Monday, June 30, 2008

Camilo José Cela

The Squab and Kittle

The gyp-rock man came by way of Nordjylland in the township of Nibe, a small shipbuilder’s village off the coast of Denmark. Before that he lived briefly in a shanty shack in Montreuil, not far from the Ile-de-France, where he sold rock salt from the back of a pushcart previously used to haul carrion to the livestock burners. He was a maudlin man with little time for cheerfulness and glad tidings. He preferred unhappy endings and cold toast with the crusts left on. ‘…you’re a great one for the squab and kittle…’ said the harridan’s sister to the gyp-rock man. The gyp-rock man smiled, his face flat with disinterest, and said ‘…indeed I am madam, now fuck off…scat!’ (More and more characters, where do they all come came from, where? I, the scribbler of these dismissive tropes, haven’t the foggiest. They come came wherever they came come from, its as simple as that then).

A grime-braggart grimaced sky skyward. Too much faith and tallow in votive things, tanacetum vulgare, weensy biscuits with trebled ends. Its nary too late to learn an old trick, rolling round the manse (house) in your best pajamas, hop-skipping-jump through the rector’s hoopla. These are the things of legend, the porker’s treat at the end of a fat sweaty day. Stop that hoopla, will you please, I haven’t a pisspot to tosspot in. He swathed the skillsaw like a man gone saucy, one to the dozen or five to the mixer; pullet-mule, he said he said, heave whore the oxen-carts, careful where you toddle, you never know what’s crouching a hind the next roundabout round (One more kick at the tinsmith’s tin, enough of a load to send the saintliest man over dale and hillock).

‘…and now’ he said, ‘…I will pullet a rarebit through the cakehole of me arse..’. Not a sight for sorghum eyes, every which way which the fuzzy hussies, once Kipper Days overt thing’s well get back to Mormon, Christos, yes. The shamble leg man espied a crow flying upside in circles, wings furling and unfurling like a circus awning. ‘…dare I say’ he said, ‘…things must get evenly worse before they get any butter…’.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Calabash Sorghum & Smelt Co.

The harridan’s great-great uncle worked for the Calabash Sorghum & Smelt Co. in Newcastle Newton, retiring to Braga Bragg New Westminster. She remembered shirts offal with fish gore and oily scalloped hands that her great-great uncle was forever rubbing one against the other. He wore a fishmonger’s apron and a Sorghum pitcher’s cap and long ever so long thick wool socks, the purpose of which was to keep his ankles and shins from getting too cold. He hummed and fiddled with the brace on his hammer-belt, the hammer never quite fitting snuggly into the loop. He gave her his first fishmonger’s apron, the one with two pockets, one for his knife and one for his scalper, and his Sorghum picker’s cap, which she kept in a doll’s box stowed under her bed. She wore the cap on Ship Day and every second Saturday, depending on the size of the sun and her temperament.

‘…the gypsums are coming…!’ hollered the alms man, his face red as a fall apple. ‘…don’t you mean the gypsies?’ said the legless man. ‘…them too!’ Battling the cursed wind, railheads biting into the soles of his feet, the gyp-rock man pushed his gyp-cart, the cart overflowing with dusty white rock. The day before Ship Day the gyp-rock man made his rounds of the town, the townsfolk eager to buy dusty white rock to fill the holes in their ramshackle shacks. Some called it hovel-rock, others shanty-stone and some called it plain old white rock that cost more than a tooth extraction. He parked his cart in front of the church, nailed his sign to the door, Gyp Stone and Fixings, and lit a pocketed half-smoked, taking long slow pulls off the wetted tip.

God Fearless God Fearers

…spent sperm-sacs, sticky subaqueous messy mess. God fearless milk teats pap prate. I haven’t an iota, not two. The man in the hat had a wish, and the wish was to buy as many hats as he could carry, wear each hat one after the other until he’d worn each hat at least once, then throw them into the aqueduct one hat at a time. This way he figured he could be done with hats once and for all. The second crewman said to the first crewman ‘…pigstick the God fearless God fearlessers one at a time…’. ‘…and be done with ‘em…every last one…’ said the first crewman, his crewman’s cap ticking. ‘…to a tee…’ said the second crewman crudely…a mess of hats and spent condoms, tarts dance to the portside jig, the man in the hat sitting under the fallen Waymart awning yawning, such a stickle of a day. The Homagama slattern feared God fearlessness, her skives pulled up over her head, feet jiggling wiggly, the sky black as a roofer’s heart.

A gray porker’s grey sky, God fearing fearless cunts. ‘…bellies wormy with spunk…’ said the second crewman, ‘…cakehole diggers…’. A gravel-hawk flew flipping across the gray grey sky, wings sculling nits of crude morning air; out of the blue sky blue the man in the hat collecting his things and hi-tailing it for lower ground, the slattern pulling on his greatcoattails begging him to stay, ‘…stay, please say you’ll stay…’. Her slatternly pull pulling him down fast, he pushed free, his best hat, the Corbusier flatcar cap, flat on the crown of his head. ‘…I’ll be back when the bells in the belfry tower chime…’ he said, ‘…not a moment before…’.

Outside the sky, way up above the stratosphere, a crude stickman danced madfootedly, teeth chattering, a fearless look on his fearsome face. ‘…let bygones be bygones, and the sooner the better…’ he chimed. The stickman danced, madfeet cutting furrows in the Dead Sea sky, ‘…eupepsy daisy, you cowardly fiends…!’ The legless man dancing one-footedly looked upward into the sky and exclaimed ‘…never too early to forget an old swindle…’. …and then the thump thump thump to the back of head, skullcap kittling to the brown earthy brown earth. The townspeople gartered in the centre of town. Dejesus kicked the washerwoman’s soapbox out from beneath her feet, ‘…that’ll show you my little slattern whore, never trip up a man when he’s sermonizing…’. The legless man turned to the alms man, who turned to the man without a hat, who turned to face the harridan who was sternly reproofing her sister, who said ‘…well I’ll be, a Dejesus Christy without a tosspot to piss in…’. The man in the hat stood an unfair distance from the gathered crowd, his fingers trebling the brim of his hat, a sou'wester with a pheasant feather hatband and a cockspur stickpin. ‘…can’t say if I can say, never have been one for the yak and banter…’.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Homagama Slattern

‘…this is corking good fun…’ laughed the shamble legged man. ‘…yes indeed yes’ said the legless man, ‘…indeed…’. A moo-cow clapped clopped up the sideways, ‘…moo mooing…’ it cowed, ‘…moo…’. The moo-cow stopped in front of the Waymart, lifted its tail and shat all over the fallen awning. The shamble leg man looked at the legless man and said ‘…goodness me, the dear thing shat all over the awning…’. ‘…indeed…’ said the legless man, ‘…shat it did…’. When the Homagama slattern arrived from Sri Lanka the man in the hat welcomed her with open arms, his best bowler tippled to one side, his feet shoed in brown loafers with half-knee knee socks. She had been working at Universidade de Sao Paulo as a research assistant for the Lutheran Cabalist Fredrik Gonxalas Maxima, a Cabalist with a mean streak as wide as a whore’s smile. Before that she worked as a tinker’s gopher for the family that owned the Stowmarket Otsego Spur Co. a small austere firm with a warehouse in Suffolk on Thames. Stowmarket Otsego Spur Co. made cockspurs and cattlemen’s bootblack, the bootblack to keep the spurs from slipping off the heeltap. ‘…this is marvelous indeed…’ said the slattern, ‘…bootblack cockspurs…horses beware, ungallant ungulates!’

The slattern stood hopping on one foot, the other foot bend double under the trumpet of her ass. ‘…oh me goodness my, whatever shat I do?’ The day after the day the slattern arrived in town the scullery crew was busy cleaning up after Ship Day. The scullery crew consisted of 27 strong backed men who abhorred Ship Day with a hatred broaching on madness. ‘Look at all this crap,’ said crewman one to the crewman two, crewman two busy on his hands and knees fishing spent condoms out of the water fountain in front of the Waymart. ‘…fucking heathens…every last one of ‘em…’. Crewman number two cocked his head to face crewman two, a spent condom stuck to the bulb of his nose, and said ‘…not a God fearing bone in the lot of ‘em…!’ ‘…fucking pigs…’. ‘…swine herders…’ said crewman two to crewman one, ‘…the lot of ‘em…’. ‘…and not a God fearing bone between ‘em…’. The second crewman, flicking the spent condom from the knob of his nose, exclaimed ‘…bellies wormy with spunk…’.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Day After Tugboat Day

Morning bells chime in the Waymart belfry, the alms man punts his wedge-cart across the sideway, his face a mess of bewilderment and chanciness. Belfry coxswain tolls the bells of St. Padre en Mass. A wee Cosmist in a plasterboard cap kippers and quails in front of the Seder grocer’s, his thoughts on bauxite and cold morning cereal. The legless man gets a leg-up from the man with no hat, fenstumps bog and woggle. The day after Ship Day fell on a Thursday, the day before Dory Day and the day after Tugboat Day. The traveling circus left town two days after the day after Ship Day, leaving behind a dogface boy and a jack coxswain. The day after the day before Tugboat Day the man in the hat bought a coxswains cap, thinking it would add an air of swimmingness to his countenance. The day before the day after the day after Ship Day the shamble leg man found a second whores’ glove, this one so palmed and threadbare it looked like a carrion-mitt. The day after before Dory Day the committee for Ship Day convened to discuss next year’s festivities. The wee Cosmist bought a copy of Unpopular Mechanics with the money he made barking for the sherbet hawker, a man with such bucked teeth he looked more like a spitting camel than a sherbet hawker. No one drown the day after Ships Day. Three people, one of whom was the jack coxswain, drown the day after Tugboat Day. The dogface boy went swimming the day before Dory Day, his swim trunks caballed round his waist like a Cosmist’s tangier.

A man with a buffalo-head hat swam swimmingly across the street, swam trunks toddled round his midriff. ‘…what a fine and mottled day…’ spoke the shamble legman, his shamble legs in shambles. ‘…not a crow in the sky, what a joy to beheld hold…’. ‘…I can’t take much more of this’ yipped the alms man, ‘…a pea in the same pod, yes indeed…’. The sky broke open and spat, spume sputum spittle falling on the dirty brown earth below. ‘…I can’t take much whore piss…’ yowled the alms man, ‘…not if I want to collect coins proper’. ‘Wait up for me’ hollered the Cosmist, hands dairying. ‘…I have a hogshead head, fresh slaughtered and still warm, and I’m willing to share it…’. Dejesus fixed his collide and hurried into the day, his coattails in tatters, face red with yesterday’s worries. ‘…nary none nary few, a wee tincture of whatabout and seaman’s cap…’. That night after the city had fallen asleep, the man in the hat crept into the Waymart through a tear in the awning and pilfered a Quaker’s loaf, three tins of ocean bream, a cowboy’s bolo and as many hats as he could carry, sneaking out the same way he crept in. ‘…in excelsior goriest...’ he whispered, ‘…and may the first to fall fall last…’.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

In the Kludgebox

‘…never over-estimate an under-achiever’ said Dejesus. ‘…they’re more likely to bump into a lamppost than make a deviled egg...’. Dejesus began making lewd remarks after witnessing the Witness witnessing, some so lewd and lascivious even the angriest man in town found them unsettling. He had a plan, and the plan was to send a collection of his lewd sayings and catcalls to Popular Mechanics, where, because of his nifty elocution, they’d be published for all to read. The day after Ship Day Dejesus dragged an old livery-cart to the front of the Seder grocer’s, and standing tall in the kludge-box, began reciting a poem he’d memorized by rote. The alms man, who was begging for alms in front of the aqueduct, caught ear of Dejesus’ gibbering, and pressing his ears into the flaps of his alms cap yipped ‘…down with the scurvy pig...!’ A sledge crow flew circling Dejesus’ head, wings fencing air, caw caw, it whelped, caw caw. Dejesus, paying little notice to the jeers and caws, threw his arms up over his head and said, ‘…never under-estimate an under-achiever, it might be the last estimate you make…’.

Unpopular Mechanics

There’s a boiler-room man kicking and biting at my skullcap skull. Soon enough he’ll kick the bateaus out of me, then I’ll be nothing more than a measly crumb of nothing. If I could sleep I surly would; but as I can’t, I’ll accept the kicks and bites and call it a day. All the crabbing and crumbly crumbling is taking its toll on me, dare say I dare say. Perhaps I’ll thumb-through my collection of Unpopular Mechanics, the yellow ones next to the Dysfunctional Geographic my great granddad left behind when he jumped ship, castaway into the roiling roil of the roil roiling. Maybe not maybe. I could don my friar’s toque and call it a morning, leapfrogging into the day; but a lass like her would have nothing to do with me, measly crumb of nothing. I could pay witness to the Witness and call it an afternoon; but that’s silly, halfcocked. I could smoke another haberdasher’s-made cigarette and call it even; or not. Fucking halfcockiness and boiled ham, a side of Paddy’s allsorts and bother, just so I can keep up with the tinkers’ yawl; but then again who gives a whooping cough about a yawing tinker’s cuss. Dysfunctional Mechanics, not for the fen of heart and crestfallen; or a tinker for that matter.

Snakes Under the House

made us poke sticks
for poking the snakes
that lived under the house
he ricked them with rubber
gloves, wiring them to the
handles with the same wire
he used to fix the holes
in the fence, me and
my brother carried
the poke sticks in
scabbards we
made from
old milk

Bedeviling the Bedbugs

The man in the hat owned one toque, a red and blue stripped one with a cowbell tassel on the top. It was given to him by his grandmamma’s hairstylist, a woman with fencer’s teeth and a puckish mole on the knob of her chin. She gussied up his grandmamma’s hair every Saturday at 9 sharp, as anything his grandmamma put her wits to after 10 was doomed to failure. Her memory was so frail and piecemeal that even her own name escaped her after 10:15. She made good fun of herself when she forgot how to brush her hair or throw a throw-rug, which she did every morning at exactly 8:27½ before eating breakfast. His grandmamma thumped all the rugs in the house, putting all her energy into bedeviling the bedbugs from the thrown-stitches and frills. Had she known about the friar’s toque goodness knows what she would have made of it. As his grandmamma had a disfavor for wool and friars (her granddad had worn a Carmelites’ cap with heavy wool lining summer winter and fall) she would have bedeviled the devil out of them.

One Saturday morning at 10:17 his grandmamma threw a throw-rug out the front door onto the porch and proceeded to jig and smithy on top of it like a crazed dervish. His mamma, laughing to bust a stitch, figured that her mamma was on the cliffs of madness and would surly fall into the deep hole of Bedlam sooner than later. The next day his grandmamma was taken away by two men in chimney sweeper’s hats on the back of an oxcart, his mamma smoking a roll-your-own on the front porch, her face crinkled like cake-paper. The day he overheard Dejesus talking about the fable of the friar’s toque behind the Waymart with two men in chimney sweeper’s hats, he rushed to the Seder grocer’s and stole the newest edition of Popular Mechanics, tore through the pages to the back, and found the postbox number for the company that sold real-life submarines.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fable of the Friar’s Toque

When Dejesus found the friar’s toque under the dogfish tree he said the Moor’s Prayer, not quite knowing what to do with the wooly tonsure-cap. When he was a wee farthing boy his great-great granddad told him the fable of the friar’s toque. The toque had been passed down from friar to friar, the first friar having found the toque under a burning dogfish tree in Bucharest. The fable of the friar’s toque was written in Peacock Ninny, an ancient Hungarian tongue spoken in sibilant hisses. His great-great granddad was told the fable of the friar’s toque from his great-great granddad when he was a wee farthing boy. The friar’s toque was worn by the brotherhood of the Friars of Dogfish Monastery, a chattel-wood cloister hidden away in the mountains of Hungary. The friar’s toque was worn by the head friar to signify his closeness to God and rightsideup angels. The toque allowed the friar to hear the Word of God unfettered with interpretation and bad manners. The friar’s toque was the Ham Radio to God’s Word, free of secular static and caballing. When Dejesus came across the friar’s toque under the dogfish tree he pulled it tight over his ears and waited, not a Word, just a faint gibbering of voices, one voice saying to the others, ‘…Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale, ‘tis time to plot the comeuppance’. He lay the friar’s toque back under the dogfish tree and ran like a scared altar boy, his ears burning with heresy.

Apricot Brandy and Slim Jims

‘…I never much wanted much of anything, except for a Ship Day hat and a jug-board potholder’ said the legless man totting old bottles and tins. ‘…this is a good one, or two…’ He caked the old bottles and tins into his rucksack, piling the tins one on top of the other, then cramming the bottles one on top of the other on top of the tins. He spent most mornings totting, punting across the blacktop black with two stump-height caudal sticks. ‘…a fine day indeed, a veritable day…’. When he was a wee lad boy his mamma refused to take him to Ship Day, saying it was a fools gathering and no place for a boy with crumbly legs and the whooping. ‘…this tin’s for my mamma and this bottle for da, and this broken bottle for the both of them…’. He swapped the old bottles and tins for shiny coins and string, using the string to tie his pant legs to the shunting board and the shiny coins to buy Apricot Brandy and Slim Jims. His far door drove a Chevy Impala with a doorknob steering-wheel. He cranked and bullied the wheel from left to right, never quite getting the car to stay middle. His far door had to steer left to go right and right to go left, the car tacking in the opposite oppose. He figured it was his da that gave him the whooping, as he always wore a damp shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nick Cave and the Dirty Three

Fishmonger’s Palsy

This gloating, baby’s bunting, who where is why. I can’t rebus when things felt more addled, mindful of y’oar manners young man, clods speed you sot cad. The harridan’s pismire yonder squats, whore skirts kipped up round the bellows of her neck, such a prong de mal, and the stench, enough to send a first-mate underboard. I wouldn’t nay mind if she kept the leeside bluff, kips the squat from fishing, and that, pray toll, is mustier than yesteryon’s curd. Mindless of y’oar punters, a stern rebuff is on the whereupon, I assure you. The alms man panhandled for catfish, his alms cap making a roil of things. He whaled-on, touting the halyard taunt, fishmonger’s palsy, causes a bullocks to form on the heel-end of the hand, shipyard whore, three pennies to the suck. How many times must I say this be whore the time runs out? Too many too few to much, then a wee cutter moor, just for safekeeping sake.

The blazing hot blazing sun cut a friar’s toque into the harridan’s head, tonsure blunt, to keep the blazing hot blazing sun from cursing her dead. The day after Ship Day had come and gone, midway down the circus pulled stock, leaving behind a livery of pamphlets and spent condoms, reservoirs topped-up to the breach, a sloe gin fizz on a blazingly hot blazing day. The harridan about faced and gamboled this way and that, never once making a foolscap of hair self. She never had much of much for Ship Day, nor the days that followed, thinking it a piebald excuse for sac-races and turned potato salad.

Fisheyed Simmer

‘Much as I might I can’t throw it off’ said she the harridan she. Her rucksack cut into the poles of her shoulders, an apothecary’s tin of Rimes’ Curial tic-tucked into the lefthandside pouch. Her mamma warned her a gun such things, tolling her that throwoff’s were gad’s curse on nearpretty girls and nobodies. ‘…that’d be the way’ her mamma said sternly, her lip curling into the colt of hair mouth. ‘…no not near as fun E’ as a nearone or a fartherone’. That was the extent of her mamma’s quibbles, she had near nothing left to say, if nothing atoll. ‘…and should you have any idea of ever coming backhoe, you best scram it from your thoughts!’ Peabody cornbaskets weaved from woven calf, softer than lipids and agar. She ran so fast her hat blew off her head, a ribbon of locks flitting and jobbing every which every way. ‘I’ll see you in my dreams’ said the harridan running, ‘…I’ve got near nothing left to say…’. That night, deep in the back-quarter of the woods, the harridan pushed a tooth through a split in lip, thinking as she did, ‘…mamma’s quibbles are the anchor that moors me to Job, Killingbock said one thing or the other, silly fisheyed simmer’. Her mamma left a light on on the near portside, just in case her da tour came rune looking for a squarequarter.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Belated Blooms Day

Lá Bhloom you punters, the river runs between dogsbody and whorecopse, past lowing cows and sheep bleating, under Paddy’s Dudley box, Jesuits’ twostonesthrow-to-sacoftaters, lashing the good Lord from the backsidepillory, warbride scalawags’ hock wages piebald to pike, moonfish, keep your cakehole shat, mums the ward, hawking seacords and ginrags in a sea of scurvy, Lá Bhloom you punters, heist a brownbottle swig to James, ponderoar of commodepot piddle and Liffey roil.

Corn Meal and Molasses

When the harridan was a girl she got lost in the great wilderness, her mamma forgetting that she hadn’t returned home from school. She stayed lost in the great wilderness for 27½ days and nights. When she returned home her mamma said ‘…your father’s shirts need a good scrubbing’. The harridan’s mamma spat an oyster of blood at her daughter, black with consumption and goose fat, and kicked the dog up side the head. ‘Get to it girl, before I do the same to you’. The dog scud beneath the kitchen table and lay flat against the floorboards, tail quivered between its legs. Her great-great grandmamma lived until she was 127½, missing her 128th year by six months. She ate Quaker Oats out of a teacup with blue and yellow cornflowers, sieving raw goats milk on top through a hankie, rebuking anyone who laid a claim to proper culinary manners and pasteurization. Her great-grandmamma sold straightened barn nails from a curbside booth built from tin cans and roofers’ tar. She ate Episcopalian Oats from an old kitchen drawer, sousing the oats with prune juice and rock salt.

She didn’t like her mamma all that much, her da neither, thinking them both corn-stupid for spending all their savings on a busted up thrasher that never started. She learned to ‘kick the dog’, as her granddad called it, and spent her free time making throw rugs from bulrushes and axel grease. ‘…you ain’t gunna amownt ta a hill of beans’ her mamma said, ‘…on account a your dumber than a post digger’. The day after the harridan found her way clear of the wilderness she bought a straight razor and taught herself how to whittled shoehorns out of done fence posts; hiding behind the corn-barn, where no one ever went on account of there weren’t no corn to be found, she made enough purse-money to buy a subscription to a magazine that explained in pictures and words how to make a hearty living from Pop-siècle placemats and jug-board potholders. One day her sister found her behind the corn-barn sizing posts and tolled on her, her da sizing her within an inch of her life. After she ran away her sister bundled up her straight razor and all the done post she could carry and hid them behind the sorghum-barn, promising herself that one day she’d make a hearty living from Pop-siècle placemats and jug-board potholders.

Go on and believe what you like, but what I’m tolling you is the honest to goodness truth; I wouldn’t toll a lie even if it meant I could be the King a England. I got so many tongues I could speak with that’d make your head spin off your shoulders, and that, I’m tolling you, is the damn truth of the matter, cross my heart. My mamma said I wouldn’t amount to a half-a-hill of beans, but I sure enough showed her; I can eat a dozen tins of the fuckers without breaking a sweat. What’s his name, he seen me eat a whole pig’s head, ears and all, then ask for a second helping. Dumb fuckers are thicker than corn meal and molasses. My own mamma never much liked her mamma, giving her the ‘kick the dog’ whenever she fell like it; now you got a respect a woman like that, even if she’s your mamma. That cunt Witness toll my da I steeled some of his pamphlets, even when he knew it was a bald-faced lie. So as a lesson my da belted me up with the stick that held the porch window open, tolling me that if I ever got caught stealing again he’d make sure I walked like a cripple. If it wasn’t for that man with the bunch of hats I’d be walking like a cripple, sure as I'm standing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Corncrakes and Potash

…pylon the eels Mrs. Kalabash…foodstuffed into itty-biddy mouths. ‘…peacock ninny’ said the man in the hat. The supine cricketed and moaned, a fat man with a skinny face yelling, ‘breach the line me motleys, all ahead and steady as she goes’. Corncrakes and whorehens, Witnesses witnessing and leaps a lording, another day begun began. ‘This is no way to begin the day’ said the man in the hat, ‘…no way indeed’, his face crinkling. The man in the hat decided to take a walk, his sunbonnet cinched under his chin, the sky spreading out in front of him, an endless blue highway. He walked for a bit and stopped, his eyes catching a glimpse of another man walking, a man in a felt bowler with a pheasant hatband. He looked once, then a second time, then a third, then continued on his way, the other man in the hat, the man in the felt bowler with a pheasant hatband, not paying any bother of him. ‘…feeble man’ he said under his breath, ‘…a felt bowler on such a sunshiny day, and with a pheasant hatband, how feeble indeed’. The other man, the man walking in a felt bowler with a pheasant hatband, bent down to retrieve a stone from the ground, a blue opal gemstone brindle with garnet and potash. ‘…a fine specimen indeed’ he said in a soft whisper, ‘…as fine as I’ve ever come across...’. The Witness stuffed a pocketful of pamphlets into his mouth and chewed vigorously, the paper jobbing and sticking to the roof of his mouth. He’d broken promise with Witness McCurry, the head Witness, who had advised him to stuff and sleeve as many pamphlets into as many postboxes as possible, chiding him not to leave any behind, which was a blaspheme unto the Lord God Witness.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dancing Star

dancing star,
fill the night sky
with darkest

Surely Now Surely

...such pocking misfortune, ‘is this how it begins, the freefall spiral into Dantean Hell?’ The city of misfortunes and endless beginnings. The man in the hat jigged for cod, his hat tippling on his head, the mid-afternoon sun forming a cupola over the Waymart spire, the alms man collecting his alms-coppers and calling it a day, the legless man punting the sideways, his stumps cursedly hot, Dejesus working up a beading sweat trying to fasten a brad-stick to the gimp-end of his busted leg, tethering it with wire and force of effort, the harridan collapsing her knickknack table, a stray knickknack rolling under the steps of the church, and the Witness folding pamphlets, his fingers sworn through to the bone. Downward further falling than a fallen angle’s sins. … may the first fallen fall last.

The sky fell upside-down, the shamble leg man’s eyes on the littlest hand on the big clock on the high highest tiptop of the Waymart spire. ‘…it’ll surely move past the secondhand surely...’ he gamed. The littlest hand moved a soupçon to the left, the biggest hand still as a churchmouse. ‘…surely now surely…’ he gamed a second time, eyes fixed on the littlest secondhand. Wearily he walked forwards than back, not once taking his eyes off the littlest hand. ‘…now surely now…’. The littlest secondhand moved a second soupçon, the biggest hand stiller still. The shamble leg man took his eyes off the secondhand littlest hand for no more than a soupçon, just long enough to see a fallen angle fall, a bustle of pamphlets clutched in its angle hands.

The Witness witnessed another Witness witness him witnessing, neither Witness knowing whether the other was witnessing a true Witness or a witless Witness. All this witnessing made both Witnesses witness witlessly, neither one nor the other knowing whether what they were witnessing was witness or witlessness. The legless man, who happened by while the two Witnesses were witnessing one another witness, stopped and said ‘my goodness me, such witnessing should be banned from public view’. A yellow corncrake flew out from the Waymart spire, a pamphlet gripped in its neb, crake-wings waging war with the air and sky.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tom Waits - I've been changed

Jigging Cod

Where to begin when all beginnings end in the same place, the cunt went that a way there, silly bastard Charlie boy. This is pure madness this is this; raking up agun the coals and umbers of life’s misfortunes, told me it’d all work out ripe and fine; cuntsops lied, surely as I’m a mad cunt me-self. Never put the trusting in a cuntsop, always the worse to wear, and wear thin at that, left high out to dry without a teapot to toss in, all that misfortune and gangbusting, swillhound bas tar chasing rabbits on the foot, keychain jigging on the fob, tatty ligulae smacking smack, smack.

The day Dejesus busted his leg the man in the hat was jigging cod behind the Waymart with a bent-over-and-round safely-pin noosed on a trephine he’d pilfered from the harridan’s mother’s needle-box. ‘..damn Charlie boy leg’ whined Dejesus, ‘…right through the knick and bone’. The man in the hat jigged a cod onto the cement foothold that circumambulated the aqueduct rig-house, the cod bumping and reeling agun the bare skin of his short-panted legs. ‘…damn bastard cod…smacking smack, smack...’.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nozze di Figaro Die Zauberflöte

A scolding of scalawags scurried across the sideways sot to besotted. The man without a hat jeered, his eyes ablaze with wick and ire. ‘…dare I say stop that nonsense you scalawags, if it were upside to me you’d be leeside, portside inside the hour…’. The scalawags made a hard right turn, veering into the awning of the Seder’s grocery, a split rickety on the swerve in. ‘Off with your hats you filthy cunts…!’ A wee cunt of a lad heaved the stave-pole high, parley missing the skip-top of his head. ‘That’ll be the day’ said the man with no hat, ‘barely a codger’s rump between the seaside and the shore…’ Angling on, the lad jagged the stave pointed into the awning, unreeling the awning-cord, the sheeting cooping to the leeside port, ‘…nifty does it’ bellowed the man with no hat, ‘…pull the yardarm stern left, that’ll make the prate-side bluff’. The scalawags beaded to the left, shoring the awning sheeting thrice to a dozen. ‘I’ve had quite enough’ bawled the man with no hat, ‘…enough indeed’. Whilst while this was happening the shamble leg bumpily bumped into the littlest of the scalawags, upending the man with no hat to a measure beyond measure, sending him caroming into the outside manor, sac-upon-sacrum of Icelandic söl, good for what measures you, inside or out. Mahler to Mendelssohn latti (Giuseppe) Domenico dues Requiem Nozze di Figaro Die Zauberflöte Schumann shoehorn eases Plantar fascitis, Rochmaninov in E miner wee lads a bunting. The man in the hat went about his day, the scalawags making good for the Waymart, the man with no hat yawing after the wee cunt of a lad ‘…mark my words, tomorrow comes before yesterday’s news… sac-upon-sacrum’.

Dante’s Rabbit Hole

(Author’s) what comes first, epistemology or metaphysics? I dare say epistemology; the engine that drives thinking about metaphysics, ethics and ontology. We must first establish a way of thinking, a shared language, an I other I, a hermeneutic. I other I spend a great deal of time and effort thinking, thinking about what it is I’m thinking and how it is I’m thinking what I’m thinking. The circuitous hermeneutic circle, Dante’s rabbit-hole, canticle by canticle, riding high and dry on the back of a poet, no less. Without an epistemology there would be no metaphysics or ethics, no ontology or natural science, no mathematics or geometry, no ciphering or calculating, no language, no I, you or other (aside).

Shit-hair legged piglets play the endgame shamelessly; shameless little cunts could give a crab whether epistemology is the first science, piggish wee cunts the lot of ‘em. Pig sty epistemology, what shameless piggery. Astride the straddling grave with a leg cocked on either each side, pigs and pong, such piggish piggery. The shamble leg man put on his Corbusier cap and Roy Roger’s cow-chaps and stood at the foot of the aqueduct looking out onto the grassy grass that grew in grassy clumps behind the Waymart. He did this when he felt that the world was as it should be, everything lineup in neat rows, or when the ulcers ate away at his gut liked Skinnerian rats.

In the grassy grass he saw a codger of titmice rummaging through the Waymart dustbin, one on top of the other, the biggest mouse at the bottom of the pyramid, the littlest at the top. He figured they would eat they’re fill and scurry away, the littlest at the front of the scurry, the biggest at the rear. ‘Chancy cunts’ he grumbled to himself, ‘what nerve they have…devil-mice’. A piece of gray-blue sky broke off and hit the shamble leg man on the tiptop of his head, his Corbusier cap toppling in every which direction, the titmice mooing and breaking stitch. ‘...devil-mice, scourge of the bloody earth’.

The alms man said to the shamble leg man that titmice were good for the eating, as they had such tiny frail bones a man could swallow them without breaking a stitch. Skewered, spitted, broiled, baked, skillet-fried or wrapped in Quaker’s loaf with Gibbs’ hard mustard and a sprig of crabweed, good for the eating and thrice to the dozen. A piece of blacktop broke free and caromed skyward hitting the alms man square in the fob, his alms cap tippling every which where, the shamble leg man mooing and breaking stitch. ‘That’ll show you’ he said shamelessly, ‘…titmice good for the eating, not on my dime, thrice to the dozen or not’. At that very moment a codger of wee shit-haired piglets broke stitch, the littlest one wee-weaning all the way home, the biggest one crabwalking like a gunslinger gone bad. ‘…wee chancy cunts’ grumbled the shamble leg man, ‘…and not a tosspot to pisspot in’.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bloomsday - June 16, 2008

Keeping the Even Keel

‘…peacock ninny, you silly cunt’ howled the legless man, ‘…whorehens and milk-heavy teats to suckle and whey...’. The alms man tipped his brow and scurried across the hot blacktop black, his alms cap wiggling round the jug of his ears. ‘…silly cunt, off to the bowery for you…’. ...bridled, willowed and reamed, not a moment to waste… The sky turned stomach and fell willy-nilly into the black, tripe-flay and Jackson’s bile. ‘Wait up for me you tactless wee shit…I’ve a bone to pickle with you’ howled the legless man. The alms man took flight, his alms cap skating across the pillory of his head. ‘…not in a million years’ he howled back, his feet corseting the hot blacktop black. A piglet, legs haired in shit, ran wee-weaning behind the alms man, its corkscrew tail keeping the even keel. Had I but a moment’s rest, thought the alms man, time enough for a ball of pork jelly and a Quaker’s rye. The alms man dancing mad-footedly beneath Sodomy and Gomorrah, his alms cap jigging on the ball of his head. And then it began to rain.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

St Albert de Felecia

The day Dejesus left for good he wrapped his mamma’s Bible in sac-cloth, shoetied it with pickling string, heaved his worldly belongings over his shoulder (a toothbrush, two pairs of slip-on loafers, a piece paper on which was written tuba and abut, four mousetraps, a crab-net and his haberdashery) and made quick for the front door, his dear mamma wailing after him ‘…where do you think you’re going?’ the neighbor’s dog running its wormy ass up and down the laneway, the sky blacker than roof-pitch and yesterday’s hate. The day the Witness left home for good he stole his mamma’s best dress, the fancy one with pinking and frills, and high-tailed it to the tool-shed, where he stayed eating dog-nuts and candy until his da found him two days later.

In the town of Skjeberg Ostfold a boy with a stick stirred up a hornets’ nest, his little sister, who was by his side, stung until she fell faint of life. In Rigaud along the river St. Albert de Felecia a boy with a hornet’s nest hat fell to his knees and prayed to the sky, his face swollen beyond all recognition. On a side-street in Bombay Maharashtra a boy with bowed legs begged for rotten fruit under a sky blacker hate. Behind the Vastra Gotaland grocer’s in the village of Hjo a boy with red-russet-red cheeks met a man who claimed to be the voice of God, his fancy dress soiled with grease and yesterday’s lies.

Dejesus met the Witness who met the harridan who met the shamble leg man who met the legless man who met the harridan’s sister who met the Seder grocer who met the man in the hat one sunny afternoon in early June, the warm summer sky thick with bluebottles and shadflies, the legless man hipping and hopping, the shamble leg man skipping and cavorting, the Seder grocer jumping and jaunting, the harridan tripping and toppling, her sister leaping, Dejesus dodging and diving, the Witness wiling and willowing, the man in the hat sitting quietly in thought, his flatcar cap on the fop of his lap, the day half-over yet barely begun.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Prate Sissies

Look at me I’m a chancy cunt kipped someone you the reader have never met. ...wee rook at me...fee’s mad in th’ed...crazee cunt…sweep the upside-down, skip yip you lousy cunt...look at mea I’m a lowbrow lousy cunt… …prate sissies the lot of you, not a tosspot to toss in... The shamble leg man recalled the whore’s glove he found quiffed into a ball underneath the green park bench. He recalled the swell smell and the double-stitching stitching. That day a moorhen meddled across the lane, a lettuce-crisp banknote in its beak.

The moorhen hen had a Bilbao Pais Vasco sac in its beak, makers of sweet-corn treats (tatuaje cangrejo) and silly spoons. ‘…silly little cunt’ thought the man ‘…and not a dovecot to piss in’. This is a strange place indeed; full to middling with strange things, people, dogs, hens, pullets and baby prams stuffed to the crowbars with red-russet-red cheeked babies. Babies in crowbar prams with jiggley eyes (pathologic nystagmus: a form of involuntary eye movement. It is characterized by alternating smooth pursuit in one direction and saccadic movement in the other direction) and babies with bowlegs (Osteomalacia) and pap-teats cone-flattened to fit neatly beneath pushup bras.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grinderman - No Pussy Blues

Ms. Ivy McCollum of Elsinore Manor

The Barrister Brian Brambly deposed his hat and sat on the pew next to Ivy McCollum, his proctor’s arse touching wood and splinter. He unbuttoned his greatcoat and spread it across his lap, knuckle and thumb conniving, Ms. Ivy McCollum of Elsinore Manor refolding her natty, fingers fingering knickers by the twos. The Baker Balthazar the Bilious made a sweet berry tart, crimping the edges with a tuning-fork and sprinkling the top with dicing sugar. Ms. Ivy McCollum of Elsinore Manor made a bead for the sweet berry tart, her fingers frequenting the folds of her marigold dress. The Barrister Brian Brambly, making headway with his deposing, made a banknote appear from the upside down of his hat, corking good fun for a barrister-in-laws, given his temper and scolding mood. Times a wasting, said Ms. Ivy to the Baker Bilious, and none too soon, replied Barrister Brian, his courts’-cap breaking wind with the low-benchers’ on high. Had I a tosspot to piss in every time the wind blew a nosegay in my direction I’d be a flowery sot, so I’d be, said Balthazar nonplussed and in vain. Chancy cunt I’d say, never to soon to learn a good fare-in-trade, bellowed Brian Brambly Barrister at laws. Had it my way I’d eat sweet berry tarts till my head caved out, mewed the Ms’. of Elsinore Manor, busy cooking up a tosspot of beans and lard of the earth.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Small of Her Back

When the harridan’s mother told her she would never walk straight but only in crooked lines zigzagging like a drunken sailor, she bust a dam of sad childish tears. ‘…you got the scoliosis…’ her mother said mockingly. ‘…you will never be a proper girl...’. A sweaty man with callused hands made her a bridle out of horse livery, ‘there aren’t nothing wrong about a little girl like you wearing a horse’s dress’ he said, his hands gabling the small of her back. ‘…hold on here, that’s it, make a rabbit hole with your thumb and finger, now you got it, that a girl’. The bridle cut into her shoulders and left red welts on her back. ‘…that’ll make you proper’ her mother said, ‘…not proper, proper, but close enough’. The harridan’s sister came into the world like a drywall fitter spackling her mother’s hole, her back straight as a shovel-handle

Thinking about Thinking

‘This is not a boomtown, boomtowns boom and rumble, bang and roar. This town simpers and whines, cowers and trembles, a not quite right in the head town. But this is where I live, where I hang my hats’ thought the man in the hat. When he wasn’t thinking thoughts such as these, which he thought more often than not, he was thinking about thinking them. Thinking about thinking took up much of his thoughts, so much so that thinking about anything else was next to impossible, and even if they were, it would be too painful to think about. He could ponder and muse, consider and mull over, but not think thoughts or things that remotely resembled a thought. ‘…thoughts are phooey’ thought the man in the hat thinking thoughts, ‘…plain and simple phooey’. ‘…I’d rather mull things over or consider…’ thought the man in the hat thinking he was not thinking but considering or mulling things over. ‘Where’s my gall darn hat?’

A overly-large man in a purple and red fez hurried by in a miniature car, his overly-fat arm slung out the car window. ‘Look at me!’ he hollered, the exposed skin between his shirt collar and head red as overly-ripe rhubarb. The man in the hat turned ever so slowly, his neck craning and whippling, and said ‘Who would have thought…a stray thought waiting to be snapped up, oh my, goodness me’. The overly-large man, head snapping to and fro, curb-parked his miniature car, squeezed himself out of the seat, his face reddening, eyes bulging like condom reservoirs, and fell face first onto the pavement. ‘A ha’ said the man in the hat, ‘…a ha indeed’. Scurrying like a dormouse, her folding table and knickknacks falling every which way, the harridan’s sister stopped to rebuckle
her shoe, her face redder than red, and whispered ‘fuck a duck, what a way to start the day’.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Long Room, Trinity College Library

Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Piggery

The day before yesterday the man in the hat met a barker who worked for the Staden Kobenhavn Antiquities Corporation in Copenhagen, his novelty-bag full to brimming with knick-knacks and bric-a-brac. He set up his folding-table in front of the Waymart and carefully unloading his relics and artifacts, some so old and fusty they looked more like secondhand knick-knacks and bric-a-bracs than relics and curios. On the hinge of his novelty-bag, in gold-leaf and piping, was embossed, Rumst Curios and Oddities, Antwerpen, a relic from past employment or a simple fays paws. On the brim of his newsboy’s cap, stitched in red with curlicues and ornate threadwork, were the words Caen’s Probable’s, Basse-Normandie France. Stamped into the inside pocket of his greatcoat, which he wore tucked up and under his chin, was High Wycombe Haberdashers, Buckinghamshire. And written on the elbow-patch of his sports coat, faintly but readable just the same, was Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Piggery, a place of slaughter and grand manners.

Where do these people come from, and why? A planetary osmosis, knick knack knock (...a loaf of Quaker bread and a half-pound of jellied pork...) and so began another day for the man in the hat. If I were to buy all the Quaker bread and jellied pork in the world I would be the King of Quaker Bakeries and Jellied Pork Butcheries. Then what? No one, not a measly soul, would give a damn, so why bother…it’s a dumb idea, I know for certain, or as certain as certain can be, which is very uncertain indeed. I could, had I the henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) do anything, anything at all, anything I wanted…but then again there isn’t much I want to do, very little, in fact…but I suppose I should leave facts out of this, as facts have little to do with what one wants, very little indeed. In fact I have very little patience for facts, or anything that smells, tastes or remotely resembles a fact. Its all balderdash, whatever that means, balderdash I mean. What does that mean, that I don’t know what balderdash means…I wonder? That little wee waif of a girl, the one with the hearing-box strapped to her chest, I wonder if she has any patience for facts…I wonder, indeed I do? But then again…and again, I suppose…I wonder about a lot of things, way to many to wonder about at one time…way too many. This morning, not yesterday morning or the morning before yesterday, I awoke in a tizzy, not even knowing for certain what a tizzy was, not even an inkling. That’s not like me, not to understand inklings of things, but yesterday was different, different than the day before yesterday or the day before the day before yesterday. It’s a wonder, yes indeed, that I understand anything, anything at all.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Leaping, Jumping and Vaulting

Every day was a challenging day for the legless man (his chances at two-leggedness were middling to nil) as he dreamed about bounding and leaping, jumping and vaulting, skipping and jigging, hopping on one leg than the other, hurdling and springing like a Whirling Dervish on PCP. A waif of a boy with boyish hair and a boyish smile ferreted this way and that, legs jimmying and fritting about, his poor mamma trailing behind him, her skirts bluffing and pillowing. ‘…that’ll be quite enough’ she hollered, ‘...stop that ferreting and fritting about!’ The waifish boy with the boyish smile smiled at his mother, a toothsome baby-teeth smile, and fritted backwards down the sideways, his poor mamma hollering after him. ‘… jig-jiggery and PCP, goodness me’ thought the legless man.

A jelly-jam hawker with a salad-bowl haircut fell clacking to the asphalt, ‘…he’s having a rum fit!’ hollered a woman with a tuba clenched between her knees. ‘…strike up the band …a one a two a three…’ ‘…I’m hungry’ whimpered a child, a teething-ring on a piece of string gibbeting her neck. ‘I want a loaf of three-day-old bread’ said a man with a Pegler camera. ‘…hell, I’d settle for a four-day-old one’ said a man missing an ear. The hunger-line shifted to the left, and with it the sky above. ‘Oh fiddlesticks’ cursed a woman, ‘…I have an appointment with my pedicurist in an hour...’. ‘…shove over’ yipped the woman with the tuba clenched between her knees ‘I need room to play’.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Witnessing the Witness Witness

‘God will strike you down…smote’ yelled the Witness in a loud liturgical voice. The hungered queuing like naked children in front of the soup-house hissed and booed, a feeble-footed man with a snake charmer’s smile gave the Witness the bird, another spread the halves of his ass and farted, a woman with a hornets’ nest hairdo smiled and said ‘fuck you’, a boy with a slicked back cowlick read aloud a poem he’d found in a crumpled ball on the street,

a crow
caw cawing
a man hawk
-ing, a boy boun-
-cing a colour
-ed ball

‘Wait for me’ hollered a small girl with a bow in her hair. ‘…and me’ bawled an even smaller girl with knock-knees and a metal hasp attached to a box on her chest. The hunger-line squabbled round the block and up the street opposite the Waymart, a man with a walking-cane and a sackbut taking up the slack.

The legless man, having found himself in a jelly-jam, guttered all hope of living a two-legged life. He dreamt a life of bounding and leaping, jumping and vaulting, skipping and jigging, hopping on one leg than the other, hurdling and springing, a bipedal life. After witnessing the Witness turn a toad into a toady, which he accomplished with a stick and a deck of playing-cards, he felt his chances at two-leggedness were middling to nil. Even Dejesus’ claim that he could change a toady into a toad wasn’t enough to convince him that a two-legged life was within reach.

Gzowski interviews Iggy Pop

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Grandfather’s Chattel Stick

(…somewhere the sky is falling) the man in the hat awoke, lit a cigarette and decided to buy a cowboy hat with a chin-string and whistle. ‘What a beautiful day to buy a hat’ he said (...somewhere the sky is falling). He remembered things best left unremembered, his grandfather’s chattel-stick, the one he used to shooed pigeons, ‘foul creatures’, out of his way; his grandmamma’s scissors, the ones she used to shear and cobble chicken skin; his da’s Buick, the one that never seemed to run properly; his ma’s ironing-board, the one that was always collapsing and folding in on itself; his brother’s match package collection, the one he was forbidden to look at; his teacher’s haircut, blunt and bowled round the edges. Things like these were best left unremembered, as they tend to confuse and interrupt the trajectory of one’s life.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Autumn Leaves

‘When nothing matters you have to pay attention to everything’ said the legless man. ‘…I suppose you do’ said the alms, his left eye twitching madly. ‘Even those little things that seem so little are more important than you first thought they was’. ‘…were’ said the alms man. ‘…what?’ ‘Were’. ‘…of course, were more important than they was’. ‘Was were’. ‘…yes’. ‘Were was?’ ‘All those tiny wee things, the insignificant things, all of them was were’. ‘Have you a pocketcomb?’ asked the alms man. ‘No I haven’t one of those…’ said the legless man. ‘…well I do…’ ‘…have you?’ ‘…yes, in my coat pocket’. ‘How is that?’ ‘…is what?’ said the alms man. ‘That you have one of those but not one of these?’ pointing at his cap. ‘I have no need for one of those’. ‘…I see, one of these but not one of those’. ‘One of those what?’ ‘…I were only joking’ said the legless man, his eyes twitching madly. ‘…what time have you? Asked the alms man pleasantly. ‘…time?...I haven’t a watch’. ‘Well then how do you know what time it is? ‘From the colour of the sky…and..’ ‘…and what? ‘…and when my stomach starts to grumble’. The soup-line had begun forming across the street in front of the Waymart. ‘…well my watch…if I had one…would say its just about time for soup’ said the legless man. ‘…yes, so it would’ said the alms man. ‘…yes, most certainly it would…if I had one…a watch’. ‘I’m glad you were paying attention to the little things’ said the alms man. ‘…always do’ said the legless man, his eye wet with strain.

The soup-line jerked from side to side grumbling and cursing, a fat woman with a small dog screeched at a thin woman with a big dog, both woman cursing a medium-size woman with a small dog and a big dog who had elbowed her way to the front of the line. ‘I want a piece of new bread!’ yelled a woman in a hounds’-tooth skirt. ‘And I…I want soup that doesn’t have scalp-lice in it!’ yelled a second woman, her hands jittering like autumn leaves. A stout man in a rain slicker holding an umbrella yelled, ‘I want what I want, nothing less’. ‘I want a better spoon, not a dirty bent one’ said a meek boy in a school uniform with cap. A woman with hair like a wasp’s nest hollered at the top of her lungs, ‘…fuck it…gimme something or else I’ll kick the living shit out of you’. ‘Who?’ asked a man with a carryall and a bag of dirty socks. ‘Whoever gets in my damn way…!’ The alms man and the legless man decided to eat lunch at the Presbyterian church, where they heard they were serving potato soup and three-day-old Eucharist

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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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