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patchwork narrative - Kathy


Kathy


Autumn’s words rush like storm wind.
“She was so strong, focused, unstoppable, deeply
impressive to me, like a transformation into superdom.
For most of my life she’d just been, you know, Mom.
I mean, she was cool about doing the mom things,
reading stories to, then with me, teaching me how to do
those everyday rituals, you know, like washing, dressing,
brushing my hair, what to say to be polite, how to feel
better when plans go wrong. She was easy to be with
mostly, though often, you know, not quite there, mulling
over or tidying up thoughts I ought not see.
After she made that clear decision, after we ran off on a
sunny afternoon, out of the lives we knew, she was all
exactly there. She had a plan with layered contingencies,
always rewriting, pulling in data and strategies from the
other runners we would meet in the shelters and on the
streets. Alert to possible dangers, opportunities, she kept
us safe, moving, swift and sane, kept me calm and ready.
Changing places, changing our names, adapting to ever
different conditions, she was my hero. I was proud to believe
I could be as strong, as real, alive, magnificently resilient
now that I had learned the terror she had secretly endured
all those years I dismissed her as decorative and weak.
But now, now that we seem to have landed, leveled out,
taken long-term shelter, when I look at her she is
essentially gone. It’s like she was running on a hot-burning
fuel that’s been burned out.
I know she loves me. I feel that yearning anxiety flicker
through her when she looks at me, the unrequited desire
for the power of ability to give me more, to make it all better.
She talks to me, those times after her long horrible days,
when we’re home together, before she is too drunk to make
sense, as if we’re just typical mom and daughter enjoying our
normal life. I guess this is our normal, now.”
Autumn tumbles through her complex of feelings, confusions,
guilts, complaints, loyalty, love, her mom junk as she on occasion
dismisses, apologizes, tries to keep it from engulfing.
Kathy dissipates, from drink, from lack of thought to give
herself. Her desire is to be numb, to get through the litany of
doing without notice, to drift away leaving a programmed
automaton to do without her conscious consent. She wants
better for Autumn. Feeling lost and spent beyond redemption,
entrenched in failure, in revealed lies confronted too late, in
shambles overwhelming any possibility of reconstruction, she
feels no ability to give, to offer.
What does my understanding of, even empathy for, that
battered soul offer?
I hold shaking Autumn close to my cold exterior, feel her
cry, feel the fear she doesn’t speak.
There are so many ways life can go wrong.
Maybe there is no point in such calculation. Ideas,
valuations, are so subjective, based in ephemeral cultural
prescriptions.
“Remember, Autumn, when she knew what had to be done she
was magnificent. Remember how that feels.”

Last edited by libramoon, May/25/2013, 5:18 pm
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patchwork narrative - City


City


It is early in my night wander. A clear moonlit evening,
people in upbeat mood saunter, coagulate.
I decide to hide in plain sight among randomly sized
street kids. I have mild acquaintance with some who
regularly gather in this officially abandoned playground.
Disarray of trash, broken glass, dismal hazards are not
as obvious in pale moonlight.
I stand outside the circle of active conversation. My
attitude of wary self-preservation is common among
this outcast class. I hear talk of violent confrontations
with authorities. The powerless tend to invoke the sadist
in those who enjoy subjugation. I am not sure why I have
come here. I am killing time, not a threat to these children.
Perhaps I just want in some way to be seen, to pretend to
belonging in some social construct. I do not belong here.
These are not my kin. This city is mine for the haunting,
the hunting, the familiar holes for hiding. Other cities have
been mine in other times, places. Familiarity quickly takes
hold, practiced night after night.
The people, they belong to the city, maybe each other, or
simply their own paths.
Family does not apply to me. I am no one. I have no
officially sanctioned identity, no papers, no records, no
photographs. I am no person. I am a creature, a creation
of shadow and horror. Yet here I mingle with mortal
children, indistinguishable to casual glance.
I stay distant from touch, conceal my secret deadness.
A small band moving out from the hub approaches where
I stand. Most likely they mean no threat. I take the
opportunity to back away into shadow, past the unmarked
boundary of this gathering.
The city and I maintain our rendezvous. I am not attracted
to lights and noise of revelry, of nightlife at play.
I return to an eerie business district abandoned by day
work crowds, now silently at rest. Strangely, a rabbit,
not more than a bunny, runs by, across the boulevard.
It disappears from my view behind an imposing building.
This is highly out of character for my experience of this area.
I don’t want it to be a symbol, a portent of unsettling
occurrences.
My life, such as it is, has been working, has a cogency,
a rhythm I can dance to, lose myself in, even pretend to
happiness when I let myself. Because ironic gods are
always laughing at me, I know better than to allow myself
unwary happiness.
It is just a strange night, a bad moon, rampant paranoia.
This city and I see too much, have too little faith in illusion.
What we want is peace and sanity.
What we get is all these crazy people.
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patchwork narrative - Substance


Substance


Smells lose cultural connotations. They are information,
trail and detail introduction to their source. Emotion,
exertion, state of decay, debilitation, danger.
I smell dawn approaching before telltale lightening
of the sky. I smell Autumn approach my hidey-hole,
and know my day is starting, hear its rhythm in
synesthetic sympathy.
The day is warm. Her aroma is charged with the city’s
hum and drain. As refuge, audience, soulmate, I am
called by her entrance into her spell.
Despite the heat, she has energy to burn. We play
a dance game. In turn each will dance while the other
devises accompaniment in song, lyrics in tune with the
story the dance expresses.
Autumn leaps out angry energy. Wild rage soaks through
her t-shirt and short pants. She pulls them off, incorporating
that motion into her rhythm, flings the clothing aside like
token barricades against her avenging fleet.
My unnatural body takes no note of cold, heat, naked
humanity. I am immersed in singing anger, outrage, clean
intensity of desire to emote, expel.
Seer of fire burns denial
Caustic screams pierce blocked ears
Stomp, crash, splinter, tear apart
Venial enemy ducks darts of wrath
projected from fierce protectors
Demolish leering jokesters. Smash smug detractors.
Craven brutality, vengeance a mad extension
Slash, smash ruinous ecstasy aroused in righteous ire
Ground down to dust, unappeased,
I whirl into icy wind; blow you away!
She furiously acts out in total seriousness, outward
abandon, a pure physicality. All in, all consumed,
concentration on an inner mapping for full effect.
Trapped emotion released, she winds down. A sodden
lump, she quietly declares intermission.
I emit a round of stunned applause, her adoring audience.
Her song, I humbly acknowledge, pulled from me by the
force of her movements. She smiles, gives seated bow
head into chest with arm flourishes. Winks as her head
rises to face me.
She holds long pause, regaining balance, calming breath,
relaxing connective tissue. Not long, she is ready to
reanimate, to take refreshment of more simple energy.
She motions for me to pass her backpack, pulls from it
an apple, her water bottle and sketchpad.
“Look. I want to show you how much work I’ve done on
our superhero adventures comicbook.”
I take the sketches. Her cartooned image appears
remarkably true to life.
“Is that really how I look?”
She smiles a broad affirmative, though the pictured child
seems to shine with almost ethereal innocent grace.
Autumn continues to eat the apple, then studies the seeds
for what they may tell of her future. Seemingly satisfied,
she throws seeds and core into a small plastic bag for
later disposal.
“I’ll throw them in sidewalk cracks. Give them a chance
to sprout, or maybe get carried along to somewhere they
can survive.”
Intermission over, I take my turn on stage.
I galumph through silly walks, poses, play the fool
promoting laughter.
Autumn leaps up, out to grab my hands. We jump about,
singing silly phrases, laughing into each other’s laughing face.
Eventually, emotion exhausted, we fall onto a pillow, curl into
each other’s outline, become a dance of contented silence.
May/31/2013, 1:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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patchwork narrative - Eternity


Eternity


My time arc, conscious arrow through eventuality,
looms eternal.
Day by day I am restricted through compulsion.
It is not about reason, knowing what must be done.
It is viscerally doing, compelled. I must have
sanctuary from daylight. Allowed freedom to roam
by night, I must hunt, kill, feed, be gone before dawn.
I do not sail forward through open time. Each day’s duality
experience propels by need foreordained.
I can go several nights without feeding. The compulsion
metastases as my feeling of fitness and agency falls.
Every demi-cycle I must hide from Sun, even when that
light seems shielded by cloud, storm.
Eternity is my little joke with this planet on which my cycles depend.
I could die, again, forever? I don’t know what that would
mean. Perhaps there is yet an after-death, a Hades or
re-entry into another form. There are no guidebooks, no
authorities I am aware of. I might think, reason, that I could
but forego heed of dawn and learn the truth.
I can’t.
I’ve tried.
My arrogant body takes me to shelter without my will’s
command. Is free will no longer mine, a forfeit to eternity?
Was my will, any of me, ever free? Would I have found
my way to freedom had I been allowed to grow to maturity?
Children are not allowed to be free. They must be owned
by guardians, or left to predations of fate out of sight or custody.
Children may resist with all their will, and always lose.
This world is not about kind lessons, patient mentors offering
sweet bits to satisfy, nourish, energize. Rather, mortality
appears a series of adjusting footing or getting trampled.
I can not be envious of them.
I track a potential suicide this dark and stormy night,
onto a bridge over the river. No one has cared to notice
his erratic signals of desperate desire but me. He is just
another man that no one will miss.
I save him from uncertainties of drowning. We engage in
mutually satisfactory transaction. Perhaps his consciousness
goes forward to its next adventure. I take care to assure
his afterlife is not my responsibility. I separate his head and
telltale punctured neck from what falls into the river.
The dead man’s head I carry further out toward sea, carrion
for scavengers. Soon pre-dawn compulsion insists the end
to this night’s part. No point to crossing off another day
of a sentence with no end.
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patchwork narrative - Recognition


Recognition


Autumn worries over fated possibility, sources of identity.
“I could be like her, lose the game, empty years defeated.
Worse, I could be like him.
I look like him. That’s got to be DNA, my inheritance.
He wasn’t always like, you know, he is, mad in his need
for power. Maybe he started so scared of his weakness, of
vulnerability, that he had to be in control. Whatever, wasn’t
he once upon a time just some little kid trying to work it all out?
Wasn’t she a dynamo waiting for her moment to be a star?
Do I get to choose? Do I get to figure out how to be me, how
to get what turns me on, you know, self-determination? Focus
the energy in the right time, place, intensity, and all I wish for
is mine? Did he want to be beast breaking beauty? Did she
want to be broken, betrayed, lost? They had, you know,
people, parents, teachers, family backing them, steering
them, goading motivation. Maybe it was misguidance.
I’ve escaped that trap. I’ve got, you know, you, not stupid
people with narrow mind sets.”
I am mesmerized by ping of recognition, being seen,
belonging.
Autumn wants to believe she has it in her to be the worst
of participants in this human world. She thinks because
the people who made her have deep, dark histories, she
has that inborn potential. She is very young, limited in
experiences even though she has known much more than
most her age. She has no true idea , not the necessary
length of view for true perspective, of what evil exists.
“You have your own choices, Autumn. You have the advantage
of watching, reflecting on, the choices and outcomes of
those close to you. You are a further evolving step beyond,
not limited by their images. You could befriend an
impossibility. You could see a long dead monster’s
humanity. You are amazingly different from all those
stupid, crazy, unbearable people. Why would you want
to put your mental time to ruminating in such worries?
How do thoughts of wrong potentialities benefit, give
pleasure, make anything better?”
I am clearly questioning, seeking understanding, not
making judgment or sermon.
“No, yeah, you’re right. History’s just stories with lessons.
No point in repeating what have proven obvious mistakes.”
There is a silent edge of fear that haunts her agreement.
Where is her role model of can do sanity? The best I can
model is stoic escapism. At least we have this safe escape
we share. She owns this special space, haven from feral
furies, harsh swift judgment, numbing punishment.
Her energy is low, held down in debilitating ideas of
twisted fate. Has my darkness infected her with morose
fantasy? Has her ever more distant mother, Kathy the
defeated damsel, reached a further point of no return?
Is this just a particularly oppressive day, week, transition?
“Autumn, what are you really afraid about? Has an omen,
an incident, threats or epithets cast you down? You feel so
sad today. I feel it with you. I feel strong desire to touch
that core of sadness, hold it close, dance a transformation.
I want to feed on your binding sadness and set you free.”
I am no good at being expressive. For so endlessly long
my experience has given me practice in self-control,
hidden denial of a self to express. My dialogs have been
for the most part internal monologues devoid of the need
for projection to external audience.
This is important. I have important messages to impart,
emotions and ideas to share, perhaps for the very first
time in all the time I have known.
“Don’t worry, Ellie. I’m not drowning in any deep end.
Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m sad that there’s so damn much
crap to be sad about.
You’re right, you know, so many people ...
I guess you would know, better than me. You’ve
known so much longer than I’ve even been. I, you
know, I look at you as younger. I know it’s been so
long; you’ve been through so much more.
Those freaks out there, we don’t have to care about
what they say or how messed up their lives are.
We are who we are, without their permission or
agreement. They’re not in our league.”
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patchwork narrative - Lullaby


Lullaby


This nightly isolation is not mine alone.
Look at them, afraid to touch, to be seen.
They tell themselves, like sacred litany,
If only I could be seen; could be touched.
If only, but then what? Would cure of abreaction,
perceived care of connection, provide sure solution
to the problem of what we are?
I have bias of unique cause for obscurity.
Mortals I observe seem caught up in unreasoned
torture. Ignorant judgments quickly devise to
tighten against acceptability. They fill themselves
with stories, reiterate the stories they have heard,
layer on impressions of ugliness. They plead for
beauty to befriend them. They give her no place,
no recognition. The primary rule chants never
take a chance of appearing a fool. Such reputation
becomes a slavering hound, never outrun scent of
disdain. Better to appear harsh, punishing, a threat.
Best to appear slick and easy, ready to take control or
fade away as the time advises.
I watch the games progress from territory outside common
view. Ultimately they all lose. There is no prize.
There are only self-fulfilling stories each of us take cover
in through the night.
I am so very weary of my story.
I sing myself bits of ambient melodies set to words
suggested by my surroundings. I sing quietly, less than
a whisper, reverberating inward to distract and soothe.
Sights, scents of those along my path mix into background
noise, discounted, uninteresting flickers beyond the shadows
I frequent.
I have an interest in tracking the still living dead on their way
to final transition. Beyond their depth, lost to the usefulness
of anything but subterfuge. They distract from overtold stories
with concern to not be caught, dissuaded, touched or seen at last.
That I see them, touch them unexpectedly, will be more fruitful
distraction. Finally seen, touched, beyond the reach of subterfuge,
does this solve your life, reward your search for meaning?
I suppose it is some recompense for mine. A monster can have
its uses. That is one of the stories I tell myself.
It sounds more soothing as a lullaby.
May the dead enjoy dreams of beauty, the dead that dream.
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patchwork narrative - Fairytale


Fairytale


A pale, scrawny child, barely there at all.
Not even real, a trick of the light you might tell
yourself. A haunt long buried in the trivia of getting
by that takes momentary form from your weakness
of spirit. If it matters, no, I am not the avenging
angel of your sins. The price I take is not your payment,
but my theft. Or, better, if we come to terms, our mutual
gift, ritual sacrifice to the gods of guilt and shame, to stem
the suffering they demand.
We each achieve relief in this instant. Perhaps it is a
kind of grace.
I have done what I came for here. The night must provide
active entertainment to ease, spend this mania I have
become. I seek out not further satiation, but release,
abandon of reason, the freedom from selfhood that
narcotics fraudulently promise.
I am drawn to loud music, decibels of vibration that
thrust through chains of rumination, break punishing
patterns into kaleidoscopic delight. There is plenty of
darkness in this underground temple of sound within
which I unseen freely gyrate, thrown in with movement
of ecstatic worship. If only this were endless reward of
eternity, to catch hold, entrain in shifting, uplifting
rhythm.
Underground, daylight is no threat. Yet, time will call
an end to the tune. The organizers and their intended
audience disperse near dawn. When the music’s over,
the cover withdrawn, I must scramble to safety.
Autumn has brought me books for my hours of indoor
solitude. She wants to share stories that have solaced
and thrilled through forbidding hours. I rereread
Andersen’s “Snow Queen” for the simple salvation of
fairytales’ faithful love.
The Queen, evil’s incarnation, she loves too. She of
enclosed icy soul, with screwed up values, only feeling
alive in ravages of Winter callousness, she loves the boy.
And she has always been faithful lover to that burning
pain of frozen desire, the power of the dark side. She
doesn’t know that human love is different. She has no
reference for the expectations of a mortal child. She is
cruel because she has no other way to be.
I fill my psyche with this beautiful heroic story of a fiercely
brave young girl who grows into wisdom through adventure,
always focusing on love for the foolish boy who got caught
up in a prison of dark enchantment. It is so exquisitely true
while I read, alone, in my own improbable imprisonment.
There is no magic task to set me free.
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patchwork narrative - World


World


“So I kicked him, badass hard.
He was wailing, on his knees, in the middle of the street.
Those littler kids he’d been tormenting cause he was so
big and tough, got their laughfest on. I showed him how
tough could turn. Silly Fool with a misshapen tool; just the
stooge for practicing my martial moves. So now he’s puking
and calling me Martian like that’s a curse. I’m so cool.
He’s a weeping baby and I’m Martian Girl.”
Autumn’s exploit thrills her. That deep release, to let loose
against a clear foe.
School’s out. Street punks with no better motive or activity
mark territory with threats and struts. Nobody expects an
avenging angel in the shape of a girl mostly child in size and
figure. She does practice fighting forms, keeps exercised and fit,
wary and ready to fight back.
“Kathy and I took self-defense training offered through the
women’s empowerment programs at a couple of the shelters.
We were all about empowerment, you know, she was then.
I was all into the exercise to let out, you know, anger, confusion.
It gave me a physical focus to keep from exploding. Not that I
had ever been exposed to fighting sports before. I mean I danced,
ran, swam, activities appropriate to burn energy and develop tone
and graceful presentation. At least I was aware of body training
for coordination, channeling energy, developing fitness.”
She illustrates with smooth, sure movements, exercises now long
practiced for flexible strength, impressive impact.
I could easily overpower her with my unearned vampire strength,
but can imagine no such motivation. Instead, I exuberantly act
the foil, falling, feinting, avoiding direct connection beyond harmless
suggestion.
In my mortal childhood I had often to endure tasks of physical demand.
Yet certainly I got no training in sport or defense. I do not pre-think nor
train my actions, but behave within the frame of the moment as motive
dictates. Now I am all about child play simplicity, pleasure of
friendly exchange.
I feel burden of so little I can do for her. She gives me so much more
than I can ever reciprocate. My world, experience, so different, what can
it bring her? This is her world, the environment that raised her to this
point, that forms her options, expectations, obligations, boundaries.
I don’t want to think beyond this moment while we are children together,
the world out there merely a vague eventuality.
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patchwork narrative - Wanderer


Wanderer


These short summer nights, stench of rotting garbage,
insects intrude, homeless humans too hot to sleep
mumble, wander.
I don’t feel heat, nor do insects accept me as attractive.
Mad night wanderers pay me no mind, no belief.
The summer city in darkness exudes a fantasy quality,
an off-kilter surrealism. Moon bright yellow magnificent
globe seems to reign over a starless sky, casts a watchful
glow over skyscrapers reaching from below.
I am in a movie mood, imagining plots, dramatic dialog,
brilliant Moon to moonstruck worshippers demanding
payment for their sustaining dementia.
Dense, rank odors encourage distraction.
I am enticed to visit Autumn’s, Kathy’s window. So late
the sun sets, tonight I disappeared seconds before she,
Autumn’s mother returning home, could notice me at
her daughter’s side assuring safe passage through ugly
urban blight. Some late nightfall we probably will meet.
How do I explain myself? A neighbor child allowed to wander
alone at night? Perhaps her self-involvement, active defeat,
would protect my identity from curiosity or rational critique.
I don’t want to know this woman. I don’t want to judge her,
or befriend her or fool her. I want my illusion of innocent
friendship, uncomplicated love. I want a clear demarcation
of night that doesn’t impinge on my days’ happy dream.
If I were smart I would long ago have learned to traverse
hemispheres to avoid these seasonal inconveniences.
So strange to look forward to days.
I am struck with sudden troubling. Have I been taking my
basement paradise for granted? For how long will no one claim
that real estate? I have usually kept prepared for emergency
relocation. Forethought, a reminder to be mindful. Seasons
change. Mortal children grow. Eternity is never about secure
stagnation.
I in my dark traveling, another mad, paranoid, delusional creature
of the street. Ideations are not always wrong. Best to be flexible,
devoid of expectations. Wasn’t that always the primary rule?
Zombieland, braindead fools unable to sensibly rest. The stage is
set complete with buzzing bloodsuckers, insects and small vampire.
Hot, dank nights can be surreal, free of natural limits. Night so
compressed it must make its statement succinctly, in terse symbols.
I am unclear on this concept of reality as authorized by men of
science. Reality is fluid, fickle, not a fan of laws. Moralists who
do such things can say, write, pontificate. In my years of experience,
fools pontificate. Real men adapt, or die, well, really, both.
None of it really matters to me. Just mental distraction. Just letting
my mind fall into stories to kill the time between kills.
This night is short, and filled with wanderers.
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Re: postapocalypse


Today, in a litttle over 2 hours, I've read through pages 1 and 2, almost to the end of May. This is some of your best poetry that I've read. So different, frankly, I might not at first recognize the authorship. Clearly your main character is close to you, allowed you ample voice. I don't want to call her a vampire, I think her name is Ellie, right? So I'll call her an Immortal. That seems fitting.

As character I've known this type of woman more than once. Self-damned and brutally honest about it, almost, if not entirely, to the point of taking pleasure in their condition. I remember an old Margaret Atwood poem addressed to young women poets. A small poem, just a comment. She ends it by saying something like 'if I were a young man I would want to console them, knowing all the while I couldn't.' This is not to say I do not like Ellie, quite the contrary. Nor do I judge her. As fictional character I could fall in love with her. I could even let her have her way with me. A type I've always preferred. A true existentialist.

Narrative string works for me also, as do both the local coloring, environmentally, and the examination of character, motive, and actional consequence. It all works for me in large measure because of the narrative intimacy. Verbiage is clean and, therefore, personally engaging. Something else that kind of tickles me. Each poem has a title that kind of serves as a topic or subject of behavior the Immortal chooses to examine. That is precisely how Montaigne proceeded in his essays, it is part and parcel of the invention of the essay form. So what am I to think? Your poems are essay-poems? That is what tickles me.

This is some mighty writing. In a way it is huge writing. Protein. Kinetic. Tense. Yes, that is the tight descriptor. Tense. Tensioned. This is the kind of writing that gives example to just how pale poetry tends to be. I'm absolutely loving this stuff. I'm now wanting to know how the story ends. This stops my body.

One thing, Libra. It has been a long time since I've commented on your poetry. I know why. My interest in the series started to flag precisely when the morality message outweighed the elements of narrative, character portrayal, and lyric poetry. Still, a mighty thing you have going here.

Tere
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Re: postapocalypse


What a superlative review, Tere! May I quote you (if and when)?
Jun/23/2013, 1:49 am Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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Re: postapocalypse


You bet you can quote me, Libra. But for the fact you're committing the series to a closed forum, intended for membership only, I would broadcast what you're doing. But Ateliers is the board's studio space, private-like. Presumably it gives you the measure of comfort needed to chase your theme(s) down.

Been thinking more on what I've read so far. As said before, I've yet to read page 3. Still, this is huge writing, huge poetry. Paglia said it best when she said all women are attracted to dangerous men. Thus the abiding attraction to both the Dracula type and the Werewolf type. But your Immortal is different. Sure she turns the tables. That is what you want to happen. But your 200 year old 12 year old soul is much more than that. Much more. And, said again, you have found a voice in her, a vibrant, immediate voice. I'm on her streets, in her slums, in her basements, in her head, even in her thirst.

There is an old saying. True poetry is the story of life-in-death. This Immortal of yours is down right decadent in just that story.

Tere
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patchwork narrative - Nostalgia


Nostalgia


Despite eternity of immortality, my time is bound, limited,
set by cyclic necessity. In theory I could hunt and feed
underground. A spectre of subways, subterranean bars,
parking garages, except for ever present complication
of observant by-passers. I am comfortable to hunt
nocturnally in open air where I easily fade into shadow,
without notice. For any who might for a moment perceive
peripheral flicker, most likely I was never even there.
Early day, shortly beyond dawn, this monster’s conscious
daymares enjoy free torment. Nameless faces, faceless
voices without connection, no thread to cut. They mock me
in enforced stillness of my physical, ironic metaphysical, cage.
Alone in my hour of madness, no reason to hide in.
Autumn’s approach in my senses pulls consciousness to
rationality, reason to be sane.
She is relieved to arrive, at last safe to open freely to feelings
closed against public glare and blare.
I warn her of inklings that this place may be returning to private
ownership, which would bar my entrance. I am alert to find
alternative hide-out. I will share forwarding address when I
do, soon. While our time here narrows, we prepare for changing
circumstance.
We sprawl on craftily luxurious pillows facing up to ceiling, quiet,
pensive, nostalgic in anticipation.
Slowly, Autumn’s voice reaches to spin out a story. The ceiling
imaginatively transforms into cinematic kaleidoscope revealed from
her vision to mine.
“A shining gold colored line of rope, soft as angora, stronger than steel,
falls through a secret, camouflaged opening in the ceiling. You grab
hold, carry me, as it carefully wraps around us. Once we are secure, we
are strongly pulled upward, swinging and thrilled like a carnival ride.
The ceiling, as we fall upward through it, leads not as expected to the
next floor of this old building, but to a grand, celestial ballroom, enclosed
against sunlight. Enchanting music played by a magical orchestra
fills the room. Low light from star-shaped candles reveals magnificent
shadow sculptures, flickering shapes that seem to dance as they morph
into crazy symbolic formations.
Over several moments they appear ever clearer, seem to emote
silently. We are led to understand that these are friendly sprites from
a nearby dimension. They have brought us here to play with them
because we are such amazing energy that they could feel us across
dimensions. They want us to stay, their honored guests. They want us
to be made so happy that we will love them, never leave.”
She drifts upward, bringing me with her. She glides us around the room,
smiling pleasantries to our adoring hosts.
This too will be a memory, as real as any special time among friends.
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patchwork narrative - Cruelty


Cruelty


Throughout night walks I see, touch their misery;
so many unwanted people, so much gratuitous cruelty.
Children thoughtlessly conceived, grudgingly borne helpless,
let loose into the world without a friend. All these people who
trust death much more than life.
A streak of compassion grasps my pondering mind, takes thought
into a whirl of streams. I am drawn to wondering about mothers,
their archetype of loving protection. How do beleaguered women
conscious of their inability to give what they lack, of their bleakness,
allow their children birth into useless suffering, into brutality?
Inculcated or innate, maternal imperative, moral responsibility to love
and protect, ought sound strong warning against prolonging
unfortunate gestation. Certainly women have always shared knowledge,
means of ending what ought not have begun. Or do they feel need for
outward manifestation of their sins of pleasure, of weakness, of
worthlessness? Do they bear not blessings but images to punish,
a chain of blood and thorns as reminder and retribution? Is there
redemption in such carrying of disease, deadly remorse?
Just what is redemption? What is redeemed? Is there some reputable
proof beyond my education that through trial and purification, flailing of
body, mind, essential code, over generations man is meant to evolve
beyond dependence on punishment?
Then what of demons, of my fate? Are we stuck in mere mimic of a process
we have no hope of taking part in?
Are there people who don’t take part as well? Are their human beings who
have not been infected with twisted need? Could there even be people who
have seen through that losing game, turned instead to games of merriment,
deep satisfaction, development of will and wisdom, to enjoying usefully
happy pursuits? Those are not the grown-ups of the world I know.
Perhaps they only exist as phantom suppositions, my hope for their better
world if they could be.
Where would I fit, so much as I find my crevices, in such a world?
A social enterprise busy with exciting, effective projects that preclude
time or interest for bleeding energy, for unbreakable chains of punishment,
for the clarity of hate, bounties of war, worship of clever weapons. Would
such stalwart sapiens welcome me as fellow sentient? Would they
supportively rehabilitate my hunger with appropriate technologies?
Or would I sneak through their inattentions as any random tragedy strikes?
How long could I maintain my secret existence, avoid capture, in a world
where no one goes through their time unwanted, in which every missing person
is assuredly missed?
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patchwork narrative - Talent


Talent


Thought of being touched, physical invasion by another’s
intention, repels me. Touch implies terrible associations,
magnified over time.
Mostly I avoid detection by others’ senses.
Mostly I strike, take initiative, control the scene.
I have no issue with Autumn’s spontaneous affections.
Her presence offers calming elation both fantastic and real.
“After publicly praising my skills, my dad liked to privately
remind me: Talent isn’t a gift, Princess. It’s a privilege.
Privileges are only as good as others can be persuaded
to honor them.”
She, as I do, tries to make a coherent story. Her reason
carefully considers salient memory, sage-like advice;
synthesizes her range of influences into precarious guide.
“There’s no honor, no market here for my precious talents.
I’m just weirdo tightass loner without a cause. My mom’s
too out of it to notice what I do. If I didn’t have you to be me
with, I’d probably just devolve into schizo-nutzo mumbling
about aliens and end-times.
Oh, yeah, without you I’d probably be dead – torn apart by
packs of angry thugs out for some wilding.”
She attempts to soften harsh truth with sarcastic laughter.
But then, as if in sudden awareness of contrition, she turns,
hugs me full body fierce, eyes up close shining with love.
“You do know, I’m not just using you because I have no one
else. You know how important, what you mean to me.”
She relaxes, smiles genuinely.
I gladly take her hands, lock eyes, assure her of mutuality.
“Autumn, your talents aren’t for them. They are not your
audience. Your wonderful imagination, your courage and strength,
your aesthetic precision, your passion, are yours. They are
gifts you give yourself. They are gifts you can choose to share,
but only by your free choice.”
I believe what I tell her with a passion of my own.
It occurs to me as acute pain that our arrangement is not assured
to either of us forever. I have found prospects for day rooms, an
imminent change to be accommodated. I have noticed Autumn’s
mood move downward, despite our daily mutual admiration.
Maybe it’s the heat, the light, this pesky summer irritation.
All I have known is to be alone, unseen, self-reliant, dependent
on my own abilities. My talents seem to be more about what I lack
in social context. Who am I to be mentor or friend or confidante?
I have no role to model. I have no confidence to convey. Where are
the real people to guide her, offer hope and direction? What are these
mortals thinking that they ignore their children to take on whatever
fancy appeals, to have no clear identity, to waste in aimless confusion
years of their limited time?
Not my problem, I suppose. Only mine in that I care in this instance.
And what does it matter what I care?
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patchwork narrative - Creature


Creature


If this planet were destroyed, would I go out with it?
Would I float in dark space, horribly starving, eternally
conscious? Where would my mind go? What would fill
my unmarked time? Have I enough bearable memories
to loop into a self-contained movie? Maybe I could
create an epic mythology, ever evolving. I could abandon
reason to fantasy, assume precepts, deny unbound
emptiness.
Here, in man’s domain, there is no room for emptiness,
no dearth of boundaries.
I define a space underground, bound by concrete,
brick, dead wood, living mold, tiny insect homes, must,
dust, bits of broken history. No sign or scent of human
occupation. I memorize routes from several directions.
Another forgotten part of this unruly city, never repaired
after disaster. Uncared for, ignored even by indigents,
left for dead. Perhaps someone with imagination will
reclaim this land, but not today. I can assume safety
for awhile.
Meanwhile, I have still hours of open night.
I visit familiar neighborhoods, watch same old scenes with
their twists for standard variation.
It is said that the world is very old, mankind a young player.
Yet, look at this rut, this rot, this silly perambulation.
The old gods must be bored into cruelty, high irony where
they can pry it in.
In some of my fantasies I conjure a world better off without
them. All the nonhuman creatures, the natural formations,
the supernatural sprites, gods, demon hunters, have no real
need of mankind. We could be fine together, each just being.
The ecosystem works itself out, in its own order, in its own
time.
Certainly we can’t count on these buffoons for entertainment.
Occasionally a vivid story is portrayed. Mostly it is tiresome
re-runs. Yet I too have learned to fear surprise. Same old can
be horribly tedious. New can destroy what little seems like
sanity. Stories repeat for good reason. Stability can be so rare.
Some kind of rock to cling upon, to fashion into home, feels
instinctual.
My instinct now sets me in direction of the hunt. Soon I will
contemplate cleaning house, to groom my new found room,
make it presentable for guest. Or maybe I still have time to find
a hideaway less squalid.
Right now I sense and track a victim who won’t be missed.
The memories that haunt me laugh. My forming plans pause.
I am creature of the night.
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patchwork narrative - Limbo


Limbo


We settle into this different domicile without special comment.
Autumn’s furnishings retrieved and arranged aid easy transition
with familiarity. Her immediate concern is with transitions,
transformation, she wishes to effect for her future.
“It’s been like three years. I’ve seen no sign of discovery.
He probably has lost any interest by now. If he had been
searching for us, any trail is cold. We don’t even look like we
did back when he last knew us. It has to be safe to assume we
could, you know, normalize, live better than fugitives. Our
assumed identities have some mileage, acceptance as real,
you know, officially we’re Autumn and Kathy. Alice and Beth
are long disappeared, no more. We’ve traveled very far from
anyone who knew us before. We ought to be able to shift gears,
progress beyond all that drama, re-emerge as the new us. I know
we could, Kathy and I, figure it out, like outline a plan, so she
can get better work, so we could relocate to a neighborhood with
a better school, you know, less violence more education, more
opportunities for me to develop a life that works for me.
For her, too. She could have a real life, a happy future doing
the stuff that works for her, instead of just being exhausted and
nowhere. She has decades and decades to get through yet. Of
course she can make up her mind to go forward, maybe even
accomplish something wonderful. I know we can figure it out.”
I want to encourage, support her belief.
“When you move to your new neighborhood, I can set up a space
close by.”
We enjoy cheerful chatter, describe visions of this happy eventuality.
I avoid clouds of doubt, sad rain of serious impediment. Autumn’s
forceful logic, impassioned argument, have not the power of
Kathy’s entrenchment. She has found security on her bottom rung,
ready only for that final fall. She dwells in limbo of death’s
unfulfilled promise.
Autumn, too, is aware of Kathy’s self-damnation, absorption in
self denial.
“She didn’t really get so bad until this past winter. It was like she
realized, after all the mad activity to get here, there was no going
back, and no going forward. I told myself she would get over it when
the weather warmed.”
Kathy’s fear is no longer of capture. Her motivation is not now about
fear or desperate possibilities. Her driving desire is quiet, peace,
a shroud of distance from all fear, all possibility of pain or
acknowledgement. Her run was never to, but away. She has no
means to stop running, only a turn in direction from out to in.
Perhaps she could be persuaded. Autumn has too many years
of dependence on her mother’s decisions still ahead. Can that
responsibility reach Kathy, speak to her better nature? Is there
within her a better angel to lift her, if only for that time, that
purpose, from limbo?
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patchwork narrative - Tragedy


Tragedy


My deep tragedy, endless repetition while the backdrop
busily transitions through metamorphoses. I have no interest
in the big picture. I am always adapting, adjusting to fit my
habits into changed circumstance.
Tonight I explore beyond my accustomed range. A disturbance
is upon me, a turbulent mood. Air, humid, dark, not oppressive.
It frees me to roam like some driven wind. I feel disquiet in
the people I pass. They have no thought of my presence. Their
unease emanates from their own disequilibrium. A world, this
small sample, on edge, not ready to fall.
Heightened urgency swells, crashes, waves of boldness and
fear. This is not part of me. This is a wider wind, a storm,
possibly cataclysmic. It is no concern of mine. I am merely
washed by storm. Yet, this general mood, this call to fight or fly,
does grab at me. I run, evasive action, enjoy the game. A night
that wants to go on forever, explosions, sediment from the sky,
dizzying challenge of disarray. I am not the only predatory cause
of death on these streets. Let them enjoy their sport. There is
plenty. Population never seems to pall here in urban jungleland.
What would my world have been like, how would I have lived,
had I ever been a normal child? Would terror have taken me,
engulfed me, even so?
Questions can be so comforting. Anything can be supposed as
simple what ifs. It is only an idle question, not threatening nor
demanding. No one expects an answer.
I am distancing, distancing, running. Far from my habit’s expected
haunts, I take refuge in an empty alley, and cry. There is too much
angry violence on the streets tonight, so I pretend it all a fantasy.
I pretend I am a frightened child hiding in this alley, waiting to be
found. There is a safe home, family, normality, I will soon reunite
with, even if I can’t remember the particulars. Obviously I have
been traumatized. My battered mind has yet to recover, to find
its secure place in an ongoing story.
The reality of hunger offends with intrusion. No familial table is
in the offing. The hunt must go on.
I catch a faint whiff of something familiar but unnamed. Without
hesitation, I let it go, know it is nothing I want. A man, dazed,
possibly drugged, enters my attention. He is clearly alone, clearly
out of place, easily led into private darkness.
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patchwork narrative - Emptiness


Emptiness


Autumn has not yet arrived though it is quite late
in the day. Perhaps she has unexpected lengthy
errands, or a minor but fatiguing illness that keeps
her home. No cause for worry.
I am uneasy. Without her magic to fill me, time weighs
too solidly. I want counter force of night activity to buffer
the enormity.
Daytime energy is low before twilight’s call to cycle upward.
I try moving about this place as if she were here to encourage
animation.
My body, so old, so young, so familiar, so despised for its
endless demands. Movement is a better focus. Oppressively
physical noun becomes lost in the fluid verb, forgotten, usurped.
I am wind, rain, kinetic.
This space is fixed, walled in. Without Autumn’s transforming
I am bound, cramped. How did I do this before, all those
incredibly empty days?
I remember, and put myself into trance, empty waiting for dark’s
vigor to take charge. In the inner theater trance reveals, clowns
and courtly jesters point outward and laugh. Softly colored
balloons bubble to the ceiling over the stage. They carry
cryptic messages. I’ve seen it all before. These mages never
help me. They appear for show, vile stabs of hope for
transcendence. It is not knowledge nor enlightenment
I lack. My emptiness is so much larger. Distraction, gift of
Autumn’s presence I let myself depend upon; brutal insistence
of hunger; flights of fancy I embark upon from observing the
city’s plays and my soliloquies. These ethereal treats contain
no power to fill more than insubstantial moments.
I feel darkness rising, the sun’s eloquent descent.
I emerge into blessing of night after day’s helpless agitation.
A blessing replete with homage to cruel, merciless gods who
haunt me, eternally.
Relentless heat has turned the street into a trance of empty-eyed
desperation, inert anger intent on search for igniting sparks.
I am no catalyst. A silent observer caught in my own intentions.
Ironically designated protectors of the peace are less restrained.
Sirens, dying blood, tragic waste and wanton terror enjoy inflammation.
It is not my war. It is not even a productive movie. Tears against
fire. Blood, bones, skin against bullets. Death against hope for
liberty or justice or sanity. None of these belong to me.
I endure without valence, immune to death or ravages of life.
I am fortunate to find my river beach empty. The action is all
circumscribed to concrete and tar lit up by tools of open surveillance
wielded by those with that power. Here in relative dark, outside the zone
of loud retort and bombast, I invisibly reflect upon muggy, still
water. I insist to my consciousness that Autumn is fine,
uninvolved in this madness of violent street display. In not so many
hours she will greet me with thrilling tales attached to beauty,
to relief of safe return.
I am entertained by ideation of taking a turn as scavenger rather
than predator. Rather than hunt fresh prey, hunger may be
satisfied on sloppy remains, last seconds of bleeding out vitality
left in obscure solitude after break up of hostilities. Sordid spoils
of a broader emptiness.
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Re: postapocalypse


Hi libra,

I read this:

Autumn has not yet arrived though it is quite late
in the day. Perhaps she has unexpected lengthy
errands, or a minor but fatiguing illness that keeps
her home. No cause for worry.

and recalling this:

“It’s been like three years. I’ve seen no sign of discovery.
He probably has lost any interest by now. If he had been
searching for us, any trail is cold. We don’t even look like we
did back when he last knew us.

thought, uh-oh?
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patchwork narrative - Visitor


Visitor


I crouch, peer into her window.
Kathy paces in agitation. This is wrong. She ought
to be fitfully sleeping at this hour. The door to Autumn’s
room is closed, as always when I make pre-dawn
pilgrimage. I sense this night she does not sleep beyond
that door. Where is she? A hospital? Has acute illness
or accident sent her into official custody? Is Kathy’s
anxiety thus explained?
Dawn approaches. I whisk myself from windowsill to
most recent sanctuary.
I am not alone. That scent is filed in memory. That memory
is dated not in days but years.
“Peter. How did you find me? Where did you disappear to,
was it five years ago?”
“Ellie, my dear accomplice, ever a creature of habit.
I tracked you. Predator to predator, you understand.
Been in the state motel, you might say. Been under lock
and key, legal sabbatical, confined education.
Luckily they never got me for murder. The creep what rolled
over on me only knew some of my business. Always pays
to keep information need to know. I squared it away with him
during his briefer sentence. Turned out to be life. And, look,
I’m still breathing, and free, at last. I knew you would want
to celebrate with me. Oh, right, you can’t get out to party on
account of daylight. Don’t you worry. We can catch up and
celebrate just fine right here. Yeah, it is a whole lot of squalid;
but, hey, I’ve made do with much worse. And in the spirit of
reminiscing, you ought to know. Peter, he was a bad, bad man.
He is no more. I’ve done away with your Peter. The man who
stands before you is Geoff DeLong, scoundrel at large but
certainly no convicted criminal. Well, maybe I do have some
sinister plans; but the law knows ideas are not actions.
No proof, no crime. Which reminds me, there’s a little proposition
of mutual benefit I intend to bring up in full detail, full disclosure.
I know you will be discreet, my little night prowler. But first,
a drink to our reunion. Well, hell, a bottle, or most of it. I admit
I got started a little early in anticipation of seeing you again.
Sorry, I’ve brought no blood, just whiskey. Not too early to imbibe
if we’re still part of the night. Not your cup of tea? More for me.”
I have no response.
He rambles, drinks, salutes, enjoys my discomfort.
I remember when I had thought of him as a friend. This tweaked-out
maniac is no friend, no kind of ally. I stand imprisoned by his
presence in what should be my solitude. Perhaps this is yet
another time to reflect on irony. I am not amused. I am overwhelmed
by such embroilment of emotions beyond my scope of experience.
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patchwork narrative - Geoff


Geoff


In verbose opulence this old Peter new Geoff persona
displays his plan. He has been busy in these months
of recent freedom. He had money stashed and increased it
with fast scams. Now he has a house, appointed as he
considers tasteful. He assures that it is out of casual
sight, secluded behind an alley. He wants no cause for
observation, speculation about his business. His intention
is to extort large sums, sumptuous wealth, catering to
proclivities. He has plans for me within his scheme.
“I thought my old pal Ellie wouldn’t mind hooking in your
kind of clientele, taking care of those best taken out,
freeing up their loot to the cause while you bleed them.
We could be a happy family. A prosperous family business,
fleecing the marks. And your little chickie, she can work
the ones who pay and pay. Repeat customers and more
they bring in as word of mouth trade, then continuing
payment agreements to keep those nasty pics of their
illegal acts with the woefully under aged from embarrassing
distribution. Our little crew to separate wealth from those
undeserving perverts. Yeah, your little girl is a looker. She’ll
bring ‘em in. And we’ll clean you up, get you all pretty too.
But you didn’t know I knew about her. Funny story. No, you’ll
love this with your superstitions about irony. I’m looking up
this guy I know a couple of states over who can hook me up
with my new id. So I’m always nosing around for opportunities,
inspirations. We’re talking this and that, and he somewhere mentions
this rich guy who had been checking out men of the alternate document
trade. He’s trying to track his witch of a wife who ran off with his
kid. Now this taking off was a couple, three years ago. But this guy
is still beating the bushes now and again, offering big bucks for
information leading to the return. So, if our little venture doesn’t
pan out, no loss. I can always sell her back to her old man.
Anyway, I hadn’t been back on the streets long, so a little sleuthing
project seemed like a good way to get my skills in order.
I won’t bore you with the details when the result is obvious.
And, ha-ha, funny this joke’s on you, because here I am sort
of a side-effect, a lucky bonus, happening on our reacquaintance.
Tracking little Miss Alice Adams now Autumn Brown, both pretty
stupid names if you ask me, imagine my joyful surprise to see
her with my old partner all cozy in daily routine. I figured I had you
two ready to pluck up at my leisure, and went off to take care of
the details for our future enterprise. Imagine my disappointment
when you gave me the slip. But no problem. I just followed the
chickie to your new digs. And hey, here I am. And there she is.
Picked her up on her way over here yesterday to show her our new
home. I left her tied up into submission or at least inactivity. She
won’t be stepping out while we have our chat. And neither will you.
Me, I can do as I please. I could have her out of town, on our way to
daddy, before you could get out to save her. Don’t you love these
long summer days?
!@#$, the bottle’s empty. Well I guess I’ll just lay out here on these
pillows, take a load off, enjoy a little down time while you catch me
up on all your adventures since I’ve been gone.”
My concern is with Autumn, to mitigate her harm, free her from his
bonding. My anxiety is helpless, bound here until the light goes
from the sky.
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Re: postapocalypse


Hi libra,

Double uh-oh! It's worse than I imagined: two villians instead of just one. An interesting way to incorporate new voices into the story and to introduce the reader to both Ellie and Autumn's backstories while at the same time advancing the current plot line. Well done.

Last edited by Katlin, Aug/7/2013, 7:07 pm
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Re: postapocalypse


thanks for the feedback, Kat.
How are the voicings?
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patchwork narrative - Partner


Partner


This man invades my home without invitation.
Mortal arrogance. He presumes on acquaintance.
Expects my goals to conform with his desires.
It is clear he understands my desire to protect Autumn.
He offers her harm as threat to me. He does not mean
me ill. To his ways of defining, I am a friend. Bullying
is standard defense. He feels control, not scary chaos.
He needs to know the exits and be their keeper. My exit
is in time, not place. He believes he has advantage of both
freedom and knowledge. He knows where Autumn is captive.
He can be there, move or torture, before I can follow.
He wants assurances, honor bound contract. He wants my
servitude for her safety. He can find other street girls for
his house. I am unique. He assures me he has thought of
many lucrative outlets for my talents. He has thought of me
fondly in his confinement. Had Autumn not led him in
serendipity, he would have found me by other means.
Our fates have tangled. Ironic gods steer us both.
“You’re a coward, Ellie. You’d be scared of your own reflection,
if you had one. You have no ambition, no drive but basic needs.
You could do so much with your devil-given powers; but you do
nothing. Looks like it’s up to someone with gumption and big
ideas like me to make use of those powers. Once we get going,
there’ll be no stopping us now. I’m not that dumb kid I was.
I been wizened up by my bad experiences. We partner up and
we won’t need nobody else, nobody who might be unreliable,
disloyal.”
His words are slurred, but loud and clear. He pictures me partner
to his crimes here and hereafter. He has captured a pet vampire
hunting companion to heavy lift, retrieve, kill on command.
I am sorry to have made acquaintance, messed in affairs of mortals.
They enjoy pointless cruelty. They befriend with jabs, dirty jokes.
They expect complete consideration, and offer none.
Except for one.
She is tied down and frightened. Maybe she believes I will save her.
Maybe she is figuring out how to save herself.
She is brave, resourceful, creative. I am slave to my own weaknesses.
That I value her above me is no compliment. It is rational truth.
He babbles, boasts.
“I ate me a taste of your little chickie, sampling the merchandise.
I know that’s not your thing; but she was real fine, a fighter. Her
daddy ain’t got her tamed. I know I can tame her, teach her pretty
tricks of the trade.”
He wants me to come lie beside him, whisper in his ear. I do not
like his game. As I lean in thinking to mesmerize, he grabs my neck.
“Sure, you try something. But remember our old deal. You turn me,
give me all that power and immortality. Then, we won’t need any
mortal weighing us down. We’ll set her loose to go on with her
silly little life. We will rule the night. We can have anyone, anything
we want.”
He pulls my head toward his jugular, shallowly laughing.
I whisper. His ear is right below my mouth.
“I promised you immortality.”
He relaxes into full body smile.
“That promise was voided when you attacked my real friend.”
I insure the end of his possibility of immortality, or continued mortality.
Aug/8/2013, 1:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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Re: postapocalypse


Hi libra,

I think the voicings are good. I hear Ellie, Autumn and Peter/Geoff each distinctly. I've been thinking again about your title: patchwork narrative. It's perfect for the way you are writing and posting this piece. Each poem is like one patch in a quilt, each section stands alone but works to create a larger patterned whole.
Aug/9/2013, 8:05 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: postapocalypse


thank you, Kat, for letting me know my intention is coming through
Aug/9/2013, 2:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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patchwork narrative - Abasement


Abasement


My appearance deceives. Small, unobtrusive,
no danger, no threat. A malleable child, perceived
victim, weak and for the taking. My power, monstrous,
unexpected, does not depend on belief. My
limitations are not social constructs. The laws that
bind me issue from a different realm.
I have dispatched my revealed enemy. Now my foe
is time, subjective duration, astronomical rotation,
Earth to her star. Imprisoned by day’s guard, I must
wait for liberty to find and free my one true friend.
What would myths’ hero do in this anxious interval?
The plan is simple, direct, no moving part but me, once
I may.
I pace, promote physical distraction, faced away from
a blood-drained corpse. After Autumn is rescued, I will
find less marred sanctuary. No urgency exists for body
disposal. Geoff, Peter, will not be missed. His crafty
paranoia would allow for no loose ends to follow, to seek.
This is a deserted bit of real estate in my keeping. I can
clean it at my leisure.
So much time still to endure. I catechize, make heavy
exercise of my sins for amusement, castigate my consciousness.
Pain is pain. Sharp agony distracts better than any game or
chore. I have fed well, magnificently. Hunger can not touch me
for a long while. I call upon strong, reliable anguish I carry
as locked memory. Layered horror, repugnance, wretched nausea
inheld, psychically solidified, buried legacy. Worth a few hours
chuckles and tremors. I would be feverish, heatstroke dreams,
if such fire could infiltrate my cells.
Hours escape through my silent screams.
The first call of night. I burst onto the street for action.
Self-loathing on hold so my whole will of sensation moves toward
my goal.
I remember the scent so few nights ago, familiar, unwanted.
Now it is my beacon. Autumn bound inside that house behind an
alley in that unaccustomed part of the city. Ironic gods are not always
at odds with their puppets. Sometimes their game deals me in favor.
They don’t hold sin against me. They revel in abased degradation.
These gods are not lovable. That is not their desire.
Aug/12/2013, 2:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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patchwork narrative - Penance


Penance


No living resident of record to interfere, I break
Autumn free. I hold her closely to communicate safety.
She releases tears, muscle weakness, terror shaking.
“He said he knew you, that you were friends. He told me
we were to be in his scheme together, an outlaw family.
He insisted I needed initiation. He threatened to sell me
to my dad if he didn’t like my cooperation, my loyalty.
He laughed when I spit, kicked, dug in my nails, my teeth.
He said I fought like a girl and that pleased him.”
She offers me no blame, no complicity. She explains,
emotion drained like blood. She recites like lines in
unrehearsed reading. She holds me, her hands grasping
behind my shoulders. It is well I do not need breath.
I do not know if we ought go from here.
The thought occurs that I can settle here at least for
many months. But would Autumn feel deterrence,
discomfort in visiting? This place did not harm her.
I will ask when she is calmed from this immediacy.
Now I listen, act only to soothe.
I tell her he is permanently dead. I tell her I knew him
years ago.
“I thought that man gone from me. I give no space to his
memory. He was present. He wasn’t. His return was
unwelcome surprise. He said he thought of me while he
was absent. I was his only vampire. I have known, for
their moments, so many men. So many men are monsters.
Among them, I am unique, a monster proper.
I am so sorry, so sorry, so, tell me, anything. I am your
undying servant. Use me as you will.”
She uses me as crying towel, punching bag, embracing blanket.
Hours and hours.
I think eventually to ask about notifying Kathy. It is too near
dawn for me to leave.
Autumn is not ready to face the day, questions, placating
her mother.
We settle here for this while. There is food in the kitchen
in expectation of its procurer’s return. Instead, he has fed
me well. Autumn breakfasts. She showers. For a short time
she sleeps.
The dreams wake her.
I mesmerize with softest lullaby to give her momentary peace.
She sleeps. She dreams. I soothe. I watch over, a loving guard.
I drowse, simultaneously hyper-alert.
I imagine. Could Autumn and Kathy live here, rent free, out of
any watchful eye?
I could provide what cash they needed from my regular victims.
They could do as they please. Kathy would have to learn to
accept me. The life I offer is so much better than what she has.
It could happen. It could work. We could become a happy family.
What an ironic twist to Peter’s plan.
When Autumn is able to understand clearly, I will lay it out for her.
When she is ready to face Kathy, we will have this wonderful
surprise to soften her current pain. The fates will smile in
our favor. We have paid our penance of hellfire.
Aug/15/2013, 2:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
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Re: patchwork narrative - Penance


Response


Autumn awakes to alert consciousness not long before dusk.
Lowering Sun offers dimming of somnolent heat.
I tell her I can take her home or we can stay here to decide
what Kathy needs to know. I tell her I am here for her.
Whatever she needs. We can stay here, make this house
our home. We can invite Kathy away from her demons.
We can be a family. We can remake this place into our own.
She sees my excitement, my hopeful fantasy. She is calm,
deliberate, solemn. She moves slowly, cautious to speak.
I feel energy rising in me, response to falling night.
Autumn feels with me, sympathizes to charge of power.
She hugs me with sudden strength. She takes my hands
in hers, my eyes in hers. Watery blue absorb into deep,
fierce brown of earth.
“That Geoff, he told me you had a deal. He said you had
promised to turn him undead when he was ready. He
laughed that cold, deep knowing laugh and taunted that
he was your real partner for eternity, that I was only a
temporary playmate. He bragged about how powerful he
was now, but that it was only a shadow of what he would
become as super powered immortal.”
“Yes, I made contract with him. We were partners in crime
of mutual benefit. I wanted to believe him my friend.
I let him convince me. I let his plan take me in. I understood
no reason to resist. A good con takes advantage of
unspoken desire, pretends to answer as miraculous fit.
I desired an end to abandonment. I desired to matter,
to be more than for myself. I detested being me. I
attracted a fitting savior. Then he was gone. The man who
returned broke my promise. Betrayal is grounds for breaking
bonds of fealty. My true bond is to my love for you. I could
not let him hurt you further. I removed his threat, for now
and forever.”
She continues to hold my hands, my eyes.
“I understand. Of course I am glad, relieved, that he is gone.
I know you would have regretted his companionship, even
without me in the mix. He wasn’t friend material.
I know you love me, protect me, are loyal to me.
You know I love you. With me, you are not a monster. You
are my beloved friend. You have found your more than you
miracle. I have found safe keeper of my trust, my fantasies,
my fear, my care, all of me. We can be complete together.
We don’t need anybody else. We don’t need to put up with
being harshly treated by their hateful judgments and executions,
spiteful sprite power. We don’t have to live like them, to be
afraid of our own fear so we’ve always preemptively striking,
to always be messing up, creating ugliness as if that were our
greatest goal. I hate them all; and I’m so sick of hating.
You want to help me be whole, to heal from this traumatic
incident. You want to matter, to be useful in my resurrection.
Take me with you, into the night. Turn me.
I’m not some arrogant sleaze. I am Autumn, your true friend.
Give me the immortal power. We could be a happy partnership
forever. You won’t have to stay accustomed to lonely nights.
Neither of us has to suffer ever again. Turn me, like you were
turned from a living death into becoming a powerful undead.
Neither of us will ever have to be abandoned.”
I turn from her. My mind, my will break from her grasp.
A voice, Geoff/Peter’s cackle:
“We use you, vampire, not for any purpose you could condone;
otherwise, it wouldn’t be using but common cause.”
No, I understand. She is scared, scarred, desperate to hide
in transformation. She believes so deeply her need for power,
for defense. She desires to be safe. She desires constant
reassurance of adoration as blanket, as shield.
She demands permanent solution, immersion in darkness.
She does not understand or imagine unintended consequence,
the price of false salvation. She does not possess the truth
of who I am.
I offer my opening piece in response.
“It was not that I lacked sustenance. I had a home, a house
where I was allowed existence, expected. I was fed, clothed,
given opportunity to be clean. I had purpose. My life was
service. No questions, ideation of resistance. How can you
understand? There was no possible ignition of self will.
When the vampire changed me, it was just one more
unquestioned acquiescence. The horror came later.
When I was free to understand awareness of willful self.
My fate was never about free choice, power to effect. By the
time I could cognate the concept of conscience, I was undead,
eternally cursed.”
Aug/25/2013, 4:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 


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