Story in Progress
When I died, there was nothing.
There was no God to greet me, or even angels, heralding my arrival into the deep, black, nothing, that is death. Apparently I wasn’t breathing on my own anymore, kept alive by machines. But before I got here, my life, was absolute shit. Not in the abusive foster parents sort of way, but just lifeless. Mundane. Sweeping white-tile floors, picking up dog shit, cramming the dishwasher full of dishes I never dirtied. Someone had promised me that I would be successful and make millions of dollars. That I would never have to worry about bills again. That I could, in fact, live, while doing pretty much nothing, yet, here I am.
There are knives in the
Corner drawer of the kitchen
It is wide, and gaping, and
Lonely like the plastic playhouse
I ruined with permanent marker
Imagining I was an artist when I
Was just born to quit trying
I saw the sun through willow
Tree branches and a best friend
Said she had seen better days and
The melancholy just floated over me
It clung to my skin like dusk clings
To the hope of night, and the blanketing
Of sorrows that we hush-hush in water
Cups and pills that don’t feel like the same
Soothing gesture of those sharp edges of that
hair clip you have in your palm.
Grooves and lines in your body
Imprinted by a sheet and not a lover
Cuts and gashes in your body
Never deep enough to reach your heart.
Why couldn’t I have died when
They cut open my heart?
I was so ready to die then
In the swirling bliss of morphine
And warm blankets that would keep
The demons away forever and now
I am alive. A longer life expectancy
I remember things in increments
Oxygen mask and its cool gusts in my face
They take my oxygen away and I can’t breathe
I am brushing my teeth and there is an eerie
Light around the mirror
And I remember looking down at my legs
Smooth, white circulation socks
To prevent clots of cream from going
They go to my thighs now
My body aches, my period never comes on
Time like we come together, you and I, if we
Wait and hold our impulse back just a little
Longer—still longer than those tubes they
Pulled out of my chest that recoiled but have
Wrapped themselves around my arteries
They say that most people who intend
On ending their life just leave
Like Alma left her truck and lied down
On those train tracks in October until
Her pain was severed in two, three, incomplete
Pieces of her and turned to ashes.
I am not brave enough to lie in front
Of a train. But I am brave enough to
Get a sharp knife out of the kitchen sink
And marvel at it’s length, and the fwick feeling
Of it against my fingertips
And in that instant I feel calm
And collected, and I put the knife down.
I put it down.
I come into the kitchen and
That knife is gone, so I decide
To preoccupy myself with dinner
A dinner no one would bother to
Cook for me.
It is bland but it has bits of vegetables
Things that can give me iron.
I stir the noodles, my hand above the steam
I think of my grandmother and how
When she lost her mind she dipped her
Hand into the boiling hot water
Trying to fish creatures out.
I look at the noodles.
Is my heart in there somewhere?
Buried beneath the elbow macaroni?
Or did it evaporate with the steam?
Is it a tiny thing? Comparable to a fleck
Of pepper on a spoon? Did I eat my
They want to know what is wrong with
Me, and I tell them I am just
Depressed, and I cry, and I don’t know
What else to say to them because the
Monster in my gut settles, and nestles
And makes my body cramp.
I remember that I have spent
Five years of my life recovering from surgery.
So don’t I have time to grow into my heart?
Yes, you, Mother, you are
The bane of my existence, and I am sorry
That I can’t bleed any more money for you
I wonder what kind of ‘needs’ you put for me
On that form you send to the government
Do you put it between your need for cigarettes?
Do you put it between your need to satiate your son
Before you even bother to wonder about me because
I can do without?
I always do without.
Am I sick? Do I need to
Gouge my skin open before
They will take me in? Or
Can I just weep over a pack of spilled
Crackers, and curl up against myself
And wonder why my anguish is like
A red, hot, crucifix, searing into my flesh.
Except in death, I don’t know who I am saving.
Because the need to die is ranged
Between a one-in-ten scale
I am sitting at the eight of
Swords, blindfolded, surrounded
By blades even in a back step I will
Slice open tendons, and it always hurts more
By accident rather than on purpose.
Upon her desk sat a cast iron teapot, and a mess of papers. To the average person she would seem heavily disorganized. The truth was that she knew where everything on her desk was; however, the only thing that seemed disorganized was her mind. The sky was overcast, and she kept a light grey sweater slung over either of her shoulders. She had worn a dress today on a whim, and as per usual, she was regretting her decision.
Her hair was short and tucked beneath a hat that she wore in her office despite the professional atmosphere. Her hands moved apprehensively as she got her cup and poured the piping hot tea into it, the floral scent of Jasmine filling her office, reminding her of sunlight. Her life, however, was a lonely one. She kept a picture on her desk of herself and her ex fiancée. They had been expecting and she miscarried. Naturally, he blamed it all on her, so the house they had just agreed to buy eventually got taken back by the bank, and she lived in a Motel down in a shady district of the city. After she miscarried, the doctors found that there were too many cysts in her ovaries and uterus, and so they decided to give her a hysterectomy. The scar always seemed to frown at her in the mirror when she stripped off her clothes and jumped into her luke-warm shower in the morning.
It just so happened that this morning was the last one that Natalie Green would ever live.
The papers that were messily piled atop her desk were manuscripts she had to sift through. She would pile the ones that would go onward to the other office for further review, and the others, which were often the biggest pile, were the rejects that had to be sent back. This was her job, she was the bad guy.
She took a drink of her tea and recalled her mother growing Jasmine in an herb garden while she was growing up. She also recalled lavender, cilantro, and bergamot. Her mother was always plucking things out the garden and making teas. Sadly, Natalie had never learned the art of tea making, and her mother died of Cancer before she could remember to ask. She supposed that life was busy in that, tragic, eventual sort of way. As for her father, she had never known him. She was the only child of a single mother who was cold, and somewhat distant until Natalie reached her teenage years. They grew oddly close then, but perhaps that was because that’s when the Cancer started.
Perhaps that’s when everything started.
Natalie looked up from the pile of papers on her desk, and nothing seemed real. She felt an enormous pressure in her head and she clutched her desk with trembling hands.
Something has to be happening to me.. She thought, then. A stroke, a seizure, something…something terrible.
She got up from her seat despite her legs feeling like jelly, and after a few steps she decided to go back to her chair and call out to her secretary.
"Please, Amelia, can you get me some help…?" As soon as she felt the words leave her mouth her chest felt inexplicably heavy.
"I…I can’t breathe."
"Right away Ms. Green, right away."
Everything from then on sort of happened in a whirlwind of doctors checking her vitals as she gasped for air. They strapped her to a stretcher and lifted her into the ambulance, they gave her a small white pill and instructed her to swallow it, and she did so. The second half of the ride, getting to the hospital, and even to her room, were events she couldn’t recall, even in the slightest. Her memory was only bits and pieces at best. Lots of hands with latex gloves, the squeeze of blood pressure monitors, the scent of alcohol swabs, the prick of needles, and the extraction of blood.
choraleofsound replied to your photo
What? I’ve always had this blog, I just rarely post on it.
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
You flatten your shirt against your chest—
Blot your lipstick onto plush toilet paper.
You turn the tap.
For the first time in a long time
The water doesn’t linger in the glass.
You can’t find your prescription
And you can feel the burning in your hands.
Your eyes flash to the doorknob
Is it locked? Did I check it?
Your mind flashes to the worst-case scenario:
A man in a mask, a gun to your head.
Or even worse, someone you once knew.
They’d strip you of that single thread of security
That you cling to at night when you bury your face
Into your lover’s shoulder, and beg them not to go
Until the darkness has rescinded, and the shadows
In your mind have stopped playing tricks—
Clicks, clicks, clicks
The release of a chamber, the metallic grating of bullets—
Clinking against the glass kitchen table—
You can hear the hammer clicks.
“I thought he was rolling a cigarette.”
“Honey, we haven’t rolled cigarettes in a long time.”
Through the sounds of broken glass
the pomegranate splatters against the tree
“How anxious are you right now, on a scale of one to ten?”
because somehow, I can measure the pain of missing you
in numbers. I can somehow measure the hole you left behind
in a linear way, when you left me, divided.
“They were meant to be together. They’re in heaven now.”
But my friend, where are you?
Who is this masked woman that keeps taking
Everyone I love? Who is this masked woman—
She was someone I loved, too.
I gazed at her and felt so helpless.
For fucks sake. Someone just put her body back together.
Make the train stop in time. What the fuck is she doing there?
She’s not dead. She can’t be.
My sister kisses two fingers, and places them against her forehead.
A sign of parting.
“You can see where her dress sort of cut off, couldn’t you?”
“Now that you mention it…”
I take another shot.
I hit the tree dead-center.
“You’re in crisis.”
You’re in crisis.
The pomegranate splatters
This shower is too fucking loud
And I’m scared of myself.
I’m scared of the knife drawer
I’m scared of my own face.
She crept through and ripped me wide open.
“Honestly, what the fuck is wrong with you?”
“Why are you doing that?”
“You’ll get over it.”
I’ve lost my ability to drink water without choking.
My dreams are strange, and vivid, and I wake up…
I can still see them, there.
I have blisters on my palms that break open
“How anxious are you on a scale of one to ten?”
I break open.
I sink knee-deep into a bright eyed delirium
I’ve had too much wine
There are too many people with death—
On their mind, to ever reach the sea
The boundless cacophony of the living.
I stumble towards the room where
I’m supposed to dwell, but I’m stuck
Inside the bathroom where my reflection’s not myself.
Pupils un-dialated and I wrench open the shelf
Keep the knives away from me
I’d splice until I melt.
The last piece of chain I had to pull myself free
Crumbled, rusted at my feet.
The fireflies escape my arms
and you pour the tea out of its jar.
You pour the blood out of my heart.
I sink knee-deep into a bright-eyed delerium
I’ve had too much—
Echoes in a Time of Mourning
Leave your tea here with me
In closed loops like your fingers
Pathways into a heart that was once
Miles apart from you.
I drink it voraciously
I don’t mean to disappoint you
"I don’t mean to…"
On a highway where she
May or may not have died
Ejected, rolled away, the seatbelt
Could not save her from the grasp
Of a God we were never sure of.
They buried her
They buried her
They buried her
Beneath a pine tree
Where the wind blew
As the scriptures were
Read as she flew away.
I cry to you like clockwork
Every midnight at the sound
Of trains going sixty on the tracks.
Its horn blew for three miles
Did you hear it darling?
Did you hear it?
I pour the wine into a glass
You fold a napkin with your hands.
Through the windows—
There are many lights and we
Are buried in a love that
Cannot be unearthed—
Drained wineglass, stained lips
Red with a sweetness you longed
To taste with your heart
Every ventricle screaming for
The absence of drunkenness.
Your sleep sounds, whisper through me
And crest, just along you lips with a sweeping flourish
I watch the sun, speckled on your eyelids—
Light lingers along the edges of you, laughing
Into the sweet silence that drifts into the corners
Of the room. Your face is soft, my eyes searching
For sunflowers, sifting through the sieve of your
Essence, is exhilarating, joints ache, fingers folded
Against the sheets of apprehension in a knot, neat
Around a neck that once longed to resemble a swan
Swindled of affectionate gestures, swift sanity.
Red blooms, burning bright beneath the weight
Of the morning’s open wounds that simply
Let themselves in, becoming, bleeding, bruised.
Dust motes, swirl, spackled paint that warm smell
That permeates the eaves, leaves drift through
The door, and you sweep, sweep, sweep them out.
Windows thrust open, drifting drapes, dancing like
Phantoms, while you pleasure your solar plexus
With clouded lemonade. Your eyes never quite
Finding my face. I tie my pride around my waist
And let it shimmer like wind chimes in the breeze.
The vase, shatters, shatters, shatters, the shards
Constantly multiplying until the door, cracks, loud
Like thunder, rumbling in your chest, filling my eyes
With tragedy of tepid tea in tense hands, it spills
Over, along my hands, and you recede, you recede
Until all that is left, is a sparrow, spare me—Spare me.
Breath condenses, cold, poor circuitry, they said or was
It circulation? Shimmering sound, deafening, you said
Silence was the answer, shh, shh, shh, no notes needed
nor nestled in entropy, to entail a trigger, linked light
Sharp sounds, simmering mercury beneath a bleeding
Tongue did you—”of course not”—knotted around his
Neck, never, swirling syllables in a symphony of shh-shh
Shelves of synchronized soliloquy, silhouettes, spinning
Sedated dreams like dragging your soul across the floor
Of the Universe that you once called home one-way ticket
To “Hello, what brings you to the ward today?” Agonizing,
Unwanted, weary of their eyes that eagerly indulge in the
Sun speckled on my eyelids, and the soft swinging of my
Head, the answer is no, no, sparrow, don’t spare me today.
Editing Shakespeare’s Sonnets…
For a university task. I..know that editing them is pretty much essential as there were numerous different versions of different sonnets etc, so to get one coherent piece of work there needs to be some kind of intervention, but I don’t agree with modernising them. Yes, having v’s instead of u’s, i’s etc makes them slightly more alien but what is the point of modernising all the spelling really? Its like imposing a set standard on everything and removing all individuality. The point of language changing over the years is that older things sound old, have a unique feel to them and are rooted in their time - there is just no point whatsoever in editing them, modernising the spelling and making them sound as though they were written now. Its like flattening out - like taking away any sense of uniqueness, individuality or character and it just makes no sense. Its taking their essence away, is what it is. Its like getting a load of really talented singers with unique voices and then putting them in a recording studio and altering their voices so that they all sound identical and average.
I think that it’s just for the sake of learning, really, and understanding the structure. Especially in terms of pentameter, as well as stressed and unstressed syllables. While I completely agree with you that ‘modernizing’ takes things away from Shakespeare’s poetry, I still feel it definitely helps in terms of teaching it in a more comprehensible way.
Personal Post: 4.14.2012
So, moving in the middle of the semester is never really easy. I managed to fall behind on things. I’ll catch up, though. I have to. I don’t really have a choice at this point. At least everything is moved. It’s about two weeks until my twenty-fourth birthday. Woohoo. I’m just updating here since I’m taking a full-on hiatus from Tarotblades until May 15th, and just doing my thing. Perhaps I’ll update with some more writing soon.