Saturday, January 31, 2009

os Peixes estão Mordend

‘…die Fische beißen…’ vouched a man with tophus gout. ‘…i pesci stanno mordendo…’ shouted a man wearing a vouchsafe cap. ‘…de vissen bijten…’ echoed a third. ‘…os peixes estão mordend…’ insisted a woman in a fur coat yipping like a coyote. Out from behind a fichus trees, his scalp crawly with lice, the littlest dogman shouted ‘…los pescados están mordiendo…’. The Troon brothers of South Ayrshire and the Gravesend brothers of Kent were in cahoots with the Romford sisters of Havering and the High Wycombe sisters of Buckinghamshire. All eight, for there were two brothers and two sisters per pair, were in cahoots with Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois who was in cahoots with Thurrock Gray.

Lela’s great-great grandmamma deloused her great-great granddad on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings. First she applied a scalding hot compress to his head, folding it under his chin and cinching the knot taut with her teeth. Next she poured boiling hot oil over the compress, her great-great granddad clapping his hands over his ears, the floor briny with oil and drown lice. Next she unwrapped her great-great granddad’s head, the compress unraveling like a thrown stitch, and said ‘…fetch me a cup of gin, and be quick about it…’.

Bear with me please, this will all soon come to an end. The Echt twins of Limburg and the Emmerich triplets of Nordrhein-Westfalen, equaling five, two Echt and three Emmerich, first met the day after the Troon brothers of South Ayrshire and the Gravesend brothers of Kent met with the Romford sisters of Havering and the High Wycombe sisters of Buckinghamshire to hatch a scheme against Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois, who was in cahoots with Thurrock Gray who made book on Saturdays and Tuesdays afternoons in the parking lot behind the Church of the Perpetual Sinner. The twins and the triplets met scavenging for scraps of linoleum and old milk crates behind the Waymart, the twins, Bessie and Ollie, having better luck than the triplets, Ansell and Hockley, who had only managed to scavenged a snail-size piece of linoleum and a milk crate with one side missing.

Lela’s great-great grandmamma deloused her great-great granddad on Saturdays and Tuesday evenings, leaving Wednesdays and every other Sunday for canning peaches and attending to her corns, which grew in abundance on her toes and back. Having never heard of anyone having corns on their back, Lela figured her great-great grandmamma was telling a fib, when all she really wanted was some peace and quiet from the hubbub of familial life.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Jakobstad Shipping Co.

Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois, his surplice billowing, headed for the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, as today was the day before The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus, and as with any day that begins with a prayer and a cup of cold tea, he felt a cruel grumbling in the well of his stomach. The Riga Jurmala Hatmakers ship hats by sea with the Jakobstad Shipping Co., owned and operated by the Jacosta sisters of Western Finland. (His portmanteau dragged behind him like a caudal stick. His greatcoat portmanteau tailed behind him like a lazy child. His greatcoat coat dragged behind his portmanteau port like a lazy child swinging a caudal stick. Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois surplice was greater than the sum of its parts. Hem, greater than its hem). The Jakobstad Shipping Co. shipped linen goods and women’s gloves by sea, ahem-ahem…

The man in the hat, decked out in his newly acquired three-gallon Stetson, crossed the sideways crossways, his feet marching in the direction of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, whereupon he was to meet with the caudal monk who cared for poor souls and the weakly. As he was not a man of lithely accruements, he stood astride the crossway, angling his torso ever so gently, aligning it with the lamplighter’s lamppost. When he felt the gift of balance, an accruement he sought in most things, he edged his way curbing, making book with the curbside.

When he was a lad, a wee waif of a lad, the da took him pole fishing in the big blue pond behind the Waymart, the da and he chipping Cokes and sharing a packet of slate-thin crisps, the da eating more than his accruement entitled him to. ‘…but da…’ he exclaimed, his face reddening‘…the crisps are for the both of us…?’ The da, screwing his face into a briar fist, the sun belting down, cast his fishing pole into the blue waters of the big blue pond, and looking out of the edge of his eye said ‘…yes son, but the da gets what he wants, so stop your blubbering and catch a whaler…’.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Rope Dancer

The very next day. The very next day the sun shone like a sizzling red onion, layer upon layer of dazzling radiant sparkle. Awaking from a swelter, his hair spooled into a topknot, the shamble leg man sat on the edge of his cot musing, his thoughts on broiled onions and whitefish swooned in seine wine. From his window he could smell the sea salty pong of netted fish, gum soled boats and rubber gloves. His da’s friend worked hauling nets for 30 years, the tendons of his hands stretched taut as piker string. His da’s friend, Dobele Dobeles, fell overboard, bobbling like a toy boat, his body washing up three years later, a cowl of net lassoed round his neck.

Every other Saturday and third Wednesday the El Palomar sets sail from Buenos de Alamance for the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, her belly full of sweater wool and women’s haberdashery. The ship’s first mate, a loutish swine with a boar’s hair back and half shorn ear, recites from a book he keeps stowed in a canvas sac slung over his shoulder, “Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had commenced his performance: he had come out at a little door, and was going along the rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the market-place and the people. When he was just midway across, the little door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow like a buffoon sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go on, halt-foot," cried his frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones, interloper, sallow-face!--lest I tickle thee with my heel!”
[1] When he’s done reading he stows the book snuggly back into his canvas sac and goes back to hauling and heaving, his boar’s hair back bristling with sweat and sea salty water. Men such as he are an anomaly among seafaring men, as reading and first-mating are not generally found together in loutish swine.
[1] Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

la Bochalema Norte de Santander

When the man in the hat was a boy he wore knee-highs with short socks and a woolen cap with forest earflaps. His mamma, making sure he was tightly dressed, feared he might catch his death from a cold or get run over by one of the many bread trucks that ripped up and down the streets at breakneck speeds. Long before the day when the sky fell for the first time, he played leaner’s up against the wall of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, a molly-faced priest chastising him for being a little devil. ‘…you, my son, are the devil’s breed, and boys like you never amount to anything…’ said the molly-faced priest, the skin around his eyes tightening, ‘…scat…!’ He ran until his chest hurt, until he felt like his lungs would explode; he ran like the devil’s son, his woolen cap pulled down over his face.

The guardians of la Bochalema Norte de Santander wear short pants with knee-high socks. La Bochalema Norte de Santander is kept under lock and key in the sanctuary closet next to the altar, where no one save the young boys and the cantor’s assistant have access to the priest’s vestments. Lela’s great-great granddad, an elder of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, started out as the priest’s dresser, costuming father Jacob in robes and liturgical shawl every Sunday at 9 am sharp. On Friday mornings at half-past nine the Mercury Fish truck delivers 27½ pounds of whitefish to the back gate of the church, the vicarage cook collecting the boxes from the back sled of the truck.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pennies for the Poorhouse Poor

Had he known anyone from Nibelungenbrücke he’d have given them a cherry smile, but as this was not the case he smiled in the window, his face broken into a million pieces, a lowly chump out for a lowly walk. He had what might be called a bivalve face, cut in halves, one for each side of his head. The night before last while out on one of his lowly walks, the sky blacker than old negro pantomime, he came across a man begging for scraps, his face ragged with the nighttime cold. Stopping, heading headlong he stopped again, then started and stopped, carrying on like this until he stood face to face with the begging beggar. ‘…pennies for the poorhouse poor…’ the beggar chimed, his voice raking. A scoundrel in a brown fedora stooped, adjusted the buckle of his belt, kidskin with double-stitching, then turning tail headed headlong into the night, a foul stench cutting the air like a foil. ‘…coppers for the poorhouse poor…’ yammered the begging beggar, ‘…its never too late to pay for your sins…’. A second man, adorned in a checkered jacket with extra-wide lapels, stopped, squatted and let go with a trumpeting fart, the spool of his ass unraveling like an old sweater. ‘…alms for the poorhouse poor…’ said the begging beggar, his face clenched like a fist. A third man, decked out in a seersucker suit, a silk handkerchief stuffed in his breast-pocket, stopped, took a deep gasping breath and said ‘…whore’s whore, where have I put my watch...?’ Out from behind a cocks’-strop hopscotched Thurrock Gray, his tarweed cap tippling on the middlemost point of his head. Thinking that today was the day before The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus he inquired where he might find Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois, hoping to offer up his glad tidings and a loaf of Quaker-seedcake. ‘…your timing is well off…’ said the begging beggar, ‘…seedcake day is the day after tomorrow, nine o’clock sharp…’. To which Thurrock Gray said ‘…the spool of my ass is unraveling like an old sweater…’. Standing not too far off counting the buttons on his jacket the third man said ‘…whore’s whore, where have I put my watch...?’ The man in the hat, feeling that not all was lost, turned tilting in the direction of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, and humming made his way headlong into the cheery, cheery night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The da Did

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…’. We’ve heard this before, back then when we could see with our ears and hear with our eyes, on tippy-toes yanking the clouds from the sky, shouting and dancing, back when nothing made sense, and those things that did we could care less about. Back before the belly laughs and the cobbler mamma served us in milk-laced bowls, mamma shouting ‘…stop that clatter, stop it…’. The pudding, tapioca and raisin, wee ones we fed on milk rations and salted crackers, waiting for the da to come bounding through the door, we wee ones with our milky faces and coin-big eyes. And the ma darting in and out fixing the da some piping hot stew, stew-bone slipping in the ladled pot, the da smiling like a Cheshire. Back when it all went to rot, back when fettle and spoil filled our eyes with anguish, and we wee ones not even knowing what the word ‘anguish’ meant. And the ma dancing, darting to and fro, the da smiling like a Cheshire, the da did. Back then back.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Begging for Scraps

A beggar with a gamy leg scrabbled inwards across the thruway in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv, a small bird cradled in the palm of his upturned hand. In Rabat, Rabat-Sale a beggar with a gamy leg scrabbled outwards across the expressway, a small bird coddled in the palm of his outturned hand. Unbeknown to one another they started the day in exactly the same manner. ‘…get out of my way you beggar…!’ screeched the first beggar. ‘…and you mine…!’ shrieked the second beggar. ‘…stop begging…’ said the second beggar. ‘…and you, you stop…’ said the first, his hands waving. Germering Bayern and Gateshead Gateshead’s begged for scraps of linoleum. The alms man, espying them begging for scraps in front of the Waymart exclaimed ‘…away with you beggars, this is my lawn…’. This went on for weeks, the alms man exclaiming to the beggars and the beggars, Germering Bayern and Gateshead Gateshead’s, begging for scraps of linoleum in front of the Waymart. The beggars begged and the alms man exclaimed, neither one aware that the other was aware of the other. Alms, trinkets and scraps, chary for the charied. One would fare better queuing with the down-and-outs, the vagrant and soiled, spoons clacking, elbows elbowing, feet shuffling like cards beneath the splintered soup-house tables. Life bemoans the little, the beggars and hobos, the one-legged and downtrodden, the fettled and spoiled.

Edmond Jabès - 1912–1991




Friday, January 23, 2009

24 Na Hrázi Street

From behind a stand of Poplars a voice quailing said, “…Idle reader: thou mayest believe me without any oath that I would this book, as it is the child of my brain, were the fairest, gayest, and cleverest that could be imagined. But I could not counteract Nature's law that everything shall beget its like; and what, then, could this sterile, illtilled wit of mine beget but the story of a dry, shrivelled, whimsical offspring, full of thoughts of all sorts and such as never came into any other imagination--just what might be begotten in a prison, where every misery is lodged and every doleful sound makes its dwelling? Tranquillity, a cheerful retreat, pleasant fields, bright skies, murmuring brooks, peace of mind, these are the things that go far to make even the most barren muses fertile, and bring into the world births that fill it with wonder and delight…”[1] From beneath a cullet of leaves a dog yowls at the moon, its tail scabbed to the rump of its leg. A lamplighter skips jacking across the tar, the wicks of his fingers blackened with soot. y Saavedra, weighing his thoughts from one hand to the other steeples across the tarweed, the moon crooning like a stoolie.

He lived at 24 Na Hrázi Street across the toll road from Uniwersytet Jagielloński with a dog named Wroclaw and a cat named Dolnoslaskie. He wished he lived in a cheerful retreat with pleasant fields and murmuring brooks, a place of peace and tranquility. When Lela’s great-great grandmamma was a child she lived at 23 Na Hrázi Street across the toll road from the Church of Perpetual Sinners which sat next to Uniwersytet Jagielloński.
[1] Don Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, Don Quixote

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ponç de la Guàrdia

Thurrock Grays in his tarweed cap, a touch of the devil may care about him, yes indeed yes. Not one to cause a coffle, he sulks under a blue opal sky thinking of ways to divide multiples into minuses. Guifré el Pilós (Wilfred the Hairy) acquaintance of Ponç de la Guàrdia, jongleur coulisse and friend of Thurrock Grays, speaks the whore’s tongue (la linge Occitan) in the presence of Saguàrdia Ripollès, who lives the life of Riley, who when in (Urgell) plants (Grossulariaceae) Baixa Cerdanya in Berguedà (Osona) garden, who abhors Ausona Vallespir, a twit of a man,’…Les horribles et épouvantables faits et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel Roi des Dipsodes…’ he hollers, ‘…Les horribles et épouvantables…’.

Keep within the lines, do not stray. The day, a gray mizzle, a sky bled of its blue. Stand up straight, do not slouch. Sit down, fold your arms and place them in front of you on your desk. Stray. Sit up straight. Stray, stray not. Do nothing. Saguàrdia Ripollès lives the life of Riley, Les horribles et épouvantables faits et prouesses. The man in the hat felt that no matter how he tried the day would get the best of him. He recalled the day (that day) his da slew the giant with the knob of his cane, smashing him to the earth. His da smashed things, things that got in his way, things that lingered when they should have run away, small things and big things, things without a care in the world and things so uneasy with life’s worries that when his da smashed them, bringing the hard knob of his cane down across the back of their skulls, they felt joyful and at ease.

Wislawa Szymborska - Tortures

Pantagruelian Carnival

One day soon all these people will meet, a Pantagruelian Carnival of the decretalifuges, the decretalicides, the decretalictones, the grotesque, the antipode, the devalued, the parsimonious, the flatulent, the moronic, provocateurs and contrabandists, Les horribles et épouvantables faits et prouesses du très renommé Pantagruel Roi des Dipsodes. When the sun reaches its zenith the carnival will commence. And on that day the sky will fall for the last time. In Maidstone Lancing, Crossford and South Lanarkshire, where people dance and caper beneath carnival awnings, the sky will sally forth one last time then fall from sight forever. Bog shite, fen sore, madman. The sky falling, you say, through the piccolo of your ass you say, such blather, shame on you shame, shame! The sky has no intention of ever falling; it is as it is, head held high glorying in the white billowy clouds. Hats and toques and caps of all shapes and styles; woolen, silk, carpetbag, thatched and double-knit, a veritable carnival of toppers and flappers. Might I suggest a Corbusier flatcar cap or a Ripoll Trilby, a Pope’s Maître or a Bishopric Sou’wester? A hat is a man’s best friend, especially when the sky is falling. A straw Panama with a Burdon hatband, sweat proof for those humid mug a mug days. Man and woman, waif and dogman alike, none are safe under an august sky. Beware all who speak in ogress tongues, filthy shite motets, no one is given a whore’s chance when the sky falls atremble.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Father Souza de Monde

The Islas Baleares Bros., keepers of the Montuiri Depository and owners of a mohair whore’s glove stored away in a box somewhere in the farthest corner of the depository, live beyond the five-mile fence, hidden away in the flatland and scrub where nothing grows but stinkweed and razor-sharp thistle. No one save Dejesus knew the brothers, having met them at a rake and tine sale at the Ottoman Hardware store the day after Ships Day, the brothers bartering for a three-tine rake, Dejesus querying a salesman about a garden spade with a oxmallet handle.

Father Souza de Monde lived in a one room cottage not far from the Montuiri Depository (in the house where he was brought into the world) where he hooked rugs and played Diamonds and Hearts with a boy from the village with hoary skin between his toes. Down the road, winding, lived the Brno sisters of Jihomoravsky Kraj, all four sisters well versed at knavery and giving men what they desired. The day after Dejesus visited his sick aunt for the last time, her perishing coming as no surprise as she was prone to fits of whooping and craziness, he stopped at the Brno sisters (of Jihomoravsky Kraj) to slake his thirst.

The village of Jihomoravsky Kraj, situated between the five-mile fence and the Montuiri Depository, was a place of vagaries, its inhabitants living off the avails of whoring and stolen goods, many of which were thieved from the Islas Baleares Bros. who had the poorly habit of leaving their cattle fence up at night and well into the morning. When the sisters felt the need for spiritual annealing they went to see Father Souza de Monde, who was more than happy to cleanse and rid them of their evil thoughts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Fürth Repository

The Fürth Repository in Oberasbach Roßtal was the home of missing things. Missing things ended up in the Fürth Repository, small things and oversize things, long things and short things, half things and full things, they all ended up stowed away on a shelf in the Repository. Some missing things, things so battened with filth and perish they turned the stomach, were kept in a second repository where things were best left missing. The keeper of the Fürth Repository was Erazmova Stogova, a fine featured woman with long silken tresses and high angled cheekbones. She work Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and every second and third Saturday. Sundays she worked from home, compiling lists of things to do on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and every third Saturday; the second Saturday was reserved for pinochle and toss the die. She lived in a two-room walkup with a lapdog and a parakeet that was fluent in Esperanto and Urdu. On Wednesdays the parakeet rode the lapdog round and round the second room, filliping the yowling pup on with wire spurs attached to its birds’ feet. On Tuesday evenings after supper Erazmova Stogova read Sanskrit comic books borrowed from the keeper of the second repository, a slight man with runic features and a portly fondness for Erazmova Stogova’s long silken tresses and high angled cheekbones.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Magellan’s Glove

Greenock Inverclyde, Sitiawan Perak, Basildon Essex, Reading, Billericay, Essex, Coventry Road Coventry, Dejesus searched high and wide for a bitter cup of coffee. When he was in the mood for bitter coffee he felt as if the world was tossing him about like a rudderless skiff, his legs buckling under the weight of his gluttonous slake. Word had it that a bitter cup of coffee could be had at the Targoviste Café in Dambovita or the Zoersel Café in Antwerpen, or at the Juelsminde Café in Vejle or the Reykjavk Café in Gullbringusysla. As Dejesus went about on foot and hadn’t the wherewithal or money to travel abroad, he had to settle for a cup of sweet coffee at the Greek Delicatessen.

A ham radio enthusiast in Rschlikon Zurich cranked the dial to Schweizerische, a faint hissing static issuing from the speakers. In the background could be heard a man repeating over and over again, ‘…Ik heb andere whore' s handschoen...’. After taking his coffee Dejesus headed north towards the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, where that day the annual Coveting of Magellan’s Glove was to take place. Fernão de Magalhães, born in the Spring of 1480 and falling dead in 1521, his death witnessed by his first and second mates Pigafetta and Ginés de Mafra, "When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries... The musketeers and crossbow-men shot from a distance for about a half-hour, but uselessly... Recognizing the captain, so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice... A native hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the native's body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide."
[1]

Upon entering the cloister, which was festooned with luxurious rugs and opulent trifle, some so otherworldly he felt like he was entering a Egyptian sepulcher rather than a church, Dejesus knelt and said a shrift prayer, ‘…dear Father please forgive me for my short shriftings…’. To his left sat an ogress, her legs scalloped with rot, her hands atremble beneath a painting of Christ on the Cross. To his right, astride a multicoloured weft, stood a giant of a man, his eyes darker than bootblack, the ogress giving him the shrift eye. ‘…beg your pardon…’ said Dejesus, his eyes on the ogress, ‘…is this the queue for the coveting…?’ Without moving a muscle the ogress said ‘…this is the one for the annunciation, the coveting one is over there…’. The giant of man, his bootblack eye squinting, said ‘…there, aside the rector’s closet…’. Bowing cautiously, the top of his head un-tonsured, Dejesus headed in the direction of the rector’s closet, his thoughts on Magellan’s glove and bamboo spears.

[1] The Death of Magellan, 1521, EyeWitness to History (2001). Retrieved 9 March 2006.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Farmacia Picciola

The legless man sat under the Waymart awning burbling to himself, ‘…the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, tossé dort on théier Égly mûrs…’. A man standing within earshot said gurgling ‘…lithiné Éperonne Aarschot, du dort théier Égly mûrs tossé…’.

The man in the hat’s hat was Tight As Dick's Hat Band. Next to the Farmacia Picciola sat the palazzo Hotel Victoria, home to pariahs, vagabonds and troubled lovers. Stuck between the mattress and the bedsprings, stippled and half-torn, the man in the hat found a love letter dated January 12th 1941.

My love for you allows me to pray to the
spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness
mirrored in your eyes or to fling you down
under me on that soft belly of yours and fuck
you up behind, like a hog riding a sow,
glorying in the very stink and sweat that risesf
rom your arse, glorying in the open shame
of your upturned dress and white girlish
drawers and in the confusion of your
flushed cheeks and tangled hair.[1]

He read the letter twice (stopping to repeat the words stink and sow) then placed the letter on the desk next to the bed. Loosing his cap, he left the room the way he’d entered, through the window facing the street below. Once on the street he clapped his hands against his trouser legs, pillows of dust rising and dissipating into the sky, and headed towards the aqueduct where he had an assignation with the littlest dogman who claimed he knew the whereabouts of the missing whore’s glove.

Kyongsang-bukto Pohang sisters were in cahoots with the Dartford Kent twins, neither the sisters or the twins knowing who they were conspiring against. As conspiring was fodder for the trough, the sisters and the twins accepted conspiracy as part and parcel of who and what they were. They conspired and schemed, plotted and connived, cooked up and hatched, never once questioning why and what for. The twins and the sisters lived in a walkup with two rooms in a ramshackle tenement house across the street from the Farmacia Picciola, where one of the twins worked as an apothecary assistant. The other much smaller twin stayed home cobbling old shoes and making paper boats out of castoff greeting cards she ferreted out of the trash behind the Waymart.

[1] James Aloysius Joyce, Love Letters to Nora Barnacle

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Simone de Beauvoir




La Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

The legless man fell, skipping across the asphalt like a thrown stone. On the ½ time he snagged his coattails on a sewer hole, sending him teakettling into the Waymart awning, his fêting coming to an resounding halt. ‘…were it not for the gravel on the Droichead Leamhcán I’d have made a fine time...’ he said grumbling, ‘...and the cunts hoot hooting on the Óg Ó Mórdha...’. The Ibirama twins from Santa Catarina stood on the Droichead Ruairí Óg Ó Mórdha trumpeting, the youngest gulping fists of air, the eldest squinting, both twins hoot hooting. The legless man, his face borne with discomfiture, pointed angrily at the twins, yelling ‘…that’s them, that’s the cunts that were hooting…’. As no one within earshot heard him yelling, his discomfiture fell on deaf ears. A man with a fur collared jacket, seeing how unsettled the legless man was, said ‘…bury the cunts, there’s lots of room in Cimetière du Père-Lachaise…’.

Tomorrow I will buy a loaf of Quaker bread and a half-pound of jellied pork. U. C. Eccles came by way of Swindon on a 3-oar ferry with two rudders. He met the gyp-rock man at the Derry Pigwash in nineteen-hundred and fifty-seven, both men hawking rock-salt and collectables. These thoughts and images, for every thought comes with a rebus, came to the man in the hat as he watched the legless man fighting with the cunts that hooted and cajoled him, the biggest of them haranguing the man wearing the fur collared jacket, the littlest pointing his finger at the sky, sighing, and passing wind through the trumpet of his ass. Were, he thought, were things different, were trumpeting asses and cajoling cunts but glitches in the greater scheme, the day would have begun differently, ending with a hurrah rather than a fight over bad manners and wheedling. Caddish cunts, spiteful jeerers. No man, he thought, should need put up with such inveiglement. Nasty twofaced bastards, pigwash! Feeling braver than he usually did, he threw his cap into the air, and running forward caught it on the top of his head. Spiteful jeerers, he said to himself, his cap teetering on the top of his head, cads! The legless man sat under the Waymart awning burbling to himself, ‘…the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, tossé dort on théier Égly mûrs…’. A man standing within earshot said gurgling ‘…lithiné Éperonne Aarschot, du dort théier Égly mûrs tossé…’.

Bruno Schulz - 1892-1942


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Twentynine Palms Motel

The sun shot above the Waymart spire like a ship’s flare, the alms man staring enrapt at the fizzling hurrah. The man who makes gin cakes stood yesterday’s trash on the curb, thinking about pot pies and his wife’s horny face. Thus the day began, again. The owner of the Twentynine Palms Motel knew a man by the name of Arhus Hinnerup who grew up with a boy by the name of Kerpen Schiphol who owned a small haberdashery in Woonbronmaasoevers on Firth. As the alms man was acquainted with neither Hinnerup or Schiphol, and had never set foot in a motel, he walked along the curb steadying himself with outstretched arms. You can only know so many people, he thought, so those you don’t know don’t matter at all, at least not very much.

The Twentynine Palms Motel was open year-round, guests having their choice of single, double and quadruple rooms, all with an onsite kitchenette and standup shower. Hat check girls and Dimestore cashiers, traveling salesmen and fix-it repairmen, cold hearted bastards and warm hearted do-gooders, nasty curs and pleasant young lasses with golden hair, cupcake makers and porkpie hat venders, people with no time to waste and those with all the time in the world, one and all booked into the Twentynine Palms Motel in the hopes of finding some peace and solitude from the thronging masses outside the motel’s gates.

(Guanajuato is no one you should be concerned with, so please keep reading). That day, before the rest of the world had awakened, the legless man set out on a journey: to cross the street 27½ times without his pushcart paddles. As he had never attempted such a feat before, having never thought about it until this morning, he prepared himself by limbering up his arms, pushing and pulling a sac of barley he’d tied to a rope suspended from the crossbeams of the old train station. Heaving and hauling, tugging on the rope hand-over-hand, his stumps hovering above the old train station floorboards, he managed to repeat the limbering up exercise 27 times, and with every repetition feeling that much better fit for his journey across and across, 27½ times, the street. Spanning the street at angles right and left, the following bridges made the legless man’s journey all the more challenging: Droichead na Leathphingine, Sráid Uí Chonaill, Droichead Leamhcán, Droichead Farmleigh, Droichead Ruairí Óg Ó Mórdha, Droichead Séamus Seoighe, Droichead Sheán Uí Chathasaigh, Droichead an Nascbhóthair Thoir, Droichead Uí Chonaill, Amharclann na Mainistreach and the Ha'penny.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doctors Amstelveen and Burdur

The Walkden Asylum for the Halfwitted, known for its refusal to admit the dimwitted, sits between two mountains, neither of which is higher than an anthill. Doctor Amadora oversees the asylum from the comfort of his surgery high, high above the yard for the ambulatory and those able to hop on one leg. Lela’s great-great granddad, a halfwit, lived at the Walkden Asylum for the Halfwitted from the age of 65 until his demise at the age of 127½ (it was claimed, by whom is of little interest, that her great-great granddad was in possession of a magic glove able to grant him the wish of vitality and a long life; with one caveat, it did nothing for his halfwittedness, so he lived out his 127½ years walking and hopping the yard for the ambulatory and those able to hop on one leg). Much like the Overnight Asylum, where dimwits and the mentally insane were given insulin shocks and ice-cold baths, the Walkden Asylum for the Halfwitted existed but for the secrecy of its locale, neither asylum within eyeshot of a town, borough, province or parish.

Doctors Amstelveen and Burdur, renown for their research into halfwittedness, shared a fondness for women’s haberdashery; Dr. Burdur having a preference for underclothes and stockings, Dr. Amstelveen for hooped-skirts and supple lambskin gloves. When Dr’s. Amstelveen and Burdur weren’t administering insulin shocks or filling bathtubs with ice-cold water, they spent their time in search of women’s haberdashery, a search that took them hither and thon, from one town to the next, over mountains and across treacherous ravines, behind Waymarts and Women’s Apparel stores, sifting through dustbins for soiled stockings and underclothes, mismatched gloves and hooped-skirts with broken stiles.

’…merde c’est merde…!’ said Dr. Amstelveen to Dr. Burdur who was busy cracking ice-cubes, freeing them from their plastic coffins. ‘…stinkpots, nothing but cakey stinkpots, treacherous cunts…’ said Dr. Burdur, his eyes narrowing, the bridge of his nose sharpening. ‘…Quaker’s-seedcake and cobbler and the Castor-oil for whooping and shingles yellow-linoleum scuffed through to tacking and me in the corner with rickets colic and lyme me fader's bootprints wet with muck and scoff…’ lilted Dr. Amstelveen, ‘…treacherous cunts indeed…’. They talked like this, babbling incoherently, until they tired of one others’ company, then decided to go in search of something to eat, Dr. Amstelveen hungry for flatcakes and jelly, Dr. Burdur for raw cabbage and parish cake. They hired a hansom cab with a crescent-shaped window in the roof and told the driver to take them somewhere where they could eat whatever their hearts desired, both men snickering and guffawing like scolded children.

Lela’s great-great granddad lived until he was 127½ years old, sitting in the dark thinking of ways to build a motorcar that could travel faster than the speed of light and filling his stomach with candy floss and caramel apples, the orderly shaking his head every time he let out a fart or belched like a sot. Lives’ take on a meaning all their own, some full of vim and vinegar, others overflowing with bitterness and remorse. Lela’s great-great granddad’s life was neither happy nor sad, but somewhere in between, where happiness and sadness are the same thing, and life nothing but nonsense, with every man, woman and halfwit trying to make sense of the nonsense that is theirs.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

O Casamento Desigual


The Mason’s House

The next morning the sun rose so high above the setting moon it looked like day was night and night day. Knowing that this was a mistake, a freak of nature, the legless man went about his day as if nothing out of the ordinary was afoot. He drew a picture of the sky, and sketching a line between where he was and where he was going set off in a straight line, never once questioning where he was going or why. He scrabbled and skipped, the stumps of his legs striking the asphalt like matchsticks, the sky bluer than birthday cake icing. He stopped and started, rested, then started again, his face bluffing in the warm midday breeze. When he thought he’d reached where he was going he stopped, rested, then started again, keeping up the pace until day fell into night, the sky turning blacker than a coal porter’s face. The next day when he awoke he found a sheet of foolscap on the floor next to his bed, and scrawled on the sheet, with almost geometric precision, was a straight line going from here to there then back. Thinking he’d was dreaming he shook his head, saying as he did ‘…the straighter the line the crooked’er the way from here to there…’. He remembered his da’s da telling him the very same story when he was a wee lad, cautioning him that there’s no such thing as a straight line so don’t waste your time wishing you were somewhere else other than where you are. In the yard behind the Mason’s house was a woolshed full of dust and wood shavings, the door hanging off its hinges. Inside the shed he found a picture of a Mason family, three children, a mother a father and a dog with three legs. In child’s crayon on the back was a crooked line drawn from one side of the picture to the other, from here to there. He crammed the picture into his jacket pocket and headed for home, the stink of piss boxing his nose.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Benicarl Comunidad Valenciana

When his da’s da wasn’t driving the Lattelekom Bakery truck he was dreaming about Jersey Caws Nantybwla soft cheese, know for its naturally creamy, clean rich distinctive flavour. Available in 4. 5kgs (approx.) and 2kgs (approx.) wheels and round waxed mini approx. 350gms. Turn left at the gatehouse road, follow the mile-long road 2 miles north of Carmarthen town then turn right onto Trevaughan Road. And when his da’s da wasn’t dreaming about cheese he was dreaming about places he’d never visit, places like Montferrat Pontefract, Tallinn Harjumaa, Ripe Emilia-Romagna, Benicarl Comunidad Valenciana, where a reproduction of Dona Narcisa Baranana de Goicoechea hung in a woolshed, and Gothenburg Vastra Gotaland.

As you wade into the stream remember that stones have feelings and hurt when you crush them under foot and cane. His da’s da told him this over and over again out back of the woolshed behind the 2 mile road. His da’s da telled stories no one wanted to listen to, stories with stupid endings and even stupider beginnings. Da’s das are like that, always one for fables and old wives’ tales, things that people with half a brain could care less about, stupid things that made you scream out loud begging for the da’s da to stop, please! The man in the hat’s da’s da was deaf as a post, so he had to scream and holler whenever he wanted to say something. ‘…I can’t abide by all this hollering…’ said his da, ‘…it makes a man want to holler his self…’.

He knew it best not to keep under foot, so he spent his afternoons fishing for toads and slugs behind the old Mason’s house. He fed the caught toad a slug then watch as the slug struggled to get out of the toad’s mouth. Behind the old Mason’s house was a fenced in area where they used to keep rabbits and chickens. The ground was hard and scored with chicken scratch and rabbit footprints, and next to the saltbox was a dead thing that’d broken down to nothing in the dead leaves and mud. The Masons left one day when the sun was at its highest in the sky, leaving behind their dog, a pen full of rabbits and a few deathly looking chickens. People said they up and left on account their youngest daughter was carrying one of the Liepaja Stepbrothers’ (of Latvia) babies, and on account of Masons aren’t suppose to break up their family, even though it was just the youngest daughter that’d brought ‘the shame’ on the family. He could smell the stink of rabbit shit and piss, the Mason’s sledge taking the animal out at the haunches, the legs beating the air like a wind chimes, eyes black with death. When he didn’t want to risk getting caught under foot, he spent hours scouting the yard where the Masons slaughtered rabbits and chickens, rabid dogs and other peoples’ pets. He found quiet here, among the skeletal trees and coffin weeds.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sándor Oupeye

The Crowthorne Bakery made jellyrolls and petite chapeaus. His da’s da was courted by the Crowthorne brothers, who owned the Crowthorne Bakery, to drive their bakery truck. Declining the offer, his da’s da said ‘…there is no other rye or spicy spice cake as good as the Lattelekom’s, so I must decline your offer gentlemen…’. His da, standing against the doorframe of the Crowthorne Bakery dressing and redressing his fingers, smiling said ‘…and that’s the God’s honest truth gentlemen, anyhow, you don’t have a silver truck, and da and me like nothing else but silver…’.

Sándor Oupeye met the man in the hat’s da and his da’s da at the second annual church bazaar in nineteen hundred and 27. The harridan’s sister, standing upside her table counting paper dories and placemats, espied Sándor Oupeye out of the corner of her eye, the man in the hat’s da and da’s da standing admiring the shrink-free hankies and bolo ties. Standing gazing at the toy boats and airplanes at the table across from the harridan’s sister, Klára Szabó drew her scarf across her face and coughed, the man in the hat’s da and his da’s da pricking up their ears. ‘…a woman like that surely can’t be invited to The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus, she’d make a fool of herself and everyone present...’ whispered Sándor Oupeye to the man in the hat’s da, his da turning to his da and saying ‘…a fool indeed…’.

…a man wearing a lambskin coat said ‘…Los mejores jellyrolls del mundo…’. Next to him, a man wearing a pullover, said ‘…ja beste jellyrolls in de wereld…’. Culiacn Sinaloa, who happened to be passing by said, ‘…yes, the best indeed…’. As no one knew who these three men were or why they said what they said, nothing was made of their declarations. These sort of things, jellyrolls and world’s bests, no one within earshot paid attention to, as attention demands open ears and closed mouths and seldom and few are the people willing to make such dispensations for others.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Friar’s Gazette

Maracaibo and Zulia live under the bridge under the sky that falls. On Sundays and every second Thursday they come into town to buy lard and biscuit flour. Maracaibo and Zulia like soft crust biscuits and lambskin gloves at cut rate prices. They like to read the horoscopes in the Friar’s Gazette, laying the newspaper out flat to keep it from slipping from their laps. 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.

The Friar’s Gazette ran an advert for the Lattelekom Bakery on the backmost page, Lattelekom Rye and Spicy Spice Cake at Cut Rate Prices, God’s Bakery in the Middle of Nowhere, Prices Subject to Change, Refunds Wednesday and Sunday Afternoons From One to Four, Damaged Boxes and Cake Pans Will Not Be Accepted. Maracaibo and Zulia were fond of rye toast and cut rate prices. Zulia preferred hard salted butter, Maracaibo soft margarine from a tin. His da’s da drove the Lattelekom Bakery truck with his good leg, his peg leg swinging, the buckle pinging off the door panel. His da slept in the back, swinging in a hammock rigged from flour sacs and chicken string.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Alkmaar Koninklijke Lamb Bros.

The sky fell toppling onto the man in the hat’s head, his cap tippling onto the bare earthen ground. Days such as these, and there were many, miserable indifferent days, set the man in the hat into a tizzy, not knowing whether to run cowering for cover, or stay abed thinking of ways to count to one-thousand-and-one backwards, the knuckle of his head pressed crushed into the bed sheets. The Herstal Liege Bros. bought lambskin from the Alkmaar Koninklijke Lamb Bros., the Herstal Liege Bros. making dining gloves and women’s underclothes at cut rate prices. Days such as these, days when lambskin and women’s underclothes come at a high cost, the Alkmaar Koninklijke Lamb Bros. cornering the market on lambskin and olefin, their leisure time spent sailing sporting yachts and sidesaddling galloping horses with white ivory neighing teeth, anything is possible, even the impossibly impossible. ‘…listen to the spikenard (nardostachys jatamansi) for he has something of interest to say…’ said the man in the hat knitting words with the brittle red ends of his fingers. Spikenard (nardostachys jatamansi) lambskin olefin oilskin dross and piddle all of it. Knit knitting with the red blistered ends of his fingers, brittle rough hewn bract. So it goes so. The Herstal Liege Bros. seldom do seldom what’s expected of them. Buying cut rate lambskin at cutthroat prices, cut from the finest flax and hide. Up from the cellar of the Alkmaar Koninklijke Lamb Bros. warehouse, bale upon bale of soft lambskin hide. Sold at cut rate cutthroat prices to Spikenard and Herschel, purveyors of handcrafted slattern’s gloves and women’s underclothes. The sky is falling; time to duck.

The next day Dejesus went searching high and low, here and there, for a copy of a broadsheet newsprint print newspaper. Wednesdays he liked to read the horoscope page, finding the small print newsprint horoscopes a joy to read and muse upon. He found a copy of the Friar’s Gazette hidden beneath a pile of early morning rubbish, the sports and business pages folded at the top corners. After shaking the mud and hoarfrost, as it was a peculiarly cold morning, from the broadsheet, he folded the dog-eared pages of the sports and business sections in two, creased them down the spine and leisurely tossed them into the nearest dustbin. Folding the horoscope page open across his lap he began to read, his thumb wet-licked so he could turn the pages with relative ease, circumventing any chance of a paper cut or a blotching stain of printer’s ink. Libra: Today you will barely escape the sky falling toppling onto your head. Aquarius: Stay home, the sky is sure to fall. Leo: Watch the sky, carefully. Taurus: You best follow your intuitions and stay abed, the sky is a mystifying blue thing. Scorpio: You best crawl back to bed, today the sky will fall, and fall it will onto the tiptop of your head. Gemini: The sky will fall on both your heads, be careful, be quick. Pisces: Wednesdays are not your day, go back to bed and wile away the rest of the day. He placed the folded paper on the bench and reached for his umbrella. Having forgotten to bring his umbrella with him he made a paper boat out of the newspaper and placed it, keel first, on the top of his head.

All this had him thinking, what if what if the sky were to fall and fall onto the top of my head, what if what then? He reached for the business section of the paper, unfolded it, smoothing out the crease, and began to read. The Herstal Liege Bros., known for their eye-fetching women’s gloves and underclothes, also know to purchase lambskin from the Alkmaar Koninklijke Lamb Bros., are having a white sale: spikenard (nardostachys jatamansi) lambskin olefin soft women’s gloves and dainties at cut rate prices. Doors open at 12 noon sharp. Late comers will be asked to queue in front of the store, no elbowing permitted. He placed the now refolded newspaper on the bench a second time and walked away, the Friar’s Gazette whipping and lashing like a kite tail in the blustery morning gale.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Afb Elmendorf

‘…Afb Elmendorf …’ mumbled the alms man, ‘…Afb Elmendorf…’. ‘…e i e i e…’ whelped the shamble leg man. ‘…tomorrow is another day…’ cautioned Dr. Ragama squinting, ‘…unclench…’. ‘…there’s nothing like fresh eggs and ham…’ said the man who liked boysenberry jam and cod cheeks. ‘…get ‘em me boys, e i e i…’ hollered the captain of the Yekaterinoslav constabulary (Екатеринославъ). ‘…tomorrow is another day…’ whispered the man in the hat, ‘…another day altogether…’. ‘…the Masons have a strange way of making sense of things…’ said the second in command of the Yekaterinoslav constabulary (Екатеринославъ). ‘…strange indeed…’ said the third and fourth, ‘…very strange…’. ‘…never trust a book by its flyleaf…’ said a man who could not be trusted. ‘…the day will begin when it begins…’ proclaimed Dejesus, ‘…not a moment before…’.

And as such the day began, until no one had anything further to say. Having said nothing I have already said too much. The pot thickens; stewbone, cord tendon and peameal rashers; all for one and one for all, away with you, scat! Having said too much I have said nothing; I have yet to begin to speak. Days begin and end without my having anything to do with it; all one can do is hang on for dear life, then what, one has spoken too little too much. Stop. Today you will find the peace and contentment you have for so long searched, right under the holes in your nose; spouting niceties, all for one and one for all, now scat, you lowly dog, scat!

Today the man in the hat would start, start the day, from the middle; somewhere between yesterday’s memories and tomorrow’s awakening. There is no difference, very little at best, the morrow comes too quickly too soon too fast. Now scat you nasty buggers, scat! He will awaken to yesterday’s memories, or what is left of them, memories, thinking of ways to count to one-thousand-and-one backwards, one 2 three 4 and so on so... Dispensing with niceties and glad tidings, what he remembers he remembers best, what was once a moment in the present, a faint glimmer of the present in the middle, away from the beginning and the end; now scat you mangy dog, scat! Later he will dispense with dispensing, be done with it all, present, past and almost past. There’s no use in fretting, no damn use at all; now scat, you lowly dog, scat!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Index Librorum Prohibitorumon

And that was that, nothing more happened worth recounting, not a thing. As with most things, things we think are important, things that we frame our lives around, nothing is really all all that important; just another thing happening in a rather droll uneventful life. That’s all, nothing more. C. Ruf Cornell, a PSNI loyalists and head Mason of the Wallsend Masonic Temple, seeing no harm in little light hearted fun kept a whore’s glove next to his cigar box in the Masons’ office. Every so often, or when the mood came upon him, which it did like a sulpha, he would take out the glove and hold it close to his face, taking in the sweet aroma of the glove, brushing its lambskin softness against his cheek.

After taking in the maidenly scent of the glove, a scent so powerful he often fell over backwards landing on the sofa next to the bookcase, he would light a thumbfat cigar and relish in the aftertaste of mink oil and Pantagruelian acidity. He purchased his cigars from the tobacconist Count Maur-les-Fossés, a tardy yet stout man with unkempt whiskers and a lazy eye. The Count kept the cigars in a specially made humidor which he in turn kept on a shelf in his library next to the Index Librorum Prohibitorumon. As the Count had a fondness for jugglers, tumblers, mountebanks and quacksalvers, he kept a circus troop in a large room where, should the mood suit him, the troop would put on a spectacular extravaganza.

We awake each morning thinking of yesterday. As the day has yet to begin, if, per chance, it will begin at all, all we have are yesterday’s memories to ponder over today; these memories today. This morning we have nothing, are nothing. The Masons have a strange way of making sense of things, dividing odd numbers into even numbers, even numbers into even odder numbers, triangles into squares and so on and so. Never underestimate someone whose learned a new trick, they can’t be trusted, any of them, not even me.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Wallsend Masonic Temple

The Yekaterinoslav constabulary, also known as the Екатеринославъ, were in hot pursuit of the North Tyneside Boys of Wallsend. Wallsend was a place of such poverty and poor tidings that not even the Екатеринославъ were comfortable jumping the dividing wall that divided Wallsend from the rest of the world. The sun crept over the Wallsend wall, a throat of fire swallowing the clouds, the sky and everything in its way. The shamble leg man, who happened to be standing nearby near, covered his face with his arm and yelped ‘…i e i e...’. Over there, there the alms man cowered beneath the shadow of the Seder Grocer’s awning, his alms cap twisted into a ball clutched in his hands. Not far from there, there the legless man hopped on his good leg, his face dwarfed into a mad grimace, the sun chasing him like a dog its tail. Over there not far from there a man with a splintered umbrella, the spokes reaching this way and that, ran for cover, the sun in blazing pursuit. ‘…death comes to those who can’t out run it…’ said the man, a spoke rivaling his coattails. ‘…i e i e…’ yelped the shamble leg man, ‘…e i i e…’.

The Yekaterinoslav constabulary (Екатеринославъ) vaulted the dividing wall and raced into the fray, the captain hollering ‘…get ‘em me boys, e i e i…’. After the Mason’s dance let out a mob of sweaty danced-out people set out into the streets, the constabulary wary that they might give them the evil eye or cast aspersions upon them; the captain of the constabulary (Екатеринославъ) ordering his men to charge the Wallsend Mason’s Temple, where the missing whore’s glove was said to be hidden among the rector’s spoils. ‘…i e e i…’ he hollered, ‘…e e i e i i e e…’.

And that was that, nothing more happened that’s worth recounting, not a thing. As with most things, things we think are important, things that we frame our lives around, nothing is really all all that important; just another thing happening in a rather droll uneventful life. That’s all, nothing more.

What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire? - LIVE Lite

El Corazón Consejo Music Co.

Roberto del Duero and Tito Pesquera owned the El Corazón Consejo Music Co., makers of the finest handcrafted all occasion fifes and drums. Roberto and Tito made musical instruments for the Keizer brothers, Franco and Felipe. The brothers Keizer played feasts, bazaars and christenings, never turning down the opportunity to show off. The El Corazón Consejo Music Co., makers of handcrafted musical instruments, made surfeit fifes and drums in case they ran out of tin or steel tubing. The day of The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus the Keizer brothers pulled their oxcart up in front of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner and unloaded their musical instruments.

The man in the hat watched from a distance as the brothers set up in front of the big oak doors, the biggest of the brothers unrolling a rug made from the finest wool and silk thread, the smaller of the two brothers screwing the microphone posts into the cement courtyard. Once their kits were set up, the brothers began fiddled with dials and switches, levering this one down, this one up, turning this one to the left, this one to the right, until the two, smiling like Cheshire cats, felt that the volume and range was just so.

Off to the left, half hidden beneath the shade of the Seder Grocer’s awning, the alms man counted the day’s take, 25 twenty-five cent pieces, 75 coppers, 27 dimes and ½ a silver dollar. Pocketing the coins he jingled up the sideways, his alms cap sticking out of his trouser pocket, his nose held high above his cheek bones, the sky turning bluer with each step he took. At that very moment, as if by magic, the harridan’s sister turned the corner in front of the church, her trinket bag jangling at her side, the Keizer brothers (Franco and Felipe) espying her from the buckboard of their oxcart, the one brother saying to the other ‘…my, my a flower in a garden of weeds…’.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Zivinice Hlavni Co.

The Caersws Copper Bros., known for their colossal industrial smelters, coaxed power from water with gargantuan pinwheels that sat across the River Severn, the roil and churn of kept water reaching heathenness proportions. Its never too late to learn a new trick. The brothers smelted copper and iron, melting Vesuvius slag into serving dishes and antennas. They sold their wares by appointment only, bypassing cheats and hucksters, lowbrows and cads, braggarts and toughs. ‘…fucking cad bastards, simpletons the lot of ‘em…’ said the lowliest of the brothers, a man of such indifference that even his children didn’t have names. The Zivinice Hlavni Co. provided gargantuan boilers to the Mesto Praha Bros., the owners of the largest kept water reservoir in the canton. The Caersws Copper Bros., known for their talent at alchemy, purchased boilers for their colossal industrial smelters from the Zivinice Hlavni Co., bypassing hucksters, cads and cheats. The Zivinice Hlavni Co. supplied the boilers for The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus, the rectory off bounds to cads, hawkers and heathens. Every year at The Feast of Octave of St. Camillus the Bishop of Piraeus stole into the rector’s closet to make the beast with two backs with the nunnery scullery-maid, availing himself of sweet church wine and stale biscuits. Once the beast had been made, he stole from the rector’s closet, his Bishopric gown round his ankles, the nunnery maid astride the beg-bench sleeping, her hair twisted into Medusa snarls.

Café Progrès de l éloquence

The Haute-Normandie Louviers & Tableau Co. sold saltboxes to cow herders and dandies. The Musée des décors de Théâtre, d'Opéra et de Cinéma Georges placed saltboxes at the downstairs exits and fire exits, Wakhévitch Maurice Duruflé of Louveciennes and his compatriot Yvelines Marly-le-Roi smoked, with aplomb and leisure, outside the downstairs fire exit, Pierre Mendès, a Sephardi Frenchman from Σεφάρδο, and Jean Nicolle Michel Linant, a dandy from Perley sans la rue, ate lunch at Café Progrès de l'éloquence de Louis le Grand Jean-Baptiste Gauthier, neither aware that the other was wearing Bon Mot under drawers.

The shamble leg man, though nowhere to be seen, was arranging geodesic squares, rhomboids and triangles. He did this, arranging, when he couldn’t keep his halfwits about him, times when everything seemed inside outside, left right, up down, over there over here. He let the feeling ebb and flow, triangles turning into geodesic squares, right angles into left, halfwits into dimwits. Jean Nicolle Michel Linant, a dandy from Perley sans la rue, sat on his saltbox counting backwards from a thousand, his lips trembling, the sky turning blacker by the moment. Wakhévitch Maurice Duruflé of Louveciennes, having lost his compatriot, looked over his shoulder, Monsignor Marly-le-Roi leaning against an unlit lamp awaiting the arrival of the lamplighter, who was 27½ minutes overdue. Seeing that this was doing him no good, Monsignor Wakhévitch Maurice Duruflé turned, and as he was bidding everyone a fond adieux fell head over heel onto the blacktop, his eyes straining the see beyond the tip of his nose. ‘…such oddities…’ thought the shamble leg man, his eyes stinging.

At that moment the lamplighter came scurrying around the corner, his smoldering wick-lighter held out in front of him like a majorette’s wand. ‘…your late…’ said Wakhévitch Maurice Duruflé, his nose sniffling. ‘…and for good reason…’ said the lamplighter, the smell of kerosene filling the cool night air with a disturbing pong. After lighting the lamp, which glimmered like a falling star, he added ‘…have you no idea how many lamps there are and how much time it takes to light them all…?’ ‘…I dare say no, I do not…’ said Monsignor Wakhévitch Maurice Duruflé, his face red with impatience. ‘…then keep your cake hole shut, damn you…’ said the lamplighter. Pierre Mendès, a Sephardi Frenchman from Σεφάρδο, ran quickly past, his hair standing up on end like a fright wig. ‘...damn you...’ he bellowed, ‘…damn you all…’.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Dawbakes Halfwits and Clods

The Colporteur Bros. hawked pamphlets for the Witness: Evan humping the pamphlets and Ivan forcing them into people’s hands, the brothers going about their trade like Millerist Adventists. Were it not for Evan, who’s back was as wide as a roof, and Ivan, who had hands nimbler than a seamstresses’, the Witnesses’ pamphlets would have fallen on deaf ears. Anzoátegui Courbevoie, enemy of the meek, blight on man, woman and child alike, sworn nemesis of colporteurs and Witnesses, had to be defaced off the face of the world. Dawbake, gadabout, lecher, a world overflowing with dross and piddle. Rémy de Gourmont, known for his cold temper, swore up and up that he’d efface whomever got in his way, man, woman or Dawbake. Evan and Ivan (Colporteur Bros.) were God’s mercenaries, Evan handing the pamphlets to Ivan, Ivan thrusting the pamphlets into people’s faces, halfwits and clods fumbling to keep their balance, tossing the crumpled pamphlets into the nearest trashcan. The Colporteur Bros. (Evan and Ivan), despised piddle, the smell driving them both strange in the head. Rémy de Gourmont, known for his cold temper, read aloud a poem he found in the overleaf of a book on Situational Envy published by the Casaluce Campania in 1927:

Sitzung
Zu lange In
der gleichen
Positi d as knie
nach außen d ann
nach innen die n
ie zu spät Zu
meistern
Callisth -
enics

No sooner had he finished reading the poem then the sky fell onto his head, one of his ears sheared clean off by a roof tile. de Gourmont, knowing that the Witness was nearby, his two minions hawking pamphlets, was chary, and as the chary are, suspicious of anyone who didn’t fit neatly into a saltbox. ‘…the world is a silage-trap, and people the fester and blight that overfills the goose-gate...’ he grumbled, his shorn ear smarting. The day went about its business, filling up empty space and empty promises; the Colporteur Bros. hawking, the Witness witnessing and Rémy de Gourmont threatening to saltbox anyone that got in his way.

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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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