Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Brewery Fire: What Hath The Wordsmith Wrought?

I don't make any particular claims about the quality of the words I bang out here, other than trying my best to make them at least moderately entertaining, and I'm well aware that I have some annoying quirks. Examples would include my love affair with the comma and a jarring overuse of short, choppy sentences. I'll occasionally wander into more "writerly" styles of presentation, but for the most part I'm solidly in the "keep it short, make it clear" mode that was drilled into my head in college.

That's why I was a little iffy about my "A Tale of Two Fires" post. After I finished writing it I thought it was a bit over the top, but the my Significant Other gave it a read-through and said it was solid. A bit thick on the stylistics, but a good piece overall.

Luckily, I'm not the only one that found inspiration in the flames of the brewery building. My feeble efforts are like a crust of stale bread in comparison to this rich bounty:

The Utica summer began on the 29th of May with another portent of the ruin that clear truth foretells and Pandora's gift conceals beneath an artful glamour. The F.X. Matt brewery burned half to the ground, a candle in a final vigil. The serene tabernacle took root in 1888, a trinity of years after Francis Xavier Matt, first of his name, yearning to breathe free in an untainted new world, forsook the Black Forest which had succored his line since first roving bands out of the farthest reaches of Ultima Thule had laid down their weariness beneath the beautiful interplay of light and shadow which those trees engendered.

A sparkle in his eye led Francis Xavier to Utica, never knowing that 130 years later his gift to the world would perish much as the progenitor of its location. No praetorians coaxed up these pillars of flame, but the Matts bear no name but Barca. Generations of love and toil they lavished on their home, but the gladius of fate brooks no consequence it does not choose. The air fills with poison, toxic smog, the earth plowed with salt, prosperity is desert sand. Nothing at all remains. Join your voice to mine and sing the last canticle.

I am humbled. Like unto crescent hugged Venus upon her twilight chair, dimmed by a greater light. Helios, come forth! That I may retire, in shadow, from the glare of thy gleaming steeds and fiery chariot!