“Fallen – Soliloquy for a Trio” in Unsaid Literary Magazine, issue 6

Recipient of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Award for Fiction in the Face of Adversity

 

“(A) thirteen feet long, seven feet wide, five in height, no light, (B) this be said, the ceiling, in plaster, (C) the wooden floor, (B) the brick walls, by four,(C) no exit, a dark space, empty, (B)drawn with straight lines, (C) parallel lines, (A) right angles in the corners, (C) perpendicular lines, (A) a restricted geometry, (C) a no man’s land, (B)removed from the eyes, (C) concealed behind a screen, (A) black over black, (B) no projection, (A) it’s a picture, says the voice, (B) whispering, (C)into the ear, inaudibly, (A)almost – (B) save the body, (A) as for that, (C)fallen,(B) to the floor, (A) centered, (B)naked,(C) white skin, (A)all veiled, (C)by the dark, (A) no contrast, (C) wrinkled skin, (B)meager hips, (C) coarse hands, (A)moist, (C)folded neck, (A)humid, (B) slim shoulders, (C)dull hair, (A) rigid,(B) temple, (C)forehead,(A) drenched,(B) chin, (C) cheeks,(A) crumpled,(B) knees pressed against forehead, (C)arms pressed against bare skull, (A)almost bare, it’s still blurry, (B) back folded, (C) skin sprinkled with plaster dust, (A)  thin layer, white dust, (C)fake white, (A) all veiled, (C) by the dark, (B)an invisible drawing, (A)the fixed body, (B) arrested development, (C)insentient,(B) drawn in infancy, (A) dancer bare coated in white chalk, (B) in shadows, it’s a portrait, (A) depicts the voice, (C) with insufferable sighs, and complaints, (A) punctuated with pauses, (B) defiant depletion, (C)stretching every word, (A) nothing left to be known, (C) then faking to disappear, into the silence, (A)here, at this moment, (B) the time to catch a breath, (C) the time to tear up time,(A) nothing left to be said, (B) saturating space with words, (C) then, (A) long after, (B)repeat this, (C) body white, (A) radiant, (B)dark light, (C) obscure projection, (A) screen black over black, (C) brute body, (A) bare, (B)removed from the eyes, (A) lethargic, stupefied, (C) head to toe, (A) await nothing, (C)no revolt, no movement, (A)not one – (B) save the eyelids, (A) as for them, (B)they open, (A) for a time, (C) with a tremor, (B)then close, (A) after a time, (B) they open, (A) after a time again, (B) then close after a time again, (C) an invalid rhythm, (B)to keep looking ahead, (A)one screen over the other, (C) the rise of the big void, (A)know nothing, (B) suspect, (A) nothing, (C)understand, nothing, (A) here, at this moment, (B) the primal scene, infancy, (C) locked up in a closet, (A) cues the voice, all drooling, (C) with perverse insinuations, (B) the tasteless tease, (C)nothing very proper, (A) daring to say nothing, (B) truthful, (C)about the thing, (A) but languishing over words, (C) of little consequences, (B) all along, (A) white words, (B)deposited,(C) on the tongue, (A) here, at this moment, hot air, (B) rephrase the great hollow, (C) peel off the emptiness, (A) with redundancies,(B) make it harder to get, (C)and then, (A) long after, (B) repeat this, (C)gray legs, (A) meager,(B) belly, (A) limp, (C) fingers,(A) small, stiff, (B) joints, (A) tight, rusted, (C)scorched calves, (B) thighs, (A) withered, cold, (C)legs,(A) pressed,(B) tendons, (C)muscles,(A) stiff, tensed, petrified, numb, (B) all over, (A) inertia,(C) no response, (A) end to end, – (B)save the chest, it happens, (A)as for that, (C) for a time, with a tremor, (A) impromptu, abrupt, irregular, (B) shivering, surprising the shadows, (A)tearing up the thin cloth, of white dust, (B) with mechanical spasms, (C) an invalid rhythm,(B) into colliding clouds, (C)tear up the nervous fabric, (B) with contractions of the lungs, (A)with muscular disruption, (B) convulsions of organs, (A) automatic hiccups, (B) syntactic addendums, (A) here, at this moment, (B) a heartbeat, (C)skipped, forgotten, (B) now, (C)missed again, (A) adds the voice, with delirious driveling, (B) involuntary impulse, without pausing anymore, (A)driven, to the final convulsion, (B) to say, before the end, (A)the sole desire to add, (C) it must, (B)without even being heard, (C) it must be forgotten, disappear, (B) or be here, (C)but degraded, to the basest degree, (A)or let it have never been, (C) right from the beginning, (A)foreclosed behind the screen, (B) removed from the eyes, (A) and so on, like this, persist on not being, (B) in every possible way, (C) emit no sound, (A) that awakens the dead, (C) from the mouth, (B)as for that, (C) dull, frozen lips, (B)dry tongue, (A) hollowed,(C) deadwood, (B)no inspiration, (A) no sense, (C) no surprise, (B)no flows, (A) of feelings, (B) but whistle, (C)a deaf sound, (A) sepulchral,(B) coming from the abyss, (C)the frosty cave, (B) a yawn with no echoes, (A) carrying the weight of void, (B) inside the pulmonary hole, (C) with no depth to it, (A) no substance, (C)no secret to be told, (A) a place where nothing happens, (C) not once, – (B)save the breath, it happens, (A) as for that, through the mouth, (C) for a time, (B) shivering, (C)a quiet ebb and flow, (B) evacuating void, (C)from the lungs, (B) with incisive blows, (A)mute, sharp, (B) cutting flesh, (A)in numerous strata, (C) separated in layers, (B) it runs through the nostrils, (A) to keep living perhaps, a bit more (C) but no inspiration, (B)to expire alone, (A) with no sin, (C)with tremendous effort, (A) may every breath be the last, (B) never losing the thread, not for a second, (A) here, (C)listen,(A) with strained ear, (A)come close, (B) gathering all senses, (C)be prepared to grasp, (A) hidden, behind the screen black over black, (B) perceive,(C) from the other side of darkness, (A)the timid contortions, (C) the shivers of the lungs, (B) these expiratory confessions, (A) here, at this moment, (B)for it to be conceived, it must be imagined, (A) cusses the voice, yes, imagined, (C) and whatnot, such a big load of crap, keep saying shit like that, (B)projections,(C) nonsense, no light, (A)screen black over black, (B) removed from the eyes, (C) right from the beginning,(A) dark birth, here, right before the eyes, (C) then add in the silence, here again, (A) one more screen, (C)the dead silence, (A) or maybe static noise, (C)constant,(B) to help better hear this said, (A)in the dark, (B) from all angles, from within, from without, (C) into the left ear, impermeable to all things, (A) all sounds at once, (C) suspended, (A)every noise, – (B) save the voice, (A)as for that, (B) it blathers, (A)may the last breath be reached, (B) empty words, (C) in the ear, (B)whispering so many things, (A) loving things, (B)the sweet tongue, (C) false things, (A)incredible cruelty, (B) all the things unfolding,(A) by the hundreds, by the thousands, (C)all intolerable things, (A) here, at this moment, (B) may everything be heard, (C)a nasty trick like this, being forced to listen, (A) this be said, out loud, (B) repeating, all along, (C) that silence must be kept, (A) rule over, (A)constant,(C) the dead silence, (B)from within, from without, from all angles, (A) this, here, be said in the ear, (C) the left ear, (A) with white words, (C)that make no sense at all, ‘cause said too many times, (A)dark murmur, (C) a buzzing, (A)‘cause of making too much sense, the meanings, (B) the sounds, the intentions, (C) all that shit, (A) lashes the voice, in a frantic delivery, (B) accelerating its speed, (A) without moving the lips, (B)the jaws in suspension, (A) burning fire, (B)frozen lips, (A) not breaking the silence, not once, (B) no deep inspiration, (A)here, at this moment, (C) buzzing words, in the ear, (B) the little lullaby, (A)such a sweet thing, (B) listen to it, sung, (A)may the voice be carried, (B) sing forte, (A) sing even louder still, carry itself away, (B) to the apex of bliss, (C) and whatnot, such a big load of crap, keep saying shit like that, hearing opera arias, the cords torn to pieces, the voice losing itself, (A) expiring, to no end, (C) burning the very last breath, (A) may no end ever be reached, (C) till finished, exhausted, emptied, (A) here, at this moment, the white noise, (B) listen to it, (C)constant,(A) dispense itself, (C)the intestinal leaks, (A) the gibberish, (C)shedding shadows on things, (A) the fabrications, the inflations, the allusions, (C) nibbling at the left ear, deaf from hearing too much, (A) impassive to all things, (B) to meaning, (A)nothing may penetrate, inside, (C) never again, (A) not once – (B)save the cries, (A) as for them, (B)they penetrate inside, (A) from all sides, all angles, (B) from within, from without, (A) crescendo, by the hundreds, by the thousands, (C) the eardrums split open, (B) resonating between walls, (A) depositing white voices, thrown into the dark, (C) till everything turns mad, the cross-references, (C) the interferences, (B) the repetitions, (C)clawed ribs, (A) riven, (B)dry ear, (A) lower abdomen, (C)defunct genitalia, (B) nails, teeth, (A)cracked,(C) feet, nose, (A)meager, broken, (B) knuckles, spine, (A)lashed,(B) without sin, (C)and so on, like this, (A) till nothing else is heard, anymore, (C) deaf ear, (B)impassive to the insults, (A) underneath the silence, (C)blasphemous, profanity, dead speech, (A) slippage of God’s tongue, (B) trespassing from all sides, (A) between cement and bricks, (B) between hinges and door, (A)till walls turn to pieces, (C) till the floor splits open, (A) till the plaster ceiling cracks, (B) all falling, (A)over screen black over black, (C) the collapse of plaster, (A) the avalanche, (B)a rain of dust white, (A) over backdrop of materials, (B) falling, (C)white,(B) radiant, (A)endless,(C) the cries, throat lit on fire, (B)clenched fists, (C) jaws open, (A)dislodged,(B) hole, wide, (A)obscure,(C) neck, (A) folded,(B) cheeks stretched, (C)silence broken, (A) from voices born within, (C)dissonant,(A) deaf, strident, (C)the wailings, (B) as for them, (A)reborn,(B) from all sides, (C)listen to how it wails, (A) here, at this moment, screams the voice, (C) tormented,(A) scattered, in the distances, (C)wracked, into pieces, (A) almost inaudible, (C)‘cause of the cries, (B) that slip through the cracks, (C) ‘neath the door, (A)broken hinges, (B) left open, (A)as for that, (C) all wiped blank, from the beginning, (A) by the screen, (B)time will come, (C) time to kill, (A)cut-out child, (B) burden of the scriptures,(C) imaginary joke, (A)drowned,(C) ‘neath ruins, (A)live choir, (C) living corps, buried, ‘neath rubbles, (B) impregnated with light, white source, (A) blinding, (C)unbearable to the eyes, (A) projected on screen white over white, (C) forehead wrinkled, (B)knit eyelids, (C) grimace, (B)pupil,(A) retracted, (C)retina,(A) blank, (B) body,(A) nested, (B)infancy,(A) locked up in a closet, (B)to delete out the voice, (A) to regain the silence, (C) the dead silence, (A)but hear this coming back, once again, (C) may it always return, (A) be even stronger still, (C) every time, (B)this be said, (C) for the last time, (A)a whispered word, (C) be the end, (B)the last breath, (A) finally, (B)made inaudible, (C) to the ear, (A)now deaf, (B) must say this, (A)loud and clear, (B) nothing else, (C)said nothing, (B) all along, (C)from the beginning, (B) but a portrait, (C)says the voice, (B) a picture painted white”

 

Amin Erfani

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