1, Setembro

She now oft forgets. Memories are volatile, as is the foam of waves and the formication they leave debossed on the shore. September reminds her of wasps, meadows, heat. I’m reminded of jags and seagulls or a deformed field of ashfall. I’ve never heard her express fear of losing the common ropes; my name or that of my mother or uncle, or the age of my sister and her children, or her home, her fields, her flowers. These are the indelible parts while one is idoneous, but that status has now somehow dissolved, like a wave or a phantastical seabird. I sit beside her, involved in some paltry research of German troubadours:

Some lover has spring pinned in his hand and another open where he has loosened a blade and replaced it for a planet. Some hum somewhere slumps into a mire of circles only to rise into a four-toned sky. Some angle of death is braided yet against the carcass of a city. I ask her to point out her unhealables, what parts of her ache with a tingle of sound that cannot be shaken nor reduced. She’s voided, and her eyes tube into the room in search of storms with nameless colours. I near myself to tears as I twist my hands around the neck of avoidance and try to smother out its culminant perfume. I can see but I fail to feel it. I must wait to feel it. I understand: it’s her essence she’s forgetting, not the names. Names are lights, names are suns, things dissolved, things dissolving. And pains are just little watered abstractions. She is one of many to witness an unspeakable withering; flustered, she whispers symbols of home, whistling thorns. The moon hangs high, intense sand-bright convocation of dusts, the waters nearing to delete the prospect of that full-bodied kiss they shall never receive. It’s fine to be smeared, I find, to be torn open, rust scraped off the bone as it is a residue of some nightly relic. The world knows not how to do it differently, we realise. I hold her hand, try to remember. It’s no use, it makes no difference. I know not how to do it differently. It’s fine and it breaks my heart.

Phase two of the torturing duo starts now,
I’ll hopefully survive it,

Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

22 thoughts on “1, Setembro

  1. Fabulous writing. I am stunned by your richly mixed metaphors. Too many to list. But one I favor is:
    “I near myself to tears as I twist my hands around the neck of avoidance and try to smother out its culminant perfume” Wow. I enjoyed reading your post to the beautiful music you linked. Quite relaxing. Great post. Thank you Joao-Maria. Blessings 😊🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I admit I overstretch it a bit sometimes, but, as they say, that’s my “poetic license”. There’s a formalist in my that doesn’t really cut sensorial corners to be expressive.
      Again, thank you, your support means much.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No, haha, Basilike. I’m the one doing Germanic Poetry research. My grandmother does not know how to read, which I suppose is even more intriguing. Nor will she learn now with her onset of dementia.
      I realise that I didn’t write it very clearly, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s no problem at all! That’s what I thought you did as well. I disable auto-accept because of spammers, which is a bummer, because you never quite know if you’ve sent something or not…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Fábia! I’ve seen her live once; such a beautiful texture.
      Alfonsina is special to me, as I identify that much of my prose looks like an Storni poem, haha. In another perspective, my poetry is nothing like Alfonsina’s and instead a lot more alike to early Celan.
      She’s amazing, and I’m incredibly glad that I reminded you of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. I’m a little bit speechless in the deep moment(s) with – now i know it’s your grandmother. This is art, when the work and its impact is embodied. For a work like this it would be great to find that audience where dementia is in their life – families, health practitioners, aged care facilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Owen, this is so kind of you. It’s just diarial and not much thought was given to it. I just wrote away, as one does. In no way do I find that it represents the experiences of folks with dementia, though that was what inspired it.
      My relationship with the piece is, I find, that German poem, that heavy-heartness that comes with, well, missing the chance. As her ability to access her memory withers, so does my access to her sheds away. Parts of her experience in this world will be deleted. I’m no longer able to conserve them.
      I suppose this is part of how things are, but this is one of those few moments in which having an aptitude for writing could be immensely useful, and I feel, thus, immensely useless. “Oh, lovely transient spirit, Too near to thee is the water, The moon hangs up in the sky.”

      Thank you so much for your support, really. It means so much.


    1. Oh, John, I hope it wasn’t too traumatic. Sometimes our words are wholly inept for our sentiments, sometimes they are overly apt. It’s a difficult line to carry out. I’m happy you’re starting to “get” me; it’s really warming.


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