Two Fictions
Kathryn Rantala

Notes re: The Lorelei, rocks, doom, etc.

She speaks quietly of herself in conversation. She desires want. She wants desire. Desire wants her. She is, in a moment, everything and the moment itself.
Through gauzed confusions she culls, slides and murmurs a story of herself in history. Smoke trails a lip, an ear. She steps her men down slowly through their imagined homes -- the halls, the rooms, the chambers of enchantment, the caverns, the hills of their youth.

see: Clara and Brahms.
Emily alone.
Wagner and his young king.
The serpentine Cleopatra.

A flashback:

A man stands on the veranda. The veranda is grand and white and beautiful and the people at the party call it a pavilion, though it is not. They look out at the beautiful veranda and see a man at the outlook of a pavilion. They believe they are thinking of the view and not of sex.
The pavilion has vertical pieces where hands might rest, a peaked roof of beams and glass. Below is lattice. Everything complicates itself, up and down.
Through the outlook is the night, divided into sky and sea. The night sky and the sea at night are so beautiful that verandas overlooking them are pavilions. All of the colors in the sky and the sea are blue -- lapis, peacock, marine and blue so blue as to be black.
The guests hold glasses shaped like diamonds. They look up as a man arrives and say, "Oh!" or, "There you are!" and one says, "I'm mixing another batch. Have a seat!" The man sits down beside a woman with a sharp chin. He says, "May I?" She crosses her legs and leans toward him and says, "Possibly," and someone else laughs.
The laughter is as sharp as her chin, as the points her knees make, as the angles of their glasses, the tip of the pavilion, the fumes of the gin in a new batch. The man flourishes his hand-kerchief by its peak. "A Houdini!" someone says. The man dabs at the corners of his eyes.
The woman watches him and thinks, "such beautiful blue eyes." Then she looks away from him and out to the veranda. She rises, crosses the room, opens the door to the outside.
A man stands on the veranda. He feels it is a pavilion, but it is not, though it is beautiful. People at the party look out and see a man at the outlook of a pavilion. They believe they are thinking of the view. The woman steps out and joins him. His cigarette responds to a breeze, his fingers hook lattice. She leans against him, light as a sheet. All the colors in the sky and sea are blue.