Saturday, October 03, 2015

Excerpt: Days of Indian Maize


Gutts, J. (1974). Days of indian maize. Heritageville: Orville (out of print).
Beyond the long schoolroom windows, lively colours swirl and rustle under the contrast of a diffuse grey sky. The ochre, copper and crimson leaves stipple the yards and fields of Sheffield during the waning days of harvest. Students chomp at the remaining seconds till freedom.
  The schoolhouse lets out this Stratum II afternoon as the furley youngsters eagerly make their way home in keen anticipation of the Hallow’s Eve rituals. The sooty tang of burning wood drifts through the brisk air, complemented by the faint, earthy aroma of decaying vegetation.
  There is the homestead, with the bistre chimney standing against the dingy sky. Smoke rises languidly — a sign of a smouldering hearth-fire within — perhaps the first of the season.
  Several ears of Indian maize are tacked up on a post on the verandah. Their dried tassels and husks twitch in the slight breeze...

A ripple in the ether.
What sorcery is this?
Past and future strata pancake upon the substrate, as simultaneous Hallow’s Eves play out in an unravelling multiple exposure of archetypal figures--

...From the past: Clown... Kong... Hobo...
...To the present:
The Indian maize manifests Mandaamin, ushering the papier-maché-haired, egg-eyed Polyphemus out the homestead’s door in his cavorting quest for treats...
...To the future:
Hero/Anti-Hero... Hyde... Ghost...

The lenchasqueem totem brings together display-mode echoes of self, shadow and anima manifestations from across the strata. And still the pungency of toasty smoke hangs in the night air with the whispering of dry leaves scattering underfoot...