Experimental Fiction

Hold on tight. I don’t follow many rules here!

Scent of a Rose, an Inspiration

Long before the internet and books and an understanding of our tiny place in the galaxy, there were the Muses.

Some say five, some nine. Regardless, they were there to stir passion in the soul, to let us see life beyond ourselves and envision a world of perfection and emotion. Their presence and the way they perceived the mortals that surrounded them, was much the way the Guerlain , or Gertrude Stein or Victor Hugo perceived a rose: A rose is much greater than just its delicate shape, color & form. The scent of the rose, filled the space it occupied and it was much greater much more expansive than the sum of its mere physical parts.

The Muses open the doors so that we can become and became greater than our shape, form, color. They fired the intellect; they inspire the soul to be more than our physical presence. I watched last night, in a simple gathering place, where their powers of love, strength, beauty, inspiration, mirth, and an openness of soul and generosity, recharged our souls, filled us with strength of character and set out to a world that sometimes waits to destroy us and tear us down. These Muses gave us the powers to stand tall against that overwhelming force, just by being there, by being warm in spirit, by laughing without care, by dancing with joyous glee, by listening sincerely to our words or by just being who they are at that moment.

Those Muses, recognized by the ancient Greeks, anthropomorphized by culture after human culture were present last night , walked among us last night and filled each one of us with the power and it should not frittered or flicker to waste. We are a very lucky and blessed group of people. Open our heart, drink in with your soul and become the rose: let your presence be greater than the limits of your physical form and fill the world around with the scent of your knowledge, your intellect, your creativity.

I’m not looking for any comments unless I have made a mistake, It is just the way I felt this morning when I woke this morning.

There is little here to argue or disagree with.

Maybe it is simple by recognizing the family that has formed, by how by such a random chance, these souls have brought together to share a space. Maybe it is just my brain trying to scratch out a simple thought.

Till again!

The day I learned the Castanet faded

The day I learned the Castanet faded

Down the road alone.

Yesterday I learned of the passing of the hand fashioner of the castanet. Another loss in evolution.

Snap

Going going…soon gone,

Castanets and flamenco.

The low pitch castanet clack of the seguirillas. Flemish themes of loves, Flemish themes of the mischievous, of the playful. Sung slow and sexy and somehow out of the fires of hell, it was borne in a Flemish hell, a Flemish Hell of Bruegel.
Seguirillas with Sentiment, Seguirillas sung in ancient folk tones in ancient poetic form…swirl of the tailed gown, swirl of the ruffled tail gown, songs sung in low pitch to the snap clatter snap of castanet.

Arms move like waves deliberate.

Eyes, like birds watching prey, never losing sight and pray, dance gypsy.

Flamenco is like a gypsy, like our true selves, no boundaries.

Just distinct deliberate movement. Movements with purpose.

Arms moving like undulating waves, intentional, conscious.

Repeat.

Repeat like a replayed song on repeat and snap flash, snap flash, flash fire :

Do not lose hope

In canto jondo

in ancient Flamenco song

from Lorca who heard

the rhythm of the birds.

To Falla

Who heard the ancient words as gypsy heart

as gypsy fire spirit?

Most pure

primitive and ancient,

and pure and then snap

snap snap.

Clap a vision.

The purity of ancient song released my visions.

And it all came rushing. The rhythm of the castanets brought a memory of a little restaurant in dark street fog of North Beach. Crowded wood tables. Their only dish of simple fish cluttered paella and full glasses of fruited Sangria were pushed back to the walls. Cooks became dancers, bartender set aside the bottela for a worn guitar, fingers snapping gut strings, hands shake clacking castanets and we were mesmerized and safe from the cool night fog wrapped in the now moment of the gypsy flamenco. The group assemble forgot all but the night and saw the swirl and the flash and all became exotic.

Vision of Hemingway rough drinking on cobbled Spanish alley streets while a war raged in burnt hills. Smash drunk, comrade battle drunk arm in arm and singing of Spanish women fighting alongside poet freedom brothers.

And the gypsy danced while they drank to forget the blood.

Vision of old friends in Barcelona watching a turtle crawl, claws clacking on textured cool concrete, slow sliding under a bush as the heart fade feeling of a lost love moves back but is never gone,

Vision of Nazi teeth clattering in lonely nights, frightened by gypsies, frightened by their dance and clack snap of the castanet that lead gypsy spirit anywhere. Heil and no respect for the state, for the line, for the boundary, for ours, for theirs. Heil and no respect for anyone lifted to a god. They only followed the ancient song rhythms of the birds. Heil and boots marched unison empty. Nazis squirmed, and forced them singing, dancing, swirling red tail dresses, arms waving overhead into fires. And the Nazis died and the gypsy slap dances and fingers pluck taut strings

But they never died.

Visions, a mind rush of thoughts about the Las Ramblas in Barcelona and parrots in gilded cages lining the street, and drunken red wine afternoons fading with friends in green spaces.

Along side the lap, lap, lap rhythms of summer slap waves, of mediterranean waters against crusted pier posts.

Today, the loss of the castanet man brought vision to me. Maybe it was the primal rhythms of birds. Maybe the next time we meet in the falling rain to the sss sss sss of the drops and splash of tires on asphalt.

As Words Fail

We went to Gaudi last night and the Evil Bunny set her pain aside and let her body dance frantic till after 2 AM. The crowds surrounding us screamed Insane, screamed with Insanity, and danced as if no one watched. They danced as if Morrison himself had told them to dance with abandon.

I watched and thought of stories I have written and how some were flat and lifeless. I thought of moments in stories past that cuddled and captured the world I stood in at that moment. I swore to write in words, of what it felt like at that moment and especially the music expression of the Artist Gaudi.

I thought in simile and phases like the confusion of a freight train screaming past you as you stood close the the tracks, in the prior silence of the forest or facing a pride of menacing lions. All I wanted to do was know the words to describe the music, the artist, the people and the scene.

I am trapped in a writer’s anarchy. My brain rains uncontrollable adjectives, describing the moment for later while being in the moment (am I alone?), filled with the fear that the words will fade when my body fails and is forced to rest in quiet resolve and sleep (am I alone/ Do you feel that?).

I wake and wonder what were those words, what was that feeling? Can I translate one artistic media to another? Really. Can I describe Picasso’s Dancers or Munch’s Madness or the music of Segovia in a quiet hall in a mountain village in Spain (taste the nutmeg, smell the scented burning wax as he plays?)

Can we translate; a moment. Sitting here I know that I can write of fear of zombies and the fear of hate and loss, and love and loves lost.

But can we describe a song?

And the dancers and the sweat. I don’t know. It is early in this dark hotel and I wonder and wait to be taken behind an old wooden shed. Could I evevn describe that?

On Knocking on the Wrong Door, Three a.m.

by Stuart Welch

People were continuously bumping him on the street. His piano was once again out of tune and the hamburger had turned a dark, inedible brown. She darned his socks, but since she had lost the use of her hands in the explosion of her neighbor’s lawn mower, his socks remained holey.
A picture of two boys staring into a glass of obviously purified water had hung in the darkest corner of his living room. He recently replaced it with a tiny crucifix he found the last time he woke up lost (and hung over) in the park. The picture of the two boys bothered him for no reason but enough he thought to affect his digestion.
They stood there blankly staring into the glass of water.
Behind them was also a picture, but not of them.
Today he had hoped to find a new place to hide or hang the crucifix since the space it occupied on the wall was less, considerably less disconcerting, than the picture of the two boys.
But he had nothing to replace the crucifix with so he decided to leave it in this undesirable place until something else turned up that would adequately cover the space left by the picture of the two boys.
Searching for something to replace the crucifix also gave him indigestion and he vowed not to look too hard. On the wall opposite the crucifix that had replaced the picture of the two boys staring blankly into a glass of obviously purified water, hung a ripped portion of a map. It was a foreign map with street names he did not recognize.
Before she lost her hands she had thought it was a map of Zurich. But he did not know Zurich any better than the town where he was presently living or for that matter any town that he had lived in. She was trying to impress him. The map had been ripped in such a way that he could not tell what way it was supposed to be read. Several times in the past he had changed the position, but never knew which way he was moving the ripped map.

A map is hard to read and a ripped map without a legend was even harder.

He was glad that the two boys staring blankly into a glass of water were standing and not in a position that would be hard to determine which way the picture was to be hung. His deteriorating indigestion found solace with that picture which gave him no trouble. She, since the accident, was too embarrassed to visit him in the evenings anymore. It became a bothersome chore to manipulate coins into the coin box on the bus.
The bus she took to visit him was 154 North. While she was still in the hospital, he reassured her that the bus driver, if he was Christian, would reach into her purse for the coins she needed for the ride. She had tried to convince the driver that she was unable to manipulate the tiny coins and that it was necessary if she were to ride the bus for him to retrieve the coins which she kept conveniently in a clear plastic pouch.
The bus driver usually became enraged and told her to sit. It was always embarrassing.

She no longer came at night.

Many of their nights had been spent with puzzles. They laughed late into the night, keeping many of their neighbors awake, while they assembled the complicated jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles pictured snowy scenes in the country or foreign cities with strange buildings.
They preferred puzzles of foreign cities and would laugh nervously as they neared the completion of a puzzle. After the puzzle was finished, they would lift themselves from the table and stand back admiring their accomplishment. Sometimes tears would run down his cheeks.
Completion was never met with the satisfaction of the first step.
He was upset that one more puzzle had been completed and all of its once individual and separated pieces no longer offered a challenge. She would comfort him and promise to find a new even harder puzzle the very next day. But there were no new puzzles for him to construct since she no longer came to visit in the evening.
He spent more time in the evenings now rearranging the pictures and articles he had hung on the walls of his apartment. His room now offered the challenge of the puzzle.
By rearranging the items hanging on his walls, the room was somewhat different, and all he would have to do was sit in a different chair and see a new scene. But the crucifix bothered him, even though it was hung in the darkest spot in the room. No matter where he sat in the room it always stood out. A tiny tormented dying mannequin, stretched out on a cross, its hands painfully trying to pull away from the nails that bound it.
This was probably the greatest upset to his indigestion.
Once, while deciding where to hang a brass horn that had been given to him by a former friend, his phone rang. She was on the phone and carefully explained how she had talked her sister into dialing a number for her. He did not like her sister. Her sister rarely assisted her since the accident and frequently flew into rages because of this handicap.
Had she left her flowered scarf there?
It was no longer in her closet and she was concerned. It had been the last present given to her by her aunt before she had passed away. Yes, the scarf was there. It was safely hanging on the wall by the door. Its flowery colors had considerably brightened the space on the wall by the door. At one time he had considered draping the naked tortured body on the crucifix with the flowered scarf. But that would only hide the body and he would then always try to remember what it looked like.
Anyway, it looked nice by the door. Hold on, someone is at the door. Yes? Yes; who is it? Who could it be?

No one had knocked on his door since her accident. No, this is apartment #38g. The numbers to his door had been down for some time. He had hung them near the window because he liked their shiny brassy look. You should try upstairs. I’m not really sure. He was very excited that not only had someone called him on the phone, but on the same day, someone had knocked on his door. He was so excited that he forgot about the phone. When he returned to the phone all he heard in response to his explanation of who had been at the door was a dull drone.
He thought she was like the drone. She did not have a name either.
After hanging up the droning phone, he decided that the very next day he would go to the music shop on the corner and buy a piano stool, so he could always look at different parts of the room without having to change chairs.

*****************************

As I turned and walked away from the apartment, I heard its inhabitant mumbling to himself. It had not been my intention to disturb him but the numbers from the door were missing. When I had originally approached the numberless door, I had heard talking but as I neared the stairs to try another apartment, I thought I heard a man crying softly against the door. I never had known about the man or his room or the crucifix he had wanted to hide or the picture of the two boys staring blankly into a glass of purified water, all I heard or knew, was that someone, someone on the other side of the door cried softly as I walked away.

I may have awakened him from a sleep of fits or the freedom of dreams.