ISSN 1545-2859




               T. BIRCH


Gospel of _____________, Scroll II, Fragment 2.e
Translator: Mark S. (3-5-97)

10. And the Teacher spoke to them saying: Why do you seek outside the door of the temple for that which is inside its walls? Know that what is not seen is not before you, and what you seek is visible to all who will open their eyes.

11. And his disciples looked to each other and said among themselves: What can he mean by such words? Is he not the one promised by the scriptures as we ourselves have said?

12. But the Teacher, knowing the confusion and doubt in their hearts, said: Truly all things will be revealed to you as I have promised. You must cease to search for what can never be known, and come to the quiet of the night as a child in the arms of his mother waits for comfort in sleep. For as you call upon the Father so shall I call upon you, and my prayers will be answered and you shall awake to know all things as they are in the open light of day and thus be satisfied.


Journal entry, June 2, 1999 (Matthew B.)

Story idea -

He watched her stretch at the bar. Her feet were long and narrow, far longer than was normal in a dancer of her stature. The leg which she'd lifted bowed slightly inward so that her toes pointed to the mirror and covered the reflection of her face. Hair drawn back in a ponytail with a short piece of red fabric (silk?), she reached hands past her toes. Her hips are too wide, he thought. He imagined her for a moment in his bed, her head turned from him as it was now, her legs split wide and open, inviting him in with the arch of her back. Then she took her leg down, and he turned away, not wanting her to catch a glimpse of what he'd seen.

This is based on a girl I saw at my tai chi class. I imagined her as a dancer because of how long her legs and arms are. I always stand behind her, two rows back. I wanted to write a story about her, but this is all I have for now. I don't know if I want the guy in the story to fall in love with her yet or not. But he will be obsessed with her, I think. I have to find some angle to put them together, to add conflict. Maybe he is her stepbrother? Something. Time for a beer. Mike better not have drunk the last two in the fridge. (*wicked laugh*)


Song (or poem) written by Marya L. in January, 1998

Who can say where the road will go?
I never know, I never know -
but it isn't the same road as yours will be.

And who can say if night is stronger than day,
if love lasts or dies,
if you will love me in some other life?

I sing my prayers for you to be
as lost upon your road
as I am lost in you, as I am lost to you.

Here, take my cross, its silver and gold
from this chain around my neck,
take it and know that women weep

not for anything you take away,
and not for a life without your love
but only for the road they travel on

and what a day it is to walk its path
to place one foot, and then the next
walking step by step, away


Gospel of _____________, Scroll I, Fragment 1.g
Translator: Mark S. (7-26-97)

19. And as they came the high hills of that place, his disciples were afraid and tried to dissuade him from going further on the road. They said to him: There are bandits here, master, and it is not safe for us to travel in the night. Surely they will set upon us and take what little we have, even our robes, leaving us naked in the wilderness. Please Master, let us go to an inn and continue our journey in the morning.

20. And they feared he would rebuke them, and so bowed their heads, and lay upon the ground at his feet and prostrated themselves.

21. But he saw their fear and said: Do you not love me? In your company I will be safe. For you walk with the Father, and I walk with you and will not fear the night so long as you are with me.


Journal entry, June 17, 1999 (Matthew B.)

We spoke tonight for the first time. She was outside a bar, crying. I didn't know her at first, just stopped to ask if she was all right, needed someone to call her a cab. When she looked up, she said: Do I know you? I could think of nothing to say except I've watched you dance. She smiled. Maybe she remembered me?

Do you want to get a cup of coffee?

I've decided to write this in the first person. Someone told me third person is too detached for a love story. So is this about love? I don't know yet. Maybe it's just about the sex. Maybe. If I ever figure out how to write a sex scene. If I ever get them past that cup of coffee.

The girl at the class wasn't there the other night. Did I ever say she has black hair? She's asian - maybe filopino? Someone told me she's over 30. Her nose is sort of squashed on her face, makes her look younger than she is. To be honest, when I masturbate now I see her face.


Poem written by Marya L. December, 1998

How can I keep from singing? The trees are angry
with the wind, and slap themselves with leaves,
trying to catch it. They are not the only ones
but my voice is too small to make a noise
not blown away beneath the racing clouds
which the dog no longer sees, though I see her
at night, stumbling over my visions of black -
her muzzle beautiful in sleep. Like a child
I lament, travel to the mountains where the trees
don't grow. Churches only color the light, but mountains color themselves & never in black,
not even under the field of stars which ink surrounds -
they keep their grays. They are not dogs.


Gospel of _____________, Scroll IV, Fragment 4.b
Translator: Mark S. (12-22-97)

44. And he stood upon the mountaintop, and the light of the Father shone upon him, and the angels appeared singing words of praise and glory. To his disciples he spoke thus: Though I go now to the Father, you are always in me, for it was you who called me forth and now you who sends me away. You are the source of all power and glory, on earth and in heaven. Shine your light upon me and be gracious unto me, for as I go now to the Father, even so shall I dwell in your temples and worship you.

45. And his disciples were amazed at all that he spoke to them that day, and wondered at it.

46. But when he was done teaching to them, he said: It is time. Let me go with your blessing, I beseech you, and grant me your peace. And when they looked up he was gone, and the angels no longer sang his praises, and the sky filled their eyes with its emptiness. And they departed from that place and did not speak to one another of what they had seen and heard, but kept it in their hearts.


Journal entry, June 30, 1999 (Matthew B.)

I finished the story last night, but then I threw it out. This is the 4th time now I've done that. I can't concentrate on it, can't concentrate on anything. All I do is see her face, staring out at me. Who can write like this? Jesus.

The news says they've arrested a suspect. Some ex-boyfriend. In the video he looks like a bouncer or something, just fucking huge. Jesus, but I can't get her out of my head. I need a drink. Or maybe Mike still has some weed left he'd let me have. Fucking Christ. I never even talked to her.

Poem written by Marya L., undated (found on her home computer's screen, June 26, 1999)

there's a god in the small places i've been.
she watches me, her face showing lines
of grief and joy

for what could be, what is now, what never was.
i take love from her when I drink wine,
when my songs are sung in darkened rooms

when I drive all night upset at rain,
when i play with my niece upon the floor

among dust balls and the toys of little girls.
in her smile i see myself. i know that i am
innocent to her. a god of all

the smallest things a child can know,
can love, can ever cry about.

Copyright © 2004 t. birch. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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