Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Surplus Value of Rainwater

The alms woman sat in the rain with her tongue out wishing she was somewhere else. As she had nowhere else to go she stayed put, calculating the rate of precipitation against the surplus value of rainwater. When she tired of this, she did pluses and minuses and divided roots into fractions. When she tired of this, she recalculated the surplus value of rainwater, counting out the dividends in her head. Her thoughts crowed in the part of her brain that processed mathematics and common sense. She remembered her uncle Jim cleaving his arms around her like snakes, his breath bitter with pipe smoke and humbugs. His porcelain eye was wet, even though the ducts had dried up and the socket was pushed inwards. The sky cawed at her, a black crow with yellow eyes that follow her every move, even when she sat still doing fractions and calculations in her head. Her uncle Jim lost a finger whetting a grass scythe, a spurt of blood stinging his good eye. He tamped his pipe with the nub end, the one he kept on a string attached to his shirt pocket. He had no mind for fractions, square roots or common sense. He preferred mumbly pegs and cards, things a man could do without having to think too hard or pretend he could read.

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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