Magnolia


In the spring, when the days first turn good, they sit outside under the Magnolia tree.

The bloom of the Magnolia is white and bulbous and drops like dead doves, weighted in the belly, each one making a little fump:

    fump...
          fump...
                fump...

To this beautiful carnage they drink strong beer and watch the world and lay back in the cool of the blossom. From afar they look like an assortment of old discarded clothes.

11am. clear skies above. the lazy sound of traffic droning by. a haze out in the distant like there lies the sea.

This world proffers daydreams. A daydream that things could be just how they are only better. A daydream that we need no more than temperate days and fruit and water and the cool of streams and grass and fraternity and love. Over there, under the Magnolia, when the days are kind, when the time is right, when a breeze breezes through and tickles over the soul, the drunks and the bums and the waifs and the strays find solace in the low of the day. I too can be found under the Magnolia, drawn by historical forces. My being is light in strange moments in strange ways. Behind my closed lids there is orange dimming black then coming through to orange again. I hear the faint stirrings and mumblings of the others, feel an insect run over my hand, catch another little 'fump' and meditate in the floral fragrance of birth and death. I am close to somewhere I once was, to something lost; something missing; something gone. Under the Magnolia I am not who I am but who I was, simultaneously at peace in various moments of my life.

I was borne into this world by a drunk: a bad one. My mother did not drink to be saved but for revenge, to wage war against a life which had cast the first stone. I often find my mother under the Magnolia. She turns up in the guise of young women so completely ruined, abused and emotionally swollen that they are no longer sensitive to the human touch. To register at all one must hit hard. There ends no woman left; just broken bones where the soul got out. My mother never stays long. She sits there stewing in her drunkenness, shifting between drink laden faces, each look a pictogram of the hateful, bitter emotions chewing away inside of her. Then she is gone and there is left a melancholic tranquillity in the day, over the city, like I've stepped back in time.

The world around the Magnolia is full of ghosts. It's what brought me here. People turn up with missing parts, sometimes in flames, caught in existential screams between planes of life they cannot escape. They move in and out of this timeless place, appear for moments and then disappear again for weeks or years or lifetimes. I am here now, I was here before and I shall be here again in the future. On the trunk of the Magnolia I carve my name; on my body and on the page my words. This is my life and this is my time. I close my eyes and hope in some way to go on forever, but I know my heart will not hold out.

       fump...
            fump...
                 fump...

...like the only plan I have.


6 comments :

Calamity K said...

A beautiful, sensual piece (I could smell the magnolia, and the strong lager lol) with layers of transience that is finally, (in conclusion) brutally and purposely underpinned by a kind of permanence (or staking a claim in an attempt to hold on to something)

... if any of this makes sense, I'm not a literary critic so can only say it how I know it.

x CalamityK

JoeM said...

I thought this was a poem at first. Maybe it is. I love that word Magnolia, the phonetics of it. It's sort of warm, like Amber.

I loved the whole elegiac Fairy Tale aspects of this. The images a nice contrast (deliberate I presume) with the last post.

I usually quote some nice lines but there are so many here, even the non pretty ones:

just broken bones where the soul got out

Calamity K said...

Aye Joe, I ken what you mean...
the word magnolia is lovely, as is the smell and the flower.

The only magnolia I detest is emulsion! It always looks to me like the walls were once white and now coated with years of tar and nicotine. Horrible colour paint, and it's not neutral, it's far too yellow to be neutral. There's my magnolia paint rant over and done with. I hate magnolia walls!

Stacy said...

Still here...reading and loving your words. Hoping all is well.

XXX
Stacy

Luna_mama said...

This was really beautiful. But I do find it funny that it's your mum that comes to you and in that state under a magnolia tree. I don't know if you think stuff like this is silly and made up but magnolia has long been renowned for it's affects on fidelity, aphrodisiac as well as it's calming and anti anxiety properties. The chemical makeup is strangely close to some benzos I think when the flower oil is broken down...I know this all sounds really hippyish but kind of makes sense to me.

Really hope you're well
love Yas x

PS Joe yes the word is so lovely!

The Total Impostor said...

Shane: the colour's gone from the game, but it's still the only game in town. The light has gone from the sky, but it's still something to bump your head on. Fump indeed. You made my heart miss a fump. Keep it coming you morphman...shine.