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The Rosaceous Manuscript

Memories Considered

By Christian LeePublished 9 months ago Updated 9 months ago 6 min read
The Rosaceous Manuscript
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

There’s a brief poem by Ezra Pound, a notorious poet from the 20th century, I’ll never forget: A Girl:

The tree has entered my hands

The sap has ascended my arms,

The tree has grown in my breast—

Downward,

The branches grow out of me, like arms.

..........

Tree you are,

Moss you are,

You are violets with wind above them.

A child—so high—you are,

And all this is folly to the world.

Before I became serious about writing, I took on a private endeavor. I was to write about a stranger I saw on the train. The first sentence began, “I remember her.” The stranger and I never spoke. I didn’t feel a need to spark a conversation. I simply noticed her appearance and belongings: a hot green coat, a brown folder with sheet music, and a large dark green purse.

Here’s brief notes in detail:

Then I noticed her. She wore a long forest green coat, had dark-brown hair, and there was the light redness of her cheeks. No makeup stood there as far as I knew, but those were two lovely sunsets near the nose.

Now about that coat. Something unexpected was about it, not the lack of it, but that she was wearing it. It was spring day, the sun was out with no expectancy of rain and the coat looked threaded of thick cotton. I would glower at it for a while on the basis of some curiosity I couldn’t shake off. There were balls of loose strings hanging all around the front area of it. They looked like the toys that hang atop a baby’s crib and plays music.”

I’m a nerd for editing. This brief passage is littered with vagueness, unfinished clauses, subtle grammatical errors—and what’s up with the word “glower?” However, one beauty stands out here, like an old friend told me who read this story. When I shared this writing with him, it was nowhere near complete. I had two or three sections written. After reading them he told me this writing read like a poem. I loved that compliment. I also had no concept of what a prose poem is at that time.

The first paragraph, along with my old friend’s encouraging words, inspired me to continue writing this story:

I remember her. Different images come to mind. I was on my way to work. There wasn’t any excitement in that. Anyway, she was sitting across from me. I was standing and holding onto the rail. Now feminine pulchritude for every males isn’t undetectable, the comeliness of a woman that is. We delight in the ability to receive them. This woman seem no target for most men; she possessed nothing I disliked. Now that I think about of it, I thought her a witch moving through the brightness of afternoon. It must have been the largeness of her nose that had me stare at her for a while. No, it was wonder which catalyzed me. She was spellbinding. I was brought into her charm of appearance. But I’m lost as to why. This why seems important to venture. It beckons me.

And so A Consideration of Memory began. It’s essentially a quasi prose poem about my love for, and experiences with, women; alcohol and my near-addiction with it; Jazz and Poetry, two major heroes in my life, and how I spent my days during my early-mid 20s.

A unique signature in a poem is the metaphor. I find it interesting that Ezra Pound and I are mutual about the raw aesthetic and pulchritude of a tree. Hence why the stranger is depicted with “two lovely sunsets near the nose.” The poem A Girl matches how I feel about women. There’s probably no precise words for them.

How this feeling achieved expression in A Consideration of Memory is beautifying—also no exact words for this. But it’s as obscuring as it is mysterious. I wrote this story because I felt I needed a warm-hearted hug at the time. I felt like I lit a fireplace in my mind, body and spirit every time I sat down to write it. I took all the time in the world to write it, so much that I fell in love with the idea of it never ending.

But life made sure I wouldn’t drag on this enterprise. I had personal and professional obligations to attend. Because of that, I wrote this story for nearly three to four hours a night, from 10PM to 1AM. Where I was writing was risky though. It wasn’t legal to loiter or hang out in the building, not even for tenants. I would sit on the floor at the highest stair. It was springtime, but I didn’t feel like writing outside.

How I ended up there is uncanny. I didn’t intend to write there, but at the time, I didn’t have my own room: quietude wasn’t easy to find back then. Here and there, a neighbor in the building would pass me to hang out on the roof. Like me, he kept to himself.

After a year and some months A Consideration of Memory was complete. I typed up everything. It felt refreshing to see I did something without being told to do it. It fostered confidence. I learned a lot about myself as much as about my ability to write.

Writing is hard, but living is harder. That was the lesson I learned when I pondered my initial feelings at the moment I wrote “I remember her.”

Here’s the near-ending of the story, which includes a poem:

Sound has always been significant for me. From a young age, even in church, I contemplated the value of sound and what that means to people. Even for those of no skill in musicianship, they are sensitive to any sound. The breaking of glass is an appeal. Different emotions arise in different people. One could think of peril, while another could think of music. Of course I fall under the latter. But this is important. Sound can rescue us from things, whether one listens to their favorite song, or if there’s the screaming of a victimized person. That makes it interesting that Nietzsche saw life as flawed if music wasn’t in it. He may have aggrandized his point, but it’s an interesting emphasis on the business of being human. Just imagine what it’s like to be deaf, to no longer hear music, or the voice of a loved one. I wonder what Nietzsche felt from the weeping horse that day in Turin. An understanding of this could bury the popular distaste his spirit has incurred. Nonetheless, I feel drawn to that sentiment. I’ve even thought myself into a poem at the thought of this…”

Light that whisks the waves that rise to tilting,

Moonlight teasing, skating through the tumult

Set by touch of thunder’s vogue and diving…

..........

Most will set a keel among the breakers

Seeking through a vessel for a freedom;

All to come is genesis from endings.

..........

Can the clouds descend and reap from conscience

All the sonograms across the oceans—

Music, child of frequencies—eternal?

..........

Maybe time will tell what blood is streaming,

Why a planet dances into fire,

From and to the source that lends it breathing…

(Poem ends)

..........

On and on with the metaphor.

My father often says to me, in relation to work, “You’re always on time. I love that about you.” And that’s when I think: “Well, yeah, I’m a drummer.”

The time when A Consideration of Memory arose, la primavera, the thought of the stranger came like snow, but slowly. Rather, here’s how the story ends:

The poem has earned the title of The Great Pregnancy. Recall how I spoke of friendship earlier in relation to the Lady from New Hampshire. Consider this poem a friend, someone to walk with for a while. One hint will do: the remembrance of Roxie [the stranger] was a sound, a falling of snow. Remembering her wasn’t in my power. I listened to what came. I felt a pulse beckoning me. I’ve walked this climate in the nude. And now I’m willing to consider other things.

Let me know what you think of this writing. Drop a like, comment; subscription; coin. Pleasure to you and writing, always.

Sincerely,

Lee Arachnid

Inspiration

About the Creator

Christian Lee

My nom de plume is Lee Arachnid; think: spider-poet. Here you will find non-fiction and poetry. I interweave elements of nature and my personal experience into uniquely crafted stories. I love idleness, Felidae, literature, and soundscapes.

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Comments (1)

  • Alex H Mittelman 9 months ago

    Good job! Great work!

Christian LeeWritten by Christian Lee

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