Friday, February 04, 2011

Luceafărul the Middling

Every night before turning in the legless man soaks his stump-ends in rosewater, wrapping the pruned stubs with a castoff handkerchief or shirt sleeve. Tucking the bed linen under his hipbones he falls to sleep thinking of ways to make his pushcart go faster. When he was a boy his mamma scrubbed him all over with a wire brush, the smell of cropped skin filling his thoughts with foot roasting and persecution by flaying. She fed him boiled prunes to soften his stool and spruce-beer to settle his stomach. The Street Sweeper's Daughter danced in the streets like a mad maiden, her feet barely touching the pavement. The Street Sweeper's Daughter salaamed up the street like Avshalom’s concubine, her maidenhead flapping like a washerwoman’s rag. On Saturday afternoon Glostrup played Nardshir with the Street Sweeper's Daughter’s uncle, a frightfully timid man with a nervous tic that made him look like an encephalitic on the brink of fainting. The Street Sweeper's Daughter fell plummeting to her death from Quim’s Span, Jerome Ahasuerus, middle brother of Caleb, Eusebius and Sophronius, catching a glimpse of her undressed maidenhead before she was swallowed up by the outgoing tide. ‘surely she’ll be eaten by pilot fish’ whispered Ómaigh Sizars, fearing that he too might lose his footing and fall plunging into the aqueduct.

James Aloysius Augustine of Clongowes, born 2 February 1958, stood admiring his reflection in the Seder Grocer’s window, the sun glistening off his tonsured head. Augusta, now there’s a snivelling cunt if I ever saw one; plays the feint-hearted victim when the chips are down; never once seen him levy a round, ‘I’m skint’ he says, or ‘the Misses won’t allow it’. Soddy bastard lives off the charity of others. Cunt’s soaking me blind, and on His Clongowes’ birthday! Throw ‘em to the sharks; pilot fish chewing the fat off his gums. The last time Poldy saw James Aloysius Augustine of Clongowes he was dancing a jig with the Street Sweeper's Daughter and turning a blind eye to the fiver he’d levied off McTaggart on the second to last furlough. Never trust a gambolling man; there only in it for themselves. Sweet Jesus but its hotter than the Blazes in here; never know when the cunts going pull one over on poor ole Paddy. Seen him crossing over the Libby in a straw handsome with McGibbon, Clive and Ollie. Wife’s got a fine pair, ‘cept for the sores and panting blisters. Seen her snap crystal; her under-drawers losing their elasticity. But he of course turns a blind eye; rather pull the commode chain than come face-to-face with the cuckolding bastard. Seen him Thursday last buying a bar of McCabe’s Finest, lemony scented and sure to raise an eye or two. Says its easy on the complexion, razes away all the blackheads and raised spots; known to bring a shine out on a cuckold’s face. On a whim Luceafărul the Middling ate an entire bar, could blow bubbles out of his arse like a Shriner. Some say he could sink a frigate with one clench.

Awaking, his clammy bedclothes weighing him to the cot, Poldy felt a rumbling in the smithy of his soul. He dreamt that he was closing in on the scent of the missing whore’s glove and that if he could only pull himself free of his daily routine, see things more clearly, with more perspicuity, he would find it there, right under his nose, waiting to be found. But as this was not to happen, his bedclothes discouraging him from rising upright out of his cot, he fell back to sleep with a resounding thud. Word had it the Luceafărul the Middling had arrived in town Thursday last, bringing with him an oxcart full of leather goods, sow bellies and tripe. Luceafărul the Middling set up a table of sows’ bellies, leather goods and stomach linings in the empty lot across from the Church of the Perpetual Sinner and waited, the rector eying him from the balcony. Vrije Bielefeld stood admiring a cockroach floundering in a puddle of dog piss. ‘and what a drowned little boy you are’ said Vrije Bielefeld unzipping his trousers and pissing on the cockroach. ‘I hear say he can drowned a frigate and blow bubbles out his arse like a Shriner. Says it’s good for the complexion; razes all the raised spots and blackheads’. Awaking a second time he fell back to sleep with a resounding thwack, his bedclothes clammy with piss. Barely able to raise his head from the pillow he fell back into saturnalia bliss, his bedclothes chilly with dog piss and sweat.

1 comment:

Tasha_Klein said...

un interesting and boring. you have a lot of issues. that is why, probably you are still in school.

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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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