Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NMF, Day the 20th. Not my Coven

This is another mad science experiment. It makes even less sense than the sheep meadow sheep from Day 10, but was at least an interesting departure.

A handful of literary allusions are sprinkled throughout, to two famous American poets. It also references a very specific place. I'm curious as to how obvious this is to those readers who are not me.

"Not my Coven"
by L Czhorat Suskin

They're not my coven. That's something I've not yet earned, if ever I will. Decent folk, wild folk, brave folk, yes. That and more. Puppets without strings, brave souls who'd leap a cemetery fence at midnight for the sheer joy of being where they don't belong, where they aren't wanted.

On the road together, to sing the body, Sergey driving and Jennifer shotgun the old car coloured like rust swaying the cradle endlessly rocking towards the shore, the end, the blue canary's primitive ancestry.

But they're not my coven. Brave and wild, supple and strong, they are earth and fire, air and water, but not spirit. I knew from the first I read their cards, from the laughter in their eyes as much as my inner oracle.

Each highway overpass is different from the next, and each gone in an eyeblink at each next eyeblink I sketch in the margin here, when we reach the end I'll have drawn the gate out of the world.

writing makes me carsick. It's been two hours.

They're not my coven. I may someday find one, but not today. They are my friends. And together we travel.

Late day light, stopped at a thin place thin like the bright place where the  howler met the poet  but not that, no never that. Clean, natural light here, warm emergency light glare behind white gauze Sergey laughing at nothing Jennifer laughing with him at nothing it's right nothing is funny, oh so very funny and it's so thin here. If this were a story it would start here, a tamewild place off the highway where we writ fairy-rings in vines and dirt and dreams. 

Where we finally broke free of the marionette strings off the the end.

They're not my coven. They didn't see them, didn't hear them, didn't see him when we stopped, him the childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys. 

He's real. We're all real, in this thin place, near Paumonok shores. 

They're not my coven, but they brought me here, to the end, to the great monument like a phallus thrust upward at the gate of her, our mother. 

They're not my coven, but they brought me here.

To the End.

They're not my coven.

They might not bring me back.


  1. I really like the word 'tamewild'! Might steal it.

    I'm afraid all the literary allusions and the place-reference were entirely lost on me, though.

  2. The place was my own home of Long Island, NY which I'd expect to be lost on others. Specifically the Montauk lighthouse.

    Writers referenced were the American poets Whitman (of the abovementioned Long Island) and Ginsberg referencing Whitman.

    There's also a nod to Brooklyn-based alt-rock duo They Might Be Giants.

  3. I got the Howl references and some of the Whitmanesque word coinages. There's also echoes Bradbury, and Kerouac, and maybe a hint of William Gibson that work better because they seem unconscious. Up to the Paumonok reference, I thought it had a vibe of the empty midwest more than of Long Island. It's a bit choppy in places. But all in all, a fine effort. And yes, it makes sense, in its own poetic surreal way.