deviantANXIETY, A Case StudyYou've joined deviantART to become a great artist, or to show the world that you're a great artist. You've joined to ogle all things kawaii. You've joined to dominate the chat rooms, or the forums, both. But above all, you've joined to become a llama baron: you've got your heart set on that 'runaway llamas' badge and nothing's gonna stand in your way.
You've added a couple of people whose art you're interested in to your deviantWATCH. Or perhaps you watched them because you thought they were cute, or because you liked their avatars, or because they offered you some friendly advice, or because they helped to allay the awkwardness you felt on joining such a large community by issuing you with a generic greetings message along the lines of [if not actually] 'Welcome to deviantART!'
The message is so carefully crafted that you suspect the person greeting you has greeted ten thousand other people today with the same copy-pasta. But you're not stupid: you know how important it is to m
deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part IIYou should congratulate yourself on confronting your previous problems. However, new problems have arisen, and these cause you more anxiety.deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part II3 years ago in Other More Like This
For you, deviantART has now acquired not just the status of an opiate, but of a religion (which are only the same thing if you believe Karl Marx) — you regard deviantART as a monolithic, abstract entity which claims to love you and which is prepared to punish you — by way of suspending or even permanently banning your account — if you should do anything which displeases it. As such, you feel guilty for acknowledging that you have new problems; but you can't ignore the fact that overcoming the old ones wasn't enough.
But you really don't have to feel guilty. deviantART's love conquers all: it shall be your salvation. And salvation can be achieved by joining groups which indulge your infatuatio
deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part IIIYou've been here for so long that you're a veteran. You've acquired a set of impressive but questionable statistics, having burned through many an account, and repeatedly promising your exasperated watchers that each change of account was the last. If only the account name-change feature was available earlier, you could have saved your friends, and yourself, a lot of trouble. You've no idea where your original account is, or in which year you joined.deviantANXIETY, A Case Study, Part III2 years ago in Other More Like This
You're full of tales about such defining deviantART moments as the birth of Fella, the fall of jark, and +spyed spurning his $ in favour of +. You don't remember if you witnessed them or only read about them. Because your memory's hazy, you believe you're technically not
Seeking Your StarMarch 20, 2014Seeking Your Star1 year ago in Letters More Like This
Some stars burn so brightly, they burst before they see the cosmos unfold. You shared the warmth of your glow with as many as you could before you rose too high for the sky to handle and scattered sacred stardust across it. Your legacy is seen in constellations.
A few days later
Mom called me to the window today to show me a lone star in a cloudless sky. She said she thought of you.
Mother's Day, 2014
Nana told me at lunch today that she heard footsteps in the room where she keeps your urn. She went upstairs to greet Papa several times, thinking the footsteps were his, but found him sleeping. Our waitress gave each woman at our booth a carnation. Outside, sunlight adorned our skin and held us.
I could have sworn I felt you holding us, too.
June 21, 2014
I took a plane out of Chicago to get back home. The sun set mid-flight, tie-dying the sky in orange and red. As we rose over the clouds, my jetlagged eyes rested upon a lone star pinned against
Storm Music They say when I was first laid in my mother's arms, she gave me back to the nurse and said, "No. This is not a child of mine."Storm Music3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My father is the "they" I mean, the only one I heard tell that story. I guess he figured she meant it, because right away he took me as far from the Zuni reservation and my mother as we could get.
I don't remember being a little baby. I mean, who does? But I know my father drove his old car, with him and me and supplies, for miles and miles and miles. I hated that car. And he talked a lot, my Dad. He'd say, "Hey, freak. We're gonna cross a state line again. Mark it on the map." Or, "Hey, ghost boy. I gotta stop here for a few days. I'll set you up in a motel."
When my father said "set you up in a motel," he meant he'd get some half-drunk Indian to watch me, or more likely, to watch TV. He always went somewhere else. Some of those Indians fed me and some didn't, just like my father. I mean, it's like when I
You're Not A PoetYou’re not a poet because of strung wordsYou're Not A Poet2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Together on row upon row again
Of blank verse or perhaps liberal rhyme.
‘Slam’ all you want, other poets wonder;
Your ignorance of couplets a blunder?
Yes! I speak harshly, but it’s no gross crime,
To point with honesty failed verse of thine.
No real poet discards upper case words;
Lets prose crawl on paper like listless worms.
You seek to free verse of those stern letters,
Sever away bleak capital fetters,
But it doesn’t sing of great speech sublime,
Rather, it sneaks of writing in spare time.
Wait! before you throw me in the icy Rhine;
It’s hard to put verse together in rhyme,
To make our dull words sound great all the time,
Hear them ring out loud, like a clear clock’s chime,
Heralding a poet’s summer prime.
Yet the sacred muses weep at your crime;
Your pentameter mangled thick like slime,
The subject not gilded in raiment fine;
Your bold ink font, crystal waters divine
Tastes bitter to the ton
Lullaby ByeTwinkle twinkle falling starLullaby Bye2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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
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.Wrong Place, Wrong Time2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
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
IceWhen the glacier slides,Ice2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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.
ExpirationWith you I always feel like I’mExpiration2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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
handmade lovewrite me a letter,handmade love4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
not emails or tweets.
blue pen scribblings
on sheets of paper crisp.
in five hundred words,
two pages and a half -
tell me you thought of me
on cigarette breaks.
go on foot to a post office,
paste the stamp yourself.
i shall be clouds away
expecting the mail truck.
february 28, 2012
Neighbors Through the Glass Revised“Do you know why you’re here?”Neighbors Through the Glass Revised1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
A menacing spotlight shone on me from the direction of the ominous voice. I shivered, looking around frantically in the darkness. Where was I and how did I get there?
A sigh emanated from the darkness, and I managed to stumble out an answer in response.
“No. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“We know you didn’t. But you saw something didn’t you?”
I remembered waving to my neighbor from my pod after I’d gotten home from my assigned job as bookkeeper just like I did every day. He was an elderly gentlemen and he lived directly to the right side of me. Our pods were made of glass, like little glass cubicles stacked one on top of the other just like in a skyscraper office building, as the Government described when they first pitched the ideas to the Citizens. They reminded me of a display case for humans. You could see inside each pod on the right and left of your own pod as far as your eye could str
Reverse PoemI will never be accepted by my peersReverse Poem2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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
When people learn that I listen to rap“What?”When people learn that I listen to rap1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
A mix of skeptical, bewildered, mildly impressed
And sometimes a little disgusted.
“You listen to rap?”
Behold, a specimen of middle-class suburbia
Spectacled, pimpled, messy-haired
Painfully awkward, unquestionably nerdy
Oh, and female, let’s not forget about that.
“Haydn and Beethoven; yup, that’s definitely your jam
During your late-night chemistry revision sessions
On your wild nights, maybe some Katy Perr – wait, what?
You listen to rap?”
Yes, I listen to rap
(Although I do still listen to Haydn
Toting Bach and Biggie together
Gets you strange looks from HMV cashiers, let me tell you)
And yes, I do actually enjoy it;
I’m not that kind of ironic listener.
After the initial double-take,
The curious follow up with “Why do you listen to rap?”
Like Victorians questioning a returning anthropologist
Who’s been in among the natives
(For the record, I find this more funny than annoying
So please don
Fan Fiction for the UnconvincedThis is an attempt at an informal essay on fan fiction, by a middle-aged woman who reads and enjoys fan fiction. It won’t really be a balanced argument—I will be concentrating more on what I see as the positive aspects of the genre. I’ll be using mainly examples from the Sherlock fandom, that being the fandom I’m most familiar with. (There will be some spoilers, especially for series 3, so if you haven’t seen the series yet and you intend to, it might be wise to give this essay a miss.)Fan Fiction for the Unconvinced1 year ago in Academic Essays More Like This
Why do I read fan fiction? The basic reason is exactly the same reason I read anything—some of it is of astounding quality. I think fan fiction is often saddled with the image of being written solely by beginners and being uniformly terrible. But it’s like any other kind of fiction. You have beginners, you have the competent, you have the talented and experienced. The very best fan fiction writers write at a professional standard; the very best sto
Empty GardensIt was a wine-petaled pansyEmpty Gardens3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that my mother pruned from the garden box;
it reminded me
that I had blossomed late and wilted.
At fourteen I created pansy petals of my own,
waking up with hot-fisted cramps
and the proof I was a woman.
I was not a rose, perennial,
as I went from blooming monthly
to not at all.
I would rather spend a day
curled up like the fetus I may never carry
than flat on my back wondering
why God allowed worse women than me
to bear children.
HerculesYou grappled dragons and slayed gorgons;Hercules2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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.
pretentious pricki wantpretentious prick2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to burn all of your shit
it is in the next room over
run my fingers along the wood of your
caress it in my arms
like you used to do to me
and then take it to the back window
of your fucking ugly red car
it's not even that
nice of a car
you pretentious prick
i could burn up that painting
i made for you
for christmas last year
snap the dvd i bought you
in half and use it to rip up your clothes
wreck every single bit of you
like you did to me
and you keep doing
you said you're not selfish
that i was the only one to think so
you didn't even wait
and i'm here starving as a stupid
that's been captive so long
i don't know how to function without your hand
upon my back
i could wreck you
tear you apart
make you fucking miserable
but i won't
because i'm not you
and i swear
oh i swear upon this universe
i will not be like you
The World's Greatest ActorThe World’s Greatest Actor, now a father, prepared lunch for his three children. Humming to himself happily, he slathered pieces of bread with peanut butter and jelly. He put them each into individual plastic containers, then the containers into brightly coloured cloth bags along with plums and juice boxes. He wanted to make sure they ate healthy but enjoyed what they ate. He was rewarded with their smiles when his three children came running in. An elder girl in grade two, followed by a twin boy and girl who were in kindergarten, greeted him. He said good morning and picked them all up in a bear hug, kissing them each on the forehead. They laughed and ran to eat their breakfasts, cereal which he had poured for them. When they were done, he followed them up the stairs to make sure each one of them brushed their teeth, washed their hands, and picked up their school bags. He watched them shove their carefully packed lunches into their bags and run out the front door. He stood withThe World's Greatest Actor2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Peacetime Songs or EuthanasiasI wanted a war-time melody for the aching ears of all the people who silently protest the military efforts of our time; a song to soothe, a flood of words in which to drown our battered hopes, for their mercy. So I conjured in my rib-caged eye the images of war,Peacetime Songs or Euthanasias3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the open minds of fallen soldiers, spilling New York and Los Angeles, Moscow and Baghdad onto the streets of anywhere; their mouthing wounds elevating cries into the city stench of gunpowder blackened buildings; the look on their eyes when the true meaning of damage and collateral crashes into their fleshy souls, begging in curses, wailing arms at them for a redraw of the cards: You instead, not my little boy! But every soldier is a little boy,
and as I saw them huddled beside Humvees, warding cold deserts with divine stories of mundane happenings at hometown proms, repeating to themselves this weapon is lighter than a wrench; as I saw them mourning for the friends that wouldn't recognize them, returned, victorious shells, I re
terabyte ruinswe've clicked the help buttonterabyte ruins3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the tool bar.
we're the first to admit we're confused.
this morning the council met with a proposal
to replace god.
there have been complaints.
"dear eternity, i'm disillusioned
your god is a single snapshot of deep space
and a soundtrack of silence.
i tried pressing reset.
my old model featured google images,
a personal blog, and a comment section.
yesterday's god had to be recharged.
it was a rough way to be hardwired,
but there was a five-year money-back guarantee
and excuse me, but i'm dissatisfied.
i'm not so sure about redemption,
and i saw it on the news yesterday:
they recalled the golden rule.
it had a bug called desire."
give us a refund,
and we'll continue shopping.
our browsing has offered up
some promising candidates:
and technological giants.
we're not sure yet, god,
but we're pretty sure you're out.
it doesn't come highly recommended,
but we're considering a newer model:
idolatry. instant gratification.
The NecklaceCliché Hallmark cardsThe Necklace2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Always start the waterworks.
Even at crowded restaurants.
To know.... it's a piece,
Of my Mommy Jean
Shaking, beaming, crying
As that slim white gold clasp
click... for the first time.
A feather's weight
Instantly at home on my collarbone.
Slit-eyes red and swollen
That pendant-spot between my breasts
Scratched and red
From shaking hands,
Grasping for anything to ground me.
Tremblingly closing that slim white gold clasp
click echoing with tears
Heaving my duffel up my steps
And down the hallway,
To my last door on the right
Dropping it and a gasp
Hands immediately undoing
the circular clasp at my neck
Frantically grabbing the chain on my dresser
Breathing slowing as the heavier chain,
But lighter pendant comes to a rest
click and my breathing becomes regular
Sighing as I flop into bed. Home.