Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

Blog Archive