Burning Books

by Melody Sumner Carnahan

new dragon

THE IMAGINARY is a well-defined mathematical concept: A direction of time at right angles to what we consider real. If imaginary is also real, “One shan’t then care if one’s real-time history comes to a sticky end.” Words of the physicist. He warned that if you meet someone from a completely different system and she holds out her hand to you, don’t shake it. The two of you might disappear the instant of contact. In bliss or fiery dilemma. However, it’s not that simple.

Deliverance from sorrow. Etymology as a massage. Longing levitating. Calamity breaking forth into freedom. The sacerdotal spelunking through caves of time. Fear and mistrust can be destroyed by chaos.

First thing you see rounding the corner is a clutch of girls with naked knees. Five yards off, discretely ordered by age, sex, and size, a panoramic panoply: Young girls in coral satin jackets and shiny black trousers moving their lips and vocal chords in unison. Twenty older maidens in skirts of brocade split over tight silk pajamas prancing in little slippers with copper tassels on the toes. Bright notes erupting from Glockenspiel held in the white-gloved hands of a phalanx of youths. Little sisters with slick black braids wearing high-necked diamond-patterned jackets and tangerine leotards above cream white thighs that pump up and down in step spinning cadmium-plated flutes with spangles that click and flash deliciously. Old men sporting double chins and red fez blowing on small Arabic horns while juveniles in karate garb jab and pounce the air. Boys in red Palembang jumpers and flat black caps pound with surety two-dozen white-skinned drums. Women carrying sticks with delicate lanterns softly glowing against the battering wind.

It begins as an ordinary spectacle. Convertibles slide by bearing official’s names and faces. Men hold their heads erect. Girls in strapless gowns smile waving bare arms like sea anemone. Fake sable capes drape down over the backs of Buicks. Wheels turn silently behind crepe-paper skirts.

“Excuse me, but has The Dragon gone by yet?”

“I don’t think so.” You have no idea who or what The Dragon is.

The woman explains. The Dragon is being prepared right now at the end of Maiden Lane.

“Go down,” she gestures. “It’s lovely when its tail is asleep.”

The Dragon. You move in that direction. Pain alleviates with expectancy taking its place. First you encounter the entourage formed of chotchka, drangularia, brilliants, serpentine, all sorts of detritus that sparkles and splinters the world into tiny gems of light. The smaller dragons, how many? — seven in all — wear scales of embroidered silk, heavily crusted with sequins, beads, pearls, braid, and piping, representing hours of stitching labor. . . .

Drumbeats pulse from a group of vigorous hobbledehoys. What kind of hoys?

Each dragon seems larger than the last. . . .

The wind has stilled. Rain changes to mist. The scent of incense mixes with the warm sulfur breath of fireworks spent. Proceed toward The Dragon.

The head is enormous, twelve, fifteen feet high. The body inhabited by human beings along its length into the serpent-tapered tail.

Count the feet.

Soft-soled numberless feet belong to countless soulful human beings. The people inside The Dragon crouch in seed form. All the HEs poised tumescent in orgiastic potency. All the SHEs actively supine along the vaginal floor . . . while one ordinary lad in jeans tests and tightens each bulb along the top and sides, making certain of the total receptivity of each to the bio-electric currency traveling along The Dragon’s nerves and veins.

A band of men, singing. Their song says each act is a choice between love and power. Occasionally you get both. A peanut vendor digs into his box to replenish his supplies. Fills up his blue doll’s carriage, tightening himself into narrow parentheses as he wends his way among the crowd. All you see of him now is the obscene carrot-shaped nose attached to his face and a sign on his hat that states: “Fifty Cents.”

The Dragon begins to ululate and undulate itself into existence. Okay. Show us what you’ve got.

The Dragon emerges fully extended, glaring yellow-eyed fire alight inside with super-strings, proto-life proteins, and baby universes reflecting off an infinity of gold foil scales. An intimate erective act performed by lascivious hard-working introverts laboring at the sexual center of the universe in a hailstorm of fireworks. The Dragon has been transported from the causal sphere through a copulative conjunction in an infinite mood. Did the city suckle this thing? East cum West made oculate with ingenuity for the purpose of restoring primordial splendor.  

Men in yellow trousers crouch low around The Dragon making sure the yellow cord of current stays flat to the street. The Dragon’s feet must remain unimpeded so that the fluids keep flowing not once to be dimmed in transit along the route. One does not at first see these young men, just as one doesn’t notice the styrofoam flesh of the beast.

The Dragon is highly-charged erotically, as are all true ecrudescences of the Divine. Its frontal contraction spasms in pre-orgiastic peristaltic spirals of augmenting intensity contrast with the explosions of Brownian motion inside its streaming protoplasm. Cells implode, rhizomes roam the forest floor, logs decode, ferns shudder and release their spores, mosses breed on the backs of behemoths bound hand and foot crawling like worms through the tourmaline gates to take the steps of chalcedony that lead to and bypass the prototype pavilion of the Garden of Reason in Summer Palace where data is crystallized in total recall containment until man extracts its current using his own cardioplasma in discrete cardiospasms thereby shortening his own life but lengthening the whole which is the endgame of entelechy because penes is the power of power-alone when distended and the vulva becomes swollen and its roiling claws draw him in giving form to the dreams and schemes of the intimate lives of power company executive’s wives in the twilight of their hour bearing lumber yards and diamond mines requisitioned from the estate of one great untidy lady who died of sensational desire and The Dragon ate her whole and was nourished by the steam and The Dragon’s eyes turned green.

Flashing petals of augmenting aspiration emanate from the depths of The Dragon’s mental coils. The Dragon circles upon itself, modestly closing, mystery enfolding, while a thousand medieval princesses wearing diadems of basal ganglia swoon in abandonment during coitus in a covenant inside nature’s holy laws initiating the first complete and totally harmonious simultaneous orgasm among the creatures of this earth. . . .

from Q+1: Short Works from the Quadrants Series Authors
© 2011 Melody Sumner Carnahan / Burning Books