Table Seventeen: Joseph Suglia

They are coming, the wild boars, storming, bolting, rushing forward, their teeth clattering angrily, their tails high in the air as if pumped full of throbbing blood. Vigorously propelling themselves forward, they run down the plaza walkway, their snouts probing, their snouts protrusively protruding.

The wild pigs are snorting and snouting. Warthogs, tusked boars, are rooting, plucking, and scooping, digging and scraping the ground with their hooves.

Straight-teethed and curved-tusked, the wild pigs storm the plaza. Their ears extrude and their bristles pop out and straighten.

At the summit of the façade, a stucco angel stands, impending over the terrified shoppers. Arcades with awnings the color of blood stream past you as you walk briskly down the walkway, away from the wild pigs. Faux-marble pillars are on either side of you.

To your right, a warthog is chipping away at the glass door of a Target with his tusks. Coarse, wiry bristles stud the back of the warthog.

Now shattered, the glass door. Blowing air through its nostrils, the warthog stumbles through the shattered glass door.

A sounder of warthogs is grubbing for food. And food they shall find. As you drift past the Country Bakery, you see a horde of boars stampeding down the aisle, leaving in their wake a puree of squashed bananas. You see fat boars marinating in warmish milk.

Hogs are lining up in front of the Country Bakery, rather politely trotting in an orderly file, wiggling their tails as they trot inside.

You see them in profile, forming a bouncing line. Happily hopping black boars bounce into the Country Bakery.

The wild pigs dance into the Country Bakery and slurp down the tomato puree and swallow the gnocchi balls. The older boars are butchering the cheese with their massively distended, grotesquely long lower tusks. The poking porkers are poking their heads into the sugar and into the flour. The wild pigs are going worming, digging in the cheese and bread with their tusks. Rousses (smallish red boars) are coming for the sausage. Charcoal black beasts, the most threatening of the boars, are foraging for cheese and potato.

They are piercing the pheasants’ breasts with their tusks. Or are they the breasts of chickens?

Drilling their way through the wall, the boars chisel the wall with their tusks.

A boar jumps in an arc. You see the boar flying through the air.

Red-coated boars rage into the kitchen. Trotting on stubby legs, the unfilthy pigs make their way for the peanuts and for the cracker snacks.

Clutching a doughnut in its jaws, the reddest boar feeds. Still more boars funnel into the bakery, where a hostess feeds them funny funnel cakes.

Its snout high in the air, the mother pig wobbles forward. Into the Country Bakery, where she shall feed.

The boars, their snouts presumptuously probing, probe the food with their snuffling snouts. They are rooting through the refrigerator, their bodies jittering wildly. They chew and chomp the bacon, cannibalistic boars. They squabble with one another, knobby knuckleheads.

The entire city is descending into a saturnalia of raw appetite.

The pigs are filing past you now; they, the pigs are wiggling and waggling their way blackly into the distance. The compagnie of boars is roaring toward the lake.

(A compagnie is a “society of boars” in French, a “sounder” in English.)

Look! Strong, galvanic boars are rushing against the Arby’s. Threshing against the unyielding door, the boars are hitting hard.

Onward they stampede, the crazed residents of Chicago—they herd, they stampede, they rush in a single mass toward the shelter of the Chuck E. Cheese’s.

You drift away from the plaza. In the parking lot, you see a parked police car. Behind the parked car is a snorting porker, a giant hog.

A hog tornado smashes into the Chuck E. Cheese’s. The hogs slice through the human mob.

They storm into the grocery stores, into the liquor shops, into the night clubs, into the hotels, the wild hogs. Into the discotheques they storm, the wild pigs. Into the Union Station, the black beasts stealthily slink.

A leathery tapir stumbles along the road. He is eyed by a survivalist human with a bow-and-arrow, but this is not the sort of animal that one would slaughter and devour.

Looting and rooting for truffles in the liquor store, the wild pigs are squirming about.

Melding into a single porcine horde, the mad pigs storm the hospital, which is overrun with insane human life. The onrushing pork mob busts through the electronic doors.

A tidal wave of swine splashes into the atrium of the Day’s Inn hotel.

Quaking boars with stiffening black bristles assault the trucks and vans.

The unteachable and unreachable boars waddle unmanageably into the waxing salon.

As the animals look at their own reflections in the shop windows, you gaze at the rubbery and bristly animals: the bouncing black rubbery skin of the tapirs and the bristly hides of the wild boars.

Full-tusked and energetic, the boars swarm the passengers on the Chicago Transit Authority bus, leaping into their laps and fervently nuzzling their unwelcoming faces.

Farrowing boars and furrowing boars, boars that give birth to squirmy marcassins and boars that furrow the ground with their up-tusks, are everywhere.

(A marcassin is a baby boar: a striped squirming boar baby.)

A furry beard around its muzzle, a bearded pig seems to laugh an old man’s laugh. The pig is laughing, is laughing at you.

Shimmying boars are sashaying into the beach-themed night club. Two-hooved boars are rampaging the beach-themed nightclub, their hooves like spurs or shovels.

Enraged pig-deer, babirusas with four spiraling tusks—two of them sprouting from their lower jaws, the other two emerging from their nasal ridges—rush at the consumers, who recoil down the side streets.

The boars bear a grudge against human societies. The animals are at war with the city. And you are a wartime journalist, recording the disintegration of the city of Chicago.

Pork is everywhere in Consumeria.

(Consumeria is your term for consumerist society.)

But pigs? In Consumeria? Live swine? They were never before found in Consumeria. These are live swine. Pigs, not pork. Unkilled pigs. Unslaughtered pigs. Unopened pigs. Ungutted pigs. Unprocessed pigs.

Beneath you is an uncharming razorback. A feral pig, a black razorback. The razorback gambols around your feet.

As you touch the razorback, it squints its eyes and squeals with desire.  Flipping over on its back and squealing, the animal is seething with pig lust.  It uncloses its eyes.  Looking into the eyes of the boar, you see that the animal is swimming in an infinity of desire, a vacuum of desire.  The specter of nothingness floats in its eyes.

Copyright 2014 by Joseph Suglia


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