“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 said, the ceiling, in plaster, (C) the wooden floor, (B) the brick walls, by four, (C) no exit, a dark space, empty, (B) conceived of straight lines, (C) parallel, (A) right angles in the corners, (C) perpendicular lines, (A) restricted geometry, (C) a no man’s land, (B) removed from the eye, (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, inaudible, (A) almost – (B) save the body, (A) as for that, (C) fallen, (B) on 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 fuzzy, (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) invisible drawing, (A) fixed body, (B) arrested momentum, (C) insentient, (B) drawn in infancy, (A) dancer bare coated in white chalk, (B) in the shadows, it’s a portrait, (A) depicts the voice, (C) with insufferable sighs, and complaints, (A) punctuated with pauses, (B) defiant depletion, (C) undo each and every word, (A) leave nothing to be known, (C) then fake to disappear, into silence, (A) here, this moment, (B) time to catch a breath, (C) and to tear up the time, (A) leave nothing to be said, (B) saturate the 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 eye, (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 tremor, (B) then close, (A) after a time, (B) they open, (A) after a time again, (B) then close once again, (C) by invalid rhythm, (B) to keep looking ahead, (A) one screen over the next, (C) the rise of the big void, (A) know nothing, (B) suspect, (A) nothing, (C) understand nothing, (A) here, this moment, (B) a primal scene, infancy, (C) locked up in a closet, (A) cues the voice, drooling, (C) with perverse insinuations, (B) tasteless tease, (C) nothing very kosher, (A) dare say nothing, (B) truthful, (C) about the thing, (A) just languish over words, (C) of little consequences, (B) all along, (A) white words, (B) deposited, (C) on the tongue, (A) here, this moment, hot air, (B) rephrase the great hollow, (C) peel off the emptiness, (A) by redundancies, (B) make it harder to get, (C) and then, (A) long after, (B) repeat this, (C) grey 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) from end to end, – (B) save the chest, it happens, (A) as for that, (C) for a time, with tremor, (A) impromptu, abrupt, irregular, (B) to shiver, to surprise the shadows, (A) to tear up the thin cloth, of white dust, (B) by mechanical spasms, (C) an invalid rhythm, (B) into colliding clouds, (C) tear up the nervous fabric, (B) by contractions of the lungs, (A) by muscular disruption, (B) convulsions of the organs, (A) automatic hiccups, (B) syntactic addendums, (A) here, this moment, (B) a heartbeat, (C) skipped, forgotten, (B) now, (C) missed, (A) adds the voice, by delirious driveling, (B) involuntary impulse, not pausing anymore, (A) driven, till the final convulsion, (B) to say, before the end, (A) the sole desire to add, (C) it must, (B) to not even be heard, (C) it must be forgotten, disappear, (B) or be here, (C) degraded, to the lowest degree, (A) it must have never been, (C) right from the beginning, (A) foreclosed behind the screen, (B) removed from the eye, (A) and so on, like this, persist on not to be, (B) any possible way, (C) emit no sound, (A) to awaken 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 circulation, (A) of feelings, (B) but the whistle, (C) deaf sound, (A) sepulchral, (B) coming from the abyss, (C) the frosty cave, (B) a yawn without echo, (A) carry the weight of the void, (B) inside the pulmonary hole, (C) without depth, (A) no substance, (C) no secret to be kept, (A) where nothing ever happens, (C) not once, – (B) save the breath, it happens, (A) as for that, in the mouth, (C) for a time, (B) to shiver, (C) a quiet ebb and flow, (B) to evacuate the void, (C) from the lungs, (B) with incisive blows, (A) mute, sharp, (B) cut the flesh, (A) in numerous strata, (C) separate inner layers, (B) and run through the nostrils, (A) to keep breathing perhaps, (C) but no inspiration, (B) to expire alone, (A) without sin, (C) with tremendous efforts, (A) may each breath be the last, (B) and never lose the thread, for a second, (A) here, (C) listen, (A) with strained ear, (A) come close, (B) gather all the senses, (C) be prepared to grasp, (A) hidden, behind screen black over black, (B) perceive, (C) from the other side of darkness, (A) the timid contortions, (C) the shivers of the lungs, (B) expiratory confessions, (A) here, this moment, (B) for this to be conceived, it must be imagined, (A) cusses the voice, that’s it, to imagine, (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 eye, (C) right from the beginning, (A) a dark birth, here, before the eyes, (C) then add in the silence, here again, (A) one more screen, (C) dead silence, (A) or maybe just static, (C) constantly, (B) to help better hear this, (A) in the dark, (B) from all the angles, from within, from without, (C) in the left ear, impermeable to all things, (A) to all sounds, (C) suspending, (A) all the noises, – (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) whispers so many things, (A) so loving, (B) the sweet tongue, (C) all false, (A) an incredible cruelty, (B) things unfolding, (A) by the hundreds, by the thousands, (C) all intolerable things, (A) here, this moment, (B) may they all be heard, (C) a nasty trick like this, to be forced to listen, (A) this said, out loud, (B) repeat this, all along, (C) silence must be kept, (A) rule over, (A) constantly, (C) dead silence, (B) from within, from without, from all the angles, (A) this said in the ear, (C) the left ear, (A) with white words, (C) with no sense to be made, because said too many times, (A) a dark murmur, (C) a buzzing, (A) too much sense, the meanings, (B) and the sounds, the intentions, (C) all that shit, (A) lashes the voice, in a frantic delivery, (B) accelerating its speed, (A) without the lips moving, (B) the jaws in suspension, (A) burning fire, (B) frozen lips, (A) not to break the silence, for a second, (B) with profound inspirations, (A) here, this moment, (C) buzzing words, in the ear, (B) a little lullaby, (A) a sweet thing, (B) it must be listened to, 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 till the last breath, (A) may no end be reached, (C) till finished, exhausted, emptied, (A) here, this moment, white noise, (B) it must be listened to, (C) constantly, (A) let spent itself at loss, (C) by intestinal leaks, (A) by rebus, (C) throw shadows over things, (A) fabricate, inflate, with allusions, (C) nibble at the left ear, deaf by hearing too much, (A) impassive to all things, (B) and meaning, (A) nothing may penetrate, inside, (C) never, (A) not once – (B) save the cries, (A) as for them, (B) they penetrate inside, (A) from all sides, all the angles, (B) from within, from without, (A) crescendo, by the hundreds, by the thousands, (C) eardrums split open, (B) resonate between the walls, (A) deposit white voices, thrown into the dark, (C) till everything turns mad, cross-references, (C) interferences, (B) 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 insults, (A) underneath the silence, (C) blasphemous, profane of the dead tongue, (A) slippage of God’s word, (B) trespassing from all sides, (A) between cement and bricks, (B) the hinges and the door, (A) till the walls are undone, (C) till the floor splits open, (A) till the plaster ceiling cracks, (B) all fallen, (A) over screen black over black, (C) collapses of plaster, (A) avalanche, (B) rain of dust white, (A) over backdrop of materials, (B) fallen, (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) broken silence, (A) the voices born within, (C) dissonant, (A) deaf, strident, (C) the wailings, (B) as for them, (A) reborn, (B) from all sides, (C) it wails, (A) here, this moment, shouts the voice, (C) tormented, (A) scattered, in the distances, (C) wracked, into pieces, (A) quasi inaudible, (C) by the cries, (B) slipping 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 eye, (A) projected on screen white over white, (C) forehead wrinkled, (B) knit eyebrows, (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) dead silence, (A) but hear it coming back, once again, (C) may it always return, (A) even stronger still, (C) each time, (B) this said, (C) for the last, (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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