I have recently learned the word:
schadenfreude. I had to look this up
with admittedly a smile at its definition
but also a touch of latent shame. As when you
open your mouth to say something half
intelligent, but burp instead. Although I
confess: As an adolescent to college
undergrad, developing a purposeful skilled
burping among friends (unvaryingly male)
was held in high hilarity. This akin only to
dreck list insults passed between us as
a kind of verbal riff off rock-paper-scissors.
It is said the common side-blotched male
lizard competes for mates with a similar
game, yet of color trumps: orange beats blue,
blue beats yellow, yellow beats orange in
blotch lizard competition. But among my friends
merely determination of wit-dominance hierarchies
ensued. Therein hangs a pondering nevertheless:
laughter that comes bidden by simple unhinged
wielding of the mind’s (or body’s) vocal fretwork
of interlacing patterns of rude reductionism. Schadenfreude
whether accidental or otherwise body-to-bawdily worked out.
Akin to when the mind like an archer fish shoots well-aimed
droplets from its specialized mouth, preferring live prey.
Ed Higgins’ poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals including recently: Peacock Journal, Uut Poetry, Triggerfish Critical Review, and Tigershark Magazine, among others. Ed teaches literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR. and is Asst. Fiction Editor for Ireland-based Brilliant Flash Fiction. He and his wife live on a small organic farm in Yamhill, OR where they raise a menagerie of animals, including a pair of Bourbon Red turkeys (King Strut and Nefra-Turkey), and an alpaca named Machu-Picchu.