Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tom Waits - I've been changed

The Halfwit’s Toilet

Lela worked as a scullery maid for the Leibarzt family. The Leibarzt family consisted of three children, two dimwits and a halfwit, their momma and Milberg their dada, who had mahjongg yellowed teeth an anchor tattoo on his left bicep. She cooked and cleaned for the family, picking up things and putting them in the rightful place. She lived at the back of the house in the summer kitchen, ate radishes and bulb onions, which she stole from the Leibarzt family garden, and slept in until 9:27 on Sundays and every second Thursday. The Leibarzt family ate boiled cabbage and ratfish, hooked to the surface of the aqueduct with pikes, and drank tinned milk Saturdays and every third Wednesday.

One day while tending to the halfwit’s toilet Lela fell upon a glove in the clothes basket next to the cistern. She reached into the basket, a bedlam of soiled nappies and torn stockings, and put the glove into her pocket, the smell of dander and feces filling her nose with otherworldly thoughts. Returning to the summer kitchen she looked both ways, chary that Milberg or his fat wife might be lurking in the shadows. She laid the glove on her bed and closed the heavy wooden door, the sun slanting in through the window, her thoughts on things she had forgotten and things she had yet to remember. Lela turned the glove inside out, the fur lining matted with sweat and perfume, the stitching doubled where the fingers were sewn into the palms. The glove smelled of black pepper and olestra, sinfulness and heaving.

Perros de la Cogida

The Arbëreshë brothers elbowed their way past the harridan and into the fray, never once saying ‘pardon mow’ or ‘j-fescues’. The brothers were know far and wide for their crumply faces, doltishness, oversized feet and disrespect for queues and line-ups. ‘…I am looking for a eslovaquia dog called baviera...’ said the second brother, the first brother standing crumpled at his side. ‘…he was last seen roaming the streets of Navalcamero…’ said the first brother, the second brother standing as still as a fallen star. ‘…Navalcamero Madrid…’. A man with a gouged out eye, his cheeks pickled with sweat, said ‘…I have seen him, but he goes by the name of Ludevít Štúr…’. ‘…and I know him as Marcomanni…’ said a man with a ratfish face. ‘…Thuringii…’ said a man with a sour face. ‘…he followed the Völkerwanderung from the Beskid mountains to the Bieszczady, a herding dog he was…’. ‘…a Rugian lapdog, or was it Heruli…?’ said the ratfish faced man, his legs trembling. ‘…de hondennaam is kleines Stück eins…’ said a man so fat his face hung like a tablecloth from his chin. ‘…perros de la cogida…’ yelled a short man in short pants. ‘…y gatos de la cogida…’ yipped the fat man with the fat face. ‘…caballos de la cogida, también…’.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fryderyk Orphanage

No sooner had the sky awakened, festooned with balloons, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and green, did the moon fall into dereliction, the once dark night sky now a pageantry of glorious enormity. The man in the hat, awaking with a start, rubbed the night’s sin from his eyes, his face blanched, and exclaimed ‘never in my life have I awakened to such a glorious morning sky’. No sooner had the man in the hat stepped foot out of his lean-to than he notice a man in a hooligan’s hat walking sidelong across the sideways, the sun shining brilliantly on his earflapped head. ‘Never in my life have I seen such a strange spectacle’ groused the man in the hat, the sun shimmering like a gold coin. The Kangaroo twins came from a long line of philanthropists known for their generous spirit and generous generosity. Their great-great grandfather Boleslaw smelted nickel, donating the profits to the Fryderyk orphanage, home to halfwit children and imbeciles. Ludmila, the twins great aunt, owned a handbag franchise that sold sow’s ear handbags to dolts and halfwits, bequeathing the proceeds to a home for the downtrodden and dim. Their great uncle Zygmunt made millions on hedge funds, donating his commissions to the Podhale asylum for the criminally inane.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Corspotium Finistère

The Kangaroo twins lived in a tumbledown bedsit, Edwina, the eldest, doing the cooking, and Edward, the youngest by 27½ seconds, doing the cleaning up. The twins were friends with the dogmen, the biggest to the littlest, the fattest to the skinniest, the hairiest to the baldest, the meanest to the nicest. The twins helped the dogmen, the biggest to the littlest, the fattest to the skinniest, the hairiest to the baldest, the meanest to the nicest, rack and tan their eel catch, rubbing coarse salt into the flayed skin. Edwina wore Bedouin sandals made from the softest calfskin, the soles trenched with pebbles, the sides quim with gore. The Corspotium Finistère, in the woodlands above the Elephantine mountains, was home to the bogmen; the sworn enemy of the dogmen.

Over the entrance to the Corspotium Finistère was written Kampets Dolores, a reminder that all is not lost if it was not found to begin with. Luca Berzsenyi played the cimbalom, cradling the hammer on the folds of his cassock. He generally played a mazurka or a jig, sometimes switching in mid-song to an oberek or a kujawiak. The bogmen, not caring at all for the mazurka or the tsymbaly, preferred the less grandiloquent zither and the modest 4-string banjo. The bogmen held an annual Zywiec revival, where all the banjo pickers and zither strummers got together to bring in the late autumn harvest. Zither players came from all around, some from the Beskid mountains, where the zither was considered a sacred instrument, second only to the ophicleide, which was played on Sundays and every third Tuesday. From Podhale, nestled in the Bieszczady mountains a stones throw from Gory Swietokrzyskie, known for its ancient sulfur springs and enormous Pierogis, came the men of the fifth 4-string banjo quadrille, known for their lightening speed picking and jangling 4-string overtures.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Imbeciles and Gadabouts

Dejesus awoke from troubled dreams. Before falling asleep he’d eaten a queso de cabra sandwich and swigged a bottle of Horace Bitters. The day began its slow decline, the sun a yellow stain in the bluing sky. The littlest dogmen awoke with a start, the sky having fallen on top of his sleeping head, men with hobbled legs, ogres and imbeciles, pips and gadabouts, men in hats and men without hats, woman and children, grandma’s and grandpa’s, fishmongers and abattoir hands, handcart pullers and pushcart pushers, brothers and sisters, all and every, every and all awoke.

Some days are less rainy than others. Some days it doesn’t rain at all. Other days it rains so hard that no one, not a puller or a pusher, leaves his home. On those days when it rains, and rain it does, the sky awash with heavy gray clouds, the pushers and pullers push and pull, their carts full of pushed and pulled things. Gadabouts and imbeciles, ogres and pips, the hobbled and sleepy, all and every, every and all awake, pushing and pulling, the sky awash in rain.

For breakfast Dejesus cooked a skillet of bacon, three eggs, two slivers of toast, as he cut his bread in small slices, saving what he could for tomorrow’s breakfast, and a glassful of brown turbid water, culled from the bottom of the aqueduct. He ate with tolerable relish, as eating, especially in the mornings, was not something he took great joy in. At 27½ minutes past the littlest hand Dejesus was meeting the man in the hat to discuss the likelihood of the sky falling, the man in the hat convinced that it would, knocking his hat off his head, Dejesus convinced that skies only fell in theory, not practice, and theories weren’t worth the foolscap they were written on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Brothers Tomado del Catálogo

The morning air lapped his face like cold milk, the sun hidden behind a lump of gray clouds. The Cataluña sisters sold queso de cabra from the back of a handcart, all three sisters taking turns pulling the cart from town to town. The punier of the sisters, Esmeralda, who’s left leg was two inches longer than her right, hobbled and tugged on the handcart rope, her feet shifting unevenly beneath the weight of the cart. Miriam, who’s right leg was an inch shorter than her left, pulled the handcart like a bull cow, one foot in front of the other. Collette, who’s legs were a hair’s width dissimilar, pulled the handcart with ease, barely breaking a sweat. The brothers Tomado del Catálogo sold old detective novels from the back of a funeral cart, three for a dollar, half a dozen for two. To Tomas, the biggest of the brothers, was delegated the job of pushing, as he among the brothers had the biggest legs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Lattelekom Bakery

His granddad wore a ox-cap with the brim turned inside out to keep the sun from splicing his eyes. He toiled for the Lattelekom Bakery for 27 years, delivering spice cake and rye bread. He drove the bakery truck from daylight to nightfall, referring to a ledger with the addresses and names of his customers on the empty seat beside him. His good leg, the one without the wooden peg buckled to the stump, worked the gas peddle and clutch, the wooden one swinging beneath his trouser leg like a wayward child. He shifted with his right hand, his left wiggling the cigarette lighter trying to get the coil to engage with the socket. Every morning before work his granddad ate porridge, covering the top with yellow currants and two spoonfuls of black sugar, grandma complaining that he’d fall stiff dead if he kept eating all that ‘block shugar and yeller death’. The Lattelekom Bakery sat between the Cushman’s Apothecary and the Sears in a red brick building with floury windows and a smokestack growing through the rooftop. The loading bay was round the back adjacent to the Sears’ parking lot, where the baker’s assistant’s stole smokes and teacups of black molasses coffee. His granddad stole away to the loading bay next to the Apothecary exit, fixing himself a shag-end with verses ripped out of grandma’s Gideon. He smoked Matthew, Mark and Luke, rolling the shag-end close to his chest, not wanting to draw attention to himself and have some half-crazed Gomorrahite curse his soul, Revelations wafting through the space in his teeth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Settimo Torinese

When he was a boy the shamble leg man lived with his grandparents and a three-legged dog, his grandparents keeping the dog in an old refrigerator box in the basement. They lived in a three-room bedsit in Settimo Torinese, not far from the first settlement of the Inquisition. One day he saw a man riding a bicycle sniffing glue from a plastic lunch bag, his feet skipping off the peddles like thrown dice. Printed on the back of his shirt in squiggly handwriting was, Arusha Drycleaners, Only the Best Will Do. The plastic bag scrunched into his face, his mouth forming a perfect O, he breathed in through his nose, the bag collapsing with every breath. My, my, thought the shamble leg man, my indeed. ‘…there aren’t any answers in a bag of glue…’ he said, ‘…not today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow…’. The man on the bicycle stopped peddling and stared up at the sun, the bag collapsed into his face, his feet pegged into the asphalt. The shamble leg man, unable to take his eyes off the man, said ‘…give ‘em a bicycle and he’ll make a glue trolley out of it, strange beast man is …’. The man, unaware that was being watched, pealed the bag off his face and stuffed it in his pocket, his hands trembling like windblown twigs.

‘…so this is what I have to look forward to…’. The shamble leg man threw himself into the world, his insides colliding with the outside, neither giving a damn about the other. His world only made sense when the two, the inner and the outer, were seen together as one, the world that he had little control over and the one he could euthanize with Chalmers Gin and smoked kippers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

El Hombre de la Pierna del Paso Torpe

El hombre en el sombrero et el hombre de la pierna del paso torpe parley avec la puta grandee, qui parley avec la puta hermana, c’est la vie, la vie de siècle. Ici, voila, crests la femme en retard, la femme qui parole avec de Jesús, le plus grandee mot du vie! Icy la, el hombre ápodo parley avec el hombre de la limosnas, le plus grosz mamma enfant, crests do mage, roué, crests do mage. Knowing that he didn’t know what he knew, or anything worth knowing, the shamble leg man fell into a fit of pique and ran running into the street, arms flailing. ‘…surely night must fall, and with haste…’ whimpered the shamble leg man, the sky darkening round the edges. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred, so onward he went, the awkwardness as plain as clothes on a clothesline. ‘…el hombre en el sombrero, de la pierna del paso torpe…’. He straightened his coat sleeve and fell headlong into the day, not knowing what lay in store for him. ‘…why is there nothing rather than something…? This will not do, he thought; all this kibitzing and tomfoolery. Only fools and oafs give in to foolishness, men with nothing better to do than cast the last stone, men of big littleness, the slow witted and feeble. Images of the grotesque picked at his thoughts, big little people with little big heads and small little arms, small little big people with big small little feet that tramped the sideways cautiously, the bedridden and infirmed, palsied and jackbooted, simple people with big little plans, plans that were meant to change the course of their lives. Out of courtesy, nothing more, the shamble leg man went about his business, not batting an eye or casting the first stone. Today he would buy a new pair of loafers, wingtips with little perforations in the tops, then quickening home sit in front of the fire, the one he would light with crumpled newsprint and a long wooden match, a fat yellow moon belling the night sky, everyone asleep, everyone except him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kamble Flanagan

Moving onward up, the days getting longer and chillier, the shamble leg man entered a clockmaker’s shop in General Pacheco. He picked up a silver wristwatch, and winding the stem between his thumb and forefinger, the mechanisms spinning, said ‘…goodness, where has the time gone…?’ The clockmaker, his hands wet with linseed oil, saying ‘…and never too late…’. The shamble leg man left the clockmaker’s shop, a shiny new wristwatch in his pocket, and headed north, his feet skipping like stones across the pavement.

In the branches of a stoolie elm sat a yellow-eyed crow caw-cawing, the sun risen in a blue opal sky, then nothing, not a twitter or a caw, empty nothingness. Later that day the shamble leg man ran into Kamble Flanagan, a mutineer who wore his hair in a tonsure, giving him the appearance of a dandy or a fop. After exchanging pleasantries both men went their separate ways, the shamble leg man to the southwest, Kamble Flanagan to the northwest, neither man caring where the other was going or why.

The grotesque grew, filling up the spaces and crannies between the beautiful and high spirited. Everywhere he turned, and turn he did, the shamble leg man came face to face with grotesque things, faces guilder with hatred and corruption, bodies like sad corpses, people with no faces, their identities chopped away with hatchets and pig-knives, the deformed and twisted, beguiled and forgotten, a dark patois of sad things, the grotesque of the grotesque.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saint Roquentin de Clamence

Saint Roquentin de Clamence ate boiled mutton with apricot jelly, the folds of his mouth slithered with pork grease. Maximilien François Marie met Saint Roquentin de Clamence in Targovishte-Turgovishte in 1927, both men in search of a muleteer who ate everything with sugar molasses. ‘…when the world comes to a spinning halt, its axel broken in two, the firemen will be the only one’s left standing…’ said Maximilien François Marie. ‘…then who will fill the fire-buckets…?’ asked Saint Roquentin de Clamence. ‘…the muleteers…’replied Maximilien François Marie, ‘…of course…’ said Saint Roquentin de Clamence, ‘…the muleteers…’.

That evening, under a feral yellow moon, the man in the hat left for home, his mouth bitter with regret and other people’s lies. Far, far away in the township of Moşilor a man ate his paper hat, chomping it into confetti. On the other side of far, far away a man in a bosun’s cap ate a pile of shredded paper, washing it back with a tableful of Moşilor’s Brandy. That morning, at exactly 27½ minutes past the hour, a man decided to put an end to his sorrows, thrashing himself over the head with a Pop-siècle placemat, taking out a chunk of his skull and a picture on the wall behind him.

‘I’ve done nothing of any use in my life, or at least nothing that would be recognized as such, and I’ve traveled more or less to the same places that every other Spaniard has. Writing is the only activity that distracts me and makes me forget the very unfunny drama of every-day existence’ – Camilo Jose Cela.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Muleteer

The muleteer crossed the half-penny bridge, his mule-wagon loaded down with eel skins and starfish. That morning before leaving home he packed his haversack with apple cores (to feed the mules) cider and enough shag to roll a day’s worth of roll-your-owns. He yanked hard, then pulled back on the reins, his hands rubbed raw with strop oil and mule piss. ‘…dumb animals don’t know their right side from their left, cursed beasts…’. He pulled up alongside the aqueduct, lowered himself from the buckboard and fed the mules, their coats slick with sweat and day-old piss. He reached into his overcoat pocket and pulled out a roll-you-own, the end wet with spittle. He bit down hard on the tamped end, scallops of smoke tearing his eyes. The mules, hobbled with exhaustion, chomped on the apple cores, their eyes caulked with bluebottles and dirt. The city of Targovishte-Turgovishte sat in a dell 27 ½ hectors below sea level. The muleteer had lived in the city for the past 100 years, his forbearers having built the first muleteer colony in all of Targovishte-Turgovishte. The alms man collided with the muleteer, both men colliding with the legless man, who, re-buckling the straps to his stump-ends, didn’t see either man coming.

Maximilien François Marie

The Dos Hermanas brothers came by way of the elephantine mountain where people wore cassock’s skirts and woolly wool caps winter, summer and fall, leaving their heads tonsure-bare in springtime when the sun shone like a blacksmith’s fire. Then eldest brother, Sachem, wore a cap with a pheasant plume hatband, as he was the sage and learned one, the captain of the Dos Hermanas brothers, of which there were many, 27 brothers, 27 half brothers and 27 half-half brothers. The man in the hat was acquainted with the Dos Hermanas brothers having met them at the church bazaar one chilly autumnal day. He espied the brothers from a distance, picking them out in the queue waiting for the doors to the church to be opened. The brothers came each year to the church bazaar to buy Pop-siècle placemats and toothpick dories. And each year without fail they had a run in with the dogmen, the two, the Dos Hermanas brothers and the dogmen, fighting it out in the church parking lot, to the winner going all the Pop-siècle placemats and toothpick dories the other had purchased. This went on for years until the eldest Dos Hermanas brother decided he’d had enough and called in quits, the dogmen taking this as a sign of their omnipotence, thereby redeeming whatever failings they might have harbored about dogmen being dimwitted and salubrious. The harridan’s sister, not caring a tinker’s cuss whether the dogmen or the Dos Hermanas brothers bought her wares, decamped and moved her table to the farthest nave of the church basement, next to the jug-eared patron Maximilien François Marie who had but one thing for sale, a piece of barn wood with the face of Christ wood burned on one side and a rabbit on the other.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Brothers Quay - Institute Benjamenta

The Brothers Quay

Institute Benjamenta - Robert Walser

The Blue Sky Blue

Outside whistling, his cheeks puffing, sat the alms man, ‘…why is there nothing rather than something…?’ he asked. ‘…why isn’t the sky the sea and the sea the sky…?’ Curling his lips into a sow’s ear, his mouth slackening, he whistled, shooshooshoooew. Not a soul heard, not a measly soul. Autumn apples sang from their gallows, pick me, I am the best apple in the whole orchard. The day began as it always did, full of mystery and singing apples. Rattling up the sideways came a tinker, his smithy cart jingling. His tinker’s beard ruffling in the midmorning breeze, the tinker said ‘…Make way, make way for the image of God…’. I am the best apple in the whole orchard, shooshooshoooew. Make way make way, shooshooshoooew, the tinker’s cart is on the way, shooshooshoooewshooshooshoooew, ‘…Make way, make way for the image of God…’. The man in the hat, eyeing the blue sky blue, said ‘…why is the blue sky blue and not orange...?’ The Stellenbosch sisters, kibbling, took in the noontime sun, the eldest sister swatting bluebottles from the kip of her face. ‘…another day after day…’ said the man in the hat, ‘…and with no end in sight…’.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Stellenbosch Sisters

The dogmen avoided the Cataluña sisters, having neither a liking for licorice sticks or creatures more hideous than themselves. Knowing as they did Dejesus’ fondness for licorice, they parried across the sideways in search of the sister’s sweets shop, the littlest dogman sniffing out licorice sweets and hideousness. The Stellenbosch sisters sold odds and ends from a pushcart, the eldest sister Eloise having a fondness for Western Cape sweetmeats and card tricks.

(Dear reader, if read you do, you might query as to the umpteen character driven into the plot of this pilotless thing, and right you are to query. The world is peopled by umpteen people, people whom you and I will never meet, never acknowledge as people at all. These are the people that people the world of my imagination, the peopleless people, the lost and forgotten people, the people, that think as we might, we can never people in our peopled world. I feel it my duty to people my peopled world, the world of my imagination, with such people, the peopleless).

The Stellenbosch sisters were known far and wide for their odds and ends, and people were willing to pay handsomely for a tiny odd or an even tinier end. The harridan’s sister loathed the sisters, saying they brought an unwholesomeness to the church bazaar with their soiled skirts and filthy mouths. ‘…for the last time stop hollering…’ screamed the harridan’s sister. Dejesus hid behind the rector’s altar, his thoughts on black aces and cudgel blows. The dogmen circled the church, the littlest dogman peeking around corners and behind nooks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Cataluña Sisters

Dejesus hid behind a wall of hideous creatures with hideous faces and hideous smiles, some so hideous even the hideous couldn’t stand to look at them. The dogmen, their eyes cowing the sideways for Dejesus, stopped in front of the wall of the hideous, the littlest dogman scanning the hideous for Dejesus. ‘…tomorrow I will buy a loaf of Quaker bread and a half-pound of jellied pork and make myself a boiled ham sandwich with Gibbs’ hard mustard..’.

The Cataluña sisters made licorice sticks in anise, raspberry, pumpkin and vanilla. Hideous as they appeared, so hideous that the hideous couldn’t stand to look at them, they couldn’t keep up with the demand for their licorice sticks. Dejesus bought anise and pumpkin licorice sticks from the Cataluña sisters, sidling in to their shop backwards, lest he fall prey to their hideousness. The dogmen avoided the Cataluña sisters, having neither a liking for licorice sticks or creatures more hideous than themselves. Knowing as they did Dejesus’ fondness for licorice, they parried across the sideways in search of the sister’s sweets shop, the littlest dogman sniffing out licorice sweets and hideousness.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fealsúnacht dar Teanga

Canonical Inquisitions

The day before the man in the hat found the cadet’s cap and the monger careened out of control, the dogmen came to town looking for Dejesus, who they claimed pilfered a rack of dried eels. The biggest dogmen at the front, his feet beating the ground like piledrivers, the littlest at the rear, they marched into town, a beastly southeast wind picking up behind them. The alms man was the first to catch sight of them, the biggest dogman pounding the barrel of his chest with both fists. Across the sideways huddled under the Seder grocer’s awning sat the legless man, a smirk on his unshaven face, another day having begun in the shadow of the Waymart clock. The harridan, who awoke that morning in a sweat, the night’s shivers deep in her bones, stood facing the Greek deli, her skirts bluffing in the southeasterly wind. On the topmost step of the church, poking out from beneath an upturned pew, one of the Witness’ pamphlets rustled in the churchly breeze, the byline under the front page reading, Melvin J.K. Melvin, attorney at law, Canonical Inquisitions. ‘…fuck this…’ said the alms man, ‘…I’ve had enough of those mucky cunts…’.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat

The Mercury Fish truck caromed round the corner, the monger driven to madness. He counted to 100 backwards, then forwards, the tyres spinning in circles. ‘…for the love of God hit the brakes…’ hollered the monger’s assistant. His body stiffened to meet the oncoming collision, the man in the hat sat on the curbside, the neon sign over the L'Hospitalet de Llobregat blinking on and on and off. The truck veered to the left then the right then continued down the blacktop fishtailing this way and that. The monger reached across the cab, and grabbing hold of his assistant’s arm said, ‘…it’ll be a cold day in de Llobregat when I give into simple calculus…’. The assistant pulled out his Tyack pin harp and began to play, his eyes filled with terror.

The night before the monger lay awake in his bed thinking of ways he would die: syphilis, mouth cankers, violent whooping, coronary distress, virulence, aphasia, crabs, louts, solar winds that would carry him away to outer space where he would die a lonely cold death, arrhythmia, fainting, gonorrhea, tripping over the curbside and careening into oncoming traffic, some form of plague, glue sniffing and drowning. He had been under the employ of the Mercury Fish Co. for the past 27 ½ years, 4 of those as a monger’s assistant, 3 as a driver’s assistant, and 20 ½ as a driver first class, a job he took with him to the grave, and then some. His father worked for the Co. until he was driven to the edge of madness, fell off, and found satisfaction in less complicated things, mending socks, pinochle, trump the King and long pining afternoon naps.

The day before the man in the hat found a cadet’s cap in a furrow of leaves and dead things, the brim turned inside out. Holding the cap in his hand he eyeballed the insignia on the front, San Carlos de Bariloche Cadets, the smell from the felt liner smarting his eyes. He buried the cap under a swell of wet rotting leaves and dead things and went onward into the day, his thoughts on other things, things that occupied his mind when he wasn’t thinking about other people’s caps and malodorous things.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

1000 + 2

The first mate fell to the deck, a hole in his head where an eye once looked out onto the world. Boguslaw pulled the first mate up from the deck of the flotilla, and gathering him into the sling of his arms stuck his thumb in the hole where an eye once looked out onto the world. The man in the hat, his overcoat snagged, said to Boguslaw ‘…push it in further…’. The first mate moaned as Boguslaw dug his thumb deeper into the black socket of his eye. Boguslaw fell to his left knee and crossed his chest with his right hand, the first mate wailing for mercy, the man in the hat trying to free his coat from the Bishop’s thumb.

Out behind the barker’s table the harridan’s sister sat under a hive of morning glories, her hair done up in bows and ribbons, the smile on her face as bright as summer sun in August. The alms man sat beneath a great yawing oak canopy, the smile on his face bitten with distemper. The legless man sat in a hunker under the sky, the corners of his mouth drawn upwards forming a slack jawed smile. Empanada de Amore sat under a yellow jaundice moon, a beaming smile on her face. A corn-faced man sat under a broiling hot sun in Sonora el Camino, his teeth yellow with pipe tar. 27½ jigs to the leeside, corporeal. ‘…the rain will fall when its damn good and ready…’ said the alms man grudgingly. ‘…what do you know about falling…?’ said the legless man challengingly. ‘…I knows what I knows…’ said the alms man, ‘…and that’s that...’. The sky didn’t fall that day, or the next, but the rain fell in sheets, scouring the ground like a trackman’s broom. ‘…horses run and that’s that…’ said the alms man to the legless man, who not giving a thither crossed his arms like this +. That was that, or so.

Its never too late to learn a new trick. Her breasts were hard as chestnuts. Wait for me in the yawning, I will bring you a bucket of fen. Her breasts were harder than Christmas chestnuts. Wait for me in the dawning, I will bring you a bucket of slough. Her chestnut breast were harder than Christmas candy. His thoughts screamed in his head, a child’s scribbler gone awry. That was that (+) or so. The harridan sat under a starlit sky counting the stitches in her skirt, 1000 + 2, or so. The sky didn’t fall that day, or the day after. Tell me a story. Tell me the story of your life. Tell me. Tell me how you came to be. Tell me the story. The sky alit with stars the harridan counted the stitches in her skirt, 1002 + 3.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boguslaw's Colossal Brain

Boguslaw lived in a one-room bedsit in a two bedsit house. He was the person you went to if you had a question. Boguslaw had a colossal brain, so colossal was his brain that it barely fit under his red redcap, which he wore morning, noon and night. The man in the hat met Boguslaw at Ships Day, 1978. A flock of crows landed skidding onto the gangplank of the flotilla, a yellow-eyed crow pecking at the first mate’s eyes, blood splashing onto the foremast. Boguslaw sped to the first mate’s aid, the crows scattering at his approach. The man in the hat watched from behind a statue of Bishop Berkeley, the Bishop’s thumb catching a thread in his overcoat.

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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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