Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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.

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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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