Obsidian’s Edge 28

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.
When reason sleeps, monsters are born.

Francisco de Goya.

4:00 AM

… scrabble of agile ruminants goats their basket weave ribs alive on the grass roof of the neighboring azoteas or wandering these cobbled pathways with knife-edge stones and broken all ten of those sea-faring bottles that managed to reach this land though they came floating from a distant shore each with its message lost now and he waded through the incoming waves this god-like ghost emerging from his white-cap snow bank to stagger in the moonlight where a child’s world lay buried like a bone as sharp as this black knife that slices the mind into two twin towers of tall sunflowers trapped in this wet clay rag of a body that binds itself in a fine film of glacial fire where incarcerated birds strut in the rib cage their robin red crests as distant as the light of a hurricane lamp in that moment of silence before an opening door snaps its sudden match of light and the tick of the death watch beetle gnaws at the beams of the worn out house that the earthquake cracked into a thousand pieces though one wall stood still and the alarm clock over the fireplace clicked a death mask for that anonymous face that raised both hands and threaded the black lace of the mantilla through the golden wedding ring as a finger nail of moon shredded the clouds and the body’s house slowly broke down in an unending dance round and round the garden where the teddy bear trod on his partner’s toes and the undergrowth tickled the china doll’s fancy but the garbage can intervened and dust stained the vagaries of a brutish existence both sharp and nasty as a devil’s scissors severed angel wings and tangled this skein of wool that pulled the church bells pounding their celestial hammers into a sea of wind while the sea parrot spoke in a tongue thick with anonymous flames that flickered a trigger of song while flashes of sound sparked twigs from the tree that flamed a joyless overflowing river of unknown light while the brown bear danced to a pipe and drum dance across bamboo marimbas that shimmered and shone and lay fine layers of music and dust that grew beneath bare feet as new flowers stoked a confessional of dust and gave it new life in a resurrection of the body into a world where everything is remembered and nothing is forgotten or forgiven … for how can we forgive if we cannot forget … or forget if we cannot forgive …

13 thoughts on “Obsidian’s Edge 28

  1. Welcome, CarissaMarie, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. Letting go is sometimes a hard thing to do, as you say. I think we can achieve it in our conscious waking hours and it is most certainly a goal to aim for. However, when we sleep and the monsters creep out from under the bed to invade our pillows, then our dream world is more complicated and sometimes the old nightmares come back to haunt us and hunt us down. Luckily, the above is a dream sequence … not daylight reality … though I am well aware that the two are tied tightly together. The narrative poetry sequence (Obisidian’s Edge) retells a day in Oaxaca, Mexico, and these dreams recall scenes and memories drawn from that single day. All is fiction in a fictional world … or is it?

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    • All is fiction in a fictional world … or is it?

      I get asked often if my characters are based on real people. Never, but everything I write even in the world of fantasy is inspired by some fragment of human experience, as it must be for all writers to some degree. I think sometimes we are just translators imperfectly transcribing the human condition on paper with pen.

      Brilliant dream sequence again, Roger! I love the specific focus required in the reading to capture all the rich detail.

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      • Cervantes always said that the closer the story was to the truth the better it was. He used the word lie / mentira as in fictional lie. Tanto la mentira es mejor cuanto mas parece verdadera … forgive me, I quote from memory. So yes, our stories are often closely linked to the truths in our lives. Even when I write about my relations, my grandfather, for example, elements of fiction creep in and he is not on the page the man he was in real life. How could he be? I just hope he would be proud of my fictional representations of him. Glad you like the sequence above, Tanya. Thank you for commenting so kindly.

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  2. Powerful post and so true. I like the quote at the beginning of the post, “When reason sleeps, monsters are born.” That definitely made me think. Forgiveness and forgetting is a tough subject. I think it is possible to have an elephant’s memory and forgive, but it is not an easy task. To simply wipe events from your memory doesn’t really mean you forgave someone. I think the truest test for your wounded heart is to be able to both remember and let go of the anger and hurt. It’s okay to remember, it helps guide you in the future. But dwelling on it and letting it taint your present is poisonous indeed. It takes a lot of courage and strength to let the pain of the past fade, even when the memories don’t.

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