Flash Fiction Month seems to stretch longer and longer on the calendar, and here I am again with another post. Except, it might not be fiction. How does one define fiction? Is it even prose? What is prose? Poetry? The meaning of life? I’m back to experimenting, my favorite writing style in nearly stream-of-loose associations, not-quite word salad, associative mood painting. With a lot of weird stuff going on in them. Or something like that, if not very much like that. Comments welcome, as always. If you like this, or feel provoked, or even find merit in it, please spread the word. Thank you.
The Aztec calendar owned the land. Sun and rain paid the rent, although the camera she used to take the picture zoomed in from some satellite, bouncing its digital projections like a ball over song lyrics at a sing-a-long party.
The point, or thesis of this exploration, would pivot around ground zero gravity, a sort of optical lens they all knew in Cosmopolitan Berlin between the wars, where another rodeo dancer at the coffeehouse spoke American ex-pat French to an Italian Bourgeois painter while at the next table the Yiddish-speaking playwright held forth on the Russian Revolution now that he was beyond the Pale.
An actress who accompanies him nods on cue during his monologues as they travel the international Yiddish theater circuit. Vienna next, then they travail in London, Buenos Aires, New York—but try to stay away from the Soviet Union.
A bull’s eye tracks down Johnny-on-the-spot, another satellite image telegraphed into the train depot. Listen up, you gloved foxes of the NSA, digitalis in too high a dose poisons. The flower looks nice, but watch out for the potentialities. I don’t know what you expect me to write—a probability of narrative or possibility of poetry or standard deviation of sense—but if you peer through the spyglass of Renaissance perspective you might find yourself looking into the Eye of Horus, hours ago sold to the highest bidder.
Free Masonry aside, all thirteen doves flew the coup d’etat and haven’t been heard of since the renovations of the Annapolis chapel. The high priest, known as Rav Cohen, suggests they have caught, sold, and bought the Holy Dove. And will again.
So where do we go from here? To another time and place where the clocks tick irregularly and every one has a different expression on its face. Some stop, some go, some enjoy summer vacation—cations fleeing solutions of unresolved inequalities, dissolving into linear trajectories.
The NRA learned the Alchemists’ secret and turns weapons-industry lead into gold everyday. The lobby of the sacred secular halls never heard a whisper of democracy, and the Iroquois shake their heads at the foolishness of it all with Athenian smirks that would weaken the Cheshire Cat when they wink and hint at the decadence of Rome to come.
Try as I might to connect the dots, I’m tired of being your ingenious djinni artist. I want to lay down in the shade alongside the woman with the beard and hear her story, listen to the toad and the hairless tortoise revel in revolutionary theory, speak with a lovely lizard that crossed the street this afternoon, and leaves a green nothing in my mind.
I forgot in my mindless state the codes that unlock the cultural texts slipping between the lines on my face, my palms wrinkled into spiderwebs of uncertainty.
Look carefully at those signs. They reveal a stranger scene than any I could write. Someone, a painter, once told me the meaning of the Aramaic. The potter spun his wheels.
In the lines of the date palm, watch as an inn fills with travelers covered in dust from a long day walking next to laden donkeys and camels. See them drinking and eating, talking loudly or quietly as may befit their mood.
A small, dark man has a map of the world tattooed over his whole body, but not just a map, for it is both a map and images from scenes of each place on the map, a stunning canvas greater than Bradbury’s Illustrated Man. This man somersaults like a chariot wheel through the inn, down and up the uneven spiral-armed lacunae left around the travelers, and each revolution reveals whole new sets of images, a new possible world at each turn.
The travelers ignore the foolish gymnastic artist. The writer describes him incompetently and some reader becomes mired in deciphering. The effort of understanding turns elaborate, interactive sculpture into a few pencil sketches. And I have just shown you one or two of these, left-over scraps from a feast of dreams, an old notebook nearly erased by light, distance, and time.