Tuo bel cielo

August 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Skrifa) (, , , )

It is going to rain. Air that is sweet with the darkening sky kisses her bows and she remembers, dreaming, as she is tipped back and forth by ripples of brackish water. Look! Here, under the water line, a scar where a great fish, heaving against an enemy he couldn’t see, has dented her belly. At her stern, white letters spell her name: “Aida”.

A sea bird shits on her deck. He lands and ruffles his feathers, and stares over the water. She provides a good lookout for fishing, but he’d found a newly discarded pile of crab shells in the afternoon and later, a fried dinner that someone had left behind. He’d gorged on potato, on fish skin coated in batter that had been picked from the flesh underneath, bending his neck into the plastic basket with its fluttering red gingham wax paper so comically that a family of people sitting a few tables away had not bothered to shoo him.

He preens – combing each feather. He has all the time in the world.

The wind picks up. It blows a breath of salt from over the cold oceans of the wild North into the bay. Her cabin doors – on springs that have been weakened by salt and water – knock against her stairs. An adult man must bend at the waist to enter, but the seagull has no such trouble. He sees the rain coming to the bay. He’s been inside empty human dwellings before, and this one smells dank and unused. If he sleeps through the storm he will be able to weather it easily.

At first he beds down on the stairs, under the overhang. Once the rain begins, clattering over her glass and washing her deck, wet air sweeps down her stairs and musses his feathers. He shakes droplets from his head and beak. Her slatted cabin doors are open – their maple, varnished many times, glows even in the dim evening sunlight.

She doesn’t feel him enter the cabin; how could she? Her motor pulls her into the water half-an-inch more than she was built to lie. It is a working motor, started with a switch, not with a pull-rope, and was put there when her last motor had rusted so that the blades could no longer move, by a fisherman, who had bought her and restored her. It hangs above the water, a promise, a little menacing, rain water sluicing down its sides.

The seagull turns his head, not side to side, as humans are wont to do, but around: parallel to floor right, perpendicular, parallel left – his eyes aren’t used to the dim light. Nothing moves. He walks forward, this time turning his head on its vertical axis and back again. No, the cubby bathroom is uninteresting. But! There is a table.

He hops onto it, sharpens his beak on one rounded, metal-tipped corner. There isn’t any food in sight. He lies on the table, next to one of her gaping, sleeping eyes, settling his feathers. He sleeps, and dreams with her, peculiar dreams.

“What do you think, baby?”

“Yeah, it’s great. Real great, John.”

“Oh god, I love it when you wear lingerie-”

The girl rolls her eyes, and reaches over him to pour herself another shot of vodka, and she notices (she can’t help noticing) that he has a mole right under the slight overhang of his left nipple. His chest hair is white.

He doesn’t take his eyes from her breasts. She can make all the faces she wants.

“I do everything for you,” he says, breathing wetly into her stomach. She lets him do whatever, and concentrates on the clink of the ice in her glass. She stares out the porthole, glassily, stares at her car in the marina’s parking lot, at the bleached white bones of the docks, not really seeing, until there are hot pink pumps nearly in her face.

She starts, spilling vodka on him.

“Jenny, what the fuck?” he yells.

She scrambles off the bed, breathing. She hides under the table. She sees the hot pink pumps clack down the stairs, come under the swinging cabin doors.

“Oh god,” says her lover, more from disgust than fear. “What?”

Jenny is dragged from her hiding place by the elbow. Her lover’s wife spits in her face, then turns and says, “You’re an idiot, John.” She turns back to Jenny. “Did you even want my goddamn boat named after you?”

“No,”Jenny says. She likes his wife more than she likes him.

The seagull tucks his bill into the other side of his wings. The dreams don’t bother him. Outside, the rain is a sheet, churning the surface of the bay. He is lucky to have found her.

The sun sets sometime during the rain, but the clouds are still weeping violent tears. The seagull is not a night bird but after a few hours he wakes and sets about rummaging for food. There are cupboards, and they are within reach. The upper cupboards are closed, but one on the bottom, next to the floor, has come open.

He tosses aside a box of pancake mix. There is a hole in it, and it spills out over the linoleum floor. Behind that, crackers. These are open. He disembowels the box on the floor. The trash can smells faintly of fish; at the bottom there is a mostly eaten tin of partially rotten sardines, which he eats.

This time he sleeps on the bunk, bare of any sheets. It has only a foam mattress with a plastic green and white striped cover. He did not remember her dreams in his search for something to eat. They have continued in his absence.

He sees a man in sailing shorts, a striped polo shirt. The man’s hair is gold, parted on the side. A small girl clings to his striped kneesocks.

“Daddy?” she says.

“Mmm,” he replies. He is checking the compass.

“Daddy?”

“Just a minute, girly.”

“Daddy?”

He ignores her, putting the boat in a higher gear, altering course slightly.

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Can I have some juice?”

“Ask Mommy, sweet pie.”

She turns around, not steady on her feet. She holds to his knees still with one hand. Her cheek is pressed to his thigh.

“Mommy?” she calls, over the spray and the sound of the motor.

A woman comes out of the cabin, hitting her shoulder on the door frame, and exclaiming involuntarily. “Yes?”

“Are you okay, Mommy?”

“I’ll be fine. What is it?”

“Can I have some juice?”

Her mother nods. “In a minute.” She puts her hand on her husband’s shoulder. “How’s she doing?”

“Beautiful,” he says. “What a beaut.” He thumps the wheel affectionately. “Our Aida.”

The little girl is grumpy. “What about me?” she says.

He looks down at her. “She’ll be yours when you’re old enough, goof.”

“Okay, Daddy.”

“And then you can name her whatever you want.”

“No,” says the little girl. “That was a pretty name, the one you said was pretty. I wish that was my name.”

In the morning, the gull suns himself on her deck. The cabin, though it had been safe, was damp. The bay is olive green in the bright sun, but there is some ocean blue mixed with the rich mud, where the clams lie and crabs jerk their limbs, swimming with the current that sweeps in and out with the ocean. At about ten o’clock, the seagull leaves her. She doesn’t notice his departure. He flies out to sea, out to the deep waters, where the storms can kill him, where he must sometimes sleep on the ocean, tossed about like a toy over the waves.

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Anger & Acceptance

June 24, 2010 at 2:07 am (Fróðleikr) (, , , , )

My better half can be extremely stubborn. Whatever the consequences for him, and however I grieve for the opportunities he has missed, I am grateful.

He has taught me to be less controlling.

I’m not, by-and-large, controlling. I like to look after people, if I can, and I often let that overwhelming desire to please and support get the best of me, especially when the attention is not wanted, nor needed.

I think it’s genetic. My mother is the same.

I have found new peace. My life is my life, and your life is your life, and even though we’re linked inextricably, I will not live my life through you, nor will you live yours through me. We are separate people, and we thrive that way.

I love you, sweetheart.

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Competition Piece – Descent

May 2, 2010 at 1:40 am (Skrifa) (, , )

Informal forum writing competition entry.

Prompt (which I took very literally):

Piece:

Descent

At the front of the bowl-shaped crevice, slick with moss, there is a small pebble. I must push it a little to the side, so that it falls. It is rough-surfaced, not smooth. I shift my index finger over, press it against the pebble – which tilts a bit, and doesn’t move. Again. The pebble rolls over once. Again. The pebble falls.

My next task is to wedge my index finger into this crevice. It stretches the tendons in my hands a bit, but I manage. My fingers would shake had I not stuffed them, with great care, into cracks in the rock. The grit on my ruined skin provides traction.

My middle finger will not come out, and I have to move it. If I pull it violently, it will come, but will be useless to me. I guide it left, right, and it is free. About two inches above my index finger is a crack I intend my middle finger to occupy. When I have pushed it into the crack enough to feel the rock biting my bones, I begin to move my third and fourth fingers. There is no space big enough for my thumb.

My left hand is secure. I could hang my entire body from it if my fingers were not pulled from my hand. I do not know whether they would be.

I shake my head, tilt it back on my shoulders. I have no hands free to move my hair from my eyes, so I must wait until the wind takes it.

I set about moving my right foot. The rain gets in my eyes, and I blink them rapidly. I will wait for the wind to change direction. It is rare that I find a gap in the rock big enough to fit my feet, and my right eye does not see clearly; its surface has been damaged by the ends of my hair thrashing against it. I must search for a crack with my foot. My toes are senseless to gentle touch: the meat of them has long since been exposed. I must hit the rock roughly to feel any gaps.

I am lucky. I find a crack big enough to fit my first and second toes. I look up, to my right hand. Gravel hits my forehead. I close my eyes and pull back, instinctively, but thankfully do not dislodge either hand or foot. Above me, the horse paces.

“Leave!” I scream at him. The wind takes the words from my tongue. I spit out gravel.

I pull away from the rock face, now that I know it is safe, and turn my lips to the rain. I manage to catch a few drops.

My right hand is bleeding. I must wait here for the blood to thicken. If I try to move it now, it will be too slick to hold my weight. It is difficult to wait. If I relax, I rely only on the ability of my flesh to remain coherent to save me from plummeting to the water below. I shift some of my weight to my right foot, and inspect my hand. My fingers are mostly hidden in the rock, and so I cannot see anything.

When I remove my middle finger, I find that I have dislodged the fingernail. At first I do not know what to do. My other fingers are suitably situated, and I do not want to free my entire hand; the thought terrifies me.

When first I began my descent, I relied on the strength of my fingers rather than their substance. I am low enough now that the rock is slick with not only rain, but the spray of waves.

I curl my finger under itself, and press my fingernail against the rock. I push it back into place as best as I am able. It is not secure, but if I am careful I will avoid losing it altogether.

I turn my face to the darkened sky. It has not cursed me with a tempest, for which I am grateful. Through the scratches on my right eye shines a warming breath of filtered sunlight, but it is even so too bright, and I close my eyes for a moment, letting the sun warm my cheek.

The thick rain clouds rush in to close the gap, and I turn back to my busywork. Another ten feet, and there is another slight shower of sand and pebbles. Perhaps it is not the horse. It has been so many hours; I have removed his saddle and bridle. He will have left to graze. Perhaps it is a sea bird. Perhaps someone has come to steal the horse’s abandoned tack. They are welcome to it.

I must be careful next I move my left foot. There is a sharp outcropping of rock that will otherwise shear open my bare leg, already so scratched. I am careful, but it is not enough; I am tired and uncoordinated. I slip. A gash opens in my leg.

I wedge my foot in the crack I had intended for it before I look down. When I do, I am unable to see the extent of the cut, but it is very bad.

I take a breath, and I shout at the rock – without any words. A door opens.

A door, in the rock? A doorway, but no door. It is a few feet to my left, and if I am able to reach it, and if it is there, I will be able to sleep.

I take my time reaching it. I cannot make a mistake. It is really there; when I put my hand inside, I feel smoothness. I will not be able to enter the doorway if the rock is entirely smooth; my strength is gone. The sun is setting. I will scrabble uselessly, unable to find a purchase, and fall.

It is entirely smoothed, but I do not fall. The rock itself is porous, and provides some grip. I am able to slowly maneuver myself inside the chamber.

I do not care that the surface is bare rock; I fall asleep immediately, my face where the wall meets the floor, my stomach in a puddle, my toes only inches from the edge.

I dream of the crinkles by her eyes. I dream that I am stuck in a deep pit and cannot climb out, and that someone is pouring water over the lip.

In the middle of dreaming, I discover that I am awake, and sitting at the edge of the doorway. The ocean boils. I hear her wailing and I leap to my feet. A bird wheels over the water, and I am convinced that it will grab her and take her to its young. I must leave. I must find her and save her. I kneel on my savaged knees, begin to lower myself to the rock face.

There is a hand on my shoulder. I stand, and turn, but it turns with me. Little mother, it says. Be calm.

“Too late,” I reply. I turn in the other direction. The hand remains.

Yes, you will die in turmoil.

“As I must!” I say.

As you ought.

“Then I will not be at peace.”

Be calm.

I do not fully wake. I cannot feel my fingers, nor my toes, but they have held me securely. I can feel my wrists and my elbows unknit. My shoulders seem to be stretching, but are perhaps not yet entirely dislocated.

My right eye is swollen shut; I suppose the side of my face hit the stone when I lost consciousness. I pull myself up a bit. The dark rock is warm, heating my face uncomfortably. It is sunny. Morning. The blood on my face is dry. My hair is dry. I look up the cliff, and I cannot see the top. I do not have the strength to climb up. Patches of green moss dot the surface of the rock.

I am calm. I twist around, look out over the choppy sea. There is a steam ship, not far from shore – people walking about on deck. It is a beautiful sight. I look down. I can see no pieces of ivory terrycloth, only boulders bathed in spray and the churning water.

I wrench my hands from their holds and launch myself out into the rocks and the sea. I was right. I can still rescue her. I made a mistake. I will come. Wait for me.

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Blending Dreams with Reality

April 25, 2010 at 10:00 pm (Uncategorized)

I am still able to distinguish my dreams from my waking life. There are occasions when I have had trouble determining whether a far-distant memory of my very young childhood is fact or fiction, but these are extremely rare. More commonly, I experience memories of the long past in a similar way to memories of dreams, without confusing one for the other. I can see how this slight blurring of perception could develop, in some very isolated, desperate minds – though they are sane – into a blurring, and eventually deletion of the boundary between their perceptions of reality and their perceptions of dreaming. Perhaps in some cases such a state does not require desperation nor true isolation, but is rather the product of a self-imposed isolation due to a perceptual difference between the mind and others. Those who are convinced of their inalienable intellectual superiority may begin to confuse thought with truth.

What is it that makes isolation the font of delusion? Other people are certainly an important check when determining which of our conclusions and perceptions are valid.

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Staying Up Late

April 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm (Uncategorized)

I have been awake for 23 hours. My arms are shaking from the shoulder as I type.

I will fix my schedule.

Yeah and with this soundtrack:
Osmos soundtrack

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Good Poetry/Bad Poetry

April 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm (Smáskitligr) (, , , )

What is generally considered the worst poem written in the English language:

A Tragedy
by Theophilus Marzials

Death!
Plop.

The barges down in the river flop.

Flop, plop.

Above, beneath.

From the slimy branches the grey drips drop,
As they scraggle black on the thin grey sky,
Where the black cloud rack-hackles drizzle and fly
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop
On the black scrag piles, where the loose cords plop,
As the raw wind whines in the thin tree-top.

Plop, plop.

And scudding by

The boatmen call out hoy! and hey!
All is running water and sky,

And my head shrieks — “Stop,”
And my heart shrieks — “Die.”

* * * * *
My thought is running out of my head;
My love is running out of my heart,
My soul runs after, and leaves me as dead,
For my life runs after to catch them — and fled
They all are every one! — and I stand, and start,
At the water that oozes up, plop and plop,
On the barges that flop
And dizzy me dead.
I might reel and drop.
Plop.
Dead.

And the shrill wind whines in the thin tree-top
Flop, plop.
* * * * *
A curse on him.
Ugh! yet I knew — I knew —
If a woman is false can a friend be true?
It was only a lie from beginning to end —

My Devil — My “Friend”

I had trusted the whole of my living to!

Ugh; and I knew!

Ugh!

So what do I care,

And my head is empty as air —

I can do,
I can dare,

(Plop, plop
The barges flop
Drip drop.)

I can dare! I can dare!

And let myself all run away with my head
And stop.

Drop.
Dead.

Plop, flop.

Plop.

Now let’s read my favourite poem, by my favourite poet:

WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

– John Keats

I am certain this has been said before, but the only tragedy present in Marzials’ poem is the poem and possibly – on a different, transcendental plane – the poet.

As an interesting side-note, Marzials was also a musician:

Pan Pipes - Theo Marzials

Pan Pipes - Theo Marzials

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An Omegle Transcript

April 9, 2010 at 8:43 am (Skrifa) (, , , , , , )

You: got any weird secrets?
Stranger: um no u
You: yep
You: i think everyone does
You: here’s mine: i’m an atheist
Stranger: oh im satonic
You: ah!
You: modern satanism or satanism as the church sees it?
You: satanism in the tradition of william blake?
You: because that’s just secular humanism, really 😉
Stranger: mean satanic church of satan
You: yeah but
You: the satanic church has split into facitons
You: factions**
You: the “man is central” faction
You: and the “we worship demons and think they’re real and we do magic and stuff” faction
Stranger: k
You: at least i thought it had
Stranger: wat about the necromandian book of death
You: the necronomicon?
You: that was in evil dead.
You: sorry i didn’t recognize the name so i googled it
Stranger: it cover is made of human skin and the words are written in blood
You: and you have one of these?
Stranger: no only one in extices or w.e in the world it was lost over seas and it had the power to control the world but its possible to get a copy but not its self
You: congrats, you have been the most interesting person i’ve talked to on here tonight
You: worst speller, but most interesting
You: snaps for you
Stranger: cuz im on my cell
You: on your cell?
You: they have a phone app for omegle?
You: wow, technology
Stranger: i no iz wierd
You: i’m still using one of them nokia lipstick phones
You: style over substance
Stranger: i got a nokia toucn screen n im here
You: so you’re out doing stuff then
You: or just not at a computer
Stranger: not at it jus layin down
You: by the way, if you have some sort of powers of darkness or know anyone who does, i would like to live forever
You: i’m only kind of joking here
Stranger: do u love ur family?
You: what’s left of it
Stranger: then if u were imortal ued see ur family die ur kids die ur wife die ur grandchildren die every one u could love will die and u l be stuck on the planet
You: 1. i am a woman
You: 2. i’m not having kids
You: 3.
You: i’ve seen so many people die
You: all i know is i don’t want to do it ever
Stranger: ok i wouldnt care all i want is world domination and i will have it
You: i’ll look for the guy with the nokia
You: and i’ll say, “Hey, you remember me; we talked on omegle”
You: and then you’ll still have me executed
You: because world domination is never leaving any witnesses
You: i took a meyers-briggs once
Stranger: i will enslave the human race bring back the pastwhen the killing of man was a sport in rome
You: the guy who tested me told my mother that he’d never seen anything like it
You: he said, “watch out for her”
You: question: if you enslave the entire human race
You: who are they going to be slaves to?
You: who holds the whips?
Stranger: i will create the ultimate race the return or the aryans pure germans the thing hitler coulnd accomplish i will

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Mina May and frYars

April 8, 2010 at 12:57 am (Fróðleikr) (, , , , , )

I am once again cooler than you. However, they’re both French and obscure, which quite possibly makes them too cool for me.

Heavenly Priorities – Mina May
Plump juicy electronic rock.


Emaciated electronic new wave indie.

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Pixels and Filters

April 6, 2010 at 7:21 am (Skrifa) (, , )


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Ink and Paper

April 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm (Skrifa) (, , , )

Done with coloured india inks on vellum.

Done with coloured inks on vellum.

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