Visitation: The Specter of Magical Realism

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Last night, I was a man, a man who writes. This dream-me typed an evocative, moving,
derisive, poem that made the woman-dream-me reading the printed words feel
everything. I could see the well-worn, wood and rattan rocking chair sitting empty
on the front porch of the antiquated country store. I could smell the swampish damp,
watch the moss swing gray like tattered blankets clothes-pinned to nearby branches,
knew I was somewhere South, closer to the equator.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday. Marquez of Love in the Time of Cholera and
One Hundred Years of Solitude, the author who wove magic on pages, making us feel obsessive
passion, despair, confusion, love, pain, loss, who made our pitiful humanness, our
well-intentioned but tragic failings, art.

Did he visit us, as would be but right? Did he slip mto our dreams, those who have loved
his words, those who cannot help but try to tell the stories? Did he come to whisper
in our sleeping ears, take courage, persist, stumble, fall even, bur write on, love on
despite the futility and impermanence, let passion and pain instruct and guide?
Did he entreat us to not stop, let the words out?

Trust the page. Trust your hands. Trust your heart.

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 18

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The Revolt

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Undaunted by splinters
or more serious injury,
they yanked at the railing
with smooth hands,
kicked at it with tennis shoed feet.
It didn’t ruin easily,
so they worked on
doggedly,
demonstrating a determination
which would have incited delight
in their parents,
teachers,
under other circumstances.

Eventually, wood gave,
cracked,
fissures opened allowing bolts
to break free,
post with it.
They cheered,
fist bumped after tossing
the pieces
into the clearness
of the stream,
sat on the bridge planks,
satisfied,
view now unobstructed
by things we believed
best kept them safe.

 

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 17

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Imports

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Last night, it snowed.
The 15th of April.
When the restaurant patrons
noticed the rain,
falling all day,
had turned from water
to white,
we volleyed off shouts,
raised our fists
and cursed
the swirl outside
the glass.

Yesterday morning,
wrapped lightly
in a quilt on my porch,
I listened to the storm
and watched the sun rise
over gardens
splendid yellow.
Daffodils full height,
bright and open,
offering cheer
after a winter
that seemed interminable.

This morning,
all the sunny blossoms
lay wilted
against rough earth.
I view them
from my closed window
as the heat
once more blows from vents
by my slippered feet.

Such pretty things,
imported from parts foreign
long ago,
still prove unable
to withstand
the capriciousness
of local climate,
regardless of how
entrenched and domesticated
they may appear.

 

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 16

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Less Than Prime

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Filet mignon
may no longer really be
filet mignon,
rather a hodgepodge
of less desirable bovine scraps
stuck together with meat glue,
passing as prime.

Currently approved to reassemble
bits of broken cattle,
she anxiously awaits
the FDA expansion
for use on human hearts,
hoping to finally reattach all
of her wrecked and fragmented pieces.

 

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 15

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Airplanes & The Empire State

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Maybe it started with Godzilla.
All those deliciously bad
Japanese films imperfectly
dubbed to English,
lips and words
never properly aligning.
My brother and I
watched them
on Saturday afternoons,
kneeling on the rug
in front of the color
console,
nosing in on monsters.

These things,
so large and horrible,
devastated landscapes
as they rampaged
through power lines,
smashed roadblocks,
making entire battalions
of helmet-headed,
bazooka-wielding men,
ineffectual.

Soldiers’ courage
was always rewarded
by a calloused sole,
camera zooming in
on hands
futilely raised
in front of faces,
as if one could repel
3000 lbs of enraged colossus
with laced fingers.

Poised on small,
still perfect knees
in our 64th Street Cape Cod,
we learned
it was the cunning ones
that remained uncrushed,
who evaded the slashing nails
and zombie maws.
If you were clever enough
to master hiding
when fully visible,
become still as stone,
concealing your very heart,
you could claim
the title:
survivor.

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 13

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