Monday, March 14, 2011


One is better served when one serves one’s elf. When his father said this he cringed, seeing no reason why a man of such corporeal standing should substitute oneself with one’s elf. Or was it a mistake, an error in judgment? Perhaps he was making a mockery of him, seeing if he would pick up on the error, charge him with not knowing himself from a small hairless man. He expected this from an imbecile or an idiot, someone with little education, not from his own father. His father pointed to the headboard, das Wort Idiot whittled into the soft grainy wood; an admonishment of his lack of common sense. He called him my little Bobalicón, pushing him here and there like a broken wagon, scolding, rebuking his stupidity. You my boy were born with a dullard’s intellect; stupidity comes to you like God to a praying man. Never forget that. Your life will be much easier. Straddling the devil’s reredorter he grunts out an epistle of coppery yellow piss; smiling like a man who knows that God, to whom he has devoted his entire being, has rewarded him with a pass to the next life. Never mistake mans’ stupidity for cleverness his da would say; or his talent for making foolish things seem sharp. Dolores Enrique gives blowjobs to imbeciles. Wishing he was an imbecile he hides in the shoemaker’s cabin behind the Pig’s Head waiting for her to arrive, his legs trembling, the night sky cowling his fat piggish head.

Long after the sun, scuttled by night, had fallen, after the last straggler had made his way home, Poldy set out to find the missing whore’s glove, a jaundice yellow moon guiding his way. As today was Busman’s holiday he walked the distance to the fairgrounds behind the aqueduct where the Herschel Liege pantomime troop was in the process of setting up their tents. A mulish doggishness fallowed him like a stray, his dawdler’s pace more fitted to a sad sack than a man of proud bearing. Drawing closer to the fairgrounds he could hear the high-pitched hum of the riveters, the metallic clang of shovels, the tinny clink of soft metal against wood and burlap, a cacophony of workaday commotion.

The day his father left for good he slammed the front door with such force and cumulous rage that the hinges flew off the doorframe. Looking out from the upstairs window, her hair still wet, Epsom salts and bath soap stiffening her squared jaw, his mamma cried like a baby. He was glad he was gone; glad he wouldn’t have to put up with his repulsive helplessness, which had worsened since losing his job with the fish company, the hapless look on his face when he dropped something or tripped on the landing stairway; glad that he would have his mother to himself; the warm fruity smell of her skin after she stepped out of her bath, the tangled nest of viper black that she combed a hundred times every night before bed. He would have her. She would be his. His and his alone. No more nights cowering under the blankets waiting for his father to return home from the Pig’s Head, his breath rotten with pickled eggs and Stout, the door smashed to bits like a balsa kite.

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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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