from e

excerpts from e{m}ma+ the ghost orchids

by sean brijbasi

 from part 3 – THE GO BEGINNING


 freedom waves

People by the sea look free.  They sit in their sand freedom and play in their splashing water freedom. They lean back and give themselves to the sun freedom.  They bask in the wind freedom.  They run in the air freedom and fall onto the grass freedom.  They exult in the outwardness of their bodies freedom.

But the waves will have their way and the people will want them more—the collision of temperatures, body vs. anti-body, the dopamine release of becoming free that is missing from being free.

The shoelace on one of my shoes is untied but I don’t have a moment to stop.  I drift above the pavement that is stained by the blood of the unconvinced and the castaway chocolate sweets. The shoelace drags along the concrete and pops up and down as it collides with the pebbles on the thoroughfare and the detritus of unmindful pockets.

I think about the empty flower vase that is so empty but filled with so much power.

E. and I cuddle our life with our minds and our hearts. But we are like the detritus of unmindful pockets and the pebbles on the thoroughfare. We land where we are dropped and we go where we are kicked.



 I open the translucent envelope and look to its contents.  But in those contents I see only the common renderings of a life that I know is complex and fraught with uncommon renderings.  Too late did I realize that the envelope now drifting away from me in that eager wind that takes everything with it to sometimes unknown places, where sometimes I venture and sometimes not, were the real contents of your life, and that my chase of the envelope which will, according to the customs of the wind, become wet and afterwards too fragile to my touch to recover undamaged, will take me further away from you, during which time another reader, who understands the delicate nature and nuance of such envelopes, will read all that I should have read and seen all that I should have seen.

In the other life I am chasing and finding unknown places that capture my curiosity for brief moments and from which I must escape the disappointment of stumbling upon the meaningless.

In this life I think I’ve seen love as the following of a light that at night (alone) one fears.  To near sleep and to think or dream that I have walked the streets at last light and mixed happily among all of the people of humanity fills me with a feeling I can only describe as dread.




 Consider standing,

Of the trees I remember and will remember that in this life as in all other lives how I started my search (in the place and during the time in which I lived)—for another place and another time—at the bottom of some particular tree in the distance and then slowly looking up along its mighty (even if small) trunk until the land disappeared from my view and only the leaves and the sky behind them occupied the camera obscura of my plural oculus.

My gaze would linger there at the top of the tree where I would see the branches sway in the breeze until the feeling of freedom those branches conveyed became unbearable and my eyes moved slowly, as if falling in a more considerate gravity, down along the tree’s mighty (even if small) trunk until the land reappeared but a different land.

I wondered on my way up where I would find myself when my eyes made their way back down but it was always the same place and the same time from where my journey began.  Perhaps I fooled myself into being disappointed on my return but in spite of my quiet lament I knew that part of me was secretly relieved when I heard those familiar voices calling me back to where I belonged.

Standing still is gliding,




the note-like letter

 Dear Panther Lily,

I want the Ghost Orchid music in my chest. I want it to replace my heart and other organs. Each note, each beat pushing through my skin here on this alien body. Sometimes softly so as not to appear violent and sometimes with great violence. As we, the great Ghost Orchids, greater even than our violence, march with our blood into the future.

But we can’t keep the music from out there where everything we do is trapped in its vibrations and can only exist in between those always pulsating strings. All our words and gestures, even our most gentle, become transformed, and appear as performance in the spectacle of this new world.

We need a secret song—a secret piece of music—that we can keep to ourselves and take with us into the darkness and the silence, away from the spectacle, and let it do to us what it will and perhaps allow us to be our best selves for a moment that might seem longer than a moment but long enough to make us want to go on. You and I will always find a way. I wish you well as I have always wished you well. I love you as I have always loved you. I will not forget you.

For always,

Captain Tenderhooks

p.s. (wink)



he lives

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