The Pineal Gland

Jaime de Angulo


 

 

Beatrice is quite right about the importance of the pineal gland. I myself hav made a lifelong study of the pineal and also of the infra-renal  glands.  And also she iz quite right about the habits of sheep and sheepherders. I am an expert on sheepherders – no, I myself never herded sheep, but I was a cow-boy, and cow-boys know all about sheepherders. Let me tell you what happened to me once back in 1904; I was a raw lad of 18 with no more education than what I cud get at a couple of Jesuit colleges in Paris, and I was expelled from both sine laude whatever – so I came to Amerika bekoz I was thirsting for democracy and took a job with the Two Bar outfit and their small herd of 22.000 head of catl grazing here and ther on the mountains and bad lands of northern Colorado and southern Wyoming – I was night-hawk, a lonesome job which gave me plenty of time to reflect on democracy and the pineal gland – (the night-hawk herds the sadle-horses (about a hundred horses – i had 98 on that trip, in my remuda) when the outfit (one boss, six or seven punchers, one cook, one day-wrangler, one night-wrangler… whom they call the “night-hawk” – and it’s a darn lonesome job riding round and round the damn critters all night and singing so they wont get scared and stampede and the sagebrush looks weird in the moonlight and the night-hawks, i mean the real ones, the birds, come plummeting down out of the darkness overhead and they straighten out just over your head with a whooosh that’s enuf to scare the pineal gland out of the bravest jesuit-bred lad of 18…. wel, to shorten this account of this my first experience with sheepherders one night a goddam sheep got mixed-up with my caballada, of cors they stampeded every time they saw that goddam ghostly animal appear from behind a bush… off they wud go ratapalaplanking thru the sage and I after them and you are lucky if your horse doesnt put his foot in a badger-hole and it breaks his leg and the rider’s head and good-bye pinea! wel, the dawn came at last with that most lovly of all planets the morning-star and that’s the time to gather the horses and go home to the camp where the punchers are crawling out from under their tarpaulins… wel i  started my horses and there on the plain in the first light of dawn I saw a sheepherder’s camp, so I went over, and there were six or seven thousand head of bawling sheep, and a sheepherder’s wagon, and in front of it was standing the sheepherder himself, enjoying the dawn, smoking a pipe, but he didnt look like no shepherd of the Lord, he didnt hav no lamb wrapped around his neck, in fact he was quite a surprising sight in that far-western land: he wore bib-overalls (i had never seen any before) no shoes, and a derby hat and he was bearded, but I mean bearded, a real beard with crumbs in it…. so i went up to him and sed “I guess you lost a sheep last night” he looked at me and replied: “I guess you lost a sheep last night”  I sed: “hell no, I am no sheepherder” he looked at me and sed: “hell no, I am no sheepherder”  I sed: “You are no sheepherder?  then what’s all these animals here?”   he repeated that too…. well i thot the conversation was not profitable so I left him there contemplating the sunset and to hell with his lost sheep  nobody wud miss one sheep in seven thousand and i went to camp with my horses and the cow-boys sed I was lucky he didnt shoot me, that sheperds didnt like cowboys…… well, it was much later when I was studying psychiatry at the Hopkins that i learned about echolalia and i remembered my sheepherder and I wud hav done anything to find him again and see whether he cud spell bekoz by that time I had discovered that bad spelling waz a minor symptom of ecolalia especially when it gets complicated with the retroversion-retroflexion of the infrarenal glands   (and by the way, did ennibodi at St Lizzy take radiogramz of Ezra’s infrarenals?  I bet that’s why he kant spel    my own kase has nothing to do with it, my bad spelling iz due to an entirely difrent cause… mine is due to a drangement of the Russian gland… I know what you will say that ther iz no such thing az the Russian gland but there iz   only it’s hard to locate because it wanders, it’s a wandering gland, that’s what Mrs. Roosevelt has found out, now the secret is out, but I trust you, and dont let anybody, especially not Vishinsky know that I know about the Russian gland, or I’ll get murdered some day


Kater Murr's Press, Piraeus Series, 2003. 
Copyright © Gui Mayo, 2003.
Note: This text is taken from a letter to Barbara Norville, written circa. 1950. The title is Gui Mayo’s; everything else (including the unorthodox spelling, etc.) is de Angulo’s. It’s perhaps unnecessary to add that “Ezra” refers to Ezra Pound.