In which I enter fangirl territory on Yukio Mishima and Iris Murdoch, talk about creativity, what writing means to me personally, tips on writing…basically, I talk a lot here. Come read my interview with Christina and…well, just come and read it. 😂
of the bow-wasped beauty –
whose cloak Artemis tore into two:
Where has your missing fisherman gone?
I see only his delicate prow,
a broken line that weaves
in between stars;
half-frozen footprints in the ice.
Alas! Hesperus and Mercury
are nowhere to be found
in this sweltering heat
that wilts the primrose;
the firefly will be no friend of mine
in this mourn-draped evening.
© Zelda Reville
Once upon a time, there stood three, lofty mountains.
If mountains could be separated accordingly to their gender, there would be two male mountains and one female mountain –
Supposedly female, as judged by the two male mountains, who could barely make out two swollen peaks jutting out of the billowing tufts that obscured their vision (and ardent admiration) for her beauty. They finally knew one fine summer’s day, when a shrill voice screamed “Get away from me!” as a humble camel ascended her peaks.
Being mountains, they could not move from where Nature, that sly puppeteer, had condemned them to stay, so they passed their expansive, idle time by mostly sitting in silence. On occasion they would converse with each other, and find out what each other’s inhabitants had been up to.
These settlers had turned up unannounced one day, and proceeded to make each mountain their home without further delay.
A religious sect had set up shop on the first male mountain, a wandering philosopher had declared the second male mountain his perfect haven, and two magnificent eagles spied the female mountain as the perfect place to call their home. Both eagles had since spawned a healthy eagle population on the previously eagle-free area.
As it conspired, today was one of these days, and the second male mountain was bemoaning his unfortunate fate to them. He called himself George after he’d heard someone call the philosopher that. He knew not what a George was, but it sounded nice and good as a name; furthermore, he was tired of being called Blue Peak. First, he was not blue, and second, he felt that the name Blue Peak was lacking in character, somewhat – passe, bland, two common nouns hastily strung together for the sake of naming this mountain something.
He felt he had a shining destiny laid for him, in his path. He knew not what this was, but it winked at him periodically in his daydreams, like the stars in the sky. He sighed.
George was a very laid-back and patient mountain, but then again, all mountains are laid-back and patient to an extent. He had learned many philosophical theories over the years by listening to the philosopher’s lectures, and therefore made better use of his eternal life by musing over them. But lately all that pondering only served to put George in a dreadful mood…which could only be described as something along the vague, scholarly lines of “existential despair”. George had first heard the term issued by a belligerent student. This melancholic, restless feeling, he assumed, was probably what this word meant.
“I wish he would stop bringing in more students, they’re ruining my forests with all that chopping for firewood. They’re turning me BALD.” George griped to the first male mountain, who called himself Chris for the same reasons as George. Chris, being much more reckless than George, became increasingly at odds with George as their inhabitants were constantly bickering with each other. Both secretly wished that they could get away from each other, but alas – they couldn’t move, and so they continued their luckless fate. They could only hope for the unreliable clouds to obscure each other from sight.
Chris was in a jubilant mood, having spoken to the female mountain earlier, while simultaneously ogling her glorious pinnacles.
“He is doing God’s work, only with philosophy,” Chris replied benignly. “George is doing a good job.“
Religion and philosophy tentatively held hands for once, though peering at each other with suspicion.
“Did you mean me, or that fleabag philosopher?” George asked, morosely.
“Him, of course.”
Both of them soon lapsed into deep silence.
“Well, don’t you say!” exclaimed the female mountain suddenly.
“What, Bird?” Both Chris and George answered. They’d called her that after Chris had overheard an excited toddler exclaiming, “Bird, bird!” as he saw a circling eagle.
“It’s not much, really. I was just eavesdropping on the eagles. You’re going to have new people staying with you again, George!” Bird said.
“Perhaps you should be more careful, now that they know you’ve heard everything,” George replied cautiously.
“Aww don’t worry, they don’t speak mountain! They’ll think it’s one of those tremors again.” Bird replied brightly. George silently applauded and admired her unceasing optimism.
He wished he had half of her joyous personality – or at least her carefree approach to life. Damn it all – why had the philosopher chosen him, of all places, to stay on?
As he raged, the clouds; fluffy, majestic masterpieces of Nature’s doing, parted like the velvet curtains of an opening theatre show, and he then witnessed Bird in her feminine glory. Her unconscious sensuality and naive seduction were displayed at their very best, with the addition of the late summer’s rays. She was clothed in a bejewelled emerald sheath of lush forest that clung to all the right places – Good god, those rising peaks! – and he continued to stare in undisguised awe. Somewhere in George, a tremor split the ground open. No one was harmed, though the philosopher balked at how his overweight pony had fallen to its premature death, into the newly-created crevasse.
Then, without warning, he felt the strangest sensation. A deep, dark, angry…something. This…something had inconspicuously attached itself to his volatile mire of existential despair. What was this?
He was very confused. It was the first time he’d ever encountered anything like it. No word from his limited vocabulary could describe this roaring Minotaur that was barely chained to the ground.
In his mind’s eye, this curious beast looked like a reddish black mob of angry ants. And then, through this tangled mess he discerned a faint thread of yearning – first spiraling out, gossamer-thin, then becoming a mass of tangled lines, red and purple and black, which lashed at him. George tried to shake this not altogether unpleasant feeling away, but the more he stared at Bird, the more intense this feeling grew.
A passing gale soon swept the clouds in Bird’s direction, obscuring her from his sight. The intensity of this feeling subsided with the elegiac movement of the clouds, although now it continued to lick at him like kindling embers gnawing away at firewood. George mulled over this sudden change in mood. He decided to seek counsel from the only friend he had, even though in all honesty, he would have given everything to get away from him on some days. But still, he was the only person he could count on, and he knew it was the same for that friend too.
“Erm, have you ever felt…” George hesitated for a moment. He wasn’t sure how to best articulate this emotion to Chris. His dangling sentence abruptly terminated itself as his mind tried to package this vague feeling into appropriate language. He observed his inner monologue dully as it hurriedly pulled up words from messy book shelves, pored over them. Realization and rapture saw him ascend rapidly to the dizzy heights of ecstasy, his internal monologue praising itself on its fantastic rational, logical, genius mind. Unfortunately, this short reign was quickly replaced by a writhing despair, as self-doubt rose like the mightiest of waves, more frightening then what Noah saw as his ark sailed the treacherous sea. He soon sighed, yielding to a rather agreeable ennui as he watched his perfectly built train of thought topple to the ground in a detached manner, scattering the pieces of logic everywhere. Why did he even try sometimes? What even was the point?
Chris’s voice rudely jolted him from the grasp of his inner world.
“George? What were you saying?”
George sighed. “It’s nothing, Chris…”
© Zelda Reville
Do mountains dream of playboy bunnies and drunken philosophy? Who knows? I’m planning to put this out as a 3 part series to challenge my lazy ass to write something more than 3000 words. I don’t know if I’ll actually complete this, but I’ll try…
Barely perceptible as an actual smell,
no immediate fragrance to wallow in.
Deliciously heaped and hot,
like melted Hershey’s and marshmallows –
If this is paradise, I would fly like a pig!
shamelessly gratuitous like hippo’s warm mud
An odour to wring nerves
cluttered and nauseous
turning a jadeite shade of green
what man discards animals take
strangle tirelessly in one’s panic
scrabbling through oxygenic despair
be blinded by your terrible faith
Books stacked and toppling
over one another in delight –
the eyes are tempted.
Plato. Hegel. Ptolemy.
Knowledge is power. Know thyself.
Hands make the first move
but no one prepares themselves
for the reeling voraciousness
of mildewed antiquity
The sweet and sickly
that mask, then entice.
Even the sickle Death brings
is no match for the appetite
that now commands I
to slowly carve a piece and swallow it.
Bloodsport. Torn into pieces.
Bread unto butter. God into me.
Gluteus maximus – utter thee, Momus!
People who see rainbows
in different scents
must seek out the tartness of mangoes
in Pacifico’s curves.
I write, therefore I am –
I shit, therefore I am?
Who dare claims that air fills them
just as much as a juicy tenderloin steak?
You know, I wonder how xenon actually tastes like
© Zelda Reville
I am very excited to announce that one of my poems, ‘Zephyr’, will be published in the forthcoming issue of The Wire’s Dream, produced by Black Lion Journal!
It was an amazing experience working with Christina, the editor of TWD. I first knew and heard of her through a comment left on my poetry, where I was cordially invited to submit to the journal. The oodles of boundless enthusiasm in her support of artists from all backgrounds and her meticulous attitude towards our work has been an eye-opener as to how the value of artistic diversity is just as important as social and racial diversity. I am very tempted to rave on about the importance of art, but I don’t think anyone appreciates lunatics (and it’s not even the full moon, d’oh!). Plus, you might forget to watch the full list of snippets from the other featured artists, and my video spotlight below…
“O thou whose face has felt the Winter’s wind;
Whose eye has seen the Snow clouds hung in Mist
And the black elm-tops ‘mong the freezing Stars
To thee the Spring will be a harvest-time –
O thou whose only book has been the light
Of/supreme/darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night, when Phoebus was away
To thee the Spring shall be a tripple morn –
O fret not after Knowledge – I have none
And yet my song comes native with the warmth
O fret not after Knowledge – I have none
And yet the Evening listens – He who saddens
At thought of Idleness cannot be idle,
And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.”
– John Keats
is a pale shade of blue,
faded, blanched square patch of sky
prettily framed in old posters,
the encapsulation of ancient
in a motley collection of tin cups,
the Easter Egg reminder clasped in jagged fingers.
is the silk shirt that weaves
sonic phantasms for straining eardrums –
stop, start, peak, trough.
A physical trait in quantum mechanics.
The comforting presence in unexplained sorrows.
The vehicle for molecules of Panadol Cold.
is the moon’s flirtatious glow
on the surface of the sea
by the inkiness of the water.
But is a crater
No! Indentation rises to retaliate,
Alice’s quite keen on retribution
(because you got through the wrong entrance, you lout)
Though we skirt around the edges,
we never, ever try to consummate – !
© Zelda Reville
You peddle insinuating
stamp with spite on
claim the Diamond Throne
as your own -“
Aye. You there. Come over here and I’ll tell you a story. You say you can’t sleep? Well, me too – or anyone else in this godforsaken area. There’s no damned sleep for anyone in this neighbourhood tonight, so you might as well give it up. Keep the windows shut, will you? Do you want some hot chocolate? Yes? Ok. There you go.
You know Toby? Good for you. He’s the mayor of this district. A real nice boy with the most adorable cheeks. Mum and Dad love him to bits. He always gets the good grades in school and says his prayers before going to bed. Oh yes. But he never brushes his teeth. What? You say that’s not a problem? Well, it’s not a problem for him, yes – how could a tiny, ineffectual motion cumbersome to sweet Sleep be a considerate problem, considering how inviting the bed can be? But on our terms, he’s ignoring the water pipes that burst and the overflowing garbage in the streets. And that’s a big problem cos he’s just invited some unsavoury people to our lovely neighbourhood. For convenience’s sake, we’ll call them Mr C. and G. Let’s start with Mr C first.
The whereabouts of Mr G have been lost to time, but I’ve gathered a morsel here and there. Mr G was an illegitimate child of unknown origin, who used to hide and shiver in the theater wings eking out a miserable existence as he avoided the Toothbrush Brigade and Toothpaste Legion. I’ve always wondered how this crafty specimen came to be, since he usually remains invisible from prying eyes for most of the time. He’s a bit like the Italian mafioso. Thin mustache, beady eyes, lips forever curled on the edges of a really bad joke that never leaves his mouth, preferring to keep the puns to himself.
But the arrival of another portly and petulant choir boy – blessed with the ignorable name of Messr. C – saved Mr G’s arse one dark and stormy night. In doing so, he also sealed the fate of Teeth Park. Like any gangster worth his mettle, owning a well-stocked armoury to terrorize the Teeth residents is something they do very well. This terrible anthem is the tune to which they dance to, as they bring a rod swinging onto someone else’s head:
the booming and
of all time –
the pneumatic drill!”
By god, I hate that drill… It makes the whole neighbourhood vibrate on its rollies, shakes the dentures out of them old folkies and scares the noisy macaws out of the trees! I can’t sleep with them making all this racket at 3 in the morning! Argh! Well, you know…this reminds me of the good old days, flanked with picture-ready sunsets and morals to match. The Toothbrush Legion and Toothpaste Brigade would make their daily patrols every night, watching out for these particular two troublemakers… but ever since Toby stopped brushing his teeth, they have no need to fear fluoride bullets, or the Mouthwash Of Peril. Why, you ask? Let me show you something, son. These cheeky rascals pinned this note to the board outside the police station last night. They are the end of us, I tell you. Not unless we do something.
for triclosan tear gas
when you’ve got
pure sugary corruption?”
That’s not all. Have you seen Ms. H? She’s that odd lady with the sky-high bouffant, thinking that she’s still stuck in 1969. You’ve probably seen her dumpster diving in the late afternoons, or trying to woo terrified teenagers with her questionable amorousness. There’s no mistaking that horrid dress sewn with sequins of moss-green and spittle-flecked diamonds, sashaying down the red carpet like some phony Marilyn Monroe. She nearly set her pitbull on me once when I yelled at her to keep away from my trash bin. Good lord! I can’t remember when Toby sold his dear soul to the donut shop down his street.
I tell you, his mum’s obviously spoiled him with too much liquorice and gummy bears. You know, I have this suspicion that maybe his mum is Satan in disguise. If his mum is really Satan, then what on Earth is his Dad doing to him?!
© Zelda Reville
turns to “later”
morphs to “never”
becomes the tunnel for “we’ll see”
then changes to “nah it’s ok”
slowly settling into “it’s not my thing”
sprouting into “I don’t think I’m going to like it”
then tittering, “I think I might like it!”
the 1/3 second flicker of fear. “I don’t think I have the time for it”
and rages “fuck it”
sliding back into “I’ll do it when I’ve the time”
then – “I don’t even have the time!!”
even before halfway into “When will I have the time?”
final chorus coalescing: ‘But it’s something I’m not very good at anyway!”
© Zelda Reville
I once watched a bird
with a yellow stump for a foot
who flew, pecked,
showered and pooped
without being bothered
by life’s haughty demeanour.
Of what could be
and what could be not
was not like a question
asked to this little mynah,
at little white rice grains
from a gaping red plastic bag.
The sun yawned an answer,
as a cat flicked its tail in response.
It simply just is.
Could I do
and say the same
as a wantonly paranoid
of the human race – ?
© Zelda Reville