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Mad Girl's Love Song
(I think I made you up inside my head)
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14th-May-2010 01:55 pm - Writer's Block: Mind Reader
In three words, describe what's currently running through your mind.

Nothing really matters.
(Bohemian Rhapsody)
24th-Apr-2010 11:45 pm - The Magic of Time
Sadness, much like getting hit by a bus, is funnier the farther you are from it. That means:

Life = bus
You (recent past) = person hit by bus (in pain)
You (present) = bystander in the fray (not amused)
You (future) = bystander watching from 10,000 feet away (laughing ass off)

It is small consolation to know that today's grieving will, with time, become tomorrow's charming anecdotes at some friend's dinner party.
24th-Apr-2010 11:35 pm - Playlist d'Vie - 24 April 2010
(playlist is often playful, playlist is sometimes sad)

seaside (the kooks)
merry happy (kate nash)
get me away from here i'm dying (belle & sebastian)
live and learn (the cardigans)
far far (yael naim)
failure - alternate version (kings of convenience)
bottle up and explode! (elliott smith)
crazy on you (heart)
size too small (sufjan stevens)
the love below (ida)
love like a sunset, pt. ii (phoenix)
best of times (sage francis)
blue skies (tom waits)
good morning, heartache
you old gloomy sight
good morning, heartache
thought we said goodbye last night

i tossed and turned until it seemed you had gone
but here you are with the dawn

wish i'd forget you
but you're here to stay
it seems i met you
when my love went away

now every day i start by saying to you
"good morning, heartache. what's new?"

stop haunting me now
can't shake you no how
just leave me alone
i've got those monday blues
straight through sunday blues

good morning, heartache
here we go again
good morning, heartache
you're the one who knew me when

might as well get used to you hanging around

good morning, heartache
sit down

Billie, Billie, Billie, how you give me the blues.
What's the most unusual food you have ever eaten? Have you ever consumed anything without knowing precisely what it was and gotten sick when you found out?

Ground duckling and pistachio with chocolate sauce. I didn't get sick. I did feel sad though.
12th-Dec-2009 11:05 am - 30 Minute Challenge: The Fire Escape
Days and days pass after Papa's car accident, and night after night Xav hears his mother's purposeful walk out past the closet door and Mara's room to the fire escape. She always goes at the same time--after Papa has fallen asleep and Vovo has come and gone for her last cup of coffee--and always returns before the moon has set behind the high rises. He listens, not daring to stir, as she hums something indistinguishably foreign.

It goes on for a week, then another, to a point where, tired though he might be, Xav awakens for her fifteen minute sojourn, listens, waits, and only falls asleep again when she has gone to bed. Finally, on a night with no moon, her footsteps stop at the closet door.

"If you are going to be awake you can come outside."

He immediately rams his eyes shut and holds, just a second or two, but when her feet don't stir he sits up and follows her. She motions him through the window first and follows just a step behind. He is surprised by her limberness, though reasonably she is not very old at all, but more surprised by the cigarettes she pulls out of her robe pocket. She'd always looked so disapproving at Papa.

Her small fingers fumble with one, then another.

"Don't tell Papa." She says, and he nods taking it. His mouth is watering.

She smokes expensive cigarettes, the kind high-society ladies might smoke, and while it shouldn't seem suitable for their tiny Harlem apartment, it suits his mother still.

"You knew I was awake?"

"I assumed." She says. "You've always been the nosiest child."

The smoke from her mouth mimes the shape of the absent moon. He stares out onto the blinking purple cityscape. For a place he'd always thought to be unhappy, it seems so oddly at peace. It stirs something in his heart that feels remarkably like love.

They smoke in silence, and when their cigarettes are done, his mother motions for him to go back inside. Xav pauses as he steps back through the window, "Mama."


He studies her face. She looks so egalitarian, out of place among shabby, dim darkness, but pale and beautiful too, and not old, and the curls in her hair crest and plummet like the water of Ipanema.

He studies her and she says, "I'm going back to Brazil. I'll live with Tia Isolde."

His heart shakes. "Will you take Mara and Vovo?"

"No, they will stay."

Her dark eyes pierce his with clear intent. He wonders if she has told Papa yet.

"Are you...are you ill, Mama?"

And to his further surprise she smiles, neither happy nor sad. "Go to bed."

As he finds his way in the darkness back to his closet, he can see his mother's dim form still on the fire escape. And recognizes now the song she hums as Henry Mancini's Moon River. He realizes it is a lullaby.

20 September 2008--Bananeira
not crazy; just a little unwell
today i love you, and today
i thought killing myself
might not be so bad.
4th-Dec-2009 02:13 am - 2

The first rose on my rose-tree
Budded, bloomed and shattered,
During sad days when to me
Nothing mattered.

Grief of grief has drained me clean;
Still it seems a pity
No one saw,--it must have been
Very pretty.

excerpt of Three Songs of Shattering
Edna Saint-Vincent Millay

fire sign, you held my wings
in between your fingers; you said,
"these are the most beautiful things"

maybe it was a prayer whispered by sage
but i wanted to be your "it" girl
i wanted to be your sexy thing

and i forgot who i am
this happened
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love down

baby, it's not your fault
we bring the love we're made of

we lived in a mansion with so many doors
i wanted to be standing behind
the one you were heading for

and i forgot who i am
this happened
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love down

maybe it seemed like me
i couldn't tell that difference between us

you taught me to get close
and i was dreaming your dreams
i was speaking your words
i was screaming your screams

and i forgot who i am
this happened
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love
while i was chasing your love down

anne heaton
fire sign
21st-Oct-2009 09:00 pm - 15 Minute Challenge: Garden Ethics
Sanya killed them all. The petunias, the impatients, the short, hardy marigolds. The snapdragons snapped in half. The aloe dried out. She would have murdered the hydrangeas too, probably, had not her mother eventually intervened, unable to see a perfectly healthy garden go to waste.

It wasn't that she was doing anything wrong, exactly. It must have been a problem with over-watering, or under watering, or maybe water quality...one could never be too careful. Or a fluke of the weather. She'd read about microbursts once; perhaps a micro-microburst was to blame, localized over the little patch of earth she'd specifically requested in their backyard. It was a dry brown blemish in the otherwise lush flora, so miserably visible from her bedroom window. She looked down on it in shame and abhorrence, and left her little blue watering can in the garden shed, and her yellow trowel, and she'd never been allowed near the shears in the first place.

The garden seemed pleased anyway, and immediately after her tending ceased the brown blemish began to show the first sign of promise. But she was miserable and her mother could see that. It's bulb season, she told her. Why don't you plant some bulbs?

It didn't get a rise out of her at all, so at last Samanthe dug five expert pits with her trowel, and seeing a betraying flicker of interest in her daughters eyes, merely left the bulbs in a pile and returned inside the house.

Like a cat, her curiosity unable to stay itself, she moseyed reluctantly outside to observe the holes. Stupid holes, she said. Stupid bulbs. Stupid micro-microbursts.

She kicked one of the bulbs. It rolled near the hole. She frowned and kicked it again. That'll show it. Then she kicked them all inside a hole, and the dirt over it, all very reluctantly of course. Stupid garden. She used her mother's watering can to sprinkle it a little bit, not really enough to matter, then went to her room and forgot about it.

Days later, she returns home to find her bedroom window wide open and, peering down onto the yard below, five hardy purple flowers bursting through the earth. She sprints outside to see if they're real, pokes them, touches their petals lightly in disbelieving. She calls her mother outside.

Never seen violets sprout so fast, she says. You've got a magic touch.

A magic touch!

Sanya shuffles inside, trying to swallow the beaming smile peaking through her teeth. Samanthe stays outside to tend the garden. Five for ten dollars, she thought, you can't beat it. They were a nice addition of color besides.

10 October 2007
only violets remain
19th-Oct-2009 12:14 pm - 15 Minute Challenge
They watch their footsteps in fascination as, crashing through puddle after puddle, tiny gray tsunamis wash the pebbles and grass out in circles from their Wellington boots. It is 1992. Sariya still has dark hair, bobbed neatly around her chin underneath her pale blue rain coat.

Andrew calls for her attention as he runs, light speed, toward another puddle, and aiming his feet with the precision of a marksman, sends a splash that they're sure could be seen from space with a good enough telescope.

Sariya shrieks with glee. She runs to do the same but isn't quite so talented, and upon landing, slips into the puddle and soaks her jumper underneath. She immediately howls as fat tears roll down her eyes, trying to shove the mud away from her to no avail. Andrew, laughing, yanks her out of the puddle and tries a couple of spells with his little bit of wand he carries around in his pocket. This has no effect except that she stops crying and starts hiccuping.

You ought to stop crying, he says. Or else.

She does stop. Or else what?

Or else you're gonna be an old man like me!

He pulls off his hood, exposing his full head of silver hair, and squinting his round brown eyes, hobbles around into another puddle. She holds her stomach and laughs.

Don't you want to be an old man like me?

No, no!

He hobbles after her a bit, the both of them screaming with laughter, until finally he pulls his hood back over his already damp hair.

Alright then! These puddles ain't gonna splash themselves, Soldier! We've got loads to do!

She salutes like he showed her earlier. Right-o, Sergeant!

When their handiwork is finished (every puddle, already rippled by the February drizzle, is a mess of mud and bits of grass and cloudy brown rainwater), he slings his arm around her shoulder and they walk home.

Auntie Feronia scolds them for getting their clothes wet, and drying her hair later, exclaims:

Is that a silver hair I see? Looks like you've gotten a little bit older since you went outside.

Sariya turns, her eyes wide, and starts howling with sobs.

24 September 2007
the sudden wave of silver born in you
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