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 21, 2012

Tinies no. 7

In this installment of Tinies, Old Martin appears as a young man.

New to Tinies? These are pieces I've written while spending so much time on a major reading project that I've had little time to write. They are wandering word-doodles, leading where they will. To read from the start, click on the little Tinies label below or scroll down.

New to my work? My 2012 books are a novel, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, and a collection of poems, The Foliate Head. Last year saw another collection, The Throne of Psyche. You can click on the tabs above for more information. Also forthcoming this year is a long poem, Thaliad.

YOUNG MARTIN

One day I asked Old Martin how he came to be here.

My picture of what happened to him is obscure. Certain words keep their strangeness: causeway, car, suburbs. We have none of those things.

Old Martin (he was Young Martin then) drove along a causeway with a steep drop on either side. Suddenly the world darkened, as if the car’s windows had turned to smoked glass. The air grew steadily darker, and he grew more and more uneasy. He opened the door to look for a yellow dividing line on the road. A small popping noise inside his head made Young Martin suspect that he was having an ocular migraine.

He frequently saw rain in the middle distance, he told me, when it was not raining at all.

When he reached the end of the causeway, he pulled onto the edge of the road. Slowly the darkness ebbed, but the world looked unfamiliar. He thought it must be the afterglow of his aura, but the sensation did not wear off when he drove on.

The road did not take him through the suburbs he expected but dwindled into a rutted track between flowering trees. Eventually all his fuel burned away, and he was forced to get out and walk.

Young Martin’s head ached. It was raining in the middle distance, and as he walked, the rain moved ahead of him like an enormous but fragile pillar.

7 July 2012

2 comments:

  1. Paranormal, time-traveling?, spooky, thrilling = a story in the making. Elements I recognize in some of your books. Grand that you are able to do these word sketches in the midst of marathon reading, Marly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aaaaah! I did a mammoth amount yesterday and am feeling a little bit crazy around the edges.

    I stopped writing them after a while--pooped--so am posting to make myself write some new ones instead of just crashing into bed after each day of reading, reading, reading.

    ReplyDelete

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.