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Feb. 10th, 2006 @ 10:43 am Untitled Map Story Assignment
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: Suteki Da Ne
“Yeah? Well I triple-dog-dare you to carve your name on the Gypsy Tree!”
Why did that always work? Seriously, you’d go in for oral surgery with no anesthetic at that age if those three little words were attached. Yet there I was, my BMX bike (with the mag wheels that I *had* to have even though I had know idea why) lying discarded because only geeks used the kickstand, slowly walking through the small patch of woods behind Shawn’s house toward the Tallgrass with a knife in my hand that was better used for carving turkey, ready to carve my name into a tree that would surely signal the thumbing of my nose at an entity that would gladly break into my house and take me to that one place that every kid fears: Away.
I was actually supposed to just be riding around the Ryan Track on my new bike that I’d recently gotten the training wheels removed from, because yes, I was ready to graduate from the E.T. Big Wheel with the plastic handbrake that just made grating sounds rather than actually stopping you. I had ridden down Stony Point past the Church of Nazareth that would later become a nail salon and a Starbucks, turned onto the Track, and was simply riding along with the glee that I was doing it all By Myself when I saw a group of kids my age, stopped, and just starting talking to them because it’s just one of those things you can do at that age, kind of like how you can fall in a way that later in life would shatter your hip but then you only giggle and do it again until you get bored.
“…down in my basement, you know? And I hid in it, ‘cause I knew he was on the other side and then I was in this desert and there he was! So I climbed out of the box and ran back upstairs before he could get me.”
The story was being regaled by Shawn, who had the dirty blond mop-top and a tendency to wear brown, while Mike, Steve, T.J., and Dan all responded with various retorts and supports, all of them just sitting out on the front lawn of Shawn’s house. When I rode up they didn’t pay attention, and when I responded “What are you all talking about?” they all gave me the story:
There was a field out behind Shawn’s house that never got developed by Ryan Homes, who built the Track, and it became overgrown, so it was call the Tallgrass because, well, the grass was tall there. It was a prime place to play hide and seek because all you had to do was duck and you’d be properly hidden. Near the border was a tall and old white birch covered in carvings of names, usually pairings of male and female, but all the names were of people he didn’t live in the track, save a few who lived on the other side but that was unbeknownst to us.
So the story that got built was that there was a thing that lived in the Tallgrass called The Sandman, a cross between Jason and Darth Vader with a whole lot of tubes, and he would find ways to get into your house and Take You Away if you went into the Tallgrass even once after dark.
But the real clincher was to carve your name on the Gypsy Tree.
The same white birch with all the names on it that was probably carved up by a plethora of horny teenagers was thought by us to be a list of the people that the Sandman had Taken Away, and no one knew who any of them were, because that was one of the consequences of being Taken Away: no one would remember you. So carving your name on the Gypsy Tree was a way of saying, “Come get me.”
So after hearing all of this, my response to them was, “I think you’re all rationalizing your fears of abandonment and neglect by creating a shared delusion that you can all reinforce with logic that’s circumstantial at best.”
Damn my parents for all of those vocabulary lessons and “gifted programs”. This is why I didn’t really have any friends until I discovered profanity.
Which brings us back to the beginning. The dare.
So Shawn gave me a knife he boosted from his mother’s cutlery set and they all followed me out to the tree, muttering about how crazy this was, that I didn’t really know what was going on, everything that I knew wouldn’t get to me but it did anyway. I wanted to drop the knife and just run back to my bike and ride it back home and never come out of my room for fear that The Sandman was, in fact, going to emerge from my closet one night and drag me screaming into the dark.
They kept going through all the various and sometimes contradicting rules regarding proper conduct regarding avoiding The Sandman, and I’ll admit that I bought most of them, my defensive wall of psychobabble quickly eroding because even I didn’t know what exactly most of it meant.
So when I carved my name, I made a few little rules myself, I shared in the delusion:
He wouldn’t find me because I didn’t use my last name.
He wouldn’t find me because I didn’t live in the Track.
And most importantly, he wouldn’t find me because my bedroom carpet turned into water after bedtime and Jaws was slowly prowling those yellow shag depths and would devour said Sandman with ease because Jaws was just bigger and that, of course, made all the difference.
Of course, dares are forgotten within the hour, it’s simply their nature, so when we played freeze tag in the Tallgrass afterward we all felt safe from potential capture.
I mean, it’s not like we were playing Hide and Seek. That would just be *crazy*.
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Feb. 6th, 2006 @ 08:32 am Kid Fears
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: Iron Maiden - "Run To The Hills"
((This was done for EWA 207, Nature of Non-Fiction. It's called the "Child's Voice" assignment.))

The June bugs are early this year.
They’re supposed to be here on June 1st, that’s what Dad said, but it’s May 22nd and they’re not supposed to be here but here they are and I can’t see outside the windows and the room is dark because the June bugs are covering the screen on the other side of the window and I hope Dad wasn’t lying when he said they can’t get in.
And it’s past my bedtime so the door is locked and I lost the screwdriver to make it open and I can hear the buzzing on the windows and it’s dark and I’m afraid of crossing the carpet cos it turns into water past my bedtime and Jaws is waiting there for me to stick a toe out from under the covers and the Wicked Witch of the West is waiting to come out from behind the headboard and find the one little bit of me that I haven’t covered completely with my covers so that I can be Safe.
And the buzzing’s getting louder and the screen is shaking and I’m hiding and hoping that nothing will see me cos if they do then they’ll take me Away and the June bugs aren’t supposed to be here this early and please please God make the buzzing stop make the June bugs go away and I’m screaming and crying and screaming for Mom or Dad even though they’ll just say there’s nothing to be scared of and Kim will call me a crybaby again.
And I’m screaming.
And I’m screaming.
And I hear Mom coming up the stairs and she unlocks the door and tells me I’m going to wake up the whole neighborhood and that the June bugs can’t get in and she leaves and Kim asks what’s going on and Mom says “Your brother’s scared of the dark again.”
And then I hear, “Crybaby.”
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Aug. 6th, 2005 @ 01:20 am Waltz For Calliope
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: The woman is so damned fickle... Why do I still love her?
Poetry is War.
A duel of westward souls
Gnawing on bleached bone rhythms
Proclaiming a personal geometry.
Mundane murmurs of serotonin
Emerging from axial debris,
Cutting cold mementos of
Virtue, vice, and light.
A triat of muses on margin call
Jarring from "Muss es sein?"
And no.
I'm finished with drinking the sand.
No longer an
Of the cellar door enraptured
By ten digit lifelines or enthralled
By a bardic impulse.
But as the rhythm slows to shadow...
A bequeathing of an angel headed evening
On a Hollow sort of day.

1:17am | 8/6/2005
by Tim Bristol

Another poem that refused to let me rest until it was written.
Feedback appreciated.

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Mar. 23rd, 2005 @ 03:28 pm Flat Effect
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Linkin Park - "Numb"
"Flat Effect"
And breathe.
Colors soaking in a heart pumping bleach
A ghost riding the wave of society
Giving the past a cursory glance
And breathe.
Slave to the Cynic's chain
Four walls and no window
And breathe.
Grey echoes
Hallways always
Sun through a battered grate
Click click goes the locks
And breathe.
Demons in white linen
Chant a litany of procedure
Shadows shield from the heavy
There is no Panacea.
And breathe.
Prisoners choke on Diva's tears
To escape the key to the door
"Close me.
Name me.
Fix me.
Wash my heart in Betadine."
And breathe.

3:27pm | 3/23/05

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Feb. 14th, 2005 @ 10:36 am Writing Exercise
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Isaac Hayes - "Run Fay Run"
As the group's gone a bit dead recently, here's something to get it going again...

Writing Assignment:
Compose a piece of either poetry, prose, or flash fiction (Story under 750 words) containing the following terms:
Urban archipelago
Cellar door
Razorblade vagina (cos I know that *that's* got to inspire some images)

I'm going to try to make this either a weekly or bi-weekly thing. We've got a lot of fantastic creative minds in this group, so let's show them off. :)

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Dec. 15th, 2004 @ 04:44 pm Petite Mort
Petite MortCollapse )
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Nov. 10th, 2004 @ 10:15 am I Want
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: The Verve - "The Bittersweet Symphony"

"I Want"
I want to move and feel. I want the land and sea and sky in a lacquered frame. I want futility. I want the wind to war against calm and I want comprehend the language of rain. I want intensity. I want a rail ticket and a raincoat and a piano and a lightning strike and 8:37pm. I want romance without a restraining order. I want to break the rules and swear an oath and keep the rhythm to common time. I want my country back. I want to make love in the drowning rain to a man in a leather jacket who's got a heart like a rock in the sea. I want to bottle anger and do shots on family holidays with gritted teeth chasers. I want to spite the cold. I want to scream until my throat bleeds raw and my hands tremble to dust. I want a rose carved in a trust with thorns to drag across my eyes. I want to know where I am. I want to count back from seven-three-oh and find the diva lost in a swoon of peace. I want to hear something better.
And I want it to stop.

Remixed 10:11am || 11/10/04

Let me know what you think.

Unused lines:

I want to catch a leaf before it hits the ground. I want to light a cigarette with a fifty dollar bill. I want to name the sky. I want to rage like silence and fuck like a storm.  I want a soundtrack for my life with bands I've never heard of. I want light.


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Nov. 9th, 2004 @ 12:43 am Acoustic
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: My Chemical Romance

Hazy eyed in a smoke-filled room, she watches him resolutely. Every soft squeak of nylon guitar strings catching her breath at the back of her throat. She sips at her strong coffee, inhales a lungful of her menthol cigarette and watches. He sings beautifully into the microphone and she imagines every word is for her.

Each one a plaster for her fractured heart.
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Oct. 27th, 2004 @ 10:42 pm While You Sleep
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Current Music: Muse
I guess this is my first post. I am so nervous right now. Diana xx

The air is still, silent. The only sound is your constant breathing and the steady rainfall outside the window. I watch the curtains blow in the wind, conjuring images of childhood ghosts. I can feel the cold creeping in. Jack Frost reaching out his icicle fingers to stroke my bare skin. I imagine you waking to find me frozen, a blue corpse with tears of ice stuck to my cheeks. I smile to myself and look at you; eyes shut tight, chest rising and falling steadily. You were tired. You didn’t even have the energy for a post-coital cigarette.

I’m still awake. Wired. Liquid heat is still pooled at my groin; I can still feel you inside me. But my heat is fading in the chilled air of the bedroom. I turn on my side and watch you sleep. Soaking in every detail of your face. The faint scar running down your chin, your slightly too big nose, curved lips that look cruel but could only ever be kind, your long dark eyelashes. I ache for them.

Butterfly kisses; giggle softly as they brush against my cheek.

Your entire body is a canvas. I could spend hours in this gallery of you. The sparse hair of your chest, collecting at your nipples but nowhere else. That bright pink scar running up your stomach, so pale against your naturally tan skin. I run my index finger along it, feeling its indentations, knowing each one is a memory you wish you could escape. The guide line of dark hair running from your belly button to your groin, slightly curling and perfect for wrapping up my fingers. I always find myself drifting there as if I’d left something behind. And down further to that forest of dark, tight curls, home to the source of all my pleasure.

I want to reach out and touch you but I’m afraid you’ll wake.

Down those long, skinny legs that make you so self-conscious to your beautiful feet. Toenails still painted green by a boring Sunday afternoon. I curl up at your side, my head resting on your shoulder, my hand still tracing patterns across your abdomen. I bring my feet up and place them on your legs for warmth. I close my eyes, shivering slightly as Jack Frost caresses my body like a lover. Thoughts of you flood my mind and as I drift off, I find myself drowning. Wishing you were awake to witness my appreciation but knowing it would never be the same. Our most precious moments together, I experience alone. I lay back and wonder if you view me like art, if I am your gallery just as you are mine. It always amazes me how intimate we become while you sleep.
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Oct. 1st, 2004 @ 12:20 pm Feedback
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Gary Jules - "Mad World"
Dear 19 year old me,

No. You don't love that guy. He doesn't love you either. He's married. He'll tell you after you spend 8 hours in the dark listening to jazz waiting for him to get online. This will be a turning point in your life. It'll lead to your long string of rebounds, each one more painful than the last. You'll discover that you can't really kill yourself with Sleepinal, no matter how much you take, and you'll really only blow about seventy bucks in the end. It's not your fault you don't like the sight of blood.

Thomas will never leave you alone. It's not a stalker thing, but in the end, it was your fault. As much as he cheated and slept around, you're the one who walked out when he was finally cleaning himself up and ready to commit and make the big leap and leave everything he knew for you and only you. You're going to have to live with that.

When Dad dies, you won't cry. You never will. You'll never get the chance to tell him, the fear will hold you back, no matter how much you want to say it. You'll write a poem on the way back from the funeral that you'll never be able to read aloud, but people will praise as genius.

You're going to consider Jack the best and worst thing that ever happened to you. You'll be right on all counts. When he walks, it'll nearly kill you, in a literal sense. You'll survive in the end, but in the meantime you'll wander into a relationship that will save and damn you at the same time.

Everything with Frank will be great in the beginning. It'll be romantic, sweet, warm, comforting, like something out of a trite poem you wrote in high school that you still can't forget having written. You'll never forget any stupid thing that you've done. It's how you keep humble and burn down your self-esteem. When Mike and Wynn move in you'll support it, even though before you had the feeling that it would lead to ruin. When everything falls apart and the situation wreaks havoc, you'll feel responsible for everything that will happen. In a way, you will be.

You won't swing the hammer when you should've. And this will haunt you for the rest of your life.

And here's the thing that you're going to have to accept, that you'll never want to. You *have* to go through all of this. Every moment. Every second. Because in this Hell you'll find Chris, and no other path will lead you to him. And when you emerge, scarred and beaten, walking into the light, it'll all be worth it. His presence, his embrace will be the panacea for every ache that's built up. In his arms, you'll be able to let go, and lean on someone you can trust. In his arms, in his voice, you'll finally learn what love really is, and you'll be able to hope again.

It'll be the toughest and most painful six years of your life, but you'll come out ok. See you on the other side.
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