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Joran C.A. Monteiro
Joran C.A. Monteiro is a Dutch-born writer currently living in Melbourne. He writes poetry and fiction. He is studying to be a librarian.

His writing has appeared in Blue Crow Magazine #2, Verity La, Queen Vic Knives and has been exhibited at Penthouse Mouse '09 and '10.

He is currently working on his first novel.

You can find Joran at:
Blues Fiction with his writing and reviews
Syphilis of the Brain with news on one-man bands, offbeat art, and whatever else strays onto his path -

Published in The Diamond & the Thief - December 10

winter glass
by Joran C.A. Monteiro

      I

tears of glass running the cheeks
the hell bent forming of frown, despair
a rutted road in the heart
thick mud churned and thrown upward
clods of dreams hitting puddles with
       splashes sounding like bells
hooves black as night thunder past
throw him back in the wet nettles in the shoulder of the road
a curse uttered softly
       useless and meant
skeleton-clung jeans soaked
he drags himself up
   dreams stare at him silently
       accusing eyes, beads of moisture
young feet take big steps
         trying to match
          the hooves' tread
burning nettle-stung hand wiped
   against the nettle-wet thigh
red pin-prick welts sitting high on his cold white skin
     eventually ignoring the nuisance
     he pushes his fists deep in his pocket
the wind wipes hair from the eyes
 glowing black coals in the white daylight
 the forest whispers to him
 words of family, loss, friendship
 looming trees leaning over
 kissing his cheek
 snagging his feet
the smell of rot
turf and peat

there are bodies in there
 hidden
 a thousand years old
when the wind is right he can hear them
begging, chanting, mushroom vision-rich
                nose in the mulch
     a knife to the throat
     the weakest of smiles
     the fading of blue
     then red murk, cold sleep
     claw-like hands palsied in the mire
 songs of death
as light dies
he swats off the leaning trees
his palm held sky-ward open to receive
  to see a bead of rain hit and erupt in a rainbow
       the first colour he has seen in days
       a drop from his cheek into his open hand
       mingles with the prism
       then grey
       white clouds reflect minutely
       a dead sun winks
         then is gone
         darkness

the coat is thick
a second skin
a carried home
he drowns in the size of it
and the smell of his father in the collar
grease and musk
black stains on the sleeves
   food and death
the matted sheep skin lining
drawn close to his ribs
his knees hugged close to his chest
   moss is growing on him
   the luminescent green the only light he sees
he has never seen stars
nor a moon
   shallow breaths
   hooves again
   distant
     a tree collapses
     the wind of rushing needles
empty sleeves
hands tucked under his drawn knees
snow falls
   blankets the world
he can hear his bones creak when he stands
   clodding through the snow
   a song on the wind
   the wet earth swallows him whole
         the final tear rolls along the collar of his skin
         pauses
         falls in the snow
turns to glass

     II

rising out of blackness
death-streaked eyes
gasping for air
a claw punched into freedom
a sucking
then release
feet on firm land
       he wipes his hand across his soul
       empties thoughts onto the world
   stars wink at him
   celestial bodies
       already dead
       the past as visible
as the moment
patting down his jeans
the giant coat
mud falls back
out and away
merging back into earth
he can hear his name
in the final bubble spiralling upward from the mire
       gas carries on the wind
       then a voice
                  again
       soft and appealing
       asking for him
       drawing him in
       he has dreamt of this
       he has lived toward this