Untitled, 5/3/11.

On November 18, 1985,
During some inconspicuous hour
On an inconspicuous street,
Unbeknownst to you,
Or anyone else
In that inconspicuous suburb
of Manhattan,
You picked up your needles

And you began to knit.

Purl Stitch
You knitted stockings and perfect curls
You embroidered manners
Appliqued femininity in pink
I tried not to cry at the occasional prick
Or the heat of the iron

Plain Stitch
You knitted food
Feeding feelings
That lurked beneath the shadow knit
The ovaries overloaded,
Misappropriated, cystic.
I clutched my pillow in patient agony,
And bled.

Welting
Is a technique in which purl and plain stitches alternate,
Producing a rippled effect.
It can be decorated in a number of ways, but the foundation is always the same.
Inconstant.
Two irreconcilable halves forced together by a bit of thread.

Barely enough to cover my freezing flesh.
No chance at warmth with
The front door wide open
Behind iron bars, and the foundation missing.

There was no double knit.
No second set of needles.
Like a weaving, I was made to stretch only along the bias.

25 Years later I review your work

Grasp a thread.

And begin to pull.

Freewrite: Snow that isn’t Snow.

From the writer’s workshop at the Astoria Bookshop.  Unedited. Terribly punctuated. It’s gold, people. HA HA HA.

What the hell do you mean, “Snow that isn’t snow”.  I mean, seriously.  I’m thinking of ashes in my eyelashes, thinking of debris, thinking of standing outside on the curb because my house has just burned down. It’s December, and while I’m grateful to have some heat in my newfound homelessness, I’m not entirely happy that I’m going to be spending tonight outside. Unless, of course, fireman O’Leary decides he needs some company tonight.

I don’t have a family. They left me years ago.

Why?

I’d love to explain, but all the proof has just gone up in flames. If you look hard enough into the haze you might be able to make out the specter of a reason, somewhere in the bits of string, smoldering alongside tattered upholstery, the pillows, the sheets, and the floors we walked before the war took him away.

They (my family) never liked him. And now that he’s gone, really gone, I wonder whether I did the right thing. I wonder whether the few years we had together justified two bereavements: first my family, and then him. No, three, when you count the cinders lapping at the edges of my robe.

No place to go.

In the extreme.

That’s all this is.

Maybe this is all the excuse I’ll need to just take to the open road, finally… To go out there and see what I’ve never seen and do all the things I’ve never done and drive far, far away from this old world, which is (literally) burning at my feet.

Some people would give anything to be on the edge of this moment. I question whether they would feel that way if they had to pay the same price.

Someone puts their arm round me, I don’t know who. I stand there, petrified, unable to discern whether it’s from shock, or cold, or both. And all I can think, suddenly, is.. that smell. The smell. It’s like a fireplace doped up on burning rubber and melamine fumes. Like something that’s supposed to be warm and comforting gone terribly wrong. Kind of like my relationship with Jon.

I can’t help but smirk at the irony: an explosive expert’s kingdom ruined in an untimely blaze just like its king. So much for going out with a bang.

I hear sirens, water, footsteps, and gawking. Endless gawking. But nothing is so overwhelming as the smell, the smell… the smell. That smell and suddenly I’m transported to that night on that stupid beach. It was late August, and I have no idea why we were even there. And it was cold as hell.

“Hey, you wanna build a bonfire?”, he had asked.

“Yeah, do you?” I said.

“Yeah. Let’s do it.”

So we did. And then we danced, for a little while.  I said, yes, but somehow I don’t think I was answering the same question he thought he was asking.  We were married a week later, practically under duress, as his deployment was imminent.

Portraits: Photo Series 1

By Air, Land and Sea: Photo Series 1.

The Liebster Awards…

liebsterWell, it  looks like I’ve been nominated for the Liebster awards. Never heard of ’em? Me either! Here’s how it works:

  1. You get nominated.
  2. You answer the questions your sender gives you, and make sure you link back to their blog.
  3. You draft your own 11 questions and nominate up to 11 more people.
  4. Then, you tell them so, so they can participate.

Catherine, who lives at http://blog.takingteawithcatherine.com/ wants to know: 

  • What’s a project your’e currently working on?
    1. 6 self portraits in 6 days. Also, (ironically) purging my photo albums at home. 
  • Name a book you’re really into right now.
    • Just started both Ashley’s War and the Lathe of Heaven. 
  • You can automatically speak and read another language besides your mother tongue fluently. Which language would you choose?
    • Chinese. Because, why not?  I’m sure it will be very useful in the business world. 
  • What grammatical or spelling error really grinds your gears?
    • When people say “Axe” instead of “Ask”.
  • You’re planning a family/friend/fellow blogger/League of Evil gathering, and money is no object. In what location would this gathering take place, and why?
    • Space. Because I’ll never get there otherwise and I know it would change me forever.
  • Has your writing been published elsewhere?
    • No.
  • What’s your shower song?
    • Depends. I’ve had good success with Muse and Amanda Palmer, though.
  • What’s something that you view as a waste of time, not counting these questions?
    • Ha ha ha. Empty compliments and other pleasantries that typically precede a request for me to do something.
  • Which sense leads you the most?
    • No idea. I’m going to go with the most human answer and say vision.
  • First concert?
    • Alkaios. I think it was 1999 or 2000
  • Who sees you without makeup?
    • Everyone. I go “naked” very often.

Funny enough, my sender nominated almost everyone I know who has a public blog…so, I’m at a bit of a loss to comply here. If you’d like to volunteer, please say so in the comments. Meanwhile, Stefanie, my lone un-invited blogger… I choose you!  Stefanie lives here: https://stefanielepape.wordpress.com/

  1. What goes through your head when you meet a new person?
  2. When was the last time you tried something totally new, and how was it?
  3. Do you read? What was the last thing you read? If not, list the last song you listened to.
  4. Favorite color for today. Doesn’t have to be in general.
  5. What do you like the most about your closest friend?
  6. What do you like the least about yourself?
  7. Which superpower do you wish you had, today?
  8. You need to choose a sense to sacrifice. Which one?
  9. You have unlimited power for one hour. What do you do?
  10. What was the last thing you ate?
  11. Toilet Paper. Does the “tail” hang in the front, or the back?

Happy Liebstering…