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Creative Writing Exercise, Part 1

A Hemingway scene1 written in the style of Borges:

I noticed the labyrinth of trees on my left, it appeared as a mysterious maze. I watched as the infinite trees erased the endless fields, and marveled at the ancient, unearthed bonsai tree. I imagined the raging storm that had ripped it from the ground, forcing it back into the bamboo grove. I thought about how its roots were now swirling with dirt, each tiny rock a microcosm of solar systems, as conceived by Hung Pham Lu, the great astronomer. I stared blankly as my mind wandered, transforming the multitude of solar systems into kingdoms of timeless universes, while the sinuous grasses transcended and unified each galaxy among the shifting river platform of elemental earth. I meditated on the river and how it exposed the tangled branches of the disintegrating bonsai tree. Lost in myself, I pondered the flowing currents, like time, slowly enveloping the transient riverbed. Fully absorbed in the moment, I left my physical body and flew down into the provinces of sand and stones below. At one with the illustrious stream, I embraced the chaotic mass of bonsai roots and evaporated as silent leaves drifted past.

1 Scene adapted from Earnest Hemingway’s In Our Time / Big Two-Hearted River, first published in 1925.

Jeff Starr
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