24 de noviembre de 2013

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

He proposed in the dunes,

they were wed by the sea,

their nine-day-long honeymoon
was on the isle of Capri.

For their supper they had one spectacular dish-
a simmering stew of mollusks and fish.
And while he savored the broth,
her bride’s heart made a wish.

That wish did come true – she gave birth to a baby.
But was this little one human?

Ten fingers, ten toes,
he had plumbing and sight.
He could hear, he could feel,
but normal?
Not quite.
This unnatural birth, this canker, this blight,
was a start and the end and the sum of their plight.

She railed at the doctor:
“He cannot be mine.
He smells of the ocean, of seaweed and brine.”

“You should count yourself lucky, for only last week,
I treated a girl with three ears and beak.
That your son is half oyster
you cannot blame me.
…have you considered, by chance,
a small home by the sea?”

Not knowing what to name him,
they just called him Sam,
or, sometimes,
“that thing that looks like a clam.”

Everyone wondered, but no one could tell,
When would young Oyster Boy come out of his shell?

When the Thompson quadruplets espied him one day,
they called him a bivalve and ran quickly away.

One spring afternoon,
Sam was left in the rain.
At the southwestern corner of Seaview and Main,
he watched the rain water as it swirled
down the drain.

His mom on the freeway
in the breakdown lane
was pounding the dashboard-
she couldn’t contain
the ever-rising grief,
and pain.

“Really, sweetheart,” she said,
“I don’t mean to make fun,
but something smells fishy
and I think it’s our son.
I don’t like to say this, but it must be said,
you’re blaming our son for your problems in bed”.

He tried salves, the tried ointments,
that turned everything red.
He tried potions and lotions
and tincture of lead.
He ached and he itched and he twitched and he bled.

The doctor diagnosed,
“I can’t be quite sure,
but the cause of the problem may also be the cure.
They say oysters improve your sexual powers.
Perhaps eating your son
would help you do it for hours!”

He came on tiptoe,
he came on the sly,
sweat on his forehead,
and on his lips – a lie.
“Son, are you happy? I don’t mean to pry,
but do you dream of Heaven?
Have you wanted to die?”

Sam blinked his eyes twice.
But made no reply.
Dad fingered his knife and loosened his tie.

As he picked up his son,
Sam dripped on his coat.
With the shell to his lips,
Sam slipped down his throat. 

They buried him quickly in the sand by the sea
- sighed a prayer, wept a tear –
and were back home by three.

A cross of gray driftwood marked Oyster Boy’s grave.
Words writ in the sand
promised Jesus would save.

But his memory was lost with one high-tide wade.

Back home safe in bed,
he kissed her and said,
“Let’s give it a whirl.”

“But this time,” she whispered, “we’ll wish for a girl.”

Tim Burton
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

17 de noviembre de 2013

Sin noticias de Gurb

«19.00 Llevo cuatro horas caminando. No sé dónde estoy y las piernas no me sostienen. La ciudad es enorme; el gentío, constante; el ruido, mucho. Me extraña no encontrar los monumentos habituales, como el Cenotafio de la Beata Madre Pilar, que podrían servirme de referencia. He parado a un peatón que parecía poseer un nivel de mansedumbre alto y le he preguntado dónde podría encontrar a una persona extraviada. Me ha preguntado qué edad tenía esa persona. Al contestarle que seis mil quinientos trece años, me ha sugerido que la buscara en El Corte Inglés. Lo peor es tener que respirar este aire inficionado de partículas suculentas. Es sabido que en algunas zonas urbanas la densidad del aire es tal que sus habitantes lo introducen en fundas y lo exportan bajo la denominación de morcillas. Tengo los ojos irritados, la nariz obstruida, la boca seca. ¡Cuánto mejor se está en Sardanyola!

20.30 Con la puesta de sol las condiciones atmosféricas habrían mejorado bastante si a los seres humanos no se les hubiera ocurrido encender las farolas. Parece ser que ellos las necesitan para poder seguir en la calle, porque los seres humanos, no obstante ser la mayoría de fisonomía ruda y hasta abiertamente fea, no pueden vivir sin verse los unos a los otros. También los coches han encendido sus faros y se agreden con ellos. Temperatura, 17 grados centígrados; humedad relativa, 62 por ciento; vientos flojos del sudoeste; estado de la mar, rizada.»

Eduardo Mendoza
Sin noticias de Gurb

10 de noviembre de 2013

A Clash of Kings

«“Your wife has given you seven strong sons. Do you pray to her? It was wood we burned this morning.”

“That may be so,” Davos said, “but when I was a boy in Flea Bottom begging for a copper, sometimes the septons would feed me.”

I feed you now.”

“You have given me an honored place at your table. And in return I give you the truth. Your people will not love you if you take from them the gods they have always worshiped, and give them one whose very name sounds queer on their tongues.”

Stannis stood abruptly. “R’hllor. Why is that so hard? They will not love me, you say? When have they ever loved me? How can I lose something I have never owned?” He moved to the south window to gaze out at the moonlit sea. “I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. In King’s Landing, the High Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.”

“If you do not believe in gods—”

“—why trouble with this new one?” Stannis broke in. “I have asked myself as well. I know little and care less of gods, but the red priestess has power.”

Yes, but what sort of power? “Cressen had wisdom.”

“I trusted in his wisdom and your wiles, and what did they avail me, smuggler? The storm lords sent you packing. I went to them a beggar and they laughed at me. Well, there will be no more begging, and no more laughing either. The Iron Throne is mine by rights, but how am I to take it? There are four kings in the realm, and three of them have more men and more gold than I do. I have ships… and I have her. The red woman. Half my knights are afraid even to say her name, did you know? If she can do nothing else, a sorceress who can inspire such dread in grown men is not to be despited. A frightened man is a beaten man. And perhaps she can do more. I mean to find out.”»

George R. R. Martin
A Clash of Kings