Synchro-CityThey breathed in unison. All over the city, all over the planet, the bots were breathing together. They moved and walked and spoke as their individual programming dictated, but their breathing was synchronised, in and out with the constancy of a ticking clock. She was in her twenties when she first managed to make her own working robot and it breathed with inexorable regularity. In out. In out. In out.Synchro-City7 years ago in Science Fiction More Like This
"Hello," it said. In out. "Are you my mother?"
"The female creator of my form," it insisted, "The instantiator of my existence. Are you my mother?"
She had to concede that she was, although the term made her uneasy.
In out. In out. It breathed just like all the other bots did.
Without access to the research databases, she had made a very basic effort at its programming, and that meant it needed to be taught.
"Do I have a name?" It asked her, as she was showing it how to clean the windows. It was standing very close. She could hear it breathing in out, in out.
"No. Would you
Love poem homicidesi stutter when i'm nervous which is almost all the time. she used to say that it was cute and that i was cute, count my smattering of freckles and call each one an angel toothed nibble and whatever that meant it sounded un-hideous so i didn't ever disagree.Love poem homicides6 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
i think it was that time in the sun drowned jungle where the children shoot each other with invisible guns that i realized she wasn't exactly normal. she kissed me under the gnarled roof where gold dusted fairy motes hang like clouds waiting anxiously for rain and i stuttered because her lips were my side of the pillowcase and pink corner store bubble gum.
she smiled like white linoleum and laughed.
what's the matter, she asked, are you frightened?
yes, i thought. but i said no, reached into the warm forever between us and took hold of her hands. their nails were painted up like tiny little apricots and i remember that to to this day.
that's good, she said. she kissed me again.
she tried to put her tongue into my mouth and i wasn't
PassengerPassenger8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
She wrote me:
This is the time of all things read;
the time of books, clean hands, straw dogs,
shared looks. This is the time
that finds the time to settle down;
to open that smile with enormous plans;
to pound on metal rolled with rust;
to lie when lovers lie, alone, quiet,
in kitsch and style.
She wrote me:
Death for some is a careless cat,
one that lacks a voiceand love
and never plays chess.
But that is not my choice.
You see, I prefer the quieter sort;
the kind of death that stalks one
through shapeless blur, a caress of trust
and a lack of breathnow three, now two
a sweet bluff and a face that looks
of you, only that's not enough.
I remember the films during which you cry,
and the way you hide it, fiddling
with your change to make your eyes avoid
the two mice riddling some pocket full of holes.
I remember the nights you tried to pray.
You clasped your hands and dreamt up God
and what he may or may not do. And I,
following November, came with you.
Miyamoto Musashi's Poetrywe reconstruct the manMiyamoto Musashi's Poetry10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from shards of paper and pottery
(a shrike in ink
a small wooden bodhisattva
a practical treatise on swordplay)
he said his only teacher was Nature
which is a fine thing to say
when you're good at everything
they say he slew Ganryū
with a length of oar
he'd whittled on impulse into a sword
so much for the soul of the samurai:
not metal, flashing and hard
priceless and irreplaceable
only a discarded wooden spar
emerging from refuse
to refuse returning
and perhaps his poems were the same
nourished by earth and water
whispering an answer to wind
burbling off towards the long sea
and this is how history left him
and this is how I might find him:
an old man on a mountain
preparing future warriors for poetry
writing his way back
into the world that wrote him
when he emerges from his grotto to converse with the single scarred wholeness of the moon, I steal towards his poems and brush the pages across my hands, like reaching for a damselfly at rest, to see how his b
We Watched Ourselves Dissipatewe caught our breath with butterfly netsWe Watched Ourselves Dissipate8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the pieces of each other's wings
that stuck in our lungs.
the sky gave a shiver and the stars
unsealed, their firefly cores shimmering
plucking them from the air, they slip
between our fingertips
and fall like butterfly wings
to the ground.
we conduct the celestial engagement with
our metallic hearts
that control this unsteady rhythm of
and staccato love-making.
like conductors in an orchestra.
our lives write the love songs.
the wardrobewhen i was a little girl i believedthe wardrobe5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that the antique pinewood wardrobe
inherited from my grandmother would
lead me straight to Narnia and so
for hours on end i would i would
sit inside inhaling the crisp and
comforting scent of mothballs
caked with lavender while
pretending that i was to be
wed to Mr. Tumnus in
Modern MagicThe witch Baba Yaga once baked herself breadModern Magic8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
out of spiders and liars and red razorwire
that was garnished with flowers from the vaults of the dead,
and sweetened with lye from a childs funeral pyre.
It was light as the crisp, cracking bones on the fields
and as sharp to the taste as the ash-scattered shards
that were all that remains of the swords and the shields
of the warrior king and his bold bodyguards.
In a chicken leg hovel at the edge of a wood
the witch Baba Yaga licks the dregs from the spoons
that she used to stir soup, spiced and thickened with blood
that the dying ones spilt from their widowing wounds.
But her low kitchen table will never be laid
and her bonewafer banquet will never be served,
while ghostly white whistles pipe a last serenade
as shes swept to the moon by the swerve of the earth.
The witch Baba Yaga in the coldness of space
weeping tears for the cage and her gingerbread home,
but icicled, weightless, they fly in her face
with the regular tick of
The Umbrella LettersDear Mr. and Mrs. Umbrella,The Umbrella Letters7 years ago in Socio-political More Like This
I'm writing out of concern for your son Charlie. Since he first started in my class I have noticed odd tendencies in his behaviour. I know Charlie is a special boy, but the way these tendencies develop is beginning to worry me. He seems to be having troubles communicating with others. He rarely plays with the other children and does not respond when I speak to him. His writing is beginning to stray from the alphabet. Last week he even refused to partake in morning prostration! I took him to see the school nurse but he remained silent for the entire time and did not subject himself to examination. I therefore ask you to bring Charlie to a doctor in order to find out what is causing these problems.
Miss Edna Umber, Umbrellium Primary School
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Umbrella,
After the examination of your son, we have been able to establish that he is not suffering from any apparent physical illness or dysfunction. There appears to be nothing wrong wit
Only you'd be brighterI would hold you, but that heat sinks in, binding our flesh and throwing us into that maelstrom and I remember how at one time you said youd give me the world and I refused (I would rather have you).Only you'd be brighter6 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
Im waiting for you against cold tile, underground, under city, under busy lives and business suits, waiting for the green to spark and light up every morning of almost every day- youre dead to the world but I dont care. Youre there and all I can think about is that escalators arent nearly long enough.
I would give you everything, as many firsts and lasts as you could think of, but would there be anything left for you to love?
And now Im waiting for more daylight hours and rain. A storm, far away from the crowds and heat, is the stage and were the play, one about drenched kisses and long walks, stuff of trashy romance novels but far more real when its with you and far less cliché.
Summer would soon roll around and wed be apart
Pirates of Penzance AbridgedPirates of Penzance Abridged7 years ago in Humor More Like This
Arrgh, aargh, me hearties. We must search for the black pearl..
Oh, right! Frederick, our apprentice has turned 21 on this warm and sunny day in late February. Let us rejoice and drink pink alcohol.
No pink alcohol for me! For I must leave you.
Why? You're a better pirate than any of us.
I'm not an orphan so I don't fit in. Anyway I'm the Slave of Duty and must therefore kill you all!
That's so sad! I have to cry for the man who is going to kill me. Goodbye! When you kill us make it quick.
Of course! Though there is only one of me and 20 of you, I'll be sure to kill you quickly.
Just make sure to take your girlfriend. PLEASE!
But she's old enough to be my mother!!
Exactly. Bye now!
So - are we leaving?
Sure! Why not. Hey, wait a second...
Daughter and Mabel
(sings) Climbing over rocky mountains..
Oh my god, they're gorgeous! Screw th
we're just cracks in the roadSometimes, your skin gleams silver and sometimes, I'm four years old again scribbling my name across your chest in sidewalk chalk. Since sometimes, I pretend that you're made from concrete since then we seem a little more permanent and I don't have to worry about my painted heart washing away from your surface. But sometimes, I'm blind. Since these days, I'm stuck tracing the veins that dart through your arms which remind me that you're temporary. And then they remind me of cracks in the cement and other things we can't fix. And then I remember maybe, I can't even fix you.we're just cracks in the road6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Sometimes I plaster makeup on my face trying to hide that childlike me with something so easily washed away and I'm fading away just like color in the sunshine when i think of you. I remember what it was like when everything was set in stone and 'temporary' was just a passing glimpse but now temporary is all it ever seems to be with you. I'm left sticking band-aids on our cracked relationship lying to myself with eve
Poison Apple Book PreviewPoison Apple Book Preview8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Liam T. Dredd and Diaphanous Haze
Were married in not unusual ways.
They booked a cathedral, they made their vows,
Bought as much insurance as the state allows.
He called her Daffi, She called him Lee,
He wrote out their wills, she made them some tea.
"I'll sign the papers if you will," she said.
"A million if either of us drops dead."
"I have a confession, my dear," said he.
"Counting the others, you're Wife Number Three.
"My dear exes were strangled, drowned and shot,
They left me quite lonely, but left me a lot."
"How sad!" said Daffi with a secret smile,
"But at least your marriages were worthwhile.
"Now, my late husbands, of which there were four,
Never gave me a penny. That's why they're no more."
"It seems I'll be careful from now on," Lee sighed,
"For I've finally found my match in a bride.
"And speaking of matches, look under your chair,
I've hidden a clever bomb under there."
"Oh, I found it," said Daffi, "I'm afraid it's destroyed
"That charming young housemaid w
we're better off pretendingthis is me tellingwe're better off pretending6 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
you that we'd be great if "we"
didn't include "me"
No-one forgets a good teacher"Listen to me or I'll break your legs"No-one forgets a good teacher7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
- Steve Thompson
Dear Sir. Not sir. It's automatic.
Sorry Steve. Dear Steve. I'm fed
On seven years of autocratic
to teachers." Seven years' emphatic
Faire-sans-dire still in my head.
Dear Steve. Your style was more dramatic
you taught life and art instead:
Stoppard, condoms, mathematics,
goatee beards and Berthold Brecht
and Bigmouth Strikes Again, such is
what you gave us, plus the threat
of a half a term on crutches
for ignoring you. Dear Steve - respect.
your hair, that nightDidn't feel like a needle, even.your hair, that night6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Felt like cotton, it
felt like lucky rabbit's foot tucked into my pocket
in case I got nervous or
-Smelled clean and I remember
how it looked- a shining majesty in the
rays of an artificial bulb, refracting off
of a mirror, reflecting your fingers on
a guitar, gentle and constant.
April's HouseThe man who would be my lover through April had a daughter.April's House10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
I showed her Playboys from 1999 and she grabbed at my breasts.
In mid-April my lover's grandmother died in a Michigan hospital.
The night before we had hurried sex on a friend's floor and in his shower.
I lay naked on a dark blue couch watching B list horror movies
with names like Frankenhooker and drank carbonated strawberry wine.
The floor was covered in empty Bacardi bottles and powdered Cheetos
while the bathroom smelled of concentrated bleach and urine.
I could crawl out onto the flat tarry roof through a second story window.
On the fourth of July I sat on the functionless brick chimney and got high.
The roof in South Oakland always reminded me of Mary Poppins.
Vodka coursing through my blood, I danced like a chimney sweep.
A man with bleached hair and long nails filed to a point walked me home.
He said, Margaret, I want you, and I knew I had stayed in a house full of lies.
FinishedShe was everything to him, his muse, his life, his inspiration. She was curled up on the couch, ringlets of her hair laying, resting on her flushed cheeks. She was wrapped up in the blanket he’d brought out for her that night when she’d come to the door, upset and unexpected, shivering from the cold of the storm.Finished7 years ago in General More Like This
The movements of his paintbrush graced the canvas, gliding in the manner of an Olympic Ice Skater. In shades of pale peach he was capturing her face, crushed against the pillow, and perfect. Leah thought she was beautiful. There was a land of milk and honey in her eyes, and he saw it every time she smiled at him, whenever those big blues would light up. They’d spark like a match to dry wood, and then the forest fire happened, a chain effect of blushing and grinning back, the tree not minding that it was flaming as well because it was no longer alone.
The pillow cover folded and sank in, rose and pinched, wrinkled and rippled beneath her rose-red cheek. Her li
The Guide to PhotomanipulationThe Guide to Photomanipulation10 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
So you want to learn how to dive into the ever popular digital art style known as photomanipulation. Why wouldn't you? It's quick, it's simple, it's popular, and it doesn't take much effort on a piece to get those +favs you long for. Some people think photomanipulation involves conceptual ideas, technical skill, originality, and an eye for composition. But the truth is, the more thought you put into a piece the less +favs you'll get so just ignore those ideas.
Just get rid of that brain of yours because you won't need it. There is no conceptualism in photomanipulation. Now that we've got that taken care of, you're ready to create art. Nothing in your photomanipulation needs to mean anything, you don't need to improve your skills, you don't need to experiment, you don't even have to work hard on a piece, you just stick with this guide and your art will be the coolest thing in town and get all the +favs and popularity you ever wanted.
Your New Style
CENSOR THIS 08880CENSOR THIS 0888012 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I remember when I know why the cage bird sings
was challenged for the "encouragement to take action
in premarital sex, homosexuality, and the use of
I remember when the Bible was banned and/or
challenged for being "pornography and obscene"
in Alaska and Pennsylvania in 1993.
I remember when the The Autobiography of
Malcolm-X was challenged in Flordia in 1994--
because it was "racist against white people"
I remember when Jambo Means Hello: The Swahili
Alphabet was charged with "degrading white
children" although it was a book for white children to
understand the African-American culture much better.
I remember when Daddy's Roomate was removed
by most libraries by most of the United States---for
A Short, Endless Biography...A Short, Endless Biography of TushiA Short, Endless Biography...7 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Tushi was a cat who could have been an ocean.
She could have been other things as well like a blanket that smelled of warmth, a puddle in your green yards, a broken wristwatch, a collage of photographs never taken together, a pair of socks or even, a grey, cloudy afternoon.
But she mustve been destined to be an ocean. Its unquestionable.
Tushi wasnt always a cat. Before becoming a cat, she had been a balloon. Red with yellow-freckles. Hydrogen filled. After the kid had left the string that connected the balloon in a childs hand with the eternal call of the ether, calling Tushi. After the kid had let go of that divine connection, like children always do. After the inflicted independence. Tushi had flown higher.
The breeze playing with her artificial, rubbery skin. Carrying her hither and thither. Over many fields, cities and their adjacent court-houses. And one endless blue sky that encompasses it all with snowfla
School Nativity PlaySchool Nativity Play12 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Miss Williams! Miss Williams!
You'd really best come quick!
The wise men keep on arguing,
And Joseph's just been sick!
The star somehow got broken,
We don't know yet who did it,
Some say that it was Lizzie -
I think it was Ned Pitt.
The girls were playing with Jesus,
And his head somehow came off…
And the boy that sings the solo,
Just got a nasty cough.
The wise men are still bickering,
Over which of them is most wise,
And one really seems to think,
That he's God in disguise.
The shepherds have just lost their sheep,
And don't know what to do –
I don't suppose that you'd know where
To find a random ewe?
Betsy says her tooth's come out,
And that she wants her mum;
And by now Joseph is looking
Really rather glum…
The audience are coming in,
But we're really in a state,
Do you think they'll mind too much
If we're about an hour late?
The scenery's fallen down again –
I just thought that you should know,
And, Miss Williams, you'll never guess…
Miss Williams? Where'd you go?
Strawberry reaction An Alaskan storm introduced itself to the weather three nights ago. It shook me straight from dreaming about (really, remembering) a dance with an elderly man, my feet placed off the ground onto the tops of his shoes. A balancing act. I awoke to four-fifty five, followed by a fleeting FLASH before truly registering the dark and the storm itself. I sat up in bed to peer out the window when a FLASH FLASHED again. For a split second, the room shone brighter than day. Somewhere close by, lightning had entered conversation. The sky grumbled in response as thunder fought for last word.Strawberry reaction7 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Lightning never spoke again though. Within minutes I found myself sitting bolt upright in total darkness.
It hadn't rained so unforgivingly the e
emotions with longer names"Why are you holding a camera?" Her eyes flickered to look at his. She possessed no poker face—her discomfort made him smile, even now.emotions with longer names11 years ago in Teen More Like This
"I don't know," replied a disembodied voice. The sound of his words made his heart beat faster, made the memories come rushing back in some horrific nightmarish image of a carnival ride.
She displayed her white teeth to him in an awkward smile, the flashing red light reflected in her eyes. They weren't looking at the camera—they were looking at him.
"Talk to me," he said, loving to film the shape of her face in all that silence but knowing her awkward quirks.
"I don't know what to say." Her voice was quieter than normal, and scarlet stop signs were ebbing at her cheeks.
"Say anything," he commanded in a voice heavy with anticipation. His vowels were richer than a gourmet bagel caked in strawberry cheesecake cream cheese.
She bit her lip, and he could see the cartoon bubble appearing above her furrowed brow—I'm thinking.
"John Cusack," she whispe