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the twinkle in twinkle

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[04 Mar 2009|04:02pm]

Her rapid laugh dug into the night – over, under, and through. I waited, expecting a counter argument or question, but nothing followed the laugh’s path out of her throat and into the air except almost-silent breath. She looked straight at me. I let her gaze rush into my eyes and imagined her upside down – how my eyes were really seeing her before being twisted to fit our upright world. I saw nostrils aimed up at the infinite sky and its infinite stars caught in infinite galaxies; eyelashes that followed lids as they pushed instead of dropped; but still a mouth that turned neither down nor up. I blinked, and lingered in the space, even darker than the night, behind my lids, before consciously dragging them open again. The tips of her hair pointed down again and her chin was below her lips. Her stare hadn’t changed. She sighed, and everything felt heavier. I wondered where time was hiding, but dared not look away from her face to search for it.

And then I thought: is laughter the only thing that truly pierces through heartbreak?

I had to leave her there then, for fear she’d laugh again and change my mind.
[3] Respond

In which the old one questions me about the new one [25 Feb 2009|11:00am]

He says: does he have glasses? He asks: a beard? He means: how much like me is he?

I say, in some form: he's as tall as a giant and could smush you with one toe.

He says: hey, I'm tall.

I think: you lose, and walk away, finally contented

(Electric) Stairway to Heaven [06 Jan 2009|10:15pm]

Prompt: 250 words


I hope the stairway to heaven is an escalator—that God has gotten with the times and installed this essential piece of machinery. If not, I don’t think I’ll make it to the pearly gates.

I mean, how could He expect me to after my time in the automated world? The drive to work takes me over an hour—much too far to bike—and there is no way I’m walking to the grocery store. All that frozen food gets heavy; my arms would ache before the first block.

I’ll admit, I’m a little overweight, although I prefer the term chubby. I’m told it adds to my charm. I can’t really help it anyway—no time for the gym. My office relies on me: 9-5 at my cube, with just half an hour for lunch (I like the burrito place down the street). When I leave I’m too exhausted to hit the gym. Work wears you down, you know?

Anyway, the reason I tell you this is because I’m at the doctor’s right now. Bad cholesterol. Doesn’t everyone have it? They suggest I eat from a list of “heart healthy” foods, but everything looks so boring. They’re running more tests—blood, urine. I’m a bit nervous, honestly. So I guess you could say I’m just thinking about stuff at the moment—the stairway and all. I swear I just heard someone whisper “diabetes” in the hallway.

In case the escalator isn’t installed yet, I think I’ll start wearing my Nike’s.

[27 Dec 2008|07:56pm]

Reading again makes me realize that I would rather get lost in a book than get lost on the internet; get lost in a movie; get lost on a desert island; get lost on a populated island; get lost on the edge of a city I do not know; get lost on freeway turnpikes; get lost with a polar bear, or a penguin--that is, get lost at a pole; get lost in a swimming pool; get lost in Switzerland.

That is to say, I would like to run away with you to a place I do not know.

That is also to say, I do not know who you are.

This is a Time [20 Dec 2008|08:18pm]

Those times when life is about feeling the blush on your cheeks from the glass of wine to your left. When it's about listening to music you don't know but instantly sing along to. When it's about dreaming of the past and remembering the future. When its about doing all of these things alone, bundled up on the couch at home, while it's snowing outdoors; when you are waiting for the power to go out and your hair is tossed to the side in a way that may not be attractive. When the silence between songs is the only let-down.

Those are the times when nothing squashes the urge to sprawl out on the living room carpet and stare at the ceiling for far longer than it is interesting to do so. Those are the times when you only half-wish that someone could share it with you. The times where you're aware of your breathing more than ever. When the snow outside is your watchman, making sure there aren't any bar stranglers to interrupt through the windows facing the street with the wind.

Those are the times of content. This is a time of content.

Hibernation [14 Dec 2008|09:06am]

It’s still snowing outside—all the cars are covered in powdered-sugary flakes, dusted heavily on the hoods, trunks and tops. The tree branches aren’t yet weighted down; they’re strong enough not to shiver while they proudly hold up the whiteness that falls from the sky. When it snows, the grey Seattle sky somehow manages to get just a little brighter, basking everything in a new shade of ivory.

I experience this through glass while the cold tries to push itself over my skin, into my bones. I wrap myself deeper into my sheets. A buffer. Unannounced they have spent the night in conversation with my naked body, gathering heat they now use in defense. Now that I’m almost entirely hidden, the pale pillowcase lays in striking contrast to my hair, which is scattered densely on top of it. This is what’s left in the chill.

In what has become my soft, winter cavern I feel myself run my hand over smooth skin. Over ribs, then waist, then hips, ass and then thigh. My head nuzzles the pillow, stirring cold air, and in response my body cuddles backward into what I’m reminded is an empty bed. A wide, warm, lonely bed.

Slowly, I roll my body to its other side. I wrap myself tighter. I push my hand to where it’s warmer still. There, I think of snow. I think of morning. I think of hands and skin rougher than my own. I think of many things before my body no longer allows me to think at all.

Your Messages: 300 word response [08 Dec 2008|11:07pm]

Prompt: 14
Five ways to cry and not be noticed: in the shower, staring at the sun, watching ‘Braveheart’, in a five mile tailback on the M25, in all sorts of rain.


This morning, I cried in the shower. If they noticed, my roommates probably just thought I was touching myself, all the gasping I was doing. I was not. At breakfast, no one asked about it even though my face was still slightly flushed. We don’t talk about sadness or orgasms here though.

This afternoon I thought: if only the sun were out maybe I could have a cry again. No one would notice--many people tear up if they stare at the sun. When people do notice though, it makes them uncomfortable. Maybe that's why they tell you not to stare into the sun. It's an unspoken reason that it’s really for the benefit of others.

A long time ago a girl I was dating cried while we were watching Braveheart. I wasn't sure if it was something on her insides or the movie that caused it. Maybe someone else would have pulled her close and asked what was wrong. “Is everything alright? Do you want to talk about it, babe?” A good girlfriend would have even kissed her—somewhere cute like on the forehead too. But me, I just got a little uncomfortable and stayed quiet and wondered if she felt me inch away.

When this girl and I broke up three months later, I only cried after I hit 80 miles an hour on the old freeway back from her house into the city. The music was so loud that sometimes I didn't even notice my own sobbing. But when I finally parked and looked down, there was a large puddle in my lap.

Yesterday I decided: Seattle is a good place to cry. One can get away with crying in all sorts of rain, and there are several types here.

But usually, when it rains it pours.

Lindy Hop [08 Dec 2008|11:04pm]

Fedoras. And now, cold sweat. A freeway of wind whips past me through the screen of the window I'm leaning against. The music presses up against it in the opposite direction, horn blasts trying to find their way to me--coerce me back onto the floor. I see pencil skirts and bias cuts and a hundred people dancing raucously on the hardwood in the other room. The backs of boys in dance shoes. More fedoras.

Next: I sink into his arm that is already pressed against my back. Skirts swirl around me. Front back front back frontbackpush; then rock step, triple step--don't look at your feet--step step, triple step. Twist. And again. I stare at his shoulders like I was told to. I feel my body move like it hasn't before. My swing-out has improved. He notices.

Then: the song ends. A solo dance competition and I watch limbs fly. I stare and stare and wish I could do what they do, there in the spotlight. They dance and synchronized claps fill the room like mounting thunder, to the beat of the brass band. The big band. The band. Thunder becomes music becomes limbs becomes shouts becomes thunder becomes music. No fedoras, but a bulky purple suit. I turn and say, 'someday. let's do that.' He smiles back at me and chuckles. When he does, I remember he has a wife.

Skip ahead: Bright red jacket. Kitten heels. I turn to leave and the attractive boy from Australia smiles. I realize I've forgotten my glasses.
Out on the street the wind isn't faster than my light feet and body still craving tuck turns and charleston footwork.

I drive home and find it impossible to sleep, thoughts still dancing in my head.

Your Messages 300 word response prompt [03 Nov 2008|11:14pm]

Prompt: 3
Among the things handed into the lost property department today were: Four pairs of spectacles, two handbags, one laptop, three library books, six sets of keys, one red stiletto shoe.


There were six of them. They were arranged at the only table in the small neighborhood pub that would accommodate them all. This is where they always sat, in the back. Two women, four men, all residing in the same apartment building four blocks away in five different apartments.

They were halfway through a game of Yahtzee—they almost always played the old, beat-up version the pub owned, complete with the mismatched dice, when they came—and the odds were as consistent as the table:

Loser has to walk the four blocks home naked.

These were the rules. In their late twenties, some wondered why they still found the whole situation amusing, but they still couldn’t help but chuckle every time. Although, they thought when they thought about it, the lager could always take the blame for it.

On the table: four pairs of spectacles (belonging to the avid readers who drained their eyes young), two handbags (the ladies’), one laptop (life source of the one who worked late and almost always missed the first round), three library books (graduate school was a killer), all six sets of keys, and one red stiletto shoe.

A full house. Two of a kind. Four sixes (to the moans and groans of the rest). And a chance. Then a straight. And finally,


It didn’t take too many more rolls around the table before the winner was announced. Everyone ordered more beer. Mr. Graduate Student had lost, but no one was rubbing it in yet. Conversation took over and more beers were ordered when the previous were finished. And then came last call.

The dregs downed and heads fuzzy, it was time for the walk of shame. And in the hilarious and hasty escape, everything was left on the table, forgotten ‘til sober.

The Emerald City Stronghold [20 Oct 2008|02:58pm]

Body memories of swimming in the mist
And I'm slipping again, through paths lined with dying leaves;
I've never seen anything so beautiful so close to death.

Seattle calls to me through her clouds, through the autumn season
I think of the girl I loved that autumn season
I think of the boy I loved last autumn season
I think of their art and their fingers and their lips
I think of their hair and I think of scarves
And my attempts at romance, with a crochet hook and colored yarn,
Hooking you in, attempting to hook you in.

Oh my Seattle lusts and emerald loves
Smother me in sapphire, no,
Jewels in the colors of these dying leaves.
Give me deep red and dark yellow and dusty orange
Give me brown eyes, give me bottoms of ears
Give me dimly lit rooms and down comforters.

Body memories of swimming in the mist
Slipping, again, on leaves giving me their dying colors
Slipping, again, down paths that lead to something new in something old.
I've never seen anything so beautiful...

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