Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Levirate McCollum

His great grandmother Sybille performed great feats of extispicium reading gore-entrails with Wahrsagerin élan and a vivisectionist’s sang-froid. His great grandmother learned the practice from a Hittite soothsayer from Akkad who himself had been tutored by a Seleucid oracle from Uruk. ‘I can shrink heads and cure warts too’ she was heard to say wimbling her fingers in preparation for a head-shrinking. She tried her hand at haruspicy but found the process too divining; her teacher, an emetic Canaanite who’s hammertoes kept him from standing upright for long periods of time admonishing her for unraveling a coil of intestines too quickly, the coil collapsing like pie-filling leaving an offal unassailable stink that brought tears to his eyes. Alectryomancy, Augury, Bibliomancy, Cartomancy, Palmistry, Chronomancy, Crystallomancy, Gastromancy, Spheromancy and Lithomancy she found passé, their outcomes divined with trickery, deception and slight-of-hand.

Creusot Le Puissant La Bourgogne, known far and wide for his ingenious acts of unlevered Spheromancy had a torrid affair with his great grandmother, the two, comingling their necromantic skills, summoning up spirits and presences the likes of which had never been seen before or again. Concluding that she was a gyp artist and her teacher a mountebank, practitioners of magnetism and hocus-pocus, he took no heed of her divinations. Instead, with equanimity and unstilted composure he set about looking for the whereabouts of a missing whore’s glove, the one he’d heard spoken about in hushed voices and whispers. Legend had it that the eloigned glove, if found, would alter the course of history.

The Levirate McCollum, forsook and forsaken, the ocean spume wetting his trouser bottoms, the bells ringing like soigné chimes, stood astride the Mabbot Lane bridge, his immense shadow casting a pall on the evening tide. His cousins had left him to his druthers, demanding that he choose one of them, be she the prettiest or the ugliest, the happiest or the most reserved, and give away the others to a second cousin twice removed. Shemuwel worked as a Shamuses for the Mabbot Lane constabulary, his beat the high side of the aqueduct, the very selfsame side where the dogmen had their encampment. The city enlisted the help of Shemuwel, Shamuses for the Mabbot Lane constabulary, to rid the city of beggars, crumbs and whores, his employ to chase the mitigates out from under bridges, alleyways and doorstops, ridding the conurbation of the stink and dereliction of squatters and drifters, renewing its reputation as a place of tranquil asylum and wholesome splendour.

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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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