Oliver de la Paz
The boy in the labyrinth pours water on his shirt. He lifts the damp end over his face. His eyes, the only thing to be seen. He watches, walking backwards. The smoke turning on its belly, inching forward. Still, there are interruptions in the smoke's movement. Staggers. Little curls of time-lapse air. The intensity of the fire, an object, palpable in its manifestation. The iris in the boy's uncovered eyes trap the image of fire in a fixed and unspeakable repetition with each blink. As if the scene were on cellulose, each cinematic arc caught between the golden lines of eyelashes. The frame around it. The limits of it between the rift or the glimpse.
The boy in the labyrinth practices his kiss. He puts his palm to his mouth and lets his lips brush the tiny lines crossing this way and that. Something slings its weight from side to side and the boy stops. Doors swing their keyholes out as if to look. As if the swing of a door is a kind of hopefulness. As if the space once closed by doors presents the boy with a new overture. A movement towards love. Grimed, beyond the reach of his self-kissing, the boy wonders if the beast presses his face in his hands. Whether his palms are all rocket and flare. Moist from the beast's breath. Meanwhile the kiss in the boy's hand is noticeably hot. It is like a key pressed to his palm for the longest of times.
I started working on the Labyrinth poems after watching David Lynch's film, Inland Empire. I had been rereading the Theseus myth and had imagined Theseus losing his mind inside the Labyrinth.