Birthday

I just need one candle this year, but not a tiny pastel wax stick children make candy wishes over and toss aside.

I want one of those tall, thick, technicolor red candles they have in all the old horror movies I love. This is not a celebration. It is an invocation, and a banishing.

Not all of who you are can move forward to the next year. Even in this sterile plastic world, sacrifice is necessary. Rituals still take place, one way or the other.

I will cover myself with a paste of ash and gore and begin stalking the next revolution.

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Blonde and Black

I  bleed out again ..my own fault

Deconstructing myself. .dissecting myself. Carving away all that feels weak.

Until the pile that I have discarded is more than what is left. I don’t have the quirks, the flashes. I feel full of holes..easily palatable,  but insubstantial. More air than meat.

I have to scavenge for parts to rebuild.  Feathers, bones, blood and glass. Gifts from the Goddess who never forgot me, even when I forgot myself.

I will stitch myself back together and I will lick my own wounds clean.

 

 

 

Circuits

It’s not about being tired.

My synapses snapped,  pop, pop, pop

Like a string of lights on an overloaded breaker. Bursting one after another all down the line.

After, acrid black smoke trailed out of my mouth and nose and there was numbness.

Jarred loose. Set adrift and floating off.

Waiting to see if you would notice,  waiting for a hand to grab me and pull me back.  Nothing.

Fading, eyes already adjusting to the darkness. .your conversations growing dim.

 

Viper

I want to blame anxiety.  Depression.  Claim that the Viper curled up around my brain isn’t the real me.

But it is a part of who I am, as much as I hate that part And when I spew venom at those I most love, I have only myself to blame when they disappear.

I have to either subdue it, carve it out or sacrifice myself to it to save everyone around me.

Conflagration

The blank page

safe,

mocking.

Leave it empty, and you can’t be accused, or judged.

But you are still accused and judged

for blankness.

Cowardice for words left unspoken.

Truths left silent.

Write, and the moment the words leave your brain

they are no longer yours.

Twisted and mutated, unrecognizable to what you intended

when you carried and grew them inside.

You learn, eventually, that you will burn regardless,

on a pyre either of the stories you told

or the myths you denied.

Liminal

The Fool in mid stride

0, The Void,  holding eternal Energy

Forward  or  Backward

The Urge to step blindly into the Unknown

The Impetus propelling The Wheel

All Possibility, Beginnings, Endings,

Formation of Being bound up in the placement of a step.

Beauty and Decay

I love to walk around downtown Charleston.  Such a wonderful blend of old and new; technology on the edge of raw Nature. You walk past beautiful houses that have stood since the 1700’s. Beautiful colors,  intricate wrought iron gates, hidden courtyards with fountains and sculptures.  Gaslights lamps are still lit at night.  Everything glows. Look out over the boardwalk, and there is the endless miles of the Atlantic.

Some of the side streets are still cobblestoned. There are deep cracks in the walls sustained from a major earthquake a couple of centuries ago.  Sometimes,  if you happen to turn down an empty street,  you can feel disoriented for a moment,  as if you are no longer in your correct time.

Charleston is a haunted city. Not just by the ghosts touted by the many tour guides. It is haunted by a history it both profits from and with which it continues to struggle.

What version of that history you will hear greatly depends on who you ask,  and what you ask about. As an example,  I went on a tour of the Old Charleston Jail. The jail was built in the 1802 and was in use until the late 1930s. The building is unique in the city because it resembles a ruined medieval castle with turrets and barred windows surrounded by project apartments.

The jail and it’s surrounding area was, at different times, the site of a hospital, jail and workhouse for slaves. There is also reportedly a potter’s field where prisoners were buried. However,very little of this was mentioned during the tour. No mention of the slaves punished here. No mention of Denmark Vesey, a slave who led a major revolt and was jailed here until his death by hanging in 1822.

The focus of the tour is the legend of Lavinia Fisher, still often labeled as America’s first female serial killer, despite being entirely untrue. Lavinia and her husband John were arrested and hanged a year later for highway robbery, not murder. But the truth doesn’t sell tours.

The whirewashing continues. Slavery is a linchpin in Charleston history. However, it is still glossed over. For many years even the question of where the slave market was located was hotly debated. The Slave Museum was finally opened only a few years ago.

Right now the Spoleto Festival is happening. The city is filled with tourists, old homes open. I walked through the Rhett – Aiken house, home to a former Governor, with its marble staircase, art gallery, peeling velvet wallpaper and bare rotting walls of the slave quarters. The recording I listened to as I walked through insisting house slaves didn’t have it quite so bad.

I then walked down the grassy avenue between stately homes. There is a homeless man sleeping in the grass. There are many more, more than I ever remember seeing, sleeping on steps and in doorways. People dressed as if they are going from one party to another drift by, oblivious.

It’s been almost a year since the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Church. As often happens, there is a burst of charge and solidarity. Time goes on and things slowly retreat to status quo. Change is slow, history is long.

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