prose, short story

CAMERA 22, Part One

CAMERA 22

Leila Samarrai

 

I do not claim that this tale will disturb many a heart, end an endless fear, nor lap up your blood. Besides, many have had stranger tales happen to them than this one of mine, wherein an unending fear reigns. Yeah? On Christmas Eve, no less? This is what you wonder. You, smiling, story-intoxicated reader souls. Should dark wonders emerge from the colors of Christmas trees, betwixt laughter and kisses, the flying confetti? People with no prejudice, I’m talking directly to you now, you that were touched by Pluto, perhaps cut off at the waist by his hand, or pointed by it to the road of an eternal weather wane.

During the Christmas Eve party, in the villa on Gravity Hill, I was invited by Oliver Daldry, a controversial horror director, a master in his field. His amorphous creatures were capable of shapeshifting human organs in Ineffigatius on the Blue Hill, which was selling out packed theatres. He weaved tales later in Reanimated Beasts, the colossal Amorphoso, and the cult classic Hand Shape. All four films were banned after the first screening.

I drove to the villa in my Polo, driving in neutral on the inclines of odd gravitational pulls. I saw streams flowing upstream. I heard rocks ringing. I spotted wavy trees, growing crookedly and its old, knotty branches pinned to the ground.

– Eh, nothing Escher had not already painted – I thought. I was hitting the brakes uphill, meandered circular roads of Danteian architectonics. At long last I made it to the top, parked, managing to wedge my car between two other vehicles. One was a Lamborghini of a plastic surgeon. An attractive purple-haired Mexican girl talked him into, just in case, turning the front tires “hacia el centro de la pista, con el fin de asegurarse de que nada va cuesta arriba”.[1]

I laughed at her superstitious comments, shifted gears and stopped the car in front of the castle gates.

The castle towered over everything, surrounded by pine trees, towered over the villa, shining with the light of the intersecting light beams. Dressed in satin-like soil, umbra-hued villa was filled with numerous guests. The reflectors on the pyramidal roof were squirting droplets of light onto the limos, adding shade to the hue of the horizon.

I exited my car and, as my nose was assailed by the wind from the mouth of a sculpture on the porch, cast in bronze (a mere porch figurine, a misshapen Aeolus), I was welcomed by Daldry, a merry Hitchcock, in a strange way merging with this whole powder keg of a scene.

– My friend! Duck head, rhino neck, horse ears! We lose life illusions, but not optical ones, never those, ha ha ha – he clenched my hand heartily, while his eyes kept check, it seemed, of the items in the background. – Why do you think I chose Pasadena in the first place?

I shrugged.

– I see you have no response. Strange things make up life, my friend, and the creepiest of those have long been swallowed by celluloid – he mumbled with melancholy, only for his face to again be adorned by a smile of a Santa Claus.

[1] Towards the middle of the driveway in order to make sure that nothing goes downhill for them.

To Be Continued. 

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Standard
novel, prose

The Tale of Hjalmar, Sleeping Mathilde, Fourth Letter

July 14th1099

Fated brother Alfhild,

I wake amid a dune, its gold and blood hued sand swaying on the scorching sun. Corpses surround me as they rot below the ball of fire. The hollows of erstwhile eyes are filled with mindless thirst. Ooze, like tears, trickled down them in thin streams, or was it, perhaps, blood?

– But him…I know him, I think… – I looked at a dead man upon whose rotting carcass I was sleeping, dazed and thirsty. His body was swelling up under the chainmail. – He’s breathing. – Totally unexpectedly, the dead man turned on his back. I grabbed a sword and drew it in fear – and hope – of him being a Saracen in disguise…

armour

It was a woman, dressed in armor, with long linen hair which encompassed her captivating face. I stepped back for a moment while, at the same time, I got overwhelmed with desire to touch her face.

– What in the hell is a fairy doing in the desert? Mumbling again, Hjalmar… – Olof would respond had he heard me by any chance.

A smile was slowly appearing from her sensual lips, revealing a row of shining, strong teeth. I looked at her, taken aback, encapsulated by her, comparing her beauty with that of Princess Amira, Iftikhar’s daughter said to be the fairest in the whole world.

– Renounce vengeance, Hjalmar…for you will kill us all.

– Who are you, woman? – I whispered.

At that moment, I realized that the night fell over Jerusalem. So fast? I shook, as if I were awoken from a dream.

– I am the Undead, Mathilde von Bergman, betrothed to your descendant, the bloodthirsty Orian von Amerongen.

Her gentile mien suddenly hardened, and her smooth face turned rough in an instant. I heard her bones crackle and craft a new, powerful jaw, wolf-like. Her face became hairy, covered in red fur, specked in blood – she turned into a man. From the wound on her cheek some blood trickled out. It will scar, that was the thought that came to my mind in a split second for reasons beyond me. Maybe because I knew him, from the time when he walked around, as a ghoul, wearing a king’s gown completely covered in blood of enchanted dreams, that colossus, my monstrous descendant Orian.

He said to me: – Kill, Hjalmar! – He was in the hell of Timelessness, covering both days and nights in a funeral shroud, feasting on bloody chunks of flesh, be it human or animal, shaking from his lechery during the cannibalistic rituals celebrating the Gods of darkness, with blessings from some witch whore that came to my dreams…

– Relinquish the sword, Hjalmar. Leave Ismael alone – the corpse uttered. – In truth, you have cursed us all. Go back to Västerås, damn you! Damn you! – He grabbed me by the throat, while he was breaking my bones hitting me with his other hand, with a heap of cussing and frightening curses.

– You…Exist! – I spoke to the abomination with many a question on the top of my waterless tongue, which barely contained a scream. I shoved him away with my hands. His frightening eyes, hued in serpentine rage, where cruelty pulsated, filled with blood… My soul was overtaken by terror, I was dying, I screamed, and…I awoke.

As I stood among the corpses, stepping over scattered and crushed body parts in heavy lead boots, I was thinking of our father, Alfhild. I am no longer skeptical towards the visions as I once was. They speak…They know.

They were there during our father’s death as well. I remember him clearly. That night when he decided to reveal to me the secret of my shameful lineage, he was knocking off on the big ivory throne, as wise as Solomon. His words were fuming in the air drunk on the scent of rotting flesh, and I covered my ears to avoid listening to him while I was screaming.

– Do not lie, old man! – His lips were opening, knives flew out stabbing me. He did not stop, he spoke, he spoke… While I was curling up from the pain, the suffering and the sweat. Witch’s shades danced around us.

– Kill, kill Hjalmar! – His face was pale, cold and gray, I thought in the moment I removed my hands from his neck, while he managed to rattle the last words with his final twitch – You are not my son…You are…Umar’s…bastard.

His body bent unnaturally as his soul floated above it, on its way to Niflheim, for he had actually died of sickness of the soul which crumbled the whites of his eyes yearning for blood during his lifetime and filled his breath with cruelty and sin. He drank human blood, Alfhild, bowing to Hel, while he was deciding on my fate in place of a God. At that point, our father, not unlike an insatiable demon, got up for a moment from his demise, perched up onto his feet and stared at me like an enraged lion.

– Hel gave me a few more minutes on Earth to take care of you – he went after me. Even though he still spoke, there were no longer any signs of life in him.

Standard
mathilde, prose

THE TALE OF HJALMAR, Sleeping Mathilde, First Letter

In the Year of Our Lord 1099, Jerusalem

 

THE TALE OF HJALMAR

 

I, Hjalmar Siegfried, write this letter, in the name of Our Lord, to my fated brother Alfhild von Amerongen, prince of Svaland, conqueror of Finn woods, with love and admiration…

I still remember sitting in front of the anvil, in a sheep wool gown, legs agape, wearing felt trousers and linen shirt adorned with ceramic pearls, and pounding the red hot iron with a hammer while sweat dripped down my sleeves.

It was a sword forged in dishonorable vengeance, meat of the observable world, forged flaming gust of wind. I snatched it with both hands, swung it around, all until the very last thoughts of my origins that haunt me disappeared in the fog of forged hate.

My fated brother Aflhild.

 

hjalmarhjalmar2

First letter

 

I go through the flashes of fire, listen to the revving of worn-out horses as I squeeze tiredly the heavy, red-hot helmet bathed in my blood.

I hide behind the shield and load my crossbow. The marksman has a yew long bow. Leather quivers are on his belt where he carefully selects goose-feathered arrows. He tightens the hemp string, holds it that way, but does not fire. Birch arrow bottoms stick out of his quivers.

I hold the string tightened. The gear rotates. I tighten the crossbow with the winder and fire the bolt by pulling the trigger upwards. The steel tip of the bolt tears through the air and I can all but hear the squeal of the pierced wind in the hissing and the clash of light and shadow.

– Utterly unnecessary – the marksman shakes his head and puts his arrow back in the quiver. I sharpen the tip of the short spear and light it up. Tears go down my cheek. I look at the summit of Zion, which lords over the heavens as if it turns and rotates, like a beamer placed diagonally.

The marksman and the shield-bearer, pale and tense, were staring at my forehead, tightening their crossbows. I dug my face into my hands and pulled my forehead harder still in the shadow of the sweat overtaking me. I wanted to keep sinking into the darkness, to hide the ghosts of my fancy which did not appear before the marksman and the shield-bearer.

– I came to liberate you.

– You’re raving again, Hjalmar, – the marksman shot him a smile, drumming his fingers on the chainmail. – Let’s go! – He went ahead of me, calm and ready like a ballista rope, stomping the ground as if he wanted to root himself up right then and there. The soil was plowed by heavy armor boots, it was as dark as the vacant, bony face of the Saracen nearby. Oh, those dreaded faces, as if they were coming up from the grave, they swing like flames in the wind, like a deathly fire that singes the bones!

I once felt such a pain, when a Saracen arrow dug into my shoulder. Steel in burning flesh, smoke coming from the wound, and I was all black and hot, like a huge chimney.

I was staring at the marksman’s back while he was walking upright, a bit tense, as his legs, heavily armored with asymmetrically cut sheet metal, shone specked with mud, and his cut shirt quivered beneath his armor. He wore chainmail, with sleeves up to his elbows and a skirt reaching half of his toned thighs . His mail was cut so that it does not hinder his movement. A huge helmet with stripped cross-like reinforcements and eye slits partially hid his face. Shield was adorning his back, the so-called heater shield, with a flat top. A crossbow was in his right hand. A sleeveless surkot was over his mail, belt tightening it around his waist, with lions on it, the ancient symbol of the house of Agnus, Olof’s father. Olofs were Vikings by blood.

– Take some – he pulled out a sheep hide wineskin. The marksman is a friend, I thought looking at him through the eye slits while I voraciously gulped mouthfuls of sweet molasses. A true friend. I was staring at the liquid quivering somewhere in the grotto of the small wineskin. A tiny stream of water, honey and yeast, mead, spiced with lavender whose smell intoxicated me and very slowly closed the crack which, during the days devoid of spiced wine, split open on my crooked back under the weight of memory, piercing through it with a lead spike that tears through skin with ease. Heavy memories pierce like a sharp Saracen spear, they beat like a holy mace forged in hatred.

Intoxicated thusly, Olof and I were looking at the pile of shiny metal, in the faces colored the same as the charcoal earth beneath them. We could see the approaching of some strange shades through the sad hue of darkness, like a black Saracen army which, under this heat exuding from within their armors like heavy fire, appeared as if it were expanding and increasing, ominously emerging from their capes which circled around them like vultures.

The sun cast its last rays onto the city walls in the distance engulfed in smoke. This idyllic picture was to be crushed, its treasures taken, its holy relics soiled in hatred, polluted by the black Seljuk noses. The smell of the Fatimid was the smell of rottenness.

Thusly enchanted, I was staring at the pile of shining metal, into the charcoal faces. I felt nothing but smoke, iron, burning and blue lips chapped from marching for miles and miles.

– Raymond is here – Olof the marksman said.

The shades retreated into the spellbound silence.

Count Raymond was a lank man. His hands were as white as Västmanland snow, calm, clutching the reins. I could see blue eyes under the huge helmet, and the cowl absorbed all of the sweat, so his face was all but dry. He was hot, and he gave this away with certain head twitches and shooing of invisible flies.

– Fiends, you sure did give us a hard time in this hour of proving the love of a Son to a Father. I anm the son of Christ, cast down into the fog of this desert wonder, amid flowers that bloom under  the scorching sun. Blessed be Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

His chainmail bent under his white pelerine as if the Holy Spirit got under his gown of the holy profiteer. There was a sweet taste in the air, and the count sunk ever deeper in liquid bronze, his metal gaze flying over the desert yearning for water over which towered stone ramparts. They appeared to be swaying. The sun was scorching with deadly force engulfing the ramparts in its merciless rays as if they were the hands of a poltergeist, melting them while the air flickered above the towers. Near and around the seven hills, over which the city was opening up on the gigantic palm of Hephaestus, stubborn shrubbery swallowed  the dry, barren rocks and yielded under the dust which aided with the scorching wind buried them deeper into the many layers of sand.

Standard
mathilde, prose

The cruel patterns of the past and the future.’, “Sleeping Mathilde”

The ritual usually took place at night, when the holy Altar burned ghostly in the middle of the yard. Around it would dance, covered in blood, nude witches, keepers of the scourge. They had in long, thick, blonde hair onyx crystals or raven feathers entwined within them. The head-priestess  would wear a crown of deer antlers. The witches, while chanting a mantra, would dispense soil from the graves around the altar.

‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, all that we offer may now be thine

And no man else’s

Oh Yambe, Goddess of the Underworld, take this gift,

Offer him to your peasant spouse, the God of Death,

So it may be his and no man else’s!’

Thus the three beautiful witches would chant until they fell to the ground in ecstasy. Then I would approach them, cloaked as if in a pupa, surrounded by a procession of swarthy torchbearers and claimed them, upon which the ritual continued; the tribute would be brought over, completely nude, from the lower chambers, the torture chambers – it is their blood I would drink upon the ritual’s conclusion. Oftentimes I would, when in shortage of manpower and the fear which paced ahead of me like a shade, drink up horse blood in honor of Yambe-Akka.

 ’Oh Yambe-Akka, let me behold the cruel patterns of the past and the future.’

 ‘Oh, Yambe-Akka, do not let the premonitions dry up!’, I would utter in an official tone of voice, raising my scepter with both hands. After I had had my fill of the meat, I would take a sharp athame in my hand, doused in blood. Upon the palm of the victim I would personally carve the hagalaz rune, and the Goddess would snatch away the dried away, dead bodies, storing them in the chest of gifts. The vultures of darkness would then disperse on the sky of Norrbotten, chased away by the spirit of the Goddess…

“’’The blade was laid in the carved bone which might have once been an arm of a faithful servant’ – I would tap the traveler on his shoulder – ‘and the altar, an ancient image of divinity’ – I would proudly point towards the extinct altar – ‘will speak the tongue of bones tonight’. Bone-chilling words I would direct at a wealthier yeoman or a more ambitious Brit, who would come as was his duty, quivering like a leaf, to bow down to me and ask for my blessing.

an excerpt from the novel “Sleeping Mathilde”

 

 

 

 

Standard
dramma, horror, odd, prose

The Bitch

The Bitch

Miss, I know it’s none of my business that you’re by yourself on this bench, in the park, your face all wrinkled. You’re moving away.

DOG BARK

Nice doggy. Poodle? It is looking at me lovingly and growling. It knows me from somewhere, here I am assailed by a new thought.

poodfle

– Fifi, I will kick you, Fifi tear her apart, down to her tendons, veins and arteries, we must reach her heart. The bite of your Fifi, so generous…Miss Ana, may I call you Ana, mmm?…you’re stepping away. Don.t  Listen to me speak so unfortunate, alone, thankful for Your ear, don’t toss me away so easily. Might we get a bit more informal? Per tu… Flee, if you think me insane. You turn your head. Lemme sit down. One cigarette stub, nothing more. I want to embrace it with my teeth, tell you something and leave. You no longer resist, Ana. You are finally responding to my words by turning your head. I am an ungrateful dog. Ah well. At least I feel full now that I can sit next to you without obtrusion, even lie down and be with you in this way. Whenever so I desire.

You don’t think that we started this off in the best way possible? You, me, an abandoned bench and Fifi. Only solitude can make you put up with an insane person. Solitude and insanity.For I am insane. This is not mere circumstance, a particular one, of insanity. Many a bench puts up with an insane person, the streetcar bars hang the retards that hang themselves atop them and brush their sweat against the travelers. We are the rapists of our life pillars. Where do I start now? In what order should I tell you of myself? Of you? When there are so many topics you would like to hear? Well, let’s start somewhere…

THE GIRL GETS UP, TAKES HER DOG WITH HER.

HE IS BY HIMSELF.

If you put yourself in my position, you will see that all of this is quite a normal reaction. I link things up in the moment. You are to me the only woman on all of these benches where various Fifis are lined up to whom I want to entrust my case. The brain would think that I am the only one for you too. Why is it frightening then to have trust in a stranger? I beg the Stranger to listen to me. He is our representative when troubles ensue. Why is it frightening to sit still on a bench next to a man, who…who…

RETCHING.

ANOTHER GIRL WITH A DOG SITS ON THE BENCH.

 

You must be under pressure too and have a lot of suitors on the bench. It is hard to keep all that plastic and those boards under control. Imagine them shoving close to each other, one, two, three. The bench would crack. I hope we settled this now.

HE TURNS TO THE GIRL.

I do not want to approach to other girls, on other benches. I am not polyamorous nor do I want to get into three-or-four benches, and then not know where to go first. You can change the bench, if you still had some prejudices. You are always the same to me. Perfect. No objections.

THE GIRL GETS UP FROM THE BENCH AND TAKES THE DOG WITH HER.

Let me bug you about myself a bit. Let me explain a bit, about how I wound up on the park bench.

THE NEXT GIRL TAKES PLACE ON THE BENCH WITH A NEARLY IDENTICAL DOG.

I got a divorce six or seven minutes ago. Don’t look at me funnily, don’t bite that hand of yours, angel. For I am no longer aware of what the minute is, let alone the date. It isn’t something I really need to etch into my memory. I don’t complain, I had a harmonious marriage. No kids. A fireplace. The mother-in-law was a good knitter, I had a printstore and a gift shop. Still, one day, with everything between being a perfect system, the talking in the house simply died. Each to their own wall, grabbing a piece and warming their hands. The eyes of my mother-in-law were observing the needlepoint and got stuck there forever. I no longer drank coffee with my wife, and I won’t even go into dinner.

ARMS OUTSPREAD.

Nobody was commenting on the movie anymore!

CRIES.

THE GIRL LISTENS TO HIM GIVING HIM FULL ATTENTION.

If you were to ask my ex wife, we never argued once even during madness, or ovulation, or upon arrival of bills, let alone gifts and the packaging of the morning coffee, if you were to ask…who is to be blamed for the divorce, she would probably say: Him. He is to blame. Peter. You asking me?You asking?

-I’m asking.

-Thank you, Ana.I will say: Pipi is to blame…

-Pipi?

SIGH.

That is how it came to pass.Fate? Possibly.

‘How so?’

A SIGH LATER, NEARLY A SECOND LONG She feels how a tear rolls down his face which, again, leaves the female listener across from them in a seemingly emotionally moved state. It appeared as if both the lady and the dog were listening carefully, while he struggled with his breath which he caught again in order to continue the tale, struggling with evidently lived pain and fear.

– It was all but smoke. Ash.Dark powder. Kind of like when you breathe in something indescribably nasty. The word Divorce has its own life, its own pulse. It has a cold air about it. Like if you were mid-Siberia. Nobody around.

PUTS HANDS ON KNEES.

– Okay, let me be brief, miss, because I could go on like this like Dostoyevski, meaning, unendingly.

He turned towards her in confidentiality and hopeful, but came to realize that the bench was empty. He nodded in acknowledging the realization. Still, her departure cannot prevent him continuing the story. A female conspiracy was put into action against him which culminated in a divorce, so the pile of dames and Fifi that are running from some singles’ benches out there in parks around town was nothing to him. Still it was getting dark, and the cold wind was slapping his cheeks. Glum, he was silent, for a man who’s alone does not speak, he merely lifts his hands in the air to drive a nail or two in his own coffin of solitude. We sink into silence as if it were the ocean. Only after we give ourselves up to dark thoughts does salvation come, a new chance which slides and stumbles amid the benches and park trees. A broad or two slide next to it, sailing along in the dim night, thick-thighs and scantily clad torsos all around. The pieces made up a woman spotting a cheap, bleached hair who held in her hand a worn-out knife and a cracked mirror.

– I shall tell you, I shall tell you all…utter it, my head bowed, as a perjurer and a profligate, the wrecker of the idyllic – the woman was looking at him in wonderment, and her eyes, cold and uncompromising, slid off of the glassy catafalque of the mirror which gave with its shine shadow to all of her wrinkles hidden by the night. She is telling a tale, giving birth to subplots, plots, her face moistened by cottony tears which wet the silent paper upon which he somehow writes and is getting angry before the cheat of life that she took his home, with a sudden, inappropriate silence.

– It all died, dear Lady. The shifty woman shrunk the man to the size of Tom Thumb. What she did to me, I am not too clear on even today. – The woman with bleached hair bowed her head towards him a bit, barely controlling the laughter concealed behind two rows of her overly huge teeth, snug and tightened into her corset which leaves nothing to the imagination, feeling that some sort of evil blood is flowing through this mad man’s veins, mad man who could be a killer, a kidnapper or merely a simple worn-out and pathetic basic life form without a penny to his name.

He continues his story, observing the soil at his feet not providing him with answers. He stomped on the broken bottle glass which was suddenly there, he gets even darker and retreats into the coat which reminded him of the coldness of the moment, as he spoke, as he was complaining to the mistress of the Night, the vampiress with eyeshadow on her lips and rouge round her eyes. He grabbed her bare forearm and squeezing her nickel, he looked at her as if he will growl at her at any moment. This is how he won her over to listen to him, his face was strengthened with peace, and his eyes shined and lips moved in tiny tremors, as if he were sucking on a succulent udders of an overly giving (generous, in the mood) cow.

– After the conversation died down, I would remain all by myself with the king size bed and the fridge, a television set partway to death and nothing else besides all that! The mother-in-law, of course, picked up her needlepoints with swearing and mewling and departed the three-roomed home demonstrably, she even denounced the kitchen. A hundred square meters, my fair lady, and all of THAT in the house.

– That?

– Oil sketches, San Vincenzo and Nature Morta done in needlepoint. She left it all there.

– And the wife?

– Left on a short trip, with Pipi, of course. Her animal mask.A bitch twin. Actually, I have this notion that this is all Pipi’s fault.

– It cannot be!

3f6668c0988be917d581343b05914f9a--poodle-claude

artist: Sofia Bonati

I know the nature of doubt. The whirlwind of trickery contains an endless number of smaller whirlpools of seemingly irrelevant events. Upon it all, I was willing and able to face her mother’s will who suggested that I was the worst man, one of devastating actions. Seemingly unnoticeably, she used potatoes instead of a fan. She stuck she-butterflies in slight potatoes in order to wave their wings in front of her shifty face. And my Anna, she was a sort of she-Oedipus…whatever the term for women is for that.

She is, for instance, bothered by doubt of me having an affair, and suddenly she would stop with the doubt and look at the mother-in-law. She would chew on her mouthfuls and smirking on the other side, the swollen side. In her own home she put on the mask of vengeance, since the marriage of her daughter to an older printer was a motive born out of pure lust of her naïve little Annie.

– Annie, you need a powerful man of Antique build. Just like the one whose muscles I stabbed here on my needlepoint.

However, she and her doubt became one. A stone of crude profile rolling and gathering various bits and bobs. But this was far before…before…

WEEPS.CONTINUES AFTER A FEW SECONDS WITH A CALMER VOICE.

She went silent on one particular day in May, the 14th to be exact, after I have been outside of the house, for I have complicated my own life with freelance work, the earnings of which I wanted to use to buy her that piano she so desperately wanted. And more oil paintings, that Vincenzo for instance. That morning, hung over from work and sunken from the anguish, with sunken cheekbones from leaning them on the wrist of my weary hand, with my head like a lid of a burnt saucepan, I called her in my love for that phenomenon of a woman we love, a phenomenon for she has a hold of us by the coziest place in our heads where crushed husbands separated from their needs due to her more and more prominent headaches, and also faithful and honest, are collecting all sorts of cockroaches and ossicles…

– You killed our marriage – she explained and then it was all over with.

If I did in fact kill it, it was due to vast and enormous love.

– Oh, pish-posh!

The harlot rises and drags the cracked mirror along with her. She leaves the divorced man be. He is yelling at her, interrupted in his story yet again.

– Of course, all you want is money. More money, and then you will understand. You’re not going anywhere, because I have to finish what I started. Only the Harlot of the night can understand me. Want an ax in your head? No, that would be too violent, right?

She was flailing with the night where her butchery voice pierced the heavens. She escaped under the sight of an ax which was looking at her inquisitively, seeking for a spot where it could drive its blade and lay bare any hidden molars under her hair.

– Yes… – he sighed. – Still, I need no one. I will listen to myself.

He sat this way as if he were waiting for someone or something ,surrounded by thick foliage which loomed over him like threatening Titans, baroque rhetoric which cut open the silence of the night in the form of a whisper, he was sad, but talkative and clever .

However, he did not remain all by himself. He felt the presence of a young poodle which, with its bloodshot eyes and presence, lit up to him the entire bench scene along with its gigantic trees that stretched its tentacles from the windy side of the park above the head of the divorced man. Before him she growled angrily, with a sound created by lightning which gives shade to the stormy sky using its flashes of rage and wrath. The bark of the tiny Fifi, a multiple cloned poodle, was swallowing the silence, and its mane was lined with silvery lines of the aristocratic litter that was her skin. Oh how beautiful this Dame is.

The wooly hat on her head was undergoing piloerection and took on the shape of a well-coiffed hairstyle that Anna loved. Fifi’s eyes, painfully empathetic, gave away the female Dandy which was assessing the sufferer, only to jump into his lap and take off another chunk of meat. She growled silently, but pleased.

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– A bit slim, but still gracious. You will understand, little Fifi. You, oh pleasant comfort, wife with the bark of consolation, temperamental slicker with a button-nose. Coquette of humans, warm, come to my lap, Fifi, you realized, unlike your Mistress, that I did not poison her dog which was a present from her mother, her little Pipi. I did not, and even if I did, it was not out of jealousy, but the flesh, it was the toxic flesh, and she could not control her hunger. She bit me and poisoned herself.

I am full of cyanide, for I am alone and unloved. Pipi did, however, have some of your facial features, oh you coquette bitch. I laughed aloud after I had entered the apartment, as if I were entering a batcave, but it was not laughter that a happy being stretched out due to joy, it was desperation, it was torture. Even now I grin, but bareheaded and alone, I keep hiccoughing and do vomit on occasion, right here in this tiny nylon bag. Fifi, want some? No? She has criteria.

The dog jumped onto the bench and climbed into the divorcee’s lap.

– My sweet little poisoned Pipi. After Annie left, I went downhill completely. I lost my job, my printing shop. I closed my little store even before that. I lost my car. My Fiat Punto bought four months before the divorce for ninethousandandfivehundred Deutsch marks. Everything, everything went down following her leaving, everything except Vincenzo. Oh how I remember it, Pipi! It was me who was carrying sacks of cement on my back, setting up wardrobes, because I swore that I would set wardrobes up on our wedding day. I swore on the ring and my sound mind. Why did she leave me? Did love irrelevant to our wedding vows not burn within her? She was as steady as the wind, and as passionate as Aphrodite. Without a doubt, she found a better handyman…for her wardrobes.

– You killed our marriage the moment you poisoned Pipi. You could nto stand me loving her more than you.

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Hearing this word, I realized that the time for pleasantries was up. Her face was the face of an offended lover, her face was wild, red, measured only in her lip movement. – You killed my Pipi. – Her face was however as sensitive as a plank, a she-avenger of her sweetheart which…and this keeps me in turmoil. For I had wanted a Fifi of my own, I wanted her gentleness and mercy. Thus they declared me an abuser of female canines and the poisoner motivated by jealousy and unreturned canine love.

When the car goes downhill, the thread we hold in our hand cannot stop it.

The words Shipwreck of a Marriage, or perhaps Catastrophe are getting closer with a steady gallop, the broken cart is oftentimes covered with FREEDOM inscribed on it, you could definitely see in that pile of worm-eaten boards a few that were intact and that could be saved as compensation and consolation that pushes us to the surface. The horizon of new hope is banging widely against the rubble and darkness and stopping somewhere on the doorstep of the golden stars which dive into the heavens readying new surprises, well known to Cupid. Lovely, broken down cart squealing in pain, derelict in the muck where the vipers squirm, let them!

This is when Annie undertook that type of tyranny which spiteful souls wear like a vein ulcer, and it is the tyranny of silence. ‘Intolerance’ – I spoke with my own tongue.

Upon poisoning Pipi, she got the idea of her own poisoning, which she would use as a tool against me. In vain were all of my reassurances that Pipi and I did not cross over to that other side of respect which would break down the relationships we have barked up carefully over the years, all for Annie. The fact that I did not have a dog of my own, as an antipode, or a cat, was speaking for itself. It is possible that my flaunting before her cutesy barking at times caused revolt and doubt that I am doing something underhanded or at least plotting revenge, for our eyes (Pipi’s and mine) often clashed in oolivegreen shines which spoke: The time will come… I was pretending so well. I hated Pipi the same way I loved my Annie.

Why did I hate her? That mutt was whom she kept in her lap, that mutt in her bed, fidgeting against her comb working on her locks – that mutt, smug and arrogant it fumbled around with its fur turning its ass to me in the process and shaking off the bug powder onto me, with the dignity of the household pet, it would shake its hips spitefully entering the Mistress of the house’s bedroom. I had never seen a haughtier creature than that bitch, self-absorbed, self-sufficient, subordinating everything and everyone to her will. If I were to step into Annie’s room, she would growl at me, and that tongue, that smooth tongue would be lolled out in my face and I could clearly hear her say: Get lost. I had never heard her say this out loud, because I am not insane…but her thoughts were telling me this, her eyes… within those pupils where wickedness spread, those were but tiny telltale signs sent by her eyes where a laughter of pleasure was splashing about, then tears of joy would trickle along with saliva and drool onto my trouser legs which she tore off with her teeth.

One lovely day, in the hallway, in front of my wife’s bedroom, I found Pipi’s corpse. I shrugged apathetically and muttered ‘At last’, like a ventriloquist. I wanted, with my own two hands, both firm and husbandly, those of the man of the house, to rashly burry the poodle’s locks of hair sprayed with Chanel into the treetop and to throw her away in a trashcan.

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Annie found Pipi dead (‘she was scratching all night, using hope, faith and her love to me, her unconscious savior, to revive the stimuli which would keep her alive’) getting out of bed and opening the door with a smile on her pale grey face welcoming the morning, when she was met by an extended red tongue and rolled up eyes. The rug on the floor and the soft meat intensify the memory of Lili, her previous dog that was poisoned (by pure accident and the fault of the cat called Lilith, which was confirmed without a doubt). Looking at her Lil Pipi, her eyes bore both madness and glow. At first a time to rise, and now a time to descend.

She ordered Pipi’s corpse brought to her with a coarse voice. She observed the dead rug with its red tongue out and kept silent. Pipi’s body had an entire carpet of dust on it. That arrogant little beast, that dirtied bride was now at long last effortlessly observing the world. Her eyes were dim plates enveloped in cortex. Her whites were gone in the darkness, extinguished, never to be resurrected. Her corpse was covered in crusty boils of unknown origin. Annie lifted her up with her satin gloved hands and screamed into the darkness of the open maw of her dead poodle.

– No, this isn’t true, you cannot be dead!

I laughed and gave myself away. The laughter of a monster on the other side of the glass which was separating us clashed with the past of all the sorrows of Annie. Namely, for Pipi’s death (as claimed by the cook as a witness) a cat-like beast with her eye out was responsible, a beast that was advancing towards the window glass where Pipi stood with her ass out observing the world. I don’t have to tell you that this window was in my wife’s bedroom.

 

After the mysterious death of Pipi (so, the one completely confirmed by eyewitness reports, the cat that looked like it belonged to Poe, one eye, furious to the core, offered Pipi her plate, and Pipi licked it clean) Annie did not eat for days, bed-ridden, with eyes that stared dully in the distance… and when she got up, she said:

– I want to have a coffee with my husband.

I squealed in pure joy, to which she gave me an intense stare. Still, I could not even fathom what kind of marital problems awaited me upon Pipi’s unexpected demise, may she rest in peace.

– She was bad for you anyway… – I consoled her. – She looked like all of those popular starlets with their fucked up heads. Except she was a bitch, of course.

The door to our home suddenly became heavier. Far too heavy. So did the table, and the doors, and windows, and the coffee which was getting cold. The fear that she would think I had anything to do with the…with the poisoning…you know? No, you most certainly would not even think that, see I’m not some jealous husband, and jealous of dogs no less, those little bitches? No, I knew Annie’s temperament and fear of her accusing me was overtaking me and had its tongue out like a snake when twisting itself around a tree.

Everything was still peaceful, cozy around us. At the coffee drinking table there was fruit in a miniature flowerpot, flowers of padded red hair, a tiny Cupid framed in glass, photos of Pipi. Taken by the glee with which she posed with Pipi on the photos and the aforementioned Cupid, she took small sips of coffee and shot me a few times with tiny flashes of her tinier eyes, like a hard-working questioner, with an indifferent face.

– They should all be killed.

– Who, honey? – I asked mercifully.

– Those cats with rabies.

– Oh, yes.

– Beat them to paste.

– Ah yes. – I could barely utter any words, as if I were not drinking coffee, but eating a heavy porridge of glue.

– Pipi gave my life sense, and now I need something to put me down and to sleep when the sense is gone – Annie said this and took a few chill pills.

– A shame that I don’t have a sniffer. Eh, what do I need it for, oral use is better. Twice oral, before and after coffee. Give me that silver teaspoon on the table. Those bloody cooks steal silverware. Ah well. I will crush it next time. I don’t like to swallow them whole. I always had the fear that they will get lodged into my esophagus.

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Tai Shan Schierenberg : 2008 Alter Ego

I was listening to her, pale, holding the teaspoon, obedient as a dog. What does she need it for? Annie is sucking on the pill and through her tongue rolls it somewhere down to the stomach where powder and blood will face off.

Every morning since then, since Pipi’s death, whether crushing the pill with teaspoons or not, a sad image kept repeating words or the word through the image carved the gradual druggedness of Annie deeper. Blessed, ready for family life and relaxing conversations we used to have – those of water, power, the vacuum cleaner, the gift store and the fiscal cash register – she was resting on a cloud of sorts known only to her where she was with her Pipi, where anger and rage and lust were nowhere around her. The Pillmania spirit had taken his hold of her.

As she closed her eyes, while I spoke of the public utility, they appeared as two female lovers glued together, one to another. She had little eyes like two sickles. Thus the two sickles are looking somewhere on the inside, like a moon in its crescent phase enjoying itself, silent as it sails across the night sky. A little arc is sailing across the sea which is getting tangled below him and takes on its reflection which is swimming in the dim light of our cafeteria, whose walls already took on the hue of the upcoming sunset.

The pillmania made me feel sick. Unnoticeably sick, though, and the feeling of abandonment, as if I were a weak calf on some distant field, was too strong for the calf so forcefully weaned, grasping for breath and grazing somewhere far away where it will grow old and die. All in all, the coffee now tasted like bile, and I felt what it was like living in darkness by yourself, like a creature of the deep what has bright, electric lights for eyes.

Still, if only it remained like this, but she was quickly overtaken by insanity and rage. She left the pills, threw a coffee cup at me once while I was entering, telling me to go on then and get lost. This place was clearly one person too many now.

– But, I love you – I tried to play the dog love card which she appreciated so.

Annie put her hand where her heart should be.

– There is nothing here, do you understand? – her eyes glimmered, became frozen and emotionless. The neurotic laughter repelled and attracted doubt.

– What is happening to you, Annie, my Venus? Where did this come from? What does it all mean? How come you have no heart? Should I call the doctor?

– What doctor, fool? No doctor can re-heart me, for I do not feel. I do not love you. Do you understand me now? You simply annoy me because you suck.

– Why do you do this? What did I do wrong? – I flailed my hands while talking. – I will get you a new dog. Just don’t… My Venus. Will you not?

– A new dog? – her hands went over my face and she stared me directly into my eyes. I felt the coursing and the warmth.

– Besides, even if you did not love me, Annie… Screw love, right? We are after all merely husband and wife. We’re not lovers of Verona. Friendship is what matters.

– I’ll show you a new dog, Poisoner! – Ah, you really do keep spiting me. Would a pointer not calm you down?

The spite was really strong. No words, no sound, no letter. I waited. As Simonov says, wait for me, and I’ll come back! Wait in patience yet.

Suddenly, from her throat where it felt as if a ghost of late Pipi dwelled the little bitch growled, shoving her snout through her esophagus squeezing out a barrage of hysterical punches at me.

– Dear, your coffee is getting cold. – My metamorphosis as an act of reconciliation and bravery was brimming with elegance, contrasted to her squeal and her arms which wrapped around my neck like two dark serpents twisted into a ball. Her arms, I noticed, were lengthy and long, mixed with air which drained matter, bone and blood from them. She was warming up, a vicious disease of fire had beaten her, and the roots of her arm hairs stank of burn. She slowly started turning into molten gold, her hair caught fire – in short, she was burning in rage right in front of me, and this is plausible, I’ve read about self-immolation as a reaction to extensive stress.

This is how I killed my wife, fried off the wings of a butterfly, because of the sin that was her oversized and somewhat impure love for Pipi. Her loves were kept safe, more accurately her touches of love only knew of that mane, that gray mane of Lady Pipi, Her highborn highness whose bones are now drying up in the shadowy wind. But, despite spontaneous combustion, other than the experts I could reference, I had no evidence that it was indeed me who did not kill her. A petrol canister in the shed, a few matches and a motive: poisoning the bitch. I was picturing it: fire comes with the poisoner, the lousy potion is smoking in the ashes, mixed in with it and the bones of the beloved animal. I fried her with my jealousy, she was all smoking and smoking away at long last, she was extinguishing herself, turning into ash and all ashen and powdery like that she dissolved right there, in front of my eyes. I went up and down the room with an unlit cigar in hand, frantically thinking – Should I tell them she fell asleep with her cigar lit? It used to happen to her. These things happen, inspector, my friend, ha haha.

– I did not burn my wife yesterday, because when I went home at five (during the self-immolation), my salesman asked me this. – Peter, how are you handling all of this? These people are nuts. Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing… – This I said somewhat dragging it out, all sticky-like, as if I hadn’t eaten in a while and there was a potential bread piece stuck to the inside of my esophagus. This reptile of a salesman, this schemer, could testify that at the moment of Annie’s death I was not only absent, but also filled with kindly thoughts. I was still thinking of this possibility, and then I scooped up all of the ashes into one ashtray with two fish-lipped buds and with the pedantry of a concentrated actor I laid Annie’s remains onto the canopy bed. Here is where she lay prostrate with Pipi, the two of them, inseparable lovers, feeding each other caviar pate.

I went to work by train. It was cold, but not too cold, although not too warm either. I asked myself what keeps the people warm under this gale which caresses the skin as gently as a skeletal hand would, eternally un-warm, the icy liberators of the esophagus. Confused and pondering, exactly like a man whose wife had just spontaneously combusted before his eyes, I was trudging along the street covered in snow. At least I seemed to think so. I was late getting my alibi, because I wanted to be late (ah let them get me, I confess to everything, other than poisoning Pipi, that I did not do), bearing but one thought into oblivion akin to an Unfinished Fantasy. I wasn’t skillful enough to burn her completely, and then, as we know, feelings of the loved, burned being race. Annie could talk of the consequences of an earthquake in South America and, of course, the Great Pyramid.

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The pyramid is aligned exactly according to the cardinal directions of the planet.

Annie, this thing is like coffee, muck on the mouth and teeth as it seems to me, that sweet residue, and it is never wrong. It gets between my fangs, making my front row teeth look like a black star.

Stop it, you moron! What residue, what coffee?! Science stuck its fingers into the eyes of the great mystery and is digging away at it. When I was young, I noticed mysteries all around us. Hand me the third eye. Here is what the PhD MA PR Thehell says about it…

– The pyramid is in the center of the aggregate mass of the Earth.

And coffee..

– Unbelievable!

She would then take her coffee in her (right) hand, and the UFO stories in her left, while she would put the Legendary Times Magazine pledgets on her moist forehead.

– I was wrong to marry you. Now I know. Pipi, bark, damn it. Pipi is laughing at the confusion of charlatans and astral readers, those imprisoned by common sense. Pipi has no sense, hence why she makes sense of everything. I think she is aware of the mystery and its resolution. These days I feel like she is trying to learn our language. But you could not understand this. Read on, Pipi:

Dead, and once alive Pipette: bow wow wowwoooowwooow!

PIPI – The angles of the pyramid divide the Nile delta region into two identical halves.

In the cup of coffee there are the male and the female side. The river in the coffee is the sludge of Nile.

PIPI – The pyramid is the perfect geodetic swivel and directional point.

ME-TO-ANNIE-ONCE-WHEN-THE-BITCH-WAS-ALIVE;

Our marriage was going really well while there was coffee on the table. That’s it, perhaps, perhaps. You know the reason was also you buying plastic cups, and the sludge and residue lost on weight. In order for you not to think that my theories are completely wrong, understand that if the pyramid is a myth, our marriage is an anti-myth.

– If the basis of the pyramid’s surface is divided by twice the half of this monument, you get Pi=3.1416

DOUBLE THAT AND WE HAVE PIPI.

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– The sum of the surface area of all four sides of the pyramid is equal to the square of its height.

To this I had no response.

PIPI (victoriously) – bow wow wow

ANNIE –That’s it. Tell him. Long live Pipi. Bow wow wow

PIPI – Bow wow

ANNIE – Bow wow

The barking stopped.

I sat on a bench of the platform housing a decommissioned train (thus I knew that I’d missed at least one) and gleefully came to a conclusion that the snow wasn’t melting for a while, which meant that leaving tracks in the snow was an inevitability. I observed the railroad before me and thought how numerous children must have died during the South American earthquake. In the distance I heard male voices, from what I could tell it might’ve been an argument regarding some unsold candlesticks.

– They argue so much, and they aren’t even married. Nothing is guaranteed to us nowadays, not-a-thing.

Gazing at the floating snowflakes, for a second, that very second I covered my face with the warm palm of my hand taken out of my coat pocket mere moments before. I did so because I wanted to feel warmth right then and there, I wanted to prevent another memory of the spontaneously combusted Annie leak from out my eyes and, most certainly, the memory of the divorce gained with a single thunder strike. With no paperwork nor complications. Under agreement – with fire. The sound announcing the train’s arrival was heard in the distance. The wind started blowing harder.

I got up and moved towards the coming train, towards the known silence. After a couple of steps I stood, hands in pockets, unruly gaze, I was looking at the train in the distance, yet closer every subsequent second. The howl of the locomotive cast me, yet again, for but a mere moment, into the memory of that one hour when Pipi was poisoned, and Annie caught fire, an hour where I decided to abandon my life, and after I had found an alibi, a proper replacement, to walk away from it. I felt dizzy.

The train was stopping at the platform. I turned back for a second, noticing people rushing with bags in hands and realized that mine were in my pockets. Everything I ever needed could fit within the contents of a coat pocket. I entered the train with an unnaturally clear desire, I wanted to stop feeling. Did that inevitably include me no longer existing as well?

This is how I found myself here. You can accurately guess that I did not board that train. I am waiting for them, to pick me up, to arrest me, toss me in the slammer and feed me pipi pates.

FIFI FROM THE BENCH: Bow!

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My hungry little snorting sweety, shall we give in? Go back to them? Pipi, you had your vengeance. See. I underestimated you. I thought you were no more than an ordinary… mutt.  I forgot that you were a bitch. I mean, it’s no familiarity, nor title. Titles are for those who moil, and also for vain monarchs. We will be desensitized, dear Pipi, towards everything from now on. You might help me better understand Annie, as well as the mystery of the pyramids, therefore I beg of you, Fifi, to do me the honor of becoming my wife, there. I will get you both a dress and a little hat. You see, Pipi, it’s not that bad being a lady with such a bitch around like you. We would be like the perfect pair of gloves. How did I miss that? I missed my wife, I missed the marriage, and here there is a glorious, clever bitch that knows how to listen. Yes, I am he who speaks, because everyone around me fell silent. All is dead. Other than the well-known spots, they never die.

PETTING THE DOG TRYING TO BITE HIM.

My wicked thing. Let’s go home, Annie is in that ashtray waiting. I might light a cigarette, with a cup of coffee. One would say I didn’t love her, but over her ashes I will repent for all that I did, with marriage vows and the coffee-ritual. Who knows, maybe she went somewhere, I am ready for questioning, hell let them burry me even. I deserved it.

GRABS DOG’S LEASH AND GETS UP

I feel a bit tired, a bit virus-stricken too yeah…I didn’t bring my hat…Annie will love seeing you alive and not killed by me, She might rematerialize and revive our marriage out of sheer happiness and in all her thickness compared to the clay pigeons walking in the parks. Maybe I’m Annie? Hehe. My left arm hurts (the muscles of both the forearm and the upper ar,), it always hurt Annie…Now her spasms are at my disposal. New life, Pipi. I have enough willpower. I fear no God, let alone those lazy-asses the cops and paramedics, hehe. Mere mortals, the lot of them. Perhaps you could help him realize…like you did with me and the pyramid thing. There. Homeward…no rush. With one break the length of a short eternity…What do you say, Pipi? You don’t care? Huh? Thank you so much. And here I missed the Champion’s league to take you for a walk. I’m not complaining. I prefer this and want nothing in return. Maybe a kiss, if we get home anytime soon. At least to make it worth something…

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Peroratio: Marco

TURNS TOWARDS THE POODLE

More? There will be more when we get home and I tell you what’s on my mind. Go on and grin. He who laughs last…Not talking? Angry? I had no attention to anger nor offend you. Not my thing. Not my MO. Of all feelings I only know those that are nice and bring joy. If I went overboard or made a mistake somewhere, tell me and then gnaw me to death. How? Put your mouth to mine and don’t let me breathe. Then cast me to the cats to be eaten. Fin. No more Peter. And seek another companion, Perhaps you will find one if an old-timer is still walking this planet. Though, it will be tough.

POODLE: Bow wow wow

PETER: Bow wow wow

THEY TAKE OFF. SOMEWHERE.

Standard
prose, thoughts

21st Century – Salieri’s revenge

In the 21st century music is no longer a friend of the muses. It has become a tool for “good” entertainment and for money -making exclusively, and those “goals” are the only criteria for its existence. Don’t even get me started on the visual arts and literature. (It’s tragic) The question remains: what is a writer (painter, musician) to do in such a climate, where even he is despised as a selfish, ridiculous creature who “lives in his/her own world” not having a clue about “real life”, the one whose art is mainly a cheap mask as an excuse for laziness (well, not all that cheap…)
It is irrational to think that art can be more than a hobby for a woman or a man unless it is eventually paid for. And in order to be paid, in cash or by credit card, it is necessary for you, my dear friend and colleague, to have a big shiny house and to be financially more than secure and possibly a lord or a count. Then all of it makes some sense! This is a typical relativization of a pondering mediocrity.
What to do? What could be done in a climate like this? The answer is: No matter what, the artists should refuse to listen to the shrill voice of this unhappy, materialistic, desolate era, removed from all of humanity. Their work must be done in silence, for the next who will accept it with a smile or refuse it with burst into laughter.

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Standard
novelette, prose, samarrai, story

Dervish, Part Two

Part One

  1. – But luckily, I have the fully enraged sun to drive away the nightmare, here it is insidiously melting in the sunlight! – Gennardo thought, while his dreamy eyes were darting around looking for the holy notes. The ecstasy of the nightmare was still strong within, and the that which he remembered and the objects floating on the other side of consciousness were but sections suddenly illuminated by lightning, which would circle its movement after the blast, moving towards other, distant lands and new matter. All that he remembered was the taste of a gastronomical luxuriousness and a non-sweetened drink with aniseed grains.

– The manuscript, where is my manuscript…I mean…my notes… – his hands were shackled by rush, and his soul by longing to open those famous doors of Holy existence anew. True, at the same time that reality took control over the crazed shrieks of phantasms of dreams, with his outer eye he circled the basic shape of the rounded edges of the sheet music notebook which appeared as if it were bleeding under the sun, in radiances aflame.

– This must be the truth bleeding…or is it my blood…? – he realized that the blood traces were not an irritant vision, but was instead his forehead moist from the injury which occurred under the intransigent punch with a blunt object wielded by someone’s strong hand.

– Want a napkin? Or tea? – a well-known OverVoice boomed which bled tones of Seiler piano keys in finer nuances, insolently stepping on the left pedal and causing Gennardo an inexplicable disgust.
– Step away from my una corda, you wicked bastard! – but the Sufi kept on observing him with even more of a wicked calm, thus Gennardo took a step back from his callous reaction under the power of this gaze whose chill could possibly be rivaled by the tip of the iceberg floating along the North Atlantic…

– Have a hijab to cover your head, heal the wounds and learn some humility when you speak to your master, Jemila! – he all but shoved the shawl onto his head, leaving one end to dangle on the side somewhat more than the other, he pricked it into place with a hijab needle, and the longer bit of the shawl he wrapped around his three-day-old beard, then slapped him twice and said ‘it’s a hijab!’

– Master, this must be some sort of a joke, I am a man, I cannot be Jemila.

– You will be what I say you are until the moment I die!

– But, you are dead!

– No, you’re dead. But finish the Dhikr and you will resurrect, by the Turks one and all! But, I must give you some praise, I am very pleased with your work last night, Jemila. I just feel bad that you barely touched your rice pudding, you merely looked at yourself in the mirror and drank raki the whole night.

To this Gennardo leapt like a leopard in an attempt to escape, he threw himself at the glassy mirror surface in all his might when, under the tune of the cacophony that was the Sufi’s laughter and its own bursting into pieces, he squeezed the perky breasts cloaked under his aba.

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– Good lord, the size of them…the mirror broke under their weight… Wait, I…I have…I have become a Muslim woman!

– The long sleeves of this black cloak will give a wider swing to both your creative hands. No more morning hanky-panky, my son, at least until the Dhikr is as clean as a whistle!

Gennardo/Jemila shivered, and his scrawny face went pale with fear as the room flowed in an ethereal rhythm. The spirit produced an unusual sound not unlike dull sobbing, tilting his head left and right until the red pupil of his incorporeal eye faded to the hue of snowdrift. Then the spirit floated around the room, while the newly-crafted Jemila lifted up her skirt with an unsure notion of a scabrous male hand, riddled with fear of the plausible wrath of the spirit, feeling up her crotch – when all of a sudden she came to a hurdle, namely Islamic tights with a Zebra pattern, and within them a lump not unlike a scroll or a stone slab.

– Touch yourself there again and you’re getting a monolith! – the enraged Spirit said.

– Where is it? You ethereal son of a bitch! I hope they burry you dead among the living! Give me back what I had before I ever had it – I am a man, a man and my main tool is ruined! May your unliving embodiment be ripped off into the dishonorable exile! – the moment he said this, the old man cast a hellish curs upon him with swift kung fu motions, the room was filled with noise, and the stone grew to weigh an amazing 170kg and shaped itself to a steep rock upon which Jemila was twitching like Sisyphus.

– By Omar, Allah cast his judgment upon you!

– Jesus damn you, sheik, may the tribes of Mozambique sew your everyday garb for eternity!

– Jemila, I will give you one…gelded…if that means a lick to you, until you finish that scribbling of yours. As supercilious as you are you will not even reach the pentatonic scale if I do not make you humbler than a Mycenaean tomb. The chiffons and light scarves from the Islamic boutique “Il Deserto” are what you will wear, as a humble apprentice in the master-art workshop of her Islamic master.

The spirit extended his incorporeal hand, then mumbled some incoherent magic words. The rock was gone, and Jemila flew into the air suddenly and inexplicably while heavy sheet music notebooks well on his aching head from the ceiling.

– Sit down and write, and I will play now, to relax you. And do not argue with Omer’s ancestor, Jemila, or the only tool you’ll have left is that pencil in your heavy, manly hand. – The spirit exploded, but also went soft for a moment. – and you are a pretty one, even like this… if I were a bit younger…and alive…

But Jemila exploded as well. Truly never an angrier woman had there been anywhere. Jumping over the table, he grabbed the Spirit by the throat so that the hot desert air scorched his hands, but the poor composer was not even aware of the flaming pain, because, truly, there never was a bigger tragedy since birth than the one now bursting out of his throat.

– Cagna arabo, dammi il mio cazzo, subito o non si vede una chiave di violino da me, in modo da scopare con il vostro turchi e con i loro cazzi, oh inferno. Non toccare il nostro cazzo italiano. chiaramente!

But the all-seeing ‘sheik’ paid his dues in turn.

– Che tipo di temperamento, che donna! Donna turca, senza dubbio. Prenditi cura del tuo mani, Dzemila. Tornerò il tuo cazzo di questa mattina, anche se sono rimasto molto soddisfatto con la sezione.

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– Then it’s a deal.

– Yes… Al Zahra!

And he burst into laughter clad in horror while the turban on his head quivered from laughter.

– And be careful, my Al Zahra. Be careful with ALL of those keys, because all of this, as you can see, can get you to dangerous and rather unpleasant situations.

To this Gennardo Al Zahra pulled a revolver out of a drawer, placed it onto the table, opened up the notebook, lifted up his aba, gave good thought and said with a shrill voice:

– Oh…well look how good this is that I wrote… I just don’t remember when all of this happened exactly. But I don’t understand – he grabbed her hijab – this is a harmonic support written by an aesthetic ear, and just between you and me, mine is Salierian. Oh how tense these sixth chords are…

– You will be tenser than any sixth chords if you do not satisfy me with your next manuscript…

– Do not remind me. You semi-visible bastard!…Or these… excessive seventh chords. Though this little lady…erm, little lad did manage to one-off the sound which flows with most composers according to preset harmony rules and without departures in form, with some exceptions that again prove the rule.

– Did you already get so well acquainted with the Sufi philosophy, my sweet Ferda…

– Al Zahra!

– Sorry. By simply wearing the hijab you stepped into the way of Islam, Al-Zahra. You gave up the most precious of things by adopting the queer identity of unified religions – like the Emirates, are they not all united? And my goal is to unite all inter-sixth-chord-al countries of the world through the astral plane, ridding ourselves of the corpses of disunited churches – the dead stone slabs from which disgusting, moss-poisoned, despicable rocks grow! You’ve already passed phase one. And your award shall be, after all of the Sufi stages are complete, only 28365767 of them, I shall attach Big John to you, the greatest of cavemen achievements.A fresh, prehistoric specimen, a subject of confusion to the archeologists of Yale U for eleven thousand years!

Al-Zahra’s eyes lit up with glee.

– Uh uh uh … perhaps a Phrygian dominant scale would come in handy here – he stared at his manuscript dully – certainly, I will not change the rhythm of three sixteenth notes, I suppose I knew what I was doing. I think I will continue with the counterpoint which would be the F major!

The spirit sighed only to look at him angered.

– The subtext of the Sufi is a philosophy. Cyclical. Can you understand that, Little Horny Man?

– It might be, since it is both the Dervish and the Death, a cyclical piece.

Sufi’s eyelashes closed, after he rolled his eyes to the side quickly. He was ticked!

– Allahu Akbar! Every single tone must be a heartbeat in the service of Allah!

– I am not a Muslim woman!

– Do you want the Big John or the monastery, Al-Hazra!

– You are a false spirit. Turks are not Arabs!

– But they prey to Allah! Listen to your heart, Jemila. Boom boom. Boom-boom!

– Good, good! I know. Allah just came to me and told me that the secrets of the universe are hidden in the plagal cadence. – Al-Hazra looked at Sufi, filled with hope.

Annoyed, Sufi snapped his fingers and Al-Hazra fell into a philosophical dream.

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  1. I would love it if he could wake up somewhere smack in the middle of the Land of the Rising Sun, with the melancholy of a Greek who walked along Hierapolis or of a Turk clad in the Bursa silk.

– But the hell with Italy! The damn hill Monte Casino and Saint Benedict are to blame for this! The artists of Lombardy too! They didn’t want the great Rumi as part of their library and then? Who do we have? Donizetti, a bully who used a Roundel dagger to carve deep grooves in the torn bra of his wife oftentimes finding her in the arms of his own lover while his tears flowed hard and bitterly down his twisted face as he phoned in Tu che a dio spiregasti!, or that killer Gesualdo, an impressive madrigal singer and serial killer in his own home! Instead the Lombardos implemented the various Disciplinarum Libri, gardens of Milan, chest pains to stop the promising rhythm of the numbers which were studied by the first Italian composer, posing as Saint Augustine of Hippo, until he also, like that Gennardo, lived to see God bestow upon him the cadence which he has to create, and the Holy one tell him that it’s always worse to have the golden key as opposed to a wooden one.

He rubbed his sleepy eyes, ate the rice pudding from the table in absolute delight, disrobed up to his tights, gently rubbed his full breasts, removed the hijab and let loose the hair of gold, one would swear that he, as a woman, was visited by Aphrodite in his dreams.

He took his pencil to paper, thought of the Ivory Coast for reasons unknown, and started composing. He opted for the fragmental approach, with some episodes of repetition, but…

– It certainly would not be of harm if I put in minimal modulations, and make a few bars of chord mutations, and then a few for their reversals, uncompromisingly keeping track of the tonality within the heart similar to the guiding star floating in the heavens.

– But, only in the beginning. Dominant scale, you shall not escape me.

– That’s right, my son Gennardo – a potential cousin of the Canterville Ghost said. – I gave you your Joe back, it’s true that this wasn’t that particular cave, but even these Ancient Greek caves were good for something.

The composer-man calmly said:

– But, only after the subdominant chord takes it to the uncertainty of the closing act.

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The manuscript, mute and untouched up until that point, shaped itself into a living melody performed with the skilled left hand of the Sufi at the keys which stretched from the bass to the right parallel with the notes of the bass section which maintained the characteristic untamed nature of the upper melody lines.

– Ehm, my son Gennardo, very good… Do not forget to write down the bass clef.

Gennardo looked at him pretentiously.

– I did not forget. By the way, Old Seethrough… why did you introduce yourself while glorifying the Turks, by Iraq?

– Not Iraq! – the Sufi jumped up as if burned, sighed and said excitedly – because of comfort. Turkey is closer to Italy. Geographically.

Gennardo, whose doors of unrivaled narcissism and power were flung open, decided upon some idle banter with the Evil spirit.

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‘The old man is joshing with me. But I will be famous, I can see that. Oh lord, how talented I am!’

Sufi, not realizing what is happening in the thick head of his student who as is true to his nature leaned towards proclaiming himself as some sort of heroic ideal, shook his right hand, looked at Gennardo hopefully and with a smile which leaked like the Niagara falls down his incorporeal jaw with seethrough, at times pearly white teeth, he asked:

– And what about the left, my son?

Gennardo looked at little Joe with admiration, like Snow White’s stepmother queen in the magic mirror on the wall.

– Gennardo, my son… – but the ghost suddenly flared up – Now is not the time for this. Write, damn you, write! I do not have an eternity to waste! I have plans, ethereal life! I am not lazy!

– Slow down, pops. Music is a steep coast, and I would like some Riesling…

– No, no and no! – the apparition flew towards him and smacked him on the head with the kaval. – Write!

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– No.

– You better write or I’ll…

Gennardo looked at him with a wicked smile on his tiny lips.

– I have stared into the eyes of Evil numerous times, especially in the La Scala. Here is the manuscript, you finish it yourself.

– You…you…un-castrated wrecking tramp! Step the hell away from MY table!

While Gennardo was observing him with significant surprise, the spirit charged towards the manuscript which was writing itself lead by the invisible, terrifying hand of the Divine:

– If Allah allowed you to rotate like a chord, he would not allow the holy Scripture of the Omayyad to continue in that direction.

And as his turban fell from his head, his hair caught fire and his entire body spoke, and the voice the same as bare iron was whipping the back “of all you mortal ingrate bastards, and oh my Dervish, you will not go to Greece, so help me and self-immolate me the great Allaaaaaah!”

– Master, your hair is on fire. True, I did not know how to finish this, oh me the humiliated Salieri, oh me, oh my personal anguish! Not even your holy Turkish power was of any help!

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– Iranian, fool! – With a mighty motion of the shining hand the powerful Sufi rammed a clef down while wildly spinning towards the door, knowing he didn’t have a lot of time left.

– Oh Allah, now I know how Joan of Arc felt! The body is burning, it hurts, but it is dangerous not to finish it and leave with merry disdain the glory to that damn amateur Orpheus!

– A counter-rhythmic structure, Wop! Always of a temporary character, that’s what it must be. Then come the influences of…erm…I will have to fit the instrumental transpositions in a very, very specific manner in order to create ecstatic confusion which leads one to spiritual bliss. Do you follow, son?

– You mean, like bruises? – the Italian asked confusedly.

– Not contusions, Al-Zahra! Something within me got mixed up in my powers. You somehow woke up from a deep sleep.

– And what of these influences? – Gennardo asked terrified as the Master was spontaneously combusting. Not even the dark wind that burst into the room managed to put out the fire of his heart.

With a tired burned up hand he wrote the last few bars, while Gennardo was rolling on the floor engulfed in terror, howling:

– Call the fire brigade!

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– The fireman does not help there, only the Fountain of Fire– the Iranian said and started singing.

‘Only when the school and the mosque and the minaret

Collapse, only then can the Dervish get together.

Until fealty turns to treachery, and treachery to trust,

Not a single human being can become

The part and the organ of truth.’

The doors opened with a horrific bang and the same humongous man from the hill, golden-haired and dark in gaze had upon sifting down Gennardo placed both hands on the table, lifting above it, and the entire castle akin to Vesuvius above Pompeii, mowing down a few chandeliers in the room with his athletic shoulders.

– Get it solved, Rumi. Give the pride of Music to Greece. In return Zeus will stop the storm at Athos and destroy the Greek fleet. By the Sun and the Moon, fire and water, Francis of Assisi can be stopped. It stands to reason that the crucified man will merely be a shell of the Roman plan when Persia rules the world. The Nietzschean God will not die, for He will never have existed. Ultimately, is Music not the most important of all? Let Persia wage wars, let Greece play its tunes…and the rest – here he looked at the Italian – let them curse that same Francis of Assisi and their Lombardos. Oh, by the myth, get it solved.

Rumi gave him a stern look and as the Greek Heracles laughed looking at his weak body, Rumi shrugged.

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– The influences enable a powerful elaboration of the theme before its resolution – he looked at the Greek as his body was aflame – It is true that to Dionysus these resolutions were left too undefined considering we’re tackling tense chord sets…Yes, my son, everything can be resolved upon tension. And not just in them, but also in excessive and reduced chords while the doubly reduced tones can solvate on varying sequences. The Greek mind cannot comprehend this, but sending bad weather to the Persians, that it can. – Despite being all but charcoal at this point, he did not lose the passion to point his index finger at the Hellen.

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– Your problem, Rumi, is that you are living in the past – there was a grin twixt the cheeks of the Greek.

– You see, Gennardo, my son. Your beloved La Scala collapsed the moment this was resolved. (A powerful blast in the distance.)

– You no longer need to worry about your reputation. And the Sufi is dancing with the stars. – Rumi said, whose body was already burned. He turned to dust and disappeared.

‘I do not care about not being famous THERE as long as there is nobody superior. Besides, the manuscript is here.’ The minute he thought this, he grabbed the Notes with all his might and squeezed it to his chest defying the Greek who towered over him, or rather the house itself.

– But why did you yourself not resolve all of this, Dervish? – Gennardo asked astutely.

– I wasn’t able to – the Giant shivered in anger.

– Those vain Greeks…but we have Donizetti and he will knife the lot of you! – Gennardo raised a fist in the air. – Our madmen do not originate in myth, they are born True!

The Greek, and it was Apollo, waved his hair amid which was interwoven the seed of magic and stopped the fire, he snatched with a breezy motion the notebook from Gennardo’s gnarled hands and made his way to the exit, tearing down everything in his path.

– See you later and have a good one – with the notes and the kaval, therefore, he went to the door in an attempt to close them with an even more deafening bang.

– Wait…wait… – the Italian rose from the floor. – You cannot take that. This was written by me, Jemila, Ferda, Qasim, Al-Zahra and Rumi. All you did was start the theme. We were the ladies that…erm…the men that finished the threepiece song. This is not yours.

With a calm expression on his face the giant turned, and the face in question took on the hue of deep mythical stability while he, with his tongue clean, with not a whiff of abruptness nor rudeness, replacing the dark flash in the eyes of the Furies with a glow of an unbearable sun, approached Gennardo and with a friendly handshake which crushed his right shoulder thus putting him in hellish anguish for life, and trying to offer him a handshake of truce rejected by the Italian, he said:

– “Dionysia” is a Greek record label whose manager is Aphrodite and which exists for nearly 10.000 years. Its primary field of interest is music copyright protection and it’s responsible largely to the European commission and the NFB champion’s league (not that we don’t have some powerful connections here as well). Orpheus, upon reading “The Trial”, decided to be a stickler and to only gather material while he’s keeping records. Dionysus already burned the “Dhikr” onto a disc in standard audio format, and I have long ago given the ID, filled in the form, in short – I beat you to it.And what were you thinking with Sufi music anyway, Salieri? You are not a Dervish. Neither am I. Only Rumi could perform all of this, and what are fools for? Still, I will tell you something that the old nostalgic fool didn’t.

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Red Infinity, Robert R Splashy Art

Anyone can be a Dervish if he realizes that creation is a game, that the Dhikr itself was conceived by a non-Dervish as an experiment of the western musical thought.  – Apollo scratched his head here. – The Dervish is he who bravely wrestles with tonal variety. What makes a piece colossal? Would this piece be as massive as my Hellenic hand had it not yearned for the definition of resolution? But, to you, as well as others who were not what HE was, and Lord knows where in Persia he is now looking for a new moron to protect the art from the Greeks – the cruel god of music laughed lovingly at this statement – the musical and life symbolism do not let up. Little Horny Man… – he moved onward to tap him on Sufi’s “Johnny” gift, to which a crushed Gennardo ran to the other side of the room and curled up in the corner.

He was squealing for a while in his misery, only to crawl, with that one shoulder crushed, to the phone pushing his body away from the floor with the left hand, to grab the headphone and, slightly repenting in his mind due to the sins of pride which did not go well with Christian mercy, and even a bit teary-eyed remembering the passion of his self-immolated Master, to dial an unidentified number, dragging his voice down the telephone cable, gruff and heavy, but mostly desperate which gave him additional strength to utter the decisive, Solomonic, unequivocal and rosy resolution:

– Attorney’s office, please.

 

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prose, story

DERVISH, Part One

Part One

He had learned the secrets of the universe from the manuscript itself, and had felt the tones in the best of his fingertip muscles.

The sound of winds and leaves whooshed through the plain through which the Brenta river ran, meandering the old sandy loam soil. Why it was this particular heath not moistened and not watered by rain that Gennardo Schiavone chose to write his new opera, “The Temptation of Don Salvatore”, would become clear if the traveler made three quivering steps on the dry soil, one of hard ossified structure.

After the last fiasco he went through performing the concert for piano and strings “The Espresso Variant on the Subject of Death of Saint Vitalis” in the Italian Center of Culture and the intransigent criticism at the “La Creazione”, Gennardo decided to find the musical solution for the probable salvation and continuation of his music career in the heart of the Great Heath.

„Now, wasn’t it He who went to the desert to know… that, in the wasteland of life, here, under this tree may my body be as the one of the Savior, and may the menace itself visit me, to engender within me a sacred tone…” – Gennardo piously mumbled and the moment he thought of this, he spotted the Dervish emerging from the fog, with a kaval in his hand.

– This isn’t a kaval – the Dervish said, reading his thoughts. – It is a ney..Karghy tuiduk, an instrument of wind.The oldest instrument in the world.

“He uses a ney. A Crooked Pan..Whatever did he do to him?”

– The devil had changed his garb since time immemorial, but the truth is that an Arabic fashion chic coming from a Catholic was not something I expected. O how my bitter salasplayed at the expense of this poor shepherd – the insides of his carotid arteries were overcome by darkened terror for a moment, which made his neck bulge up and his body stiffen, while he sat, perfectly calm, under the tree and as his head was encircled, halo-like, by the tops of Northern Apennines. A hum of the sea was heard in the distance.
– Have you ever heard of him? – the Sufi asked, using his free hand to scratch himself on his mohair.

– I have.

– And have you played him? And what are you hanging on that hillock for – the Dervish spoke nervously whose appearance still largely confused Gennardo considering his height which overshadowed the tree of Gennardo’s hillock and his lush blonde hair.
– It doesn’t match the goat-hair cloth. He doesn’t even look Italian. Which shepherd could this be?

Gennardo shook his head, somewhat calmer, as if a thousand honorable forces presently included him in the congregation of good spirits.

– But only if you’re not a Turk! – shouted the up until that point godlike Dervish, to which Gennardo felt goosebumps on his head and scratched it, while he was hallucinating a pentangle shape or any other life-threatening apparition

– By Saint Vitalis, should I run as fast as my legs can carry me for this is some rotten business here…

But, the Dervish said:

– I will now play for you.

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And he trapped him on the spot with his first tone which sucked the composer in the vortex where music enters the man and disappears inside of him somewhere.

And he played the instrument made of hollow reed, skillfully shuffling his fingers across the ney holes. It was a round-up of the movement of music dug deep into the rhythm.

Nearly in a religious trance, Gennardo danced swept by the accord of divine forces streaming from “the spheres” – and within the Dervish’s song which bore Gennardo’s dancing body through the typhoon he spun around faster and faster in an unexpected manifestation of the universe, to perceive, through the binding of the heavens and the earth, a universe of love and a different godly principle, hypnotically repeating “Masnavi, Masnavi” pushing close to a hallucination.
– Who did he see? What happened to him?

It was an old man with a strong, thick beard a la Bektashi, in woolen clothes with a white hat on his head and while fear grew in parallel with curiosity within Gennardo, he felt that the Dervish hypnotized him more successfully than Franz Mesmer.
– This man would have mesmerized the entirety of the Scale Milano and would have made the prima donna Fibrazini perform Chaliapin’s partita, and the audience perform a group jump on stage in the style of Nureyev and all of them, made joyous in the vertigo of musical insaneness shout: Gennardo, Gennardo!
– And who are you, whitecap?

– Jalal ad-Din Muhammad. I now stand on the Pearl of Khorasan.

– Unbelievable! – sweat poured off of Gennardo out of massive excitement, thus he shot a very serious glance at the blonde God of music who abruptly stopped playing and as he caressed his ney, he was leering at the nigh-maddened Gennardo who, in the same manner, caressed his denim clothing made for him by Gianfranco Sestili himself and as shrewdness was growing within him, he asked the odd, and yet a rather…rather… simple shepherd:
– Was this an Italian stornello?

– Just a miracle I listened to inside of myself while walking along the heath, I sat on a rock, to freshen myself with a noggin of wine, it’s something akin the antic metaxa, and… This is just the intro, of course.

– It just came to you… well, that’s how it goes, my friend… – his heart beat faster – my stornellos – his fingers snap – like that. Cosi. Facile! And why did you stop playing?

The Dervish shrugged.

– The spiral is the evolution of the circle.

Ah, he felt that the spiral is open for my musical ears. I cannot even make a threepiece song out of this, let alone a sonata form. He must continue! He must!

And his hands shook.

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– Well go on, then, finish it! – Gennardo grabbed the Dervish’s shoulders desperately – Finish it, I want to hear more! Until the end! You barely played anything at all, so why did you stop playing? I want you to play all the way to the coda, do you understand me? All the way to the devil’s tail! – the scream no longer slubered in the musician’s throat, and his face wend black and blue as if both tar and wax were poured on it.

– You are a Turk! – the Dervish was flabbergasted.

– I am not, I swear I’m not! I was scorched by the hot Italian sun! Blood of fire!

– I know, friend – the Dervish grabbed his hands, and it was such a gentle squeeze that Gennardo squealed and looked into his strange visitor’s eyes, and that which he saw in his eyes filled him with dread. He all but shrieked – Without question – it’s nice when blue, pink, reseda and yellow are mixed in the cornea, but all of this without pupils and a gaze full of love, but which burns…ouch! – All you’ve written up till this point are ruins. Look into yourself. This is where music is hidden. Do not despair, I shall come again and rebuild all of those ruins…in a century or two because I have something important to do.

– A-and…and what do you…cuh-cuh-call this composition? – Gennardo grinned like a road bandit.

– A Dhikr. How else? And remember. The spiral is the evolution of the circle – even though he was still speaking, a force of dead nature! It was clear to Gennardo now, and if it were dead, he does not fall under the copyright law, this Dervish who was miles away… somewhere close to the horizon, leaving only the memory of his wild stare and …oh, and… I cannot forget what I have just heard… ah, I would never forget! And some of it is already gone! Oh, if I could only write one part down – Gennardo was rocking back and forth, but a thunderous voice soared over the hard soil.

– I will help you, but only if you are a Turk. For one day the land of Khorasan will give Alexander of Macedonia, almost of Greece what he’s due.

– This must be him notifying everyone who intend to do dark misdeeds in the name of breaking copyright law – Gennardo consolingly told himself and then spoke to the spirit hovering and meditating over him.

– Gemo, I have for you a pure roton chianti classic riserva. Almost pure Sangiovese!

– A Turkish Riesling for me, if I may.

  1. – Sit, oh spiritual man – he already took the see-through Sufi into a villa bedecked in rustic design. The living room was lined with chairs made of massive fir tree with reclined back, and the red leather sofa where Jelalhudin curled up comfortably, was full of pillows filled with polyurethane foam.

– There’s the bastard!  He tricked me. Played a few notes, hypnotized me along with the Alps and the distant sea and fled. He is squinting with his pupil-less eyes and mocking me to my face.

But the Sufi master was silent.

– You said you would help me. Why do you keep silent?

The Sufi got up, somewhat less see-through, and said pensively:

– I am not that sure that you’re a Turk.

– I am, I am! Me being in Italy is pure coincidence! My great-great-seven greats grandmother was Yemina, for the time a very forward-thinking, very close cousin of the beautiful Jemila who was a grandmother on the father’s side of Saint Roxelana!

– But she had removed our Grand vizier! – the spirit added angrily.

– My grandmothers Yemina and Jemila have nothing to do with that bloody murder! I am a Turk and I can prove it. Here! – he turned towards the rectangular mirror with a textured gold-colored frame, lifted his hands up to his ears and after saying “tea, tea, tea!” the Sufi embraced him.

– Repetition is the mother of wisdom. Now I know you’re a Turk.

– I know I’m a Turk, but who is he? – Gennardo said excitedly and after an added repetition of “teateatea,” he continued. – Whoever it is, an Egyptian, a Sufi or Rumi’s illegitimate son, I must finish what he had started. But how? This piece, or rather it’s beginning… Oh, Salieri, Salieri! Why did you not sing all of this on paper like in the film and then die…?

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He looked at his notes which he managed to clean out of his ears for a moment, after the Dervish had left him.

– Oh Cavallasca… Oh cosmic dignity! Yes…I could put in something of a back-up, on lute, perhaps. Btu what what? Go on, tell me, Mozart of Khorasan!  – his finger pointed to the smiling Sufi.

– Be guided by your sense of orientalism, Gennardo…

– A Phrygian scale then. Therein lies the key! All oriental scales come from the pentatonic one – he was thinking rapidly. – But how can I turn this Dervish’s composition performed from a rotating dance sensation, more repetitive than my nagging wife which fortunately stayed back in Venice…how can I turn it into a symphony? Or at least a sonata form? “Gennardo’s sonata” – he was daydreaming, when suddenly Sufi’s voice exploded anew.

– I am back to help you in the name of the once widespread honorable Ottoman empire. Allah Allah, have you no trust?

– Well alright, who…hmm…were you?

– Rumi. But not the self-taught philosopher. He had been a very distant cousin. I, too, am dead, hope you don’t mind? This tiny composition that bothers you so is but a mere trifle when compared to “Sufi’s War Games” which I composed in the thirteenth century.

– And why did your colleague flee?

– That was Apollo. He did not want to mess with Turks since they vetoed Greek credit debt…

The spirit got up and walked about the room, deep in his thoughts. His gaze paused on the rectangle mirror, danced a few Dervish circles around him and stopped before the glassy surface. – I am glad I’m still both smart, and spiritual, and reflectible! –he caressed his Sufi beard while listening to this.
True, the old ghost does have an expression. Though, nothing strange about that. The aging Sufi spirit is nothing similar to the imaginary count of Bram Stocker.

– The truth is you need the pentatonic scale. But, we want an authentic melody, like what Wagner would compose. For this to happen, the job must be done differently. – attracted by Gennardo’s squeals, astonished he turned around, upon which realizing that the composer went mad with happiness and that he was between two separate cycles, one of which was insanity, the other enthusiasm.

– Tell me, what would you want to do, a sonata, a concerto, a symphony based on Orpheus? Ah, Orpheus, you minx, you’ll get what’s coming to you – there never was an empire bigger than the Ottoman empire… – the ghost went on and on.

– A sonata form… but… but… – Gennardo was concentrating staring at a few notes – I need the bridge, the B theme and the closing section.

Oh enough with the book terms! There were no such words back in my day, and still I was the most famous composer that ever lived in Asia! The only condition I have before helping you is that this sonata be written in honor of the Turks and that its name reflects this, Sonata a la Turca!

– But that’s already been writ–

– Never mind. What did Orpheus give you… – he extended his slender and candle-lit bright hand.

The minute Sufi said this, Gennardo snapped from his dream.

There was nobody in the room.

– O dark chamber of evil, I swear I did not dream this!

True, he was reminded of this by the Dervish’s manuscript which fell from a semi concert grand piano with a deafening bang as if it were slammed down by someone’s invisible, beefy hand.

A deep, ice-cold night was impregnated by eerie goosebumps. Out of reasons unknown, his own reflection made him engrave all of his shapes in the midnight glass. He saw himself, but in a mintan shirt and leather boots. Over the shirt was a carelessly flung short caftan. ‘As if somebody else had flung it there.’ By some unknown miracle a calpac, a conical woolen hat, was on his head.

– So it did happen. – He concluded happily and even though he felt neither hunger nor thirst, despite not eating nor drinking a thing throughout the day, the old spirit selflessly treated him to a sultan’s pilaf and Istanbul’s Risotto, as well as various dishes completely covered by the expensive Il Tavolo Italiano.

The composer carefully set aside two sultan plates from the table and spread out a magical manuscript of the most beautiful opening theme ever uncovered to the human ear, at the same time pouring a bit of raki in his glass in order to devotedly bend over the manuscript.

– Transcendental, indeed. It can be performed with an echo. Oh, how sonorous. This Orpheus, whatever he is, is good… Still, let’s see what I can do with the exposition that this Sufi, Apollo, whatever… gave to me.

He said and flung open the sheet music.

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– The good man wants the sonata and then sleepwalk a bit! I’ll show you, tiny Wop! This is a threepiece song in an A B A pattern, with the first part being changed to the point of being beyond recognition. And I like this, just like the good old chaotic tunes, O the Berberian choruses, fight on fight on against Gennardian lulling of sacred music into mediocrity.

– Few can use this strong tonal ace to win in a cruel and uncompromising game of destruction for the purpose of creation. This brave Aladdin does not hesitate.

The staff lines with their spaces waved in order to enthrone themselves alongside the mute Sufi choruses into an expertly performed final note which Gennardo used to line up the following notes, and those after, and those after.

– By this raki in my hand, I will be disharmonic – bathing in blinding light, while his hand shone at the same time, and the calpac went a bit askew, with glassy Gorgon eyes he wrote savagely akin to the first musical maniac genius on skinned animal hide. He went for some unexpected solutions for melodic degrees, implementing the forbidden sixth degree in the exposition, where the dominant was not to be resolved.

– I bet that that solfeggio composer Gennardo would have resolved in as early as the tonic! – the Sufi said with no bitterness, as he sung, pure-heartedly and with his eyes closed the Mevlevi chorus unifying poetry, music and dance. – Ah, to hell with him, the sixth degree is seeking new resolutions to itself and new salvations from sin which ego te absolvo will provide for it…

But, when he heard Latin, he was taken slightly aback and grabbed his calpac with both hands. – Oh Daemon, daemon, control those who are to follow and in line, if necessary I will light a thousand candles and switch off all artificial lights so that this a la Turca music might drone onward and not stop in time, let alone in etertiny!

To this a giggle followed, and then a bang, and at long last, all went quiet.

This fear, where could it come from? This language I speak I could not utilize to understand it, and why should I fear Latin and then remember it? What hurt can the ego of this language inflict upon me, and surely its ego-lingue is hurt!

At the same time several psychological phenomena intersected within him. And yet another just as creepy as it is unresolved in the pensiveness of his decisions shook his heart down along with the quaking hand. Candles, quiver on this wind of doubt, light bulbs, burst for you are in contact with a musical evolution far bigger than your own!

At that moment all lights went out in the villa, and someone called him by the name. – Qasim, I generously offer you candles so that you do not have to walk all the way to the wardrobe in your living room, fifth drawer from the bottom, on the left.

– Qasim… – he was overcome with joy, but his heart was overtaken by a dark shadow which was completely shooed away by the candles. They appeared, out of nowhere, finding room on the table among all of this rice pudding.

– These candles only reproduce themselves from your memory, Qasim of Khorasan, do not fear. Never fear the deep memory, oh Qasim! – a rotting ghost of sorts walked about the room for a second, making dance circles with its creaking voice, taming them one by one with its arms outspread and eyes closed. – Oh I can do it, with both hands! – Sure you can – the old apparition said. – You always could, Qasim. – At this point the apparition disappeared.

He continued writing the music of the spheres at the same time, filling in the part with both hands.

– Allah is great and He will not return me to the old resolution, but rather make me anew… There it is! There’s the resolution! – He grabbed the notes and with a mild conductor gesture he sang with a crystal clear voice the rest of the exposition admiring the fullness and clarity of sound. Each contact of Gennardo’s senses with a melodic line created fervor in the Being whose substance was limitless sound, and the pulse was the rhythm of the Timeless.

– Any criticisms of this, Jelalhudin? Perhaps Gennardo cannot Sufi-ize like you, but I swear to you that he was here as well, and that we resolved everything together…

Invisible, spectral arms snatched his throat.

– Do not vex me. Being invisible does not make me any less dangerous, quite the contrary! That bastard would not even be able to start this Khorasan pearl which you’re crafting, one of the ancestor of Yemina and Jemila, and Saint Roxelana, let alone finish it. However, you still have work, if you didn’t notice! You damned little sloth, why did I ever bestow upon you the symbol of Logos? Allah curse and punish me! I will tune you in Kairo yet once more, you soulless villain! Ben sonsuza kadar lanetlenmiş olacağım!

And he hit Qasim/Gennardo on the head with a kaval with all his might.

– Forgive me, teacher, woe is me Holy Spirit, I shall finish what must be finished, oh by both of your saintly hands of Khorasan!

A holy silence was sprinkled in the room anew.

– East. West. I will suffer a nervous breakdown from this garish Sufi. Tomorrow I will tell him to leave my house – Gennardo thought as the morning sun bathed his face, yanking him from the eerie nightmare.

– What a dream! What a curse!
persequendum est (this thing must be continued)….. Part Two

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prose, story

DERVISH, Part One

Part One

He had learned the secrets of the universe from the manuscript itself, and had felt the tones in the best of his fingertip muscles.

The sound of winds and leaves whooshed through the plain through which the Brenta river ran, meandering the old sandy loam soil. Why it was this particular heath not moistened and not watered by rain that Gennardo Schiavone chose to write his new opera, “The Temptation of Don Salvatore”, would become clear if the traveler made three quivering steps on the dry soil, one of hard ossified structure.

After the last fiasco he went through performing the concert for piano and strings “The Espresso Variant on the Subject of Death of Saint Vitalis” in the Italian Center of Culture and the intransigent criticism at the “La Creazione”, Gennardo decided to find the musical solution for the probable salvation and continuation of his music career in the heart of the Great Heath.

„Now, wasn’t it He who went to the desert to know… that, in the wasteland of life, here, under this tree may my body be as the one of the Savior, and may the menace itself visit me, to engender within me a sacred tone…” – Gennardo piously mumbled and the moment he thought of this, he spotted the Dervish emerging from the fog, with a kaval in his hand.

– This isn’t a kaval – the Dervish said, reading his thoughts. – It is a ney..Karghy tuiduk, an instrument of wind.The oldest instrument in the world.

“He uses a ney. A Crooked Pan..Whatever did he do to him?”

– The devil had changed his garb since time immemorial, but the truth is that an Arabic fashion chic coming from a Catholic was not something I expected. O how my bitter salasplayed at the expense of this poor shepherd – the insides of his carotid arteries were overcome by darkened terror for a moment, which made his neck bulge up and his body stiffen, while he sat, perfectly calm, under the tree and as his head was encircled, halo-like, by the tops of Northern Apennines. A hum of the sea was heard in the distance.
– Have you ever heard of him? – the Sufi asked, using his free hand to scratch himself on his mohair.

– I have.

– And have you played him? And what are you hanging on that hillock for – the Dervish spoke nervously whose appearance still largely confused Gennardo considering his height which overshadowed the tree of Gennardo’s hillock and his lush blonde hair.
– It doesn’t match the goat-hair cloth. He doesn’t even look Italian. Which shepherd could this be?

Gennardo shook his head, somewhat calmer, as if a thousand honorable forces presently included him in the congregation of good spirits.

– But only if you’re not a Turk! – shouted the up until that point godlike Dervish, to which Gennardo felt goosebumps on his head and scratched it, while he was hallucinating a pentangle shape or any other life-threatening apparition

– By Saint Vitalis, should I run as fast as my legs can carry me for this is some rotten business here…

But, the Dervish said:

– I will now play for you.

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And he trapped him on the spot with his first tone which sucked the composer in the vortex where music enters the man and disappears inside of him somewhere.

And he played the instrument made of hollow reed, skillfully shuffling his fingers across the ney holes. It was a round-up of the movement of music dug deep into the rhythm.

Nearly in a religious trance, Gennardo danced swept by the accord of divine forces streaming from “the spheres” – and within the Dervish’s song which bore Gennardo’s dancing body through the typhoon he spun around faster and faster in an unexpected manifestation of the universe, to perceive, through the binding of the heavens and the earth, a universe of love and a different godly principle, hypnotically repeating “Masnavi, Masnavi” pushing close to a hallucination.
– Who did he see? What happened to him?

It was an old man with a strong, thick beard a la Bektashi, in woolen clothes with a white hat on his head and while fear grew in parallel with curiosity within Gennardo, he felt that the Dervish hypnotized him more successfully than Franz Mesmer.
– This man would have mesmerized the entirety of the Scale Milano and would have made the prima donna Fibrazini perform Chaliapin’s partita, and the audience perform a group jump on stage in the style of Nureyev and all of them, made joyous in the vertigo of musical insaneness shout: Gennardo, Gennardo!
– And who are you, whitecap?

– Jalal ad-Din Muhammad. I now stand on the Pearl of Khorasan.

– Unbelievable! – sweat poured off of Gennardo out of massive excitement, thus he shot a very serious glance at the blonde God of music who abruptly stopped playing and as he caressed his ney, he was leering at the nigh-maddened Gennardo who, in the same manner, caressed his denim clothing made for him by Gianfranco Sestili himself and as shrewdness was growing within him, he asked the odd, and yet a rather…rather… simple shepherd:
– Was this an Italian stornello?

– Just a miracle I listened to inside of myself while walking along the heath, I sat on a rock, to freshen myself with a noggin of wine, it’s something akin the antic metaxa, and… This is just the intro, of course.

– It just came to you… well, that’s how it goes, my friend… – his heart beat faster – my stornellos – his fingers snap – like that. Cosi. Facile! And why did you stop playing?

The Dervish shrugged.

– The spiral is the evolution of the circle.

Ah, he felt that the spiral is open for my musical ears. I cannot even make a threepiece song out of this, let alone a sonata form. He must continue! He must!

And his hands shook.

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– Well go on, then, finish it! – Gennardo grabbed the Dervish’s shoulders desperately – Finish it, I want to hear more! Until the end! You barely played anything at all, so why did you stop playing? I want you to play all the way to the coda, do you understand me? All the way to the devil’s tail! – the scream no longer slubered in the musician’s throat, and his face wend black and blue as if both tar and wax were poured on it.

– You are a Turk! – the Dervish was flabbergasted.

– I am not, I swear I’m not! I was scorched by the hot Italian sun! Blood of fire!

– I know, friend – the Dervish grabbed his hands, and it was such a gentle squeeze that Gennardo squealed and looked into his strange visitor’s eyes, and that which he saw in his eyes filled him with dread. He all but shrieked – Without question – it’s nice when blue, pink, reseda and yellow are mixed in the cornea, but all of this without pupils and a gaze full of love, but which burns…ouch! – All you’ve written up till this point are ruins. Look into yourself. This is where music is hidden. Do not despair, I shall come again and rebuild all of those ruins…in a century or two because I have something important to do.

– A-and…and what do you…cuh-cuh-call this composition? – Gennardo grinned like a road bandit.

– A Dhikr. How else? And remember. The spiral is the evolution of the circle – even though he was still speaking, a force of dead nature! It was clear to Gennardo now, and if it were dead, he does not fall under the copyright law, this Dervish who was miles away… somewhere close to the horizon, leaving only the memory of his wild stare and …oh, and… I cannot forget what I have just heard… ah, I would never forget! And some of it is already gone! Oh, if I could only write one part down – Gennardo was rocking back and forth, but a thunderous voice soared over the hard soil.

– I will help you, but only if you are a Turk. For one day the land of Khorasan will give Alexander of Macedonia, almost of Greece what he’s due.

– This must be him notifying everyone who intend to do dark misdeeds in the name of breaking copyright law – Gennardo consolingly told himself and then spoke to the spirit hovering and meditating over him.

– Gemo, I have for you a pure roton chianti classic riserva. Almost pure Sangiovese!

– A Turkish Riesling for me, if I may.

  1. – Sit, oh spiritual man – he already took the see-through Sufi into a villa bedecked in rustic design. The living room was lined with chairs made of massive fir tree with reclined back, and the red leather sofa where Jelalhudin curled up comfortably, was full of pillows filled with polyurethane foam.

– There’s the bastard!  He tricked me. Played a few notes, hypnotized me along with the Alps and the distant sea and fled. He is squinting with his pupil-less eyes and mocking me to my face.

But the Sufi master was silent.

– You said you would help me. Why do you keep silent?

The Sufi got up, somewhat less see-through, and said pensively:

– I am not that sure that you’re a Turk.

– I am, I am! Me being in Italy is pure coincidence! My great-great-seven greats grandmother was Yemina, for the time a very forward-thinking, very close cousin of the beautiful Jemila who was a grandmother on the father’s side of Saint Roxelana!

– But she had removed our Grand vizier! – the spirit added angrily.

– My grandmothers Yemina and Jemila have nothing to do with that bloody murder! I am a Turk and I can prove it. Here! – he turned towards the rectangular mirror with a textured gold-colored frame, lifted his hands up to his ears and after saying “tea, tea, tea!” the Sufi embraced him.

– Repetition is the mother of wisdom. Now I know you’re a Turk.

– I know I’m a Turk, but who is he? – Gennardo said excitedly and after an added repetition of “teateatea,” he continued. – Whoever it is, an Egyptian, a Sufi or Rumi’s illegitimate son, I must finish what he had started. But how? This piece, or rather it’s beginning… Oh, Salieri, Salieri! Why did you not sing all of this on paper like in the film and then die…?

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He looked at his notes which he managed to clean out of his ears for a moment, after the Dervish had left him.

– Oh Cavallasca… Oh cosmic dignity! Yes…I could put in something of a back-up, on lute, perhaps. Btu what what? Go on, tell me, Mozart of Khorasan!  – his finger pointed to the smiling Sufi.

– Be guided by your sense of orientalism, Gennardo…

– A Phrygian scale then. Therein lies the key! All oriental scales come from the pentatonic one – he was thinking rapidly. – But how can I turn this Dervish’s composition performed from a rotating dance sensation, more repetitive than my nagging wife which fortunately stayed back in Venice…how can I turn it into a symphony? Or at least a sonata form? “Gennardo’s sonata” – he was daydreaming, when suddenly Sufi’s voice exploded anew.

– I am back to help you in the name of the once widespread honorable Ottoman empire. Allah Allah, have you no trust?

– Well alright, who…hmm…were you?

– Rumi. But not the self-taught philosopher. He had been a very distant cousin. I, too, am dead, hope you don’t mind? This tiny composition that bothers you so is but a mere trifle when compared to “Sufi’s War Games” which I composed in the thirteenth century.

– And why did your colleague flee?

– That was Apollo. He did not want to mess with Turks since they vetoed Greek credit debt…

The spirit got up and walked about the room, deep in his thoughts. His gaze paused on the rectangle mirror, danced a few Dervish circles around him and stopped before the glassy surface. – I am glad I’m still both smart, and spiritual, and reflectible! –he caressed his Sufi beard while listening to this.
True, the old ghost does have an expression. Though, nothing strange about that. The aging Sufi spirit is nothing similar to the imaginary count of Bram Stocker.

– The truth is you need the pentatonic scale. But, we want an authentic melody, like what Wagner would compose. For this to happen, the job must be done differently. – attracted by Gennardo’s squeals, astonished he turned around, upon which realizing that the composer went mad with happiness and that he was between two separate cycles, one of which was insanity, the other enthusiasm.

– Tell me, what would you want to do, a sonata, a concerto, a symphony based on Orpheus? Ah, Orpheus, you minx, you’ll get what’s coming to you – there never was an empire bigger than the Ottoman empire… – the ghost went on and on.

– A sonata form… but… but… – Gennardo was concentrating staring at a few notes – I need the bridge, the B theme and the closing section.

Oh enough with the book terms! There were no such words back in my day, and still I was the most famous composer that ever lived in Asia! The only condition I have before helping you is that this sonata be written in honor of the Turks and that its name reflects this, Sonata a la Turca!

– But that’s already been writ–

– Never mind. What did Orpheus give you… – he extended his slender and candle-lit bright hand.

The minute Sufi said this, Gennardo snapped from his dream.

There was nobody in the room.

– O dark chamber of evil, I swear I did not dream this!

True, he was reminded of this by the Dervish’s manuscript which fell from a semi concert grand piano with a deafening bang as if it were slammed down by someone’s invisible, beefy hand.

A deep, ice-cold night was impregnated by eerie goosebumps. Out of reasons unknown, his own reflection made him engrave all of his shapes in the midnight glass. He saw himself, but in a mintan shirt and leather boots. Over the shirt was a carelessly flung short caftan. ‘As if somebody else had flung it there.’ By some unknown miracle a calpac, a conical woolen hat, was on his head.

– So it did happen. – He concluded happily and even though he felt neither hunger nor thirst, despite not eating nor drinking a thing throughout the day, the old spirit selflessly treated him to a sultan’s pilaf and Istanbul’s Risotto, as well as various dishes completely covered by the expensive Il Tavolo Italiano.

The composer carefully set aside two sultan plates from the table and spread out a magical manuscript of the most beautiful opening theme ever uncovered to the human ear, at the same time pouring a bit of raki in his glass in order to devotedly bend over the manuscript.

– Transcendental, indeed. It can be performed with an echo. Oh, how sonorous. This Orpheus, whatever he is, is good… Still, let’s see what I can do with the exposition that this Sufi, Apollo, whatever… gave to me.

He said and flung open the sheet music.

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– The good man wants the sonata and then sleepwalk a bit! I’ll show you, tiny Wop! This is a threepiece song in an A B A pattern, with the first part being changed to the point of being beyond recognition. And I like this, just like the good old chaotic tunes, O the Berberian choruses, fight on fight on against Gennardian lulling of sacred music into mediocrity.

– Few can use this strong tonal ace to win in a cruel and uncompromising game of destruction for the purpose of creation. This brave Aladdin does not hesitate.

The staff lines with their spaces waved in order to enthrone themselves alongside the mute Sufi choruses into an expertly performed final note which Gennardo used to line up the following notes, and those after, and those after.

– By this raki in my hand, I will be disharmonic – bathing in blinding light, while his hand shone at the same time, and the calpac went a bit askew, with glassy Gorgon eyes he wrote savagely akin to the first musical maniac genius on skinned animal hide. He went for some unexpected solutions for melodic degrees, implementing the forbidden sixth degree in the exposition, where the dominant was not to be resolved.

– I bet that that solfeggio composer Gennardo would have resolved in as early as the tonic! – the Sufi said with no bitterness, as he sung, pure-heartedly and with his eyes closed the Mevlevi chorus unifying poetry, music and dance. – Ah, to hell with him, the sixth degree is seeking new resolutions to itself and new salvations from sin which ego te absolvo will provide for it…

But, when he heard Latin, he was taken slightly aback and grabbed his calpac with both hands. – Oh Daemon, daemon, control those who are to follow and in line, if necessary I will light a thousand candles and switch off all artificial lights so that this a la Turca music might drone onward and not stop in time, let alone in etertiny!

To this a giggle followed, and then a bang, and at long last, all went quiet.

This fear, where could it come from? This language I speak I could not utilize to understand it, and why should I fear Latin and then remember it? What hurt can the ego of this language inflict upon me, and surely its ego-lingue is hurt!

At the same time several psychological phenomena intersected within him. And yet another just as creepy as it is unresolved in the pensiveness of his decisions shook his heart down along with the quaking hand. Candles, quiver on this wind of doubt, light bulbs, burst for you are in contact with a musical evolution far bigger than your own!

At that moment all lights went out in the villa, and someone called him by the name. – Qasim, I generously offer you candles so that you do not have to walk all the way to the wardrobe in your living room, fifth drawer from the bottom, on the left.

– Qasim… – he was overcome with joy, but his heart was overtaken by a dark shadow which was completely shooed away by the candles. They appeared, out of nowhere, finding room on the table among all of this rice pudding.

– These candles only reproduce themselves from your memory, Qasim of Khorasan, do not fear. Never fear the deep memory, oh Qasim! – a rotting ghost of sorts walked about the room for a second, making dance circles with its creaking voice, taming them one by one with its arms outspread and eyes closed. – Oh I can do it, with both hands! – Sure you can – the old apparition said. – You always could, Qasim. – At this point the apparition disappeared.

He continued writing the music of the spheres at the same time, filling in the part with both hands.

– Allah is great and He will not return me to the old resolution, but rather make me anew… There it is! There’s the resolution! – He grabbed the notes and with a mild conductor gesture he sang with a crystal clear voice the rest of the exposition admiring the fullness and clarity of sound. Each contact of Gennardo’s senses with a melodic line created fervor in the Being whose substance was limitless sound, and the pulse was the rhythm of the Timeless.

– Any criticisms of this, Jelalhudin? Perhaps Gennardo cannot Sufi-ize like you, but I swear to you that he was here as well, and that we resolved everything together…

Invisible, spectral arms snatched his throat.

– Do not vex me. Being invisible does not make me any less dangerous, quite the contrary! That bastard would not even be able to start this Khorasan pearl which you’re crafting, one of the ancestor of Yemina and Jemila, and Saint Roxelana, let alone finish it. However, you still have work, if you didn’t notice! You damned little sloth, why did I ever bestow upon you the symbol of Logos? Allah curse and punish me! I will tune you in Kairo yet once more, you soulless villain! Ben sonsuza kadar lanetlenmiş olacağım!

And he hit Qasim/Gennardo on the head with a kaval with all his might.

– Forgive me, teacher, woe is me Holy Spirit, I shall finish what must be finished, oh by both of your saintly hands of Khorasan!

A holy silence was sprinkled in the room anew.

– East. West. I will suffer a nervous breakdown from this garish Sufi. Tomorrow I will tell him to leave my house – Gennardo thought as the morning sun bathed his face, yanking him from the eerie nightmare.

– What a dream! What a curse!
persequendum est (this thing must be continued)….. Part Two

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