Too Many Stairs, Too Much Hair, Paisley’d Skin And Victorian Fayres.

Twelve Dreams…Scene One, Take One!
Walking in the beating sunlight, heaviest of early heats. A limestone surface faces me, a scar in the landscape into which lacerations have been forced. A staircase has been forged from the shells, a ladder for the smooth-skinned brother of Esau; virile and goat-lined still.
My face has been raped of youth with greasepaint: crows feet and forgotten magpie greed stain my eyes. Hair is falling across my ashen cheeks, thick Nordic braids hang heaving and wet on my neck.
Fourteen paces up the ladder, and I feel ancient. I feel biblical. I feel Vedantically old and yet I am thinking of the past that stretches only until yesterday… I am thinking of certain words spoken at a sister gorge, fingers entwined, years forgotten. I am thinking of what another must have been thinking. Must have been thinking. I am thinking of those thoughts being swept aside, young flocks of memories forced outside the sheep-fold, spat out and disgusted at their unwelcome presence in your mind, while I move in elevating circles, a crook around my neck dragging me down.
Thirty paces high, and I am struggling. My knees are straining with the weight of sweat-soaked velvet, of hair kept here and lost there, of lips, of beads. I am still ascending as a lens stays at my side. I am told to mumble, to sigh, and I did not realise I wasn’t. The sun is too bright to see anything, and so I see a room. I see three rooms, in three cities. I see four rooms, in four capital cities. I see a bed, I see a peacock feather. I see a tube of liquid, and I see a column stuffed with spiral stairs, with an angel straddling it.
I still have a long way to climb, I cannot even see the top.
I still have a long way to climb, I cannot see anything else.

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About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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