Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pentland Mahaffy

…would have won a medal if it weren’t for the rum-fits. Had her all crippled and bent over. That winter Lela bought a pair of red gloves, the mercantilist offering to wrap them up and top off the package with a scissor-pulled bow. She chose instead to wear the gloves, clutching herself against the brisk weather on the other side of the belled door. The mercantilist lived with his ailing mother on the second floor across the hall from a woman who lived with a bluefish. Neither he or his sick mother ever saw the fish that it lived across the hall on the second floor with the big-boned woman. Taking their neighbor’s word for it who had seen the fish, they agreed that there was indeed a fish in the apartment across the hall, but as for anything else, anything of importance, they hadn’t the foggiest. Sunday mornings their neighbor took her cat for a walk, clomping up and down the stairs like a bull elephant, cat in toe. The owners of Plunker’s Market kept a dog in the crawlspace beneath the stairs, its snout, were one inclined to look, visible from the top of the stoop. The dog was called Temecula, named after the mercantilist’s wife’s mother. The woman across the hall from the bluefish was indifferent to the dog, climbing and descending the stoop in a hurry when she took her cat out for a walk. No one cared, not even the harridan’s sister who lived in the apartment above the mercantilist and his wife, or if they did they, did a fine job of pretending they didn’t. Everything was taken for granted, and those that weren’t were taken with a grain of salt. When he was a boy Poldy bought penny-candy from Plunker’s Market, each treasured piece placed one by one into brown paper sacks, the counter-person trying to pinch his cheek as he tried valiantly to escape through the belled-door, the ballooning sack clutched in his tiny hands. When he got home his da would take the jelly beans and mojos, redskin peanuts and licorice, leaving him the hard toffee and a few boxes of raisins. Over the door, fished in cobwebs, was a sign that read “for the corner boys who spit into the Liffey” (The Rev. Sir John Pentland Mahaffy) Remorselessly he set about the day a second time, his hat sleeved in his armpit, the corner boys gobbing, their youth belying their ignorance.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

Blog Archive