Friday, July 31, 2009

Salvador Bahia

(The next day a man in Leeuwarden Friesland sold a stitch of time to the haberdasher Neder Vindinge Storstrom, upending a man standing second in line awaiting the arrival of Dorsey Stromm, legendary Dingley Victoria gastromancer).

That morning at exactly 7:27½ the sky fell toppling onto the man in the hat’s head, tearing the brim off his favorite hat and sending him cart-wheeling sideways. ‘--odd indeed… and the sky being so blue’ he mused. Salvador Bahia swears he saw a man running, feet peddling the asphalt, holding a whore’s glove above his head laughing. ‘--you dear sir are mistaken’ said Medellin Antioquia, cloth peddler and close acquaintance of Barranquilla Aarschot Brabant, the sole administrator of the Atlántico Beastly Co. ‘--fibbing will get you nowhere my dear man’. Turning on his left heel, his right foot bent backwards, Salvador Bahia said ‘--I am doing nothing of the kind dear sir, prevarication is not within my mien’.

His da’s da was a track inspector for the Cetinje Subotica railway. His da’s da’s da was a redcap with the Subotica Cetinje railway. The day the boxcar-full of whores’ gloves arrived in town was the day he lost his nerve, never again taking up the subject of becoming a man. His da’s da told him that in order to be a man he had to learn how to skin a goat, the knife held between the thumb and the palm of the hand. ‘--skinning a goat will get you nowhere my boy’ said the legendary Dingley Victoria gastromancer Dorsey Stromm. ‘--use you’re skills sparingly, they’ll be lots of time for goat skinning when you get older’.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Niall Theodosius the Less

When he was a boy his da visited a Chinese masseuse with spongy hands and Alizarin red lips. His da said she soothed the aching in his back with her soft spongy hands. When his da came home from the Chinese masseuse he had a smile on his face as wide as the doorframe he walked through.

(In the 15th or 14th year of Laegaire son of Niall Theodosius the Less drove Patrick out of the pews, exclaiming ‘--beggar, thief, mountebank, this church is for believers, not braggart scum!’)

The Chinese masseuse did his da’s laundry, washing out the grease spots and ironing the creases in his work-shirts and trousers. Aarschot Brabant, sole proprietor of the Chinese rubdown, known for his heavy-handedness and unusual features, has a bone to pick with the Witness, the Witness having ripped him off for the cost of 127½ pamphlets extolling the virtues and health benefits of spongy-handed massages. The pamphlets were to read, We won’t stop until you say ‘UNCLE’… Money back guarantee, credit cards not accepted. Instead they read, Las putas son conchas ‘ASQUEROSAS’… SINNERS burn in hell, PUTAS!

Henrico Lönnrot, lover of opera and swift horses, met the man in the hat under the Waymart clock, his satchel bursting with knickknacks and leather goods. The inimical Henrico Lönnrot, purveyor of fine linens and soft hide, opened his satchel revealing a plethora of fine skin goods: vegan leather, also referred to as pleather, Ostrich, Morocco and Nappa leather, Corinthian and Chamois, both calf’s tongue soft, boiled and steamed leather, Bicast leather and Aniline leather, a smorgasbord of top quality leather goods. Rawhide, elephant hide, buffalo hide and buckskin he kept in a separate satchel stowed away under the buckboard of his oxcart. These he showed to a special breed of clientele, those with an eye for toughness and lasting quality. The man in the hat was interested in a small piece of goatskin, which the inimitable Henrico Lönnrot had promised to bring with him the next time he came to town. The tock tick tock of the Waymart clock aroused the attention of the alms man’s, the legless man and the harridan’s sister, all three staring blindly at the blue blue sky.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Bangkok Bros., proprietors of the Krung Thep Coffin Co. work solely with wormwood and fichus, oak and elm too hard and knotty, maple and balsa too soft and sinewy for a true Krung Thep Coffin. A standard coffin (made from plywood and fichus) selling for $227, a Krung Thep decorative mausoleum (replete with brass handles and silver hasps) $554, the Bros. insuring the highest standards of craftsmanship. ‘El sueño de la Razón’ read the sign over the door to their shop, the brothers having bought the sign from a travelling billboard hawker by the name of Sacks Salzmann, a man of little patience and loud complaining. ‘La Muerte Viene en la Noche’ read a second sign placed crookedly over the transom to the toilet. The brothers spoke Spanish spotted with broken Esperanto. 美好的手工制造棺材 (fine handmade coffins) was written in a unsteady hand on the wall next to the office, a reminder of their cultural heritage and long fingernails. ‘...fuck it, we don’t need a swineherd telling us how to do our job!’ said the eldest brother. ‘...nor a piebald ass telling us we’re hacks and charlatans’ added the younger brother, his brow tightening. ‘...we build the best damn coffins…’ ‘ the whole damn world’ interrupted the younger brother, the elder brother giving him a collusive nod.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shoreditch Bridge

Having forgotten how to tie his shoes he went about barefooted, the soles of his feet firebrick red with calluses. Shoes, boots too, were a nuisance and best left to those with dainty feet and soft hands. His da wore wingtip hobnails with wraparound laces and copper eyelets. In the winter he wore galoshes bootstrapped round his shins and ankles. He wore his expensive shoes on Sundays, spit-polished with stout and coal-black.

On his twelfth birthday, the year he grew hair on his chin, his da bought him a pair of Warwickshire Rugby boots with money he’d double-crossed from the Warwickshire women’s auxiliary. The boots came in brown and black with ribbed sheathing on the sides. The ones his da bought with swindled money came without laces, so his da fit them with dressing-string, bits of chicken skin and guts oiling the eyelets. The Porto Alegre brothers cobble fine Moroccan leather into bravura shoes; their small two-person shop hidden away in the mountains overlooking Rio Grande do Sul, a place of deep prayer and sullenness.

No one of importance came to see the coffin off. The alms man and the littlest dogman stood over the casket hooking rocks off the lid, the coffin builder and his driver deciding to skid the box onto the back of their truck and send it off on the next train, the burial scheduled for the following day in Shoreditch Bridge. ‘--bet’cha I could wing one off the padlock’ said the alms man, the littlest dogman looking fixedly at his cap. Pressing his fingers against the splay of his chin (his jaw having been replaced with the jawbone of an ass) the coffin builder’s assistant shushed the two coffin thugs ‘-shush you ruffians shush’.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arte Biblica

Krúdy’s Poteen

Jókai Krúdy came home from the war with Fournières Gangrène. The war, the fulminate war, was in his head. His grandmamma sat with her skirts hitched round her waist, her nether-mouth trumpeting toottatoottatoot, those convened dumbfounded at her musical acumen and flaring nostrils. Jókai Krúdy returned home from the war the war in his head with Fournières Gangrène and bad teeth. Clamping his jaw he trumpeted ‘—toottatoottatoot..’ those convened amazed at his tuneful shrewdness. He died on a Wednesday, Jókai Krúdy did, doubled-over his bed spiriting images of God and paper Mache hats, his jaw clamping down on the jawbone of a mule, his fulminating Fournières dissipating along the farthest line of advancement.

When the man in the hat heard of Krúdy’s death he went out and bought a panama boater, a fine summer hat for a fine summer day. Recalling he recalled lazy summer afternoons spent with his grandpapa floating newsprint boats on the calm surface of the water, his grandpapa, smoking his favorite cob, blowing squids of gray-blue smoke into the blue-gray sky. His granddad drank pot stilled Poteen, a malted barely and potato swish that ‘--flaps your tongue to the roof of your mouth’ so he said his granddad said. ‘--you’re never to young to learn an old trick’ he added, his teeth chattering. His granddad’s teeth chattered when he spoke, Poteen having caked his facility to form vowels and constantans. ‘--any man can trumpet through his ass’ he would say, his lips forming a fugal O. He (his granddad) spoke contrapuntally, his front teeth hedging words and syllables.

The Whitchurch-Stouffville women’s auxiliary hold a quilting-bee in the basement of the Hyde Cheshire Holy Place every third Thursday, the rector’s assistant setting up the tables and beg-benches. The man and the hat accompanied by the harridan and the harridan’s sister attended the last quilting-bee of the summer, the women’s auxiliary closing up shop for the month of August, returning the day after Labor Day. ‘--conjecture might have it we find a quilted glove here’ said the man in the hat to the harridan and her sister. ‘--wouldn’t that be a marvel’ said the harridan, her sister lynching on her every word. ‘--maybe a whore’s glove’ offered the sister, her lips trembling. Moving his hat from left to right, a coppice of hair sprouting through a seam in his fedora, the man in the hat said ‘--these ladies are odd birds… ‘ ‘…and done menstruating’ added the harridan, her sister’s face flushing. ‘--that too…’ said the man in the hat troubled that he’d been interrupted, and by a harridan at that. ‘--either way we’re not likely to find a whore’s glove among the beeing’. ‘--and were we…’ said the harridan’s sister, her face having gone from firebrick red to sac flour white, ‘--it’d be all cutesy and soaked in perfume.’

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sickly Boy

He felt a deep unrest. Without his hats and caps his life would be meaningless. Meaninglessness, he discovered, was far worse than meaningless, as the ‘ness’ suffixed at the end signaled a true sense of despair, and despair, as he’d come to learn, was something he wore like a tight-fitting suit, the cuffs frayed and in tatters. ‘--vomit’, he taunted, the black bile causing him to burp and eructate like a turnip-fed ass. ‘--were I a muleteer I’d drive my cart down the centre of the street laughing all the day’ he said jeering. ‘--were I a barroom brawler I’d brawl all night, knocking down all who dared get in my way.’

The cornerstone on which he stood squat was the very one on which his grandmamma made her water that day then. She often made her toilet on the Waymart keystone or the limestone casement surrounding the Greek Deli, ‘---astride the battlement’ as she would say, when she was too tired to make her water in the trap at home. Howard Laërtius’ teeth, milled from an old cistern, clack. When he eats they clap like grindstones. Poor sot bastard.

His grandmamma wore her skirts hitched round her belly to hide her birthing scars. After 27½ hours of grunting and pushing the midwife puncture her waterbag with a hatpin, a red liquid matting the hair on her thighs and belly, her son taking his first breath like a sailor astride her quisling thighs, Doctor Flensburg proclaiming ‘-goodness me what a sickly boy’.

Friday, July 24, 2009


The Manchester Divided church run a biscuit take-away window on Saturday and Tuesday afternoons; juice and assorted confectioneries are available Mondays and Thursdays. The Carapicuba Sao Paulo Unionists, headed by Maracay Aragua, a man of unyielding spirit, live off the avails of eeling and bluefin, neither amounting to a hill of beans. Colin von Pelt lives with his mamma in a walkup overlooking the aqueduct, neither son nor mamma having a care in the world. They, mamma and son, make flint pie-forks and casserole dishes; the son beleaguered by his mamma’s constant bickering and amorous advances, the advances making his stomach kern.

The sky fell toppling earthward. T’iss a longpunt from the mouth of the Howth to the seashore of the Arans. Ojhpo0ijmpol: Simon says what Simon does. Po0jp0-o9p: Nomis does as Nomis says. ‘--this is ridiculous!’ bellowed the man in the hat. ‘--no two ways about it’. Having once run into Mrs. von Pelt, her knee sending him catapulting head over heel, the man in the hat stayed clear of mamma and son alike. Anyhow they weren’t worth a hill of beans, offering nothing to the crummy life he felt compelled to live regardless of his disgust for it. He could care less what other people did as long as they did it somewhere other than where he was. Factual errors and slip-ups unnerved him; common sense things like the failure to distinguish a Moor’s cap from a Corbusier flatcar cap or beginning a letter with the wrong salutation. Pitiable hygiene in others drew the worst out in him, his disposition changing from bleakly optimistic to disheartened. ‘--I can feel my hat towering above my head’ he said, his hair prone to acts of misconduct and wrongdoing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beyond the Howth

José Luis Pérez Abellán and Trapero Francisco are disagreeable men. Pérez Abellán’s son Miguel thinks his father is a cad and will resort to anything to get what he wants. Francisco has no children, his wife having no feeling bellow the hipbones. ‘--what a mess’ he says, ‘--all this pale skin and spoil’… ‘--this is not the world I signed on for, not by a longshot’ the skin round his eyes tightening. ‘--who in the right mind would ?’ ‘--want this, you mean ?’ ‘--yes, this mess’. ‘--all this pale skin and spoil, you mean ?’ ‘--yes, pale skin and…’ ‘--spoil ?’ ‘--yes’.

tacking homeward
he could see St. Christopher
swimming out from shore

his surplice
coddled in seaweed

beyond the Howth
he saw an old bicycle wheel
riding the waves

the salt having eaten
away the mudguard

Apiacées et Quieres viajar

Bespackled in urine the alms man stood on one leg hopping, his trousers soiled through to the cuffs. As he had never been to an opera or seen a putas diva up close, although he’d seen one from a distance through fogged spectacles making her appear wavy and distaff, he felt none the worse for not being invited to the one-time showing of la Pelléas et Mélisande. ‘--all that pale white skin and spoil’ he said, feeling none the better for having done so. ‘--I’d much rather a go-round with the Cutter’s daughter’ he murmured, ‘--even though her moustache tickles’.

L’ombelle Apiacées hasn’t a cruche to piss in. Nor has he a hat to place squarely on the top of his head. He has very little, L’ombelle Apiacées, and prefers it that way.

‘¿Quieres viajar look at this, I founded it hidden under the rector’s cot’.

"In Florence, a rich and famous city of Italy in the province called Tuscany, there lived two gentlemen of wealth and quality, Anselmo and Lothario, such great friends that by way of distinction they were called by all that knew them "The Two Friends." They were unmarried, young, of’ he read on ‘the same age and of the same tastes, which was enough to account for the reciprocal friendship between them’. Anselmo, it is true, was somewhat more inclined to seek pleasure in love than Lothario, for whom the pleasures of the chase had more attraction; but on occasion Anselmo would forego his own tastes to yield to those of Lothario, and Lothario would surrender his to fall in with those of Anselmo, and in this way their inclinations kept pace one with the other with a concord so perfect that the best regulated clock could not surpass it."

‘--look at her, isn’t she a beauty Quieres viajar- ? ’ L’ombelle Apiacées has many ideas of how the world works, none of which made any sense to anyone other than L’ombelle Apiacées. ‘--fucker’d say anything if he thought it’d get him a laugh’ said Quieres viajar under his breath, ‘--anything at all’. His nose flaring the man in the hat took a step back and took in the circus : L’ombelle Apiacées rubbing shoulders with himmself, recounting how he slayed the tiger that ate his da, Quieres viajar inhaling quids of air then releasing them through pressed lips, his eyes twirling like Mayday batons. ‘--what a fine day indeed’ said the man in the hat, ‘--queer with imbeciles’.

Every so often the world takes a course the likes of which we, the oafish and fisheyed, have no control to alter or ammend. Its at times like this that we (the fisheyed and oafish) need leave the world be, as the world is a disagreeable place (look at her, isn’t she a beauty Quieres viajar- ?) …and one gets what one sows, simple as that.
[1] Ibid

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pelléas et Mélisande

That night la Pelléas et Mélisande was playing at the firehouse, a one-time showing put on by the Concha Bros. Opera company owned and operated by Horacio and Roberto, brothers Antae and Agape preferring the loom business to opera. Across the street from the firehouse sat the legless man, his arms crossed over his chest wheezing. ‘--Concha’s should keep their whoring to themselves… all that stink and pale skin’. Having once bedded a putas diva with a leghorn stump (that made his own look like fine upstanding pegs) he had bad memories of straddle-backs and beans, the puta diva never once staying still long enough to make fair game of her.

The thought of her singing brought tears to his eyes. They drank tic-tac under a black opium sky, los putas diva saying it’d make him stiff as whiplash and kill the worms in his stool. The Concha brothers bought whores’ gloves from a man with a fat wife and three unsightly daughters. ‘--no not that one’ whispered the oldest unsightly sister. ‘--da’ll have a conniption if he sees you dressed like that’. ‘--da’s got a boxful of ladies gloves and no one says spit about that ’. Jeju Cheju-do and his cousin Ran Shou Tan live in a ramshackle hut behind the firehouse with two dogs and a courting pig they use to lure women to their hut, the pig sticking its corkscrew tail in the air and twirling it like a propeller.

The Cceres brothers and the Extremadura brothers are in cahoots with the Bridgwater brothers and the Bekkevoort brothers, who are in cahoots with the Brabant brothers and the Wolverhampton brothers, none of whom have anything to do with this story, for the moment at least… moments being what they are, incalculable and varying, this could be an oversight on behalf of the author, who is in cahoots with everyone except the harridan’s sister who is in cahoots with herself.

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…’. * And so the day went, the man in the hat making a fine mess of an otherwise okay to middling fine day.
* Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marfeast Lickplate

On a tattered sheet of foals-cap, written in bright blue and yellow ink (the Witness, some might surmise) was the following, “ cross multiplication of reverses of fortune, from which these supports protected him, and by elimination of all positive values to a negligible negative irrational unreal quantity… Successively, in descending helotic order: Poverty: that of the outdoor hawker of imitation jewellery, the dun for the recovery of bad and doubtful debts, the poor rate and deputy cess collector. Mendicancy: that of the fraudulent bankrupt with negligible assets paying 1s. 4d. in the pound, sandwichman, distributor of throwaways, nocturnal vagrant, insinuating sycophant, maimed sailor, blind stripling, superannuated bailiffs man, marfeast, lickplate, spoilsport, pickthank, eccentric public laughingstock seated on bench of public park under discarded perforated umbrella. Destitution: the inmate of Old Man's House (Royal Hospital) Kilmainham, the inmate of Simpson's Hospital for reduced but respectable men permanently disabled by gout or want of sight. Nadir of misery: the aged impotent disfranchised ratesupported moribund lunatic pauper[1].

Not quite fathoming what it was he was privy to reading, the man in the hat threw the tattered piece of foals-cap into the next to nearest dustbin, shaking the dew off his once nimble fingers. ‘--strange indeed these markings, and in such bright blues and yellows’ he said to himself, as no one was within hearing sight, and even had there been he wouldn’t have dare change a vowel or constantan, words being treasures bequeathed to few. On the off-side that someone might be within earshot, which indeed might be the case as others might be out and about on such a delightfully sunshiny morning, he corrected his overbite and spoke polysyllabically, applying emphasis on uncommon words and turns of phrase; many of which he used sparingly but used just the same.

‘--I’m a feared this might be the last one…’ said the man in the hat stilly. ‘--I cannot, nor shall I, never say yes again, never again!’ Applying a small turn of pressure on his good leg he turned in the direction of the Waymart, and there, sitting abutted the shopping carts eavesdropping was the harridan’s sister, her hair done up in posies, a bow curling under her chin and around the cord of her fair neck.

Across from the harridan’s sister he espied the lams man (he sometimes called the alms man the lams man, in keeping with his desire to make old things seem new) figuring out his day’s take, his alms cap laying flat on the sideways to the left of him. Thinking he might say something untoward, as he had incurred many a person’s ire with his untoward advances, he thought the better of it and sat on the palms of his hands, making himself seem taller than he actually was. ‘--days such as these seem to go on and on… forever’ he belayed to himself, as those people who had been out and about tending to their daily routine or looking for scavenging, had either left or gone somewhere other than where he was, sitting on the palms of hands seeming taller than he actually was, just a soupçon taller, but taller just the same. Written over the headboard, where his wife’s harried head made slapping noises, was Život s hvězdou, and beneath that Putas Grandees’, both written in pencil and black ink.
[1] James Joyce, Ulysses

Curitiba Parana - Fistfighter

Having not given it a second sober thought, as sober thoughts, whether striking at the core of the issue or simply striking the surface, were a waste of time... anyhow sober thinking was highly overstated.

The publican bleats, reckoning ‘--last call, ye weary cunts ye’. Having witnessed little that day the Witness packed up his ink-trunk and headed for home, a coil of commode tissue heeled to the soul of his shoe, sad cunt. ‘--I said last call, ye fucking cunts …and I’m meaning it, ye I am!’ Across from the bar, seemingly unaware of the publican’s order, sat Curitiba Parana, fist-fighter and regular at the los Bariloche de Tachira San Cristbal, twirling the tips of his great black moustache. ‘--sir I have asked you twice, now please lave!’ said the publican firmly. Turning, his great black moustache curling upwards, Curitiba Parana said ‘--I am a clean man, I assure you that dear sir, now fuck off’. At this the publican, the veins in his forehead throbbing, stepped out from behind the bar, and elbowing his way past pub vagrants and travelers stood squarely in front of Curitiba Parana, his fists clenched into doughy balls (from one too many punch-ups with the unseemly customers), ‘--listen hear ye cunt, I’m a fair man, with God as me witness, but when I says its closing time ITS CLOSING TIME!’ puffing out his chest, the publican added ‘--now kindly git your arse off my seat, ye cunt’.

Endgame - Beckett

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Los Bariloche de Tachira San Cristbal

Where the mouth of the great river spills into the coal-black sea, nestled away in a Dantean paradisio, sits the Saint Edmunds Nunnery, the Sisters of the Annunciation tending the Huguenots gardens left despoiled and fallow in the eighteen hundreds. Not far off, no further than the crow flies, los prostitutas de Bariloche de Tachira San Cristbal lure man and beast to their watery death. If one looks hard enough one can see wax corks floating like shrunken jellyfish in the waters surrounding los Bariloche de Tachira San Cristbal; a warning to man and beast that beauty and death are often times indistinguishable. ‘--utter nonsense!’ cried the Witness, ‘--the Huguenots never dared set foot anywhere near the Saint Edmunds Nunnery’. His pique serving to enflame the Witness, setting him off on an angry diatribe, Dejesus sat back and listened, his ears stopped with corked wax.

The Zadar bros. cobble Arco Orthopedic Slippers from the boot of their lorry; the eldest brother Zagrebacka, known for his temper and low values, commanding brothers Staden and Kobenhavn, each of whom have the wit of a seven year-old. The Holland bros. of Wicklow convene behind the Bray pump-house next to a billboard for the Monument Creamery, renown for its epic cream and assorted dairy products. The Keen bros., originally from Copenhagen but now running a vast tinned smelts empire from an outpost a stone’s throw from the Los Cipolletti bros. of Rio Negro who own and operate a casa putas with de Bariloche sisters, the eldest sister having a crush on Kobenhavn, regardless of his slow wittedness and unkempt appearance, having little patience for lollygaggers and racketeers, the brothers themselves having been raised by two such cunts.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cats Laying Siege to Dogs

Thinking back over the last few days of his life, days spent either thinking about hats, the feel of tanned leather, like calf’s tongue yet supplier, and brushed felt, hatbands made from ostrich feathers and wren’s feet, or purchasing a hat, which he did without thought, as care for one’s head was of the utmost importance, he came to the realization that he had accomplished very little except dream about hats, a preoccupation that occupied much of his time----an avocation or obsession, some might suggest----either way he had to start putting more effort into other things, like thinking about where the missing whore’s glove might be, which given the manner of its vanishing and value, at least to those with more shortcomings than virtues, would take a great deal of thinking, or figuring out ways to malign the Witness, who’s shenanigans were becoming an ongoing concern, not only for he, but for Dejesus and the harridan’s sister too, or simply trying to dissuade himself from fixating on hats, which would free up more time than he had things to think about. Having decided on making a change in his habits the next day, following his morning walk, he donned his best fedora, the one with the satin hatband and rosebush stickpin, and left for the day, forgoing any further thought on the subject, which given his slow-wit and demure affectation would not be a difficult at all, as long as he stayed the line and toed forward, which he did, unremittingly.

He’d seen this before: cats laying siege to dogs, crows tightrope walking the wire awaiting the next opportunity to lay siege to an unsuspecting swineherd. In no way, at least none that he could think of, did this matter, as in the end everything would find its rightful place, siege or besieged, it mattered very little which, among the rabble and stink of this most imperfect world. ‘--tomorrow I will buy a new hat’, he said to himself, ‘--one softer than a calf’s tongue with an imposing brim’. Off in the far to middling distance, crouched behind a thicket of Fichus trees, stood two dogmen; the littlest and the middling to littlest. In the littlest dogman’s hand the man in the hat could barely make out, as the sky was dimming, the clouds having come home to roost, a grayish green object spackled with brine and mud. Thinking that he’d seen this slithery green bespackled object before, perched on the balustrade that circumnavigates the aqueduct or in the alleyway behind the Waymart, he put his hand to his brow as if he were giving a salute, and peered straining at the object, his forehead rumpled like a schoolboy’s badly done homework.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Salt tempered Bellies

Looking over the way, past the cod factory where the women slit salt-tempered bellies, the scales flaking onto their blue coveralls, beyond the one-mile fence beyond, he saw a boy bouncing a blue and red ball, his legs shimmying like billiard sticks.’--they blindfold the horses before they put them down, clams ‘em a bit…’ said Mrs. Simms to Mr. Simms, her mouth turned down at the corners like a dinner napkin. ‘…my dear don’t you mean calms?’ asked Mr. Simms. ‘--no clams my dear Mr. Simms, clams’. ‘…well that is most peculiar indeed Mrs. Simms, and coming from a woman with a sturdy command of the English language’. ‘--no need to worry my love, it’ll all be well…’. ‘…in good time?’ asked Mr. Simms. ‘--yes my dear Mr. Simms, in good time’. ‘…and not a moment before’ added the barrister, ‘…nary eh’.

Swooning, a gull paused to lay an egg in of Mrs. Simms’ head. ‘--I’ve been assaulted, Mr. Simms!’ Switching the direction of his gaze, his eyes set about a young lass twilling a lock of her golden hair, the Barrister Simms said ‘…no need to worry Mrs. Simms, its only an egg, and a fine round one at that’. ‘--well then, knock it off, its making me feel most peculiar!’ pleaded Mrs. Simms. Hidden behind a woman making her toilet, her skirts pulled up over her round belly, the man in the hat let go with a mild though announced titter. ‘--strange lot, them’ he said whispering, the woman making her toilet grunting, ‘--and not a tosspot to piss in’. Were it not for the woman making her toilet grunting, her skirts pulled up over her round belly, the man in the hat would have let go with a rounding guffaw; but as any sharp twilling noise might startle the commoving woman, sending a rooster tail of warm piss all over his person, he kept his rounding to himself, clearly wishing not to be assailed with a bowsprit of warm womanly piss. …birds besieging cats, muleteers besieging mules, women besieging… These things occur more oft than naught, so they do. Having finished her toilet the woman hiked her skirts up round her waist and hightailed it northward, a warm inviting smirk on her womanly face. The man in the hat couldn’t help but think, ‘--my what a fine specimen of a woman indeed, and fatter than a skinner’s mule’. The sky turned inside out, baring its soiled under clothes. In due time Mrs. Simms, in due time. But I fear the worst Mr. Simms. No worse, I’d say, than a party of crows besieging a cat, poor beast. But the egg, Mr. Simms, flick it off my head, I can’t take a moment more. Besieged the barrister Simms flicked the egg tumbling, a spot of yolk forming a perfect circle on the ground before his feet. ‘--indeed what a fine round egg, Mrs. Simms; and such a bright yellow yolk’.

Most mornings the man in the hat awoke unsettled, his thoughts skid addling in his head. Having witnessed his fair share of calamity, he felt it only proper that he reward his good nature with the purchase of a new hat. As his posture was slightly askew he lifted one leg over the other, bending evenly at the waist, and pulled his trousers on two legs at a time; a practice he had become accustom to since his feet had begun to turn inwards like cudgels, his ankles swollen red and bursting. Today he would buy a new hat, most certainly, then set out in search of the harridan’s sister who word had it was looking for Dejesus who had a bone to pick with the Witness who was busy printing new pamphlets in red, blue and yellow ink. But the egg is still on my head, Mr. Simms, is it not? Stop you’re worrying Mrs. Simms; the night is still young and so are the eggs. With that the barrister Simms and his wife set out a second time on their morning walk.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Crows and Children

The Barrister and Mrs. Simms out for their morning walk came upon a party of crows besieging a cat; Mr. Simms intoning ‘--shameful, can’t they see the poor creatures down on its luck?’ Such as this these things were not uncommon, birds besieging cats, muleteers besieging mules, women besieging one another over the strangest things; out on his own morning strolls the man in the hat had seen such calamities, children besieging children and cats fighting dogs, all manner of calamity he saw walking. Counting their blessings the Barrister and Mrs.Simms went about their day, the crows having made mincemeat of the poor cat, the Barrister Simms intoning to his wife ‘--they’ll get what’s coming to ‘em, mark my words Mrs. Simms’, his wife rejoining ‘--in due time my dear, not a moment before’.

Both parties were unwilling to acknowledge the other, the other Other simply too weary to plea for forgiveness and a more timely beginning. Crows and children larking on the front lawn of the constabulary, the smallest to the biggest giving off a hoot holler ‘--fucker’s dead!’ ‘…yes indeed’. ‘--wanna know what I think?’ ‘…by all means yes’. ‘--the crows ate ‘em’, ‘…every last bit of ‘em’. ‘--down to the hide…’. ‘…every last lick…’. …all eaten up down to the hide, sad state of affairs, sadder than that fucker’d got ate by the dog, all his hair and all. …dead as dead!

The headline in the newspaper read Serial Killer Killed’, and beneath it an advert for Pimms’ Stool Softener, a picture of an off-white bed pan disappearing off the page. The man in the hat said to himself in a low whisper ‘--take before bed on a full stomach, wake up the next morning clean as a whistle’. Seated beside him, across the aisle from the Barrister and Mrs. Simms, Mrs. Simms’ bowel having prolapsed the night before leaving her fatigued and nonplussed, was a man with a gray face (worn through with Whisky and Porter) a pitted nose and eyes redder than spilt blood. He was mumbling something to himself, his voice cracking like a child looking tearfully for a lost bicycle or a dog.

The last time was the first time he felt the nausea; the thought of two dogs tail to arse while a child heaves a red and blue ball over the fence, the boy’s face ribbed with anger and contempt, was enough to bring him to his knees. He felt his shinbones give way, then a heaviness pulling him headlong into the blacktop, the smell of his da’s starched shirts and rotting fish pelting his thoughts like hailstones on sheet metal

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Sentient Mirror

The congregation of Hornchurch Essex are in cahoots with Abano Terme Veneto. Ljubljana Bohinj and his sister Victoria, having slaked (his ass stuck fast in the dark brown mud snorting) left for Ossetia. ‘-to touch the feet of Christ’ said his sister, ‘-would be a feat of unorthodoxy’. ‘-ah but to reflect on the abstract centre of the world’ he added, his voice breaking into a tremolo. ‘-what diversity’ his sister added. ‘-indeed’ said Ljubljana Bohinj, ‘-a sentient mirror’. The Hornchurch Essex congregants congregated at the foot of Christ, the sun beating down on red-shorn ears, Abano Terme Veneto, making a trumpet of his ass, paying homage to the rich diversity of the sentient world. Further down the road, canopied under a lush green forest of trees, sat the alms man, his alms cap turned brim-side up. ‘-alms for the poor’ sang out the alms man, his face tight as a waiting fist. ‘-alms for the poor’.

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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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