Monday, May 31, 2010

Tripe and Onions

Hips chasséing she struts back and forth in front of the Waymart, stopping every few yards to mark her territory with seedlings of orangey piss. ‘the smell is altogether unpleasant… seedling yards of lemony piss!’ Her breath smelled like cur’s piss. She appeared in front of the Waymart clocktower, her carpetbag clutched like a swaddling child to her bosom. ‘the smell the smell’ screeched Enrico the soft-headed pimp, ‘can’t you smell it?’ ‘by God… run I say run, the pox is upon us!’ shouts Gunter Grünenthal, the street frenzied with people running amok. ‘a feast is not a bare-knuckled free-for-all’ says Dejesus having arrived on the sly. ‘nor is it pumpernickel and corked cider…!’ ‘enough is enough!’ cries the Witness, his hands blued with printers’ ink. ‘away with you… scat!’

That night they had tripe and onions for supper. Wife’s tales say tripe and onions rids one’s breath of that cur’s pissy smell. Skillet-fried then put aside to sweat; tripe and onions: best served with cornmeal biscuits and Baldur’s Gin. Brugg’s, he’s the one’s got teeth like rusty hinges, sits all daylong watching passerby’s pass by, liver and onions breath, coattails in tatters. Its no wonder people throw scraps at him, hooking tripe and onions off his bone-hard skull. The day of the Feast of the Pox the cabman’s shelter was doddered off its cement foundation. ‘by Christ … run I say run, the pox is upon us!’’ yells a woman from her balcony. Unable to contain his anger any longer Fajardo Rafael cries ‘you would think they’d lime the corpses’. ‘by Christ but its awful!’ yells the woman from her balcony, her fat blubbering child tugging hungrily at her skirts.

The winter Lela had her first period she bled like a hen, pullets of blood spotting her sheets and the insides of her underpants. She thought she’d given birth to eggs, tiny red dots like the ones on her mother’s favourite dress. She hid the sheets in the close next to the stairs, stuffing them into a crook under the stoop. She wrapped her underwear in butcher’s paper and hid them in the bushes alongside the house.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The man in the hat met Schug Grünenthal at the Feast of the Redeemer, both men eyeing one another from across the pews. Sitting to the right, legs stretched out under the pew in front of them, Fajardo Rafael and Utrecht Viagem listened to the priest give the oratory, Gunter Grünenthal eyeing them from his pew at the back of the church. Hidden in the corner of the balcony, his goldfish floundering in his coat pocket, the soft-headed pimp Enrico eyes the congregation, his thoughts on calumny and thieving. Singing in a trembling castrato the lead chorister, a fat boy with curly red hair, reaches out his arms to the congregation, Enrico cowering fearful that the boy castrato is speaking directly at him. ‘the smell is wholly offensive’ gags Gunter Grünenthal, ‘you would think they’d lime the corpses’. While communion is served the boy castrato delights the congregants with a Mendelssohn aria. A woman seated next to the ciborium begins to weep uncontrollably, the priest’s doughy hands trembling under the weight of the Host. Flaring his nostrils like sea worms (Riftia pachyptila), Fajardo Rafael says to Utrecht Viagem ‘can’t you smell it?’. ‘what?’ says Utrecht Viagem tilting his chin upwards. ‘the smell’. ‘what smell?’ asks Viagem. ‘the rotten teeth smell’ says Rafael irksomely. Raising his chin even with the altar Utrecht Viagem takes in a big breath of parish air. ‘smells like a church to me’. Unable to contain his anger any longer Fajardo Rafael cries out ‘dead stinking teeth!’ ‘and corpse-rotten’ says Gunter Grünenthal raising his hand like a schoolboy, and from the balcony ‘and wholly offensive’.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Schug Grünenthal

Word has it the dogmen attacked Sergipe Aracaju and Ticino Locarno as they laying sleeping, beating them into a bloodied mess. As no one knew of their arrival or the purpose of their visit, they’re demise was quickly forgotten. Men such as these seldom made it to the next day; they’re corpses disposed of in well-buckets behind the pork butcher’s or in shallow graves under the swimming cabana at the rear of the aqueduct.

The soft-headed pimp Enrico lives with his mamma in a two-room walkup with a cat and a goldfish. The soft-headed pimp, no relation to the black top-hat pimp, spends his mornings drawing pictures of his fish, the afternoon’s reserved for smalltime pimping and thieving. His great great-uncle Julio, a bear-toed angler, sniggled eels until the day he died; his great great-aunt burying his swaddled corpse in a plot behind the pumphouse. As soft-headed as he was, Enrico the soft-headed pimp never once begged for alms or cheated a dishonest man. He lived by a code of conduct he carried in his coat pocket wherever he went. Wherever he was he could pull out the code and check it for instructions, never having to give anything a moment’s rumination.

Schug Grünenthal, no relation to Gunter Grünenthal, a beast of a man with corpse-rotten teeth, carries a placard with him that reads, “For this reason, a higher culture must give to man a double brain, as it were two brain-ventricles, one for the perceptions of science, the other for those of non-science”. (Nietzsche Human, All-Too-Human)

Fajardo Rafael tells Utrecht Viagem that he would be more than happy to pick up the tab should he care to join him for dinner. Viagem ungraciously declines, sending Fajardo Rafael into a lather, which arouses the attention of Schug Grünenthal, who exclaims ‘I’m Schug Grünenthal and have all of my teeth. I am not Gunter Grünenthal with the corpse-rotten ones!’

Monday, May 24, 2010

Borges Acevedo

Ticino Locarno met Sergipe Aracaju behind the bathing cabana at the rear the aqueduct. The men had come to discuss the plummeting sales of whores’ gloves. The Italian’s had cornered the market with their simple black guanti delle prostitute, the Dutch with a red kidskin whore handschoenen, the German’s monopolized the Eastern European market with their suede Dirnehandschuhe, the French the French market with an olive green and red gants de putains, the Korean’s had a lovely loose-knit 매춘부 장갑 that sold for 1,125.62 KRW, the Portuguese continued to sell 1000 upon 1000's of luvas das meretrizes, the Chinese owned most of the Asian market with a rayon 妓女手套, the Japanese a close second with a rayon cotton blend 売春婦の手袋, and of course the Spanish with a hybrid, and highly coveted guantes de las putas, which came in red, black and aquamarine.

‘vá-se foder agora,mujerzuela sucia!’ exclaimed the Argentinean glover-maker, adding ‘Serás lo que debas ser y si no, no seras nada!’ (José de San Martín). ‘Que el cielo exista, aunque mi lugar sea el infierno’. (Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo). ‘tomorrow we will pay a visit to the Dogmen’ says Sergipe Aracaju gripping his thigh just above the knee. ‘I hear tell they’ve come up with a plan… that no glove that passes through the five-mile fence will ever make it to market, and we, Ticino Locarno, shall outwit them for it’.

Ticino Locarno leans in closer to Sergipe Aracaju, his jet black hair greying at the temples, his ears pinned back like a rabid dog’s, clears his throat and says, ‘then we can have something to eat, right?’ Leaning away from Ticino Locarno, his breath stale with cigarette smoke, Sergipe Aracaju smiles ‘yes, then we can eat I promise’. In his coat pocket he kept a scrap of paper with a poem written on it in pencil.

O man! Take heed!
What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
"I slept my sleep—
From deepest dream I've woke and plead:—
The world is deep,
And deeper than the day could read.
Deep is its woe—
Joy—deeper still than grief can be:
Woe saith: Hence! Go!
But joys all want eternity—
Want deep profound eternity!"
(Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra).

He read the poem before bed each night, stopping every so often to clear the cobble from his throat. He first came across the scrap of paper in an alleyway behind the pork butcher‘s, the paper yellowed and covered in swine entrails. Placing it in his coat pocket he headed for home, his feet troubling him since awakening that morning. He was prone to the gout, his hammertoes swelling red hot. He’d inherited the affliction from his father who suffered with it most of his life, his foot swelling to the size of a ham, his big toe to the size of a garden radish.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dijo al Chulo

‘minhas meninas estão limpas’ dijo al chulo, ‘Eu não troco na carne podre’. Derrubada em seu chapéu, disse ‘el niño abandonado es muy limpio Juro en mi mães sepulcro!’ Grabbing Lil by the arm, his brow fishy with sweat, in a hatful voice he says ‘ahora, váyase a la mierda!’ Written in the blackest squid-ink, in flowery overflowing scribbles, darting in and out of the shadows like a playful child, hidden in the sorrows of a deflated saddened heart, was the following; a sort of epitaph for lovers and the bedraggled,

"I can't resign myself to the fact that I live in order to die some day. I'd love to step off this well-trodden straight and boring path. To somehow live differently, think different thoughts, feel different feelings than others. It wouldn't bother me to be as alone as a tree on the plains. My leaves would be like no other tree's. [...] (p 88)" Gyula Krúdy, Sunflower.

Lindsay Gresham William fell down a well, cracked open his skull and died from exsanguinations. He was discovered by a milliner the next day, the milliner stumbling across him in a drunken stupor, and carted off to Carlisle’s funeral home outside the five-mile fence. ‘that’s him, the one’s got the boils on his neck’ said a boy with spindly legs, ‘he grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go… I had to chop him in the neck before he’d say uncle’. ‘I don’t trade in rotting flesh’ said the pimp, his eyes two festering holes. ‘my girls’ are clean’. In the alley behind the Waymart a man with an oily neck accosts a woman with mascara-blackened eyes, the oil from the oily man’s neck allowing the woman to escape, wriggling free like a greased piglet. The woman, who had studied Portuguese at night school the year her husband left her for a meretriz da diva with melharucos enormes, screamed at the top of her voice ‘ahora, váyase a la mierda!’

Saturday, May 22, 2010


A pimp in black top-hat yanks the arm of a simpleminded waif named Lil. ‘you look like a cripple’ says the pimp. ‘and cripples don’t make money’. He yanks harder. ‘stop slouching!’ They fell from the tops of buildings, from balustrades and from the edges of cliffs. ‘stop your blubbering, it makes you look like a child!’ Flays of chin flesh hanging like bibs. The despicable and the despised.

Captains of industry with fat bellies and blood-red lips. Ne’er-do-wells. ‘I said stop blubbering, it makes you look small and useless!’ Behind full-busted statues, whores and pimps. He pulls harder, Lil’s arm detaching from its socket. ‘stand still’. He pops her arm back into its socket, ‘that’s better’. The blind and mute, peddlers, conmen, grifters and cheapskates, cutthroats and those with their throats cut. ‘we’re almost there’ says the pimp, his top-hat squeezed onto his head.

His stomach is bloated, swelling rounding the pubic bone and hips. The pimp recommends a Salpêtrière salve or a visit to doctor Vassenden Iskenderun who will carve away the rotten flesh. ‘my girls’ are clean’ he says defiantly, ‘I don’t trade in rotting flesh’.

José Hernández

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Falcão de Sousa

‘that’s him, the one’s got boils’. His neck wept yellowy pus, a loch of yellowy pus collecting in his fob. His neck was a boil-making machine; a ditch. No matter what he did he couldn’t stop the yellowy weeping. ‘that’s him, the one’s got yellowy pus on his face’. On his forehead was written:

Den eben wo Begriffe fehlen
Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein.

[Precisely where concepts fail you,
A timely word will come to mind.]
—GOETHE, Faust I:1995–1996

Stop for the love of Christ! I’ve had quite enough! ‘the least of your concerns, sir, is the yellowy pus… your teeth are rotting in your head, and they, sir, I fear will see you dead’. Fernando António, Nogueira de Seabra, Alberto Pessoa, Christovão Falcão de Sousa, José Gomes Ferreira, Pancrácio de Pas and Dr. Chevalier met beneath the Waymart awning to discuss the rising cost of thievery. ‘I blame it on that fish bastard Goethe… he’s a crab of a man’ said Christovão Falcão de Sousa. ‘a short shrifter, too’ said Dr. Chevalier ‘never once have I seen him offer to buy a round, never!’ ‘not in this lifetime’ added Nogueira de Seabra. ‘nor the next’ interrupted José Gomes Ferreira, his face blowing up like a red balloon. His left side acted independently of his right, kilting him to and fro and fro and to. The two, to and fro, acting in harmony with one another. ‘he’s got the yellow weeping!’ hollered Pancrácio de Pas ‘smote the cunt!’ bellowed José Gomes Ferreira ‘before its too late!’ ‘stab him!’ yelled Nogueira de Seabra, ‘in the heart!’ shouted Pancrácio de Pas. ‘yes the heart!’ hollered the legless man who happened to be punting past.

Not many people came or went that day; the main street as quiet as a monk’s cell. At one time the street was bustling with activity, people coming and going, peddlers and conmen, grifters and cheapskates, peripatetic henchmen and roving hangmen, the hanged and the quartered, the poor and the wealth, a vaudevillian troop of half-mad frenzied characters, each with their own reason for being far, far away from home. There’s not much more to be said: things changed, went haywire, out of control, people fell from the sky, from the tops of buildings, the edges of cliffs and balustrades, some holding on for dear life, others letting go and laughing madly as they plummeted to the ground. Those who survived the fall became captains of industry with legions of lackey’s, some blind, others mute, each with their own disturbance and deformation, some with bent legs, others with fat bellies and blood red lips crouching beneath store awnings and behind full-busted statues, whores and pimps, cutthroats and those with their throats cut, flays of chin flesh hanging like bibs, cretins and morons, the despicable and the despised, a veritable circus of miscreants and ne’er-do-wells.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Lodz Pabianice lives with a goat under the bridge over the Drina, the goat grazing on nimblewill and spurge. The last thing Lodz remembers before waking up under the bridge with the goat is choking on a spotted dick, his ulnar nerve a fiery cord of pain. Lodz Pabianice, onetime bon vivant, alchemist, ethicist, ethnobotanist, curer of boils and whooping, found himself halfway through life living under a bridge with a goat. A measly shame. An abomination… pubis grinding rump grinding pubis. I dare say I say? Bursting flaring like a Vela Romana. ‘sit down young man please, enough’s enough’ his da would command, the cords in his throat tightening. When he was a boy he was diagnosed with Hurling Ballismus. He would jerk violently, right arm flailing, his face roped in spittle, the right side of his body acting independent of his left.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jesús Rogelio Curbelo

The Billancourt Boycotters embargoed the Feast of the Redeemer, claiming that rather than redeeming the Redeemer kept those who sought redemption in the dark. ‘its all rather complicated’ said the head Boycotter, ‘so don’t go thinking we have the answer, no one does... not even God!’ A portly woman curdled down the sideways, her bawling child in tow. ‘he has the answer’ she said pointing at the child, ‘gimme a fiver and I get him to tell you’. ‘feathers and shit flying every which where’. The bawling child fell into a stupor before he could divulge it, his back teeth grinding like a corn-wheel. The bawling boy’s da, Tavkozlesi Szolgaltato, has the answer, but seldom leaves his cottage outside the five-mile. Stop that nattering; pull up your socks and get on with it! This isn’t a feast, for Jesus’ sake, it’s a free-for-all, a stick in the eye-for-all! Smucks! She rode the mule upside down, her pubis grinding the mule’s rump. Get out of the way… scoot! Give her some room, for the love of God! Can’t you see she’s faltering? Give way for Christ Almighty! Give way!

When he was a boy his da fried up calf’s liver with boiled onions, mashing the liver and onions into a placental hash. He had to eat what was on his plate; refusal to do so would incur his da’s wrath, his temper flaring like a Mayday Roman Candle. ‘but da it tastes like metal’. ‘stop your snivelling and eat’ his da would command, the veins on his forehead bulging. Alberto Blanco, Czarne Gonzalo Rojas, Pizarro Alberto Garrandés and Jesús Rogelio Curbelo met at the Wydawnictwo Riveron motel under dark of night, each man having in his possession a woman’s handbag in which was stowed a red whore’s glove. Jesús Rogelio Curbelo, being a man of little patience said loudly ‘enough’s enough, sit down gentlemen please’.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jørgen Coyotl Castilla

Once he finished reading The Mysteries of Boquete Chiriqui he planned to read all the books on the list, beginning with the heaviest. He figured that he could complete the list in 27 months, 28 if he fell asleep occasionally. As he’d given up shitting he figured he could read from sunrise to sunset; longer if he stopped pissing; longer yet if he gave up eating and drinking, which he wasn’t fond of anyhow, having lost his appetite and thirst months ago. He couldn’t understand why people like Sligo Spigot felt it they’re duty to live out they’re lives astride the grave. ‘San Bartolommeo is a thieving crook’ hangs over the mysterious verse above his head, ‘De Hiragana fucks Canaries whilst Ergolding watches’ a thumb’s-length to the left.

That summer Lela fell head over heel into a well. Spigot, who happened by, stopped, reached down and pulled Lela up and out of the muck, Lela covering him with bee-bitten lip kisses. Incisors clicking eyeteeth, lips swollen to twice they’re size, Lela smothered Spigot with kisses. Unable to pull himself free Spigot lurched backwards, the soles of his boots crackling. ‘I know where you live’ said Lela shifting her weight from foot to foot, Spigot gambolling to the right. ‘and I want you to know that it doesn’t matter to me’. Not knowing what to say Spigot leaned into Lela’s mouth, his corn yellow teeth sparkling in the sun. ‘anyhow my grandparents are dead, and even if they wasn’t I wouldn’t mind living in their woolshed’. That summer Spigot made love to Lela on his cot in the woolshed, her rump a swale of sweat. 'Ergolding fucks Canaries whilst De Hiragana watches, Ergolding’s gold tooth shinning like a tungsten star'. (‘surely!’ squalled the man in the hat ‘this has to stop!’) ‘canaries and pigeons?’, says Veneto Del Grappa to the muleteer, ‘shit and feathers flying every which where’ says the muleteer, his neck scored with sweat.

Jørgen Coyotl Castilla arrived by mule-cart on a Saturday, looked around, his eyes falling on a legless man arguing with a beggar over a scrap of cardboard, the beggar clubbing the legless man over the head with a stick, a fat woman with a child heading up the sideways, the child snivelling and tugging on his mother’s skirts like a feral dog, a man with a clerical collar handing out blue sheets of paper, a boy chasing a red and blue and orange ball with a stick, and a clock on a tower ticking without a small hand, the chimes choked and muffled. At exactly 27½ minutes after he arrive Jørgen Coyotl Castilla left, the mule cart rattling the cobbles. This was not an uncommon occurrence; in fact it occurred more often than not; people leaving as quickly as they arrived. For reasons unknown, and even were they known they’re credulity would be discredited as shameful, this was not a town, a place, where people felt ease and comfort. No, it was a place of frailties and unhappiness, missed opportunities and failed lives’, hunger and angst; a place where those who came and stayed came to die, a sad moaning place, a hole in the dirt, a funereal place.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Sligo Spigot sleeps in the woolshed. He awakes in the woolshed crumpled under a shroud of dirty clothes. What’s you name Sligo, what’re we to call you? Sligo Spigot eats in the woolshed; dented tins of consommé, meatless oniony broth, mouldy cheeses, loaf ends and jam jellies. His greatest fear is that he will awake one morning, place his feet on the floor, yawn, then fall head over heel, his body a shrivelled weakly mess. He will be a sac of loose skin; a skin bag. Unable to balance himself he will fall back into bed, where he will stay curled up in a ball the rest of his days. While living out the rest of his days in bed, his weakly body twisted and deformed, he will reread The Mysteries of Boquete Chiriqui, stopping every page to catch his breath and brush biscuit crumbs off his chest. On the wall over his head, where flies and winged midges made cow-webs stickier than honey, was written “Following the melancholy musicians there filed into the garden as many as twelve duennas, in two lines, all dressed in ample mourning robes apparently of milled serge, with hoods of fine white gauze so long that they allowed only the border of the robe to be seen.” (Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quisciotte) Not sure what it meant, someone’s idea of a practical joke, a message from on high perhaps, he fell back to reading The Mysteries of Boquete Chiriqui, his breathing docking and receding like the winter tide. Rendón, whom he met one afternoon while out for a walk and with whom he developed a shallow friendship, said he recognized the mysterious writing from a book he’d once read in grammar school. He said the book was about a group of young boys who while on a trip, where was of no importance, he said, and added little to the plot, arrive by coach to a secluded warren, a warren because there were a lot of rabbits, so he remembered, and here they come upon an old woman with a mole on her chin upon which sprouted a long gray hair, and this old haggard invited them into her gingerbread cottage upon which she boiled them in a cauldron and ate them, everyone last one, even the boy with a thalidomide arm upon which sprouted three tiny fingers and a thumb, with a big wooden spoon. Piled shoulder-high on a butter-box next to his cot were the following books arranged in order of their purchase:

A Cidade e As Serras, Eça de Queirós
Gente Singular, Manuel Teixeira Gomes
Marânus, Teixeira de Pascoaes
Húmus, Raul Brandão
Pedro o Cru, António Patrício
Terras do Demo, Aquilino Ribeiro
Clepsidra, Camilo Pessanha
Ensaios, António Sérgio
Canções, António Botto
Poemas de Deus e do Diabo, José Régio
A Selva, Ferreira de Castro
Charneca em Flor, Florbela Espanca
Gladiadores, Alfredo Cortês
Mensagem, Fernando Pessoa
A Criação do Mundo, Miguel Torga
Sedução, José Marmelo e Silva
Nome de Guerra, Almada-Negreiros
Contos Bárbaros, João de Araújo Correia
Gaibéus, Alves Redol
Solidão/Notas do Punho de Uma Mulher, Irene Lisboa
Apenas Uma Narrativa, António Pedro
O Barão, Branquinho da Fonseca
Historiazinha de Portugal, Adolfo Simões Müller
Noite Aberta Aos Quatro Ventos, Adolfo Casais Monteiro
Mau Tempo No Canal, Vitorino Nemésio
O Caminho da Culpa, Joaquim Paço D'Arcos
O Dia Cinzento, Mário Dionísio
Poesia, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
Poesias, Álvaro de Campos
Odes, Ricardo Reis
Poemas, Alberto Caeiro
Poesias, Mário de Sá-Carneiro
A Toca do Lobo, Tomás de Figueiredo
Ossadas, Afonso Duarte As Mãos e os Frutos, Eugénio de Andrade
Poesia I, José Gomes Ferreira
Retalhos da Vida de Um Médico, Fernando Namora
A Secreta Viagem, David Mourão-Ferreira
O Fogo e As Cinzas, Manuel da Fonseca
Pelo Sonho É Que Vamos, Sebastião da Gama
A Sibila, Agustina Bessa-Luís
História da Literatura Portuguesa, António José Saraiva e Óscar Lopes
Movimento Perpétuo, António Gedeão
Dimensão Encontrada, Natália Correia
Pena Capital, Mário Cesariny
Teatro, Bernardo Santareno
A Origem, Graça Pina de Morais
Léah, José Rodrigues Miguéis
No Reino da Dinamarca, Alexandre O'Neill
A Cidade das Flores, Augusto Abelaira
Bastardos do Sol, Urbano Tavares Rodrigues
Tanta Gente, Mariana..., Maria Judite de Carvalho
A Colher na Boca, Herberto Helder
Felizmente Há Luar!, Luís de Sttau Monteiro
O Palhaço Verde, Matilde Rosa Araújo
Rumor Branco, Almeida Faria
Xerazade e os Outros, Fernanda Botelho
A Torre da Barbela, Ruben A.
Praça da Canção, Manuel Alegre
Estou Vivo e Escrevo Sol, António Ramos Rosa
Teoria da Literatura, Vítor Manuel de Aguiar e Silva
O Delfim, José Cardoso Pires
A Noite e o Riso, Nuno Bragança
As Aves, Gastão Cruz
Maina Mendes, Maria Velho da Costa
Peregrinação Interior, António Alçada Baptista
A Raiz Afectuosa, António Osório
Novas Cartas Portuguesas, Maria I. Barreno Maria T. Horta e Maria V. da Costa
Toda a Terra, Ruy Belo
O Que Diz Molero, Dinis Machado
Finisterra, Carlos de Oliveira
O Labirinto da Saudade, Eduardo Lourenço
Rosa, Minha Irmã Rosa, Alice Vieira
Sinais de Fogo, Jorge de Sena
Instrumentos Para a Melancolia, Vasco Graça Moura
Uma Exposição, João M. F. Jorge Joaquim M. Magalhães Jorge Molder
O Silêncio, Teolinda Gersão
Livro do Desassossego, Fernando Pessoa-Bernardo Soares
Memorial do Convento, José Saramago
Os Universos da Crítica, Eduardo Prado Coelho
Para Sempre, Vergílio Ferreira
Amadeo, Mário Cláudio
Um Falcão no Punho - Diário I, Maria Gabriela Llansol
Adeus, Princesa, Clara Pinto Correia
As Moradas 1 & 2, António Franco Alexandre
O Medo, Al Berto
Gente Feliz com Lágrimas, João de Melo
O Pequeno Mundo, Luísa Costa Gomes
A Ilha dos Mortos, Luís Filipe Castro Mendes
A Musa Irregular, Fernando Assis Pacheco
Um Canto na Espessura do Tempo, Nuno Júdice
Um Deus Passeando pela Brisa da Tarde, Mário de Carvalho
Vulcão, Luís Miguel Nava
Guião de Caronte, Pedro Tamen
Geórgicas, Fernando Echevarría
O Vale da Paixão, Lídia Jorge
Cenas Vivas, Fiama Hasse Pais Brandão
Não Entres Tão Depressa Nessa Noite Escura, António Lobo Antunes

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Álvaro Jaramillo

It won’t be long now before the sky falls crashing into the world. Its been a while; its time. No feast nor heavenly prayer, beggaring for God’s Will, will stop the falling. The sky is the new behemoth. After the feast, which lasted three days and four nights, the Witness gathered his things and headed into the hills beyond the five-mile fence. As pamphleteering had taken a fall, most people now more interested in hi-fi and Hamm radio, he decided he needed some time to come up with other ways to garner souls. Sequestered in the hills above the canyon floor he built a makeshift lean-to with overhanging eaves and a barrel to catch rainwater, a wicker cot and a table to spread out his plans on, the table covered in oilskin, the cot in lanolin soaked hemp. No one missed him, not a scattered soul. ‘His Will wills’, thought the Witness, ‘so I will willeth He who Willeth Will. A tailless dog scurried past, its hind fur scabby with shit and caked mud. The Witness came down from the hills a new man, a bundle of new pamphlets curried under his arm. No one noticed as no one cared that he had left. He had a notion, and with this notion he would change the world forever. ‘I hast returned’ he said aloud for all to hear, ‘beholdeth the new behemoth’.

While in town to oversee the assembly of the Lecumberri Apothecary Álvaro Jaramillo rented a room over the Dogmen Deli. And it was in that room over the deli that he took his life. Doctor Graz Steiermark, who that week happened to be passing through town, trussed the corpse, draining it of fluids: emesis, earwax, peptides, mucous, spit and slobber, sebum, sweat, semen and tears, and signed the death certificate. A small service was held in the basement of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, an unidentified woman and the assistant to the assistant rector the only two to attend. Before taking his life Álvaro Jaramillo made a pact with the Witness, he promised that if he, Álvaro Jaramillo, took his life so to would the Witness take his own. As it happened many of the townsfolk thinking they had made a pact with Álvaro Jaramillo took their lives, the Witness seeing this as a sign from Yahweh that he was off scot-free.

Beyond Instinct and Intellect

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Moulineaux Twins

The framers were known to buy eels and Irish Moss in bushels and skids. ‘you must be crazy mad to think like that’. ‘none’s the worse’. ‘crazy mad’. ‘bushelfuls skidfuls’. Overnight at los Colonia Etchepare the matron nurse gave Paul de Cock esquire a saltwater enema, bilging and deflating the bag with both hands. Unbeknownst to the matron nurse Elmer Rosales hojead té ligón casta empácame, té por fallo a bróker clocó {by failure to broker cocoa you leaf through chaste tea…}. This can’t go on, it will go on. It will, it must. Go on: go. You must.

Los Colonia Etchepare was built on the north side of the aqueduct hidden amidst the fichus trees, some felled some standing, and the dogman encampment. It was here, among the fallen and standing, that the dimwitted and half-cocked lived in 20-people dorms with low windows and high ceilings. The ceilings were high to foil the half-cocked from jumping up and hitting their heads; the windows low to daunt the dimwitted from jumping up and out of them. The dimwitted found it difficult to jump down, jumping up less daunting, facilitating a cleaner clear and less discomfited landing. The half-cocked wouldn’t dare jump up higher than 12 ½ meters, anything above that height mitigating vertigo and ankle spurs. The Moulineaux twins gave birth to quintuplets; the eldest twin Edwina abandoning three, Emma, the youngest, abandoning all four. Edwina and Emma were sent to los Colonia Etchepare where they were to remain under lock and key until they admitted their twin wrongdoing. Go on: tell them! Admit it! You must tell them! You must! Go on: you must admit: you must go on.

Lela met the twins at the Feast of the Redeemer, the year the rector abandoned the church and took up with a puta enferma with glaring coal black eyes. ‘one day longer and I would have taken my own life’ said the rector, ‘the church has become a behemoth, a place of trickery, incest and mirrors…’. Tearing his collar from his neck the rector said ‘there is nothing here for you! You must save yourselves…and quickly, before its too late’.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

El Gaucho

He sits under a gibbous moon collecting his thoughts, Deviants 27½ &27 hooking rocks off the Seder grocer’s awning. The last time this happened the dogmen chased them willy-nilly from town, the littlest dogmen yipping like a fouling child. ‘a stitch in time is worth nine’ (he said lousily), the ferry boat keeling, his grandmamma waving sadly so long from shore. ‘but what if he doesn’t?’ ‘trust me he will…’. ‘you will you’ll sneak up on him and push him over…you will you said’. Written in overgenerous strokes on a sheaf of yellow paper was the following: No matter what I say you’ll think I’m lying. That summer he found a horse’s head under the woolshed behind his grandparent’s boycotter’s shed. One of the ears was missing, the nose holes crawly with maggots and Irish moss. He was told by an old man with slow yellow eyes that farmers were known to sell their dead horses to the river men and the river men to the fishermen, the fishermen using the horses heads for sniggling eels in the brown river below the five-mile.

These are the people he met behind the woolshed: El Gaucho, Martín Fierro, La Vuelta de Martín, Fierro José Mármol, Baldomero Fernández, Moreno Ernesto Sábato, Manuel Mujica Láinez, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Horacio Quiroga, Jose Asuncion Silva, Francisco Coloane, Fernando Villalón, Max Aub, Juan Larrea, José Bergamín Gutiérrez, Costa da Morte, Luis Andrés et Caicedo Estela. He met other people that summer other than the old man with slow yellow eyes and those listed above, mind you none as fetchingly.

Friday, May 07, 2010


He raged, storming round and round like a seething top, the pull-cord shredded to pieces. ‘stand back… the man’s a lunatic, a madman, a crazed beast!’ ‘no need to worry, he’s in complete control, you can see it in his eyes… dark yet full of existential bliss’. ‘yes but the whirling and spinning… the man is surely out of control, look: he’s running in circles now, round and round like a dog chasing its tail’. ‘he does that to calm down… he’ll soon come to a full stop’. ‘yes but what if he doesn’t, what then?’ ‘I’ll sneak up on him and push him over…’. For the love of God stop! Arrêtez-moi disent l'arrêt! Anschlag! Arrestilo! I say cease!

Everywhere he looked he saw mischievous mad cunts, bastards and cads. Seething, the stamp on the upper left corner announcing, ‘Enough’s Enough Now Piss Off!’ Mischievous cunts, mad cads and bastards. ‘he does that to calm down… he’ll soon come to a full stop’. ‘but what if he doesn’t, what then?’ Anschlag! Arrestilo! For the love of God. He smelled like old soap and lice, his pull-cord shredded to pieces. There’s not much more I can tell you, not much that makes sense, not much at all. The summer he stayed with his grandparents he fell ill with the whooping, his throat bulging and deflating like a hot air balloon. He hid his collection of butterflies and old coins wrapped in a butterbur under the woolshed. No one thought to look there, not even God. When he reached the line above the notch on the doorframe, his grandparents long dead and wormy, he went looking for his collection. On the back of the envelope was stamped, Giesecke & Minchin, Deviants, 27 ½ 27 Brandenburg Main, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement & Historical Change, home to bastards, cads and mad cunts. Hidden under his grandparent’s woolshed, where no one ever looked, not even God.

Outside his bedroom window where the world lived was a tree, and in that tree, a tree he loved more than any other tree, was a stitch of cloth. The stitch of cloth churned and flapped in the breeze, the corners in tears and tatters. Giesecke & Minchin, Deviants, 27 ½ 27 Brandenburg Main, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement & Historical Change, was stitched into the stitch of cloth, the yarn unthreading at the corners. He lived with his grandmamma and grandpapa in a boycotter’s shed outside the five mile fence. It was from there that he stole away on a ferry boat enroot to Buenos Marias, his grandmamma waving sadly so long watching the boat disappear into the swell.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Giesecke & Minchin, Deviants

Not a word was spoken about the missing whore’s glove. The congregants fell in and out of consciousness, the freckled boy blowing spit bubbles, the legless man hiccupping, the rector’s assistant stealing a nip of Christ’s blood behind the altar box. ‘I say young man’ said the scab picker to the willowy boy, ‘isn't it time for a swig?’ Frightened that he might speak in tongues, which he did on Sundays after Sunday school in the rectory closet with the rector’s assistant, the speckled boy pointed at the enormous granite clock over the baptismal with his freckly finger. ‘hush’ shushed the hushing woman. ‘shut your cracker hole’ said the woman in the raccoon coat, her arm dangling over the back of the pew.

That summer he spent 27 ½ days living in a hole behind the church; digging it out with a scout’s penknife and a broken cup. 23 of the 27 ½ nights the hole was filled with rain, the broken cup floating on the surface like a clay corpse. Every morning, except on the 17th day when the rain was so heavy no one dared go outside, the freckled willowy boy brought him breakfast: two runny hard boiled eggs, two biscuits, a tin of soda and a peppermint tipped toothpick. On the 20th and 24th nights he slept under a makeshift tarp made from eel skins and untangled string, the corners sagging like a foolscap above his head. The letter was signed truly yours, Paul de Cock esquire. Mr. Leopold Macintosh, know far and far for his fresh-smelling attire, reposted the letter, jiggling the door shut to make sure the letter fell hitherto to the bottom. On the backside of the envelope, scrawled in an obtuse hand, was the following epitaph, “a fish with a litebulb hanging on its head”, the return address, though barely legible read Giesecke & Minchin, Deviants, 27 ½ 27 Brandenburg Main, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement & Historical Change.

On the 25th night the sky raged, his makeshift tarp barely holding forth, the four corners flapping like sheets on a clothesline. The tin of soda empty, the eggs digested, the biscuits shat in a pile between his feet, the wind barreling, he sat cross-legged in the corner, the peppermint toothpick all that kept the makeshift dwelling from collapsing onto his head. The envelope had no return address; the stamp on the upper left corner exclaiming, ‘Enough’s Enough Now Piss Off!’ Giesecke & Minchin, Deviants, 27 ½ 27 Brandenburg Main, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement & Historical Change, home to bastards, cads and mad cunts. Macintosh, now there’s a man always had a fresh smell about ‘em… as newly as a fresh plucked rose.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Ivory Castanets

Once seated the assistant to the rector’s assistant passed out the hymn books, those seated at the back waving trying to get his attention. Across the aisle from the Witness the legless man folded his stump-ends under his buttocks, the smell of after-shave stifling. A man seated across the aisle started humming, the small girl to his left pulling at his coat arm. ‘the deaf leading the blind’ said a woman in a raccoon coat, the woman next to her smiling charmingly. ‘the mute leading the unvoiced’ said the gentleman next to her picking a scab off the end of his thumb. ‘the sightless leading the hard of hearing’ said a woman wearing a cowlick bonnet with flowers, ‘sounds much more formal’. ‘its all a matter of taste’ said the little girl tugging on the humming man’s coat arm. ‘I do believe you’re correct’ said the woman in the cowlick bonnet with flowers. ‘yes absolutely’ said the woman in the raccoon coat her eyes gleaming. ‘right you are my dear’. ‘shush!’ shushed a woman, ‘this is God’s house not some speakeasy’. ‘miserable old cunt’ whispered the girl tugging on the humming man’s coat arm.

A willowy boy with freckles helped the vicar to the altar, the congregants standing to attention. ‘the deaf leading the blind’ said the woman in the raccoon coat, ‘miserable old cunt’ whispered the small girl yanking, ‘shut your scab holes’ hissed the shushing woman, ‘this is not some speakeasy’. ‘for the love of God, enough!’ hollered the vicar, his face reddening a pint. ‘I told you’ said the hissing shushing woman. Gulping air the legless man began hiccupping, a balding man to his right laughing to split a gut. ‘quiet now!’ said the man picking a scab off his thumb, ‘have you no respect for God’s house?’ ‘mind your own business’ hiccupped the legless man, ‘your own business’ mimicked the little girl, her teeth clacking like ivory castanets.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Chokecherry Pie

(Mersin Icel is repulsed by chokecherry pie, preferring raisin with sharp American cheddar). The day of the Feast of the Corrupter the man in the hat, the harridan and her sister, Dejesus, the legless man and the alms man, Elmer Rosales, Álvaro Jaramillo, the chemist from the Brighton Hove Apothecary and the Bagenalstown Chemist, Sligo Spigot, three gravediggers from the Recoleta Cemetery, Macedonio and Imre, Dársena carrying los Diccionario de Putas, the cooper Osnabrück and the tinker Settimo Torinese, Božena Echidna and Hecatoncheires, Aegaeon, Cottus and Gyges, Stheno, Euryale and Medusa, Typhoeus, Bellerophon and Chrysaor, Valentin Bulgakov, Scáth Oilc carrying his pisspot, Cão Santarem, formerly of Newcastle now Newcastle upon Tyne, San Bartolommeo, Christopher Nicholson, Michael Boehme, Charles Brand, Brian Roper, Neil Sherlock, Susan Kramer, Richard Duncalf, Christopher Butler, Giles Wilkes, Richard Brindle, Stephen Dawson and the members of the Hershel Liege pantomime troop led by Doctor Sickly, the late Richard Brindle and the not-so-late Christopher Butler, the Witness, Los Chiapas del Concordia brothers and the Eastleigh Hampshire boys, the Apothecary Agent, Ms. Christopher Nicholson, the concierge and the bellhop from the Hotel de l'Univers, the Glamorgan boy and the Leighton Buzzard brothers, Mrs. Breen, Ms. Silvina Acampo and Miss Bustos, H. Domecq, J. S. Crumlish, the Dedham Sisters of Surry, the Trujillo Brothers of Dagenham, a representative from the Comte de Lautréamont society (pubic hairs conversing in a brothel), representatives from the estates of Sutra Slupsk, Sviland Rogaland, Prague and Mesto Praia, Lola Fresán-Restrepo and Juan Pedro-Gutiérrez, Giovanni Mardersteig, who lived the ‘life of Reilly’, the madam from the Moorcock Bordello, the shoemaker Oberg Moon shod in Dante loafers, Juan Cortés de Campo, stately and plump, and Marqués de Valdegamas, Don Torcuato, Arteaga Enrique Valparaiso and Amor e Iturbe, a representative of the puppet-showman, Boyars, Pest and Cheltenham, Santo and Master Pedro, Sepahan Buxton of Derbyshire, the childish Rancagua Libertador and General, Bernardo D’états Rancagua accompanied by Lela’s mamma, two fishmongers carrying deflated airbladders, Cranendonck Brabant and James Rodker of whom little is known, one of the Cock’s brothers from the Cock’s Bros. Abattoir, representatives of Bertelsmann’s Palliatives and Gütersloh’s Digestives, the widow Zavalla, grand-niece of Neuquén Belo, 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, a bush burning Philologist and a Christian Apologist, Grigory Poincaré, Sherman Arshile, a slight man with sharp equine features and green peppercorn eyes, Albert Poché, dressed in culottes and knee-high’s, Krieger, a representative of the estate of Fernando Pessoa, the Apothecary agent’s son, two of the Grim Brothers of the Grim Brothers Haberdashery, Tingvoll and Bohinj Romsdal, Puglia Kassel and Hessen Bassano, Dmitri Georef, who arrived on a Thursday and left the same day and who had in his possession, wrapped in one of his handkerchiefs, pages 270 through to 325 the Pauline Index, Elmer Rosales, Schumer Kyphosis, who lived under a boxwood kitty-corner to the outdoor commode, and Lela met in front of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, the sky threatening sunshine.

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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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