Sunday, December 26, 2010

Óglaigh na hÉireann

Poldy Magyar set out into the snowy streets, his toque pulled tight around his ears. On the other side of the snow-white street, the collar of his overcoat cinched up around his ears, stood Dejesus admiring his reflection in the Seder grocer’s window. Further up, beyond the snowy hedge that had formed alongside the taffy-pullers shack, beyond the Waymart, beyond where the sun fell like a golden shadow upon the earth, he saw the legless man punting across the wet uneven cement, the sleeves of his coat dragging behind him. ‘make way!’ piped a man clad in full Óglaigh na hÉireann military dress. ‘make way, damn it!’ Plowing through the snow-white snowy streets, past Dejesus admiring himself in the Seder grocer’s window, past the taffy-pullers shack, past the legless man punting across the wet uneven cement, marched the Sligo Armory, the Cork Constabulary hot on their heels.

He saw the world as if it were upside down; everything floating on a snowy white plateau, the sky a great troubling sea, waves crashing, the sun, yellower than any buttercup, sitting on the ocean floor, his senses replicating, doubling, until he imagined his head would fracture into a million worlds, each world rupturing into yet another and another until there was nothing; only a white glowing light: the godhead, the beginning, nothingness. Advancing, flags flapping in the midday wind, a band of troubadours moved up the sidewalk, the lead singer, a diminutive cantor with a headscarf entwined round his thickheaded skull, for indeed he was in possession of a un-gauntly large head, shouting out the count: one, two, three, four ‘stay in line, damn you!’ five… ‘left, to the left by God!’

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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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