your love life as told by book review outlets Two Pieces by Michael Prihoda

your love life as told by book review outlets

“…a tour de force; each page pushes the boundaries of what love can do.” – New York Times Review of Books

“The most stunning thing to happen in love this year!” – Publishers Weekly

“More like 50 shades of NO WAY!” – Village Voice

“…bitingly visceral, savagely funny in the vein of Anais Nin’s journals.” – Los Angeles Review of Books

“Like watching a lobotomy: couldn’t take my eyes off any of its electric scenes.” – San Fransisco Book Review

“This century’s first landmark relationship, akin to Cleopatra and Marc Antony or Brad and Angelina.” – Daily Telegraph

“Elegiac, like a post-modern art installation with enough tremor to shake readers to their cores.” – Michiko Kakutani

“…an instant classic… patiently waiting for the first of infinite film adaptations.” – Dave Eggers

The Boy Who Lost His Owl

  1. The owl was older from the start. Yet the boy believed in forever. Realization and recognition take time for little boys. And one day, he saw his owl in not quite the way he had seen it before.
  1. Spartan, regal, elegant, somehow pervaded by the dignity of love kaleidoscopically bent exponentially away from him. The owl was rising and he was remaining. He had only the foggiest idea of what this meant.
  1. The little boy felt this archaism in his father too. His father brought news, as if from outer space. His father was another planet, but his owl that he carried in his arms, was like a personal Pluto. His planet forever. Orbiting. Orbiting.
  1. He loved his owl and the owl loved him back. And would always.
  1. He spent lots of time with the owl. Sometimes he left the room and the owl, being stuffed, flightless, contained by its personal warpings and manufactured strictures, couldn’t follow.
  1. Still, the owl smiled. It had to. It loved the boy, even when he wasn’t around to love it back.
  1. The years drained by. The boy got older and the owl too. The boy played with the owl less. Looked at it less. Held it less. Hugged it less. The owl slowly became less, growing tattered as age curled its fluffy exterior into something humans store in closets, basements, or entire buildings elsewhere established for taking in old things.
  1. Maybe the owl would go there too. The boy never completely forgot his owl though. Sometimes, some days, he would take it down off his dresser, hug it close, and whisper how he loved it. The owl didn’t hug back the way it used to. It could not.
  1. The owl and the boy got older still. They continued growing apart, diverging where sense would have said they should converge. Things proving they were never what should be.
  1. The boy went to school and occupied his brain with a thousand things, none of them the owl. The owl smiled less as the days went by. The owl felt more pain as the days went by. Because that is how things go for old owls.
  1. The boy’s parents never forgot the owl. In fact, they began paying more attention to it, prompting the boy to devote more time to his owl. But the boy loved baseball. He loved frogs. He loved running barefoot through tall grass. He loved the idea of zoos and pinned pictures of everything a zoo contained on his walls, except for owls. Owls didn’t live in zoos.
  1. The boy loved his owl but not in the same way. The owl would live forever and there were so many other things the boy could love that weren’t his owl. So many other things that moved faster and caught his attention more.
  1. He knew things didn’t last. He learned that from building block towers in younger years. But they lived until they didn’t. He couldn’t imagine what happened then. Then it was nothing.
  1. Another normal day. The boy woke up for school. He took the cereal from the cupboard and poured himself a bowl. He prepared to eat his favorite breakfast. His hands began pouring milk. His father said they needed to talk.
  1. “Your owl is gone, son.” “Where did it go?” the boy asked. “Somewhere you can’t follow.” He had never seen his father’s eyes look this way. It scared the boy. The owl had partially been his father’s too. That is how owls worked. Older than everyone. A part of everyone.
  1. “Will my owl come back?” “No son. Your owl isn’t coming back.” His father grew tears and then the boy grew tears to parallel the pain in the room until everything fountained and burst. Over and over again. Trees of tears, roots the length and shape of his owl. His father’s owl. Their owl.
  1. The boy understood but did not. Regretted all the moments he could have spent with his owl but had not. He did not finish his cereal that morning. School felt gray and looked lonely. He did not have an owl anymore. He would never have an owl again.
  1. They put his owl in a box and he cried. They put his owl in the ground and he cried. Everybody cried but the boy only saw his own lake of tears and wished he had his owl back. This was loss, like a grocery store without a mother or helpful attendants who helped him find his mother. This was an empty room.
  1. The boy wondered if other kids had owls or had lost their owls and why people had owls in the first place if losing them proved inevitable. He had an owl. Now he didn’t. He couldn’t get another one. That was not how owls worked.
  1. Owls only flew in one direction. He knew that. He wished he did not know that. He wished for many things. Mostly his owl.
  1. The boy wanted to remember more than the last feeble time he had hugged his owl. But he could not. His owl was too wise and gone to let him remember anything else.
  1. The boy kept getting bigger and the way he thought of cereal kept getting smaller, like the pain his owl left when it flew away.

Michael Prihoda is a poet and artist living in the Midwest. He is founding editor of After the Pause and his work can be found in various journals in print and around the web. He loves llamas and the moments life makes him smile.