a contract signed with a kiss like the x of an illiterate pirate

Originally uploaded by pinkbelt.
  • Societies worse off ‘when they have God on their side’. (original study here).
  • A proposed bill hopes to make criminals out of unmarried women in Indiana who conceive
    “by means other than sexual intercourse.”

  • I hesitated at the front of the walk, a flitting bit of pained imagination painting another woman in his bed, but I walked forward anyway. This is my place to do so, I thought, this is my entreaty, my voice, my bloody pain. I am allowed whatever I say I am. Nervously, I tapped on his window and went to the porch. I watched his confusion melt into welcome as he opened the door. “Were you knocking? Come in, please.” I settled in like I was home. The house knows who I am, it tells me hello. The other moving pieces, the western world, they like me.

    We stayed up late. Appleseed on screen and our legs eventually tangled on the couch. My knife edged feeling of assumption dulls when I see that he’s as aware of the placement of my hands as I am of his. His breathing is a give-away, a prize win understatement of I’m the right number of customers. Coughing confetti, coughing something I’m used to. I hold my hand on his chest and don’t flinch anymore. He is going to die, just like we will, but maybe quicker. In the bed he coughs too, my body holding itself rigid in sympathy, letting his body subside before relaxing back into a doll-like pool of blood and closed glass eyes, but we sleep. Our first real sleep in months.

    The morning was an adventure in boundary lines, roommates, that one’s in a housecoat yet I’m in my underwear, where’s the coffee? Fine details lined under eyes, the newsprint, oh we missed it. There’s a good write-up in here somewhere. Lean over and read. My hand sprouts a silver spoon, nothing I was born with and neither were they. The comments are complimentary, which is gentlemanly, and comfortable. Breakfast cuts itself in half to soothe the hungry hearts that exhausted themselves in the previous night while errands start to thicken out of gossiping fog. Head of the house, heed the commands. It’s too late. I’m already lying in the sun on the porch, one arm around a dismembered leg and a forbidden book page one hundred thirty-two. The neighbors look then look away and I haven’t had a chance at the internet yet.

    Sitting in the back of the minivan feels like the television expected childhood I never had. We buy chain and rope and try to find shelves, daughter to my lover, daughter to the inevitable opposite, and sister to my rockabilly friend. We let the parents bicker over music and pretend to dance, letting conversation drift. Leaves on a stream, coloured and dropped from only modern trees. The beat comes from Bollywood, the lyrics hate our guts. I buy wings at the second hand clothing store. Black ones, feathered, they scratch the air when I put them on like a record skipping sound behind me.

    The angel was unexpected. Not a dream, not entirely solid. She pulled his hair. “This was supposed to be prose, what are you doing here? Get out.” From his throat poured heterodyne modulations of voice and information static. “This paragraph can’t start with you here. I need you off my page.” His hands tore from the paper, shredding metaphor, leaving behind crumpled, stained ideas. Frustrated, she kicked them. “These are broken now. Look at the point of view! Ruined.”

    my penicillin makes me nervous


    DRE: What’d you spend it on?

    Jhonen Vasquez: Just whores. Whores over on Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica. Whores and robots. Some of the whores were robots.

    ZOMBIES ARE BACK. We have a venue this time. This attack will be a Hallowe’en Dance Party, Monday October 31st, at The Space. (440 West Hastings). Doors at seven, Sean of the Dead at 7:30. Pass on the word. Let it shamble wild and free. More information will become available as I get used to the idea of being a producer.

    on and on until I disappear in a breathing flash of light

    Originally uploaded by Agnieszka.

    At the end of a tunnel, there is a violent expulsion of air from the lungs. It’s my wish, escaping.

    Alone tonight, my place in front of the computer feels both familiar and strange. The people I used to contact right now, in this sort of moment, they’re sort of inaccessible now. Relationships have shifted, contacts have changed. The reliable returned to the garden to breed some more, and my seeds are still waiting for the summer that I didn’t get to happen. Any minute now, I’ll be speeding toward a time of year the door opens and I answer the phone without feeling distracted by particles of over bit-mapped romance, but that minute is sixty seconds away and a week and a month and tomorrow. We all know that tomorrow is a trick question to a six year old, why should I be any different? My life playing on a theme, obviously I haven’t learned all there is to learn of this configuration. With all balance, there is flow. Especially flown in for me, an entire year.

    In my head, I see a girl with her hair wild above her, like fire crackling. Her eyes are barely open. Her hands are flat in her lap and the ominous piano wires from the ceiling are only connected to the very base of each of the legs of the wooden chair she sits in, not to her bones. Her feet are crossed, her toes are pointed, as if she’s remembering the crucifix. Her clear plastic skin reminds me of candy, cloudy and violet, they used to taste like flowers, but they don’t sell them anymore here. When her eyelids finally slide open, you can smell smoke. Smoke like on the edge of an ocean, late at night and haunting guitar, he used to love me, that boy, what went wrong, his name is written in the song that’s playing closer to the fire, the gold of her hair is glinting off the body of the machine.

    When I use the word “ex” as a label, I, too, think of marriages, and don’t apply it to four in the morning when my tongue speaks a language I didn’t think I knew and he rolls over and touches me, warm hands sweeping my hair out of my eyes, telling me that I’m just as important to him as I ever thought I was, but right now is separation. When morning comes, we will be comfortable, but we won’t wear that ring anymore. Instead our story will be that of something akin to lovers but not quite. A salty breeze of underneath my thighs and in between my hating what he did to me, hating myself for continuing to let him mean something to me. A thickly spoken need he coats our every solitary moment with, a dream of pretending that I didn’t break at his ethical funeral. When I use the word “ex”, I mean to describe the man who never went a week without wearing the colour red, the man who made me scream out gouts of velvet cloth in bed, who I held hands with for a stretch of time that looks like three years, that looks like a tiny piece of history that made me who I am. We stripped naked once and took pictures in the kiddy pool on our porch, the amused expression on my face is one I haven’t seen since. I still think the neighbors didn’t see. Consequence of fortitude, the man with cello hair and I don’t have anything like that. We never had a marriage, only an impending debt that has yet to be paid. Instead I refer to him as on probation, as unfinished business, as lifting my eyebrows to say he’s yet to keep up with my spit when I want twenty white knuckles.

    For a little while, this place might have read like an S.O.S. call. Deaths piling up together, a one hundred foot calm declaration of pain, until everything from early May was a mass grave, covered over by news of the weird and breakthroughs in pretty science. Glitter thrown into the air, obscuring the disease, blowing away whenever the wind pursed chilly lips to smash me into another devastating reef. I would like to think it’s changing. That natural evolution is swinging me back onto my feet, pouring water into the desiccated personality I became over summer. That recent advances in emotional medicine are evident in the words I spill here and understood to be welcome scabs over the profoundly deep well of misery that laps and erodes at my foundations. I’m beginning to taste how I used to be. The line isn’t drawing as thin between me and living, my spirit is finding a way to return from the misery land of departed teeth.

    What am I going to do with you?

    I’m sitting in china flavoured ivory silk and wondering if any intentions have coalesced into something real or even vaguely legible. There are so many undercurrents to conversations, so many tones of voice possible with which to set a scene. I could stand in my doorway and merely shrug to express how necessary the awkwardness of roommates can be or you could call me at three in the morning and not know what to say, but not need to, because the gesture was enough to remind us both that we love each other. We could dance with the idea of innocuous topics while bringing to the table everything mother told us we shouldn’t take from strangers. We could even smile (or want to) at the mention of a number overheard in passing because six by six was a room once, but none of it helps when the air from the window is cold and I am curious with no immediate answers. No invisible cowgirls swinging their hips can save me, no assumptions of data paper are forthcoming with the tiny musical ting of inkwell spurs, only your voicing of desideratum, digital or otherwise.

    I cried at the party I went to, after the burlesque show. At exactly the wrong moment, that third-of-a-second where my throat was too tight to let anything out but misery, Michael asked how I was, and I dissolved. On the porch I held a twenty minute court, curled in my coat against the dawn and an outpouring of explanation, friends at my feet and holding my hand. Earlier was amusing, a boy in the kitchen drunkenly spinning fancies of admiration and delay while he worried about something entirely different that I pushed him toward, but when it came time to go, they found me as a black cloth lump between the stove and the corner kitchen cupboard. Occupational hazard, I warrant, when I’m not very good at being betrayed. I’m much better now. I began to fix most of everything the very next day, after Nine Inch Nails.

    (Which if you listen to anyone else, was a masterpiece of sound and light and motion, but to me was reminiscent of a high-school dance, with sledgehammer subtle visuals and terrible acoustics. With all the expectation built up, I was amused to find it was a surprise to see the people on stage only half an inch tall. They’re not twice the size of mere mortals! The rest of the concert was peppered with my mind being occupied on how effects are meant to erase that and create an actual feeling of bigger than life. “This is the audience, where all the lights shine out to blind you, and we are the band, who control this glorious blaze of flash and fury with a shake of our magical hands. We all know our roles, now we are bigger, and you are going to put your hands up in unison and punch the air so the people behind you get the right silhouette.” The most beautiful thing was the BIC constellations that flickered into being at every lull. A hundred hands bravely holding shards of fire above their heads to create a mythical web of stars in darkness.)