publishing

Down The Rabbit Hole

I had been chosen as a freelance contributor at Creative Talents Unleashed, with my poem Kitty Kisses, for the literary publication of Down The Rabbit Hole, 100 % of all proceeds from this publishing are donated to “Starving Artist Fund”
The book is now available.
Down The Rabbit Hole
https://www.createspace.com/7363268

https://creativetalentsunleashed.com/2017/07/09/ctu-press-release-contributors-announcement-down-the-rabbit-hole-2017-anthology/

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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…?

darvesh

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

Standard
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…?

darvesh

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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Uncategorized

Marigolds, My Wounds

Sipping wassail at the grave
of the Russian mystic,

lunacy crucified in his eye,
I knit a wreath for the vixen

suffocating next to the shaft,
gnawing the grid with her teeth,

cracking joists, swallowing
sonnets. She rode the Lion’s gate

in a low-cut dress, separated
with her axe and tossed in the pyre

the heads of the five Mycenaean bulls.
Blindness tucks me into that bier

of ravaged marigolds, wounds
serenaded in shadows

and my body, reeking,
unlike one who never dies.

Lulled within the years
a bloodied sun rises in the west.

marigold

http://nancyleemoran.highwire.com/product/8×10-new-art-original-oil-painting-hand-painted-flowers-fairy-marigold-nouveau-modern-floral-fantasy

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novel, proza

Novel excerpt from”Dervish”, by Leila Samarrai

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 Brentariver 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..Karghytuiduk, 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 salas played 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.

to be continued….

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proza

A SHAMAN’S CURSE or OF IDEAS, Leila Samarrai

A SHAMAN’S CURSE or OF IDEAS

Dedicated to Plato

In medias res

And so, the two of us went to the shamanistic ritual.I was hoping that the ridiculous ritual would succeed. The thought alone was what kept him calm. What a poor wretch my colleague Ignatius is. He told me this very morning: “Lucius, I so very much love writing, but I don’t know how to. If I do not write a masterpiece soon, I will die, my dear friend!” He was lost, exhausted…With bags under his eyes large enough for a transatlantic trip, he would spend days in ceaseless modification of the messy exterior of the text. Within the text, so much emptiness, so much darkness. Yet, the same faults could not be found with his passion. The worse he was at writing, the stronger his passion became.

Ignatius held the importance of travel in high regard, thus during his peregrination through Siberia he visited the International festival “The Call of 13 Shamans”. This is how he met Turban, a shaman from the Bantu tribe. Truth be told, he wasn’t at the festival. He was dancing near the Siberian mountain in Apache garb, round the fire which he had invoked while holding in his hand the ancient weapon from the battle at Insandlwana. I neither know how nor why nor how come he invited us to his own villa in Bedford park with Georgian terraces.

“Here, in terrace…me make grand fire”, he spoke in bad English.

That’s when we told him of the qualms that came over us.

“Only this?” the shaman was astonished. “You no want ghost of GonvilleBromhead, he was big lieutenant that fight against Bantu, but I beat him, so he leave me this house. ”

We stared at each other. “I see you’ve found a shaman well out of his mind”, my gaze spoke. The gaze of Ignatius had a disturbing comeback – a glimmer in his eyes…

“Well maybe I could…”, the shaman noticed this new ambition of Ignatius and let out an uncontrolled shriek.

“No, no and no! Came for one, said another. NOT!”

“It’s about his life or death”, somewhat in jest , somewhat in earnest, I took the floor. I was emboldened by the fiery adventures. In the Bantu saint and his dreadful powers I had exactly zero belief.

“Ila ilamaunamauna!” the shaman’s eyes popped out.

“Ignatius is my best reviewer, I’ve decided to confront him with the maniacal excesses of the shaman. He calls me at 5 AM and cries: Lucius, I have no ideas, they just won’t come! And how sadly he speaks, those are the most unusual tones, and some even indecent.”

The shaman pinned me down with his ancient, decisive look.

“It’s all a mistake on our part, doctor…erm, shaman Bromhed. Here we are talking rubbish… And we have here a shaman to end all shamans! Why you know everything! Go on ahead, colonel, fan that flame, so that my friend can become imaginative, enough that the reader won’t surpass him in writing skills, and…an idea or two, at least one per month.”

“You make grand sacrifice for friend”, the shaman bowed, “So which of you two make better Bedford park?”

I stared at the shaman’s necklace made of jackal teeth.

“You!” he pointed some type of stick at me. It was a short, heavy wooden club with a rubbery growth at one end. “I should synthesize you. One idea for one hit on hand.”

As he said this, he whacked me on my right hand, and then crossed the left as well.

I thought it proper to squeal, but I held it in.

“Your head”, he had a moment’s thought and a short look at his tomahawk…

I held my breath and endured a hit from the dull end of the Indian weapon of war.

The shaman chanted “Let the letters twist in ash! Ooo. Let the letters twist in ash!”

Ignatius chuckled. The shaman caressed his head, and then, in anger, he thwacked our noggins against each other so that he could spit at both our foreheads at once.

“Mauna mauna.Done.Fan fire for nothing.”

I was afraid that the shaman was going to throw us off the terrace where the whole event was taking place. However, he levitated away in front of our eyes, leaving us battered and in bruises.

It is true that I felt a disturbance. The piercing eyes, the spitting, the choking and the whack on the head, this is the same way I was treated by my publishers, when I was somewhat younger. But, truth be told, not one of them had flown before…Can it be…? The traditionally well-known Zulu pendant could possibly carry power within itself.

“Ah, well” I was looking sideways, as was Ignatius, using a handkerchief to wipe his spat-at forehead. “You were spat at with ideas. Now you will write like crazy, but I don’t know why my hands hurt”. Doubt had creeped into my long-gone disbelief.

“There, Ignatius, now go home and write” I mumbled curmudgeonly. When we exited the villa, I could not stop shivering. I was angry as well. Ignatius hopped next to me, smiling and brimming with bliss.

That night, I dreamt of the shaman setting my face on fire and shaping it into a chimney. I was smoking head to toe. A thick black smoke turned into a thick cloud which enshrouded me completely. My body turned into a wood stove. In front of me, the stove and the chimney-shaped face a pendant made of jackal teeth was swinging.

Still, awake from the fiery-dark dream after a scream, I realized that my hands no longer hurt. But, something odd was happening, even stranger. I had always been inspired, afflatus-laden, a bibliophile, playful with words. Mellifluous in writing, and possessing ideas full of merriment. My writing, as many men of authority had said, including the publisher that smacked me with a baseball bat upon a heated argument of which I had already forgotten, had virtually no weak points. I was, in short, a reliable narrator. I spoke not only of things that I knew, but also of those I knew absolutely nothing about.

However, not once had a word or a story shown itself to me in such a caring, clear and brusque manner. Gentle at the same time too… I was hugged and assaulted by ideas, filling every nook and cranny, nay! every nook and cranny of every nook and cranny of my inner being. I was mounted by creativity. Or it was I riding on it as if it were Bucephalus and many peoples appeared before my eyes, alongside their vocations, largely forgotten, and their customs. And before me appeared a spitting image of the entire written piece, and my fortune peaked, for I was in ecstasy over the successfully performed ritual. The good shaman must have enhanced my gift, so to speak, and have made Ignatius at least capable of average writing. I grinned. This is me! In a darting flight to the vastness of heavens, in the sunray of the a la deus desire to create the perfect world, maunamauna! – I shouted, and was hopping all over my room out of overwhelming happiness.

And it hadn’t been just a novel or two. I saw prototypes of prototype-heroes, but also that which preceded it. I saw human souls and sentences which shaped them convincingly. With clear and simple language I cited a passage by heart, and then continued writing the rest of the novel in my mind. Entire movies took place in my head, I travelled through fictional lives of erstwhile men, when a thought akin to the shade hiding beneath winding staircases of gothic novels sneaked up on me: I should write it all down, and then send it, so that I can receive the Nobel prize.

“Let me finish cooking the coffee… my sweet pencil, where are you…ah, here it is…” – I pulled a sheet of paper from my drawer, and my cats, not having ever in their life seen me so happy, climbed onto the desk. I realized that I was going through their own past as well, but I do not want to reveal any secrets now… I said this out loud, bent over the paper and the hot cup of freshly-cooked coffee (having bolted the windows in the meantime), once more said Mauna Mauna for good luck, kissed the lead of the pencil, started writing when…

I realized I could not write a single letter.

My mow did a little lip jig in a rhythm yet unseen. I pulled out a grin. I was still rash in thought, various scenes unfolded in my head, the structure and content was there, but I realized that something was wrong with my ability to write what I had had in my mind. How can I explain this? It wasn’t even spelling errors. A social comedy was in my head and the lady at the watchtower had just spoken the words whose wisdom was brighter than the shiniest of hues, and all I could write down was one thing: Mauna Mauna Shoo ShooShoo.

A couple of days and nights hence, I was still bent over a spent sheet of paper where HHDHDJL or in the best case scenario SHSHSHOOOO GOHOH GAAga goo googoo was written. Emaciated, tearful, exhausted, I was creating my written pieces, from a thought-based standpoint, indeed, and then the next novel would have me in its grasp, then entire volumes of novels and with all of my senses I’ve lived through the beauty of what I had written, or more precisely of what I had thought up, when a powerful idea came to my mind, as I cursed the shaman at the same time. I will speak into a recorder!

Still amazed, yet broken and completely miserable, I did not let myself be carried away by thoughts of the shaman nor did I wonder what had happened to Ignatius. “Tomorrow I will see a doctor. Maybe the shaman hit me too hard, and struck a nerve”, I giggled like a madman, knowing it not to be true. During those days I did go out, but only to buy handkerchiefs because the shaman’s saliva ran down my face in bucketloads.I’ve emptied three washbowls into the toilet bowl.

“Yes, for three days now I’ve neither eaten nor slept!” I frowned. “Maybe that’s it? Shock induced by chronic fatigue? Or if I stopped thinking about it, to end it, and push my ideas away…I have already written 900 novels and have enthroned literature two centuries in advance”. My mind was torn by even more creative, more unusual stories, futuristic novels, I had seen worlds which I had not known of, I had met and had wonderful conversations with the tiny aliens of Zerynthia in the Remidian system, the true progenitors of Scandinavian mythology…Ah no, I do not want to tell you what they told me and that Scandinavia was actually, no, no…I mustn’t say.

“Hahahaha”, my maniacal laughter echoed, having realized that my mind would be torn by the interweavement of life with the inhuman beings which existed, but only in my head, only my own… And the knot would not untangle.

There was only one way. The shaman’s sorcery must be nullified!

As soon as I had this thought, I called Ignatius and explained to him what had happened. Ignatius was unusually calm.

“Well that, my friend, is simply a creative catharsis!” he told me with, how it seemed to me, a certain dose of ridicule.

“I’ve had that before, but nothing like this!”, I roared into the headpiece. “Were you also assaulted by inspiration? You too were slapped by the shaman during the ritual! You must have been overtaken by a… a quality of some quality…at least…a creative unrest!”, I wailed, until I felt, more intuitively than in any other way, that Ignatius was smiling on the other side of the wire.

“Nothing like it, my friend.Nothing like it. But I cannot complain. No less than five minutes ago I entered an adjective, “magnificent”, yeah that’s the one. And have thought of a word “sinkage”. It’s kind of rolling on.I am an optimist!”

Odd – I thought when I was hanging up the phone. Ignatius had not moved from the starting point. Shaman’s salivary did not work on him.

In order to calm myself down, I decided to take a walk and gather my thoughts. The ideas remained relentless, and my ignoring them even more so. The living light made me feel calm, and I regained my strength of consciousness and had become rational again. I decided to continue down to the doctor’s, a friend of mine, with no appointment and jumping in queue, I spoke for a while of the emotional void which I carry inside of me, complaining of the pain in my arm and not mentioning the magical properties of dramatic works writing themselves in my head. The doctor, a shifty smile on his face, had upon examining me with electrodes diagnosed “global aphasia”, but possibly ephemeral  innature. Possibly? I went a few days later, opened the door to the doctor’s office, stepped inside and went through the diagram recordings. “Yes, yes…my intuition did not fool me. The brain wrinkles went to hell, but I am all but certain they will come back.” I felt almost safe after the diagnosis of the consequence of hitting the head with a heavy blunt object. The power of writing will come back to me and my ideas will…

This thought was cut off by the next one: “It’s interesting that I can speak and write…of everything except IDEAS! How come I am aphasic?”

I was taken anew by desperation. In this state, while I was partly desperate, partly tormented by hope that my state is ephemeral, that it is but a mild shock, perhaps even autosuggestion or not being accustomed to sweat profusely, I was passing a bookstore, adamant, and equally as vulnerable due to my unusual state, to ask for the price of my books, after which I will introduce myself to the salesman, I thought vainly. I nearly ran to the frail light which glimmered from the pole that towered over the city bookstore, damn near rammed myself into the glass, in order to hug it, lovingly looking at the rows of books signed in my name of one famous Lucius Halverson, only to stop, just before the glass, as if struck by thunder.

My unwritten novels, bound in thick blood-colored covers, were lined in the window. The first novel had a daring title:

“Two mad loves” – a not-so-talented scriptwriter meets the most talented actress in the world. Seduced to the point of pain, he is inflicted by a strange nerve disease which can be attributed to a sensory affective disorder. The consequence: an ingenious inspiration, coupled with love obsession, beyond a shadow of doubt and any measure. After the little trollop seduced him and cheated on him with a clapper, he decided to poison it with his newfound ingeniousness. He made up more demanding stories, her roles were becoming more difficult, the dangerous blonde could no longer follow the extravagant mental processes which this goatsucker a sort of martyr of sensory love had devised for her; as is logical and consistent to one’s acting prowess she lives through dramatically, scenically, convincingly and essentially the process of artistic decay, her acting deteriorates to the point “of hitting absolute rock bottom”, and this process of artistic decadence is followed by the loss of stature, her face becomes wrinkly, she suddenly ages, realizes that she had failed both as an artist and as a woman. Having nowhere to go, at the end of the novel she commits suicide.

And I said to myself, me, Lucius Halverson: within my mind both of them (him and her) were as stuck as inside of a grave, and now they are out in the daylight – written in a wondrous style, MY STYLE! And signed with a name of an invisible robber and a ghost in the darkness. It was the name of my erstwhile reviewer, an outstanding mediocrity, a falsifier of historical records, a plagiarist, a manipulator, a thief of imagination, as written in large, bold letters beneath the title of the two-volume novel “Zerynthiad”, sir Ignatius Halverson. I thought (was I crying blood tears?) that the covers were sprinkled in blood.

“Why this? How come this? Where did blood come from?”, I raised my shaking hands upward. Yes! They were drenched in blood. And a knife in the hand… Speed up, Halverson, first see the bastard, left right, three streets…no, out there behind the corner, that’s where he lives, up close. There’s Bedford park!

Before I kill the first, then the second…Maybe I’ll go to Halverson’s first? To write a will? Leave a farewell note? Proof of the falsification committed, but concise, clear, not interwoven with fragmented thoughts which could lead the witnesses on to something paranoid and ill.

I have to emphasize: he had a different surname before the unpleasant event with the shaman. His surname was Halverson, by Ignatius!

I made the first step, clumsily, asking myself (quite unusual is the capability of reason to have a lark with madness at the same time): does the madness in my mind simply…assume? Do shades lord over the tired spirit?

But I had decided to cut Turban Halverson’s throat as well and this, I know, would not be conceivable to an average, unimaginative mind. Why murder? Because of vanity? – an unimaginative mind would say. Your shoes are salted with it and you walk around bloodied like that. You! The author, under the veil of suspicion! There is something  fascinating, I speak while I shake and hit a pole, then another, dazed, probably under influence of the spell from that diabolical fiend and his Halverson – I laughed wildly, then growled – something obscenely fascinating in falsifying the work of another. Within the success of an average mind, without cleverness, that which is adorned by incompleteness, that which loans all it has from the Complete one. He is a voyeur, this plagiarist and falsifier. He peeps through the keyhole of your overflowing imagination. He uses voodoo magic! He walks behind you with a smile while your statement, your bleeding, your desperation flows…Or is this a simulacrum, an exaggeration, an illusion, tension caused by a simple fact that Lucius and Ignatius have similar, if not the same surnames. Fact that in the Zerynthia novel one of us was a literary character, and that the other one wrote it. (This secret, dear reader, I’ve kept from you until the very end)And that the literary character dies in a puddle of blood, just like this, with a knife. So who was I? What soul? The one of Zerynthia? And who here is an Earthling, and who an extraterrestrial? TURBAN! – that was my final mad IDEA after which I passed out…

While he’s dreaming…

“Two mad loves”, hahaha, Ignatius. Oriental poetry is not the current trend with us Scandinavian folk.

“Not true. The influx of Arabs in Sweden is growing on a global scale. They have houses, are covered socially…”

“But you’re saying that Zerynthia is east of the Moon.”

“I say that her hair is, which is how he sees it, like the treetop of the Canadian rhododendron. The Moon has nothing to do with it. East – that’s just a direction. From hell, from heaven, was it not already written… But, then the oriental directions have enlightened the people, now hell and heaven and east and west, even the rhododendron and the Moon just confuse them.”

“Who is he, Ignatius, who is he, and who am I”, the publisher with a turban on his head asked.

“Lucius. He gets into different situations where his behavior turns abnormal. If he is even capable of love, that love is damaging, mister publisher man. Still, his work is finally gaining traction. Words are becoming more picky amongst themselves, they defy each other, they even defy publishers and the public, as blind as Homer the topic of reading a good book, the provincial taste over which Lucius reigns inviolably. Margarita agrees with him and once, at a Georgian terrace where they were at in the Bedford Park villa, she confesses to him that not only will he become the new Aki the Pig, but an enlightening reformer in the age when Zerynthia alongside China will be the sovereign ruler of the world – she confesses to him and speaks…ah, speaks and this is one of the most powerful parts where her role shifts from a supporting to a main one, at least in his head, where she speaks to him on a personal, intimate level. The novel becomes novelist-ish, so to speak…”

When he heard this, he, the publisher, a man of quite noticeable facial features covered in yellow feathers and with a flat head in the shape of a hammer, jumped on me and rode me, starting to grind me…down to dust. His body was that of King Kong. In his hand he had a baseball bat and he whack whack whacked into powder, whack into one nothing nothing. YOU ARE AWFUL, IGNATIUS HALVERSON! AND NOW YOU ARE OFFICIALLY NOTHING!

I woke up. Whole, full-bodied, in one piece. My hands were white, peaky-pale, if you want dappled in pinkish capillaries, if you want even more detail – under my skin they were knitting a tunic of metarterioles and multiple other vessels all the way up to the capillaries, and if you seek even more, many other things cracked under my skin…

“Your heart cracked as well”, a familiar voice was heard . It was Ignatius Halverson. He was coming out of the bookstore, turning the CLOSED sign the other way and it read THE BOOKSTORE IS OPEN. NEW MASTERPIECES OF IGNATIUS HALVERSON “Zerynthia”, “Two Mad Loves”, “Rotten Folk”, “The Ill, the Shifty and Other Bovine Folk From the Vision of Ignatius Halverson” with the subheading Only For the Mentally Fit, “Aki Was no Pig”, “The First Druid Was no Pope”, “We All Go Crazy Sometimes”, you falsified this from Alfred, hahaha… – I would meticulously write down everything that I would, eventually, have thought.

“And all of that because of a baseball bat, Ignatius!”, he glanced at me with a worried look.

There was a hard pounding in my ears. “What will I do, how will I do it?” was ringing in my head, the inside of which seemed more vast and darker than Altamira. I remembered the Bedouin shepherd Muhammed  edh-Dhib and his stone which made him famous all over the world. * Muhammed edh-Dhib, the Bedouin shepherd who fell into the cave near the Dead Sea and thus discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“The East, always the East! Why the hell are you so insistent of the East? Who’s going to read that? For God’s sake, who even gives a damn? No wonder you failed… Your tactless and unrestrained storytelling aside! Digressions and the absence of a chronological order aside! Self-report, via dialogue! Tell me, why the East? Densely, concisely, succinctly!”

“YOU telling ME about storytelling? You, to whom exposition encompasses the entire novel – you describing a house takes longer than building it! You’ve reworked all of your stories at least ten times! Cats don’t even have as many lives as that!”

“It’s called being thorough”

“And yet you go on again about the East! What would you have me write of, then?”

“Something modern, something more closely related to the people. The New World Order for instance. The East you’re writing about and all of this antiquity stuff. It does not exist! Nobody wants to read that!”

“The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation doesn’t exist either. The magazines for converts to Catholicism don’t exist either!”

“But, you did not write about that. Why would Godville in “Two Mad Loves” in the middle of Pere Lachaise cemetery, where he went to leave flowers at her grave, recite the poems of Suleiman the 2nd. My dear fellow, you are up to your neck deep in the East. Is some Allahu Akbar a cuz of yours?

“The France is filled with Arabs!”, I defended myself from the undisputedly consistent arguments of this scribe monarch of modernity.

“Your problem is that you’re using the Oriental element as a super-national system!”

I facepalmed.

“The problem is that you’re a Nazi-fascist, Ignatius”, said Ignatius.

“Toss in a few interesting anecdotes from your own life.Something Romanesque, which the public loves. Sneak a ‘sonuvabitch’ somewhere so that the people can identify, Ignatius. Did you write the “Fairiad?” No. Why?”

And he added: “Inactivity. Inactivity, vanity and lack of support. If she had at least floated away on the Seine river, but no! You, in a sheik’s outfit…”

“Oh captain, my captain…”, I covered my ears with my hands. Blood was trickling from them.

Yes, it was blood… That’s where I realized that the books had also spoken, that they bristled like enormous mutated spiders threatening to turn me into a screaming meal.

“No no and no! I am good, and you are not good”, emotionally tense and with a revolutionary excitement, I jumped up and stabbed him in the stomach three times, realizing that in the minutes, or more probably in the seconds to come…all is unknown, whether he or I will fall.

Who was the portrait of whom? Who trudged through the darkness? Who wrote better?

That’s when I saw that his mien is a dark one. Suddenly a turban appeared on his head. He smiled to me insidiously. I thought his reaction a natural one:

“I no longer keep the hours back, let them flow.” the shaman said and…still did not part with his soul.

He was dying slowly, but until the end his eyes were the mirror to brusqueness and clarity.

“All that I sang of and burned, I carried within my soul”, the shaman was still professing.

“Turban, what happened with the ritual? Did something go awry?”

Considerate that I am, I tried using all words known to me to comfort him that some African god will soon be waiting for him in Heaven, to which he cursed Allah at me, after which his dying eyes were fixed at the sky where the Moon in its first quarter shone.

“I am dying in the middle of Mesopotamia, on the shores of the Jordan river” – then with a surprising strength for a dying man, he pulled out a tomahawk and chanted something into the air. The books in question were gone.

Everything that was said, along with the supernatural miracle, culminated at the moment of his pre-death, but also intertwined with my own. “What of aphasia, tell me what of aphasia!”, I dragged him and pulled his Zulu equipment which he was disguised for, to me, reasons forever unknown.

Don’t ask why he chose me of all people. My ancestors traced their origins to the third son of the nephew of the immediate aunt of the Swedish Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Maybe he wanted to enter Sweden illegally, while he was wandering the dangerous Syrian deserts, maybe that’s why he escaped to Siberia, who knows…

Thus I twisted the neck of the shaman entirely by accident, but had received no answers. No, the ideas did not leave me, not even at the most crucial moment…

“The shaman spoke, and I did not understand a word of it. Let this story be like that as well. Understandable only to the majority.”, I smiled, me the minority in everything, when at that moment I felt something blowing me away, tearing me apart. I was becoming lighter. Three knife stabs in the stomach were so strong that I felt, from the intense pain, that Weltschmerz was stored inside of them, but that the whole Welt got a single “schmerz” out of me while I, with a dignity of a sheik, of a king, a Suleiman, a Rumi, and even of poetess  Layla al-Akhyaliyya, was dying in someone’s masterpiece over and over again.

 

 

 

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The trial begins. WITCHES!, Leila Samarrai

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(c) Bruce Castle Museum (Haringey Culture, Libraries and Learning); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

image found here

I stand naked
Wrapped in flame and smoke.
My long hair–
Oh, my long, flax fiber hair…
I forgot my hat and broomstick
I left my shoes in the chimney.

The trial begins.

WITCHES:
The first witch wears labeled clothes
Her name is Margaret.
She claims she has never been to Oz.
But you can see the magic swimming eerily in her eyes.
“Sheriff Corwin, the black Tutuba, actually Succuba
the poet is from Barbados
The magic is swinging eerily in her eyes!

JUDGE: “Whatever it is…the woman it is!”

Abigail, stop twitching in your sleep!
Again, she is having nightmares, Judge!
Another wears pointed shoes, she is Edwardian.
Abigail’s mother,
She’s The Queen of spades with a high hat

THE VILLAGE:
“You do not have a husband! Who delivereth you? The devil! ”

“I am,
washerwoman
The executioner and the victim“

THE VILLAGE:
“She does not deserve to live!”

The third was my mistress.
Stingy with words.
Goddamn my black blood
In the ludus!
Hold it!
Startled by a witch!
Back into the darkness!
“Go away, you’re dead!
She’s dead! ”

So I died.
As befits,
Tomorrow I’m going to die
Tomorrow is going to die
Love will die
Between empty hands
(The absence between hands)
Eyes are for blindness .. a daily basis

I will be rooted deep like an oak
I will be that gentle, sweet sonnet
I no longer dream of poppies in wheat
Yes, I, A Witch in Salem’s village,
I listen to someone else’s breath inside me.
I burn in the fire and
I’m shivering.

The trial continues uninterrupted.
My ashes descend.

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