Red Rowan

Late at night, editing to strange music choices – poppy hip hop from The Hairpin, a playlist of the music of Modest Mussorgsky, he of Night on Bald Mountain.

 

The text takes on strange shapes with the changing light, my eyelids growing heavy. But my fingers work almost independently, like little tailors, sewing up the gaps and ripping out the bad loops and snarls. I have to pull back before some witching hour comes. I set myself a placeholder, I embed a white rock in the ground, to know I can come back this way again, as many times as I need. Everything, I feel, should be form-and-function. Sometimes I’d like to write from ideas, to speak bolder, but the truth is, the text comes out this way, everything a fairytale and everything sharp and weighty as a hunk of flint. Perhaps the right material to spark, but not an overt flame, as the writers I look up to can manage.

 

Perhaps I have read too much of Virginia Woolf’s criticism to think out these sorts of things on my own terms.

 

Lastly, before bed, the Rowan of the title. A tiny one, but on its way. Rowans planted to keep out the fairy folk from houses, if not texts, to put a red bloom at the doorway. To mark and defy this liminal space.

 

 

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4 Comments

Filed under art, consolations of writing, The Now, Theory

4 responses to “Red Rowan

  1. Helen, this line is just too cool: “But my fingers work almost independently, like little tailors, sewing up the gaps and ripping out the bad loops and snarls.” It is a gift you have, be patient, fellow writer. Michael

  2. “sharp and weighty as a hunk of flint”–your writing has weight, a warming smolder. It flames in this reader’s mind.

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