White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Peter Bracking
Peter Bracking tells tall tales. Earth point: Vancouver, Canada. Words have been published by more than a dozen presses in four countries on two continents including: Existere; Acsent/Aspirations; Feathertale Review; Lantern Magazine; floor plan journal; EmptySink Publishing; streetcake magazine; Maisonneueve. The only occupation he regrets leaving is beach bum. Peter is the artistic director of Utter Stories. Self aggrandizement.

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Peter Bracking


Perhaps geometry interests you.  Shapes and angles.  Triangles that are disguised straight lines prove three corners close half a circle.  Hopefully physics draws you.  Force; the chaos theory; velocity; the effect of entropy on a moving object; the predictions of possible outcomes involving a number of moving objects in a confined space.

Come.  The sun has gone down and the mosquitoes have risen and happy as the geckos are they simply cannot over-reproduce to consume the supply.  The beach is quiet except for the chickens squabbling over perches, said vain geckos calling their name and the drone to be escaped.  The drums do not begin for hours and cheap shots of rum are everywhere.  Come.

Under the very tall, thick mango tree through the gate onto the stony dirt road and immediately around the corner where the delight of mango blossoms follows the tickling breeze up from the sea.  This is Barrio Cristales, one Garifuna

neighbourhood, in Trujillo, Honduras.  Trujillo is the oldest incorporated city of the Western invasion into the lands called the Americas.   The Garifunas here were dumped on the coast by the irate English after a nearly successful slave revolt in St. Vincent.  People call adios as they pass through the mud and stick huts.  Call adios back.  It is only polite.  It’s very hot; Venus has set.  This is your vacation.

Here is the pool hall.

A weathered grey plank  hut with sharp yawning gaps for air conditioning,  red dust wafting from the dirt floor, tin roof that always holds more heat than produced that day, candlelit when the government turns off the electricity and four chipped green topped tables held up by miscellaneous dunnage to the scrutiny of a level sells traigos barratos, cheap shots of rum.  The very, very fat man pours shots carefully.  He hides the straight cue for himself.  He bought all the sticks so it is fair.  It is fair that the tables have hazards:  torn cloth, sliver of wood always under a finger, missing pocket nets, cracked slate.  No one attended the wake of the collective bumpers.  None of the balls shine; some are

incomplete.  Drink up; there is beer on ice; good job you have money; here’s your cue.

Here they call the game:  pool.  The cost, aside from red dust inhaled and cheap shots:  one Lempira, ten cents.  Here, in Barrio Cristales cash is difficult to locate by any means so the game, complex, is designed to be interminable allowing all to get more ding for their dime.

Here chalk up.  Listen.  The coconut palms brushing the tin sound like rain.

The two-third section is up table.  The one ball sits on the opposite two-third dot.  The two ball on the dot directly behind and three on the dot to the left.  Along the left rail the four to nine balls at the dots; ten to fifteen up the right rail.  It is recommended to leave the balls along the rails as long as is feasible.  This is a plus/minus count game.

The lowest number ball on the table must be touched for a shot to be fair.

If another ball, the fifteen rather than the one, is touched then that amount is deducted from a score by raising a cue in the air and sliding the beads on a wire to mark the loss.  Minus points are hootingly

accepted by the opposition.  Then the next player shoots.  If the white balls travels physically and geometrically and by some miscalculation creates no chaos but simply plops into a hole the cue is raised to subtract the value of the lowest number ball.  The next player shoots from behind the line, up table.   Sending the cue ball flying into the tropical darkness by any dimensional twist has the same result.

If the lowest number ball is touched any number of balls can be fairly potted.  Raise the cue. Score.  Shoot again.

Certainly a Life Saver Beer would be greatly wonderful.   Ta muchly.  Dust makes everything hard to explain.

To open place the white ball anywhere behind the line and shoot at the yellow one ball.  The one ball can be struck and directed into either corner.  Or.  The white ball hits the one ball which caroms off the back rail and into the left hand corner pocket at this end of the table.  Or.  The white ball hits the one which bounces back and into the corner pocket on the opposite side.  One point; raise cue; shoot again.

Or.  The white ball strikes the yellow one into the blue two and up and into this left hand corner.  Two points; raise cue; shoot again.

Or.   White hits yellow hits purple four and into the top left hand corner.  Four points; raise cue; shoot again.

What?  The gun shots?  38 automatic.  Yes. Often but brief.  Listen.   A dime, here in the dust of the barrio, is elusive.  Pistolas are expensive.  The shots are uphill in the Latino quarter.  Someone is drunk showing off, being ostentatious.  Gun shots are the same expression of vanity as the gecko.  Loud noise; small me.  Night breeds noise.  It is usually quiet until the drums start.

Or.  White strikes yellow caroms off the end strikes the striped counterpart nine ball bottom left corner.  Nine points; raise cue; shoot again.

Or.  White batters into yellow caroms off the reverse banging the ten ball off its spot and into the corner.  Ten points; raise cue; shoot again.

Now really that’s a slip up.  No mention that all balls fouled into the pockets or off the table are

replaced on the spots making it much simpler for opponents to double up points. No?  It is important to get the highest balls fairly into the holes first.

Last; the white ball strikes the yellow ball then squirts across applies the only useful English to pop the fifteen into its hole of destiny.  Raise cue in defiance of the demons of the upper right hand corner.  Fifteen points; shoot again.

When the fat man finally brings the beer he will have information about coca.  First game should take about an hour.  And thanks.

You’re up.








Copyright© Peter Bracking. White Whale Review, issue 8.1

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