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.

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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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