Monday, March 01, 2010

Dull Pettiness

That morning the sky fell head over heels into the aqueduct; taking with it a man sniggling eels, his dog, who was asleep at the time, three crows, a drake, ½ a dozen green billed mallards, 9 Boobies, 15 Albatrosses, 3 Phalaropes, 4 Loons, two with necklaces, two without, 5 Cormorants, 16 Pelicans, 2 Storm-petrels, 4 Terns, 7 Razorbills, 8 Dovekie’s, 1 Black Guillemot, 2 Northern Gannets, 3 Herring Gulls and a Common Eider, so the story says. On the north side of the aqueduct a pod of pullets were busy pecking corn from between Ms. Christopher Nicholson’s toes. ‘oh my’ exclaimed Ms. Nicholson blushing, for she had forgotten to wear socks, her feet fair game for fowl and pullet alike. On the south side of the aqueduct sat a man reading the newspaper, his hat pulled down over the figs of his ears. He cut his toenails too close. ‘dog’s nails… black pegs’ he thought. ‘must be more careful with the cutters lest I shear one off… then what, a hobbled black footed dog, a mangy cur’. On the wall over his bed was a scrap of burlap; and on that scrap was written the following:

“One thing must be avoided at all costs: narrow-mindedness, pedantry, dull pettiness. Mot things are interconnected, most threads lead to the same reel. Have you ever noticed swallows rising in flocks from between the lines of certain books, whole stanzas of quivering pointed swallows? One should read the flight of these birds…” Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass – Bruno Schulz.

When asked why he had it over his bed he said on account of he believed in something greater and the words made it so. ‘you’re fooling yourself, they said. ‘there isn’t a thing greater than a spit polished man’. Says who, he said? ‘says us’ they said. Nothing I know, he said. ‘but you don’t know much’ they said, ‘and what you do know is small apples’. Changing his mind he walked away, a child (a waif) hooking rocks off the grocer’s awning snorting like an ox. I have swelling glands, he said. But not so swelled so as to cause me any discomfit. ‘you you’re delusional’ they hollered after him. ‘and what’s more a fool’. Yes swelled, but not so bad as to cause me any pain.

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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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