Tuesday, December 14, 2010

O’Casey’s Whore

His fader came across on a famine boat, captain Gorta Mór standing the helm of the Clachans’ like a man incorruptible of mind and spirit. His da was the first settler to set up a hiding and tanning shop, working the hides into high-grade leathers fit for a Lords Lieutenant or a Waterford fop. He ate his ploughman’s lunch astride the O’Connell bridge, a rusted out bicycle fender gasping for air in the bottle-green Liffey, a chiliadal waif throw crusts of black bread into the swales, a lone duck, the waves pushing it into the chalk-marked battlements, wings slapping like a shingle, treading the surge. ‘shove off!’ bellowed a tart, her heavy-weighed hips anchored to the Speyside balustrade. His fader came across on a famine boat, captain Gorta Mór standing the helm of the Clachans’ like a man incorruptible of mind and spirit. His da was the first settler to set up a hiding and tanning shop, working the hides into high-grade leathers fit for a Lords Lieutenant or a Waterford fop.

Cunts like him always want a free-one, don’t want to wear galoshes neither, the cunt. Like boots make the man. Rather have his cock in my mouth than up my skirt. Never know if the packers got the crabs; crawl all over you like the British fucking army. Lords Lieutenant gave me a dose, squeezed it out like toothpaste, saying he’d never been with a lady before. Said his da came across on the Clachans’, took the helm when the captain went starker’s. Had to lock the mad cunt in his cabin, tried on his graveclothes to see if they still fit. Found a fiver in his pant’s pocket.

Leftover from the last time he was ashore; probably got the whiplash from that fat tart on O’Casey, hear say she practically gives it away, waiting on the famine boats like an expectant mother. Got a mouth bigger than a man’s head; good for swallowing and spitting back up. Saw her with the gimp, practically sucked it off, poor bastard. Almost fell head over into the drink, held on with one thumb it was. Famine boats coming and going; some never making it past the breakwater, others crashing into the breakers by the funnels. See the little ones cutting their milk-teeth on runt potatoes, a cup of bilge water to wash it down. Sad sight for sad eyes.

She was twelve when her da first told the story, his face screwing up like a tight-knuckled fist when he got to the part about runt potatoes. He said he remembered swimming out as far as the breakwater, the funnels belching plumes of gray brown smoke, the engine master wrenching the bilge gate open, the tanks filling up with seawater. It’s all a lie; her da never learned how to swim. He couldn’t hold his breath or make flippers with his hands. Anyhow the funnels are chimneys, not breakwaters. Any other man would know the difference. Anyhow the British fucking army would put a stop to that; cutting them off at the docklands, guns emblazing. Stead’s bad for a so-and-so with a wiggly tooth. Bilge water up the arse I’d say. Makes a mockery out of an otherwise charming fellow. Her da held hold of the gimp’s arm, pulling him furlong into the drink, O’Casey’s whore splitting a gut. Serves ya right she bellowed, maybe next time you’ll come by it honestly!

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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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