Thursday, April 30, 2009

Powdered Asphodel

Balsthal Aargau found a notebook hidden in the woodpile behind the Waymart. On the second page he read,

“Parmeno: And she concocted other cosmetics from powdered asphodel, senna, snakeroot, gall, sour grapes, and new wine, distilled and sweetened with sugar. For softening the skin she used lemon juice, turpeth, deer and heron marrow, and other confections. She manufactured toilet waters from roses, orange-blossom, jasmine, clover, honey-suckle, carnation, and reseda, powdered and soaked in wine…You would never believe what face-washes she distilled from storax, jasmine, lemon, melon-seed, violets, benzoin, pistachio-nuts, pinekernels, grape-pips, jujube, fennel, lucerne, vetch, sunspurge, and chickweed. And she always carried a little balsam in a flask, to rub into the sore she has on her nose. As for maidenheads, some she repaired with bladders and others with a few stitches. She kept a stock of fine furrier’s needles and waxed silk thread in a little painted box on her shelf; and hanging from it were roots of spikenard and red sumach, squill and cardoons, with which she worked marvels”
[1].

Agog, his lips dry from sounding out each word, he placed the notebook under his cloak and hightailed it in the opposite direction, the smell of jasmine and storax prickling his nose. Balsthal Aargau fell upon poor luck, never to be seen or heard from again. This is not uncommon; the end coming before the first hurrah.

[1] Fernando de Rojas, ‘La Celestina’, (Tragiccomedia de Calisto y Melibea), 1499, some 500 years before Ulysses.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guayaquil Guayas Ecuadoria

‘…Gallium Schoenoprasum, algebra is dead…’ bawled someone off in the distance. The day began then began again, the first time not nearly loud enough. ‘…beware of the dogmen of Menai Isle of Anglesey, they have razor-sharp teeth…’. The voice said things out of order, interrupting itself when need be. It came from nowhere and everywhere, quipping and letting go with whatever came to mind; faltering on jury mast and landmass, vowels and constantans, making sense where none existed before. ‘…Guayaquil Guayas Ecuadoria…’ the distant voice echoed, ‘…Guayaquil Guayas Ecuadoria, Schoenoprasum is dead...’.

He read about a family owned café in Guayaquil Guayas Ecuador where the proprietor’s wife made oxtail soup in a double-boiler, bits and ends of oxtail, skin and flayed meat churning and rising to the top of the simmer. She skimmed off the oil and fat, ladling fatty curds of oxtail and sinew into outstretched bowls. He ate in silence, the proprietor’s wife lording over them, her husband making the sign of the cross above his breastplate. He wanted to go there, to the café Guayaquil Guayas Ecuador, and eat bowlfuls of oily fat oxtail, his lips greasy with oxblood, the proprietor’s wife eying his suspiciously, her feet skimming the eating-room tiles in hobbled taps. He oftentimes dreamt that he was anywhere other than where he was.

He broke the stick in two, and offering the other half to the boy said ‘…whack the ball with the flat end…’. Taking the stick in his hands, the round end saddled in his palms, he threw it into the aqueduct and walked away, the alms man beside himself standing aside the aqueduct, the sun setting slowly behind the rushes. The rector’s first assistant lived in the Wadenswil Haus in Lebendigkeit before moving into the basement of the church; where he stayed for 27½ years, resigning his post when he could no longer raise his arms above his head. Oftentimes he slept behind the church, covering himself with torn burlap, the moon bellowing yellow murder into the bifurcation of his head. Before awaking each morning, which he did promptly at 27 minutes after seven, he would roll over and over, the burlap collecting dead rotten things, then coming to a stop at the foot of the embankment behind the church free himself from the orgy of sleep.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Friedrich Lumppe

The Yerevan sisters of Yerevan are in cahute with the Canterbury sisters of Kent who are in cahute with the Igualada sisters of Cataluna who are in cahute with the Bangalore sisters of Karnataka. The Cookstown County Women’s Auxiliary and the Tyrone County Women’s Sisterhood are in cahute with no one, preferring an auxiliary to a clearly disorganized flip-flop. Montaigne Poincaré oversees the Cookstown County Women’s Auxiliary, ensuring they abide by the Cookstown County Church of the Convert protocol: to rid the county of mice, dogmen and whores.

According to Montaigne Poincaré there is a compound of albino dogmen living in and around Hoofdstedelijk Gewest; the biggest dogman, Lielvarde of Brussels, and the littlest, Ogres Piltene, who by virtue of his diminutiveness and cunning was awarded the job of overseeing new conscripts, a whole slew of which have come by way of Ventspils through the Albano mountains via the Laziale Lazio canal, wear paper boat hats and speak only when spoken to. This will end soon; very soon. Once the dogmen from the northeast get wind of this, and they will, mark my words, they will see that the Cookstown County Women’s Auxiliary not make it past the five-mile fence; and should the mood take them, smoke Montaigne Poincaré, spitting him from scapula to tailbone.

Friedrich Lumppe lives in a wheelbarrow shed behind the Waymart. He claims to be busy writing a large book, one that will change how we understand the world, although those who have made it close enough to his shed say he is typing gibberish onto long rolls of white typing paper. The alms man spent five days camped out a few yards from Lumppe’s shed, and upon returning to his place in front of the church said he never once heard him say a word, but did overhear him muttering to himself, his voice ranging from sibilant to guttural. Three years later, and under cloak of night, he moved out of the wheelbarrow shed behind the Waymart; never to be seen or heard from again. ‘….daft as he was I had a liking for him …’ said the alms man, the day having begun without him.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Los Casa da Meretriz Berlitz

François Le Péan stood admiring the harridan’s sister’s Pop-Siècle placemats, his eye on a tugboat made from rapier-sharp toothpicks, the kind you bring home to mamma, settling the score once and for all. M. Du Quesne and M. Le Mercier, both members of C'était Calvinist Bastille, swore up and down they’d never met François Le Péan, M. Du Quesne, in a gruff unpleasant voice adding ‘...if we had we’d have busted his nose like a ripe tomato...’. François Le Péan, M. Du Quesne and M. Le Mercier watched Mrs P. Dogman walk in circles round the church, her face crosscut and tanned from the sun. After watching her circle the church five times, which she did with Queenly aplomb, they broke off and headed southward towards the aqueduct, M. Du Quesne taking the lead, François Le Péan and M. Le Mercier keeping pace behind, all three whispering to one another ‘…you’d need a cook’s stipend to pay for those orthopedic heels…’.

Ignacio López dreamed of ways to escape. After days of this he decided that escaping was no better than staying, and were he to escape he’d be staying all the same. After days of this, thinking and dreaming and confusing one for the other, Ignacio López decidid Toh calla yt kits. He gent troué ihs monceau skirt, ester ulna pocketful de la bellot corn unary la monceau très bland. He went on like this for days, trying to speak in words, vowels and constantans, thermocouples and uncluttered sentences, trying to make sense of le gent troué sur des pantalón. Te Day befote té lasa Churo Bashar, he puto Ons ihs best cap, bufad anda yaced ihs Xess ando set out forro té Bashar, ihs bis straining Toh sé vellón té tipa os ihs ónice. Suddenly, as if from out of nowhere, he saw the littlest dogman sitting on a bench in front of the church, his head swollen with bee stings, his nose redder than cherry cobbler. Before moving inside the five-mile fence Ignacio López rented a room in Los Casa da Meretriz Berlitz, where he met and befriended Silvio Lavoisier and Antoine Berlusconi, both of whom were acquainted with Dejesus and the owner of the Greek Deli. The day after he left Los Casa da Meretriz Berlitz he posted a letter to Lavoisier and Berlusconi explaining his reason for leaving, ‘Dear Silvio and Antoine, I have left with the Herstal Liege pantomime troop, having been hired on as a mucker. Please do not go through the few paltry things I left behind in my room; I will return for them sometime in the not-so near future. Yours in ernest, Carlo de la Fontaine Ignacio López’.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hogshead Hugh Loughery

He couldn’t recall a time when the blue sky wasn’t above his head, flapping like a blue sheet on his ma’s clothesline, there above his head where he last saw it the day before. The day before, the sky exactly where it was the day before the day before, he wrote a letter to Elisa Oyj, a seamstress for the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company with whom he was keeping an ongoing correspondence. ‘My dearest Elisa, the sky today is blue, bluer than dahlias and butterfly wings, so blue one can’t distinguish it from the bluest ocean or the bluest sea’. To which Elisa Oyj replied, ‘Go fuck yourself you smarmy cunt!’

Searching among the dross and rubbish of his life, of which there was much, he fell upon a sheet of yellowing paper on which was written the following,

Hogshead Hugh Loughery, climbing stairwell stairs said saying ‘ex pluribus deist God Almighty, damnable Jesuits, nothing a creamery of Guinness and a little bit of the old in-an-out-wouldn’t cure, by God no’. Rarebit toast lye with Thomas’ liver, skillet-fried with onions and coarse garlic. Charon poling the Liffey, lips smacking, Dante’s lingerie swaying from halyard and dowelling. Oedipus shed not one tear, mother-coitus saddle sore and humping like Diogenes on PCP. I will give you all my unkingly things, should you move just a hair to the left, as you’re blocking the sun from balming my face, you empyrean scoundrel you, king of Moyle’s and Schwartz, thug and rampart, chewer of prepuces and Wriggle’s.

Bread ends and livery sausage, Quaker oats boiled to placental mush, spooned into the scullery of my mouth with a tuning-fork. Day-old bread is a luxury, as weeks, sometimes months pass unnoticed as the food in my larder turns bootblack-black, frostbitten toes curled into necrotic wingtips. Philosophy pays 5 cents less than a turnip-cart of Shultzian advice, which amounts to nothing, nil, zero to the absolute tenth power of one. Sheep’s brains and rotten pear juice, siphoned through curd-cloth into a rusty tin cup, the sort used by almsmen and derelicts. I think I’ll eat my foot today, the left one, as I’m a much better hopper on the right. Or fly a kite, perhaps, made from garbage bags and coat hangers, scotched together with mason’s tape and no little effort, kiting acumen to the tenth power of one, maybe higher.

Pumpkins strew in the ballyhoo, scabby rotting viscera. We took hockey sticks to the orange carcases, a sarcophagus best smote with a well-angled hook, sticky seeds and stringy bowels, pock guts and corm, a tuberose mess. The streets were a graveyard of orb and shrubbery, an embittered jack-o-lantern giving me the scornful eye, my friends re-taping their sticks, my mother hollering, ‘time for supper’, the streetlights dimming, pumpkins festering in the placental afterglow.

Savant: skull fracture-qua-prolapsed, cognisor, stool sample, Grecian’s earn more than your average Mesopotamian, I am weary of weariness, ad in-fight ate ‘em glassblower, so to speak loosely, his hi-asses’ stool sample is green, perhaps from too many vegetables and Kiwi Kohl Aid, stop that hammering can’t you see I’m trying to seep, cistern nun’s apparel, not your average haberdashers, not buy a long shot, fuck the fucker in the tophus with the ashplant, silly so-and-so, adman Bloom and Dale and lemony scented bath soaps, not for your lowbrow laver, Dogman dug out a dugout canoe with his Bowie knife, silly prefect, oops, sorry about yore face you crapper, Savanta Claus is a fake, sad bastard, too bad about the itchy beard and goat’s Tee-off time: not a moment’s rest for the leery, said I.

She was wearing a hornet’s nest in her hair, curlicues, husks, carrion, carapaces and frail spidery wings, a Lepidoptera of bugs, creepy-crawlies and midges. I find her hair unsettling, her eyes too deeply set, and her smile staff with excreta and seepage. I kissed her hard on the mouth, overbite, chin flat against the corm of my cheek, the knot of my tongue finding purchase in the slur of her mouth. And me, lips prepuce fat, biting down hard on the manse of her jaw, where the hinge meets the flywheel, her eyes rolling back into the clove of her forehead, a vacant toiletry where desire should sit, behind the pineal gland, just below the hypothalamus and to the right of the Gang Leal knot: Fucking hornet’s nests, excreta and the blackest black jujubes, a syphilitic SaltlickandGomorrah, a noman'sland, Purfolk and waddle.

She wore a Moyle’s hair sweater, a gift from the St. Vincent de Van Gough. One of the employees who had a pointillist’s chin, garishly small feet and lived with a cantor who owned a delicatessen specializing in imported or unusual foods and ingredients; cooked meats, cheeses and pickles, and kept Moyle shears in the back room should one wish to make a purchase, or simply have a look at the snippets, cautioned her against wearing the sweater next to her skin, claiming it caused chancres and bedsores. The cantor had boils on his neck, collar and nape, and a birthmark that looked like an animal cracker on his forehead just above his eye and to the left. He once considered snipping his ear off, but refrained as his girlfriend, who was employed by the Vincent de Van Gough society, cautioned him against it, claiming it caused bedsores and madness and might affect his eyesight and increase the frequency and soreness of his boils.

Should you care to listen, I will tell you about the grisliness of alcoholism, the Dantean declension into hell. I have been there, crawling like a child on scabby knees, without a Virgil or a poet to show me the way back up, out of the horror of Dis’s hell. I climbed on the back of a behemoth, a monster, an obsession to repeat, to become again that which I feared and reviled, the colossus within, the ogre whose thirst is never slaked. I am here to tell you the story, the story of my ascension into hell, my fistfight with the beast, the colossus that seeks revenge for temperance and prohibition.

Start: Ishmael wrote an email, it never fails to rain when I’m smoking Camels, gerrymandering in culottes and a rain slicker, yellow with metal clasps, ant-aardvark, skipjack paddy whack give a hog a home, jumpstart the cola-truck, Charlie Rectory, Mister Magic-bones, hello Moe, fungi ball-strap, please leave your wallet in the ciborium, hat-o-nine-tails, no, my diploma is in fishing, Moyle-hair sweater, snippety snip, he circumcised the gobbet, merry chastening happy hernia fleece nervosa: End.

Start: bubonic pelage, scoliosis, mitosis, concerto grosz, a zloty two-piece coin, sip-sac Mona’s ass-crack simplex-diuretic, neurosis-halitosis jammy-jam, that kite-thing-thing, big-toe-little-toe Mo-Joe Mary Magdalena, Jesus comics, goitre, loiter, smote, tote-bag-hag, jimmy-legs, timorous bits, clits, flits, nits, rickets, Sam Picket, slim Jim, alum, bum, rum, sum, up at the altar with mister Balder-dash, the Clash, Jesus Kohl-aid, mini-dress, filthy-dirty-mess, Herman Heyse, eye Claudius, jelly-belly: End.

Stein slew a murder of crows with a tinker’s awl; quills bone-curds and nebs, a striker’s cone of Moyer-lambs: damnably murderous good fun, not a dry eye in the house, nary a gluepot, Johnston or Coe. I espied him on his jaunty-jaunt home, bevel-rake slung over rookery and thane, a pissery of cock and thistle. He has the empting, so they say; a tincture of allsorts and muck; poor sod, a damn fine fellow, though a sad-sack with the willows and dime. He’d be a cheery cunt were you to offer-up a Guinness and lime, roe-eggs on biscuits and a ball of elms-horn and banter, for the digestion and settle. Why’d you slew the murder with tinker’s awl? Because they weren’t to stop caw-cawing so I finished ‘em off, feathers, bone-curd and quill, and a wee tincture of Johnston or Coe, damnably murderous good fun, nary a dry eye in the house, nor a Moyer’s-lamb gluepot or tinker’s awl.

in that
brief moment
the eyes catch a glimpse of
the madness
of love

The corpse-dresser put half-pennies over Paddy’s eyes and wired his jawbone shut with copper brads and wire, resized his denture plate to fit in the coopery of his mouth and sealed him up in an oak box, a leftover from the groceries last delivery. Bloom, lemony scented soap pocketed, left the funeral precession and recrossed the Liffey from the other side, the one he’d crossed before purchasing his morning paper before mourning. Mrs P. Dogman dressed in foxhound wrapper and beaches boots threw the first curd of dirt on poor Paddy’s hole and then recrossed the gravesite in small even strides, her hair a will-o’-the-wisp, arms akimbo, teeth a thither and at chatter. –Fucking sot—she intoned, --needlessly wasting a fair to middling day, thoughtless bastard sod’-- Bloom strode underfoot to the Sham-o-tam and hoisted a gin and phonic, his ears paraffin and none the banter, Blazes tosspot cuckolder of Molly, Parnell and Ramsblood gibing from beneath bedsheetsstokinglardpattythighs, bloomers cinched high and over. The inside of my skull is a boiler-room and OCD the not so stationary engineer, the one with the big stick. Like baseball bat in a dustbin banging off the sides like a rapier, a big stick that big.

Having no idea where or whence it came from, he placed it back in the chest of drawers at the foot of his bed and quickly left.

Confessio oder Bekenntnis der Societät

...in Sorocaba Sao Paulo lives a man with a gambol-leg who spends his days capering up and down the street, a cigar tethered to his jaw.

‘…there is no Greater Good except God…’ said the Witness, those at the back of the line moving one step up, those at the front falling one step back. Dejesus pushed his way past the congregants; past a man pulling a wagon with a goat in it, the goat bleating and snorting, past a woman holding a tiny bird in the cradle of her palms, the bird chirping, and past a young boy bouncing a rubber ball, his face bloated with joy. This kind of nonsense exists only in the thoughts of madmen and halfwits. His da smoked Hogswart’s shag, licking the gluey side of the paper with the cob of his tongue. Rupert Rosicrucian of 2727 Dun Laoghaire lane keeps a copy of the ‘Fama fraternitatis Roseae Crucis oder Die Bruderschaft des Ordens der Rosenkreuzer’ in the chest of drawers at the foot of his bed. Next to that, in a specially built cabinet, he keeps a dogeared copy of ‘Confessio oder Bekenntnis der Societät und Bruderschaft Rosenkreuz’, which he returns to now an again to look up the date of doctor Frater C.R.C’s birth. Before leaving the house every morning, which he does without fail at exactly 24 minutes past seven, Rupert Rosicrucian checks the stovetop for red-hot coils and flushes the crapper 25 times time’s five, 27 times if he feels that the first 125 times were done incorrectly; and given the verities of life, and there are many, he could very well be mistaken, necessitating another 27 times 25 times five. Rupert Rosicrucian left for places unknown, leaving a foul stench in the midday air. This was not the first time he’d come and gone; he’d done so many times before. Thieves and gougers, tricksters and mountebanks, many had come and gone over the years, but Rupert Rosicrucian was a cut above, he was different, he had a way with getting away that was stymieing. …he had a leg up to stand on.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Palacio de Guantes Puta Mujeres

Now you might well ask, why more, so many more characters? Ask the Gyor brothers of Gyor or the Sheffield brothers of Sheffield, or the Lazio sisters of Rome or the Tnsberg Brush Co. of Vestfold, or better yet the Southampton Lard Co. of Southampton or the Bratislava’s of Bratislava, or the manager of the Moulineaux Moulinex Co. of Haute-Normandie, who you'll find at the Diderot Brothel on Thursdays and Saturdays, or the Bandung brothers of Jawa Barat and the Tallinn sister of Harjumaa, both of whom are in cahoots with the Aabenraa sisters of Sonderjylland. Ask them, not me. The Palacio Quemado, also known as the Palacio de Guantes Puta Mujeres, located next to the Cathedral of La Paz, houses an extraordinary collection of women’s gloves. Next door to the Cathedral of La Paz sits the Heces Tocador Co., makers of custom-built toilets; such as the TC Corsica Close toilet and the Arc Wall-1 Hung WC., known for its fast efficient flush, the Gala Arq Bidet and the Bristan Blade Back, both of which come in ivory and off-white, and an ever-widening array of soft-seat and hard-seat crappers. The man in the hat’s da spent hours sitting on the crapper reading girlie magazines, the whirl and slurry of flushed water echoing throughout the house, his da pumping the foot-peddle next to the sink. He remembered how his da looked when he came out of the toilet, his face the colour of old wine, his jaw as tight as a closed fist, the smell of sulfur and Ajax creeping up through the vent in the hallway floor, the tags of skin around his eyes more noticeable.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leicester Sausage Co.

He has the metempsychosis, and bad. From the sanely to the insanely, everyone he knew had the metempsychosis. His da got it from his da and his da from his da right back to the first da who was afflicted with the first psychosis.’…never mentee the insanely…’ his da would say, ‘…the sanely are the ones who haven’t a clue their insane…’. He likes a good Leicester sausage, had stuffed by the Leicester Sausage Co., purveyors of fine meats and viands. Martin Conboy, manager of the Dogtown Frozen Seafood Company, and Mr. John M. Woolsey, Episcopalian and treasurer of the Carter's Ink Co., overheard Gorton Balthassar lamenting ‘…La Ciudad de Huevos Congelados…’, both men, Conboy and Woolsey, pricking up their ears like foxhounds on a fox. The man in the hat, showing off his new hat, a tan Stetson with a pheasant hatband, stood watching the men, Woolsey saying to Conboy ‘…its never too late to learn a new trick…’. Conboy replying ‘…yes, but then what…?. ‘…learn some more, of course…’. ‘…yes, of course…’ said Conboy. ‘…then a pint…’ said Woolsey, ‘…and another…’ interrupted Conboy. ‘…and another and another…’.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Carangid and Quartered

‘…I have yet to visit Bangalore Karnataka, Radebeul Sachsen, Pretoria Gauteng or Quertaro Queretaro de Arteaga…’ said his da, Quertaro and Queretaro being at the topmost of the list. His da was slow at making sense of common sense things. He thought he’d been around the world 27½ times, the ½ coming to an end at the edge of the Red Sea. Such as it is such as it isn’t; or some such nonesuch. His da felt his way round the darkened room with the cob of his nose, rubbing against walls, along the wainscoting, under the chesterfield and on top of the cupboards, everywhere and nowhere. He seldom found anything or went anywhere, staying one cob away from freedom and industry. …never underestimate the inestimable, or a wormwood headache, Artemisia absinthium. …like a rabbit on PCP was how is da explained most things, not having a big enough vocabulary to impress upon anything… …stand back, the sky is falling… just as he came he went, PCP’ed and hell-bent on cob-knobbing… …and then nothing, complete silence, earsplitting quiet... On those days when his da rose from bed before the cock’s crow he ate a boiled oats and piecemeal bacon breakfast, specially carangid and quartered for him by the midtown butchery, the same store where he went to purchase sweet-water and over-the-counter anticoagulants. He bought bouillabaisse from the saucier, canned in old sardine tins with the tops soldered shut… He liked his chowder salty and lip-smashingly hot, simmered with leeks and fennel root… Such was his da’s temper; welded to the half-crown at the back of his head…

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fiachra Thujone

…thinking he’d thought too much he stopped thinking on the edge of thinking gone awry. ‘....toeing edges, what a sight to behold, …’ he thought thinking this was by far the closest he’d ever come to the edge… The sky fell in the blink of an eye, fin de siècle, lickety-split. ‘…hurry, your ma has supper on the table young man…’ his da hollered from his chair. ‘…but I’m no hungry, da…’. ‘…no finagling, git…’…toeing the edge, such a fine place to be, fine indeed…. ‘…git, git…’ his da bawled toeing the edge of his temper. His da’s eye twitched when he got angry. ‘…if your not a good boy I’ll send you to the Pfalz’s orphanage…’ his da would say, his eye twitching, ‘….or the Walloon Cauvery…’ which according to his da was worse than the Pfalz orphanage; the charity having run dry years ago, lost to knavery and avarice.

That morning the sun was hotter than blazes, the cock crowing cawing caw, caw, caw… Fiachra Thujone ran bawling into the street, tripping kestrel first into the curbstone, arms sawmilling for dear life. ‘…never underestimate a fool…’ hollered a man with a blacksmith’s tooth, ‘…nor a nincompoop…’ added another, both men breaking a stitch. Fiachra Thujone’s great uncle owned the Badlands Shirt and Tie Co., known for its exacting hems and double-stitch pockets. The man in the hat, the alms man and the legless man, though friends with one another, and when the occasion arose friends with Dejesus and the harridan’s sister, had no recollection of ever having met Fiachra Thujone, or if they had had promptly forgot they had; either way, the man in the hat had no interest, not even fleetingly, in meeting Fiachra Thujone, not today, tomorrow, not ever.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Canarias Lace and Glove Co.

Croydon of Croydon stole a box of lace from Puerto Del Rosario, the sole proprietor of the Canarias Lace and Glove Co. Croydon (of Croydon) acquired a fancy for women’s gloves and lace from his da, who fancied whores and Cutters’ Gin. Pinchbeck, his ear pressed against the storefront window, listened, ‘…I say then…’ continued Rancho, ‘…that in a village of Estremadura there was a goat-shepherd--that is to say, one who tended goats--which shepherd or goatherd, as my story goes, was called Lope Ruiz, and this Lope Ruiz was in love with a shepherdess called Torralva, which shepherdess called Torralva was the daughter of a rich brazier, and this rich glazier…’.

Pinchbeck stood in front of the Seder grocer’s waiting for Croydon; both men there to meet Dejesus who had news of the missing whores’ glove. Pinchbeck stood in front of the storefront window for 27½ minutes, then tiring of waiting left, never to be seen or heard from again. Croydon, arriving ½ minute later and finding Pinchbeck gone shook his head in disgust, the sound of shattering glass and nagging voices filling the air with slapdash. Fionnbharr Goodbody, his two sons Finbar and Colm, Croydon and Pinchbeck left as they had come, the world having changed little for their being in it.

Chimbote, Ancash, Drogheda and Louth are somewhere other than here. There are other places other than here, meaningless unthinkable places, where Fionnbharr Goodbody’s, his two sons Finbar and Colm, Croydon’s and Pinchbeck’s live, but they are of no interest to us, not now, not this moment. Marta Béarnaise, great-grand daughter of Arthur Schlomo, repatriated with her family after the Taking of Versailles, never leaves the warmth and comfort of her two-room bedsit. She lives with three cats, Severnia, Santander and Cantabria, and a blue Mole salamander. Arthur Schlomo’s great-grand daughter has never met Chimbote, Ancash, Drogheda and Louth, nor has she ever seen a dogman up close; such is the quail of her life. …never shall she experience the wonder, ever. ‘…these are the thoughts of a man toeing the edge…’ thought Dejesus, ‘…never to be seen or spoken to again…’.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ludovico the Magnificent

…a scream came across the sky! The legless man tautened the strings on his stump-ends, tucking his pants’ legs under his tailbone, the loose fabric frayed and threadbare. He wend this way and that, stopping briefly to pick up a copper from the mud-rued pavement. He said hello to Fionnbharr Goodbody, the proprietor of the Clara Offaly Offal Co., he and his sons, Finbar and Colm, responsible for picking up the trash and litter that circumnavigated the town. Then he ran into Santos Arequipa, the sole heir to the Arequipa Gravel Pit, Santos offering him a country ham and a bottle of Corkers’ lager, the legless man saying ‘…men like you, my dear Santos, are a blessing…’. Next he ran into Ludovico the Magnificent, with whom he shared a few stern words; the legless man finding Ludovico too absurdly flashy in manner of dress and comportment (in 1958 the legless man and Ludovico the Magnificent ran into one another at the 2nd annual church bazaar, Ludovico purloining the last Pop-siècle placement from the harridan’s sister; the legless man beside himself with greenest envy). Having had enough of Ludovico the Magnificent he punted eastward, the blacktop hotter than fried eggs.

Out of the crease of his brow he espied Karben Hessen leaning up against the Seder grocer’s storefront window, his face ash-pale. As he approached he could hear him bellyaching ‘…cunt left me bedridden and cankered…’. This was not the first time he’d got Mycobacterium Kansasii, a gloveless whore giving it to him in 1959, nor the last, as he had a proclivity for recklessness and unseemly behaviour. ‘…how canst thou see, Rancho…,where it makes that line this mouth…that thou talkfest of...’ said Karben Hessen speaking for the cankered and bedridden of the world ‘...when the night is so dark that there is not a star to be seen in the whole heaven...?’

Fionnbharr Goodbody and his two sons, Finbar and Colm, spent the summer months traveling the world looking for Offal companies. They visited a factory in Droitwich Worcestershire that dealt exclusively in curbside trash, the owner exporting other people’s castoff filth and throw-away. In Ústecký Kraj they paid a profession visit to the Kutn Hora Offal Distillery, run by a stout rare-skinned man named Stredocesky Kraj, the owner having taken his name from the city of his birth, the post stamp on his letterhead reading, 88.101.153.# (XDSL NETWORK-ADSL). After that the sky fell, taking out the littlest dogman and a swan.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

László Bíró

The man in the hat stopped to chat with László Bíró, offering him a honey roll and a cup of creamery buttermilk. As László Bíró was stone deaf he preferred that people write things on a slate, which he carried with him toggled to his belt loop. In his left coat pocket, where he kept Band-Aids and old scraps of paper with numbers written on them, some so old (23478910) he’d forgotten the reason they were given to him, he had at his disposal three pieces of chalk, red, blue and yellow, the prime colours. If and when someone wished to speak with him, people and occasions being limited, he would reach into his coat pocket, choose a prime colour (he knew each colour by bevels cut into the chalk: one for red, two for blue and three for yellow) and pointing to his slate grunt: one grunt for each colour. In the small town of Drohobycz where László Bíró was born, to a sow-fat mother and a whiskey-tempered father, he grew to be an accomplished lip-reader; his skill at making sense of the pointless in high demand among the townsfolk.

Lorca Murcia Maribor Brezovica sat with his hands clasped on his lap thinking of ways to count to one-thousand-and-one backwards without missing a vowel or a consonant, believing that if could he’d be freed from ever having to count again, something, counting, he wished he’d never become acquainted with or allowed to do. Years of calculations, algebraic tabulations and vectoring had taken their toll on him; and as he was nearing the second half of his life he felt it was time to disabuse himself of old habits, counting everything he came in contact with being at the top of his list. He heard there was a savant who lived in a clapboard shack beyond the five-mile fence; a man with such powers of abstract concentration (he’d been raised on arithmetic tables and fractions held together in a coil-bound orange scribbler) that anyone who came within four miles of him was immediately overcome with a feeling of lightheadedness. After last year’s Feast of the Awful Sinners, put on every year by the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, he met the man in the hat, the alms man, the legless man, the harridan and her sister, Dejesus and the Witness, all seven enjoying a laugh over Chaucer’s rum and three-bean soup in the carousel shed behind the Waymart.

Hubert Dreyfus on Husserl and Heidegger: Section 1

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tyrine to Troué

‘…dérusheurs tyrine to troué his awl…’ said his father, ‘…tyrine to troué…’. Novosibirsk of Novosibirsk lived behind the Waymart in a stove box, the pokes in the sidewalk corrugating his spine. Uncle Jim ate in the woolshed, next to the scythe and the weed hoe. ‘…tyrine to troué…’ bellowed his da, ‘…dérusheurs tyrine…’. ‘…life is full of mystery…’ he said his da said. ‘…so you best get out while you can…’. Fridays were for double-knit sweaters and corduroy-pants; Thursdays came née, or. ‘…wait up da, I have a stone in my shoe…’. ‘…hop…’ he said his da said, ‘…its Eastertide…’. On account of it was cold outside he wore his great-da’s double-knit and corduroy-pants, his great-ma’s doily hat and uncle Jim’s hobnails. ‘…hop jig, jig hop…’ said his da he said. Alongside the curb stood the Aubonne sisters (seamstresses for the Vincennes Glove and Scarf Company), Geneve, the youngest, sitting astride the curbstone, Genevieve, the eldest, sitting up against the lamppost counting bluebottles and shadflies. ‘…a boy is smaller than a man but bigger than a suckling…’ his da said he did. ‘…never forget that, else the sky buckle and fall crashing into your head…’. Geneve (the youngest), sat upright, stemming the flies wicking in her bonnet, ‘…away with you, shoo…!’ she screech, ‘…away, away…!’ Dr. Sickly, a man of rare talents, stood straddling the lamppost, the Herstal Liege pantomime troop packing up their cog, Tiscali the juggler (from Sint-Katelijne-Waver) juggling three red balls and a yellow cup. ‘…we’ll never get away from here…’ lamented his da he did, ‘…not with these so-and-so’s breaking a spleen…’. …such a sweet lilt to his voice, one last tear before his confirmation, pathetic sot-and-so.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jamón Ibérico

‘…stay away from connivers…’ his da told him. ‘…remain here, yes here, while I fetch a glass...’. Conroe Lazare wore short pants winter, summer and fall, preferring trousers during the summer months. His da told him that ‘the bastard Lazare’ should be avoided at all costs; and were he to run into him he must run willy-nilly, and quickly in the other direction. His da had strange ideas about how things should be; like how the world worked (with wheels and cogs, levers and spinners) or why the Mint didn’t just print more money when he was down at the heel. Things like that; strange things.

His da enjoyed a good ham supper; Smoked Pork Neck and/or Smoked Pig's foot or Hog jowl, a Schinkenspeck Picnic Ham or a Kassler Rippchen or Kassler Deviled
Country Ham, either Brine-cured or Pumped, Wet-cured or dry, Ham Xuanwei and Ham Yunnan, Capocolla and Bayonne Ham, or a delicate Jambon Bayonne or a Bauerschinken Jamón Ibérico. Wednesdays he dined on braised cows’ tongue; Tuesdays it was sautéed whitefish; Thursdays he enjoyed a tuna fish sandwich and a glass of buttermilk; Fridays were reserved for poached eggs and rye bread, lightly toasted; Mondays and Saturdays he ate like a bird, and on Sundays he didn’t eat at all, having lost his appetite and the will to go on, both of which he recovered and had possession of come Monday morning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Block and Tackle

No that’s not right, they came from over there, beyond the seven-mile fence. They arrived, and quickly, not ones for lollygagging and slack jawing. They came, that’s all. As they went they came; quickly and with little presence of mind. Beyond the seven-mile fence lays the eight-mile fence, and so on. Out beyond the nine-mile fence where the jimson grows… (sucked into hell’s slur·ry, never to be seen or heard from again). I must stop this, and soon… Jürgen ran overland to the cliffs, stopping only to zip the zipper on his squall jacket. The man in the hat, unaware that he was being espied upon took the first caravan southward to the cliffs overlooking the bluish blue sea. ‘…I will settle here for a while…’ he said, ‘…then move northward come morning…’. Dare I say, the willows are willowing and the Clostridium Gangrening. ‘How to cunvence to a woman about fuckinh’ was cut at eyelevel into the door, and below that ‘horsis are easer to cunvence’. Catherine II of Russia had her lover Grigori Alexandrovich Potyomkin-Tavricheski block and tackle a horse to the ceiling, on whose back, sitting sidesaddle, Count Alexander Matveyevich Dmitriev-Mamonov bucked and heaved; the block and tackle jimmying free from the ceiling joist, crushing the wind and longing out of the poor tsarists’ body.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Clostridium Perfringens

As he had not had a decent meal in weeks (he often forgot that he’d forgotten, having to remember then forget what he had forgotten) he decided to put off his journey until he’d had a good feed. The Valmiera boys, named after Saint Valmieras, esteemed for their headcheese sandwiches, live outside the five-mile fence. Having set up their sandwich cart not far from where he stood, he decided on a liverwurst sandwich with onion and Gibbs’ hard mustard. He often checked the back of his legs, in between his toes and under his armpits, thinking he might be gangrenous, rotting in places he couldn’t see. His da’s da suffered through bouts of Clostridium Perfringens and Fournier Gangrene, his nether parts stitched with ulcers and soars, the doctor prescribing fly maggots and hot towels. The hat-maker Södertörns Högskola was prone to fits of indigestion, jimson weed helping to quell the ache in his stomach. ‘...all that itching...’ he said, ‘…clear down to the bone...’.

They came from Aucanquilcha and Kaffeklubben Island, from Tonbridge Kent and Ahmadabad Gujarat, colporteurs and roughnecks, madmen and halfwits, they came to see Pūthia of Athens, gastromancer. …hot towels and fly maggots, stinkweed and jimson, scalded whistle clean.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Brillo® Strip & Shine® Steel Wool Balls

The morning before (under a sackcloth blue sky) the man in the hat pulled his arm through the sleeve of his shirt, twisting his forefinger into a mathematical dilemma. His feet pulled the cold from the Formica tiles, a shiver corseting up his leg and into the joist of his hip. Today I will buy a new hat (he thought); a newsboys’ cap, perhaps a boater or a Sou’wester. The hat-maker Södertörns Högskola, known for his tactile understanding of textiles, came to mind; easing his worries about fineries and aesthetics. Purchasing a hat from the hat-maker Södertörns Högskola required a daylong trip, starting with the cock’s crow and ending under the veil of night. But first he must arrange his belongings in ordered rows; pots, pans and kitchen utensils in one lot, washer rags, Brillo® Strip & Shine® Steel Wool Balls and soap in another, and the morning’s dirty dishes in the sink to soak. ‘…what am I to do…?’ he wiled to himself. ‘…so many things to order and such little time…’. Thinking he heard a knock at the door he went the window. This happened often, phantom knocking, so he went back to ordering and thought nothing of it. Most things, he figured, were slapdash, sloppy, hazardous, messy, clumsy, hasty, careless, shoddy, carried out with little respect for order and timeliness. ‘…only a fool thinks time is orderly and order timely …’ he said, his thoughts on sorting and piling.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Coláiste Ríoga Eolaíocht Éireann

While out on his evening stroll he came upon a man wearing a loose overcoat cinched round his waist with butchers’ string. Passing him he says in passing ‘…cold weather, and you with your coat in tatters…’. Turning the man says ‘…worse ‘n scalp-lice…’. ‘…so it is…’. ‘…last year I had a heedful of ‘em, crawled all the way down there…’ he says pointing at the cuffs of his trousers. ‘…sad indeed…’. ‘…and the stink, makes a man want to burn his skin clean off…’. ‘…a torrid…’ adds the evening stroller, his face caving outwards. ‘…smoke…?’ ‘…I haven’t…’ he replies kindly yet firmly. ‘…saw one of them dolmans, bigger than a burnsides…’. Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari’s first painting was titled ‘a fat woman sits on man’, painted when he was seven years old. It now hangs in the front corridor of the Waymart, where for a nickel you can touch the raspberry soft skin of the woman’s buttocks, or for a dime the splayed prickle of her areola. On the opposite wall hangs a pastel sketch of the Coláiste Ríoga Eolaíocht Éireann, replete with hollyhocks and lupines; sketched by the not so great Irish etcher Samuel de la Champignon. …what have we here, a saltlick without a palling tongue.

As if by magic (alchemic enchantment) the alms man flew upside down soaring into the blue pastel sky. ‘…ahoy you fat bastards, and so long…’. With feast day days away, the middle of the month coming later that year, he felt the muscles in his heart tightening, ‘…what I wouldn’t do for a side of rashers, burnt side up…’ he mumbled, the fat man soaring beside him up to his armpits in cankers and boils. Soaring ever higher he flew, his arms pulling teeth from the jaws of the clouds. ‘…kindly remove your tongue from my saltlick, I have no time for bellyachers and imbeciles…’. Saying this he felt the strings of his heart twang like a catgut bow. The days before feast days are always long and wood boring; making one think that food isn’t what its made out to be. All that chewing and swallowing, chomping and grinding, and the bits failsafe that fall into the belly of your lap; poor bastard’s bib garroting his chin …nailed failsafe down with carpet tacks and resounding thwacks. …fighting off the ma’s hand jibbing the spoon into the cockpit of his maw.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hans Bellmer

Badajoz Extremadura

I like watching children yawn; all those ivory white teeth. Looking from left to right he measures the distance between the Waymart parking lot and the aqueduct, determined to make it back and forth in 27½ seconds flat. A return trip might take considerable (m)ore time and eff(or)t. I like to watch the old yawn; all those rotten apples waiting to fall from the tree. The Dungarvan Bros. of Waterford have a hard on for the Badajoz Bros. of Extremadura, both Bros. sharing a hard on for the Villeneuve’s of Bourgogne. …all that cream and not a cow in the paddock! The Dungarvan Bros. (of Waterford) haven’t a tosspot to piss in (having sold theirs’ for a whim and a dirge) wagering that they could vault the aqueduct in one fell swoop. Coming up short, by a hands’ length, they gave over their tossé without a piss or a moan, saying as they did '...but they haven’t a cow in the paddock...'. Dejesus offered his full-pledged sorrow ‘…all that barking will get them nowhere, and fast…’ The man in the hat stood under the Seder grocer’s awning counting the jiffies between raindrops. Off in the distance a woman in a lambskin slicker stood counting the raindrops between jiffies. A round trip cost more; double the cost for twice the convenience. 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. ‘…if I had a fiver for every time I had a nickel I’d be a rich man…’ said the alms man counting the coppers in his cap.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Eels - It's a Motherfucker

Saint Albans of Hertford

“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings”. (Heinrich Heine) was written in cigarette ash on the toilet wall. ‘…Burgas and lime…’ said the fat man to the proprietor, ‘…and a slice of pineapple upside down cake…’ said the fat woman. ‘…fat bastards…’ said the proprietor under his breath. Saint Albans of Hertford make the most delectable pineapple upside down cake, the Neath Creamery of Port Talbot supplying the butter and fresh cream, the two, Saint Albans of Hertford and Neath Creamery of Port Talbot living off the avails of cake and cream. Stop that damn fiddling you cad bastard; now! He shepherded himself out the door, the proprietor yelling after him ‘…where’s my fiver…’. With little effort he made it to Cuas an Ghainimh whereupon he sat for a fiver and took in the afternoon sun playing knockers on the water, his stomach bilge with Neath Creamery cream and Las Cumbres.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Galileo’s Shrivelled Finger

A crow’s spit from the train station sat a tiny tavern, the sign over the window inviting the thirsting to enter. Fishing in his pocket for change, silver dollars and silver-plated nickels, copper pennies and fifty-cent pieces, he decides to slake his thirst, the sign beckoning him to enter. Upon entering he notices a fat man with a fat woman sitting at a table in the corner, the fat man trying to cajole the fat woman into having another drink. ‘…have one more my dear, I implore you please…’ . ‘…but no, I can’t…’ she says. ‘…what could it hurt…?’ he asks. ‘…but I have an appointment...’ says the fat woman sharply, the fat man squinting angrily.

Across the room, his back to the fat man and fat woman, a man sits reading his newspaper, the front page announcing the following, “Galileo’s shrivelled finger is to go on display in an exhibition in Florence to mark the 400th anniversary of his first observation of the skies. The middle digit from his right hand was removed from his corpse in 1737 when his body was transferred to a mausoleum. Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church as a heretic during his lifetime but the Vatican has become more tolerant toward him in recent years”. He finishes reading the paper, folds it neatly in half and places it on the table in front of him, the fat man and fat woman all but oblivious to his presence. Stepping up to the bar (neither the fat man nor the fat woman acknowledging him) the proprietor giving him the once-over, he says ‘…a Las Cumbres my dear man …?’ His face a scribbler of childish confusion, the proprietor says ‘…Panama or Uruguay…?’ Looking askance at the proprietor the fat man says ‘…another potboiler dear man…’. ‘…and for the lady…?’ asks the proprietor. ‘…she’ll have a Burgas and lime…’.

…all this Cadillacing round making sow’s ear out of a mole hill; astonishing. Makes a man want to spit up. That crab bastard Galileo and his telescopic genius, all done with poke and fear oar. …bastard probably had the dose falling every everywhere out a the telescope of his ass. …all lowed down with the sniffles and pirouettes. …pump-room brawler, cheapskate. The chapo reading the newspaper cleared his throat and yawed, ‘…not what I’d call a slim Jim, all that flab and ring-a-rounds...’.

Having made a fool of himself the fat man left by the back door and took a tonic in the brawler, the fat woman chewing the half moons off her nails. ‘…I say…’ said the newspaper reading chapo, ‘…that Galileo was some cad bastard…’. Stepping backwards the proprietor took in the tavern, the sun streaming in through the barroom window playing fancy with the tabletops. ‘…removed the corpse hand-over-hand, planted the poor bastard downside up…’. ‘…not surprising…’ says the chapo ‘…and the awful smell, like Yale cabbage left out to spoil in the sun…’. Stepping forward, legs jimmying, the proprietor drew a smile across his dower face, ‘…right you are my dear man, right you are…’.

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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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