Adventures in Anti–Narrative, part two
We were set an exercise of writing a 600 word story using a list of only 100 words. Only this small part of mine made any sense, and as it turned out that's sense in the loosest sense of the word. But I think there are some nice sentences. Some cheesy ones too.
Fingernail in mouth, he bites and sees the tree, the white bones of the sun, the fire and the night. His tongue is walking the road of an egg. Round. Yellow. He stands and hears the feet of sleep; feathered feet, and black as the bones of mountains. Sleep, says the white-boned moon. But he hears a new foot, fiery and full. This bird has a name. The stars have names. The earth has a name. The egg has been eaten. He walks. The earth under his feet is cold. He walks to the tree and it is sleeping – it doesn’t know. She sits in the teeth of the unknowing tree. A person with black hair, dry hair. Skin like bark, the belly a seed, the heart a root, the fingernail a leaf. The moon burns red, ashy with fire-smoke.
He bites. Blood seeds his tongue. His mouth burns. But the bark is cold and clouds the heart like smoke after fire, like rain across the moon. Who would not swim through that rain? Who would not die in that water? He knows he will sleep and lying warm – the two lying warm, round, full and new – the tongue of sleep names this man, that woman. And they fly.
The post-reading discussion went roughly like this:
Peter: I think that in the first two paragraphs he enters a godlike dream state.
Me: I thought it was about two people making out under a tree. (Pause.) At a barbecue.
Peter: Oh...of course, he's eating an egg!
Me: I don't know why there's a hard-boiled egg at a barbecue to be honest.
Peter: So when you wrote "bird" I imagined a powerful thunder god, but actually you meant a *bird*.