Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Escape to Witch Mountain

Alaska looked like this: Alaska was the center, and when people talked about going Outside for the summer, it meant going outside the center. The center was green and bigger than the whole world. It was a fairy tale that went on and on. The sun always shone through the summer months and she was allowed to be entirely feral; all children were; she played every day from nine o’clock in the morning to eleven in the evening outside, running crazy through the woods. There was no hot sun to burn you; it wasn’t that hot in the summer back then; the hottest it ever got was 67 degrees or something.

There were trees everywhere and they were trees that grew taller than the empire state building or the washington monument that her best friend sent her on a postcard against a purple washington dc sunset; every one of the trees reached up to the moon, you could see the silver dollar sometimes in the birches but the moon was higher in daytime (she alone was able to see the moon during the day to herself; the pale fingernail skin of it; it was her greatest secret) and it was rare that the trees grew tall enough during the day. Tall enough to reach the moon, that is.

The ocean was right there too; a real live ocean like you read about in books except the sand was grey and hurt your feet; even though her parents said it was a beach it didn’t look like the yellow soft beaches she’d been promised in books, beaches like butter. Living was easy in other places. She lived where living was hard, that’s what they said, but it didn’t feel very hard. It felt cool and clean like peppermint. She was peppermint in her head; she liked to drink peppermint extract in well-water but her mother said there was alcohol content in peppermint extract so she was stopped. The summers felt like peppermint, crisp and sunny and wild. The sun was so bright on summer mornings. It shone on the birch trees and the dew was like the glitter they glued on to construction paper at school. There was blue glitter and red glitter mixed. The colors didn’t go well together. There was also silver glitter and gold glitter. That was better and looked more like the dew.

Carrie knew how babies were made. Her mom had read her the fairy tales, and later on Carrie could read on her own and was able to check out Andrew Lang’s big Green Book of Fairy Tales from the school library. The way you got babies was always the same. The King and Queen wished for babies and then they got them. Grownups wished for babies and then they got them. Except for one teacher at her elementary school who wished for a baby and had a big stomach except the baby was born dead. The wishing didn’t work.

And in the story Thumbelina, the man and woman wished and wished for a baby and didn't get one, though eventually they got a little tiny one that slept in a flower. Carrie’s mother told her that babies were teeny-weeny inside a mommy’s tummy and then they grew, so Carrie thought really the inside of a mommy’s tummy was like a flower. She thought maybe it would be a bluebell because those were the prettiest and the teeny-weeny baby could sip dewdrops, like Thumbelina got to.

Eventually, with a new baby in her tummy, Carrie’s mom told her a different story about how babies were made (the baby would be either a boy or a girl, Carrie’s parents hadn’t decided yet). And this is how babies were made. Where the man has a penis, like Carrie’s daddy and Carrie’s little brother and Carrie’s friend Tommy Okimura, and the grown-up woman has a vagina like Carrie and Carrie’s mommy and Carrie’s little sister, and the grownups put their vagina and their penis together like a puzzle and there is a seed in the penis and a seed in the vagina and when they get together they are one seed and it starts to grow into a baby.

Like a bluebell? said Carrie.

Yes, said her mother.

So fairy tales were always right.

[There is a lot more to this story, but I've decided to remove it.]

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


GLORIANA: A mere inch from gut to gusset. We can go on all day. I get it, I get it. The hive as metaphor, me in my dotage, no winged maggot cosseted by gravy gel to rise up into the blue air, stinging the other queenlets in their mucus sleep, to soar victorious and glorious, mustard and swarthy-belted, the Insect Triumphant!

Monday, January 18, 2010


When she pours washing-up liquid into the sink it looks grey, though she knows it's green. Or maybe it's blue. It can't be grey. It wouldn't be good marketing for Fairy Liquid.

Ten minutes later the dishes are done and she can't remember how that happened, how she got from there to here. She shakes her hands off, grey splashes, outside the door is the forest.


When the wolf comes it's already half an hour to noon and it has a bloody nose, like a PETA member went nuts and got the order of protest all wrong; its jaws are tight and smooth with Vaseline over her neck; it only has gums. She slides in and out of the aperture, it's like fucking. The wolf is growling outside her experience. Would you like a tissue, sir. How does your dog-wolf smell? Awful. It's the altitude. It's the dry weather. It's because you picked your nose with oh what sharp claws you have.


Her son and daughter-in-law are coming for lunch. She has put doilies under the tea-cups.


When the sun sets, her stomach is growling again, but she can't see the trees outside the window. It's too dark. She drinks a cup of Earl Grey and looks out the glass darkly to something less than black but more than over-steeped brown tea. Her throat remembers the tight bottleneck; the kitchen is safe from trees and fur; her mouth is full of fur. She keeps looking out, but while she's remembering her eyes are not watching.


It's night. She puts her false teeth in the mug of cold tea and it's not water, but it will have to do.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


On-going analysis of the songs on one of my own mixed tapes, called TWINKLERS.

Part I. "I Melt With You" by Modern English

In the freezing garage, pronounced the British (un-French) way, to find a bloody floppy disc (unfound) for a project, when I unearthed this old, old, old cassette tape of high sentimental value that predates my initial move to London and post-dates a previous relationship in Sweden. (The sentimentality evidenced by my song choices, therefore, had no direct romantic connection at the time I made the tape.) Whereon it was this song, and it's so beautiful and the singer is so beautiful in that effortlessly early-80s Mapplethorpe/Marc Almond way and all the songs on the tape feel indeed quite imbued with crazy romance, conscious at the time or not (including my inclusion of a favourite song from the musical Camelot, "Follow Me", sung by the spirit Nimue to Merlin). That's right, Camelot. So sue me. No, follow me. I mean, "Follow Me".

(this is not "Follow Me")