Sunday, September 19, 2010

Henrico Villaseñor

His legs kicked like two hanged men as the doctor turned him on his side. ‘Don’t touch his face…I hear that’s where it’s the worse!’ ‘you’ve already said that’ said the doctor. ‘now move back your blocking the light’. Rolling the body on its other side, the side furthest away from the furnace, the doctor checked for a pulse, the half-corpse’s arms stiffening like lightning rods. ‘bring me the lamp’ ordered the doctor. ‘I need more light’. The farrier walked to the other side of the workshop and grabbed the lamp next to the blast-oven. ‘hurry’ said the doctor cradling the half-dead half-corpse’s head. ‘half-dead or dead the man deserves respect’ said the doctor half-angrily. The dead come in every shape, size and colour; rigor pallor the most conspicuous. Preparing the corpse for transport is best left to professionals and extortionists. He gave the farrier a esculent scowl and pushed down on the half-dead corpse, yellow bile oozing from between the pickets in its teeth. ‘Villaseñor has an oxcart he seldom uses’ said the farrier hoping to convince the doctor that the half-dead corpse should be got rid of. ‘moving him now would be fatal’ said the doctor. ‘he’s barely holding on’. Transporting the half-dead is best left to a specialist with an ear for stiffening. ‘but what if we get sick?’ ‘that’s the price we pay for being human’ said the doctor palpitating the flesh around the half-corpse’s sternum and ribcage. Henrico Villaseñor’s oxcart is made out of spruce; the axel palpitating counterclockwise to the wheels.

As he left {his lean-to}, {the man in the hat} turned gaze upon the spot where he had fallen. "Here Troy was," said he; "here my ill-luck, not my cowardice, robbed me of all the glory I had won; here Fortune made me the victim of her caprices; here the lustre of my achievements was dimmed; here, in a word, fell my happiness never to rise again." (Cervantes, Don Quixote)

Death comes to those who wait, thought the man in the hat. Never a moment before. He knows when death will come. His father died of the whooping when he was a boy; and if the sins of the father are visited on the son, he {too} will be visited by death before his fifteenth birthday. He pulled the half-corpse counterclockwise, pressing down hard on the half-dead man’s shoulders. ‘you say he seldom uses his oxcart’ said the doctor. ‘yes as far as I know he does, or doesn’t?’ said the farrier scratching the top of his sparsely haired head. ‘then go get the cart; and be quick! We haven’t much time’. ‘don’t you mean he?’ ‘who?’ asked the doctor with annoyance. ‘him’ said the farrier pointing at the half-dead corpse. ‘enough! Now off with you; quickly!’ he said, his face as red as a pumping heart.

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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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