I'll probably break and go do it tomorrow; I just hate interacting with system types, always feel under judgement, and also feel kind of major about what feels a little bit like giving up an old home at last.
A SUM OF AWE (YOUR AWESOME IS SO AWESOME THAT)
your awesome flows
like a river downhill
teaming with salmon
who leap against gravity
flashing silver extraordinary up and up
in mature magnificence
to spawn more awesomeness
because inspiration like this
gives breath again to dare
in the act of taking it away
breaking complacent aspiration to create
awed pause for possibility—
silver salmon surging splashing flicker-flashing, o—!
o glory, o surely they have eaten hazelnuts
of wisdom, swallowed dream tokens
for safe-keeping, known the intimate ocean
depths and high swift mountain streams
to shine so brightly leap upon leaping
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She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.
As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
She reminded them of the war.
On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.
You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldn’t smell
of lonely or empty.
You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island
if her thighs are borders?
What man wants to lie down
and watch the world burn
in his bedroom?
Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things.
doesn’t she wear
the world well?
2. What is the first thing you look at when you meet someone new? Depends on what they're wearing, but I'm either drawn to clothes or their face depending on how vibrantly they're dressed.
3. Do you match your shoes to your outfit/accessories? Sometimes? Most of the time I just wear my vans.
4. Do you like getting dressed up or prefer to be casual? I like to mix 'n' match!
5. What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought for yourself? I am operating under the presumption this question is talking about clothes/accessories/shoes and therefore my answer is my one corset: it's made from a cream and gold thread brocade and it's amazing.
(I was already very, very fond of blue. This icon is a photograph taken when I can't have been more than about six - I had the dress when I was in year two - and it is ridiculous and satin-y and stiff, with puffed sleeves and a petticoat, and as you can see I am wearing blue tights and wellington boots with blue trim. I was standing reading in the sunlight at the bottom of the garden, underneath the apple tree; I have my back to it, facing back up the garden towards the house.)
I loved peacocks and their feathers - because of the blue.
Now it is rapidly apparent if you meet me, or visit my home: my silicone cookware is blue; my sheets are blue (and my duvet covers have dinosaurs); my blankets are blue; my towels are blue; the postcards stuck on my wall tend towards blue; my 2013 diary is teal taffeta; my three most commonly worn scarves are blue; I own two pairs of teal boots and one pair of teal trousers and one blue shirt; my favourite pendants all contain blue; my wheelchair is blue; and my t-shirts, when stacked neatly on my shelves, divide very neatly in two: dominantly black and, yes, dominantly blue. My overnight bag is blue and contains teal eyeliner and teal body glitter. My backpacks have been blue since secondary school. The arms of my glasses are mottled translucent teal and brown. The curtains in the bedroom of my childhood are striped rich blues and purples, streaked with silver.
I have spent hours staring at the varied blues of the sea and of the sky. I am entranced by opals and labradorite and lapis lazuli and azure.
I don't, I'm afraid, have good stories for you as to why blue, or what about it, but here we have the thing and, it would seem, the whole of the thing.
There is nothing in the world quite like the blue of glaciers or of gentians.
The reason for this is that my aunt is a spinner and a knitter. In my grandparents' house upon a hill in Bath, on the tiny single bed in the tiny room overlooking the garden, that used to be my aunt's and is now my grandfather's study; from which one can see the blackcurrant bushes and hot air balloons; is a knitted elephant, about the size of a child's torso, all in yellow.
This elephant is named Custard, and as is the way with elephants, he is much, much older than I.
My favourite thing about him was not that he was just right to hug, nor even his ears, but the stories my father would tell me (or tell us): about Custard and his friend the yellow dragon Ogwurt: ogwurt being, of course, our childish mispronunciation of yoghurt.
Or, rather, the stories he would tell us about Ogwurt And Custard, because that is how we referred to them and that is how we would ask for them.
They involved jungles and snakes and Ogwurt flying above the trees following Custard's passage by the trembling of the leaves. They were adventure and communication and more-or-less the only time my father ever told us bedtime stories.
This perhaps goes some way towards explaining my abiding conviction that dragons - especially if they are yellow - are friendly and kind and a little bit inept; and why stories with dragons in feel rather like an unexpected and bittersweet homecoming.
Today's Topic comes from: shaggydogstail, and is "Nigella".
I know I share my love for Nigella Lawson with a few people on the flist, and probably for much the same reasons. She is someone with a true love of food, who makes no pretence at being a chef or a trained cook, just someone who likes good food and cooking it and providing it. I am not going to address everything in the news about her currently because we don't know the full story, and that isn't the point of why I love her.
I love Nigella because seeing her on my television means seeing someone who eats food from the fridge at midnight and who cooks more than is possibly necessary, and who thinks that chocolate is great, but chocolate plus more chocolate is even better. I read cookbooks like novels, and I like reading Nigella's because her writing is evocative of her food. Have I cooked much from Feast? No. Have I read it three times? Yes. I have very little cause to ever cook giant meals (there's only three of us, and my mother isn't spectacularly interested in food) but I love reading Kitchen and Feast because there is a certain quality to Nigella's food writing that makes me stop, and pause, and consider. She really really loves food, and writing about it, and, in particular, about the rituals and intricacies that make a recipe something to be treasured.
I know a few people who find her television persona to be off-putting, but, look, I like both sexual innuendo and cooking gusto, so her programmes are basically tailor made for me. I've been watching repeats of the Nigella Christmas series on one of the many food channels we get, and I never really tire of the production values and enthusiasm that go into making them.
And, you know what, it doesn't hurt that I find her staggeringly attractive.
I mean, I just ... asdfghjklas.
In Reb Shlomo’s parable
the rabbi stands at the edge
of a sea of tears
and refuses heaven
until all are shed.
You have drifted on that sea,
trailed your fingers
in its salt waters
wondering why no one on shore
notices you’re gone.
The fear says
if you open the porthole
Noah’s own floods will pour through
towering like a ziggurat
and wash you away.
And others, innocent.
They might be caught
in the raging waters.
You can’t warn them
to build an ark in time.
The problem is (you explain)
you don’t trust intuition.
Your dream guide replies
where do you think
the poems come from?
You’ve spent a life
thinking you had only two eyes.
Now you realize: that’s
what that extra tender spot
is for. Press, and tears well up.
Take up paleontologists’ tools,
tiny pick and fine brush.
Watch the ancient skeleton emerge.
Imagine the impact
which made this impression.
As many times as necessary
no matter how far you dig
you won’t burst the capstone
on the primordial seas.
Turn a corner, you’re
a beginner again.
Relearn how to shore
yourself up, build
a path you can trust will hold.
You want to believe
you can turn emotion’s flood
into living waters
from which you’ll emerge whole,
dazzling like the sun.
Outside, morning sun buckling up.
Tell us of a bypassed heart beating in 12C,
how the woman holds a stranger's hand
to the battery sewn in beneath her collarbone,
and says feel this. Tell us of the man's ear
listening across the aisle, hugging itself,
a fist long since blistered by blaze.
Outside, morning sun buckling up.
Inside, twitching bonesacks of bat, birdsong
erupting as light cracks the far jungle canopy.
Ten thousand feet below ours, a grey cat
tongues the morning's butter left out to soft.
Last night we broke open the sweet folds
around two paper fortunes. One said variety.
One said caution. The woman in 12C would hold that
her heart needs its hidden spark, but the man shows
how some live the rest of their lives with half a face
remembering its before expression. Who was it
that said our souls know one another
by smell, like horses?
Finally, dammit!/I came here to see you…
Jennifer Michael Hecht
"Promises to keep," was a lie, he had nothing. Through
the woods. Over the river and into the pain. It is an addict's
talk of quitting as she's smacking at a vein. He was always
going into the woods. It was he who wrote, "The only way
around is through." You'd think a shrink, but no, a poet.
He saw the woods and knew. The forest is the one that holds
promises. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, they fill
with a quiet snow. Miles are traveled as we sleep. He steers
his horse off the road. Among the trees now, the blizzard
is a dusting. Holes in the canopy make columns of snowstorm,
lit from above. His little horse thinks it is queer. They go
deeper, sky gets darker. It's the darkest night of the year.
He had no promises to keep, nothing pending. Had no bed
to head to, measurably away in miles. He was a freak like me,
monster of the dawn. Whose woods these are I think I know,
his house is in the village though. In the middle of life
he found himself lost in a dark woods. I discovered myself
in a somber forest. In between my breasts and breaths I got
lost. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I've got promises
to keep, smiles to go before I leap. I'm going into the woods.
They're lovely dark, and deep, which is what I want, deep lovely darkness.
No one has asked, let alone taken, a promise of me,
no one will notice if I choose bed or rug, couch or forest deep.
It doesn't matter where I sleep. It doesn't matter where I sleep.
In my sleep it’s never winter.
Why A Man Cannot Have Wings
Because he will crash land on his head, assuming it to be
The strongest part of his body.
Because someone will put up a sign that reads:
Do Not Step on the Cirrus Clouds.
Because it does not even take a man hundreds of feet above
Sea-level to learn contempt.
Because there will be new categories of handicaps: bow-wings,
Ostrich disease, scaly feathers, carousel flight syndrome,
Or at a freak show: The Amazing Wingless Wonder.
Because he will have a new weapon, gravity,
And everything he releases becomes a missile,
Even glass marbles, books, the fatal music box.
Because he is lonely enough without being able to
Frame the house he lives in between his forefinger and thumb.
Because then the sky will shed its metaphors of freedom
And become another path for him to carry his burdens.
Because there will be a popular form of suicide:
Flying into foreign airspace and being gunned down;
All it takes is a nose-tip to press an invisible blue button.
Because each death in mid-air, each comic comet plunge,
Will be another enactment of the fall of Man.
Because in concentration camps people will break wings
And use the feathers for quills to write sonnets
And pillow stuffing for innocent dreams.
Because he will have less to fantasize about, less of miracles
And the word 'levitation' will not exist.
Because there will be children who will empty their bladders
Under cloud cover in an attempt to make yellow snow.
And because he might get the wrong notion that he is closer
To heaven, when he has not even come to a mile
Within the presence of angels, despite the resemblance.
Showed that anything more spectacular had occurred
Than the usual drowning. The police preferred to ignore
The confusing aspects of the case,
And the witnesses ran off to a gang war.
So the report filed and forgotten in the archives read simply
“Drowned,” but it was wrong: Icarus
Had swum away, coming at last to the city
Where he rented a house and tended the garden.
“That nice Mr. Hicks” the neighbors called,
Never dreaming that the gray, respectable suit
Concealed arms that had controlled huge wings
Nor that those sad, defeated eyes had once
Compelled the sun. And had he told them
They would have answered with a shocked,
No, he could not disturb their neat front yards;
Yet all his books insisted that this was a horrible mistake:
What was he doing aging in a suburb?
Can the genius of the hero fall
To the middling stature of the merely talented?
And nightly Icarus probes his wound
And daily in his workshop, curtains carefully drawn,
Constructs small wings and tries to fly
To the lighting fixture on the ceiling:
Fails every time and hates himself for trying.
He had thought himself a hero, had acted heroically,
And dreamt of his fall, the tragic fall of the hero;
But now rides commuter trains,
Serves on various committees,
And wishes he had drowned.
(My last Icarus poem for the week, I promise - though I do have more...Normal service will be resumed shortly.)
What is your usual everyday outfit? A long skirt, a nice blouse, and my vans. This week I've been shaking it up with a Welcome to Night Vale tshirt and jeans. (I also need to do laundry. *shamefaced*)
What school memory do you think about fairly regularly? Um, I don't know actually. I think that my memory is so visual, that unless I'm thinking about something in particular, I usually end up thinking about the outside of the buildings and grounds and stuff. Yeah, I'm weird.
What did you want to be when you grew up and why? For a while I really wanted to be an oceanographer because the idea that the ocean was so unknown to us was fascinating to me, or something with NASA but nothing that would require going into space. Then I wanted to be... I dunno, something, anything that would help people out. I ended up super nebulous in college after working as something like an ombudsman left me really dissatisfied.
Now, I'm hoping to figure out how to attach my now reactivated bank account to amazon and make a little doing audiobooks.
Clearly, I'm flexible. ^u^
Dancin' Once upon a time I was in little kid's tap. Um. I really like dancing in clubs and at school discos and parties and such, and I was one of the few people dancing at prom. (Yes, I've gone to English and American schools.) I just like dancing even though I suck at it.
Crockery I have a bunch finally. I hate washing dishes though. Give me any other chore but dishes.
Dreamcasts I really wanted one, but it wasn't until years later I got a PS2 (and then my sis nicked it *sigh*) and I like a couple of games on it, but I have more on the laptop and I actually usually play flash games because I love puzzlers and platformers.
Top five desert island books I honestly do not know anymore. I haven't really read much stuff that wasn't fanfic in ages and I'm just now getting back into reading actual books. I feel like this could be construed as a wiggle out, but this is my very best answer, sorry!
(If you'd like to ask me a bunch of different questions based on the fanfic I've read though, that I can answer!)