Friday, April 30, 2010

Colonia Etchepare

Elmer Rosales wrote “seus peitos são como cerejas, haar borsten zijn als kersen, i suoi seni sono come le ciliege, 她的乳房是象樱桃 그녀의, her breasts are like cherries” on a cocktail napkin in the mezzanine bar of 43 Boulevard Raspail, the bartender eying him crookedly. (Author’s aside: never trust an author; we’re all liars). After his release from los Colonia Etchepare Elmer Rosales took to the road, arriving one day in front of the Seder grocer’s where he stood admiring his reflection in the window. In a hurry to get to Mass the harridan’s sister bumped into Elmer Rosales, who terracing sideways exclaimed ‘you, madam, offend me’. ‘out of my way swine herder’ shouted the harridan’s sister, the church bells chiming ding dong ding dong. Collecting himself, a niggle bullying its way into his shoulder, Elmer Rosales shouted ‘reina de la puta!’

그녀의 the bartenders wife eying him suspiciously… chokecherries, they’re more like that, sweeter, firmer, softer to the touch. He awoke in a tizzy, his head aglet with wormy thoughts. Before arriving he lived in Los Quartier Basavilbaso under a hawthorn with spiny claw-like buds, Schumer Kyphosis, who lived under a boxwood kitty-corner to the outdoor commode plying him with grain alcohol and black tea.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Los Index

Dmitri Georef arrived on a Thursday, detrained and unpacked his belongings, three white shirts, three ties, red, blue and black, three pairs of grey flannel trousers, three pairs of linen underpants, two pairs of shoes, brown Oxford wingtips and black evening slip-ons, three handkerchiefs, a zippered case of men’s toiletries, a package of Skoghall chewing tobacco and a copy of the Pauline Index. The following morning at seven thirty Dmitri Georef repacked his suitcase, folding his three white shirts, three pairs of grey flannel trousers, underpants, two of which he crunched into a ball and disposed of in the trash as he had evacuated himself in them the night previous, both pairs of shoes, which he stuffed in the right side-pocket, and his zippered case of men’s toiletry and placed them into his suitcase. As for the Pauline Index he left it under the bed wrapped in one of his handkerchiefs, pages 270 through to 325 missing, the 55 leafs stowed in the left side-pocket of his suitcase. Nothing more was seen or heard of Dmitri Georef, his training and detraining occurring too close together for anyone to form an opinion of him. He may however appear again to entertain those still interested in forming a curio of his person.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Albert Poché

Albert Poché, dressed in culottes and knee-high’s stood admiring the fat red-faced woman and child’s reflection in the grocer’s window. Krieger awoke from unsettling dreams, his under-drawers dampened round his cock and anus hole. Krieger, known for his well-balanced mien, first met Albert Poché the day of the Feast of the Unrepentant, both men making their commode behind the same bush at the back of the church.

Puede Dios Bendecir su Alma Agujero’, said the sign over the door to the Grim Brothers Haberdashery. Awaking from unsettling dreams, his under-drawers dampened round his anus hole and cock, Krieger opened his eyes onto the world. That night he made the beast with the harridan’s sister, the cups of her knees digging into the birdcage of his ribs, the moon outside her bedroom window a winnowing yellow whore. ‘seu burro gordo mim diverte!’ he whispered into her ear, ‘empuje empuje meu amante gordo do burro!’ That evening Tingvoll and Bohinj Romsdal ate their supper at La Pancrazio Gaststätte, Puglia Kassel and Hessen Bassano sitting across the isle awaiting the arrival of the first course: poached black eel in an almandine sauce and fatty oxtail soup. Grappa del Veneto, appearing as if from nowhere, took a seat next to Tingvoll, the buttons on his suit grappling with the stoutness of his belly. ‘in the end’ he said stoutly, ‘nothing matters’. Fitfully he crossed the isle and sat next to the harridan’s sister. Ordering a palliative he said to the waitress ‘empuje empuje meu amante gordo do burro!’

Later that evening the man in the hat fell ill as a dog. Even though he had no evidence how dogs felt he fell as ill as one. Having eaten an entire cottage ham and a pot of sweet yams he felt a gurgling in his stomach. He felt like a dog felt when its stomach was full of biscuits even though he had not eaten any. Or he may have but not remembered that he had. Had he he would have some knowledge that he had surely.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Liver Is the Cock's Comb

The congregation tarred and feathered the vainglorious, dragging then through the dirty streets behind the muleteer’s wagon. Dejesus watched on in horror as the parishioners hobbled a young woman then drove her out into the streets, the men hooting, the women catcalling as she kneeled her way home. ‘The Liver Is the Cock's Comb of the body’ hollered a fat red-faced woman, her roly-poly red-faced child tearing at her skirts. ‘flies and maggots’ bellowed another woman, her hair pulled back in a bun revealing a hook-shaped scar. ‘fucking strange world’ said the Apothecary agent’s son, the brothers grinning from ear-to-ear. After the congregation had disbanded, everyone except for the red-faced woman and her red-faced child who were preoccupied with their reflections in the grocer’s window, the brothers handed the Apothecary agent’s son a bundle of small bills, the littlest on the top, the largest on the bottom and thanking him walked northeasterly, the sun setting behind the Waymart spire.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Freud on Freud

The Book of Disquiet

Little is known of the Iztacalco Bros. other than that they were regulars at the Lecumberri Apothecary. They were the first to coin the phrase Liver Is the Cock's Comb, which became Liver Is the Cock's Comb of the body. Written in the blackest bile over the door to the Iztacalco Bros. derelict shed was the following:

“My only nostalgias are literary ones… [my] eyes fill with tears at the memory of my childhood but they are rhythmical tears in which some piece of prose is already in preparation… My nostalgia is for certain pictures of the past… [what] I have loved most have been sensations - the scenes recorded by my conscious vision, the impressions captured by attentive ears, the perfumes by which the humble things of the external world speak to me and tell me tales of the past (so easily evoked by smells) - that is, their gift to me of a reality and emotion more intense than the loaf baking in the depths of the bakery as it was on that far-off afternoon on my way back from the funeral of the uncle who so adored me and when all I felt was the vague tenderness of relief, about what I don't know.” (Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet)

As neither brother had the wherewithal of intellect they hired the Apothecary agent’s son to pen the verse, the boy’s mastery of a quill and inkpot without prière. ‘what the fuck where is this going?’ penned the other brother, the one with the wooden eyes and pointed head. ‘how the damn would I know?’ said the second brother his eyes flashing sabers. The sky dimmed, the horizon smoldering crepuscular yellow. ‘I hear tell the Witness was seen out past the five-mile’ said the wooden eyes brother gripping his side. ‘no doubt snooping round for remnants’ said the second brother growling for he had not yet had his lunch. ‘hear tell hear tell’ said the wooden brother snorting for he had swallowed a mug full of earth dirt. ‘fucking strange world’ said the brothers at the same time, neither possessing the wherewithal of intellect to speak in turns.

Attentively he leaped over the fence, the seat of his trousers catching a loose nail. Snagged and suspended over the gate-stile, his trousers tearing at the seams, he felt a hand tagging at his shoulder, the offal smell of stink and wretch over-assailing him. Turning, his head entangled in his shirt, he called out ‘you, get your hands off me!’ When no reply was forthcoming he hunched his shoulders into V, his neck collapsing into his collarbone, and maneuvering his left leg over the fence broke free, his shirt hanging off him in shreds. Off in the not too far distance, hedging over dale and copse, he heard a voice ‘The Liver Is the Cock's Comb of the body’ the offal stink trailing over the five-mile and into no-man’s-land.

After that summer the Iztacalco Bros. left the circus grounds for good, leaving behind three dead pullets, one plucked clean, the other two covered in flies and maggots, an army-issue canteen, the plastic top broken in two, a bundle of old newspapers and a hatbox. Inside the hatbox hidden beneath a swaddling of old newsprint was a red glove, the index-finger sheared clean off.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sherman Arshile Hanged Himself

Then what? What then? It can get so cold yet febrile at the same time down here. Then what? Down here? What then? I have a soft spot for asparagus hearts lightly oiled and peppered with sea salt. 46, or was it 44 days after the Feast of the Blest Virgin. What then? Out the back door of the house of course… to the woolshed where everything is soiled and sullied. Down there where its cold yet febrile at the same time. Her legs bowing like cobble sticks soiled and sullied from the inside of the shed. Sherman Arshile hanged himself in his woolshed where they stowed the garden tools, potting pots, dirt, flats and clippers. In the end everything evens out; (soiled and sullied), that’s how it is down here down where its cold yet febrile at the same time.

His mamma fed him suet with heavy cream, spooning it into the frowning umbrella of his mouth. If it rains you’ll catch your death of a cold. Down here there is no rain, none that I’ve ever felt; yet I feel nothing, nothing worth mentioning; yes of course the garden tools, potting pots, dirt, flats and clippers, but nothing else. Nothing worthy of mention.

That summer his da took him to see the Bagenalstown Chemist’s, the reason for which, his age and weight, calumny and bad posture, was forever kept a secret. The harridan’s sister figured it was to get an ointment, perhaps a pox serum or lye compress. Blessed be the beasts for they shall inherit the world. ‘maybe then’ she figured, ‘things’ll get back to normal’. Never did they find out why his da took him to see the Bagenalstown Chemist’s, though there were reports of open sores and a foul stink to his breath, mere speculations and grand assumptions.

What then? 44, or was it 46? 'The Liver Is the Cock's Comb of the body'. The following day the man in the hat found a glove pinched between a fichus tree and a lichen covered rock. ‘what have we here?’ he said squaring his rounded shoulders. Tugging the glove free he held it out in front him, the hem unstitched round the thumb, the palm turned outwards, a mossy greenness smarting his eyes. ‘must have been here for a very long sometime’. He studied the softness of the leather, the grain coarsened with time and inclimate weather.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grigory Poincaré

He stood his ground, one phantom leg astride the median, javelins of grass shooting up through the mud-splattered concrete. ‘have you no conscience?’ he said, ‘you who think faith a gambol and a foist’. It would only be a matter of time before the whole shooting match disbanded, each to his own heading back from whence they came. When no one spoke, which they did mutely, he yelled at the top of his lungs ‘then fuck you all!’ Hopping from one phantom leg to the other he foisted his way down the street, the veins in his throat bulging.

The first time he met Grigory Poincaré he was hunkered over a bowl of soup, specks of meat and carrots floating on the surface like drowned men. Having arrived early he had been the first to be ushered in through the weighty oak-framed doors of the soup kitchen. Grigory Poincaré lived in a boycotter’s house with a caved-in roof. The house looked like his grandpapa’s but for the cardboard flaps hanging in shreds from the transom and windowsills. ‘I’m feeling bone flaccid’ he said, his ears red as halved pomegranates. The day of the Feast of the Unfaithful Grigory Poincaré bought half a sow and three yellow succulent melons, cooking the half sow over an open pit, the fat spitting and hissing on the red coals, and slicing the melons into smile-like pieces, enough to fill the biggest maw. For the toothless he made a boar hash seasoned with green peppercorns and black fennel.

‘i have blak marks on my nick and between my legs how can i get red of them?’ beseeched a fatly woman weeping. ‘yes’ said a stout portly man holding his head high, ‘but the Liver Is the Cock's Comb’. Her legs bowing like cobble sticks, the weeping fatly woman said a second time ‘i have blak marks on my nick and between my legs how can i get red of them?’ Sherman Arshile hanged himself in his woolshed 46, or was it 44 days after the Feast of the Blest Virgin. Poor swaying sod. Sherman Arshile, a slight man with sharp equine features and green peppercorn eyes, lived out his lonely life in the woolshed behind his grandparent’s house. Having soiled and sullied the inside of the shed, his grandparent’s refused to have anything to do with it; stowing their garden tools, potting pots, dirt, flats and clippers in the boot-room leading out the back door of their house.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Errant Knight

All stories are the same; they tell us about our own lives’. Look at me when I talk to you! I’ve smote bigger men that you! In his head he hears evil mad things. No matter which leg he stood on he heard things in his head, loud clamorous things. SERVES YOU RIGHT, a voice yelled in his ear, DAMN YOU!

“While this conversation, amusing to all except” the legless man “was proceeding, they ascended the staircase and ushered” him “into a chamber hung with rich cloth of gold and brocade; six damsels relieved him of” his pushcart pole “and waited on him like pages, all of them prepared and instructed by the duke and duchess as to what they were to do, and how they were to treat” the legless man “so that he might see and believe they were treating him like a knight-errant”. (pilfered and bastardized from Don Quixote)

The legless man heard this in the eye of his mind, playing it over and over again like an unwanted tune. 'my mind’s eye is a slaughterhouse' he thought ‘a place of mincing and dicing, chopping and splitting, rendering flesh and bone flaccid and cooperative’. Blinking he continued ‘mind’s eye my eye… there is no such thing’.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hedge Mice

His father bought him a used bicycle with two flat tyres. The bicycle sat in the woolshed next to the gin, the saddle torn in halves down the middle. Everywhere he went he thought of the bicycle, the two flat tyres and mangled saddle with the gold speckles on it. ‘the world, my boy, is full of beasts and imbeciles’ said his father, his eyelid drooping from the burst vessel in his head. Albrecht, his best friend when he was a boy, lived under a Texas gate, the grid-work shit-bearded with axel grease. Best friends being the least worst of the worst, he loved Albrecht with all his heart. Albrecht didn’t care that he had a bicycle with two flat tyres and a torn saddle, or that his da made his commode over a trench sitting on a log, the log creaking and buckling.

The first time he met Lela she was wearing a robin’s egg blue summer dress with a loose thread. She was admiring her reflection in the grocer’s window, her hair swept away from her face and shoulders. Sad bastard tiss a shame, and wearing that threefold bard’s cap instead of a panama or a straw boater. The daring of some people. Imbeciles and halfwits! Burst a vessel in his head, eyelids drooping like shad flies. Next thing you know he’ll be hold out under one of those Texas gates shit-bearded with axel grease hand-feeding hedge mice. We live our lives’ moving forward looking backwards. Some scatterbrain from the Netherlands said that, no less a bush burning philologist than a Christian apologist. Apologists’: a quid a dozen, five for a half-pence.

Forgetting where he was going the man in the hat stood in the middle of the sideways, his straw boater doddering on the top of his freshly shaven head. ‘what now and where to?’ he asked himself. ‘some days are better than others’ he whispered lowly not wanting to invite the wrath of a cheat or a robber. ‘perhaps I am nowhere. It makes no difference really… the day will unfold as it should regardless of my protestations to the contrary. Whatever contrary, it makes little difference. It could be anything, anything at all, contraries being what they are, opposition to affableness and sociability’.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Berlin Underpants

Lela didn’t understand why beasts were so distained; they too were entitled to a pleasant smile and a welcoming handshake. Her mamma, after all, was known to wrap her thighs round the belly of the beast, the brute thrashing her round the horsehair mattress like a ragdoll. ‘never underestimate a woman’s itch’ her uncle would say, ‘they don’t know the difference between pearls and swine’.

when he turned twelve his da bought
him a secondhand bicycle with money
he saved from his job slaughtering pigs

his da was known for his precision at placing
the head of the ax into the halves of the skull,
felling the pig four legs out from the body.

pumping the tappet with his left hand he
raised the carcass over the boil, dropping
it in headfirst, his right hand obliging

the push-rod into the cogwheel,
the whirr and bustle of machinery
filling his ears with dirty thoughts.

Cranendonck Brabant and James Rodker, of whom little is known, sell oxtails from the boot of their car; a dollar-fifty-seven a tail, two links for two-dollars-five. They steal the oxtails from the offal-bin behind the Cock’s Bros. abattoir, Cranendonck retrieving and James stowing the purloined tails in his haversack. ‘for the love of God’ says, Rodker ‘this one’s full of flies’. ‘and this one’s all maggoty’ says Brabant, the two beside themselves with bad thoughts. At that moment, as if by magic, the littlest dogman appears from behind a deadfall of elms and hollyhocks, his chest puffed out like a tympanuchus cupido. Sneering he squats next to the offal-bin where the two are rummaging for oxtail. Not saying a word he pushes past the two oxtail thieves and continues down the alleyway behind the Cock’s Bros. abattoir. ‘this one’s maggoty too’ says Rodker trying to hold in his breath. ‘they’re all maggoty and full of flies’ says Brabant angrily. ‘we’ll be lucky to get one-dollar-five for these’ says Rodker squinting, the rancid odor of off-meat assailing his nostrils. ‘damn it to hell!’ says Brabant, his face as red as a gundog’s nose. (Anyhow, who in their right mind thinks about dead flies? Dare say I dare I).

He came down with the glanders, pustules and goiters forming in heaps on his neck and jowls. His grandmamma gave him Bertelsmann’s palliative followed with a tincture of Gütersloh’s digestive, the swelling diminishing round his jawbone and lower lip. ‘he’s a guttersnipe’ said the legless man, ‘and deserves what he gets’. ‘no man deserves this’ said the grandmamma, ‘not even a guttersnipe’. ‘but the damn smell’ said the legless man covering his face with his hand. ‘its worse than oxtails gone maggoty’. ‘mind you mouth!’ warned the grandmamma, ‘or it’ll be you who’s full of heaps and boils’. That winter he bought his grandmamma a doctor’s bag to tote her medicines around in, his grandmamma carrying it with her everywhere she went.

He left the whore’s glove, the one he found under the Portici portico, with the widow Zavalla, the grand-niece of Neuquén Belo. In the winter months her grandmamma made her wear Berlin underpants, the red spots on her thighs attesting to her grandmamma’s wisdom. The erstwhile Franz Biberkopf, friend to Theo Rutra and Christine Ambach, great uncle to Maria Dillenschneider and Emile Jolas, sometime acquaintance of Carl Einstein, know for his massive four-squared head, and general gadfly, sold Berlin underpants from the boot of his car.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

On the Umbilicus

They fornicated on their knees, inching closer nearer the midway. ‘regard them’ said the butcher, ‘they are the animals we have been told about’. His papa wore his trousers back to front, the buttons digging into his penis. ‘papa’ he would holler, ‘your pants are on backwards’. ‘keeps a fish afloat’ his papa would answer. ‘north side wall up to the ceiling’. Of this I recall little. Beastly animals! They yell. Kill the beast! They holler. Smite it dead! He nay can sleep. Never been one for twenty winks: damn hard on the umbilicus… so it is. Never know when a lad has to go twenty with a puncher, sorry sight all that mangled flash, head bashed in pointy as a lynching cross. Last time he saw his da he was pulling up his trousers hind the Pub, nearsighted he was… no difference between an arse and an elbow. Sad state of affairs I’d say I said. And him without a tosspot. I prefers my commode sitting, beard of shit shaving the bowl. That night the man in the hat bought a pork sandwich… offal smell of halitosis soaked into the brine. Closer to the halfway, midway there by now I’d say I said. Course no ones listening, paying heed takes courage and a closed mouth. Can’t expect much from beasts and fornicators.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Æthelred the Unready

Sitting cross-legged the legless man let out a scream, a covey of ducks taking flight, skimming across the top of the aqueduct. ‘dare I dare say this is more than I can take!’ ‘shit up!’ said a voice whispering in his ear. ‘up?’ he thought, ‘I dare say I make my commode sitting down’.

Under the hedge
where my father
buried half-eaten corpses
Dead rabbits
sang in the dirt


The summer his da left for good the legless man fell down a well. He stayed in the well for 40 days and 39 nights, rescue coming in the way of a poacher and his ungainly son. Once rescued he cursed his da, shouting at the top of his dirt-filled lungs, ‘may your bowels be uproarious for 40 nights and 40 days!’ His da had good sturdy legs and two bent inward feet. His feet he inherited from his own da, who’s feet were more cudgel-like than simian. The summer he turned eleven his da poisoned a shoebox of baby rabbits, burying them under the hedge behind the woolshed. Æthelred the Unready his friends called him, noticing the flap of skin over the hood of his eye. For his twelfth birthday his da bought him a secondhand baseball mitt, the stitching round the thumb frayed and broken. Undeterred he play catch with his da, his thumb smashed at the second knuckle.

Who’s to say? His own da wore fishmonger’s trousers with chainmail knees and a strop pocket in the back. It was there, scabbard in the back pocket where his da carried his filleting knife. Used it to gut and scale walleyes and groupers. Had a straight-eye for crosscuts and deboning, knee on the tail hand round the neck. Of course he made a mess, oil and flaked scales stuck to his shirt and arm yard. Came home covered in it, flecks and burr-ends spackled on his apron. Not that he minded; next time he’d run the blade sideways through the dorsal line. Keeps a fish afloat, brine gas in the airbladder. Never can tell when its going to explode, yellowy blood all over the north side wall up the ceiling. His da didn’t mind, made a good day’s wage all and all.

Friday, April 02, 2010

General Bernardo D’états

Things seldom happen for a reason, they just are. Those things that are make up the bulk of what is, the things in front of you laughing to split a gut, bucal slips, eye twitching and overly responsive hand gesturing. Lela knew of these this’, even if it wasn’t in her best interests to do so. The summer she lost her innocence her mother bought a secondhand car with crushed pile upholstery and a smashed windshield. Her mother drove around town hollering like a banshee out the driver-side window, her daughter crumpled in the back seat pretending to be someone else’s egg.

Rancagua Libertador and General Bernardo D’états ate like children, The Feast of the Liberator ending with a bow to freedom and good cheer. Lela’s mamma sucked off Rancagua and the General in the back seat of her secondhand car, the General kneeing her in the forehead, Lela’s mamma chomping down of the bulb of his cock. Libertador, clucking like a chicken asked for more, Lela’s mother slapping him across the face, leaving a white handprint embossed in the red.

Sitting cross-legged the legless man let out a scream, a covey of ducks taking flight, skimming across the top of the aqueduct. ‘dare I dare say this is more than I can take!’ ‘shit up!’ said a voice whispering in his ear. ‘up?’ he thought, ‘I dare say I make my commode sitting down’.

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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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