Friday, December 10, 2010

Og Fjordane

He wore his wooly rollups, cinching the tops round the basins of his ankles. On those dreary days when it was colder inside his lean-to than it was outside, which given his leaky roof and poor circulation was more oft than not, he warmed himself by the coil-flame that spluttered and gasped from the entrails of his hotplate, where, should he need he’d lay his socks and listen to the thread crackle and hiss like a yuletide log. Dog was a corpse sniffer; would snuffle the arse of a lamb were it in whiffing range. Fed it on drake and gander, goose the fowl smell out of it, hindquarters shaking like Ouija board. Not uncommonly common that a man of such low means should find pleasure in subordinate things: simple mind simple pleasures. Subordinate the ordinate, so to say. The more vertical the Y, the plumber the X; like a chalkline thwacked on a perpendicular. Born in haste, mamma pushing him out like a scalding hot oyster, placental entrails coiling round his neck, his mamma’s borehole gaping like a shucked clam.

Og Fjordane arrived on the back of a mule-drawn-carriage, the sleigh scooping and splitting torrents of undulating snow, some higher than a man’s shoulders, others no higher than a curbside, small enough to hop over without splitting a collarbone or shin. Og, as he was called by those of his acquaintance, dispensing with the formality of a last name, which connoted a snobbery indicative of high ideals and low temperance, came to town twice a year to purchase gifts for his wife; a mediocre looking woman with pale skin and uneven teeth who demanded extant chivalry from her husband, who given his line of work, a tanner of high-grade leathers and leather apparel, could afford to keep his wife ensconced in the lap of luxury. Leaping off the carriage he walked in a straight line to the Waymart, his overstuffed billfold weighing his gait to the left. ‘corpse sniffer’ he grumbled, the dog sniffing at his plantlet. ‘you’d think the mayor would have the common sense to rid the town of these shameful brutes’. He opened the front door and walked into the Waymart, his chin waggling like a fishpie, the doorman rubbing the tip of his nose with his ring-finger. Lela’s mother told her about a strange man who came to town twice a year to buy gifts for his duck-ugly wife, his wiggly chin bouncing off the prow of his mule-drawn-carriage. She warned her to stay away from this strange man with the fishpie-chin lest he entice her into running away with him.

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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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