TO A MINOR FICTION
By Raymond Ramcharitar
To start, you need a place, a man, a woman.
You may acknowledge a debt to older fictions;
for, remembering the first story, we would
tell a timeless story to those who are blind
to eternity; restore the mystery
of the real for those who have lost mystery
to faith, and wonder to belief. (Does this
answer your unasked question? 'The God. Where's
the God?' .
You need to select a voice.
will never speak. The voice will remain silent
directing each thing but showing itself
to nothing. The voice will resound everywhere,
as my voice resounds here, but never speak.
This is important. In silence is totality
In speech nothing is total, not even this fiction.
(There is much here, in what I have told you,
but fictions, like our lives in the sensual world,
are like great engines moving to sanctuary
Up an ever-steepening slope. Until
we arrive, the only wisdom is action.)
The man is always first. He wakes alone
in a strange place. He remembers nothing
because before him was nothing. After
the first flutter of fingers and eyes; the testing
of the memoryless texture of new earth;
will come a moment.
In everything you make,
this moment will be the most precious: here, in
this instant, he will understand your aloneness.
Your resolve must then be strongest: this instant
is like your own existence: an infinite
point; itself an infinity, itself complete;
but fictions are never complete nor end perfectly,
This you taught me, this you will learn in time,
Let the moment pass.
He will call out: you
will teach him how to dream in answer. When
he dreams a world, you will make the world he dreams
and thus created your meeting becomes your place.
(There are other ways to make a place. You may
bring it about by words alone (borrow
a place from an older fiction), or you
may conceive every part and make it. It does
not matter which you choose, the end will
be the same no matter what you do.)
Once the silence and dreams have passed he will
become aware of his body; the hard ground
it rests upon, the newness of each sense and then
of each thing before his senses.
will open, the perfect head will turn (your breath
will slow at the sight, the wondrous sight of your life
racing through something so perfect: your image;
but reconsidered, refined; shaped to what
it was made to be) then the soul's machine
will start, and shadows will fall upon the world,
and with the shadows, distance, separation.
Solitude will turn to him like a body
in his own likeness, and slowly, uncertainly
his hands will reach for a waiting opposite
Fully formed; and knowing the way with a knowledgeIII
that will astound you and the man forever;
The woman enters amidst swirls of scents
and colours that will, for as long as the world lives,
be remembered with wonder.
The dark earth
each year will recreate her colours; which
without thought and from mute blackness she uttered;
(without thought! what glorious magic!
you will think, that she, created of imagined
need and will alone rules so completely
realms that you, the maker, could never approach).
The woman will enter and shadows will lift.
The light, suddenly aware of another
luminousness, will gather itself into a ball;
and each thing in every place will become
aware of its strangeness in the new light.
And thus your fiction will begin to grow
into something unthought of: coming into
its own existence without you.
will become a mystery greater than your
own mysterious existence, and will spend
the whole of her life enfolded in its white,
For she will never
understand her own emergence; apart
from the sudden wonder and joy of newness
of the first instant which will remain with her
always. And in time, she will turn to you.
And you will not answer.
Thus your silence;
a silence of awe and helplessness;
will be mistaken for majesty
and this will be
her moment of separation
will make your fiction complete.)
emptiness will draw them away from you
And thus, your fiction will have its reason.
Through time, the pain will pass; its layers will
cover the pain, causing its points, covered
first with flesh, then later with memory,
to come to mean hope.
And towers will sprout
and men will look outward, to your domain,
forgetting the great silence that awaits them.
Many times, seeing their pain, you will think
to destroy the earth you have brought, but
silence must be your shield,
for the only law
which binds us is that perfection may
only come from the fiction we first create.
(Raymond Ramcharitar <email@example.com> earns his living as a journalist in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. His work has been published throughout the Caribbean and the United States. He has written a novel and a collection of poems which includes "Preliminary Notes to a Minor Fiction.")