​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

c.a. cole



Marquetry Love: Including Instructions on Construction


To make a picture using slices of veneer, one needs a template. Even with a predetermined pattern, individuality can be expressed through a creative selection of wood. Not only the species—butternut, mahogany, ziricote, bubinga—but its grain can influence the aesthetics of the final product and its stability. In a simple pattern, like a leaf, it is best to have the grain represent veins in the greenery to approximate reality.

Marquetry reminds her of her current relationships, one of her lovers covered with tattoos—blue and yellow parrots, a black whorl, a cardinal, and intertwined hieroglyphics in red and cerulean. His dark hair, pulled back in a ponytail, brushes against the Indian motorcycle that spans his shoulder blades. He is a slab of burled ash, hard with showy grain, which doesn’t splinter with each stroke of her blade. Her other man, the lithe blond, is flexible, like the veneer from which she saws rose petals. She is the substrate, the tape in the middle. The one no one needs except to make each piece fit. 

Someone once told her that drummers, men pounding on birch instruments, make the best lovers. She remembers that, lying with her tattooed man along the riverbank, under the Prairie Fire Crabapple and Dancing Pears, pink and white petals drifting on their naked skin, landing on the astrological bull on his forearm. 

To give a picture more depth, the wood can be burnt in hot sand; each piece roasted umber or held in the heat until it chars.

 In marquetry, one stops when the purpleheart and bubinga have created a world. 






C.A. Cole writes in Colorado and is looking for a writing event to attend. Work has recently appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, NonBinary Review, and Blotterature.