Friday, June 17, 2011

JJ. McDowell

Poldy loosened his chin-string, the knot, tied that morning when he was barely awake, his fingers fumbling like dim-witted schoolchildren, lunchboxes stuffed full with jelly-rolls and pun pudding, garrotting the loose flesh around his neck, and removed his hat. He had overheard two fat men discussing a Shamuses named Shemuwel who was known to corral crumbs and whores into a specially made pen, strip them naked then unleash a pack of wild mutinous dogs, the dogs biting through bone and cartilage, uncoiled lengths of intestine and bowel, flaps of gnawed through flesh making a muddle of man and crumb. Vying for each other’s attention, the fatter of the two raising his voice, the less fatter trying to get a word in edgewise, the story they had to tell so important that he who told it would change the course of history, the two fat men discussed the likelihood of the sky falling. As this was long before the sky fell for the first time, long before the barricade was erected between the five-mile and the city, talk of skies falling and barricades being erected was as ridiculous as a missing glove wrecking havoc among man and haberdasher alike.

He arose unhurriedly, the clatter in his head bewailing a night of untold vagaries. The night before before falling asleep he had eaten a fat man’s portion of cake, his insides a broil with indigestions and foul humours. As he had two stomachs, one for food and one for ale and stout, when the two were combined, as was the case the night before, the ale and stout one took primacy over the food one. He drew his hand across his stung face feeling out the bumps and contusions he’d incurred the night before. He remembered forgoing the usual larder of chips and egg, a safeguard against getting drunk too quickly, and ordering a pint, the publican giving him an aggrieving stare, the rag he was wiping the top of the bar with coming wretchedly close to his face. ‘you you’re stinking up my establishment’ said the publican loud enough to query the curiosity of the yob seated at the end of the bar. ‘you, you make a mockery of men like him’ said the publican pointing at the yob, the fly that had early been dive-bombing his pint of stouten stout, a Drosophila Melanogaster, from the shape of its antenna and compound ommatidial eyes, buzzing round his head annoyingly.

The previous night’s antics releasing a breezy gas into his lower gut, a gurgling epistle signalling the beginning of unkindly eructation’s, the leftover stout kedging his bowels to ungainly extremes, he reached across the bedstead, upending the salt tin he used as an ashtray and a photo of the recently deceased JJ. McDowell, cadger, whose mother on her deathbed dying begged him to assuage the guilt she kept concerning an adulterous cuckold she had with a captain of the Mabbot Bridge constabulary, said cuckolding diminishing the captain’s rank and file, and grabbing firm the bottle of Kep’s diuretic poured himself a thimbleful. He imbibed the elixir, slopping and gulping like a Scopes monkey, an envisagement of the Crucified aping him unsympathetically. You see for as of yester eve he had traded church for free-wheeling gambol, demanding severance for years of untold gloom and spurious prayer.

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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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