Saturday, February 27, 2010

Brothers Quay - Institute Benjamenta

Michael Boehme (£50k)

No matter what I say you’ll think I’m lying. Written in overgenerous strokes on a sheaf of yellow paper was the following: San Bartolommeo contributed (£222.5k), Christopher Nicholson (£52.2k), Michael Boehme (£50k), Charles Brand (£25k), Brian Roper (£20k), Neil Sherlock (£20k), Susan Kramer (£15k), Richard Duncalf (£11.7k), Christopher Butler (£10.7k), Giles Wilkes (£10.25k), Richard Brindle (£10k), Stephen Dawson (£10k) and 25 members of the Hershel Liege pantomime troop (£1k)+(£2k) spot-checked from Doctor Sickly. All monies collected will be donated to the Church of the Perpetual Sinner’s 'Feast of the Lamb', to be held Saturday from 1;30-4;00 in the basement of the rectory. The late Richard Brindle and the not-so-late Christopher Butler will give the communion and sermon respectively. ‘menacing cunts!’ thought the Witness, ‘always trying to one-up we true Christians’.

A weakly sorry-looking man punted across the blacktop, a wretched-looking dog trailing behind. ‘you… yes you there!’ hollered the Witness, ‘where are you going in such a hurry?’ Not stopping or looking over his shoulder to see who was hollering at him the weakly sorry-looking man continued down the blacktop, the wretched-looking dog straggling behind him. ‘I said you sir!’ hollered the Witness, his face reddening. The frail weakly man turned, and pointing his finger at the dog said ‘can’t you see I’m in a hurry? Now get out of my way you madman you!’ ‘that thing isn’t a dog, it’s a rat’ said the Witness, ‘a fucking rat’. ‘how dare you’ said the weakly pale man, ‘step aside, I say, before I pound you into the ground you madman you’. ‘aside? …you move aside, and take that fucking ugly rat with you’ said the Witness smiling. ‘Duncalf and Wilkes will be here before you know it… then we’ll see who’s a rat’ said the weakly ashen man, the wretched weakly dog lapping up a puddle full of ox-piss. Laughing, his jowls jiggling, the Witness said ‘those two, well I’ll be damned… I haven’t seen head nor hair of them in years, momma’s boys, if I recall’.

Los Chiapas del Concordia brothers are in cahoots with the Eastleigh Hampshire boys, pounding each others’ heads into the ground with great stupendous force. They, the brothers and boys, meet every Saturday in the lot behind the Waymart, every second Friday depending on the weather, where they clobber one another into the paving. ‘menacing cunts!’ whispered the man in the hat, ‘its getting so a man can’t go out for an evening stroll without having to fear for his person’ Awakening from a night of uncharitable dreams the man in the hat set out into the day, his thoughts a swirl with sugary figs and comfits, his two favorite foods, which he usually bought from the Seder grocer, but given his state of mind, dim and chary, he bypassed the grocer and went, instead, to the Apothecary Agents round the corner from the Waymart. ‘well I’ll be damned… I haven’t seen hair nor hide of those two in ages’ said the man in the hat seeing Duncalf and Wilkes standing in front of the Waymart. ‘momma’s boys, the both of ‘em’.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Scáth Oilc

Scáth Oilc hasn’t a pot to piss in. He pisses in the trough with the ox’s. The day he was run out of town he ran faster than an ox. He ran and ran. He ran past the Waymart past the Seder Grocers past the Dogman Deli, once owned by the Greek, until his lungs felt like they would burst. He waved at Cão Santarem, formerly of Newcastle now Newcastle upon Tyne, and blew a kiss at Lela, who was admiring a lard box in the window of the Dogman Deli. He ran until running away from and to ran into each other. ‘running is a boy’s sport’ said the Witness, ‘whithersoever he runs hw r-s- v r, w he is going…’. “God grant I may see thee dumb before I die…” (Don Quixote) said the Witness grumbling.

He ordered a tincture of smear of castor with a mild epagogic. The night before the Feast of the Unchaste Dejesus anointed his legs and arms with machinist’s oil and tin shavings. This he did to repel the unclean and miserable, finding their measly presence off-putting. ‘makes his toilet in an ox-trough, so I’ve heard!’ Dejesus had little patience for puny feeble people, the more frail and toady they were, the more he despised them. ‘its getting so that a man of keen intellect can’t move an inch without pitching into a slavering imbecile’. Included in the imbecilic and silverrods were the Witness, the harridan’s sister, a small tetchy man with a spotty eye and the tart who sold gum powder behind the Waymart. ‘menacing cunts!’

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentin Bulgakov

‘whithersoever I go I will go’ said the Witness, ‘I will go whithersoever I go, come back, then leave whithersoever… until coming and going are indistinguishable, the one becoming the other’. Stroking his cheek with the seal of his brass ring, the oxidation leaving a green trail on his face, he corrected his footing and said ‘then whithersoever will I never go anywhere again’. Collating his feet with the tiles on the floor, toes aligned with the sealant, he said ‘and that whore Valentin Bulgakov… whithersoever has she gone?‘ ‘you needn’t be so curmudgeonly’ said a woman in a hurry, ‘whithersoever you are is whithersoever you will be?’

Beginning at the ending he arrived whithersoever. This was nothing new; he had been going backwards for years. When he was a boy he did things backwards, chewing when he should be swallowing, listening when he should be talking, sitting when he should be standing. He did things stern to face, back to front. In doing things this way he got ahead of himself, never falling back or lagging behind.

He was the last to be first and the first to end when others were beginning. This made it easier for him to arrive whithersoever he had come. Or so he thought. In the back of his skull he knew something was awry, something tilting off-centre, oblong when it should be round, rectangular when it should be square. As much as he ciphered he couldn’t round off whatever it was that was pushing him off kilter. His skull was soft in the back. Maybe this was why he keeled to the left, sometimes the right, never moving forward in a straight line. Mostly there was a strange creaking in his jaw. Seesawing.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gaea's Womb

Božena heaved the bucket over the cattle-gate, the shamble leg man watching on in horror. ‘that’s no way to treat victuals’ said the shamble leg man, ‘if I had the mind to I’d give him a piece of it’. Hooking the stubble on his throat with his fingernail, a teacher’s chalk-line scoring his cheeks and the bridge of his nose, he walked in the opposite direction, his thoughts on lemony scented soap and saddle leather. Written in yellow chalk above the transom of the Bagenalstown Chemist’s was ‘Chapter XX: Wherein An Account Is Given Of The Wedding Of Cerberus The Rich, Together With The Incident Of Basilar The Poor’ and below that 'Argus and Panopte play ring-around-the-rosy with Chimaera and Cyclopes, the Ash Tree Nymphs tugging at their cocks. Echidna and Hecatoncheires peek their tiny misshapen heads out of Gaea's womb, Aegaeon, Cottus, and Gyges singing tra la la la la to Stheno, Euryale and Medusa, Typhoeus begetting Bellerophon begetting Chrysaor, then as quick as they were begotten forgotten and cast into the dark ominous shadows of the Queretaro de Arteaga Quertaro where they live out the respite of their gods fearsome lives'. Addled and confused the shamble leg man shook his head and continued down the sideways, the sun at his back. To himself he thought ‘why do I have such strange troubling thoughts… to my knowledge I have never pinched a cabbage or told an honest lie… so why am I plagued with such peculiar thoughts?’

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Boarhounds Embargo

The legless man punted across the sideways, the potholes filled with rain. Stepping out into the middle of the street the cooper Osnabrück met the tinker Settimo Torinese on the grassy medium separating the right lane from the left. The Boarhounds Embargo, initiated and seconded by the Church of the Depraved prohibiting the sale and or trade of whores’ silk for the manufacturing of women’s gloves and apparel, having recently been lifted, both men were in the market for hawr silk and women’s evening attire. ‘its going to be a good season’ said Osnabrück. ‘now that the embargo’s been lifted were bound to make a fortune!’ said Settimo. ‘we’ll show those cunts’ said Osnabrück, his voice raised enough to warrant fear. ‘they’re in for a big surprise’ said Settimo, ‘prohibiting a man’s trade is criminal…’. ‘and them that done it criminals’ said Osnabrück, his face as stern as a scow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Macedonio and Imre

Closing the book, his fingers weary from holding it out from his chest, (farsightedness making reading a pithy chore) he sighs, the sun just risen above the Waymart spire. Dársena said that he would meet him in front of the Recoleta Cemetery at 12 noon. Macedonio and Imre, two thugs with Basque jaws and steely fists would be lurking in the shadows, there to ensure Dársena got away before the assistant to the rector’s assistant could identify him. ‘if you see him first wave like this’ said Imre wagging his hand over his head. ‘what if it’s a false call?’ asked Macedonio, his chin receding into the wog of his neck. ‘then don’t wave you imbecile’ said Imre tetchily, Macedonio staring at a crow perched in the branches of a fichus tree. ‘don’t wave, okay’ whispered Macedonio not wanting to spook the crow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

los Diccionario de Putas

In the summer kitchen his grandmamma made winter pies, serving them with sweet onions and royal beets. That summer Sligo Spigot visited his grandparents. His grandmamma had a stitch in her side for Spigot, never allowing him through the front gate. Whenever he came to visit he stood on the other side of the gate, his hands flailing wildly over his head. ‘I have a message from the chemist’ he hollered, ‘an important one’. ‘go away now’ said grandmamma, ‘you’re not welcome here’. ‘but its important’ yelled Sligo Spigot, hands thrashing. ‘I don’t care’ said grandmamma, ‘now go away’. ‘but its from the chemist’ he said moving slowly towards the gate, grandmamma tightening her grip on the porch rail. ‘which one?’ asked grandmamma hesitantly. Edging closer, his head crooked to one side, Sligo Spigot said ‘the one’s got the boils on his face…’. ‘the Bagenalstown one’ said grandmamma loosening her grip on the rail. ‘yogh that’s him’ said Sligo Spigot, his voice lowering an octave. ‘well I have no business with him’ said grandmamma sternly, ‘now go away. Grandmamma, exhausted and short on charity, hurried up the porch stairs and into the house, Sligo Spigot entreating her ‘that’s him, the one’s got boils’.

Leafing through los Diccionario de Putas he came across a picture of three women eating an apple, the prettiest woman resigned to the millstone of her beauty. The other two woman, one unobjectionably fat, the other dressed in a gossamer white linen dress, cajoling the prettiest woman, daring her to take the first bite.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

San Bartolommeo

Álvaro Jaramillo rented a room over the Dogmen Deli. 'Telford and Wrekin' reads the sign over the Lecumberri Apothecary. ‘San Bartolommeo is a thieving crook’ reads the banner over the dispensing counter, and above that ‘De Hiragana fucks Canaries whilst Ergolding watches’. ‘I’ll sleep when I’m damn well ready… not a moment before!’ yelled the man in the hat from behind the dispensing counter. The Bagenalstown Chemist’s are in cahoots with the Brighton Hove Apothecary. ‘this has to stop!’ squalled the man in the hat. ‘surely!’ When he was a boy he lived with his grandmamma and grandpapa in a boycotter’s house outside the five mile fence. It was here, under the strawberry hedge, that he learned to play jack the ball and build boats out of clown paper. His grandpapa’s cob filled the sitting room with gray blue smoke, his trousers sooty with ash. His grandmamma fried haddock cakes on top of the woodstove, her apron doughy with lard and flower.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Death of an Irishwoman

Karlsruhe Baden-Wurttemberg exists only in the thoughts of imbeciles. Giurgiu Mares foal in the Spring, not a moment before. ‘So far did his unparalleled madness go…’ (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote) he lived neither here nor there, but somewhere coddled in between. Oh Knight of the Rueful Countenance show thy face, I beg of thee please do. Strange thoughts went through his head. Bizarre peculiar thoughts. Some less than others but thought just the same. Halfwit thoughts. Imbecilic strange peculiar thoughts. A fondness, he had for onion sandwiches and Mendelssohn.

Its never too late to learn a new trick. His da came down with Allihies Typhus, the chemist's assistant dispensing Hoar’s Palliative. On the wall above the dispensing counter was a poem,

Ignorant, in the sense
she ate monotonous food
and thought the world was flat,
and pagan, in the sense
she knew the things that moved
all night were neither dogs or cats
but hobgoblin and darkfaced men
she nevertheless had fierce pride.
But sentenced in the end
to eat thin diminishing porridge
in a stone-cold kitchen
she clenched her brittle hands
around a world
she could not understand.
I loved her from the day she died.

She was a summer dance at the crossroads.
She was a cardgame where a nose was broken.
She was a song that nobody sings.
She was a house ransacked by soldiers.
She was a language seldom spoken.
She was a child's purse, full of useless things.

(Michael Hartnett, Death of an Irishwoman)

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Moletji Tenors

Its only a matter of time now before everything falls apart flying everywhere. They’ll be people leaping, hurdling guardrails and banisters, jumping and leaping like two-legged frogs. No one will see it coming, everything falling apart, creeping cater-cornered across the horizon like a milky white fog. They’ll be no time to gather any personal belongings, time will stop, bits and pieces flying every which way. No time to say goodbye, I’ll miss you, truly I will. Its only a matter of time. Slaked Giltrap lights a fat cigar, his mouth rimmed with oniony spittle, nose twitching madly. He found the back of people’s heads unsettling. All he saw were shrove-withered skulls, God’s grace scrimshawed on ashen bone. It made him sick to his stomach. The Moletji Tenors have the names of great composers tattooed on the back of their heads. Bach and Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Mozart and Schubert, Berlioz, Chopin and Handel, Haydn, Scarlatti and Holst, Mahler and Schumann. Other’s irritability irritates him so he keeps his distance from tetchy and ill-humored people. He fears running into Howard χώρα who might solicit him for a loan, or worse, retch on his shoes. ‘tetchy fat bastard!’ Shostakovich, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. ‘I’ll miss you, truly I will’. Cater-cornered to the church stands a marble bust of King Olaf, his mistresses’ name scrimshawed on the back of his head. Dejesus awoke with a start, his pillow spotted with lice.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hôtel Gropecuntelane

Sitting on a half-buttock the alewife counts the night’s take: 27 coppers, 3 nickels and a ½ ££ torn in half just below the Queen’s chin. Above the door over the transom is a banner that reads ‘Efflagitasti cotidiano convicio ut libros quos ad meum Marcellum, available at your better Hypermarkets and Apothecary Agents’. The Offaly Bros of Tulach Mhór own the De Herrera Tesco, the top Hypergrocers in all of Queen’s Chin Mhór. ‘stop checking for cracks… the casements’re fine’ grumbled the publican, ‘just fine’. While he grumbled the alewife gathered and stacked the chairs, an Egyptian hurdle piled three hands high doddering in the centre of the alehouse floor. Juan Aránzuru, publican, his odium exacerbated by the alewife’s monkeyshines, throws his apron into the corner next to the empties. Grousing, his hands balled into fists, Juan Aránzuru disappears behind the bar, James Giltrap, determined to buy another round, counting the loose change in his pant’s pocket. Over the bar the menu read:


Le Pate Leopold
Les Quenelles De Veau Toulouse
Le Poulet De Bresse ‘Roti
Les Pommes Nouvelles Au Beurre
La Salade De Laitue Mimosa
Les Fromages Varies

Vin Blanc, Vin Rose, Vin Rouge
Passe-Tout-Grain De Nuits
Moulin A Vent
Café Filtre

Giltrap was in the mood for lamb chops with green mint jelly, followed with Pâté de Jardin and an oniony pale ale. Garryowen lives at 35 North Great George’s Street in a bedsit across from La Hôtel Gropecuntelane.

Breithlá Shona Duit - 2 February 1882

Monday, February 01, 2010

Der Untergeher

Having drunk too much Porter Garryowen exclaimed ‘[Porter] is a great provoker of three things …nosepainting, sleep and urine’ (Macbeth, Shakespeare). Across the gangway next to the window sits James Giltrap busting a gut, the alewife pulling her apron strings humming. Today being the Feast of the Denunciation (following the Feast of the Annunciation), the brown Porter flows like Communion wine. Tbilisi and Raimondi brew extraordinary brown Porter, aged in oak barrels and bunged with brass-monkey taps. The assistant to the brew master, Dushet'is, tamps the bungs in place, checking for cracks in the casements. ‘horse’s ass’ thinks Garryowen troubling with a toothpick that has lodged itself in his gums. ‘its all a lie’. James Giltrap pats the alewife’s half-buttock, her tray held aloft her red curly locks. ‘the nerve’ thinks Garryowen, ‘the man’s a cunt, never worked a day in his life’. Garryowen rises and heads for the door, a puddle of brown Porter seeping onto the floor under his stool. They called him Der Untergeher, his teeth sticking out of his jaw like boar’s tusks.

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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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