Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nollaig Shona Duit

They came by what they come by dishonestly. Salty bastards! Ben Nachtaí and James Nollag live the life of O’Reilly. No more dishonest two, thither or thon, are there to be found. Upon their backs haversacks they carry, pleasing cur and hag with nosegay and candy, Nachtaí and Nollag wander a tithe to a hither. Her da told her the tale of Nachtaí and Nollag one Christmas eve, the shutters clapping and the wind howling like a sanitaria dog.

Her great great uncle, deceased and exhumed by worms and wood tics, lived the life of O’Reilly, pillaging and raiding and spending the evenings in compotation with his marauding brethren. Sad but true: sadly so sadly. Astride the cattlements he heads for home on the backside of a bull. Never delimit the cosmos, he would say, his chaps hipswaddled round his legs. The morrows another day, believe you me. So mount up; the suns lowing and the winds blowing and the sky is red as hickory. The insurance man said he’d have the tuque in the mail by Friday; Saturday at the latest. Can’t trust those cunts, always got something up their sleeve. Puffed up notions of righteousness and high merit. Impressive: I dare say nay! Cat-o-nine-tails across the back makes a man into a lowly crumb. Her da made candle-wax heads, spiking the tops with spent matches and that damn sulfur smell. No matter what she did she couldn’t get the paraffin stink out of the sofa cushions. Had to sleep with her head at the bottom of the daybed, her new hairdo lousy with grave worms. A sight for soar ewes. All that bah-bahing and jumping one over the another. Her da said things could only get better, when what he really meant to say was needs some more butter. Can’t stand a dry flapjack on a midwinter morn. Sticks to the eaves of your mouth, he’d say, his eyes trained on the brown sugar bowl. Cows all lined up like toy soldiers waiting to be shipped out; never can tell which is which: the cows or the toy soldiers. Saturday last Thelma cashed in her diner’s card, got more than she bargained for. Two free entrees and a side-plate of mash. Never did ask why she didn’t ask for the butter. Might have got it mixed up with salad. Mixed greens; smell worse than spent match heads. All that sulfur and burnt wick smell. Do better with a plate of griddle-cakes. Tastes like mamma’s homemade cooking, except for the gassy smell coming from the oven. Can hear the clapboards cricketing. Lives under the hydro electric towers, the buzzing in his ears a constant consonant hissing. Like burnt wick and sulfur but louder. Can’t stand wet things on a dry summer’s day.

Sniveling like a scolded child the Witness threw pamphlets into the gathering mob. ‘there will be hell to pay, I assure you that!’ ‘fuck you!’ yelled a man from the back of the mob. ‘go back to where you came from!’ yelled a second. ‘sack of shit!’ yelled a third, and a fourth ‘eat shit pamphlet man!’ Puffing out his chest like a windsock in a hurricane the Witness bawled ‘mark my words; the wrath is near!’

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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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