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Pavement

The pavement cracks beneath me. Always so hard, immovable. For it to break… That has to symbolize something, right?

Wish I knew what.

Each breath burns my lungs, caustic atmosphere stinging worn musculature, urging it back to action. I can smell the lactic acid through my pores, on my sweat, in the blood that runs in jagged lines down my arms, drips from the tips of my fingers and bursts within the concrete’s newly-formed cracks.

So prominent is this, so powerful this sensation, that my feet seem numb, legs leaden, nothing but dead weight hanging from creaking joints and a heaving torso. Just the smell, just the taste and the sting.

Just the crack of two knuckles against my ribs, splitting them and crushing the organs behind, expelling air past my teeth. Bile coats my lips, sour and bitter on my tongue. I cough–involuntary–and bring a hand to my chest, wince at the fresh surge of pain.

I see it all: the foot arcing in, the heel snapping down from above, the air distorted around my chin as the two parts collide at odds, dull clatter of bones splintered in my jaw and teeth ripped free of my gums. There’s copper filling my mouth, even as I see it dribble from between lips barely parted, bright red and mixed with clear spit. Something strikes my chest from within, jerks cracked ribs into searing motion, beats again and nearly goes silent, provoking a scrambling fear in a rapidly dimming mind.

The cracks in the pavement widen under my bulk.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Writing

 

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Gehenna (ii)

The dreams betray the fever, compress drying and shrinking upon his scalp. He walks once again, legs numb, feet a dull and distant thump against the ground in irregular, staccato beats. He stumbles and curls into himself, knees and hands beneath him, supporting him. Each breath pulls in fire, expels flame and bile, the taste of that gummy, acerbic substance coating his lips, the slime spreading over his teeth. It’s bitter and somehow wrong, but he doesn’t have the saliva to spit; he tries to ignore it, push it to the back of his mind, but his lips crack open when he shifts them and he smells blood. It wets his tongue.

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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Writing

 

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Gehenna

Cracked, parched earth, like the tiles of a tortoise shell split in the silt and sand. It extends out into infinity, barren and blank, unwritten but bleak and desolate. Each step sends up a cloud of dust, an expanding reminder of this solitude, this isolation. It separates until the individual particles no longer catch the light, drop back to the mass from which they’d been lifted.

His feet drag, his shins cry out and his thighs ache, hips protesting even a single shift further. He tries to block them out, to force them on, leans forward. “If you don’t catch me,” he tells them, “I’ll fall.” He feels his own weight, the sensation of gravity gripping him, an eternity spent bending toward falling, just waiting for the moment, the instant, at which the legs relent and move.

The impact is sudden; the earth is hot, shriveled under the sun’s gaze. It seeps into his cheek, through the rags wrapped around him and into his stomach, his chest, his heart. Something churns within him, coils his intestines around themselves until they’re knotted and taut, bladder screaming for release.

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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Writing

 

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Graduate Writing Sample: A Brutal Poetry

During the holidays last year, I resolved to apply to graduate schools. It was time to pursue further studies. Thing is, MFAs in creative writing demand a writing sample. It’s an understandable and, honestly, refreshing requirement. The issue was that I didn’t have anything either long enough or, in my opinion, of high enough quality to submit, even if I fixed it up. So I set to work making a whole new piece, a complete short story that would function as my writing sample.

In the end, I created something that I wanted to write, something that I felt I would want to read in the future, free of shame. At first, I was reluctant to put it up here because (warning) it’s kind of long for me, clocking in at around 5,500 words. Also, it was kind of this grand, personal experiment and that immediately makes me wary of having it judged. Thing is, that’s silly. I should want to share it with others. As such, I present to you “A Brutal Poetry,” under the cut.

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Writing

 

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Back

There’s a house of cards in front of me.  It’s not really a house and those aren’t really cards–it could be anything, from the future I’ve spent my whole life building to the relationship that, even now, balances precariously on whatever I choose to do next–but it’s that fragile, that tenuous that a stiff breeze, a sudden shift, could bring it all tumbling down.

It has myriad rooms, dozens of hundreds of little channels and tunnels, all regularly interspersed with exacting precision, the only support in a wavering structure.  It takes a gentle touch to change it, to alter it without smashing it beneath a benevolent fist, but my hand is shaking and the fingers are cold, clumsy with the lack of blood and oxygen.  They’re digits choking on the ends of a decayed husk, a dry and drained corpse afforded only the barest of control.

Jitterbug hand, jumping bean fingers, arthritis and rheumatism of the spirit plunging down, bending and warping cards as the structure folds in on itself, individual pieces shooting off and slicing the air, thin rectangles of destroyed spirit.  My hand strikes the table and she hits the wall, a red imprint in the shape of my hand outlined on her cheek, fingers spread.  The skin of my palm tingles, burns.

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Writing

 

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