Saturday, October 30, 2010

Las Bragas de Oro

While all this was going on the legless man sat reservedly on his pushcart wondering what all the fuss was about. Across the street squabbling with a sales clerk the harridan’s sister walked in circles, the hem of her skirts entangling her legs, the mercantilist trying to elicit the attention of the constabulary, his face as red as Polish cabbage. The legless man thought ‘No wonder the world’s in such a mess. No one wants to give an inch, and when they do the other person takes a mile’, the smell of black oil fish besetting his thoughts.

His father read to him on those nights when his thoughts wouldn’t stay quiet. Two of his favorite stories were ‘Encerrados con un Solo Juguete’ (Locked up with a Single Toy)* and ‘La Muchacha de las Bragas de Oro’ (Girl with Golden Panties)* (*Juan Marsé). The girl with the golden panties, the one character his father found appealing, his father called ‘La Muchacha de grandes bucetoes’, after a dice-player named Sofia Sofiya who threw craps behind the Waymart, the momentum of her ‘grandes bucetoes’ driving the die hard against the brick wall. ‘what a magnificent ass’ his father said, his cheeks flushing. ‘and the way it wriggled, my God, what a sight, parading round like the Queen of asses’. He sucked his fingers when his father talked about Sofia Sofiya, his tongue thumbing the roof of his mouth.

Friday, October 29, 2010

El Cerdo

The morning sun rose behind the Waymart, a forebodingness settling over those up and about attending to their morning victuals’. The day stopped flat in its tracks, the alms man struggling to get his cap to stay put in front of him, a gale force wind picking it up and whirling it round and round like a top.

‘Hell’eth, yes by God, Hell’eth!’ If only I could stop the flow, all these notions and schemes, brainchildren gone terribly awry. I can if only. The Gog and Beggar drafts Pilsners and Ales from a spigot attached to a hose attached to a keg underneath the counter, the alewife hiking her skirts up round her hips, the drawstrings of her corset flapping to and madly. Hell’eth has no fury like slaking man. El cerdo stood admiring his reflection in the mirror, his unusually outsized nose obscuring an otherwise unusual face. Obscure as it was it was indeed his face he was admiring in the mirror over the counter. The Witness closed the door behind him and took a seat next to the window; his hands blued with pamphleteer’s ink and glue. ‘a bitters! Something with a good head on it if you don’t mind’. Hiking her skirts up the alewife flashed her hirsute bush at the Witness, a slatternly smile on her ungainly face. ‘madam, if I wanted a hair pie I’d ask for one. Now, if you please, put that ugly thing away!’ El cerdo snickered, his usually expressionless face screwed-up like a mousy glove. This will not do. To hell with it! May a gonorrheal dog mijao on your leg. The proprietor of the Beggar and Gog spit into a glass and rubbed it inside and out with a dirty rag. ‘gentlemen please, enough of your shenanigans, either you drink up and leave or I will be forced to throw you out; all three of you, headfirst!’ Snickering, his face a mess of warts and unlancerable boils, El cerdo pointed at the proprietor, his liver red tongue dancing in his mouth ‘you sir! Dare I say you will be up to your shirtsleeves with trouble if you try and toss us three out!’ Bustling in front of him, hirsute bush exposed, the alewife laughed, her soiled underpants hanging on by a thread. ‘put that damn ugly thing away!’ grumbled the Witness, his voice filled with bile. ‘can’t you see we three are engaged in a battle? Now scram woman, and for the love of Jehovah be quick about it!’

The day after the littlest dogman sniggled the biggest eel anyone had ever seen, a sickly child with a horsetail cowlick, hands knit in prayer, begging for a bite of the black oily fish. The littlest dogman cut the eel in two and handed half to the boy, the boy thumping his chest like a sideshow strongman.

David Grossman on Bruno Schulz

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

Rudy Virag

He turned the world over in his head until it spilled out on to the ground in front of him, a frail twisted arm reaching up towards him beseechingly. Who’s arm is this, he thought, and why is it pointing at me? The world turned over again, the arm stretching, bending trying to touch the yolky sun above his head. And why is it pointing at the yolky sun? When he was a boy his da fastened baseball cards with clothespins to the spokes of his secondhand bicycle, the cards click-clacking as he rocketed down the sidewalk jumping puddles and potholes.

The Landesschule Pforta gymnasium holds weekly craps behind the kitchen, the Brandrübel brothers beating the coal out the Schmölln brothers seven times out of three.

Leaping potholes and puddles he rocketed down the sideways, the clothes-pinned cards clicking in the spokes. His da sat on the porch spitting tobacco juice into a coffee tin, the night sky redder than a slapped face. Anchises Lethe drank the Dog and Beggar dry, gulping back throatfuls of fortified wine. José Arturo, seated on the stool next to him, his face half-hidden in the turtleneck of his shirt, said a prayer for dead and recently deceased poor Rudy {Virag} who the year before had hanged himself from the rafters overlooking the Overnight Asylum. ‘may God bless his slithering soul’ said Arturo, his face ashen pale. ‘for God know’eth, Hades is hotter than Hell’eth’. ‘yes by God’ interrupted Ennis Forghas ‘hotter than Hell’eth!’ Hoisting their tankards above their heads, all three men yelled ‘--HALLELUJAH! To Hell with Hell’eth! May his rung’eth neck unbend and his soul rest in peace. Adman’.

Monday, October 25, 2010


His da’s mamma bought salt cod from the Oppegaard fish market, a man called Apercus separating the heads from the fillets, wrapping them in brown paper and securing the slimy package with twine, then winking at her salaciously as he handed her the package over the counter, the tattoo on his forearm separating his wrist from his elbow. Not that one; I hate Tegucigalpa flatfish. Pointing, give me that one, yes, that one there. Hack me off a piece. The Francisco’s make a fine Morazán fishpie. Too salty? Not at all. Now stop your quibbling and scythe me off a piece. My da once got a whitefish bone stuck in his throat; damn near choked him silly. Taught me how to dislodge it with a thump to the back of the back; pops out like a crumb. No really. Ask the monger at Oppegaard’s, he’ll give you the goods. Apercus I thinks his name; smarmy cunt gave my grandmamma the once over. If I remember correctly she was wearing her herringbone stockings that day. Up to her waist in fish guts, heads separated from the fillets so there’s no mistaking the good pieces. (ibid). Pops out like a crumb. Partial bones in the hips so they say; easier to get the middle parts down. Worthless parts are good for soup and headcheese’s. Never know when company will drop by. Crawdaddy in her left hand, mudbug in her right. Throat stretched out like a firehouse. If I remember correctly. Remembering the past, and what lay in between, his thoughts stretched out like a firehouse, partial bones lined up on the tablecloth, the back of his back thumped black and blue, his grandmamma spooning bowlfuls of headcheese soup into greedy hands, smiting the bicycle pump like a tea spout, his da’s da thumping his head against the table trying to knock some sense into himself.

The Landesschule Pforta gymnasium holds weekly fistfights; the Schmölln brothers beating the tar out of the Brandrübel brothers three times out of seven.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Tiring of the befuddlement that cursed his being, the man in the hat sat under a mighty elm and counted the stars in the noontime sky: 2. He had no other recourse than to admit defeat; his life having become a peccadillo of disappointment. Were he but a farthing, a boy called Poldy who’s worse fear was his ma’s uneven temper, wading knee-high in the muck behind the woolshed spearing frogs with arrows his da’s da gave him, the sucking noise his boots made when he unstuck his foot from a grave of squashy mud, his arrow a spit of frogs, garlands of roe and green things, three frogs impaled with one pull of his bow, his piss yellower than the buttercups they held under their chins to see who liked butter and who didn’t. {His best friend Obadiah was keen on oleo}.

“(He smites with his bicycle pump the {mudbug} in his left hand.)” (James Aloysius Joyce, Ulysses). His da wore his shirt back to front, affecting a backwardness that followed him wherever he went. Woolshed frogs, his granddad smiling broadly from ear to ear. ‘never admit defeat my boy’ thinking what he really meant was deafness, but his upper-plate slipped and got in the way. Pumping he went about the day, his unstuck boot making a sucking noise. Un-tucked he strode into the day, his cudgel dangling betwixt his legs. Knuckling his bicycle sump he set off into the world, Obadiah at his side. ‘never overestimate the forces of nature’ said his da’s da jawing his upper-plate. Time and again he lost time of time; the hours and days fleeting by like scat through a goose. Up to his waist he went about the day never-minding that at noontime he had a meeting with Dejesus. He wondered: who likes butter and who doesn’t? Maybe Dejesus. Who knows? “(He smites with his bicycle pump the {crawdaddy} in his left hand.)” (ibid). Maybe not. His da taught him how to make a cudgel out of worthless metals, the blacksmith’s apron cutting into the partial bones in his hips. That night his grandmamma served whitefish, his da rescuing a crumb of bone caught in his throat with a thump on his back.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

La Belleza Convulsa

They stitched up the hole in his da’s leg with box-suture; the unraveled ends tied in double-knots then twisted round until the blood stopped spurting. Time was when his da’s legs were fair game for dog-bites and lacerations. Humping through the dogbane behind the woolshed, milking the tall grass, his hipflask hanging from his belt loop, his da hunted wild geese and turbot. His da’s da hunted woodlot pigs with a bow and arrow, taking down garbage-fed hogs with a single shot. When he was a boy his da’s da took him out to the woodlot behind the woolshed, showing him how to string a bow and pull back the feathers so the arrow wouldn’t fly cockeyed. He took his first kill that day; a Landseer with a maggoty eye. His granddad hung it from a bowed sapling, digging the maggots out with his hunting knife, his heart racing in his throat. That was when they called him Poldy, long before he came to be known as the man in the hat.

La Belleza Convulsa: Where I lost my Spleen’ was written over the doorway to the Dog and Beggar Tavern. And on the opposite wall, covering over ricochets, near misses and bullet holes: 'Freedom for Los Desaparecidos!' Suhcamelet, prelate to Norman and Varangian, his churlish egg-shaped jowl hanging below his chinstrap, stood admiring his reflection in the window, a stray Landseer with a maggoty eye sniffing his pant leg. ‘away bucetão! I have no time for strays and kettledrums’. On the back of his greatcoat, written in an unsteady Punjabi hand, was the following “(He smites with his bicycle pump the crayfish in his left hand.)” (James Aloysius Joyce, Ulysses). Harping, Suhcamelet retied his shoe and sent his hat flying; the brim whirling like a railroaded top. ‘haven’t seen head nor tail of the crapper spleen, must’ve hightailed north to sky-scraping ground’. Harping, the strings of his heart soaring, he delivered a sermon to those assembled in front of the Waymart, ‘may the goalie host redeem your pitiful souls. So say’eth Robin Goodfellow of the Puck’. Fool, hasn’t a toadstool to piss upon. See his sort round and a bout, piddling in the flowerbox out back of the Dog and Beggar; piddle-puddle astride the grave. Ill-omened, his shirttails un-tucked, he hightails it northerly, his cudgel dangling betwixt his legs. Makes a man harp, lest it does.

Alfonso Osip

That morning, or was it the next?, a legion of fools arrived in town; some on foot, some hanging onto the bumper of the truck clip-clopping like horses. ‘well I’ll be damned’ said the alms man, the buttons on his shirt sparkling earnestly in the sun. ‘its getting harder and harder to make a living these days’. Legions of fools were not an uncommon sight; putting on a show here or there, collecting what miserly gratuities they could, then leaving by truck and on foot, some clip-clopping clip-clopping. Doesn’t take much to teach a man a lesson, specially if he’s taken a turn for the worse. The {horse-headed Dane}… {aka Buachaill Báire} ‘a cunt, dear sir, were I a man accustom to using profane language’. I dare say; it’s the Franciscan’s that prefer the soaked ends, not the Jesuits! Alfonso Osip and Ochoa Emilyevich stood admire one another’s reflection in window of the Dogmen Deli, neither one aware that the sky was about to fall. Osip, a castrato with an oversize chin, and Emilyevich, a pint-size violinist with glass-blue eyes and a goatee, had that morning arrived clip-clopping behind the legion of fools’ truck, the sun glaring off their button-down chemises.

The hunch-backed barber Hascheck, known for his vile demeanor and insatiable guile, jumped off the back of the legion of fools’ truck and into the mud-crummy street, the tails of his greatcoat flapping madly. Catching his breath, his chest pumping like a five-alarm fire he said,

“Her stomach is ugly, isn't it? Covered with folds of fat? You must be able to see it when she bathes...You say she is not very fit. Her breasts, her fat stomach, slap slap, flabby as boiled pork. Just like that, Polzer, slap slap, the mother sow!” (Hermann Ungar, The Maimed)

Taking a tonic from his breast pocket he took a long insatiable swill, suckling like a newborn hog. ‘I dare say’ said Osip, ‘a boiled pork sandwich would go nicely’. ‘with a cream jug of rum’ added Emilyevich, his face wrinkling like a shaken cloth. ‘indeed, yes, indeed’ said Osip. Roca Cathedras sat on the edge of the dais thinking of ways to make slag into gold, his upper lip knitting. Roca Cathedras hated nothing more than truckloads of fools and woman “slap slap, flabby as boiled pork”. He had no time for Alfonso Osip or Ochoa Emilyevich, suckling hogs both. The legion of fools never stayed longer than a fortnight, two if the moon stayed put. The first time Poldy Magyar saw the troop of fools was on a Sunday after Saturday Mass, the fools setting up their tents in the parking lot behind the Waymart, Osip and Emilyevich laughing to burst a gut, Roca Cathedras gawking at them crossly, his forehead stretched tighter than a pigskin blanket.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The truth has its own weaknesses. The day he was born his mamma screeched at the top of her lungs, God forgive me, I have given birth to a monster! He was born Poldy Magyar, his mother changing his name to Japheth on his eleventh birthday. Then on his twelfth birthday, realizing that her son had no competence for shipbuilding, she began calling him ‘my little man in the hat’, as he wore a cap whenever and wherever he went. "Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed." [U.1.242] she said in a soft lilting voice, her ‘little man in the hat’ tugging aggressively at her skirts. I did say at your birth, dear boy, that I had given birth to a monster; but that, I dare say dear son was a mistake: that morning, the morning in question, I had slaked my thirst with Sloe Gin Fizz, thereby corrupting the hole you were hatched from. I beg your forgiveness, my dear lovely child. So that was how it began: from Poldy to Japheth to ‘my little man in the hat’. But mamma why do you feel such shame; a boy is a boy even if his name be untilled.

Laggardly, slowly, he pushed sleep from his body, his eyes trapped shut like the jaws of Nepenthes rajah. The pigheaded four: Death, judgment, heaven and hell. Never underestimate the wisdom of the dead. These his da told him over cold mock chicken sandwiches and warm raspberry Kook-Aid. My son, you must never forget, the world is a sham; life is lived by the stupid, not the wise. Off in the distance woodshadows floated silently across the horizon, his da tugging on his coattails, coaxing him over the five-mile and into the dustbowl of the future. It isn’t your fault mamma; some boys are born monsters. Written on the ceiling, the ink bluing into the corners above his head, was the following: “The Alçada of the village came by chance into the inn together with a notary, and” {the Witness} laid a petition before him, showing that it was requisite for his rights that” {the rector’s assistant}, …there present, should make a declaration before him that he did not know” {Japheth}, also there present, and that he was not the one that was in print in a history entitled "Second Part”” {pamphleteering by way} of {colportage}, by one”{pigheaded Dutchman}… {also known as Buachaill Báire}…" (Cervantes, Don Quixote)

Poldy Magyar awoke from troubled dreams and winched himself out of bed, his legs giving way to inertia and a lack of exercise. The {pigheaded Dutchman}… {also known as Buachaill Báire}, stood at the foot of his cot counting the tiles on the ceiling. Earnestly he proffered him a cigar, offering to clip the prepuce for him with a nod of his gigantic head. ‘roll the clipped end round in your lips, that’s it, like a lolli’ he said holding the extinguished matchstick between his thumb and forefinger, the sulfur smarting his eyes. ‘the Jesuits prefer a soaked end; the Franciscans less so’. The clipped end fell to the floor like a spiraling autumn leaf, the tip frayed and scrimmaged. ‘I’m sure you’d be better equipped to understand what I’m getting at if you weren’t such a good-for-nothing. And good-for-nothings, well they seldom understand a thing; not even their own thoughts, simple and contrived as they may be’. He could fell the earnestness emptying from his body; disgust overcoming his sense of magnetism. ‘dare I say you’re a scoundrel… a cunt, sir, were I a man accustom to using profane language’.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Poldy Magyar

‘you look tired’ said J.M. Gutierrez swatting at a fly circling his head, its tiny wings thrashing up a dustbowl of infinitesimal filth. The knife made a kinching sound, the hilt slipping against the open palm of her hand. ‘be careful, she’s a whizz with a pocketknife. I’ve seen her gut a man in halves; his insides coiling like a loose spring. Can’t be too careful around her kind!’ Lorelei, her golden jewelry glist'ning, devouring the boat men both with her dulcet-voiced power. Oh sorrow fill my breast! Thrashing round like a caged tiger, his thoughts falling in and out of consciousness, he felt the sorrow of his age pressing in on his very being. In a catheter-voice, his throat breaching and constricting, he spoke of the age of foolishness, of stout angry men with asthmatic voices and deceitful bathetic pride. ‘you look tired’. ‘no, just trying to make sense’. She’s a tigress, can slit a man in halves with a single thrust of her pocketknife. Best be careful lest she stick you like a suckling pig. ‘I’ll be fine, just give me a moment, I’m in the middle of the thick of it’. With a heavy breast he stepped out into the cool autumnal afternoon, his hat cinched under his arm, a militia of gray and black piebald crows caw-cawing in the branches of the boxwood outside the rector’s study. ‘in the end all that matters was that we took nothing to heart; the misery and cold-heartedness of life’. ‘you mean, don’t you, all that matters is?’ ‘no, all that was, not is, is never was. Listen clearly: when was is is becomes was’. He could feel it, the past overcoming the present. It would only be a matter of time before ‘is’ succeeded ‘was’, relieving the past of the future. The knife made a kinching sound, the blade hilted to the hilt. Cold-hearted she is. Can draw-and-quarter in half the time.

Buachaill Báire stood outside the grocer’s taking in the warm summery day; crooking his head to the left, then the right he took in the entire landscape. The sun warmly caressing his neck, a hole in the clouds above the Waymart pierced by a bolt of raining sun, he made up his mind to pay a visit to the man in the hat whom he had not seen since the Fast of the Bleeding Lamb when both took up the unstitched thread left dangling by the sermonizing pastor. “O, my name for you is the best: Kinch, the knife-blade”. [U. 4.54-55] said the man in the hat looking to mend loose ends. The vicar of Wrexham stood to address the congregation, the hem of his Alb steeped in a gobbet of spit. Poldy Magyar stood admiring his refraction in the awning window, rumpling and poleaxing his face like a kid-soft glove, the sun forming a halo over his behatted head.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Feast of the Rapture

‘...I killed sleeping flies, turning my back to him and whistling’. (Juan Carlos Onetti, Goodbyes and Stories).
The man in the hat met J.M. Gutierrez at the Feast of the Rapture, neither man recognizing the other. Years earlier they met at the Feast of the Lamb, acknowledging one another with a tacit nod of the head. He pulled her across his torso, the hard coils of her breasts digging into his chest like dirks. The smell of her own sex making her sick, his hands despoiling her empty flesh, she lay like a frightened child unable to feel the simplest emotion. Her noviciate last three years; two hanging from the rafters in a horse-sling. They called her Lorelei,

1. I cannot determine the meaning
Of sorrow that fills my breast:
A fable of old, through it streaming,
Allows my mind no rest.
The air is cool in the gloaming
And gently flows the Rhine.
The crest of the mountain is gleaming
In fading rays of sunshine.

2. The loveliest maiden is sitting
Up there, so wondrously fair;
Her golden jewelry is glist'ning;
She combs her golden hair.
She combs with a gilded comb, preening,
And sings a song, passing time.
It has a most wondrous, appealing
And pow'rful melodic rhyme.

3. The boatman aboard his small skiff, -
Enraptured with a wild ache,
Has no eye for the jagged cliff, -
His thoughts on the heights fear forsake.
I think that the waves will devour
Both boat and man, by and by,
And that, with her dulcet-voiced power
Was done by the Loreley.

(Heinrich Heine, Die Lorelei)

Swaying, trembling, the horse-sling cutting her in halves, she surrendered to his pow'rful skiff. ‘I cannot determine the meaning’ said the man in the hat. ‘I think that the waves will devour the fading rays of sunshine, but I could be mistaken’. Fearing that he might be forsaken, or worse, abandoned to the jagged sea, he walked out into the sunshiny bright day, his hat proudly atop his head, the smell of starchy laundry assailing his sense of balance.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Emilio Videla Rafael

{This is foolish! There is no Departamento de Grandes Inquisidores or a Brotherhood of Dialectical Immaterialist’s. These are thoughts thought with little regard for my saneness. The sort that choke me with melancholy.}

Emilio Videla Rafael, Jorge Redondo, Ramón Eduardo Orlando and Massera Agosti meet every Sunday afternoon in the rear of the Waymart to split-hairs over which one of them was responsible for the atrocities carried-out at the Overnight Asylum. They grumble and moan, none willing to accept responsibility for the horrors perpetrated by the orderlies and doctors who were under their control. They were simply following their own conscience, pursuing their moral innerness. They were never forced to do what they did they did it because they chose to, and at no time were they coerced or subjected to duress. They just did it, that’s all. Miscreants tailored to fit the shoe that kicks the poor and underprivileged, all four men live lives of carnal approbation, depraved animals who spread pestilence and disease.

[He remembers a broken-down motel room in a town where no one except a empire of dog-like people understand a word he says. Moneyless, carrying whatever he owns in a haversack, the broken-down motel room smelling of other people’s sex and urine, he sits on the edge of the bed and tries to figure out how he got here. There were mountains; snow covered mountains. A dirt road that bends just outside town, the halogen eyes of a truck slicing through the darkness. Not a soul stopped when he stuck out his finger; not even someone he thought he might know, or thought he knew. The dog-like people offered to help him but first he must be put to work. A dwarf in clown pants and a crocheted toque points to the dogs rummaging through the garbage and says ‘here, feed them’ and hands him a bucketful of innards. The dog-like people come running, in single-file and in groups, dressed in codpieces and toting long spear-like staffs. They enter a campfire ring, single-file or in twos, he can’t remember which, the walls constructed from trees whittled into dagger-like points. One of the crazies points at the snow-covered mountains and says ‘there, that’s the way out’].

J.M. Gutierrez has a mostrar tatuajes de cangrejo on his chest, a mark of los hermandad de los sobrevivientes. He lives in a one room bedsit over the Seder Grocers with another man who refuses to make known his name. Every morning at 7 o’clock they join the line in front of the clinic, talking to no one and clapping their frostbitten hands together waiting for the heavy aluminum doors to open.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Grandes Inquisidores

El hombre del sombrero se detuvo y saludó a Dejesus; hombres cuidado de los demás. Minas, Gerais and Belo Horizonte live in a woolshed with one window and half-a-door. They have to crouch when entering the woolshed lest they bust their heads against the doorframe. The brothers are all under five feet in height, the shortest coming in at just under 4 ft. 9½. The sky fell twice the year the man in the hat met the Horizonte brothers; on Easter Sunday and the day after Lent. Minas, Gerais and Belo had come into town to buy blankets and salt, snookering past the guardsman where the five-mile meets the outland and entering thought the gate behind the earthwork barricade. Sövtöe J.J. Eötvös, the guardsman who was caught sleeping when the brothers crossed the five-mile, was shipped off to the Overnight Asylum where he was interned and subjected to series of vicious incapacitating psychiatric procedures, one such procedure so vicious it resulted in his death. When pushed one of the orderlies claimed that del paciente testículos were subjected to una serie de baños de hielo dando lugar a atrofia del paciente testículos y el escroto rompiendo en mil pedazos de hielo. Sövtöe J.J. Eötvös remains were sent to the Pays de la Loire cemetery where they were buried in a tobacco tin behind los sepultureros’ cubierto. ‘a tobacco tin, how disgusting!’ said one of the inquisitors, his lips bluing from the cold. ‘you’d think they’d at least give the man a decent burial’ said a second inquisitor, ‘testículos y el escroto rompiendo en mil pedazos de hielo, how repugnant’. ‘we’re all to blame’ said the first inquisitor. ‘every last one of us’. ‘I suppose we could have intervened and brought him back’ said the second inquisitor. ‘after all it is our job to protect those who have made it to the other side, even if we find them repugnant’. Eduardo Banzato, Eucrio-Rodrigues de Bonaventura and Risottos-Oliveira Netto work for Los Departamento de Grandes Inquisidores, also known as the Department of Undertaking. It is their responsibility to ensure that those tortured on the other side are brought to safety and to guarantee that they get the proper medical care while interned. As representatives of Los Departamento de Grandes Inquisidores they are required to recant their past as simpletons and embrace a brotherhood based on Dialectical Immaterialism even though none of them understands what Dialectical Immaterialism is or what it requires of them.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Los Sepultureros

He called her his little cunt and said that if she didn’t stop bellyaching and learn how to act like a grownup she’d end up a spinster with a houseful of cats. He use to see her with her da shopping for hand-me-downs at the Saint Vincent De Paul, her da yanking her by her pale freckled arm, Snježana wishing they could go to the Eaton’s where they had brand new dresses not ones that smelled like other people’s dirty houses. Never once did she feel soft cotton against her skin or lace-up a pair of new shoes. He said new things were a waste of money and that if that’s what she wanted she could go live with the nuns or sell herself to men with troubled pasts and uneven tempers. She wished her name was Lorelei and that when she went to the bathroom her da didn’t peek at her through a hole in the wall. She wished she had four arms so she could push her da off her when the pale freckled ones were pinned behind her back. They carried her father to the cemetery in a wheeled bier. The gravediggers, their jaws working like gristmills, spat tobacco juice onto the raised area around the grave; fader Sieraków, humming a Gaelic funereal dirge, knelt in front of the wooden catafalque, his Chastibule collected round his waist, the hem of his Alb steeped in a gobbet of spit. The ceremony for The Absolution of the Dead was conducted by fader Tunuyán, a tonsured Franciscan with a brash tone and uneven teeth.

"Los sepultureros, sus mandíbulas de trabajo, como molinos, jugo de tabaco escupió en la zona elevada alrededor de la tumba; Sieraków fader, tarareando un canto fúnebre gaélico, se arrodilló delante del catafalco de madera, su Chastibule recogido alrededor de su cintura, el dobladillo de su Alb empapado en un trocito de saliva."

Once the funereal Mass had been said, and the mourner who had thrown herself on top of the coffin had been pulled free, fader Sieraków wiped his brow, and turning to leave stopped in front of the sepultureros, who were impatiently shuffling back and forth waiting for the mourners to leave, and said ‘may God forgive you your sins’, then pausing, his uneven teeth spitting out the words, whispered ‘lousy cunts’. György and Löwinger, for that were their names, both beneficiaries of lowbrow intellect and less that honorable temperament, stared popeyed at fader Sieraków, neither man knowing how to respond.

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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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