When people learn that I listen to rap“What?”
A mix of skeptical, bewildered, mildly impressed
And sometimes a little disgusted.
“You listen to rap?”
Behold, a specimen of middle-class suburbia
Spectacled, pimpled, messy-haired
Painfully awkward, unquestionably nerdy
Oh, and female, let’s not forget about that.
“Haydn and Beethoven; yup, that’s definitely your jam
During your late-night chemistry revision sessions
On your wild nights, maybe some Katy Perr – wait, what?
You listen to rap?”
Yes, I listen to rap
(Although I do still listen to Haydn
Toting Bach and Biggie together
Gets you strange looks from HMV cashiers, let me tell you)
And yes, I do actually enjoy it;
I’m not that kind of ironic listener.
After the initial double-take,
The curious follow up with “Why do you listen to rap?”
Like Victorians questioning a returning anthropologist
Who’s been in among the natives
(For the record, I find this more funny than annoying
So please don
NaPoWriMo 2014 Week Three15
cat removing my tax forms
from the printer
everywhere not covered
by the horse blanket
covered in mud
old ranch saddle
hand-carved and stitched-
Taylor Swift music from the counter
walking this path again-
at cemetery not school
sweaty hairy saddle pads
home to be washed-
cats rolling happily
that horse is gone, that building
but I still have the saddle
years of footsteps
a familiar indent-
walking up stone stairs
PantheonWe all have our kinks.
Some of us like to do it with the lights off. Some with the lights on. There are badge bunnies, and those that only bang celebrities. While I'd like to think I'm different than all the rest, there are too many demigods running around for that to be true. Of course, I am a bit of a rarity in these monotheistic modern times.
I only have sex with gods. And, yes, I mean exactly what I said.
So now you're thinking I must have the kind of body that turns a sane man mad, and leads a mad man to salvation. What a load of crap. My body is pretty mediocre, lumpy in all the wrong places. And I could stand to spend a few years at the gym. And, guess what, this face of mine won't be launching a dinghy, let alone a thousand ships.
But what I do have is this hunger--for fucking. I fuck like life is worth living. I fuck like I could die tomorrow. I fuck like I'm on my last breath.
Gods, well...gods love fucking. It is the only thing that reminds them that creating us was worth it
Picnicking BluesI took my baby for a picnic, we went out in the snow.
Yes, I took her for a picnic, we went out in the snow.
She said, "Slim, it's kind of cold here" - but where else could we go?
I played guitar for my baby and my fingers got numb.
When I played guitar for my baby, my fingers got numb.
She said, "You better put your gloves on - but I like the way you strum."
I poured some wine for my baby, it was a red from oh-three.
I poured a fine wine for my baby, it was a red from oh-three.
She said, "I think a red should be warmer, but it's all right with me."
I lit a fire for my baby, I turned a tree into a torch.
Well, I lit a fire for my baby, I turned a tree into a torch.
She said, "Slim, I like the heat but our blanket will scorch."
Then it snowed for five minutes, six or eight inches fell.
Oh, it snowed for five minutes, six or eight inches fell.
My baby looked like a snowman and I looked like one myself.
My baby led me back indoors and being warm was nice.
She led me back indoors and being
Grandma“Is there something terribly wrong with me?”
I sigh and look up from my book. In the evening light my grandmother stares back at me, utterly unaware that it’s the third time she’s asked in as many minutes. Complex maps of wrinkles frame her wide eyes, each crease charting the grief, joy and laughter of a lifetime she is slowly forgetting. I look at her and I remember the wit and spark that used to punctuate her speech. I remember the way she used to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere; how she’d find wonder in the simplicity of everyday life. Her curiosity, her sense of adventure, her love of the world and of all the people in it have been replaced by a child-like fear of the unfamiliar.
I look at my grandmother and behind her old, tired eyes I see a young girl who has lost hold of her mother’s hand in a world full of strangers.
“No, Grandma. There’s nothing wrong with you at all.”
curtains shift –
the faint glow
grouse magic.the birds & the butterflies all fighting & fucking like the bees back home, my toes browning under florida sun, my heart all fluttering & aching & pulsing purple gold & green, & I'm learning to let go. still, I look for pop-pop down each orange grove dirt road, knowing pop-pop is dead. & I reach for you in the passenger seat, knowing you're not there. this knowledge makes it hard to breathe until I dance, my heaving limbs throwing themselves into the beat with abandon, a ballsy balancing act. baby, bye. I drive, make temples out of muddy pastures, spend my last dollar on a music-man just so I can stop searching for your hand & I am howling with the wind, & when she howls back I am taken aback, as if in my search my breath stirs hers, as if I've tapped into the secret language of the world.
FFM 23: The Lady in Black She knows.
The thought had crept in quietly and festered in the back of my head like a corpse. When I finally noticed it there, I managed to write it off as paranoia for a time, but at some point it had transformed into a certainty.
I had been so careful, too. I deleted my text messages, encrypted my emails, and changed my Facebook password weekly, just in case. I never took calls while we were having family time, and I had developed a list of fool-proof excuses over the years to explain my long nights, or the occasional odd scent of perfume or cloves. I had never intended to hurt her. The world is a screwed up place sometimes.
Things had been fine for the first few years, during the dating and courting. I was allowed to be aloof back then. And then, after the wedding, we soared on the warm winds of love for a long while, and nothing could come between us. It wasn’t until Lisa got pregnant that I met my Lady in Black. Sabella. So innocent at fi
The Great RaceI crack my knuckles and touch the ground, stretching my calves the way Olympic runners do before a race. The gravel spikes at my palms; my muscles burn from the stretching. Jogging in place, I breathe in short bursts that form into clouds in the chilly air.
Max paces back and forth next to me, holding a clipboard and waving his pen like a conductor. My body is so full of electricity from the anticipation that I want to slap him as hard as I can just for the sake of letting go of the tension. Instead, I crack my knuckles again, making Max cringe in a satisfying way.
Shaking it off, Max checks his watch before pushing his glasses to the top of his head. “Four minutes,” he says, reading off the clipboard. “The race starts at the fifth period bell. That way, you won’t meet any teachers in the hallways who are running late, but there might be some girls still rushing to class after lunch.” He looks up, scrunching his eyebrows together. “Although I really
a father's mistakei am the greatest mistake of your life
but i am yet to meet you.
i have not looked into wine-sodden eyes
and said yes, this is my father
and ruined the rapport you had going
with that quiet blonde in the
have not peered
through half shuttered blinds
and thought yes, this is my other home
and trespassed on the goodwill
of the woman you made your wife
instead of my mother.
have not knelt
beside your sons and daughters as they
etched the world into the pavement
with bright, powdered colours.
i am your daughter but i am no home wrecker,
no quiet lion waiting to roar and lay claim
to a pride that is not mine, has never been mine.
i am yours, but only my blood can
tell you that and i am not likely to bleed for you.
my place is not here in this concrete jungle,
i am a child of paper and ink,
and if you s
You Don't Have to be Wonder Woman...I think these walls are collapsing around me because I'm not smart. I don't think with my head, I think with my hands in terms of what I can make, what I can break, and how to put back together what was previously given up on.
No, I don't always have a steady grip on reality and sometimes my abstract sight, the only one I can really see with, wavers and I'm blind to everything around me. So I feel my way through the thorns and the storms and put my friends in poetry so that way, when they leave, I can still say we're gonna be best friends forever.
It won't really surprise any of you to know that I auditioned to be Wonder Woman. They told me I had great spirit but that cape was way too big and those boots were too tall and I just didn't have the look, you know, that superhero look. But I had great spirit! And if I just stuck around long enough, they were sure I could change the world.
But even if that doesn't quite work out, even if the world is exactly the same fifty year
Ellie, chap. 1.Ellie, revisited.
This is the story: a girl came and went with a train whistle, the galaxy broke, and somewhere between a decaying church and white walls, I fell in love.
That is a mess. I know it's a mess, and that's really only the story, but that's not the truth. The truth of what happened is one big ball of near nothingness and half forgotten could-be-truths. I don't want to remember. I have to remember.
This is not a love story. This is a story about a girl with black hair and cracked fingernails and these are words I have taken from her skin, words that haunt me and words that thrill me. But more than anything, these are words for her, the unbreakable shattered girl.
* * * *
It is May 25th, 5:56 a.m.; I watched sunrise with a pounding heart. The light spilled over the train ahead of me, the 6 a.m. Freight, and I felt that crack in the universe right between the sunlight and the dark, and part of m
Journeyed Too Far WestJanuary 24th, 1872
Arrived in Rose Dust today. Got a good overlook from the stagecoach as it crested a hill. Little more than a collection of shabby buildings all jumbled together in the bottom of horseshoe-shaped gulley. Timber frames of future dwellings out on the fringes, plenty of carpenters at work. Only places of merit seem to be the assay office and the town hall, maybe the local saloon. Not sure why Rose Dust has the name it does, but clearly a fresh boomtown; even the railroad hasn’t come out this far.
Met with Mayor Chandler, took me to Hoc’s saloon for drinks and to discuss my settling into town. Said his wife didn’t tolerate the thought of him drinking in his office. Friendly, just like in the letters. Offered to put me up in the hotel for the night while he finishes getting my place secured. Never met a man so outright welcoming in my life. Odd that he greets me so warmly; they must really need an undertaker.
January 27th, 1872
Been a few days now, and am
Summer LoveWhen I was eight I hated summer
It was juice-box sticky
and every day I scraped myself
off my sheets
and poured my body into a glass.
I don't remember peeling my legs
off a wooden chair come June,
but how our hands were damp with nerves
when we held them,
how the AC on the bus was too much
so my scarf became your blanket and
we ate curry with my parents
before I fell asleep on your shoulder.
Or when you told me not to swim too far out
and the ocean was too cold,
how you got sunburned and I bit my tongue
so hard holding back
"I told you so"
that I swear I bled,
your eyes reflecting the fish at the aquarium,
how you teased me
when I couldn't stay awake through any movie.
You bring comfort to the heat.
I have forgotten other summers.
if i hadn't had the drunk luck to meet youi’d have married every bedside witch from here to east dallas
i’d have glistened like a worm to their mescaline psalms
i’d have mired in sinuous wineskin, repentant spectra
i’d Om along in cooing groups, babble with freethinkers
all my endeavors would be gas station derelicts
all of my wrongs would be quasi-continuous
even the over-sought moon would protest
and i wouldn’t recognize one half of the universe
7am on Blackridgethis morning
the glass of a lake
startling silver and
gone in an instance
against the rocks
and the sweep
of my paddle
as the restless-dog
of the storm
and the sun
shouldered past -
like the sky
Suicides Learning To SpeakIt’s 6 a.m. A girl is beginning the journey back from Oz, anchored to life by the whirr and beep of machines and tubes. Above her emaciated body, nurses pace, write on clipboards, click their heels and purse their lips. She is oblivious. Her mind drifts in freefall, stuck in an eggshell skull wrapped in nasal gastric tubing and an oxygen pipe forced down her throat like a synthetic umbilical cord. Somewhere, neurotransmitters are sewing themselves back into conscious awareness. There is a person lost somewhere in that body. There is a mind overboard in a black sea, sending up a flare. The nurses are afraid that she will stay in there forever. A family jostles at the side of the bed in the cramped, generic hospital room. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men… I don’t need ruby shoes to find my way home. My name is Ruby, the nurses click their heels and my family makes the wish.
I’m finding my way back to consciousness through the sound
My Mother's HorseThe night my mother died, the horse in the barn started singing.
Its neck bulged, veins sticking out like ropes around a hanged man's throat. The old blind eyes stared at nothing, dumbly terrified of the same.
"Shut up, you old dumb bitch," I snapped at it. It had been my mother's horse. Better than a lawnmower, cheaper than a car, she used to say. But for the last few years, it had been too sick to eat and too weak to ride or pull a cart. It just stood in its stall, swaying on its broomstick legs and heaving its eyelids up and down over its smoggy eyes. We'd been an odd trio—my mom, her horse, and me. She refused to kill it, and it had probably been a better daughter to her than I had anyway.
They'd both started spitting out teeth as they aged, joined in an inter-species sisterhood I couldn't begin to understand. Lumps of bone tumbled out of their jaws and left behind muculent yellow holes emptier than any tooth ever could have filled. I remember the first one my mother lost. Th
AdrianIn the house of
blankets held over
crying eyes & mouths,
sunburns so deep
they took away
80% of my body’s
power to tan,
a purple monster
behind the too
intensely sloped roof—
you lit me up
like a bulbless
The first man to
love me w/o the
my coat was always
buttoned from the
chill of the man
hiding at home
my snacks guided
across the empty rooms
inside my too young
to experience body
It’s true I was
some porcelain doll
alchemized into movement
but your hands
or held too tight
while I was being
by someone else
you taught me
that there is always
someone behind the wings
who knows the swing
of the pendulum
between wrong & right.
I know you wanted
but thank you for
remembering I was only
a grown sexual woman
in a little girl’s body—
trying to piece together
that the world as it is
sat down rather cruelly
atop and atilt
my sad little shoulders
Silly I know
and not quite that sane
But feelings will be
so oft' the taffy
'twixt the gut and the brain
Not the world though
not nearly at all
but rather I think
it is more
of a golf ball
I heft it and heave it
and carry it while
I pretend I don't see it
barfing back the fake smile
A golf ball is small
and light as a feather
but to lift it
it feels I will never
I try and try and then
say that I can't
because, after all,
I'm just a wee ant!
breathing is easy but I'm terrible at itapril suns always left streaks of
yellow on your driveway
before they sank.
you laughed at how
the flowers coughed on me
along the bilirubin pavements
on the way to your house
I confused all the streetlights
for sunsets and drowned in
halogen tidepools in those evenings
when the sidewalks ended but
my thoughts of you wouldn’t
maybe love is the sum
of all the excuses we make for it,
or I’m just too tired
to pull myself to the surface
you roll the blades of grass
through your grips, dusting
your fingerprints with haptens
I’d like to blame you for every
wheeze and rale but goddamnit
I just can’t
and then ask
why the world
is full of monsters
the world doesn't need beauty sleepmother earth is pregnant;
her curves yawn -
molasses stretches of dark,
dank night freckled with
i yearn to rest in the cradle
that the small of her back
the roads untangle like
veins unto her skin
after being held so long
in the fist of pre-dawn.
drunk in slumber, red-eyed,
beautiful - morning will
come yet, the small child
born in the rafters of
but before her date,
mother earth shifts in her sleep,
love settling in the wing
of her hip -
exhaustion dilutes her blood,
consciousness touches her golden
shoulder on his way out the door.
Death Is PatientThe week before her birth a large black dog, The Grim, wondered the woods surrounding the village. The people of the village, particularly the parents, hid in their homes in fear from dusk till dawn. No children played outside during this time, no young lovers met in the woods. All moved quickly to their destination, fearful that the Grim would take them if they dallied too long even in the brightest times of day. But all knew that Death could wait and would win its prize in the end.
On the seventh day of the Grim's appearance, the baby girl was born and her parents locked her away in the center of their small home. Far from doors and windows the parents did lay her, fearful that Death would snatch their first child away before dawn broke. They locked and barred the doors and windows and had the village holy man bless the house and child.
The first night of the child's life, Death, still in the form of the Grim, scratched at the door and walls of the young family's home. He howled and
yellowthere’s this picture of some rooftops in new york
and over the rooftops there’s this rainbow
like a question mark lying on its side like it’s not even sure
that it should be a rainbow, it’s like when you exhale by accident really
softly on birthday candles and the flames ripple a little and everyone
thinks you made your wish even though it was just
a mistake, it’s a rainbow like that, like it happened
and the picture reminds me of this one day when i was
looking out the window of ms. azeglio’s office when i was fifteen
as she talked on and on without
saying anything, talked about fixing me i
watched out the window and there wasn’t a rainbow not like
there is in the picture but there almost could have been one because
someone had let out balloons and they
kept going up all different colors too with their ribbons beckoning
and ms. azeglio she turned
her head to the window at one point and she saw
a yellow balloon floating up there by
The Day I was Never BornI was rather certain that my parents had forgotten.
I was finally becoming an adult, legally adult in a world ruled by them and I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. My parents, you see, had always been very protective of me, more so than of any of my friends and it, while it had been a comfort at certain times, it had also been a nuisance as, I suppose, it would be of anyone of that age with such parents. I loved them, of course, but I wanted to fly free, try my own wings and find myself, so to speak.
This wish comes to all those on the threshold of adulthood, or nearing it.
It is a fear, really. Every time we know change is coming, for better or worse, we begin to feel fear. In some, this becomes uncertainty, in others boasting and swaggering. For me, it was neither. Or both. I am not quite sure, but I was certainly looking forward to it.
I remember that week. I was trying to slip hints as to what I desired about my coming of age, about my birthday, as all children
The UnderstandingWhen I’m drunk or
you’re drunk or
and uncommitted at the same bar,
we leave together,
sit and fiddle with beers
at your place
your dad’s place?
laugh at the dramatic-moment music
in movies made when I was three,
talk about my ex-
cat, how you got high and played
in the snow,
and you find the shower
eventually after a beer-chug
myself trailing, tiptoeing
into the jeans-and-boxers puddle,
placing my folded clothes on the sink,
slipping in behind
the temperature adjustment
from the fjord-freezing or lobster-boiling
you turned on yourself
and while you wash my back,
pressing the curves with longing
lazy, I rub the soap into your red-
as if I want the ink to stain
my fingers and
you slip inside me like water
and I watch your legs
bowing behind mine
and think of birds
(I am too
short for this love;
you give up, laughing,
untoweled thin body dripping
on the comforter),
and you won’t
.just try not to
that memory, that one
wolf that calls
for the rest
of the pack;
you'll spend all
with them inside
The House Of Dying PoetryIn a house of dying poetry.
Where the bitter concrete weeps,
And light bulbs wink to sleep.
Painted verses haunt,
Cracks and cloths of black.
Until all meaning pauses,
And I wish never to go back.
Humming birds; jewel blue wings,
Whistles whirling on cinder winds.
But alas I cannot hear,
Their chirps beyond fragile glass,
Before the siren of suicide rings.
White velvet seeps in,
Skirt ripped in scarlet,
A vision of cruelty I see.
She grimaces at me, and so,
Like the cat's meow; she begins.
"Is this all you can write?
Lyrics lamenting in dark night,
Of suffering, scars and spite?
Whatever happened to joy?
Is my infinite depression,
Forever going to be your toy?"
I do not answer;
For I have no excuse to reply.
Aurora blossoms in her,
Silver hair writhing in a halo.
Then she nods at me,
And an angel escorts her tears,
To idylls lost in echo sky.
In a house of dying poetry.
Where the bored mortar decays,
And silent moths flee to pray.
Stained rhymes drown,
Windows and words of flame
longingi scuff at sidewalk bottle caps,
mouthing your name as i pass shriveled milkweed stalks and snuffed-out cigarettes.
once, the clock hands pointed north. they mock me now with each degree elapsed,
each angle pointing to a slew of compass-rose regrets.
mouthing your name as i pass shriveled milkweed stalks and snuffed-out cigarettes,
i hear the second hand’s advance tally my silences like rosary beads,
each angle pointing to a slew of compass-rose regrets.
if only i could pull your name from this unmerciful stampede!
i hear the second hand’s advance tally my silences like rosary beads.
every dull tock measures out those quinine conversations, sly unripened smiles, and yet i know
if only i could pull your name from this unmerciful stampede,
the cobwebs binding me to mute labyrinths of time might let me go.
every dull tock measures out those quinine conversations, sly unripened smiles, and yet i know
your redwood hands could be the ones to rescue me, and then
he cried because no one cried for himI found Death crying in the alleyway underneath my apartment window. He crouched, shaking and whimpering out his little mouse of a cry that was muffled by the rumbling cacophony of city night life. He didn't make himself seen and, like the child he was, huddled down and hid his face with his mitten-covered hands.
Death made eye contact with me as I watched him from the fire escape. He stared with bright blue eyes perfectly framed with long eye lashes. The chill bit and reddened his nose and cheeks, and his tears left frozen paths of black ice against his face. I didn't mean to, it was an accident, he pleaded with me.
I watched him as he shamefully picked up his victim, a tiny little kitten that was half frozen and curled tightly into itself. He tried to stroke it back to life, begging and pressing the small animal into his plush winter coat.
I'm sorry, he lisped, wiping snot onto his sleeve as he cradled the corpse like a beloved baby doll. My eyes followed his tiny
The Man with the Gaping EyeThe dusty air of the courtyard never seemed to settle,
invading the lungs of those passing by.
The hot afternoon sun bakes the stone roads black,
light tinged orange.
The man with the gaping eye,
his empty socket a crinkled web of scars.
A blank face looks upon me,
His once strong jaw,
now loose and misshapen from days he wishes he could forget.
He still knows their names,
they have long forgotten his.
His leathery fingers,
gnarled and twisted,
appear like the roots of an ancient oak tree.
Knuckles many times larger than they should be,
are cracked and worn,
weathered by both sun and time.
His calloused feet,
tucked and curled beneath him,
bear the scars and broken bones of times when he forgot,
crushed under foot and hoof.
He has long lost count,
it now hurts too much for him to walk.
His only eye,
it tells the story of his past,
whispering tales about the years of joy he used to have,
days so long gone they became legends to him,
legends he no longer believes in.
When It RainsI think of you, when it rains.
Don’t you remember
The fickle breezes
Spattering droplets in our faces,
How a great gust carried off your Donald Duck umbrella
And we chased it,
Across the square, across the park,
Where it finally caught
In the rosebushes.
One of the ribs was broken
But I laughed
And laughed because it made Donald’s tail droop,
Until you were laughing too.
I don’t know how we didn’t even
Notice that my hands were bleeding from the thorns
Until we were halfway home.
You asked me if it hurt—
Of course it did,
But it didn’t matter—
Besides, I just can’t cry with raindrops running down my face,
Running down my arms,
Or, what about
The spangling rain of winter,
Sharp—but harmless, like pins-and-needles—on our skin
But death to the letters
In the postbox
Where their words would bleed their life away,
Stabbed with rain.
So for safety,
You tucked the letters under your shirt
Then pulled off your jacket,
Bard's LamentMy steps are attached to the ground that holds your kingdom. I saw you once upon a time, when I first came with my humble lyre to play some joy and some pain, and I never left.
I wonder ; forgotten princess, could the comb you once held in your hand now untangle the torment of my mind?
I wonder; does the mirror that reflected your eyes still stand unbroken; and could it take me where wanders your mind?
I wonder; did the two thousand steps of your castle porch kiss your feet when you climbed them for the last time?
I wonder; do the walls cry at night seeing you forever asleep?
And I, the poorest of all minstrels, I shall destroy my instrument and use its strings to make a bow. And send my everything to you, on an arrow, since I cannot climb up to you holding on your locks, like Rapunzel, or fighting the dragon like Sleeping Beauty. I will send my most beautiful scores, and maybe the touch of my heart’s ink will at last wake you up.
I will sit under your balcony, on the very spot
She Was With the StarsThe amber girl
was preserved perfectly
and her silky hair and porcelain skin
gleamed like a doll's
But the scientists weren't able to keep
her soul burning
because though she was in the
glass case filled with chemicals and fluids
and they were desperately trying to pump
oxygen into her lungs,
her mind was still up in space
with the stars
So the sun was extinguished
despite the cries and mournful screams
because they had
and the many who looked up
at her light and glory
slowly began to rot away
And so not a single thing was solved
Kingdom of NightHe played the violin in the moments before his death, played Beethoven as if it were the only song ever written.
The Germans had disallowed the works of their great musicians to the likes of him, but here in the meadow between earth and the kingdom of night, the Germans had no voice.
Snow fell like ash over the frozen ground, and felt almost warm as a blanket. Corpses were scattered around them both, half-buried in the white, their strength finally stolen. In the shadows the boy heard the song, sweeping away the hunger and pain in his belly.
He played the violin in the dark until breath left him, and he was one more unmarked barrow in the black forest. The song rang forever in the boy’s ears, in the void beneath his ribs.
Renfield's ClockThe package had no label or return address. It was just left on my front porch, wrapped in layers and layers of packing tape and cardboard, square and slim, about a foot and half in length. It was heavy as I picked it up and rather than open it there on the front porch, I brought it inside, and sealed my doom.
Inside, I found a clock. It was clearly old, the rim ornately decorated with motifs of vines, and while I was no expert the material was suspiciously reminiscent of gold. It had to be valuable. I was bewildered as to why I'd find such a thing left on my front porch. I turned it over, inspecting each side of it, and that was when the note that had been tacked to the back slipped off.
'To the person who receives this,' the note read, 'I don't know you and I'm really sorry, but I had to get rid of this. It's killed both my husband and children and now it wants me. I'm sorry.'
For a long moment, I just sat there, the note in my hands, s
JessaThe bathroom was tiny, cramped and dank-smelling. No tiles on the walls, a rag rug on the floor. The toilet, a squat, cracked thing half-hidden in the gathering gloom. This was a space meant for perfunctory ablutions. Pleasant thoughts did not linger here.
At the sink stood a girl, hunched over, washing blood from her uniform. She paused to swipe at a falling tear with a wet and shaking hand. Tall and sturdy limbed, she looked older than her years but the unguarded moment showed her youth and fragility.
Odara’s eyes continued to sting as she thought of the reason for the fight that had gotten her sent home from school. Momma was in jail again. She’d knifed a man who’d tried to take what Momma often traded for. Served the bastard right of course. Shoulda listened when Momma said she wasn’t in the mood. Damn fool knew about her mother’s volcanic temper and quickness with a blade to boot.
But men were always trying to get with Jessa Beauford whether she wante
Afterlife Astronaut“There is no God.”
“Well, you don’t know that for sure-“
“Bernard, as an AI connected to every philo-science document, every parabyte of knowledge in the Human Empire, every logic string going back to the days of the Past Colonists... I can assure you, there is no God. It has been proven.”
Bernard sighed. His helmet visor fogged up then disappeared.
“I’m not going to bother arguing with you. Soon that golden gate is going to open, and I will walk into the Kingdom of Heaven. That should be enough proof.”
The gate in question was a smooth sphere of gold, slowly rotating on an equally dull pedestal. Crystal red spires pointed at specific points on the globe.
“You just don’t want to argue with me because you are in fear of how wrong you are. And how right a computer can be.”
Jude deserved to be muted, but sass like that always kept her voice a ubiquitous presence in Bernard’s helmet. A blue flash in the top
Hello, I'm Me- Nice To Meet YouI stand in the rain- until I’m soaked to the bone with the scent of it
Until my clothes stick to my skin and it’s uncomfortable to peel them off
I crawl out of bed at 2:33 am just to go look at the stars- even if I’m too tired to name them
Even if my hair is still wet from my shower and the tips start to freeze because it’s under 20 degrees F
I walk with my hands grazing the branches of trees- lips turned up the corners
Lips turned up at the corners because I get along with nature better than I do with humans
I give way too much ‘change’ to veterans asking for money- even though I know they may be lying
Even though they may be, but what if they’re not?
I listen to cashiers as they spill their tales of bad days across the scanner- as they scan 10 cans of cat food
As they scan 10 cans of cat food, I smile brightly- one that somehow reaches my eyes- and wish them a better tomorrow
I visit my town’s Radio Shack way too often- the two freq
symphony stellataone of my earliest memories -
my mother, steadfast mentality
slowly driving her forward, repeating
repeating re-pea-ting bar by bar
nocturne number eight in d flat major;
never anything less than perfection,
even when fingertips wear thin,
when patience wears thinner,
and chopin fades into dusti am a child born of icy constellations,
cigarette smoke, and canorous chords,
composers whispering at the edge of my sensesblack-garbed, it's grandmother's funeral -
my violin cries massenet's méditation.
my thirteen year-old heart has never
felt so incapable of expression,
so goddamn inadequate, and d major
has never sounded so heartbroken.
we return to a phone call from father,
his composure cracking as he tells us
we'll be doing this all over again;
96 hours, two grandmothers gone,
now all i have is massenet and
it isn't fairwe'd never know it by looking at the sky,
but countless stars waxed requiem to
create us; cenotaphs in the empyrean blacksixteen years old and i can breathe -
What I Lost“I lost a finger,” Dolph proclaimed in a manner of startling, distant normality to his father, who had just ghosted by him into the kitchen to find something. His father paused like a clogged clock and spun suddenly on a hinge to see and confirm, and Dolph held up his hand to reveal his organic matter’s metallic replacement. “It’s just the pinky one.”
His father sluggishly pulled up a chair and printed sentences and fragments streamed from the printing compartment on his patchwork-junk face which Dolph had labored so fiercely to build and jumpstart over three years ago. Dolph reached for the receipt paper as it started to curl over and still it came in waves of questions and random echoing thoughts from his father’s scattered processor. The processor was a work in progress still, and one which Dolph was hesitant to change, because unlike a brain it sometimes sputtered with the a
Grave Robber's DowagerThe people of this town were just waiting to die. That was Maggie’s favourite thing about it, there was always business. Her husband used to go out at night and dig up someone who wouldn’t be missed. He’d have the body on the table in the basement before midnight. Maggie would strip the corpse of its clothing and its valuables. The clothes would be washed and resold, the valuables pawned off or kept depending on her mood.
Her husband would clean the body up and just as the very first rays of light were creeping over the horizon, a man with a cart would come by and take them away. It was a good living. Maggie and her husband were comfortable and proud of having such an efficient business.
Normally, the work never got to Maggie, but every so often she would buy a candle or a leather purse and wonder if it was someone she knew. That was silly of course, but every time it happened she couldn’t shake the feeling of ghosts hanging around her for days. Her husband unde
Depression (in Eight Parts)I.
I took a walk once, and
Depression walked alongside me.
"I want to be alone," I told him.
"I know," he replied,
"Why do you think I'm here?"
"I have a plan,"
Depression said to me.
"Not today," I said.
He frowned and asked,
"How did you know my plan?"
I gave the weekend over to Depression
but he took three days
instead of two.
"Think of it as an investment," he said.
"And maybe I'll let you have a Friday night
Fallen to the floor
I look up and see
he's smiling at me.
"You know what they say
about old dogs."
He's doing this on purpose,
I know he is-
and it's working.
"They can't learn new tricks?"
I asked, playing my part.
"No," he replied,
I walked away,
my Trials and Tribulations
defeated behind me.
but even he took a moment
and whistled low.
"I don't think much of you, but
those were some big guys."
I answered honestly:
"What were they,
compared to you?"
I looked Depression in the eye
staring without pardon or
Passing ShipsIt was just like you to show up late. Honestly, it was just like you. It was the hottest day of the year so far and every green space was full of people trying to get their fix. Daylight junkies. When you live beneath grey clouds for most of your life it starts to take its toll and you take your highs where you can get them.
I was a bundle of nerves, as I always was when it came to you, picking at grass and trying to pretend that the fact you were late was totally cool. Instinct told me differently and I knew as soon as you graced me with your presence that things had changed. It was written all over your face - guilt, guilt, guilt - but I was naive and thought you were just shy.
I can't believe that it's been so long since you cracked me open under star spangled skies. I can't believe it's been almost a decade yet I'm still just as aware of you as I was before. They say that time heals but I still feel the wound, fresh and bleeding, beneath my skin. I still can't resist picking at it
we shouldn't be so afraid of deathi waited for death to wrap his
frail hands around my neck and
feed me to the unknown
but he just took my hand, fingers
laced between my own
In Between the Living and the UndeadElijah set the camera between the branches with trembling hands. His fever had spiked so much he could feel the sweat pouring off his body, drenching him from head to toe. He welcomed the cool mountain breeze as it blew over his ashen face. Once the camera became situated he hit the record button and began.
“Hello,” he spoke wearily. Elijah barely got the first word out before he began coughing violently. When the choking fit ended he could see his own hand was stained with blood. Elijah wiped it on his already stained jeans and continued.
“My name is Elijah. I am a member of a small band of survivors who are attempting to reach the military base in Vancouver. We have little food or shelter and our morale is low. Yet, by some miracle or just blind luck we’ve managed to encounter no hoards since reaching the Appalachia.”
He paused for a moment, biting his dry lip and contemplated. Then he added, “Before the epidemic, I was a scientist working for the
How to disappear completelyFriday 5.30pm, and my face was pressed to the armpit of another man, with the leather strap almost cutting off the blood supply to my hand. The groin of a stranger was touching my back every time the carriage cornered. A girl breathed hot chocolate into my ear. It sounds erotic, now I think about it, but it wasn’t. The only way I can cope with that squeeze of people, the second-hand air of three hundred diseased strangers on the Jubilee Line, is by going into myself. I become utterly absorbed in the music on my ipod. Ray Davies is singing only to me. Sometimes I accidentally mouth the words and attract the disinterested but opprobrious glances of bystanders.
There was a wasp in the carriage, battling frantic against the window to escape to the blurring black brick beyond. I watched it for five minutes by sidelong glances before it crossed into the radar of a fellow commuter. She screamed, dropped her briefcase and stood on som
poet, breathe now. you
the flower clubdear preacher,
i've got something to admit
i was in the field
i was watching the flowers get dressed
well they're just so pretty naked
petals tucked into their sides
and watching them unfold
i was watching them pull down the sunrise
and put it on themselves
so i'm a sinner for it
cause i watched them bathe, too
stand around together in the shower
a hundred ladies in their beautiful skins
pink small ones
big blue proud ones
letting the droplets collect and residue
on their finery and shamelessly bare leaves
well that's my confession preacher
i watch the flowers strip and tease
staggering and struggling01.
yesterday, i wrote
your name on a slip of paper
and folded it into an origami star.
it hangs on my bonsai tree
(little trees for big
wishes) as a just-in-case hope
for those times when it feels like
can make me
sometimes, when even stars
and little trees aren't
enough to make me happy, i cut
down the paper stars and pretend
that it is a meteorite shower in my
bedroom, but sometimes that
just makes it worse
because i realize
that shooting stars are actually
we are all just stars that have
forgotten the happy-thoughts that
made us fly,
it's just that some of us are blazing and beautiful
before we burn out. and die.
i can write disorderly words with random indents
and call it "poem", and
people will still say
they like it
because we all know
what it's like to be unhappy
and there is nothing
unhappy people like better
than making people
i can jump over my own leg and
touch my toes if i really try,
but i can't stop being ter
Snow, in winter.
This morning the sun.
Last night, rain.
The flowers again in spring.
Soon the birds.
The dog, a bone.
The ducks about in the water.
The box, upstairs.
Napoleon by Wellington.
The children in the fields.
Sticks for mother.
In the middle of the street, an old man.
(The sparrows their morning bath.)
He, his coat and out into the darkness.
The enemy across the narrow stream, the boy.
Day, as we home the wounded soldier.
Through the flames, the gallant fireman and the frightened horses.
Distinctly the horn of the hunter.
The moon over the still waters of the lake.
I, the postman.
Me, a letter.
We, the garden and the fence.
To the boy's assistance, you, your lessons.
Cabbages in the garden.
The withered leaves blown about by the wind.
The sun through the window when.
Near the bank where John went into the river.
About your proposal.
tonight i am old againtomorrow morning i will be
two again and scared of the shadows.
i will be two again and i will not
look out the window unless you are
holding my hand,
i will be two again and my father will
be the biggest man on earth again
but tonight i am eighteen, i am
eighteen, i am
holding the world in my chest and it is
beating like a heart (well then it must be my heart)
china digs a pattern in my backbone and i
am red red red red
i am a communist daughter and
the trains to shanghai will leave something
to be desired
i am eighteen, i am
all the life in the world
stacked around a schoolruined spine
and the world moves softly and she
touches me gently with her face
and then slides away.
tomorrow morning i will be
five again and i will be happy,
i will be five again and i will not
look at my body the way my mother looks at her body,
i will be five again
and people will just be pretty, people will just be
people will just be
but tonight i am eighteen, i am
This is my phone....
This is my phone,
there's many like it, but this one is mine,
my phone is my best friend, it is my life,
I must master it as I master my life.
Without me it is useless, without my phone I am useless
I will dial my phone true
I must text faster than my brethren
who is trying to contact me, I must text them before they text me....I will.
My phone and myself know what counts in society is not the data we receive
Not the tweets we get,
The reblogs on tumblr, nor the likes on facebook.
Knowing the message is sent that counts.
We will send
My phone is human, even as I, because it is my life
Thus I learn it as a brother, learn its glitches, the specs,
its cameras, the download and upload speeds.
I will ever guard it against weather and damage
I will keep my screen clean and fingerprint free
As I am clean and fingerprint free
We will become part of each other. We will...
Before my family I make this promise
My phone and myself are free to do as w
here's to losing youhey, wow,
great! you do!
are you happy?
no, but here, have my
see me turn myself
upside down when we run
into each other.
while you are shaking hands
and kissing babies
still smiling for smiling's sake,
I've seen the real you
crying into wine. I've felt you
stain my shirt black-streaked
with hidden away things
creased things, folded
and in the process, you
soaked my soul in
spooning your vulnerability
was better than
in one blind night,
better than the electric jolts
you sent burning up my arms
when you grabbed my hand
one day, out of the clear blue,
better than that first kiss
when both our tensions
dissolved into each other
like butter in a hot pan.
nothing has quite matched the night
when I saw you naked, saw you
emotionally undress for the first time:
Small TalkIt's dripping with logic and reason
the question you let gently drop
onto the table between us,
“So, tell me about your life.”
And I'm watching it carefully
telling myself it won't bite
it's more scared of me than I am
and I can capture it with glass.
And I can't rest the answer there
because it's bigger and scarier
and this one will bite will sink
will tear apart the careful stitches.
It's too big for this table
and I can't put it onto you
so it weighs heavy on my neck
and the silence stretches further.
holding up traffica strange fellow
bestowed his slow strut
upon the side-walk
(I watched as if
the other flailed
as if conducting
the wild orchestra
that was his own
he was just-more-
than walking in place
as the sun kicked
from the wet-
of those behind me
had begun to
this man did not
know the world
that imprisoned me
the way dogs dream;
legs kicking, barking, whining,
in another realm
and as cars
middle fingers like
to amplify the,
Move it asshole!
there was a place
I'd rather be.
how to get drunk and not mean itfirst:
say you’re just looking to have fun.
don’t tell her about the last time this happened.
plan on staying away from beds and grabby hands.
plan on forgetting for once.
lay in bed anyway because you trust her.
debate if that’s wise.
contemplate the universe and what dying feels like.
decide it sounds like her laughter.
feel like dying.
let her hold you.
try to decide if you want to remember this tomorrow.
whisper into her mouth that you love her.
let her shakily toss it back.
lie to yourself.
say you’ll forget.
wake up with her in the other bed.
complain about the headache.
don’t complain about the lack of warmth.
she’ll ask if you remember last night.
be hurt when she does too.
write poetry about how you don’t care.
HelwaynehLambert sat at his desk, delicately touching the picture in his hands and feeling that already all too familiar ache in his heart. It had been two weeks since his daughter had been born, the little princess he had anxiously awaited nine long months for, and he still had yet to touch her. He just couldn’t bring himself to. The nation was still celebrating the birth of the princess and mourning the loss of the queen, but he could only mourn. They were supposed to raise a family together, share life’s ups and downs, and then one day grow old together. Instead, he was alone.
Well, not quite. He thought bitterly to himself. You have a daughter now. You’re a dad, and you need to act like it.
But he couldn’t. He felt nothing but pain. He stared at the picture of him and his wife a little longer. It was from before they were married; the night he became king and they had their first dance together. He thought he could never love her more than that m
Inuyasha Fanfiction - Letting GoTitle: Letting Go
Words: 591 (flashfic)
Disclaimer: You know the drill. No own IY.
Pairings: none - OCs: none
Rating: G - Genre: Introspection
Continuity: Manga. Post series
Summary: Sesshoumaru has gone to throw away his attachment to his father.
The cold breath of the afterlife sighs through the portal. Cool light comes with it, almost blinding, but Sesshoumaru's nose tells him more than his eyes ever could; the scent of the dead land is changeless dust. He can picture it without having to set a foot beyond these gates again, a single eternal day in a barren landscape of skeletons. A place of conclusion.
He resheathes Tenseiga and holds it in his reborn left hand, ready to let it go. The warmth of the simple scabbard feels somehow to resonate with the light of the doorway, two expressions of the same power. It is clear to which world this sword truly belongs.
Nothing of any consequence will happen if