In all honesty, I have no idea where November has gone! However, we have still managed to pull out a wonderful array of Daily Deviations for Literature this month and here is our roundup of all those brilliant features!
A hard CRACK while sitting in
a soft chair. No pain registered.
The absence of it
is like watching explosions in space.
You follow the curve of your skull. You remember
how skulls are formed like tectonic plates.
Your head wants to be a planet,
volcanic, living, in change.
You continue to your left shoulder,
the one with all the problems.
But today, it has nothing to say.
Your rib cage moves
like oceanic waves, expecting a storm
that hasn't come.
You stand up,
you consider your legs,
nothing feels wrong,
But you can break
more than your body.
don't get tired of elephants yetI've had my crippling moments.
They'd either start in my stomach
with an ache like broken glass
or stab me right in the catharsis,
somewhere near my heart or breath
or maybe my left foot.
I wouldn't know how it feels
to hurt to walk, but I imagine
with a destination like farther,
it's no pilgrimage.
So take the burden off your back.
Life is not a sandstorm
and your lungs are only a mirage
if you expect to see your breath
every time you breathe.
So take a breath
back, just one step
and listen with your smoke signals.
Help is on the way.
I just can't promise
it knows much about this lifetime.
It's the same way I could never promise
The IdolI once saw a man on the television who was so afraid of fruits that when presented with a bowl of them, he fled the stage, knocking over the host and several other guests. Though I openly pitied the man for his obvious malady of the mind, inside, the small bit of sadism buried within all humans laughed at his bizarre affliction. How can one not find cruel amusement in the cowering of a grown man who has been confronted by nothing more than a bowl of peaches? But now I understand fear like no other. I now no longer find amusement in the terror of others, no matter how illogical.
Now, let me tell you the story of why the sound of wind whis
The first time I met the girl who started a revolution the sky was throwing down so much rain it felt like we were underwater. It was hard to breathe; and maybe that was because of all the rain, but probably it was because I looked at her face, under this dark red hood, and inside I was a story with all these feelings I could never say. I guess those feelings could only ever become words on paper - words in ink - not the kind I could ever speak aloud to anybody, if only because I couldn't bear for a person to see the look on my face while I remembered. Despite how good it felt - so hopeful, so desperately happy for what it was and could
Submerged in Swan Lake
Swans and wings are floating by
on a breeze imbued with jasmine and
willows outstretching their arms in welcome.
Through deep breaths he arrives
plunged in murky, pungent water.
A quiet whisper, and he prays -
"Please... may I linger here?"
Willows lower their arms
and jasmine falls to the Earth
where the wind dies and finally rests.
The crows are cawing hymns,
begging to be swans.
But only the duck submerged in Swan Lake
has delved the desired shore.
Its waters dangerous and plagued
by monsters baring their teeth;
most ghastly and putrid they are
that no crow may ripple its surface
nor any songbird seeking beauty fair.
The Swan M
A Matter of Time
A Matter of Time
You think Sandy's got vengeance in its eyes?
You see vengeance everywhere don’t you?
In the fast, wet winds churning around your Queens apartment
In the lightning flashes on Ocean Parkway where we walked once like a
Couple of refugees.
The waves will be taller than you, they’re saying
But I imagine you sitting on a grey dock somewhere
Oblivious of official warnings
Your dark wavy hair sticking to your forehead of scattered lies
Your hard, careless body framed in endless brine.
I might not be allowed to love you anymore
But the rules of capturing, consuming and catenating happen to be
As fluid as t
I Took To Howling With YouI was shy at first, timid in my dealings,
I laced the trap against my throat,
sang sparing, tip-toed
around your poems.
The tone, the slow vibrating
from the shoots of my shoulders
to the gleam of polished talons,
it purred around inside me.
Oh the song, Coyote,
the same resigned call, it
paled before you, swallowed down its insides,
I took your little hand in my big hand,
flew out towards Crow, and for a while
My Love, there were poems
and the world was enough.
I took to howling with you,
down from the branches, safe
womb of the tree, I spread
dirt between my toes, sang happy,
sang the song of free,
your wild howl
What Soft DreamsWhat soft dreams we lay -
What soft dreams, like infants put to rest -
Frightfully bare, and compromised,
Our kisses on their breasts.
We close our eyes and trust them safe,
Kept 'til break of dawn -
Forgetting that the night is fickle,
And dutifully, as long -
It safeguards some,
Moved by neither coin nor threat
Nor anguished mother's cry.
When your hands can mimic birdsWhen your hands can mimic birds,
you lose the need for sound.
A flight of words that bear no chirp
are none the less profound.
They don't perch on a pitch.
They don't possess the need .
They fly until you've seen their song,
then silently recede.
No one could find more freedom than
the freedom granted flight.
No one can see more beauty than in
words passed left to right.
This Common BloodI am young when I first hear the word 'adoption'. I am so very young, perhaps three, maybe four. I accept it easily when my mother sits me down and explains that I did not grow beneath her heart, but rather in it. I nod my head, smile big, and ask when I'm getting a little sister. My mother kisses me on the forehead and puts her hand on my head as she stands up. "If you wish on a star, Sarah, maybe she will be here very soon." I practice my wishing until night's companions wink merrily in the sky.
I turned seventeen just recently. I thought of you when I woke up, and I wondered if you were thinking of me. I like to think that you
if teen dreams were teen novelsthere was once a boy who had all the write words to say
with all those fancy allegories, metaphors and similes
and antonyms of synonyms, like rails and snares and storms
and organs and trains and drums and hurricanes and
and she was only a girl with plain words, the kinds of things
that are only found in piles of papers and pens, books
she keeps where she sleeps,
that will only break when he leaves in the morning,
but she shares everything, like a boat shares a bard,
like a cigarette shares a lung, like a mouth shares other mouths,
like an artist shares her heart.
but there is a running in her heart:
not that type of b
My Husband Tried To Make Love To Memy husband
tried to make love to me
he was topaz, he was
grim, he was the chalk
and smoky fire
of fear and gnawed-at
he was the bright face of fruit.
he was horrible and strange. he stared,
licked and rolled me in his palms
like a cigarette, wordlessly
dragged me from my grassy bed
by the bones in my legs and
pinned me down in that darkly
smiling, jagged place where
he put his hands on me and dragged
the crushed moans from my chest
made me yell
like a dog
and oh how frightened
and in awe i was of his caverns,
his black and rolling eyes
how his pomegranates bled
and trickled, bitt
Imitating NatureThe morning sun streamed through a series of large plate glass windows lining the library's east wall, its rays warming the room's wooden paneling and illuminating the cavernous space. Tall bookshelves stuffed with literature from across the world towered over polished oak reading tables, each furnished with a plain, green-shaded banker's lamp. On the far side, a massive painting gracing the west wall depicted the solemn face of Saint Patrick, whose protective presence could be felt watching over the library's sole visitor.
All was perfectly quiet, save for a tap, tap, tapping that echoed in the otherwise silent room. Seated at a desk near t
chromaWe were merely children when the stars came.
They rained down from the sky in a burst of light, like shards of glass pouring down from the heavens. Supernovas blooming in the night sky, petals raining down onto the barren earth - angels, falling with their wings sheathed, glowing, as they glided down. We watched, starstruck, as the glow overtook us - we were mesmerized. We waited with bated breath as the meteors landed, the celestial light subsiding as dark forms started to pick themselves up from the dust.
They moved towards us with an otherworldly grace, their steps leaving no marks on the earth as they descended upon us. Frozen to our sp
"So where are you from?" The boy leans toward me, questions swimming in his eyes. I smile.
"Oh, I'm from Boston."
"No, I mean, where are you from?" My smile falters as I realize where this is going. It's an all-too familiar conversation, one I've been having since I was old enough to reply.
"Do you mean where was I born?"
"I was born in China."
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"Does your family speak Chinese?"
He looks befuddled. I sigh.
"Oh!" I see the light bulb over his head go off in a shower of sparks. "Do you know who your real parents are? Like, your real parents?" My temper flares. I stifle th
I am eight years old.I am eight years old.
My lips are perfectly pink. They don't need to look glossy or tinted redder. My cheeks don't need this, either. My eyes stand out well enough on their own without being lined with black paint. The mascara weighs on my lashes and makes me tired and itchy. This shit on my eyelids shouldn't be there, either.
That was a bad word. I am afraid to say bad words, but I've got a few in my head. My friend told me that the word "bitch" means "female dog," but I think she's wrong. I don't think I've ever heard it used in this context. Actually, I think it's a word for people like you. I say this to you with my eyes. You
The Doppelganger 2The book still sings to me, and that's when I pull it from under my bed and stroke the cover. But I never open it, because I know what happens if I do it wrong. It's still blank; but only of ink. I know the secret, you see. It's how I understand the songs, and know the melodies it echoes up to me, through time. There are impressions hidden in the pages- spilled mead and raucous laughter, summer sunshine and frost on dead leaves. The last time I tried feeling them from start to finish, I passed out from the sheer weight of knowledge, and it left my brain scrambled for ages.
I found out things about my past and my family's past. I have Irish o
Bits of Nothing 61On paper you're perfect.
Isn't it a shame the world isn't made of origami?
ISLNDSyou like the way
the i slants,
in a sea
in cropped crests
made to full-
in lost chests.
now a motive
and proceed greedily,
the leap's froth;
breath is only
as sweet as the
speech that breeds thought.
if only, if only.i.
we drove nowhere
and we spoke a language
that nobody understood
underneath a foreign sky
blanketed in the scent of pine.
you told me
my eyes were like envelopes
because they were always
fluttering to the sound
of breaking seals
and ink stained fingertips.
i told you
we should run away
to a new land
with new faces
i was enamored
with people i had never encountered
and places i had never gone.
you laughed at me
and said that
if i didn't spend
so much time with my head
buried in world maps
i would realize
that i was living on one.
it rained that day
and the tea went cold
for unseeing eyesladen with sky
and painted mockingbirds
on loveless branches
folding in our slender limbs
and ducking under our own
voices, fidgety and frail
against the wall of night.
between the dipping blades
and drawn shoulders
we learned to craft our words
a drumming rain
that carved canyons
in open hearts and
drew the sunshine to
our supping lips.
keen-eyed, we watched
remembering the weight
of unseeing eyes
and scalding remarks
and we learned to slip
the noose-knots and slide
through the soul-cracks
build kingdoms under
with lyrical uncertainty
and tender determinat
WanderlustI've been sleeping with my jeans on
and seatbelt unbuckled,
So I can leave early
before my regret wakes.
In the check-in, on the road,
I distract myself
Walk, go, leave
go further, leave again
I like my life
I never meant to break your
(steady and warm)
But truer ways of joy I found
on the road,
in long railways and stranger tongues
And I'm sorry that we never
Quite catch up with each other.
I never loved goodbyes,
but I love leaving all behind
In the movement I found tranquility,
easing for this burn.
Don't think I'll be able
To ever forget you, no
You're like Venus in th
October EyesSuch gentle colors drip across your freckled shoulder blades.
A quilt of puddled watercolors soaked in auburn shades.
Spun of golden rivulets and rinsed in autumn skies,
So many endless currents swimming through your lonesome eyes.
Brushing under fingertips and over shattered songs,
Unraveling like morning glaze against my paling palms.
With beauty like October hills and hollow as the skies,
The water drops against the earth will be our lullaby.
The SeizuresSkye has a seizure at dusk, and we're alone.
I hold her wrists
so she doesn't fall from her hospital bed,
turn her on her side and hit the nurse distress button
screaming for someone to help us.
She's shaking uncontrollably,
and the bracelets on her wrists move
in a discordant lullaby.
Then it's over,
and the nurses come and check her pulse,
her blood oxygen, her motor control.
She can talk again, but she's confused
and doesn't know who she is.
She can't move her legs.
I stroke her hair and tell her where she is,
help her slow her breathing, and help the nurses.
Our roommates return, and she starts seizin
Come Home: A PantoumYou'll always come back to me
when the lights in the far hills
are done searching. For, new beds
entice adventurers. Too,
when the lights in the far hills
come home, the homespun dream they
entice adventurers too,
but they can't. (Dream we're neither.
Come home.) The homespun dream they
turn pioneers to homebodies,
but they can't dream we're neither,
our wanderlust fit to turn
pioneers to homebodies.
We've always made love free, so
our wanderlust fit. To
turn ourselves towards our home
we've always made love. Free. So
when the last adventurers
turn themselves toward their homes
in faraway lands, I know,
when the last adv
Voices from Saginaw, MI: 1952-1974 Dad would ask so many questions I hated interpreting
for him hands stuck on refrain it wasn’t that my parents were deaf
but that other parents could hear I found that strange we had to move
Turning Inward - Asperger Syndrome and discoveryPrologue
Vignette One - Floating
He floated near the ceiling, up in the front right corner of the classroom. Looking down, the 6 year old boy could see the top of his teacher's head and the faces of his classmates. Further down the row closest to the door he saw himself watching and listening to the teacher. The boy felt like Superman since he could now fly.
He would often imagine leaving his body during times of increased stress, caused in part by the teacher herself. She wasn't exactly a mean woman, but had a harsh manner that frightened him. At home in the mornings he would sometimes become nauseous from the dread at the thought of goin
LingerieEvery woman owns one garment
that remains tucked away,
saved for special occasions
when it will be seen.
It is almost always midnight
black, or blood red, and
covered in lace, or made
of mesh, soft and delicate
as the skin it covers.
Such things should be hidden,
lest the owner be labeled
as something other than "lady."
It has a power we can't
control, one that transforms
denim and cotton clad
ragdolls into Barbies,
perfectly proportioned plastic,
smooth and flawless hourglasses
that turn on command.
We groan and flinch
as satin strings pull us
apart and together,
and heartstrings are plucked
as we scrutinize our reflection;
we are not
Reverse Culture ShockFlying home was not flying home. Flying home meant grabbing the homing pigeon inside of me and twisting its imaginary magnet one hundred and eighty degrees to the north instead of southwards to Australia. The magnet still twitched stubbornly north even as the plane droned over Darwin, five hours before I finally reached home. Except it wasn't home. Sydney now looked as foreign as the glossy travel leaflets I grabbed from Singapore, its shine not quite matching the missing substance of my once childhood home.
"Thank you for choosing Singapore Airlines I hope you will enjoy your stay in Sydney, or a warm welcome home."
Winter air slapped
The Art of Consent: BurlesqueHowever,
i can use the rounded corners of
sullen eyes, too-short fingernails,
magnanimous hips, and frosted lips
pressed crackling against the
porcelain dream he
so blackly freed against me.
i am four inches envy and
six inches will,
and completely engrossed in pursuit of
And he, still violent and violet, is there,
unconvinced and scared, and so perfectly
He finds me tied, vaudevillian, to his
falling from mind to mouth,
from mouth to spine.
Where contact confuses
sexually transmitted attention for
sexually transmitted affection,
there is not time to obscure the view that
The Lady of Chains (Part One of Five)
As soon as the doors closed, Viola knew she'd be lucky if she was ever given the chance to step outside them again. The sound didn't just echo throughout the tower, but appeared to signal the ending of her old life and the beginning of an entirely different one.
"You'll have to watch this one," Mrs Casket said, holding up a frail hand speckled with age. The index finger was missing. "She bites."
Viola averted her eyes, trying to ignore the ball of apprehension growing in her belly. She gazed up at the winding staircase. Her tongue felt like a strip of dried leather and it was difficult to form words around it. "How much longer until we're t
bedIt's a stabbing sight
Letting in the morning with a crack of the shades
And you forget you could page-turn horizons
Waft through free territory
Where acres are just beds
Made of fresh land
Wrinkles in the river
Tell remembered times
About old languages that could make you cry
About soft beds that carve away canyons
A speaking voice lifted from the earth
Begging you to remember
Back arched, skin starched, side swept hair
gorgeous hands and model legs
Deceptive, violent, crude
teeth grit and tongue split
Things ChangeHe rode their tandem bike, alone.
the smoke pouring out of her mouth,
(misty coils of a vague filth,
dancing to noir jazz, fading with each note)
smudged lipstick on the side of of her mouth,
and the little streak that crawled to her tooth
when she bit her lip in a supposed wonder,
and her eyes threw a faint film over themselves,
(like an elegant lady wraps a silk shawl around herself in a light breeze)
the light feet of a dancer
whose calluses were hidden under tight shoes,
whose toes would arch like Nut over her children,
(and she or you would spin with the earth, holding her frame as if-
as if earth was something of mass, as if
Fire and WaterIt was raining in Lancaster on September 3rd 1555, and Jane Ask loved the earthy smell that it coaxed out of the soil.
She wiped away the sheen of rainwater from her forehead with the back of her hand and set her small basket of nettles down by the front door. Later she would dry out the leaves and reduce them to a powder; the substance worked wonders on small wounds which refused to stop bleeding.
Jane had always been something of an herbalist. Growing up with only a father, and two older brothers from his first marriage, she had spent the majority of her childhood outdoors. Now practically a spinster at the age of twenty-two, she knew the
Send Me the Raintoday, they're all talking about the fires.
the people on TV, the voices on the radio,
the mouths that open and whisper
and softly touch tongues. even the sky is
revealing black plumes of smoke,
flaunting shameless and seductive curves.
the rain's been too dry and the lightning
isn't wet enough, panic is
rising out of control in this
burning city. that's
we have a crisis on
our hands- the balloons are
running out of air and even
the experts don't really know why,
and on top of those sinking rubber toys
my soul is losing moisture
faster than the crackling grass under the duress of flame.
minister'good morning,' the reverend bellows
'what a lovely collection of idols
we have gathered today'
they're a spectacle of a scatter plot on the pews
the bronzed hypocrisy of saved men sitting still,
saints on the neutral ground of benches
is an inconsistency i'll struggle
to reconcile with the jacob's ladders of rough-hewn grace
swooping in on souls or spirits
which have proven to be untouchable
not for sale in even the blackest of markets
speak, preacher. preach. i've always listened piously
and i'm not yet thinking of sunday dinner:
will the chicken be hot will the apple crisp burn
i mimic transcendence of the physical
I Of YouI want you to break
and never bend for me,
see my history
spiderweb your brilliance
till you belong to me
(and I, to you)
utterly and forever
you cannot stop this.
in the seams(a) when I was young I was a robin that stole the eggs from another's nest.
fitted upon my stare there was a warning
personal's too personal for me, well i
would not use wings if i had 'em.
a child of rye with a silhouette spoiled by the sun, I was, I am.
and sometimes I see some vengeful sparrows still under my fingernails;
their glistening beaks snap melodies that rib a hundred bird-bone cages,
so light you could blow 'em away with a twist of your lungs.
and there are still words jailed between my teeth and my tongue and I do not speak of,
do not think of
but they rattle between bone and flesh and I
drown them s
LintukotoLife as a stained glass window in the cosmos:
a well of misfortune, shattered hours,
pieces of night and liquid decades.
A bird crosses the universe
and in the corner of eternity it warbles
a song that encloses everything.
I escape to the route of tempest:
the galaxy, oniric labyrinths,
a spiral path to madness.
DormantWinter is a blank slate,
but not like Rousseau's
sucking out warmth like poison
leaving only windburnt frost
tacked to the window pane
all we remember
is the numbness
skittish steps across the ice
snowflakes pasted to our faces
smoke rising from our lips
dragged across bleak clouds
winter has us captured
bound by fur and walls
drifting in our eggshelled silence
bone cold until we birth ourselves by warmth
emerge from our shells wet and heaving
uncurl our fingers one by one
joints crackling like fire at our backs
until spring comes
drip by tender drip
old wounds thaw
we are found raw,