Wednesday, June 27

Inverted Jenny

It is no good now, to relegate me to your desk, its rolling top accordioned down over aching limbs. You have crumpled me into a bundle of letters, long faded and tied with dusty ribbons.

In the old days, it was a brush, a teardrop tuft of some soft fur. You painted intricate characters on my skin and the ink slipped sweetly between us.

At dawn, I watched you scrub the tint from your hands and wished for an end to all mornings.

When you grew weary of darkness, the sharp nib of your fountain pen scratched indigo myth into my back, and red-ballpoint corrections flowed down each side. Once, you left a discourse in green marker, your declaration of independence stamped boldly at my waist. I thought that one true. It was the quickest to smudge, though your verdant prints lasted for days.  

Those nights of calligraphy stained me. Cuneiform shadows rise from my surfaces still, copper-brown or the cerulean of tranquil seas; but each dawn you returned to someone else's senses, ink trimmed carefully from your skin.

I am as patient as parchment, out of place, but I remember. However you inscribe me, emboss me, engrave me--by morning, the end of dreams is written plain.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Michael gave me this prompt: "'Think of writing as writing a letter to someone.' -Kurt Vonnegut. Write about mail, or post offices, or postal workers, or writing and receiving letters."
I prompted lisa with: "Pressing business, tonight at the brocade factory."

Wednesday, June 6

Musica Universalis

Summoned, they stand in a line. Their eyes are fixed firmly on the floor beneath their predecessor's feet, the finely figured black-and-white tiles laid over wide, cold space. They are not frightened of the empty spaces between the tiles; they do not quail at the rushing constellations that pass within inches of rough, bare flesh. Oh, she loves them, the Ophanim. Her children, the living embodiment, the material crossroads of imagination and desire.

She is safe in this space--space is a hall made of calligraphy, cradled in a lotus inscribed with the nine thousand names of the holy. She is the bearing upon which time itself balances, and every avatar, every incarnation stands, patient, waiting for her direction. She reclines, listening to the distant murmur of women.

When Lailah wakes, the scent of burning sugar mixed with perfume still hangs heavy in the air. She pulls her makeshift bedroll closer. The floor creaks gently as she curls under the window of the abandoned house, the stars keeping watch. She grips a dirty twist of waxed paper in her left hand, singing under her breath:

"I will make a new clay bowl and inscribe it with the names of those who have cursed me, I will fire it in the flames of the house of bondage and the house of weapons until you call back the curses, until you call them back in the names of the angels, until you bless in the names of the angels, until you repent in the nine thousand names of the holy, amen amen, selah."

She spits between her forked fingers and pulls the pipe from her sleeve. Her thin, pale fingers scrape the sticky black opium from the waxed paper, rolling it into a ball. She sticks it to the pipe and lights it, placing her lips to the mouthpiece and breathing in prophecy.

For the Scriptic Prompt Exchange this week, Chelle gave me this prompt: "Time stood still as he/she watched..." and I gave lisa this prompt: "Puffy and Tina."

Tuesday, June 5


Here is a story, or maybe a song. 
One night in the house of pollution,
the house of unrest:

I ran from a sky on fire,
but this is not what I remember. I pushed open a rusted door,
screened with silted crossed wire,
studded with iridescent wings, pushed past a yellowed
notice. The words are lost, but the carpet was green

with moss or damp, missing decades hanging heavy in the air
and the end was in us, the end was with us even then.

We were there, in that lampless waste.
There was no sun to throw our secret shadows into relief,
hands touching behind the cream-laid screen, faces close together
And there was no moon to hear any whispered word.

The dream was dark. I ran on the dead,
tracked my heels and crushed resin scent away from the trees,
and I woke speaking.

I woke to find myself lost.
I sat up to sing of the end.