symbols & surreality

Let’s write a story. About a world, unformed. Unspoken. Unread. Undevised. Unreal.


Let’s tell a tale. It can begin here, with what you are reading on this page. It can end at the terminal font that bursts from a riverbed, where the fishes fly up streams, get caught on the jagged ends of the stones peaking out from the roaring falls.


Or it can end in a backyard, it can end in a shout or whisper. Wherever you’d like. The point is that it starts, and a thing, once it has begun, is difficult to end. Where to hurl the javelin, where to spear the tail when the tail unfurls into infinite and swipes the fringes of spacetime with a careless thwap of muscle?


Here, in this house, a girl screams, a young woman with the raccoon eyes of a tiny child, missing naptime, grumpy, throws a fit. Enraged, she tramples, slams doors. And the stars peer on, and over all things, and they laugh and chortle amongst themselves. There is a peeper, here, in this backyard, one of many millions of what is so casually allotted to be one person’s chunk of personal nature, as if a tree could be a portion of space divided between bidders with their frayed green paper and their corpulent jowls.


Another girl-same backyard, but tick the clock back an hour or two. A moth lands on a coniferous tree, and she notices it does not move as she gets closer. It does not flutter away and leave her to wonder. It lets her peer closer, bring the moth’s kaleidoscope eyes into finer resolution. The moth, it has a long tendril that is coiled between its cheeks. This thin, black, wiry device. The girl studies it in fascination. She stares up at the tree and wonders where it hides its embryos, tucked away neatly in a cellulose womb, sleeping in a fibrous bosom of hardened starch and amyloid.


When does the world whisper, ever so softly, like a tender palm on a swelling cheek-when does the world whisper: Us. Loudly, enough, that we can all hear it, the frightened children who sit in the darkness and snarl, Go Away, with fire shining out of brown narrowed eyes, all catlike and predator without the teeth and claws.


There is when the house cat has decided it will be panther-esque, it has decided to roar when it can do no more than caterwaul. To know that the precipice is near, well. An inkling of not the cowardly, of not the craven, but the courageous, but the brave. We know, then, we can fall. To howl at the moon, to howl at the stars, to court danger not for seduction. To court the hand of death for a world of smoke and mirrors is lazy, is frail and meek, not masterful. If you must court Death, let it be because you wish to hold hands with fire. Let it be because you want to wrap your lips upon the succor of the sun with all her plasma robes aglow with hell.


Well, there is the master. I am not her. There is the master. She sits on the sheer of my skull and gives me an enticing simper with her eye, cajoling me towards the edge, where chunks of mantle burst forth from the crust of the earth, invites me to watch the Tyrannosaurus Rex roam Pangaea four-hundred-million years ago on the very same plot of soil upon which my fingers now graze furtively over the grass.

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