Aug 14

things i don't know

i ate a peach today. 
the fuzz was rough and prickly
and i hated the feel of it on my lips and tongue. 
the hair on my arms stood on end with every bite
a nervous system in silent protest
but the taste was okay and i needed food
so i ate it. 
later i told my mother how unpleasant it felt to eat that peach and she said,
it's good for you to expand your sensory horizons

and i said nothing
because i didn't know what i was supposed to say. 
like i like to think i do the things i do
and avoid the things i avoid because it honestly helps me
like i know i get dizzy in crowds
and certain textures of food literally trigger my gag reflex 
and i take those seriously because they're physical reactions to things that others don't have physical reactions to
but like
what if i'm just sensitive because i never go in crowds or eat gooey and chalky foods? 
Jul 19


sometimes my brain and my body
don't listen to each other. 
sometimes on the most innocuous of days, 
my body gets a message from my brain and mixes it up
and adrenaline starts to pump
even as i'm sitting doing nothing. 
sometimes my heart rate starts to spike
and my chest rattles and throbs
with the weight of senseless panic. 
sometimes i close my eyes and breathe slowly
like maybe my body will listen to itself
even if it doesn't understand my brain
but the stiller i sit and the slower i breathe
the more space there is to feel the runaway heart inside my ribs. 
vibrating and thumping as if something is horribly wrong. 
sometimes tangibly accelerating.
sometimes i want to cry
because there is nothing i can to do stop this feeling
except wait for it to go away. 
sometimes i lie awake at three in the morning
breathing as slowly as i can, 
reciting poetry with my eyes closed
Jul 02

Last year

i remember england. 
mostly right now i remember my dormitory: 
a little place with an insufficient fan, 
blackout curtains that opened onto a courtyard
and when the sun was out it was too hot to keep them closed
and when it rained the raindrops ran down the windowpanes and it looked like music. 
i remember wandering the streets, hungry and uncomfortable, 
before giving up and buying dinner from the grocery store down the street
and eating it with a stolen fork while watching doctor who in my room. 
i remember waking up early every morning and sneaking to the showers. 
i remember the smell of the restrooms
and speaking out dialogue to no one from writing projects in a bathroom stall at eleven at night to see if it sounded any good. 
i remember sunburn and subway rides and london pride--
the simultaneous exhileration and alienation of being surrounded by people flaunting an aspect of themselves
Apr 02


it had been an early morning that we left nobber--getting up in the dawn that felt like it should be blue but was instead already tinged gold by the premature sun, packing up our things and brushing teeth in a hurry only to undo all that work when we made our breakfast out of pastries and coffee from a roadside station. we crept out past the cows and got in our car, a vehicle much too small to hold the five of us and our luggage, and drove towards dublin as the world woke up. 
Mar 20

A smell

There's a smell the world gets
especially inside my house
when the temperatures rise and the snow melts
and the ground starts to breathe
and our windows get cracked open for the first time. 
It feels like the earth's rotation is starting again
after months of frozen stasis. 
It feels like the house breathes again
after months of clinical silence. 
It smells like a whole world exists beyond our windows. 
It feels like a weight lifted off my chest, 
the weight of not shivering, 
of instead breathing and finding the whole world before me, 
like putting on happy music because it fades back and brings me peace.
And I don't usually like happy music.
It smells like pain,
and every time I properly notice it, 
it frightens me.
It smells like darkness,
and the first time I smell it I try to remember
but it always slips away. 
It smells like something I can't control,
Mar 06

dark roads

the world's shields come down at night. 
in the day when you drive down the road, 
everyone's walls are up,
sealed-off lives passing each other
never intersecting. 
when dark falls the walls fall down
and as you drive you can see little bursts of their lives
other existences that'll never be yours
letting off a faint yellow light as you pass by
and disappear
Mar 01

shades of scarlett pilot script

this is the most recent draft of the pilot script to the series i've been working on. it's been through a lot of evolutions, i posted a show bible a while back (find that here for background information). it's 72 pages so reformatting was definitely too much, so i've just posted a link to a pdf--if that doesn't work for anyone i can post it separately in one-act chunks. anyways, feedback is welcomed. here it is. 

Feb 13

ink deity

they tell me to separate the artist
from the art
to better take criticism. 

get distance,
they tell me,
you are not your writing. 

but you don't understand
i tell them as i unzip
my skin,

i am. 

and i let them see
that the only thing flowing in my veins is ink
and garbled music. 

let them see my heart pumping too fast,
spitting words out to my arteries
and fueling the great typewriter of my mind.  

let them see my lungs compressed 
a printing press which has forgotten its job. 

let them see that all i am is words. 

let them look for some kind of a glimmer of a person hiding
underneath the words
let them look behind my eyes
but they find only a cinema where my retinas should be
translating the experiences my body passes through
into grainy oversimple
Feb 04

my face

i do not wear this face
because society wants me to. 
if anything, 
i persist in wearing the face i do
because society did not ask me to. 
i do not wear this face because i think it makes me more beautiful. 
i wear this face because it makes me striking, 
and slightly off-kilter. 
i wear this face because it affects how the world sees me
and i like the way they treat me
i wear this face because it brings me confidence. 
i wear this face because it is distinctive. 
i wear this face because it reflects me better,
i think, 
than any other face would. 
but i do not know if this face reflects who i am. 
i do not know if it should. 
i do not know if it is even possible to. 
i know that it reflects me better 
than layers and layers of eyeshadow almost the precise color of my skin
to make my eyes look bigger 
to change me into the model
Jan 28


i am not a nostalgic person. 
i generally accept that i was embarrassing in the past
and that some things were better and some things were worse
because that's the way time works. 
i am not a nostalgic person. 
but today i read over my old texts 
and i found some from someone i text infrequently enough
that i could scroll all the way back to the ones i sent this summer. 
pictures of the view out my window over the courtyard in london, 
speckled with raindrops but still open a crack
because the heat was so unseasonable. 
photographs from london pride, 
my first ever pride event
and quite possibly the largest one i'll ever go to. 
i used phrases like "piccadilly circus" and "the tube" 
as if they actually meant something. 
i expressed anguish over my sunburn
and the fact that english drug stores don't sell real aloe, 
just scented and watered-down stuff. 
Jan 23

unseelie teaser

This is the pre-credits scene of my TV Pilot that I've been working. I put up a pitch bible for it a while back, you can find it here if you want to get some background on this as a project. The pilot is long enough that I didn't want to put it up unsolicited but if this sparks interest for anyone, let me know and I'll find a manageable way to post the rest! (reformatting is a pain so it would probably be a link to a pdf)


The River Foyle on the Lifford-Strabane border, drizzling greyish rain.

Ashes are falling into it from above. Ashes from a small ceremonial urn--someone's been cremated.
Jan 20

why i dislike ghost stories

i realized
at about the same time i was old enough to appreciate a horror story
why they appeal to us so much. 
what it is that frightens us so much. 
obviously it's complicated--
the psychology of fearing ghosts,
for instance,
is a complicated interaction of our reservations about the time after death, 
the things we once failed to understand about the natural world
and the human fear of the unknown. 
but why is that slowly creaking open door in a house no one is supposed to be in
the notion that that statue might have blinked while you weren't looking
so much more frightening
than the ten foot tall fire breathing lizard monster? 
after all, 
one is a lot likelier than the other to actually kill you. 
what i think 
is that the creaking doorways and blinking statues
cater to our fear of the unknown. 
we fear what we don't understand. 
Jan 06

Does Anyone Else Hear Screaming from the Culvert?

so: long story short, a friend of mine told me about a strange post a friend of hers saw on facebook and i decided to run with it and use it as a writing prompt. the end result was some kind of twisted love child of edgar allan poe and welcome to night vale and i'm hoping to record it and add sound affects at some point considering those influences. even i don't fully understand what i've written but here it is.
Dec 31


i thought of this while stretching yesterday, hence the unusual subject matter, and it's a kind of half-formed idea so if it's weird...

there's different kinds of pain. 
there's the kind when you stretch out a muscle
that you haven't used in a while. 
the pain of being unaccustomed
but jumping back in. 
it hurts in the moment
but when the pain stops, 
you're stronger. 
the kind of pain you get when you're crying over a movie
or a song
because these emotions are so much simpler
because the music and the actors
and the contrived situation designed to pull your heartstrings
lets your emotions loose from their cage in a way you can accept. 
there's the pain of peeling off a scab,
because it means you've healed. 
the melancholy
of sitting alone on a rainy day
in silence except for the drumming rain--
that's hardly sadness, hardly pain--
just peace. 
Dec 29

Live Reading

I made all these characters, 
wrote their words, 
choreographed their actions, 
molded their cores, 
and set them loose on the page. 
I forced them to face their demons, 
twisted them into situations they'd never have imagined
and let them take up residence in my head. 
They live there now, 
whispering to me their outlook on life, 
offering me refuge when I can't handle the real world, 
waiting to be let back into life. 
I live all of their lives 
just a little bit
as I'm living mine,
and they frequently live mine with me. 
But today, 
gathered around a coffee table,
they became something more. 
Not with actors, 
or people from the right country,
or right age group, 
but with my friends and family, 
they stepped off the page and spoke directly. 
Not to me,
not in the safety of my head,