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About the Author
Alister Flik grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the Midwest with a healthy variety of crazy available to her, and her middle child syndrome hardly affects her at all anymore. At 18, she moved to the West Coast, got a tattoo, and now lives happily as a quirky theist amidst the Portland heathens she so dearly loves. Her idols are Joan of Arc (crazy or not), Flannery O'Connor, and Daria. Her favorite superhero is the perfect superhuman combination of Joan of Arc, Flannery O'Connor, and Daria dressed in a cape, armor, boots, and armed with wit and a pen. She is currently looking for someone to illustrate this into a comic book.
Rating
98%
 (1 votes)

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The Work of Spiders

i

In the chapel, the organ pipes
Hang from the ceiling--
Artwork to produce
Art. But the pipes are un-played
This evening. Replaced
By the strummed strings
Of guitars and vocal
Chords. I was aware of
A presence, as I sat
In an otherwise empty pew.
It wasn't the silent
organ, the leading singer, or
the agape worshipers with
their backs to me and their
eyes to God. But on the floor
leading to the altar,
waiting, was the organ's
Shadow. Still and silent.
I sat, unmoved, as the vocalist's
Child-like voice surrounded me.
The sugar-water lyrics on
The projector poured from
Her mouth and made me
Feel sticky. But I wasn't
Attached to the emotional flow
Of the worship. I felt stuck
To that shadow dropping
down, resting; a rough
circle to my right.
I could not help but imagine
It growing, spreading,
Creeping like a crawling
Spider from that spot,
Up the walls, to the domed
Ceiling above me, above the
Organ pipes, above us all.
Surveying, waiting, still.
I felt compelled to stand,
Swept up in the inverted emotion
Of my reverence for this thing,
And throw up my hands as my non-
Verbal "Hallelujah," and sit,
Precise and direct, beneath the
Pipes--covered in their silent
Shade--Stuck in the web: strands
Of pews and sounds of voices
In praise, wrapped all around me,
Me at the center. But I just sat there,
Staring at the shadow's uneven
Edges, until it was finished, and
I broke the web and left; walking
Out into the cool night air--alone,
But for the spider crawling
Out with me.

ii

Mommy laughed at me. She looked
down at my face and then
at the ceiling as she belted little booms
of laughter that shook her shoulders,
woke the spiders and broke my silence.
I crawled inward, thin legs curling
up and pulling tight into my chest. I did not
understand the joke, but I figured it was better
to die, best that she not see me cry.

iii

Rain was falling.
The clouds in the night sky
Spread like legs through tree
branches; reaching all eight
directions of a compass unfolding
jasmine petals. But my white
sheets did not shine in the
moonlight. There was a hush
Outside that swept in
Through my window and
Covered me in a cocoon.
Rain was crawling.
Shhhhhh, it said, weaving
between leaves, slinking
through the folds in bark;
dancing down to the mud.
Rain is something different
at night, it whispers different
words in daylight. Darkness
warps its message. Rain
was spinning. Shhhhh,
It said, wrapping the
Sound around me; a
Heavy poison on my
Ears. More daring drops
Crept down my window
To shimmer spells on
My eyes, and to suck my
Soul from my dreams.



AF
"I do not think, therefore I am a mustache."
-Sartre *Nausea*
 
Francis Meyrick

Very interesting. I rate this very high on the "readability" scale.

Section "I" I think is excellent. Very impressionistic.
Immensely readable. Flows well. And I'm all for that slightly cynical approach to "reality". You look beneath and behind the facade, you poke and prod and question.

"The sugar-water lyrics on
The projector poured from
Her mouth and made me
Feel sticky."

" and
I broke the web and left; walking
Out into the cool night air--alone,
But for the spider crawling
Out with me."

Excellent stuff. We are left to speculate about the exact nature and intent of the spider.

Section II:
very abrupt change in tempo and style. We wonder what the 'joke' was.
We sense emotional fragility. Sensitivity.

Section III:

I've been reading that several times now. I'm struck by your writing ability, your powers of observation. Thoughtful. Wondering. Disturbed. Not happy.

"More daring drops
Crept down my window
To shimmer spells on
My eyes, and to suck my
Soul from my dreams."

It invites reading several times, not by way of puzzlement or obscurity, but due to a word picture painted delicately, with a fine tipped brush.

What talent you have. Very good job.

Francis


We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.
Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 08:29:28

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