Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dreadful Man

The carver sliced a coil of pig’s tail and slapped it greasily on the plate, the man in the hat swallowing the spittle caught at the back of his throat. Next to him to his left sat a dreadful man, his jowls greasy with knuckle. The dreadful man ate like a flophouse hosteller, cramming joints of greasy knuckle into his mouth with both hands. He lay his hands on his belly, a sloop of grease anchored on his chest, the man in the hat watching on with disgust. He begirded his tie and straightened out the front of his chemise, the buttons hanging on by a yarn. Zug two-fists strays, approaching from the flank and lassoing them around the begird. Gnaws at the bones like a grizzly bear. Dreadful indeed. Spits on the whetstone to lather up the sharpening end. Hones a mighty fine edge, enough to take down a whale. Zug stands leaning against the hosiery’s awning, his eyes glassed over, legs trembling.

It’s the second time that day he’s queued for something to eat; earlier that morning having waited for the fishmonger to open the back door and jettison hacked fish heads out into the trash, his hands up to the elbow moiling through offal. When he was a boy his parent sent him away to school, a cinderblock edifice with stained glass windows and a playing field that stretched further than the eye could see. Never again did he see or hear from his da and ma. Hanging on by a yarn the sun blazes above the dirt-poor earth, a crow aureoling on the horizon. Zug watches the crow circling overhead, the hosiery’s awning cricketing under his weight. He bites down hard on a button of gristle, his teeth working like a slaughterhouse saw.

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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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