bleodswean: (anatomical beat)

             Death and the Maiden

A contemporary Death & the Maiden tale.
A 20-something photographer meets her tattooed muse.
Does she fall in love with him or with the personified death he represents?
bleodswean: (skull lantern)
* Still not feeling quite settled. Into my head, into my space, into whatever it is that this summer, this year, is supposed to be. It's cold here. Rainy and overcast. We're reluctant to have woodstove fires's late spring? We do have a kerosene heater but we're out of kerosene and we should probably pick up a few gallons but so far we haven't. I'm very reptilian-like in my I'm a bit frozen.

* I'm going to try baking Kindred's Milk Bread today! Yum, right?

* I should have known that I wouldn't be able to stop with just one season of The Vampire Diaries. HUGE HELPINGS OF COMFORT FOOD. That's what it is. I had forgotten my deep and abiding love for it. Especially the first handful of seasons. When most everyone was still ALIVE and the drama was so much about relationship and family and learning what love is. Ah, well. Long-running serialized tv is hard, can't hold it against anyone if the show began to jump the shark after about four seasons. I will say, though, that Plec and co. are so superior to Whedon. I don't think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is psychologically fulfilling. I would also say that True Blood is probably the superior vampire serialized drama...but it isn't as sweetly romantic and full of all kinds of longings for simpler things as TVD. I really have been wanting to rewatch tv with the flist...try to recapture some of the fandom fun and hijinks of olde...TWD would be a great rewatch. It has been fascinating to me to remember how hardcore a Stefan fangrrl I was back in the day. The music on this show is pretty darned flawless, too.

* I'm going to make a separate post for a new writerly attempt I've decided to make. Maybe this afternoon or tomorrow.

* The Viking has vetoed American Gods. And that makes me sad. I'm debating continuing without him but it is costing me a monthly subscription. I mean, I get it. I see what the issue is...but I want it to work and CRISPIN GLOVER. That is all.

Perfect male animal is, well, perfect.
bleodswean: (anatomical beat)
* I've been quiet here because I've been feeling quiet. Contemplative. Things have become so unpredictably strange. I no longer know what is expected of me or how I am to respond to these vague expectations. I'm feeling an intense need for solitude.

* D took a bunch of young folks down to the creek for a long camping weekend. He and Kidling1 drove down together and I rejoice at this father/daughter time. Kidling2 and his gf followed with a half dozen friends. It's been overcast but I hope they have some warm hours.

* Kidling1's internship is going well. At the end of the first week they asked that she move out of misdemeanors and into felonies. So that's great! She already sounds so so so much better. Being busy is good for her. Being engaged to something mentally is keeping her grounded. She's making me laugh during our daily phonecalls. Crazy funny stories. Life in da Big City. Of course things are still odd at D's mother's house....but that's not my story to tell. This week she's going to take D's truck instead of my car because she's riding the Light Rail. Parking downtown is $170 a month! The Light Rail pass is $55.

* I really had fun writing for Idol this week. Tried to stretch a wee bit. Out of the lyrical and into the practical.

* I have fallen hopelessly in love with the poet Gregory Orr and am devouring his body of work. In the most gifted of ways, he also talks about poetry in addition to penning gorgeous haunting poems. So, I'm reading Poetry As Survival and am being transported. His understanding of poetry is akin to David Whyte's grasp but with this underlying personal tragedy that has shaped his life. Guh.

* Because I'm feeling down I went for my TV comfort food and rewatched the first season of The Vampire Diaries last week. It holds up to repeated viewings.

I'm always stunned to discover in this neo-folk times how little knowledge there is of truly astonishing outings in the 20th Century. Case in point, this absolutely gorgeous female version of Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go by Judy Collins -

And what the MASTER Van Morrison did with the same material -

bleodswean: (Default)
The letter was thick, the paper cotton and like cream under the pads of her fingers as she stroked the edges of the envelope. It had been hand-inscribed, a fine looping script that was no longer being taught to those who communicated with taps of their thumbs. She lifted it to her nose, wondering if it might be perfumed. She had read of such things. It smelled solidly of stationery but there was an ambrosial lingering. It was heavy and she bounced it off her flattened palm, considering it.

She was standing in the mirrored foyer of the Art Deco apartment building she lived in, the bank of residents' mailboxes at her shoulder, a convenient recycling bin at her knee, half full of circulars, over-sized political postcards, and Publishers Clearing House congratulations.

The hot mid-summer sun was shining outside, its setting position casting long rays through the glass doors and heating the hallway. The inside of the building smelled of asbestos dust and vintage carpet must.

Her studio was on the second floor, sandwiched between a pensioner on the first and a bachelor she avoided if she could on the third. Quiet neighbors, and she did her best to emulate this quiet. For the sole reason that she had searched high and low for a space of her own that she could afford and although the building might not be a perfect fit, it suited. The city was not kind to young graduate students with a yen for an independent life.

The letter was not addressed to her. It bore the name of the man who had occupied the apartment before her. Despite putting a stop on his name at the local Post Office, his mail was still delivered. The steady flow of it had trickled to near nothingness over the months, thirteen now, and this was the first personal letter she had seen in over half a year’s time. She tucked the missive into her bag and locked the small door of the mailbox. She began climbing the stairs to her floor.

She knew that the main and probably only reason she had been able to snatch up such a prime apartment, lease and location, was because the prior resident had slit both his wrists in the clawfoot bathtub.

Sometimes, when she herself was lounged in the five-and-a-half-foot long tub, warm scented water cooling around her body, hair tied up on top of her head, squat candles flickering on the window sill, closed commode seat, and the subway-tiled floor, blue-tooth stereo on low, she would think of this despondent stranger who had taken his own life. She would think of the precipice of existence from which he had fallen, the spirit released, the body reposed. The violence of the razored blood-letting, the peace of the sleep-like dying.

The first time she had cleaned the tub, she thought she discovered a missed stain of gore, but it was just the red rust of hard water and chipped enamel.


The electric teakettle heated water but turned itself off before it could emit a steady stream of steam. So, she used a sauce pan of boiling water to steam the flap open. It was an awkward operation and the envelope got a bit sodden but she made sure to not let the addressing on the front get damp enough to run. The flap had unloosed gradually and then popped open with a satisfying release.

It was an invitation. An embossed card inside an unaddressed envelope slipped into the outer envelope, two small squares of vellum, and a tiny cluster of pressed flowers. Fragrant star jasmine blooms! It was a beautiful ensemble. There was no return-addressed RSVP card. She had no idea what a Lammas Eve celebration was, but the date indicated the first of August, less than three weeks in the future.

The event address was local to the city. When she googled it there was no street view.

She waved the outer envelope dry but the paper had been warped. She felt like a petty criminal and began to reassemble the invitation.

On the small table that served both desk and dining, she flattened the paper out with both hands and then set her prized 1934 Webster's New International Dictionary on top. She had found it in a thrift store down the street. It was seven inches thick, she had measured it, and contained entries for nearly half a million words on its thin-sheeted leaves.

The next morning, after breakfast, she hoisted the weighty tome and the envelope looked improved. She sealed it shut with a drop of Gorilla Glue and then drew a line through the recipient’s name. Just above it, she wrote in block letters, slanted large across the space, DECEASED, and then smaller RETURN TO SENDER. On her way out of the building, rushing for the Light Rail station, she pushed it through the outgoing mail slot.


The following week, she opened her mailbox to find it empty save a single thick envelope. Hand-addressed, she recognized the beautiful script, the heavy card stock, and her apartment number. In place of the recipient’s name, the first line simply but ornately read Current Occupant.

She set her messenger bag at her feet and slid a finger under the tab, sawing the envelope open. It was the same invitation, the slight wrinkle in the inner envelope from the steamed opening of the week before, the same blooms now yellowed.


That night she had a dream that she was in the bathroom of her apartment, standing at the sink, the small oval frameless mirror that hung on a corroded chain was reflecting her face although the lighting was very dim. She was leaning forward, peering into the silvered depths when she realized that there were two people bathing in the tub. A man and a woman. She could have turned and touched their nude shoulders. The man was leaning against the far end, operating the faucets with the toes of one foot, his other foot jauntily up on the rim. The woman was leaning back against him, running a washcloth over both their exposed skin, her breasts, the insides of his elbows, the length of his lower leg. They were discussing invitations.

It’s such a pleasant word.

How so?

It’s happy. It puts one in mind of celebrating something important, a wedding, a birth, a graduation, an anniversary.

Marking a passage of time.

Being considered and included.

One doesn’t get invited to funerals or divorces.

You can be summoned. Say to a death bed.

Different than an invite.


It can be snide, too. Once I was told that a particular consultation was an invitation to a better life if I chose it, apply myself more.

There are invitations to a higher calling.

An altar call?

Or to be encouraged to examine something closer, perhaps.

Vampires must be invited in. That’s quite established in folklore.

Giving the allusion that one could be safe inside the house?

That would be the deduction. What if it were that the world was where you were most safe? And that monsters had to invite you in?

When she woke, she forgot the dream entirely. Even while brushing her teeth, standing at the bathroom sink before the black-spotted mirror, she did not recall it at all.


She did not own a car. She ordered a Lyft. The ride wasn’t long but it was unfamiliar. They passed houses and parks, buildings and streets she had never seen before. The driver missed the private road by several hundred feet and opted to back up rather than turn around, slinging an arm over the passenger seat, turning his body backwards, avoiding her gaze and staring past her through the rear window. Sympathetically she eyed the side mirror as he deftly maneuvered the car in reverse. He stopped before a tree-lined lane that made a hard left at a looming bank of vining jasmine.

When it became obvious that he was not going to deliver her curbside, she thanked him and got out of the car and began walking away from the road, down the narrow way.

Just before she rang the bell, a memory of a dream surfaced in her mind.

She stepped across the threshold, and the man made a gesture with his hand indicating her away from the doorway and into the shadowed interior. Behind her the door shut solidly and she recognized the sound of a lock being set.
bleodswean: (kittytoes)
My new body for King Death arrived yesterday and I COULD NOT BE happier with it! A huge improvement over the less jointed body. Here's some quick shots -

[ profile] kittytoes's amazing face-up on the Slack Afternoon head!

The doll is pure white, so I'm having a bit of trouble with colour-correction. :)
bleodswean: (Default)
Adele knew exactly where her sister, Alisa, was. It was a different kind of knowledge now, mental instead of physical. Alisa was not where Adele was and Adele was not where Alisa was. Once, that had been everything. At least to Alisa. Adele had never been entirely convinced.

She sat, uncomfortable, swaying in the chair. The psychiatrist always put on a pot of tea. The first time, she had served an herbal tea, no milk, a honey bear instead of a bowl of sugar cubes. She must have seen Adele grimace when she set down the mug and at the end of the session she asked her what tea she preferred. She told her that Alisa loved milk tea with three lumps. And that was enough sugar for her although she took more milk in hers. The next session there was black tea and a lunch-sized carton of whole milk and one mug. She missed the sweetness.

Now they were discussing legal matters, concerning Alisa. Why Adele was not being allowed to bring her back home. Why she had no say in regard to the feeding tube. Why she could not move into that particular room but that they might be able to find another home where that would be allowed. She would be allowed to live, once again, with her sister.

But, and the psychiatrist was very firm on this, there was no skilled nursing facility that was going to allow her to sleep in Alisa’s bed.


Sleep is the vast plain upon which she lies her corporeal body – bodies - down. She has made a lover’s bed inside her own joined ribcage, the heart, her heart, the pillow upon which she rests her head. She wants someone to hold her in arms big enough to wrap them all in warmth and safety. She wants another body to tease her with idea that love could somehow be made to her, and her. She doesn’t think such love can be made. Not when she is awake; but in the dark and steamy sleep she falls into, more and more often, she finds the one who can embrace the two.

Of them.

Her sister and herself. Her sister’s body, and her body.


Her sister does not dream. She does the dreaming and the sleeping for the both of them. Her sister does not thrive, she does the thriving and the growing enough for two. But her sister is fiercely awake. Knows the world, knows where they are inside the world. Grasps the limits rather than the liberations of their situation. Over and over she has told her of the cruelness of nature’s fealty. The two of them are bone-locked.

There is no key, there is no hasp, it is the bones and blood and organs that keep them fast together. A kind of bodily slavery.

Alisa would cry for freedom. And Adele would dry her tears and sing nonsense and rock them back into a place of contentment.


Once, only the once, she slept and in that sleeping the dream king found her and took her on a wild ride upon his black steed. She held on tight and it wasn’t until they had ridden for what felt like years, months of days passing with each click of the mare’s shod hooves, that she became aware that Alisa was not with her.


She wondered where the seat of the soul was located, where the soul sat. And what sort of seat, exactly, was it in which a soul could lounge?

Was it in their twinned heads? Did they each have a soul seated, cramped knees pulled up beneath a soul-y chin, inside their brain bones? But why would one body possess two souls? Did their respective souls lurk inside the chambers of their individual hearts? Or perhaps, in the same way their bodies were conjoined, they shared a single soul, as well. Lurking just behind the grist and bone that welded their ribs one to the other, that intricate bone-woven cage, three-lunged, single-livered girls that they were.

She had asked the dream king once about souls. They were seated on a grassy hillock, he was blowing dandelion clocks and she was making daisy chains, the dream sun and moon hanging happily in the purple skies above. Suddenly he began a transformative exploration, taking one of her hands in his as she dropped the wreathed flowers and cradled Alisa close. They began to wander throughout time and civilizations, speaking to the wise and devoted. None could answer her. About the souls. Siamese soul sisters.


In Adele's dreams, it is Alisa who sleeps, head resting heavily, but o’ such a familiar known weight, on her malformed shoulder. Her sister’s patchy pate, bald spots and hanks of hair just beside her cheek. She can smell her skin. It smells of a girl sweating in the sunlight.


She found the note in the far pocket of Alisa’s skirt. A list with names and numbers, some scratched out, some noted with a cryptic shorthand. All the names were prefaced with an honorific. On the back side of the piece of paper was a quick sketch. She had not known that Alisa had such a gift. It was a skilled figural rendition. Of their unclothed joined bodies from the neck to groin. Just below it was another sketch, two nude girls, bandaged around and around and around their torsos, separated, individual figures, one rendered beautifully, shaded and studied with pencil, the other a quick series of crosshatched lines and smudged features. She knew which girl was she.

That night she dreamed the dream in which she and she alone was riding behind the dream king on his night mare. There was no bandage, just a gaping hole in her side which seemed a vast void, bleeding out a universe of blackness and stars.

She did not feel free. She felt halved.


This is my half of a whole. An intersection with She of the Huge & Dark Imagination - [ profile] yachiru. (It was a pleasure and a thrill to work with you, m'dear.) Read her half here -
bleodswean: (jack)
Science says this one habit can make you instantly happier today. Yes, some of us refer to that as praying.

* So, I saw Beauty & the Beast and I can't stop myself from twirling around the house singing. Sign of a good musical when the tunes are memorable and the lyrics memorizable. It really was a great film. It shines because of the amount of work put into it, by cast and crew. It's really gorgeous to watch, which is such a plus with CGI, but it's also fun to watch because of the skill of the cast. The story had a few odd holes in it, in my opinion, and too much focus on Gaston and Le Fou, but it holds together and is triumphant in the end. Dan and Emma are wonderful even though they don't have much spark, but it would be hard to spark off someone dressed in CGI gear....I suppose, although I've never found Emma to exude the kind of sexiness that other young actresses do. But she's very pretty and very much in control of her skills and she carried the movie effortlessly. The costuming!!! And the sets!!!! Just gorgeous stuff. This is definitely a movie I will watch again. And again.

* Kidling1 and I are rewatching LOST. I am doing so begrudgingly but she is really into it. I struggled with LOST the original time through and stayed with it only for Matthew Fox's Jack because that man, my friends, is the ULTIMATE man in my book. I love the character of Jack - so earnest and sincere and confused about who and what he is. I adore Fox and wish he was still working but there's something very nice about thinking of him out there in the world away from Hollywood. Anyway, the second viewing has been....revealing. I think it's all there, at least MY THEORY which I briefly discussed the day after the finale on another journal - FOUND. Locke is most obviously the key. And Jack is most obviously dead....and struggling with Purgatory and closure. I also would posit that Jack and Kate are husband and wife....and their bad marriage has blocked that reality from both of them after death. I do think LOST has a ton of merit....but ultimately, Once Upon A Time is more satisfyting.

bleodswean: (skull lantern)
* So, how are we feeling about S1.2 of American Gods? Now we have the amazing Mr. Nancy and the confusing Czernobog. Peter Stormare is one of my most favourite favourite character actors. His Lucifer in Constantine is a flawless rendition. I can see why he was tapped to play the Black God in AG and he is doing an amazing job, no question! But Gaiman's deep research into the lesser known deities does make for a dog's dinner of a show, from a meta standpoint. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm beginning to lose hope for American Gods as anything more than a vignette of scenery chewing by cast and crew. Although if that means we get more scenes like the one with Mr. Nancy!!! then I'm all for sitting through that kind of craftsmanship! Shadow was amazing in this outing and his laid back but innate curiousity really came through loud and clear. Whittle was on point throughout! But that was in direct contast to McShane's Wotan. Sigh. And really with the Hannibalesque cellos????? Stop already. It's interesting that the screenplay is falling prey to the same monster that Gaiman wrestles with - all flash and no story. All character and no tale.

* Kidling1 and I are going to hit a matinee of Beauty & the Beast!!! I'm very excited about that!

* Family Game Night went wonderfully! Although three of the kids decided they would rather sleep in their own beds than crash here, so they designated a driver and left at midnight. Ah, well, I did have a big brunch planned for the next day but I think The Viking was relieved that he had Sunday all to his own self. We are going to host this again in two weeks and I'm going to start picking up more "fun" games. We played Pictionary and that was a hit for two rounds. But dice fell flat. There was a request for Balderdash and Charades. Strangely enough, late in the evening, the young people couldn't resist the lure of "the screen" and we ended up in the family room watching youtube videos which, for the most part, weren't as funny as they were pitched to be. ;)

* Early last week I was bleary-eyed filling up the coffee carafe when I realized it would not fill up! Only to look closer and see a sizable hole in the glass where the water was pouring out. Damn. I had to pull out the French Press and suddenly coffee became fun and strangely more tasty! I may not purchase a replacement carafe and stay with the press for a while. It feels like a morning ritual now.

Morning Joe and Memento Mori

The king of the intent profile.

LittleDog needs his shaggy face trimmed.

Z and those eyeballs!

Ha! Another eyeball!
bleodswean: (Default)
They had known each other a long time. In human years, he liked to say. The better part of both our lives, she liked to counter.

Through university, through pregnancies and a burgeoning family, careers and apartments, grown children, a home, and into retirement. They both lamented the formative two decades when they were unknown to one another. I knew you in my heart, she would reassure him, it was hard to wait. I knew you were out there and I knew you were thinking of me, he would respond.

Of all the allotment bestowed by their shared years, both would secretly attest to the unspoken fact that their favorite hours were those spent lazily abed each Sunday morning. Inside their fresh young skins, or with a suckling babe, a squirmy toddler, a frenetic child, a lurking teenager, their middle-aged aches and pains, an absent adult child, and, at the last, their weathered and worn bodies. They would wake within the same long minutes of one another, break away, roll together, open arms, legs, warm flesh, cold feet, winter bedding, summer linens, hands reaching, smiling into one another’s smiling mouths. Their voices; whispers slowly becoming louder intonations. Irreverent conversations with no allowance for the day-to-day drudgeries.


I want to wear greatness like a coat.

You’re tangling up words. A greatcoat is not a coat that denotes greatness. Although, admittedly, an overcoat may imbue one with a sense of humanity unknown to the coatless or those wearing a shabby trench. One thing of interest, at least to me, is that watchcoats have pockets large enough to keep letters dry. I suppose today that would mean, a phone or tablet.

I want to wear greatness.

Like a crown?

Do you think that’s why crowns were conceived?

How else were the cave dwellers to tell greatness from mere ordinariness?

Then it’s a crown I shall wear!

No one could stop you. There’s no law save the golden law of human stupidity.


Being a couple really is about becoming one.

So they say.

I don’t mean that in a romantic way. I mean it in a monstrous kind of metamorphosis, in which two entities lose the bulk of their individualities and combine what’s left into a single organism that most resembles the stronger of the pair. Likes, dislikes, dreams, nightmares, strengths, fears, tastes.

I won’t ever say I enjoy Mixed Martial Arts.

And that, m’dear, is a lie. You say it but the creature of our coupleness loves the MMA. Same with freshwater fish and camping. Don’t make that face.

And why doesn’t this creature love chick flicks and shopping?

Stronger cellular construction?

I see. Regardless, those things are all preferences. Is there a spiritual aspect of this being we’ve become? I want to know that my absorption was worthwhile.


Bed church. I love attending bed church service.

You’re going to worship me?

Body and blood. Entirely.


And here we are, another day given to us mere mortals. Good morning! Good morning!

What do we do with such a treasure bestowed?

You joke, but these are treasures. Daily gifts. More and more often I’m delightfully surprised when I open my eyes. Look, the sun is rising, you’re here, and I’m here.

It’s a celebration.

Each and every single day.


Did you ever, even once, think it would go so fast?

Right around the half-way point, I had this vague sense of unease that began to grow. It became a kind of dread, I guess? This all happened in the middle of one night. It felt like an upset stomach, as though I might be getting ill. But it was a portent.

A portent?

That death is factual. Unescapable.

Did it pass, like being sick? Did you get it out of your system?

It’s become a spiritual ear worm. It’s funny, it’s such a personal feeling, hard to explain, there’s a reluctance there to talk very long about it. But surely, it’s universal. Are we all just not talking about it?

Maybe. I don’t think I ever told you about this moment, during that first long labor and delivery. Later I realized it was transition, but in those minutes that stretched and stretched -

A metaphor?

I was hit with this realization of, well, imminence. Only one way out. It had to be endured. It was terrifying.


One of us will let go of the other’s hand.

I don’t think about it.

You have so much more discipline than me. Or faith.

No, not either. It’s cowardice.


I want to thank you. I want you to know that, because of these years – years, love, think of that! - I live in gratitude.

It was my pleasure.

It’s been my pleasure, too.
bleodswean: (rainbow)
Well......what do we think? I'm....on the fence. Yes, it's going to have to start slow and build it's particular world and characters, but I was chomping at the bit and ended up feeling unsatisfied.

spoilers be here )

So, those who are watching, what did YOU think?

OF course of course of course I'm over-the-moon for Mad Sweeney!!! Perfect casting. The guy is just chewing scenery left and right and leaving everyone in his dust -

bleodswean: (Default)
You know how it is told. It’s told as thus; the thunderclap, the lightning strike. But does anyone ever speak about the aftermath of such a storm? The burning trees, the meadows set ablaze, a body felled like dry timber, the ships sucked into oblivion. Who wants that, after all?

Just before it hits, you can see it on the edge of the horizon. It has traveled inland from the sea, building, brewing, the black clouds. The electricity in the air. The way your heart becomes a ribboned leader, charged by all that power, and it rises to meet it. The storm becomes your maker, this wild lover. But it also unmakes you. Entirely. You raise your hands, arms wide open, embrace the fomented clouds, and it strikes you dead.

That’s what love can be. This storm that darkens the day and disrupts the night.

If you survive, the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and the crown of your head will always bear the scars where such a love burned through you.

The smell of your flesh, the scorched heart.

You will not survive.

) O (

Oh, how I have loved these gods; the sea, the sky, the earth. And in the end it was to earth that I returned.

) O (

I’ve never known the sea as violent, she said, looking over his shoulder, out at the blue expanse dimming beneath the storm.

He was flabbergasted. What you call violence is truly just its countenance. He stroked the long, twisted beard he wore. It’s the most powerful force on earth. It defines this world.

What about ‘as above so below’.

He scoffed. I don’t want to waste time discussing this. There are some things you will never understand.

No, that’s not fair. The earth can move violently, and the skies can open violently. These are powerful forces.

He sighed. I know. But believe me when I tell you that water is sovereign over all.

She looked doubtful.

Why are we talking about this. If you want to know the sea, then know him. He opened his arms. They were lying in the sand, in a small protected cove, in the crotch of a driftwood branch. Ashes from the bonfire that had burned through the night were picked up by a salty breeze and dusted over their naked bodies, dressing them in carbon.

) O (

The sky can set the earth on fire.

He nodded, rain soaking his hair, curling it around his ears. Especially when it’s coming through the air, down out of the clouds, the sky igniting the world. Fire is the great equalizer.

She considered this. Flood and fire?

He twisted his lips in a grimace. I suppose.

Water can extinguish flame. Put out fire. So maybe water is more powerful than fire?

Please. He held up his hand, sparks flying from each squared fingertip.

) O (

I don’t want to be out here. She told him, her voice shaking.

They had been sitting beneath a lone tree, upon a small hillock, with the long grasses waving in pastoral seas of grain. The green umbrellaed canopy casting dappled shadows on the impromptu picnic. The afternoon storm had appeared with a suddenness that surprised them both. Black clouds boiling on the far edge of the horizon, the air filling with galvanized current, the temperature dropping but the humidity rising. The clouds heavy with the weight of the sea drawn up into their bellies.

It’s just a thunder storm, he told her.

It’s dangerous. Don’t you know, it’s so dangerous. It’s raw emotion. And we shouldn’t be outside. It’s not about us except that we are between them. She was on her knees, packing the tablecloth, the half-eaten sandwiches, the bottle of wine, away into the wicker hamper.

Who? He stood and she handed the basket up to him and he reached his hand down to pull her gently to her feet, beside him. Her hand trembling inside his grip. Rain had begun to dampen their skin.

The sky and the earth. The sky is in love with the earth and the earth has spread herself open beneath him and he has gone crazy for her. For her body. Her heart is rising to meet his.

I always thought of thunder storms as angry.

No. It’s a love story. Between the sky and the earth. The electricity, the crackling sense of anticipation. She’s coaxing him down into her arms.

Ah, he said. I see. Yes.

We can’t be underneath this tree.

No. You want to make a run for it then?

She looked at him and knew. Suddenly. Unequivocally. She lowered her gaze, and then her face, the earth beginning to churn beneath her feet, then opening with a sound of thunder, black steeds rising from far below the ground, pulling the ebony carriage behind them. Beside her, he stood quiet, the lightning above his head, the sea raining down, and she an earthenware vessel.
bleodswean: (skull lantern)
* I keep meaning to sit down and compose a LJ post…and then it just dissipates into nothingness. Why is that? I don’t know. I do know that things feel very much IN FLUX here….and I could no sooner predict the future of this particular medium than I could predict what North Korea will do in the near future. I simply don’t have the knowledge necessary. I got the DW email we all got and it just sat wrong with me. Tone, content, and the unbelievable fact that DW does not have a working app and will never have such. That has got to be a kiss of death. I mean, c’mon. DW is nothing more than an archive…and even then…who knows how long it will remain viable. Mass migration is not the answer. We are all holding our breaths in anticipation of the next word-based social media platform.

* The new Kostova – The Shadow Land – is superb. This girl can write and weave a story and I just adore her. Passionately. I love the way she writes long by writing short. She tells stories in these short chapters that are compelte unto themselves and yet they get stacked and stacked and stacked, like a ream of paper, until the novel is fully realized. Just wonderful.

* We just finished Season 1 of Fortitude. An odd little show with some grand moments – yes, Gabon is AMAZING. It’s as though there was a drunken challenge to rewrite The Thing at the North Pole with a plausible premise for the alien.

* It’s still raining. Folks are getting grumpy in all their sogginess. Waiting for the sun to dry this out. I have a feeling that the weather is going to switch on a dime and we will be in blazing sunshine soon.

* My fringe is past my nose now but at that length where it won’t do a single attractive thing. Not long enough to tuck behind an ear and short enough to look ridiculous. But….I’m still committed to going long again and so far so good.

* I’m suddenly besotted by silk scarves. I want an Hermes, particularly this Cosmos..but sheesh the cost! Even the McQueen skull scarves are the same outrageous price. I think scarves are going to be in again soon.

Homemade bread = toast & coffee

LittleDog tuckered out. That tooth though!

That tongue though! ;)

Skully perspective.
bleodswean: (Default)
The Patched Heart Still Weeps

The 60’s became more and less
Than what could have been imagined
When you wed your flyboy the same year
Your Irish American kin
Celebrated an unprecedented
Rise to royalty - Camelot
You left Boston for Hawaii, your cross-country honeymoon
An adventure in exploring love and land
Sightseeing and driving all day
Nights full of new horizons to be reached

You could not have known then
Collecting charms at souvenir shops
For your silver bracelet
Niagara Falls, Mt. Rushmore, the great corn state, the Salt flats, the Golden Gate Bridge
That the decade would break you
Passings that should have taken decades,
Ripping holes through you

Your heart injured, again and again and again,
but it would be your mind bearing the scars


Your brother’s wife, mother to your nieces, dead in the driveway
Of her modern suburban home,
her pilgrimage into controlling her own body, her own fertility,
Ended abruptly that morning
Young daughters in the car, waiting while their mother
Felt the failure of The Pill inside her skull
The hormonal bomb exploded
she fell to her knees, her hands,
And then she was gone

Older female relatives whispered.
The Papal Blessing that hung in her home disappeared
The Catholic doctrine of sin and procreation muttered.
She had not gone to confession,
Not once since asking for the prescription.

You would never have considered such a thing.
One child, two children, three, and then the War called and
He wanted you to go home to your parents while he spent a year,
That became two, in country. Vietnam.
Pregnant with your fourth daughter
After her birth your husband decided to leave the Church
Dutiful and frightened you returned home.


Your sister was losing the good fight against a woman’s cancer.

Your heart injured, again and again and again,
but your mind bearing the scars

You hold a degree in nursing from a prestigious Catholic nursing school
Where you never, not once, went to the dormitory bathroom alone
Because you were frightened you would be visited by the vision
Of the college’s patron saint and be called to a life of chaste service
All the girls went in groups to shower and attend themselves
It was the 1950’s and they all wanted families. How many
Of them found employment after that capping ceremony

You had not cashed a single paycheck when your girlfriend
Took you to a party at the house of those Air Force bachelors
Young lords, pilots and navigators, winged and uniformed

This was long before the war.


That rainy summer. Heavily pregnant with your last,
And three small children at your knee
Spending days at the beach house
To help assuage the humid New England season
And then that terrible day in late August
Forget forget forget
the waves crash and break and roll out only to return

Your youngest niece ground two handfuls of the beach
Into the face of your oldest
And chaos ensued.
Her rage had grown uncontrollable, your brother foisting both his girls
On you and your dying sister
So that in private he could press his fist
against the ragged hole in his heart

You ran all the way back to the cottage
screaming child in your arms
head under the faucet
flushing out the sand

The motherless girl, just thirteen years old
took off running into the waning afternoon light,
into the night,
down the boardwalk
her father drove through the darkened evening
to search for her

and your mother


Who took the panicked telephone call from your sister's husband
frightened and angry and looking for Lenny
He was screaming into the handset, across the miles

And her heart, her blood pressure, her body

She fell to the kitchen floor
dead before she hit


Your sister’s funeral was December 23rd.
More somber than when your mother was waked,
When both your brothers had a fist fight in the foyer of the funeral home
That spilled out into the streets of Lowell
Where they had once tangled as young micks, too.

The next day, Christmas Eve, you worked in the kitchen
Preparing the turkey, and you wrapped gifts from Santa all afternoon
While your father sat forlorn in the front room
Wept and drank endless cups of milk tea

and wept

There was no way your husband could call you from the other side of the world
To wish you a blessed Christmas day.

He was dropping Agent Orange out of the skies

When he finally returned, the guilt-ridden survivor of a squadron destroyed
There were protesters outside the gates
Of the Air Force Base
They spit on your car windows as you drove past them.

The baby didn’t know him, protesting when he opened his arms to hold her.

Did he recognize you? With your heart patchworked by pain and loss,
stitched and stitched
but the wounding
deep inside your mind
where the true heart beats and beats and beats until it stops

We say broken-hearted but it’s our lives that are damaged
Brutalized by the severing, ruptured by death and disease
the defects of fate
Left to patch and sew and heal with crooked zagged lines
crisscrossing our existence.
bleodswean: (aries)
* Raining. And I love the rain. Everyone around me is tired of it now, but not me. That's one of my most favourite things about the years I lived in the UK and in New England - the rain rain rain! I would move to the state of Washington and live on the rainy coast if I could...but I can't. So, I'm contenting myself with this Spring rain that is making my woods so misty and damp and full of wonder.

* I feel like I've been busy....but don't have much to show for it. I have, actually, been penning a poem a day....but they really are most definitely not ready for prime time so I haven't been posting them. If I get one that passes the muster, I will share it. I've also written two....smallish not extraordinary fanfics for Once Upon a Time. I think....I can't write fanfic any more. I'm so immersed in original that what once was easypeasy is now an agony. I know what I want to say and how I want to say it but I just can't make the words connect. It's beyond frustrating. Anyway. Here's the Rumbelle fic I promised I would dedicate to [ profile] spotzle -

The Harness of Our Gold; Here Come the Tears

I'm still enjoying the heck out of the show and some of the higher quality fic I've found. Three that I think are worthy of rec-ing here. Because each of these reads like an honest-to-goodness romance novel and you don't have to be into the fandom to thoroughly enjoy the story. And heaven knows we all need a good romantic escape from time to time. These are the types of fics that should be published and not relegated to AO3 but I tend to get in trouble when I clamber on top of that particular soapbox. I will say that when I don't feel part of a fandom then searching out AU can at least scratch the itch a bit, the only fandom connection being that you see the characters in the guise of the canon actors.

A Bed of Thorns - 700K+!!! Is that even possible??? But this is fantastically well done. Read it like a medieval Beauty & The Beast and you will be content. I will warn that there is a strangely inordinate amount of SEX but some of you like that. ;)

Remedial French - Another seriously fantastic long writer. This is delightful and full of UST until it isn't.

Away to Me - Just an absolutely fantastic romance between a crotchety guy and a bubbly girl. Oh, and there are sheep and sheepdogs!

As to the rest, I think I'm done. It's not a friendly fandom. I am Tumblr resistant so I'm missing out on current fandom fangrrling. And I really cannot express how deeply offended I become at the young female writers who believe any man over the age of 40 needs a walker and a Viagra prescription. I just cannot with that. And I think that's a fandom loss that falls squarely on the slow death of LJ. There was a time when LJ was THE fandom stop for all things fannish and folks were educamated in the ways of the world. I don't see how Tumblr can provide that type of writing education or worldly knowledge to fans and writers. Not with all the gifs and gushing. Where's the honesty?

If you're needing visual/aural inspiration to "see" Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, well here you go!! Enjoy that delicious burr -


Apr. 5th, 2017 03:08 pm
bleodswean: (write keyboard)

When I Was Twenty and Traveled Abroad for the First Time

Time weary
Travel sore
And heart heavy
I woke on the other side of the world
My stomach upside down
Fingers and toes numb and tingling
From sleeping the sleep of the newly dead
Which is forbidden to the living
Yet there I was adrift
I had never seen this ceiling
Nor laid my body down in this bed
Surely aeons of human existence
Has not prepared the reptilian brain
For such an awakening
And when I opened my eyes
I brought with me the knowledge
That one day I would die


Apr. 4th, 2017 02:01 pm
bleodswean: (skull lantern)
Courtesy an impromput prompt in [ profile] therealljidol Green Room - Putin also said he would LOVE more entries about his penis.

4. Rasputin's Knob

Fairy tales and folk tales
The phallus nest
And the severed joint
The cockerel steeds

Hens left to fend alone
While the cocks strut
Small puffed up pyetukh
Spurs on their ankles

Eggs for breakfast
Eggs for lunch
For supper
Headless rooster in the pot


Apr. 3rd, 2017 01:06 pm
bleodswean: (write keyboard)

I was grown with children of my own
The last time I sat at my parent’s kitchen table
And played a game of dice with my grandmother
She was distracted by something I could not see
and had lost the razor sharpness that had once allowed her to add huge sums inside her head
I was pretentious then, with a Hasselblad in hand,
and asked her to pose for a portrait
If I had just snapped her picture there would have been words
If I had suggested we take a quick snapshot she would have said no
I looked down into the waist level viewfinder
The camera on the table pointed as though an afterthought towards her
One, two, three clackety-clack shots winding the crank
A ‘Blad has a twelve-shot roll in the interchangeable film back
Months later, I developed that roll in the darkened bathroom
Strips of negatives hanging from the tub curtain rod
Like fly paper catching human images

The first three, the resigned pose of an 89-year old woman
Then six captures of my son and daughter
The last three, my grandmother laid out at her wake


Apr. 2nd, 2017 10:03 am
bleodswean: (write keyboard)
All These Heavens & Hells


It seemed hours spent then
But I was a child and time is different for children
(And the elderly)
This memory is about the young and the old
The grandchildren and the grandparents

(I keep it in a small leather coin purse
In recollecting, it still holds large sums of time)

Playing Yahtzee and rummy
All afternoon
(that is my nostalgic reminiscence of it, I am loathe to ask for clarification)
Until the table would be cleared for supper

Home-made Yahtzee score sheets
Allowing three games to be played at the same time
The strategy quite different than a single game
It was a rule or a courtesy that you pick up the dice and pass them to the next player
While you made decisions about how to score your roll

Rummy instead of Gin, so that small hands could lay down sets
And the Ace always married the face and pip
You could also pick up the discard pile as far back as you pleased
Even if it was a dumb move and you were warned off it

No crying. Ever.
But you could wish aloud

And tea poured out of a pot
Milk from a cow-shaped creamer
If I close my eyes and sit very still
I can hear my grandfather slurping a saucerful
My grandmother flipping a single die with a long-nailed fingertip
My converse sneakers kicking the chair rail
And spoons chunking against fragile bone china
Stirring in the sweetness
Of sugar cubes counted out as though winnings


Apr. 1st, 2017 09:55 am
bleodswean: (write keyboard)
All These Heavens & Hells


Here’s a way I stop time
I let it flatten out
Unfurling in front of me
Ribboning behind me
The wheels of our truck
Seemingly moving us forward
But there is no momentum here
There is no passage

It is you and I
Talking and telling stories;
Memories and jokes
Wishes and regrets

And whenever silence falls between us
I roll down the passenger window
To let the wind whip away these
Melancholy tears

You sitting there, casual
One hand on the steering wheel
The other cracking peanuts in their shell
Smiling as though the world
Belonged only to us

Only to us.
bleodswean: (Default)
“This narcotic obsession of yours with happy endings!” He was ranting now. Pacing up and down the brick walkway in front of the house.

“Believe me, you’ve helped me kick that particular addiction,” she sneered. Emboldened by his loss of control.

He looked at her through narrowed eyes. “Yet you still have the look of a junkie about you. Your self-imposed starvation that keeps you so hungry.”

She gasped, her expression open and raw and wounded.

“I didn’t mean that,” he said, too quickly.

“Yes, you did. Of course, you did. Your words are always weapons,” she said. “You’re the punishing demon in Hell.”

“Life is hell, we are trapped in this place, and dissolution comes at the cost of everything.”

“Stop it!” she screamed, grabbing fistfuls of her long hair. She begged him, “Please stop.”

“I won’t,” he was winding back up. “Your naivety was endearing when we first met, but it’s time to grow up. This is all there is, this is what we have.” He spread his arms wide and flung his hands out towards the world which consisted of the overgrown city lot, the hundred-year-old Queen Anne three-story house, the sculpture garden, and her. “There is nothing more. But there is quite a bit less.”

“I don’t want to believe that. You forced it down my throat.” She lowered herself to the ground and sat cross-legged at his feet. She felt weak. She was ill-suited for anorexia, her bones too light, her flesh too tightly-fitted. Her heart not strong enough. She realized, suddenly, that she was exhausted. Of him, his art, their life. The actuality of her existence had become fatiguing. The endless, endless darkness he had threatened her with over the course of their decade-long relationship suddenly seemed a respite; the feather bed dressed in velvet and down at the end of a long and miserable day. She idly thought of the pistol in the drawer of the bedside table.

“Why are you so unhappy?” Momentarily contrite, seeing her on the ground. Her body folded as though a bundle of sticks. He squatted down in front of her, his knees at her ears, her face nearly in his crotch.

She closed her eyes.

He stood repelled, angry again. “I don’t deserve this depressive mood from you. Not when I’m telling you about my new work. This idea.”

He had urged her out into the garden to play audience to his manic description of his latest inspiration. A life-sized sculpture of Charon as gondolier. Ferrying the 32-foot long black Venetian rowing boat that he had found on eBay. It was outrageously expensive and shipping would cost him dearly but he had become obsessed with the boat and was determined to have it.

He had a sketch pad under his arm and a pencil tucked over one ear. He walked through unmown lawn and grabbed a dilapidated folding chair, setting it up in front of her, he sat and began to draw her. He asked, “Why are we fighting?”

“You’ve forgotten?”

“Something about me wanting a lintel with a Gates of Hell inscription?”

“It’s fitting. You’ve made our home a hell,” she was climbing back into rage.

He met her halfway, shouting, “A hell? Our home is a hell? And I’m the one who’s made it such?” He jumped to his feet, throwing the sketch pad onto the chair. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her to her feet.

It hurt her in the bracelet of bone and in the chambers of her heart.

He was dragging her up the walkway, up the wide cement steps, through the front door. “If this is Hell, my dear, allow me to show you around.” With his free hand, he made a sweeping gesture. “Welcome to Heresy. Where we entertain our friends with blasphemous philosophizing. Also, here the hangers on, the pleasers, the agreeers, those who stand for nothing. Our living area.” Through the arched doorway, “Here in the dining room is where we indulge our baser appetites. Food and drink and more drink. Gluttony.” Up the stairs, he kicked open a guest bedroom, “Ah the sinners meet here. Lust.” Down the hallway and into their turreted bedroom through to the master bath, “Behold Limbo, with the souls of all our unborn children. Miscarried. What of them? So inconsequential and yet they have more sway on you and your dreadful moods than any other thing.”

She was crying now. “You have stripped me of all hope.”

) O (

In the kitchen, the morning light caught him and held him while he stood at the table stacking the newest batch of unopened sympathy cards. Bouquets of lilies and roses bowed their heads.

He walked through the house, alone and forlorn. He was Dante on pilgrimage but without his pagan guide. His own words ghosted his journey. Dragging her through each room, describing the sin and the punishment. Gluttony, lust, sycophantism, the unbaptized.

He stood in the broken threshold of their bedroom. Forcing the door had splintered the jamb. The bed a nightmare, the walls, the floor, even the ceiling. The 7th Circle of Hell. The suicides.
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