Caging the Ocean

Hey everyone. I am writing on a private blog-a new fiction surreal dark fairy tale thing. The memoir is taking too long, or I am just too close to it yet, so I am looking for another form–and this one is a blast. It’s full of imagery and symbolism and metaphor and if you’d like to check it out as it drafts along, let me  know and I’ll give you access.  Caging the Ocean

Here is a scene/chapter–one of the darker ones. She is in the ocean, and her wings have been cut out. The protagonist is actually the one who cut them–so far, I think. Images are, of course, mirrors, reflections, water. Here’s the snippet, tell me what you think!


Caging the Ocean


The silence. That is not what Vida remembers, except when she looks back, how quiet it was. But her mind reeled in tongues she thought at first were the sea nymphs down at the end of the trail near the cove.

Whispers at first, then a small crying, and then the heavy iron stitches that burdened her across her back seemed to tug and pull, as if reminding her off the dying wings she’d torn away in a spin. She paced and paced, pulling at the remainders of her hair. Leave the stitches be, don’t touch the stitches. Her white dress hung on her frame in what looked like transparent scarves now, darkened with soil. Dark, dark my light. The mirrors, why were their so many that she couldn’t see into? Moonlight glittered off the sea, and she knew she must go to it, to see her reflection there.  There’s no air, there’s no air–you won’t have to breathe… Listen, they tear and crack. 

It almost played like a song in her head, a song she was losing.

She covered her ears.

A rushing. Her blood. No, no, the currents. It must be high tide.

And then she thought she saw blood on her hands, so she must hurry and wash it off. Your wings, Vida, take care of them for me.Down the stone stairwell and out into night, her dress blew back inthe shreds she had cut it in as she sped down the path, her pale skin iridescent in the moon.

Vida stripped down. The icy water should have shocked her bare legs but she continued forward. The bubble lights in the forest were nearing, twinkling in the watchful night.

And then, up to her chest, just below the criss-cross stitching between her shoulder blades, she looked down into the black water.  A water lily floated near her reflection, which was just a white blur from the moon reflecting off of her face. The lily, luminous in its petals, drifted and bounced. The center looked like an iris. She reached for it and a dark red drop stained its purity. Vida followed the red trail, finding that it went between her fingers, across her hand, and a thin trickled river reached up her arm and back.  She believed she was asleep when her flesh began to stretch–a pouring of warm water, she murmured. It’s water. The lily floating up to her sinking face met her eye. Irises. Irises, like universes beneath lashes, she’d always thought. She thought she had told him that-that his eyes resembled the galaxies.

We are made of the dead stars.  …an absurd piano plays its broken keys, a violin shrieks

The earth fell away;, she was suspended in space. She saw her ribs, like a metal fist, opening through her chest and into a sharp claw, exposing the house that she had built inside, and watched it collapse.

You’re pulled apart, you’re pulled apart…

and her song faded out.




*image Noell Oszvald


9 thoughts on “Caging the Ocean

  1. Prose is a strange forest for poets–diff’rent strokes, pacing required–though of course the poet is never renounced. I love prose soaked in poetry, and this has it. It’s like an extended riff on a dream. Big tension about losing those wings, if there are galaxies or dead stars in ones eyes. Keep going. Minor note, “off” in the first sentence of the 2d paragraph s/b “of” I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this “We are made of the dead stars.” – Very inspirational! I like your voice. And ” Irises. Irises, like universes beneath lashes, she’d always thought” awesome, just awesome, I would Love access to if you’re still sharing.

    Liked by 1 person


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