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Prose: It Crunches Against Leather
It Crunches Against Leather
By Gerry Mark Norton
I’ve felt pebbles chime underfoot, and viewed the vague silhouettes of three ocean liners straddling the horizon; tympanic membranes have trembled to gusts skimming the ocean then rattling through my ears. Auburn strands whip my cheek and eye, my brow flushed by a nuclear explosion barely visible through a cotton swamp in the sky. I’ve heard the tyrannical roar of silence, and wished for some other presence, if only to hate it with all my soul. I am Jupiter walking, with a jagged circumference and indefinite diameter. My irises are black holes in which all time dwells, instantaneously; they see the cyclical looping, the expanding and contracting; explosions release tethers that retract when taut. I boil ants alive because they creep my mum out; I recognize I was born of the earth, too. I feel a rumble in the air, and it could be an apocalyptic stampede, or a giant lightly blowing the seeds from a dandelion clock. Either way, I cannot prevent instinct. I am a clothed primate who sometimes wants to die unprompted by the laws of nature. Sometimes I laugh and then want to step off a cliff. Sometimes I feel so terrified that I want to retch, and I wonder why and realize there simply isn’t an answer. Imagine a new limb bursting from the flesh of your torso, equipped with perfectly functioning, opposable digits: though you have a new hand, there is still the gaping wound it caused when it broke through your skin. I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live either. Substance corrodes the mind: I understand why it’s universally avoided.
It crunches against leather–it surely must be real. A man picked up a pebble and threw it into the foam. He actually kicked it with the toe of his boot, and the collision created the most delicious tok sound, and the curved little stone rose and soared, then suddenly plummeted and plunged into the water, ploom; he chuckled with glee. Later in the day he removed his boots and faded claret socks and padded along the sand, and he stopped and thought to himself ‘yep: this is the way a man is meant to walk,' and he breathed in deeply, and without realizing it closed his eyes, and his toes curled into the suction of the moisture seeping through to the surface. He could see nothing but felt perfect, felt absolute contentment. He could smell nostalgia and feel the gnashers of a seaside gale; he could taste salt on his upper-lip and hear a cosy purr licking at his lobes. ‘What can one want for when one is not important?’ His senses were pure and contradiction was memories. There couldn’t be congestion without the mucus binding it together. And as his eyelids flicked open he saw a lone seagull gliding along the radius, and they were together, and it was the most beautiful moment of their lives.
Gerry Mark Norton was born in London, England in 1989. He has self-released one book of poems, Sick Roses, and two free albums of music, A Momentary Lapse in Lethargy and Feasting, Dancing & Revelry, and has work forthcoming on Misfits' Miscellany and Eskimo Pie. He likes cats, parsley, and the seaside, and so is very unhappy about still living in the city.
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