Monday, December 14, 2009

27 Red Coppers

He said to himself “Her legs were rather sturdy, but long, and fine-ankled” (Hans Fallada, The Drinker) all the while thinking of the girl who served peaches and toast to the stonebreakers in the alleyway behind the hangman’s cemetery.’now she’s a fine catch’, his da would say, ‘…good sturdy legs and fine ankles to boot’. ‘but da’ he would exclaim, ‘...she gives the men her mouth like a pig on a dog’s thing’. ‘yes, but those ankles of hers… no better specimen in the world could you hope to find my boy’. They spread mashed peaches and crumbs on her unclothed back, riding her like a wayward foal through the afternoon and into the caramel coloured night. No matter how sturdy her legs or fine-ankled she was, she could not say no to 27 red coppers and a sackbut of peppermint sweets. Can’t say I can blame her given the brutal humility of life. One must make ones way regardless of the disequilibrium it invites. One must one must. Anyhow who am I to judge, fool that I am? Fool that I am I judge with impunity, myself and my other, that is. My other lays claim to myself thereby laying claim to the I myself as other. Those who’re claimless live far better lives, less of a fistfight with the other myself I. Me da said I’d grow out of it, find my way in the world and lay claim to myself. I dare say he was mistaken, off the mark, speaking in tongues some might say. If I had the chance I’d make an amends to the other myself, the I that has never been given a chance to make a way in the world, become and I myself without the other. But as that is not to happen I may as well settle with the other than I myself, its much simpler that way, I assure you. Lela stood knock-kneed in front of the church worrying her rosary. She was late as usual. The procession of the Castigation of the Milliner had left, the rector’s assistant assistant leading the way, his surplice caught up in his belt.

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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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