Friday, February 27, 2009

The Reichstag is on Fire

The man in the hat awoke from a deep pleasing sleep. On this day, however, he awoke too quickly, his head lagging behind his body, his feet hitting the floor before his head could consider the distance between the floor and his feet. Tumbling he hit the floor. This brought to mind the Boyars who were the sworn enemies of the Sobrenadars who were in cahoots with the Balizars who were in cahoots with the Flotar, the parquet floor harder than tenth grade arithmetic. Franciszek Andrzej Bobola Biberstein-Starowieyski sits admiring the robin’s egg blue sky, the day’s newspaper spread out on his lap like a Chinese fan. At that very moment a screaming comes across the robin’s egg blue sky, the men and woman of Novaya Zemlya running for cover. Franciszek Andrzej Bobola Biberstein-Starowieyski opens the newspaper to the horoscopes and reads: “on this day, the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the sky fell screaming for the first time, the horizon a banshee hootenanny”. He reads on, “there are 307 days remaining until the end of the year (308 in leap years)”. In the business pages he reads “…the German parliament, the Reichstag, is set on fire…two men, later identified as Ameca and Jalisco, both sporting newsboy caps, are seen fleeing the sight, the littlest, Ameca, laughing like a well-fed hyena. Placing the newspaper on the bench beside him, its pages thumbed black, Franciszek Andrzej Bobola Biberstein-Starowieyski marvels at the robin’s egg blue sky, a screaming filling his thoughts with other times and other places.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

António de Oliveira Público

(She spent her honeymoon at Nolan Falls backcombing lice out of her hair). The legless man punted across the sideways, picking up speed when he hit the curbside. He thwacked the pavement like a falling star, his pushcart splitting in half. Sitting on the stumps of his legs he took in the damage, the sky laughing like a well-fed hyena. The father of dimestore philosophy, Georgiou Mead, was born in South Hadley Massachusetts on February 27. Rudolf Steiner, renowned anthroposophists and cultural bon vivant, was born to an unwed scullery maid in Croatia, his da hightailing it upon discovering that he had no patience for wailing babies and weeping maids. Skittering his spit across the blacktop the legless man wondered why men like Mead and Steiner got away like bandits, while he struggled like a weakly child, his life a commerce of pain and aching. The inquisitor António de Oliveira Público lived next to the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company in an opulent 27 bedroom manor-house with three swimming pools and as many two-car garages. He swore that he would never buy anything from his neighbors the Vincennes, claiming they sold second-rate gloves and cheap scarves that unspooled when the temperature fell below 27% Celsius. Lela’s grandmamma paid António de Oliveira Público a weekly visit, bringing him a basketful of fresh yams and a day-old pan of peach cobbler. After they finished eating the yams and scrapped clean the bottom of the cobbler pan, for they both partook in eating, Lela’s grandmamma would pull down her skirts, revealing an off-white pair of knickers, and allow António de Oliveira Público to sup on her Mons Viand, her stockings unspooled to her ankles.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Wellingborough Abattoir

Lela sat with her skirt punched into a basin, cradling a cottage ham, a loaf of three-day-old bread and a quiver of beef’s tongue. She fed the bread to the pigeons, a mad frenzy of gray black heads, three or five birds overtaking the others, the ham she cut into small slices, rolling each piece in a quiver of blood rich tongue, then placing a napkin on her basined skirt, she ate each mouthful as if it were her last. When Lela was a girl her grandmamma made her eat beef tongue for breakfast, cracking her on the shoulders when she came up for air or slopped a quiver onto the floor. Her grandmamma bought pigs’ tongue from the Courrires Piggery, a family-run slaughterhouse in Nord-Pas-de-Calais not far from the Wellingborough Abattoir in Northamptonshire, where sows, piglets and suckling’s were butchered in outdoor slaughter pens. The daughter of the owner of the Wellingborough Abattoir, Cleopatra (she was named after Cleopatra VII Philopator as a warranty against her father meeting his demise from a snakebite), wore kidskin slaughter-gloves specially crafted for her by the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company, oftentimes mistaking her abattoir gloves for her Sunday going to church gloves, causing a riot among the congregants of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner where her father was an elder and her younger brother an altar boy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Livonian Order of Furriers

The Rovaniemi brothers, onetime residents of Lapland, but that was a long time ago, set up a glove shop in a ramshackle hut behind the Peabody Lavender and Precious Oils Company. As they were in cahoots with no one, not even the Rovuma brothers, who lived a stones’ throw southeast of them, their glove shop was free from pamphleteering and petitions. The Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company allowed the Rovaniemi brothers a small nook of the women’s glove market, seeing no harm in a monks’ share of the competition. The Quidnunc Cricketers, headed by the Hon. Sir Horace C. Gennady, purchased women’s gloves and scarves from the Rovuma brothers, finding the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company’s pomposity a dreadful bore, the Rovaniemi brothers willing to cut their prices and guarantee delivery posthaste. The Rovaniemi brothers bought fur-lining from the Jēkabpils brothers, descendents of the Livonian Order of Furriers, known for their exacting measurements and calf’s tongue soft fleece.

Dejesus surmised they could buy whatever they needed to make women’s gloves, fleecing, too, from the Rovaniemi brothers, bypassing the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company altogether, who rumor had it were haughty asses. ‘…we could set up shop in a jiffy and save a small fortune in the process…’ said Dejesus to the man in the hat, both men, each to the other, appearing distorted. ‘…what about the Quidnunc Cricketers…?’ asked the man in the hat, his hat slowly coming into focus. ‘…what about them…?’ said Dejesus, his face slipping in and out of focus. ‘…they could take us out at the knees with their hardwood sticks…?’ ‘…your imaging things…’ said Dejesus, ‘…anyhow, the dogmen’d fix their clocks, so you needn’t worry about that…’. ‘…and with little mercy…’ said the man in the hat assuredly. ‘…none…’ added Dejesus smartly. ‘…quite right you are, not an iota…’ added the man in the hat, his hat now in focus.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry

The Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company

The very next day the man in the hat met up with Dejesus outside the Waymart, both men anxious to talk with the other. ‘…I have an idea…’ said Dejesus to the man in the hat, both men uneasy and distorted. ‘…we could make our own whores’ gloves…’, ‘…but how…?’ interrupted the man in the hat, his voice quavering. ‘…from the woods beyond the five-mile fence, we could set up a small factory, hire the dogmen to run it and the harridan’s sister to bark the gloves at the church bazaar…’. The man in the hat, hawking up an oyster and spitting it onto the bricks in front of him, barely missing the wingtips of Dejesus’ freshly buffed shoe, said ‘…oh I see, yes of course…yes…’. Dejesus, switching his weight from one foot to the other, his feet cobbled with tiny asphalt stones, said ‘…we could ask the Grünenthal sisters for help, they know more about women’s gloves than…’. ‘…yes…’ interrupted the man in the hat, ‘…more than your average haberdasher…’. ‘…by far…’ said Dejesus, ‘…far by far…’ said the man in the hat. ‘…yes of course…’ said Dejesus, his legs swaying forwards and back.

The Aubonne sisters worked as seamstresses for the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company. Geneve, the youngest, had long wheat yellow hair pulled into a bun; Genevieve, the eldest, had chestnut brown hair which she kept long in the back and cut blunt in the front, her bangs sharp as Ground Thistle. The vacant lot beside the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company was overgrown with Giant Foxtail (Setaria Faberi) Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Ivy (Hedera helix) Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Barnyard Grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), and next to the lot was a field overrun with buckwheat, spathe calla, (campernelle) jonquil, Mediterranean lavender and clusters of bell-shaped wild yucca, none of which had been tended to in ten or nine years.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beyond the Coppice

That morning the sky was ogre blue tinged with azure. ‘…today I will eat nothing but vegetable ends…’ thought the legless man to himself. ‘…and should I run out of them, I will eat pickles stewed with oil and vinegar…’. ‘…regimiento tropa can-boiled with organ viands and periwinkles…’. The legless man had odd notions, connives, of how one should best feed oneself, preferring stinkweed to pokeweed, iceberg lettuce, a stool softener, was best left to the incontinent and hard of hearing, cabbage and kale were the devil’s horns, spinach was for the least of the least, those with troubled pasts and little personal restraint, garden salads were a waste of precious time, all that washing and shredding and picking, time better spent spying on the alms man or the harridan’s sister, as time goes by quicker than a five-legged hare. Beyond the five-mile fence (beyond the coppice) where his da took him on Sunday afternoons, he pushed leafy boats onto the waves of the aqueduct, no finer acquit could he imagine from the world, nor a place where time runs backwards from mouth to delta. The Baia Mare sisters stole away on a scow belly-filled with thugs, felons and robbers, the ship’s name was the Maramures’, known for its brigand cargo and leaky hull. He imagined his tiny leaf-boats were rogue scows transporting villains and poor folk to island lockups far, far away, where baddies were kept in dark foul holes, fed suet and grave dirt and forced to atone for their unseemly sins. Once the sisters reached the island brigand, which took two fortnights and three days, they set to whoring, all three sisters wearing silken gloves and tight-fitting bodices with bone stays, the better for bending over foul smelling monsters and toothless apes. In his thoughts the legless man could imagine anything, stowaway sisters and island hoosegows, two sturdy legs and a bellyful of pokeweed and periwinkles, things that made sense when sense didn’t make any sense at all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fancy Fancy That

Cirebon Jawa Barat leapt across the sideways, his head squished between his legs. As quick as he appeared he disappeared, never to be seen again. People like Cirebon Jawa Barat appeared once, never to be seen or heard from a second time. People appear and disappear, reappear and appear, disappear then reappear as someone, something else, never to reappear, appear or disappear again. Cirebon Jawa Barat was such a one. Never before or again will Cirebon Jawa Barat leaping leap across the sideways; never ever never. Why, you might query, need I tell you this? Because things that happen once never to happen again, a second time, a third, the better the chance of getting it right, or wrong, the first time. So query not, time anneals all alls. Such is the music of life, such as it is, life.

As if from out of nowhere a man in a tight fitting bowler levered across the sidle ways, the sky blushing blue bluer blue. ‘…stop that levering, cad…’ said the man beside the lamppost lingering, ‘…else I will have no other choice than to haul you in…’. Levering he went, one step ahead of the lingering man. ‘…I said stop, stop that nonsense, cad, stop I say, stop…’. As he had nowhere further or else to go, easing up he fell in pace with the lingering man, who was so beside himself he cast a shadow on the two of them. ‘…fancy that…’ said the now stopped levering man, ‘…fancy, fancy that…’. Out of the curb of his eye the lingering man saw a man scuttling approaching, his feet scuffing the top of the blacktop. ‘…I say you, cad, stop…’. As the scuttling approaching man paid no little heed, the lingerer swung his fist into the air, saying, loudly, trumpeting ‘…away the both of you, I’ve had quite enough of your larking…’. This happened but once, never to happen again, never ever never.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Harjumaa and Aquitaine

One morning not long ago the shamble leg man awoke without any memories. He set about the day, the world unfolding, each experience experienced anew for the first time. The Tallinn sisters of Bordeaux live with three pigs, two named Harjumaa and a fat sow with an enormous belly called Aquitaine. The Tallinn sisters (of Bordeaux) live lives of simple pleasure, never venturing beyond the winter fence that separates them from the other side; an imaginary line drawn by the eldest sister on the occasion of her fifty-first birthday.

The morning the shamble leg man awoke without any memories, his thoughts as blank as unwritten letter, the sisters crossed the imaginary line dividing them from the outside world and ventured into town, the eldest sister wary of every person they passed, the youngest sniffling and barking like a runaway cur. ‘…look…’ said the youngest sister, her face drawn into a smile, ‘…the sky reaches all the way to the ground…’. Her sister, her eyes as black as a Halloween cat, said ‘…the sky is in the sky not on the ground, don’t mistake trickery for logic…’. The younger sister lowered her head and began counting her steps, one, two, three, skip, five, six, seven, jump and so on. ‘…look big sister the sun is bigger than an orange…’. ‘…trickery little sister…’.

The shamble leg man leapt across the blacktop like a frog, hop jig, jig hop. As everything he did and thought was done and thought anew, he did and thought everything as if for the first time, not sure if what he did and thought was right or wrong, sinful or worthy of praise. Everything done once must be done twice, jig, hop, hop, jig, over and over until everything done once was done as if for the thousandth time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heading Headlong

That morning the sky fell open like a split melon, blue guts spilling onto the sideways. Those within eyeshot fell praying to their knees, the street a litter of weeping penitents. The man in the hat, his favorite bowler punched tightly onto his head, watched the unrepentant offer up their tears, a briny pool collecting in the middle of the street, a stray dog lapping up what remained of the night’s storm water. ‘…the curse of faith…’ thought the man in the hat, ‘…a Queen’s ransom for a pittance of forgiveness…’. (The Wigan sisters dance around the maypole under a robin’s egg blue sky). The Masnou sisters cha-cha round the junepole, the Cataluna Gvle sisters close on their heels. The Gavleborgs quintuplets chase the Lan Kiev sisters who chase the Kyyivs'ka Oblast quadruplets round and round, the Wigan sisters in hot pursuit. ‘…such nonsense…’ bleats the man in the hat, no one within earshot hearing a word he says. ‘…I have nothing more nor less to say, not an iota…’. Headlong heading headlong, the storm clouds gathering, a woolen knot of black grayness, his feet troubling the asphalt like two pony sticks, the man in the hat scurries, not a second to soon or too late. ‘…off with their heads, smarmy cads…’.

Samuel Beckett - Molloy (Part 1 of 2)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kallisto Sisters

The Kallisto sisters, Oreias and Erinyes, sleep escarped under a blanket of sparkly bright stars. When the sky hangs bellied against the treetops the man in the hat looks to the sisters for comfort and ease, hat doffed, eyes pressed tight into the back of his head, tongue lolling in the prune of his mouth, he stands beneath the marrow-yellow moon. Erinyes and Oreias suckle the strays that wander the sideways. Drunk on whey bitters the wee ones dance larking along the curbside, sidestepping the pisspot sod clapping the horn of his ass. Were he a wagering man the man in the hat would bet a ducat on the littlest waif cunt to suckle a dimes’ worth of treacle sweet maidenly whey. Maw awful suckling sends a shiver up me spiny spine. In the off time the sisters mend socks, tatting heels slicker than an otter’s belly. The man in the hat stepped out into the sideways, his eyes on the poorhouse poor lining up in front of the soup kitchen across the street, the Mercury Fish truck staggering him sideways like a cardboard mannequin. ‘…that’ll be enough of that nonsense…’ he said, ‘…bastards sell crates of the off fish for a Queen’s ransom…’. With that he stepped out into the sideways and went about his business, the noontime sun spilling across the rooftops like yellow slag.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Ludovico Brothers

Riyadh Ar Riyad stokes the coal ovens underneath the doctor’s tent, the doctor sleeping like a swaddling child. The Ludovico brothers work as leathernecks for the Herstal Liege pantomime troop, Alex Degrande and Simon Drogue tending to the animals, feeding the dogs, horses and oxen from nosebags. The Antinomianist’s congregate behind the Waymart where they read from pamphlets left behind by the Witness: 10”Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned”. Titus 3 The Herstal Liege pantomime troop and the Antinomianist’s had a sharp dislike for one another; the Antinomianist’s seeing no logic in tightrope walking, the Herstal Liege pantomime troop having little patience for Witnesses and pamphleteering. Among the pantomimic, great and small, Alex Degrande was the one who had a love of poetry, carrying a coil-bound book of poems with him wherever he went. Among his favorite poems was the one written by a half-blind cutter with failing hearing, the poem striking a cord in his chest:

aunt
Alma’s
raspberry tarts
roiled in butter
uncle Jim’s good eye
threaded with sweat
father’s shirttails
soaked with
hornets’
mud

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Herstal Liege Pantomime Troop

The Herstal Liege pantomime troop traveled under cloak of night, out-smarting roustabouts and thieves. The Herstal Liege pantomime troop came to town every two years to play for the townsfolk and whomever had a fancy for tightrope walking and jugglers. The ringmaster, Dr. Sickly, a man of rare talents, led the troop into town on the back of an ass, the rest of the pantomime’s following ragtag behind. Tiscali the juggler was from Sint-Katelijne-Waver, a small potash mining town outside Antwerpen, Hogeschool Voor, an accomplished tightrope walker, came from Wetenschap en Kunst where he worked as a dockhand before joining the Herstal Liege pantomime troop, and Hyderabad and his brother Andhra grew up in a village on the outskirts of Pradesh, a region known for its red russet red apples and shapely women. Before arriving in town the Herstal Liege pantomime troop had been to Falmouth Antalya (Antalya's), Kiev, where they came upon a postcard-size village inhabited by a clan of hirsute dogmen known as the Kyyivs'ka Oblast's, and to the town of Zeewolde-Flevoland, where the townsfolk lived in calfskin tents with burlap awnings.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Quimper Fréron Finistère

‘…you dear sir are a scribbler and a scoundrel, a toad, a lowly lizard, you possess a crooked mind and a heart of filth, you bastardly rascal you, cowardly knave, such a pitiful mountebank you are, a hound of a man…’ said Judge Holden to the lowly beggar standing in front of him. As this lowly man’s name was Quimper Fréron Finistère, friend of the even lowlier Pierre-François Guyot Desfontaines, the Judge showed him little mercy or lenience. The cogérants stood staring, mouths agape, the rector’s assistant hurrying them down the steps and into the street. The Judge set up his traveling court in the field across for the Church of the Perpétuel Sinner, amongst the lebels and mariolles, where no one save the repentent and those looking for absolution dare set foot.

The morning set about like a daring goose, those in search of penitence and a priestly pat on the back setting out in the opposite direction, praying that a vicaire or a mongoose might lighten their worldly load. As this was not to happen, montoises and priestly pats béing in low supplié, they whomever they set about the daïe expectant nothing more, perhaps less, than a kick to the arse and a pocketful of hard bellot corn. The skié felle balkars back inrô the night, tripang on its own monceau skirt. Sunday morning the skie fell a second time, the man in the hat in his dérusheurs tyrine to troué his awl. ‘…Karlsruhe Baden-Wurttemberg, my dear where have you been…?’ and such did the day begin. Not knowing anyone by that name Lela set about her day safe with the knowledge that people like Karlsruhe Baden-Wurttemberg existed only in the thoughts of madmen and halfwits.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Psyche Trinity

http://www.freud.org.uk/

Tempel and Tuttle

Colchester Colporteurs (of Essex) took in swine children by the swaddle, raising them to become pamphleteers and gin stokers. Like all colporteurs, or at least those willing to speak, the Colchesters of Essex lived a cloistered existence, boarding with other colporteur families and spending the daylight hours hawking pamphlets and praising the word of Isaiah. When the Colchester Colporteurs (of Essex) weren’t busy hawking pamphlets they spent their mornings playing Snakes and Ladders or teaching the swine children how to fend off the unkindly when they gave them the piss off or a kick to the shins.

Dejesus, knowing how cantankerous and ill-humored the Colchester’s (Colporteurs of Essex) could be, having had the misfortune of one or two of the Colchesters putting the boots to him when he refused to accept one of their pamphlets, made it a point to cross the sideways when he saw them approaching, usually the fattest of the (of Essex) Colchester Colporteurs leading the way, the others following behind in single-file. On Tuesdays and Fridays the Colchester Colporteurs took the swine children along with them on their daily rounds, the littlest Colporteur pushing the pram, the eldest waving his hands in disgust, an awful stink rising from the basin of the perambulator, the swine children swaddled in feces and day-old candy wrappers.

Judge Holden lived through the Comet Tempel-Tuttle with only a bump on the head and a weepy eye. The Leonids brothers, along with Tempel and Tuttle, set up their telescope outside the five-mile fence, capturing an awe inspiring snapshot of the comets whitewash tail. Judge Holden came to town once a year to hold court, his judges’ cape billeting over his thin hairless legs, the humming of the church fans pricking at his ears.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Urfa Sanliurfa's Bedouin Hammock

Urfa Sanliurfa liked Turkish candy, lolling the bitter sweet coffee flavored candies on the bed of her tongue. Her mother, a distant acquaintance of Lela’s great grandmamma, lived out the remaining years of a long grueling life (127 years, 27½ swinging in a Bedouin hammock tied between two sturdy posts) shucking peas and eating stickseed biscuits. On her 28th birthday Urfa Sanliurfa’s mamma soured on men, preferring the company of children and animals, dogs and cats, small penned swine and fowl, and when the winds blew crooked, dogmen and halfwits. Malm Skane and her swinish child Baby Lan, a mistake in logic and conjugation, lived in a one-room bedsit next to the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, the child’s ill temper causing a great deal of discernment among the townsfolk. Kakogawa Hyogo has a hanker for boiled cocks’ tongue with caramelized onions, shoveling mouthfuls of the placental gruel into the bitter maw of her face. Kakogawa Hyogo babysits the swinish child Baby Lan, changing his soiled nappies and feeding him goats’ milk from a gin bottle teat. The congregants of the church listened in worldly awe as Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois’ filled their black souls with hope and charity, slaking the thirst that so many had come to accept as their lot in life. Out behind the rector’s gin hut, where the rector’s assistant went to slake his own ungodly thirst, the littlest dogman sang a dirge, the wooden doors of the hut flapping open and shut like a well-used purse, a rank odor rising up from the bowl of the shitter.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Crdoba Cordob and Enrique Muñoz

Loughborough Leicestershire of Leif liked to feed suet sticks to the birds that perched on the branches in the tree outside his sittingroom window. Lela, stopping to watch the perching birds, said hello to whomever was within range, helloing as many as 27 times a day. Crdoba Cordob, sole heir to the Leopoldina Stichsäge Company, lived behind the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, an exhibit of saws hanging from the trees that served as a windbreak surrounding his meager home. Enrique Muñoz wears a flyboy cap with button-up earflaps. He knew of Loughborough Leicestershire (of Leif) and was somewhat acquainted with Crdoba Cordob, but had yet to make the acquaintance of Mr. Qolzaño or the great Migrateurs’ Obrist’s. Not being a church going man he spent Mass time counting the birds perched in the branches outside the window of the shack where he'd lived for the past 27 ½ years, 3 of which he’d spent shivering in the cold as he hadn’t the money to buy hearth wood. Five years earlier his dog passed over into the otherworld, leaving behind a torn ear and a half-tail, the pigs chewing on the ear like a rawhide bone.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Alberto Burri (1915–1995)



Don José y Umbral

The church pews were made at the Grindsted Ribe Woodshop outside the canton of Woerden Zuid, a small fishing village just outside the five-mile fence. Every Sunday the Migrateurs’ Obrist arrived for Mass in a horse-drawn carriage with a surrey on top. Stepping from the carriage, the noontime sun scorching the top of his powdered wig, the great Migrateurs’ Obrist stood facing the doors of the church, the driver feeding salt to the glistening horses, the littlest dogman crouching behind a tangle of bluebells and marigolds tittering.

Today’s Mass was on the sins of the sinners, to be followed by a luncheon and the ladies’ auxiliary rummage sale. Don José y Umbral, a close acquaintance of the great Migrateurs’ Obrist, was also an acquaintance of Dejesus, who was well acquainted with the Witness, whom he openly despised, who would have nothing to do with Mass, today or any other day. The man in the hat, though not acquainted with the great Migrateurs’ Obrist or Don José y Umbral, had a fair to middling acquaintance with Dejesus and the Witness, whom he found showy and small-minded. The shamble leg man was acquainted with those people with whom it was absolutely necessary to acquaint oneself with, finding most people spiteful and too unpardonable for his liking. The high squealing of a whore’s trumpet filled the pious churchly air with despoliation, desecrating the very ground the congregated laid toe and heel upon.

‘…have you a smoke…?’ inquired a man wearing a blue calfskin hat. ‘…not on me…’ answered a man in a hurry to avoid anyone who might inquire anything of him. Mr. Qolzaño stood watching from a fair distance, his feet quibbling the dirt beneath his shoes. He watched the two men, the one inquiring the other evading inquisition, wondering if there was room in the church for another sinner. All of a sudden the congregated made haste for the church doors, the bells chiming the annunciation of the Mass. The great Migrateurs’ Obrist, arm outstretch, led the way, his coachman trailing behind him like a lame dog. Behind him, feet caviling, Mr. Qolzaño beat a path for Migrateurs’ Obrist’s carriage, a whippet of dust quibbling in his wake.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Migrateurs’ Obrist

The bells of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner chimed calling the congregation to the front doors of the sanctuary, the littlest dogman hunched like a beggar in the bushes that circled the front lawn, the hedges and shrubbery glistening with bluebells and marigolds. Standing with his back to those congregated, his surplice tattered and threadbare, the rector’s assistant held out a roll of paper on which was written in black inky block-letters, SAY AMEN TO THE SINNER, FOR THE SIN IS IN YOU, NOT I. The rector’s assistant, the scroll cinched under his arm, strode through the front doors, a doltish smirk on his face, the congregated turning tail and rushing headlong home, all but for the littlest dogman, who, entangled in a latticework of bluebells and marigolds, let go with a loud tittering guffaw.

The great Migrateurs’ Obrist sat at the back of the church paring his fingernails with a whetstone whet pocketknife. As he had no patience for sanctimonious sermonizing, which came by way of Monsignor Fontenay-sous-Bois’ ecclesiastic gibbering, he listened to the mice gnawing at the pew-boards beneath his well-creased trousers, thinking of ways to turn old slat-board into window shims.

Monday, February 02, 2009

la Carnival Grotesque

Maria Leopoldina del Mons was scribbled at the bottom of the letter, and beneath that the date, February 28, 1858, and beneath that, in lowercase, the name Bernini Vento Pasquale de Lourdes. He folded the letter in two, then four and placed it back in the box with the other odds and ends, the bric-a-brac of his life. Off in the distance, in ships’ bellies where rats gnaw on gangrenous legs, a yowling filled the nighttime with a hellish haw. Hurrying, he fled down the sideways, his coattails trailing behind him like a dog’s bony tail. Unhurried, Spillius Basingstoke sat counting the clouds in the blue noontime sky, her thoughts on jodhpurs and jelly-jams. She was to meet with the woman who ran the racetrack betting kiosk at 27 minutes past the noontime, not a minute before. The Hampshire Bros. have nothing to do with the Karlsruhe Bros. of West Baden-Wurttemberg East. They appear here as if by alchemy, culled from the puniest weakly source: the mind of a fool such as I. Now that that’s clear (as spat liquid soap) we can continue on with this: la Carnival Grotesque. Wearing his Peabody cap, the one his mamma gave him on his 127th birthday, the drawstring cinched, walleyed he strove into the clear blue clear sky. A dog’s bony tail tailing him every which where he went, walleyed wearing his cinch string taut Peabody cap for the 127th time. ‘…he’s a gifted boy…’ they said, their backs turned facing the wall, ‘…so much talent in such a puny weakly head…’. When he was a boy, a waifish boy, the man in the hat’s da bought him a three-shot BB-Gun, a gift for his littlest birthday. He cherished and adored his littlest birthday gift, toting it with him wherever he strove. ‘…such a gifted boy...'. '...yes, but such a weakly puny head…’.

James Aloysius Joyce - February 2, 1882


Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Porcine Sty

The Muenster family of Nordrhein-Westfalen made horsehair hatbands. The Muenster family were the only family to make horsehair hatbands that wasn’t related to the Heidegger family of Rheinland-Pfalz Trier Trier-Saarburg. Dejesus had a hankering for jellied pork and headcheese. All this nonsense, and nonsense it was, gave him a frightful hunger, famished for his ma’s porkpie cakes and ice-cold buttery milk.

His mamma and his da ate in front of the window looking out onto the front yard, his da chewing cobbles of porkpie cake, his mamma wishing she were somewhere else, far away from loose dentures and brown spat, far away from the window, away from mincemeat and terrapin soup, far away from deviled pork tongue and his da’s stupid jokes. His ma, Dejesus’ ma, hated plain things, things made with feeble hands and puffed out cheeks, ordinary plain things.

His mamma wished she could fly away to such magical places as Colchester Essex or to Riyadh Ar Riyad where the King of False Impetuousness holds court, or Genoa Liguria and Loures where woman wear feathered headdresses with cockatoo hatbands, or to Lisboa where one can discuss Infinitesimal calculus and complex algorithms with Augustin Louis Cauchy, or to Herentals Antwerpen for a lunch of asparagus tips and lemony sweet jam pie.

In a box of bric-a-brac, odds and ends he had collected over the years, the man in the hat found a letter dated February 28, 1858. “I find myself half way through life’s journey in Dante’s ninth canticle with Judas and Brutes, an amentia of gorgons and hellcats, a scurvy of traitors and swine, a porcine sty. The creamery’s in the eighth, where one can buy, at meager cost, a Pistachio or a rum raison, or a gonorrheal sherbet with a hint of orange rind and schizocarp. Hokum’s razor for the unshaven and tawdry, or a punter’s spar in the evacuee hole, an apostate with a disemboweler’s vizard. Bovine encephalitis, and a weeks worth of spat up odds and ends and ends and odds. No need for sackcloth jodhpurs or a lamb’s wool toque, this is a place of dirges and weeping, not a five star Fodor’s or Ulysses. And for dinner a most delectable placenta gruel, for the dyspeptic and those lacking in esophageal temerity, a gourmand’s wet dream with a post parricidal after eight that deliquesces on the tip of your tongue. Its not hard to imagine that hell is a place beneath the hell of hell on earth, a sub-hell or hellish hell. A hell of vassals and bondmaids, scullery whores with denticulate teeth and pyorrhea(ic) gums. A hell where crack whores, debauchees and smart alecks have money to spend, on such niceties as shoes, handbags and a balanced verdigris diet. A place where traitors and zealots, and men in mitered caps, don’t cast calumny on those lacking in grace, votary and fallow breath. Good orderly insurrection for the meek and misjudged, the drudged and begotten, the inculpable and gentle. But I dream, as I must, of an ecclesiasticism that embraces all who dare draw the breath and the courage to awaken each morning to this Dantean hell, without the aid of jodhpur, toque or Hokum’s razor”.

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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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