She Wasn’t a Creature of this World

The weapons instructor who taught me how to properly place an AT-4 on my shoulder told me that his people spoke in poetry.

“Is an anti-tank weapon, Warrior,” he said. “Treat it like an untrustworthy friend; always keeping a strong hold on it, but touching with light fingers.”

“I will, Chief,” I said, and watched his poetry speaking lips press into a tight line that couldn’t hide the mirth crinkling his eyes. He hated when I called him Chief, so I did it every time he called me Warrior and not by my name. “Will I feel the flash on my back? After I fire it?”

“War is hot, girl Warrior, full of recoils and burns. Just like raising a child,” he said,it leaves the mother cracked and stretched and changed and scarred.”

“Reading does the same for the mind, Chief.” Remembering what he said about his people, I added, “But the scars left by stories are poetic tattoos.”

He said nothing for a long while. Not even after he removed the practice AT-4 from my shoulder and placed it on its spot in the weapons rack. Then he gave me one of his deep amber-eyed looks, and said, “What have you been reading, Word Eating Warrior?”

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Poetry Speaking Chief. It’s about—”

“I’ve read Márquez,” he said. “What’s your favorite part? The war between Aureliano Buendia and Úrsula Iguarán, I bet.”

“No.” I shook my head and smiled. “I love how Márquez portrays Remedios the Beauty. The woman is clearly mad, but he decides to write that she ‘was not a creature of this world.’ He didn’t write lies. He just made madness beautiful, even desirable and uplifting. He plucked Remedios out of the dirt. And she ascended.”

Chief smiled; an enormous smile full of gums and teeth too white for his dark-honeyed complexion. “A Caribe Warrior who sees beauty in the lunacy of another. I wonder if you’ll find poetry in war.”

“I don’t,” I said, leaving the classroom without looking at Chiefs face.   

***

Inspired by Magpie Tales 219 (see image below), a bit of reality, and the following quote from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude:

“Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world… She reached twenty… wandering naked through the house because her nature rejected all manner of convention…

Remedios the Beauty began to rise… abandoning with her the environment of beetles and dahlias and passing through the air with her as four o’clock in the afternoon came to an end, and they were lost forever with her in the upper atmosphere where not even the highest-flying birds of memory could reach her.”

Every word you wrote was poetry to my heart, my beloved Gabo. I hope you are flying with Remedios the Beauty, if that would make your soul happy (GGM 1927-2014).

Close”, by Martin Stranka 

38 comments:

  1. Very interesting post. I enjoyed reading your work.

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    1. Glad you did. Thanks for reading. ;-)

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  2. Even in this short story there is a lot of poetry. Beautifully written, and the quote ties it in perfectly with the image too!

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    1. As soon as I saw the photo, I thought, Replace the jeans for petticoats and that could be Remedios.

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  3. Such tasty morsels as these are what keeps me stalking you :D XXX

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    1. Your stalking is so welcome that it always feels like a glorious visit. ;-D

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  4. Beautifully written, Magaly; the poetry flows in and out of every carefully picked word. And I now have the hots for Chief and his amber-coloured eyes.

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    1. I might have a things for amber-colored eyes. *cough*

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  5. This is just amazing. Prose of such beauty that it that touches like poetry.

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    1. I've always thought of poetry as poetry and narration with fewer words in it. ;-)

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  6. Love this idea of uplifting the someone who 'is not creature of this world' and how you used it in your piece. Very talented write!

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    1. Well, gracias. It was a delight to write.

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  7. there is so much personality in this piece. so much "real" interaction between humans. love it.....Oma

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    1. Stories are just empty words when they don't have real people in it, methinks. And no one likes empty words...

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  8. I love saucy warrior girl! There are far too many Chief's in this world, I enjoy visiting other worlds best!
    XoDebi

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    1. Ah, the idea of other words where we can follow, be, interact with the Chiefs of our choosing... I like it!

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  9. i really enjoyed reading this..your words and the quote too...how clever you are..x

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  10. Such a touching and moving post, I'm sure GGM would be touched and proud.

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    1. I truly hope so. I really, really, really do...

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  11. very touching and strong

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  12. How it feels to be a mother of such a genius? I wonder if a mother can actually realize her child's greatness, I think mothers always treat their child as a child... in a simple way.
    I cannot find poetry in war either.

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    1. "I cannot find poetry in war either." I just had to repeat that. Some truths should be said over and over and over... until they become mantra.

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  13. a very strong narrative with the beauty of a poem...

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    1. I wonder if certain narrative isn't just poetry free of verse, meter... and other poetic constraints.

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  14. It is good not to be a creature of this world. At least, that is what I think. I really enjoyed this, Magaly.

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    1. This world needs more otherworldly creatures, so I'm right with you.

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  15. In Auatralia we only speak to each other in rhyming couplets , there are few people whise mind is seared vy reading ...though there are many who love war, even finding poetry in it, but these are all people who have never been to one ...overall ..i would say we are a wicked people ..
    Cheers M

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    1. No wonder you guys sound so pretty to my ears *grins*.

      War evokes so many things... The thought of those who actually love it saddens me and angers me at the same time. It's not a pretty thing. It will never be.

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  16. Beautiful prose, Magaly! It is something different from the normal poems on offer. A whiff of freshness and the story is entertaining!

    Hank

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    1. Thank you, Hank. I'm glad you've enjoyed the short fiction. So few of us magpies lean towards fiction instead of poetry exclusively that every now and then I wonder how the poets will take the storytellers' rhythm. I love that we can dance together. ;-)

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  17. All for the soul, catching happiness, and holding on tightly. A moving magpie!

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  18. He made madness beautiful...

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  19. Beautiful post Magaly ;o)

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    1. So happy you like it, my beloved crow goddess. ;-D

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