Features by DorianHarper
The Prince of the BogHe watched the impenetrable mist curl into intricate shapes, forming an ethereal spectacle in the dim light of the late afternoon. It danced around the sturdy oak trees and caressed the rough barks in an almost tender fashion. Gnarled branches swayed and leaves rustled, murmuring a soft melody that resonated throughout the bog and pierced right into its heart. Though in motion, the scenery seemed strangely cold and lifeless. Darkness encroached from below to boldly sweep across the land, before swallowing it. Tendrils, smooth and tortuous, reached for the old barks’ roots, as if trying to pull them underground. Perhaps, they had succeeded before. Uprooted trees presented labyrinthine curtains for inspection.
Amidst all of that, there was a tall, equine creature, slick and damp, its dark skin strangely mythical and alluring. The way it moved was fluid and graceful, but only appeared harmonious from a distance. As it approached, the beast’s strength and presence became
As Are Moth-Eaten Clothes Jack says I’ve always got to carry around this machine, big as a TV, with loopy wires coming out of it and wriggling around in my stomach. Sometimes if I’m tired he carries it, or sets it on some wheeler, but most days I’ve got it settled in the crook of my arm or against my hip. It’s hard to play football with the other kids when I’ve got to hold it, and can’t drop it neither. Jack says I oughta be grateful I can run around at all.
It’s not too heavy, the machine, it’s just a box with some gooey slush in it and a place on top that flashes numbers in red. Jack checks the numbers every sixty minutes, on the dot, even at night when I’m asleep. He’s awful smart. He says the numbers are my blood pressure and glucose and oxygen and stuff, and there’s one number that’s the estimation numeration of months I’m still functional, and I don’t understand any of it. I
a modern opheliashe found fennel beneath her pillow,
and felt the familiar flutter
of glassfish between her ribs.
to distract herself, she
scattered the reddest petals
in her bathwater.
she braided poppies in her hair
let regret invade her lungs.
Falling Into StarlightI am falling. I have been caught by a monster which cannot be seen, but for the path of destruction it carves through the cosmos. It pulls me in, and as I plummet the universe bends and folds back on itself, and for a brief moment I can see everything that is and ever was.
In the twisted relay of light I see the nebula that was my birthing ground. Its radiance surrounds me with heat and color. Bursting clouds and arching forms in writhing wings of gossamer, painted with hydrogen and illuminated from within by the glow of its children.
Mother nebula had formed me, along with my sisters, from parts of herself. Coaxing and coalescing until we were strong enough enough to shine on our own. Then she breathed into us life and our hearts began to flutter with the embers of fusion.
In our mother’s embrace, I played with my sisters, plunging into misted veils and swinging through spangled swaths of life-dust. She would tell us tales of the far reaches of the galaxy, where the giants dance
I wanted to grow old with youI wanted to grow old with you:
turn grey and fade away, subdued.
To walk with you through all the years
and face, as one, our darkest fears.
We'd burn too brightly for this Earth
and share in sorrow and in mirth;
to each the other's soul would bare
and twice the love, at once, declare.
For each would know the other's mind
and there a perfect solace find;
we would be two, though as one known –
discrete though merged & mingled grown.
I wanted to grow old, it's true:
turn grey and fade to dust with you.
Cassandra - Prologue and Part 1Even in death, Cassandra was lovely.
Her hair cascaded over her ivory shoulders in sable cataracts, pooling in the soft hollow between her breast and throat. She was wearing the white nightgown, the one she knew I loved, and the fall had thrown it up, weightless, in gossamer drifts across her legs. Her bare toes were painted salmon-pink, the same colour as the roses in the crystal vase by the door.
So elegant, my Cassandra. I might have expected that she would sprawl, as one imagines that people do when they have died suddenly, but her body refused to surrender its accustomed grace. One hand curled beside her face; the other lay, palm up, across her cocked hips, its open fingers tenderly beckoning. Her eyes were closed, peaceful, the fringe of dark lashes sooty and familiar upon her fading cheek. Her lips were parted in expectation. At any moment, she would wake, look up at me, smile. Cassandra.
My hand found the banister, gripped the aged wood and guided me down the stairs
1. THE CHILD OF DARKNESS**** READ THE COMMENT FIRST, PLEASE!****
1. THE CHILD OF DARKNESS
You killed me.
You ripped me of the life!
The pale blonde girl was staring at her with her completely white eyes, spewed off by the impenetrable black fog behind her. She stretched out her hand, grabbing her neck in an iron grip. Ria was unable to speak, to move. She could not react. The guilt, heavy like an anvil, was crushing and taking her away the breath, while the little icy hand that was ripping her life was adamant. She felt, like a cold shiver, the touch of death. Her heart was pounding, as if it was trying to blow up: as if it was its only way to escape from that eyes and from that grip. That horrible, evil little girl, wasn't moving. She was tightening, stronger and stronger. Too strong.
... I'll have my revenge!
Ria awoke, sitting up. She was breathing heavily and her forehead was beaded with sweat. She was trembling. With death in h
with love.my throat thickens
to echo the songs of sparrows
the shape of your lips
whispered through mine.
when i lift your shirt,
i see the mountains
traipsing over your heart,
i see the valleys
as i trace your stomach.
i am an adventurer,
crossing the fragile east indies,
the spartan deserts of upper africa,
looking for exploration.
my hands are my ships, your skin my ocean.
your waist breaks into your hip,
the shore of foreign lands,
cresting wave and falling tide.
drinking cups of stars,
we are thin nylon skin,
abashed teenage heat
erupting from our cores
and every orifice
as we proclaim our love
for the moon,
from our bodies.
Dishwasherafternoon light flickers
through the curtains
like a moth
her fingers brush
the lined edge
of a plate
as the sink fills
the sound of paper, displaced
shifts behind her
the careful steps
the cat takes
across the table
outside the roses
trace their shadows
across the lawn
ExpirationWith you I always feel like I’m
to break in the wrong size of shoes.
Sometimes I sit and stew
over how you’re seventeen and
you think I’m a princess
the trapped-in-a-tower kind
and how you wear suits and talk about politics
and think you know the world.
My throat interrupts with an affronted gurgling sound
sometimes when I think about you,
you deal out advice where it just isn’t called for
you quote science-fiction to justify war
and you’re seventeen years old and you think I’m a princess
and you just have no blooming idea.
Darling, one of these days I will tell you my mind
But until then we’ll never fit
I’m afraid –
that even after that day
you’ll still be trimmed hedges and
A Promise She Made With DeathShe was conceived on the edge of a mirror,
lined with pretty white lace,
that burned the inside of her parents' nostrils.
She was born with a hole in her heart,
that the doctor's never noticed,
and no one bothered to fill.
She met Death on the playground,
when kindergarten was bending her bones.
Enticed by the glinting of his scythe,
as it preyed on a malformed baby rabbit.
She made a pinky promise with him,
swearing that she'd never forget his face.
He came and went,
swayed by corpse breaths
and east-coast winds,
but always leaving her alone.
He showed her how to hurt,
in the worst kind of way.
And each time,
he paid her a visit,
he'd take someone back with him.
She often asked where he would go,
when his curled claws would drag her mother,
and every love she'd ever fallen for,
into the darkness that he crawled from.
All he'd say,
was that she'd find them again someday,
and that he would take her to them, personally.
But as February,
of her fourteenth year,
Features by inknalcohol
i tried to tell you that Marley was a ghost,
but you wanted to walk with wings
across gleaming midnight.
How marvelous, this stone stands
sturdy and musty; this glorious church holding up a ticking sun
that slowly cracks the trippy stained glass.
you drilled way below the church stone,
and found dried palm leaves and old joints
like clues to the map of an exceptional life.
I love this torrential literature,
I love a racing heart.
i cannot sleep, i keep dreaming,
ezekiel's visions leave me breathless.
Take it up with the Big Man.
Surely the cannabis creator
must exude a presence that lingers on synapses.
i've lost my ability to fly.
a tender sky with reddening clouds,
the sights of death give birth to no life.
Well, I'm l
With Love, AprilDarling,
I thought I saw you on the evening train today. Your hair was flowing, red and fiery like it normally was. Except it had a different shine to it this time like you had moved on – like you weren’t looking back…except you did look over your shoulder – a glance – to adjust the strap that was slipping off. It… wasn’t you, though. The smile cascaded to a frown and I turned to look at someone else’s stranger.
I considered burning the rest of your clothes your mother didn’t ask for (I couldn’t bring myself to do it). I sat in the vintage yellow seats of our kitchen instead, drinking strawberry tea out of your chipped green cocoa mug and staring at the starfish above the window in place of your mother. I considered shattering the cup, since she didn't ask for it either. I couldn't bring myself to do it. She didn’t know what she was doing. if she had, she would’ve taken all of you from me. I kno
This is for the Average ArtistIt is painful at times,
Seeing those born with skill and talent.
They paint such beautiful things, using the barest of material.
Entire worlds are spun at their fingertips, all from a dot of paint.
I think sometimes, of how nice it must be,
To be able to capture such beauty, within the borders of a page.
To spin a tale from but the smallest of phrases,
To create a fantastic adventure from a mundane experience.
It is painful indeed at times. When I am seated in this room,
Surrounded by the dull hum of failure and regret,
I ask myself, with eyes burning in the mirror,
Am I finally ready to give it all up?
'No!' I say
I will not let it end this way!
Not without a fight, not until I know that I am utterly broken.
The good lord may have blessed you with talent my friend,
He has given you everything that I could have ever desired...
But there is one thing that I have earned;
One little gift that remains my own.
You would not know of it,
Since you have never felt it,
IceWhen the glacier slides,
I'm the one
. . .
Wondering where the right path is, with doubt biting. Frozen memories, icy distances.
When the world grows colder,
I'm the one
. . .
Standing on my own, with the past craving for me. Stolen, missing.
When the snow falls,
I'm the one
. . .
Trying my best, to make sense of it all. Wandering, wondering.
When the hail storms,
I'm the one
. . .
Holding my guard, locking my heart. Smiling, pretending.
Your life is not a British television showPeople on social media sites
tend to glorify things that hurt.
They brag about things
that people struggle with.
Mental illness is not a label.
It is not a badge nor a privilege
or something you have to earn.
they battle voices in their heads
that they do not even recognize.
People struggle to tame
their inner demons
and keep up an image
that the world expects them to uphold.
Mental illness is not cute,
being so anxious you cannot speak is not a quirk.
Relying on people to take care of you is not romantic.
Your life is not an episode of Skins
The idea of Effy and Freddie is fictional,
no one is going to save you.
We go home and muffle our cries
while dragging razors across our wrists
chasing pills with bottles of vodka.
Our thoughts turn on us
Like a loaded gun,
and we are stuck forever
in a game of Russian roulette.
We wear long sleeves,
and try to drown out voices with headphones.
We tremble at the thought of giving up the chemicals
we have become dependent
The Beauty of a WomanThe beauty of a woman
Is like the lotus -
Most of it is hidden from the eye.
Everything You BorrowedOn Sunday afternoon,
after exiting the church,
you plucked the sun from the sky
and hid it in your palms
so that when I held your hands
they would no longer be cold.
When Monday night arrived
you snatched every single star
and used my tears to make
Tuesday's empty dawn shone
through the cracks of the door--
you stole the promise of what
could never be
and draped it around my shoulders.
After Wednesday's twilight passed,
you grabbed the clouds
and wove a tapestry of lies
that I hung on the walls
of my prison.
Thursday crept through us
on silent tiptoes,
waiting for us to take notice--
instead, we merely waited
for midnight to come.
The dusk of Friday waned
while you stripped it of its sorrows
and sewed them into my skin.
When Saturday came
you tried to steal the moon;
I watched as you stood on your tombstone
and stretched to reach it.
You fell, then--
fell, broke your neck,
and landed six feet under.
I couldn't cry afterwards,
for you had taken my agony
and washed it out to
Muscle MemorySix Word Story:
Loving you has become muscle memory.
Just Have a Good DayBy Marshall Norman McCarthy
Just have a good day. He dragged the razor across his cheek, wincing as it tore instead of cut. Just have a good day. Were his eyes always this sunken; were the bags beneath them always so dark? Just have a good day. How was his wife still able to look at him with that old spark, the one that hadn't guttered out over the years?
'Just have a good day,' he repeated his mantra to his reflection, putting down the razor and checking his work. Free of stubble, yet his face seemed haggard, worn; another day's journey towards the end.
All his life he'd been told that men age gracefully, that they get better, more handsome with age. Thinking on that as he scrutinized the ever unfamiliar man in the mirror, he believed he understood now the word conceit.
'Just have a good day.' Now he was speaking to the cat, who sat on the little table near the front door watching him pull on his coat. How many times had he wished, in childish fashio
The Tale of Luden and Jim - Chapter 1CH. 1
Dawn broke. As the sun slowly peeked over the horizon it stretched to reach every nook and crevice of the mountain range. As the sun rose higher and higher into the sky rays of light trickled into a cavern halfway up the tallest mountain. This was a rare cave, for it housed a mother dragon and her freshly laid eggs. Or so the villagers in the town below believed, as they had told a traveller passing through.
Now this man was approaching the enormous mouth of the cavern. The shadowy figure approached slowly. He took care not to make much sound, for he intended to leave the cavern in roughly the same condition as he was entering it. He was wearing a deep violet robe, studded with silvery stars and crescent moons. Atop his head sat a hat, which bore the same color and decoration as his robes, easily adding an extra foot to his tall stature. His long brown flowing hair, and wiry beard flapped in the gusty winds.
Every muscle in the man’s body was taught with anticip
Lullaby ByeTwinkle twinkle falling star
Oh, I wonder if you are
He who called with steady voice
Offering me one simple choice
Shall I stay or better leave?
Contemplatively I breathe
Now to bed I close my eyes
Think of you across the skies
I forgive you, now you know
My chosen path is that I go
One breath. Two breath. Three breath. Four
Eternal sleep, forevermore
Twinkle twinkle trusted friend
Take me there, to where it ends
Shining down your soft, white light
It calms me now and dulls my fright
Down below in bed I lie
With comforted heart I say goodbye
love poem from a pillar of saltthe words 'i love you'
have always tasted like forbidden fruit
an apple offered by a helpful serpent-
sweet and fleeting but
the words 'i loved you'
just taste of
i always thought that leaving you would be like leaving gomorrah
that i couldn't help looking back
and when i did i'd feel an ocean dry itself beneath my skin
but this is so much quieter
and so much worse.
my knuckles taste of blood,
there is no new testament here
just old testament fire
just lot's wife standing on a forgotten hill
rocksalt freezing her outstretched hands
watching her hometown burn below her.
there is no forgiveness here
just mutual loneliness
just a lost religion and a broken girl
far too tired to play pretend
watching you fall apart behind me.
Waltzing on the Ocean Floor The ocean and the sky seemed to be an infinite stain of slate grey; the horizon just an imaginary concept. The sky a mass of churning gray cement and the infinitely deep ocean reflecting the forsaken heavens above like a dusty mirror that sprawled out beyond the corners of space and time. I could see the distorted faces of drowned sailors woven into the clouds- screaming.
The sea seemed to taunt me. Its glassy surface like a smoky marble floor; promising me a stable foothold and beckoning me to come dance and waltz on its perfectly smooth and polished surface. It was so tempting, so very tempting. But with every step closer the ocean seemed to grow more excited and restless, seemingly forgetting its masquerade of serenity. I didn't care. Why should I? The sea can't lie to me, I know what it wants.
I step closer. The thick mud silently bubbles as it absorbs my feet; its color reminiscent of whale skin. I wonde
Sonnet XXIIBut give me leave to love in silence that
which I cannot possess— and give me such
inspired defiance of the urges at
my breast— and give me strength to never touch
my lips to hers, my soul to her soul— give
me heart and hale to weather every storm
that may unfold: But tell me how to live
without my hand in hers, its honest form—
and tell me how to wake each morn if not
to wake within her arms— and tell me how
I am to carry on, and how I ought
to act and speak and be, around her, now,
and ever: tell me, and I'll on my way
as still and quiet as the passing day.
TattoosTattoos. One for each moment in life that actually had meaning. I adore running my hands along the painted skin, the ink that should not naturally be there. Each design is beautiful and intricate, none of them simple, and all of them unique. There are many on this single body and they are all in many different places positioned on her glowing skin.
Her first is the seahorse on the left side of her chest, just above her heart. Small, yellow, cute. It represents her younger sister, Jane, who died at age twelve. She had leukemia and, though she suffered, I was told that she always had a bright smile on her youthful face. "Why a seahorse?" I had asked her once. She explained that it was the stuffed animal she had bought Jane when she was first hospitalized at the age of ten. Ever since that day, Jane never went anywhere without that stuffed seahorse, which was small enough for her to carry in her little, fragile hands. "She died with it in her arms," she told me, tears threat
HerculesYou grappled dragons and slayed gorgons;
you drifted on seas of sirens
to state your name.
Dominions were built with the strength of
crumbled at your fingertips.
Why is it you never expected
more than muscles to grow weary?
Fretting over fights;
jetties at night
full of skeletons piled high.
Hush the crowd with one word,
they continue to love you.
In your dreams, you wished for recompense.
Their defense: you deserved none.
Nightmares are now escapes from reality-
a quiet confidentiality-
not the other way around.
So wear that badge of courage,
badgered by the current
of the overflowing river of fame.
This is what you wanted.
The Fall of EpithilinonI
Let no man speak of wars whence
No answer graced our call,
Let man remember gods thence
Gods, watchful of our fall;
Speak in silenced sighs, men,
Dead men hither sleep,
No flag here flails, amen, amen!
Who can ever beweep
Our brethren in the deep.
Frightened colours breached the sky,
The church bells played a dirge;
The bustling hills and vales so nigh
In crimson rage did merge,
Archers with crescents held high
Keen arrows fell like sin,
The portcullis in sorrow, shy
Interred our fathers in
The last grave of our kin.
Wailed the night in thunder blare;
The mangonels did come,
Lonely trumpets singed the air
When Earth ravished our home;
The eastern tower, wasting wear
For a trebuchet did bow,
Fallen stone and ballista bare
Broke its stony vow,
As the beadle mopped his brow.
Mildly armoured, men at arms
Stormed the brazen fray,
Howled the castle’s cold alarms:
Ladder men up the brae!
Blazed in ire the fields and farms:
The winter’s yield was spent;
Reverse PoemI will never be accepted by my peers
Because it’s a lie to say that
It is my right to be an original person
My flaws do not define me
Is a lie
I am not beautiful
I am not perfect
Because I refuse to believe that
I am worth it
I have no power over my destiny
And I am lying when I say that
I believe in myself
Because of my skin, hair, and tastes
I should be an outcast
And I refuse to believe
Someone can understand me
If they just listen to me
My size matters
And no one can convince me that
I am pretty without makeup, fashionable clothing, or attention
And we will never love ourselves if we believe that these stereotypes define us
Features by neurotype
Cupcakes and TeaCupcakes and Tea
“Oh dear, what's the matter,”
said the Hare to the Hatter
while the Doormouse soundlessly snored.
“What just can't compare,”
said Hatter to Hare,
“is the fact that I'm hungry and bored.”
“Twinkle, twinkle,” was heard
as the sleepy Mouse stirred,
“We're British, by jove, we like tea!”
So the Hare plated up
while Hatter poured cups
and they both had a cupcake or three.
Water SignsThen water, you and I,
Scorpio and Cancer, respectively,
yours the calm fathomed passion of lake
mine a spring fed, fast-tumbling brook
You taught me to swim in your deep
with caressing breast and leg stroke
I flashed my silver moon flair, leapt,
like a fish, into dizzying ozone air
matched my fall-free
drowning-dive to your quiver.
Oh the silky innuendo,
shimmered laughter and sparkling jive -
though you wanted more of wet and more wet,
I, the tiptoe through shallow
fearful I could get lured, hooked
by such a catch-and-release kind of man.
Wrong Place, Wrong TimeThere was a terrible event in the North-West of the city just days ago, in the small hours of last Sunday morning. The two girls were not drunk, but they were happy. They had spent an emotional evening celebrating the elder's birthday. They were on the main road, heading for a cab office nearby. They paid no heed to the dark sedan that was approaching them slowly.
The first thing anybody knew about what was going on, was when two deafening percussions assailed their ears. Immediately there was a mighty roar of acceleration. The sedan thundered into the night. The elder girl was prone on the sidewalk, her life blown away. You can imagine how a brief paralysis of shock gave way to a panicked bedlam, soon augmented by the converging klaxons of the first responders, medics, armed policemen.
As they woke, the city's sleeping denizens learned of this atrocity, and of the detective's first conclusion, that the dead girl was killed by “mistake”; those bullets were
Modern LolitaShe falls in love with the orange glow of his cigarette in the blue night. His right hand finds hers as they fly through a sea of red and white lights, the car filled with his smoke. Their destination this night is his past that intrigues her, is the place that he finally escaped, and she's a little nervous.
Late to every destination they fumble with the room keys in the cold dark, only bother unpacking toothbrushes, lingerie, and lube. They make love in sparsely furnished motels, throw familiar clothes into unfamiliar closets, obsess over each other's bodies into sweaty sunrises and empty orgasms.
When they take walks hand in hand their age difference is blaring to others and sometimes to her. She feels so incredibly young when he talks of life's exhaustions, Jimi, and how long he's been a smoker. She suspects he feels the generation divide when she praises Lana del Rey and when she purchases the newest fashion, but--
"Goddamn, baby." He licks his fingers as he drives and she pants; t
1945 in sepiaThe boy called “spineless” has a backbone
lost in the rubble of Hiroshima, his unfettered hands
pulling at maps and photographs.
With worn and radioactive identity, he knows
that the world is a veteran, sick of empathy
and can look massacre in the eye without blinking.
Hastily, people will cleanse themselves
of alpha particles and corpses
they did not touch.
History classrooms will suck the marrow of tragedy
unafflicted, passing Nagasaki
as another word in a textbook,
pointing at pictures, saying
That’s what you get
when you mess with America.
He does not blame them.
They have not seen for themselves
the crimson cloud inhaling his old home,
the cave of his mother’s mouth
swallowing the stolen decades.
They did not touch the ashes imprinted
on buildings, the black silhouettes of people
whose bodies burned into them;
did not put his father’s jacket
into the back closet
one last time.
Still, this rubble-spined boy
keeps firm th
.photography: a love story.Falling in Love
I was about eleven years old when I got my first camera. It was instant love, my first love. I took it everywhere with me. Every flower in sight was shot, my friends became models. My dog became an endangered animal in the Sahara that was to be the epitome of my photographic lifetime. Being a photographer quickly became my dream.
The Truth is Often Disappointing
One day my father took me for ice cream with a side of let's talk about actuality. Simply put; he told me photography was a wonderful hobby and he was glad I found an interest in something. Then came the harsh reality; it takes a lot to become a professional photographer. Most people only ever do it as a hobby; only a select few ever make it a career.
Putting it Down
I can’t tell you if it was the disappointment of learning my dream job wasn’t likely to
Space DementiaThe total darkness blinks in a shower of sparks from the failing electrical lines and boxes on top of suspicious wooden poles. Suspicious indeed, because one of them falls over and a battle begins.
She is as shaky as the caricature of the shanty town this takes place in, shaky as long-term decisions, and the metal sheets her back is pressed against. Sometimes things catch moonlight and fire, and they glint off the metal. That’s where she sees blood fountain out of throats, bulky human forms falling into dirty water and others stepping over them. (These things can’t last very long.)
Something explodes a couple feet beside her - a foot and eight inches, she roughly calculates, she flinches. One ear doesn’t seem to work anymore and a ringing headache settles into the action. She’s not going anywhere (but maybe she’s rethinking).
A funny turn of events mocks her situation and gives her a gun, somewhere in the shadows, and all she has to do is grab it and shoo
a quoi ca sert l'amourShe remembered that night better than he did. The way he was dressed, how he talked, what he ate, where he was stayingthe ring on his finger, fresh from January, and it shined under the dim light, her warning sign to stay away; a warning sign she took seriously and knew well. She kept the thought vigilant in her mind with every fidgeted rub to her own naked ringfinger under the table, the ghost of the engagement then and the marriage that never was. Her boyfriend beside her should've been reason enough to resist the obvious magnetism and subsequent temptation, but she found herself captivated by this man of her French homeland, who listened to every word she said with a rapt attention her boyfriend would never match. He kept conversation going. He asked questions and listened to her babbling answers. He made her feel special in a way that the Hollywood gift baskets and showering of flashing lights and Al Pacino and Entertainment Tonight couldn't replicate. He was real. He made he
AenalemmaI held on to our skin on skin scent
until it became ionized nitrogen,
until it drifted over dystopian summers
and blue-haloed as a cobalt-sulfate atmosphere
—which I followed well above the continental shelf
while coiling in tandem with the world’s rotation.
And only then, in starward dead-reckonings,
I could measure the ghost taction of your body
—far as polar-aurorae shieldings
ebbing away from directional dawn light,
or so I portended distance, a desperate force, desultory;
how I misread it, this mercurial assassin—
intentionally left blank, all hushed decoherence,
all molecular asphyxiation.
Here Is No Why
The bus was late. In the four switches Ben had made so far, he had come to accept lateness as an unavoidable part of this mode of travel. The first three times, he had been irritated. Now, at a little after eleven at night, he really didn’t care. If the bus was at least running, he would be happy. Working air conditioning was a bonus. Timeliness was asking too much.
He wished he could call Mae again, even though he had just talked to her half an hour ago. It had been a little over two weeks since he had seen his fiancée, and hearing her voice helped ease his frustration. But it was late, and she had gone to bed. She would still answer, he knew, and talk as long as he needed, but he didn’t want to keep her up.
Instead, Ben just sat at the little station, staring almost listlessly into his paper coffee cup. He let his mind wander. Of all places, it went to the station’s seating arrangements.
The orange plastic chair wasn’t particularly comfortable, but
fishermanI am a fisherman-
all roaring waves
and rush of sea salt
beating seagull wings
and a tongue carved from
My hands break levees
and my breath births dams
the taste of chilly morns
still melt on the roof of my
mouth like I never wished
for anything besides the smack
of sodden rubber boots and
the scars from entangled
hunks of ivory nets
the sea has not
forgotten my voice-
I can hear them
when the wooden floorboards
crackle like hurricane bruises
from water laden saunters
through land sunk libraries
it has been a forever
since I held a dream
caught between my fingertips
and the gentle rock of a
boat and foamy froth on
but this new trip I have embarked upon
carries more clanking hooks
than screeching sinkers
yet- my line has not changed-
I am a fisherman and the sea
forget who its children are.
Eaten by a Dream"I was eaten by a dream once."
The girl, and I say she was a girl because she looked to be in her 20's, sat down next to me in the waiting area outside the gate for my flight to Houston. I had been reading an article on my iPad and not paying attention when she sat down. But, my memory tells me that I might have taken slight notice of her out of the corner of my eye as she came out of the "Sports Bar" across the hallway from the waiting area a few minutes ago. I figured she was slightly tipsy because of the way she moved. She didn't look to be entirely in control of her motions.
I normally would not have responded to a stranger in the airport, but there was something about her that looked familiar. It was as though I knew her, but the setting was wrong. It was like being a kid and seeing your teacher at the supermarket: a familiar person in a familiar setting, but the two are not familiar together.
"Do you mean that you are consumed by a dream?"
Just RightThey called me The White Whale.
I dreamed of carving off my blubber,
perhaps learning to breathe
for minutes at a time
so I could sing,
because whales are elusive.
The ocean is vast. I could have lived
without another pinch, another poke, another
he only loves you for your tits. Get a tan,
go for a jog, are you gonna eat
Their harpoons were steady.
They had no remorse, a close friend told me,
"I just want you to be healthy." She braided my hair,
complimented the color, my eyes a drizzle,
said there was a mermaid
hiding in my shape,
I started smoking the next day.
I used to pace from the cabinet
to the basement with armfuls of confections,
I hid behind our yellow shed and guzzled
black coffee, nicotine, green tea, THC,
with giddiness turned vibrant,
all colors shook,
the first person to notice
said he didn't know I could look so good.
I found my cheekbones, polished my scales,
glittered and flitted and flirted and swam
in schools of gaping grou
Dysphoriashe sells 9mm shells by the seashore,
says she can hear the ocean.
but if you listen close to these shells
you can hear ghosts.
something borrowed, something blue,
something broken, something bruised.
she traces her fingers across the autopsy scars
while she counts her bones like currency.
she'll leave your skin screaming,
and sink into the whites of your eyes like a shipwreck.
can you hear the ocean?
Blue Ridge Ep. 1The signal came like it used to, in the old days, during the war. The smoke burned a pale color tinged green. It rose in wispy clouds from the top of Blue Ridge. Quick winds brushed it out across the sky like watercolor paint on blue paper.
Jonah spied it not long after the sun had come up as he often had when the war was about.
He ate what was left of yesterday’s kill and finished off a strip of jerky he’d gotten from the Goodwife Hetty a few weeks before. She was the only one who bought things from him since Pastor Sykes had died.
He gathered his old musket, checked his powder was dry, and counted his musket balls: twenty—more than he had the powder for. There would be time to remedy that. He packed away his meager belongings and turned from the game trail that he had been following and began heading for the rally point.
It had been agreed upon long before that if the Blue Ridge Boys were ever needed again, they would meet at the old town by Clearwater Creek.
never mindI guess it’s kind of funny, if you think about it. You always see in the movies – in the TV shows – people running and screaming and praying and stuff. That’s what Hollywood always thought it would be like. Some sort of ‘death cloud’ or something – or like an asteroid or something like that – that just happened: that just totally hit everybody by surprise.
People have known about it for months. It’s not like in the movies. The word ‘inevitability’ comes to mind: and hey, guess what? Nobody cares to run from the inevitable. It’s pretty stupid – isn’t it, if you think about it – how people, in the movies, try to run from inevitable death. Everybody has decided what they were gonna do today weeks ago, maybe even months ago. Say goodbye to family, spend time with girlfriend, et cetera et cetera. As with the Kubler-Ross effect – or whatever it's called – p
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