Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stephen Breen

Waking from a night of sorrowful countenance he fell upon itemizing his thoughts. Arranged according to consonance, and taking into consideration sibilance and vocal quality, he made a list of things that occupied his thoughts upon waking. Having dawned on him that his waking thoughts were occupied with such things as how big ones head would grow if one watered it or why cows have two stomachs and goats didn’t, variables he seldom gave much thought to, he determined that upon-waking thoughts were much smaller than the ones he had during the remainder of the day. Taking this into consideration he itemized his thoughts according to what thoughts he could and would have upon waking should he remain abed with his eyes closed. Comparing the two he came up with a list that took into consideration what thoughts he would or could have were he to stay abed with one eye closed waking a full two hours earlier. As neither consideration appeared to alter what thoughts he had or would have, he rearranged his hat collection safe in knowledge that any thought he would or could have, both eyes open or one closed, changed very little about how he went about his day. Other than adding a sibilant lisp to his consonant tenor, which he could dispense of verily with an Epsom gargle, whether he awoke earlier or later mattered very little. Is it all a suicide of reason? A pittance to pay for safe passage into the otherworld?

He met Stephen Breen at the Bleeding of the Lamb, both men admiring the low cut of the harridan’s sister’s skirts. Apostolidès the flâner, a courthouse jester, was at that very moment prying a sliver from his thumb, a spurt of blood corkscrewing into the still bazaar air. Turning to Stephen Breen he said ‘the man’s a menace; always bleeding when he should be greening’. Realizing that a pun was being made against his name Stephen Breen turned a red cheek and said ‘green or red it’s all the same to me’. ‘anyone can bleed red, but only a giant of a man can make it green’ said Apostolidès the flâner pinching off his thumb. ‘and with such élan’ said the harridan’s sister tugging at her skirts. ‘yes élan’ said Stephen Breen. ‘green or red, with flair indeed’. Sitting on the highest branch in the biggest tree in the courthouse yard the littlest dogman played his chest like a Domitius lyre, Stephen Breen, pricking up his ears, trying to follow the tempo.

There was a rumour spreading that Stephen Breen, fellow of the Brethren of Philistines, having been in attendance at the last assemble of the Brethren of Heretics knew the whereabouts of the missing whore’s glove. They ferried him across the Libby, the punter thrashing passers-by with his elbow, the paddy waggon caroming from paling to balustrade. Cunts always think a dead man deserves the right-of-way. Hobnail ‘em. That’ll show ‘em. Never take the right-of-way for granted. The dead are dead. The living get the right-of-way. Philistines!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your writing is fascinating, Stephen. Compelling and very funny all at once.


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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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