Ars Moriendi

The summer light calls Ulysses home—the endless myth, the perpetual voyage, the pale fire of loss in our time. The falling man, seeking redemption, is no more than white noise in a handful of dust, as the sun rises in a sanctuary of denial.

The desert shall be of thorns—or thornless—as the mind desires and the heart can bear. In the wasteland of solitude, twisted into self-loathing, is the bitter taste of discontent. In gravity’s black teeth, all illusions shatter against the crazed tides of fortune.

The weaver’s loom is broken, the dream abandoned. Hearts can break in cold or fire and never awaken. An embrace of thorns, blossoms, or silent, empty branches makes the journey possible, and the fear of insignificance brings a fierce hunger for atonement.

Ulysses looks homeward to find the soul of his existence. Unlike the sky, the journey requires a sense of completion—foretold endings, accepted judgments. The fear of insignificance brings a fierce hunger for atonement. Bones turn to ashes as the soul waits for release.

Christina Murphy lives and writes in a 100-year-old Arts and Crafts style house along the Ohio River. She continues to be amazed at how the Arts and Crafts movement—like the painter Piet Mondrian—found such artistic integrity (and solace) in straight lines and simple (yet complex) forms. Her fiction appears in a number of anthologies and journals including, most recently, ABJECTIVE, A cappella Zoo, PANK MagazineWord Riot, Fiction Collective, and LITnIMAGE. Her work has received two Editor’s Choice Awards and Special Mention for a Pushcart Prize.

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