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Friday 28 December 2012


I am writing a novel
in which nobody speaks.
Also, in this novel
nobody acts from any
particular volition --
which is to say, that
nobody does anything
which might possibly
be construed as having
some significance for
plot or for character 
development. But when
I say that no-one speaks,
I mean just that: no more
and no less. Each and
every one of my characters
moves like a shadow, has 
no discernible motivation
imparted by the novel.

Here then is the first
significance: no language
no volition -- or is it
vice versa? Here then is
the first conundrum -- not
that it matters or will
take anybody very far. 
There is no music, so no
backing to accompany their
slow drift to... perdition?
(Recall: the novel is  not
yet finished, will not at
the present moment resolve 
all questions might be asked
of it.) There are no tele-
phones... but then again, 
why would they want them?

Here then are chapters one 
through to ten of thirteen,
shortened, but otherwise as 
I have penned them -- as I
hope you will rwlise in 3D --
superimposed on top of one
another. (You have realised
already that with no volition,
no essential motivation, even
warfare will be peaceful, no?)

Before a row of houses sits
a rabbit on a burned out car
peeling a Jaffa orange with
a Bowie knife. Other rabbits
sit on other vehicles (tanks,
tractors, tricycles and the
odd barrow) peeling a variety
of other fruits - and vegetables
(apples, grapes, bananas, pears
and radishes) with other knives.
As they peel they watch with
interest the magpies and the
crows pick over Christmas debris.

In the sky above them wheel back
and forth two flocks of starlings,  
but always flying in the contrary
direction to each other. Therefore,
from time to time they fly full tilt
and through each other. There are
casualties... yes, of course there 
are, as birds collide and fall, as 
dead as stones, down to the ground,
disturbing the more peaceful rabbits 
as they peel. Disturbed, but not
essentially concerned.

                    Chapter thirteen
cannot be written until the issues 
raised in ten and then elaborated
in eleven are resolved. As of now
Chapters ten and, to a lesser extent
maybe, eleven, seem quite unpenable.
Here, though, are those issues about
which I have been compelled to write.
Written in response to Anna Montgomery's prompt
 Postmodern (Experimental)  at dVerse Poets - Meeting the bar: Critique and Craft


Anonymous said...

wow, Dave... truly fascinating.

Brian Miller said...

haha, the crows picking over the christmas debris, i wonder a bit at the symbolism there you know...i really should not be commenting as there is no speaking, but then again...smiles.

it is good to see you man...you have been missed. hope the holidays were good to you.

Grace said...

I like the creative idea of writing where nobdy speaks, no movement nor music, like everything is stalled. Yet there is conflict and casualties - that part of the rabbit peeling was novelty ~

Good one Dave ~

Happy New Year ~

Laurie Kolp said...

Intriguing, Dave.

kaykuala said...

A novel where lots left to how one imagines. No words, no movements nor music. This is fun. It takes the whole imagining process to a higher level. Brilliant Dave!


Mary said...

I think I would have a hard time reading this novel with no one speaking.

Welcome back.

Claudia said...

this is just wonderful dave...my new fav by you...you take the random to the random to the random and by doing this, shift it right to the center...gorgeous

Cloudia said...

It is a privilege to visit your head.

Waiting for Bunny Godot?

Friday Aloha from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
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lucychili said...

i think your fruit are the only characters I can see without volition, perhpas even they want to be peeled, or not?

jasmine calyx said...

I LOVE this, Dave. Fantastic. Just my kind of thing.

Dave King said...

And a Wow from me - thanks for.

Thanks Brian. Yes, good to be back, even though I was kept away by all the right things. Not fully back in the flow yet, though.

Yes, you have it exactly: everything stalled, conflict and casualties and the rabbit peeling. Thanks for picking out those three. And a great New Year to you and yours.

Intriguing prompt, I thought. Thanks.

much thanks for saying this.

Ah well, speech is just words, you know! Thanks for the comment.

Wow, did I really do all that? Seriously, though, very grateful for the response.

Bunny Godot? However did you know that? yup! And thanks for a great comment.

Ah, but what if the fruit alone had volition? Wouldn't that change things? Good to know your thoughts. Thanks for saying.

Much thanks for saying so. Very reassuring.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

But that can be the story - a silence where boring happens ....

Elephant's Child said...

I am a bit worried about the bunnies with knives. I don't believe that anything with a knife can be said to have no voiltion. They seemed a tad malevolent as they waited.
Brilliant piece Dave, I was glued to every word.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Now you have captured in a nutshell what I think about some experimental writing - it needs a narrative to sustain a longer story. Here you actually have a narrative - your writing of your novel - which seems a much more interesting process that the not-spoken plot!

Very clever.

i.e. a rose is a rose is a rose - sounds good in principal but could you read pages of it!!!!!! k.

Unknown said...

I love this, I think you have written a masterpiece of absurdist 3D poetry (with your tongue in cheek no less. It brought to mind the beginning of Jose Saramago's The Stone Raft. Your deft weaving of velleity was particularly fascinating.