Sunday, March 29, 2009


Montoises and priestly pats béing in low supplié the alms man begged for mercy and wooden nickels, never once flinching or batting an eyelash. A mealworm corkscrewed across the sideways, its body segmented in two, each half going its separate way. Agog, the alms man said ‘…had I moment’s rest I’d scotch the poor thing back together...’. When he was a boy the alms man hunted for worms and strays in the fields behind his house. He developed a keen dislike of authority, didacts figuring low on his scale of likeable things, cad bastards somewhere between dolt and imbecile.

When he turned seventeen he took up gastromancy, studying under the great ventriloquist Pūthia of Athens. He carpentered together a wooden doll with odds and ends of wood left behind after the workmen finished building the addition to the Waymart. He fashioned a jaw out of scrap metal, using a safety-pin hinge to move it up and down, which was accomplished by clapping the hinge back and forth like a pair of castanets. He made a wig from his grandmamma’s favorite skein, dying it blue to distinguish it from his own hair, which was mousy and thick as north moss.

After his tutelage with the great Pūthiac came to an end, which took 27½ months, he took to the road, his dream to become the best ventriloquists the world had ever seen. The day he turned 27 his eyes went all milky, the doctor diagnosing cataracts; the cure, an overnight stay in the overnight sanitarium where he would pay witness to physical oddities and cruel deformations far more heinous than his own. When he left the overnight sanitarium, having stayed a fortnight, he traveled to the farthest ends of the earth, never to be seen or heard from again until the day he arrived in town, where he took to begging for alms in front of the library and playing jack the ball against the Seder grocer’s storefront window.

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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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