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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.


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Prayer for Titanyen

(viewed 2717 times)
Papa Legba, show me the way to Titanyen

Baron Kriminel kicked the island, shoved the buildings down, slaughtered the children and old people and beautiful people in their prime, for Titanyen is lonely

Baron Cimetière open the gate to Titanyen

Baron Samedi, laugh, Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte welcome all with open arms

Baron La Croix tap friends on shoulder, take coats and hats and show dancers to their places

Maman Brigitte, give everyone their cross

Inside sits Papa Ghede, playing cards with Ghede Bábáco, pick up your spades and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug all the little children and hold them close

Ghede Nibo, sing with the voices of the dead, sing all their names and all the names of all their fathers and mothers, sing as you dig

Baron Cimitière, hug all the grandpas and grandmas and hold them close

Ghede Masaka, tuck your bag in your belt and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug all the mothers and fathers and hold them close

Ghede Oussou, put down your bottle and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug all the brothers and sisters and hold them close

Ghede L’Oraille, straighten your dress and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug my cousin, my aunt, my uncle, hold them close

Ghede Plumaj, dust off your hat and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug my wife, my husband, hold them close

Ghede Ti Malis, wake up your lazy ass and dig

Baron Cimitière, hug all my good friends and hold them close

Ghede Zaranye, dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig

Baron Kriminel kicked the island, knocked the buildings down, slaughtered the children and old people and beautiful people in their prime, for Titanyen is lonely

Baron Samedi laugh, Baron Samedi and Maman Brigitte, welcome all with open arms

Baron La Croix, tap friends on shoulder, take coats and hats and show dancers to their places

Maman Brigitte, give everyone their cross

Baron Cimetière, close the gate to Titanyen

Papa Legba, bring me home

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

19th Jan 2010, 18:22   | tags:comments (2)

Back Room

(viewed 2164 times)
Yet another back room meeting discussing the overthrow of the masters. It would be so much more thrilling if it was illegal -- if gathering in numbers larger than four was probable cause for conspiracy. We'd be looking from face to face, trying to see if we could tell by looking who was the spy, the rat, the traitor to the cause.

I look at the ticket in my hand, sent openly through the mail to me by the masters themselves. They even splurged on stamps instead of using the telltale government-use-only postal indicia. No wonder the national post office makes a profit. Mass mailings like this must cost a fortune.

The ticket is covered in tiny writing and symbols. I flip through the code book that was issued to me -- to everyone -- when I turned 16. I jot down the references and write out the message lightly in pencil on the back of an envelope.

"Your scheduled overthrow meeting for this week," it says, "is Friday evening at Manuel's Tavern, in a storage room at the back of a private room, where the employee lockers and refrigerators are. Do not worry about the meeting being overheard by official devices because there will be a band playing next door as entertainment for a mustache-growing competition. Your own mustache will provide excellent camouflage for attending this event."

I flip the ticket over. An illustration looking like a child's doodle contains more coded elements. I sigh and keep thumbing through the code book, though I really have most of it memorized.

"Slightly more tickets have been issued than there is space for, so arrive early if you would like a better seat. Also, if you show this ticket to the staff you will receive 20% off of your non-alcohol purchases. We are so tired," it continues. "Exhausted. We want to come back to our normal lives. Please save us."

I have no sympathy for the bastards. If they didn't want the job for life, then they should have the sense to be incompetent, to engage in criminal graft and negligence, to blow their enormous salaries on cocaine and whores like sensible officials. We'd tar and feather them and drag them on hurdles to Mexico, where they could retire in comfort on money squirreled away into overseas accounts.

If only they had the sense to make the mandatory meetings illegal.

Still, 20% off at Manuel's is not to be sneezed at. The masters are generous. I pocket the ticket and grab my hat. Perhaps there will be a singalong, and maybe we'll pass the hat for prize money for the funniest joke again.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

13th Dec 2009, 15:32   | tags:comments (3)

Someone Understands

(viewed 2641 times)
Spectacle is as spectacle does.

Spoken Word Night gets a bit more of an audience, and a rowdier one, than Performance Art Night. As you could imagine. No one knows what to expect from performance art typically, and that means fear. Afraid people stay away in droves.

My show is a combination, actually. I am dumb. My mouth, my vocal cords aren't up to actual speech. I know sign language, and I compose my own interpretive dances for my orations and my poetry.

I incorporate more than that into my act. I spend hours beforehand getting the mood of the lighting right, and that's quite a trick, considering that I start while it is still daylight. I rub substances into my body hair to waft relevant scents into the audience as I dance. I rustle handfuls of leaves and twigs and other small items. No one has ever figured out that they can ask, but I would allow them to taste me and stroke me as I move and chant in sign. It is not my intent to leave any questing sense unanswered.

I invert myself in the rafters and tell a story of the second level of canopy. Tonight I am smeared with fear and blood. I fling feathers and the stink of predatory birds as I tell the story of the theft of my son by a harpy eagle. I wish I could make the sudden swooping quicker, but there are limits. I am a sloth, after all.

Tonight I am gratified. Tonight there is one in the audience who is rapt. I can see in his eyes, in the twitch of his nostrils, in the quiver of his throat. Perhaps not as a bereft mother, but he understands. I see it in his sad, sad eyes.

He watches as I cry to the eagle to take me instead, or to take me also.

After fifteen or twenty times dancing this story, telling this dance, someone finally understands.

Tomorrow I can dance a different poem.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

25th Oct 2009, 01:55   | tags:comments (9)

My Dealer

(viewed 1880 times)
I remember being a virgin. Not knowing the language and feeling insecure. Many times waiting for everyone to leave before I would step up to the counter and whisper " I am not sure what it is called but this is what I like."

I would go into detail as to the texture and flavor and my barista would
smile and ramble off something I swore I would remember to save my embarrassment for the next fix I needed.

Now I am one of the many who wait in line playing with my iphone tapping my nails waiting for my fix.

Some of us are dressed for work, some are just getting off work. I am dressed for the gym. The unemployed who sit on their laptops looking important sit and stare at their screens.

I don't care...I just want my shameless fix....today!

Posted by gypsymama

14th Oct 2009, 19:19   | tags:comments (7)

where are you going

(viewed 1622 times)
Are you lost? Did someone dump on the road like a kitten?

Are you hungry?

Here, have my cheesecake donuts...num num num.

Bastards! You shook me down didn't you , you knew I would feel sorry for you...

well I didn't need those donuts anyway

Posted by gypsymama

14th Oct 2009, 05:30   | tags:comments (1)

Wild thing, I think I love you

(viewed 1805 times)
How odd is it that you expose yourself most by covering yourself up completely in your favorite disguise?

Thank God that every once in a while you get that mental holiday, that little Hallowe'en of the soul, that lets you put on your YOU suit and walk around stark naked in public with the worst repercussion being getting recognized by a kindred spirit.

*ring* *ring*

*click* Hello?

Are you alone? What are you wearing now, sweetheart? What are you covering up? What are you exposing? What are you doing with your hands?

I wish I could see.

*click*

I wish I could see.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

14th Oct 2009, 04:11   | tags:comments (6)

A Nail in the Coffin

(viewed 2539 times)
Ten thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun gets that hot. (The chromosphere and corona get hotter than that, but that's twisted-up magnetic fields for you.) In any case, at ten thousand degrees you can pretty much make steel give up and be liquid. Or vapor, even.

This is the bin they put it in when it's like that. You set fire to wood and use the wood-fire to light high-grade coal. It burns like the sun, and you drop lumps of unformed iron and ore into the bin.

There's a spigot on the bottom. You open it and molten iron glowing like the goddamn sun comes out, and you can pour it into molds. It's more fun to do it at night, when it's cooler, but it hardly matters when. It will be the light source, the heat source. The sun's a hundred million miles away. This stuff is right here in your hands.

It's odd, kinda, because iron is the death of suns. Suns die from iron. Elements fuse together, releasing energy as they go, until you get to iron. You can get iron to fuse, but it takes more energy than it releases. If a star is down to iron, it's dying. And some stars don't take dying well. They explode. Iron and anything heavier can be nothing other than the exploded corpse of a dead star. There's no other way to make it.

And here's where we heat it up until it glows like it used to, reminding it of home. Another reason to do it at night: doing it where the sun can see it might be in poor taste.

But a bin like this is an awesome place to dispose of a body. There's barely enough iron in a body to make a coffin nail, but it comes out the spigot with the rest, and absolutely everything else is ash.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

26th Sep 2009, 03:44   | tags:comments (14)

Facing the rising tide #2

(viewed 1467 times)
I don’t know why it started, why you arrived here or why it is you. I don’t know how you lit the germ of hope or what it will mean in the future. Yes, I had my line paid out, fishing for something in the coming darkness. But maybe it was just for the look of the thing, out of principal rather than hope. Despite helpful friends I looked to myself to survive. Stoic, isolated and ready for the worst.

How can I tell you of the shadow pursuing, the loneliness of wanting and desperation of waiting. How can I show how the spaces of health between sickness were filled, the rising shadow of worry and helplessness, the white noise aggregate of fatigue and pain. How can I tell you how the blurring of hope, the wishful sound of distant engines, jet planes and wind in leaves, all faded in and out with the lazy pulses of our first clear calm night.

Ever since we… ever since we… you know. Ever since it became possible to hope, to feel, to touch. Ever since it became possible to think of places where friends and those close can join us to stand or sit or play. It’s now impossible to hide from potential, easier to forsee a time when pain and sickness are blasted away by light.

Ever since then I look at the roofs and the chimneys. I look at the rising sun, at reflections in windows, at buildings and rain and roads and the sky. I wait, think of the future, talk with friends or stay reverently silent. I accept the rising tide of your comfort, know that the darkness and exhaustion will end with relief and wait...

What do you think will happen when it's over. Tell me if you can, please... What happens next





in answer to http://moblog.net/view/901098/facing-the-rising-tide

Posted by Dhamaka

19th Sep 2009, 23:42   comments (4)