The Sway of Trains in Wigleaf Top 50.
“In the bed at night…” Night thoughts. When we review the day, the days, our days–when we are alone, existentially alone, as in no one on the earth can think my night thoughts, but me. That blue space, sidled up and unscrolling. Interstitial. Something about night thoughts, some enriched air of the mind, maybe because we are finally, finally silent? And isn’t sleep a taste, a sample of death? So before we enter the arms of Morpheus, maybe these thoughts as best, as authentic, as actually crackling real.
“In the bed at night…”
A flash of tone and mood. The author seems to feel what we feel here, the serious carefulness of each word (reminds me of “Night” by Brett Lott, a haunting story, but always cold, hushed, quiet…). Copeland’s work here whispers along, “moving,” “looking,” “…through the long hollow.”
Form=Function. A text of reflection, and what is reflection? What are thoughts, that moment. Floating. Drifting. Synapses crackling, a quiet sizzle. An echo. A wave off a wave. A spin and angle. Reflection. Thought and mirror, mirror and thought…
What amazes me here are the transitions. “Bed at night” to “conversations” to “in the living rooms” to “the bay and the ducks” to a bed, an intimacy, and “Your hands fold under my pillow.”
This piece actually flows, spirals and eddies, like thought, consciousness, a tributary to tributary to the cognitive sea.
And what moves me in this flash fiction (and many others) are the spaces. I get to fill them in. Here we get the form of thought, the brush strokes of juxtaposition, the way our mind “works,” the way we, as reader, are allowed to work. That’s what I want from flash (and from poetry), to add my thoughts to the spaces, to read off the page, to join the writer in rounding out the form.
People who don’t “get” flash make one of their errors here. They see the short story form as more complete. Maybe. But some readers desire the undone, the stitch, the dim and clear/clear and dim flickering, the starlit, the stars, all the space/spaces in-between.
I believe there is a war against the imagination. Flash fights for the good guys. It says, “Add your part to the page, actively.”
It says Join.
Copeland gives us tone and mood. Objects and image. But for story, there is one, many–like a painting, or the shape of a certain cloud–and then the one you name, and write yourself.
I had a dream last night….