Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Der Revisor

João Goytortúa and Jesús Uvalde Ribeiro poach quail and redbreast in the gully between the five-mile and the stumps-end. Unbeknown to Uvalde Ribeiro, Goytortúa has arranging an assignation with the owner and sole proprietor of the Vincennes Glove Co. Goytortúa plans to buy into the business with an eye to cornering the needle and thread market. If Jesús Uvalde Ribeiro were to get wind of João Goytortúa’s plan he would beat him senseless, then leave him for dead in a culvert somewhere. As the chances of this happening are miniscule, neither João or Ribeiro having met, it seems frivolous to give it a seconds’ thought. Jesús Uvalde Ribeiro and João Goytortúa, however, will crop up from time to time, as the odds of two Christian names beginning with J appearing on the same page are astounding.

His left foot piloting him forward the man in the hat took in the beautiful and not so beautiful things of the world. ‘Nature makes the rules we... break them...’ he said, his right foot lagging behind his left. ‘then we die thinking we’ve changed something, when all we’ve done is pushed a few things around’.

Cocksfooted, El Pozo pushes his way up the sideways. The last time El Pozo came in from the hive (people came from all over for a jar of his honey. Or. El Pozo lives under a honey tree, the bees making combs in his mutinous unruly hair) he ate enormous platefuls of fish, boiled potatoes and blackened bread, washing it down with schooners of Mickelbee’s Ale. This time El Pozo had come to see his love Altisidora Monroy de Pizarro y Cortés with whom he hoped to undo a noche triste. The year before El Pozo and y Altisidora met under a baker’s moon. El Pozo, in his haste to undo Pizarro y’s corset snapped one of the ivory stays, the pointed end stabbing the poor woman in the spleen. He had hoped to right this undoing by meeting with Altisidora Monroy de Pizarro y Cortés on the steps of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner, where he planned to offer his heartfelt condolences for the pain he had caused her the previous year. With him, stowed at the bottom of his satchel, he carried a page torn from a book which he planned to bestow upon his love Altisidora Monroy de Pizarro y Cortés as a token of his undying love for her. The page read as follows:

GOVERNOR. Please sit down, ladies and gentlemen. Ho, “Mishear”, bring some more chairs in.

The Guests seat themselves.
(Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, Der Revisor)

Bewley Stillorgan

The Cowes Brothers, makers of optics and telescopic devices, played pinochle with the recently departed wife of Joseph Benedikt, doctor. Luis, the younger of the Cowes brother, and Jorge the elder played pinochle for high stakes, doctor Benedik’s wife a casualty of the war they waged. The day the doctor’s wife beat the brother’s, the game lasting 17½ hours, Luis took his disgust and anger out on Jorge, the more timid of the two brothers. Later that evening Dr. Benedik’s wife, overcome with joy, forgot where she was going and fell, cracking her skull into smithereens. The Cowes Brothers, Luis the younger and Jorge the elder, overcome with grief said that if they’d known that letting the doctor’s wife win would end in such tragedy they would never have played so poorly. This story made the rounds in every hamlet, municipality, settlement and conurbation until it became so incredulous no one with a crumb of brains believed it ever happened, even Karl Frailer von who was so gullible he could be persuaded to believe the most outlandish things.

Bewley Stillorgan lives on the skids in a cardboard box. Having at one time lived in Castleknock, Ballsbridge and Lecumberri, where he leased three, two and one-bedroom bedsitters, and 27½ weeks in a sublet while in transit between Castleknock and Lecumberri, he had a gen of what living the good life was like. Now, Joseph Benedikt and Karl Frailer von Eichendorff having met the day before the Feast of the Assumption, which meant they hadn’t had time to walk the sideways, which would have allowed them to meet and make the acquaintance of such people as Bewley Stillorgan, had no idea who he was. Had they, however, the opportunity to meet him, or simply espy him from a distance, something Karl Frailer was more comfortable doing, they certainly would have seen the execrable conditions he lived in and perhaps offered him a handout, a basket of escarole, beans and a picnic ham, or a few coppers to spend as he chose. But as there is little to be gained from making assumptions, assumptions being nothing more than gossip after all, it seems frivolous to give it a seconds’ thought.

For no other reason than he felt like it the man in the hat threw a stone at a sparrow, striking it in the head. The wounded bird fell collapsing onto the bricks in front of him, its feathers spread out like a woolly rake. Not knowing why nor caring to he nudged the sparrow with his boot and said ‘never know when you’ll come crashing from the sky’. He nudged the bird a second time then went on his way, his thoughts soaring ahead of him.

BullCock’s

Attired in his brand new Wakean portmanteau, a gift from the proprietor of BullCock’s Haberdashery, he set about the day brimming. His hope quickly squashed when he came upon a man laying facedown on the kerbside, his forehead bruised purple, a yellow pallor eating away at his face, his nose hanging on by a thread, ears tethered to his jaw like crumbling petioles, a nervous tic tatting the skin around his mouth. ‘too many legumes’ he thought to himself, ‘or just plain unlucky’. He fell so hard he skinned his forehead clear down to the bone; grey brattling oozing from his skull. The man’s got a pig’s face. Last I saw him he was feeding crumbs to the pigeons, shirtsleeves rolled clear up to his shoulders. They say a man like that has a long way to fall. Never know when never know why. Just happens. BullCock’s a ripe old faggot, still has the dropsy from 100 years ago. People say he always has something up his sleeve the cunt does. Just never know what and when. Sad state of affairs as affairs go. And I seen my share I have. Now get off your horses and gimme a fiver ya cunt. Haven’t got all day. There’s pigeons to be fed.

They wether the goat, skinning it into two unquarreling halves. Looks silly stooped like that; you’d think it’d found its cud. He’s the one plays stopcock with the Aleman’s wife, damn fine sight the calves on here… naught nary a hair naught nary a vein. Clean right on down to the hackle, smooth as a yam. Gets one to thinking, what’re the odds of that? What’re the chances? Makes a man wonder. Now BullCock’s, there’s a ripe old faggot, all flabby and loose round the neck, could make an ascot of it. Straight out, I told ‘em I’d take the withers if he grabbed the haunches, best way I know to spill the head from the flank. Not a word of a lie, I seen my fair share I told ‘em. BullCock’s… pulls tripe like taffy, brooding pigeons alight on his shoulders. Last I saw him he was facedown on the kerbside, nose hanging on by a thread. Ripe cunt that cunt BullCock’s, yellow pallor eating away at his face. They say a man like that has a long way to fall. Long time since I felt obliged... prayers don’t come easy to god-fearsome half-men like me.

(Skin the goat hasn’t a care in the world). The man in the hat awoke with a start. The sun sitting low in the noontime sky told him that it was past 9 o’clock, the time he customarily arose from his embedment. Joseph Benedikt and Karl Frailer von Eichendorff met the day before the Feast of the Assumption, neither man having set eyes upon the other before that day. Upon meeting one another Dr. Benedikt, a doctor of the lower extremities, said to von Eichendorff ‘I see you wear a mechanical timepiece. Might I have a gander?’ Karl Frailer von replying toothsomely, as he was a man of fastidious oral hygiene, ‘why yes of course… and by all means take your time, it is a watch after all’. Heir doctor Joseph Benedikt held the timepiece up to his eye, ‘a fine piece indeed. Might I inquire as to its maker?’ ‘the Cowes Brothers, acquaintances of my dearly and recently departed wife’.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feast of the Disfigured

The day the fornicatress Vysocina Chokebore arrived in town she was pale with puerperal fever. Félix Davisson, holding a pennant that read, ‘viva štiplavá’, arrived the next day. Then Morris Plaquenil, a tranquil yet in many ways contemptible man dressed in a checkerboard suit with matching socks; and on the heels of Davisson and Plaquenil, who arrived within seconds of one other, Plaquenil on the back of a dung wagon, Davisson in the company of two women in overflowing dresses, a stout ivory-skinned man with uneven teeth and a flaxen yellow jacket with a double-stitched pocket over his heart. ‘what’s in that pocket?’ asked one of the woman pointing disagreeably at his chest. ‘none of your business is what’ he said haughtily ‘now fuck off!’ As it was two days before the Feast of the Untainted, the Feast of the Disfigured convened and dissolved three weeks previous, the streets were overflowing with acolytes. There were hagglers and conmen, dough-faced children and dower hags, cheapskates and spoilsports, men dressed in black suits and women in red satin dresses, dogs and cats, chickens and roosters. Everywhere there were people shoving and jostling, some standing in crowds, others off by themselves watching on with awe and disgust. And flying overhead in the June-bug-thick sky a threadbare sheet with the words Zynischen Vernunft painted on it. His face clenched into a bloodied fist the Witness yelled ‘for the love of Christ, enough is enough!’

This can’t be. All this madness. There’s no need to agonize over it; it gets you nowhere anyhow. Diario de la Guerra del Cerdo, he’s a fucking swine! Plays stopcock the bung with the Aleman’s wife. Cunt’s like Himmler nickel and diming other sad cunts. Steal the food out of the pie-holes of babes… cunt. I’ll say! Enough to oblige a god-fearsome man to prayer. …watching on with awe and disgust. Happens before the sky falls catapulting I swear. June-bug-thick sky makes it hard to breath… dogs and chickens and roosters, what sheer joy! I swear it I swear an oath to it! Last time the Feast of the Disfigured a dozen, no two dozen beatings; rector beating assistant beating the lame and crippled.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Guasones - Dame

Zynischen Vernunft

On the 16thof June 1967 Éamon Pádraig Pearse resigned his office. I’ve had it up to here’ he said raising his hand above his head. ‘you raving people are stark mad’. That was the first and last that was heard or seen of Éamon Pádraig Pearse, the littlest dogman throwing an empty bottle at his departing head. Some people aren’t suited to a life of crossly drawn lines. The following year the Advent of the Cross was replaced with The Bleeding of the lamb, the crucifixion leitmotif causing a row among the townsfolk. A streamer with the words 'Zynischen Vernunft' painted on it flew by gabled to the tail of an airplane, the congregants taking it as a talisman of future sorrows, the Witness reading it as message from on high and Dejesus saying it was the work of a small group of nihilists who had access to an airplane and long bolts of cloth.

Written in pale blue almost turquoise ink, wet where the ink had bled through the paper leaving a birthmark-like smear on the back, the man in the hat read the following: I KNOW WHERE THE MISSING GLOVE IS. IT’S RED AND HAS TWO BUTTONS MISSING ON THE WRIST. ‘well I’ll be’ said the man in the hat. ‘never underestimate a man’s prudence and good nature’. He crumpled up the note, the corners sticking out like corn ears, and tossed it into the dustbin. ‘I could sleep forever’ mused the man in the hat sleepily. ‘yet I won’t. Not a wink’. His thoughts fell upon the letter and the puzzling hand that wrote it.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Salón J.L.Ortiz

Donning, and doffing when courtesy demanded, a hat fashioned from the supplest brown felt Éamon Pádraig Pearse sets about the day in song. His day will begin and end before he knows it; a rock crashing into his supple felt-covered head. Donning and doffing, eyes squinting into the sun, he fell upon the dogmen’s camp, the littlest dogman hurling a moss-covered stone at his unawares head. Stumbling and kilting off balance, Éamon Pádraig Pearse falls headfirst into the enormous sweltering lap of the biggest dogman, the littlest dogman jabbing him in the ribs with a stick.

On the 16th of June he could be found wandering the barrios looking for los Biblioteca Nacional, Salón J.L.Ortiz, where word has it cool bottles of Tic-tac are served between 7 and 8:30pm by a panicky waiter with Viking-large teeth."Everything is possible, everything, even the most sordid and undignified things." (Robert Walser, 15 April 1878-25 December 1956) was written in block-letters over the entrance to los Biblioteca Nacional, Salón J.L.Ortiz, the panicky Viking-toothed waiter rubbing the sides of his head with the heels of his hands. Late as he was, Éamon Pádraig Pearse entered the front doors to the church, a jar-toothed congregant staring at him crossly, the rector’s assistant, his voice quavering, announcing the pledge of the indigent.

The man in the hat met Éamon Pádraig Pearse one fine summer day before the Advent of the Cross, neither man wearing a hat suitable for the occasion. Éamon Pádraig Pearse engrossing the man in the hat with stories of intrigue and adventure, about the bottles of cool Tic-tac to be had at los Biblioteca Nacional, Salón J.L.Ortiz and the funny way the Viking-toothed waiter rubbed his head with his hands.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Chapel Hat

He used to eat dog. ‘stop fidgeting’ barked the Witness. ‘you’re distracting me’. Now he eats mutton. And then he grew, growing taller and taller until the top of his head reached the last pencil mark on the doorframe. He used to fuck canaries (whippoorwill-whippoorwill) his mamma slapping him hard upside the head yelling ‘you’re a dirty selfish boy!’ On the Feast of the Calf he stole the rector’s chapel hat and hid it in the commode pot at the back of the closet. ‘that’ll show the cunt to box a boy’s ears when he’s facing the altar’ he whispered ‘keeps ugly babies from being made, heads all cone-shaped and blubbery’. Never know when a miscreant or a dullard’ll be born. Shit out two at a time, tiny misshapen bodies grappling for air. Twice in one day; left a beard of shit in the commode pot. Damn tricky trying to scrub the wee shits out of the hummer. Parturition hole torn right split down the middle, nurse raking entrails off the tabletop grimacing. Never can tell which end will come out first. Came out all mottled upside down, cut the spay-cord just above the placenta. Less blood-letting that way, easier on an aching back. Pulled ‘em out like taffy, legs all twisted bent outwards slightly. ‘you’re a dirty selfish boy!’ Now I’ll have to slap you upside the head hard, sassy dirty boy. That summer Lela found a diary behind the pumphouse. Hid there by whippoorwill or a crank hoping no one’d find it. “June 4th, my bleedings smell like alkahest and my cunt like shibboleth. Must tell mamma before the sky falls again.”

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shibboleth

The winter Lela had her first period the man in the hat grew a moustache, the harridan found a box of women’s gloves behind the Waymart and Dejesus arrived on a boat. Also that year the sky fell twice: on the Feast of the Calf and on the Sabbath. That winter Lela found her mamma’s diaphragm. Not sure what it was she asked her mamma, who said it was for keeping ugly babies from being made. Also that winter the legless man lost his other leg; the amputater sawing it off just below the hip. That winter the alms man bought a new cap; his old one too small for his expanding head. The Witness printed his first pamphlet: a call to heathens and cowards to come to the fold of the lamb. No one read the pamphlets so nobody came. That winter before the thaw, which usually came on the Ides of March, later the year the sky fell twice, the dogmen arrived in town riding on the backs of beasts, the littlest dogman pounding his breast like a kettledrum. The winter Lela had her first period the shamble leg man wandered into town, the world stopped rotating on its heavenly axle and Sepahan Buxton of Derbyshire lost his mind. Little did Lela know that her blood was an alkahest and her cunt a shibboleth.

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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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