Saturday, May 09, 2009

Johann Magdalene’s Brother

A windstorm kicked up, sending dustbins whirling, dogs flying and cats soaring. Sitting cross-legged on the kerbside the alms man checked his watch, 27½ past 19 past eleven. At 28 past 20 past 19 he unbuckled his watchstrap and tossed his watch into the dustbin, time having an strange way of impressing order on order. The wind blew and blew, the alms man cursing ‘…damn you sky, damn you…!’ ‘…now then now stop that infernal banging…’ plead a man in a Macintosh and baggy trousers, his lower lip protruding. ‘…yes, that’ll be quite enough…’ said the alms man, wishing to build an alliance with the baggy-panted man. Both men visibly upset with the ruffians and kooks marching three abreast along the sideways, the ruffian at the front throwing his chest out like a mating bird, looked at one another and frowned; the baggy trouser man’s lip protruding below the knob of his chin, on which sprouts a single grey hair. Johann Magdalene’s brother hasn’t slept in two years. Schlafes Bruder, as he his known, stands in front of the Waymart waiting for the sky to fall, unable to move a muscle or close his eyes, he stares into the blue oceanic sky silently waiting, the townsfolk making faces and casting aspersions on him. ‘…hey dumdum, what time is it…?’, or, ‘…how can you possibly stand on those chicken-legs of yours…?’.

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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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