A love affair between a toy ballerina and a ghost. A fortune-teller who laughs at you instead of sharing what she sees on the bottom of your teacup. An old fisherman collecting objects he finds inside fish bellies. The characters that inhabit Clay Unbreakables are an odd bunch: they belong to a world of eerie fairy tales and half-forgotten memories, a world as fragile as a clay jar, but whose grip on imagination is enduring. And they all have stories to tell. The collection takes its readers on a merry-go-round of images, some nightmarish, yet others lyrical and pulsating with the determination of young love. Together, the vignettes speak about love and loss, displacement and belonging, and the power of memory to keep us going.
Home Remedies for the Lovesick
Gingerbread stars and a jar of milk in the deep grass by the river. I am keeping that night in my herbarium of dried souls. Without you there, I was a white stone basking in the roaring orchestra of colors until they hushed away, overcast by the indigo vertebrae of the night. A warm enchanted stone, white as the milk in the jar, as starlight on the skin of water. Had you kissed me, the warmth would have stayed on your lips, the gingerbread spice melting against your palate. Had you kissed me, the river would have stirred and startled the dragonflies slumbering in the bulrush. But something had held you back, and I watched the darkness tarry around in narrowing circles, then grow shy and numb, then surrender. I walked away with a needle in my heart, brimming over with prickly light, diluted smells of ground wet before the dawn, the river folk murmur and rattle.
Natalia Andrievskikh is Language Lecturer in the Expository Writing Program. She holds an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Andrievskikh’s research interests include contemporary British and Anglophone literature, digital writing and visual rhetoric, and media and culture studies. In her creative work she explores the role of myth-making in construction and preservation of memory.
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