Forgetting Your Own Lessons, pen on travel-journal paper

After the quake in Shanghai she started spending most days at the art museum, in intimate positions with its subjects, and the patrons, their wide eyes blinking RAPE/RAPE and somewhere beyond the cornea, mind dilations: “The need to behold!”… True art.  But these easy lids didn’t feel the earth shake.  (Did it really happen?)  She learned not only to shout when the painting squeezed her heart tight but also to melt when she could no longer bear the feeling.  She drew stares.  For the past few years she’d been told that she was a blank slate every morning — what a funny lie, to teach silence by words, wisdom by subjugation.  So she spoke not even to her beloved birds, who went on revealing patterns to adoring eyes and about which they reminisced beneath their graves.  She knew the meaning too, and every reminder without words but with poetry dazzled the tabula rasa.  The harsh dulling ones, grown as cold as fluorescent light, she laid in the catacombs, prayed, and ascended to where the birds perform with a rainbow-blue backdrop.  Their dance the messenger that then whirled through the city’s brocade, breath tunnels and metropolitan blood, fed by the monks’ incantations.

© 2010, Amaya Engleking




  1. Keith Haney · August 19, 2016

    Very powerful. Extremely descriptive. I felt like I was there. Nicely done.

  2. bysuesway · August 26, 2016

    Beautifully written the words just take you the actual place .
    Wonderful !!

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