Friends Only

Jun. 17th, 2016 | 04:02 pm

Bring the pure wine of
love and freedom.
But sir, a tornado is coming.
More wine, we'll teach this storm
A thing or two about whirling.

- Rumi

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Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent.

Apr. 6th, 2014 | 08:45 pm
music: the damn birds

Of course this is a topic that inspires poetry. Bonus: you can hear my southern accent.Collapse )

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In Another Castle

Mar. 31st, 2014 | 07:28 pm

         You awake in the morning, the alarm clock softly demanding your continued existence. Stumbling from beneath satin sheets, you make your way into the kitchen, the subfloor heating welcoming your toes. The coffee maker greets you, percolating with snorts and whuffs as your beverage – black and sugarless – is dispensed. The automatic blinds acknowledge the sun as you enter, shifting and tilting to allow you to enjoy its early rays.

         You yawn.
         You sip.
         You are in control.

         You make your way to the restroom to conduct your business. As you arise, there’s the automated swish and lap of water, yesterday’s indulgences carried off unseen. You lumber over the faucet, watch it illuminate at the presence of your hands. The soap dispenser senses your outstretched palm, rewards you with a stream of foaming antiseptic. You rub your hands obediently. The infrared sensor of the air dryer tests you, assesses your performance, and evaporates the last beads of water.

         You stop.
         You stretch.
         You are in control.

         Peeling off your clothes, you step into the shower. The door closes behind you with a soft click, and the heat lamp activates as you stand before the tiles. Massaging jets of water – temperature-adjusted – race across your flesh like tightening silk. The sheen of sweat you have carried through the night dissolves, drowns, rushes into the dark underbelly of the world.

         You soap.
         You rinse.
         You are in control.

         The heat lamp fades, the door clicks, and you grab a pre-warmed towel. The stereo considers your list of favorites, makes a selection, fills the halls with dissident chords. The music infuses your mind as you dress, its tempo setting the rhythm of the day. Your cell phone shivers in time on the table, blinking reminders of your morning commitments. It confirms your location with the nearby towers, adjusts the signal accordingly.

         You button.
         You clip.
         You are in control.

         The toaster grips the bagel, retracts it into its wired chassis, and locks it into place. The television comes to life, its expansive screen filled with the air-brushed faces of morning news anchors. They chat and flirt with you, delivering each word as a litany of truth. You take them in, your worldview reinforced. You’ve worked hard to be where you are. Your breakfast is released.

         You bite.
         You swallow.
         You are in control.

         You glide your fingers over the smooth lines of the vehicle, sliding into the scent of leather and faded smoke. The V-8 awakens beneath your feet. Its power reverberates through your limbs, dances with your adrenals, forces a thrill through your veins. The garage door rises gradually before you, the drawbridge to your knight, casting its shadow over the windshield. You wait and watch the digital map play out before you, trusting it to guide you along the quickest route. The door is raised; you release the brake.

         You grip.
         You accelerate.
         You are in control.

         Your email inbox is stretched across one screen; your calendar another. They are checkerboards of notifications – each hour, each minute of your week already planned. The light of your phone flashes in the corner of your eye, reminding you of your pending voicemails. Your last internet search lies open in another window, the results filtered expressly for you, complementing every prior click in your history. The security camera over your left shoulder blinks, reminds you that you are not alone, reminds you of home, reminds you to keep working.

         You click.
         You perspire.
         You are in control.

         You swipe your card – the black one – for lunch. The data on its magstripe is encrypted and transferred to a database 50 miles away. There it finds a match, confirms the figures in your account, and you are found acceptable in the time it has taken you to re-seat the card in your wallet. Your eyebrows lift and subsequently relax. Your bank statement will remind you on the 15th that you ate here, on this date, at 12:41 p.m. You will marvel at this precision, and why you continually select the falafel sandwich. The cashier eyes your suit, smiles at you, passes the receipt.

         You sign.
         You grin.
         You are in control.

         You pull into the long drive after dark, wind down the lane, pass the security cameras. The lawns are cut, the walkways swept: everything is perfect. The double garage door opens, smiling widely at your return. You maneuver inside, your steps guided down a footpath of motion-sensing lights. They brighten to a peak, as if celebrating your presence. Inside you find the stereo, dance your way to the wine cellar, sink your teeth into a crisp apple the color of money.

         You sit.
         You drink.
         You are in control.

         You fall on to the bed in your silk pajamas, sink deeply into the pillows. Your skin is warm with the wine, your head pleasantly humming. The actuators whir in to life, depositing you horizontally, laying you to rest. You snuggle into the bedding, feeling safe, a bit confused. You say the words out loud, four thick cobblestones that trip over your tongue.

         I am in control.

         The house creaks, shifts, and slowly blinks out around you. Soon you are shrouded by darkness, wiped out of existence once again.


This is my entry for Week 3, Season 9 of therealljidol.

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The Missing Stair

Mar. 23rd, 2014 | 10:04 pm

The human body is composed of nearly 100 trillion cells. Each is specialized in function, intricately organized into the complicated structures that make up the essence of who we are: the pulsing blood, the beating heart, the neuron-packed grey matter of our brains. And within each cell, another world: the organelles and enzymes which serve to transport molecules, harness energy, and synthesize proteins. At the heart lies the nucleus, the gatekeeper of our genetic material – strands of DNA, humbly clumped into chromosomes to maximize space.

We are sitting in the old house, the kitchen bright despite the dark cabinets and dinged avocado fridge. Sunlight is streaming through faded curtains, drawn to the yellow linoleum at our feet.
Read more...Collapse )

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LJ Idol Season What?!, Week 1 - "Jayus"

Mar. 17th, 2014 | 07:57 pm

At the stoplight
the belt on my car
--the one I took to be fixed yesterday--
begins to squeal again.

First a light
whiffle whiffle
beneath the hum of the heater
that slowly builds, frenetic.

As if channeling my anxiety
it climbs to a terrifying shriek
so that the man in the Lexus to my left
may look through me.

The wipers are clicking, whining,
caked with a crust of ice and brine.
I want to shake them,
release each one--

if only so that the woman in her luxurious red coat
will quit staring at the cracks in my windshield.
Doesn't she know that the scars
make us who we are?

--and I would (release them)
but the inner door handle departed long ago,
and the window's frozen tight
beneath winter's double pane.

The belt screams on as I sigh into the snow,
study the driver-side mirror,
acknowledge the chocolate pudding
that has found its way into my hair.

Every stoplight seems to shift
(except for mine):
a single red light,
endlessly waiting for the punchline.

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I don't make public posts very often....

Jan. 17th, 2014 | 10:17 am

...but this one is important to me. As many of you know, I'm trying to raise money for a close friend who needs to get out of a bad situation. The story and fundraiser is here.

Additionally, for those of you who love therealljidol, because clauderainsrm is amazing, he is also offering, for anyone who donates with a variation under the name "Idol", he will count 50% of that money toward the total being raised for starting Season 9. So if you donate $20 - $10 of that will show up on the total toward Season 9 starting. See here, it's true!

Also, because I would be remiss not to mention it, the above also goes for a crowdfunding campaign cacophonesque is running for her nephew here, which is a cause you should also consider supporting.

Even if you can't afford to support (and that's okay), please consider spreading the word about these.

With love to you all... ♥

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