoot straight. And that it is why I have a bald patch where the right side of my beard should be.

So, I am not fond of chasing down elusive agents in labyrinthine maize mazes. The thought of it makes the poor stubble on the left side of my face tingle. But, as the expressionless adage goes, it is what it is. There are countless travellers like me, all with a similar desperate need to ingest the rich, full flavours of Agent in Ham Water. Many of those who travel with me will not make it to the end, and, really, I'm not certain I will, either.

It's not a shock, though, frankly, that I'm finding these repeated attempts to skin an agent for my broth, nay stew, so difficult. I feel that the older I get, the less palatable my ideas appear to uninitiated eyes. Space was an attempt at formulaic comedy, and that turned into part-musical/part-tragicomedy/part-animation schizophrenia, with the only thing formulaic about it being its adherence to, nay acknowledgement of, the Aristotelian theories on tragedy held by Tarkovsky and Tartakovsky. Its follow-up, which we will call Rion, was about delivering pizza, until it turned into a trilogy about things I won't yet divulge. And anyone that's listened to my music knows why no one listens to my music.

Yet, these works, they can't go any other way. Space evolved into what it did because it had to. Rion is going to be a thriller about boredom, wrapped in sheets that smell like garlic and look like, nay may very well be, cancerous tumours. And you know what? I love it. I have these repetitive images running through my head of Scale the Summit's "Colossal" in a concrete path surrounded by trees, Between the Buried and Me's "Ants of the Sky" below a monolithic apartment building, Alcest's "Sur l'océan couleur de fer" on a dark, grassy field, and I need to get them out. I see the bicycle wheel of the pizza delivery boy hitting a curb. I smell burning wood. The hear the trees in the wind. I see myself reading a book on poetry while taking a dump. This is life. This is infinitely interesting... until you have to sit through it in a cinema while the latest blockbuster is blaring through the walls of the adjacent room. Then people are bored, and their attention spans fizzle.

Thus, the agents evade my capture. They want originality, but in packageable doses; creativity of the kind made by Chinese youths in grey cells. It is an uncomfortable truth for those like me that auteurs are rarely born. Instead, they blossom from the freedom given to them by a generation of bending to the will of their benefactors, the drug of their childhood dreams fed piecemeal, and the omnipresent threat of losing them draped over their heads by the less-willed alternatives. Those who don't accord, don't get by. And of those who slip through, if they don't burn out, they haven't burned brightly enough.

I'm standing in a field. On my left, is a green hedge. On my right, another. The leaves of these hedges are young, but their branches are old; twisted from hundreds of years of snaking slowly toward the sky. A path made of cobblestones is laid out in front of me, leading the way into a myriad dead ends and, more importantly, a single exit toward salvation, itself laid with the cobblestones of treachery. The maize is dead. Its earth rendered dust under the weight of stone. The Agents of Maize Maze watch on.

Cover image: [Man searching] by CDD20,, Pixabay license.