Scene IV:
The Ravening Beasts at Fairy Godfather House

[This folio contains a woodcut 30” x 13” (76,2 x 33 cm) created by Tony Calzetta and printed by hand in black ink from woodblocks on 245 gm Maidstone paper by Dieter Grund at Presswerk Editions.

The woodcut is tipped onto a 10” x 40” (25,5 x 101,5 cm) foldout that has text on image digitally printed on 320 gm Stonehenge paper with Epson Ultra Chrome K-3 permanent inks at the artist’s studio.

The foldout sits in a multi-coloured cloth wrapped folio whose interior is lined with “Starry Night”, a rag paper handmade by the Papeterie Saint-Armand in Montréal, Québec, Canada.]

[Add setting]

FAIRY GODFATHER: Here at godfather house we are obliged nightly at high table to slander as ravening beasts the mayors, premiers, parliaments, congresses and presidents, let’s say all our masters with scant exception, a rule of law formulated by us from their example.

Such proceedings take us into dessert.

Those not ravening include: ourselves, our sweethearts, most friends, children younger than six, the woman next door who smiles at us when she has every reason not to, buxom peasant girls of whatever country, black musicians who sold their souls to the devil at Mississippi crossroads, kind-hearted librarians, women who have kissed frogs whether or not this kiss changed their lives, soufflé chefs, women who nightly ferry the Potomac in redress of new crimes of the administration, women who dab vanilla flavouring behind their ears, Labrador women who periodically fall through ice from the weight of noble intentions, backroom refugees on the Danforth who repair without charge the torn hems of angels, invisible women who leave the halo of their suffering in sodium bulbs illuminating our thoroughfares, Italians who have taken the name X, the unknown parties who ever show a pinpoint of light at the end of our tunnels, the Lisbon faction of the society for the innovation of short fiction, the child in Buenos Aires who correctly articulated the plight of blind owls in and around Coronel Dorrego when by mistake he ran into a door in the dark of winter while fetching a glass of water for a blind sister, those who polish our steeples in the dead of winter, and my lover who warmly says goodnight to me every morning.

toasts to the above take us through dessert and final evening prayers, after which we are called to order, reminded of our mandate (it is spelled out in our constitution), and give vent as one body to godfather house’s rousing cheer…

thus, the day’s business concluded, higher officials retired to their tower beds, we go out and raven as ravenous beasts until the knock of dawn, spurred on by the hissing of oleander bushes, trellised roses, monkshood, the panting of mongrels begging for second breath, bleached skulls hanging from boughs bent by all that came before our society was formed.


Read on: Act I, Scene V »
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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.