Monday, August 17, 2009

Del Mar Valparaiso

The reoffering follows the conferring, reoffering and conferring referring to the Lamarckian maxim ‘what comes into the world must exit the world’. The Reofferer arrived the day after the last calf was conferred. A panhandler by trade, it was his job to initiate the reoffering of the calves; an avocation passed down from grandfather to son to grandson. The man in the hat met the Reofferer the day before the first snowfall. His hat hunkered on the crown of his head he set out into the day. As the midday heat was stifling, the blacktop a sizzling cast-iron skillet, the man in the hat decided to defer the remainder of the day. When the days grew weary with heat the townspeople stayed indoors, cooling the inside temperature with frozen saltlicks wrapped in bed sheets, the windows sealed shut, chinking stuffed with rags and shirttails. Del Mar Valparaiso makes ice in an abandoned trolley-car, saltlick-size bales going for 25 cents a block. The Reofferer arrived the day after the last conferring. In the boot of his sedan he carried iodine, mercurochrome and sulfuric acid, gauze, tensor bandages, coarse salt, alcohol, a set of speculums arranged in order from 25 centimeters to 7½ centimeters, a lever and three changes of clothing. The Reofferer began the reoffering with a short prayer ‘--what is conferred shall be reoffered’. Smearing an unctuous oil of calamine, stinkweed and fichus root on the calves’ head, the Reofferer slapped the calf on the tenderloin and said a second prayer ‘But ye, also, my brethren, tell me: What doth your body say about your soul? Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched self-complacency?’[1] The Potchefstroom Bros. make Porkpie hats, 2 for a dollar 3 for a fiver. He gave him a priestly pat on the back and set out to meet the day.

[1] Friedrich Nietzsche, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA, Zarathustra's Prologue, 1891

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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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