Monday, June 08, 2009

The Fumbling Boy

“you’d been stripped down to the last squalor”[1] said the Witness to the fumbling boy. When in the presence of the Witness the fumbling boy kept his head bowed, fearful as he was that a bolt of lightening or God’s hand might smote him dead. He’d decided that he wasn’t ready to die; not yet. His da cheeked pepper black snuff, splicing the dried bits off the cob of his tongue. His da was a stout angry man, known for his weakly legs and bearish hands. His ma, a delicate woman with soot black hair pulled back into a hag’s bun, drank teacupful’s of backhander’s Gin, her breath hot tempered with juniper berries and starch. ‘…you will amount to nothing…’ said his da offhandedly. ‘…prepare yourself for that, my boy, and life will be much easier…’. His da left a half-circle of snuff on the floor in front of his chair, the soles of his boots grainy with field mud and tobacco.
[1] John McGahern, The Dark, 1965

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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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