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Writing Prompt, The First

So, as I mentioned on my personal blog, I've decided to resurrect this beautiful creation that was struck down in the blush of its youth. Oh, Laziness, how you have wronged me!!! But as Leela-err, I mean, Clobberella-would say, quietly, so as not to postpone the sleep of a crabby neighbor, "A new era of justice has begun!"

So here's the first of the writing prompts from the JulNoWriMo website. Enjoy, my pretties!

Describe, in detail, the feeling that you had the very first time you were kissed. Was it wet? Was it sloppy? Was it dry and scary? Was it your grandmother? 500+ words should about do it! Keep up your word counts!

Ew. But, I must do as the website demands. . .

Human Mandible (Unfinished)

She dreams of horses. Wild horses in all colors gallop across the plains of her unconscious mind. They race each other on long spindly legs as the heat of exertion rises off their backs in wafts of steam. Some crash into one another desperately, knocking them both off their feet. Some rage with their heads down, their necks strained and sinewy, dipping up and down up and down. But the ones she likes to follow most are those that seem to forget the race entirely mid-stride and head out to unforeseen destinations.
She wakes to babies’ cries. Three different octaves of malcontent come from the corner of her bedroom and the one down the hallway with the Winnie the Pooh decals on the wall. When people come over to stare inside her house like tourists at the zoo it’s an easy thing they can find to compliment her on: the placement of these stickers over the bins of toys and the stuffed to overflowing closet. How darling! How clever! Oh, isn’t that so cute?
She shakes her head to clear it of the sound of flying hooves. Little Max at four months will want to be fed his bottle. Two-year-old Jamie will want something too although he won’t say what it is; he never says anything, just wails and wails until she finally catches on. The oldest boy, Robbie, at four years, will just want to hear his name spoken softly in conjunction with something like “Good morning” or “Sleep well?” or “How‘s my pretty boy?”, and she’s sorry again that this last request will be the most difficult to fulfill.
She does the best she can to keep up with the preparing and giving of bottles, the changing of diapers, Jamie’s toilet training, the cooking of meals, the washing of dishes, the cleaning of hands and faces, the wiping of noses, the grocery shopping, the dressing and undressing, the sorting and doing of laundry, the running and giving of baths, and the picking up around the house after the boys, while at the same time trying to remember to brush her teeth and put on a clean pair of jeans. At some point near the end her husband, Brian, will come home from a long day at the office and kiss her cheek. He’ll head off to watch TV, eat dinner and go to bed if she‘s lucky.
She can handle it; she knows it’s coming. The difficulties arise when it comes to things she can’t expect. Who will fall down and where and how often and how seriously? How much of a fuss will Jamie put up at naptime? How hard and often will Max cry because he keeps pulling the pacifier out of his mouth when he doesn’t know how to get it back in? How much of what she’s teaching Robbie will he remember from one day to another? How much will each of them need to be giggled at, cooed at, picked up, carried, sung to? She knows they all will need it; she chastises herself when it happens and she begins thinking, like she does when Brian lays down and begins running his hand along her thigh, Just how long is this going to take?
She needs her sleep more than anything. She’s always amazed at how functional she is with as little as she gets. Not since Robbie was a baby has she had a peaceful night. He was an easy, sweet natured baby, all quiet and contentment. Placing his little body between her and Brian’s, she barely had to wake up when he awoke hungry and started moving around; he rarely cried and held his own bottle by the time he was Max‘s age. But when Jamie arrived, in a furry of squirming and scowling and shrieking wails for hours at a time and no reason she could detect, Brian had moved into the guest room and installed an air purifier to drown him out. But someone had to be the one to rock him and walk him and bounce him. Just as someone had to do the same with Max, and someone had to take care of Robbie all day as if his brothers hadn’t kept her up all night.
Just the taste of the word “sleep” in her mouth feels restful. Sleep steals up on her constantly. She can feel it creeping over her when she’s in the supermarket trying to visualize the contents of the refrigerator, scanning for empty spaces. She knows its warm fingers stroking her as she sings lullabies to the boys or stirs a pot of spaghetti. Sleep is a hidden lover to her, lulling with its horse noise, her little secret, her fleeting pleasure. Sleep is her long withheld and fractured delight, heavy and broken, never to be made up.

toss away

what is is about crudely drawn happy clown faces that's so depressing? maybe Joseph Campbell could illuminate this question. maybe there's some long-standing multi-lateral cultural consciousness of an eschewed jester, his hilarious physical and mental abnormalities evident in his glinting, lolling beady eyes, his teeth smashed together as if trapped in braces, his rudy, glowing cheeks and sweating brow, plastered with dark brown curly locks.

maybe every culture has an awareness of a jester like this, someone they initially welcomed into their community as he shyly poked his head into the world, a mild baby. How sweet-tempered! they would say. what a good little baby. and as he grew, they would begin to learn the tragedy of his birth: that he was good because he didn't know any better.

they would want to include him in their societies. they'd find a place for him. they'd tolerate him, with a little love, if they could throw rotten potatoes at him as he danced, if he'd agree to ride a tiny donkey and honk his nose for the village children, if he'd visit the queen's chambers and mitigate her irrational wrath.

but one day, he'd do something terrible. he'd kill a puppy, accidentally, because it wouldn't ride the donkey with him, or he'd get carried away and push the donkey too far. he'd eat the baker's latest dozen; he'd attempt to make love to the apothecary's daughter; he'd drop a roasted turkey he was asked to carry over a river. soon everyone would begin to realize the bittersweet comedy of their choice: that the idiot they tried to tolerate and give a better life was now ruining theirs.

so they ran him out of town, all those communities, and that's why, says Joseph Campbell, I don't feel despair but guilt as I stare at this marbled plastic clipboard. two beady eyes, scratched out in blue pen ink stare blankly up at me. the wide, lopsided, gray face is dotted with two small outlined circles, indicating healthily blushed cheeks and, near the bottom rests a languid tic tac toe rack of tightly grimacing teeth. everywhere there's stringy curly hair.

I don't think I do feel guilt. In this place where no child, either mental or physical, could have acquired this clipboard and gained the familiarity with it necessary to deface it, I know that I'm not looking at the work of the underdeveloped, but at that of, most-likely, a full grown man, a full grown man who used his full grown hands and big throbbing brain to draw this awful, smiling replica of the world's most feared personality:the soulless clown. and I feel afraid, I feel disgusted, I feel brought back to the dusty town where a clown was run down, and finally defeated, but never forgotten, always popping his head back up, periodically, through the murkiest waters of today's minds and loins.

sunny days @ the desk

work's stranded
on vacation
on a raft
in a puddle of bleach--
it's
floating on doughnuts
battered with the finest
green and yellow rain--
they're all
baked by the tiniest
most distant
white
sun
HEY EVERYBODY!!! GET READY TO GROPE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER GROPED BEFORE!!!
THIS IS MY CRAPPY CRAPPY STORY.

The Mariemont Ghetto. A small collection of charmingly rundown buildings, with both an "Olde" and new town center, gathered around lovely intimate squares, complete with a fountains, family-showcasing statues, and several different varieties of flowering trees. In the warmer months, the entire area smelled light and and airy, floral clouds drifted in through open windows along with the white and pink blossoms that floated happily on breezes. Fall was a fury of variant and unexpected colors; winter brought to life a little snow village, black and white and brown, the trees turning spindly and dripping with ice as though dipped in glass.
The Mariemont Ghetto. Less than forty minutes from the subrurb where I grew up, this little villa has thrived since 1912. Walking its foliage lined streets, it looked as if a third of its residents had moved in at that time. These elderly dwellers shuffled into the Village Kitchen, where the prices accomodated dwindling Social Security checks and catered to failing teeth, where a whole meal of mushy vegetables and chopped steak cost a mere $4.25. Another third of the village were high-priced, high-minded yuppie-types, khaki clad with sweaters tied around necks (only to be replaced by tasteful designer scarves when the weather turned nasty). These were DINK households, second marriages, blended families, and couples walking together pushing strollers bearing, or followed by, a plethora of well-dressed children. One family in particular bicycled together on the weekends, a caravan of seven in a langourous row, a slow moving non-competitive Tour-de-France.
The Mariemont Ghetto. The apartments were tiny, cheap, and unfurnished, painted years ago and somewhat messily, chipping away in large dark green and brown and white flakes. Full of character, a romantic, old-timey hold out, where one could walk down to the four screen movie theatre, the ice cream parlor, the local pizzerias, and the family owned book-and-gift shoppe in a cool ten minutes. An elaborate and ancient church was planted just off the main road through town and its bells pealed out hymns every Sunday evening from six to eight; an old log cabin grew into the earth across the street. The town was redolent and green, homey and alive.
The Mariemont Ghetto. The last third of the population was made up of wayward freaks like Adrienne, Luke, and me. Unassuming and strange, we nested within three floors of each other in an apartment building off the old square. Our mornings broke over a small gurgling fountain and the wanton points of leaves peircing the sunrise; our nights were ushered in soft and sweet, like a blanket being pulled up over a lover's sleeping form. In this desperate, delightful, degenerated hell-paradise, we lived.
Adrienne moved in first. Back when she came to this place, the entire building smelled chemical like fresh paint and the ivy had not yet overcrept the windows on the west side. The far-between cockroach already crawled around the bathtub drain, the occassional lock would unexpectedly fall out of a front door, but the place was bearable. The charm outweighed the harm; it made up in style what it lacked in comfort.
Luke came later, and myself after that. By that time, little tendrils of greenery were poking in between the wall and windowpane, the cockroaches appeared once a month like a menstrual cycle, and spontaneous lock ejection had doubled in frequency. The price was good, though, and the streets were pretty, the caretaker was friendly enough and the water was paid for.
The first time Luke saw Adrienne he fell into a deep, all-encompassing, rapturous love with her. The first time Adrienne saw Luke she thought he needed a haircut. The first time I met either of them I was unable to speak, Adrienne because I had just been born, and Luke because as we stood on the sidewalk, shaking hands, his car burst into flames. "Brother Hezekiah!" he shouted at his vehicle and ran to put out the flames.


AND NONE OF THIS "IS IT FINISHED?" NO! IT IS not FINISHED, BUT . . . WELL, SHOULD I CONTINUE TO TRY????
METHNKS "NO."

Something

"Distilled"

Stand up and meet the day--even, tight-lipped, shoulders firm (anticipating burdens) and jaw set to meet the day. My attention flits quickly from one morning agenda item to the next: shower, shave, teeth, mirror, coffee. There is the pep talk I give myself---my homage to "carpe diem". Though executed by rote, the next twenty minutes are my energy; my dogma is closely linked to walking around my apartment, looking for my socks. Kerygma instilled as a boy seems fuzzier in my mind than ever before: I preach to myself now, the Holy Gospel of Time and Expectation.

I confess, it isn't easy to be my own prophet, priest and king--my piety wears me down. There's so little to worship about me. From above Valhalla, everything seems unimpressive and uninspiring. Only the inflated, lofty self-importance of owning the universe keeps me inwardly entertained. What I'm saying is, I miss God.

Days and days of this religion takes my sleep away in ever-increasing increments. I think I'm bad for you right now. I'd almost like to leave and come back when morality and mortality return to their normal place in my field of view. I'd like you to know me when my evenings are even and my hands don't tremble for alcohol or distraction. I think you should know mistakes I make sit poorly with me.

Every day, I think about all of this. You should ask me how I get through the day. The truth is, I stay awake because it isn't time to sleep.

(x-posted to excuse_me___)

May. 5th, 2005

once upon a time, there was a little boy named.....

ah, forget it. sheila just brought in a taco salad, and that's better than any story i'd write.

Writer's Grope

So a few months ago, some friends and I started a Writer's Group.
We all were interested in writing, but got tired of sucking so much when we did it. How could we rise above this? We pondered. We whined. We drank to excess, but still nothing changed. Suddenly, inspiration came to us! Since it was (as it usually is) easier to enlighten others about their shortcomings than it was to recognize our own, we decided to get together once a week and enlighten each other till we were sore, bloodied, and spent. Thus, Writer's Group was born.
What happens to a dream deferred? We weren't ABOUT to find out.
The Group was great. The Group was hot. The Group was, dare I say, "sexellant"?
The group was also dynamic. Soon after its creation, a young man who now works in the marketing department of Buddy's Carpet submitted a story by proxy, containing the ellusive maxim, "put your had on the person chin". It has been our motto ever since. The original three broadened to four when a middle aged woman, who was responsible for the existance of two of our members, joined. But she had a job, so she couldn't keep up with the rigorous pace of late nights, nacho eating, and cartoon watching the others of us enjoyed, which so improved our literary gifts. Again we were three.
Finally, in our third* month, a very hot young man began coming to the Group. When I say hot, I don't mean to say he was merely attractive. He was hot with a h-a-w-t. Then a bandmate of one of our founders came. Then we tried to make the group an actual academic exercise, by giving assignments and studying published authors. Then it got too long. Then everybody complained and it all went to crap. And so Writer's Group was no more.
Finally, I came to the realization that if there was to be a Group, it had to be created by force. Brutal crushing violence was the way to go. And the internet! That was also a brilliant idea I had, for it would free up time for those involved, and we could enlighten/criticize everyone at our convenience. So I set about constructing this right here place community thing. Unfortunately I was thinking of our incredibly hot member at the time and I had a Fruedian Slip and typed Writer's Grope instead of Group. C'est la vie.
So, welcome dear friends, to Writer's Grope. May you write and grope to your heart's content. And may I get first dibs on the gropes I would prefer.




*dates are arbitrary