dryads & satyrs, and the things that make me happy…
03 Nov 2011 Leave a Comment
26 Oct 2011 Leave a Comment
24 Nov 2010 Leave a Comment
22 Nov 2010 Leave a Comment
19 Nov 2010 Leave a Comment
munchkin is off to candyland for the night, so i’m forcing eric to go with me to see the jackson high school fall production of Alice In Wonderland. even though it will most likely suck. even though we will spend the majority of the evening gripping hands, gritting our teeth and avoiding eye contact to keep from bursting into laughter, and i will throw furtive glances around, trying still after all this time to steer clear of mr. kight.
why go? because i did it. because i loved the fall plays in high school. because we worked really fucking hard on a lump of shit, and got so excited about it, and there was never enough money or enough boys or even close to a full house. because even though the director always gave the prime roles to the girls from her church sunday school class and the REALLY NICE girl who couldn’t sing or act for shit but tried so hard you pitied her and goddamned if she didn’t go to the tanning bed the 3 weeks before opening night in her role as dracula’s wife because the sequined dress she was wearing as her costume would ”just look weird” if she were pale, even though every year the backstage area was one big naked dressing room UNTIL the mormon kid told the principal and we had to start trekking up and down the stairs to the locker rooms to change, even though we mainly used our own costumes and makeup and money and ingenuity – it was still A STAGE.
we still got to be ON STAGE. and when i was 16, i had the best 2 months of my highschool experience after 2 new inexperienced directors signed on and cast all my friends and i in the leads. the play was super short so we had to re-write it, we made it naughty. drank before practice out of the tiny SoCo bottles from the liquor store. my best girl friend, best gay friend, and the boy all 3 of us had crushes on were the lead detectives in that play, and we had a blast. the play sucked, the acting was clunky and the rewrites got us in trouble, but damn we were famous for a weekend – and for a few weeks before that we were hardcore (half-drunk) SERIOUS actors.
true, at the time of the yearbook photos for this particular fall play i was being detained by a police officer in a cemetery for leaving my keys and purse in an unattended car (some flower-bringers had discovered it and called the po), and by the time everything was explained and we were free to go to practice we’d missed the pictures and my participation in this play is barely documented, it was a helluva time. best teenage autumn ever.
so. i’ll go. i won’t laugh in a way anyone can hear me. even though it’s the highschool play, it will be held in the middle school (which was the OLD highschool) because when they built the brand new highschool with the better-than-most-colleges football field, they didn’t put in a real auditorium. gotta do the plays at the middle school. eh, teenage commerce. violence and sweat will always sell better than unintentional comedy.
and because it’s the fall play, my spirits will be riding high on nostalgia and there will be much debauchery afterwards…..
15 Nov 2010 Leave a Comment
28 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
(one of my top 5 favorite short stories)
One view called me to another; one hill top to its fellow, half across the county, and since I could answer at no more trouble than the snapping forward of a lever, I let the county flow under my wheels. The orchid-studded flats of the East gave way to the thyme, ilex, and grey grass of the Downs; these again to the rich cornland and fig-trees of the lower coast, where you carry the beat of the tide on your left hand for fifteen level miles; and when at last I turned inland through a huddle of rounded hills and woods I had run myself clean out of my known marks. Beyond that precise hamlet which stands godmother to the capital of the United States, I found hidden villages where bees, the only things awake, boomed in eighty-foot lindens that overhung grey Norman churches; miraculous brooks diving under stone bridges built for heavier traffic than would ever vex them again; tithe-barns larger than their churches, and an old smithy that cried out aloud how it had once been a hall of the Knights of the Temple. Gipsies I found on a common where the gorse, bracken, and heath fought it out together up a mile of Roman road; and a little further on I disturbed a red fox rolling dog-fashion in the naked sunlight.
As the wooded hills closed about me I stood up in the car to take the bearings of that great Down whose ringed head is a landmark for fifty miles across the low countries. I judged that the lie of the country would bring me across some westward running road that went to his feet, but I did not allow for the confusing veils of the woods. A quick turn plunged me first into a green cutting brimful of liquid sunshine, next into a gloomy tunnel where last year’s dead leaves whispered and scuffled about my tyres. The strong hazel stuff meeting overhead had not been cut for a couple of generations at least, nor had any axe helped the moss-cankered oak and beech to spring above them. Here the road changed frankly into a carpeted ride on whose brown velvet spent primrose-clumps showed like jade, and a few sickly, white-stalked blue-bells nodded together. As the slope favoured I shut off the power and slid over the whirled leaves, expecting every moment to meet a keeper; but I only heard a jay, far off, arguing against the silence under the twilight of the trees.
Still the track descended. I was on the point of reversing and working my way back on the second speed ere I ended in some swamp, when I saw sunshine through the tangle ahead and lifted the brake.
It was down again at once. As the light beat across my face my fore-wheels took the turf of a great still lawn from which sprang horsemen ten feet high with levelled lances, monstrous peacocks, and sleek round-headed maids of honour — blue, black, and glistening — all of clipped yew. Across the lawn — the marshalled woods besieged it on three sides — stood an ancient house of lichened and weather-worn stone, with mullioned windows and roofs of rose-red tile. It was flanked by semi-circular walls, also rose-red, that closed the lawn on the fourth side, and at their feet a box hedge grew man-high. There were doves on the roof about the slim brick chimneys, and I caught a glimpse of an octagonal dove-house behind the screening wall.
Here, then, I stayed; a horseman’s green spear laid at my breast; held by the exceeding beauty of that jewel in that setting.
“If I am not packed off for a trespasser, or if this knight does not ride a wallop at me,” thought I, “Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth at least must come out of that half-open garden door and ask me to tea.”
A child appeared at an upper window, and I thought the little thing waved a friendly hand. But it was to call a companion, for presently another bright head showed. Then I heard a laugh among the yew-peacocks, and turning to make sure (till then I had been watching the house only) I saw the silver of a fountain behind a hedge thrown up against the sun. The doves on the roof cooed to the cooing water; but between the two notes I caught the utterly happy chuckle of a child absorbed in some light mischief.
The garden door — heavy oak sunk deep in the thickness of the wall — opened further: a woman in a big garden hat set her foot slowly on the time-hollowed stone step and as slowly walked across the turf. I was forming some apology when she lifted up her head and I saw that she was blind.
“I heard you,” she said. “Isn’t that a motor car?”
“I’m afraid I’ve made a mistake in my road. I should have turned off up above — I never dreamed –” I began.
“But I’m very glad. Fancy a motor car coming into the garden! It will be such a treat –” She turned and made as though looking about her. “You — you haven’t seen any one, have you — perhaps?”
“No one to speak to, but the children seemed interested at a distance.”
“I saw a couple up at the window just now, and I think I heard a little chap in the grounds.”
“Oh, lucky you!” she cried, and her face brightened. “I hear them, of course, but that’s all. You’ve seen them and heard them?”
“Yes,” I answered. “And if I know anything of children one of them’s having a beautiful time by the fountain yonder. Escaped, I should imagine.”
“You’re fond of children?”
I gave her one or two reasons why I did not altogether hate them.
“Of course, of course,” she said. “Then you understand. Then you won’t think it foolish if I ask you to take your car through the gardens, once or twice — quite slowly. I’m sure they’d like to see it. They see so little, poor things. One tries to make their life pleasant, but –” she threw out her hands towards the woods. “We’re so out of the world here.”
“That will be splendid,” I said. “But I can’t cut up your grass.”
She faced to the right. “Wait a minute,” she said. “We’re at the South gate, aren’t we? Behind those peacocks there’s a flagged path. We call it the Peacock’s Walk. You can’t see it from here, they tell me, but if you squeeze along by the edge of the wood you can turn at the first peacock and get on to the flags.”
It was sacrilege to wake that dreaming house-front with the clatter of machinery, but I swung the car to clear the turf, brushed along the edge of the wood and turned in on the broad stone path where the fountain-basin lay like one star-sapphire.
“May I come too?” she cried. “No, please don’t help me. They’ll like it better if they see me.”
She felt her way lightly to the front of the car, and with one foot on the step she called: “Children, oh, children! Look and see what’s going to happen!”
The voice would have drawn lost souls from the Pit, for the yearning that underlay its sweetness, and I was not surprised to hear an answering shout behind the yews. It must have been the child by the fountain, but he fled at our approach, leaving a little toy boat in the water. I saw the glint of his blue blouse among the still horsemen.
Very disposedly we paraded the length of the walk and at her request backed again. This time the child had got the better of his panic, but stood far off and doubting.
“The little fellow’s watching us,” I said. “I wonder if he’d like a ride.”
“They’re very shy still. Very shy. But, oh, lucky you to be able to see them! Let’s listen.”
I stopped the machine at once, and the humid stillness, heavy with the scent of box, cloaked us deep. Shears I could hear where some gardener was clipping; a mumble of bees and broken voices that might have been the doves.
“Oh, unkind!” she said weariedly.
“Perhaps they’re only shy of the motor. The little maid at the window looks tremendously interested.”
“Yes?” She raised her head. “It was wrong of me to say that. They are really fond of me. It’s the only thing that makes life worth living — when they’re fond of you, isn’t it? I daren’t think what the place would be without them. By the way, is it beautiful?”
“I think it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.”
“So they all tell me. I can feel it, of course, but that isn’t quite the same thing.”
“Then have you never?” I began, but stopped abashed.
“Not since I can remember. It happened when I was only a few months old, they tell me. And yet I must remember something, else how could I dream about colours? I see light in my dreams, and colours, but I never see them. I only hear them just as I do when I’m awake.”
“It’s difficult to see faces in dreams. Some people can, but most of us haven’t the gift,” I went on, looking up at the window where the child stood all but hidden.
“I’ve heard that too,” she said. “And they tell me that one never sees a dead person’s face in a dream. Is that true?”
“I believe it is — now I come to think of it.”
“But how is it with yourself — yourself?” The blind eyes turned towards me.
“I have never seen the faces of my dead in any dream,” I answered.
“Then it must be as bad as being blind.”
The sun had dipped behind the woods and the long shades were possessing the insolent horsemen one by one. I saw the light die from off the top of a glossy-leaved lance and all the brave hard green turn to soft black. The house, accepting another day at end, as it had accepted an hundred thousand gone, seemed to settle deeper into its rest among the shadows.
“Have you ever wanted to?” she said after the silence.
“Very much sometimes,” I replied. The child had left the window as the shadows closed upon it.
“Ah! So’ve I, but I don’t suppose it’s allowed. . . . Where d’you live?”
“Quite the other side of the county — sixty miles and more, and I must be going back. I’ve come without my big lamp.”
“But it’s not dark yet. I can feel it.”
“I’m afraid it will be by the time I get home. Could you lend me some one to set me on my road at first? I’ve utterly lost myself.”
“I’ll send Madden with you to the cross-roads. We are so out of the world, I don’t wonder you were lost! I’ll guide you round to the front of the house; but you will go slowly, won’t you, till you’re out of the grounds? It isn’t foolish, do you think?”
“I promise you I’ll go like this,” I said, and let the car start herself down the flagged path.
We skirted the left wing of the house, whose elaborately cast lead guttering alone was worth a day’s journey; passed under a great rose-grown gate in the red wall, and so round to the high front of the house which in beauty and stateliness as much excelled the back as that all others I had seen.
“Is it so very beautiful?” she said wistfully when she heard my raptures. “And you like the lead-figures too? There’s the old azalea garden behind. They say that this place must have been made for children. Will you help me out, please? I should like to come with you as far as the cross-roads, but I mustn’t leave them. Is that you, Madden? I want you to show this gentleman the way to the cross-roads. He has lost his way but — he has seen them.”
A butler appeared noiselessly at the miracle of old oak that must be called the front door, and slipped aside to put on his hat. She stood looking at me with open blue eyes in which no sight lay, and I saw for the first time that she was beautiful.
“Remember,” she said quietly, “if you are fond of them you will come again,” and disappeared within the house.
full story here: http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/they.htm
27 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
Vincent Malloy is seven years old,
He’s always polite and does what he’s told.
For a boy his age he’s considerate and nice,
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price.
He doesn’t mind living with his sister, dog and cat,
Though he’d rather share a home with spiders and bats.
There he could reflect on the horrors he’s invented,
And wander dark hallways alone and tormented.
Vincent is nice when his aunt comes to see him,
But imagines dipping her in wax for his wax museum.
He likes to experiment on his dog Abacrombie,
In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie.
So he and his horrible zombie dog,
Could go searching for victims in the London fog.
His thoughts aren’t only of ghoulish crime,
He likes to paint and read to pass the time.
While other kids read books like Go Jane Go,
Vincent’s favorite author is Edgar Allen Poe.
One night while reading a gruesome tale,
He read a passage that made him turn pale.
Such horrible news he could not survive,
For his beautiful wife had been buried alive.
He dug out her grave to make sure she was dead,
Unaware that her grave was his mother’s flower bed.
His mother sent Vincent off to his room,
He knew he’d been banished to the tower of doom.
Where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life,
Alone with a portrait of his beautiful wife.
While alone and insane, encased in his tomb,
Vincent’s mother suddenly burst into the room.
“If you want to you can go outside and play.
It’s sunny outside and a beautiful day.”
Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn’t speak,
The years of isolation had made him quite weak.
So he took out some paper, and scrawled with a pen,
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again.”
His mother said, “You’re not possessed, and you’re not almost dead.
These games that you play are all in your head.
You’re not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy.
You’re not tormented, you’re just a young boy.”
“You’re seven years old, and you’re my son,
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”
Her anger now spent, she walked out through the hall,
While Vincent backed slowly against the wall.
The room started to sway, to shiver and creak.
His horrid insanity had reached its peak.
He saw Abacrombie his zombie slave,
And heard his wife call from beyond the grave.
She spoke from her coffin, and made ghoulish demands.
While through cracking walls reached skeleton hands.
Every horror in his life that had crept through his dreams,
Swept his mad laugh to terrified screams.
To escape the madness, he reached for the door,
But fell limp and lifeless down on the floor.
His voice was soft and very slow,
As he quoted The Raven from Edgar Allen Poe,
“And my soul from out that shadow floating on the floor,
Shall be lifted –Nevermore!”
26 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
in My Favorite Things Tags: addams family, autumn, blacula, bride of the monster, dr. phibes, dracula, elvira, evil dead, exorcist, halloween, horrors of spider island, night of the living dead, nightmare before christmas, rosemary's baby, spike, the fly, zombies
okay so it’s tuesday already, but i’ve decided to do some sort of Halloween post for every day this week…..
25 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
it’s dried up. 2 half-finished short stories and a chunk of an old zombie serial begging for condensation, and i’ve forgotten how to do it all over again. all i want to do when i can’t sleep is watch old marlon brando movies or the investigation discovery channel programming about the MYTH that there are no female serial killers with my head tilted like the RCA dog, and if i do sleep it’s flipping and in short bursts, dreaming puck dropped out of glee club or eric has 4 very fat girlfriends and i don’t understand if it’s their very averageness that’s drawn him to them….
this morning is gorgeous and rainy and everything is humming white noise - adam woke up with a cowlick shaped like the perfect mohawk and i refuse to tame it. he’s as groggy as i am, it’s this wonderful rain. staring into the wall holding a spoon over his rice krispies, and i asked “whatcha thinkin bout?” he blinked and said “oh, just pictures. and a lamp.”
otherwise things are going swimmingly. syncing back up with my much milder version of stanley kowalski – at least that’s how i demonize/idealize him. stewie (as i demonize/idealize my son) has finally decided to be Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas for halloween. he’s VERY excited about the ghost puppy idea which was his very own. the weekend was full of sunshne and horror movies and a 4hr coffee episode with a soon-to-be closer friend, and new red chucks for the little man.
i miss eric. i miss mi hermana. we’re watching nightmare before christmas right now, and have been playing finger puppets with a jack-o-lantern and a witch – the pumpkin has an unexplainable cockney accent and makes fart noises when he kisses, and the witch cackles a lot like my son.
this became a disjointed ramble. i need a 3rd cup of coffee and to calculate the weather this weekend – the zoo is having “events” and WE WANT TO GO.
this time of year should be frozen. colored trees, sweet decomposition smell, 70 degrees, pumpkins and skeletons everywhere, just a week before the climax of fall that is halloween…..
13 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
(all for eric, who rarely peeks in this window <3 )
12 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
08 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
last evening was one of those really vivid ones, the ones you know you’ll remember. usually the light tells me – in certain light, i get that very clear “i will remember this” feeling, and can feel a postcard memory crystallizing.
it was everything. adam in brown stripes running on the lawn after a blue nubby football eric won for him at the apple festival. the light had a 6 o-clock slant and the llamas danced as though national geographic cameramen crouched behind the fences. sun on our faces. started with just the two of us, i held the football lucy-style and he ran at it repeatedly, sometimes missing the kick all on his own and falling flat, only to pop up and retreat half the yard away to try again. he can KICK. eric emerged from a nap to water the horses around the same time mike’s truck rumbled up, and soon it was the four of us in the yard – taking turns holding the football and chasing it after the kick, trajectory unpredictable.
we cheered and ran and passed and kicked and made an odd group of football players chasing an aquamarine football. mike in his overalls and cap and bounding yellow dog, eric half-asleep at first and smiling, adam’s cheeks red, overjoyed. for a half hour or seven hours, the horses watched at the fence and adam took his meandering runs – stopping to kiss the dog sometimes, or throw in a dance move - and the sun was warm and he kicked far.
i retreated to sit on the front steps for a moment near the box of sidewalk chalk, the tree i’d sketched imprinting onto my jeans, and knew i would remember, reverse deja vu. crackly grass and scattered leaves, the light on half of each face alternating. my sunglasses felt like camera lenses, old super 8 home movies crackling straight into my brain.
purple prose – but a thousand blinks on the evening of thursday, october 7th, 2010 will be representative of this entire fall, i believe…
05 Oct 2010 Leave a Comment
today is such a good day i could have sex with it.
tuesdays are generally happy as a rule, as i am predisposed to like tuesday, and this is a good one. more than the sum of the morning’s parts thus far – and those parts have been good.
munchkin is back on track with the potty, even though i have had to delve deep into my lifelong sticker treasury to keep him guessing and motivated – today he got a Van Gogh cow, but it’s worth it. he puts them all on the inside of a notebook he carries around – his Big Deal notebook. the one he does his Work in. so if he’ll tuck his package down in the potty, smile real big and say “i can say penis. i pushed it down there with my balls,” i’ll give all my damned stickers away.
duotrope’s newsletter has informed me of a zombie publication site that i may already have some pieces for – TWO of the upcoming anthologies may fit some things i already have, just need to do some late-night tweaking. and they’re BOOK form. i could hold a pulp zombie anthology in my hands and flip to a certain page and BAM, there a story would be.
it’s dreary as fuck. i’m happy as fuck. heather’s modified scrubs (that i hemmed twice) now fit and she’s at her first day of clinicals, mr. diego pullups is playing racecars and busting matchbox cars all to hell while singing dream a little dream, morey got the burroughs cd, i have possibly made a new online friend (she will be T– until i have permission to use her name) who is a veritable fount of interesting and curious information, i’ve gained 5 lbs as of yesterday, the spankin’ new propane stove my beastly sexy caveman provider protecter husband installed is keeping us toasty warm, the birdfeeder is full of everything from chickadees to cardinals, i have a fresh cup of coffee, Halloween is breathing down our necks, and in NINE DAYS i will be married FOUR YEARS - to a man that sometimes disappears in the wee morning hours to buy coffee for me when he realizes i’ll have none when i wake….