Thursday, May 27, 2010

Castrato

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’.

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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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