The Outer Algebra

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SEAWEED TEA by Mark Valentine

“Have you ever gone beachcombing?”

You can ask that again! I do nothing else, what with my time-seasoned souvenirs of the Serpent and the Wood/Stone/Metal Beam, et al (here) and now this momentous (at least for me) story that tells of tides of secret surge or urge that I recognise now for what they are. This story’s own echo of how I absorb and re-float books of fiction for others in instinctive equivalence to its “outer algebra” and “blind mirrors” and pent up black stones or pebbles dark-luminously summoning the hidden tides of the soul. I enjoyed the pungent seaweed tea that is evoked here for actual drinking and sharing with the fiction’s characters being told about by one of those very characters to others smoking pipes, the tide tables of CaNUTE and NepTUNE, the slap of “the dangling green ichors of wet seaweed” and ‘dry husks’ on the crooked drainpipes and outer walls of a matchless house by a place where tides differed between the two tide timetables, and the pipe smoke of those listening to this story within a story. A story within me, too.
Not forgetting The Liar’s Dictionary syndrome of publishing a book with an odd mistake to reveal plagiarism…

***

Full context of this story in The Fig Garden: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/05/19/the-fig-garden-other-stories-mark-valentine/

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