Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tales of Intrigue and Folly

Dejesus, not one to underestimate stupidity, threw prudence to the wind and asked for his money back. ‘surely you can’t expect me to accept this?’ he said shaking foot to toe. ‘its practically torn in half?’ ‘posada missioners’ replied the agent, ‘muerte blanca… sí hará el truco’. Not having the faintest idea what the agent was saying Dejesus again demanded his money. ‘you, sir, underestimate my fury’. ‘y usted, sir, subestime mi mañosidad’ said the agent boldfaced. His head aching like a boiler he removed his shoes and lay them sole-side-up on the muddy ground in front of him. Breaking a toothpick-size twig from an elm overhead, its canopy stretching as far as the eye could see, he tatted the mud from between the crepes. Clapping the shoes together like castanets, carobs of dirt falling onto the dry grass, he craned his neck upwards, the sun bathing his face in warmth and bliss. ‘tomorrow's the 10th of yesterday’ he mused, his eyes darting to and fro. ‘the day before Boat Day’. Stretching out under the yawing elm, canopied beneath its chartreuse arbor, he said a prayer ‘God forgive me for I stole an apple from the grocer’s bushel… I beg your forgiveness blessed The’. Hearing nothing, not a peep, he recued himself and went about the day, basking in his ungodliness.

Fiume and Abruzzi stole away in the guts of a scow, eating mangos and salted meat and singing as loud as their lungs would permit”.1

The sign over the door to the apothecary read, ‘Quite Por Favor Sus Cauchos’. The sign over the lavatory read, ‘y, estaba por favor la esperma de sus manos’. ‘Gracias los caballeros y las señoras’ said the cigar store Indian propped up against the register. Of a sudden a parade of younkers and squibs stole in passed the dispensing counter, the apothecary assistant trying valiantly to oversee the oversight of having left the front door unbolted. Every year without fail the day before Ship’s Day fell on a Sunday. The sign over the cotton candy stand read ‘la esperma de sus manos’, anguishing those who hadn’t bothered to wear gloves and those who suffered from Quinsy’s Chill, known to grieve a man to pots, the man in the hat among the unvanquished. ‘have you no mercy?’ cried out a man with a fine-looking cowlick. ‘shut the door and sit down’ quipped a woman sporting a flashing smile, her ears turned out under her bonnet. ‘surely this isn’t happening’ said the man in the hat, the cigar store Indian staring at him mockingly. ‘surely we are mistaken... Ship’s Day falls on a Thursday, not on a Sunday’.

Abruzzi et Fiume, Tales of Intrigue and Folly, 1889.

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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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