Saturday, January 01, 2011

Onion Cloth

Tubbercurry Creamery mark every jug of cream with an X, signifying the resurrection of the cross. The cooper’s assistant bungs every jug with bees’ wax and onion cloth, guaranteeing a taut indissoluble joint and deterring lice and ants from laying eggs in the cream. Lela overheard a boy with a freckled face ask a man with a weary face why he looked so sad, the man answering ‘because my house burned down last night and I have nowhere to sleep’. ‘you can stay with my mamma and me’ said the freckle faced boy. ‘thank you but no’ said the weary face man. ‘why?’ asked the boy, ‘why won’t you come live with me?’ ‘because I have a disease that makes me crazy’ said the man. ‘so does my mamma… and she shakes worse than you’ said the boy. ‘so it won’t matter, not a bit’. Lela felt a shiver corset down her spine. Her mamma too had the crazy disease. The weary face man turned and walked away, the freckled face boy shouting ‘she’ll do whatever you want… anything… I promise!’

It takes an hour to walk from one end of the city to the other; a day if you have no legs to speak of. The legless man punts the streets like a crazy devil, his pushcart jumping curbs and medians. Get out of my way! Can’t you see I have no legs to speak of? They fell off! I had no say in the matter! They just fell off! I could care less! I have this machine to get me where I have to go! A good sturdy machine! I made it myself! With my own two hands! These! Now get out of my way or I’ll run you over! I swear I will!

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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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