Monday, April 26, 2010
Shattered Wig Review 28 Sneak Preview #1
For those not yet clued in: Blaster Al Ackerman is a legendary word conjurer, mail artist, neoist, recluse, imbiber and former Texan. He also is one of the best read people I know and he has an encyclopedic memory of books and their details despite his heroic, shamanistic consumption of various spirits throughout his adventurous life.
He is the author of The Blaster Al Ackerman Omnibus, I Taught My Dog to Shoot a Gun, Corn & Smoke (on Shattered Wig) and many others. Ever since he moved to Baltimore in the early '90s he's been the backbone of Shattered Wig Night and the Shattered Wig Review. So I figured it would be appropriate to start stirring up some interest in the upcoming new issue of Shattered Wig with a new short short by Dr. Ackerman.
Who Can Know It?
A good many years ago I found myself stopping by Bert's Transport Cafe, in the seedy Islington section of London, to see my brother Padua, who was dying. Padua died that very night out behind Bert's cistern. I was on my hands and knees watching closely. Padua died with a look of horror on his face--and why not? Who wouldn't take it hard when the time came to see the cruel gray flames licking ever nearer and feel the hell-breath of eternity and smell something tiny and rotten fixing to mumble in yr ear for ever and ever. I couldn't blame Padua for taking it hard.
To make matters worse, while my brother was breathing his last so was his good pal Chief Constable Wilson, whose body lay not ten feet away, twisted grotesquely on the ground beside the cistern. The Chief-Constable's death was the result of a virulent strain of gleet--and so was my brother's. Even stranger was the fact that both men looked as though they had been struck down by some unknown power. Their eyes, now closed forever, had had in life only one story to tell, the tale of two little boys shooting dung-tipped arrows through the wash hanging on the Pelunsky's line next door. They had been bad boys, and as adults they were both little better than animals. Worse than animals, a lot of people said, remembering episodes of white slavery, dope-running, dognapping, common buggery and mopery with intent to loiter. Fair amount of reckless driving too.
Needless to say, when my sister Susan told me all this, I couldn't stop crying. I loved my brother. I loved Chief-Constable Wilson too. For that matter, I loved Woody Alonzo, the so-called "Human Fly of Islington". I also loved the "Maida Vale Sports Club Boys", that large gang of sordid little gangsters trained by Woody Alonzo to scale walls and break into apartments. When I heard that Woody and the Maidas had all perished that same night under the steps of the New Hope Baptist Church, less than three blocks from where my brother and Chief-Constable Wilson lay, and that the cause of death had reportedly come from over-sporting on Buzz Bomb Fluid, a popular prison opiate made from fermented potato peels, melted soap, velcro, and raisins...well, when I heard about this tragedy I cried even harder.
It was around this time that Tosser Stitt the cut-rate Islington mortician showed up. I was still out back on my hands and knees and when Tosser saw me he shook his head and spoke in his familiar froggy whisper, "Looks to me like there might be more to this mass burial party tonight than meets the eye, eh, Clamhead?"
I could only blow my nose and nod.
No question about it--something was definitely in the air that night.
A little later a journalist friend phoned Bert's with the news that President Kennedy had been shot.
--Blaster Al Ackerman