MARIGOLD WOMAN: Dispatches from the Marigold Woman & the Prophet

Concerning the Wall

That curlicue jack with the double-barreled name has left a wall, built of all his falseness, lying across my path. I cannot go round it; no matter which direction I choose in this vast and sky-swollen red land I find myself facing again that ivory edifice. I beat my head and my hands against it for hours, wondering at it dully, but it is what it is.

Sometimes I try to climb it, and on those few occasions I have glimpsed over its top blue sky and clean air and a pleasant country.

Concerning the Ghul

Remember, always remember that while it is a great wickedness to be the ghul, it does not require great wickedness to do so. It requires only fear, only eyes turned inwards, only charming shoes that sing "me me me me" against the brave new asphalt of the black land. But if the Almighty has given you iron tiger feet you can walk the cracked highways of the desert and honesty will follow close behind you and you will be preserved no matter how often you stumble.

Only remember. Only do not forget. Only get wisdom. My loves my lo-ammi.

Concerning the Multitude

By the shores of the world's waters I stand, watching the moon beckon them out and hasten them in. Once, I think, I was the ocean, and it seemed good to me to be so. But the fat and delightsome people of the world, those luminescent ones who cut themselves into greater and greater numbers of paper personalities, those people, they have sat in their air-conditioned halls echoing with barren strawberry and have concluded gravely that I will not do.

So I turn aside from the black land and walk deeper into the desert on my iron tiger feet, and consider that truth is the best keeper.

For those people all wear the one face, the one skull that is soft and waxy beneath your clutching fingers, and there is nothing more to be said than that. Though I will of course say it anyway, as the dust-choked wind bites into my hands and provokes sundry unmanly cries from my dry throat.

Concerning Language

I open my mouth to speak, intending that most thoughtless and pointless and feather-footed of human acts, intending to extend a phantom hand made of words to brush against the arm of my sweetest friends. But oh, my loves my lo-ammi, my words chase themselves in circles and the wind snatches them up, depositing them into the hands of all these skeletons. That curlicue jack has tiptoed off into the brocaded halls of the past, and like the witch in the story he has taken my voice with him.

So here under the sky of the red land, I turn my back and build for no tomorrow.

Concerning the Echo

It is in my nature, after all, to repeat these things until they are all washed clean, like a raccoon, my nymph's hands raw and red and my nymph's voice hoarse and hateful even in my own ears.

It is in my nature, it is in my nature, it is in my nature.

My tiny narcissus, who will water you now?

Concerning Love

Daughters of Jerusalem, bite at your hands, knock your heads against the wall. You were right, and I was wrong. Tell it to the sky, who has more patience for tragedy than your neighbors have. Love is a thing made of knives. Death is his sister. What is there to be done?

Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.

Concerning Herself

That clever collective, that pack of paper people, their unkindness makes echoes all through my loneliness, but they have not yet succeeded in altering this:

I am here. I place one foot in front of the next, and I remain alive.