Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Brutality of Living

Going back over his life he came across a memory of his grandmamma dressing a chicken. She hung the plucked remains on a childlike cross she’d built from pop-siècle sticks and elastic bands. Going back over this memory he recalled the stern red look on her face and the smell coming up off the cross.

(Her dulcet brown eyes made a fool of him, the milky white softness of her neck. Of him they made a fool. Her eyes, those dulcet brown eyes, a man cannot escape them… A fool cannot but draw more foolishness upon himself. Drowning in it).

The odor coming off the cross reminded him of his grandmamma’s cinnamon waffles and boiled pudding. Her stern red face grew sterner with every passing year; so stern and red that she could barely open her mouth but to spit. He recalled that the Fealsúnacht brothers of East Ivy like boiled mutton with mint jelly, a ball of the sweet stuff on the side. Then he remembered sweet potato pie and raspberry faille, the filling oozing onto his napkin. Pot stickers and lump sugar, syrupy ices and tart coulees, those things his grandmamma made in the winter kitchen in the summer, the curtains trembling in the dewy morning breeze. He remembered then forgot, forgetting what he’d forgot he’d forgotten.

Boyhood came and went, leaving behind a brutish reminder of the cruelty of youth. He’d forgotten much of his boyhood, days of youthful innocence and childish pride, awakening to the possibilities of life and the brutality of living.

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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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