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.

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