The following is an excerpt from the Forward to PRUNE:
Few people outside Tibet or the Ozark Mountains have
had occasion to meet Prune face to face. There are even those who doubt his existence.
So let me just say that this is not a work of fiction. The events herein are
true accounts visited upon me and sworn to by Prune himself. Nor does Prune
appear here in any symbolic capacity, but as a living, breathing human
person—actually, a number of living, breathing human persons—and a few
things that are not. But be assured,
each of his incarnations has been witnessed with, and without, relish.
Prune has been psychiatrically evaluated, clinically
tested, and surgically altered. He has been gone over with a fine toothed comb.
It seems that he is subject to sudden dislocations of time, space, and
identity, all without explanation or prior warning. He can’t conjure them up or
push them away. Having no control whatsoever, he moves through the universe
with an awkward grace, and never knows as who, what, or where he will turn up
next. In his own words, we live in a universe that has no size, no shape, and
no rules. The only constant variable would seem to be consciousness. Or so
But there is a lot he doesn’t say.
Listen: While Prune confesses to having no morals, no
standards, a faulty memory, and no direction that is as yet clear, he does
claim to have come to planet Earth on a mission. Unfortunately, he’s been here
for so long that he and can no longer remember where he came from or what
that mission is exactly—something of a guide or guardian, perhaps, a simple
harbinger of change. Prune is usually a witness, sometimes a messenger, and it
works like this: Whoever or Whatever you think God is, suddenly has a message
for you, and grabs a dwarf, a dog, an ill-fated lover, even a stranger on the
street, anyone going your way, and says, “Here! Take this! Here’s the address.
See that it gets delivered.” God doesn’t care about appearances. God just cares
that someone be going your general direction and be willing.
That’s where Prune comes in. His job doesn’t require
that he understand or have an opinion, only that he be willing to take on
whatever form is necessary to get the message delivered.
To that end, Prune claims to have been a postman, a
plumber, a prophet, a prostitute and a prosthesis; among other things, he has
been wealthy, healthy, successful, respected, and caught cheating on his wife
with his self and two sisters named Faye. Prune once claimed that there is not
a form in the universe he has not had. He was not boasting. In fact, he looked
more puzzled than pleased when he said it.
Having survived alcohol, cocaine, health foods,
evangelism and gurus as support systems, Prune confesses to being a religious
crossdresser. Each night he prays to God to free him from God.
day, dreaming by night, alive and living in everything he thinks or does, Prune
is sometimes a saint, sometimes a sinner, always a fool, a liar, a cheat, his
own monad. Whatever in Mother/Father/God’s own name that he is, Prune is my
Virgil: only he knows the way.
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