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"The Distortions Of Great Writers Made Labyrinths For Us" by Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

“ when you ask a dream to give you more light...”

~David Allen Sullivan

Borges put us in time's labyrinths, spoke to

us about the immortals and histories

of infamy. Today, we should ask, what have

we become, what have we made of ourselves?

We surrender our dreams, ask for more light

in the darkness parading inside. I wake up

some mornings, observing how dead I am and

have been, chasing all evidence of untamed

ceaselessness. Infinity. It's built on light.

You only know it's there when your soul

blocks its path, throws a shadow. But is it yours?

Out there, do they see us as cephalopods,

as curious suspicions fighting good with

folly and plunder? I am charged with belief,

with admiration for some great character

to come unseen, sparking between the lines of

newspaper ink and ballets of truth swollen

on TV on streaming media in full

doses. Something may happen. I won't look to

Congress for that. I dream of light, a safe country,

we-ness working here. The animals are hushed

listening to us. They are more interesting,

so we bring them closer for common sense, love.

We deconstruct the fragment, take ourselves so

close to ruin's edge for a quick selfie, ask

AI to explain it. The distortions of

great writers made labyrinths for us. My quit

reality's still searching for a way out.

Twice Pushcart nominated, Ignatius Valentine Aloysius earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and is the author of the novel Fishhead. Republic of Want (Tortoise Books). His poetry and prose appear in or are forthcoming in Tofu Ink Arts Press, Trampset, Cold Mountain Review, and the Coalition for Digital Narratives. He is host of Sunday Salon Chicago and lives in Evanston, IL.

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