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Fragment I / K Hank Jost

[…] and so it was such that in those days the living world would hush as the harvest came to close. Though no longer, the people being mostly of the Cities, did the harvest much concern them. The rites [they practiced] were to remember a time ancienter to them than their time to ours. And the men would stand to say:


'In proportion to that which has been

drawn out from the ground


by the forces of the sky

and cut by our hands, we give


a portion of each lot to each other,

as the world has allowed unto us.'


And they were, most of them, men and women of the Cities.

And among them were two men of the City, each a brother of the other, and they said to their brother in during the exchange of alms under the shortening days, ‘I give this to you of what I have, in proportion to what I have.’

And the one brother gave more because he was in possession of very much. And the other brother gave less as he was in possession of very little.

It was so that the brother giving more [having received the portion given by his brother] said unto his brother, ‘But brother, you have given me too much.’

Now, [this brother was called Kef] as he was a good man though his home was in disorder. From him there were two children though they knew him little. The names of the children were Kef and Anj, which means honey-eyed, for they were children born of love in Cities.

As the man Kef was young and coming to know his wife and they were the two of them spending each moment together it came to be that, Listen, he sang these verses:


‘Though empty I have come,

                        you have filled me [greatly.]


            Though in pieces I’ve been made,

                        you have bound me back again,


            with sinew and twine and knuckle.

                        With kisses and tears [give thanks]


            to the Time that is now

                        in the knowledge of what has been.’


And they were the two of them, Kef and his wife, all very in love. We know of her great feelings for her husband by writing in her words passed down by her children. And they were the two of them thinking how full they were in each other spending each moment together. Kef and his wife were coming to know each other and forgetting every moment that once they had felt as though they were empty.

But each was in possession of a certain object in their soul and that is why they came so quickly to be husband and wife of each other. They were [holding inside] the hollow of themselves an image as like an idol of mud or of clay.

And it was so that Kef, possessing very little and giving the less, said to his brother, ‘Brother, I have given only to you in proportion of what I have come to possess, it is neither too much nor to little even though I am in possession of very much less than you.’

And it was so that Kef said to his brother, ‘Brother, it is you who has given too much. For it ought to be that we receive only in proportion to what we have. The days are growing shorter, and there is no more harvest to be gathered.’

Kef’s brother then said to his brother Kef these words and thus it was settled:


‘In proportion to that which has been

drawn out from the ground


by the forces of the sky

and cut by our hands, we give


a portion of each lot to each other,

as the world has allowed unto us.’


Kef was made humble [and tearful] and he wept then in the presence of his brother. And though they were men of the City they were brothers before all else and the days grew shorter and Kef was filled for having a portion of his brother’s share and his brother was filled for have a portion of his brother Kef’s share.

And it was [also] such in those days in the living world that the children of the men and women of the Cities were sent off and made to […]


K HANK JOST is a writer of fiction, poet, and editor born in Texas and raised in Georgia. He is the author of the novel-in-stories Deselections, the novel MadStone, and is editor-in-chief of the literary quarterly A Common Well Journal--produced and published by Whiskey Tit Books. His fiction and poetry have been recently featured in Vol.1 Brooklyn and The Burning Palace, with new fiction forthcoming in Hobart. He is currently seeking representation for his newest novel, Aquarium, while he works on his fourth book. He has led fiction workshops at the Brooklyn Center for Theatre Research and writes event reviews for the New Haven Independent. Residing in Brooklyn with his partner, he reads as much as he can, writes as much as he can, and works as much as he must. 



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