A Forest of His Screams

I fell in love with Jorge Luis Borges’ writing when I was twelve, and a brilliant Muse (who moonlighted as a small town librarian) gave me a copy of “The Circular Ruins”. I remember thinking, This is magic! After that, I read all the Borges I could get my hands on. So, when Kerry asked us for a poem that used “the final twilight”, from Borges’ “A Wolf”, as a frame of reference, I didn’t say yes… I screamed, “Heck, yeah!” right before I ran to find my old copy of Collected Fictions.

“A Forest of His Screams”

Raven and Wolf psycho-
analyze woman and man.

“He repressed her pleasure
and mourned his penis,”
quoth the raven. “It’s obvious,
to anyone listening to his trap.”

“Human talk can be empty,
a pale echo of love…
or a midnight of meaning,”
said the wolf. “To be cruel
isn’t enough. She needed him
to be a taker. He took.”

“He took,” said the raven.
“Now, on the final twilight,
his flesh, blood (and eyeballs)
wish he could give it back.”

“The joys of dawn come
for us all,” said the wolf.

“Not for him,” said the raven.
“Her bones flower at dusk.
And she’ll dance, dance, dance…
(deliciously mad) in a forest
of his screams.”

the wee notes…
– I borrowed the phrases “to be cruel isn’t enough” and “the final twilight” from Borges’ poem, “A Wolf”. And, of course, I had quite the blast expanding some of my Poe and Freud magnetic Poem Bits. Seriously, how can one not have a blast and then some with wolves and ravens and eyeballs? Oh my!
– linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (The Final Twilight ~ Micro Poetry)
– and to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 333)
* this one is dedicated to my dearest friend, who has been in serious need of a mean cackle.

Here are the Poem Bits… in all their original glory. 😉


67 thoughts on “A Forest of His Screams

  1. Her bones flower at dusk..

    What an incredible line in a spectacular poem, Magaly. I am so pleased Borges is a favourite of yours. You have created a thought-provoking dialogue between raven and wolf – so impressive from opening lines to conclusion.

  2. I love how you pulled the Poe out of Borges and created this wonderful poem. There is a fable inside, but kaleidoscoped with cackle. I think I will have nightmares tonight.

  3. I love the way the wolf and raven are just matter-of-factly discussing this, the way a couple of old friends might discuss a sporting event or the most recent movie they’ve seen, but it’s such a macabre conversation! *snicker* It’s just deserts really. As the wolf observed, he was a taker, but she did the final taking and gets to dance over it. There are stories that claim their fame by being chicken soup for the soul, but this delight is a lovely bit of dark chocolate for mine. 😀

  4. OMG, this is the frickin’ coolest thing I’ve read from you. Slam-diggety delicious badassery.

    Love the opening, ” midnight of meaning,” “She needed him to be a taker. He took.” (my favorite part), the last four lines of the poem. Soooo awesome, girl.

  5. I love Borges, and not just because he drops so many Arabic and Middle Eastern names and concepts into his short stories. He is what is missing from Lovecraft: Lovecraft needed that strange loop/recursive mystery thing in order to send his horror into a sreamingly weird place.

    If I could crush Lovecraft, Poe, Borges, and Kafka together and produce a few stories out of the mush, my life would be complete!

    This post was great and maybe couldn’t help but be!

  6. How visual your poetry is and a bit threatening too for this mere male. Dawn however does bring great joy for nothing is better than that seductive gleam though my window as love is on the menu again.

  7. A skillful compilation full of the needle-sharp teeth of truth, and the howl the moon requests from her children–your own inimitable words blend and highlight those of your chosen subjects and the whole is an entire delight for the mind and dark heart. I especially like the personas of the raven and wolf–they feel so fully formed and real, while remaining as well the voices of the psyche. Really excellent piece, Magaly.

  8. Brilliant! I don’t know how you do it, but you aways do!!! Sometimes, I reread your writings, just to make sure I get everything and then I go back again! 🙂 Incredible!!!
    (I hope you are doing ok? Sorry about the limping!!! Thank you so much for your words on my post!! Sending much love your way!!! )
    Big Hugs 🙂

  9. I could feel the Poe oozing through your verses….and went swimming in it’s terrible turmoil….
    Now shall dance under the moon with reverence CWS XXX

  10. Hey! Wow! I fell in love with Borges in 1975 when I was 24–and like you, went out and found as many translations of his work as I could find. Imagine a writer more interested in questions of infinity than questions of life and death! And so this resonates with me on the level of Prometheus:
    ““He took,” said the raven.
    “Now, on the final twilight,
    his flesh, blood (and eyeballs)
    wish he could give it back.””
    There is no “final” twilight bound as we are–and so Wolf answers. O! the Aesop’s fables animals read through Poe and today’s neo-Romanticism! Brilliant.

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