Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ultisols Guimarães

He stood at the back of the church staring at the priest’s gown, the purplish one with extravagant embroidery that draped his stout sloppiness like a cinema curtain. Lined up like Russian dolls, the children looking for something to wile away their time with, they waited on the priest’s first words. Speculating that it would have something to do with immoderation or indulgence, both of which he had partaken in in the last week, he relaxed and let his feet sink effortlessly into the floorboards. ‘God is watching’ said the priest starting the homily. ‘then He must need a telescope’ whispered a fair-haired boy. ‘He watches over you when you are awake and when you are sleeping…’ ‘and when you’re shitting’ said the fair-haired boy squeezing himself lest he break out in laughter. His da fed the pigeons that congregated in the parking lot behind the church; throwing fistful’s of a seed at them like a soldier attacking his enemy. João Ultisols Guimarães shits in a commode pot handed down to him from his great uncle Gaudi Ultisols Guimarães, a whoremonger’s son with a noticeable limp. He lives on both sides of the five-mile depending on his appetite for whores and black tea. The black tea he could easily do without. Having been brought up by a father who tutored him in the indelicate art of whoremongering and the sophistication of tea and scalding water a week never passed without him indulging in both. The Ultisols Guimarães’, from child to great grandparent, had little respect for things or people; taking what they wanted regardless of title or propriety.

“It is an age of exhausted whoredom groping for its God” (Ulysses, J. A.U. Joyce) Mór Matthew and U. A. Shakespeare, doctor of pediatric medicine, share a quart bottle of Pig’s Stout, the awning over their heads flaccidly flapping flipping. ‘I say Mór t’is a sad day now that Paddy’s gone under’. ‘Pushing dirt off the coffintop’. ‘All wormy’. Nether Stout dear man…and snap! Haven’t all day you know. People have little respect these days. Take what they want regardless of marker or politesse. Sad days. Indeed. The youth these days need a good thrashing. I’d say! It’s exhausting just trying to keep one step ahead of them. Catch up with you and, blam! Knock you arse over teapot. Godless hobbledehoy! Not an ounce of propriety. Poldy watched from his stool next to the fiddle hearth Mór Matthew belittling a boy fetching his da’s pail, U. A. Shakespeare, doctor of pediatric medicine, splitting a gut over a ball of rarebit and egg, his face a jubilant lactation. Indulge in both. Not a word of a lie. Serpent’s tail coiled round stool leg. Children begging the da to come home and light the gas. Blitzing carries a hefty cork. Pop the capper and down she goes. Frothy beards stubble with gin sores. The da laying claim to Pig Stout and wife cheating. Not a yard of decency. Shaves over the commode bowl with strop and straight. Lays the razor wetly in the jam jar beside the gleam paste. Da says man’s rights outweigh the ma’s. Keep an even keel. Bend her over the boxwood like a common whore. Bleeding hearts! Should stave their bellyaching. No amount of moaning will vary a man’s cheating. Take what they want regardless of proper etiquette. Tits over tea kettle. Bent over moaning like a gin whore. Cod cave reeks of toad roe. Poldy watched from his stool next to the fiddle hearth, quart bottle stacked and kneed, U. A. Shakespeare boasting about a whoredom where a man’s freedom is his canon. Toast all the sad buggers who think wife cheating’s a sin against God and spouse. Crack the spigot and down she goes. ‘All wormy’. ‘Pushing dirt off the coffintop’. Age of whoredom and groping.

Toad in the hole. Softens stool from the inside. Fetch a pail for the ailing da. Ma blistering over the organ pot. Likes his entrails skilletted. Gullet bribe. The ma adds the organs to the boil. The da hoisting a yard. Pig Stout and fried lamb’s tongue. Salt worsted. A smidgen’s worth. Pottage pillage. Lips smeared with the bottom of the pot. He remembers the day his da drank the Pig, his eyes flaming up like a Skankhill bomb fire. Fire in the belly. Shin fan the oven with the hems of her skirts. Otherwise the pot boils over. Keeps the smoke from quisling. Eyes go all red blurry. Keeps things on an even keel.

His great grandfather was buried in a wooded coffin with brass handles; the insides plush with coffin cloth and silk pillows. He watched as the pallbearers lowered the box into the dirt, his ma pulling her skirts straight, the da fiddling with a piece of ivory, a gift from his da when he was eight and close to dying from gangrene in his belly. His insides swelled up with bile gravy, the doctors saying he had a small chance if he stopped fidgeting and keep still. His ma said she’d only pay for what they took out of him; everything else she’d have to pay on credit.

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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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