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On August 24th, 1253, Bartelmas day, an old man opens his eyes and blinks the morning blur away to see a window view of St Bart as a weather vane, flicking fitfully on its post as if fighting invisible enemies left and right with the two knives he holds, the knives he’d been flayed with, according to his hagiographies. The old man hears the wind roughing up the trees and then a rap of rain on the tile roof, a shower that moves so fast it seems the Lord is dousing the grounds out of his heavenly watering can to see what will grow. The old man strains, upturning his stubbly chin, trying to wriggle up the pillow. The pillow bristles, straw pokes through the burlap, itching his neck. He finds a purchase, digs in his nape, and pulls himself to it, narrowly avoiding a neck sprain. I will grow to thee, Lord, he rasps.
He likes to take a tally of his duties for the day. He feels good about these duties. He lies under a mound of sheep skins that he likes the boy to pile as heavy as grave dirt, and he enumerates: from his rise to breaking his fast, no less than three hours must be spent on copying his “On lewdness of jongleurs and their borrowings from the lewd arts of the Mahomedans” that he’s written twelve years ago. This would be the tenth copy he’s finishing. He’d like to make ten more, Lord willing. It is a smart and timeless tractate, a vigilant knell against failing morals by someone who knows what he’s talking about, having been a jongleur in his youth and then seen the wrong of his ways.
|What I Write||
Magic realism, slipstream, historical. I fell in the crack between genres and can’t climb out.
Still don't have one.
The Age of Ice, a novel (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
To work on a novel. To do a little writing or revising or indecisively hovering over the text each and every day.
Every little bit is great and matters a lot to me. Thank you.