Tuesday, August 31, 2010


‘I must go on I won’t go I can’t’ thought the man in the hat, a tuffaceous posy of hair sticking out from under his hat. Today being the 29th day of the month, a month that seemed to go on and on, a month that sat in his thoughts like a lowly beggar, shirt torn, hands outstretched revealing a capacious litter of sores, thumbscrews, fingers pressed together in prayer, summoning gods and heathens, the steeple of his head warding off lightening strikes and rogue pigeons, the next to last to last day of the month loitered like an unwanted lover, her advances making you wonder what you saw in her to begin with. ‘especially the dead’ he mumbled to himself, ‘or the dying.

It makes no difference to me; either way they’re not alive, living, yes, but not alive ’. The dead die and the living die; the trick is in knowing which is which. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the littlest dogman appeared from behind a fallen stand of fichus’, his chest puffed out like a fat man’s stomach, his eyes trained on the man in the hat. Pointing he garbled something faintly, softly, yet loud enough to raise the hair on the man in the hat’s neck. Not sure how to respond the man in the hat walked in the opposite direction, the littlest dogman playing his ribcage like a xylophone, the sun cutting the Seder Grocer’s awning to ribbons.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." (Friedrich Nietzsche) was written in an unsteady hand over the door to the Zum Zum Tavern, the proprietor offering a free drink to whomever could shoot the ‘Y’ out of ‘youth’. ‘fools’ thought the man in the hat. ‘should aim for the ‘R’… knock the stuffing out of the devil, by God’.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vomolbo the Sluggard

He went to bed thinking of summer days that went on for ever and ever, his mamma standing at the foot of his bed saying ‘get up, the day’s half over’, his da laying the new sod in the half-yard, the sun burning his shoulders hot-chili red. Georg Ludwig Trakl lives in the house across the street with a half-mad dog. The half-mad dog runs in circles in the back yard. Basel Zarathustra passed away on the 25th day of the eighth month nineteen hundred naught zero, his remains interned in a butcher’s box in a garden overlooking the Overnight Asylum. When not sketching still-life’s, which he does sequestered away in the smallest room in his cottage, Basel Zarathustra tends to the half-mad dog’s evacuations; the half-mad dog’s master, Georg Ludwig Trakl, too busy tending to his own to bother with the dog’s. Féin Aust-Agder spends his days watching the half-mad dog running round and round in circles. Georg Ludwig Trakl’s claims that half-mad dogs are more human than people. ‘babies need they’re shit pulled out of they’re crap-holes, dogs don’t. And dogs make they’re commode crouching, not sitting on a seat’.

The sluggard Vomolbo sits all day looking out the window of his cottage, his peach-plump hands holding up the hammock of his chin. He watches Féin Aust-Agder watching the half-mad dog running in circles in Georg Ludwig Trakl’s half-yard. Across the alleyway peering through a fissure in the fence Féin Aust-Agder watches the sluggard Vomolbo watch the ½-mad mutt kicking up dirt running in circles, neither aware that the other is watching the other. Dogs shit and babies shit and men and women and morons shit. But dogs shit standing, babies and men and women don’t. Morons shit anywhere they please; sitting, standing or crouching in the corner. The man in the hat felt a cold coming on; the skin around his eye sockets achy and red. He didn’t care whether dogs shit standing or crouching, all he cared about was his achy red skin.

The man in the hat stood looking at his reflection in a puddle of dog urine, the dog halfway down the street running in circles, its tail serving as a lightening rod or a ship’s rudder (who’s to know which?) Across the street leaning unsteadily against the Seder Grocer’s doorpost the Witness handed out blue and white pamphlets, the dog circling his bellbottomed trousers. Standing on the corner, his feet shuffling like thrown dice, the alms man held his alms-cap out in front of him, the cap sagging with washers and wooden-nickels. Her skirts hiked up round her waist the harridan’s sister makes her way across the sideways, the sun striating her forehead with red lines, the dog raising a hind leg and pissing on the Witness’ leg. Watching from the middle of the street, the dog’s urine inching closer to his foot, the man in the hat let out a sigh, and removing his cap said ‘the dead do no one any good, especially the dying.’

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Carlos Pérez Efrén and Juan Vizcaíno Hernández met one afternoon in the park behind the Waymart, neither man aware that the other had a bone to pick with Nepomuceno Jalisco. Nepomuceno Jalisco lived in a collapsing shed on the outskirts of the five-mile fence, his life a day-to-day fight with consumption and violent whooping (brought on by dead rotting things and things almost dead or soon to be dead, although rotting just the same). ‘I am a man not to be fooled with… stay clear of my temper, it will exhaust what little patience and goodness you have in your heart’. The first time Carlos Pérez Efrén heard this pronouncement he was a boy of nine accompanying his mother to the market; Nepomuceno Jalisco, standing stock-still between the baker and the butcher, his lips moving like red licorice whips, claiming that he knew the whereabouts of the red glove, and for a quiver of arrows would divulge its location. His mamma, grabbing hold of his hand pulled him past the deranged objectionable man, her face slick with rain.

Most days the sun sits in the sky over the Waymart clocktower. Most nights the moon squats like a yellow whore, her lovers the clouds defiling her from behind. Chiriquí’s saddle horn cleaves his testicles in half, splayed sacs of fleshy life flattened against his jiggling thighs. “So vehement and so piteous were the lamentations of {Hörbiger} that they drew tears from {Roué’s} eyes, unused as they were to shed them on any occasion.” (Cervantes di Miguel, Don Quisciotte). This is how it begins; the air churning round and round his head, then a snap, then nothing, stillness, the ceiling fan groaning under the weight of his body. In that epigrammatic second before death a thought, a lamentation, ‘Why doesn’t he steal a horse and make a getaway?’ Then ‘Dying does no one any good, especially the dead.’ ‘There’s no denying the truth’ his dad said. ‘even when it’s a lie’, his laugh soaring like a kite into the blue afternoon sky.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plástico y Excremento

Y plástico y excremento de apariencia anormal, the bed sheets coiled round his ankles, the head matron beside herself with disgust. ‘give him a suppository’. ‘quick before he fills the room with shat’. ‘try prying his knees apart!’ ‘widget, watch the damn widgets!’ ‘easy as it goes’. ‘slowly’. Oh but the depths of depravity. José Proaño wears women’s hats, claiming they are much better at keeping his head safe from falling skies. With equal arms the head matron stopped his scatting, his maundering dispatches driving her mad. ‘his legs. Squeeze, you foolish woman!’ Dr. Mudstone stood glowering over the bed, his manicured hands clasped in prayer. ‘stick it in his ass!’ he ordered, the matron pushing down hard on his head.

You might ask what does Oskar Hörbiger have to do with the story? Nothing. He arrives, then as quickly as he arrives departs, leaving behind a wedge in your thoughts. (You might ask but you shouldn’t! Nothing I have to say is worth listening to. You’d do better with sums; with things that can be made sense of. Move on; you’ll find nothing of interest here).

The first time he fell toppling backwards, the noose hanging itself. The second time he fell forward, the chair catapulting into the kitchen table. The third time the rope cut through his neck, the laryngeal cartilage popping through the skin. Hanging himself was the one uncensored act he had left; the adjectival having deputized the first-person-participial. Camberwell Jowett eventually hanged himself from the kitchen light, Sandefjord the orderly unhooking him from the garret-beam and wrapping him in oilcloth. Not a word was spoken that night about the hanging in the Overnight Asylum; Camberwell Jowett’s bed was reassigned and his belongings burned in the makeshift crematorium in the basement.

The day after the hanging a young girl claiming to be Camberwell Jowett’s daughter arrived in town, the director of the Overnight Asylum sending her out the front door on the toe of his boot. When word got out that another patient had hanged himself at the Overnight Asylum the rector called for an investigation, claiming that 'God’s work was being meddled with and whomever was responsible would be punished accordingly'.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oskar Hörbiger

Oskar Hörbiger has no place in common society. A rogue, a mountebank, the scoundrel is not to be trusted: putting faith in him is like believing in {fairytale} happy endings, proof of man’s abject stupidity. One-time owner of the Bejel Linen Co., general nuisance and gadabout, the cunt should be thrown to the dogs, if they’d have ‘em, which they wouldn’t. The original owner of the Bejel Linen Co., Girolamo Pétasse, transferred ownership to the cad Hörbiger after falling ill with the whooping, which he died from two months later, alone, febrile and shivering in the tinsmith’s shed behind the livery. Dr. Mudstone pronounced him dead and signed the death certificate, warning the tinsmith that he best fumigate the shed before returning to the anvil. Dr. Ragama, ignoring proper practice, gave the corpse an enema, running the hose over and through the transom and attaching the tin nozzle to the rubber gills. Then the Dr. prescribed a good scrubbing to exfoliate the dead hanging skin. The internist Dr. Salcedo, who happened to be passing by that day and is renown for his skill at straightening bent and twisted legs, which he achieves by bending them over a pommel, offered to dispose of the rotting corpse, donating it to the burn ward of the hospital at Coláiste Cliath, which admits corpses and the half-dead Wednesdays and Friday evenings. Nonsense! Girolamo Pétasse died from rickettsia, his knees locked together like widgets. The night before he died Dr. Mudstone prescribed y vidrio o plástico de analéptico for recurrent excremento de apariencia anormal, the patient having shat himself twice before anyone noticed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

José “Pepe” Conteris

He let go of the back of the pew and allowed himself to fall backwards, sinking into the crooked floorboards. ‘see, God does renounce those who disbelieve!’ exclaimed the rector’s assistant. ‘nonsense’ bellowed a man sitting in the front pew. ‘the man’s obviously fainted… look at his eyes’. Winded (as he had just come up from the basement where he had been sent to retrieve the Host) the red-haired altar boy tripped and fell headlong into the pulpit, the Host flying every-which-where. Pointing his talon-like finger, stained yellow from years of smoking, the rector said ‘Now let us pray’. ‘what is the meaning of this?’ said the Witness striding up the centre aisle, Dritëro Vogel in tow. Dritëro, a man of squat-measure, his torso four-square to his shoulders, accompanied the Witness on his evangelical rounds, ensuring the sanctity of the Holy Word and mealy-mouthing anyone heathen enough to contest the inviolability of the Blessed Lamb. Slamming his fist against the altar, his ring-finger tolling, the Witness gathered in his overcoat and turned to face the congregation, Dritëro Vogel close on his heels. ‘yes a heathen, a wretch, but a lamb of God just the same’.

‘Non lasci uomo gettare la prima pietra, che lui lapidato egli stesso’ said an old man sitting in the back pew, his face a withered rotten apple. ‘Sim, e pode queda do céu no inferno’ said a second old man, his face a bashed in tomato. ‘y puede Cristo estar con usted’ said a woman with a pockmarked face. ‘puta de la concha’ whispered Lela, her fire-red bangs hiding her eyes. ‘may the Blessed Lamb be your friend’ said the rector, the stain on his robe taking on the appearance and shape of a goat. ‘in the name of God Almighty, amen’.

José “Pepe” Conteris, his mouth stuffed with boiled mutton, let out a sigh, his forehead crimped like windswept drapes. ‘Nonsense!’ bellowed £. Q. Beiträge, his mamma tugging at his shirtsleeve. ‘stop!’ I implored stop! implored Złolton ₤owther, his eyes boiled mutton gray. ‘Cristo estar con usted, do céu no inferno’’ said man with the bashed-in face. ‘for the love of God!’ yelled the Witness. ‘enough is enough!’

Friday, August 13, 2010

Złolton ₤owther

Âmapanada Del Amour sits facing the Seder grocer’s window, her hair pulled back into a nosegay. Next to her sits a girl in a yellow cotton dress, her fingers worrying the beads of her rosary. Across from the girl in the yellow cotton dress sits the littlest dogman, his chest puffed out like an courting ɡraʊs. Walking passed on his way home the man in the hat gives the littlest dogman an stern look, the littlest dogman smiling broadly from ear-to-ear. ‘menace’ says the man in the hat. ‘its getting so a girl can’t worry her beads without having to turn her back on the world’.

The night he met Âmapanada Del Amour the sky was as black as the inside of a storm lantern; snowflakes eddied like kicked dandelions, the smoke from the coke oven smarting their eyes, and in the pew across from them, sitting next to his mamma, £. Q. Beiträge snickering at the spilt wine on the rector’s dress, and sitting in the front pew across the aisle €von ¥olanda and Złolton ₤owther, €von working her rosary like an abacus, Złolton making a pocking sound with his mouth, the rector giving them the eye of the lamb, £. Q. busting a stitch, his mamma tugging plaintively at his shirt sleeve. That night, the lamps flickering like drunken fireflies, the moon shimmering like a Christly halo, he slid his hand beneath Âmapanada Del Amour’s skirts, the milk-softness of her nethermost trembling his fingers.

Blimunda, now there’s a real looker, stork long legs and lips like smashed cherries. The Harpsichordist Bartolomeu de Gusmão creeps between her legs supping, her Mons Venus moaning. José de Sousa Lourenço, Mons Venus my love my dear my Mons. ‘stop! I beseech you stop!’ beseeches Złolton ₤owther. ‘stop your sniveling’ scolds £. Q. Beiträge.

José “Pepe” Conteris likes boiled mutton, his jowls bobbing as he masticates chin-size pieces of meat. Leave it to a no-good fool to make a mockery of chin-food. May as well pin the tail on the ass; either way the fool will fight the fool until the end is née. The man in the hat swooned, his head full of nonsense and blather. When he felt the swooning coming on, which it did, it did, he knew that he had been thinking too much; and when his thoughts crowded in on his life he knew it was time to sit quietly without moving an inch. Snivelers and no-good fools, they filled his head with nonsense; enough to make a man reevaluate his place in ‘it all’. Nonsense!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Booker T & Drive By Truckers & Neil Young


On the second day he fell into stupor. On the third day thoughts began to resurface, undersized miniscule thoughts, but thoughts nonetheless. On the fourth and fifth days he started thinking mawkish petty thoughts. On the sixth day he had a complete thought that sent him reeling with fear: ‘for we shan't always find castles where they'll entertain us; now and then we may light upon roadside inns where they'll cudgel us…’ (Don Quisciotte, Cervantes di Miguel). When he awoke on the eighth day, which he did begrudgingly having spent the previous day recuperating from the fifth and sixth days, he noticed a peculiar taste at the back of his throat. This he found noteworthy as never to his knowledge had he noticed it, or if he had he hadn’t noticed that he had, and furthermore one taste’s tastes not notice them, so the argument was moot anyhow. On the ninth day the stupor returned, the previous day’s recuperation falling short of the mark. And on the tenth day his thoughts returned to normal, or so he thought.

He recalled the soup kitchen behind the parking lot; a queue of hungry men stamping their feet trying to stay warm. A man wearing a hairpiece pushing his way up to the front, the queued hissing like steam valves. ‘cretino bocó’ groused a man at the rear of the queue, the back of his coat covered with the throw-up of the man behind him. ‘soltar pum!’ His sou'wester aureoling his head he walked down the line looking for butting-inner’s and loudmouths.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Grupo Rojo

And then, not a second before then, los Grupo Rojo, under the banner of Proceso de Reorganización Nacional Montoneros, came rushing into his thoughts, Solar Ramón, and that salacious cunt El Tío, stepping off the plane and onto the tarmac, Guerra Sucia sitting like a beaten child in front of him bawling. ‘this is outlandish!’ he said to himself, not quite sure who himself was. Solar Ramón will steal the teeth right out of your mouth, then break your jaw just for the fun of it. Kékes, poor bastard’s never seen a snatch up close; says its too soon to tell if the sky’ll fall before breakfast, eats eggs like a preacher, mouthful after mouthful, never once giving into the yolk. The Macclesfield Armorists’ stood two-abreast the arroyo awaiting the lowering of the flag, Captain Cheshire chewing the grist of his thumb. His thoughts rambled, hobbling the inside of his skull. He stopped for a café au lait, taking in the morose performances of the coffee-drinkers and their hangers-on’s, each one more morose and indefatigable than the next. He slurped back the coffee, now tepid and undrinkable, and placed the now empty cup on the grainy wood in front of him, his thoughts rattling. ‘descabelar o palhaço’ he said loud enough for all to hear, and walked out the front door and into the street.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


The man in the hat stood leaning against the bust of King Olaf, passerby’s giving him the once-over. This had happened before, people gawking, giving him the once-over. He was observed by people whom he would never meet. He spent countless hours watching others watch him, gazing at lips that he would never kiss, legs he would never pry apart, sinking his cock into places he knew existed but had never seen up close. And in his head a blasphemous narration in a tongue he didn’t understand:

…cagar, titica, merda em boca, Mijar, Mijada, Mijão, Bufa soltar pum, gás, soltar um gasinho, Peidorreiro, Flatulento, Gaseiro, Estúpido, Cretino, bobão, bocó, Despropósito, Doido varrido, Intelijumento, Mongolóide, Debilóide, Débil-mental, Doente-mental, Beócio, Aparvalhado, Atoleimado, Paspalho, Palúrdio, Paspalhão,
Patego, Pancrácio, Papalvo, Papa-moscas, Pascácio, Estafermo, Beldroegas, Bangalafumenga, Zé-ninguém, João-Ninguém, Zé-mané, Bolônio, Tchalau, Tchalongo, Tchongo, Tontão, Cabaça, Coió, Leseira, Toleirão, Titica-na-cabeça, Cabeça-de-vento, Idéia-de-jerico, Abobalhado, Dãrdi, Estólido, Néscio, Calinada, Otário, Lerdo assclown histrião Canhão tribufu, baranga, mocréia, dragão, jaburu chifrudo… Cafajeste/Canalha/Crápula/Calhorda/Patife/Tratante/Trapaceiro/Embusteiro/Abjeto, Salafrário, Safardana, Babaca, Tosco, Boçal, Bronco, Cavalão, Grosso, Grosseirão, Cavalgadura Filho da mãe sentar o sarrafo, parafusear, rosquear Lamber o cu, performar cunete, rimming, cuzete, lambe-cu, botão de rosa, tulipa roxa, beijo grego enculé Afogar o ganso, molhar o biscoito, descabelar o palhaço, escorregar no quiabo, bater uma, Espancar o macaco, descabelar o palhaço, cinco contra um, bater um amistoso, bucetinha, bucetão, xana, xoxota, xota, buça, xereca, tcheca, xeca, cobiçada, perseguida, piriquita, bacurinha, xavasca, racha, fenda, Poupança, ripa, piroca, pistola, peru, trabuco, nabo, mandioca, benga, jeba, sagatiba, bigola, bilau…

Then “‘The only dangers for me are metaphysical’” and “‘Only by living absurdly is it possible to break out of this infinite absurdity’” (Jules Florencio Cortázar) ‘this is getting me nowhere… and quickly at that!’ he said inveigled. ‘pass Paspalhão pass Passépartout. Its all the same in the end’.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Ter Titica na Cabeça

He jumped off the back of the oxcart two miles shy of Co Offaly, his legs aching, the back of his head matted with straw. No matter how hard he tried the muleteer couldn’t avoid the runnels and undulations that littered the road, the back of the oxcart kicking like a foaling mare. ‘by Christ I almost ate my tongue’. The station attendant walked along the dirt path to the livery, the muleteer following behind him like a stray dog. The last time he saw the station attendant he was wearing the same squalid redcap. The lacquey Tosilos came up from the cellar carrying a pickaxe and a shovel, behind him the judges of the field and the appellant duennas, each carrying a rake and a tar pot.

Oliver Etnad stood two feet shy of the field judge, and judging by his posture he was none too pleased to be sharing the same shadow with the judge and the lacquey Tosilos. The sun, sitting higher than usual in the sky cast a shadow twice the size of a well-kept orchard. That day “Myles Crawford appeared on the steps, his hat aureoling his scarlet face” (Ulysses, James Aloysius Joyce), his forehead anodyne pale. (Coclé Pennon and Gerald Og, no relation to Jerrod Og, met under a broiling hot sun outside the Co Offaly station, neither man aware that the other had booked passage on the eastbound oxcart scheduled to leave at noon). The field judge and the lacquey Tosilos stood two-astride the biggest runnel, neither shovel nor tar pot seeming immense enough to fix the frottage. ‘good Christ, what a runnel!’ exclaimed the field judge. ‘we’ll never get this thing filled before the noontime’ said lacquey Tosilos. ‘not with these shovels and tar pots we won’t’. The field judge shook his head up and down and back and forth, grinding his teeth until he could taste them at the back of his throat.

Holding his alforjas out in front of him he walked cobbling to the station, a supremely happy look on his face. That morning the field judge offered him a modest purse with two hundred gold crowns, enough to pay for his ticket home. He refused the gift, saying he’d rather starve than accept alms from a cheat and a scoundrel. Trifaldi, standing abreast Coclé Pennon and Gerald Og shook his head back and forth; he too wanted nothing to do with rogues and villains. ‘who’re you calling a rogue, Pisón?’ grumbled the lacquey Tosilos, his armpits dripping like hanging laundry. Two of the judges of the field and the appellant duennas stood their ground, refusing in kind to have anything to do with cutthroats or cold-cockers.

Monday, August 02, 2010


He set upon the day, thoughts of Lela metering his every step. The last time he saw her was at the Feast of the Nestbeschmutzer, her yellow summer dress making her look like a freshly plucked daisy, her polished feet barely touching the ground. He stared at her from afar, hands trembling, the sun cascading off her nut-brown shoulders. ‘I must have her’ he whispered. ‘I must I must’. She walked towards the gate, and looking over her nut-brown shoulder smiled in his direction, her lips as red as a coughing throat. Not knowing what to do he turned and walked away, his neck as taut as a boxer’s fist.

He set upon the evening, his favourite hat adorning his head. He noticed that the lamplighter had not made his rounds; the city adrift on a sea of black. Correcting his hat, realigning the brim with the hatband, he continued on into the ocean of night, his feet skipping like stones across the pavement. ‘I must have her’’ he said over and over again. ‘I must I’. Ficha Limpa sits admiring his newly-polished shoes, a woman with a nervy smile counting the bluebells in the hammock of her skirt. Lela closes her eyes, the last plum leavened, pushed in place. ‘emita a meretriz gorda ao Alçada’ commanded Setubal the Awful. ‘e não esqueça para tomar-lhe luvas!’ His thoughts set upon him like a tempest, one thought leavened into another into another. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t change his mind; unthought-of thoughts storming his mind until he couldn’t distinguish one from the other. Over and over again, like a tattooing on the underside of his skull: “man proposes and God disposes…” (Don Quisciotte, Miguel di Cervantes) until he couldn’t stand it any longer. He shook his head up and down and back and forth, grinding his teeth until he could taste them at the back of his throat; spittle cemented with ivory and silver filings. Setubal the Awful never turns down a bit on the side, puts his back into it, arms and legs thrashing like sailcloth. Seen the noble cunt give it to a cur with both fists, enough to make your stomach churn, by Christ it was.

Buenos Aires at Night

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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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