Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bewußtsein

Rumor has it the hole of sorrow is somewhere in Christendom. Löwden Bewußtsein lives above the Dogmen Deli. Out-smarting a mob of roustabouts he stays locked away in his bedsit. He wiles away his days and nights reading ‘L'Histoire d'une Vie Sale’ by Armand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de Puységur. Of Löwden Bewußtsein I will say no more; he deserves his privacy, as do we all. This is nonsense! Stop! Please! I implore you: stop!

Courting calamity he pitched his way up the sideways, stumbling like a wretch on a bender. Patting his cockcrow pantaloons he felt for his hipflask. William Didcot and Simon Oxfordshire are in cahoots with the Malodors and Balmacaan Bros. ‘Here, look at me! Look at me’ said the Inspector General. ‘I am the whole of Christendom’. ‘I will take them out at the knees and cut out their spleens’ said the Witness appearing out of nowhere. ‘and I will nail their heads to the door’ said a small man in an undersized hat. ‘I will by God I will!’ Listening from his bedsit over the Dogman Deli Löwden Bewußtsein cleared his throat and said ‘rough rhimes and hoarse, to suit that hole of sorrow’. ‘we must put an end to this’ commanded the Witness, the small man in the undersize hat sneezing loudly. ‘he’s right’ yelled Löwden Bewußtsein from his window perch. ‘we must, and quickly’. At that very moment a yellow crow appeared overhead, its wings spread over all of Christendom. ‘caw caw caw’ cawed the yellow crow arching upwards. ‘caw caw caw’ said the undersized man in the small hat. ‘I will by God I will!’ declared Löwden Bewußtsein from his bedsit window.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jêves Étuénie

Falling he tumbled backwards, the seat of his trousers snagging on a nail. ‘damn hell!’ he yowled, the nail having pierced his buttocks. ‘bloody circus people never clean up after themselves… godless heathens’. Brushing the dirt from his greatcoat, the inside pocket turned out, he sat on half a buttock, blood trickling down his pant’s leg and onto his feet. The Witness hated the circus. He hated with all his spleen. Jêves Étuénie sold the Witness an axe sharper than a stropped razor. Ostend and Ostergotlands planned to commandeered a boatload of silk on route to the Gotaland Haberdashery in Gotaland on main. Overhearing Treviso and Cagliari talking about the heist the Witness took up his axe and headed for the park behind the aqueduct. ‘I have nothing to fear’ said the Witness hurrying, ‘I will take them out at the knees and cut out their spleens’. Little did he know but the axe he’d bought was split down the middle, the handle ready to splinter in two. He hated pigeon stealers as much as he hated the circus. Nailed over the door to the Gotaland Haberdashery were the following epitaphs, their raison d'être a mystery to all who entered:

Could I command rough rhimes and hoarse, to suit that hole of sorrow
(Dante, the Divine Comedy, Inferno)

Here, look at me! Look at me, the whole world, the whole of Christendom.
(Nikolai Gogol, The Inspector General)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cagliari Sardine

Again the circus came to town, Treviso Veneto and his half-brother HaMerkaz driving the oxen ahead of the caravan. Cagliari Sardine, shooing the pigeons from under the oxcarts bawled ‘vermin!’ ‘devil’s parasites’ said the muleteer. ‘poisonous cockroaches’ added Cagliari. The last time the circus came to town the harridan’s sister split her lip on the juggler's knee, the juggler falling backwards unsteadily, blood spilling onto the front of her new dress. The pony and dog show was scheduled for three o’clock, the stagehands busy mucking out the miniature stalls. The ponies and dogs were kept in the same pen, the dogs running in circles, the muckers throwing old bones and shoes into the corral. ‘bloody nuisance’ yawed the first mucker, the muscles in his arms tightening. ‘everyone knows you don’t mix ponies with dogs… its not natural’. As the first mucker spoke the second mucker threw an old shoe into the corral, the dogs yapping at the strange creature brandishing the shiny metal stick.

Friday, January 22, 2010

15 Slips of Paper

He remembers a picture taken of his mamma when she was a young girl. There is no picture. She ran away before the photographer his great-aunt hired could unpack his kit. His great-aunt carried a basket. In the basket were fifteen slips of paper. And on each slip of paper was written a name: Yipsi Schulz, Friedemann Schulz, Celia Schulz, Leiya Schulz, Jacquelyn Schulz, Willy Schulz, Marco Schulz, Rodrigo Lveda Schulz, Rudolf Schulz, Anson Schulz and Axel Schulz, brothers, Thomas Schulz, Quinton Schulz, Foskor Schulz and Olli Schulz. His great-aunt claimed she was acquainted with everyone who’s name was written on the slips; some more than once. The Schulz’s were friends of her aunt and uncle’s, some more friendly than others. Asking if she had any pictures of these people his great-aunt said ‘no… they left before the photographer my aunt hired could unpack his kit’. He never found out whether any of the people who knew his great-aunt knew his great great-aunt and uncle. Not knowing was better than knowing only half of what one wished to know. Knowing what he knew he left it at that and got on with his day. After all, he opined, a little is better than naught.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

27½

Given the heaviness of the morning sky, a gray tattered blanket soaked in rain, we might expect a dim to middling diffuse afternoon. Should the sky fall, which it may given its weight and grayness, it’s best that one stay indoors.

Kindest regards,

-the assistant to the assistant rector

He sent the letter to everyone in the ledger and several who weren’t. To those who weren’t in the ledger he sent a second letter explaining why they weren't in the ledger. And to those who hadn’t received a second letter he sent a letter explaining why they hadn’t received the first of the second letters. Sitting up squarely from his writing desk he walked into the day, his satchel packed crammed with letters. The Woolworth Boys received two letters each: the first and the first second letter. Given their chosen commerce, selling and bartering women’s apparel, the Woolworth Boys received a great deal of mail, a mountain of letters piled four-hands high on the front stoop.

Double-stitched into a swath of hospital linen he read, “I Survived I Did”. Unsure what to do, the double-stitching smarting his eyes, he heaved the soiled and wet swath of linen into the laundry bin, the sky outside the asylum window threatening warmth and sunshine. The littlest dogman “…ate without requiring to be pressed, and in the dark bolted mouthfuls like the knots on a tether…” (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote) Letchworth sausages come in links of three or a dozen. Payments dispatchable to 27½ Bedfordshire Round, North-side. No loafers or roundels please.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Elliman’s Embrocation

Squatty Mervin Howard Fife met Castilla y Leon, curate and understudy, on his way home from the station. Morelos y Fife, understudy to the curate, left on the midday train for Locust Grove, a women’s hatbox stowed on the rack above his head. As his legs were scabby with lesions he massaged Elliman’s Embrocation on the hoary spots. Pulled tautly over his legs he wore a pair of stockings, the squashy fabric moderating the itch in his shins and ankles. On the seat next to him was a copy of the Komuna, a journal known for its strange depiction of animals. In the back pages were adds for druggists and colporteurs, cardboard submarines and x-ray spectacles. Visio Eskisehir and his assistant Sul Pedro sell sanatorium linen in the back pages of the Komuna, a $ a sheet or a $ and a ½ for three. The House of Horace sell women’s accessories and silk-lined earmuffs. Gomez y, démarcheur, sells women’s gloves in the Salamanca Gazette, the curate’s understudy procuring three boxes to be presented to Mervin Howard Fife, a gift from Castilla y Leon, curate and understudy. ‘the price of eggs is driving the market down’ lamented Horace of the House of. Not one to pass up a first-rate transaction the man in the hat bought three dozen of everything he could get his hands on. Now that the trench in his brow had been filled in he felt a bit less ill at ease. Those present, which included everyone present, drew lots to see who would be the first to receive the sacrament. Squatty Mervin Howard Fife drew a middle-size straw, Castilla y Leon a middling-size straw, Morelos y Fife a medium long straw, Visio Eskisehir and his assistant Sul Pedro drawing together drew a long but not too long straw, Gomez y a small but not too small straw and Morelos y Fife the short straw. As short usurps medium, middling or long Morelos y Fife won the right to receive the sacrament first. ‘tiss a sad day when a biscuit costs more than a dozen eggs’.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Greenock Inverclyde 7

After the Fall of Titian’s Angel nothing was the same. Ceuta Bratislava and Izmir Kodaly embarked on the noontime train, never to be seen or heard from again. Dejesus and the man in the hat and the harridan and her sister met to discuss the ramifications of Titian’s fallen angel; the midday sky as black as a licorice baby. The Greenock Inverclyde 7 arrived by railcar 27½ seconds after the train carrying Ceuta Bratislava and Izmir Kodaly left the station. Coming and going people arrived and left by oxcart and railcar, ferryboat and ship, the man in the hat watching portside, his finest boater doffed a thousand times over. They discussed Titian’s fallen angel, remembering a time when she stood proud and tall, her wings outstretching gathering the fallen and plummeted. Blissfully the world unfolded, Santa Aquitaine and Seignosse Pérez waiting impatiently for the noontide train. They awaited the arrival of Old Baubo, farrow sow in tow. Fawning Ceuta Bratislava whispers to Santa Pérez ‘they say he has eyes like golden calves’. Nodding Santa Pérez says ‘the devils smelts iron in Vulcan’s forge, lances made to pierce the soul’. ‘could we have the night canopy please?’ said the harridan’s sister, ‘and would you be so kind as to turn off the stars?’ Naught ventured naught gained. He thought in leaps and bounds, his head swiveling in circles. Delighted he watched the oxcarts file by, the road buckling under the weight of man and beast. Grumbling the muleteer flogged his botte, the mule wailing like a March lamb. ‘nothing will be the same after the Fall of Titian’s Angel’ whimpered Bratislava to Kodaly. ‘nothing’.

He began in the middle and worked his way forward, then he leapt over the middle and worked his way to the end, never once taking his eyes off the man sitting on the bench in front of the Waymart. As there was only one bench in front of the Waymart, a gift from Mrs. Llewellyn commemorating the demise of her late husband, it was easy to keep the man in eyeshot, the green bench sticking out amid the golden daffodils and carroty chrysanthemums. However, were the sky any bluer he could easily mistake the man’s jacket for the sky and the sky for a jacket. He was poor at distinguishing between colours and hues, his eyes playing tricks on him when he gazed upon things from the right or indirectly from the left. “Circumcise from all rashness and all lying both my inward and outward lips…” (Saint Augustine, the Confessions). Her late husband read the Confessions like a blue-plate menu, Augustine’s words sticking in his thoughts like molasses. ‘we can never leave… but even of we could where would we go… nowhere?’ whimpered Kodaly. Bratislava yawned, the worm at the back of his throat squiggling.

Tiscali came from Wetenschap en Kunst and Hogeschool Voor from Sint-Katelijne-Waver where he worked as a dockhand before joining the Herstal Liege pantomime troop. Neither had read the Confessions, preferring comic-books and hardbacks. Surely were the sky any bluer it could be mistook for a jacket or a bluebottle. The man in the hat met Mrs. Llewellyn at the Feast of the Annunciation, Mrs. Llewellyn taking note of his hat. That day he was wearing a felt bowler with an oilskin hatband, a gift from the rector’s sister, a frail creature with red brown hair and blue green eyes. Approaching, her carriage as stiff as a boxed corpse, she asked ‘where might one find a draft of water… I am surely parched’. Taken aback by her affront the man in the hat took a step backwards, his brow trenched with fear.

Friday, January 08, 2010

"Si no sabes volar"

Nymburk Brewery

They were thick as Thebes. Everywhere they went they went together. The girl on the steps of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner had black peppercorns eyes and a leggy aquiline nose. Her da worked for the Nymburk Brewery and took extra shifts at the Middelheim Ziekenhuis Tool and Die Co-operative. Over the door to the Nymburk Brewery is a sign that reads AZ ÉLŐSKÖDŐ, and on the wall next to the toilets the names of relatives who are infirmed at the Montessori Asylum: Pergalė Smith, Kjærstad Maslow, Sigizmund Frills and Jõgeva Riel to name but a few.

(There’s no forgiveness for the empty and disorganized). All of this is a lie: a tale told by an imbecile, a crank, a halfwit. The more I lie the more I believe the lies I tell. Over the door to my bedroom is a sign that reads, ‘Passen Sie Auf, Ein Idiot Lebt Hier!’ And over the transom to my toilet a wag of cardboard cautions ‘Merda Em Seu Próprio Risco!’ “Alone old Baubo’s coming now; She rides upon a farrow sow”(fawning Faust did say). And now to sleep with the torture of my thoughts. I think often of Santa Pérez and Seignosse Aquitaine, two characters I have yet to make the acquaintance of. Perchance soon I will find a place for them in this moronity.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Efflagitasti Convicio ut Libros

No one knew what it meant, the sign having been there hanging over the doors to the Partiznske Tenpin as long as the man in the hat could remember, perhaps longer. Some say it was put there by the kid with the engine on his leg; some that its been there since the beginning of time. And some say it’s the scribbling of a madman, a halfwit a dullard. Written on a piece of flattened cardboard hanging over the back door to the Tenpin was a sign that said: CHAPTER X: WHEREIN IS RELATED THE CRAFTY DEVICE SANCHO ADOPTED TO ENCHANT THE LADY DULCINEA, AND OTHER INCIDENTS AS LUDICROUS AS THEY ARE TRUE. (CONT'D), those exiting through the back door seldom having cause to look up over their shoulder.

The owner of the Partiznske Tenpin Bowling Lanes had a fondness for foolish things, phrase and partial sentences being his favorites. ‘the broadloom is spectacular’ said a man trying on a pair of two-tone shoes. ‘my yes’ said a man in a beige and tan cardigan, his shoes buffed to a mirror-like sheen. ‘and to think a madman who has a fondness for foolish things owns this place’ said the man, the shoehorn jimmied into the heel of the shoe snapping in half. ‘indeed’ said the other man gazing at the shine on his shoes. (This is surely foolish; I I do admit that I I do).

He found that he repeated things, things that mattered little if they were repeated or not. The need to repeat took president over other things, things that people who didn’t repeat did once, twice if it was important. He felt the need to repeat with little or no regret for the time lost to repetition and redoing things a second and third time. Or a fourth and fifth time, which he did against his better judgment (better meaning no worse than better but no better than worse) unlike people who do things once, twice if it is important, who are in possession of superior judgment, not a better one.

The Standartenführer Karl Abel abodes in a one-room walkup bedsit above the Partiznske Tenpin. Jarmila Franciscka had an affair with the man she believed to be the man of her dreams, her eyes blinded to the truth of the matter: the matter being that the man she fell in love with was a lousy ass. Karl Abel kneaded Jarmila Franciscka into the mattress like so much Dutch pudding. The man of her dreams was a lousy ass with soot black eyes and teeth like ivory toothpicks. (I do admit I do that this is surely foolish). Hanging over the sign hanging above the door was a sign that read ‘Efflagitasti Convicio ut Libros’, and above that a sign that read ‘San Bartolommeo is a thieving crook’, and above that a wag of cowhide that read ‘De Hiragana fucks Canaries whilst Ergolding watches’.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Partiznske Tenpin

Upon awakening he closed his eyes, the sun slicing in through the flap in his lean-to making a soup of his head. Overstepping he reached for his pocket-watch; the big hand stopped on the seven the little hand on the twelve. The sunlight cut across his forehead leaving a claret serration just above his brow. Overnight a thick coat of rime had settled on the roof of his lean-to. A toad of hoarfrost caught in his throat made him woof like a beaten dog, a halfpenny boil kindled on his cheek. He thought of those lime hot summer afternoons at the Partiznske Tenpin Bowling Lanes, Thüringen and Trowbridge bowling strikes and spares, the harridan’s sister sucking-off the pin-boy behind the shoe counter. He often thought of those summer days when he was a boy in knee-britches and straw cowboy hat; the hat a gift from his ailing granny, the one with the forever cough and weak rheumy eyes. His da didn’t care much for hats, saying they were discomfiting and never sat right on his head. She sucked-off the pin-boy’s friend and a kid with a brace on his leg. ‘did yaw see her giving it ta that kid with the engine on his leg?’ asked the man in the hat as a little boy. ‘yaw cud hear it clanging into the counter’. ‘it’s a brace… made from metal and straps and the like… it isn’t no fucking engine yaw cunt’ said the alms man before his downwardness. Mindfully he placed his pocket-watch on the barrel that served as his night-table. Now the sun was at his back, casting a baleful shadow on the lean-to wall. He thought such things lying half-awake on his cot, the sun making a soup of his head, a halfpenny boil kindling his brow, Thüringen and Trowbridge bowling strikes and spares, the harridan’s sister sucking him dry as whiplash.

Chalked on quantity of Bristol Board hanging over the ten-pin alley was a sign that said: CHAPTER X: WHEREIN IS RELATED THE CRAFTY DEVICE SANCHO ADOPTED TO ENCHANT THE LADY DULCINEA, AND OTHER INCIDENTS AS LUDICROUS AS THEY ARE TRUE.

Friday, January 01, 2010

味噌汁

The Eastleigh Society for the Deterrence of Mayhem meets every Friday in the basement of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner. He perished from a second bout of tetanus, eyes staring at a fracture in the ceiling, his insides pushed outside his body. No matter how much the they pushed they couldn’t get his outsides back inside. The Eastleigh Society for the Deterrence of Mayhem meet every Tuesday in the basement of the Marmoreal Asylum, Sauerwald’s father putting out and stowing away the folding chairs. On Wednesdays they meet in the boiler room of the Montessori Asylum, eating the leftovers left over after the canteen closed the Saturday before last. Not that it matters: all the leftovers are spoiled. No one knows why, it just happens that way. Things are always happening, for the better or the worse. Closing on Saturday they left all the leftovers to spoil. Some spoiled quicker than others; others slower. Everything spoiled in its own time. Things that spoiled first stank the longest. The last to spoil stank the least and shortest. Everything stank according to its expiration date, some more than others, others less than others.

Graukase soup, Ajiaco potato soup, Avgolemono soup, Slovakian Bajajou, Chinese Bird's nest soup, thick, creamy Bisque, Borscht, fish Bouillabaisse, vegetable Bourou-Bourou, cabbage Caldo verde, Barbadian Callaloo, sweet and sour Canh chua, Portuguese Canja de Galinha, Clam chowder, Cock-a-leekie soup, Scottish Cullen Skink, beaten Egg drop soup, Hassidic Etrog, Arabic Lentil soup, Fanesca with salted cod, Fasolada with bean, French onion, Fufu and Egusi, spicy Gazpacho, Goulash with stretched beef, Gumbo, Halászlé fisherman’s soup, Traditional Icelandic Íslensk Kjötsúpa, Georgian lamb Kharcho, O‘zbeklar Lagman, tomato and fish Lan Sikik, leek and or Lentil, sometimes both ending up in the same pot, each unbeknown to the other, Maryland Blue Crab Soup, Menudo, Michigan bean soup, traditional Minestrone, 味噌汁, Mulligatawny, Nässelsoppa stinging nettle soup, Noodle soup, İşkembe çorbası with rinsed tripe, Black Pepper Pot soup, Phở with scallions and eggplant, Psarosoupa, Revithia, Sancocho, Scotch broth, Shchav with wild sorrel and egg yolk, Charleston She-crab soup, Sinigang, Snert with peas and sliced sausage, Split pea, yogurt and cucumber Tarator, Tomato soup, Tarhana, French-style Vichyssoise, Belgian Waterzooi and Żurek, were leftover following the closing the following Saturday, each with its own expiration date.

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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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