Untitled 1937

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It has something to do with internetational presage prior to WW2

Submitted: August 01, 2011

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Submitted: August 01, 2011





The winter had taken our box elder.
Uncomely in its severity, it had
seized upon what was exposed
and had fallen (Ashtoreth, availed,
asunder) that which it could dazzle.

And really, “it wasn’t so much that
it was important,” she whimpered,
“as that I felt I had been lied to.”
Her face evincing little more
than in the death of that moment.

Because there were questions, of course,
as to the certainty of the nightingales;
all staccato and soigné.  The reason
we had left the province of
Bolzano (castle, catores, chanson).

It wasn’t because the dew had
covered the spring lilies that we
wondered if there was something awry.
It was something we had wondered
for a while.


A suxaul sparrow glides heedlessly
over what we believed to be the
Causcusus, where we rest because (deserts
do not pull and beckon as forest do) and
because the mountains laid down with us.

And in some new desert there is all new
violence - Rhett apoplectic on the reels
at the Plaza and Jimmy Garrison given
leave of his senses across town
at the hands of a negro (nay, the national, noir)

“I am not a topography.”  I say, more
question than answer.  More space between
(where I just was) and where we went
now.  I took a 7:30 train to St. Petersburg
and slept on a pile of jackets.

I half saw her picture in a local daily, poached
on the tin of a cathouse sleeping roof, sand
whipped through dark hair and small text
attributed to a man standing nearby saying
“We will break the cross, spill the liquor and...”


We half expected to find her dead
fallow as her earth had been - tucked
away in the eves closet
of our summer home (and why were
we here in winter?)

And we had not invented dying in Rhine
Province (to harmonize ex ante, to
homogenize ex post) and we had not
spent that summer in Basel.  Cloaks
as cover, grain bridge, gestalt.

Turning and turning, she was here in
New England.  Her legs as pillars, all
pink and preform, and her background
as presage, all pizzicato and pastiche.
We listened and remembered - availed.

Some morning in the twenties, where
we were beechwood and blackberry.  I had
kissed her twice and painted her picture,
obtuse and dissolving, thinking I was Fernand
Léger or, all hope,  thinking little much at all.


“What believing was can never be again,”
scrawled in black charcoal on the side of
a shanty house in Jakarta.  Not in Dutch, but
in some bastardized Arabic, wholly scratch
yet oddly scary to Dephane, our continental tourist.

But we were not here to philosophize, rather
we had come to see Wening, to do some
business we imagined prescribed.  She stood in
the village square, guarded like an oracle;
men in summer clothes and machetes, askance.

No imagined village matron - her arms twisted
like Taramind roots and a dagger in her cane
(collective, cohered, coalesced). We approached
and spoke in broken Dutch "Ben jij de vrouw
die we spreken over de beelden?"

“No,” she said, “I do not understand
pictures or idols, I do my business in being.”
We wondered what this meant (actor qua
actor - symbol qua symbol?) but, tired and afraid,
we could not find the words to ask.

© Copyright 2019 Fred Dennis. All rights reserved.

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