Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Extract from a Prose Poem Novella in Progress

It begins with no( )thing. At least nothing observed. Perhaps a description. A dark frozen sea. Floating chunks of ice reflecting moonlight. Then, ( ).
The northernmost rim of the earth. C.


A slow curving back breaks the calm plate surface of the water. The arching back extends and dips and throws up a tail which flips and softly sinks. I go there in movies, in dreams.

Light-Being Boy has the temerity to step inside my dreams on a nightly basis. He summons me north. We hover above the Pole, irradiated by Aurora Borealis. He replays the scene before our arrival - the flat frozen sea, the leathery whale, the vast unending emptiness. I switch off and stare into the past.

Dream no.151:

The whale basks in warm tropical waters. The islands sparkle like emeralds set in blue. The palm trees sway in mild Caribbean breezes. C.
Having established the scene, we attempt to locate Light-Being Boy. We follow a trail of ganja smoke.
In a hut in the woods on a hill in the forest with the high priest of Rastafari lies a boy in a vest with a cape on the floor (a silver cape, discarded - too hot) and a hood on his head (a silver hood, retained - too cool).
Cult Girl screams, indicating the presence of snakes. The fug of smoke rises and drifts below the ceiling. Light-Being Boy is awakened from his reverie.
- I thought I was with you in the Arctic, he says.
He sits up and coughs, emitting a dazzling corona from the top of his head. The high priest of Rastafari intones the daily prayers, irritating Cult Girl, who for the time being has sworn off religion.
He thuds the drum in clouds of smoke while the forest resounds like a heartbeat.
He chants the Psalms and invokes the name of Selassie, until the goddess Nyabingi ascends from Rwandan rainforests and takes possession of Cult Girl, sending her into a nightmare trance where the history of African cults runs like a film reel through her.
A beam lights up the wall, which acts as a screen displaying an array of spirits, dancers, and witchdoctors in black, white and various shades of grey. We find ourselves witness to the rituals of a pre-colonial African village. We feel like anthropologists taking part in a seance.
When the drum stops, Cult Girl sighs and sinks to the floor in a melodrama of her own devising. Light-Being Boy beats me to the mango juice. She sips the juice from his hand, licking up the last drop until the taste can only be that of chrome metal. The high priest leaves with a look of non-committal. He has forgotten his drum.
Outside, pages of scripture are falling from the sky until the forest floor is littered with sacred words.
- God has too much to say for himself, says Light-Being Boy.

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