Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tinies, no. 2

As I don't have time this summer to write anything of length, thanks to a major reading assignment, I have been writing fragments--what they are, I'm not sure. Odd, yes. Small also. Here's another, linked to no. 1:

OMIN THE COLLECTOR

Omin spends all his days fishing at sea. His spindly, absurd machines sparkle with salt and sun. He cranks the handles, lowering his intricate wheel upon wheel of line (silvery, glistening with scales) into the deep. It is his calling to collect the pearls that were eyes from the sea, to find every bone that sank, marionette-strung and jointed, into the green wave and down, down, down to where the fish begin to flicker in the long dark.

Omin is as rickety as his harrowing machine, with his long, thin arm and leg bones and the knobbles of his vertebrae that show when he bends to his work. I like to go with him on the boat, to hold his findings in my hands that are still young and not worn by the salt and waves of life. I like to think that some day I will be harrowed and fished from this world, flung into the meadow of light where I walked, hand in hand, before I found the tree with its little door.

For weeks at a time Omin wanders the ocean till his ears ring like church bells, and the waves tip back and forth like great cast bells, and his small white boxes are overflowing with pearls the size of jingle bells, and the bones are infinitely worn clappers wrapped in cloth to still them, keep them from vibrating—to bring rest to the drowned and lost so that the whole wobbling planet can be steadied and not call out to the stars and moons of space like a sounding bell.

Murmuring, almost singing, Omin tells me, “Nothing will be lost: nothing!”

2 July
If you're interested in seeing what's new with me, please check out the A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage (new novel - The Ferrol Sams Award) and The Foliate Head (new collection of formal poetry) links above.

6 comments:

  1. I love this. This might become a little chapbook (sketchbook) of Tinies or Fragments!

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  2. It might. It might be anything! I have no idea where it is wandering...

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  3. You took me to another place very quickly.
    I enjoyed being there, Marly!

    Brilliant. DO collect these short stories together!

    You know... a book of these kinds of works with drawings to go with them would be - a treasure for all ages. Writing one side, a drawing/painting/illustration on the other.
    Wonderful.

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  4. Better wait and see where it goes! Who knows... Something or nothing. A fairy or a handful of tinsel...

    But thanks, Paul!

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  5. Ah! How wonderful!
    I knew that the reading would not be able to still your writing hand.
    Keep it up. I want to learn more.

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  6. Today is a day to make children do what they do not want to do and catch up on the reading I didn't do yesterday when I went to MEDUSA!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.