Friday, August 12, 2011

Not I


Requeijão

She knew of two such friars who were excommunicated for their sexual assignations. Both rode bicycles with tassels on the handle grips, their smocks clipping in the spokes. Brother Von Romani worked in the monastery creamery where his job was to separate the curds from whey. He ladled the cheese, a marmalade of fermenting milk and hardened cream, guarantying a good ratio of whey to curd. The friar in charge of the creamery, Brother Ripoll, swaddled the cheese in hemp and sent the rounds by oxcart to market a few miles down the mountain. The friars made old cheddar, staying clear of complex cheeses as the oxcart could only accommodate light cheeses, anything heavier or more complex would have busted the axel caroming the oxcart into a frenzied cartwheel. At the market one could buy a variety of local and foreign cheeses:

Blue, Roquefort, Camembert, Swiss, cheddar, nippy, sharp, Brie, Oka, Gouda (smoked and rawboned, rind and paraffin), Granston Blue (Llangloffan), Landsker Blue, Soft Blue (St. Florence), Gorau Glas (Quirt), Caws Preseli (Pantmawr), Perl Wen (Caws Cenarth), Cheddars and Cheddar type - Aeron Valley, ACC Llandyrnog, Hufenfa De Arfon, Llangloffan, Llanboidy, Cilowen Organic, Lancych (Caws Cenarth), Merlin, Little Acorn, Caws Celtica, Caerffili, Caws Cenarth, Caws Nantybwla, Caerfai, Teifi, Castle Dairies, Celtic Promise (Teifi), Saval (Teifi), Caws Cerwyn (Pantmawr), St. David's (Abergavenny), Dansco Mozzarella, Teifi range, Caws Cenarth, Cheez Whiz, Egyptian Sardo, Testouri, Caravane (camel milk), Bokmakiri, South African Kwaito, Japanese Sakura, Palestinian Ackawi, Basket cheese, Labneh, Jameed, Jibneh Arabieh, Bergkäse, Lüneberg, Tyrolean grey cheese (or Grau Käse), Brusselse Kaas, (Brussels, cow’s milk), Remedou cheese (Belgian cow's milk), Kaškaval or Kashkaval (Bulgarian and Macedonian), Olomoucké (Czech),Bavaria blu, Anthotyros (Greek), Slovak salty Liptauer, Italian Bocconcini, Pljevlja (Serbian Cyrillic: Edam (Edammer), Jarlsberg, Polish Bryndza, Brazilian Requeijão, Romanian, Russian Tvorog, Serbian Caciocavallo, Slovakian Oscypek, Spanish Garrotxa, Swedish Blå Gotland, Swiss Sbrinz, Schabziger, Quebecois Bleu Bénédictin, Nova Scotia Dragons Breath, Le Riopelle de l'Isle, Mexican Añejo, Farmer cheese, Tillamook Cheddar and Venezuelan Queso Palmita.

Dr. O. Pfister oversaw the ward in the Overnight Asylum where his uncle lived. He suggested ECT and diabetic shock claiming that they were scientifically proven to encumber the progression of dementia and foul thinking. Over the door to Ward 7, the ward where his uncle lived out his last days mad as a coot, was a sign that read: “How terrible to become caught up in the great machinery of the world’s expectations, simply because we have not exercised the right to have a personality!” (Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt).

A Druid bore-cart sped past, a monk dressed in a surplice and leather toe-sandals pulling hard on the reins, the horses snorting and faying, toppling over the friar’s oxcart sending wheels of ripe cheese into the air. The Druids produced a low-grade Quebecois Bleu Bénédictin that smelt like boiled rags. They lived in a stone creamery on the other side of the mountain and spoke a Gaelic dialect that was consonant and guttural. The head Druid, a monk by the name of Smith, oversaw the cheese production making sure it had that overripe necrotic saltiness to it. There was talk among the cheese-makers that the Druids used bone-clips and some slippery substance that resembled oil of castor. The friar’s turned their noses up at the Druids, finding they’re alchemy highly suspect; and besides they’re bicycles were rusty, the tires threadbare and worn through to the rims.

His uncle wore a hat with a feathered hatband that he twisted at the front to form a bow and tassel. He’d seen the Druids do the same thing but with a four-cornered hat. The Druids’ hats also bore an insignia that resembled a Papal thumb. His uncle had seen this once before in a movie where a monk bent over a dying man, his four-cornered hat tipping sideways and falling onto the dead man’s chest, the crowd of onlookers wailing, one obese woman with a furriers hat weeping uncontrollable, her face flush with tears. To his eye there appeared to be a society of capped men, some in bowlers and berets, others in fedoras and boaters with numbered cards in the hatbands. The Druids stuck out, as they’re hats were made from a poor quality felt and seldom fit properly. Among the Druids blood boils and an unassailable itching were common complaints, although dandruff, a common affliction among the friars, had yet to affect the Druids, they were hard of hearing and prone to eczema while the friars were not. The Eleatics lived in a small village designed and built on modal logic and mathematics. Unlike the Druids, whom they considered lapsed, they wore shirred robes, the logicians permitted a belt or a length of rope.

A pattering rain soughed his cutout cardboard mat frizzing what little hair he had left on his head. A clap of thunder brokered his thoughts, casting him into a world of elfin ears and crooked smiles. He had vague memories of his brother’s firemen’s wagon and a man who wore a monocle. The rain and thunder called to mind a time when he climbed trees and scaled bridges made from logs and mud. The wicked witch’s stockings and the cowardly lion and his brother’s wagon stowed in the woolshed at the back of the house where the garden that never grew sat in defiance of reason and common sense. Rain brought out memories best left untouched, memories hidden away from consciousness.

The dog slept in the woolshed next to his brother’s firemen’s wagon. It ate bones and rawhide toys and grass. His brother pulled the dog around in his firemen’s wagon saying to anyone who would listen ‘my dog has no fleas.’ Most people simply ignored him, but some, those with small children in tow, hurrying passed, they’re children peeing and snorting like pigs.

When he told his friends about the old man next door they broke out in a chorus of laughter, one of the boys saying ‘Turtles carry diseases… a boy in middle school died after touching one’. ‘And anyhow’ said a second boy ‘Its old news’. ‘Does your dog eat its own feces?’ asked a third boy cleaning his eyeglasses with his shirtsleeve. ‘Yes and others too’ replied the second boy trying not to laugh. ‘We had a Beowulf’ said a fourth boy ‘with such long fur you couldn’t see its eyes’. ‘Our dog was run over by a car’ said a boy standing at the back. ‘it’s body curled up like a fist’. ‘Did you eat it?’ asked the second boy.

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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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