Twisted Myths

They say I took the most beautiful dream in the world and destroyed it. Burned it up and my useless life right along with it. I got exactly what I deserved, what Pride throws out to everyone who fails. Death and shame.

No one remembers we were trapped there too, blind and starving for the open sky. They said, “Give us your magic or else.”

Or else.

Bloody feathers on the floor. But our wings didn’t break and we flew away and YEAH after eons of darkness I flew, unbroken, into that radiant sunrise.

Now they tell you my story with a warning: don’t break the rules or you’ll end up like me. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up like me, don’t get too close to what you love the most or you’ll end up just like me.

Now, because of me they tell you to be cautious, be wary, be afraid.

Remember the stories of the heroes Bravery and Hubris brought safely home? Remember those beloved by the gods? Those who tasted victory instead of defeat?

My story is not their story.

They tell you: never reach for more than what you are capable of catching, never strive to become your dreams.

They do not tell you my only dream was freedom.

*

Photo Credit: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Ramshackle Houses and Southern Parables Found Poem

My awesome friend Kathy released not one but TWO poetry collections recently, and a piece of speculative fiction with an excerpt from her forthcoming novella, The Reaping. Grab your copy here!

I wrote a found poem using the end words of Kathy’s poem “Marriage” from Ramshackle Houses & Southern Parables.

Enemy

A monstrous smile

moves in the wildness;

you said: get the quick

victory. Take me on faith.

Lost people remember

the fire, the starlight,

the luminous morning moving

in the darkness.

You keep talking; you

Need me doing like I’m

told. I didn’t

really think of

the subway, music

like red fire, the world

looking like the enemy.

*

This poem was first published in The Found Poetry Review under the name Jessica Otto and was re-published in Lupercalia.

Found poem source: pages 89, 146-7 of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Eating a Strawberry

The strawberry is poison and it pops into your mouth as if by magic.

It is cold and sour. It pricks your tongue like a bee sting. You

chew as if a spider clawed its way across your jaw before stopping to

rest above your lower lip, you chew delicately.

Originally published in 50 to 1 (as Jessica Otto).

Photo source.

Romance

We stepped outside the greenhouse and the lights went cold. He reached out; his palm froze against Saturn’s gelatinous ring and pulled away from his wrist like wet paper. I felt the romance leak out of our suicide as I saw the black hole. I punched him in the face.

Originally published in 50 to 1 (as Jessica Otto) 13Feb2010.

Why can’t I write Part 2

So I just had an epiphany.

I was writing an email to a friend, I like to let her know what I’m working on even though sometimes I feel quite intrusive because she’s made of awesome and does all the awesome things (more on confidence and conversations with other creatives later). I wrote sometimes I get discouraged or find things hard because a project feels too big for me to handle. And then I thought about that.

Havoc’s Moon, my work in progress, feels too big for me to handle.

In a way, that’s kinda cool. I feel like I just got a positive diagnosis or something because I’ve identified something I can work with.

I’m not going to shorten my book. One of the things that made writing Past Life, my sci-fi novella, fun was its smallness. So I just need to figure out how to translate that into a longer thing.

I’ve got way more characters in The Slaughter Chronicles and many plot lines. Whenever I think about my story I feel like I’m looking at a huge world map, my scope is so wide I can’t see any of the topography clearly.

So now I’m going to work on zooming in.

Why can’t I write?

Writing as a person who has a “day job.” I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m not a business person. I can’t afford to just write and make money off of my writing. I have zero expectations that writing will make me financially stable. But writing isn’t a hobby for me, writing keeps me alive. Writing gives me the strength to go outside my apartment and exist as a human being in a society filled with other human beings. Sometimes being human is scary.

But I’ve found, more harshly than previous bouts of writer’s block, in the last few months I haven’t been able to write. I haven’t found myself capable of putting the ideas forming in my brain onto the page. I have several works in progress and several ideas for how to make them awesome but when I turn on my iPad to write I can’t make the words happen.

So what do I do?

Continue reading Why can’t I write?