The Rat and the DollSome time ago there lived a Rat of fine whiskers and a finer tail who stumbled across a small porcelain Doll in a farmer's rubbish heap. Entranced by the Doll's beauty, he carried her home with him and, to the amusement of his fellow rats, instated her as his wife. Finding that she was of little assistance in his daily rambles for food, the Rat placed her upon a slight ledge of the barn in which he lived and brought her an offering of sustenance each day, as well as flowers and other pretty objects with which to enhance her loveliness.
One day the Rat returned from his foraging to find the other rats throwing pebbles at his Doll. "Stop!" he cried. "Why do you abuse my wife? What has she ever done to you?"
"She does nothing at all," said the other rats, "and that is the problem. How has she proven herself worthy of the attention you grant her, or the offerings you provide?"
"Her beauty proves her worth," claimed the Rat.
But at that moment, a gust of wind swept the Doll off her perch an
Trinity RoseAs a teenager, he was the artist who painted sunsets just to see them bleed their light through acrylics, dandelions beheaded in the frost to prove that you don't need hands to come out of the world scathed. He created beautiful women with their hair over their eyes and their tummies sucked in and rose vine tattoos sneaking up their thighs only because he wanted to show how you become tainted.Trinity Rose5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
His theory: you look as helpless and fragile as possible and then you open all the windows and the doors and a violent man walks in, or a vengeful wind.
That came from a sixteen-year-old mind high on hormones and a lack of experience.
That came from a young boy who believed you had to feign tragedy to be a good artist.
The older he became, the blinder he let his paintings become, perhaps literally. The only places he'd ever looked were up to the sky and down to his canvas. No elderly couple, no schoolchildren ever stumbled out of the light he stroked excessively between shadows. Their eyes always
A Song for SorrowAway on the hilltop that surveys the shore,A Song for Sorrow6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The sunlight shines down on the dress that she tore.
For there stands my lady with tears in her eyes--
My ship soon is leaving for stormier skies.
The daylight is fading, with promise of night.
And I from below cannot fathom the height,
The distance from hilltop to shadowy shore,
The space of the years, of a lifetime or more.
She's lovely in sorrow, but pain and despair
Last only as long as the wind in her hair,
For memory fades with the coming of frost.
(There's no one as fair as the one who has lost.)
O Captain! My Captain! There's wind in the sail,
A flurry of hats torn away in the gale.
A tempest is coming, we must not delay!
Her face in my eyelids as we sail away.
The ocean is fickle, unending, and bleak;
She torments the mighty and swallows the weak.
So why do we love her, we rashest of men?
When all of our roads lead to her yet again.
The world is too small for our changeable hearts,
No time for the wisdom perdition imparts.
II collect herbs on the Hansel and Gretel path to make a potion to drink and find the Baba Yaga within.I8 years ago in Other More Like This
I jeep a million miles a week to celebrate one secret from one child that hints at the power they carry blithely.
I paint abstract road signs with the three colors plus dawn and twilight to find the night spot to dance the kundalini cha-cha.
I sit on a throne of thorns and watch through the dispelling inner fog as my body torques into imitations of a rose blooming.
I pour a river of skin into the ocean of his morning and feel the tsunami swell through a worldwide heartbeat.
I suck the colors and light and darkness from my inner psychedelic mirror out through the lens of the seeing camera.
I listen from somewhere beyond pulses to the purring and screeching that spills from your full heart to my cavernous soul.
PallorI cried myself sane and thenPallor5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
moved on. How strange, that a man
can split open like a rotten peach and find,
at last, nothingness. How strange to realize:
only then can sunlight enter his veins.
Death dissolves us. Nothing has changed
but everything is different. I spend an hour
pressing my fingers against a wall, the skin
whitening as blood retreats.
There is no regret, no fear. Only a man
who whitens against his final four walls,
the empty chair, the selfish and wandering grief.
Only a man whose face slowly unravels and the way
I wash my face, make dinner, let myself forget.
MoshtarakYou came in combat shortsMoshtarak5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Speaking poetry to me
in pidgin Pashto.
I'm sure you've blown skulls
wide open with half formed words
and you frightened me
with your fearless fire.
You chased away the trouble that had
settled heavy over my shoulders and down into
every hair and pore and breath like desert dust.
You were different.
Your eyes shone with the promise
of golden gates
and red bridges to white sheets
across blue gaps and hotels and museums and forests full of God
and everything seemed possible.
I did not think you would leave me.
And it returns from the mountains, the caves,
Wherever it comes from. Whatever you call it.
Trouble. Taliban. Heartbreak. In pidgin Pashto
or any language.
I wondered where you'd gone
but then I realised -
You think you're home,
But both our homes
are static lines floating
through space and we can't
make it home without finishing
what was started, I know
a part of your head is still here, sp
Essay: Accidental PredatorAccidental PredatorEssay: Accidental Predator5 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
"Real vampires don't sparkle," is the uniting battle-cry of the anti-Twilight series movement. Long-time fans of the vampire fantasy genre all tend to agree that vampires are blood-sucking, night-stalking, sun-fearing, semi-immortal fiends of incalculable strength and power. The drop-dead-sexy definition isn't a foreign idea either. Yet when these defining items come together in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, vampire lovers all over the world have risen up in protest. The mere mention of the series seems an affront to the vampire subject in question. After over a century's worth of exposure to Dracula-stylized vampires, the introduction of this new, different vampire has divided the literary culture. 1
In an attempt to pacify those masses that harbor distaste for Twilight and the subsequent series, here is presented a solution to the controversial issue at hand: the "vampires" in Meyer's Twilight are not vampire
One Way Eyes You hate that old woman. Not the least because she's your sister. You might be called "my old man" by your first son, but you're not as old as that old woman. She doesn't look particularly old and neither do you. Except for her eyes. Her eyes look way too old. Yours don't. You don't think they do.One Way Eyes5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Your eyes are bright because you focus on beautiful things. Your second wife is a beautiful young woman. She has what you call russet hair, cut in an expensive style. She has bright eyes too. They're like yours because you both adore your youngest son, the one she had with you. This son's so young his age is a single digit. His eyes are even brighter, and they look very beautiful to you.
Your sister's eyes hold only dim light at the end of a long dark tunnel. They're shot red with lines that say: "I know you. But you don't know me. It's all one way here." You wish she would close them for a lon
Eating HabitsGarlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme, spinach, tomatoes, a little tabasco. The meat came last.Eating Habits5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
With a scowl she scooped out the lard with her hand and slopped it onto the floor, before proceeding to grind the mixture. Baba Yaga sighed. She didn't have to watch her weight in the old days.
Humans these days. So unhealthy.
Dear MeDear Little Rachel,Dear Me5 years ago in Letters More Like This
Yes, darling, you. You standing in the queue to get out of the airport, wrapped up as though it was minus 20 degrees Celsius outside when it was just 16 degrees. You there, aged eleven years old, your skin used to humidity and now cracking up like aging plaster in the blast of dry August air.
I know who you are. You brought me to life by your dreams, your bitter recollections of better days as you tried to defog the future, only to realise it was as misty as ever. I am who you are then, and you are who I am now. Call me a time traveller, talking to you and breaking a hundred physical laws but trust me, I'm just here to give you something.
Yeah, really, I hear you scoff. What have you learnt in the last five and a half years that you can tell me about? I mean, you're only about to turn seventeen. You're not even an adult. You're only an angst-ridden, bitchy, moody, internet-addicted teenager without one shred of philosophical decency. A teen advising
daughterI find her in my kitchen, one ordinary morning with the harsh winter sun tipping full through the window. I haven't seen her for six months, and yet here she is, bruised knees pulled up under her chin, the light pouring through her hair like dull bronze. Despite the cold she is only wearing shorts and an old gray t-shirt, two sizes too big. Upon hearing my footsteps she looks up from picking at her nails, covered in chipped black polish, multicolored threads and silver rings slipping down her wrists. Her hair is tangled and long; longer than I can ever remember, and she tucks it behind an ear studded with piercings that glint in the dark strands. Her face is still in the shadows but a smile breaks through the silence and for the smallest moment I am stunned by the sheer momentum of life; the scent of baby powder, fireflies in the live oaks at night, the first time I felt her weight in my arms in a hospital bed, her tiny heart beating like a butterfly against my palm.daughter5 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I have to sift
Emotion The noise is unbearable. It runs through your body and cracks your soul; the sound of fear. It's high pitched, like a scream from a horror movie. Primal. We've evolved in such a way that such a sound sends terror pulsing through us. It's a chain reaction.Emotion5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Your muscles clench; that's the sound of your wife dying. All the worst thoughts pulse through your head; your mind serves only to exacerbate your horror. Eventually, you can't hear the screaming anymore, not over the sound of your heartbeat. The perfect engine in your chest pumps faster and faster; this is your death as well as hers.
Paralysis comes next. That's when you notice the blood. Again your mind races. Surely, it isn't natural to lose that much blood. The paralysis worsens. Before you were tense, now it feels as though your knees are going to give way. That's when you realise i
Learning GodThese beloveds of mineLearning God5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
wend their way through minefields of learning,
dig through layers of deadliness for you.
blinded still by the glitter of my tripwire,
I dance along the edges of these cliffs
believing there is an invisible bridge, casting sand
out into the sky, ready to run along the glimmer of walkway
it reveals, assume
there is no bottom to this gorge, launch off
and grow my wings as the wind hits me in the face
and think I have help to give to my beloveds.
Maybe the difference is that
I have left the ground, and they are still pushing poles into
the next bit of dirt, mincing toward the next buried mine.
Train taint constraint conceitTrain taint constraint conceit11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a train journey
night, she sits serene
on the opposite seat,
and her gaze drifts to
skybirds on thermals soaring swooping emotionless joyful.
advancing, the Inspector of Tickets, the Taker of Fares
in his municipal in his green and strident waistcoat authoritarian
stride peaked cap tickets please tickets please tickets
she doesn't have a ticket. money
is alien-tainted hate-polluted isn't worth a damn
to her, let alone railway tickets.
she calls me to the open window – So
she jumps as the train starts to slow - So
she glides to the ground
and turns to me calling follow.
with her - i don't know, not
with her voice at any rate. hidden now
by a wooded glade still calling
Ten painted momentsOne. The circumstances of her birthTen painted moments5 years ago in Write Memoirs More Like This
She was supposed to be a Christmas child. Her sister, older than her by 6 years, kept wishing for a live doll to play with. Much later, she found out that her mother cried when she first heard she was pregnant, all the way from the hospital to the house. Apparently, she had considered an abortion, but under the communist regime, it was illegal and also a very dangerous endeavour. In the end, her mother's mother, in her wisdom, convinced her to welcome the child that was to be born.
During the months of pregnancy, everyone expected her to be a boy. The shape of her belly, as well as other old wives tales, made the whole family believe that. A revolution passed by, and her mother spent the last month of pregnancy in bed. Eventually, she got sick of that, drove to the hospital in an old Skoda with her husband, and apparently said to the doctor she would give birth today, thank you very much.
She ended up being a quiet, round-faced and
The Arms Of RomeI met Ed when I joined the Marines for the first time. Her name is Jessica Edwin, but in the Marines she was Corporal Edwin, or Ed. It stuck. She was tough and pretty, smart, driven, and two years older than me. I was nineteen and foolish. Somehow it worked.The Arms Of Rome5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
We got married when we found out she was pregnant. My parents were very nasty about it. They felt I'd somehow taken advantage of her. Good as raped her. Her parents were wonderful. They hosted the wedding, Ed and I wore our dress blues, and took an oath that meant even more than the one we swore to our nation.
Tiger was born just a few months after that. Ed's four year contract was finished, so she found us a little house near the base. She found a job, and she raised Tiger, almost by herself, while I ran PT, stood firewatch, crawled the obstacle courses, fired my rifle, shipped out on West Pac, and ca
Europe, Twenty-SixAnd there, to the west,Europe, Twenty-Six6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
was a skeleton
that wasnt made of bones
and carried no flesh,
stretched taut across the skyline
and motionless, as if taken surprise
by the sudden black of night.
We gazed across the city,
electrified, two small eyes
peering out from the bright skull.
You lifted your arm,
fingers splayed like dark eyelashes
to catch the bright orbs
of streetlights on the horizon
and cupped them in your hand,
like small candles burning,
flickering luminescent in the midnight pupil.
I'll meet her again...Its Samhain. The line between the spiritI'll meet her again...6 years ago in Sestina-ween More Like This
world and our own is a ray of moonlight.
Its the night when the reluctant soul sticks
to our plane, hovering - a withered rose
whose beauty is the figment of a dream;
a gleam gilding the surface of the lake.
For long hours of idyll would the Lake
poets revel in letting their spirit
soar free on the nightingales wings, and dream
of glimpsing their Muse clad in pure moonlight
but tonight magics afoot: clouds just rose
to blur the moon like fumes from incense sticks.
The Romantics habit of rambling sticks
to mind tonight, as I stroll to the lake
and sit down to recall the violent rows
wed have every night, before her spirit
gave itself over to the bland moonlight
and chose to rest and die, not live and dream.
But perhaps tis I thats strayed in a dream?
For in that small nest, fashioned out of sticks,
I see her visage, painted in moonlight.
I glimpse a lady traversing the
Engine of Chaos"Define problem," I said, watching my guest over steepled fingers.Engine of Chaos5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The man - he had introduced himself as Edward Carter - twisted a machine-pressed felt hat between calloused hands.
"Well, I run a warehouse in the West India docks for a Mister Hibberd," he began, and grimaced, his pale brow furrowing beneath lank, age-bleached hair. "Top gent. But... There's somethin' tha's not right."
Oil-stained fingernails bit into his hat's brim, and he wet his lips.
"The foreman - he's walked out on me. An' I can't get lightermen in for love nor money. It's me engineer..." The felt hat audibly complained at his attentions. "He's gone a bit... I think he's blown a valve - if you'll excuse the expression."
He paused, and glanced anxiously about the room. Though I doubt he found much comfort there; my study was sparsely decorated at best. His eyes paused on my coat stand, before wandering idly over my desk, and finally, relucta
Roses III: Blood RedA word. Face turned away to the silent distance,Roses III: Blood Red5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
A mirror of pain within eyes too young for this dance.
Terraced landscape down her graceful teenage spine,
Chin to knees, arms arched in a perfect synchrony of limbs.
She closed her stinging eyes and wished, as she inhaled the starchy air of the studio, that it was that easy to forget the ruins she had just postponed from her mind. With the abandon of despair, she chased one joint with another, her body a perfect arch of visual melody. Hers was the ballet of discordant precision, as she ravaged onto her body the same cacophony that her emotions drummed out onto her heart.
Within the darkness behind her eyelids, she aligned breath with heartbeat, following the disastrous staccato within her chest, reminding herself that the gallop of contained thunder therein was normal.
All was normal. It was natural to shatter continuously. She was all sinewy muscle, able to handle storm after storm.
My FavorLIT Thingsto be sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of MusicMy FavorLIT Things4 years ago in Other More Like This
Tweets from Lit-Twitter and rambles from Trevor
Workshops and sutures and fruitful endeavors
Preposterous prompts followed by screams
These are a few of my favorLIT things
Lit quotes from Rosie and updates from Lili
Smiles from Amber and haikus from kitty
Coming together for groups that need
FugueI found her in a tree, once.Fugue5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She was sittin' stuck in the uppermost branches, serene and unsurprised as an angel on Christmas morning. Dappled light inked her pretty with the shadows of leaves, and her fingers faintly tapped the rhythm of a bright hymn on the burdened limb.
"Hello!" she called, miraculously. The sun made a silhouette of her waving arm, and I breathed for the first time in hours. Her face looked so sweet, smilin' and brilliant. Though she was only a few dozen feet up, she looked down at me as though she was ages and miles away.
"Susan, get down from there," I yelled. "Momma's worried," I added in a mutter, my gaze scurrying down to my feet. I was lyin'. Our mother was no more worried for Susan's safety than she was concerned about her future prospects, certain of the prophetic glory that her elder child was gonna bring to the world, the sweet justification. I was the concerned party, sure my sister was gonna wander herself into traffic or a running crick one of these da
Up and Aparti.Up and Apart5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I was four and you were two. My Ma says she remembers me saying how it was such a bother when we had a playdate because you'd take my animal crackers and mash them between your fingers and your mouth but you'd never eat any of them.
I was seven and you were five, and my Ma told me to find a rose to give to you so she could take a picture with her new camera. I couldn't find any, so I went to Old Alfred's field and picked a wildflower instead. But it had a bee, and you had allergies, and you stuffed the petals in my mouth after your Pa fixed you up with the Epipen.
I was twelve and you were ten. You went to a Catholic girls' school and you said if I kissed you on the mouth, you wouldn't tell my Pa about the magazines and the cigarettes you helped me steal; but you didn't tell me you would kiss back.
I was fifteen and you were thirteen, and even though we were tired from racing home on our bikes, you let me sneak you out into Old