Monday, July 27, 2009

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.’

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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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