18 Nov

my grandpa used to oil his hair with brilliantine on sundays
then take the horse and buggy into town across the bistrita river
to buy chords of wood and pig parts (when he couldn’t afford the whole live pig)
which he would use to make head cheese at christmas

my grandpa used to bury things in the garden out back
instead of throwing them out
one summer i dug and found a pot some cutlery a small icebox
and two dogs
he laughed and said the dogs were chefs and needed their tools

my grandpa was a brilliant pig killer
at christmas the years he had pigs
he’d slaughter the poor beast
but he was quick
not like the other villagers
he drove the blade into the neck
the others swore by the heart
“the knife must go into the heart”
they swore by that
and they were wrong
the poor animal suffered immensely

my grandpa used to tell me
he’d hid pins and needles inside the mattress
so i wouldn’t jump on the bed
he took his tea boiling in the mornings
with a side of raw bacon and sausage
and once a year he visited the mud baths at Eforie Nord

when we left for the new world
he sent me letters every six months
all his life he never spelled my name correctly
but i liked that for some reason
i was never insulted

later i found out he was a horrible man
to his sons and to his wife
but he’d been dead
and somehow it smoothed over the monstrosity

we’re all horrible men


4 Responses to “vasile”

  1. Ava Joe 18/11/2010 at 6:01 PM #

    First, I’m so pleased to see that you’re still at it. I knew you couldn’t stop. Why would you? Second, this piece is very powerful. I liked the guy too, even if he was a horrible man who ate raw bacon. From your angle, and the angle you showed to us, he was superhuman with an essence of human. That’s more than most of us can say.

  2. Pruteanu 18/11/2010 at 6:36 PM #

    it’s hard to leave something alone, if IT doesn’t leave you alone. these things are like dogs gnawing at your toes. or soul. or somethin.

  3. ~otto~ 19/11/2010 at 12:16 AM #

    You killed me with the ending. The truth always kills me.

  4. JAC 22/11/2010 at 10:57 AM #

    These old-world types made of hardship and eccentricities make me uncomfortable for some reason. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that even when you find out they were horrible it’s almost not surprising given the circumstances.

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