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.

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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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