Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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.

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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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