Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Price of Fish

Ignácio Escritor fell from a height so high his neck wrapped round his waistband like a loose belt, his life coming to an unexpected end. He left behind his parents, three chickens and his pig Armando, who was fostered out to the Esquito family, the youngest son having always wanted a pet pig. Of course this is a lie: nothing of the sort ever happened, its all magic, slight of hand, fiddle-addle.

He walked from the Antinomianist’s compound, in a thicket behind the house where Kallisto sisters, Oreias and Erinyes were born, past where Dr. Sickly, of the Herstal Liege pantomime troop lived with his great-grandmamma, where he learned how to connive and cast unnerving spells, to a village on the outskirts of Pradesh, a crow’s throw from Wetenschap en Kunst where Hyderabad and his brother Andhra grew up, bypassing the home of Simon Drogue, animal tender, to the very outskirts of Falmouth Antalya (Antalya's), Kiev, a postcard-size village inhabited by a clan of hirsute dogmen known as the Kyyivs'ka Oblast's, to just beyond the five-mile fence where Riyadh Ar Riyad, coke oven stoker, lived with his mamma and poppa, not once stopping to slake his thirst or rest his weary feet.

After a night on the turps, spent discussing the price of fish and hiccups, he left for places he’d thought he’d once been, far away places where people spoke in tongues, where the sun rose in the evenings, the moon at the crack of dawn, places he’d dreamed about, rash and unkindly places, swell jolly places where no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t make a person frown, here and there, places far and wide, but never where he was suppose to go, never there. ‘…if you want my advice you should stay where you are…’ said a woman in a lavender coat. ‘…why go anywhere except there…?’ The woman, on her way to Gteborg Vastra Gotaland where she’d heard there was a firesale on women’s evening attire, smiled and went here way, never once asking about the price of fish or hiccupping.

He fell from a height so high, feet swimming madly, arms swiping pockets of air, his belt wrapped round his neck like a hangman’s O. His life came to an end, leaving behind a chicken, a dog and enough fear to fill a fright-night movie hall. His mamma and poppa gave his dog to a boy, thinking ‘…dogs are man’s worst friend, all that pissing and scratching…’.

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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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