Tuesday, May 26, 2015

two week hiatus


I'm taking a two week break from the blog, starting today. It'll give me some time catch up on a bunch of other shit.

Things will strike back up on the 8th of June.


See yous guyses laters. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

a story in red light heavy | part 2


First Part: CLICK HERE


Without movement, the pressure and her fear compounded, slowing time to a crawl. Her heart pounded. She tried to stifle her heavy breath within the crook of her arm. The back exit slammed and spun closed.

Several heartbeats later, misters sang their whispering song and bright white grow-lights bathed the red shadows in nearly natural radiance. The promise of color drew her eyes out of hiding.

She saw such an array of hues as she could never believe to be real. Black vines became green and orange squash turned honest yellow.

She also saw two pairs of pink feet.

Swallowing hard and holding her breath, the weight above lessened. A sea of adrenal fire flooded her veins. She fought to stay still, like some overwound spring.

“Find them!” demand a hoarse voice above the larger of the pink feet.

The smaller pair replied in a broken, whining whisper.

The woman in hiding heard a loud smack and watched in horror as small child spun to the grated floor. By some miracle of chance, the child never looked towards the hiding place while falling nor when crawling awkwardly back upright.

The child let out a choked sob before moving slowly down the hydroponic rows.

“I’ll have my meat one way or ‘nother, you little shit,” pronounced the larger feet with a short, joyless bark of almost laughter.

The smaller feet paced methodically through the rows and rows of well-lit fruits, vegetables, and machines. Eventually, those small toes stopped for far too long, directly before her hiding place. The woman felt something like a breeze brush against her temples.

The smaller feet let out a short breath before turning towards the larger pair.

“There’s… there’s nobody here,” the smaller feet spoke.

The larger feet suddenly bounded and disappeared from sight. Moments later, they landed beside the child.

“You worthless shit!” the thing attached to the big feet screamed. The woman in hiding heard another heavy smack. Tiny droplets of blood fell through the fine, white plastic grating.

She shot out from under the grow-pod in a primal fury. The woman grabbed hold of what proved to be a man’s thigh and raked like mad towards his groin. Her small, sharp knife found bloody purchase. Her rage boiled to cold white.

She remembered the old man’s anatomy lessons.

Seconds later it was done, all but the screaming.

She rose; the man-creature’s blood was her only raiment. Pulling her sack of provisions out from underneath, she took the weeping child in her other hand. They left through the back hatch.

They then dashed madly together into blood-red shadows.

Friday, May 22, 2015

a story in red light heavy | part 1

Well, littl'n', it just happened, all of a sudden. The source of all life flipped the bitch on us, every one, and with unexpected speed. We had no time to run. The closest colonies off Earth were just as fucked as those on the surface. The missions further out into space? Who the fuck knows? Some desperate fools really hope they're gonna find a way to save us. Not me. The sun turned baleful and red. They're gonna keep as far away from that hateful orb as possible. On even days the thought of people, somewhere else, living life without the weight above and the blood-colored light; well, it gives me hope. On odd days it makes me wanna breathe the deep.

Oh, you wanted a history lesson, young blood? Wanted to know how it came to this? What lies waitin’ in the shadows?

Well, we fled to the only place left, the bottom of the goddamned sea. This place wasn't meant for as many as came. This place wasn't meant to be lived in beyond the span of a few months. This used to be a research station, here ‘neath the waves, looking at life that didn't need that fucking sun. Life that wouldn't care that parking lots were turning into molten patches of tar. I think there was a short war--- Yah. There was. Don't know what bodies won, but the ones as did sent the "best and brightest" of humanity down here into the heavy, down here to the red: Artists and titans of industry, athletes and senators, lawyers and doctors, scientists and philosophers, all of 'em at the top of their fields, the strongest damn personalities they could find. It blew up in no time at all.

Now, I was too small ta know, but the one who walked me weren't. Every last one of them turned wicked. They split into smaller an' smaller factions. They killed each other. They had themselves a bloody war 'tween dozens and dozens a sides in this dozen miles of tunnels. Something happened. 'Knocked out the main power and kicked on these fucking red lights.

Don’t rightly know how long it took, but folk sorta fell to the pressure. You can’t help but feel the weight of it, wherever ya go. And the heat, awful damn hot down here; air’s sweaty, too thick. And them lights, it‘s all blood or black and hateful heavy. People went strange.

Some of ‘em could hear other’s thoughts or feel their intentions. Some of ‘em can do damn strange things with their brains. Some, well, some of ‘em changed... got too strong or too fast and quit thinking like folk. Some of us got bent by the pressure, for good or ill. Some just cracked all together...

Still though, this place keeps a’runnin’, just barely. The farm's, they're automatic and so are the desalinatin' fountains and sinks. 'Course every blood knows that and knows where they’re at; yer gonna have to fight, every damn time you visit either. Most of 'em hide in the darkness, skipping from shadow to shadow. Fools have gotten afraid of the light.

Me? I like to stick near the viewin' ports. Sure them lava flows give the same goddamned red glow as the hell-lights… but every once in awhile something'll change in the glow, or a creature’ll float on by. I seen blue and yellow and orange down here, plenty of times. But just once, a long time past, I caught a glimpse of green. Green like that grass I can barely remember. Still dream of it, though. Every fucking night. Anyway, the ‘cracked never go near the windows. Dunno why. Guess maybe they hate the light as much as they hate everything else.

Yer getting' that look in yer eye, missy. I seen it too many times. Well, if yer gonna do it, take me out while I'm dreaming, little girl. I don't hate the grass 'til I wake up anyhow.
***
Her stomach wouldn’t allow anything else. She kept shaking her head. She crouched behind a broad scalding pipe, made a feeble fist, and pressed it into her aching abdomen.

Her skin prickled and burned, but she couldn’t sweat. She glared at the closed, windowless hatch and swallowed hard. Her tongue stuck unpleasantly against a dry throat. Her heartbeat pounded desperately in her chest.

She’d be ravenous, she knew. She’d be sloppy, she knew that too.

She hated the slow measured seconds and loud, angry hinges on hydroponic bay’s hatch. It was a terrible danger and told everyone nearby where she was.

Still, she found herself turning the wheel and tearing open the entrance. Her sinuses sang with the sharp vegetal shock of tomato vines. She ran to them, greasy white locks flowing lankly behind her. Sharp teeth sank into fat red juicy orbs. She took two heartbeats to swallow before she took off at a run through the verdant, orderly rows of the hydroponic bay. She quickly stowed a dozen tomatoes and half as many squash; some were small enough to still bear blooms. Quick work with a small sharp blade brought her two long bearing a wealth of pea pods.


She serpentined madly towards the back hatch before stopping short. The back hatch was open. Behind her, the other entrance slammed automatically closed. She dove directly beneath the nearest plastic vat of growing compound and tried to shrink into nothingness. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

myopic

The man in the long jacket strode through the steaming alleyway, swaggering with a stupid grin, like some myopic god in the kingdom of the blind.

Neon lights saturated the serpentine back lane in supra-living color. Even the shadows suffered in muddy pink. Bowing brick walls lurched wildly into the sweltering concrete canyon, swollen and ready to burst. Somewhere above yellow fluorescents swayed in a breeze that wouldn’t stoop so low. The warm, choking fog shifted from rose to orange to yellow and back.

Eventually, the swagger devolved into restless pacing before the man in the jacket found a likely spot.
He rested against an ancient, never-emptied garbage bin and chewed bitter pills. He saw her shifty stride through the pastel fog long before she noticed him.

She was trying to keep her head down but couldn’t keep from casting hinky looks all around. When her wandering eyes found his inside an orange shadow, she stopped short.

He saw the double cross.

She shoved her hand sharply into her purse, and he smoothly pulled the trigger. One sharp crack and that was that.

Sans hesitation or ceremony, the man in the jacket threw the dead woman’s hand out from her bag. Smiling wryly, he reached inside to fish out her piece.

Instead, he found an envelope with his payment in full, payment locked behind a dead woman’s passcode.

The man in the jacket stumbled woodenly into the thick, yellow fog.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

prose poem 12 | explode into the void

Broken dreams and deadweight of potential wither like old fruit on the vine.

The dream was held tight, too perfect to move. It rotted through, held still across cormorous time.

Nothing netted nothing. Multiples of zeros could yield not a tittle more.

Hoping and holding will slay hope’s hostage. Dreaming and wishing do murder the dream.

Ahead, seeming sloughs away; movement debrides gangrenous gore. Failing falls forward: bleeding, triumphant.

Explode into the void. Shed empty skin. Bloody footprints to blaze new trails.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

out of place

Broken dreams scattered like glass shards, sparkling in the hard light of day. He had to blink several times before the broken bottles registered as actual objects.

His long white surcoat, shot through with silver thread, fluttered limply in the dead summer wind. The mirror bright torus links of the knight’s fairy-maile reflected a strange world of concrete taupe, sand colored storefronts, off-white walls, and gray baked blacktop.

Children clamored to see the white knight emerging from the sweltering alleyway. Concerned mothers saw the gilded blade in his hand and tucked the children safely away into minivans and four door sedans.

The knight called out in words none could comprehend. It seemed so close to English, but still beyond the bounds of modern dialect. The authorities were summoned with cellular phones.

Hot, quick lead could not pierce the too-perfect chained links, but aketons were not sewn to withstand exploding force. The knight was brought down, battered but breathing.

A parade of indignities and institutions and barbiturates besieged Knight Out of Place.

Such was his cruel payment. Laughing Sprite tittered viciously from the haze of a long passed day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

prose poem 11 | time

Time pressed against his neck: a burden he cannot escape and choices made each day.

There is never enough time. It always slides to waste.

Friday, May 15, 2015

prose poem 10 | a riddle

Like some terrible worm, seeking center, it crawls inside. Every sensing organ becomes an open orifice, waiting to let it in.

The smallest touch can carry the worm; brief words deliver its terrible seed. Smile or laugh or wink to another the worm’s wriggling germ.

Empires fall from it; heroes suffer it as poorly as madmen. Poets wax full with it. Gods wish it wrapped in chains (if their prophets can be believed).

It is the terrible worm of the commonest insanity.

It sends each generation marching towards the next.

The worm is beautiful and raging and melancholic. It is ordinary and strikes often. Stunningly unique and spectacular, the worm destroys logic, defies explanation.

You may wish at times to be rid of it, but without the worm, you would be much less than this.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

14 minutes

The cursor flashed metronomic, waiting for input.

I don’t know what to say…
Posted 11:02 pm
I’m leaving, your staying what else is there
Posted 11:06pm
We’ve never met but you know so much.
Posted 11:07 pm
We’ve shared soo much why?
Posted 11:07 pm
How can you just walk away!
Posted 11:08 pm
look this means a lot to me I think you should know that but my husband just doesn’t understand. I hate to stop this way but I have to.
Posted 11:11 pm
that prick doesn’t deserve you
Posted 11:12 pm
dont
Posted 11:12 pm
fuck it is completely unfair… that he can hurt me like this, us like this, how can you, goddamnit
Posted 11:13 pm
i love you
Posted 11:13 pm
I love you too. goodby
Posted 11:16 pm

The cursor flashed like the fleeting echo of an empty heart.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

sanguine blush

He was flushed and chattering again. It was just like in speech class; he kept reminding himself to slow it down.

Jeffery could smile. He could modulate his voice. He could annunciate and project even as he babbled. He could take that turgid, knotting tension below his lungs and carefully release its electric energy. He could do all that, and he was. Jeffery transformed his nervous enervation into a reserve of seeming calm.

Though, he couldn’t control hot, sanguine blush creeping across his skin, and he simply had to live with the unbidden sweat beading on his brow.

He had no idea what to do so all he did was try to seem otherwise. He never had any idea what to do. Subtle shifts in demeanor and common gossip were beyond his grasp. The ever-shifting alliances of high school proved a labyrinth to which he had no thread. Jeffery never knew what anyone was about. Almost every action of his fellow man came as surprise to him.

He’d stopped talking again. He fought to keep his jaw slack. He forced a devil-may-care grin onto his face and unclenched his rigid jaw. His foot tapped and twisted in the loose forest loam, beyond his notice or control. She was just so pretty.

She was beyond pretty; the perfect oval of her polished face promised such healthsome fecundity. Her voice sang like the wind song on branches. He eyes sparkled like a slow burning match. Her lips seemed so ripe he got lost in them.

When he realized how long he’d been staring, prickling flames of embarrassment danced across his stomach. He stammered and nearly ran away.

“Calm yourself, mortal” sang the silver bells voice of the tree spirit. “We have much time, yet.”

A soft, heartwood-red hand slipped out from under the oak tree’s living bark. She gently touched her fingertips to his cheeks.

“Perhaps we could begin with a kiss?” she sang.

The knot in his chest exploded into forward motion. He sank fiercely into her arms and met her, melting. In mere moments he had pressed into the tree completely; he was now wholly hers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

overturning new roots

The rains ruined their steady routines. The rains wrecked and ravaged and washed away lives and the means of living. Roots were upended and trees washed away. Gardens and fields were swelled and swept down. Even their great shining ship slipped and sank into the sand.

All the superior tools within were withheld from them now. It’s chrome-bright, unbreakable alloy walls and overturned hatch would keep the settlers from their best equipment.

The adults stood in a quiet circle, tense and terse from their long, tight confinements together. Crowded, unwashed, and worried, they felt their thin reserves draining. Only the most untended gardens and fields had survived. The reclaiming weeds and grasses had held fruitful invaders and precious soil in place. The yields from these plots would likely be low, even with forthcoming aid from better gardeners.

There would be enough time for another planting if the rains held off long enough. At best there would only be one or two harvests. Even at the heart of summer, the adults felt the cold weight of looming winter.

For several nights, the children had gotten to sleep in crowded giggling piles with their friends. They had invented games centered upon the overfilled confines of the small community’s best-built shelters. Finally outside, the children capered about and played in the myriad of grass-bottomed makeshift streams. They looked across the rolling fields and laughed at how they wetly sparkled in the sun. The children babbled merrily along with the overburden of brooks. They grabbed at the hundreds of hurried tadpoles wriggling though the glassy waters.

Eventually Ardy Hardgrave snorted with derision at the morose assembly and went to watch his daughter play.

She smiled at him from her gangling crouch on the verdant creek side. He watched the half transparent and wholly innumerable tadpoles for quite some time before he understood what would come next.

The first harvest of the summer would be frogs. The rain had brought them a secret blessing of meat.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015

empty lightning

Soft wind-driven rain cascaded like crashing waves of silver static. The parking lot was empty and poorly lit by orange lights swaying drunkenly in the breeze.

The last drag of the cigarette burned her working lungs as she powered ahead, but Jen’s hungry chest demanded more. Her purple poncho’s hood was shield enough to lite another. She quickened her pace as thunder rolled somewhere in the distance.

Everyone she passed at this hour was suspect. Most, however, seemed concerned enough by the rain to hurry. The empty-eyed never hurried, until they tried to turn you.

Still, she flinched at every silhouette and every echoed footstep. Jen stayed home whenever she could, but somebody saw a crack in the sky above Alabama Ave. Somebody had to check it out, and Cassandra couldn’t be in two places at once.

So Jen found herself jogging out of an alleyway near Alabama and Green at nearly midnight with a thunderstorm on the way. Her stomach dropped down to her feet and her pulse pounded through her temples.

Almost involuntarily she looked up. There it was. A blue-glowing fractal gash was ripping its slow way into reality. Jen felt a slimy pressure building behind her eyes.

With almost automatic movements she tore the cigarette from her lips and smashed the burning ember into her own wrist. That bright point of pain bought her enough time to collapse onto the sidewalk.

It was all she could do to turn away from the light’s surreal insistence of observation. Foot by foot she haltingly crawled away. The uneven concrete tore through her sweatpants and skin. Each new abrasion became another point of herself to hold onto.

Finally she crawled into the dim alleyway. She tried to catch her breath, but without the light’s suppression adrenaline was suddenly flooding her system. At some point, despite her mounting panic, Jen dared to glance down Alabama Ave. Perhaps 20-30 people were staring emptily at the jagged light above them.

With shaking hands she barely managed to call Cassandra.

“It… it’s still here. It’s fucking growing, Cassandra. It’s staying, and it’s growing. What the fuck do we do now?!”

***

Referencing this and this.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

dust on dead rose petals

Barren and widespread, soft sands of granite pink and basaltic black spread all the way to the smoke-and-rose horizon. Limp winds and sad gravity slowly worked their lackluster entropy. Rare and ragged boulders merely foiled the wide monotony of the endless pink desert.

The lacking gravity felt countered by the weight of that dead, empty space as she plodded ahead in profound solitude. Her only companions were the sound of recycled air blowing through her broad helmet and the plastic creaking of her thin-walled servi-suit.

For ages, she walked through that wretched empty place, without hope. No one knew she was here. There was no reason for anyone to be here; her long, listless journey to understand the great black void sent her crashing into a dead pink planet.

She’d hoped to overturn inspiration, to wrench meaning from space, to hear the songs of distant stars. Instead, she would die alone, only to be buried through slow centuries beneath ugly pastel sand.

She fell so deeply into herself, she nearly missed the golden runes glittering in the weak light of a faraway star. An electric shock of sudden discovery flashed through her chest. The monotone reality around her, made it difficult to discern anything but muddy pinks. After too many skipped heartbeats she could see the outline of a small, round portal beneath a bold, yellow, and alien glyph.

The door crumbled beneath her tentative touch though she did not remember reaching for it. Brilliant seascape blues and soft neon greens beckoned in the corridor before her. Vibrant living reds and deep midnight purples were promised somewhere towards the hallway’s branching end. Her black eyes grew wet and wide. Her full lips parted into an unfamiliar smile.

She stepped forward into unknown reaches, teaming with living lights.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

it hates

It hates. It hates in ways you do not understand.

On legs too thin, it stumbles through the thick woods. Long, strong arms end in long, crook’d claws. It reaches and rends. It is not quite fur and not quite down that covers the bulbous body, although, it mats into hard ragged snarls.

It is stunningly strong, though it hates its weak legs. Its fierce beak may pierce and rend through mail and men, though it is too small to satisfy its hunger. It cannot have enough blood to slake its superlative thirst.

It is chimeric and awful. It knows this.

Every unnatural step is painful on legs that refuse to grow stronger. Every desperate breath through nostrils too small keeps its aching lungs desperate for more. Its eyes are the preternatural yellow of an owl’s, but it sees no better than a myopic bear.

It lusts after diurnal drives and covets a nocturnal life. Instead, it must stagger through angry twilight dreaming of the sky and useless on the ground.

Is it any wonder, what it does when some fortunate soul saunters within its reach? It hates your sturdy legs. It hates your easy vision and calm, full breath. It hates the continuity of your skin and the cooperation of your bones. It hates your adequate mouth and every moment you’ve known no hunger.

It cannot comprehend contentment. If it could, it would hate you all the more.

Image by the incomparable +Matthew Adams. Absolutely the inspiration for the words above.
Also totally not my (c).

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

why the chicken cannot truly fly

When Old Chicken was yet Jungle Bird, she flew through the heavy air. She made her home in the trees and slept safe. When fierce jungle things or wily men threw dart or claw, she fluttered through wet air and landed safe amongst the trees.

By the coming of Men, Watching Squirrel had had many children. They spread wide through the world, hording all they could. Ever were the squirrels wary of Winter.

One day, Watching Squirrel’s cleverest Daughter saw Jungle Bird fly flee from hungry men and huge fat cats in the same shadowed afternoon. Squirrel’s Daughter watched and watched, always patient; she spied for years until she could see the secret of flight.

Only then, did she slip up to the Old Roost. Most foul, the squirrel stole a piece of flight while Jungle Bird yet slept.

Squirrel’s Clever Daughter had fouled the theft and only could glide. Still though, she rode the winds to new places and crossed wide seas.

Jungle bird awoke as the near flightless Old Chicken. Stories say she struck fast bargains with strange magics and hungry men, and stills roosts with us today. We protect her yet, and she still feeds us on hidden gold.

But how was it she hid gold inside her egg?

That is another story for another time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

languid gambol

The night sky stretched out above and below her. The dim, distant shimmer of streetlights beneath were washed away in the moon’s full radiance. Her long fingers led, and her full figure followed. She flowed forward and back to unheard drums, striking sudden and dramatic stances.

With each wild pirouette the moonlight swelled in quiet crescendo. With each poignant pause, gauzy, cirrus striations shadowed the naked hilltop.

She was flush and well-past-filled in the long ecstatic tease of her windswept, birdsong ballet. Her foot work flitted towards frenzy. The moon dropped dizzily toward the horizon. The crickets waxed in their elegant cacophony.

Slowly she collapsed, gasping and florid even as the swollen moon was rent in twain by the still standing stone. She writhed bare upon the earth, looking up.

There did the fireflies continue her wild gambol. The moon fell contentedly away behind the horizon. She felt the cool breeze caress and lightly kiss her still-burning lips.

With a long and languid breath, she smiled. It was set.

Friday, May 1, 2015

...but god hates

He came into the store again. It was awful and made Alden nervous and giddy. Alden couldn’t help it.

Alden hated himself for it. The guy’s jaw was just so perfect, so strong. He smelled like the sun, too, like warm dry grass and rough labor. Alden just wanted to melt; he wanted to offer himself up, right then and there.

After the man left, Alden stared emptily out the gas station window. The hot, strong summer light was stripped away to weak envy by dusty, tinted panes. The broad windows were so covered in bad checks and flyers, what should have been wide countryside was reduced to haphazard and contextless squares.

Hard-set lines descended from the corner of his unhappy mouth. Cold, dry guilt had killed completely every ounce of his flushing desire. It was an abomination. Why did he feel this way? He couldn’t feel this way. He couldn’t need a man like that. He couldn’t. He couldn’t be a fag. It was too terrible…

He tried to fight the thoughts away, but the long silence of his job left him no such solace. Why did Alden have to feel this way? Why couldn’t he just get raped?

It wouldn’t be his fault, then. He could get what he wanted and wouldn’t have to hate himself.

He hated himself even more for the final thought.

And so he stewed in self-loathing, without reason. Jesus loves everyone, but god hates fags.