Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cabman's Shelter

He’d had enough of all this fumble about in the past, ‘--memories punt you off-kilter’ he thought, ‘--making a mockery out of what you’ve become. Its what you are at the moment of death that matters, everything else is conjecture and happenstance… today I will buy a new hat, a fedora with a red satin hatband’.

‘--throw it in the fire’ yelled his da, ‘--it’ll burn good once it gets the flame’. His da’s da watched from the head of the scud, his jaw working a plug of Warhorse chaw. Every autumn his da and his da’s da burnt ground apples in a fire-pit behind the woolshed, his da’s da stoking the fire with gasoline and chaw spit. The cabman’s shelter wasn’t far from the Masonic temple. The Masons’ sanitize the jars with hydrochloride, the measure of which is to ensure that the apple jelly doesn’t get moldy and sour. They dispatch cartfuls of Masonic Jelly to places where jelly is valued for its high sugar content, such places as Chesterfield Derbyshire where jelly gourmands have such rotund gaseous bellies their nightshirts scarcely entomb the girth of their ballyhoos.

Dejesus prefers crabapple jelly on half-done rye toast, the sweet nectar pleasing to the tongue. ‘--I fear I fear going mad’ said a man standing beside Dejesus, the dread in his voice immanent. ‘--that and loosing my legs, because a man without steady legs is nothing but a falling down fool’. ‘--you needn’t be so dramatic’ said Dejesus, ‘--worse things could happen…’. ‘--like what?’ interrupted the fearful man. ‘--like falling head over kettle into a cesspit and not being able to climb out’ said Dejesus, the skin around his eyes tightening. ‘--I never thought of that’ said the timorous man. ‘--thank you dear sir, and now I must be off’ and off he went, Dejesus thinking ‘--how strange indeed, and to think I once aspired to such nonsense’.

When he turned twelve his da’s da bought him a secondhand bicycle with money he saved from his job slaughtering pigs. His da’s da was known for his precision at placing the head of the ax into the halves of the skull, felling the pig four legs out from the body. Pumping the tappet with his left hand he raised the carcass over the boil, dropping it in headfirst, his right hand obliging the push-rod into the cogwheel, the whirr and bustle of machinery filling his ears with dirty thoughts.

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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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