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oru. kami

Written by BH.

Posted here with the greatest of pleasure.


In this utter silence I unfold my sheet of paper like a wound. The words stagger across it like hurried sutures. I leave them to bleed and seep. I lay down my pen.

In ancient China documents were written on bone or bamboo, and sometimes – expensively – on silk. My sutures are bone deep, they poke like bamboo; I have no silk.

I need to fold myself into myself.

I fold myself into myself.

I fold once, exactly, and two sides are four. I fold twice, exactly, and four sides are eight, corners and edges exact.


Folding like falling.

The folding of paper. Origami: the ancient Japanese art. ‘Oru’ meaning to fold and ‘Kami’ meaning paper.

I was told as a child that it is impossible to fold a sheet of paper more than seven times. It seemed an easy thing to prove wrong.

Now I hold a wadded bandage. It could staunch or blot, perhaps. But this is a dead end.

Was I dipped slowly into etchant for only this, enwrought with new lines as I now am? Freshly drawn, ley line loud?

I will be filled with ink; and I will hold in my hand not this ugly compress, but a stellated dodecahedron.

Seven more than seven doubled and tripled and interleaved: 20 vertices, 30 edges, 12 faces. One of the five Platonic solids and associated with the fifth element, known in ancient Greece and India as aether, and also the quintessence or universe. Used, said Plato, mysteriously, for arranging the heaven’s constellations.

My sheet of paper like a wound, like sanctuary, like the universe: filling with black ink and interpierced with stars.

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