Archive for beauty

The Girl Waking Up

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2018 by beautifulimposter

The eyes looked at her, looked through her, seemed to see everything there was in her to see, stripped through layers of pretense, the little fictions everyone maintains to stay whole, to stay sane. Two eyes glimmering in the dark, deep, as deep as the night sky in the spaces between the stars, rings of amber and gold circling wells of black just staring, seeing, knowing. Then the waves of it, falling down and down into them, the gravity of them pulling, smothering, the terrifying feeling of being alone, suffocating in its pure emptiness, it was too much, too alien and all on its own, singular and empty, oh so empty, not even air, no air, no…

Abby gasped awake, lids slamming open, taking in air with deep gulps. A trembling hand pressed against her forehead, slick with a thin sheen of sweat, fingers pushing the few stands of her hair back and up as she rose up from the dream. The room was still dark, still coming into focus, but it wasn’t the full velvet dark of true night, it had silver about the edges of it hinting at morning. Her head turned, hand fumbling now for her phone, thumbing the home key, the thin white numbers declaring at to be a bit after six am.

“Fuck me” the words hissed out into the thick, muggy air of her dim room. She closed her eyes again and found the dark behind them mercifully empty. The eyes had disappeared once more. She had no idea why she dreamed them, why a dream of eyes was so very frightening, but it was and they were just the same. The room was hot as hell but her skin was nothing but goosebumps and she shivered. “Get it together” a deep breath, then another. Abby sat up, throwing her legs over the side of her bed, kicking free from the twisted sheet. Daylight filtered in from behind the curtains, outlining the familiar clutter of her room. The dream faded away, being forgotten with each breath.

Time to get up I guess she thought to herself, pushing away from the bed, stumbling through the blanket of clothes, feet shuffling, eyes in that half open not quite awake squint as she wandered into the bathroom. Flicking on the light, cursing it’s brightness Abby fumbled her way through the usual ritual. She swore again as she stepped into the shower, the water turned full cold to wash off the stickiness, settling into the cool relief of it after a while. She hummed a bit, the remains of the night swirling down the drain.

On to the kitchen/living room, pulling on the old Murmurs t-shirt that had used to be her big sister’s, the fabric dragging on her still damp skin. Standing in front of the sink, water filling up the carafe, looking out the window but not really seeing anything, the usual line of flat, grey buildings crawling beneath the sky. Once the coffee was on, the machine gurgling to itself in a warm, fragrant steam, Abby untwisted the plastic bag, pulling out an English muffin, carefully plunging a fork into the soft, squidgy sides of it, pulling it apart just so that it came away in two halves of jagged deliciousness. Toaster, butter, jam, mug of coffee, sit.

Abby scrunched herself up small on the kitchen chair, taking a big, ungainly bite out of her toasted muffin, fully awake now. The light grew brighter and whatever bad dreams she’d had melted. A bit of buttery jam dripped down her chin and she wiped it up into her mouth. This was always her best time, sitting alone, watching the morning growing, eating breakfast, the only sound the rattling clank of the nearly useless air conditioner wheezing from her bedroom window. She absent mindedly pushed around the ripped envelopes and scraps of paper on the battered tabletop. The sight of a bill nagged at her but she pushed the thought back. It was her day off and she just didn’t feel like dealing with it now. She would eventually, of course, just not now.

The appearance of the bird nearly gave her a heart attack. Wings battered the air outside the kitchen window, muffled by the glass but the flurry of movement and sudden sound was magnified by the silence. A black, bullet head above a white collar stared at her from the fire escape railing, cocked at a curious angle.

“What’re you looking at?” Her heart was still hammering as she got up and walked over to the counter for a closer look. The bird, a magpie she thought, just kept looking at her, it’s eyes two tiny drops of ink. “Enjoying the view?” Abby chuckled softly, shrugged, then went to get dressed. It wasn’t too unusual, birds gathered outside all the time, but mostly pigeons. She couldn’t shake the feeling that it was actually watching her either, but she shrugged the idea off. Just a dumb bird.

A few moments later and Abby was out the door, stuffing keys into her jeans pocket, grabbing her camera from the hook in the hall, hanging the strap around her neck. It was still early and there probably wouldn’t be that many people out and about which suited her just fine. Maybe she could get some nice shots in by the river, catch the light on the water just right. The outside air hit her cheeks, already warm, promising to be unbearable as the sun rose. She moved along quickly, eyes alert, the few vague people shapes catalogued in her head as she walked to the end of her street, took a left into the park. It was just early enough that the breeze was still able to rustle the leaves above, the sound of it so soothing. Why can’t it just always be like this Abby thought, just quite and soft. She never once looked up though, didn’t notice the narrow, sleek, dark shapes fluttering from branch to branch.

The water slipped by the low, grassy banks, it’s surface ribbons of current breaking up the sunlight. The big willow overhung the river, slender branches trailing in the flow of it. Abby squatted down, pulling the camera up, focusing it on the shifting patterns of light and dark. These were going to turn out well, she could feel it, almost see the images forming on the film as she clicked away. The second thunderous fluttering of the day had her stumbling back, landing on her ass.

“Jesus fucking christ, what is it with you today?!?” This time it was a large crow, his wings settling along his back like a schoolmasters hands. He cocked his head to one side, then the other, croaking softly. Abby gave a crooked grin, watching him hop-step in front of her. Without quite knowing why, she brought her camera to bear once more. “Want your picture taken, that it?” She clicked away, muttering under her breath, “that’s it, oh yeah, fierce, work it, oooooh, right there, a bit more pout, lemme see those bedroom eyes.” In spite of herself Abby laughed as the crow strutted back and forth, occasionally giving the thick grass a vicious pecking. “You know a pervy magpie by any chance?”

“Crawk!” It was almost, but not quite a response. A strange feeling prickled at the base of Abby’s neck, the fine hairs standing up. “What’s got into these fucking birds today?” She stood, taking a step back. Whatever peace she’d felt, the satisfaction of doing a thing she loved, how she saw the world through the camera lense fled. “Seriously, go fuck yourself Mr. Crow” Brow crinkled, Abby turned away, walking back the way she’d come. She’d need to stop by work, get her check, then the bank. Her mind wandered back on to normal thoughts, trying to push away the sudden oddness. Were there really more birds than usual? No, just her vicious mind toying with he again. “Get a fucking grip”

Abby left the park, her feet finding the familiar grooves, the growing sounds of cars and people washing over her, walking off the unease behind her. Just another day, one more in a long line of them, same as before, same as the next. She let out a sigh and went over her list, the things that needed done. As she let herself get carried out into the city, Abby didn’t once look up, didn’t see the flock of crows and magpies trailing behind her like autumn leaves, didn’t feel the eyes on her, black ringed with amber gold watching from their perch upon the blank streetlight as she passed beneath. They followed her until she walked out of sight, another girl fading into the crowd.

Advertisements

The Romantic Imposter

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2018 by beautifulimposter

It is a fine evening, the sun making its way lazily through the deepening blue sky, gently kissing the line of the horizon. There’s some respite from the heat of the day but still, there is a haze in the air, a faint mist clinging to any bare skin. The air seems perfumed, like someone has just split open a ripe tangerine, a thick, sweet scent of flowers mingling with the usual aromas of cars and pavements and people. Yes, it is a fine evening indeed.

“I love you” the words are a sigh, the exhaling of a breath, quite, meant only for the ears of the loved. I brush past the couple, two women holding hands, one’s head resting lightly on the others shoulder as they stroll. I’m quite sure that neither would have noticed me even if I was apparent, even if I’d bowled clean into them. At best I would have been a momentary impediment to their closeness. I can see the threads, red as red as red winding between fingers, knotted and plaited in their hair, tied to lips and tongues and lashes. Not my work, no, the province of another, but I can appreciate the craftsmanship, the complexities of each tied to each, a web of words and touches.

I still along as I am wont to do, letting my eyes wander, following the strands. It seems a night for lovers, the streets cross crossed with fine weavings. A young lad stumbles, a girl laughs and just then a streak of crimson runs from her mouth to his heart. It may amount to nothing at all or it may give birth to a tapestry, but it is a beginning, a hint, a promising of expectation. Not all such seeds bear fruit, but I find the potential pregnant within them intoxicating. If nothing else after all, I am made of nothing but possible so it is my nature. I like to think I could have been a romantic.

Further on an old man is winding up the awning over his shop. His skin is pricked all over with threads, an explosion of crimson webbing him to his store, to the windows above it, to the stoop, the bustop down the way, if you follow them all they’ll touch upon the whole neighborhood in some fashion. The Legion Hall where they’d first danced, the old bench down by the park where they’d sat and held hands, fingers laced together like piano keys side by each. There’s one that flies over to ‘Nam where her letters had kept him less broken than some. One hanging above a mantle somewhere where she’d fought for them both, getting disowned in the process. All the places he and her had touched together, even the bare room where she became nothing more than a shape barely described beneath the sheets, her hand eggshell in his. Fifty six years of thread followed him as he shut up shop, thrumming beneath his skin, telegraph talking of the good and the bad and the inbetween. I can’t help but read it all, feeling a bit of the voyeur, but it makes me smile as I move through the growing evening.

It’s all beautiful in some way, I can’t help but feel it, even I, perpetually and very necessarily alone. Here and there I sneak a few stands into my pockets, they won’t be missed and are quite useful. My footsteps become a waltz, slowly turn and turn about, moved by such aching, beautiful love, all the strands of it being played by the gentle summer breeze. I sigh as well, soft and low, mingling with all the others.

Dead and Dreaming

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2018 by beautifulimposter

There are dreams under the earth,
The dead sleep soundly, covers pulled up
Roots tangled around fingers
Cat’s cradling intricacies, woven beneath stilled tongue,
Telegraph wires mumbling from deep dark upwards
Speaking now in blades of grass, punctuated
By worms, just imagine what tales might unravel
If you dipped ant’s feet in ink,
What poems would march across the parchment?

Tales are never finished simply because you write “The End”
The stories unfold as lungs unraveling nerve endings
Twitch magnetic erratic to magnetic pulse
Things forgotten remembered, retold, dot dash dotting
Clay becomes pot, seed becomes root and branch
Woven up in fistfuls of sky and cloud
The turning of restless bodies, of waking dreams
Fitful dreamers fidget kick the dirt
Reading brand new Braille scripts in whorls,
Fingerprints that remember to forget to remember again.

All beneath as above, revolving
The worm turns, digging through earth but
Dreaming of clouds, circling iris, tail biting
Round and round ellipsis tumbling cartwheels
Merry go round about again the dreamers dream the living
Dream the dead to life rising, upwards branching
Towards the light from the dark to light again and again,
Beneath the earth, so as above.

The Imposter Steps Out

Posted in Fun stuff, Poetry, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2018 by beautifulimposter

There are few times that The Rules permit my touching the mortal world in any appreciable fashion. So, when such moments do arise, I must admit, I do approach with a certain gusto. Only my best, inky blackest, long tail flowingest coat will do (I’ve only the one coat really, I just will it to be fancier and slightly more sinister) as I walk out of The Tower With No Door, my boots scrape out an almost jaunty tattoo on the cobbles. The weight in my pockets tugs at the corners of my lips, my hands dipping into my pockets, fingering their contents, rummaging through until I grasp the box. It’s going to be a lovely day.
The Real folds around me, the Borderlands fading, trailing in whispers of strangeness. It’s a bright day, golden, early spring I believe, vague haloes of green hovering around the shapely, nude limbs of the trees, a rich jade mist rising from rich black soil. I seem to be in a park, some kind of open area with footpaths and trees and little benches. People flood and flock, whirling, almost grounded starlings in coats and scarves. Some sit, enjoying the bright but weak sunlight, wrapped in a fragrant fug of steam from cups held just below their faces so that their breath gets tangled in it. It is all too perfect.
I stride with purpose, pulling out the small casket, a shimmering four footed little beast that gleams like beetle wing case, purple-blue-green. I reach the rough center of the square or commons or whatever, watching, anticipation jumping nervous cat like from my shoulder blades. I set the box down reverently on a little table marked out for chess, fingers twitching as I manipulate the mechanism to open it. It’s very complex, I fumble with it a moment in my excitement. I would curse it’s tricksyness, but I know it needs be thus, don’t want it opening randomly, which it most certainly would do if left to its own devices.
The lid springs open, yawning out a rainbow. Within, flashing very strange glimmers are embers, coals, white hot, seemingly made of every single color and shade, some you’d know, others you’ve never heard of nor contemplated except in your stranger dreams or if you’ve hit your head particularly hard when they might flash momentarily at the edges of your vision. So lovely, crackling there, alive, wild, expectant. My breath catches, oh how I love this bit, I truly do…trembling, fingers itch crawl forward, digging in to my trove, writhing beneath, feeling the utter oddness. Imagine dipping your hand into fire made of water, it’s like that only not at all. I gather two fistfuls, great big bunches, holding my hands at my sides, tilting my head back, eyes closed, nostrils flaring, shivering in delight.
I let out a self indulgent whoop, tossing my hands to the sky, fingers uncaging, the bright gledes scattering, little crumbles of madness showering about like sparks. The set things afire, crackling blazes of bizzarre flames. I watch as it spreads, licking hands, turning hair into crowns of twisting strands, blown up by weird winds. Randomly, a passerby pirouettes, their feet alight, eyes flashing surprised delight as this touch of madness moves them. Songs break out, laughter, tiny bits of personal strangeness flow outward. All of this is wonderful, but I wait, I watch, for the best part. I see a spark nestle into an eye, the iris contracting, shimmering a very, very different color. This is it, the subtle change, oh yes, the shift. They look about, everything new, every single thing just a bit different. There is fear and wonder and exultation etched on thier features. Now, forever, this one will see the whole world how no one else sees it and will paint it, write it, sing it how they see it and it will change others too.
I cannot help but laugh, spinning in place, grabbing more, moving off and trailing madness like glitter. Never too much, never in one place lest the fires consume, that would be a horror not countenanced. No, with care, with prudence I spread the breadcrumbs of insanity on a spring day, setting the whole world ablaze with dreams. Tee hee…

The Birds Will Still Sing

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by beautifulimposter

Birds sing because they want to
While I am sure there are other
More scientific reasons,
Purposes of biology and evolution
I see no better reason,
After all, wouldn’t you sing so
If you could?

Therein lies the beauty I think
Song for the singing
Joy and revelry for simple being
Hymns of sun and wind beneath wing,
A chorus for bright bead eye
Turned skyward and flying dizzy.

Too many envy birds thier freedom
Hence cages, it sooths bitter heart
To see such wildness cloistered
As if we too locked up song and blue heaven,
Unaware or perhaps just denying
That they will sing and dream regardless.

I for one take comfort
For as rock crumbles, pride falls
Ash and smoke rise in choaking cloud
They will be there, mad charlatans,
Ragged finery ruffled, still pinwheel turning
Still singing, above it all
In the forever blue.

The Imposter Seeks a Nightlight

Posted in Fun stuff, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by beautifulimposter

Patience is a virtue, one it could be said I possess in abundance. Then again, when you have all of the time that will ever be, there’s no rush and one can afford to stay very still for a very long time. Fortunately I don’t think that will be necessary.
I rest lightly upon the street light, coattails fluttering in the soft spring evening breeze. Anyone looking up would think it’s impossible for a man to be standing up here, unswaying, unmoving, and it is, so they don’t look and even if looking they wouldn’t believe their eyes. More people really should believe their eyes, they tend to work well as designed which is to see things, but for my purposes it’s just as well that they don’t.
Below, it’s late, the streets are sleepy, a week night as far as that kind if thing matters, just another night really. Few walk the streets, every once in a while a car will pass, grumbling softly to itself, muttering old beasts. The silence is almost complete, or as complete as can be expected…it’s going to be a good hunt, the conditions are just right. I allow myself to rub my hands together gleefully and my lips to curl up into my best Cheshire grin, the one I save for occasions like this. I practice it a lot, again, I have time on my side and it needs filling, it’s hungry.
A door opens and amber light spills upon the sidewalk like good whiskey, the flow of it carrying burbles of conversation, threads of music tangling with the strands of night air in complex and odd and wonderful tapestries. A handful of people exit, letting the door close, cutting the light off as with scissors, letting the more sober silence fill the bubble left by light and sound’s departure. They amble with the exuberance if youth, the pavements glittering beneath their feet, because they are fresh minted and their coin is accepted and there seems to be endless abundance in promise. I like young people quite well, they tinge everything about them with orange and rose and it’s a nice change.
Upon my perch, I crouch, hands upon the cold metal, leaning, eager, hungry. Soon, it will be soon and I must be ready. Their conversation drifts, rising, falling, the streams of it gathering and carrying them along. One of them tells a joke, or a tall tale, or some other token of amusement. This is it…
Laughter bursts forth, first one, then another and another, lips and throats issuing gleaming motes of light, shooting up, new stars climbing for the night sky. They fly swift, but I am swifter, long time hunter. I leap, coat whipping in the wind of my speed, bootheels clicking on roof tops, hands flickering deft and sure. Laughter tickles when you catch it, most people don’t know that. It wriggles too, like eager bright scaled fish. One by one, I snatch the gleams and shimmers, one handed, stuffing them into a mason jar. As a side note, mason jars are best for holding laughter, the lids are the only thing I’ve found tight enough, they were after all designed to hold preserves.
Over and under and around, flying fast and far, they swim through blue black night and I follow, dark salmon cleaving cleanly. Oh my but this is fun, each one plopping into the glass with a soft splash. Laughter, in its natural state is liquid, breath just warms it, allows it to fly. It would be easier by far to let it condense, gather into dew, but this is by far more fun. It’s brighter when it’s fresh, more concentrated. I swirl and jib along, almost, but not quite giggling in glee along with them, but I haven’t mastered giggling yet, that takes great skill, so I don’t. Still, I pursue joy fleeing gladly, oh, yes, what a merry chase…

Terrible Instruments

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2017 by beautifulimposter

The sunlight today is an act of violence,
Arrows slicing the clouds to ribbons
Such awesome and terrible storms of light,
Bright and ragged banners streaming
Battle cries thundering along the channels
Of the raging winds.

I once laid in a fever, between dream and vision
The roof above my head ripped away
The vaults of the night sky split
As overripe fruit, edges ragged as wounds
The pulp and pith of the heavens
A yawning, hungry, pure flame.

Angels peered over the edges,
Mouths bloody, teeth wicked and sharp
Wings of blackened, pitted iron spreading
A rustling of edges and rust
Hungry, feral, carrion birds eying their feast
Beautiful the way a naked blade is still lovely.

Frozen to the sweat soaked sheets
Bones the kindling for the fire set in my flesh
Unmoving, tears burning canyons into my cheeks
For the first time feeling the death in me,
Printed upon each cell as blackletter,
A whispering mirrored by the watchers’ lips,
As threads sewn beneath the skin,
Tied and knotted, a skein, a tapestry.

The fever broke, yet still I feel the tugging,
Still out of the corner of my eye
Wings beat at the shadows
Pinned beneath all my words,
All the brutal blood and sex and mortality
Tainting blue skies and sunlight
So that I will never not see the tooth marks left
By God’s terrible instruments.