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’.

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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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