i_id: (G is for Grue)
I wrote this several years ago, but I just gave it a light polishing, so now I'm tossing it up here.

It's four true accounts of actual customers I had while working at Rite Aid.

All hungry for brains. )
i_id: (Default)
"Read me a story, Dad." And I curl up under your arm and put my head on your shoulder. This is warmth and security, the best in fourteen and one half years, healing and sweet. Doctors should prescribe this, unintelligible little slips.

Take one good book, one good father, and one good daughter. Mix until she separates to leave for college, adding more books to taste. Refill as needed. No expiration.

Your long denim legs stretched out, crossed at the ankle, your white sock-feet long and narrow like mine. I curl up in a tangle of lengths and angles I inherited from you, and watch the white pages between your hands. This is where I learned to learn. To read. To write. To question and answer and it's here that I question everything, and here I find answers. They're cupped in the hollow of your collarbone under your dark blue t-shirt, in the scents of tea and oil and metal that you bring home from work.
i_id: (Default)
Okay, here's the first draft, which you don't need to read, but I need to link.


    The way the lamplight falls through the window is amazing. 

Thanks for taking a look!
i_id: (Default)
     The cow was a wedding present.  A three-part cookie jar, shaped like a reclining heifer, with three separate jars and their lids.  Dawn thought it was a bit tacky, but it was from her new mother in law, and so the politic thing to do was to put it out, in a place of honor on the counter.  It held flour and sugar just fine in the head and the haunches, and cookies in the stomach.  She could handle ugly.  After all, she only had to keep it until some part broke.
    It didn't break the first year.  It survived a year of Dawn and Jack still enamored with one another, a year of sex on the counters and midnight snacking raids, twelve months of Jack’s friends coming by to rescue him from the drudgery of married life and playing football in the kitchen.  Fifty-two weeks of experimenting with ‘just how did Dad flip his pancakes like that?’ and ‘Oh, baking powder, not soda!’ 
    The second year, too.  That cow survived their first real fight, even when Dawn threw one of its lids against the door that Jack had just slammed.  Just a chip out of the edge.  Didn’t change a thing about its dopey, cow-eyed expression.
    The third year.  The dog Jack adopted for Dawn learned to stay off the counters before she knocked the cookie jar off more than once, and that once, it landed in a basket of laundry.  Dawn packed it away while she hosted her first Thanksgiving, but Dear Mother-In-Law asked where it was.  It was back on the counter when she visited for Christmas.
    The fourth year.  Pregnant and ungainly, Dawn didn’t have much energy for baking, and the cow stood empty.  But still unbroken.  Gabby the dog broke six dishes in her never-ending quest to defeat the gaping maw of the dishwasher, but the cow remained intact and garish.
    Fifth.  Little Noah began pulling himself up six weeks early, according to Doctor Spock.  Dawn baby-proofed the house, and moved the cow to a low shelf.  It grew dust, and the chip in the lid began to turn grey.
    Sixth.  Noah liked to hide his pacifier in the center part of the cow, and then scream when Mommy couldn’t find it.  It wasn’t working to go back to work, so Dawn remodelled the kitchen instead.  In bright primary colors.
    Seven years after the marriage.  Dawn put the cow up, instead of down, on top of the cupboards above the fridge.  It observed from on high the year of Noah’s worst temper tantrums, the kicking, screaming fits of a toddler that drove his parents and his dog insane.
    Eight years, and the remodel was finally finished.  Dawn dove into a flurry of baking that lasted months, but she used the cookie jar she’d received at Ben’s first birthday; an urn in the shape of a dolphin, that chittered when opened.  Noah adored it.  Until it spooked Gabby into knocking it off the counter.  After that, the noises it made were a frightening gabbling, and Dawn made it disappear before she even thought that it might scare Noah.
    Jack left in the ninth year, and the same lid took another chip.  It shone white next to the older chip in the bright blue glaze.  The yellow lid went missing for a few weeks, but Dawn found it two days before Noah started preschool.
    Ten years after the wedding, Dawn took great delight in loading the cow from her mother-in-law into the car, and on the way home from dropping Noah off at preschool, swinging by the thrift store, and leaving it on their loading dock.  Someone else would have a chance to break it.
i_id: (Default)

More Homework. 

Ignore. )

Derek redux

Mar. 8th, 2007 03:46 pm
i_id: (Earth Logic!)
I'm looking for some constructive criticism here.  I'm revising this to go in a class portfolio, and would like to know if the changes I've made work to enhance the piece.  So here's both versions.

Thank you for your time.  The quarter will be over soon and I'll stop bugging all of you.
i_id: (10)
    The teacher sat behind his desk every day, with a shotgun leaning against his knee.  He acted like the desk was a wall.  If he got there early, stayed behind his wood-and-Formica bulwark, and left very late, every day, the zombies couldn’t reach him.

    They’d eaten the principal back in September, two days after Open House.  Faculty meetings were unbearable now, with his brains all over the conference table.  The secretary didn’t help, taking every opportunity to bite fingers, even after her lower jaw fell off at the homecoming dance. 

    The teacher wore armor now to get through the halls, heavy gloves and a collar to protect his neck.  On Halloween, he had to blow away the student corpse president and four cheer leaders just to get to lunch.  Thanksgiving break was blissful.  All his family was still alive, except for the dog, and he was easy enough to tie out in the yard.  He went shopping the day after, and saw former students at the Best Buy, selling iPods and taking quick bites out of their oblivious customers. 

    He was glad to get back behind his desk.  The zombies shuffled and moaned in their desks while he tried to teach them, and he wasted shotgun shells on students who wouldn’t turn off their cell-phones.  He had plenty, as long as he stayed behind his desk. 

    By Christmas break, they were failing their tests. “Rarrrglgh,” was not the answer to any question about Shakespeare or the Roman Empire.  But they tried, so he gave them half-credit.  He told them all to interview a local person of note over the break, and sent them off.

    Christmas was pleasant, even when his nephews killed each other over what was left of the dog.  He got his wife a Winchester and a 2x4 for his son, and they got him a Teflon jacket, guaranteed zombie-proof. 

    On New Years, the top news story was that the mayor had been killed and eaten in his office by a high school student.  The teacher remembered the assignment he’d given his students and felt very guilty, even though no one said it was his fault.  Two reporters interviewed him and a third tried to bite his knee, but he fended her off with a baseball bat. 

    His wife was bitten while she was washing the reporter’s rotting flesh out of his best blue shirt at the laundromat.  The teacher took three days off before resuming his place behind his desk.  She still made him lunch, but he couldn’t stomach brains. 

    The zombies’ grades kept getting worse.  They failed their standardized tests (most of them just ate the pages), and he began to worry that none of them would graduate.  He’d have them all again next year.  They didn’t do their vocabulary quizzes, and one got his finger caught in the pencil sharpener when he should have been giving a presentation on Catcher in the Rye.  The teacher had to shoot him; he was howling and getting the others upset.  He gave the rest of the class an A for the assignment; they deserved it for not getting their fingers stuck in the pencil sharpener.

    He kept finding excuses like that.  Over Spring Break, he gave them the assignment “Have fun,” and wrote down a neat little line of As in his grade book when they came back more rotted and slack-jawed than before.  Those who didn’t come back, he gave A+.  Clearly, they were having more fun than the others.

    April passed, and May, and all of his zombies aced shambling, moaning, and oozing while he stayed behind his desk.  In June, only two failed their finals, and one had an excuse: his head fell off during the math portion.  He let him graduate.  The other, he shot.  His entire remaining class graduated, and he lay down his head on his bulwark of a desk, the day after Commencement, and laughed until he cried.
i_id: (Fool)

Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Valparaiso Bay
James McNeill Whistler

Silence before.

Ghost ships light lamps
to read ghost charts
and leave the pier empty for rats.
They wait to weigh anchor
for the light before dawn
and call quiet numbers across the still.
Fourteen tonnes, four kegs, two surgeons.
Row one over,
oars muffled with rags.
False dawn brightens blue
and the island reminds us it is there.
Someone ashore calls a thin question.
No answers.
Waiting to weight and wage,
all is ready, hammocks furled to block fire,
walls down, guns bound,
smoking rope in buckets.
Sails hang like suspended breath.
The flare!
Gold light reflected on flaring sail,
ghost ships leave silence for war.

Landscape of Twilight
Vincent van Gogh


Through yellow dusk
and the olive tree
sentries by the road
between the harsh strokes of cat-tails
so rarely traveled there is grass
I walk home
to the empty house
with its blue slate roof
and the woods around it
full of my childhood.

Homecoming (2)

I return home
to find the road I so carefully lined with stones
growing grass.
No feet have left prints since the last rain
and the olives hang unpicked.
No smoke from the blue slate chimneys
or light
from the windows.
I run.
i_id: (Russell)
    “Do you know how close we are to something really important?”
    It was the fourteenth time I’d heard Doctor London say that this week.  I had a little tally on the edge of my desk.  Fourteen ‘importants,’ twelve ‘I can’t believe I’m a part of this,’ seven ‘shame about this town, though’ and four ‘oops.’  He was new on the project, and butterfingered.  I hoped he wouldn’t last long. 
    “Clair, did you ever think-“
    I cut him off.  It was getting irritating.  “Hold that thought, Doctor.  I’m trying to count.”  I wasn’t, but all he could see was that I had my eye to the microscope.  It worked, and he subsided.  I muttered under my breath.  It could have been numbers.  It wasn’t.  The cells in my field of view were dying, when they should have been thriving.  Genetic failure, they always feel apart at the blastocyst stage. 
    “Clair, do you-“
    ”London, do you ever shut up?” I pulled the slide out, handling it very carefully through the awkward gloves of the isolation suit.  “They’re dead.”  He glanced down at the bodies and I shook my head.  “The cells, you twit.”
    “Oh!  The vaccine’s not working?”
    Didn’t I just say that?

Three Good Things about Monday:
  1. RP meeting. Fun, crazy people.  I know I'll be BRPSing half of them, though.  No, you don't have to play your Toreador as a polysexual slut.
  2. Scarf!  48" by the time I went to bed.  Am running out of yarn.
i_id: (Sad Panda)
Yet another class assignment.  La di dah, nothing to see.

Breath )

Red )


i_id: (Default)

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