Jasminum grandiflorum

Recent publications: short story “When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven” in Liminal.

Thinking about: the act of writing in its raw, uncut form, as a kind of religious experience—as a kind of transport—is such a strange thing to have encompassed and upheld by routine and ritual, by faith’s grind, like you were walking uphill to temple every day, and of course you bring your saman pichcha and light the little clay lamps, coconut oil on your fingers; you sit cross-legged in the hot, grainy sand to say the dead words, during which you think of your dead, and theirs, and theirs, multiplying overhead like a great bone tree rising into the sky. No, that’s all a bit grim, isn’t it? Let’s say instead you’re like a mime practicing a bit. First you elaborately draw a door in the air, marking out hinge and latch and doorknob, finding an imaginary key in your pocket, feigning surprise—you insert and turn it in the lock which does not exist, and it goes click and you push it open and walk through. Some days there is nothing through the door, though you have to open it anyway to find out. And some days you walk through into an altered landscape. Everything looks the same, and in fact everything is the same, because after all this was only mime and it was an imaginary door, except now the room is redder in your eyes and there is music in the air.