transcontinental

The more we are, the more we fade, edges weeping an ichor we mop up with paper towels. I find myself on a short and stubby road, weighed down by the baggage compartment I’ve built into my heart. The whine of transit is a crowing, as of vultures, twisted and wattled by tragedy. The more we are, the more we must hold tight to. In industrial gutters our sandcastles rise stately as mansions, but what they model is our soft and pliable bodies, the way they fall apart when we forget to hug ourselves to sleep. The ashtrays of my kidneys are full of stained, blotted paper, thoughts full of the impossibility of death. Any blood let to relieve unbearable pressure is loaded with the flip side of this journey, the high-pitched squeal to its simple sounds, the footprints scaling dunes to its sharp A-to-Bs.

broadsides, the game of naval strategy
Lately I’m working on refilling the sea. My body more than fifty percent water, I imagine it at the mercy of tides. When a wave recedes inside a chest cavity, seven seals are broken, fulfilling a prophetic chain, and seven trumpets sound inside conches washed up on the beach. These days I try to cut free the ocean, screaming ‘run, run’. A raindrop pops on a handrail peeling paint, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men bring no dirges,  have nothing to add. I think tears are my water trying to get free. I leak when I am in love with a place. The beautiful world is diuretic, a significance I try to become. All the cities I love are thugs and broken, and their honour seeps like egg-yolk (so tears come). Sail for fresh land, never end, or find peace in a port town, never end, let the sun kiss each eyelid each morning each dusk, each everytime face will be a new mystery again, because remember there is more wet in you than you can afford to lose, never end it, never end.

broadsides, the game of naval strategy

Lately I’m working on refilling the sea. My body more than fifty percent water, I imagine it at the mercy of tides. When a wave recedes inside a chest cavity, seven seals are broken, fulfilling a prophetic chain, and seven trumpets sound inside conches washed up on the beach. These days I try to cut free the ocean, screaming ‘run, run’. A raindrop pops on a handrail peeling paint, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men bring no dirges, have nothing to add. I think tears are my water trying to get free. I leak when I am in love with a place. The beautiful world is diuretic, a significance I try to become. All the cities I love are thugs and broken, and their honour seeps like egg-yolk (so tears come). Sail for fresh land, never end, or find peace in a port town, never end, let the sun kiss each eyelid each morning each dusk, each everytime face will be a new mystery again, because remember there is more wet in you than you can afford to lose, never end it, never end.

the china syndrome
There’s a harp that plays when the world ends. And the truth is, the harp plays every day, a sad long music, a dirge that layers atop itself like caked mortar. The world ends so many times over, in such a multitude of acts, that fields are peppered with secret memorials; cafes hide tombstones behind buckets of organic coffee grounds, and trees are counterfeit - only half their leaves alive, the other half papier-mâchéd from fortune cookie slips that never came true and so became distended with rot. You grow strange when the end of the world visits daily. You grow brave and callous. You fear nothing but cycles. You pity no-one. And you expect to go, always, until you become obsessed, not with the escapes beyond luck propelling the minor fictions of showbiz, but with the best ways to fly past your fortune, to cross your horoscope, puncturing a flag, and ultimately to shove past the nowheres, where you surrender your strength like a gun at the door, and when pretences drop with the crash of iron shackles, hear the child inside of your muscleman heart cry out with relief .

the china syndrome

There’s a harp that plays when the world ends. And the truth is, the harp plays every day, a sad long music, a dirge that layers atop itself like caked mortar. The world ends so many times over, in such a multitude of acts, that fields are peppered with secret memorials; cafes hide tombstones behind buckets of organic coffee grounds, and trees are counterfeit - only half their leaves alive, the other half papier-mâchéd from fortune cookie slips that never came true and so became distended with rot. You grow strange when the end of the world visits daily. You grow brave and callous. You fear nothing but cycles. You pity no-one. And you expect to go, always, until you become obsessed, not with the escapes beyond luck propelling the minor fictions of showbiz, but with the best ways to fly past your fortune, to cross your horoscope, puncturing a flag, and ultimately to shove past the nowheres, where you surrender your strength like a gun at the door, and when pretences drop with the crash of iron shackles, hear the child inside of your muscleman heart cry out with relief .

We interrupt regular programming on Shuttertext to bring you a serenade to dragon eye jam, gumballs, swimmers, and teeth. So while that’s hardly a different subject matter compared to our usual Shuttertext passages, we hope you find the Q&A format fresh and exciting!

Follow up questions to either of us are welcome, just leave a comment!

Sara Asks Tala 10 Questions

1. What is the best typefont in the world?

Microsoft Sans Serif

2. Do you play chess? Do you kick ass at it?

Play is a strong word. I can follow the rules, but that’s about it. I kick ass at backgammon, but definitely not at chess.  

3. Foxes, werewolves, or coyotes, and why?

Werewolves, because if you know anything about anything you know that werewolves are super hot. 

4. Rain: enlivening or depressing?

Both.

5. What’s the weirdest sandwich you love? And what’s the weirdest salad ingredient?

Dragon eye jam with tomatoes. Yum. As for the salad ingredient, I’m going to say beets. Although I know that’s not very weird. I am a boring food eater (except for the dragon eye jam, of course). 

6. What are your must-haves for a cosy bedroom?

The warmest, squishiest, cuddliest, and softest duvet in the entire world.  

7. Describe your dream trip.

First, I would hand-pick the best people I know and miss like crazy. Then, it would be the nearly impossible mash-up of the following scenarios. Train rides, beach days in lovely sunshine, concerts (I’d like to see Stars, The National, Sufjan Stevens, The Gaslight Anthem, Fleet Foxes, and Metric - I don’t think I’m being demanding). Then there’d be some more train rides with beautiful conversation and time spent reading books, some delicious food, and some great drinks. There would be one day of snow. The kind of snow that people write about - huge snowflakes, with blistering sunlight. Coffee of all kinds. Then back to having my feet in the sand.

I realize I didn’t exactly describe a trip. But this is what I want. 

8. Which athletes are best-looking: footballers, divers, wrestlers, swimmers, or runners?

Swimmers!

9. World peace or Greenpeace?

I’m gonna say world peace (partly to channel my inner beauty pageant contestant, and partly cause I’d like to pretend I have an inner beauty pageant contestant), although ideally I’d like both. The green stuff’s important too. 

10. Talk about one thing at length that you don’t give a shit about to such an extent that you would never ordinarily talk about it as such length.

Let’s talk about lightbulbs. Edison was not the first person to create the lightbulb, but his was the best one. Something about incandescence, resistance, and vacuum (says wikipedia). The bulbs come in various shapes and sizes (I hate that Ikea makes those randomly shaped bulbs, so that you can’t use any other manufacturer). Now I will segue into lightbulb jokes. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? None - the lightbulb has to want to change. Haha. I think this is more than I would ever normally say about lightbulbs. 

———————————————————————————————————————————-
Tala Asks Sara 10 Questions

1. Would you rather be stuck in the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean? Why?

The Atlantic. Because statistically, I think that puts me closer to land from any given coordinate. The problem is, there’s the Bermuda Triangle to contend with, which sucks. But still, I think I’d rather take my chances in the Atlantic.

2. Give me an argument for and an argument against reading the last sentence of a novel first.

Oh man, that’s blasphemy. But I’ll try to give this an objective shot. For: the strength or weakness of the last sentence is like a window into the strength or weakness of the whole book, and it will convey a mood, like a whiff of perfume on a passerby. Against: a good book spends its entire energy building up (or down) to the final sentence. It’s an insult to the spirit of a novel to read that sentence first. And besides that, it will not have the right tone in your head. In your head you might have Robocop reading a sentence meant for a drag-queen.
…Though arguably, perhaps there’s more in common between Robocop and drag-queens than is immediately apparent.

3. Describe one myth your life experience has directly dispelled.

I’ve been warned about 143 times that refusing to forward this quiz, recipe, picture of nail clippings, or story of love / triumph / sorrow to seven friends would result in my instant death or curse me to a parched and loveless life. But here I am, and as a bonus, my friends still like me and appreciate that I don’t spam them. So take that.

4. What would it take for you to sell one of your non-essential organs?

How about an egg or two? We have loads of those right? Little bit of vacuum action for a decent bit of cash, can’t be that bad, right? Right? But since we’re all medics here (+1 honorary medic)… for a real organ, I’d have to have a pressing financial need to actually swap for cash. Like if I needed to buy a super limited edition Hermes handbag.

5. Describe a specific place you would rather be right now.

Beirut. Having a cardamom turkish coffee in the sunshine on a patio, some cosy cafe in Hamra. Shoe-shiners passing by. Arabic music somewhere in the distance. Four or five of my best friends there with me, and my boyfriend. Just a jovial, easy Beirut afternoon :)

6. Latte, filter coffee, french press, cappuccino or cafe au lait?

I’ve 100% been on the cafe au lait recently. Specifically, nonfat cafe misto from Sbux for the win. Every weekday morning.

7. What is your earliest memory?

Eating from a 12 pack stick of gumballs and just shoving these things into my mouth. It appears that I have always been enthusiastic about candy.

8. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think I still want to be a writer when I grow up. But ask me again next year.

9. Do precocious children freak you out? Why, or why not?

They totally do. I’m intimidated by them. It’s sort of like, if they’re this smart and articulate at that age, how much smarter than me are they going to be by the time they hit adulthood?! I prefer the quiet contemplative sorts. Or the little clowns who make good quips whenever they slow down enough to catch their breaths.

10. Would you rather have 10 extra teeth, or 10 less teeth?

Good question. I’d say 10 extra. I bet evolutionarily if I had 10 extra teeth I would chew a whole lot more grass and injure a lot more rivals, and ultimately my genes would be awesome. Plus pulling teeth is a lot less technical than implanting them, right?

a vegetal metamorphosis 
Yesterday I bled the sap of a cactus. I was on the look out for something different, but this was not the change I’d meant. It was easy to imagine what the ooze of a cactus might taste like, bearing a family resemblance to the flavour of the rosy grenade-fruit sluiced through baleen teeth. I’ve got memories of a jackpot of pips knocking at my tongue. And now this new and amber blood. I covered up the wound, a slip-up on the chopping board, and this, this Bewitching (yesterday I could smell it through bandages, sweet, saturated, like a prairie pounded by rays of sun). This wasn’t ever my plan. I wanted change, not magic. A different name, an altered voice, or beauty. I wanted quiet, also I wanted clamour. I wanted that bellow, drunk and buzzing on tears, and to clamp onto pavement with my fangs, frothing, an alligator’s scissoring deathgrip. Not: to untie my gauze to see a monstrosity, angry cut softening, a red smile in my palm, and the brave first of a waxy blond stalk growing perpendicular to my lifeline, come to bless the world.

a vegetal metamorphosis

Yesterday I bled the sap of a cactus. I was on the look out for something different, but this was not the change I’d meant. It was easy to imagine what the ooze of a cactus might taste like, bearing a family resemblance to the flavour of the rosy grenade-fruit sluiced through baleen teeth. I’ve got memories of a jackpot of pips knocking at my tongue. And now this new and amber blood. I covered up the wound, a slip-up on the chopping board, and this, this Bewitching (yesterday I could smell it through bandages, sweet, saturated, like a prairie pounded by rays of sun). This wasn’t ever my plan. I wanted change, not magic. A different name, an altered voice, or beauty. I wanted quiet, also I wanted clamour. I wanted that bellow, drunk and buzzing on tears, and to clamp onto pavement with my fangs, frothing, an alligator’s scissoring deathgrip. Not: to untie my gauze to see a monstrosity, angry cut softening, a red smile in my palm, and the brave first of a waxy blond stalk growing perpendicular to my lifeline, come to bless the world.

odes to afterbirth

What am I but the arms that hold steady the sky? Humanity stirs on my skin like the movements of a child in the womb. My muscles throb with war. In my dreams I rewind the building and dismantling of citadels. How many of you were born here, gathering your first air laced with the tang of this dirt? And which of you let ring your first cry here, your whoops of injustice the first confrontation of you and your voice, frightening songbirds, stilling a million worker ants? Civilisation rolls in tides, a peak and a crash and men and women a gravy of plankton. My sinew aches with your upward climb over generations, scaling a waterfall. I hide scars from the stabbing of water. Your revolutions nourish me with iron, your beasts of construction nourish me with steel. What am I for, but to be steady, to become a god of patience, a note held and never dropped? I long to carry a victor city that will twine with me, a soulmate, a lover. I am this land, this sea, and thirsty. Oh, to wring nectars from a forever-city, to beat drums to the susurrus of an immortal heart.

canaanFear folded into an origami heart is set to drift downstream, bobbing in gutter water. The tufts of a newborn halo gather at your temples like the end of the rainbow. Worry will tumble away, down the slopes of this littoral, and dissipate; do you know that the city of secondhand sighs has atoned for it all? It has drowned under tides which broke every bone. It has learned its return, and has weaned itself off pills abused to erase multiplied trauma. It claims to have forgotten the slapping and slime of saltwater fishes caught in its top storeys, skewered on weathervanes. Lay your ear, your growing sanctity, to the crumbling portico and listen very close to the barely breathing ruins, the famous quarried stone. They have kept a chronicle: verse recited backwards, letters rolling like sand in an hourglass; the whooping of lungs laden with the future but pregnant with the past; a ritual scarification, a city sliced thinly from throat to gut, and the sound of the sea, a maternal hunting-cat, coiled to pounce, grooming.

canaan

Fear folded into an origami heart is set to drift downstream, bobbing in gutter water. The tufts of a newborn halo gather at your temples like the end of the rainbow. Worry will tumble away, down the slopes of this littoral, and dissipate; do you know that the city of secondhand sighs has atoned for it all? It has drowned under tides which broke every bone. It has learned its return, and has weaned itself off pills abused to erase multiplied trauma. It claims to have forgotten the slapping and slime of saltwater fishes caught in its top storeys, skewered on weathervanes. Lay your ear, your growing sanctity, to the crumbling portico and listen very close to the barely breathing ruins, the famous quarried stone. They have kept a chronicle: verse recited backwards, letters rolling like sand in an hourglass; the whooping of lungs laden with the future but pregnant with the past; a ritual scarification, a city sliced thinly from throat to gut, and the sound of the sea, a maternal hunting-cat, coiled to pounce, grooming.

the unbearable lightness of anatomy
Loneliness can be dissected too. It is layered, like hell or geologies. The outermost membrane is a taut and shiny coat reminiscent of the skin of an apple. Underneath this, a chitinous armour of lobes, a layer of lungs, always respiring. It is this pulmonary lattice that lends loneliness its characteristic heartache, worse when laden with unspent tears (the concept of drowning in loneliness is thus demystified). Beneath this still, under a breathing sky, loneliness has its sanguine lakes. How could loneliness be, without blood? Tests of the ‘red layer’ identify the same blood spilled in suicides of spurned love, a cocktailed blood, choked with hormones and laced with the carbon monoxide of slow-burning candles. And inside that? The centre, a Solitude, a light refracted onto itself and amplified. A memory of the galaxies of the womb, a reminder that we are immiscible oil and water, a stern physics of our bodies touching: they will push against each other, soft, hard, caressing; but never yield.

the unbearable lightness of anatomy

Loneliness can be dissected too. It is layered, like hell or geologies. The outermost membrane is a taut and shiny coat reminiscent of the skin of an apple. Underneath this, a chitinous armour of lobes, a layer of lungs, always respiring. It is this pulmonary lattice that lends loneliness its characteristic heartache, worse when laden with unspent tears (the concept of drowning in loneliness is thus demystified). Beneath this still, under a breathing sky, loneliness has its sanguine lakes. How could loneliness be, without blood? Tests of the ‘red layer’ identify the same blood spilled in suicides of spurned love, a cocktailed blood, choked with hormones and laced with the carbon monoxide of slow-burning candles. And inside that? The centre, a Solitude, a light refracted onto itself and amplified. A memory of the galaxies of the womb, a reminder that we are immiscible oil and water, a stern physics of our bodies touching: they will push against each other, soft, hard, caressing; but never yield.

mirrors in the ceiling
In every calendar month there is a day for flourishes, waltzes, and the sensitive awakening of skin worn without sleep for forty-eight hours. This is the anniversary of every frolic we have ever had, dousings in snow, sand, prismatic washes; in its honour we hold secret breath in our lungs. Cities like this one were born to fly. Bomber waves coax bedrock to dislodge as though Beirut were a wishbone in the throat of the Mediterranean. Mist is shrapnel. Flags shred beleaguered by the ambience, tricolour textile splitting like crusts on fresh loaves. This city was not made to be lashed to a calendar, nor you, its queen of spades. Dig up the cliffs one by one, your chance has come. Collect our days of celebration and never mention it, until the day you play a devastating sequence, your hand a royal flush of unfulfilled dances, your wispy breath laced with fragments from the shore.

mirrors in the ceiling

In every calendar month there is a day for flourishes, waltzes, and the sensitive awakening of skin worn without sleep for forty-eight hours. This is the anniversary of every frolic we have ever had, dousings in snow, sand, prismatic washes; in its honour we hold secret breath in our lungs. Cities like this one were born to fly. Bomber waves coax bedrock to dislodge as though Beirut were a wishbone in the throat of the Mediterranean. Mist is shrapnel. Flags shred beleaguered by the ambience, tricolour textile splitting like crusts on fresh loaves. This city was not made to be lashed to a calendar, nor you, its queen of spades. Dig up the cliffs one by one, your chance has come. Collect our days of celebration and never mention it, until the day you play a devastating sequence, your hand a royal flush of unfulfilled dances, your wispy breath laced with fragments from the shore.

malone rises, ring the rusted bells!You break in through the hole in the hull. Puddles fracture where you step. This heavy dungeon has been immovable; you would have wept at its sedate breathing on the crests of diabolical waves. There was an unsayable beauty here, brine filtering through stone. It should never have floated. It does. The world has treated me too fairly, a cretin like a sack of bolts, destined for the chute - but see me here? See my lazy momentum? I have decided to stay and taste this life. I have heard the gnashing of ice in assault. I have seen a white light splay this vessel like a wound bursting with rot. Yours is far and away the crispest image, your royal stride, the weight of water marking you. I have carved a life, my fingers ground to bony knots, and I am brave enough to shoot these boomeranging arrows: why have you come?

malone rises, ring the rusted bells!

You break in through the hole in the hull. Puddles fracture where you step. This heavy dungeon has been immovable; you would have wept at its sedate breathing on the crests of diabolical waves. There was an unsayable beauty here, brine filtering through stone. It should never have floated. It does. The world has treated me too fairly, a cretin like a sack of bolts, destined for the chute - but see me here? See my lazy momentum? I have decided to stay and taste this life. I have heard the gnashing of ice in assault. I have seen a white light splay this vessel like a wound bursting with rot. Yours is far and away the crispest image, your royal stride, the weight of water marking you. I have carved a life, my fingers ground to bony knots, and I am brave enough to shoot these boomeranging arrows: why have you come?

new crobuzonI too have roamed the desolation of my own veins. I moult in the hot season, encouraging sloughing skin with twin balance stones gripped in each palm, porous and sharp like the tongues of the once-closest. The best of my world have always walked away from the rising sun, chewing, like tobacco, a dried out membrane stripped by velcro tastebuds, aching for the mature day cast in chrome. I have let them go, increasingly fearful of the beating drum fed by my honeysuckle veins, a rhythm growing uncontrollable. Inside me rattles a scrap heap of retired heavy machinery. I have picked up every cog, spun every collapsed wheel. And on anniversaries when I leave outlines of myself in the sand, I dread a crushing process amidst the spreading blush of winter, noises like an abattoir, packing tight my inner rods and girders.

new crobuzon

I too have roamed the desolation of my own veins. I moult in the hot season, encouraging sloughing skin with twin balance stones gripped in each palm, porous and sharp like the tongues of the once-closest. The best of my world have always walked away from the rising sun, chewing, like tobacco, a dried out membrane stripped by velcro tastebuds, aching for the mature day cast in chrome. I have let them go, increasingly fearful of the beating drum fed by my honeysuckle veins, a rhythm growing uncontrollable. Inside me rattles a scrap heap of retired heavy machinery. I have picked up every cog, spun every collapsed wheel. And on anniversaries when I leave outlines of myself in the sand, I dread a crushing process amidst the spreading blush of winter, noises like an abattoir, packing tight my inner rods and girders.

roaring twentiesRaise up a roof above the corpse of whimsy - today is an extraordinary day. Why mourn your miscalibrated heart, my friend? Remember, instead, this hue handpicked to paint a mural in shades like lips or irises. Neither of us has ended up the person of our dreams, and sobriety has long set in, deep and thick as an ocean of trampled feathers. You hung up your pink boa years ago, you gave up your famous dancing shoes. We whisper that our endeavour will fade like beauty, but build we shall - the greatest mausoleum this world has ever seen, tinselled with a chemical calm, a talcum powder fog, and copper teapots flowing like the Spring of Zamzam, and an ark of universes - in mated twos - buried in toy-boxes beneath the silk carpet, beyond the descending stairs.

roaring twenties

Raise up a roof above the corpse of whimsy - today is an extraordinary day. Why mourn your miscalibrated heart, my friend? Remember, instead, this hue handpicked to paint a mural in shades like lips or irises. Neither of us has ended up the person of our dreams, and sobriety has long set in, deep and thick as an ocean of trampled feathers. You hung up your pink boa years ago, you gave up your famous dancing shoes. We whisper that our endeavour will fade like beauty, but build we shall - the greatest mausoleum this world has ever seen, tinselled with a chemical calm, a talcum powder fog, and copper teapots flowing like the Spring of Zamzam, and an ark of universes - in mated twos - buried in toy-boxes beneath the silk carpet, beyond the descending stairs.

tacoma narrows
We are the musicmen, whose fingers peel wallpaper in a house with no equal, that solemn shelter at the centre of the earth. Under cover of dark we pick at stubborn corners to the tapping of a drum. And it is this we see: wolf eyes welling with joy (we are), our search lights surveying calm waters (the music), mayday calls evolving towards sounds of conception (-men); a transmutation small, sober, stepwise. To know, we approach the silent and wolf-eyed, pushing a waterfall of flashlight beams into the deepest and most haunted parts. Our palms cup a little regret. It is an incredible feat to pass over this unrippled, these odes springing up, fist-sized mushrooms in huddles choking treetrunks, humming at resonant frequency. We musicmen: songs shall drink of our sap, odes will paint our faces in the ichor of our own devices. Each anthem will fly from us, explosive; each ode is a universe made to honour the heart.

tacoma narrows

We are the musicmen, whose fingers peel wallpaper in a house with no equal, that solemn shelter at the centre of the earth. Under cover of dark we pick at stubborn corners to the tapping of a drum. And it is this we see: wolf eyes welling with joy (we are), our search lights surveying calm waters (the music), mayday calls evolving towards sounds of conception (-men); a transmutation small, sober, stepwise. To know, we approach the silent and wolf-eyed, pushing a waterfall of flashlight beams into the deepest and most haunted parts. Our palms cup a little regret. It is an incredible feat to pass over this unrippled, these odes springing up, fist-sized mushrooms in huddles choking treetrunks, humming at resonant frequency. We musicmen: songs shall drink of our sap, odes will paint our faces in the ichor of our own devices. Each anthem will fly from us, explosive; each ode is a universe made to honour the heart.

 
book of all hours
For three months I have watched a fever dream which made a battlefield of my lungs, dreamtime victors hefting high the medallions of self-sacrifice, while the willful and the outspoken and strong cowered in cramped closes winding to my ice-splashed viscera. I fear for myself, my powerful self. I’ve always hidden a human fragility; I have known my bones to be a moment from melting, barely apart from teardrops in lifelines, as small as the pendant skeleton of a snowflake crushed into a palm. I have also known my power - don’t we all come into ourselves fortified in some frugal way? But here I lay a battleground, canting a shield above the rise and fall of my body, and I find myself unnerved by the heat of my sleep, by the bell that peals in every nightscape at the hour of dawn. It is the most frightful instant: these chimes overlaid by a flight of escaping doves, gentle beaks spearing leaves of the book left tossed to my fires, until the burning slows, until the fever breaks.

book of all hours

For three months I have watched a fever dream which made a battlefield of my lungs, dreamtime victors hefting high the medallions of self-sacrifice, while the willful and the outspoken and strong cowered in cramped closes winding to my ice-splashed viscera. I fear for myself, my powerful self. I’ve always hidden a human fragility; I have known my bones to be a moment from melting, barely apart from teardrops in lifelines, as small as the pendant skeleton of a snowflake crushed into a palm. I have also known my power - don’t we all come into ourselves fortified in some frugal way? But here I lay a battleground, canting a shield above the rise and fall of my body, and I find myself unnerved by the heat of my sleep, by the bell that peals in every nightscape at the hour of dawn. It is the most frightful instant: these chimes overlaid by a flight of escaping doves, gentle beaks spearing leaves of the book left tossed to my fires, until the burning slows, until the fever breaks.

my friends are on the arkTwo of each: two of the frontline heroes, two conversationalists with welling eyes, two who brew coffee unbidden and serve it with words that suction skin to flesh like shrinkwrap. I went searching on a cruise ship that puffed an ancient steam, where the captain was kind and consoled me; he brought a tumbler of gin to ward against a damaging sea spritz, its bite worse than a plague of gnats. These are friends I have long needed, and I’m not done: I have heartbreak to file off my lungs like barnacles, and that calls for a two-handled saw. Defeated, the captain bid me alight at a premature pier. I was doing all I could to acclimate to this gushing loss; I flung a sterling idea from my dwindling list of things to change the world. On the receding ship a waltz was under way, the captain leading the first dance. The deep, unnoticed thought of my heart plunged into the opinionless sea and was sieved up through the baleen of a whale. A drone wafted up from the waves, thick as mist, and in time the dark excreted two shapes - unmistakable ships -floating upon the ink of the horizon.

my friends are on the ark

Two of each: two of the frontline heroes, two conversationalists with welling eyes, two who brew coffee unbidden and serve it with words that suction skin to flesh like shrinkwrap. I went searching on a cruise ship that puffed an ancient steam, where the captain was kind and consoled me; he brought a tumbler of gin to ward against a damaging sea spritz, its bite worse than a plague of gnats. These are friends I have long needed, and I’m not done: I have heartbreak to file off my lungs like barnacles, and that calls for a two-handled saw. Defeated, the captain bid me alight at a premature pier. I was doing all I could to acclimate to this gushing loss; I flung a sterling idea from my dwindling list of things to change the world. On the receding ship a waltz was under way, the captain leading the first dance. The deep, unnoticed thought of my heart plunged into the opinionless sea and was sieved up through the baleen of a whale. A drone wafted up from the waves, thick as mist, and in time the dark excreted two shapes - unmistakable ships -floating upon the ink of the horizon.