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applique tutorial

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 12:47 PM
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After my dear friend :iconaigue-marine: (and a lot of other people before) asked me, how I make my appliques, I thought: hey, you work at a costume with this appliques again. I can make a tutorial!

And here you see step by step how I make on a easy way all my appliques.


What do you need:
- paper, pencil and scissors (maybe a rubber)
- fabric and thread
- Interfacing /Interfacing double-sided and a iron
- sewing mashine/ needle

How to work step by step:


Sew or compose your costume, as you need it.
If you know where the pattern to be sewn on it: take the fabric or the pattern for step 3 as a template


Take (old) paper, a sketch of the costume as an overview and pens for drawing


Copy the fabric or the pattern on the paper.
Then draw the desired pattern as a template onto the paper.


Cut and sort everything ^. ~


Reinforce your fabric with interfacing. It must not go off!


Draw with the template your pattern on the fabric and cut them roughly (!).


Set your machine to a zigzag. This can be nearly look like this.
Sew all the lines along the fabric. This can sometimes take a little longer. So be patient.


The pattern looks like this, once you've sewed it. Sometimes you have to iron it then.


Cut it out carefully. In this case you may not cut the seam, otherwise everything goes on.


Cut all the threads.


Place the pattern on the costume / the fabric. You can clue it or get pin up.
In double-sided interfacing just put it ironed, then it will not slip.
Sew a second time with the zigzag along the pattern.


TADAAAAAA your applique is done!


I hope you like it. If you have any questions, you can contakting me here or per note. ^.~

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wow embossing powder tutorial

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Last year I visited a craft fair and discovered in the paper decoration / paper crafting a super great new material.
Maybe some of you know it.
But here in german Cosplay scene, and perhaps also for many other countries it's really a novelty.

It can be used for paper decoration, for gemstones, paint and much more.
In this tutorial I made a kind of decoration for costumes versions/ setting for stones/ enamelling paper.

here two shops I found at the internet:
german shop
uk shop (only powder)



How to work step by step:


What materials do you need:

- Paper / paperboard (or laminated paper)
- Brush / pens / scissors
- heat dryer
- Acrylic paint / varnish
- WOW! Embossing Powder
- Embossing Ink Pad (or something like that)
- stamp as planned (usually for Embossing Powder)
- On request: Perfect Pearls - Colorpowder
- Baking paper as a base for quick and easy work


Draw the shape you want on your paper and cut it out.

Tip: You can't often cut the paper later. It is important to have everything in the exact shape.


Paint your paper with acrylic or varnish.
If you have laminated paper, you don't need this step!


Press the ink pad on your shape. It must be sticky and wet.


Now sprinkle the first layer "WOW! Embossing Powder" on the sticky paper.

Tip: You can use a bare paper placed under it.
Fold it once in the middle and after you're done pour your powder back into your box.


Heat the powder with the heat dryer.
You should be a handbreadth away with the heat dryer.
You can see exactly how the powder melting and begins to get a smooth surface.

EVERY layer is repeated in this way!


For a simple enamelling, you can do this 1 to 2 times.
If you want to impress a pattern, you will need 2 to 3 layers of embossing powder. How to recognize the pattern beautifully.

Here's an example: 1 layer and 3 layers


Each "WOW! Embossing Powder" and every "Perfect Pearl-Colorpowder" have different effects.
I wanted to antique gold. For that I use black Embossing Powder and "Perfect Pearls - Sunflower Sparkle"

I paint the colorpowder with a brush on my shape.


Heat it the last time.
IMMEDIATELY press the stamp on your shape and let cool.
Only when it is cooled off, you can remove the stamp.

Your shape with the pattern is finished.


All steps at a look (for example with a stone on it)


To pour stones / shapes, you need the following things:

- A little old pot or pan
- Stove or hot plate

Step 1: Heat the "WOW! embossing powder" in the pot
Step 2: Pour it into the mold
Step 3: Let it cool


Tip: You can use any leftovers again!

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gemstone tutorial

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:32 PM
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How difficult it always is, to get stones for a costume in the right color, size and shape.

That's why I uploaded this tutorial today: How to make gems.


How to work step by step:


What materials do you need:

- resin and hardener
- tinting paint
- cups and spoons/ chopsticks to stir
- maybe a scale
- silicone mold for/ of stones (I bought it on etsy)
- aluminium foil
- scissors


~ Note:
With water I could find out how much resin I needed later.
For more quantities, you can mark a line with a pencil on the cup. ~

For my stone I need only 1 tablespoon of resin (= 8g)
For more quantities the weight is important. See step 3


To get some colorful stones you can use tinting paint. I use a simple green color.
Sometimes you need one or two colortests to get the right mixture ratio.

For a beautiful transparent green I need a half-drop.
Mixing the tinting paint with the resin thoroughly.

When you are finished you can add the hardener. For the stone, it was about 10 drops.
Each resin has a guide with a resin-hardener mixture ratio. For more quantities, you can calculate out at the scale of how much you need to mix hardener based on the weight.  Otherwise, simply by touch.
Mix it again now.


Pour everything in the mold of your choice. With the spoon you can get every last drop out of the cup.

Tip: if you have too much resin in the cup, pour it into a second form. So all is well used.


Cut out the foil a rough shape of the stone. Something bigger than the stone itself!
And put it on it.

Now just wait until everything is fixed.
Tip: A warm place speed up the drying.


In approximately less than an hour the stone should be completely dry.
Take it out of the mold. If it is still a little sicky dry it with a hair dryer. Wait 5 minutes and cut the excess foil.

The stone is done ❤

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applique-belt tutorial

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 2:08 PM
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I've become a big fan of appliqués in the past 5 years.
In this tutorial I want to show you what you can accomplish with this simple sewing technique.

Don't be surprised if I go through the steps quickly. In the lower tutorials everything has been described.

Basics / other tutorials can be found here:
appliqué tutorial
braid tutorial


How to work step by step:


What materials do you need:

- pattern/ reference
- fabric and thread
- Interfacing /Interfacing double-sided and a iron
- sewing mashine/ needle
- fabric paint

Now as in appliqué tutorial reinforce your fabric with interfacing. It [interfacing] shouldn't come off.


Paint the colour on it next. Here I used metallic-olive and metallic-white. One color per fabric.

Use a copy of your pattern and draw all the lines on the fabric.
(NEVER cut the original!)

Tip: You can also draw the pattern before the white paint.


You can start stitching one time the frame for example with zigzag (see appliqué tutorial)

Now our prolonged step: Cut it out carefully. In this case you may not cut the seam, otherwise everything goes on.
And don't forget all the threads. ^.~


Place the white pattern on the green fabric. You can clue it or get pin up.
In double-sided interfacing just put it ironed, then it will not slip.
Sew a second time with the zigzag along the pattern.

For Step 5 I sewed with white thread a line.


With a decorative green thread I repeat twice the zigzag stitch and sew along the line from step 4.


It may happen that you have to sew several pieces of fabric together.
Please note that the pattern is not interrupted (if possible).


I found old green pleather in my fabric wardrobe. Perfect for my belt.
Cut the pleather in the same size as the color fabric and sew it all together.


With the bias tape is the belt "closed" and decorated.
As a little extra, I stitched the bias tape with zigzag.


And so it may look like (combined with stones)

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Cosplay Friday: Game of Thrones

Fri Jan 16, 2015, 12:18 PM
100-img-og by techgnotic

Game of Thrones

The dragons are back this spring with the return of one of the most popular shows currently running on cable television. HBO’s Game of Thrones has gone to painstaking lengths to bring the heroic fantasy book series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin to life in its adaptation, a feat once thought by the author himself to be impossible. No one is more familiar with the challenges of bringing a character to life than the cosplay community who constantly strive to present the most authentic version of the character they are portraying.

You Are What You Wear

The costumes showcased in the fantastical drama don’t merely adorn the characters, but inform the audience of whom each character is and help embellish the overall narrative. Costume design is just another form of storytelling for Game of Thrones’ costume designer Michele Clapton and the many costumers working on the show. The intricacies built into the costumes don’t always shine through on the screen, but a closer look reveals just how much thought and consideration is put into every piece.

Michelle Carragher, the embroiderer behind Sansa Starks’s Season 3 wedding dress, shares the subtle story weaved into the fabric of the gown. Here is a quote from her blog:

For Sansa’s wedding dress the designer Michele Clapton [Game Of Thrones’ Costume Designer] wanted to have an embroidered band that wrapped around which symbolistically told Sansa’s life from the Tully and Stark beginnings to the entanglement with the Lannisters.

Her story starts at her lower back where the Tully fish and Stark Diawolf entwine as we move round to the front the Lannister Lion is becoming dominant over the Diawolf and at the back neck the Lions head is stamped onto Sansa. The dress colour was still very much Sansa Stark and the embroidery had pale golden tones but woven through the story are ripe red pomegranates, the red colour symbolising the growing Lannister influence over her.”

— Michelle Carragher

by Michelle Carragher

This is only one piece of the hundreds of costumes on the show, each with it’s own unique story. Once you look closely at each of the costumes you notice details like the color red and lion-like embellishments used on the Lannisters’ clothing. There are flower and other plant-like adornments on the Tyrells’ outfits. There are even changes in the types of clothing and color pallets used for certain characters as they evolve and their stories change. Sansa’s Season 4 black feathered gown is one example of a character’s evolution shining through in their costume.

Helping to catapult the fantasy fandom further into the mainstream, Game of Thrones has successfully surpassed the trend other popular fantasy adaptations such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter had started. Just think about how many Daenerys Targaryens you came across this Halloween. However, there is a special passion held by those who choose to undertake a Game of Thrones cosplay, for as we have seen the bar has been set high by the show’s costume designers.

Get ready as we travel to the treacherous yet beautiful lands of Westeros to see the brave cosplayers who have decided to join in the fight for the iron throne.

The dragons are back this spring with the return of one of the most popular shows currently running on cable television. HBO’s Game of Thrones has gone to painstaking lengths to bring the heroic fantasy book series A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin to life in its adaptation, a feat once thought by the author himself to be impossible. No one is more familiar with the challenges of bringing a character to life than the cosplay community who constantly strive to present the most authentic version of the character they are portraying.

Author: spotted 


For more articles like this, visit depthRADIUS.
Want to submit any ideas, suggestions, collections, or an existing work for consideration for the Today page? We'd love to look at it. Email us at
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Fantastic Feature Tuesday #11

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 18, 2012, 6:37 AM

hello! :wave:

this is a weekly feature of amazing literature that i come by during my
travels across deviantart. this is only a small sample of a vast amount
of wonderful pieces of literature written by absolutely fantastic
writers. each deviation was carefully selected from a writer's gallery
based on structure, impact and word usage. i try (try!) to feature
deviants who get less spotlight than others and i will never feature the
same person twice.

these are truly some spectacular works and i urge to you take a look! i only pick the best, you know! (;
please take the time to read through each one - seriously, it takes five minutes - and be sure to :+fav: the journal! (:

caramelizedlies are honey
from sugary tongue;
yours are toffee
melting my lips.
if love
isn't comfort food
like beef stew
or broth,
i don't think
i shall need
from you
from now on.
go home, sweet boy,
don't sleep over.
i can cook for me.
© august 5, 2012 :house:
on marrying medusaso she
told me, hair water-
falling down over         her
ship's deck shoulders, that
she would like to be
with me: we
could write stories, said
i reached
out: empty
air; the ground splitting
beneath me into warring
factions and i
had been standing on the
17th parallel for
too many years now, as the
pressure escalated up, up, and
away –
"you won't be happy,
with me," (her stainless steel
nails dig deep into
my serotonin skin as she
takes her place beside
me, distracts
me from the
fall) – "no, you
won't be
happy," she
assures me, "but then,
again, you never
will be."
but with me, she
slurs, rolling perfect
-ly spherical marble
eyes and running her
skeletal fingers through the
swirling cascade, you could
write a story; you could
be a story.

and see, poet, i
had always longed to
be a heroine and, failing
that, a work of
we wrecked
ships, she and
i: sent them out to
stormy sea and
watched them
sink as she
To DustSix hundred days without rain
and the ground feels like
the dust of seven suns
brushed off the feet of
galaxies as they passed,
robes of stars pulled
above their ankles as
they stepped on earth.
We look each day for clouds,
spend our nights backwards,
noses to the sky,
waiting for the universe to return.
We do not search for water,
nor watch the grass whither.
We look only for a
shadow on the horizon.
When the rain comes
it will start as a promise,
a whispered hush from one
star to another,
a kiss from a blushing sky
to a desperate earth.
It will crescendo and
push us down and flood us
and we will cease to be.

Urban Evisceration     there is a thundering of one hundred buffalos-
the metro awakens
          and stampedes across the pre-cast
                                   terrains of my intestines
welders busy mending on one end
   cutting on the other
          surgeon handed precision and each moment costing another man's life
               whether or not he may set food on his table
there is a locket
with books and birds
and us,
passed, September
brings October;
the sky, earth is
we touched without
your hands sighed
phrases and eyes sway me;
I will be grey
when you are
a town of crystals,
sepia-sun and
I am there, within
the city
we speak of making
love, and I will
admit an
you have only two
both are kind
and we will
live, in the
dawn of contentment;
naked and alive
pulsatilla for my
eyes, sulphur
for I;
my spirit is calm,
my body is tired
and soon, it will
be December,
and while distand lands
may beckon others,
I will remain,
at home,
with you
and we will
tend the garden,
eat apples in bed,
and rest.
Beautiful Monsterswe are tangled, unwashed hair
that splays like tentacles on our bed,
long, dark hair and eyelashes like curtains,
long, beautiful hair and two eyes on two bodies
that only watch in
shady bars, because our friends
can't see us like this.
we are hand-holding under tables,
stumbling through alleyways
into apartments, with doors flung open and shut
like our
disbelieving eyes
when our clothes come off and souls entwine.
and when our screams subside, we are
two bodies, one soul.

we are liars when we sit alone on park benches
and watch sunsets from separate ends.
they ask us "do you know each other?" and we
catch each other's eyes and whisper

and if we are strangers, we should not be
kissing under bridges in the dark,
letting the waves crash over our feet
and forgetting who we are.

The Loungemascara band-aids
and cosmic blush
tepid hand shakes
and trysts of lust
forever daunting
the panther prowl
forever seeking
somewhere, somehow
smoke rings gather
in spectral mist
slow movements
elbows and twists
shoulders furled up
in the cold
no one knows
which way to go
but car crashes
are just as common,
as hope.
foxholes.i remember my grandmother
with her veins the same
shade as the sky that day
i remember her telling me
'there are no atheists in foxholes,'
and the lump in my throat formed
faster than the cancer cells
accumulating in her chest.
the ocean is a whore and the
moon is her pimp and we are
all her customers, using
and polluting her. i am a
whore and my past is my
pimp and the boys with
the biggest eyes and
fastest fingers pollute
me right to my shores.
'you look so burnt out.'
'my tongue feels like cardboard.'
'you should get some rest.'
'i have to wait for my dealer.'
'but i'm not waiting for you.'
and somewhere deep inside
me it resonated that you meant
something very different than
just leaving my bed cold.
or maybe it's all the same in the end.


thank you for reading! :heart:

Fantastic Feature Tuesday #28This is a weekly feature of amazing literature that I come by during my
travels across deviantART. This is only a small sample of a vast amount
of wonderful pieces of literature written by absolutely fantastic
writers. Each deviation was carefully selected from a writer's gallery
based on structure, impact and word usage. I will never feature the
same person twice, so check out these wonderful writers now while you can!
Please this news article so it will reach a larger audience!

Histology by angel-in-pieces herb-grace by toxic-scheherazade
Fantastic Feature Tuesday #27This is a weekly feature of amazing literature that I come by during my
travels across deviantART. This is only a small sample of a vast amount
of wonderful pieces of literature written by absolutely fantastic
writers. Each deviation was carefully selected from a writer's gallery
based on structure, impact and word usage. I will never feature the
same person twice, so check out these wonderful writers now while you can!
Please this news article so it will reach a larger audience!

catharsis. by scripturiency
Fantastic Feature Tuesday #26This is a weekly feature of amazing literature that I come by during my
travels across deviantART. This is only a small sample of a vast amount
of wonderful pieces of literature written by absolutely fantastic
writers. Each deviation was carefully selected from a writer's gallery
based on structure, impact and word usage. I will never feature the
same person twice, so check out these wonderful writers now while you can!
Please this news article so it will reach a larger audience!


Happy reading! :heart:

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Braid tutorial

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 1:07 PM
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Today I show you how to sew a wide braid. Most cosplayers have the problem that our character has a pattern, a braid or similar to his clothes that are simply not exist to buy.
With this little tutorial you have one of many ways to solve this problem completeley.

Today my costume is from Sakizou of the artbook "Romantic jewels - Gentleman"
Character: Prince Emerauld

Have a look what the braid looks like.


How to work step by step:


What materials do you need:

fabric (here I use cotton)
Bias tape
metallic- / decorative thread
Fabric Paints (gold, copper and olive green)
paper pattern (make some copies from your original!!)
Scissors, pencils and Co.


The first step is the same as in the appliqué tutorial.
Irons interfacing onto the back of your fabric.
It shouldn't come off.


Draw the number of stripes on the back of the fabric you need. Use a pencil, biro or something else.

Done? Paint the colour on it next.


Now cut and draw the copy of your pattern.
(NEVER cut the original!)

You can also draw the pattern before the gold paint.


IMPORTANT: Before you sew, paint and begin the pattern - first makes a test!


The test was a success?
Then you can start stitch the frame for example with zigzag (see appliqué tutorial)


If you have sewn everything you want to sew, it is time for a little paint.
With Brush and fabric color paint all remaining surfaces and patterns.


For fast work uses a system. Much like on an assembly line.


As long as the border dries, you can start with the bias tape.
I prefer to paint bias tape in the color I need.
So I have the same shade as the rest of the border or have the color I need.


The paint on the border and on the bias tape is dry?
Then you have to combine it yet * _ *

Feel free to use the decorative / metallic thread.


And so it looks finished.
Congratulations - you made your own border

For more new pictures and project you are welcome at my facebook page :facebook: Naraku on Facebook

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Special Sundaes- Sammur-amat's Sunday Features

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 17, 2012, 5:28 AM

PLEASE :+fav: this feature and these wonderful works of art, thank you!:heart:

The amount of artistic talent here on dA has always amazed me, I feel like it should be a privilege to be able to feature such amazing pieces as these. Therefore, without further ado this Sunday's Specials:heart:


The Darkest Evening of the YearThey had met at the café before, but this was the first time by happenstance. He spotted her first as he opened the door, just as the barista was passing her what he already knew to be hot chocolate. Autumn got the exact same thing every time they met here on the darker side of the year; hot chocolate, made with milk, don't hold back on the whipped cream. He didn't have to wait long to be noticed; he barely had time to call out before she had already seen him.
"Lawrence!" Her face lit up with recognition. "Out for a bit? Leaving your poor cat alone again?"
He knew he was being teased, but he smiled anyway. "You know that furball can't stand the thought of snow. He's perfectly happy inside, no doubt in the middle of my bed."
"Aw, don't be so mean to poor Bast. He has a hard life."
"Yes, those nine hour naps do look quite taxing."
She laughed. "Come on, I'll buy you a cup of tea," waving him towards the counter.
One hand went up in protest. "No need for that," he turned his attentio
     :thumb305074634:      Letters to ButterfliesMy dear, winged and crowned,
Draped in your threads of dew,
Eyelashes of golden pollen dust,
Wings, folder for prayer.
Fly to my forbidden name,
The soft harmony in every letter,
The gentle curls written in cursive,
The hidden message within.
I remember those summer days,
Alighting on falling rose petals,
Drifting in the gentle breeze,
The unrelenting current.
There were times we whispered,
Long stories told in myth,
Lavender blossoms,
The white roses left to thrive.
My dear, departing my palm,
Cupped, memories of flight,
Written onto my life line,
Floating away on newly opened wings.
      corners and paintswatches.i loved you in a way that was engulfing for my young heart. for someone
still small enough to fit all limbs and troubles into the bath tub with ease.
i remember that was how i thought of it the other night when i tried for the
first time in years to soak and wash this feeling away with warm water and
bubbles. but i didn't cackle with a bubble beard, and it left my fingers wrinkled
and feeling my age something severe.
you've been hiding around corners all week. i was flicking through my dvd
collection, procrastinating, or lost in what was the last thing to be moved back
into my room after i finally gave up with the blue and how i admitted i couldn't
stand another night surrounded by walls that we'd painted together.
i choked on the crow. and remembered you thought that if you took my last name,
you'd inherit his skills and you'd be able to stop anything from hurting me ever again.
but you're still in the parts of me that i thought i could live without.
i gave you my elbows, my shoulders

The Watercolor DreamerOn the bedroom walls,
she painted
a brighter afternoon. In the
of wall,
she bled a cicada's song,
a sultry spring day,
colors bleating
into the heavens.
Her brush disembodied
the equinox, dreaming
the inconsistencies of space –
through the walls,
of technicolor worlds.
When she finished,
the room sang
with trebles of cremated
burned with colors from
kerosene. There are
archaic poems sprawled
on the bedposts, planets
hiding in the closet.
curled deep into
    the carpet
       and sung
           of brighter days.
      Girl as PoemShe was once a verse by Baudelaire
something about flowers
that were loyal to none
and I kissed her
when no one was watching.
She was a stanza by Byron
who stood on
the white cliffs of somewhere
and praised her eyebrows.
She is nothing like summer
or a lost continent;
her landscape
is too bold for that.
Her shoulders are not
a country
or a battle to be won.
I thought she was a poem -
or maybe an ode
or sonnet -
words teased and woven
that beat and bled
upon my humble pen,
not the flesh and blood
of thighs and hips
ripening beneath my gaze,
waiting to be written.
      Lovesong of a Writerthe way you fit into my arms
is like holding a pencil--
a comforting weight,
a position so familiar,
it becomes natural--
and as I hold you, I think
of all the stories we'll write
     Poems of Love by Amanda-Graham      StardustNever did you notice the starlight in her eyes or the sunbeams in her hair
woven delicately to match her pretty little sundress and moonlight skin
She was made of stardust, you know, saying;
"It's all oddly familiar, haven't you noticed?
The supersolar stars that seem to be flying to outerspace,
Soon enough will you explode under my touch baby,
and crash like metiorites into the sun, but
it won't matter, baby,
we're all made of stardust"

Traditional Art

Sketchbook commando by MattiasA     Lighthouse by georgeayers2000     :thumb193200769:     Colossus by GreeGW     Three Fates by sampoka

Berthier-Sur-Mer Redux by maccski     Delivery mistake of Stork by Cielrune     Man's Still Life by Lefthand666     Pandora by ZawArt     Ho so ehe by Earleywine


Bun Bun! by aoao2     Porto II by acoresjo88     Dusk Flight by FriendFrog     sweet roses. .. by light-from-Emirates     :thumb300328626:

  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Billie Holiday
  • Reading: Your Art
  • Watching: Your Art
  • Eating: Chocolate Marble Scones
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Weekly Feature #5

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:43 PM
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Green Day
  • Watching: MTV Rocks :( (which as it happens, doesn't)
  • Drinking: water
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Recap Episode and 100 Pieces of Lit.

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 28, 2012, 5:22 PM

First Things First

Namely, what the hell was that last journal update about?

Well, a metric ton of snow came barreling the hell out of nowhere and buried everyone alive for a few days. Let me tell you, you don't know what cold is until you've had to go without heat and light for a few days. Everything appears to be going back to normal, slowly, but there are still a lot of people without power. I actually packed up and went to my parents place last night because I couldn't deal with another day with no electricity. Couldn't even play with my new toys on Christmas :noes:

That said, from the looks of things I'm back to normal, if behind on dA. I will probably get further behind because Pokemon Black/White 2, but I digress. Planning to see The Hobbit sometime next week with the movie gift card I got this year and spent last night watching Brave for the second time. I think it grew on me a little more the second viewing, but I still don't think it's Pixar's best.

As for other happenings, I got an e-mail from the school literary magazine and three of my pieces will be in there next year :D Digitigrade, the revised version of The Watchmaker's Lover, and my pride and joy Superimpose. I'll just add that to the pile of Christmas presents and call it a day.

End of the Year

I'll skip all the sentimental nonsense that comes with these sorts of posts and get right to things; it's been a long year and I can recap most of it by filtering everything down to five points:


Those are my grades this year. One A, two B's, two C's and a Withdrawn for the Internship I had to drop. I've said it a few times, but this semester just killed me. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to pull everything through this year, and I'm pretty sure it was making me physically sick.

I was constantly behind in History of and English Language, right up until the very end. My final paper for Approaches to Lit. was a week overdue, but I did get it done (and wrote it all in second person and I'm way too proud of that). But more importantly than anything, I passed Algebra. And not just passed, but passed with a solid C. If you want to know how bad I am at math, I've actually lost count of how many times I've taken the class. At least five. (In my own defense, I've had to drop some of them for reasons beyond my control.) I don't know when they mail degrees, but I have one now. Associate's Degree in General Studies. That leaves me free to pursue what I really wanted; an English degree.

4. Books

I read a lot this year. Not as much as I would have liked perhaps (just look at the book list on my profile), but not a bad accomplishment. I don't have a count, but here's some highlights:

- Italo Calvino

Four books and I still really like this author. I'm sure my watchers are tired of hearing about him, but if I make even one person try him out, then I call that success. Invisible Cities continues to be highly recommended, especially if you're watching me for my writing because I've been trying to imitate his capacity for capturing amazing details. If you're out for something even stranger with a twisted plot, give If on a Winter's Night a Traveler a whirl. Or if you'd like to ease into his work, he has a book of short stories called Difficult Loves that I'm making my way through right now.

- The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty

I've written a full on review elsewhere, but I adore Moriarty and pimp her stuff every chance I get. I've never read another author that captures teenage voices the way she does. The latest in the Ashbury series has definitely become one of my favorites for its many voices, twists, and quirkiness. It's the longest I've ever read from her, but also the one I read the fastest, which I think says a lot about its quality.

- Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret

My introduction to the world of professionally published flash fiction, and it was a great introduction. Keret is the author I think I've been trying to be in a way – creative, varied shorts that don't have anything to do with each other but somehow all belong together in the same book. Whether it's a story about discovering a world where all your lies have come to life or a talking goldfish, this trip down the rabbit hole is one I'll enjoy coming back to, and I hope to find some more wonderlands as I find more books by the author.

- Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

One of the classics, and I actually read it on my own time outside of class. Granted, it was on the recommendation of Dr. Minnick, but still; if you feel like reading a book of place, this is the one to go with. I have a feeling I read it a little too fast, because I feel like most of the stories had some deeper level that I just missed out on. I haven't gotten a chance to go back over the book and savor it a little more, but I plan to do just that soon. It's one of those books that somehow manages to be kind of boring, but utterly fascinating. It's very slice-of-life, melancholy and thoughtful and if anyone's read it I'd love to chat about it :)

3. deviantART

It's been a fairly eventful year around here for me. Another Daily Deviation, I started getting into the swing of holding interviews, and got interviewed myself quite a few times. Once by LiliWrites, and twice by DrippingWords; in the Saturday Spotlight and in her own journal. I've found myself in the Ladies of Lit. and been awarded four or five DLD's this year.

I got a little better at suggesting DD's as well - seven pieces have been featured at my suggestion and I'm happy about that :D  I'm hoping to get even better at suggesting things next year. And while we're on DD's, if you haven't sent any suggestions to Nichrysalis and neurotype yet, fah upon you :stare:

And of course, I've made some friends this year, or at least kept up with old ones. I can't possibly list everybody, or go into detail, so here's a bunch of icons of people that kept popping up in my inbox in one way or another:

:icondrippingwords: :iconintricately-ordinary: :iconbeyondjen: :icontwilightpoetess: :iconsammur-amat: :iconvigilo: :iconozzla: :iconxlntwtch: :iconflummo: :icondna-the-authoress:
:iconsurrealcachinnation: :iconhelice93: :icondoodlertm: :iconaimeeraindrop: :iconjustlittlemusings: :icona-shadow-rose: :icondisrhythmic: :iconcristinewakesuphappy: :iconcarmalain7: :iconquiestinliteris:
:iconladyofgaerdon: :iconanapests-and-ink: :iconbrassteeth: :iconlonely-bird: :iconkartina: :iconlacewinged-beauty: :iconglossolalias: :iconunderorion: :iconmoonlightwillow6: :iconaimeeraindrop:

Apologies if anyone feels left out; just give a shout in the comments. There's no way I could mention everyone on my own :XD:

2. Video Games

Gaming has been fantastic for me this year. Fan-freaking-tastic.

9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

I love this game. I've raved about it in the past, but I just can't get over how well done it was. Playing the sequel is one of the only reasons I want to get a 3DS. I've never played another game that wound me up as much as this one did. If you like mind screwy plots at all, this game is calling your name. It's a lot of reading, but it's absolutely worth it. Six endings means high replay value and all the various plot points – the kidnapping, the Titanic, glycerin crystallization, mummy curses, morphic resonance, alternate dimensions – will keep you guessing the whole way through.

Hotel Dusk

My second visual novel. It took me a little while to really get into it, but when I did it was wonderful. It's a very film noir romp around a single night in the eponymous hotel. The whole thing is done in pencil  sketchy style that gives the game a very distinctive look. I love that everyone has a story and they're all connected in one way or another. The real fun of the game is guessing at the connections once you start to realize that each person has a link to at least one other person in the hotel the night you're staying there. Like with 999, watching everything come together is extremely satisfying.

Professor Layton

The whole series. Puzzle games apparently won the year for me. You'd think this series would get old as it's more or less the same formula each time, but it really doesn't. The aesthetic of the games is just so warm and charming and comforting. The plot usually manages to surprise me at least once and there's always at least one spectacular cutscene, usually towards the climax. It's a series I can always come back to when I'm bored, thanks to the extra features that provide more puzzles long after the game is over.


If I had to pick a favorite game of the year, this is it. This is a game that I've been waiting for, even if I didn't know precisely what it was I wanted. I've been waiting for an art game that would reach a wider audience and really get the ball rolling on this "games as art" trend that's been building for the past few years. Braid was close, but I think it ended up being too cerebral to be a catalyst for something bigger. Journey was a very pure emotional experience – even when I didn't know what was going on, I understood the feeling they wanted to get across. And I understood it by the music, the lighting, all the smaller things that make up the whole. It taps into something; it takes generations of stories and filters them down to the essentials and it's an all-around gorgeous experience. I honestly can't think of anything to criticize about it.

1. I know you're tired of hearing about it.

SuperimposeHe doesn't look like a gymnast. He's all button down shirts and frazzled grey hair framing wire spectacles, a picture perfect professorial archetype down to the very tips of his frayed shoelaces. But he was a gymnast once, or so he tells us, and I believe him because he smiles like he knows something while he's chatting before class.
It's strange to see that image superimposed over the current one – the distinguished professor in pressed khaki slacks and a jacket, worn brown loafers exuding a faintly courteous manner (you can always tell them by their shoes), and a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand – versus the athletic kid who went to college for a semester and grew nine inches too tall to keep doing what he loved so he took up a tennis racquet instead. Gymnasts don't wear suit jackets; no steel mill worker has such manicured nails. But the images are all there, flickering just under the surface and bubbling up again when he's recounting stories about his days in Pi

I'm not talking about the DD – I'm talking about the person I wrote it for.

I know I talk about Dr. Minnick a lot, but he's had such an impact on my life that there's no way I couldn't not talk about him. He was a wonderful friend during a semester when I really needed one very badly, and I'm not sure I would have done as well as I did this year if he hadn't been there to keep me grounded. He's an amazing teacher and I feel like I've learned a lot from him over the course of the year, both inside and outside the classroom. I almost wish I had stuck with Education as a career path, just because he's the exact sort of person I always wanted to be.

You can't really quantify the effect somebody had on your life. I often wonder if I've really been able to explain how much it means that he thinks I'm worthy the time and attention he's spent on me.

100 Pieces of Literature

Pretty self-explanatory; 100 thumbs from 100 authors, all written (or at least posted) in the year 2012. I know I've missed people; I know I could never chronicle every little piece of awesome, but here's a pretty good shot. I've done my best to avoid repeats, but if you see an author on here twice, just let me know and I'll replace one of the pieces with someone else.

PlowIt's finally snowing again,
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,
and again,
and again,
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.
1/20/2012, 1/22/2012
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
etch-a-sketchhe wrote his suicide note on an etch-a-sketch board.
elmo-red frame, golden paint drawing out the classy cursive logo, white bottle-cap knobs, and a fake digital screen.
a child's dream.
it took him six hours to revisit his childhood for the last time.
[it didn't take that long because he didn't know what to say, but because he wanted to finally do something right.]
he carefully turned each knob, forming darkened pixels into letters, letters into words, and words into spider-silk-thin sentences that would rip and fade, just as spider webs did.
his words faded a bit when you accidentally knocked it off his dresser so you could take it to the funeral.
faded a bit when you went over that speed bump on the road and the little board bounced around a bit in the car.
faded a bit when you walked over to his open casket and dropped it next to his mortician-treated body.
faded a bit when the mini-crane dropped the casket into the grave just a moment too early, and so the death-box shook like a f

TeatimeIn January, Elsa got new neighbors.  She greeted them with apple cinnamon tea.
It gets so cold, here, they told her, shivering in overstuffed parkas.  Snow had turned to mud in their front hall—an unavoidable side-effect of moving in winter.  Elsa nodded along to their complaints and observations, silently brewing the tea in their kitchen.  They were young; they had big plans.  Allison and Steve, newlyweds, just starting out.  They sat on the cold floor together, sipping with chapped lips.  The house filled with cinnamon.
In April, Allison knocked on Elsa's door.  We're pregnant!  White tea in a china teacup; the taste of flower petals and champagne.  The last caffeine for the next eight months.  Elsa let her keep the cup.
In May, Steve bought a carseat and a crib.  Elsa helped him carry it inside.  Flat-packed, but heavy.  Sturd

Sun on a Rainy dayHave you ever seen the sun rise on a rainy day? It would be a Sunday, and you would be blinking the sleep out of your eyes and stumbling down the stairs to go fetch the morning paper before it was soaked through and the soft rays of dawn would sneak around the clouds and make the day worthwhile.   You would be chuckling sleepily as you shook the rain from your hair, victoriously wielding the paper above your head like a trophy as you plopped down in your favorite seat in the kitchen, right next to mine. You would be laughing with me, talking with me and stealing bacon off my plate like the child you were inside. I would be giggling, smacking your hand away. We would be blissful, peaceful in the soft drum of raindrops on the rooftop as sun beams filtered through to us, illuminating what  would be a perfect morning.
If you were still here, you would be whispering you love me and I wouldn’t be whispering I miss you to a decorative blue vase permanently residin
WiresHumanity's relationship with wires fascinates me.
From birth to death, our whole lives are regulated by wires. An egg leaves the ovary and travels down the Fallopian tube, and this is the way we are made. The umbilicus connects us to our parent. Arteries and veins look very much like wires, and it is they that nourish our bodies with oxygen and blood. The most precious thing in our body, the central nervous system, is essentially a thick cord of wires running from our brain to our tailbone.
Eyes are attached to our brain by stems. Ears are hollow wires which run deep into our heads. Muscles are made of tubes of specialized cells. Intestines are essentially large ducts that move down to the sphincter, absorbing nutrients and arranging waste.
Once we have passed through the birth canal, wires sustain our existence. Wires bring us our electricity and water, power our machines, allow us to communicate with one another via fiber optics. A downed power line plunges us back into the dark ages

The Town WitchEvery town has its witch. At least I think they do. I know ours does. She isn't scary like stories say she should be. She has a face like my older sister's, the one who isn't married yet, with an eager smile and bright eyes. Her hands though are like my Momma's, calloused and stretched with small roots under the skin.
Her cottage is just outside of town with a small path that runs down to the sea. Her garden is full of overgrown plants that Momma would always "tut" at when we walked by, but it's full of herbs and flowers that she tends with care. She always smells like the honeysuckle that grows around her door and like baking. She bakes often, with her windows thrown open, her singing drifting through her garden all way to the road, the thick sills stacked with rows of cooling pastries. She always leaves batches of small, sweet buns on the outer edge where us children could easily reach. Not that she ever let on that she knew we were taking them. It was the great game amongst us, pret
The ProtestThe Protest
A Short Story
The television was always on in the background, but neither of them ever paid much attention to it, regarding it as mostly background noise. They were both on their laptops, chatting with their friends and each other, though they were only 4 feet apart. They could sit in this stupor for hours, only pausing to get food and occasionally text a friend on the go. Their mother worked long hours with the government and they hadn't seen their father in years so this routine was set in stone. When their mother would arrive home they would only give the shortest of greetings before attaching themselves back to their technology again, preferring to chat with her once she joined in online. They never went outside except for walking to school; they lived solely in their virtual world.
The day was like any other, with time fading from meaning as they vegetated, until she heard the word "rebellion" coming from the screen. She turned from the computer, slightly intrigued, an

SouvenirsWhen her mom went to check the mail at breakfast, she returned with a thin box in her arms.
It was a package from her father.
Her dad was sort of like a traveler... at least, that was what she assumed he was. His job always had him jumping from city to city, country to country. He'd been to almost everywhere around the world, and every few weeks, he would send her a letter with a little souvenir from his stay. This time, it was a miniature Eiffel Tower.
So he's in France again, she mused, studying the two-foot tall replica. A small chuckle escaped her lips. It was about time he remembered to get it for her! He really should've thought of buying it six visits ago. She opened the small envelope attached to package and read the letter inside with a fond smile. When she finished reading, she stood up and excused herself from the table. Her mom answered with a sad smile as she nodded.
She raced up the stairs and headed for the Gift Room. It was a special place in the house just for h
lessYour phone bills are smaller now,
with no long distance calls to make,
and your car insurance reduced to reflect lower mileage
and all those journeys not made, those roads not taken,
those lanes that you know like the back of your hand -
Left, right, straight ahead, right, right -
are no longer driven.  You did not see the bluebells wake
and spring burst forth in the countryside,
did not see the snow on the fields, cold horses in their  
quilted coats pawing, nibbling, pawing.
Christmas stamps still tucked in your wallet,
and fountain pens dried up next to watermarked
John Lewis writing paper
with no letters left to write.
Weekends stretch out, lunchbreak is a blank and you have more time
but you have less.

CharlieI had a stalker.
I didn't know his name but I'm sure he knew mine.
I called him Charlie.
He always had a camera hanging from his twig thick neck and he cradled it in his hands; a wispy finger stroking the shutter release. His dark brown hair was a curly mess and his shirts wrinkly and thin. He had the most perfect eyebrows, sweeping and gentle. He must have the most captivating eyes, I thought every time he'd glance my way. We'd never made eye contact. Charlie preferred it that way.
He came into the bookstore once a week, not to watch me leaf through the used books or reach high to shelve the approved ones, but to actually browse them. He read the unknowns; the virgins with their unbroken spines. I imagine he liked the smell of them – aromas preserved for him alone. Charlie appreciated the books wearing dusty coats and factory perfume a decade old.
The rest of the time he spent on the outside looking in. My co-workers were tickled pink. "What a geek." "Poor guy doesn't realize you
the things they should have told ussee, no one really warns us about growing up.
they leave out things like heartbreak and gossip and broken people you could have saved but didn't.
it is this: the girl who holds her wrists and sits alone and tells me no child should ever grow up being afraid of someone who should love them. Her eyes are fierce, and something inside me is screaming but the clock ticks and the moment is past. i pretend i can't hear the pieces of her shatter as they hit the floor.
the next time we speak there are new shadows beneath her eyes and her shoulders hunch as if somehow she could fold into herself and disappear. maybe it would be better for us both if she did. but she doesn't. she can't and i can't and outside the sky is robins egg blue but inside a storm is brewing and the hallways smell of regret.
then, she is gone.
murmurs, rumors follow in her wake like dark ripples over stormy water.
she is gone, lost, taken, stolen, dead. in the halls, her name is whispered, softly, fervently, like a

Writing FairytalesI told him, "I think I'll write a book."
He said, "Do it right, November. Write a best-seller and send me a copy with your autograph on the inside cover."
"I can do better than that," I promised, our fingers intertwined for the last time, "I'll write the best damn book you've ever read. It'll tell the story of lost love and lost innocence, of found friends and staying out too late on a cold night, and the story of endings without closure. It'll be about boys and girls and break-ups and hook-ups and how everything happens in the backseat of cars."
"They'll interview you on television because everyone wants to know who inspired the story," he continued, "And you'll smirk like you always do because you know the answer but no one else has a clue."
I laughed, "Everyone will cry when they read my book, because it's the saddest story that's ever been told. Everyone will cry but you and I won't."
"We can't cry. It's your book, and I can't cry for you. You can't cry for yourself either, it's ba
you never knew.Every summer in Munich the rain used to fall in buckets – tepid, luminescent rain, like crystal slices, sluicing through the green trees leaves and loosening the earth around the mountains so much that the smaller towns had to evacuate. It slicked the city streets and made the sky as gray as them. I went out every day while the adults sat indoors around fireplaces to complain about the wet weather, and lied and said it was only because I liked to watch. My mother would shake her finger every time I dripped warm rainwater into the house and my brother would warn me in whisper that if I stayed out too long, I could drown.
I only half-lied. I loved to watch, watch from under the loose flooring of the porch as the rain came down. But Sam loved the rain more, and that was part of why I loved to watch. Loved to watch him watch. As we got older, more and more he would venture out, and sit in the grass as the rain fell around him, his face turned to the white sky. Sam liked the peace and

aphroditeclambering lips tumble over each other like
little deer stumbling into the headlights, where
blushing cupid's bows snap shut at the slightest
whisper of a touch; as summer's broken blossom
whistles into moss, suicidal and free-falling at a
twist of the wind, dripping through honeyed-hands and
trickling down wrists. words nuzzle breath, the air
staved of acoustics that choreograph faces closer; watching as
quivering eyes thrust new-born hope, where
restless hearts knock beneath a web of ribs,
screaming silently as bodies are poured into the
stitches of aphrodite's venomo(us) fly-trap.
Biology (In Defense Of Free Verse)The heart has four chambers:
two muscular atria and
two ventricles that alternate
between relaxing and
contracting, circulating
oxygen-rich plasma
throughout the body.
This is one of many processes
that occur whether you
want it to or not.
I can sense your flesh and
when I breathe you in like pollen
or particles of smoke.
You are a part of my lungs
before tiny capillaries carry you
sleeping or intoxicated
to my heart.
Then it seizes up-
pumping little bits of you
through my veins like nerve endings
and I feel you
from my waist to my lips and
inside my brain.
The primary cause of love
is the chemical phenethylamine
that is released by eating
chocolate; or more importantly,
by feeling you against me
and nobody else.
Proteins are given purpose
through tender shaping
into a perfected form.
This can be observed
on a larger scale
as well.
It is said
during academic dissections,
that structure and form
breed function.
But try and tell me
that this freedom before you
is lifeless.

The GateHe stands at the gate,
his smile proud and reassuring,
as he watches his baby girl
on her first day at kindergarten.
She turns around
her tiny pink lips wobbling
and her searching eyes filling up with tears,
until she finds him,
sees his reassuring face,
and then she smiles; a brave little soldier's smile…
25 years later
he finds himself standing at another gate,
an airport railing,
as he watches his child
and her child
walk into their new future.
She turns around
and this time
it's his eyes that well up in tears,
his breath that hitched slightly,
and her smile
that washes over him in reassurance…
Lion HeartIt is building up deep within her fragile body like a heaving monsoon forming over the dry, cracked, heavy heat of an African savannah; an unforgiving and all-consuming storm desperately willing to drown out its less than fleeting welcome. Flickering with ceaseless coils of skin-searing energy like a grey-faced fugitive's adrenaline stricken heartbeat, it is not a bringer of life, but a threat to it—and even the most reckless are hardwired to take flight in the face of such a colossal and uncompromising foe.
          Beyond these white-washed walls, the world would have her believe that she is brave, a lioness, an exception confronted by the inevitable; but outrunning the storm is no longer an option, and she has never felt more betrayed. Slowly, it is emanating from her heart and through the pulmonary artery—there, free to roll and crash, it engulfs her lungs in a terrible thunder that rattles the brittle bones holding her together. The ominous feeling that has settled into

Stationery Pt IStanley loved stationery.
He loved the way it smelled when you stripped away the crinkly cellophane wrapper. He loved the Spartan beauty of an unspoiled pad of paper (A4, plain, 80gsm). He loved the sound of a cap crisply clicking onto the top of a Biro. He loved the texture of a freshly-sharpened pencil and the flake of the finely-honed graphite point. He loved gazing over stacks and stacks of untouched Post-Its, each a perfect square of yellow, an army of ideas awaiting orders.
He loved everything about it. Stationery was neat. It was orderly. It was always needed, easily replaceable, and something that everyone can appreciate.
Stanley reckoned he had the best job in the world. Working in the post room of a three-storey insurance company, Greenlight Insurance, he was at the very nexus of stationery for the whole building. Letters would come in crumpled, dusty and worn from their journeys; and go out crisp, freshly franked and printed, ready for the adventure ahead. Deliveries of new
minutes and milesit's 5:36 & there's blood
on the backside of my right pocket
my right, that is
i have come to the conclusion that
miles are longer
when you're alone
so i sing in the car to myself &
make strangers think
i am cute & carefree
like the man who
said so in the drive-thru
of wendy's on saturday
my friends leave me holding on
to the very tail of passing minutes
they don't know about the miles i spend
it's 5:43 & maybe i want to sit
in the passenger's seat
Twenty: I'm afraid I'm growing oldi.
Coupons and sales magazines
have become more than just junk mail
and the holes in my pants
seem more patchable
and I wonder just how much
my sparse jewelry would fetch
if I said I saw the face of Jesus
in the glimmer of my pearls.
I am beginning to miss the sea I grew up on
so much that I will read bad poetry
just for the mention of a salty ocean breeze.
I feel landlocked and sometimes I'm afraid
that I will never see the world
until I have retired from it.
Faith says her life is full of asking.
I wish mine were full of answers,
but I too have many questions
and only Time will answer them for me.
My mother just turned sixty
and her eyes when she looks at herself
in pictures from the '70s
makes me realize
that my time, however long,
is short.
The Things We Leave Unsaid Common wisdom dictates that meaningful feelings for another ought to be expressed directly and honestly. However, advice is given to be neglected and so too often we are poisoned by our own silence -- the things we leave unsaid.
We are fortuitous that the opportunity for the lesson to be followed by the illustration presents itself. Let us use our discretion and semi-omniscience to observe the conversation between the two young men before us.  

"Oh hi. How are you?" It's him.
"I'm good. You?"
I've been better, but there's no way I'm going to tell him that. "Man, it's been a long time." I haven't seen her in forever. Almost three years.
"Yeah man, I haven't seen you in forever."
"Yeah, so I hear you're dating Rachel now?"
He is taller than me, and I know she must like his red-rimmed wayfarers. Family's rich too. Must be nice.
"Yeah dude."
"Good for you. How's she doing?"
I know she's fine.
"She's doing just fine."
"I'm sure

Lime Green (the Shop Girl's Lament)Lime green
is the colour of contemporary chic,
the new spring look
and rotting vegetation.
"So fresh and clean! Isn't it gorgeous?"
Use: "I'm glad you like it"
As an alternative to "No."
We can't have the sweet colours of youth
but I refuse to swallow
this version of good taste.
The shirt is swapped for crumpled notes;
in daylight lime green leads to pain.
I knew it wouldn't suit you.
And you're not bringing it back without a receipt.
Rare blue butterfly wings flickering, between
our little girl's elegant cornflower gloved hands, her
husky colored eyes greet the ocean's tide.
Cardinals singing their morning chorus, with
your Tsailes' soft melodies filling the woods, where
bubbling brooks groan in the foreground.
Butterscotch melting on my burning lips, your kiss
Honeycomb sweetness embracing my tongue, you entwine
Hot, soothing peach tea sliding down my throat, you slide.
Intimate fingers through buffalo hair, your chest
Reckless abandon grasped within your kisses, my breast
Breathless confessions as our hips join as one.
You're a constant volcano of rock and ash,
With my lava continually erupting inside you.
Your colors and mine fuse into precious jewels.

Rooftopsdear knuckles,
i love you so.
the day i saw your wrinkles
was the day i stopped being
and the day i realized
there is a beauty in my body
i may not see it in my face
full of freckles and dimples
or my legs, pale and scarred
not even my heart,
beaten and bruised.
no, there is
something special
about the creases
through my fingers
and the marks they make,
so original on their own.
love is coming home--i don't write about God.
i don't write about God because it's writing about love, it's writing about faith, it's writing about trust and hope and belief and pain, the kind of gut-wrenching betrayal you feel when you've given up and you're waiting for someone to save you, only nobody ever does.
and who else are you going to blame?
it's easy to write about a God you don't believe in. it's easy to pour out all your hate and anger and hurt and deepest, darkest broken fears and fling them from your fingertips and scream, this is not God! it's easy to believe in nothing.
it's not easy to believe.
believing is opening yourself to the pain. it's letting go and falling back with your eyes closed, your heart in your throat because you can't see whether there's anyone waiting to catch you. and what if you hit the ground? what if there are no hands waiting to embrace you? what if there's nobody waiting at the beginning, when you finally turn around ready to try again; what if there's

fireflies erratically sign their names
inside a jar that once held pickled beets.
On a Georgian night,
katydids screech chamber music
Mozart forgot to write
on his five staffed bars.
The music reminds me of the tart
taste of grapefruit seeping slowly into
my mouth, and I swallow it with delight.
But the world becomes a jar
into which I scribble my name,
as if writing it will somehow
make me free.
Creativity's CreatureCrack open the spines,
Let the lifeblood of literature
Run warm on your hands,
Stain your eyes with its inky
Spilling soul, tumbling words
Over words into worlds.
Use your finger as a crowbar
To prise paragraphs from pages.
Be aware of rustling parchment, whispering words:
The sound and the light conspire
To damn you to sleep.
Escape: paper rushing by – like a train's – view…
Drain the last dregs, as grounds
From a well-brewed mug of coffee;
The sweet settling leaves you achingly alone,
Wishing once more for the feel of creativity's creature
At your fingertips, tainted with its inky blood,
Its bloated, papery flesh indulged by imagination.

flowers and rainI don't deserve the way you comb my hair on rainy days
To braid in flowers to make up for the gloomy weather.
I say "mother, I love the rain, and the thunder and lightning
Don't scare me,  they protect me from the silence that threatens
To swallow me whole." but my mother only shakes her head and
Smiles at me as if I am a naïve little child who wears rose colored
Contacts that can show you the sun even while sleeping under blankets
Of clouds, and that's when I thought that what she was doing was for herself.
She was in another universe while she turned my straw like hair into gold,
Immersing herself in a good memory for every flower she wove into the back of my head,
Trying to get as far away as possible from the deafening noise that tried to swallow her whole.
But she couldn't really see me as she ran from reality,
Nor could she see that the flowers she so beautifully
Wove into my hair were dead.
The Poet's FollyI tried to write you in seven lines
with thirty six words,
but I realized that words
are largely inadequate
and that poets are fools.
I feel I am somehow less
for thinking I could.

dust-centred bones            she can't
        say she holds
      the world on her
              but the
        drags her down
        like nothing else:
         until she thinks
Call Girlshe stayed
     for a moment
with an arm
draped over by the shadow of a curtain
a dress folded in a half
in the crook of an elbow
      one of her cheek twitches
you touch her empty mouth
tangled up beneath the covers
her lipstick gets under your skin
a nerve irritated by the shape of a lace
half an hour tops not longer
you kiss her onto the lips eventually
jamming a tongue up the tonsils
       in the end a whore is just a whore
pigeonhello, pigeon,
he says with a smile
like somehow, he already knows
she's been sad for a while.
and she just looks at him,
with her brokenhearted bambi eyes
and she hopes that he understands
because nobody understands,
not really.
pigeon, he says,
I know.
and he does.
he knows that deep in her heart,
she just isn't happy.
not today, not yesterday,
and maybe not even tomorrow.
he knows that she wants to be happy,
wants to know what it's like
to be filled with sunshine
(and he thinks maybe that's why
she loves sunflowers so very much.
because she thinks they exude sunlight,
and maybe, just maybe,
if she were bright yellow,
she could emanate happiness, too)
she breathes fluttery, feather-soft breaths
into his chest as he holds her,
and he whispers,
pigeon, I know.
Cookerymy blender does not understand
"Accept My Gift of Pineapple
Thou Foul Beast!"
this is a blood sacrifice
and she is sadly unreceptive
I begin the main course
I have cupboards full of words
quick brown foxes
I have half a mind (no, three-fourths of a mind)
to sauté them
the golden eggs
more difficult to crack
than I had thought they would be
(forge? My stove doesn't get
hot enough,
I think)
I will spice the adjectives with
I will verb these nouns
throw in a voodoo doll or
tulips! Two! Lips!
Crack open a maraca
and sell you some rhythm
Oh you will love this
you will devour this
You will get up and dance to this
I think
I do not understand

A Night at Pinetop's TavernSomewhere in the back alleys of the city's older section there was a crumbling brick building that had been around since before ragtime music was popular. Hanging above a faded green door that led down to the building's cellar was a wooden sign, and despite the peeling paint, you could still make out the bar's name: Pinetop's Tavern.  Nobody really knew when Pinetop's first opened; local folks would tell you it had been there since time began, and the world had grown up around it. It was one of those places where the lighting was always dim and the cigarette smoke never dissipated and the cloud you were breathing now had probably been around since W. C. Handy was still alive.
Pinetop's Tavern was a blues joint, and it had been around almost as long as blues music itself. Blues music was a lot simpler than most kinds of music—simpler chords, simpler lyrics, and most blues musicians couldn't read sheet music. The genre was born on some unknown plantation in the forgotten Deep

The Eyes of the Painted HeiressOnce upon a time, in a country that was prosperous, and settled many miles away from the sea, an heiress to the throne was born. She was blessed in having soft hair of a deep brown colouring; tiny beauty marks that rarified her skin at intervals; and eyes the exact blue of the night sky, which had been bequeathed to her from her dear father, the King. She was both impressive and endearing, in the ways she moved and spoke as she grew older, so that the Queen esteemed her the prettiest rose of all the ages, no matter that she was still a long while away from blooming.
Years passed since her birth and the rejoicing that it caused, each following the one before it in rapid succession, until the Heiress had grown into a beautiful young lady of seventeen, and time seemed to slow down once more. The King and Queen were both unspeakably in love with their daughter, so that they wanted her life to be filled with only gifts and things to be grateful for, and the latter, one day noticing that she
4. The Sports FanWhen the sports fan comes
he will bring chips and beer and good moods
then he will then start his cheer
for someone or something
like Denmark,
and Denmark will win
and Denmark will lose
and all the players they suck
and everyone sucks
and then he will go home.
- from the highlight of his week
if you walk by his house
you can hear him cheer on
and he'll cheer and he'll cheer
he will do so for years
and then he will die
and when the sports fan dies
like the video gamer
and the masturbator
and the sleeper
and the lazy
no one will mourn him
least of all himself.

leavingleaving is a can that you
kick around in the street
because it's been a long day
& it makes you feel better.
some days you kick it
harder, longer than others,
& some days there just
aren't enough cans or streets.
but the thing about leaving
is that when the
street lights come on,
you always end up going home.
blue and gold are not just colorsshe had been blue-sighted
dawn cracked her forehead.
it was the dress she wore on his funeral
the color of her school flag
the shine in her father's eyes;
she waited in blue and gold.
no, she refused to set a bar
life didn't just come to her.
she earned her place
in her mother's womb
when each blood vessel questioned her
each nerve ending, if she could live
and each antibody, if she was worth it.
see, she doesn't need new dresses.
she has a memory
for each of hers in her locked closet.
she may not wear all of them
(and most she cringes at the sight of)
but her heart
jumps enough
every time bits of her old life
show unconnected dots
she forces back together.
yes, she waited in blue and gold.
but not for you
you threw a smile at her face
that was never hers to take
but you love your girls vulnerable
and you love your numbers copious.
there's a great chance she
hates those colors now
because everyone who waits outside her window
fails to notice there's no movement
no si

SandstormsThe mirror doesn't lie,
an African blush--
red-hot and wild--
creeping across the desert
of my skin.
Tigers prowl,
hungry and tense,
through roiling veins
as sandstorms
beat at my soul.
The world
outside these walls
calls to me,
bone-deep and roaring.
It calls to me,
and the globe on my desk
looks smaller every day.
Coffeehouse Bluespeople like to drown in their misery
because it somehow reminds them
that they're alive.
take the lady sitting by the fog-kissed window, for example.
see how delicately her lower lip quivers
as she downs pints of coffee like a drug addiction
when in reality, each sip creates fissures on her tongue
and fills her stomach with caffeinated liquid
she secretly wishes was cyanide.
or watch how the curious boy with suns as eyes
turns to face you and aligns his line of sight with yours;
watch how his juvenile soul becomes
a map of bones so easy for you to read.
suddenly, you realize a gaze could have never held
that much despair
until now.
i used to be like this.
except i drank ten times more coffee with a mild dash of ecstasy
and pretended to be the Atlas who shrugged
simply because he could no longer
carry the weight of the sky
on his shoulders.
this was until i understood i wasn't the only one who felt this way,
that adults who constantly relied on caffeine
and kids who were born with celes
writer's blockstranded on an island scantily
dressed in moonlight, you stare
at roiling water resembling a
horizon of interweaving words
but when you lift your right hand,
spirals of silence shackle
the weightless sounds
but here and now i am aliveI was three years old when we moved there, when the wall in my room that moved and the drunken woman next door and the grey grey hight of the flats could not contain my first chubby steps to identity. My parents packed us up for the jumble sale of moving, pricing up our lives and our possessions with tape and cardboard and memories. The grass on the show house became our grass, became our house, while I slept in a new room under old sheets and dreamed of darkness.
I was five and nobody else was five and nobody else was a girl and I was so alone. The cats that roamed were my friends, the weeping willow and the squeak in the wheels of my scooter. The grit of the road was my friend and the broken glass I walked barefoot around in summer was my friend. In the heat, when our street was filled with the musk of people-gone-on-holiday and we were left to our own devices, you grabbed me in your dirty hands and you pulled me up onto your bike. The hot metal burned into my feet, worse than anythi

MemoriesI remember lying in bed with you, longing for a deeper connection. You would always sleep with your back to me, in an almost fetal position, as if you were physically guarding your heart. All I wanted was to touch those scars that ran down the center of your chest, but you told me you were not okay with someone else's heart beating within you so I let it be. The look in your eyes when you woke up in the morning; the sleepy surrealness of a dream playing at the corner of your lips, and the early morning light goldenly surrounding your messy hair like a halo was enough to quench any thirst I had for you. It was enough to resonate in me for a long while, and I saw through your eyes, at least I believe I did, for a split second.
I remember how much you loved to drink and make sweet tea. You always told me that the more you add to a recipe the more love it would reflect. You would always warn to only add equal amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg because it was vital that one not overpower the ot
How To Ask Someone To Let You Love ThemI think you keep secrets under your skin
like trees keep rings and do not know it,
like the sea teems,
like dark and quiet space
keeps every ray of light
the stars whispered to one another
when they were still young
and dying to make love.
I think you keep secrets in you
like the desert keeps sands,
like sleep keeps dreams,
like cities keep sleepless people
and people looking for sleepless people
to fall asleep with.
I think you keep secrets
like secrets like to be kept,
and I want to learn them all.

The Importance of Gold FlecksHereditary.   
        I learned the meaning of the word when I was young on a summer afternoon. Too hot to play outside, I was sitting with my dad on our blue couch with the small white polka dot fabric. In retrospect, it was probably a tacky piece of furniture, but love is unconditional when you are small, and I sure did love that couch. I remember my dad watching Winnie the Pooh with me every Saturday morning on its spotted cushions. That day, though, we had a conversation about eyes that I never forgot, and even then, its deeper meaning was not lost on me.
        "Daddy, your eyes are green like a cat's," I said.
He smiled, and told me that mine were also green, but unlike his, they changed colors. "Sometimes they are blue. Your eyes were so blue when you were a baby! Big and blue.... Someti

my pen never changed a thing.we laid in flower filled fields
until we could not
stand, we broke our
backs so we'd never have to
backs heal,
bones repair themselves
like i never could,
everyone always leaves.
i swore i'd do my best to
stay, but with you
backing up so far,
it's hard to not keep moving
(it's the precept i was born to)
i've written so many
times about us drowning
together that water drips
from my pen instead of
i can still feel the
sweet, sweet salt in my
lungs, in
my dreams of stranger tides, i
ended up back at the lake-
front at 3am
wondering which
boats were coming, going,
wondering which one
could take me to you,
back to you, as it were,
it's not falling anymore, the map
has reversed itself, i'd
have to climb mountains on my
way to
you, letting myself
fall home,
i'm not strong enough
for this anymore.
my pen never changed a thing.
How one Dead Views the LivingMy life had always been painted in sombre greys. In death, how it blossoms!
When the rains come, the watery drops fall like tears of ink: echoing and dancing across sparkling sapphire puddles. The sun, a golden mystic orb, shedding its beauty on all it touches.
I see rustic weather-beaten cragged faces of the old, set with eyes of faded blue. I behold bright smiles and blushes upon the fat cheeks of the young. My ears prickle with the twirling thousand-noted song of birds. The beauty of all these things I never observed in life, now bursts upon my ripened senses - in death.
In a trance I view this new-found paradise. Life, I have come to realise, is most beautiful to the spectator. The spectator has no need for understanding or judgement.
I look upon a derelict dilapidated street, filthy with squalor. I cast my eyes over the crumbling paintwork of rotting window frames, housing broken panes. Here and there sickly weeds break through mouldering masonry.
Oh what a picture, what a spectac

intersectionMy father's hair is gray now.
I'm not sure if it was the elevator
or that realization that caused
the lurch in my belly.
There's a little plastic container
on the bathroom counter, housing
blue, yellow, beige pills, designed
to slow the body's inevitable breakdown.
There are lines around my father's eyes now -
I feel his loneliness echoed in my chest,
in the mirror as I prepare for bed.
A blurry, half-remembered moment,
smudged with time, of sitting on his strong
shoulders, laughing in the sun,
so sure that he would always be able
to hold me up to touch the sky.
We live this half-baked life now,
circling each other, moments intersecting,
brief, our real lives hours away, with our
other families, and his silver hair,
little pills, sad eyes make me terrified
that we missed our chance, started
too late, and I will never be
daddy's little girl again.
wrists that roarmama says
pull down your sleeves
they'll see, they'll see

but no-one's even looking
i say mama
tigers are proud and strong
and tigers show their stripes
so today i'm a tiger

and who says
i can't be a tiger
when razors made me fierce
and secrets kept me lonely
who says
i can't tiger-roar
when everything unsaid
ripped my throat raw
i made my stripes
with tiger-claws and tiger-teeth
so damned if i'm not a tiger
and damned if i won't roar
mama, i'm a tiger
mama, hear me roar

Hayling (Teaser)The clunker satellite was within his grasp. The gloves of Rise's space-suit rig sent signals to the neural relays attached to his head as he grazed the side of the satellite. The metal felt brittle, and he expected that from a two hundred year old satellite. What caught his interest, however, was the hollow feeling that resonated from his gloves to his head. Satellites were compact and filled with the electronics necessary to equip them with for their job. They were most definitely not hollow.
Rise acted quickly; his shuttle would be out of reach in a few minutes. Clambering around the outside and pawing at the peeling heat tiles-- heat tiles did not belong on a satellite-- he began looking for a handle or a latch of sorts. The metal had felt hollow, but not enough to warrant a sizeable space on the other side and if the satellite was similar to his shuttle that would indicate a panel. Curiosity had always been an undeniable trait of his, and he was determined to investigate further an
John at 3:16Dear Jesus Christ,
I went to bed at 3:16 last night and started thinking about John—John 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

WordsmithsHow long did you think
we could pound our vocabulary with hammers
before it fell flat?
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 diamonds
with perfect exteriors--
we are fractured, as we
realize hourglasses can be exchanged
for quartz watches that are
faster, more convenient,
incapable of failure
made by the obsolete.

migration haikuthinking about birds
and their good sense to move when
warm weather changes.
  waking-cat's morning reflectionyyyyy
                        what a
                     strange mor-
                   -ning to wake up

Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can be
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible.  The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Still breathing.
Still breathing.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
Still breathing.
Things ChangeHe rode their tandem bike, alone.
:thumb311188890: Date a girl who drawsDate a girl who draws.
You know the one. Her bag will be filled with discarded pencils and pens, scraps of paper with mindless doodles on them and blank books sticking out of her bag. She's the one who spends an hour trying to find the perfect sketchbook, only to pick up three more because she just couldn't help herself. She's the one hunched over in the coffee shop, rain or shine, the gears in her mind turning and turning while her hands move to catch up with every idea she has. She's the one who's too focused on what she's doing that her coffee's gotten cold and the people around her peek over her shoulder but she doesn't realise.
Compliment her drawings.
Ask to see more.
Turn the pages carefully, gently. Look at how hard she pressed the pencil into the page, the failed drawings, the successful ones. Look at the careful lines, the messy ones, the ones that give the drawings life. Linger on the pages you like but don't touch the drawings. Look at them carefully. Remember them.
Don't t

FFM 2012, July 2 - Exegesis"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." The lecturer quoted, barely glancing at the thick black Bible. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
His students were still alert and awake – they had barely passed Genesis 1 after all. "Obviously, 'rested' here does not mean God was literally tired, for God does not tire. It merely meant he was finished, done, with his work of creating Heaven and Earth, and could now take a moment to consider it – the Hebrew word shâbath..."
Unfortunately, the lecturer did not have time to finish. The earthquake swept across the campus, uprooting trees and collapsing some of the smaller buildings outright.
The cracks in the ground grew ever larger, cutting the Holmes Memorial Building in half, before the shocked eyes of the students. And from the cracks streamed
When God Worked in the Paper Millwhen God was tired of resting
tired of his bones becoming soft
tired of watching the world wander along
he became a logger
chopped down his own creations
peeled off bark, held it up to the sky
and laughed
'you will burn for no reason' he said
when God worked as a logger he became bitter
tired of seeing his creations destroyed for naught
sliced down at the base
sullen tombstone remaining
nailed crooked to protect his other creations
God put down his saw to work in a paper mill
to watch his creations become fluid liquid
pressed into blank slate
clean separated from dirty
remainder burned away
thousands of pages drying
crackling of broken lungs
dust floating to rest on shoulders
God always had dandruff
watching pages catch, and fold God began
having forgotten the art of creation
he took paper and with gentle hands folded
crafted shapes still unexplained by mathematics
ligaments and joints he created
these new born people walked
wavering in the wind
being reshaped by puddles
released out i

She braved the marigold patch
once a week
a decision all claimed was wise
You're lost
this will set things straight
he will be your guide
There was a narrow path
less marigolds grew there
the apartment awaited
at the end of the path
its owner grew to be a friend
Over lemonade
they discussed possibilities
new beginnings
how lovely
how wonderful
it is to trust each other
as friends (except deeper)
as equals (except closer)
against the backdrop
of such a chaotic world
Some weeks later
blinded by the harsh sun
she dared not look down
a hand skimmed her thigh
On her way home
the marigolds burned her eyes
like fire
as an odd feeling swept over
it crawled through
It's just the sun in my eyes
just the fog in my head
that made time stop
and voices disappear
Marigolds again.
She picked one
mindlessly ripping
each petal
Familiar doors opened
his blond hair created a halo
lit just so
I'm so glad you came
The worms slithered further
fingers crossed
silent prayers w
lone thoughtsyou don't realize
how alone you are
until you realize
you have no one
to call;
to talk to, to laugh with, to vent to
when your world

He's No GentlemanAnd then she's trapped and she knows it, her body standing stiff against the wall with his eyes seizing her up. They are all but sparkling in something between amusement and the promise of unspeakable horrors and it breaks her heart again and again, to have him so close but so far from what she wished for, to have him right where she wanted him, but she never asked for all this pain, she didn't want this violence that was painted all across the cruel curves of his lips.
"Don't", she says, weakly, and he smirks at her, idly caressing her neck in a tantalizing show of slowness. Her breath catches in her throat, for even though he doesn't comment on it, the message is clear: I've got all the time in the world and you won't stop me.
She squeezes her eyes shut, willing the scene to disappear, willing the almost tender touch on her throat to stop feeling like a threat, willing to wake up and laugh it all off - but his rasping voice breaks through this intense wishing of hers, making h
Jazz   is
the rustle
of sheets
when you
drag them
back onto
the bed;
the way
dust trips
the dark
fantastic on
velvet stretched
into more
than blue;
thick marrow
soured with
acid reflux,
a raging
waveless ocean
turned to
wine with
the twilight.
And tremors...
And tremors.

I did not save her from the sea.The pond was small, the cattails fair;
The algae drew a shining veil
Across the waters waiting there
For her to come while wandering
And stare beyond the dreary pale
Expanse of fog and starry glare
Upon the pond within the dale
Where she had ventured, pondering
The many dreams she'd had of late
Of sandy-shores and broken shells
Upon a beach along a strait
And of the ocean shimmering—
She heard the wave's cathedral bells
Come crashing with a dreadful weight
'Till she, afraid of violent swells,
Could no more see the glimmering
Of pearly foam, nor shining seas
But only turbid tempest-doom;
No more the fragrant, salt-laced breeze
That over all was mingling.
Such were her dreams—now through the gloom
She still heard gulls with throatful ease
Sing of the ocean, and the tune
Around her thoughts kept lingering.
I met her then, when stormy waves
Were breaking on her weary mind
And I was unafraid and brave
And as a child foolishly
Believed that if we left behind
The little pond—th
humpback/the bell-ringerthe years fold away, concertina-style
     like air between the bloated lungs of an accordion,
and the old tune plays on
tumbling down past my cochlea
the sound of waves
     the sound waves
waves within waves and
the old masters are watching.
this music was birthed in the belly of a whale.
we were married long before i grew old.

The Solipsist's LotThere's something about yourself that you don't know.  You probably don't remember the circumstances very well, but I do.  If you enjoy things the way they are, if you revel in even the smallest speck of ignorance, you need not read ahead.  I won't force you.  But from what I know of you, you don't like secrets.  Especially not when they are about you.
You see, when you were born, so at once was everyone else.  Your mother, she sprang into existence, just like that, the instant your tiny infant brain achieved the smallest semblance of self-awareness.  Woven out of the ether, she remembered everything that never happened, and she looked down at you, cradled and squirming in her loving arms.
"Oh," she said. "So here is life."
The doctor was there too, although a moment before – if there ever was a moment before – he was not.  He just nodded, smiling assuredly, and said, "Here is the beginning."
CeruleanMy favorite color is cerulean.
It feels like dipping your hand into a brook, smooth pebbles under your fingertips, the water lacing quick and cool between your fingers. It feels like the first warm day after a long winter, when you can shed your heavy coat and a light breeze brushes your arms again. It feels like a bucket of paint, not the tacky wet paint that gets on your jeans from sitting on a newly painted bench too soon. It feels like freshly washed hair woven into one long braid down your back. It feels like a glass bottle to send out to sea with a message. It feels like the surface of photographs, piano keys, and guitar strings.
It moves like bird's wings as they settle into trees at twilight. It moves like tropical fish deep in the Great Barrier Reef. It moves like the lazy rock of a row boat on the lake behind your summer home. It moves like your walk in a new pair of sneakers.
It tastes like fresh fruit, when the juice runs down your chin, and you throw the pit into the grass

TouchIt's enough for me
to feel with my heart these things
my hands cannot reach-
your ghost-bone fingers
interwoven with my own
sweet cinnamon, peach.
206 BonesShe died. And because she was dead, because all her 206 bones were buried and bare, she became special and beautiful and amazing, and quiet, artistic boys went on quests and changed lives in her name, because they all remembered how she had been in life, and how they could have saved her, and how they chose not to.
where i dance alonei. I mistook a shy boy for a thunderous one in the days when I lived inside his lungs.
ii. I wanted your hands in the early morning, or in 8 o' clock light. (Does it matter? I just wanted you.) Hands like paper cranes, hands like wind chimes. Then we could've been like lovers in a parody: "I love you, I love you—no, I don't. But you are beautiful." And while I was not your lover, neither was I your queen. Either way, you wouldn't hold my heart.
iii. Our fingers would've taken flight and then the rest of us, too. Then you would've known of the ballroom in my chest, the migrations inside my body, of the tiny secret nothings that make their way like monarchs—as if by instinct, as if they have been here before—from ballroom to piano hands to the museum that is my mind to my stomach. But you are the only lost boy afraid to fly.
iv. I was a foreign land and you would not dare travel without a map. But I do not possess a souvenir shop in which to purchase one. I am a des

SuperheroThe costume, admittedly, was a bit of a problem--at least, it was at first. Decision, decisions.
I wasn't going to doll up like some manly whore of justice. It really wasn't my style. I don't think I even have a style. I mean, I wear rather fancy clothes. I like the feel of suits and my father's tailors were my tailors. It was inherent.
But I didn't want to ruin nice clothes and I didn't want to run the stupid superhero gamut--we all know Superman wears his underwear on the outside.
I was not doing that.
So, instead of donning the traditional tights which would soak up my blood, sweat, and tears, I put on some padded gear for my knees and elbows, a bulletproof vest I'd bought over the internet, jeans, and a T-shirt. Nothing fancy. Nothing I couldn't buy with my allowance and the tips I got as a waiter at my mother's fancy restaurant.
Except, of course, for the mask. That was special.
I had to have a mask, right? It was totally necessary. I debated between th

scatterfalling leaves scatter
chattering of summers past
at Jack Frost's first breath
Religion Free DVD PlayerAs an avowed atheist, I've always despised overt religious subtext in my movies. So when I ran across a back-alley electronics shop offering "Religion Free DVD Players", I snatched one up faster than a Southern Baptist preacher could call out, "Hallelujah!"
Set-up was a breeze, thank Nobody. So the first movie I popped in was one of my favorites, The Wizard of Oz.
Well, by the time the angelic Glinda introduces herself to saintly little Dorothy in front of the Munchkin choir, I was already beginning to suspect that something might be off. And it only got worse, as her ragtag band of pilgrims undergoes their yellow-brick hajj to the Emerald Mosque: complete with the decadent drug-fueled temptation to abandon the journey; the air assault by, and subsequent ritual stoning of, Satan's winged minions; the circling of the Ka'aba while searching for its concealed entrance; the ultimate purification of Evil with a convenient bucket of holy water; the climactic meeti

IcebergIt was made to look exactly like an iceberg, unless someone happened to notice the gentle glow from the kitchen window, shimmering underwater and casting light on any sea life that idly passed by.
Dan had lived there his entire life with his wild and eccentric father, who believed that the best way to avoid the folly of mankind was to hide from it in the most bizarre home ever created.
Dan wasn't aware of how different his life was from other ten year old boys. It seemed perfectly natural to wake up, glance out the bedroom window, and see his father's fishing nets, suspended ghost-like in the greenish hazed arctic ocean.
It seemed completely normal to spend all of his time inside, except for the occasional trip to the top of the iceberg for a breath of fresh air.
He'd never seen land. He'd never seen another human being other than his father. He'd read about people and trees and dogs and cars, but he couldn't really imagine what they must be like.  It all just seemed like mak
my body is a funeral servicethis morning i emptied your ashes into the sky, hoping to watch them sift through my fingers like an eagle taking flight. but the wind carried them backwards and my face became an ashtray for memories. you came back to me, like you always do, like a kiss or a reoccurring dream that i can never forget. i became cloaked in black grain, the remnants of your body. your cremated smile was caught somewhere between the stinging in my eyes and the ash on my jacket.
in that moment my body became a funeral service. my lips preached your names to the trees. i forgot what it was like to feel anything but hymns pressing down on my back like the heat of the sun. i smelled of incense and bones burning in a fire people are paid to create. it was more than i could bear. for weeks, i obsessed on how someone could lift a motionless shell of a body into an inferno, watch people die a second time and accept their paycheck at the end of the day.
i wanted to step into that crematorium and pluck pulses like f

They Say I'm GuiltyOf the nearly eighty female prisoners that had answered my request, I had narrowed my choices down to two of them.  The first was a voluptuous, porcelain-skinned brunette that would make my brother drool in seconds.  The second was a golden-haired, frail little piece of work, and normally I would have dismissed her during the first round of eliminations, but something kept her there.  Maybe it was the way she stared at me with her venomous green eyes, but I couldn't be sure.  In any case, I had my two choices set before me, each isolated in separate cells on opposite ends of the jail so that I might observe them more personally.
I turned to the prison guard.  "What can you tell me about this one?"  I was starting with the brunette.
"Number 67," he practically spat.  "Don't believe a word she tells you.  She's as good a liar as they come."
I wondered at what sort of lies she had told the guard because clearl
The Letter WriterHe was a letter writer.
Written letters had long become a thing of the past—after all, why would one write when one could receive instant gratification through an electronic device? All of these things made life so much easier.
In fact, Alan lived in a time where most people didn't know how to write. Everyone was proficient in reading, of course—after all, one had to read the daily screen to know the news and things that were going on. And all children learned how to type before they were five years old. But writing was not something that was used anymore, and it had become almost socially unacceptable to write anything. It wasn't against the law, but it certainly was frowned upon.
But Alan wrote anyway. The gift of handwriting and penmanship had been taught to him from his father, and his father and his father before him. At the time of his great grandfather, being unable to write had been considered illiterate. Pens and pencils, which had literally become obsolete, were ver

:thumb290729768: SliverThey say that if you stand in front of a wall of glass at exactly four minutes past midnight and tap your fingers on it three times, you can open a door to the void beyond this world. It has to be somewhere you can see your reflection, and see through it, hovering like a ghost over the darkness beyond, somewhere dim enough that you can't quite tell the difference between light and shade. And unless you hit the glass where you touched it, shatter the half-formed image before the fifth minute strikes, that door will never close.
Celia Gray has never been one for urban legends. So much so, that she would never turn down a chance to prove one wrong.

The girls are in the middle of their third round of Truth Or Dare when it's brought up for the first time.
"No way!"
"Come on, Angie, it's almost midnight!"
"No, Tracey."
"What's wrong, scared?"
"No, I—I just's my house! I'm not smashing my balcony door."
"Jeez, guys." The five faces turn at the third voice. "We're fourteen no

The Girl Who Stayed HomeJane tries not to remember.  After all, she was only thirteen and much too young, and who could blame her.  In fact most of the time she pretends it was all a dream.
When they appeared in her room that night she told herself that too, that it was only a dream.  But she had never dreamed of beautiful stately women wrapped in golden robes, and never would again.
Their first words were an apology.  "We would never intrude upon you like this, Hara, if it were not the darkest of hours."
And Jane sat against her headboard, trembling, with the texture of the bedsheets clutched tightly in her hands telling her that this was real.  She didn't speak, or call for help.  Now she can't explain that, but she doesn't have to, since she has never told anyone.
"My name isn't Hara.  It's Jane."
"You are Hara, and Jane.  And I am Maryama," the tallest one told her.  "From the land of Thorn.  These are my c
SmokeYou smoked, and everyone hated that. The cigarette would hang loose between your knuckles, tendrils of smoke mimicking the tracery of veins and tendons that stood out along the back of your hand. You could do the most graceful French inhales, and sometimes you'd lean in close and grab me and kiss me, blowing warm smoke into my mouth. The scent would always cling to me—I'd drag it back home with me and there would always be a fight over it.
You were sparrowlike, all taut pale skin and prominent bones. Your hipbones jutted slightly—sharp elbows, sharp knees, a sharp jaw softened by cornsilk hair. When I ran my fingers down your back I could always feel every vertebra in your spine, a steel column anchoring you down. More smoke. More fights at home. You never belonged here and never would.
Lay back. Relax. Anything—anything you want. I'd close my eyes and forget to breathe because I knew you weren't mine. If anything, I was yours, a toy that trembled and kissed back.

griefmary sleeps beside me, it is morning; we are
dream-sunk and tangled in her quilts
honey warm and bathed with sun, we are berry-stained
and slow-breathing, lips purple
from last night's wine -
it is morning; we are softened creatures
and the light has come to hold us.
mary's phone is a wasp, a bramble, is a vaguery that
we cannot be bothered with. it is morning and
mary's phone is wrathful, insistent, needling us
into a sluggish consciousness. we break the
surface without grace or tact and
it is morning, and he was just here
he was right here and he was breathing but now
he is gone; he has passed through, passed on,
passed into the other, the ether, the endless,
the place we cannot follow, has passed
away from mary, from the green and the gray,
from the earth that bloomed when we
were not paying attention, from the sky and
the hearts of the trees.
mary, it is morning; it is morning for mary and
she is disassembling before my eyes. i place my palm
flat on her spine and feel t

still borni was born still,
with my umbilical cord
noose, ripped out
like a parasite, 
hemic with gore.
and i,
i didn't want,
wasn't supposed
to be born.
the ocean tried
too many times
to swallow me whole
but took my legs instead,
twisted my spine
and made me
out of salt,
wrung my lungs
dry and stuffed my
stomach full.
she spat me out,
cured, but only
in my bones.
i tried to die,
by razor blades
and kitchen knives;
by my own hand,
down my throat,
searching for
repentance in
yellow bile and
black blood.
they locked me up
and let me out,
gone, with pills to
make me grow-
but i refused
to swallow.
i still let loose
bile and blood,
when i want
to forget today, 
yesterday, your face-
but i'm so dependent,
i can't remember
the good things
at all.
The Glass JarFrom the time I could remember, I'd been given this transparent glass jar. It is said that I've been using it since the day of my live birth. I'd been told to use its nowhere-to-be-seen contents not more not less than once a day.
I had always known I was adopted. My adoptive parents (who were more loving to me than anything) were very honest in admitting this to me.  Since I had always pestered them about it, they also confessed that other than the glass jar, at the orphanage where they got me, they were given a rain-washed letter to read- this letter was supposedly written by my mother. Aside from her confession of a planned suicide, in the letter were instructions that the orphanage must ensure my daily dosage of this glass jar. The reason behind it though was apparently stated in the following paragraph, where the ink was washed off and therefore was unreadable. The only part of the paragraph that could be understood mentioned that this jar is what will supposedly provide

DragonsThe dragons just kept getting cuter.
I'd meant them to be scary, with snakelike heads and pearly fangs, but as my fingers gained more practice the dragons they shaped became younger and more innocent, their wings tiny and their eyes wide. Dull spikes lined their heads and tails, not yet sharpened by age. They lay on their bellies or sat up and watched with good-natured curiosity. They were friendly. They were sweet.
They were flawed, and there were a lot of them. I experimented with color and pose, sculpting the way others would turn a stress ball. Every morning I baked the newcomers in my oven, and within a week my desk was overrun. Rows of dragons pressed against my laptop from all sides. Some I enjoyed looking at. Others were a reminder of some mistake I'd made. Putting the horns on before the eyes. Making the legs too thin so it tilted drunkenly while baking. Not realizing that some clay changes color as it solidifies.
What to do with them all? I couldn't keep them even if I'd want
My Life in ColorIt took me eight years and seven months to figure out I wasn't completely crazy, and another two years to convince everyone else. People weren't really interested in hearing about my "issues" after they had written me off, and I found it hard to share the unique way my synesthesia fits into the contours of my life. I got the word out in the only way I could. I disguised my rebirth as the MYP Personal Project.
The Personal Project was, in essence, the act of letting of several dozen sophomores run a project of their choice with very little guidance (only one supervisor to make sure everyone was making progress), and then present it in June in front of both other students and their families, as well as the teachers that invariably came to run the event.
The project itself was not difficult. In the end, I had written a piece of music, recorded myself playing it on the flute, and through hours of PowerPoint trial and error, managed to time the slides to change exactly with the notes of the

My Head Is A Prison And Nobody VisitsMy Head Is A Prison And Nobody Visits
Coerced and captured,
Tightly bound in nothingness-
I will wait for you.

If you haven't read these pieces, or don't know these authors, settle in for a night of reading :heart:

By the way, it will take me a while to notify everyone here because the system thinks I'm being a spammer :B

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