The Second Magician’s Tale


From “A Mansion in Kansas
Do not imagine the house as they left it, the troupe Jonah in the Whale, for it was as empty of them then as if all the windows and doors had been thrown open and the wind had raced through in a clean sweep. Scouring. Erasing. Not a sound of gwoka drums as though Roland still summoned an island spirit to shadow his black skin. No marionettes leaning into each other where Ruth, their mistress, had placed them in a chair. No gauzy costume dropped in a corner by the beautiful Hera, or Maggie’s barre reflected in the mirror, or glints of broken glass shattered precisely by Olivia’s foot, or snakeskins packed in a box by Sammy. No hoop, set in motion by Leonard the Clown, still circling. Turning and circling.
       Instead, imagine the house on a rainy March weekend as the troupe members, singly or in groups, come up the long drive to take possession of it. 1977. Read more…

From “The Heat of the Sun
It baffles me still that we even got married, Julian and I, though I have tried lists to explain it. Mine is short: how could I not marry him?  He was not my childhood dream of a prince, but more. In his way, he was very like a god.

Apollo. I have thought Apollo. Read more…

From “Forms of Love
Roland heads for his drums, though his mind stays with Mireille. She is willful and full of surprise, and sometimes her quicksilver nature makes him uneasy, but more often he craves it like an addict. It has been so all the time he has known her. When his mother was ill and his sisters called and said that even his father with his rum bottle was keeping vigil at the house, he had gone home from Paris—planes, trains, and cars, and a solo bike ride the last miles to Goyave. Read more…

From “Path of a Bird
All of the things Julian tried to teach me.  All of the small ways of calming down.  Of building concentration.  Visualize props, he said.  In your mind, follow the path of a bird flying down a canyon wall.  See nothing else.  Count every exhalation, every other inhalation.  Slow the tempo.  Stretch.  Stretch and loosen each muscle fiber until your body is one long cord with no end.

But what if you are vaporized?  What if you feel that you’re part of the ether? Read more…

Audio Excerpts:

From “A Mansion in Kansas”
From “Path of a Bird

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