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.

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