First Things First
Namely, what the hell was that last journal update about?
Well, a metric ton of snow came barreling the hell out of nowhere and buried everyone alive for a few days. Let me tell you, you don't know what cold is until you've had to go without heat and light for a few days. Everything appears to be going back to normal, slowly, but there are still a lot of people without power. I actually packed up and went to my parents place last night because I couldn't deal with another day with no electricity. Couldn't even play with my new toys on Christmas
That said, from the looks of things I'm back to normal, if behind on dA. I will probably get further behind because Pokemon Black/White 2, but I digress. Planning to see The Hobbit sometime next week with the movie gift card I got this year and spent last night watching Brave for the second time. I think it grew on me a little more the second viewing, but I still don't think it's Pixar's best.
As for other happenings, I got an e-mail from the school literary magazine and three of my pieces will be in there next year Digitigrade
, the revised version of The Watchmaker's Lover
, and my pride and joy Superimpose
. I'll just add that to the pile of Christmas presents and call it a day.
End of the Year
I'll skip all the sentimental nonsense that comes with these sorts of posts and get right to things; it's been a long year and I can recap most of it by filtering everything down to five points:5. ABBCCW
Those are my grades this year. One A, two B's, two C's and a Withdrawn for the Internship I had to drop. I've said it a few times, but this semester just killed me. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to pull everything through this year, and I'm pretty sure it was making me physically sick.
I was constantly behind in History of and English Language, right up until the very end. My final paper for Approaches to Lit. was a week overdue, but I did get it done (and wrote it all in second person and I'm way too proud of that). But more importantly than anything, I passed Algebra. And not just passed, but passed with a solid C. If you want to know how bad I am at math, I've actually lost count of how many times I've taken the class. At least five. (In my own defense, I've had to drop some of them for reasons beyond my control.) I don't know when they mail degrees, but I have one now. Associate's Degree in General Studies. That leaves me free to pursue what I really wanted; an English degree.4. Books
I read a lot this year. Not as much as I would have liked perhaps (just look at the book list on my profile), but not a bad accomplishment. I don't have a count, but here's some highlights:- Italo Calvino
Four books and I still really like this author. I'm sure my watchers are tired of hearing about him, but if I make even one person try him out, then I call that success. Invisible Cities continues to be highly recommended, especially if you're watching me for my writing because I've been trying to imitate his capacity for capturing amazing details. If you're out for something even stranger with a twisted plot, give If on a Winter's Night a Traveler a whirl. Or if you'd like to ease into his work, he has a book of short stories called Difficult Loves that I'm making my way through right now.- The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
I've written a full on review elsewhere
, but I adore Moriarty and pimp her stuff every chance I get. I've never read another author that captures teenage voices the way she does. The latest in the Ashbury series has definitely become one of my favorites for its many voices, twists, and quirkiness. It's the longest I've ever read from her, but also the one I read the fastest, which I think says a lot about its quality.- Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret
My introduction to the world of professionally published flash fiction, and it was a great introduction. Keret is the author I think I've been trying to be in a way – creative, varied shorts that don't have anything to do with each other but somehow all belong together in the same book. Whether it's a story about discovering a world where all your lies have come to life or a talking goldfish, this trip down the rabbit hole is one I'll enjoy coming back to, and I hope to find some more wonderlands as I find more books by the author.- Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
One of the classics, and I actually read it on my own time outside of class. Granted, it was on the recommendation of Dr. Minnick, but still; if you feel like reading a book of place, this is the one to go with. I have a feeling I read it a little too fast, because I feel like most of the stories had some deeper level that I just missed out on. I haven't gotten a chance to go back over the book and savor it a little more, but I plan to do just that soon. It's one of those books that somehow manages to be kind of boring, but utterly fascinating. It's very slice-of-life, melancholy and thoughtful and if anyone's read it I'd love to chat about it 3. deviantART
It's been a fairly eventful year around here for me. Another Daily Deviation, I started getting into the swing of holding interviews, and got interviewed myself quite a few times. Once
, and twice by =DrippingWords
; in the Saturday Spotlight
and in her own journal
. I've found myself in the Ladies of Lit. and been awarded four or five DLD's this year.
I got a little better at suggesting DD's as well - seven
pieces have been featured at my suggestion and I'm happy about that
I'm hoping to get even better at suggesting things next year. And while we're on DD's, if you haven't sent any suggestions to `NicBelroque
yet, fah upon you
And of course, I've made some friends this year, or at least kept up with old ones. I can't possibly list everybody, or go into detail, so here's a bunch of icons of people that kept popping up in my inbox in one way or another:
Apologies if anyone feels left out; just give a shout in the comments. There's no way I could mention everyone on my own 2. Video Games
Gaming has been fantastic for me this year. Fan-freaking-tastic.9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
I love this game. I've raved about it in the past, but I just can't get over how well done it was. Playing the sequel is one of the only reasons I want to get a 3DS. I've never played another game that wound me up as much as this one did. If you like mind screwy plots at all, this game is calling your name. It's a lot of reading, but it's absolutely worth it. Six endings means high replay value and all the various plot points – the kidnapping, the Titanic, glycerin crystallization, mummy curses, morphic resonance, alternate dimensions – will keep you guessing the whole way through.Hotel Dusk
My second visual novel. It took me a little while to really get into it, but when I did it was wonderful. It's a very film noir romp around a single night in the eponymous hotel. The whole thing is done in pencil sketchy style that gives the game a very distinctive look. I love that everyone has a story and they're all connected in one way or another. The real fun of the game is guessing at the connections once you start to realize that each person has a link to at least one other person in the hotel the night you're staying there. Like with 999, watching everything come together is extremely satisfying.Professor Layton
The whole series. Puzzle games apparently won the year for me. You'd think this series would get old as it's more or less the same formula each time, but it really doesn't. The aesthetic of the games is just so warm and charming and comforting. The plot usually manages to surprise me at least once and there's always at least one spectacular cutscene, usually towards the climax. It's a series I can always come back to when I'm bored, thanks to the extra features that provide more puzzles long after the game is over.Journey
If I had to pick a favorite game of the year, this is it. This is a game that I've been waiting for, even if I didn't know precisely what it was I wanted. I've been waiting for an art game that would reach a wider audience and really get the ball rolling on this "games as art" trend that's been building for the past few years. Braid was close, but I think it ended up being too cerebral to be a catalyst for something bigger. Journey was a very pure emotional experience – even when I didn't know what was going on, I understood the feeling they wanted to get across. And I understood it by the music, the lighting, all the smaller things that make up the whole. It taps into something; it takes generations of stories and filters them down to the essentials and it's an all-around gorgeous experience. I honestly can't think of anything to criticize about it.1. I know you're tired of hearing about it.
SuperimposeHe doesn't look like a gymnast. He's all button down shirts and frazzled grey hair framing wire spectacles, a picture perfect professorial archetype down to the very tips of his frayed shoelaces. But he was a gymnast once, or so he tells us, and I believe him because he smiles like he knows something while he's chatting before class.
It's strange to see that image superimposed over the current one the distinguished professor in pressed khaki slacks and a jacket, worn brown loafers exuding a faintly courteous manner (you can always tell them by their shoes), and a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand versus the athletic kid who went to college for a semester and grew nine inches too tall to keep doing what he loved so he took up a tennis racquet instead. Gymnasts don't wear suit jackets; no steel mill worker has such manicured nails. But the images are all there, flickering just under the surface and bubbling up again when he's recounting stories about his days in Pi
I'm not talking about the DD – I'm talking about the person I wrote it for.
I know I talk about Dr. Minnick a lot, but he's had such an impact on my life that there's no way I couldn't not talk about him. He was a wonderful friend during a semester when I really needed one very badly, and I'm not sure I would have done as well as I did this year if he hadn't been there to keep me grounded. He's an amazing teacher and I feel like I've learned a lot from him over the course of the year, both inside and outside the classroom. I almost wish I had stuck with Education as a career path, just because he's the exact sort of person I always wanted to be.
You can't really quantify the effect somebody had on your life. I often wonder if I've really been able to explain how much it means that he thinks I'm worthy the time and attention he's spent on me.
100 Pieces of Literature
Pretty self-explanatory; 100 thumbs from 100 authors, all written (or at least posted) in the year 2012. I know I've missed people; I know I could never chronicle every little piece of awesome, but here's a pretty good shot. I've done my best to avoid repeats, but if you see an author on here twice, just let me know and I'll replace one of the pieces with someone else.
PlowIt's finally snowing again,
blankets of peace falling
with a freshness that lacks innocence.
Nearly forgotten, they're here as expected,
clearing the streets,
trying to push aside all the worry
that makes things unsafe, but
the steel mouth askew grates against my heart;
its thick bass scrape pushing more than piles of white aside,
it pushes my blood aside too,
piling it up in the corner of this pumping vessel that falters,
ice-caked and bitten, stiffened,
and keeps faltering,
until the air is silent
and the street no longer shivers in torture.
The only evidence is the blanket of white
that keeps falling,
like fluffy stuffing that's been yanked out.
All is silent,
except the fond memories that peel away
from my heart in little shreds,
and the plows, scraping fresh wounds again.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
etch-a-sketchhe wrote his suicide note on an etch-a-sketch board.
elmo-red frame, golden paint drawing out the classy cursive logo, white bottle-cap knobs, and a fake digital screen.
a child's dream.
it took him six hours to revisit his childhood for the last time.
[it didn't take that long because he didn't know what to say, but because he wanted to finally do something right.]
he carefully turned each knob, forming darkened pixels into letters, letters into words, and words into spider-silk-thin sentences that would rip and fade, just as spider webs did.
his words faded a bit when you accidentally knocked it off his dresser so you could take it to the funeral.
faded a bit when you went over that speed bump on the road and the little board bounced around a bit in the car.
faded a bit when you walked over to his open casket and dropped it next to his mortician-treated body.
faded a bit when the mini-crane dropped the casket into the grave just a moment too early, and so the death-box shook like a f
Yellow Brick FrontThe bakery at the end of the block had a yellow brick façade, so you could always pick it out as soon as you turned off the main drag onto the cross street, and it's what made the street famous. Between the rows and rows of look alike houses with slanted roofs and same-old red brick fronts, there stood the bakery like a golden gift wrapped box waiting to be opened.
It had everything you possibly could have imagined; the gooiest chocolate chip cookies, the sweetest pizzelles, and the fluffiest, richest bread. Half a block away you could smell you were coming up on it, and every Sunday the baker who owned it would bring his trays out to the sidewalk as long as the weather provided and share a few free sugar cookies and lemonade with anyone who passed by. Everyone in the neighborhood went there. They couldn't think of going anywhere else.
The baker himself was almost always behind the counter covered in flour with his big, calloused hands deep inside a pile of dough. He
Four-leaf cloversAs we grow up,
the chances of finding
a four-leaf clover
If I knew this as a child,
the ones I have found,
I would have kept hidden
between my breasts,
next to my heart.
If I knew it as a child,
I would have planted them
in my own little garden
and cared for them
like Little Prince for his rose.
If I knew it
as a child,
I would have searched
in some other place.
TeatimeIn January, Elsa got new neighbors. She greeted them with apple cinnamon tea.
It gets so cold, here, they told her, shivering in overstuffed parkas. Snow had turned to mud in their front hallan unavoidable side-effect of moving in winter. Elsa nodded along to their complaints and observations, silently brewing the tea in their kitchen. They were young; they had big plans. Allison and Steve, newlyweds, just starting out. They sat on the cold floor together, sipping with chapped lips. The house filled with cinnamon.
In April, Allison knocked on Elsa's door. We're pregnant! White tea in a china teacup; the taste of flower petals and champagne. The last caffeine for the next eight months. Elsa let her keep the cup.
In May, Steve bought a carseat and a crib. Elsa helped him carry it inside. Flat-packed, but heavy. Sturd
Sun on a Rainy dayHave you ever seen the sun rise on a rainy day? It would be a Sunday, and you would be blinking the sleep out of your eyes and stumbling down the stairs to go fetch the morning paper before it was soaked through and the soft rays of dawn would sneak around the clouds and make the day worthwhile. You would be chuckling sleepily as you shook the rain from your hair, victoriously wielding the paper above your head like a trophy as you plopped down in your favorite seat in the kitchen, right next to mine. You would be laughing with me, talking with me and stealing bacon off my plate like the child you were inside. I would be giggling, smacking your hand away. We would be blissful, peaceful in the soft drum of raindrops on the rooftop as sun beams filtered through to us, illuminating what would be a perfect morning.
If you were still here, you would be whispering you love me and I wouldn’t be whispering I miss you to a decorative blue vase permanently residin
WiresHumanity's relationship with wires fascinates me.
From birth to death, our whole lives are regulated by wires. An egg leaves the ovary and travels down the Fallopian tube, and this is the way we are made. The umbilicus connects us to our parent. Arteries and veins look very much like wires, and it is they that nourish our bodies with oxygen and blood. The most precious thing in our body, the central nervous system, is essentially a thick cord of wires running from our brain to our tailbone.
Eyes are attached to our brain by stems. Ears are hollow wires which run deep into our heads. Muscles are made of tubes of specialized cells. Intestines are essentially large ducts that move down to the sphincter, absorbing nutrients and arranging waste.
Once we have passed through the birth canal, wires sustain our existence. Wires bring us our electricity and water, power our machines, allow us to communicate with one another via fiber optics. A downed power line plunges us back into the dark ages
The Town WitchEvery town has its witch. At least I think they do. I know ours does. She isn't scary like stories say she should be. She has a face like my older sister's, the one who isn't married yet, with an eager smile and bright eyes. Her hands though are like my Momma's, calloused and stretched with small roots under the skin.
Her cottage is just outside of town with a small path that runs down to the sea. Her garden is full of overgrown plants that Momma would always "tut" at when we walked by, but it's full of herbs and flowers that she tends with care. She always smells like the honeysuckle that grows around her door and like baking. She bakes often, with her windows thrown open, her singing drifting through her garden all way to the road, the thick sills stacked with rows of cooling pastries. She always leaves batches of small, sweet buns on the outer edge where us children could easily reach. Not that she ever let on that she knew we were taking them. It was the great game amongst us, pret
The ProtestThe Protest
A Short Story
The television was always on in the background, but neither of them ever paid much attention to it, regarding it as mostly background noise. They were both on their laptops, chatting with their friends and each other, though they were only 4 feet apart. They could sit in this stupor for hours, only pausing to get food and occasionally text a friend on the go. Their mother worked long hours with the government and they hadn't seen their father in years so this routine was set in stone. When their mother would arrive home they would only give the shortest of greetings before attaching themselves back to their technology again, preferring to chat with her once she joined in online. They never went outside except for walking to school; they lived solely in their virtual world.
The day was like any other, with time fading from meaning as they vegetated, until she heard the word "rebellion" coming from the screen. She turned from the computer, slightly intrigued, an
SouvenirsWhen her mom went to check the mail at breakfast, she returned with a thin box in her arms.
It was a package from her father.
Her dad was sort of like a traveler... at least, that was what she assumed he was. His job always had him jumping from city to city, country to country. He'd been to almost everywhere around the world, and every few weeks, he would send her a letter with a little souvenir from his stay. This time, it was a miniature Eiffel Tower.
So he's in France again, she mused, studying the two-foot tall replica. A small chuckle escaped her lips. It was about time he remembered to get it for her! He really should've thought of buying it six visits ago. She opened the small envelope attached to package and read the letter inside with a fond smile. When she finished reading, she stood up and excused herself from the table. Her mom answered with a sad smile as she nodded.
She raced up the stairs and headed for the Gift Room. It was a special place in the house just for h
lessYour phone bills are smaller now,
with no long distance calls to make,
and your car insurance reduced to reflect lower mileage
and all those journeys not made, those roads not taken,
those lanes that you know like the back of your hand -
Left, right, straight ahead, right, right -
are no longer driven. You did not see the bluebells wake
and spring burst forth in the countryside,
did not see the snow on the fields, cold horses in their
quilted coats pawing, nibbling, pawing.
Christmas stamps still tucked in your wallet,
and fountain pens dried up next to watermarked
John Lewis writing paper
with no letters left to write.
Weekends stretch out, lunchbreak is a blank and you have more time
but you have less.
CharlieI had a stalker.
I didn't know his name but I'm sure he knew mine.
I called him Charlie.
He always had a camera hanging from his twig thick neck and he cradled it in his hands; a wispy finger stroking the shutter release. His dark brown hair was a curly mess and his shirts wrinkly and thin. He had the most perfect eyebrows, sweeping and gentle. He must have the most captivating eyes, I thought every time he'd glance my way. We'd never made eye contact. Charlie preferred it that way.
He came into the bookstore once a week, not to watch me leaf through the used books or reach high to shelve the approved ones, but to actually browse them. He read the unknowns; the virgins with their unbroken spines. I imagine he liked the smell of them aromas preserved for him alone. Charlie appreciated the books wearing dusty coats and factory perfume a decade old.
The rest of the time he spent on the outside looking in. My co-workers were tickled pink. "What a geek." "Poor guy doesn't realize you
the things they should have told ussee, no one really warns us about growing up.
they leave out things like heartbreak and gossip and broken people you could have saved but didn't.
it is this: the girl who holds her wrists and sits alone and tells me no child should ever grow up being afraid of someone who should love them. Her eyes are fierce, and something inside me is screaming but the clock ticks and the moment is past. i pretend i can't hear the pieces of her shatter as they hit the floor.
the next time we speak there are new shadows beneath her eyes and her shoulders hunch as if somehow she could fold into herself and disappear. maybe it would be better for us both if she did. but she doesn't. she can't and i can't and outside the sky is robins egg blue but inside a storm is brewing and the hallways smell of regret.
then, she is gone.
murmurs, rumors follow in her wake like dark ripples over stormy water.
she is gone, lost, taken, stolen, dead. in the halls, her name is whispered, softly, fervently, like a
Writing FairytalesI told him, "I think I'll write a book."
He said, "Do it right, November. Write a best-seller and send me a copy with your autograph on the inside cover."
"I can do better than that," I promised, our fingers intertwined for the last time, "I'll write the best damn book you've ever read. It'll tell the story of lost love and lost innocence, of found friends and staying out too late on a cold night, and the story of endings without closure. It'll be about boys and girls and break-ups and hook-ups and how everything happens in the backseat of cars."
"They'll interview you on television because everyone wants to know who inspired the story," he continued, "And you'll smirk like you always do because you know the answer but no one else has a clue."
I laughed, "Everyone will cry when they read my book, because it's the saddest story that's ever been told. Everyone will cry but you and I won't."
"We can't cry. It's your book, and I can't cry for you. You can't cry for yourself either, it's ba
you never knew.Every summer in Munich the rain used to fall in buckets tepid, luminescent rain, like crystal slices, sluicing through the green trees leaves and loosening the earth around the mountains so much that the smaller towns had to evacuate. It slicked the city streets and made the sky as gray as them. I went out every day while the adults sat indoors around fireplaces to complain about the wet weather, and lied and said it was only because I liked to watch. My mother would shake her finger every time I dripped warm rainwater into the house and my brother would warn me in whisper that if I stayed out too long, I could drown.
I only half-lied. I loved to watch, watch from under the loose flooring of the porch as the rain came down. But Sam loved the rain more, and that was part of why I loved to watch. Loved to watch him watch. As we got older, more and more he would venture out, and sit in the grass as the rain fell around him, his face turned to the white sky. Sam liked the peace and
aphroditeclambering lips tumble over each other like
little deer stumbling into the headlights, where
blushing cupid's bows snap shut at the slightest
whisper of a touch; as summer's broken blossom
whistles into moss, suicidal and free-falling at a
twist of the wind, dripping through honeyed-hands and
trickling down wrists. words nuzzle breath, the air
staved of acoustics that choreograph faces closer; watching as
quivering eyes thrust new-born hope, where
restless hearts knock beneath a web of ribs,
screaming silently as bodies are poured into the
stitches of aphrodite's venomo(us) fly-trap.
Biology (In Defense Of Free Verse)The heart has four chambers:
two muscular atria and
two ventricles that alternate
between relaxing and
throughout the body.
This is one of many processes
that occur whether you
want it to or not.
I can sense your flesh and
when I breathe you in like pollen
or particles of smoke.
You are a part of my lungs
before tiny capillaries carry you
sleeping or intoxicated
to my heart.
Then it seizes up-
pumping little bits of you
through my veins like nerve endings
and I feel you
from my waist to my lips and
inside my brain.
The primary cause of love
is the chemical phenethylamine
that is released by eating
chocolate; or more importantly,
by feeling you against me
and nobody else.
Proteins are given purpose
through tender shaping
into a perfected form.
This can be observed
on a larger scale
It is said
during academic dissections,
that structure and form
But try and tell me
that this freedom before you
The GateHe stands at the gate,
his smile proud and reassuring,
as he watches his baby girl
on her first day at kindergarten.
She turns around
her tiny pink lips wobbling
and her searching eyes filling up with tears,
until she finds him,
sees his reassuring face,
and then she smiles; a brave little soldier's smile
25 years later
he finds himself standing at another gate,
an airport railing,
as he watches his child
and her child
walk into their new future.
She turns around
and this time
it's his eyes that well up in tears,
his breath that hitched slightly,
and her smile
that washes over him in reassurance
Lion HeartIt is building up deep within her fragile body like a heaving monsoon forming over the dry, cracked, heavy heat of an African savannah; an unforgiving and all-consuming storm desperately willing to drown out its less than fleeting welcome. Flickering with ceaseless coils of skin-searing energy like a grey-faced fugitive's adrenaline stricken heartbeat, it is not a bringer of life, but a threat to itand even the most reckless are hardwired to take flight in the face of such a colossal and uncompromising foe.
Beyond these white-washed walls, the world would have her believe that she is brave, a lioness, an exception confronted by the inevitable; but outrunning the storm is no longer an option, and she has never felt more betrayed. Slowly, it is emanating from her heart and through the pulmonary arterythere, free to roll and crash, it engulfs her lungs in a terrible thunder that rattles the brittle bones holding her together. The ominous feeling that has settled into
Stationery Pt IStanley loved stationery.
He loved the way it smelled when you stripped away the crinkly cellophane wrapper. He loved the Spartan beauty of an unspoiled pad of paper (A4, plain, 260gsm). He loved the sound of a cap crisply clicking onto the top of a Biro. He loved the texture of a freshly-sharpened pencil and the flake of the finely-honed graphite point. He loved gazing over stacks and stacks of untouched Post-Its, each a perfect square of yellow, an army of ideas awaiting orders.
He loved everything about it. Stationery was neat. It was orderly. It was always needed, easily replaceable, and something that everyone can appreciate.
Stanley reckoned he had the best job in the world. Working in the post room of a three-storey insurance company, Greenlight Insurance, he was at the very nexus of stationery for the whole building. Letters would come in crumpled, dusty and worn from their journeys; and go out crisp, freshly franked and printed, ready for the adventure ahead. Deliveries of new
minutes and milesit's 5:36 & there's blood
on the backside of my right pocket
my right, that is
i have come to the conclusion that
miles are longer
when you're alone
so i sing in the car to myself &
make strangers think
i am cute & carefree
like the man who
said so in the drive-thru
of wendy's on saturday
my friends leave me holding on
to the very tail of passing minutes
they don't know about the miles i spend
it's 5:43 & maybe i want to sit
in the passenger's seat
Twenty: I'm afraid I'm growing oldi.
Coupons and sales magazines
have become more than just junk mail
and the holes in my pants
seem more patchable
and I wonder just how much
my sparse jewelry would fetch
if I said I saw the face of Jesus
in the glimmer of my pearls.
I am beginning to miss the sea I grew up on
so much that I will read bad poetry
just for the mention of a salty ocean breeze.
I feel landlocked and sometimes I'm afraid
that I will never see the world
until I have retired from it.
Faith says her life is full of asking.
I wish mine were full of answers,
but I too have many questions
and only Time will answer them for me.
My mother just turned sixty
and her eyes when she looks at herself
in pictures from the '70s
makes me realize
that my time, however long,
The Things We Leave Unsaid Common wisdom dictates that meaningful feelings for another ought to be expressed directly and honestly. However, advice is given to be neglected and so too often we are poisoned by our own silence -- the things we leave unsaid.
We are fortuitous that the opportunity for the lesson to be followed by the illustration presents itself. Let us use our discretion and semi-omniscience to observe the conversation between the two young men before us.
"Oh hi. How are you?" It's him.
"I'm good. You?"
"Good." I've been better, but there's no way I'm going to tell him that. "Man, it's been a long time." I haven't seen her in forever. Almost three years.
"Yeah man, I haven't seen you in forever."
"Yeah, so I hear you're dating Rachel now?" He is taller than me, and I know she must like his red-rimmed wayfarers. Family's rich too. Must be nice.
"Good for you. How's she doing?" I know she's fine.
"She's doing just fine."
Lime Green (the Shop Girl's Lament)Lime green
is the colour of contemporary chic,
the new spring look
and rotting vegetation.
"So fresh and clean! Isn't it gorgeous?"
Use: "I'm glad you like it"
As an alternative to "No."
We can't have the sweet colours of youth
but I refuse to swallow
this version of good taste.
The shirt is swapped for crumpled notes;
in daylight lime green leads to pain.
I knew it wouldn't suit you.
And you're not bringing it back without a receipt.
Rare blue butterfly wings flickering, between
our little girl's elegant cornflower gloved hands, her
husky colored eyes greet the ocean's tide.
Cardinals singing their morning chorus, with
your Tsailes' soft melodies filling the woods, where
bubbling brooks groan in the foreground.
Butterscotch melting on my burning lips, your kiss
Honeycomb sweetness embracing my tongue, you entwine
Hot, soothing peach tea sliding down my throat, you slide.
Intimate fingers through buffalo hair, your chest
Reckless abandon grasped within your kisses, my breast
Breathless confessions as our hips join as one.
You're a constant volcano of rock and ash,
With my lava continually erupting inside you.
Your colors and mine fuse into precious jewels.
i love you so.
the day i saw your wrinkles
was the day i stopped being
and the day i realized
there is a beauty in my body
i may not see it in my face
full of freckles and dimples
or my legs, pale and scarred
not even my heart,
beaten and bruised.
no, there is
about the creases
through my fingers
and the marks they make,
so original on their own.
love is coming home--i don't write about God.
i don't write about God because it's writing about love, it's writing about faith, it's writing about trust and hope and belief and pain, the kind of gut-wrenching betrayal you feel when you've given up and you're waiting for someone to save you, only nobody ever does.
and who else are you going to blame?
it's easy to write about a God you don't believe in. it's easy to pour out all your hate and anger and hurt and deepest, darkest broken fears and fling them from your fingertips and scream, this is not God! it's easy to believe in nothing.
it's not easy to believe.
believing is opening yourself to the pain. it's letting go and falling back with your eyes closed, your heart in your throat because you can't see whether there's anyone waiting to catch you. and what if you hit the ground? what if there are no hands waiting to embrace you? what if there's nobody waiting at the beginning, when you finally turn around ready to try again; what if there's
fireflies erratically sign their names
inside a jar that once held pickled beets.
On a Georgian night,
katydids screech chamber music
Mozart forgot to write
on his five staffed bars.
The music reminds me of the tart
taste of grapefruit seeping slowly into
my mouth, and I swallow it with delight.
But the world becomes a jar
into which I scribble my name,
as if writing it will somehow
make me free.
Creativity's CreatureCrack open the spines,
Let the lifeblood of literature
Run warm on your hands,
Stain your eyes with its inky
Spilling soul, tumbling words
Over words into worlds.
Use your finger as a crowbar
To prise paragraphs from pages.
Be aware of rustling parchment, whispering words:
The sound and the light conspire
To damn you to sleep.
Escape: paper rushing by like a train's view
Drain the last dregs, as grounds
From a well-brewed mug of coffee;
The sweet settling leaves you achingly alone,
Wishing once more for the feel of creativity's creature
At your fingertips, tainted with its inky blood,
Its bloated, papery flesh indulged by imagination.
flowers and rainI don't deserve the way you comb my hair on rainy days
To braid in flowers to make up for the gloomy weather.
I say "mother, I love the rain, and the thunder and lightning
Don't scare me, they protect me from the silence that threatens
To swallow me whole." but my mother only shakes her head and
Smiles at me as if I am a naïve little child who wears rose colored
Contacts that can show you the sun even while sleeping under blankets
Of clouds, and that's when I thought that what she was doing was for herself.
She was in another universe while she turned my straw like hair into gold,
Immersing herself in a good memory for every flower she wove into the back of my head,
Trying to get as far away as possible from the deafening noise that tried to swallow her whole.
But she couldn't really see me as she ran from reality,
Nor could she see that the flowers she so beautifully
Wove into my hair were dead.
The Poet's FollyI tried to write you in seven lines
with thirty six words,
but I realized that words
are largely inadequate
and that poets are fools.
I feel I am somehow less
for thinking I could.
dust-centred bones she can't
say she holds
the world on her
drags her down
like nothing else:
until she thinks
Call Girlshe stayed
for a moment
with an arm
draped over by the shadow of a curtain
a dress folded in a half
in the crook of an elbow
one of her cheek twitches
you touch her empty mouth
tangled up beneath the covers
her lipstick gets under your skin
a nerve irritated by the shape of a lace
half an hour tops not longer
you kiss her onto the lips eventually
jamming a tongue up the tonsils
in the end a whore is just a whore
he says with a smile
like somehow, he already knows
she's been sad for a while.
and she just looks at him,
with her brokenhearted bambi eyes
and she hopes that he understands
because nobody understands,
pigeon, he says,
and he does.
he knows that deep in her heart,
she just isn't happy.
not today, not yesterday,
and maybe not even tomorrow.
he knows that she wants to be happy,
wants to know what it's like
to be filled with sunshine
(and he thinks maybe that's why
she loves sunflowers so very much.
because she thinks they exude sunlight,
and maybe, just maybe,
if she were bright yellow,
she could emanate happiness, too)
she breathes fluttery, feather-soft breaths
into his chest as he holds her,
and he whispers,
pigeon, I know.
Cookerymy blender does not understand
"Accept My Gift of Pineapple
Thou Foul Beast!"
this is a blood sacrifice
and she is sadly unreceptive
I begin the main course
I have cupboards full of words
quick brown foxes
I have half a mind (no, three-fourths of a mind)
to sauté them
the golden eggs
more difficult to crack
than I had thought they would be
(forge? My stove doesn't get
I will spice the adjectives with
I will verb these nouns
throw in a voodoo doll or
tulips! Two! Lips!
Crack open a maraca
and sell you some rhythm
Oh you will love this
you will devour this
You will get up and dance to this
I do not understand
A Night at Pinetop's TavernSomewhere in the back alleys of the city's older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building's cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar's name: Pinetop's Tavern. Nobody really knew when Pinetop's first opened; local folks would tell you it had been there since time began, and the world had grown up around it. It was one of those places where the lighting was always dim and the cigarette smoke never dissipated and the cloud you were breathing now had probably been around since W. C. Handy was still alive.
Pinetop's Tavern was a blues joint, and it had been around almost as long as blues music itself. Blues music was a lot simpler than most kinds of musicsimpler chords, simpler lyrics, and most blues musicians couldn't read sheet music. The genre was born on some unknown plantation in the forgotten Deep
The Eyes of the Painted HeiressOnce upon a time, in a country that was prosperous, and settled many miles away from the sea, an heiress to the throne was born. She was blessed in having soft hair of a deep brown colouring; tiny beauty marks that rarified her skin at intervals; and eyes the exact blue of the night sky, which had been bequeathed to her from her dear father, the King. She was both impressive and endearing, in the ways she moved and spoke as she grew older, so that the Queen esteemed her the prettiest rose of all the ages, no matter that she was still a long while away from blooming.
Years passed since her birth and the rejoicing that it caused, each following the one before it in rapid succession, until the Heiress had grown into a beautiful young lady of seventeen, and time seemed to slow down once more. The King and Queen were both unspeakably in love with their daughter, so that they wanted her life to be filled with only gifts and things to be grateful for, and the latter, one day noticing that she
The Sports FanWhen the sports fan comes
he will bring chips and beer and good moods
then he will then start his cheer
for someone or something
and Denmark will win
and Denmark will lose
and all the players they suck
and everyone sucks
and then he will go home.
- from the highlight of his week
if you walk by his house
you can hear him cheer on
and he'll cheer and he'll cheer
he will do so for years
and then he will die
and when the sports fan dies
like the video gamer
and the masturbator
and the sleeper
and the lazy
no one will mourn him
least of all himself.
leavingleaving is a can that you
kick around in the street
because it's been a long day
& it makes you feel better.
some days you kick it
harder, longer than others,
& some days there just
aren't enough cans or streets.
but the thing about leaving
is that when the
street lights come on,
you always end up going home.
blue and gold are not just colorsshe had been blue-sighted
dawn cracked her forehead.
it was the dress she wore on his funeral
the color of her school flag
the shine in her father's eyes;
she waited in blue and gold.
no, she refused to set a bar
life didn't just come to her.
she earned her place
in her mother's womb
when each blood vessel questioned her
each nerve ending, if she could live
and each antibody, if she was worth it.
see, she doesn't need new dresses.
she has a memory
for each of hers in her locked closet.
she may not wear all of them
(and most she cringes at the sight of)
but her heart
every time bits of her old life
show unconnected dots
she forces back together.
yes, she waited in blue and gold.
but not for you
you threw a smile at her face
that was never hers to take
but you love your girls vulnerable
and you love your numbers copious.
there's a great chance she
hates those colors now
because everyone who waits outside her window
fails to notice there's no movement
SandstormsThe mirror doesn't lie,
an African blush--
red-hot and wild--
creeping across the desert
of my skin.
hungry and tense,
through roiling veins
beat at my soul.
outside these walls
calls to me,
bone-deep and roaring.
It calls to me,
and the globe on my desk
looks smaller every day.
Coffeehouse Bluespeople like to drown in their misery
because it somehow reminds them
that they're alive.
take the lady sitting by the fog-kissed window, for example.
see how delicately her lower lip quivers
as she downs pints of coffee like a drug addiction
when in reality, each sip creates fissures on her tongue
and fills her stomach with caffeinated liquid
she secretly wishes was cyanide.
or watch how the curious boy with suns as eyes
turns to face you and aligns his line of sight with yours;
watch how his juvenile soul becomes
a map of bones so easy for you to read.
suddenly, you realize a gaze could have never held
that much despair
i used to be like this.
except i drank ten times more coffee with a mild dash of ecstasy
and pretended to be the Atlas who shrugged
simply because he could no longer
carry the weight of the sky
on his shoulders.
this was until i understood i wasn't the only one who felt this way,
that adults who constantly relied on caffeine
and kids who were born with celes
writer's blockstranded on an island scantily
dressed in moonlight, you stare
at roiling water resembling a
horizon of interweaving words
but when you lift your right hand,
spirals of silence shackle
the weightless sounds
but here and now i am aliveI was three years old when we moved there, when the wall in my room that moved and the drunken woman next door and the grey grey hight of the flats could not contain my first chubby steps to identity. My parents packed us up for the jumble sale of moving, pricing up our lives and our possessions with tape and cardboard and memories. The grass on the show house became our grass, became our house, while I slept in a new room under old sheets and dreamed of darkness.
I was five and nobody else was five and nobody else was a girl and I was so alone. The cats that roamed were my friends, the weeping willow and the squeak in the wheels of my scooter. The grit of the road was my friend and the broken glass I walked barefoot around in summer was my friend. In the heat, when our street was filled with the musk of people-gone-on-holiday and we were left to our own devices, you grabbed me in your dirty hands and you pulled me up onto your bike. The hot metal burned into my feet, worse than anythi
MemoriesI remember lying in bed with you, longing for a deeper connection. You would always sleep with your back to me, in an almost fetal position, as if you were physically guarding your heart. All I wanted was to touch those scars that ran down the center of your chest, but you told me you were not okay with someone else's heart beating within you so I let it be. The look in your eyes when you woke up in the morning; the sleepy surrealness of a dream playing at the corner of your lips, and the early morning light goldenly surrounding your messy hair like a halo was enough to quench any thirst I had for you. It was enough to resonate in me for a long while, and I saw through your eyes, at least I believe I did, for a split second.
I remember how much you loved to drink and make sweet tea. You always told me that the more you add to a recipe the more love it would reflect. You would always warn to only add equal amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg because it was vital that one not overpower the ot
How To Ask Someone To Let You Love ThemI think you keep secrets under your skin
like trees keep rings and do not know it,
like the sea teems,
like dark and quiet space
keeps every ray of light
the stars whispered to one another
when they were still young
and dying to make love.
I think you keep secrets in you
like the desert keeps sands,
like sleep keeps dreams,
like cities keep sleepless people
and people looking for sleepless people
to fall asleep with.
I think you keep secrets
like secrets like to be kept,
and I want to learn them all.
The Importance of Gold FlecksHereditary.
I learned the meaning of the word when I was young on a summer afternoon. Too hot to play outside, I was sitting with my dad on our blue couch with the small white polka dot fabric. In retrospect, it was probably a tacky piece of furniture, but love is unconditional when you are small, and I sure did love that couch. I remember my dad watching Winnie the Pooh with me every Saturday morning on its spotted cushions. That day, though, we had a conversation about eyes that I never forgot, and even then, its deeper meaning was not lost on me.
"Daddy, your eyes are green like a cat's," I said.
He smiled, and told me that mine were also green, but unlike his, they changed colors. "Sometimes they are blue. Your eyes were so blue when you were a baby! Big and blue.... Someti
my pen never changed a thing.we laid in flower filled fields
until we could not
stand, we broke our
backs so we'd never have to
bones repair themselves
like i never could,
everyone always leaves.
i swore i'd do my best to
stay, but with you
backing up so far,
it's hard to not keep moving
(it's the precept i was born to)
i've written so many
times about us drowning
together that water drips
from my pen instead of
i can still feel the
sweet, sweet salt in my
my dreams of stranger tides, i
ended up back at the lake-
front at 3am
boats were coming, going,
wondering which one
could take me to you,
back to you, as it were,
it's not falling anymore, the map
has reversed itself, i'd
have to climb mountains on my
you, letting myself
i'm not strong enough
for this anymore.
my pen never changed a thing.
How one Dead Views the LivingMy life had always been painted in sombre greys. In death, how it blossoms!
When the rains come, the watery drops fall like tears of ink: echoing and dancing across sparkling sapphire puddles. The sun, a golden mystic orb, shedding its beauty on all it touches.
I see rustic weather-beaten cragged faces of the old, set with eyes of faded blue. I behold bright smiles and blushes upon the fat cheeks of the young. My ears prickle with the twirling thousand-noted song of birds. The beauty of all these things I never observed in life, now bursts upon my ripened senses - in death.
In a trance I view this new-found paradise. Life, I have come to realise, is most beautiful to the spectator. The spectator has no need for understanding or judgement.
I look upon a derelict dilapidated street, filthy with squalor. I cast my eyes over the crumbling paintwork of rotting window frames, housing broken panes. Here and there sickly weeds break through mouldering masonry.
Oh what a picture, what a spectac
intersectionMy father's hair is gray now.
I'm not sure if it was the elevator
or that realization that caused
the lurch in my belly.
There's a little plastic container
on the bathroom counter, housing
blue, yellow, beige pills, designed
to slow the body's inevitable breakdown.
There are lines around my father's eyes now -
I feel his loneliness echoed in my chest,
in the mirror as I prepare for bed.
A blurry, half-remembered moment,
smudged with time, of sitting on his strong
shoulders, laughing in the sun,
so sure that he would always be able
to hold me up to touch the sky.
We live this half-baked life now,
circling each other, moments intersecting,
brief, our real lives hours away, with our
other families, and his silver hair,
little pills, sad eyes make me terrified
that we missed our chance, started
too late, and I will never be
daddy's little girl again.
wrists that roarmama says
pull down your sleeves
they'll see, they'll see
but no-one's even looking
i say mama
tigers are proud and strong
and tigers show their stripes
so today i'm a tiger
and who says
i can't be a tiger
when razors made me fierce
and secrets kept me lonely
i can't tiger-roar
when everything unsaid
ripped my throat raw
i made my stripes
with tiger-claws and tiger-teeth
so damned if i'm not a tiger
and damned if i won't roar
mama, i'm a tiger
mama, hear me roar
Hayling (Teaser)The clunker satellite was within his grasp. The gloves of Rise's space-suit rig sent signals to the neural relays attached to his head as he grazed the side of the satellite. The metal felt brittle, and he expected that from a two hundred year old satellite. What caught his interest, however, was the hollow feeling that resonated from his gloves to his head. Satellites were compact and filled with the electronics necessary to equip them with for their job. They were most definitely not hollow.
Rise acted quickly; his shuttle would be out of reach in a few minutes. Clambering around the outside and pawing at the peeling heat tiles-- heat tiles did not belong on a satellite-- he began looking for a handle or a latch of sorts. The metal had felt hollow, but not enough to warrant a sizeable space on the other side and if the satellite was similar to his shuttle that would indicate a panel. Curiosity had always been an undeniable trait of his, and he was determined to investigate further an
John at 3:16Dear Jesus Christ,
I went to bed at 3:16 last night and started thinking about JohnJohn who pissed away every paycheck he ever made and only fucked virgins, John who beat up a woman's husband and spent a Christmas in jail, John who shot himself on the front porch of his mother's house. I don't think anyone shed a tear except her. I heard she shed many tears as she cleaned up the mess.
I thought about when I first met him. It was at church. He and I were both eight. He sat next to me and we stared at that stained glass image of you in your white robe with your outstretched, loving arms, and he leaned into me and asked, "Do you believe in Jesus?"
"Of course," I said. "Don't you?"
He didn't answer. But it was Communion that day and he ate your body and drank your blood just like everyone else, and I thought he had to believe in you because you were inside of him.
I asked him once, Jesus Christ, I asked him if he believed in you and he said, "I want to. But everyone says I have
WordsmithsHow long did you think
we could pound our vocabulary with hammers
before it fell flat?
LingerieEvery woman owns one garment
that remains tucked away,
saved for special occasions
when it will be seen.
It is almost always midnight
black, or blood red, and
covered in lace, or made
of mesh, soft and delicate
as the skin it covers.
Such things should be hidden,
lest the owner be labeled
as something other than "lady."
It has a power we can't
control, one that transforms
denim and cotton clad
ragdolls into Barbies,
perfectly proportioned plastic,
smooth and flawless hourglasses
that turn on command.
We groan and flinch
as satin strings pull us
apart and together,
and heartstrings are plucked
as we scrutinize our reflection;
we are not diamonds
with perfect exteriors--
we are fractured, as we
realize hourglasses can be exchanged
for quartz watches that are
faster, more convenient,
incapable of failure
made by the obsolete.
migration haikuthinking about birds
and their good sense to move when
warm weather changes.
waking-cat's morning reflectionyyyyy
-ning to wake up
Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can be
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible. The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
Things ChangeHe rode their tandem bike, alone.
Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.
You know the one. Her bag will be filled with discarded pencils and pens, scraps of paper with mindless doodles on them and blank books sticking out of her bag. She's the one who spends an hour trying to find the perfect sketchbook, only to pick up three more because she just couldn't help herself. She's the one hunched over in the coffee shop, rain or shine, the gears in her mind turning and turning while her hands move to catch up with every idea she has. She's the one who's too focused on what she's doing that her coffee's gotten cold and the people around her peek over her shoulder but she doesn't realise.
Compliment her drawings.
Ask to see more.
Turn the pages carefully, gently. Look at how hard she pressed the pencil into the page, the failed drawings, the successful ones. Look at the careful lines, the messy ones, the ones that give the drawings life. Linger on the pages you like but don't touch the drawings. Look at them carefully. Remember them.
FFM 2012, July 2 - Exegesis"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." The lecturer quoted, barely glancing at the thick black Bible. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
His students were still alert and awake they had barely passed Genesis 1 after all. "Obviously, 'rested' here does not mean God was literally tired, for God does not tire. It merely meant he was finished, done, with his work of creating Heaven and Earth, and could now take a moment to consider it the Hebrew word shâbath..."
Unfortunately, the lecturer did not have time to finish. The earthquake swept across the campus, uprooting trees and collapsing some of the smaller buildings outright.
The cracks in the ground grew ever larger, cutting the Holmes Memorial Building in half, before the shocked eyes of the students. And from the cracks streamed
When God Worked in the Paper Millwhen God was tired of resting
tired of his bones becoming soft
tired of watching the world wander along
he became a logger
chopped down his own creations
peeled off bark, held it up to the sky
'you will burn for no reason' he said
when God worked as a logger he became bitter
tired of seeing his creations destroyed for naught
sliced down at the base
sullen tombstone remaining
nailed crooked to protect his other creations
God put down his saw to work in a paper mill
to watch his creations become fluid liquid
pressed into blank slate
clean separated from dirty
remainder burned away
thousands of pages drying
crackling of broken lungs
dust floating to rest on shoulders
God always had dandruff
watching pages catch, and fold God began
having forgotten the art of creation
he took paper and with gentle hands folded
crafted shapes still unexplained by mathematics
ligaments and joints he created
these new born people walked
wavering in the wind
being reshaped by puddles
released out i
She braved the marigold patch
once a week
a decision all claimed was wise
this will set things straight
he will be your guide
There was a narrow path
less marigolds grew there
the apartment awaited
at the end of the path
its owner grew to be a friend
they discussed possibilities
it is to trust each other
as friends (except deeper)
as equals (except closer)
against the backdrop
of such a chaotic world
Some weeks later
blinded by the harsh sun
she dared not look down
a hand skimmed her thigh
On her way home
the marigolds burned her eyes
as an odd feeling swept over
it crawled through
It's just the sun in my eyes
just the fog in my head
that made time stop
and voices disappear
She picked one
Familiar doors opened
his blond hair created a halo
lit just so
I'm so glad you came
The worms slithered further
silent prayers w
lone thoughtsyou don't realize
how alone you are
until you realize
you have no one
to talk to, to laugh with, to vent to
when your world
He's No GentlemanAnd then she's trapped and she knows it, her body standing stiff against the wall with his eyes seizing her up. They are all but sparkling in something between amusement and the promise of unspeakable horrors and it breaks her heart again and again, to have him so close but so far from what she wished for, to have him right where she wanted him, but she never asked for all this pain, she didn't want this violence that was painted all across the cruel curves of his lips.
"Don't", she says, weakly, and he smirks at her, idly caressing her neck in a tantalizing show of slowness. Her breath catches in her throat, for even though he doesn't comment on it, the message is clear: I've got all the time in the world and you won't stop me.
She squeezes her eyes shut, willing the scene to disappear, willing the almost tender touch on her throat to stop feeling like a threat, willing to wake up and laugh it all off - but his rasping voice breaks through this intense wishing of hers, making h
I did not save her from the sea.The pond was small, the cattails fair;
The algae drew a shining veil
Across the waters waiting there
For her to come while wandering
And stare beyond the dreary pale
Expanse of fog and starry glare
Upon the pond within the dale
Where she had ventured, pondering
The many dreams she'd had of late
Of sandy-shores and broken shells
Upon a beach along a strait
And of the ocean shimmering
She heard the wave's cathedral bells
Come crashing with a dreadful weight
'Till she, afraid of violent swells,
Could no more see the glimmering
Of pearly foam, nor shining seas
But only turbid tempest-doom;
No more the fragrant, salt-laced breeze
That over all was mingling.
Such were her dreamsnow through the gloom
She still heard gulls with throatful ease
Sing of the ocean, and the tune
Around her thoughts kept lingering.
I met her then, when stormy waves
Were breaking on her weary mind
And I was unafraid and brave
And as a child foolishly
Believed that if we left behind
The little pondth
humpback/the bell-ringerthe years fold away, concertina-style
like air between the bloated lungs of an accordion,
and the old tune plays on
tumbling down past my cochlea
the sound of waves
the sound waves
waves within waves and
the old masters are watching.
this music was birthed in the belly of a whale.
we were married long before i grew old.
The Solipsist's LotThere's something about yourself that you don't know. You probably don't remember the circumstances very well, but I do. If you enjoy things the way they are, if you revel in even the smallest speck of ignorance, you need not read ahead. I won't force you. But from what I know of you, you don't like secrets. Especially not when they are about you.
You see, when you were born, so at once was everyone else. Your mother, she sprang into existence, just like that, the instant your tiny infant brain achieved the smallest semblance of self-awareness. Woven out of the ether, she remembered everything that never happened, and she looked down at you, cradled and squirming in her loving arms.
"Oh," she said. "So here is life."
The doctor was there too, although a moment before if there ever was a moment before he was not. He just nodded, smiling assuredly, and said, "Here is the beginning."
CeruleanMy favorite color is cerulean.
It feels like dipping your hand into a brook, smooth pebbles under your fingertips, the water lacing quick and cool between your fingers. It feels like the first warm day after a long winter, when you can shed your heavy coat and a light breeze brushes your arms again. It feels like a bucket of paint, not the tacky wet paint that gets on your jeans from sitting on a newly painted bench too soon. It feels like freshly washed hair woven into one long braid down your back. It feels like a glass bottle to send out to sea with a message. It feels like the surface of photographs, piano keys, and guitar strings.
It moves like bird's wings as they settle into trees at twilight. It moves like tropical fish deep in the Great Barrier Reef. It moves like the lazy rock of a row boat on the lake behind your summer home. It moves like your walk in a new pair of sneakers.
It tastes like fresh fruit, when the juice runs down your chin, and you throw the pit into the grass
TouchIt's enough for me
to feel with my heart these things
my hands cannot reach-
your ghost-bone fingers
interwoven with my own
sweet cinnamon, peach.
206 BonesShe died. And because she was dead, because all her 206 bones were buried and bare, she became special and beautiful and amazing, and quiet, artistic boys went on quests and changed lives in her name, because they all remembered how she had been in life, and how they could have saved her, and how they chose not to.
where i dance alonei. I mistook a shy boy for a thunderous one in the days when I lived inside his lungs.
ii. I wanted your hands in the early morning, or in 8 o' clock light. (Does it matter? I just wanted you.) Hands like paper cranes, hands like wind chimes. Then we could've been like lovers in a parody: "I love you, I love youno, I don't. But you are beautiful." And while I was not your lover, neither was I your queen. Either way, you wouldn't hold my heart.
iii. Our fingers would've taken flight and then the rest of us, too. Then you would've known of the ballroom in my chest, the migrations inside my body, of the tiny secret nothings that make their way like monarchsas if by instinct, as if they have been here beforefrom ballroom to piano hands to the museum that is my mind to my stomach. But you are the only lost boy afraid to fly.
iv. I was a foreign land and you would not dare travel without a map. But I do not possess a souvenir shop in which to purchase one. I am a des
SuperheroThe costume, admittedly, was a bit of a problem--at least, it was at first. Decision, decisions.
I wasn't going to doll up like some manly whore of justice. It really wasn't my style. I don't think I even have a style. I mean, I wear rather fancy clothes. I like the feel of suits and my father's tailors were my tailors. It was inherent.
But I didn't want to ruin nice clothes and I didn't want to run the stupid superhero gamut--we all know Superman wears his underwear on the outside.
I was not doing that.
So, instead of donning the traditional tights which would soak up my blood, sweat, and tears, I put on some padded gear for my knees and elbows, a bulletproof vest I'd bought over the internet, jeans, and a T-shirt. Nothing fancy. Nothing I couldn't buy with my allowance and the tips I got as a waiter at my mother's fancy restaurant.
Except, of course, for the mask. That was special.
I had to have a mask, right? It was totally necessary. I debated between th
scatterfalling leaves scatter
chattering of summers past
at Jack Frost's first breath
Religion Free DVD PlayerAs an avowed atheist, I've always despised overt religious subtext in my movies. So when I ran across a back-alley electronics shop offering "Religion Free DVD Players", I snatched one up faster than a Southern Baptist preacher could call out, "Hallelujah!"
Set-up was a breeze, thank Nobody. So the first movie I popped in was one of my favorites, The Wizard of Oz.
Well, by the time the angelic Glinda introduces herself to saintly little Dorothy in front of the Munchkin choir, I was already beginning to suspect that something might be off. And it only got worse, as her ragtag band of pilgrims undergoes their yellow-brick hajj to the Emerald Mosque: complete with the decadent drug-fueled temptation to abandon the journey; the air assault by, and subsequent ritual stoning of, Satan's winged minions; the circling of the Ka'aba while searching for its concealed entrance; the ultimate purification of Evil with a convenient bucket of holy water; the climactic meeti
IcebergIt was made to look exactly like an iceberg, unless someone happened to notice the gentle glow from the kitchen window, shimmering underwater and casting light on any sea life that idly passed by.
Dan had lived there his entire life with his wild and eccentric father, who believed that the best way to avoid the folly of mankind was to hide from it in the most bizarre home ever created.
Dan wasn't aware of how different his life was from other ten year old boys. It seemed perfectly natural to wake up, glance out the bedroom window, and see his father's fishing nets, suspended ghost-like in the greenish hazed arctic ocean.
It seemed completely normal to spend all of his time inside, except for the occasional trip to the top of the iceberg for a breath of fresh air.
He'd never seen land. He'd never seen another human being other than his father. He'd read about people and trees and dogs and cars, but he couldn't really imagine what they must be like. It all just seemed like mak
my body is a funeral servicethis morning i emptied your ashes into the sky, hoping to watch them sift through my fingers like an eagle taking flight. but the wind carried them backwards and my face became an ashtray for memories. you came back to me, like you always do, like a kiss or a reoccurring dream that i can never forget. i became cloaked in black grain, the remnants of your body. your cremated smile was caught somewhere between the stinging in my eyes and the ash on my jacket.
in that moment my body became a funeral service. my lips preached your names to the trees. i forgot what it was like to feel anything but hymns pressing down on my back like the heat of the sun. i smelled of incense and bones burning in a fire people are paid to create. it was more than i could bear. for weeks, i obsessed on how someone could lift a motionless shell of a body into an inferno, watch people die a second time and accept their paycheck at the end of the day.
i wanted to step into that crematorium and pluck pulses like f
They Say I'm GuiltyOf the nearly eighty female prisoners that had answered my request, I had narrowed my choices down to two of them. The first was a voluptuous, porcelain-skinned brunette that would make my brother drool in seconds. The second was a golden-haired, frail little piece of work, and normally I would have dismissed her during the first round of eliminations, but something kept her there. Maybe it was the way she stared at me with her venomous green eyes, but I couldn't be sure. In any case, I had my two choices set before me, each isolated in separate cells on opposite ends of the jail so that I might observe them more personally.
I turned to the prison guard. "What can you tell me about this one?" I was starting with the brunette.
"Number 67," he practically spat. "Don't believe a word she tells you. She's as good a liar as they come."
I wondered at what sort of lies she had told the guard because clearl
The Letter WriterHe was a letter writer.
Written letters had long become a thing of the pastafter all, why would one write when one could receive instant gratification through an electronic device? All of these things made life so much easier.
In fact, Alan lived in a time where most people didn't know how to write. Everyone was proficient in reading, of courseafter all, one had to read the daily screen to know the news and things that were going on. And all children learned how to type before they were five years old. But writing was not something that was used anymore, and it had become almost socially unacceptable to write anything. It wasn't against the law, but it certainly was frowned upon.
But Alan wrote anyway. The gift of handwriting and penmanship had been taught to him from his father, and his father and his father before him. At the time of his great grandfather, being unable to write had been considered illiterate. Pens and pencils, which had literally become obsolete, were ver
SliverThey say that if you stand in front of a wall of glass at exactly four minutes past midnight and tap your fingers on it three times, you can open a door to the void beyond this world. It has to be somewhere you can see your reflection, and see through it, hovering like a ghost over the darkness beyond, somewhere dim enough that you can't quite tell the difference between light and shade. And unless you hit the glass where you touched it, shatter the half-formed image before the fifth minute strikes, that door will never close.
Celia Gray has never been one for urban legends. So much so, that she would never turn down a chance to prove one wrong.
The girls are in the middle of their third round of Truth Or Dare when it's brought up for the first time.
"Come on, Angie, it's almost midnight!"
"What's wrong, scared?"
"No, II just ...it's my house! I'm not smashing my balcony door."
"Jeez, guys." The five faces turn at the third voice. "We're fourteen no
The Girl Who Stayed HomeJane tries not to remember. After all, she was only thirteen and much too young, and who could blame her. In fact most of the time she pretends it was all a dream.
When they appeared in her room that night she told herself that too, that it was only a dream. But she had never dreamed of beautiful stately women wrapped in golden robes, and never would again.
Their first words were an apology. "We would never intrude upon you like this, Hara, if it were not the darkest of hours."
And Jane sat against her headboard, trembling, with the texture of the bedsheets clutched tightly in her hands telling her that this was real. She didn't speak, or call for help. Now she can't explain that, but she doesn't have to, since she has never told anyone.
"My name isn't Hara. It's Jane."
"You are Hara, and Jane. And I am Maryama," the tallest one told her. "From the land of Thorn. These are my c
SmokeYou smoked, and everyone hated that. The cigarette would hang loose between your knuckles, tendrils of smoke mimicking the tracery of veins and tendons that stood out along the back of your hand. You could do the most graceful French inhales, and sometimes you'd lean in close and grab me and kiss me, blowing warm smoke into my mouth. The scent would always cling to meI'd drag it back home with me and there would always be a fight over it.
You were sparrowlike, all taut pale skin and prominent bones. Your hipbones jutted slightlysharp elbows, sharp knees, a sharp jaw softened by cornsilk hair. When I ran my fingers down your back I could always feel every vertebra in your spine, a steel column anchoring you down. More smoke. More fights at home. You never belonged here and never would.
Lay back. Relax. Anythinganything you want. I'd close my eyes and forget to breathe because I knew you weren't mine. If anything, I was yours, a toy that trembled and kissed back.
griefmary sleeps beside me, it is morning; we are
dream-sunk and tangled in her quilts
honey warm and bathed with sun, we are berry-stained
and slow-breathing, lips purple
from last night's wine -
it is morning; we are softened creatures
and the light has come to hold us.
mary's phone is a wasp, a bramble, is a vaguery that
we cannot be bothered with. it is morning and
mary's phone is wrathful, insistent, needling us
into a sluggish consciousness. we break the
surface without grace or tact and
it is morning, and he was just here
he was right here and he was breathing but now
he is gone; he has passed through, passed on,
passed into the other, the ether, the endless,
the place we cannot follow, has passed
away from mary, from the green and the gray,
from the earth that bloomed when we
were not paying attention, from the sky and
the hearts of the trees.
mary, it is morning; it is morning for mary and
she is disassembling before my eyes. i place my palm
flat on her spine and feel t
the house without a roof.she told me she built
her house without a roof
because she wanted to see the past.
she said that the stars
were death's eyes
and the first time she saw them
she cried herself to sleep
because they were so beautiful.
i asked her why-
why would she do such a thing
and she was quiet.
we have it all wrong,
the darkness is our friend.
we spend the sum of our existences
searching for the words
for the memories
and for the most important courage of all:
to wake up to another day.
but we have not stopped to consider
that our answers lie on our deathbeds.
we will never truly know who we are
until our final moments-
when that last breath leaves our lips
and we turn the color of the lace
that lines our caskets.
and pointed towards the sky.
don't you see?
death is our guide through life.
we find knowledge
and through him
we find ourselves.
as her eyelids sunk like anchors
and she was swept away
by the current of the universe
still borni was born still,
with my umbilical cord
noose, ripped out
like a parasite,
hemic with gore.
i didn't want,
to be born.
the ocean tried
too many times
to swallow me whole
but took my legs instead,
twisted my spine
and made me
out of salt,
wrung my lungs
dry and stuffed my
she spat me out,
cured, but only
in my bones.
i tried to die,
by razor blades
and kitchen knives;
by my own hand,
down my throat,
yellow bile and
they locked me up
and let me out,
gone, with pills to
make me grow-
but i refused
i still let loose
bile and blood,
when i want
to forget today,
yesterday, your face-
but i'm so dependent,
i can't remember
the good things
The Glass JarFrom the time I could remember, I'd been given this transparent glass jar. It is said that I've been using it since the day of my live birth. I'd been told to use its nowhere-to-be-seen contents not more not less than once a day.
I had always known I was adopted. My adoptive parents (who were more loving to me than anything) were very honest in admitting this to me. Since I had always pestered them about it, they also confessed that other than the glass jar, at the orphanage where they got me, they were given a rain-washed letter to read- this letter was supposedly written by my mother. Aside from her confession of a planned suicide, in the letter were instructions that the orphanage must ensure my daily dosage of this glass jar. The reason behind it though was apparently stated in the following paragraph, where the ink was washed off and therefore was unreadable. The only part of the paragraph that could be understood mentioned that this jar is what will supposedly provide
DragonsThe dragons just kept getting cuter.
I'd meant them to be scary, with snakelike heads and pearly fangs, but as my fingers gained more practice the dragons they shaped became younger and more innocent, their wings tiny and their eyes wide. Dull spikes lined their heads and tails, not yet sharpened by age. They lay on their bellies or sat up and watched with good-natured curiosity. They were friendly. They were sweet.
They were flawed, and there were a lot of them. I experimented with color and pose, sculpting the way others would turn a stress ball. Every morning I baked the newcomers in my oven, and within a week my desk was overrun. Rows of dragons pressed against my laptop from all sides. Some I enjoyed looking at. Others were a reminder of some mistake I'd made. Putting the horns on before the eyes. Making the legs too thin so it tilted drunkenly while baking. Not realizing that some clay changes color as it solidifies.
What to do with them all? I couldn't keep them even if I'd want
My Life in ColorIt took me eight years and seven months to figure out I wasn't completely crazy, and another two years to convince everyone else. People weren't really interested in hearing about my "issues" after they had written me off, and I found it hard to share the unique way my synesthesia fits into the contours of my life. I got the word out in the only way I could. I disguised my rebirth as the MYP Personal Project.
The Personal Project was, in essence, the act of letting of several dozen sophomores run a project of their choice with very little guidance (only one supervisor to make sure everyone was making progress), and then present it in June in front of both other students and their families, as well as the teachers that invariably came to run the event.
The project itself was not difficult. In the end, I had written a piece of music, recorded myself playing it on the flute, and through hours of PowerPoint trial and error, managed to time the slides to change exactly with the notes of the
My Head Is A Prison And Nobody VisitsMy Head Is A Prison And Nobody Visits
Coerced and captured,
Tightly bound in nothingness-
I will wait for you.
If you haven't read these pieces, or don't know these authors, settle in for a night of reading
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