The March

Artwork: Original painting by Angela Del Vecchio*

Click the “play arrow” on the audio bar below to listen to the track.

 

One note on The March:

Kim and I aren’t overtly political in our tracks, but we were inspired by this year’s protests and marches, particularly the Women’s March on Washington. Kim sent me a track she’d made, and we had the idea to do something a little different – we wanted to include other writers who were similarly motivated. The result was a collaborative story with Tara CampbellHolly KarapetkovaMeg Opperman, and Amber Sparks. The impetus behind the track ended up changing as we worked on it, and it turned into a story about a group of people walking through a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C.

Which, hopefully, won’t be apt someday.

The March will also be included in the CD accompaniment for the next issue of Gargoyle Magazine. We’ll update this site when ordering information is available.

Much love and thanks to Tara, Holly, Meg and Amber.

 

“The March”

featuring Holly Karapetkova, Tara Campbell, Meg Opperman and Amber Sparks

E.A. Aymar

I carried my child on my shoulders, my wife took my hand. We all walked at night, walked when the sun had slipped from sight, walked when it would be harder for the children to see what had happened. We left where our homes had been, walked to where the Capitol had been, decided to go where Virginia had been. Nothing was named anymore, except for us. Men had been eager to destroy their monuments.

Bodies were still on the bridge. We stepped over them. I remember when seeing the bodies was a surprise, back before we knew more dead than living, before the scavengers made it too dangerous to bury them. They kept us inside, the scavengers and the boiling sun. But we’d finally run out of supplies, our food and water and drugs were drained.

We decided to walk tonight because it rained. The water was warm poison, but our skin was cracking, and this was better than nothing. There were about a dozen of us, all who had left the same building, who decided to walk instead of accepting, to march instead of dying. My child sat over my knapsack, his chin pressed into my hat. We walked silently, wary of attack. We walked steadily, into the pitch-black.

We walked forward because in this world, there’s no going back.

Holly Karapetkova

there is no going back

we walk into the pitch-black

our skin cracked

the grass burnt beneath our feet

the sun scorches

the rain is poison

it falls across the bodies

sprawled in the streets

we walk where we cannot see

at night there are no shadows

nothing to catch, drag

a darkness with no bottom

how deep we have sunk

 

once pain was a papercut

once hunger a diet, a skipped dessert

once thirst was a river

the rivers are drying up

 

we tell the children stories as we walk

dead-eyed

something to break the silence:

the sun is a chariot

the sun is an egg of fire rising

the sun is an archer

is beaten with a jawbone

the sun is a god

who sees everything and does nothing

has abandoned us we

have been abandoned

 

we are hundreds and we walk

because we can’t go back

we walk and

something is building

something is breaking open

Tara Campbell

Can you hear it?

Something’s breaking.

Like a sky made of glass

With a million tiny cracks

crazing toward the horizon

Don’t you hear it?

 

Our grandmothers heard it

Tinkling like the twinkling of the stars

The splintering before the snap

That clap in the sky

When everything turned

And went hot and dry

 

Don’t you hear it?

Or is it just me?

 

The shards are shifting again

Creaking and grinding

They’re finding it harder

To hold back the fracture

the rupture, the rapture

The dashing apart

Of the world as we know it

Again

 

Can’t you hear it?

If we could just, for a minute,

Close our eyes in the heat

And concentrate on the beat

Of our feet

Every step a statement

Our bodies a movement

Our legs a rebellion

Together

 

Could we do it?

Could we break through to a new place,

Again?

 

Can’t you hear it?

Or is it just me?

 

Meg Opperman

My dad grips my hand as we join the mass of bodies, moving without purpose, without destiny, feet shuffling, but moving all the same.

My mom hoists my little brother high. He will never remember a time before. Before the destruction. Before the death. Before the dark. This is his world now. I guess it’s my world too. But I remember when the world was full of promise and hope. Of love and laughter.

I want it back.

Our feet strike the pavement, one step, then two. One foot in front of the other. Moving for the joy of it, the wind ruffling my hair, the night quiet except for the sound of our feet. Families and people that—in a different life—might have become friends, joining up until we’re a force to be reckoned with.

Bad men lurk in the shadows. I know this, have seen what they’ve done. But walking here and now I feel safe. We’ll make the shadows retreat.

A sudden buzz in the crowd, energy courses among us creating a chain that connects us. My father clasps my hand tighter and for the first time since before, I laugh. Our feet are moving together, the sound echoes in the dark under the stars.

We’re marching.

Amber Sparks

 There was hardly a sun, blistered egg, bloody dawn, but we

walked and we walked and we walked.

We saw gray sludge and semis turned over, burned out and

we walked and we walked and we walked.

We passed mountains still rising, trees still uprooting and we

walked and we walked and we walked.

And our skins hung like sacks and our palms bled and

burned and our bones scraped and hollowed and our

dreams when we dreamed were like knives or like hope

and the difference said some was no difference at all but our

bones… knew.

Our dreams…knew.

We eggshelled ourselves

Our children grew wings

Our skins slipped right off and our ribs cracked apart and the

flowers burst through and we hung round with vines or our

muscles were burst by our new fins and teeth and wild

nature was born and uprooted us all and we walked into

something

like trauma

like love

like forgiveness.

 

* Angela Del Vecchio is an artist based in Pennsylvania. She received a BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and her work has been exhibited at a number of shows and galleries throughout the east coast. She also designs a pretty bad-ass Noir at the Bar poster. For more information about her work, visit www.basementgraphics.com.