Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheapskates and Dissidents

Barbican Noose and José Amorós stood two abreast admiring the flushing meadows, the sun rising above the seawall filling the landscape with a yellow tinge. Admirers of yellow hues, they watched the sun rising higher above the seawall landscape, the feasters queuing for the Feast of the Hopeful Sinner. ‘but today is the twenty-eighth’ said Noose alarmingly. That morning, far away far, the Guayaquil constabulary was busy beating confessions out of cheapskates and social dissidents. Jefe Guayas, the head of the Guayaquil Militar, and his assistant Marratxi De Bono, himself a keen constabulant, were convinced that a Marxist haberdasher was producing contraband whore’s gloves from his factory on the Islas of Baleares Payerne, a crow’s throw from the Isle of Warwickshire, home to Fribourg Studley, his chickens and a blind dog. As the story goes, or went, as stories fade with time and forgetfulness, Fribourg Studley, known for his exacting perspicuity, lived alone on the Isle of Warwickshire, his only companions a few featherless chickens and a blind dog with mange.

‘these are strange times, strange indeed’ said Dejesus looking into the mirror, his mirror image reflected in the milky white sclera of his green eyes. Up until today he had never heard of Walleyes Worrall or Rudolf Fallada, the poor sod from the Waldau Sanatorium, nor Ulla Fallada nee Losch, born in Greifswald, the Deacon, Mrs. Muriel Ciolkowska or Joaquin Da Bara, great godson of Madeira and Stanislaus Jolaño, nor had he heard of Jolaño Kalisz Aldershot and Foggia Puglia, who’s names, one would think, would stick in one’s thoughts like porridge, Montferrat Froe of York Somerset or the Feast of the Hopeful Sinner, Barbican Noose and José Amorós he’d once met, but had forgotten where and when, as for the Guayaquil constabulary, headed by Jefe Guayas of the Guayaquil Militar, and his assistant Marratxi De Bono, he had no recollection, nor did he know the Marxist haberdasher who manufactured whore’s gloves from his factory on the Islas of Baleares Payerne, a crow’s throw from the Isle of Warwickshire where Fribourg Studley lived with featherless chickens and a blind dog with mange, whom he met once, the meeting ending in an all-out fist-fight encouraged by his dislike for chickens.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feast of the Hopeful Sinner

He lived for a time over the bakery on the street where his da was cantered to death by a horse. After his father’s death he was taken in by his great godparents. His mother, unable to deal with the grief of widowhood left town never to be seen or heard from again; her hair twisted in a long braid that reached halfway down her back. The smells from the bakery filled his small squat with a sweet yeasty aroma; confectionary sugar sifted onto doughy bread, sesames and candy charms inlaid on the top and bottommost crust. The baker gave him the three day-old bread, rye and pumpernickel, caraway tarts and pretzels dressed in poppy seeds and chopped onions.

He haggled with a hawker for a newsprint hat. The hawker agreed on 26 ducats to be paid in advance in paper. ‘but ducats come in silver and gold’ he said, his eyes darting to and fro. ‘that’s not my concern’ said the hawker firmly, ‘I deal strictly in paper’. ‘perhaps I could interest you in a pretzel, poppy seeds and hash onions’ he said hopingly. Throwing his arms up, the flaps of his elephantine ears catching in his shirt cuffs, the hawker replied ‘as long as its in paper’. He fashioned a paper hat out of silver and gold ducats, crinkling the edges and brim with the tines of his great grandmamma’s crimping fork.

When the man in the hat first heard the story, told to him by a beggar with a gold tooth, he laughed out loud, his cheeks cowling like a pig’s snout. Stories such as this, fairytales, made him laugh, filling his aching bones with jolly joy. Montferrat Froe of York Somerset sat biding his time weaving his fingers into logical threads. He often sat at the edge of the aqueduct, the stink of dead fish and salt stinging his eyes, his nose bled dry and scabby. Montferrat Froe came once a year to attend the Feast of the Hopeful Sinner, held on the 27th of September in the cloister behind the rector’s habit. This year the feast fell on the 28th, the world moving forward on its axle one day early.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kalisz Aldershot & Foggia Puglia

That afternoon under a broiling sun Joaquin Da Bara, great godson of Madeira Jolaño, ate a ham and spinach sandwich and a petite-forte cake. With all the noise and confusion in the streets, and there was much, no one, not even a dogman, could find a quiet place to sit and eat their lunch. Polkaed out Kalisz Aldershot and Foggia Puglia sat on a bench overlooking the aqueduct, seated next to them the great godson of Madeira Jolaño trying to eat in peaceful tranquility. ‘its getting that a man can’t find a quiet place to eat his lunch’ said the great godson, Kalisz and Foggia sitting quietly with their hands folded in their laps. ‘indeed’ said Mr. Aldershot, ‘and surely only to get worse’ added Mr. Puglia, squinting into the broiling lunchtime sun.

He lived for a time under the bridge crossing the river running round and through Mead and back. Sleeping he slept with his head pointing westward, his feet facing northeast. Kalisz and Foggia brought him rags and old cheese, wedges and scraps of this and that, things he needed but wouldn’t dare ask for. His godparents, Madeira and Stanislaus Jolaño, gave up hope of ever finding their godson when they read in the Catalane News and Chronicle about his slipping across the five-mile fence into dogmen territory; the courtier Albert Simms the last sane person to have spoken with him.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sycorax

Not knowing what to say the man in the hat bowed and cantered away, his heels clipping the cobbles. With all these people in town, strangers and those about whom one must remain silent, the unutterable, he felt a shiver run down his spine, his thoughts collocated into a syntactical brouhaha. The last time this many people filled the streets was the year of the first Boat Day festivities, some 10,000 arriving for a fortnight or two, the streets befouled with impecuniousness. Written with an eye for penmanship, a skill all but forgotten in these times of tic tac and paddy whack, the Deacon read the following on a piece of rectory clothe,

"In truth, captain, the manner in which you have related this remarkable adventure has been such as befitted the novelty and strangeness of the matter. The whole story is curious and uncommon, and abounds with incidents that fill the hearers with wonder and astonishment; and so great is the pleasure we have found in listening to it that we should be glad if it were to begin again, even though to-morrow were to find us still occupied with the same tale."
[1]

Mrs. Muriel Ciolkowska ordered dinner, Sycorax arriving with a cartful of viands and vegetables; the menu consisting of: spit-roasted meat, beef and oxtail, mutton, minced tartar, grilled whale, whole and cubed, whole roasted peacock in a sweet sherry and star anise poteen, internal organs, liver, kidney, pancreas and spitting glands, black pudding, and when available, blood tureen, boar's head garnished with bay and rosemary, roasted swan with vegetables, a delicate taste for a delicate palate, and for dessert spiced fruitcake followed with Montessori claret and Beefeater gin. The man in the hat, peering in through the oilcloth window, said ‘what a glutton… and the arse on her’. The day before Ship Day brought out the worst in the man in the hat, affording him with an excuse to cough up oysters of snotgreensot on whomever got in his way.
[1] Ibid

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ulla Fallada nee Losch

‘la filosofia è il perno di tutto perché la metafisico’ was written over the door to the Taverna Festivo. Seated round a maple butcher’s block the dogmen played cards with the Ludovico brothers and Tiscali the juggler, the littlest dogman dealing a shark’s hand. The rectory assistant prepared the church for the Feast of the Renunciation, which came after the Feast of the Annunciation, welcoming the newest lambs into the fold.

Walleyes Worrall took in the scenery, having arrived two days early he had time to waste. With the feast two days off, and his mood still to middling, he decided to visit his great uncle Rudolf Fallada, a patient of 27½ years in the Waldau Sanatorium. His great uncle Rudolf believed that the world was transmitted to him through microwaves and lightening, each conveyance having a particular department or function: lightening was in charge of rational thinking, putting his socks and shoes on, eating and evacuating. Microwaves commanded his emotions, crying and laughing, feeling happy and sad, everything that made him who he was and who he could be if the microwaves aligned with the lightening, which by no fault of his own never occurred.

His great uncle Rudolf, born to his great-great uncle and great-aunt, his great-great uncle marrying his niece, Ulla Fallada nee Losch, after the untimely death of his first wife, was born July 21, 1947 in Greifswald, a small village on the outskirts of the five-mile fence known for its white potash and yellow mustard.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Madeira Jolaño

These are strange times, strange indeed. As strange as the times got the man in the hat knew that tomorrow would bring a sunshiny sun and a ocean blue sky. In Aargau Joo, Koscian Leszno and Cascavel Parana the sun would rise, shining on the bare headed and capped. Outside his bedroom window the world, fated to death, crumbled. Brittle leaves yellow red and orange, trees dropping their children into the hands of death. The Fall arrived early that year. Death, too.

Madeira Jolaño lives under the trees in the park behind the Waymart, falling children falling into the drum of her skirts. She collects the fallen falling children in her outstretched arms, cradling them to her round bosom. ‘what have we here… a thousand fallen falling children’ says Madeira Jolaño, ‘will miracles cease?’ Cradled in Madeira’s bosom Joo, Leszno and Parana fall asleep, the great heresy looming: a thousand fallen children cradled in the drum of her skirts.

I’d like to think that I have more to say, an epiphany for future generations. But I don’t. I have little left within me to say. Putting what I have left in me into words would belittle what is meaningless, too small, unnoticed, dying.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

La Puta de Créteil

W.B. stood in front of the mirror admiring his ugliness. The shamble leg man stepped off the curb and onto the street, W.B. staring gaily at his reflection turning said ‘goodness me, what a fine specimen I am’. ‘indeed you are’ said the shamble leg man in mild retort. ‘and might I say a man of upstanding character’. ‘indeed you may dear sir, indeed you may’ said W.B. turning towards his reflection gaily staring. In a move of herculean restraint, for which he paid dearly, W.B. turned from his reflection and walked away, the tails of his greatcoat wagging like a dog’s tail. ‘now there goes a dime of a man’ said the shamble leg man, ‘vanity has many faces, some uglier than others I suppose’. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder, some less beholding than others; all things considered of course.

Buckram, Camberley and Surrey met beneath the shadow of the Waymart clock, Torre Molinos, having previsited the statue of La Puta de Créteil, bringing with him a cartful of pamphlets and whore’s gloves. ‘I admire a man who doesn’t need any prodding’ said Camberley to Surrey and Buckram. ‘especially one with a nose for the better things in life’ added Surrey, all three shaking their heads like starvelings kneeling in front of the schoolmaster’s table. Unloading his cart, which he did without the aid of a hand truck or a helper, Molinos laid the pamphlets next to the whore’s gloves; one pamphlet per glove, a line of suede gloves and inky paper reaching as far as the eye could see, perhaps further. Ben Bulben of the Bellaghy Bawn stood sternly staring at the Molinos’ whorish wares. Wishing as he wished that he had the gumption to nick a quirt of slatternly love. Bulben has dreams, as sure as he has thoughts, prayers of a Sunday morning in the privy of his yellow canary restroom a stopple his cistern farting. ‘were I Molinos I’d surely have my fingers in the pie’ said Ben Bulben brave brazenly. Poor sod mucking the muck of his desirable desires.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bolkonskyites

Dumfries and Galloway had seen starrier days, like those in Abruzzi dinning on calf’s testicles with Al Vomano, president of the Montorio Montessori school for the uneducable and dim. The man in the hat first met Dumfries and Galloway at the second annual Feast of the Annunciation, Dumfries introducing himself as a pagan orgiast, Galloway grabbing hold of his hand and saying ‘pleased to make your acquaintance, surely’. Galloway and Dumfries belonged to the Nikolai Bolkonsky society, Dumfries taking the side of war, Galloway peace; Dumfries the warmonger and Galloway the libertarian shared a dislike for communards, the Dreyfus Affair having left them unimpeachably sad and disillusioned.

When the Witness got word that Dumfries and Galloway were in town, which he did by way of the harridan’s sister, herself once a member of the Nikolai Bolkonsky society, who after much cajoling recanted her alliance and became a junior pamphleteer, he rush-printed a dozen pamphlets extolling the virtues of religious observance and the heathenry of orgiasts and Nikolai Bolkonskyites.

Overhearing two embittered false Witnesses squabbling Galloway turned to Dumfries and said, “The Moor had hardly heard these words when with marvellous quickness he flung himself headforemost into the sea, where no doubt he would have been drowned had not the long and full dress he wore held him up for a little on the surface of the water. Zoraida cried aloud to us to save him, and we all hastened to help, and seizing him by his robe we drew him in half drowned and insensible…”.
[1] 'do you remember that Flugel fellow, the one that was always changing his jacket?' asked Dumfries of Galloway, both men standing with their backs to the rectory wall.
[1] Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Kiss on the Forehead

In Chorley Lancashire a man awakens in a fright, the back of his head stock and barreled to the bedpost. Pulling himself free, which requires considerable haleness, he stares at the ceiling, a full round yellow sun shining through the broken rafters and joists. ‘my goodness’ he intones, ‘what a beautiful day’. He awoke with a startle, his feet caught between the footboard and the bedsprings, a pepperminty taste on his lips. Every night before bed his grandmamma kissed him on the forehead, her enormous bosoms swinging like nosebags above his chest.

His grandpapa came down with the whooping the day after Easter. His grandmamma applied a peppermint salve to his throat and chest, his grandpapa repeating 'Apskritis Tunja Boyacá' over and over again. His granddad was prone to acts of peculiarity that sane any well-appointed people wouldn’t dare do. His grandmamma’s indifference to his granddad’s abnormalities served to reinforced his behaviour, his grandpapa letting loose with a yap in the middle of Mass, the nosey parker Thomas frowning dismissively in his granddad’s direction, the rector’s assistant clamping his hands over his ears, the entire congregation fit to be tied, their faces desecrated with anger.

Thoughts he couldn’t remember thinking, experiences he couldn’t prove he’d experienced, came into his head more often than not. Only a sane well-appointed person, a real person, knew for certain that his thoughts were his and his experiences experienced by him and him alone. But today he couldn’t verify that the thoughts he had and the experiences he’d experienced were his and his alone. They could be someone else’s, a double or a twin claiming to be him, someone who knew his every indelicacy down to the minutest detail.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stáisiún Chuas

(You will find none of this in any of your respectable literary tomes, nor in a college text or a folio. This is shear nonsense, the mark of a cluttered mind. I promise to return to the empire of language once my stay in grammatical hell is done; not an iota before).

The Bishop of Chelmsford is in cahoots with the Bishop of St. Märgener Fuchs. The Eshoo Bros., cocksure oarsmen, sending a warning shot into the clear blue sky, Oblate St. Martin of the Vine singing alleluia halleluiah halleluiahs, the vicarage sister pulling her habit over the earflaps of her hat. ‘come with me young man… this is no place for a child’. The Gotthelf Horary sells postcards with pictures of half-nude woman on them, ‘what a charming curio’ says the curate, who’s own mother posed for one of the postcards. ‘this is no place for a child’ says the legless man’s da, fearing his son might catch syphilis or an unshakable cold. ‘I wouldn’t bring a dogman here’ he says pulling on his son’s coattails. ‘eel thieving bastards’. The Bishop of Chelmsford eats his breakfast in the canonical kitchen, the front of his surplice bespeckled with toast crumbs. ‘what time is it?’ asks Bishop of St. Märgener Fuchs, his hands trembling. ‘cahooting time’ say the brothers Eshoo firing a warning shot into the clear blue sky. ‘alleluia’ sings St. Märgener Fuchs, ‘halleluiah’.

His thoughts clambering to get out of his head the man in the hat changed his mind and got on with the day. The sky that morning was bespeckled with clouds, a fiery yellow sun burning a halo into the treetops. Sitting astraddle her bicycle Leila Kildare sang out ‘God be with us’, those awaiting the arrival of the Witness hallooing halloo halloo! Padraic Moisel of 2772 Arbutus Place worked as a coal shoveler for the Stáisiún Chuas an Ghainimh agus Glas Tuathail, his back as wide as a livery door. Knowing that the day would bring him nothing the man in the hat set off for home, the fiery yellow sun lighting the way.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bishop Quertaro de Arteaga

His hands gesticulating wildly, the bib on his surplice flapping, Bishop Quertaro de Arteaga tells the legless man ‘you’d do better to put your faith in God my boy’. ‘that’s no way to speak to a boy’ says the legless man’s da, his nostrils flaring wildly. ‘God will see to your son’s gamey legs sir…’. ‘…and iron won’t?’ interrupts the legless man’s da, his throat constricting. ‘there is no time to waste’ says the Bishop, ‘step up and take the Lord into your legs…’. ‘heart! …you damn fool!’ says the legless man’s da, his face red as chimney brick. ‘in your sons case its best we start at the bottom and work our way up’ says the Bishop, ‘that way he’ll be able to kneel at the altar and pray’.’damn fool!’ says the legless man’s da, the back of his throat tightening. ‘come with me!’ says the legless man’s da, grabbing hold of his son’s coattails. ‘and step on it!’ Scrabbling his iron legs across the parquet floor, his coattails forming a V behind him, the legless man falls in behind his da, the smell of burnt offerings and candle wax singeing the hair in his nose.

Théophile served the Bishop beans on toast and a cut up orange for lunch. The Bishop liked his lunch served at exactly 27 ½ minutes past noontime, his belly howling like a starving child if his lunch was a minute late. Théophile scurrying into the manse dining room, the Bishop waving him off with his napkin. ‘would you serve Christ his lunch late?’ he’d say, Théophile bowing in servility. ‘I thought not, now get out of my sight!’ He filled his pipe, tamping it with his thumb, the smell of the tobacco sweetening his mood. Bishop Quertaro de Arteaga made the beast with two backs with the rectory nun, pulling her habit round her waist like a papal corset, the confessional shaking like a midway ride.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jean Mullion Polycarp

That night before bed he read a letter sent to him by Jean Mullion Polycarp “Follow my example: break with the outside world, live like a bear—a polar bear—send everything to the devil, everything and yourself with it, except your own intelligence”[1]. That night he slept like a wolfhound, his backbone pulled into his shoulders. Le Colibri was in possession of a dolorous collection of whores’ rickrack’s, which he kept under lock and key in a Sanssouci box under his bed. That night Le Colibri slept like an angel, the wings of his heart beating against the cool night air. The next day upon awakening he fell swooning for the harridan’s sister, finding her simple countenance to his liking. That night he dreamt that he and the harridan’s sister were lovers, the heathery aroma of her hair, spun by angels on a heavenly loom, rousing him from sleep.

Settimo Torinese lives above the flood line behind the Cooper Osnabrück Piemonte, the cooper banging and clashing his iron hammer against his steel forge. When he was a boy the legless man’s da took him to see the cooper, his da tugging on his arm ‘this is the man who’s going to change your life forever’. The cooper forged him a pair of iron legs, pounding and shaping strings of molten iron across the pommel of his anvil, forge ash and smoke smarting the legless boy’s (for he was born without legs) tiny blue eyes. Arbuckle the tanner fashioned him a bridle and yolk, fastening the iron legs to his stumps with leather straps and a silver buckle. The summer he got his iron legs the legless man’s da started working for the Silverfish Hosepipe Co. His da drove the Silverfish deliver truck, the back end packed to the ceiling, jostling, with hosepipes and rubber gaskets. On Mondays his da and the driver for the Mercury Fish Co. raced for eel and chips, the driver of the Mercury Fish truck loosing 27 times out of a hundred.
[1] Flaubert's advice to Alfred Le Poittevin on devoting oneself to "Art."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Silveira Méndez González

When he was a boy his da took him to the Ninebark Fair where he saw Wolfratshausen the clown and a lion tamer named Spielzeugpferde. Wolfratshausen had a Christmas tree bulb red nose and a griddlecake face, the light in his nose flickering on and off like a pedestrian ‘don’t walk’ sign.

Blackburn and Darwen live below the tracks behind the Blois Centre for Amnesiacs. That morning as they watch the last match of the Central American Football Association finals between Guayaquil and Modelo, a crowd of some 55,000 packing the José Luis Praddaude Stadium, the announcer for the Sosa Troche television station, Silveira Méndez González, announces, ‘ladies and gentlemen, Mesías Pérez has taken out number 65, Bergara Guaglianone, raking him across the ankles with his cleats. In retaliation number 80, Douksas Benítez has kicked the Modelo midfielder Sasía Escalada in the groin, Sasía Escalada writhing in pain at midfield. Bonnard Argüello Gonzabay, recently acquired from the Sissilostos Stryker’s, is chasing Nall Izaguirre Galarza, forward for the Modelo side, punching him between the ears with his balled up fist, Izaguirre Galarza retaliating with a kick to Argüello Gonzabay’s shin. Reeves Patterson Gómez, known for his angry outbursts, is chasing Modelo fullback Balseca Palacios Spencer Raffo from one end of the field to the other, Spencer Raffo circling the statue of the Uruguayan football hero Almeida del Monte. Ladies and gentlemen, the head referee Silveira Escalada Bergara Pérez has called a mismatch, both coaches screaming bloody murder… the Guayaquil fans are attaching the Modelo side with broken Tic-tac bottles and homemade shanks’. In the newspaper the next morning the headline read “the final match for the Central American Football Association between Guayaquil and Modelo was suspended at the 85th min mark due to unruly fans”.

The last memory he has of the Ninebark Fair is of the cotton-candy machine spluttering to a stop halfway through spinning him a funnel of angel hair sweetie, the look on his da’s face paler than a draft notice. The following year the town council closed down the Ninebark Fair, Wolfratshausen and Spielzeugpferde having been found guilty of scalping tickets to orphans and cripples.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

La Bazarette Le Flâneur

The man in the hat collected his thoughts itemizing them into boxes. One box was devoted to thoughts he’d thought but on further inspection realized he hadn’t; another was for cleaning thoughts that he wished to use again, ridding them of information and ideas; and a third box was allocated for things he hadn’t yet thought but might think sometime in the future. Some thoughts he thought, or thought he’d thought, were thought while sleeping, and as such were relegated to the box for dream thoughts, not conscious thought. Other thoughts were assigned to memories or past recollections, this box larger in size than the box for future or yet to be thought thoughts. Through trial and error he discovered that the box consigned to morbid thoughts was much smaller than the box assigned to sad sorrowful thoughts, the lacuna being that morbid thoughts didn’t effect him as much as sad sorrowful thoughts, the difference between the two modest yet significant.

Everyday thoughts thought while he was awake and at large seldom had an effect on him; the latent meaning revealed to him in sleep as dream thoughts, and as such assigned to the box for dreams, this box seldom if ever opened while he was awake, unless of course he fell asleep when he should be awake and conscious of the world around him. He was constructing a box for deluded thoughts or numinous reckonings, to be filed under ‘asylum thoughts’ shelved beside thoughts thought while sleeping. Should he discover that he had an extra box, he would catalog it under boxes yet to be itemized or numbered, for each box was assigned a numbered tag, his knowledge of the dewy decimal system relatively intact, regardless of numerous head injuries and a failing memory.

He bought boxes from La Bazarette Le Flâneur around the corner from the Oxbow Hostel. Le Flâneur sold him soggy lettuce boxes for a dime, apple and haddock boxes for twenty-five cents. La Bazarette was home to three chickens and a lame dog, Le Flâneur having a soft spot for strays and fowl. The chickens lived in a fenced off area behind La Bazarette, the dog under the Bergville oven in the back kitchen. The Oxbow Hostel, across from La Bazarette, housed an old style tavern and a billiard hall; Le Flâneur known to wile away his afternoons shooting pool with off duty cabmen and an occultist with a scabbed over scar over his left eye. At the rear of the tavern standing beneath a picture of Casimir Pulaski Martin Grimmway announces “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play”, the cabman retorting ‘you will relive today over and over again, sit down you fool’.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Quezon City

The Caloocan twins from Quezon City worked as grave diggers for the Druidic Funeral Home, the eldest brother Abel working a shovel like Portuguesa mason. Axel, the younger of the twins, an artisan at lowering coffins into 2½ foot wide holes, never once loosing a casket tether or breaking an Eisenbrandt coffin lid. The Gaborone brothers live behind the times in a makeshift lean-to behind the canebrake behind the Druidic Funeral Home. Originally from Cathedral City, which they fled the year the sky fell into their clapboard house, the brothers arrived in town the day after the Feast of the Redeemer, 1950andaught. Carrying in his satchel a feuilleton from the Countrywide Interrogator, Goral, the eldest of the Gaborone brothers, pulled his ragtag blanket over his head, repeating to himself ‘Solemn strikes the funeral chime. Notes of our departing time, As we journey here below Through a pilgrimage of woe’[1]

Written over the door leading into the Druidic Funeral Home was the following: o don' inoperante; desgaste de t guantes de la puta, guanto della prostituta luva, da meretriz es muerto. The Caloocan twins, Abel and Axel walked fleetingly in through the front door of the Funeral Home and sat down at the back of the chapel, Abel whispering to Axel ‘this place gives me the creeps’. Axel whispering to Abel ‘Mortals now indulge a tear; For mortality is here! See how wide her trophies wave O'er the slumbers of the grave’
[2] At that moment Goral Gaborone, his brother in tow, barged in through the buckboard doors to the chapel, exclaiming ‘Calm, the good man meets his fate; Guards celestial 'round him wait. See! he bursts these mortal chains, And o'er Death the vict'ry gains’.[3] On the heels of the Gaborone brothers, Goral pushing past the sanctuary picket, his brother in tow, the Marouflage constabulary entered crashing through the side door, the head constable crying out ‘Here another guest we bring; Seraph of Celestial wing, To our funeral altar come, Waft this friend and brother home’.[4] Not one to be outdone, Axel Caloocan yelled ‘There enlarged, thy soul shall see, What was veiled in mystery; Heavenly glories of the place Show his maker face to face’[5] his cheeks puffed out like soft melons. Then a crash and a bang and in through the pulpit trap rose the Witness, his gowns overflowing the altar. ‘Lord of all! below - above- Fill our hearts with truth and love; When dissolves our earthly tie, Take us to Thy Lodge on High’[6] said the Witness, putting an end to the unruly outburst.

[1]The Masonic Dirge” Transactions, Texas Lodge of Research, Volume XXXVI at Pages 47-55.
[2] Ibid, [2] Ibid, [2] Ibid, [2] Ibid, [2] Ibid.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Druidic Funeral Home

(Grimmway has a weakness for the ponies. El Torre thumped Grimmway for coming up short. This is crazy all this madness). Martin Grimmway lives with his mother in a bedsit walkup. Martin Grimmway and his mother live above a man who bangs pots and pans together late into the night. Martin Grimmway’s mother and He stove their ears with cotton batten to ward of the clanging and banging. The man who lives below their bedsit walkup banging pots and pans together could care less. Some day soon both Martin Grimmway and his mother will go stone deaf. Going stone deaf will be a boon to both his mother and Martin Grimmway, as now they will not have to listen to the man who lives below them bang pots and pans together late into the night. (Grimmway has a weakness for the ponies. Tunica and Albuinea thumped Grimmway for coming up short. This is mad all this craziness).

Fluntern lives in a circus tent behind the Druidic Funeral Home. Having only a right arm, the left having been expurgated at the elbow, he has difficulty snapping shut the tent flap. Fluntern hasn’t a friend in the world, living by his lonesome self among the trash and splinters behind the Druidic Funeral Home. When the Burgomaster Santander was put to rest it took 27 men to lower his coffin into the dirt. Peering through the flap in his tent Fluntern watched as the 27 men grunted and moaned, the Burgomaster’s coffin barely fitting into the spade-dug hole. ‘expurgate’ thought Fluntern, ‘surely he doesn’t need two arms’. Standing their shovels against the canebrake the 27 passed around a cigarette, each taking a drag then passing it onto the next, a gray blue nimbus of smoke dissipating into the damp morning air.

Breece D'J Pancake - June 29, 1952 - April 8, 1979


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Huixquilucan Café

The more he wanted things the less he received. This, he came to accept, was his lot in life. Forest Cracknel and Halden Bracknell met behind the Society for Comparative Meteorology to discuss their shared dislike for Ostfold Sloterdijk, Doktorgrad. ‘fuck him’ said Cracknel, ‘he’s nothing but a two-bit weatherman’. Both men turned about face facing the back of one another; Bracknell staring at the back of Cracknel’s head, Cracknel staring at a tear in Bracknell’s jacket. ‘the world looks better from the back’ said Cracknel, ‘gets rid of that gray feeling’. Over the doorstop to the Huixquilucan café was a sign, and on the sign was whittled,

sin
I beget
thee amerces
in corpus
diem


Cracknel and Bracknell stepped into the café, neither giving a second thought to the admonition carved into the doorstop above their heads. ‘the world looks better from here’ said Bracknell elbowing his way up to the bar. ‘comparatively’ said Cracknel. The one and only time the man in the hat visited the Huixquilucan café he was beaten hopeless by two grifters with bull mastiff jaws and black eyes. Ostfold Sloterdijk, Doktorgrad, sold Jesus pins to the heathenry that congregated at the back of the café, 2 for a dollar, three for a dollar-fifty. The brothers Wimm sold Maryland cigarettes by the box, 3 for 1 or 1 for 3. One could purchase almost anything at the Huixquilucan café; smuggled cigarettes, 100 proof Whiskey, bracelets made from gold and silver, Proustian corkboard , 25 cents a foot, 10 feet for a dollar, Black Sea muscles, Red Sea clams, salted pretzels, full-wheat or half-wheat, old books, slingshots and peashooters, stilted or coat-hankered, gumshoed boots, sizes 7-11, discarded surgical instruments, clamps, speculums, forceps and stainless steel scalpels, things one couldn’t find at the local grocer’s or the Waymart.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Comparative Meteorology

Waiting in the offing he spread the book across his lap and began to read,

AMONG THE MANY SCIENTIFIC WORKS undertaken by my father in his rare moments of calm and inner equilibrium, between the bouts of disaster and catastrophe in which that audacious and boisterous life abounded, closest to his heart were studies in Comparative Meteorology, and particularly in the specific climate of our province, replete with its own singular kind of oddness. It was he, my very father, who laid the foundations for the scholarly analysis of climatic formations. His ‘An Outline of the General Systematic of Autumn’ explained once and for all the essence of that season, which in our provincial climate takes on that protracted, branching and parasitically exuberant form that, under the name of ‘Indian summer’, extends far into the depths of our coloured winters.
[1]

Offing he lit a sweet Maryland cigarette, his lips puckering round the inhaling end. He had little interest for Comparative Meteorology or General Systematics, finding things of a scientific nature addled, or worse, sadly mistaken. He understood things to be simply what they are, not how we think they are or how we want them to be, but simply how we found them, there, laying on the ground in front of us waiting to be held, fondled, looked at and digested. He kept things simple, not having the patience for fuddling, or worse, rash hypotheses.
[1] Bruno Schulz, Cinnamon Shops

Tunica and Albuinea

Arzignano Maccabeus met Veneto Mussolini under the lanterns outside the Huixquilucan café, both men having heard that the café served the best queso bergkäse sandwiches in the prefecture, neither having heard of Baruch Benedict de Spinoza. ‘when he comes back down the mountain ask him if he has a fiver?’ ‘I wouldn’t dare touch a hair on his head’ said Arzignano. ‘surely’. Wilmslow, Hove and Hove stood wide-eyed taking in the beating; Hove saying to Hove "To be an artist one has to die to everyday life."[1] The Huixquilucan café was known to attract a hodgepodge of strange eccentric characters. There were the unsavory and the sleazy, the insalubrious and grotty, the seedy and disagreeable, conmen and short-shrifters, bunko-men and flim-flam-artists, gafflers and grifters, hustlers, schemers and swindlers, they all held court under the swinging lanterns outside the Huixquilucan café. Alberto Tunica and Loanword Albuinea held court outside the Huixquilucan café, trafficking secrets with other bunko-men and schemers, conmen and gafflers, Tunica and Albuinea know for their insalubrities’ and bad manners. ‘dare I say the world is a strange place, and getting stranger by the minute’ said Wilmslow to Hove, Hove replying with a grunt and a mild wheeze. ‘with God as my witness’ said Hove to Hove, both men staring at Wilmslow. ‘seedy and disagreeable’ said Wilmslow to Hove and Hove. ‘entirely’ said Hove to Wilmslow, Hove smiling beamingly. Neither the man in the hat, Dejesus or the man tending to his fallen horse had ever stepped foot inside the Huixquilucan café, concerned as were they that they might find themselves beaten to a plum or short-shrifted. All manner of scoundrel was known to beat about the café, not just flim-flamers and hustlers, conmen and gafflers, which were never in short supply or unwilling to bust your chops for a fiver or a on a lark.
[1] Thomas Mann, ‘Tonio Kröger’.

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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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