Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Efrén

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.

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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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