We all have one. They're a pretty big deal. A heart is an organ, a concept, a metaphor, and a target all rolled up into one bloody red symbol. We rally around a chunk of meat in our chests. What's up with that?
What does it means to go home? What makes a place a home? Can your home be a person or does it have to be a place? We have a home base, a home planet, we can hit a home run and also create deadly homing devices.
It heals all wounds but will kill us if we're lucky. It tells us what to do and when to do it. How did past civilizations cut up their days and years? What does our way of telling time say about what we value? We're just in time, we're out of time, it happens time and time again, why can't we travel through time...
I am not yet moved to write poetry about you
so don't go thinking you'll read this and find a reference to the way you pass your knife through fruit
and give me the bigger half
This really doesnt even involve you because you just got here and I've been hanging out for a while
the softness of your white shoulders and the movement of your mass through the too-small universe of your apartment
is what I think about at night
It's nothing personal.
I'll write you when I'm ready and until then I'll settle my score
with the backside of your jeans
and the three different colors in your eyes
the empty hole punched through your ear that misses its pirate hoop
I'll take these things for now and play them like tapes until the next time
I need a place to stay for the night
or my rings returned in the tunnel of data
that bisects the lobby of the New York Times
Write your stupid words in your office on 8th Avenue and stay soft to the touch
I won't write a single thing about you.
Proi challenged: Hey seldaterre! I challenge you to write a piece that would appear on the back of a postcard. This postcard was written by someone who disappeared five years' prior and has only just been discovered by the person it was written to.
I am sorry, my love. When you read this I’ll be not dead, but gone. I am sorry you found out like this, but not sorry that I left. I am here now, and it’s beautiful here.
The thing is- was- that I had spent so much of my life trying not to disappoint you. So much time. I was unprepared for the inevitable moment in which everything went wrong and you disappointed me.
I still miss you. I love you. I love you. I love you.
Hunter Benson: Write a song that is a history lesson.
I am currently experiencing difficulty with my recording equipment and cannot record the music for this song. It goes along, oddly enough, to a humunkulus track that I will resource for a better audio/visualization experience. The scholarship involved is derived from the assertion of Princeton Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, in his book The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific, that Captain Cook was NOT (as is popularly believed) revered as a god by the native population upon his arrival in Hawai'i. For the tl'dr version of that very interesting book: THAT'S IMPERIALIST BULLSHIT.
I want to talk about a common misconception that arises when discussing European exploration in the Polynesian islands, in particular the myth
that Captain James Cook
for a white-skinned deity called "Lono."
(that's not so
and here's what went down)
He landed in Hawai'i after ten years of sailing
because his crew was getting tired of his bitching and wailing
he'd developed stomach problems and was cranky et. al
but his arrival coincided with the Makahiki festival
And he said, “I think these savages believe I’m a god!”
but all the priests were in their palaces discussing the fraud.
and they decided if he tried to come back, they’d attack
because there’s nothing good that comes from European colonial contact - and that’s fact.
(you can’t argue with that.)
He sailed out from Hawaii after two weeks of stay
but when his ship needed repairs, returned to port at the bay
of Kealakekua on the island of Hawai’i
and then proceeded to antagonize his crew and the people
to start it all Hawaiians stole a boat from his ship
but he reacted like a psycho and demanded some tribute
and a hostage situation came to head on the beach
when he threated King Kalani who had tried to bring peace
And here’s how I know that he was not Lono
even if his crew said he was when they got home
I don’t care if you are from Hawai’i or not
but would you ever beat a god to death with a coconut?
(and if you would, please don’t.)
He said, “I think these savages believe I’m a god!”
but all the grand Kahuna priests were praying over his body
and they took out his organs. burned the flesh off the rest
because there’s nothing good that comes from European colonial conquest!
The Shuttersmith: Your voice gives me chills. So can you sing a song about something warm?
I'm having some issues with my recording equipment right now, but I did technically "write" the song to fulfill your challenge. Some day soon I will perhaps record the music. This piece is slow and a capella.
I see the water cold and drop-
-ping from air conditioning, artificial rain,
and it gets on me...
it doesn't do much for me
I feel the towers towering,
casting purple shade that does nothing
I am a blood-beat
half away from melting
it is a-
in new york city
and I need somebody
to cool me down
it's a heat wave
in new york city
and you have promised me
you'd cool me down. (repeat ad infinitum)
Re: Time - It heals all wounds but will kill us if we're lucky. It tells us what to do and when to do it. How did past civilizations cut up their days and years? What does our way of telling time say about what we value? We're just in time, we're out of time, it happens time and time again, why can't we travel through time...
Re: Home - What does it means to go home? What makes a place a home? Can your home be a person or does it have to be a place? We have a home base, a home planet, we can hit a home run and also create deadly homing devices.
Re: Lost - You can be lost, feel lost, and look lost. Where are we? Lost.
Re: Love - yeah, you know.
Re: The End - What happens after the end?
Re: Heart - We all have one. They're a pretty big deal. A heart is an organ, a concept, a metaphor, and a target all rolled up into one bloody red symbol. We rally around a chunk of meat in our chests. What's up with that?
musing5225's challenge: choose a piece from the scene from a fictional film collab, and write at least a one page short story.
She hears her mother on the phone in the living room talking to some neighbor and she gives her credit for making the effort to be judicious about it. “She’s fine, of course, but right now Anna is…fighting her demons.”
People have all kinds of euphemisms for depression but “fighting the demons” is probably her favorite. When she hears it she thinks about how much cooler it sounds compared to what she’s actually doing, which at this point is just crying about weird shit and wondering what happened to the rest of her emotional range. Yesterday she sobbed uncontrollably while watching Ocean’s Eleven, then drew a bath and pretended to drown herself. “Anna is fighting her demons,” her mother says from the other room. She’ll never say anything else about it.
In Anna's head she is three inches taller and so much prettier than she is for real. She has the muscle definition of a comic book superheroine complete with shampoo-commercial hair. She has two bandoliers packed up with silver bullets slung across her chest like a pair of deadly fucking suspenders. There are knives hidden in her boots and grenades dangling off her belt. Her walkie-talkie is a direct line to her backup in the sky and the second she gives the word they will swoop down and rain hell upon her enemies. In her head she is thusly equipped to fight her demons.
Her guns fire off like a drumline as she takes them out in flashes of blood and light. She leads the charge, takes cover when she needs to, and always emerges just in time to mow a line of demon scum out of her path. She feels them die inside her when they go, and when they go they disappear with nary a corpse left behind to get in the way of her fight.
Anna is fighting her demons, and when the battlefield is almost clear it comes down to her and the biggest, baddest, demoniest demon in the pantheon. She is ready for this moment. She takes him out and the battle is over. Her heart is clear; her head is her own again. In her head it is really that easy.
The real world is not inside her head. She doesn’t know how to fight her demons in the real world. In the real world there are no snarling beasts with razor claws that swipe at her. Nothing to aim for and shoot out of her way. There are quiet moments interrupted by choruses of voices that drown out her thoughts with unspeakable options. There are foreign feelings that creep up and scare her in the night. There are invisible rejections and unkind perceptions that wrestle so closely with reality that she can’t pull them apart to tell which is which. There are pressures and valves in her heart and her head that build up and fire entirely on their own; they take her along for the ride and leave her friends behind.
“Anna is fighting her demons,” her mother says but Anna is not fighting anything. She is being defeated and devoured by twin beasties that prey upon her genetic code. She is beaten and bruised and her airplanes have fallen from the sky like dead birds. She is out of ammo. Her grenades have all gone off. She needs to wake up. She needs to wake up. She has to fight the demons. She needs to wake up.
I also bake
Don't ask me to remix your own work.
Almost a year ago to this day I wrote a short story based off of a photo-illustration called "urbanization (remix)" by Tanya Mar. That story was The Cutting Edge, and from its featuring by the incredibly tasteful and handsome Resident Curator Day Glo it spawned a small universe of records best collected in The Cutting Edge Collaboration. Of all of my records, I am most proud of this one- not because of the attention it got or the hearts it accrued- but because for the first time on this site I got to see how one little idea of mine can take root in the heart of other artists and take on a life of its own.
I've read over my orginal text for The Cutting and found it wanting. There are uneccesary details, funky sentences, and textual contradictions. Tonight I repost The Cutting Edge in the edited form that only a year's worth of hindsight could create. Is it terribly different to the original? No, but I'm happier with it in this pared-down form:
It was, they told us, the very latest in technology. The cutting edge, the newest of the new. “Free Your Mind With DreamShare,” was their slogan, and they promised us a new age of uninhibited creativity. It was easy to use. Drink down a packet of nanos dissolved into water, link to the Dreamshare mech, and dream your way to hours of entertainment and experimentation.
When you woke up you could watch what you had made on your screen and edit it with provided software. The DreamShare website was quickly populated with hundreds of dreams uploaded by users, tagged for easy searching and organized by category (Slasher! Sci Fi! Fantasy!). The first to go up went viral simply because they were the first broadcasted dreams anyone had ever seen. We later learned to be more discerning, preferring the organized plotlines of experienced lucid dreamers to the hazy events of your average Jane’s nighttime brain-wanderings. Still then it was free, and so new.
Of course the porn industry caught on first. “Sex Dreaming With The Stars” was the first big series to be released on holodisk, and they bought up the dreams of just about anyone who had a racy sheet-stainer starring a famous face. Arthouse types followed; they brought order to the surrealism of dreamscapes and used lucidity to create coherent plots. Hollywood was slow to pick up on the fad, assuming that people would rather see the work of “real” directors with “real” actors saying planned lines- but when the hard numbers on the film industry’s first five years after DreamShare’s release came out, shareholders pressured the studios to partner up and get into the dream business.
To ignite interest in Hollywood-produced dreams, they organized a talent search for the world’s most interesting and creative dreamers. When they found them, they signed them up for lifetime contracts. Every second of the lucky winners’ sleep belonged to the studios, and Dreamshare’s monopoly on the technology guaranteed that the company made money on every release. They paid the dreamers a lot, from what I hear. More than I think they were willing to, even with the huge amounts of money rolling in from people who wanted to see big name dreams on even bigger screens.
After a while they stopped wanting to pay for the raw material of dreams. They tried to sneak it on us at first. Dreams started showing up in theaters by anonymous dreamers who had not consented to have their work shown for profit. Some of them hadn’t even shared their dreams on the website before they saw it coming up as some studio’s next great venture. The dreamers tried to sue but they lost. DreamShare had written into the fine print of the very first version of the mech that they had the right to “any and all information uploaded onto their database,” and every dream recorded with their technology was backed up onto their server. Nobody knew that because nobody read it, and now someone else had the rights to our dreams.
So everyone stopped. They took hammers to their DreamShare mechs and stopped dissolving nanos into their water. Poor bastards thought they were accomplishing something. They didn’t know that DreamShare had lied to them. Those nanobots, you don’t piss them out within a day or two of consuming them. They stay in your body. They build up, a million billion powder-small robots living in your brain and in your blood. You didn’t even need the mech once their server went cloud-based. As long as you had enough nanotech in your head, your dreams were recorded, stored, and used. There was nothing you could do about it.
The screens haunt us now. They hover above our streets and in our houses, selling us products we invented ourselves and showing us fantasies that were supposed to stay secret. Anyone’s dreams are fair game, and you live in fear that one day you’ll look up and see your life, your fiction, your own stolen imagination projected in the sky for the world to see. We more or less entertain ourselves now. It’s the cutting edge of technology.
My last relationship turned out to be my ex-boyfriend’s last attempt at having a girlfriend, and when he dumped me for once it wasn’t because of my terrible personality, but because he was gay.
At first I felt defective. Like there was something fundamentally wrong with me that he recognized and grew to despise.
I was put together incorrectly from the start, broken irreparably and as such, I deserved to be thrown away.
Then I felt repugnant. A sense of my own hideousness welled up and beat me down whenever I looked in a mirror.
I convinced myself that I must have been repulsive to him the entire time.
When he looked at me I envisioned him seeing some heaping pile of refuse- vile, moist, and stinking- until he decided he couldn’t look at it any longer.
I remembered the way he told me I was beautiful as if trying to reassure himself of the fact.
I felt used, like a lab rat that failed the trial and is left to rot in a maze somewhere.
I was the last straw, the final exam, or the wall he had to climb to get to the other side. I felt like an object, a compound, a catalyst- anything but a human being.
Anything but something worthy and recyclable.
Just trash, scientific trash.
Dispose of me in the correct bin lest I blind somebody.
Disclaimer: I’m aware that these emotions do not reflect the reality of how he felt about me, neither are they an accurate depiction of the way gay men feel about women. I am only writing about my perspective in the 3-6 weeks after he left and I am aware that these emotions are both selfish AND misplaced. I'm a dick and feelings happen.