Friday, July 30, 2010

Flagella

The sinned and the sinning wait on the steps of the Church of the Perpetual Sinner for Mass to begin. A lineman from the Mark Twain Rural Telephone Co., cap in hand says ‘a fiver to anyone who can ping a rock off the bell’. A young boy raises his hand, ‘I’ll give it a try sir’. A hush falls over the crowd, a sinning woman says to the sinned man beside her ‘O but to be young and foolish again’. The sinned man replying ‘you foolish woman, that’s how we ended up on these steps to begin with’. Hidden behind King Olaf the littlest dogman snickers, his fingers drumming the birdcage of his chest. Behind the littlest dogman sits a man on a bench reading the newspaper, his eyes darting back and forth as he searches the obits for his name, the ruckus on the steps of the church trammeling his ability to concentrate. ‘I have no patience for the sinned or the sinning’ he burbles to himself. ‘damn muggers need a good thrashing!’ Closing and folding the newspaper he rises off the bench and ambles diagonally towards the gate that leads into the park across from the church, the newspaper stuffed under his arm for safekeeping. ‘were I not such a delicate man I’d whip them myself’. Having allowed what he said to register in his thoughts, which he did with most things he said and or thought, he walks up the steep incline that separates the aqueduct from the park, the newspaper birching his kidneys like an Opus Dei flagella.

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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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