I Never Talk about It…

…at least, I generally avoid talking about politics as thoroughly and avidly as possible. But of course, the presidential election coming this fall means we lucky Americans have already been inundated for months with campaign wackiness as candidates pile into and out of their respective parties’—and non-affiliated, independent organizations’, whose candidates are not necessarily immune to the disease either—clown cars.

Photo: Just Nuts

Honestly, we’re all just nuts when it comes to politics, anyway.

Apparently when there’s nothing left to say, that’s when I can’t help saying something.

Pronouncement Announcement
If the prevailing attitude
should still allow me latitude,
I will ignore the platitudes
that beg to disagree,
Since all but mine is foolishness,
the opposition, ghoulishness,
and though it might sound mulish, this
is clearly about Me.
Say what you will, I’ll stay the course,
and only change my route or horse
if made to, for unless perforce,
no reason can I see:
Demand no ideology
of logic, for phrenology,
leavened with some astrology,
is good enough for me.
The running of our nation
is based more on desperation
—and a plague of perturbation—
than on brains;
Elective coronation
of our leadership’s a ration
of reminders a vacation
is required, or what remains
Of sane deliberation
and of civil conversation
will go, sans meditation,
down the
ever-loving drains.
And on that note, pretentiously,
appallingly sententiously,
and would-be president-iously
as anyone can be,
I remonstrate with all you twits,
vulgarians and feeble-wits,
that, politics or other, it’s
forever about Me.Digital illo: My Candidacy

Hot Flash Fiction 10: At the Very Back of the Shelf

In Dash’s closet there was a very hard-to-reach spot at the very back of the top shelf, and he was quite happy that his younger sister Mattie couldn’t reach anywhere near it. There was a large jar there that he prized beyond any other thing he owned, even his pocket knife and the doll that he loved as long as his parents would only call it an Action Figure in front of any of his friends. The jar gave off a very faint blue glimmer that was even visible on the darkened closet ceiling after the bedroom light was switched off, and it pulsed comfortingly at young Dash as he lay across the room gazing on it while drifting off to sleep each night, dreaming eventually of the wonderful things that would happen when the creatures he kept in the jar finally came to their full maturity. He remained, as far as I know, blissfully unaware that they were beings of his little sister’s making and left for him to find and nurture. He may have begun to wonder what exactly was brewing when his Action Figure seemed to have moved to the far end of the shelf one morning of its own volition and then disappeared entirely until it resurfaced at the end of the week in the bathtub drain, one arm missing and covered with some kind of sticky corrosive ooze, but I imagine that he guessed Mattie might have had a hand in this trickery. The relocation of Dash’s pocket knife underneath the heavy jar was a harder to explain, more puzzling development.digital collage

Halloween can Drive You Batty

photophoto + textReal Vampires Never had it so Good

Dracula had an excellent agent,

Publicist extraordinaire,

Selling the masses on his glamour

And his wicked savoir-faire;

Modern undead rock-star heroes

Fascinate and rake the bucks,

But for ordinary vampires,

Sans PR-men, life still sucks—

We’re just rodents to the public,

Flying hair-snags, guano kings,

Rabies-ridden, squeaking, dog-faced,

Lots of other rotten things,

Never mind we were the first,

The inspiration for the rest—

Love to give usurping phonies

Juicy stakes for every pest,

Take back our eternal midnight,

Sip the hemoglobin wine,

Fatten up our hard-earned bloodlines,

Back in place as night’s divine.photo

Dizzily Dark Imaginings

photo + texttext + photo

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Tiny Terror

digital artwork from a photoHummingbird Unmasked

My beak’s a single fang I sink in artery or vein

And none suspect me of this drink but clinically insane

And paranoid-type fantasists whom no one else believes

When they accuse the pretty bird that flits in flowers and leaves.

Though tiny as a bumblebee, I may grow round and bloated;

The nectar of your heart is how I keep my Ruby-Throated

Good looks and family heritage (and, not the least, my name),

My shapely belly and my speed of flying fast as flame.

It’s not that I’m nefarious, invidious or rude,

But merely that I have a taste for human blood as food,

And do not fear: I’d never kill you outright when I dine—

Far rather sip and savor you as vintage claret wine.digital artwork from a photo

 

Moth Mythos

Moths have a potent duality of effects on me: they attract and repel with just about equal force. On the one hand, there is their Victorian opulence of velvet wings and ostrich-feathered antennae and their widely looping sweeps of flight as if borne effortlessly on air currents themselves rather than lofting on and above them under power. They can look like jewels tossed into the air or, as hawk moths can sometimes do, trick the unwary watcher into thinking they’re bright, buzzing hummingbirds on the wing.

On the other hand, that sort of squishy, bloated, heavy softness of moths’ bodies and their voracious appetites for things I’d rather have kept to myself (dry goods in the pantry, tender leaves in the garden, and favorite fine woolens) fills me with nervousness that makes the revulsion they inspire in horror stories utterly plausible to me. I can’t help but remember the sweltering summer night when I was young and my family, having been out for a happy holiday evening, stopped at the local gas station to refill the bottomless tank of our giant station wagon; since it was so sweltering, we all piled out of the car to go into the tiny, grubby cashier’s hut where an electric fan was humming and, having an uneasy sense of something untoward behind me, I turned around to see a veritable dust storm of fat moths, attracted by the shop’s fluorescent lights, throwing themselves in spongy, flapping frenzy at the glaring glass until it was almost opaque with their wing-scale dust. Oh, yes, and the fabulously nasty short story ‘The Cocoon’ (John B. L. Goodwin) has never quite left my subconscious mind (awake or asleep) once I read it a few decades ago.

On top of all this, I married a guy who had once had a small moth fly into his ear, get caught and frantic, and instead of finding its way out, worked its creepy, fluttering way right down to beat against his eardrum until a doctor could eventually get the creature out of there. Enough said. I can still look, at times, with a certain dispassionate interest and think of moths as intriguing bits of scientific wonder and visual astonishment, and then I must quickly look away again and reassure myself that there’s not something truly wrong with them. I did at least decide to write a little bit to see if, in the incident of the attack on my husband’s ear, I could imagine the experience from the moth’s point of view.digital painting from a photo

Labyrinth

I crawled the narrow halls in

Darkness ever deepening,

Thinking I might find some clear way through

But too tightly fitted in, too close,

No chance of going back or backing out,

No scent I could recognize to bring me

Back to the distant shore,

No vision, not a speck of spectral light to give

A guide around those curves crepuscular, those turns

Winding ever more toward claustrophobia, to where

The heat was growing more intense, the sound

Of a pulsing drum seeming to speak of waves, making

Me dream the ocean lay ahead—but behind me, in

The now impenetrable night, some Thing, a dragon

It seemed to me, began to drown the liquid lure

Of the drumbeat ahead with its own more frightful,

Louder noise, and then to scrabble wildly at me

With its terrifying claws, at which it seemed

The labyrinth must finally swallow me and

Draw me down into its fatal end—but then—

In a turn of events that was quite shockingly detached

From any turns my path had made

Thus far, the whole puzzling place tipped

Over on its side—there I lay, too fixed

In the halls’ constricting ways to turn and follow or

To roll, and the sea broke forth on me at last, a rush

Of saline waves tearing upon me, heaving me out

Of where I’d wedged, and in a cataract, sent me

Blasting right back through all the sightless turns

Of that preternatural dark, shot me with my sodden

Useless wings back into blazing day where I

Could lie, quivering faintly in my long-lost world,

Deciding whether it was time to die or time

To spread my fragile wings and see

If there was any life left in them.

I Don’t Mean to Scare You, But . . .

Even though Halloween itself has never been a huge event in my life, you may, just possibly, have noticed a rather dark tinge to my humor (if such a thing exists) that pervades the year regardless of its official celebrations. So I’m hardly above taking advantage of the approach of a publicly sanctioned excuse for some of my own cheap brand of funereal jocularity. I plan to shower you with gloomy silliness as the holiday nears, so if you’ve any fearful tendencies, pull up the covers and plug your ears.digital illustration from a photo + text

A Grackle
May cackle

Creeping down into October and its necromantic nights,
thrilling, chilling masqueraders revel in the season’s frights,
both imagined and uncanny, sweets in surfeit, pranks and scares,
work to raise each other’s hackles, catch out courage unawares–
And the bat and spider, ghostly visitors and ravens reign;
even crows can briefly boast the power to enchant the brain
with a Halloweenish horror, freeze the unsuspecting nape
the suggestible door-knocker turns to sky while dressed in crape–
All a-cower, cowards wander in the dim light of the moon,
hold hilarious their hauntings lest they all prove true too soon,
everyone immersed in darkness, celebrating cyclic fear
as the month and season trickle, bloodied, off to end the year–
All this rampant spookiness, however, leaves the Grackle cold:
black and iridescent bird, she perches, watches, and of old,
knows the crows‘ and ravens’ moment passes, quick as life, is gone,
and her rule o’er earthly foment, like her tail, goes on and on . . .