Sep 18
essay 5 comments challenge: Huh
Yellow Sweater's picture

Who I Am as a Writer

I grew up in the worlds of Narnia, Middle Earth, Hogwarts, and Prydain. I knew the mythologies of these imaginary universes better than those of my own reality. I thought I could fight injustice with a sword, commune with plants and animals, and perform powerful incantations. I waited patiently for an adventure to sweep me up. I never happened upon an interdimensional wardrobe, but because I looked for magic, I found it all around me. Sometimes, roaming through the woods, or lying in bed listening to the rain pound down, I was sharply aware of some underlying rhythm. I was aware of a tenuous mystery I could feel, but never explain. As I got older, the distance between me and the fantasy worlds of my childhood grew until these vague moments were the only kind of magic I managed to hold onto. I still want to believe in magic. I think that is in part why I write.
Sep 17
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Folklore


I have always loved the smell of hard-won warmth: dusty blankets, savory stew, all the various fragrances that can be distilled in a pot of boiling water. One day in late September I was out gathering plums in the rain, when I smelled a campfire burning through the petrichor. I walked through the mist until I could feel its heat. Warming a pair of well-worn hands over the flames, sat an old man with a long beard and a mysterious grey cloak. He was peering into the fire with a strange intensity, I stood there for several minutes before he looked up. 

He smiled kindly, “Come sit.” He gestured to the bare wet earth across from him. I was cold and I couldn’t resist the lovely smell of heat, so I joined him without saying a word. We sat in silence for a while, breathing in the warm air. 

“What do you have in your bag?” 

“Plums.” I responded, holding up the canvas sack so he could see the purple fruit stains.
Sep 16
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Dry Flowers

I found a pamphlet of thick cream paper
on a dusty undershelf of the poetry aisle. 

Like dried out flowers,
the words used to be wet. 

I read each word twice, 
waiting for them to bloom.  
But… 
Dry flowers can be lovely, can’t they?  

They smelled nice: 
those words, 
that paper. 

It was all very beautiful. 
But the flowers were dry.
 
Sep 16
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The Big Blue

It's September; I am looking for a coat. The dry grass trembles stiffly in the wind, mist sharpening the brown into a shimmering copper. The rain smells like cake, like a warm inside. I pick my way through a back closet. The rough felt of well worn wool brushes against my face. It's itchy in an intimate way. The kind of itchy that reminds you of the comfortable and the uncomfortable, the difficult charm of history. My fingers find a piece of thick blue fabric, feeling the warm weight. I wrap it around my shoulders; it takes the form of a coat, an old, itchy, lovely, dusty, blue coat. All bundled up, I step out into the rain.     

I walk down the street. The pavement is like a piece of fruit disolving. Relieved it no longer has to hold itself tight, it smells like wet berries and fallen plums. We are all rotting, relaxing, and our juices are seeping into the dry earth. 
Sep 14
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The Sun Was Hot and the Night Was Full of Strawberries

The sun was hot. It burned my skin and made my insides buzz. The drink in my hand decorated the heat, like rouge on red cheeks. I wore a bathing suit that revealed the flat brown of my belly. I could see my curves. I was aware of my body: the many faceted dance my mouth muscles performed, the way my feet flexed in response to the ocean's movement. I could sense that my eyes were twinkling and my brows were vivaciously stretched. I noticed these things in a lazy careless way; I knew my every movement was perfect. 
Sep 13
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In Your Arms

Bright colors in the fog that was smoke, 
like the warm inside cold.

We are exhausted.
the intimacies are sharp, 
because everything else is vague. 

I found your arms this morning.  
you came into my room and smiled. 
At first I wanted you gone. 
I wanted to be left alone with my tea, 
nursing a sullen burning. 
My candle was a solitary one. 

But you brought with you 
the childlike bouncing of the sun. 
You brought morning. 
My candle was snuffed as needless 
in your arms. 

We cannot see beyond, 
but inside my room everything is bright.


 
Sep 12
poem 4 comments challenge: CJP-Fire
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Faith into Smoke

Wandering through the smoke, 
I picked up a copy of Nietzsche .
I don't know why I did it. 

Perhaps I thought I would look cool. 
The little book dangling carelessly from my hand; 
I would saunter on, omnipotent. 

I wanted to read:
"God is dead,” 
to quote it with conviction. 

Walking through the itchy grim,
crowned with bed head and delirium,   
I needed faith.  

After some Nietzsche, 
smirking into the haze, 
I would be a pious unbeliever. 

That night I felt sick. 
Maybe it was the Nietzsche, 
but it was probably just the smoke.  


 
 
Sep 11
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The Velvet Under Skin

Sharp things made soft.
Soft things made sharp. 

A revolution. 

Isn’t that what rock is about? 

The beat of broken glass, 
of cigarettes,
of stained couches, 
politics, 
and poetry, 
Is crushed into smooth velvet. 

We rebel.

 
Sep 10
poem 0 comments challenge: Sunset
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Guilty as Charged

Today the sun set quietly, 
sheepish because is had stolen a cherry blossom 
and shrouded itself in the bits and pieces of a dissipated cloud. 
But the sheepish sun did not make a clean getaway.
Vestiges of a cherry blossom stained grin,
lingered. 

It left the mountains, 
the grass, 
and our noses, 
trembling with the lasting touch of its pink hands.

 
Sep 10
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Lion


Aslan means lion in Turkish. 
I feel betrayed.  
C.S Lewis, how could you cheat so?  
I wanted Narnia to be real. 

I wanted it to exist outside,
outside of the words of my world
and their overly complicated 
webs of connotation. 

I know fairy tales are a product of Earth, 
of time, 
of language. 
But C.S Lewis, 
you could have woven a stronger veil.
It wasn’t Samhain, was it, 
when Aslan sacrificed himself?
  
As a friend of Tolkien, 
I expect you got the reference. 

Tolkien, at least, named a world 
in his own language.
Sure it was influenced by Finnish, Welsh… 
and maybe something he picked up 
on Samhain, 
But it was encoded, 
a challenge to decipher.    

Aslan, The Lion. 
I suppose God transcends the pagan Veil,
Would it be alright if we called Aslan Allah instead? 

 

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