installation 2

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The Dipping Bread (new vamp flash)

just in time for Halloween
I’m honored to be included in Chicago Literati, with my flash piece, The Dipping Bread
I hope you enjoy reading, as much as I enjoy writing about vampires and their victims 😘

latent images

You press my eyelashes to my face, so I can sleep
You understand how latent images frighten me
Linger-ers of things no longer here
Specters of visions previously forgotten
My REM world has no room for ghosts,
when my daily world explodes with spiriting insanity
The floating muses who once fed me fire are burning away my soul
Half the time, I want to die
The other half, I need you
You hum my favorite song to me, even though you think a tune from,
Mr. Magoo’s: A Christmas Carol, is ridiculous
“…millions of grains of sand on the shore, why such a lonely beach…”
Taunting demons keep the headless roosters raving in my head
I badly need your sweet notes, like cotton clouds, to muffle these assaults

There is an empty slope on your side of the mattress
I smell your assuring body in the pillows–
beautiful lips in the sheets
Your undisturbed water glass has collected my tears
Singing silence, is a sound worse than death
Death, is a sound the earth hums when her children return home
I’ve sliced off my eyelashes
Shoved broken toothpicks against my sockets
Stare at the television without blinking
Click the remote
Latent creatures slither into my eyes
Crawl up the sides of my brain–
rip at the cracks of my skull
They whisper horrid things to the better part of me
I will dance with demons
I will romance angels
I will scream at the Holy Spirit
I will allow all manner of vindictive specter–
every hellacious image of the night to dwell within my soul
I will not desist until you rest beside me again
I am not supposed to be here without you

jeremiad

it’s unsettled, this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear
bellwether of change
preparing to die
in the dark
in the cold
as winter shoves her fingers down its sleepy throat
dormant into the dirt
winter steals beyond the plant
she will claim our hearts with frigid hands 

I am sorry I have no answers
experienced in living
neophyte in death
parse these words gently
it’s unsettled this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear

I do apologize for this lamentation
this jeremiad from dust
to dust

oatmeal walls

oatmeal walls

sketched last year-no one died for the writing of this piece-all is well

the explorers

why do we search for things we cannot find
do we need what we do not have
crave something we should not lack
as for me
my life is full
packed with faces
dreams escape in curves and pencils
nightmares pour into warm merlot
always warm
no cold going down my throat
even on scalding days
why do we search for things we cannot find
am I a coward
are you
not measuring true
cheating on the particulars
how long must she
moan
about this and that and them and him
always unclear
with clarity of purpose
why do we search for things we cannot find
what made them sail outward and away
venture into the vastness of the intimidating sea
a blank globe
seeking
needing what they did not have
craving something they did not lack
but wanting all the same
island pirate mask coolthis guy is mixed in media done last year

torture

My imagination often tortures me. Does yours get the better of you? When I was ten, The Blob (trivia-Steve McQueen’s first leading role), gave me the night sweats for an entire year and I wouldn’t venture near anything resembling a vent. Next it was Goya who tormented me with his painting, Saturn Devouring His Son. A father eating a child does things to a twelve-year-old’s mind. For quite some time, I stayed away from utensils and my dad. Even a can of peas and carrots had its way with me. A reoccurring nightmare at age fourteen–cubed carrots screaming as they were mercilessly squashed by brutal farmers wielding cast iron shovels, while the opportunistic peas rolled away to safety.

Today, (as I sit in my sub studio watching leggy spiders flutter by like creeping creative angels) imagination helps sometimes but not always. Brain shit rattles around like the crap I might throw up in my attic or shove into some dark basement corner. Emptying mind bins of mildewed magazines that smell worse than the son’s wrestling singlet after a dual meet is futile. Piles accumulate with no end in sight. Most of this junk is unusable and will be thrown onto a flimsy folding table for a grand going-out-of-business sale. This is my writing process. This is my art process. This is what I do. Peas rolling away to safety. When fingers get boxed-in, ideas flatten beneath cast iron shovels.

There is also something else my imagination does. This is the worst part of all. It self-inflicts pain whenever I mind-travel to places I should never go with people I should never go with. Sometimes, I disregard my sadistic demons to ride bareback on the gorgeous, powerful Percherons there. Magnificent beasts that galloped off Bonheur’s painting, The Horse Fair. Year by year, my dark matter loosens a bit more. Nights now mimic spaceflight. I survive by staying awake. If I don’t sleep while dreaming, I can’t get into any trouble. When I misbehave, the spiders stop hanging with me. They always know my truth. And without these creeping creative angles, my imagination might just get too strong a foothold. If this happens, I’ll never be able to find my way back. The spiders know one more lousy truth about me. My sense of direction absolutely sucks.

hall monister

hall monister

 

what are you

you share things you’ll never say
you say things you’ll never do
you are a writer
you covet the people behind the lies
your hungry lips crave their nourishing minds
you are a reader
thoughts shove down your fingers like garbage disposals
you sadly acknowledge huge amounts of crap
you are a writer
you bulldoze the landfill to uncover their trash
you desire arousal sleeping in their dreams
you are a reader
you beg dark thoughts to channel sensual tongues
you choke wordless nightmares to asphyxiation
you are a writer
you fearlessly divulge intimate details
without pause, you breathlessly seek their approval

you are a –

what are you
do you have a choice

skeleton stallion

skeleton stallion

sketched this guy last year while on a school subbing lunch break

Interview With Miss A (Vampire)

Another school year is coming to a close. Another year of substitute teaching done and over. Before the year completely ends, I’d like to share an old post written last year when some fifth grade boys were concerned that their substitute teacher was a vampire…

Interview With Miss A (Vampire)

Having blood-sucking on the brain (and not because of the Twilight saga–though I’ll admit I enjoyed), I searched my studio folders for Him. I scoured my old Prentice Hall, graphic files. When I was a newbie Mac user learning Adobe Illustrator, I drew everything using old-fashioned, hand/eye coordination with a mouse and a prayer.

That year I’d also read, Interview With The Vampire by the immortal’s mortal, Anne Rice. Her words were composed of cold flesh. Blood flowed between the rivers of white on her pages. I hated Ms. Rice. I was in awe of Ms. Rice. This ‘Interview’ creeped me out like no other book… Everywhere I traveled, Lestat stalked me with his mesmerizing lost eyes, black sinewy veins and pale moon skin.

He was one of my first ventures into computer portraiture. I had no choice but to create Him. He wouldn’t leave my mind. He was a tormenting fellow. He’d bite me nightly and I suffer daily for it. He was the awesome Vampire Lestat. Once I created Him, He no longer haunted my dreams.
LestatI was recently subbing in a fifth grade class. At lunchtime, I noticed a handful of lads with perplexed expressions staring at me. I approached the group to make sure everything was okay. One boy–the ring leader–studied me a moment before asking, “Miss A, are you a vampire?”
Before I could respond he continued, “Why do you have such sharp black eyebrows, long black hair and pointy teeth?” (for the record, my incisors are a tad sharp-looking).

I jokingly responded, “YES!” But, then quickly clarified, “Just kidding, boys,” when they started wrapping napkins around their jugulars. The last thing I needed was for a child to go home and say, “my sub was a vampire,” even if it was kinda funny.

Later, I contemplated what the fifth grader had asked me. I thought about the boys’ nervous little expressions–and I honestly wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or insulted.
Uncle Vamuncle vam – prisma blood-sucked to life a few months back, previously published