"For the sound of a broken heart,
Crack a joke."

-A.E. Stallings

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's interesting to me that as the years go by, I realize just how like my Dad I am. We laugh now over this fact, this image of my Dad in a woman's body, and I realize, at the same time, that my father taught me what I needed to know about how society would perceive me, how people would interpret me, how to survive within that structure, and then, how to break those same boundaries. He also taught me, and continues to teach me, how to be my own person. He accepts in me what we share, and also what we do not. Because the difference is we are not the same, merely similiar, and I can build on his honesty over his own mistakes and achievements in order to make my own, in equal parts. It is days like today, that I am reminded how lucky I am to have him in my life.

And I hope that he feels the same, regardless of the time we were in the check out line of the grocery store and I poked him in the side and said, "Look! It jiggles," when the cashier was flirting with him.

Or regardless of the time that I thanked God for my not inheriting his ears, likening them to Disney's Dumbo attempting to fly.

Or even in spite of the time he was fixing a door frame in the house and I walked quietly up to him and waited for him to notice, only to watch him shout, and leap several feet in the air.

Or regardless of the time I decided to be a cheerleader and he was rewarded a pink ribbon declairing him "Best Mom!" for bringing homemade brownies and Gatorade to the games.

Or.... Umm, how about, I love you, Daddy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Continuing the Thread

Well, there's something I forgot to mention when I got carried away on my soup box over rough drafts and what not. I forgot to mention what I've been doing with myself when I'm not writing and/or geeking out. Todays segue is that I am employed! Queue victory dance! And I have been employed for over a year now, which has contributed to my procrastination with this blog. If you've been with me prior to my lapse in posts, you will remember my love of baking, cooking, etc. so I hope that you find it as fitting as I do that I am now a cake decorator at my local grocery store. I love it! ...And will continue to love it once I am over my work injury.

But anyway! I decided to tack this on because something funny occurred yesterday with my boss. So, I was finally able to move into my new apartment--last minute, but hey, it did happen--but in order to do so, I needed yesterday off from work. Now, keep in mind that I have been on limited duty due to my injury, so I haven't really been decorating, so imagine my boss' chagrin when two cake orders were taken for two cakes that she absolutely loathes doing... she called me, asking me just how I got a mountain and a melting lake on the Frozen themed cake. In reality, what she was asking was for me to take pity on her, which I did--don't worry, I'm not that self-sacrificing; I did laugh a bit--and I went in for a couple of hours to do that cake, which also turned into my doing the elaborate Pixy Hollow themed cake we have, as well. Even with a few injury related bumps along the way, my boss and I had a few laughs, and our customers walked away happy. It was a good day, especially since I also got into my new apartment! A day of good karma, so thanks universe!

Moving on! I know that I loaded a heavy-esque poem onto this blog yesterday, so I thought I'd share a more light-hearted rough draft today--Disclosure: light-hearted in terms of my own work now that I read over it first--and, as always, criticism is welcome.

What if.

Names aren't important-
Or, at least, not yet.
For now, I'll be your Jane
And you can be my John.
Would you like to try an experiment?

Five minutes--
the timer starts now:
We're lovers.
My heart skips a beat
A rat-a-tat-tat
Over the sight of you.
And desire is a warm blush
that steals all words from us
And I can taste you on my tongue.
I can smell your shampoo on the pillow I awoke upon this morning.
Your hands are a familiar weight that raises goosebumps in memory.
You enrapture me, set my pupils to expanding--

The timer buzzes,
a burn burn burn
Over the loss of us.
We're strangers
And my heart thuds in anxiety
A rat-a-tat-tat
Over the meeting of you.
Uncertainty is a warm blush
that steals all assurances from me.
We speak in inane manners
For I cannnot find the words.
I only smelled my own perfume on the pillow I slept upon,
And your hand is an unfamiliar, passing weight within my own.
You puzzle me, set my mind to racing--

What if, what if, what if.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Rough Draft

I've been working on a few projects, and as one takes over, the others seem to sit by the wayside gathering dust. I've decided to revive this blog as a means to devote equal time to each project. For my Undume work, it will stay primarily on --shameless plug, I know!--and the remaining work, such as poetry, will remain herein.

Therefore, I've decided to start things off where I left my earlier post on: rough drafts. This particular rough draft was written several months ago, and I find myself coming back to it over and over. In the true sense of being a type of confessionalist poet, I used an ongoing topic that never really goes away for me: my mothers' abandonment of my brother and I. Now, don't be alarmed, she simply left us with our father, which I am thankful for everyday. In truth, it bothers me that it bothers me becuase my Dad was and is everything, both father and mother. I never wanted for anything, and regardless of a few bumps and bruises along the way, I think I am a better person for all that he has taught me. Yet, the truth holds that some parts of me, especially now that I think more and more on having children of my own, are bruised by this piece of my history. I remember having people ask me about my mother, and I've always been honest that I didn't know her.

"I'm so sorry," they would say.
"Why?" I would reply because, really, why? I have no memory of the woman who birthed me. I have my father's stories and a few photographs, but there is no emotional tug other than a faint resentment over there being nothing. And yet, I have some moments where that small resentment seems tantamount to coming upon a mountain in my path. Seemingly spiteful, these feelings rush to my forebrain and I have moments of almost na-na-na-na-na, and "I don't need you."

So, why, you may ask in return? I suppose it's because I know that this person is part of why I exist, as well as this person being a complete stranger to me. My father assures me that I would know her, but would I really? Would I notice her out of the crowd, even if she were walking past me?

Hence the topic of this poem (and remember! rough draft!):

Mother, may I
Touch—our hands, our eyes, our mouths?
Mother, may I
Hear—your voice, your laugh, your sorrow?
Mother, may I
Speak—of smiles, of hands to sooth?
May I remember
Solace—for troubled confessions? —Mother?
May I bridge your
Silence—for a chance to touch, to hear, to—
Mother, may I
Tell—of you, to you, with you—
    As more than a figment
    Created—from questions posed to a mirror?
A mirror where
“All reverses save for time.”
So I, a mother:
Child—come touch our hands, our mouths—
Listen to my
Voice—and laugh with me—for we
Will speak of recalled
Memories—a series of moments built
Together—Mother and Child.

Attempting to sleep, but there are...

Two kittens in the night!

They come across a great expanse of polyester and cotten, of ribbed plastic, and of knit dangles

...Mt. Bag!

Stories tell of the great Mt. Bag and its denizens known as books! Too long have they burdened the land, thus! two great hunters were born! Biding their time, they stalked the surrounding land!

Over sill, over chair, through a dish, through a drawer. Over mark, over rail, through a rug, through a wire. They did wander everywhere, until... BAG! The battle was great, and alas! they are great hunters.

Monday, August 31, 2015


...of a sort. You see, I am still unsure of what my topic for this blog should be. In truth, it's been a run on ramble. But hey! let's go ahead and start at the beginning, shall we?

This blog was created as a means of doing something. I was unemployed, I was panicking, and I was overstuffed with college rhetoric. Now, don't take that to mean that I'm not the same verbose, opinionated woman... because I am. I'm merely coming to the realization that my ideas and such are becoming more linear, and less inclined to jump around like a bunny on drugs after hopping from one class to another.

So, the epiphany? I'm a geek. Hmm, that may be an oversimplification. I am a fantasy obsessed, video game playing, poetry writing, scifi watching, urban fantasy reading geek!

What does this mean? I'm tired of playing into the hype. There seems to be this idea that writers have to write meaningful, poignant, world-rattling literature, and I call bullshit. I've watched friends use their writing like ammunition against themselves: themselves! Why should they care if what they've written is worth publication, or some lofty award? Haven't we formed classifications over time to wrap a myriad of people into the genre of being an artist? Shouldn't the expelling of emotion and thought be allowed to be just that? An expelling of what weighs us down, of what intrigues us, and of what we hope for the future?

This hype, this expectation, this weight, it seems to say to so many that rough drafts don't exist, that their first syllables across the page should be perfect. Must I say it again? Bullshit! Being a writer should mean that words are your outlet, your means of expression. But it should also mean that you can recognize the eloquence even amongst your perceived gibberish, and that you can recognize your rough draft for what it is: the first step. We don't get anywhere in this world with just one step, and if we did? It would be boring. Come on, think of old'll feel left out if only your right foot got all of the action!

So, what am I saying? I am saying try, try, try... and try again. Take your ideas and let them build over time. Write your shitty rough drafts, your post it notes to yourself, your diamonds amongst the coal, and keep creating. I mean, you're a writer, right?

this writer who is taking her own advice.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Finding Words

Ok, this poem a day project is harder than I had originally thought it would be. I keep waiting for that one day where I can set down a jewel of prose, but so far? Nada.

Now, don't take this as me fishing for compliments on the short pieces I've scrounged up and posted because I am aware that they're not all together horrible. But the truth of it is, being a student of English Literature with creative writing thrown in to the mix, I can easily "sling the bullshit."

That being said, I can admit that this project has been a helpful exercise. It has me thinking, and playing with phrases in my head--hence the short poems I've been updating with. Now, I know that I owe three poems today, so I will start it off with a poem that I pulled out of my folder. It's not new, but it sums up my writer's block:

Finding Words

The cursor flashes with a coy insistence:
“Fill the page! Capture the moment,” it sighs
With insidious longing—countering resistance
Built over time, where the slate holds no ties
Where once an arrow caught a fledgling core.
“Begin,” it taunts, but the ending is all that’s seen;
Yet, the keys respond in defiance for
Even an epilogue fills the page and frees
The compendia from the winking pest.
Thus, a flow of starts and stops stress the passing time—
The dart waits, suspended, and offers no rest
Where memory becomes word and is offered in rhyme.
                        “You’ve gone and filled the page,” it confides.
                        And now, pain has no place where peace resides.

Day 7:

It's funny how some men bide their time.
They make an investement--
A stock in propietary desire.
It was his turn, you see.
By some default, a clause in the "bro-code"
He had seniority on my body--
Because, apparently, the prior years of "I loves"
That had belonged to another dick was up for grabs.

Day 6:

It is but a nick of me
That you have a knack for naming.
In all, a compendium overlooked
That tells of the passing years—
Ink running on, sand to scour into permanence,
A wrinkling page showing use—
Often shelved as memoir far more often
Than embraced as a nightly tale—
Who then will read of me,
A many nam├ęd thing,
Whose genre is ever fixed, yet changing?

Day 5:

Their words--
Heard more in melody then meaning.
My body--
Touched by desire barely masked.
The lie--
Oh sweet such song even in denial,
And I weep--
Trapped in hymn, yet shackled by honor.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 4

 Whom does she see?
Strum the chords to
Heighten everything--
Screeching halt,
And the mind overcomes--
The reflection is not me.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Two Birds, One Stone

I was busy with a bit of traveling yesterday, so I thought, "better late than never" mixed in with the daily April prose.

Day 2:

Warmth in winter.
Touch in solitude.
It resounds so deeply as to startle--
Words in silence.
Numb amongst feeling.
It creates the longing the mind denies--

Day 3:

Hollow inside.
The sound, lost
Amongst thoughts--
Hello, who dwells in
This silence?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April's Prose

April is apparently a month of writing poetry (much like November's novel writing), and, due to a good friend, I have taken up the challenge. So, dear readers, bear with me because I in no way promise that every day will come with poetry worth writing home about....

Day 1:

"Something's missing--"
And the pale ring mocks,
"Look at what you left behind."
And I say, "Look! No mark--"
"Exactly," it replies.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Yes, I know it's random...

but you want me to get back into the swing of things, right?

[Warning: rated M for--wait, why do they call it mature? Feels more like grade school to me....]

That moment where you're looking for your phone, realize you're sitting on it, and think, "You couldn't at least have vibrated while you were down there?" ---Priceless.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This is just a taste of how good this woman is live.

Karen Finneyfrock visited the Central Washington University's campus today, and it was an inspiring experience. Her poetry was sublime, but it was her manner that truly sold me on her work. She had a way of speaking to you that seemed to say "yes, I see you. I hear you. I value what you say." As a prospective writer, I cannot put into words how much such experiences mean to me.

I need to go back a bit and put this into more context. The event this evening was preluded by a Slam Poetry contest where I had been, ehem, 'voluntold' into. So, being the good friend that I am... as well as acknowledging that the first step to publication is actually allowing others to hear my work, I went and participated. I shared two pieces: my "Psyche, dear" (which I have mentioned before), and my "Casualties" sonnet. Every writer knows when someone is throwing bullshit their way; the casual "it was good," and such. But watching as someone goes along with you for the ride? Watching as they get the references, the story, and the tonality of your words? How can I express the euphoria of watching that come over someone's face? I can't. Not without gushing like a hormone-ridden teen (which I haven't been for quite some time). I thought I was too jaded at my ripe age of twenty-eight (insert eye rolls here, I know). But, back on topic, Karen Finneyfrock flat out made my night by simply approaching me after the performances. An introduction, and a genuine appreciation of what I had shared did the trick. This writer is rearing and ready to go. The fear is temporarily forgotten. I cannot promise that it will not reappear again, but the gates are, for the moment, open. Who knows what might spill out to the other side?

So, in essence, this is a thank you as well as a poke to my readers to get off your asses and look this woman up. She's good--the rip out your guts discreetly and make you laugh while you're at it type of poet. Be inspired. Be intrigued.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Listen Now and Follow: Quote #4: "Reinventing Rescuing"

Listen Now and Follow: Quote #4: "Reinventing Rescuing":
Thank you to my delightful roommate who shared this with me. I'm enraptured with all of these, and I am already inspired by them. I hope my readers enjoy them as much as I do....

Imagine this:

Instead of waiting in her tower, Rapunzel slices off her long, golden hair with a carving knife, and then uses it to climb down to freedom.

Just as she’s about to take the poison apple, Snow White sees the familiar wicked glow in the old lady’s eyes, and slashes the evil queen’s throat with a pair of sewing scissors.

Cinderella refuses everything but the glass slippers from her fairy godmother, crushes her stepmother’s windpipe under her heel, and the Prince falls madly in love with the mysterious girl who dons rags and blood-stained slippers.

Imagine this:

Persephone goes adventuring with weapons hidden under her dress. Persephone climbs into the gaping chasm. Or, Persephone uses her hands to carve a hole down to hell. In none of these versions is Persephone’s body violated unless she asks Hades to hold her down with his horse-whips. Not once does she hold out on eating the pomegranate, instead biting into it eagerly and relishing the juice running down her chin, staining it red. In some of the stories, Hades never appears and Persephone rules the underworld with a crown of her own making. In all of them, it is widely known that the name Persephone means Bringer of Destruction.

Imagine this:

Red Riding Hood marches from her grandmother’s house with a bloody wolf pelt.

Medusa rights the wrongs that have been done to her.

Eurydice breaks every muscle in her arms climbing out of the land of the dead.

Imagine this:

Girls are allowed to think dark thoughts, and be dark things.

Imagine this:

Instead of the dragon, it’s the princess with claws and fiery breath who smashes her way from the confines of her castle and swallows men whole.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Google, how I love thee....

Today turned into one of my baking days, and as per my usual, this resulted in me perusing what google had to offer as I contemplated my choices. You see, I have this habit of setting my heart on cooking when I know that I have limited ingredients, thus resulting in some interesting substitutions that can fall equally along the good and bad spectrums. Luckily, today decided to be a 'good' day.

This was due, in large part, to the blog of Baker Bettie. Please take a moment and be adventurous enough to visit her because I promise, it will be well worth it. Her instructions were seeded with personal tidbits that kept me interested as well as being concise and easy to follow.

So, in all, my endeavors have left me with 2 1/2 dozen of my own recipe of double chocolate chip cookies, and, thanks to Bettie, a little over a dozen of her Cheddar and Thyme puff pastries.

Queue my happy dances and penchant to tell my loved ones, "Eat it!"

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Drive by update....

I know that I've been neglecting this blog, but it's hard to find the words. Me speak English, but sometimes English doesn't speak to me. There are more often outbursts of incoherency best represented her as jhg#%sfuda, or some such nonsense. I don't know how else to describe it other than it leaves my roommate with bulging eyes and a flight or fight response.

But I digress. I'm talking writer's block, but it's not the kind where I have nothing to say, it's more along the lines of not knowing how to say it. I'm the queen of one-liners, and witticisms that come with a M-rating... but the finished product? It's my very own white whale.

So, the frog and I have another date tonight. Here's to hoping that he proves to be a witty conversationalist.

Fiction can be cruel

“From the time I met him, he left me little clues of a man, a trail of bread crumbs to a gingerbread cottage. Inside the cottage were peeling pictures of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe that keep sliding to the floor because the walls were too sweet to hold the Blu-Tack. I tried to pick the posters off the floor and got so distracted, I ended up in an oven. So I climbed out of the oven and out of the house and I was saving myself, but it hurt so bad. I found the boy I loved, but he didn't want to hug me because I was blistered and spotted with bread crumbs. I looked up close because, up close, I could always see myself reflected in the surface of his shiny, iconic beauty. But suddenly he had pores, grey hairs, and chapped lips. And I couldn't see a damn thing.”
Emma Forrest

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tears and Laughter: Cathartic Melodies

Mary Lambert - Sarasvati (1 Mic 1 Take)

Friday evening I had been invited by friends to attend the Cental Washington University's campus event of a performance by Mary Lambert. It will be a night I will not soon forget. The advertisements should have stated, WARNING: Tissues required! She had not only myself, but the majority of the audience in tears one moment and in laughter the next. So, to make a long story short, if you have not heard her spoken word poetry mixed in with her singing, you should get off your tush and do so... oh, and look! I made it easy--click the damn play button!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Berlin - Original song for 12 cellos (and a kick drum) - ThePianoGuys

...found this on The Piano Guys YouTube page. Well worth the watch!

Sunday Dinner

...and me at the stove. The years in a college dorm had made me forget the feeling I experience when I have a stovetop at my beck and call:

Fear? A bit (what if I've forgotten how?!).

Joy? A heap big plate full (my shimmying should attest to that).

Contentment? Yes, embarrassingly so (nesting syndrome leads to bruised ribs).

But all joking aside, I find it hard to express into words the emotions which flow through me as I plate up my cooking, pass it to a loved one and say "Eat it." In truth, it's something I don't want to give up again now that I have it back. I refuse. I will pout, I swear!

So yes, Sunday dinner.

The Foursome had come together, as is our want to do (and yes, we do refer to ourselves as such), and in celebration of my possessiveness of the stove I had set out to create the proverbial Sunday dinner. We're talking roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and cake... all made from scratch. There was no grocery store rotissery, no box of flakes, no Stove Top, no can, and no boxed ingredients. And yes, the kitchen did look like a small explosion had gone off... or atleast, Hurricane Sabrina made its' first touch down in the history of... well, ehem, since the last time (always wonderful when a joke I'm making is stalled by a realization that the punch line is too close to a lie, but hey, what's an endeavor without a bit of mayhem?). But, even amongst the mess, it was glorious! ... if I do say so myself: which I do!

This, so you are aware, is where you smile and nod. Agreement is in your best interests--not Midol, nor chocolate (well maybe some chocolate)--lest you wish to encur a form of wrath that will leave you clutching your nether regions and suspicious of any food prep in the near future.

But I digress. Sunday dinner was a hit. My guests voiced their approval, they stuffed themselves, and they promptly and contentedly, if I may add, dozed close to waving the little white flag and succumbing to food comas.

(Insert the aforementioned shimmy)

Overall, I am left on Monday morning with a continued smile as well as enough leftovers to feed the small army I had apparently imagined would be attending. So, here's a toast to good days, to good friends, and to good food.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In Three Words: Vivian Vande Velde

Take a peek: Vivian Vande Velde's Website

...and then, take a closer look at her book, Dragon's Bait.

Her first inclination was to hope the dragon hadn't seen the torches and that she'd have time to run under cover of the nearby trees...

Then she realized the dragon hadn't seen her, and that if she stayed still for a few moments longer, she was free. But she was soaked to the skin and cold, and she hadn't eaten anything since early morning, and she was an orphan with nowhere, absolutely nowhere, to go. And she remembered the wolves.

Her choices, as she saw them, were to die quick or to die slow.

She chose quick.

Standing, she flung a rock with all her might. "You stupid dragon!" she screamed. "Come and get me!"


I highly, highly--let me stress--highly recommend this book. I wont belabor on a topic that I am planning on going into more detail on later in another post, but Vande's book is well worth the read if, like me, you miss having a real plot that isn't paused intermittently for the token sex scene, or if you wish for a heroine that is more the anti-hero in a believable sense which allows a sense of poignancy to the story.

Alys and Selendrile are two characters you must get to know--the tention between them was maintained by Vande so well that it left me feeling as if I was walking across a tight-rope with a cup of hot tea in my hands the whole time. Beautifully done with an ending that leaves you cooing and yelling "no" all at the same time!

Also, for those parents who shudder over the teen novel selections these days, this book is divorced from the current popular theme of having the moral being that of girl gets boy and girl loses virginity. Even the aforementioned tension between Alys and Selendril stays adamantly at the G-rating (which, in my opinion, made it all the better). The story is really about a girl who is wrongfully accussed of something, who then seeks revenge against her accusors, and she realizes along the way that her search for revenge solved nothing.

So, in all, this is a childhood favorite that still finds its way back into my hands from time to time, and, in the end, I hope that proves true of you as well.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Psyche, dear

From amidst all of the ideas I've been working on with my writing, nothing seems to compare to a simple nine line poem that I wrote in response to reading A.E. Stallings "Three Poems to Psyche" from her book of poetry, Olives. With a good dose of curiosity and a bit of a nudge from a school assignment, I did some research into the story of Psyche... and became addicted. For those of you who do not know, Psyche (who personifies the soul) is a character whose story seems to be the origin story to many of our beloved fairy tales. The bastardized form of the story is as follows:

  • Psyche is lauded as a beauty that rivals Aphrodite.
  • Aphrodite, as usual, becomes jealous and enacts a plan for revenge.
    • Aphrodite sends her son, Cupid to ensure that Psyche falls in love with the most repulsive man possible with one of his arrows.
  • Cupid instead pricks himself with his own arrow when he is distracted by Psyche's beauty.
    • Cupid has Psyche housed in a castle-esque home with unseen servants and only visits her at night; giving her the one rule of being unable to look upon him.
  • Psyche, after a visit from her sisters, decides to take a peek while Cupid sleeps.
    • Enraptured by his beauty, Psyche forgets herself and accidentally burns him with the lamp oil, thus waking him and starting her whole quest to get him back.
  • Psyche is given three tasks by Aphrodite that she must complete to win back Cupid.
    • Sort out a mess of grain seed by seed (ants help her).
    • Gather the hairs of a man eating goat (the river helps her).
    • Travel into the underworld and borrow a pot of make-up from Persephone for Aphrodite (Cupid, in the end, must save her).
  •  Zeus, in his bid to stop all of the nonsense as well as get back at Cupid for the trouble he had caused him in the past, settles the dispute by making Psyche a goddess and binding Cupid and her into marriage.
There it all is in a nut shell (some details vary from version to version), and for all of the moments I enjoy from the story, there are some hair pulling ones as well... thus my little addiction. For me there must be qualities that I both adore and loath in order for me to become fixated on a story.

"What are they," you ask? Well, herein is where I will be a bit of a brat. I've been itching for comments on this damn blog, for I crave discussion... argument... whatever you wish to call it. I will happily trade words with anyone willing to humor me and my self-proclaimed witticisms. So, let's do this. Let's discuss Psyche. And always remember that in this zoo, it is always permissible to feed the animals.

All rantings and ramblings aside, here are the Stallings poems I have so come to adore:

The Eldest Sister to Psyche

This palace, those invisible hands
That stroke the music from thin air,
Call it magic:  everywhere
The haunted rooms obey commands,
And yet it sounds like loneliness.
Yes, I’m that ugly sister, true,
You’ll say I only envy you.
The fact—I know your secret guess—
Surrendered blind to his embrace,
You dared not look.  A human voice,
You thought.   You never had a choice.
Perhaps a monster, face to face,
With scales and fangs and leathern wings.
What of the fetus that you carry?
For certain it is human?  Very?
Doubt burns like hot wax; it stings.

Doubt burns.  Like hot wax, it stings.
For certain, it is human, very.
What of the fetus that you carry,
With scales and fangs and leathern wings
Perhaps?  A monster.  Face to face,
You thought you never had a choice,
You dared not.  Look, a human voice
Surrendered blind to his.  Embrace
The fact.  I know your secret.  Guess
You’ll say I only envy you.
Yes I’m that ugly, Sister True,
And yet...  It sounds like loneliness,
The haunted rooms.  Obey commands:
Call it magic.  Everywhere,
That stroke, the music.  From thin air,
This palace, those invisible hands.

The Boatman to Psyche, on the River Styx

          “But I have one last errand for you, my poppet.” 
                              —Apuleius, The Golden Ass

Only a few have come here still alive,
Heroes seeking immortality,
Lovers who refuse to grieve.

They are found out by gravity,
How they unbalance the scow
With one foot still on the quay

And the other stepping into the prow
While evil-smelling bilge comes seeping
Up through the planks, as it is doing now.

The sorry hound is usually sleeping
(Three heads, no brain),
But his job is keeping

The inmates in.  He has no reason
To keep the living out.
All will come here in their own sweet season.

Perhaps you thought
No one would notice you among so many,
But you are not the shadow of a doubt,

You are the thing itself.  Your shiny penny
Will pay your passage, though it should be double.
You are two if you are any—

You quibble?
Aren’t you a double tug upon
The earth, and twice the trouble?

Gravid girl, you’re far gone.
I feel the quickening,
Obscene here where all frenzy is done,

A thing like that, a specter that looms
Out of the queasy future, ticking and ticking

Like a kind of bomb.
An x-ray developing in your chemical bath,
Your dark room.

You wonder how a blind man finds his path
Over the swamp of hate,
The river of wrath?

My eyes are ultrasound.  I echolocate
Like the pipistrelles that drop
Their slick of guano on the sloping slate—

Treacherous footing.   Here’s our stop.
So, you’re on an errand to the Queen,
To borrow her beauty like a pot of make-up.

It’s true that she has stayed just seventeen:
The sun can’t spoil her looks—
Her lips are stained with grenadine.

And here there are only stopped clocks
And no reflections.  A hint:
If she gives you a wooden box

Yea big—scarcely big enough for an infant—
Don’t open it, though you crave
A peek, a free sample.  You say you won’t,

But the living have a flair for narrative.
What if I tell you all the beauty ever worn
By loveliness was borrowed from the grave

And belongs to the unborn?

Persephone to Psyche

Come sit with me here at the bar.
Another Lethe for the bride.
You’re pregnant?  Well, of course you are!
Make that a Virgin Suicide.

Me and my man, we tried a spell,
A pharmacopeia of charms,
And yet…  When I am lonesome, well,
I rock the still-borns in my arms.

This place is dead—a real dive.
We’re past all twists, rewards and perils.
But what the hell.  We all arrive.
Here, have some pomegranate arils.

I heard an old wive’s tale above
When I was a girl with a girl’s treasure.
The story went, Soul married Love
And they conceived, and called her Pleasure.

In Anhedonia we take
Our bitters with hypnotic waters.
The dawn’s always about to break
But never does.  We dream of daughters.

I took the liberty of highlighting the key lines which grab my attention from amidst the whole, and it is many of these lines which prompted my own poem to Psyche. The tone I often hear in regards to this tale can turn a bit snarky in places due to the starts and stops within the meter scheme (I wont bore you with an explication on spondees and what not), and I have reflected that voice in my own piece. Now, I hate to play the tease, but "Psyche, dear" wont be featured in its entirety here because this is another piece that I have hopes of publishing professionally one day. What I will leave you with is the direction, and, if I'm feeling generous by the time I've gotten through typing the synopsis, I may leave you with a few lines. Anyway, my own poem to Psyche is set from the point of view of Demeter as she declines to assist Psyche (there is a point in the story where Psyche comes upon a derelict shrine and tidies it. When she is faced with a thankful deity, the selfless act is then turned into one that can be traded in for a favor--yet, Demeter refuses because she is close with Aphrodite).

The lines I semi-promised:

Oil burned and spurned Desire--
And where has your Love flown?

Comments... questions... random acts of verbiage?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Occasionally Mysterious Meanderings: Quintessential quote #19

Occasionally Mysterious Meanderings: Quintessential quote #19:

“ I believed that I wanted to be a poet, but deep down, I just wanted to be a poem. ”
 —Jamie Gil de Bieda

"How did it come to this..." revisited.

"The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow..."
And here I am, a traveler to the west, looking for that middle ground between reality and dreams. My wanderlust is a byproduct of dissatisfaction, and, as much as I love my books, reading seems to be ascerbating the problem. Those moments where I pause to sigh, to hold the book close to my heart, or even to curse feeds this internal weight I've attempted to balance since childhood--there just seems something so sad to me that the worlds, peoples and ideals which enrich these stories don't truly exist within the world we live in. We've gone past the days where honor was what made or broke a man, where a lover was saught after with unrelenting fervor, and where mysticism was real and spoke of things hidden just over a hill. Now honor is cloaked by ambition, lovers are discarded, and mysticism is dispelled beneath cynicism.

Can you tell that I've recently endulged in a LotR (extended version of course) marathon? I love the books and the movies, but damn, Tolkien can really pull off depressing. But then he makes up for it with the poignancy of the moments of hope and connection, made so much more powerful by the darkest moments. And yet, mixed in with my love for the literature is my aforementioned conflicts with my own thought processes. As crazy as it sounds, I just spent almost a full week in the duldrums because I cannot seem to divorce the emotions which are stimulated by the experiences within what I am reading/watching from my own reality.

Perhaps it's because I don't want this to be my reality. I feel as if I was born in the wrong place, the wrong time, or even the wrong plain. There always seems to be something I'm looking for, but what, I cannot seem to find. I write, I create, and I find joy in that save for that seed of discontent. What does it mean anymore to be a dreamer or a romantic? I want a life that I cannot seem to make for myself (and don't ask me what that is because I can't even tell you). And, I want a love that will consume me--that will pick me up, shake me about and leave me invigorated.

I want, I want, I want.

And I will find some of it, I know. It's what I wont find that scares me, or that I will give in to my moments of depression and give up altogether. So, for now, I will content myself with the moments I can steal from the pages of a book, or from the flickering images of a movie and hope that I can remember to live the moments of my own life along the way.

Friday, December 27, 2013

"How did it come to this?"

Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.

--King Theoden, The Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Memory

There's something special about a childhood memory of Christmas. That moment where you're teleported back to a time where magic lived and breathed within the world and people around you. Let me share one that is especially precious to me: a memory featuring my favorite hero, my mercurial villain, my wise counselor, or, simply put, my Dad....

Each Christmas had its' steadfast traditions. There was the unadorned tree on the eve of, and the decorated tree revealed upon the morning. There was the dining room table resplendent with boxes of cookies in the shapes of a town village. And there was the Yankee Candle set to burn uninterrupted upon the mantle. But there was one tradition that was broken on the night of the memory I wish to share with you now....

It was a Christmas Eve like any other, and my brother and I sat beside the crackling fire daydreaming that we had no need for bed time. No, we were so assured that our drooping lids would bear their weight a bit longer so that we may be the ones to greet Santa as he came down the chimney. But it wasn't to be as our father assured us that we did have to go to bed lest Santa pass by our house that night. Herding us to our feet, our nightly tradition of kisses and sleepy g'nights progressed until my brother, with a startled cry, exclaimed that we had not left out the milk and cookies for Santa's visit. Following his fine example of hospitality and ehem bribery, I too raised the cry. Our father bore this stoically with only a moment of, what I can now understand was, chagrin before raising his hands in defeat. "Oh, of course," he muttered in answer and dutifully led us into the kitchen.

But then a curious thing occurred that my brother and I did not expect. Our father paused, his hand half raised towards the cabinet. Lowering his hand, he turned back to us, his gaze looking from the cookie adorned table to us and back. "Don't you think we have enough cookies out for Santa," he asked, his wheedling tone quite lost on us then. "But he needs his own plate," my brother and I pleaded--both of us quite sure that Santa would be quite put out by us if he did not find a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for his own use. "Oh, but Santa and I had a talk about this the last time he visited us," he assured us, the twinkle in his eye unnoticed as he continued, "He told me that he gets so many cookies and glasses of milk at every other boys' and girls' houses that he would prefer something different." Our eyes wrinkling in confusion, for in what child's mind can there ever be enough cookies, my brother and I stared up at our father and asked, "Like what?" Well, our father responded with that twinkle in his eye and his cheeks rosy with suppressed glee... "Santa wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a coke-a-cola."

...Yes Da--Santa, we still remember your love for a sandwich and a coke.

And with that, I leave you to your eve. Much love to you all, and may you all share in a very merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fairytales and their Fans

Dear Diary,

I am well aware that you have been the landscape for my doldrums. You need not remind me. And as I am unable to forswear ever doing so again, I hope that you may take the following as a peace offering... yes, I actually decided to use my brain to think on matters other than my morbid feelings. Now, there will be emotions imparted, but I do so solemnly swear that tonights post will not be so damn depressing. What shall we be discussing, you ask? Well, fairytales and their fans: where does all the symbolism go?


~ * ~

There are far too many fairytales to cover at once, so this may be a post that is revitalized over time as new tales are discussed, but, for now, we're going to mull over one of my childhood favorites: The Labyrinth. Jim Henson and his motley crew brought to life a story that is timeless as well as being rich in symbolism.

  • A young girl on the cusp of womanhood
  • The Fey--beings of magic.
  • A Labyrinth--a maze with choices of path or direction.
  • An owl
    • "Intuition, ability to see what other do not see
    • Capacity to see beyond deceit and masks
    • The traditional meaning of the owl spirit animal is the announcer of death, most likely symbolic like a life transition, change ("
  • A peach--european symbolism: speaking the truth from ones' heart (
.... and the list goes on and on. I focused primarily upon this list because many of these symbols are closely tied to the main character, Sarah in regards to the hinted at romance with her antagonist, Jareth. Also, I adore the use of these symbols in tandem with the girl who is evolving into a woman because even as they provide a level of mysticism, there is still room for their inate symplicity. We're simply discussing that transition for Sarah--with all of its darkening themes of growing away from childhood, and of burgeoning sexuality. 

Moving on, let's now throw in the "Fans" aspect of the conversation. And what do we have? A loss of all of that juicy symbolism to be honest! I recently began haunting, and I've had my noise stuck in over a dozen of The Labyrinth fanfics. And now, as I blink into the bright light of day, I realize that almost every single one turns the tale into a smut fest that all too often has a high capacity for abuse in their narratives. Where is the homage that Henson intended as a gift to his daughter (the additional interviews that come with the digital copy of the movie are a gem to watch), and where is the story itself? The lines blur too much for me, and there are only so many scenes of bondage, blow jobs, and baby making that I can stand to read before I roll my eyes and hit the close button.... Don't get me wrong, I can read a smut novel with the best of them, but there comes a point where the meaning is lost and leaves the reader going "huh?"

So, here's my challenge! Let's discuss what twist the tale can take while keeping in mind the lines of symbolism that can guide us... keep us on the rails, so to speak. I'm not saying that we all must forsake the romance between Sarah and Jareth--but keep in mind that we're looking at a fifteen year old with an older man, and I'll give credit to many of the fanfics I read, they did a wonderful job of allowing some growth there for Sarah before delving into the hanky panky--because we all adore a good tale of love, every angsty inch of it.

On my part, I see the potential for the Persephone cannon for when Sarah ate the peach which then, in turn, brings to mind the concept of Snow White who bit the apple that placed her into a death-like slumber/whereas Sarah was cast into a dreaming state by the bite of a peach, ect. As some of you know me personally, you know that I could go on for days with ideas... so let me leave you with this image:

Sarah recited the words that made the world fall apart, "You have no power over me," and thus, she won the game she played against Jareth. The prize? The freedom of her baby brother. But what she did not know was that those were not the words which she would come to rue....

"My Kingdom is as great," she had declared to the Goblin King, and at the strike of thirteen hours (for remember, she had defeated the game in only ten), the Labyrinth answered. A kingdom came into being in parallel to the Goblin's own, a mirror image of a maze surrounding a castle in the distance. The difference, a lone form slept within its towers, and now the Goblin King must trek the insidious pathways that at once seem so familiar but in reality are dangers untold so that the wild magic at work can be contained before the Otherworld is truly cast as something only found in dreams....

Ack, what have I done! I meant to tease and titillate my readers, not give myself another project! My intentions were to prompt the idea of a fan fic where Sarah's victory is not undone or diminished, but instead, the idea is one that merely plays along with the rules of countless fairytale cannons and engulf her back in the world of what makes the tale so fantastical. I have the sudden urge to mutter to myself while simultaneously giggling like one of the fan girls I so often taunt.

There's nothing for it... 'What's said is said.'

But enough about me and my sinuous daydreams. How do the symbols and the tale speak to you?