5 thoughts on “And Her Smile Will Untether The Universe – Gwendolyn Kiste


    “, the bird emerges, one puzzle piece after another.”

    A fluke that I read this today only a couple of hours after the Royal Wedding. Not only because of the place name of that Wedding – Windsor – but also I can imagine the bride being taken across the threshold like a newly wed, borne like a bird-bride, with great hope, for a fluke’s flight, but the sharp-eyed bride in Windsor, will she, too, give spiky bird-birth and relegate her husband elsewhere? And then fly with the fluke of the birds that re-impregnate themselves within her. Tried to catch this story in my dreamcatcher net. But it keeps flying out again. Each puzzle piece bird reaching endlessly through each unconfinement upon the sore winds for their gestalt? To untether their universe?


    “I dream of marking the right answers. But not Tally. She’ll never color the correct circles. She’ll score a fifty—the worst number—and she’ll laugh and I’ll laugh too. Because if anything’s contagious in that town, it’s her.”

    This starts with a comforter as a bed tether, to prevent vanishment. Vivienne and her co-special friend Tally grow past 16 in this story, a story disguised as a freehold, if feelfree, set of Vivienne’s written responses to ten test questions that are supposed to reveal grades of vulnerability to vanishment or untetherment, as those of us in our world or universe seem to be vanishing, possibly in response to the gestalt of things growing worse in that same world. We, as readers, are meant to join in, thus tallying, as it were, our own scores of vulnerability or susceptibility as we go through the questions. But some of us will, by its own logic, never finish reading this story. Vanishing before the end. 07408AD8-3126-428F-A52E-701E3D37AB7AThat thought is ever haunting the reader, never really knowing whether reaching the end of this test means you are one of the chosen special ones for an earmarked classroom or not. Or whether being special in itself entails staying or vanishing. Yesterday, Meghan was filmed as followed by two small twin boys symmetrically holding her near-vanishing veil of a long train or lace tether…
    Contagious ‘hoisting’ or hawling.


    “Now we know for certain where I’m going.”

    A sororal message left in a vintage bathroom vessel, beyond any Mason and Dixon line of the soul? The border dispute of death. Whether natural or induced. Induced by self or a busybody aunt or both. This is a very disturbing, poetic, eventually inspiring tale that adumbrates such things. But I have tried not to open the casket of this story.
    “But if I arranged for a closed casket, they’d invent scenarios far grislier than the truth.”
    So, yes, I will need to open it at least partly. I am not that unknown man who visited the ‘wake’, amid the surviving guilt of the sister left behind as she nurtured the vesseled-blood component of the sister’s gestalt, a component itself left behind outside the casket by dint of the retentive clawback in the bathroom where the stoical death had taken place. Nor am I Joseph, whom the surviving sister built into a gestalt of recognition from his many strange, unrecognisable parts. Parts of her own sin? I am certainly not the aunt who thought the first man to be the dead sister’s sin. The aunt who said: “She was a ghost even when she was alive.” All aunts once had to be a sister to be an aunt at all. Not one of those visiting flies that came to settle upon the blood that linked one to another.
    A powerful story and the mannered cynicism of mourning at last transcended.

    A Corinthian Clawfoot Bath

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