Traumnovelle

Anson Clark

 
 

I almost felt like some provocateur,
Swirling the cream around the dirge coffee.
The chocolate sprinkles, soldiers of my imagination.
My life, that of an Austrian sankt;
Meaning something, like the death of that man
On the cross meant something.

I always dress smartly – and my husband wishes
Me to be sent to an asylum, for preferring Mahler
To his best body of work.

Perhaps I am proof that it is possible to admire
Freud and Kraus. This funny old world where
Opposites both make sense. But where is North’s heart
Without South?

My life is a triangle, all pointy; acicular like
The leaves of the pine. A middle class person
Has the right to be fussy, as if it’s acting as a barrier
To the chaos surrounding. But then I think of Mahler,
And I feel close to the above world.

People like to associate themselves with things
That define how they want to be. Mahler; the bridge
Between the old and new made me feel relevant but
Respectful. In my husband’s eyes, I fade through life as
A recently decedent
Fish; gelid in life’s algidity, whose eyes bulged, bursting
With the remnants of once
Youthful vigor; overpowered by my gender’s propensity
To swim towards seas of lunacy and disgust after the period of initial
Excitation. Myself: anile. He: distinguished.

My husband experiments on me, as if he were Freud
(a beard and walking stick does not automatically make one
Intelligent.) Sleepwalking through life like a drunk with his pants down;
He, fluctuating between the calmness and fury of the sea,
Like some monstrous Titan, flailing between the two worlds. Caught
In some old Italian painting, eyes bulging formaldehyde, as the
Youthful vigor dissipates to some downward spectrum.

Klimt looks pretty
(they say I like the gold) and sparkly like an Oriental tea ceremony.
As if the tea never misses the cup. I imagine it does, staining
The history books silly; but those men with beards and walking
Sticks spend most of the time talking about
What made the cup.

Life obliqueness, arches defined as angles, positions on a board.
We move piece-like to the reflective end.
Is the man greater than the symphonies, or are they his slaves?
Am I greater than who I am?

Still, as the raging chaos that wants to take a one-way journey
Into a river, threatens to overwhelm, turning the orbs in the sky
Upside down, I hold back the tide with thoughts of those symphonies;
The adagios of life. Though he had to convert to Catholicism; at heart
He remained the same. Though I converted to him, I remained
The same too.

My husband has organized an appointment with the doctor. Must wear
A mask to the Judenplatz; to haunt the nothingness, the decorum -
That silly tea ceremony.
A possible new lodger is meeting with my husband today.
I hope he doesn’t smell like we are treated.
America the new beckons but my husband is rooted here -
Silly old tree.
So America and a new state exist purely in
My heart. And if I am merely heart, that is enough.

 
 
 

Bio
Anson Clark currently lives in the UK and has recently completed a creative writing course at the University of Oxford.  When she's not writing she often finds herself drinking copious amounts of coffee and watching Two Broke Girls.  She's happy living in England though she is still waiting for her invite to join Taylor Swift's crew.