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.

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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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