Now Reading
In reply to M.G.S.T.’s “Howl”

In reply to M.G.S.T.’s “Howl”

She was a provincial girl –

no not the kind of provincial girl you think

with jewels and queendom and kings

and what-have-you from the well-to-do manors and castles –

No, to see her, you have to look harder

between the bushes and the rattling shelters 

made up of leftover dinners and broken dishes and lonely dreamers.

You see, she never gets anything better to do

than to lose herself in dreams and in you.

She came to your country purely by chance –

a chance many deem hard to come by and many envy with vice between their teeth.

She graduated from the top schools – top of her class

only to see her degrees burned to ashes when the winter comes 

and she needs fire to kindle her wisdom.

She thought a bookshelf full of dead men – and sometimes living ones – will make her a better person;

but all she gets from the old texts is the reason to refute living.

And you ask her to let you hear she howl.

She, who talks about Nietzsche like a bad writer with great philosophies – 

great in their emptiness and great in their follies.

She, who talks about Hemingway and the machismo and the masochism in his writing

while you stand there thinking, she uses those two words right in one sentence.

She, who is always the uninvited, the unloved, the unchosen, the betrayed –

in a way, you can say she eats so many leftover dinners that she slowly becomes one –

everybody sees the leftover dinners but nobody wants them.

And yet you ask her to howl.

Did you know she lost her voice a long time ago

on a desert far, far away?

Did you know the only reason she stays 

is to find a reason to love life –

to love living enough to wake up another day,

to love the livings enough so she won’t despise herself,

to simply be so she won’t have to consider the question of “not to be.”

Did you know she choke herself awake

and in her tremulous death she finds the phantom of living so much more endurable.

Did you know in her world, there are only two types of people –

the ones who used her and the ones who abandoned her –

and she despises herself enough to love them all.

She doesn’t want to go to Heaven because she wants to fall

into the arms of the lost and the unchosen. After all, what does she have to lose

but this only shoe? Unlike Cinderella, she doesn’t want the other

because the universe only makes one of her.

You ask to hear her howl, monsieur, and let me tell you, don’t bother.

Her silence shakes the whole forest and her eyes burn the night ablaze with fever –

she is a dreamer and you only encounter once in a lifetime on a blue moon.

And when you see her again, perhaps later, perhaps soon,

Ask her to howl, and she will say unto you –

I forgive thee, for thine pains and sufferings;

live thine life on earth, and come unto me only in dreaming,

for thou know not the love of the ever-giving

and thou know not of the howling of the ever-loving.

And there you have it, the provincial girl

who had traveled across deserts and oceans 

thinking she would howl for you, but she has fallen.

Seek her in the creek of the mountains, 

hear her voice in the whispers of the sun,

and if you want to hear her howl,

seek it within you, because all along, her existence

has always been you.


If you liked this story and would like to help more writers like this publish their work, please consider supporting our writers and artists by becoming a member HERE.

Copyright © 2024 the archipelago. The material on this site may not be used elsewhere without written permission. For reprint enquiries, contact us