Today is New Years Eve, so before we share the roundup for December, on behalf of the Lit CVs, I wish you all a fantastic 2013!
It’s been a year of progression for the literature community, one I hope you will all join us on the continued journey for 2013. The community isn’t just 4 volunteers, it is ALL OF YOU, and I hope you share your ideas and get involved.
December has showcased some fantastic pieces of writing, and because of this we have actually snuck in a few bonus features. On Christmas day, we had 4 Literature DDs and from mid-December onwards we added some extra DDs over the weekend- something which we will now be doing every weekend!
(ps. Did anyone notice we’d snuck in some extra DDs lately?)
Here is the roundup for December:
Demons are Smarter Than YouThe mist obediently hovers within the binding circle, coming once more and tamely to my call. How raucous it was when first I summoned it! How loudly it roared its name to the ceiling—how silent were the heavens that night. But now it is silent when it arrives, as silent as the heavens when I call, for I have bade it so. With it comes the sulfurous reek of its home and its own pets—a pair of tiny bat-winged imps no larger than my hand—and a deepening of the shadows in my basement conjury.
The fool has cast his spells of summoning again, and never were more clichéd words uttered than in this room. He thinks I am silent because he ordered me to be; I am silent because I know that were I to speak, I would reveal the true depth of his idiocy. And that simply would not do. Not now that I've invested so much time into making this little room homely. My "little" pets—if the stupid scholar knew their true shapes, he would die of fright—are
Across the Sea and Around the KotatsuSpring
Mom starts with rice. Japanese rice, one, two, three Japanese cup-fulls of rice grains into the cooker, because Sis eats a lot of this stuff. It's one of her favorite dishes, taco rice, and Mom's always happy to make it for her because it's the only way Sis will eat her tomatoes. But back to the rice. "You want to rinse at least three or four times, until the water's kind of clear," Mom says as she cups her hand under the cooker pot, letting the cloudy water wash over her hand.
Rice cooking's easy though – just fill enough water to the point the rice's covered, punch in a time (or set it to "Quick Cook," which with our creaking rice cooker still takes about an hour) and let the cooker do its thing.
Ground meat goes into a well-greased and heated frying pan. Break up the block so that it crumbles into fine little pieces, and do this with wild abandon, because this is taco meat. Mom uses any taco seasoning that happens to be cheap; most seasonings rack up t
Cheap fix, 360Unbound structure;
None of these are meant to be here.
cheap and shaven
grooves are rusted.
There is no tool that can pull them out without breaking,
the planned out
We had the instructions sure
and all the parts
in our fumble,
in the exchange of hands
of ALL the people who
intended to help us;
in all the accidents
no one at fault
for all our faults)
some fell beneath the table
underneath the drawer
into dark unreachable corners
so we worked with what we had
and made our own instructions but it was never
the perfect picture.
It wasn't everything it was suppose to be.
She seeks for the imperfect
perfection or maybe
she just wants to work
Six Word Storymy mother kept smiles in bottles
RosesYou love too much, I am told by a man with a briar heart, thorny sinews and collapsed ventricles bearing down on him, hardly beating in his tight chest. He looks at me with flat, slate eyes, chipping and eroding. His hands are dark with cigarette burns and rough with calluses; I feel them on my shoulders as he looks down at me, face collapsing in at his eyes like a dead man's.
For the first time, I realize he is dead. His briar heart dried up when winter killed his rose; my father, he is all thorns.
He squeezes my shoulders, too tight. You look like your mother, you know, he whispers, eyes shifting to the garden, to the yellow rose I planted for her. It is a rambler, sending shoots to the sky that sink back down. We never gave it a trellis. I loved her too much. And there are tears in his eyes, wet, heavy things that slip down his cheeks and on to the grass below us.
I don't know what to say, so I think of the rose, of her. I think that I'd like to send this
The Libra HusbandI.
they can get you
in East Hampton for wearing red shoes
on a Thursday
I don't know whether you knew
that--I mean--do you know
it's very hot in New York City
I like the terrible noise
you hear at night and all these terrible
drilling sounds--I never go to sleep
unless the whole pavement is jumping
outside and it's a hundred degrees
when I go to New York City I see myself
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
--Where have you been?
this is the revolutionary costume:
I never wear this
in East Hampton.
I'm not gonna spend another winter
in East Hampton--
in the first place I can't
I just can't
I can't spend another winter
out here in the country
I can't do it
I'm telling you--I can't
I can't get my figure back
unless I hit New York City
any little rat's nest
in New York City
any little mouse hole
any little rat hole
even on Tenth Avenue
I would like better
it's all a question
of who you want to
Continental DriftI suppose you call this time fall.
It’s always autumn to me. Your alien mind
likes to speak in a distorted tongue.
And when we see the spinning leaves
drifting down an eggshell sky
I catch oak, and your hands are empty.
There half the houses stand empty,
you say as you watch rain fall.
There the world is bigger than the sky,
with room for my restless mind.
I know you pine for maple leaves,
for bittersweet syrup on your tongue.
The words are waiting to leave your tongue.
This land is small and your heart is empty.
That’s why everyone ups and leaves.
This place is paradise after the fall,
There you can be naked. No one would mind,
no one would see you bare yourself to the sky.
Through the window is my perfect sky,
the places that come easy to my tongue,
If we left maybe no one would mind
but me, I say. But if your land is empty
who would catch me in your wondrous fall?
If your land is perfect, wha
WhitewashWhen you're five years old you set a promise in the dark, your sister's ice-queen eyes witness. Millie is sitting straight-backed against the headboard, face wide and earnest, and it seems as if the world has heaped itself on her shoulders, or maybe it's the strangeness of midnight.
"We can't make our wills or anything like that until we're eighteen," she says fiercely. "But I might forget this by then."
In later years you will find time to reflect that you're not as whimsical as Millie; young, you only think then that you could never forget something this important. But you can't argue with the three-years-older she holds above your head (the wisest bestest elder sister in the world.)
Your love for her borders on hero-worship, and looking back, you sometimes wonder if that's healthy.
The door bangs shut. "Jodie!"
How strange, the way it works: your hand is frozen to the table in the way it should have been on the phone, but that was minutes ago and maybe it was delayed-reaction, becau
Radioactive Snowflakes Oh boy, boy, boy
For the last shall be,
and that arctic disposition will melt away in time
written on a hearth rug, read it and then
turn the dial back and tune into Goodbye FM
"Oh boy, boy, boy
Goldilocks should have been clad in HazMat,
bear in mind the Gouda enacts the rat trap"
For the last shall be,
when fractals free fall from the sky
thickening icycle eyes, cementing prisms with time
measured it all in half-life
Oh boy, boy boy
Holiday TableauCrushed tinsel, sunken
atmosphere of the
glow - It does not shine.
Torn garland, empty
bottles strewn across
of the previous
packaging tape, bags
stuffed with boxes and
tissue paper - trash.
left behind, thoughtless.
Filled coffee cups the
morning after - warmth
to replace fading
revised, for the fast
approaching new year.
The pig carcass filled most of the stainless tub where the delivery men had laid it. Freshly slaughtered, but not butchered, it had taken four of them to lift it there. None of them spoke to Rinnovi, only pausing for him to sign for the animal before they left.
On the way to the door, one of the men pointed at the stickers affixed to virtually every item in the house; black typewritten names and addresses on white shipping labels. The leader of the group nudged him and shook his head 'no', before hurrying him out the door.
Rinnovi poured a scotch, and turned on the kitchen vid display, his own visage peering back at him with a smile. He froze the frame, leaving the remote on the island beside the second stainless tub.
"Osiris, prepare to renew." He spoke aloud to the empty room.
"Preparations underway." The voice, angel soft and faintly Irish filled the room seemingly from everywhere at once. Both of the tubs began to fill with a steaming viscous liquid, spattering against the steel, a
inhalethe cavalry have forgotten
their men in the mud
and i fear we are
running out of ammunition,
we never had much
to begin with
we've not got the fire of a
thousand horses but maybe
two will do.
cosmic background radiationThey say that the big bang was not an actual "bang". It was really just static. Static, like the interference of radio waves. Of course, the universe did not happen instantaneously. The big bang took 760,000 years to happen. 760,000 years of static, and bang, the universe happened.
I get myself together and actually go out. I go to see the New York Philharmonic perform the works of John Cage at Lincoln Center. I walk out during the second movement of 4'33". There's a very small difference between life and death. I walk home, my chin pulled down against my neck. I hum a constant note, providing myself with my own tinnitus.
I focus on this note. I cross Broadway where the walkers cluster on the curbside, awaiting the turn of the traffic light. People talking and the bioacoustic noises of their bodies moving. I walk against the signal. The tires of taxis scrape against the road. I go west on 65th Street, past Brooks Brothers and the slimy sliding of the revolving door, past vans parallel
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the girls, in the end, I still went with him. He said we'd have plenty of time and I could do both. Hah! I was ignorance personified.
Leon worked for a group of nuts who said they save peregrine falcons. He said they protect wild falcons from other nuts who shoot the birds and that his group "manipulates" falcon nests at the
mia culpa, mia miasmaI'm still counting chromosomes and odd numbers
still playing hopscotch over the symmetry
of your shoulder blades, your whispers
skipping 'cross the seventy percent water
the one forty proof rum, still running
until we can sleep,
that thing they called relationship
something common, like counting
rocks at the bottom of a wishing well.
I am slipping through, sliding into
a seamless cervix, and she's serving
throat lozenges in the mean time,
mean time and mean country
serving time in this union, this marriage,
they served cough and coffee
held the Capricorn, held up the register
held the infant to the sagging bosom of
Hollywood and serfdom and surplus
as the nagging empress struts her new clothing
on the turnpikes of Mulholland Drive.
can you feel the elasticity of time as sleep approaches
as the veal spills over red royal carpet
like tumbleweed's of lamb chops rolling 'round
Rockefeller's city center.
so shed dead skin
and skim the film of old money
see my t
The Substitution ParadigmThe Substitution Paradigm
Ramu came up to our table. Glaring at me, he said, “You either order something or get out.”
I glanced away from the threat, and turned to Raghav. A single drop of sweat was running down his brow. Ramu saw that too and identifying his prey, he sprung.
Swinging around, he faced Raghav, “Order something or get out.”
Then Ramu just stood there. It was not as if we had rehearsed it before hand, but he knew. He knew that my co-occupants generally folded in the first round. Only the stout made it to second level, but they too buckled under Ramu’s relentless gaze.
I always had a policy of not spending on other people’s problems. My purse was already slimmer than the waist of a size zero model. So, I simply sat there, watching the lion circling his prey.
A few seconds later, the prey went down. “Two coffees”, Raghav said, wiping away the sweat with a handkerchief.
Ramu turned his head back, gave me a leering smile, and we
PhilosoraptorOne of the most intriguing nuances of the Universe is that, time and again, it manages to outdo itself in terms of sheer oddity. One of these examples dwells on the validus humus* Gaia, north on the lateral plane of the galactic core of G2427626, known as the Milky Way galaxy in some ares of the Universe.
This creature, of primarily upright reptilian descent, is around the height of a larval valde vermis; it is omnivorous, with large claws and excellent vision, and can bring down a grown bupholant with little effort. It is perfectly adapted to its environment, and by every law of nature and evolution it should not have developed intelligence; of course, these laws do not allow for cosmic intervention.
Several centuries before the advent of homo sapien on Gaia, one of the the raptors was found calculating the orbit of Gaia's moon-suns. This event in itself was not so strange; indeed, any respectable intelligence could do so easily. No, what made this raptor such an aberration was that i
think youre a slam poet nowwell, my father
he thought he was a cowboy,
he thought he was a yank
he thought everyone he met was his partner in crime
and life was an all end all shoot-em-up
he told stories
and he taught me how to dance with drunks.
well my mother,
she thought i was a changeling,
she thought the world was out to get her
she taught me
well she taught me that innocence is fragile
and that what is sweet often sours,
that madness is not the kind of disease we think it is.
and i grew up
wanting to create something beautiful
or both at the same time
with my little hands, and big eyes
and that used to scare me
cause contradictions in my head
at night, when i dream't
with my hand against my ear
thinking the pounding of blood vessels
was the pounding of the big bad wolf coming to get me
and i would dream of the world
with the trampling of a flower,
they are not haunted
but they are inhabited,
i have a soul sir,
and i won't sell it
not for your pennies
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
Brushing Up Against HistoryNovember 1963
I'm eight years old and sitting in class (I strangely recall that my seat was in the middle of second row, on the side away from the window), when the principal comes in to tell us that the president has been shot.
I did not know
what it means, but I know
that it scares me.
My mother meets Senator Robert F. Kennedy while he is campaigning in San Francisco and gets his autograph. I live with my father in a small town in Michigan, where every year leading up to Memorial Day, I sell paper poppies for the VFW.
blood of soldiers on the field
war has come home
I watch the news and see the body count, arranged like a scorecard. The numbers say we are winning, but one of those numbers is from our town, the only casualty that week. I don't know him, but I see his picture on the cover of Life Magazine.
I turn 17 the next month
and try to join the Marine Corp
my father will not sign
As a small-town
YellowMy parents bought a little two-bedroom house when they first got married. It was run down, falling apart, but most importantly: cheap.
Two years later, my mother fell pregnant with me. She immediately abandoned her job for some plaster and paint and set about decorating the untouched spare room. She splashed pastel yellow across the walls, replaced the dingy carpet and kitted out the room with furniture.
Sixteen years after my birth, and the yellow paint is flaking off the walls revealing the kiwi green beneath. I can peel back the corners of the carpet to reveal the worn underlay and half rotten floorboards. I can examine the fringe of my cream curtains where the bright yellow hasn't been bleached by the sun. The room is, more or less, unchanged. It has merely lost its sheen, much like the inhabitant of it.
I remained an only child; filling my days with quiet solitary games and elaborate stories whispered under my breath. My isolation only increased as I grew too big for the room that
sunrise, yulethis was the year of traditions begun. the world still dark, the morning still early, i climbed into my uncle's car. we drove out to the ocean, where the rippling sea fuses with the sky. white-headed eagles were perched still in trees. they cocked back their heads, opened their hooked mouths and screamed.
across an empty parking lot where once a cat had followed us. over driftwood pale with frost and sand hardened by the cold, we walked. our breath came out of us in thin plumes. it rose above us and hung there like smoke signals to the gods.
there were gulls on the water, gulls sifting through sand, gulls with their grey backs and faces, their opportunism. i have a tarot deck whose theme is birds. the gull encourages us to communicate.
there was a small group of us gathered there, my uncle and i, and some other pagans. some of them i'd never met before, but they wer
Christmas on the Border of England and Over ThereIt's snowing on Christmas Eve, and half the men I've ever known in my life are dead. But that was in the war, supposedly a long way away from Oxfordshire, where I am standing outside my brother-in-law's beautiful brownstone house watching the snow quietly cover the hillside beyond. The daylight is dying and it casts the once-white ground in pink, and the pine trees are black against the hillsides, and the truth of it is that the war is not far away because it has followed me here. I am smoking a cigarette, watching the hill, and my mind is slowly counting down the list of men that I once knew, now buried under hills and snow, all of the way from Lorraine to the Rhine. Some of them were my men.
Being an officer is like being a parent; when I left my boys in Paris, despite the Armistice, and despite how many times I reminded myself that they are not my children but in fact, grown men, I felt guilty, and frightened. Land mines don't know that the war has ended, and neither does hunger.
Yet Another Christmas CarolIt was Christmas, celebrated all around Earth - and in Heaven, of course. As for elsewhere...
If you believe for a single second that the devils don't celebrate Christmas, you are, well, right, actually. They keep very quiet about it. Not even a mouse would dare speak about it to the Almighty Fiend, Lucifer. The sole exception to this unspoken rule had happened a few years back on the occasion of a Satanically spiked MTV "Merry Christmas" video which had seemed like a good idea for a few hours. Until it became obvious that it had been a pointless endeavor those who watched MTV regularly had been mostly unaffected, those who didn't had had their opinions on the low quality of the station confirmed and, generally, it had been a fruitless fiasco.
You didn't talk to Lucifer on Christmas. It was the same as going to him on Easter, patting him on the back and saying "There, there, mate. Anybody would have thought that killing Jesus was a good idea. I mean,
They Also Serve Who Only Stand and WaitI don't know when we first went underground. I don't even know if it was one mass exodus, a swarm of mankind trickling through the earth's crust so vehement we carved our own caverns by the force of trampling feet, or whether it was a gradual process, perhaps even a repetitive one, a family here, a neighborhood there. For all I know, the echo of the damp subterranean machine has always reverberated off the cave walls, created long past by the Angels, who think of our well-being even while they shake their heads helplessly at our flaws.
They say that those who remained on the surface were raptured away in a great flash of light, like a million suns converted into raw energy all at once. While it was rumored once that the flash was our doing, our own horrid creation, we all know better now. It was the Maker who brought it forth from the void and cast it onto the earth's crust, as though shot from an immense sling, taking only those who were brave enough to trust in Him. We, who live in t
Survival of the IllestAre those hints of lemon I detect?
Look, I'm just here to get wasted, don't try
to make it more than that.
I'd drink motor oil if I thought
it could get me high; chase it with a shot
you can keep your survival instincts,
in that pretty velvet box (along with all
those other things
you thought you could convince yourself
you lived for). Instincts are the bare
bones of the impossibilities we wanted
to believe in,
those times you tried to tell me that
adrenaline was God's way
we were His chosen ones, we were
special, we were free.
I tried to tell you that instincts and God
can't exist side by side, but I was already
far gone, cornea constellations
spiraling and you looked at me with such pitiful
I just gave up the fight.
I told you once that my goal in life
is to kill myself slowly, immerse my organs
of whiskey and scotch
over a fifty-years-or-so period. "Just think,"
"it will be like an ocean, w
tree, fiddler crabIt took days to hollow out the soft parts
of the trunk, dig out the tree-flesh and sap,
polish the raw wood so that when he sat,
there would be no splinters. He carved his name
into the side, like a blessing, a declaration
of good fortune, and stowed his forest inside.
SolsticeOnce upon a time, when you were still sunlighthouses and shimmering existence wherever you were needed most, you found him. He was November, shaky on his first last legs, and you saw through the mind-twistings he feigned to the mind-twistings that were really there, knotted up in his dreams.
You were still birdsong then, and thunderstorms, and your bodyheat melted the frost claws that held him tight. You held onto him as his November deepened. When he howled, you howled with him, and the wind played with your voices and pressed the softness of your lungs against your cageribsand then against each other's.
November became solstice, and you felt him shiver through that long night and didn't mind the coldbitten nails that grazed your skin. He slept when the moon drowned below the treeline, but the iceflakes began to drift in like small animals seeking the pulsing riverheat of your blood, and chilling you. He lay there, vulnerable as his world turned slowly towards the light, and you
SomedayJane and Ellis floated parallel to one another across the vast canvas of space, eyeing the marble-like planets that slowly crept past them. Their skin reflected the starlight with a dull orange sheen. Ellis had called it 'planet gazing,' an activity he apparently thought suitable for a date.
"Do you see that one below us?" Ellis said, pointing to a round blue mass.
"Isn't it beautiful?" he asked. "I'll bet it's beautiful on the surface, too. Like the way the dust begins to spiral when a star is forming."
"Something like that," Jane said. She didn't understand his excitement. Planets were nothing interesting. They were just stars without the fire; black holes without the absence of color; asteroids with an atmosphere. They were just specks of light that littered the sky. The only remotely interesting thing she knew about planets was that the gas in their atmosphere were extremely lethal. Big whoop, she thought. Floating, atmospheric rocks of death. Ellis sure knew how to
draw lines and give them names
as they are discovered
Or etch into our skins
this soloecal desire
until it is impossible to tell
where words stop
and life begins.
Find a common rhythm that includes
you in my arms, my hands
and lungs and thoughts
tracing the outline of you
entangled with me
colliding like two lost particles
locked in a shared gravity
drifting through the vacuum
rootslike drowned men who have lost their
clothes and faces, they lay suspended
facing the sun and grinning without
eyes through the ripples of the water.
those passing by wonder how they got here,
these homeless men without fingers or toes
long spindly stumps twisting into lost roots:
reaching to the east, to the south,
to the homes they have forgotten.
Boylan BooksI first see Neal across the open sparkle mall floor, paused in serious contemplation thought speaking solely to self, whispers not for ears or voices only thoughts, shining thoughts, open thoughts thinking marvelous wonders of books and dust and corporate-but-not bookstores. His hair is green not really but blue and green pirate green, red bandanna is he a pirate? asks the little girl with pigtails and chocolate snot embarrassed mother shoo be nice that's rude tugging hand with look of so sorry, she's five, not smart enough yet, please forgive and Neal with open half-grin smiling not really there but almost, not speaking but almost, not accepting or forgiving or out-loud speaking but just shelving, shelving, shelving.:thumb343111730:
And when I stretch across open sparkle-sparkle tile mall floor (checked with gum and scuffed tile and not-allowed skateboards) Neal looks up, somewhat barely, face open innocent quiet not-there. I ask applications? Are you hiring? because I need a job but
we should celebratei.
i tried to think of pain as a flower,
first it blossoms
it wilts away.
but i won't let myself disappear
along with it,
give you that.
(it's not the agony that makes
me scream, it's the flavor).
and you whispered softly
"i'll rip your heart out and replace it
with a song,
it's christmas soon, and
we should celebrate".
you've always used my scars
as a calendar,
as a way to remind yourself
"today is tuesday
and i still exist".
(it's morning now because
i can see
through my eyelids
a bright summer day,
the flowers are
i want to tell youimagine a world without gender
a world where we are not confined
to the arbitrary interpretations of
an inexact biology. imagine we could
rise above the places
below our waists, reside instead in
graceful hands, in angled cheekbones
in some deeper conception than this
skewed perception of you.
I strip myself bare of unforgiving flesh,
squinting behind dim caverns of girl parts--
what are girl parts? all we have are beating
I sit inside this trembling body, shoulder
to hunched shoulder,
stacks of bones too unsure
to be brave enough to tell you that
my gender will never fit on the plastic sign
above a bathroom door.
and I've never filled out a single
form where they didn't ask me for
me to choose one or the other,
sister or brother, father or
mother, i want to tell you but
I'm slipping between sidewalk cracks
walking down the street hearing wolf whistles and
I want to tell you please don't read between
the lines, erase the goddamn
lines, this has nothing to do with
and I w
Bokeh.These days, Black Friday really lasts a week
but I haven't bothered to write out a list--
You cannot find the things I want in a store.
The sound of a rejected embrace
is the same as the shatter of a broken bulb
or a house burning down on Christmas morning.
There is a name for the way
strings of holiday lights blur out of focus
when you watch someone you love walk away.
Winter 2012 Haiku Set12-6
cats in the hall
shifting to find
the last afternoon light
all day the old cat
follows a spot of sun
down the hall
all my raked leaves
now a pile
at the back door
a faceless penny
a cat's balance-
if you stop petting me,
seventy miles per hour
towards the coming dawn
PlowIt's finally snowing again,:thumb317435803:
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
The Reaper's LootOf war, of war this day I write,
Of battle and blood that is shed in the night,
Of cries and screams of blood and pain,
I wish this night to become day's light.
The pain, the pain of the killing pursuit,
The scars etched upon berserker brutes,
The hate and fear of fire and lead,
I see the fruit of the reaper's loot.
Oh fire, oh fire and destruction's start,
Oh copper and lead seeking the foes' hearts,
Oh flesh and bone you sought to rend,
And as their souls depart,
The devil sees your new art.
The Animal(Howl into my ear;
give me your claws.
I want the animal in you;
in you I shall nest.)
Take your clothes off, take them off for me.
Let me see the scars and the marks,
those dark moles and faint sun spots.
I want to memorize the way your fur grows.
I want to tickle my cheeks with your goose bumps.
Let me count the bruises and the cuts.
I'll bless them with names;
I'll lick away the blood stains.
We can lie skin to skin for days.
I have enough kisses for your brows and lashes,
for nails, teeth and toes, for thighs and knees;
in your curves and dents I'll nuzzle my nose.
Let me see your skin dance.
Through and around; your every breath performs,
through and around, an ancient holy chant.
I don't want your dreams; forget the ifs and the maybes.
All those regrets you carry are nothing but sad stories.
You don't have to utter a single word;
your body holds all the promises.
Don't tell me any secrets, hold your confessions;
just take your clothes off, take them off for me.
© 2012 melekelif
Like petals and leavesWhen she thinks of him, she thinks of tree branches:
spindly fingers spread out, stretching
in angles wide for handfuls of sky.
And she thinks of him.
She thinks of him digging his toes
into soft, damp sand,
wading in shallow depths before
being carried by crescents of the sea.
She thinks of him in a blur of curls, in the
warmth on her waist and the coolness on her lips,
pressing the memories and the maybes
like petals and leaves
And she thinks of him.
sci-fi stories about the end of the world1.
the species invents prophecies
all of which contain terrors
a beleaguered sun collapses into itself
It's not yet night when the committee interrupts the regularly scheduled programming
and describes the inertia as unforgivable.
Outside the grief, the cardboard:
Every time you teach a computer about distance
the terrorists win.
In every scenario: No colorado left,
and survivors leave messages
for the future.
Before the last people on Earth forgot how to speak,
he thought of that day.
The committee was right
to describe space as an absence.
The more artistic
of the species' prophecies include fields
such as here and there
relative to the everywhere of the other thing.
The other thing is often the cause
of whatever terror has been imagined.
The terror, of course, being another word for nothingness.
someone is remembering the pacific-
a maniac fires his rifle into a crowd
later, the news interviews a woman,
"All i remember are balloons"
they say this is w
By Fifty,I'll publish or perish;
find someone to cherish;
move someplace phenomenal;
display an abdominal
physique to inspire,
which I shall acquire!
. . . Or perhaps, just retire.
Santa versus AtnasAtnas the bad, mysterious, sly
Travels the world on his sleigh in the sky.
Santa's old friend, now inglorious foe,
This age old story is something to know:
They started out well, as partners in crime
Until one Christmas when Atnas got time.
Santa and Atnas were felons you see,
They robbed, plundered, stole - things so dastardly.
The plans were devised and thought out by Old Nick
As getaway driver he drove oh so quick.
The strong and fit Atnas brought life to the schemes,
And there was the set up of our daring team.
Their usual targets were the rich, banks and stores,
"We have little money, you won't miss some of yours"
This was the thought behind Santa's bad ways
(And he says he'll regret for the rest of his days).
Atnas was greedy, unbelievably so!
He suggested stealing from children, but Santa said no.
They argued and argued 'til blue in the face
Santa shot off enraged but Atnas gave chase
They flew round the world at neck breaking speed
Shouting and bawling but neither'd concede
The PullWhen I was younger, someone showed me a video gametoo weird for me, but it made her laugh, and she was pretty. You played as this little guy with a squishy hammer for a head, and you rolled a sticky ball around in front of you. As you rolled it, things got stuck until the ball was gigantic. And then... I don't know. I don't remember the point of the game, nor do I remember the name.
But that image comes back to me every time I am anxious. I am that little person running around, pushing a ball, and things stick to it. Only they aren't cows or trees or parts of buildings: they are things that make me nervous. The attention of people. My sparse resume. The way I can never look someone in the eye when we first meet.
Oh. And I don't have a squishy hammer for a head.
Regardless, today is like that. I've talked to too many people and some weird man had told me he was my father and my mother was on the back of a book with a different name but the same damn face.
While I was walking home,
Silencio"¡Pero no dije nada!":thumb140166320:
SwallowI swallowed stones for a girl once,
tethered a daughter to my arm,
raised her with my own hands,
and pulsed so much blood
through the wire
it became a vein.
Eventually I fell,
slammed to the floor,
like a marionette savagely thrown
against a wall.
My guts were full,
of sediment and
my stomach swelled too much.
I breathed dust and ants,
swallowed as much as I was able,
and tried to get up
with my daughter in tow.
Clumsily falling back over,
with bruised hands and
forced, rough, breathing,
I felt tension
from the other side.
The line pulled taut and hard
and dragged me from its end
across so many splintering boards
I bled from my fingers trying
to fight it.
it frayed and snapped.
Admittedly, I cried for it
and I shoveled debris and carted blood
swearing the whole time
I'd never swallow stones for a girl
Then I met you.
Gnome Noir "I did it for the money and I did it for the girl.
Well, I didn't get the money and I didn't get the girl."
:: Walter Neff - Double Indemnity
So I point the flintlock at the guy and that's no easy thing, big musket like that on a little gnome like me and I peer down the sight. Not many people know what it's like to stare at a man through a glass. But in those sacred moments, the whole world takes a breath and it's just you and him. I line up the shot, and I think about the girl, and--
What? That is the start. What do you want, Sheriff, my life story?
Alright, well, I'm Gniles Brody the Third that's GNILES, silent 'g'. G-N-I-L-E-S. Your boys over there in the robes got that? I'm a Risk management clerk. You've heard of Royal Gnomic Treasury, right? Well, that's me and the guys. You got a risk, we cover your back for a modest sum. We're like alchemists - 'cept we turn gold into more gold.
What? This IS the interesting bit! You have any
Whale Songs of the PacificListen, the girls swallowed by whales are the ones that grow up lucky.
Listen, no one will warn you about the little boys with the magpie eyes and the fists swinging splinters of glass. No one will warn you that their smiles are sweeter than their words are sweeter than their souls are sweeter than their intentions. No one will warn you of the sheer weight of the world.
Listen, sometimes girls are fragile. Sometimes girls are frothy. Sometimes girls let boys nuzzle "I love you"s into their necks and sometimes girls drink the wine of believing them.
Listen, sometimes the boys really are sweet, and little girls' tart puckered mouths can't taste the difference.
Listen, writers are the ones that drip fishhooks down their throats to coax out their hearts. Writers are the ones who fling those heart-hooks into the sea even if they have a message but not a bottle. Listen, sometimes fish swallow them. Some of those fish sink to the bottom of the ocean with the weight of the world in those heart
windstorms and labworkafflatus, inflatus, my morning globe,
as lithe as your impermanence.
and home! dread homes! are rabbit dugs,
spoonholed piles of mexican brick
where nothing ever touches down,
nothing here alive receives
the plains’ poor offering of gypsy light,
the ugly wind that meets the mudline.
1. a mottled fence
2. and how these storms hold faceless teeth
that slat their eyes through butter-wood
then purge their guts on wintered florets
4. some freshly headless nativities,
their polyethylene skirts upturned
from violent sacks
5. and knowing i’m a souless
i lick at what is manifest
beneath your hair
each poison tab
and religious studies
i know, i know you never mean
but do not say “live for yourself”.
i’ve come online to see the god
that came before me.
we are so poorly married
like bookend spines of Plath and Hughes
up on the shelf
Pages Found in an Old Dungeon My name is Nicholas. I know by now people may have already forgotten about me, but I used to be addressed as "Father Christmas" and "Santa Claus" among many other names. I suppose that I might be merely dismissed as a myth nowadays. I daresay it has been hundreds of years since I last brought treasures to a kind soul. Ah, but I have lost track of the ages in this wretched oubliette. There is not even a tinge of sunlight to indicate the passage of day.
I cannot fathom how I could have possibly deserved such a fate. Everyday, my stomach burns of hunger, and yet I cannot die of starvation. Simply stated, I cannot die.
I never imagined that I would detest my existence. The year was 1717 and I was the happiest man in the world. As far as occupations came, mine was a most fortunate one. Riding a sleigh harnessed to flying reindeer and delivering happiness to children on the Nice List was a pu
It's never too lateYou will have been dead fifteen years tomorrow,
and yet not once have I visited your grave.
I was always busy; there was always time
to see you, to make amends. And yet, I feel
it's all a sham. I could make time, but I fear
the truth. It's easier to believe my lies.
If I went, I'd see your plot, see how you lie
untroubled, beneath the soil. Your tomorrows
ended many yesterdays ago. No fears
to face, no debts to pay. No decisions grave
to weigh your brow. Not like your son. How I feel
the heaviness of this life. There's too much time
and not enough. Lives end every day. It's time
to stop hiding from the pain. My future lies
along a path you've helped me walk. I can feel
your touch in everything I do. Tomorrow
is too late, sometimes. It shall not be graved
into history that I gave into fear.
For too long I feel I've lived a life of fear,
of caution, of safety, and, and yet such times
I had. Oh dad, you'd be turning in your grave
if you saw the choices that I made that lie
Candy at a FuneralIn the face of bitterness
I have mastered sweetness.
By the end of this day I will have calculated
exact measurements of cream
to wipe clean the face of gravestones.
I will have learned to soothe the aching
of windswept hearts,
to break open on my part
like a shell of chocolate
quivering open, full of cream.
I will have learned to love grief
as dearly as my own dream.
At the end of my childhood -my dream-
of owning a candy store:
a sweet shop, a bakery….
specializing in the art of the glazed.
The wedding cakes, the brick tarts,
memory of a birthday, of candles, happy catering
for happy occasions of all kinds…
will grow up with time,
and like the end of the day, seeing the look o