Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oliver Schlomo

The stench was overbearing, as some stenches take on an otherworldly smell, half human half beast. It clawed at his forehead, gouging in behind the eyes, pressing on the halves of his brain. He smelled it with his thoughts, half beast half human, separating the stench from the everydayness of smells, odors that one needn’t worry oneself with. ““You spoke late,"” said Tromsø. “"I'd as soon turn Turk as stay any longer.”” (Don Quixote, Cervantes) Uéfec Délair has worked as an orderly for the Overnight Asylum for 27 years, 16 dispensing medication and 9 delousing inmates.

How do you function when your legs and arms stop working? I suppose you could remain impassive… and say were a pigeon to alight on your shoulder you’d shiver, yes, but that wouldn’t be enough, the pigeon, oblivious to your failure to shake it off would stay, like a bad thought gets caught in the wiring until the sickness forces you to change your mind, snip the wire… I suppose you could try that, mind you it would be a waste of time. Altogether your legs and arms are like broken sticks, useless appendages weighing you to the floor, the bench, the very same spot you lay in, shivering, the day before and the day before that.

Oliver Schlomo met the man in the hat on an unpardonably humid afternoon behind the aqueduct, the air thick with the stench of rotting fish, the pump clotted with dead river things, tortoise shells and one-legged arthropods, exoskeletons, chitin and unsavvy bullfrogs.

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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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