SELF-PORTRAIT IN POTENTIA
After the death of memoir, I will write fairy tales.
I desire a purity of language outside the stink of events and memories. Stories I cannot be accused of having invented because of course I have invented them.
Neither full fiction, nor freighted fact.
I would show other bones behind my telling.
Fable gifts us fanciful creatures, fanciful bodies, fanciful selves. In the tales, I shall become winged, ogrish, bulky as a mountain, a face all crooked nose and sharpened teeth—by turns witch, killer, a dragon in shadows. I rend flesh. I eat princesses whole. I am wolf and hunter both, my head too full to contain in just one mind, in just one set of teeth.
I am Little Red Riding Hood’s lover.
I pull my feet off the ground and still know where I am standing.
I grew up in a gingerbread house, led by a gingerbread man, all of us happy and perfect and filled with gumdrops to our eyelids until at last we bled gumdrops out our mouths, and still we filled with them. I was a princess who gave away her voice for love, who danced in magical shoes until her feet were stumps and slept atop 85 feathered mattresses yet still could find no rest.
All the while being told (small child in a small child’s nightgown) that monsters were never real. The very monsters I could see, could smell.
Monsters whose fur caught on railings, leaving behind tufts that I collected each morning in a pillowcase.
One grows weary of not knowing when to believe the words pouring off one’s own tongue. Over time, one starts to prick one’s finger on every spinning wheel spindle out of spite and desperation.
Continue reading “Once Upon A Time”