A friar on a monk’s bicycle whizzed passed the harridan upending her skirt and mussing her hair. As it was fish-day she took it as a message from His Holiness and crooked her head in observance, of what she wasn’t quite sure. Von Romani whirled by, his friar’s frock billowing like a windsock. The Italian monastery sat on the hill overlooking the valley; the same valley where the harridan played as a wee girl, pigtailed and birched in culottes and knee socks. A yellow saffron moon sat low in the night sky. A night sky simmered in the pot of the moon. No moon, no sky. No there no here. No nothing no. These were the thoughts of the bicycle-riding friar, eyes trained on the pebbly asphalt ahead of him, surplice windily wafting wildly. The harridan knew of two such friars who wore smocks stitched and hemmed from burlap and odds and ends of coarse linen. They both rode two-speeds with tassels on the handle grips, spidery tentacles, the hems of their smocks clipping madly in the spokes. Von Romani was a cheese-apprentice; his job was weighing whey and separating the curds from the blessed cheese. He ladled the stir-pot, a ropey marmalade of cheese and curds, pushing the punter-stick up against the side of the stir-pot ensuring a good measure of whey to curd. The friar in charge of cheese production, Brother Ripoll, swaddled the prepared cheese in hemp sacs and sent them by oxcart to market, a few miles down the mountain.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
‘There’s this fellow I know, said the man in the hat,’ who keeps snapping turtles in a child’s play pool in his backyard’. ‘He feeds them creepy-crawlies and larva, and June bugs with the wings flattened out, easier to digest, I suppose, and something that looks like intestinal offal. I caught him swimming in the child’s pool once, one of those old-fashioned men’s bathing suits on, the ones with stripes and long legs, and a swimmer’s hat with earflaps and a toggle-strap round the chin. It reminds me of the cowboy hat I had as a kid, with a whistle and a playing card in the Stetson band’. The man in the hat was once the boy in the hat, a straw cowboy hat with a cheap plastic whistle and perforations that kept the heat in and the coolness out. He was the kid who always got the plastic moustache in the box of Cracker Jacks, the one that pinched your nose and made your eyes water. He knew a kid who swallowed the plastic whistle, a fate worse than urogenitalitis or chancres. ‘I saw a turtle with a hat---yes a hat---trying to hunker its way out of the pool, its tiny head popping in and out of its neck like a sock or a cock’s wattle. The fellow, the fellow in the old-fashioned bathing suit, was too busy trying to cinch the toggle-strap round his own neck to notice that the turtle in the hat was impaling itself on a child’s flotation device, a red one with prickles and spikes on it. I called the police, swiftly I might add, and that was that.’
Monday, May 28, 2007
‘Today is the first day of the rest of your strife’ said the alms man. Tucking the brim of his alms-cap underneath his knees, two scabby cups of bone and flesh, the alms man readjusted his eyeglasses and prepared for the day. Today, being his birthday, his head felt like a truck-load of melons, plum ripened and crushed in at the ends. His father told him that he would amount to nothing, and even if he did, it would still be less than something. His father spent the off-hours at the local booze-can; a bicycle shed that sold off-hour beer and spirits at twice the cost. The proprietor drank rye whiskey with ice-water and was unable to count past eighteen. His clothing emitted a foul stench, a mixture of boiled cabbage and wet fur, and those few teeth he had left in his head were crawling with food worms. He spit out chits of undigested food, some still moist and half-chewed, others of indeterminate nature and origin. The alms man stood watch for his father outside the bicycle shed, his father’s admonitions fresh in his head; you will amount to nothing, not a damn thing. The midget would bring him boiled meat sandwiches wrapped in wax-paper, leftovers from the night before, ‘you be a good boy and stay put, you’re daddy’s a fine man, a gentlemen if I’d ever seen one’. He would chew slowly and think of numbers and calculations and how much things he couldn’t afford cost.
Bone on bone, ligament to ligament, sac-tissue and sinew and washer’s clothe; her hips sung round her hipbones trucking the fall of her dress. She seldom wore skirts or slacks or anything that outlined the skirl of her waist, indented and Druid like a stonemason’s rake. The man in the hat dreamt of her, the soft talc of her skin, the button of her nose and the spaces between her toes, the womanhood of womanly women. He has fantasies about her teeth, incisors and bicuspids, those hard to reach molars, Dentyne chewed flavorless, whiter than farina, and Black cat gum blacker than any black cat. What’s bread in the scone, rhubarb and field-berry, anis and clove, Epsom and Leeds; and that tingly tingle on the cup of the tongue, such sweet treacle. He dreamt of scuppers and chutney, shallots and fluke of garlic and roe, and these wee little mints that made all the sourness and scorn flee and fled; happenstance and too-tight shoes with wrap-round laces and eyelets circlet with copper and uncharitable silver backing. ‘The sky is falling’ said the man in the hat. ‘So it is, so it is’ said the shamble leg man.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
A jaundice yellow moon hung in the sky like a whore’s belly. The bricklayer Feuerman and the journeyman Culver bayed bodingly at the moon, neither one nor the other knowing why or what for. ‘All moons, each to its own, bring out the lycanthropic in me’ said Feuerman, his eyes two black stones. ‘And I’, said the journeyman Culver, ‘see no end to this’. ‘Nor I,’ said the bricklayer Feuerman, ‘nor I’. The shamble leg man knew a man with an overbite and one who wore shoes that were too big for him and one who wore a hat made from crabapples and pasteboard, but had never met Feuerman or Culver. Feuerman and Culver appear of they’re own freewill, bullying their way into other’s lives, like chimney soot or strep throat. They are unsavory. Give me a canker or a boil, but please, I abjure you, no Feuerman’s or Culver’s.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
‘When I was a boy I wore britches, said the shamble leg man, ‘made from goat’s fur and some strange itchy material’. ‘My mother invented Ships’ Day’, said the man in the hat, ‘no small feat by any stretch of the mind’s eye’. ‘My mother made us eat blood sausage and tripe, scrambled’. ‘Oh,’ said the man in the hat, ‘oh’. ‘Yes oh’. ‘My mother dated a Berber, twice’ said the man in the hat. ‘Mine dated a blind man with a palsied leg’. ‘Mine a mute.’ ‘My aunt dated a dead man long before she realized he was dead’. ‘No smell?’ ‘None whatsoever.’ ‘Mine dated two dead men at the same time, one more dead than the other’. ‘The sky is falling.’ ‘So it is.’
Friday, May 25, 2007
The shamble leg man, like the man in the hat though less obsessive, had a curio of hats. Broad brimmed and no-brimmed, some with ornate hatbands, others missing one all together; berets and toques, woolen hats and hats that looked more like scarves than hats; felt hats and hats made from calf-skin, crepe paper hats and hats fashioned out of newspaper to look like boats; floppy hats and tight hats, hats that appeared normal, but on second glance were actually socks folded and darted to look like hats. He had a second curio of hats that he keep for special occasions, this curio consisted of a brown and tan fedora, a Stetson, a bowling cap, or what he thought to be a bowler’s cap, tight-fitting and with tiny perforations in the earflaps, a Churchill panama, even though he found it unlikely that Churchill would have worn one, and an assortment of baseball caps that he kept in a shoebox taped and re-taped to avoid contamination with the other hats.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The haberdasher’s wife hooked rugs, rags and tethers and a bowed needle that made her thumb bleed and her eyes red as fire engines. She drank Jonestown Gin from a tea cup, closeting it between the sewing basket and the laundry hamper, and swore she’s never read Neruda, though she did once tip the mailman at Christmastime. Her youngest child Rudy died from rickets, his legs so twisted and deformed that he had to have braces coddled between them, a piece of wood the size of a doorframe secured in place with metal screws and washers. She hooked rugs to assuage the pain and forget her mother’s Quaker Bible, the one she’d written all they’re birthdays in, and the hot iron that melted nylon socks to the ironing board. Her mother fashioned a Ketchup bottle into a starch bottle, pinpricking holes in a rubber stopper that she tamped into the neck of the old Ketchup bottle, which was now a starch bottle, or flagon. She sprinkled starchy water all over his father’s work shirts then ran the hot iron over the linen like she was scrapping gum from her shoe. She ironed creases in everything, shirt sleeves, trouser cuffs and elbow patches, saying all the while that she hadn’t met Neruda, and anyhow, Spanish was beyond her. She claimed to know Joseph Brodsky, having met him at the church bazaar, the same one where the harridan and her sister had a table, and where Dejesus and Gibbs and this racy haired woman said awful things about God and a paraplegic who rode in a go-cart with and orange flag. When she was a little girl her mother put the Quaker Bible on top of her head when she had a headache, telling her it would chase the headache devil clear out of her head and might even help her sleep, which it didn’t, but she couldn’t blame her for trying, even if it was silly and sort of odd. The sky threatened rain, a coalmen’s rough-coat dragging its tails across the not quite blue sky blue.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is what the harridan bought at the Groceteria: two peaches, one bosky one Argentinean, three heads of cauliflower, four peaches, eleven pomegranates, a bundle of leeks, three maybe four (its hard to tell as they were all bunched together) heads of lettuce, a bagful of seedless grapes, red, again Argentinean, and a bottle of Drano. She fed the Drano to the rats that lived beneath her floorboards, mixing it with pomegranates and stirring it with a paint stirrer, and made a lovely vegetable and fruit salad, which she ate balancing a head of cauliflower on her own head. She, the harridan, generally, or as a rule, the two often go undifferentiated, ate by herself, listening to the rats chewing on the floorboards and joists below her feet, which were slippered and in constant shuffle. She smoked a roll-your-own cigarette, twisted at the free-end, or where a filter tip would be had it been a tailor-made cigarette, which she held nimbly but firmly between her thumb and index finger. She overheard one of her neighbors, an unsightly woman with pebbly skin and swollen ankles, from sitting all the time, so the harridan figured, telling her friend that she knew this other person, who had no friends, as she was schizophrenic and had moles, who ate rats cooked in a broth, or consume, that she rendered from beets and hogsheads.
She Brilloed the floorboards and swept the shavings underneath the sofa, a floral patterned futon, or seabed, the one often being mistaken for the other, but different just the same, to the trained eye at least, and resumed smoking; she had left the barely smoldering cigarette in the ashtray, or the candy dish she used as an ashtray, where it sent billowing smoke signals to the ceiling, streamers of blue-grey smoke breaking with the windowsill and across the back of the sofa and into the bathroom, where it again broke with the bathroom ceiling and darkened the mirror, making it look like it was hung back to front, the silver side facing out.
A blue sky bluer than blue dye denim, cerulean or cobalt, so blue sky blue the sky said. The harridan often heard such things, the sky talking or a cloud gibbering in Esperanto or Portuguesa. She heard flowers blooming, daffodils and chrysanthemums, bluebells so big you could park a Buick in them. She overheard trees discussing the weather, oaks and elms, lindens and maples; she listened to sagebrush whispering forget-me-nots and crabgrass hissing in the broiling hot sun, to stinkweed and lettuce complaining and dandelions singing Wagnerian arias, tiny Gaullist helmets turned upside down on they’re tiny heads.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
These are the thoughts of a hooligan, a ruffian, a mountebank. These are the manners of a crapper, a mountebank and a hooligan. Sleep comes to those who wait, though the quay is long and crooked, bent over double like a witches’ spine, rib to rib to stay to stoma. Nary a welt or a crapper I, nether neither either or, line up to the left, no the right, off-centre and a wee bit to the offside; nor a neither either or, you hooligan you. No man no hat neither either nor, neither shamble legged or alms, just a crooked bent line, a quail’s foot, no a wren’s foot tangled in the over-brush. I see you said you saw a flying-machine flying and soaring in the tame blue yonder, so you said saying, over there, look, off-centre and to the left, no the right, right of quay. I disremember all this that and that like it never happened at all, nary never, no. Fancy that will you, a mountebank with a hooligan’s tam-o-shanter and a ball O Slot’s Whisky. Fancy that, fancy.
Monday, May 21, 2007
‘It’ll take the legs right out from under you, and then some’. ‘I’ve had worse, maybe worse than worse, it’ll never harm a hair on my head, it won’t, I’m telling you, not a fucking hair, not a one’. ‘It’ll give you carbuncles and welts, bigger than a house, it will, so it will’. ‘Nary a welt, or a carbuncle for all I care, I’m immune to those sorts of things, always have been, for as long as I can disremember, maybe longer’. ‘You’re a fool to think you’re immune from it; it just isn’t all that simple, at all in fact, quite complicated and all’. ‘And all and all, is that all you can say?’ That and this and what and about what is what the shamble leg man and the alms man talked about one rainy afternoon in May. Being at odds with one another was common, as anything even or remotely uniform was uncommon, uneven, between the two. An even keel or fuselage, as they both fancied aeronautics and flying-machines, was a rarity, as uncommon and rare as sun on a cloudy day.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The shamble leg man stood in defiance, to what was unimportant, but defiant he was. He defied reason, architecture, anything that rhymed with parsley and his mother’s need to say ‘no’ before each sentence. He rebelled against people who rebelled and those who wanted to, defilers as he called them. He rebelled against people who wore church-hats festooned with nosegays and baubles. He resisted resistance and slowpokes and people who ate beef jerky and coachmen’s ham and this one fellow named Horace who had scabies and bad posture. He, the shamble leg man, resisted cobblers and Egyptologists and a barrel-maker by the name of Sims and haberdashers and seamstresses, one in particular who couldn’t hem a straight line or dart a skirt, and anyone who claimed to know how a camera worked or wore culottes after Labour Day. He also resisted people with moles and excessive facial hair; hirsuteness people should know better, pompadours and ducktails back-combed and smeared with Brill Cream and Wriggle’s chewing gum, especially Juicy Fruit or Pep-o-mint. His rebelliousness forced him into a corner where dust collected and a colony of ants lived in a house without windows or a door.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
‘Fuck Ships’ Day…and any other day for that matter’, griped the man in the hat. ‘It just doesn’t make sense…ship of fools I’d say…imbeciles, cockamamie at best.’ The sky, not blue but cobalt or gunmetal, threatened to cave in on the man in the hat’s head, sackcloth gray tittering in absentia inglorious. This was not how it was suppose to be, to be or not to be, so he thought. But then again he seldom thought proper thoughts or thoughts that made sense in a sensible way. Cursed thinking he thought. ‘Abracadabra salamander’ he said, ‘impetigo alabaster amen etc anon et al’. His mother had a penchant for dialects and peach trees, though he cautioned her against drawing hasty conclusions based on nature and philosophy. She had taken a fall from the stoop in front of their modest split-level house when she was a girl and cracked open her tiny skull like a peach, hence her partiality for peaches and dialectical materialism His mother introduced him to Ships’ Day one terribly hot August afternoon when she was fed up with his bickering. She said that if he was good and stopped his goutiness she would take him downtown to Ships’ Day, where she would buy him a funnel of cotton candy and a caramel apple, the kind with a Popsicle stick in it.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The man in the hat chose a rattan boater in celebration of Ships’ Day, which was observed ever seven years. He couldn’t help but confederate Ships’ Day with the rise and fly of the Locust, or cicada, and the high-tonal staccato that was rivaled only by racing car engines and old people coughing. His great grandfather suffered from the whooping, as his mother called it, and was forever clearing his throat and woofing like a Beowulf dog. His great grandmother, unable to assuage her husbands coughing, took to plugging her ears with candle wax or sitting in the attic away from her husband’s whooping, which reminded her of a hunter’s call or a man on the precipice of death, one rail away from expiration, an ungodly way to meet death, so she thought.
Thus Ships’ Day began, no ordinary day but a day just the same. It could very well have been Jurymast Day or Halyard Day, or the day that precedes Ships’ Day when Junkers and rowboats and dory’s arrive in port, moored to pig-stumps with cinch-ropes, one-legged salts and rigging-monkeys, some with lancet scars, others just plain ugly, jumping ship, sailor’s hats in hand, eyes trained on the plank-board lest they loose their balance and fall willy-nilly into the drink. The man in the hat had never sailed a ship, nor rowed a dory for that matter, or driven a car faster than fifty miles per hour even though he knew he could, blindfolded and with no hands if he wanted, which he didn’t, so didn’t bother to think otherwise.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Dejesus decided to serve Brandy Alexander’s with icing-sugar and almond biscotti’s with raspberry chutney on daisy-print side plates. Dejesus felt that a light repast would help lessen the anxiety, as God talk tends to encourage moroseness and bad posture, even in the most propitiously religious. Corrigan L. McMaster and Elba D. Morales agreed to disagree, as did Dejesus and Gibbs, all four agreeing to agree on disagreeing. All this disagreeable agreeing had a calming effect on them, with the exception of Gibbs, who didn’t want to agree or disagree with any of them, even though he let on that he did. Dejesus suggested that they forego the discussion on Gibbs’ atheism and move on to the Brandy and biscotti’s. Elba D. Morales and L. McMaster said yes, that sounds like a grand idea, so Dejesus allotted each of them a cupful of Brandy Alexander and one biscotti saying as he did, ‘there will be more biscotti’s for each of you once the sun sets and Gibbs decides to join in the discussion’. Gibbs frowned, the corners of his mouth curling up like disembodied prepuces, and swiped his allotted biscotti from Dejesus, who was holding them out as an offering, a sort of Eucharist minus the Priestly blessing and sanctification.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Corrigan L. McMaster and Elba D. Morales and Dejesus and Gibbs met to discuss Gibb’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of God. They claimed that his stubbornness was due to a shaky attitude and no little disrespect for Catholics, Jews and Jehovah’s, too, and anyone who had faith and believed in the transubstantial. He, Gibb’s, refused to see how a biscuit could be turned into flesh and wine to blood. The concept seemed silly, more so, stupidly silly. He knew a baker who made Panini’s that looked like the Pope’s hat and baguettes that had an uncanny resemblance to Mother Theresa’s nose, and a locksmith who smithy keys to look like Saint Augustine’s pinkie finger, the one with the Vatican ring on it and long nail. The probability that bread could be made into flesh or wine pressed into blood seemed odd, odd indeed, so Gibb’s accepted nothing that he couldn’t see with his own eyes, eyes whey with cataracts and blistered round the lids from sleeping out in the open or under sagebrush and hedging.
Monday, May 14, 2007
‘This is impossibly impossible’, said the shamble leg man. ‘How can it be that a dog with three legs can run faster than one with four? Like a plague-cart missing a wheel or a radio without a channel-dial. I saw it with my very own eyes, I did, running to beat the band, the four legged dog chamfered in its wake. It was bloody well amazing, a seventh wonder of the world, a whirling dervish in a fez and billow-skirt’. The alms woman shifted her shoulder-strap from one knuckle of bone to another and smiled, a black hole like spirit gum bracketing the space between two bicuspids and a loose eyetooth. ‘Dogs don’t run they trot; have you no eyes in your head?’ The shamble leg man released a billow of parish air, his forehead a bead-game of crinkles and reeds and said, ‘I have, I assure you that madam, and damn good ones at that.’ The shamble leg man had spent the night sleeping in a Red Indian Flour Co. sac behind the church and had somehow inhaled a rectories’ worth of church air, perhaps from a leaky air vent or the throw-away value from the pipe organ. When he awoke, which he did about nine am, he spat up a gob of eel-black spittle and a quarter’s worth of votive wax, a gob or two of which got stuck in the take-away valve in his throat. ‘I’ve know of dog’s that could fly,’ he said, clearing his throat as he did, ‘some that could swim faster than a dolphin and jump higher than a pole-vaulter.’ The alms woman sneered, her eyes closing into the seam of her brow, the smell of cumin thickening the midday air. You see she had slept behind the Jewish baker’s the night before, wrapped up tight as a sausage in a Duckworth’s sleeping bag, the zipper clove to her cheekbone.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Every Thursday without fail the man in the hat ate bean curd and hard-boiled eggs, two, with dry toast and Peach Melba jam. He drank pulpy orange juice sieved through cheesecloth and then poured into a cocoa cup, the type his mother fed him mashed up eggs in when he was little, or littler. After this eggy repast he would go for a shirt jaunt, usually in shirtsleeves and pea green Wellington’s, and sort out the day’s itinerary. He allowed himself one cigarette, filter-tipped Cameo, menthol being cooler on the throat, smoking like a man about to be hedged down by a firing squad. He exhaled through his nose, a web of smoke issuing from each hole, and inhaled through his mouth, the cigarette tamped between his lips like a baby’s pacifier. When he’d finished the cigarette, which generally took 27 inhales and an equal amount of exhales, he would snub it into the pavement like a bug, ash and filter paper sticking to the bottom of his Wellington.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The shamble leg man met Porgies and Bess at the conch bazaar, the church had rented space to shell-collectors that day, beside the harridan’s table next to the fat woman’s table across from the men’s lavatory. Elba D. Morales, who the shamble leg man had never before met, had a table laid out with tridents and nautilus shells and beaded wax figurines of all sizes and shapes, some of which were formed in the shape of bee’s heads and yellowjackets. Corrigan L. McMaster, a coalmen by trade, recently retired and living off a meager coalmen’s pension, upended Elba D. Morales’ table, sending her wares caroming to the church-wood floor, a ball of bee’s wax attaching itself to the end of her nose. Mister L. McMaster, as he referred to himself, given-names being far too common and childish, broke out in a sweat, his feet shuffling like hen’s legs. ‘I implore your pardon, madam, I had no idea I was so close to your things. Please forgive my clumsiness and bad manners, please do.’ Elba D. Morales collected her things from the floor, figurines and yellowjackets, some missing beads and gobbets, others clumped together into misshapen heads and tiny grotesque torsos, and sighed, ‘you silly incorrigible man, you silly, silly man.’ The shamble leg man, having witnessed the hubbub, said under his breath, ‘silly idiots, not a brain between ‘em.’
Friday, May 11, 2007
I, the author, have lost control of this thing, this thing within a thing. It has taken on a death of its own, a mordant determination to make a fool of me, and in the process a fool of you, the reader. I am a petty demon, or so I’m led to believe, as far as this is true, and perhaps it is, the end will come willy-nilly and without a trammel or boxthorn; or, truth be known, like a Torstein bunter replete with washcloth and cittern-pail. This, you see, is the problem: the words come but the meanings remain hidden, semantic no-nonsense and blather, words knit and basted together like some rough-nose Fagan. I stand in abstentia ex Morales des rigorous, with neither an either or a nor, nor a more-so ad infinitum prelate esse glorious: an incontinence allegorica, a meatpacker’s poleax hilted to the broadsheet.
Morton Salk wore a sunbonnet with a cinch-string round his neck to prevent the wicker from flying and flailing and fraying and making a general nuisance. There is no Morton Salk (not that I’m aware of) other than in this characterlessness that pretends to be a story, a stoogeboard story. Let’s bend the truth a little and see what we come up with, downwards into a Kamikaze spiralstaircasespiral. Okay, forget it, let’s simply let things, things within things play themselves out and see where it, they them the other others take us. I am no longer responsible for this, this menace, so be forewarned, yes, be well forewarned. Morales des Morales in excelsior goriest, let the hew fall where they may, paymaster Elton E. J. Salamander at your cervix, pudendum e caliper bifurcation in-speculum imp ego et Al Jolson
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Dejesus and Gibbs and went to great lengths to avoid each other, even if that meant going in the opposite direction, which made walking circuitous and irritable. Wherever they went, Gibbs and Dejesus, a blank slate of a sky was sure to appear, not a tabula rasa or a chalkboard sky, but one that had yet to acquire a palate or a purpose for being a sky at all. They, Gibbs and Dejesus, hadn’t the slightest clue that they were hopeless, hopelessly clueless. Once when they met to discuss oratory devices over dinner, which they did once, begrudgingly, they ordered a repast fit for a king, or someone who cared very little for proper digestion and gall. They started with an appetizer of cods’ tongue with black currants, braised eels pre-soaked in sweet tea and rolled into fine paper-thin rolls, each no bigger than a frogs leg, then for the main course bulls penis flayed and prepared with a clove and anise puree that smelt like something left out too long in the noonday heat. They topped off the meal with a bottle of Paddy’s Allsorts and tiny cakes formed into tiny pinafores topped with heavy cream and carob shavings. The waiter, a slight man with brown hair and a mole just below his eye, offered the two an After Eight, which both men declined, saying, ‘we’re no dandies, just bring us the bill, and step on it’.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Courbet was the Witnesses’ first name, not that it mattered much if you had a given name, as Witnesses went by their Witness-given names, which were chosen by the head Witness, a man called Gibbs. Gibbs was the first Witness to witness the stigmata of the cross, and as was common in those who had had the witness was prone to vassalage and lighting candles, each lit with the one preceding, an antecedent chain of fire, burnt wick and charred moths’ wings. Gibbs wore a Witnesses’ smock banded round the waist, then folded under then over then under then tied in a double-knot that looped round the flare-point of the hipbone. He, Gibbs, never wore socks, preferring friar’s sandals, which he bought from the harridan’s sister, who had taken to tanning calf’s hide with vinegar lye she made from pulp and tendon-cord.
Monday, May 07, 2007
In these times of shag-end lips men like Dejesus and Gibbs lay quick waste to a solicitous hand or a chutney smile, preferring, as they do, a cock of the head or a swift boot to the comeuppance, such arborous so-and-sos, Claxton backers the lot of ‘em. I shat at the moon, in-aqueous, and at the stars, those crooked waif’s teeth, such indelicacies, and with neither an auger nor a pea to pot in. The odds of being even are merciless, a portend without a talisman or amulet, a barnstormer in knee-britches and so-and-sew socks, pulled cinched into the clove of his hipbone, soups ready, dear Charlie vendor, tis a silly hymen in stewpot, roil of cabbage and blood-putting, not for the frail of heart or kidney. Mister Gibbs devoured a mile-or-some of toast and jam, with a side-plate of boiled calf’s testicles leafed in peapods and arrowroot. Then upon hearting his name, hoisting his petiole up over and above his head, was overheard to say, fuck outta the way you blackguards, I’ve a sermon to give!, and high-tailed it, his coattails flapping like sailcloth between his skinny legs.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The next to speak was Jakob Koloman, a medium-size man with tortoise shell spectacles and ratfish ears. He took the dais like a man on fire, his coattails flapping, eyes like coal dust, blacker even. He pulled a scroll-like sheath of paper from his greatcoat pocket, unfurled it and began to read. Ex pluribus menses glorious he said, his eyes rolling back into the crease of his head. Gibb’s and Jacobean, in excelsior Gregorian, was the next thing to come out of his mouth, lips blistered and raw as fish roe. Impetigo alimentary impastation, the world is fraught with pestilence; beware of the cockleshell and buttercup, for they carry the festering fester. Dejesus threw his beret into the air and said, he speaks the truth, dear people, beware the festering fester. The man in the hat, who by this time was bored with the rally, turned and ambled up the sidewalk, hoping that he’d find the wagon-vendor, as he had a hankering for a pretzel, slew with Gibb’s mustard, allspice and shellfish salt.
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