Sunday, August 09, 2009

How to Tell a Story - Shira Erlichman

There is a way of telling stories. A red pen. A teacher to move it.
Instead you have hands, and a Light inside you, and Bones.
Instead you have ideas, which ricochet, and an anger that won’t sit still,
and dogs from outside which come to die in the quiet spots inside of you.
And, deliberately, you have noise.
You have rape, and cities, the noise of the dumb, and of the very rape of the
earth, an ache, a strangeness like swallowing feathers, a bitterness, you have.
There is a way of telling stories. They tell you it is not like this.

So you remove your arms, that way no hands can find anything.
You reject the light to please the darkness.
You and I, we become just bones, moving with the stiffness of the dead, caught
in the riot of the rotting, and producing similar sounds.

A page opens before you like a new day
and this is where you find your story.
The earth sings with a thousand ways to tell it.
Lose your tongue.
Don’t be confused by shadow, and when you hit water, tread.
Find God, ask questions, don’t leave till you’ve tasted the tea.
You don’t need to multiply. Never divide.
Carry the one on your back if you have to.
When you meet the devil, don’t spit at him, but don’t make love to him either.
When you meet me, take my blooming, bloody palm.
You’ll know where to find me, I’ll be in every page held by greasy fingers.
I will be the bread that sustains you. If you remember your hunger,

I will remember you.
And when they tell you life is not like this, life is never like this,
life will never be like this, insist that the sun
has always found a time and a place, the moon too knows when and where to enter,
and you too have your stories,
and you too have your place.

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