spider

Chain on an Angel

I thought I was raging to be free, but really it was something else, words and numbers and feelings inside me. they showed me visions. they said that I was their prison. that I am a chain on an angel who could sing to the heart of the world. the language of nothingness, the black-rimmed sun, like the dying petals of a lily. a lily in his hand for no reason.

I met my parents in the recesses of an infinite library, like Borges' brain, expanding on the fuel of phrases forever. I watched their outlines glimmer. all the colour faded from within their outlines, draining into the floor. they stayed still, like ice sculptures, empty. I saw how happy they'd be that way: clear and quiet, everything about them forgotten and at peace. the contours of their faces, their hands: a map of everything that was ever important.

in another dream, I was reading fire from yellow pages, my mind translucent, waiting for inspiration, a spider in a rain-bright web. the crows on the sunset-shadowed roof. the burning petals of a yellow rose. lonely for friends' voices, an unknown home, woodsmoke in the trees. hallucinogenic bluebells and pinkbells rippling through the undergrowth. running through tilted dreams of sky islands.

Spider Temple Dream

I'd been wandering through the rain forest for a long time. The air was sodden  with rain and I hadn't seen anything except massive green leaves and ferns and water-darkened tree trunks for days. I had only the vaguest understanding of where I was - Vietnam or Cambodia,deep in a forgotten part of the primordial woodland. I came across a dark door at the front of a temple overgrown  with vines, and I walked inside.

After my eyes adjusted to the darkness I found I was in a gigantic enclosed space, roughly circular, surrounded by huge, carved walls of dark brown stone. There were countless alcoves and gargoyles and buttresses rising to a smooth, domed ceiling which was almost invisible in the gloom. The floor was a mass of large, flat paving stones, slightly lighter in colour than the walls, cracked and torn up in places. The air was utterly still and silent, with no sound from the jungle outside. It felt like nobody had been there in thousands of years.

In the center of the temple was a huge stone structure, like a series of raised circular plinths with large statues all around, twice the height of a human being. I walked closer, amazed at the hush, and the heaviness of the air, and I saw that the statues were basalt spiders with bulbous bodies and arched legs.

I started to climb. For some reason I was able to do this with no problem, even though the stone spiders were so enormous that I could walk underneath them only slightly hunched over. I reached the top of the plinth, standing on a thin spire that almost touched the ceiling of the temple. From here I could see the pattern of the floor paving and the statues, but I couldn't interpret it. The language was long dead. As I watched, the air shifted slightly, and I felt something change, like feeling an electrical charge build near a power station.

The spiders moved. As I watched, they descended with graceful steps from their places on the plinth, their feet making no sound whatsoever as they touched the floor. Stone legs flexed and bent with the delicacy of ballerinas. They arranged themselves in spiral patterns around the center of the temple, and began to dance.

The dance was ancient, its meaning utterly lost in time, forgotten along with the names and families of the priests and acolytes and worshippers to whose religion the temple was consecrated. It was a sacrament from a time when the world functioned according to different rules, and yet here in the deep forest the spiders were still dancing, every night, their feet moving along the lines of a sacred geometry that described a different universe.

I watched for a while, until I felt myself rising out of the temple. The spiders grew smaller and smaller, until mist started covering them, and the walls began to stretch and fade, and I left that dream and passed into another.