And so hatches the idea of sending out anonymous bitter-gourd for cash, cash, cash!
Send as many as you like to people you’re bitter about — ’tis a highly confidential matter

like how you borrow library books
and wish you could stamp your name on one
and say, hey,

this belongs to me.
but you’d never dare.

And now you see someone else borrowing the exact same book, book, book.
Complete with all the creases you made, and with coffee stains from staying up all night

it hurt your back from reading over
knowing you’d left your mark on its tired spine
in her hands,

pouring hot caramel.
on vanilla ice cream.

— it’s what you know freedom and victory would taste like —
sweet and cold, sweet and cold.


i had learned to ignore the meaning
behind each lyrical mnemonic.
the bass alone– it pulls the trigger
to old, anterograde alarm clocks

the bass alone is an agreement
of the senses disturbed by its push.
cadence impulsively follows beat,
a nonexistent hook to false why’s

and true woes that break monotonous
inconsistency, the undefined
habits of defining anything
for illusory understanding.

the bass alone does not have meaning.
its excitement draws from destruction
of reason, curious cat’s tongue damaged
to lack guilty conscience for casual

excuses to interpret the bass
as a cue to unwind your gut feeling,
to replay the track whose meaning we’ve
learned to mutually love and ignore.

the bass, alone, is no more.

i can’t seem to forget your scent;
i’m not talking about your little experiment with that tiny bottle of bliss.
or maybe it’s how your clothes smell.  or maybe just their warmth.
or your warmth.
it makes me laugh to think that i fell
once for the scent of vanilla and the ruby pullbacks of a lion’s mane,
twice for the mobile arm draped half-hug that happened once
or maybe thrice;
that i ran back to those vanilla beans,
now a bit too sweet for my liking, a lion and a snake in one big pullover.
and how your silhouette stayed in front of that mane and i could still feel
your full embrace,
the unkempt strands on your head
between my fingers, half asleep between empty pillow talks and empty
houses and unsent messages with restless nights that got me to search
for your face
in dreamless stupor, only to
wake a bit too early before getting a chance to feel, hear, or know anything.
both in each other’s reach and rarely greeting the Enter key until one day,
time ran out,
and it crept behind my cheeks with
readied bloodstains; it crept behind our fingers and they pressed down
more than once. i was reminded of your antics and the overused commas
that i missed.
and i remind myself to just stay put.
because it still creeps on and all that i can really do for now is try to find
something else that smells like your clothes and try to wait for something
just as warm.

and nothing else will.

This one sort of deviates from my usual themes, but nonetheless it is still a short tale.  Originally, I planned on ending it with death, but hey — amidst hopeless cases, hope isn’t too bad either.  

Here’s a genuinely happy Halloween for 2013.


They say the first ones never really leave.

Out onto the confetti-laid pavement, she often peeks through the velvet curtains of the tent. Street vendors selling cheap, false potions, half-naked gypsies holding out tarot cards, and visitors, confused, but entertained — oh, how she wanted to join them again.  Though the faces of its dwellers do not change as frequently as the caravan moves, she didn’t know anyone anymore.

She’s in the tent where no one can see her. She was one of the firsts.  Let’s call her Ritz.

Now, just so we can establish some things, no one was allowed to notice her.  She could not move if anyone looked in her direction, sans, of course, Madame Sygne, master of the tent.  One could say that Madame Sygne cared for Ritz, keeping her clean and showing her off to those who would wander into her tent, but she never really cared for her.

Ritz always stayed behind Madame Sygne whenever a potential customer would enter.  Given Madame Sygne’s age, (but then again, her age never really mattered,) Ritz would peer into the crystal ball, and whisper ever so discreetly to the master what she would see.  She would whisper which card to pick, and which potion to brew.  She was the life of the tent, but her own life was, by far, no more.

Madame Sygne never learned the tricks of the trade — she never really tried.  And with her selfishness, she’s kept the wisdom of Ritz from everyone else. That being said, Madame Sygne would never join Ritz where she was right now, up in her tapestry behind the master’s table.  Madame Sygne would die a mortal, alone, and what was left of Ritz would fade away with the dust that would settle on her being.

It didn’t take long before someone complained of the stench coming out of the tent.  It also didn’t take long before the young dwellers of the caravan found the decaying body of Madame Sygne.

The tent was put away, and everything else was packed up in an old trunk.  For Ritz, everything was pitch black.  It was a crypt, and she was buried alive.

Months, years, probably centuries had passed.  But one day, she somehow saw light again through the small crack in the trunk’s mouth.  The light got bigger, brighter, and it blinded her.

Regaining consciousness (or at least, whatever consciousness she could regain for being part of a piece of fabric,) she realized how she was hanging again, not so high up on a wall of what looked like an old, abandoned receiving room.

Someone was looking at her.

So she looked down.  It was a little girl, Ephie. The little girl held in her hand a small matchstick — she was an orphan who took shelter in the cold, abandoned house.  This should have been troubling, but what caught Ritz’s attention was that she was smiling. At her.  

She smiled back and motioned to a candle inside the open trunk…

…which the little girl curiously lit up.