The Blue Jay’s Feather by Gabriela Marie Milton #short story #literature

Image: Gabriela Marie Milton, 2022, Interior of Capela dos Ossos, Évora

Autumn. The day after Helen left for Madeira. The city’s noises vanish in a moribund sun. A paraffin lamp burns on a glass table. The light trickles on the walls like water. There is something familiar about this room. Vague scents of dried flowers. Tear-like motifs on the walls.

I hear footsteps.
I shudder.

Miguel, let’s get out of here.

He put his hand over my month.

Laughter comes from upstairs. It’s Jacques’ laughter. His and the laughter of a woman. She is not Helen. It can’t be her. Helen left yesterday. What am I thinking? The laughter can’t be Jacques’ either. He is dead. Jacques is dead.

The smell of the dried flowers Helen put on his coffin on the day of his funeral invades my nostrils.

I pull away from Miguel’s arms, my soul dark, the tightness in my throat stronger. In a mirror I replace my image with that of my mother. My voice is not mine anymore.

Miguel, with you or without you, I am getting out of here. Where is the door?

He bites his upper lip.

Anastasia, I know you are surprised.

I am enraged.

Surprised? Who? Me? If Winston Churchill would walk in this room right now, wearing Josephine Baker’s famous top hat instead of his, and Bottega Veneta stiletto sandals I would not blink an eye. From now on until the end of my days I swear nothing is going to surprise me anymore.

The light from his eyes vanishes.

Anastasia, how many times have you asked me for the truth?

I shout.

Oh, the truth. Stories masquerading reality: the plot, the characters, the setting, the conflict, the theme. Spare me the banalities. I do not need your truth anymore. I want to get out of here. There are dead people in here, or ghosts, or whatever. I want out.

Anastasia…. Listen…

The geometry of the space changes. Through a little square cut from nothingness, I see a lonely blue jay feather floating in the sky.

Paraffin and dried flowers.

Was Jacques dead?

*draft – modified version of The Blue Jay’s Feather, a piece published in my #1 Amazon Bestselling Book: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow I: Love Poems and Poetic Prose.

Announcements:

  • I wrote in a previous post that I was going to launch a new project in mid-October. Thank you to all my followers who expressed interest. The launching may come a bit later due to circumstances that are out of my control. Please be patient. Much love to all of you.

  • I am deeply grateful to everyone who reads and supports my work. Your likes, comments and shares brighten my days. Thank you to those of you who brought to my attention that my posts are getting reproduced on some WP sites on their entirety without my permission and without any links to my original work. To the very few of my followers who do that a gentle reminder for now: unauthorized use and/or duplication of my posts without express and written permission from me is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you.

Gabriela Marie Milton
Pushcart Prize Nominee
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.), Experiments in Fiction, 2022.
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Vita Brevis Press, 2021.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, Vita Brevis Press, 2020.

September Love by Gabriela Marie Milton #poem #poetic prose #short prose

2022, Somewhere in Southern Europe, photo Gabriela Marie Milton

September Love – poetic

September again, my steps heavier, my hips moving with the same uncertainty they did during the time when the child was conceived.  Barefoot I trampled grapes in a red vat, my dress rolled above the knees, my hair in a bun. The crisp smell of broken Gamay Noir penetrates my nostrils. The first release of the fall juices.  Echoes muffled by the cracking of corn roasting on the fire.

I hurt. I miss you desperately. Perhaps you’ve never returned from that September when we first met. Sighing leaves, sobbing skies, cold hands looking to ignite fires. A tango coming from nowhere coiling like a snake around our bodies.  Sweet forehead kisses. On my neck, somnolent bruises covered by makeup.

I cannot stand anymore Victorian self-righteousness, fake politeness – “I apologize for interrupting, I came to slit your throat” – people who speak about gratitude without practicing it, questionable advisers who have proliferated like false parasol mushrooms after the rain. They make me sick. The tragicomedy of this world.  Poetica, Aristotle. Remember?

Here we go again: young, books under our arms, love burning our eyes until we could see beyond the limits of September, philosophy burning our souls, trademarks of Friday afternoons on our skin.  Roman columns reaching the sky at the exact hour when we interlinked our consciousnesses. Pears ripening in trees, branches burying themselves in the earth. Spread at the base of the columns our heated bodies ready to fly. We were not supposed to ever come back.

Why did we, my love?

I steal words from September’s iconostasis. I sew them in a field of dahlias.  I wash my hands and my feet. You take the corn from the fire. The child plays. Blue and white awnings murmur in the wind. The child. The sunrise of the first I love you.

Gabriela Marie Milton
Pushcart Prize Nominee
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.), Experiments in Fiction, 2022.
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose, Vita Brevis Press, 2021.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, Vita Brevis Press, 2020.

Rien Que Pour Toi by Gabriela Marie Milton

image: Shutterstock

[From my poetry collection Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose.]

Between the bed and the window, in that space that smells roses and rien que pour toi, the morning lets her hair down.  She is so close that I can reach her skin with the tip of my fingers. 

I know … his book and the fame it brought him. The book in which he made me – the me that he imagined – the main character.

He was fascinated by the purple of my makeup and the yellows of my cobra, who used to erect the upper portion of her body to greet him every time he visited. 

I do not know what demons he tried to exorcise. In the heat of those summer afternoons, he used to sip his sangria and attempt to find almost religious justifications for what he called my ecstatic existence; an existence populated with the richness and succulence of the Mediterranean literature and void of bullet points.

His acute shyness and his need to overcome the incapacity to love beyond nightly adventures used to ring in my ears like some unhinged marimba lamenting the loss of a pipe.

The dress that I wear in page twenty-seven. That dress and the heart-shaped red stone pierced with a hole for the suspension I used to wrap around my neck.  I found that stone in a churchyard.

I was too young. Perhaps an older version of me would have made him a better writer. Do not laugh. You are too handsome when you laugh.

In the end, he managed to do something special. He invented the name of a perfume and made me wear it on every page of his book: rien que pour toi. I hid his book somewhere in the library. Yet, every morning, in the space between the bed and the window, it still smells rien que pour toi.

On August 2021 Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose became a #1 Amazon bestseller. My deepest thanks to everyone who bought my book.

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.)
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Ghosts by Gabriela Marie Milton #flash fiction #short prose #poetic prose

Edvard Munch, Weeping Nude, Public Domain

Ghosts by Gabriela Marie Milton

I spend most of my time in the house. I rarely write anymore. I remember what you once said, I believe you were quoting: Culture has become a demonstration of nothingness. It moves with a terrifying speed in direct proportionality with our appetite for fame.

Three times a year fleshy, peachy roses are still being delivered. They have my name on.  It happens mid-day, at the exact time when I take sedatives before immersing myself in a bath infused with scented Dead Sea Salt. Dried flowers float in the water. They stain my skin. They make me think summer by our lake: scents of blue irises; somnolent movements of algae.

Nights are cruel. No nightingales. Tree branches hit the master suite’s windows even when the air is soft like the breath of a new baby.  Half-naked, lying on the sofa I think Wuthering Heights. Catherine’s ghost knocking on the window. In the dark, Lockwood pushing his hand through the glass. Her cold hand. Her voice. She wants to get in.  

Inscriptions: Catherine Heathcliff; Catherine Linton…  

I kneel and scratch your name under the frame of every bedroom window. I wait.

The windows start rattling. I pick the middle one. I push my hand through the glass. Pain. The warmth of my blood. The ferocity of wounds. Voices coming from the gooseberry bushes.

You.

Come in my love […]

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Rien Que Pour Toi by Gabriela Marie Milton up at Gobblers / Masticadores #poem #poetry

image: Lilith with a Snake, John Collier, public domain

Thank you to Juan for publishing my poem/poetic prose Rien Que Pour Toi in Gobblers / Masticadores.

[The poem is also included in my poetry collection Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose].

Rien Que Pour Toi – poem/poetic prose

… He was fascinated by the purple of my makeup and the yellows of my cobra, who used to erect the upper portion of her body to greet him every time he visited…

Please continue reading HERE.

Updates

The winners of the poetry contest Woman: Splendor and Sorrow: | Love Poems and Poetic Prose will be announced on NOVEMBER 16.

Soon I will launch several initiatives to help our literary community strive more.

Do not forget to read, like, and submit to MasticadoresUSA. MasticadoresUSA community is growing: beautiful poems and fantastic interactions.

Please follow me on Twitter HERE.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Woman: Splendor and Sorrow by Gabriela Marie Milton just published #poetry collection #poems

My book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow is out!

My Dear Readers,

My book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow is out!

I am deeply grateful to my followers who have supported me. My gratitude to my publisher, Brian Geiger – Vita Brevis Press – for accepting my manuscript and making my dream come true.

Book marketing is exceedingly difficult for me because I write under a penname. As I pointed out in an interview when I publish: “There are no gettings together, no signing of books in bookstores, no flowers, no friends to buy a bunch of your books and start writing reviews.”

Yet I have you, my WP and my social media friends. You make my writing journey beautiful. You make my soul blossom with joy.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From the back cover:

“Woman is a triumphant collection of poetry. Milton explores with sincerity and great craft the many faces of identity and womanhood. This is the sort of poetry collection that will resonate with any reader.”

writes Brian Geiger, editor of Vita Brevis Press

You can order the e-book and the paperback in the link below.

I am also grateful to Brian for featuring me on Vita Brevis Poet Spotlight a place where, if you wish, you can learn more about my publications, my awards, and you can read my most recent interview.

From the Spotlight:

An Interview with Gabriela Marie Milton

Gabriela Marie Milton is a poet of condition rather than profession. I wrote as much in the foreword to her collection of poetry, Passions, referring to the great Robert Graves’ suggestion that the art of poetry isn’t so much learned as it is lived. This is the first thing readers of Milton’s work will realize; this is poetry with soul.

What’s the Purpose of Poetry?

Gabriela Marie Milton: “My first impulse is to answer the creation of meanings. That which is not directly expressed impacts us differently than a simple narration. A table of contents informs us. It speaks to our reason. A poem takes us to the plans of our inner and outer worlds that lie beyond reasoning, such as for instance the oneiric plan. 

“Of course, great poetry was written during the Enlightenment period: a period characterized by the celebration of reason.

You can read more below.

Thank you.
Love.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

 

Who was he? By Gabriela Marie Milton – poetic prose published in Free Verse Revolution Issue II (hermes) #short prose #literature

 Ivailo Nikolov; Shutterstock

My piece Who was he? published in Free Verse Revolution Issue II. You can download the entire issue here.

Who was he? by Gabriela Marie Milton

I met him in the mist of that unusual summer when mama looked more beautiful than ever, and pears grew as big as squashes. Their golden and juicy fragrance hung on my lips even after the touches of the evening wind were gone.

He stood by the fence in his winged hat and his weird sandals, a tricky smile on his face, and a lyre on his hand. I knew whose symbols those were, so I laughed. I figured out he was trying to drag me into some weird play.

When he spoke, his voice pierced my entire body. I felt like a butterfly, pinned, and labeled, and then fixed with a nail on the bottom of an insect box.

“We are getting married tonight.”

Something in his voice denoted an unmistakable hunger to overcome mortality. Who was he? His pale fingers touched the chords of the lyre. The sky started to rain the fragrance of the pears and white petals on us. One of them fell on my left shoulder. When I tried to touch it, it vanished.

He moved toward me and pressed his lips on mine. My eyes closed. I shivered. I felt dragged into a deceptive rootlessness. I could not remember where I was. When I opened my eyes, he was gone.

Under the olive tree on the wooden table there was a basket filled with pears. I touched one of them. It was made of paper. By the basket someone inscribed the words: “That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one.”

 I froze. Those were words attributed to Hermes Trismegistus.

Who was he and where did he go?

MasticadoresUSA update

Please welcome our first guest from New Zeeland: a marvelous poetess Rachel. Read Rachel’s poem Invitation to inspiration here.

Do not forget to follow MasticadoresUSA.

Thank you
Gabriela

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Hallucinations – poetic prose by Gabriela Marie Milton – MasticadoresUSA update

image: kasiaczernik/Pixabay

Hallucinations by Gabriela Marie Milton

I suspect I am subject to hallucinations. I see a woman wrapped in a Cashmere checkered shawl talking to a dead person. The metaphors she uses are stolen, and her heavy makeup reminds me vaguely of a harlequin. Perhaps the shawl projected its sick personality into her, or perhaps she regressed to an infantile state under my very eyes.

She looks like a lacerated doll attached to one of Cuixar’s canvases.

Did you talk? Are you here?

My love, yesterday I read your poems. Your spellbound words reclaimed my very existence. Letters fell into my cupped palms. From the mirror the contour of your body – textured like ripened mangoes under a third eclipse of the moon – entered my world. Your words adapted to my lips. They absorbed the piano’s euphoria with its marvelous rhythmicity.  Our happiness became imperative like the birth of a child at 39 weeks.

Today I am back – albeit sedated – inside the ambivalence of my own introspections swinging from one site to another like the Kirby Cove swing above the Pacific Ocean.

I do not see the woman anymore, but I can still see the dead person. The throbbing pain of Cuixar’s paintings and your absence become unbearable.  

When I do not cry myself to death, I pretend you are here.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

MasticadoresUSA Update

A new beautiful poem is now up at MasticadoresUSA.

Read Two Hearts by Phil Perkins here.

Do not forget to follow MasticadoresUSA.

Do you want to submit? Please read the editorial announcement here.
Thank you
Gabriela

Butterflies always die – poetic prose by Gabriela Marie Milton #poetry #poetic prose

HAJI21-cz; Pixabay

In times of fortune and misfortune I am always at the mercy of silence. Perhaps because I was born on an island where seldom does anything happen.

Yesterday the water and the light invaded my tongue’s buds, and I was forced to look at myself upside down. I could see the splendor of a naked butterfly ready to mate. Do you know for how long do two butterflies stay together? Sixteen hours. The exact time we spent together in the silence of the island.

Suspended in the between times neither of us moved. No cosmic sacrifice happened. No driving force was brought to life. No blood interfered between …. please continue reading at MasticadoresUSA.

*

My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

in love with you – poem by Gabriela Marie Milton #poetry #poetry collection

Kiselev Andrey Valerevich; Shutterstock

The sky rains on my spring the sweet scents of your autumn.

A luxurious paralysis flows through my veins.

My lips nestle in the plenitude of your dreams with their multiple interpretations.

I am so in love with you that I will accept hell provided you are part of it.  

*


My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton