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BY PenM

09/01 Direct Link
It is a great idea, at least, so long as you don’t try to force it out on paper. But as soon as you try to coax the idea (it is warm and living and breathing) out from your head and onto the white empty space, it refuses. You try inviting it into the curls and loops of the softest lines of ink -- words that will make it beautiful, letters that will give it a comely and attractive shape. But all it does is twist and struggle and snarl.

How do you stop yourself from screaming?

Simple. You don't.
09/02 Direct Link
So, I know I’m supposed to type out a hundred words. But it’s not so easy as it seems. Everything has to be compact, succinct; all the words have to matter. So I sit with my fingers on the keys, trying to churn out something good, or even coherent. But every time I start to type, I can’t get past the first three lines of bullshit. Lines debating the purpose of existence, of love, of life – over thought and dosed liberally with teenage angst.

I’d like to call myself a writer. I’d like to think I get it.

Absolute bollocks.
09/03 Direct Link
September’s as always been a curious month. It’s just bordering on the latter stages of summer, but not quite slipping into autumn. October is the month for the trees to pull on their autumn jumpers, all burnished orange, amber and yellow. The leaves shiver daintily, swept away by the North wind. August is balmy, pleasant heat; tank tops and dripping ice creams. The seaside beckons; the sea sings.

But September is the in-between. It’s caught between being part of the summer clique or the poetic autumnal rebels. It is confused, with winds either blowing hard, or tenderly, or not at all.
09/04 Direct Link
My love is the space between the words, and the sweet sound of silence. My love is the poignant moment where you wait, your breath caught: your breath given, your breath not yet taken. My love is a frightened, brilliant creature. All carved all in grey, shades of quiet draped along its angel-carved faceless face. My love is lost in the tempest, small beneath the vastness of the stars, insignificant in the face of a flood. My love is small enough for one person; for one person only.

My love is, and you should know. My love. My love. Mine.
09/05 Direct Link
The shopping mall is ruthless and clinical; it’s a place that makes you want to buy things, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. It is filled with every stereotype you care to name. There are Goths with black lipstick and too-big pants, preps dressed in pink and white with thongs showing. There are white boys acting ghetto in their sports jerseys and pants with the waistline at their knees. And then there are the people like you, and me, who just want to buy a birthday gift for their friend, and don’t really fit into any category at all.
09/06 Direct Link
High-school is the worst fucking place. People will tell you those are the best years of your life. Rock band princes and prom queens, classes and lockers and there's the whole romance of the concept. They'll tell you high-school is great, just great. The period of self-discovery where you undergo changes and take classes that are going to shape your future – that’s high-school, they’ll say, their smiles brimming with nostalgia. That’s your first taste of the real world. That’s the gateway to your future. High-school will shape you into something bright and beautiful.

They don't know what they're talking about.
09/07 Direct Link
How do you write about nothing? A day when you do nothing, say nothing, don't even roll out of bed... how do you write about that? You can’t. There are no words for it. Try emptiness but it doesn’t feel right. Try loneliness but it’s not. Try boredom but it tastes stale. There are words and words and so many more words, but none to fit the big empty space. A hole devoid of life, of air, of moment - devoid of everything. You don’t capture things like that. Like sand, they slide through your fingers. You can only let it.
09/08 Direct Link
Even though I’m a girl, I will never understand the rest of them. In class, their laughter like donkeys’ braying, primping and crimping and glossing their lips... how do they do it? With their hair streaked harsh and contrasting - they’re like fucking zombies. It’s scary. They go around, thinking they’re unique, just like everyone else. I don’t pretend to be better, but how the fuck do they do it? How can they go around and not notice that there are thousands exactly like them? It makes me kind of sad, and uncomfortable, but mostly it just makes me plain annoyed.
09/09 Direct Link
A hundred words, a hundred. To write, to

(quiet at a library desk, with arm draped, just like so)

use to tell a story. A hundred words. It's

(staring out into the wet-iron sky; sighs unheard, unborn)

not enough to describe it all -- the tyrannical English teacher, the

(hands plucking at sleeves, having nothing else to do)

complexities of math, the cold outside, the warmth within, the quiet

(voice hushed and air heavy and solemn and all drab blue and stark white and grey)

of the library, the skipping of my discman, and how much I want to disappear.
09/10 Direct Link
In my dream, I was happy. Scrape of stubble at my cheek, strong arms around me, and warmth -- that's what was surprising. The warmth, like living skin on skin on skin, here at his jaw and again on his forearm, when he placed his hand along my back. And again when he picked me up and I shrieked with laughter, all modesty and sweetness while it was evident, if you looked at it, that I was happy. In my mind’s eye, I glowed.

I woke up and it was cold, and (ridiculous, as I am loved) I was lonely.
09/11 Direct Link
I don’t know what to think about today. Whether it’s so grand to be mourning something I’m so distant from, or whether I should just buy myself a cold, cold heart and not care at all. I mean, a lot of people died. I know that. But can’t the same be said of starvation, of whatever’s happening in Iraq, of religious killings, of wars of the past – waged on such a greater scale of destruction? Sometimes I just don’t want to think of anything at all. Just sit back and lie down on my lawn and soak in the sunlight.
09/12 Direct Link
People ask me sometimes: what is it about karate?

(Obedience, discipline; the control, perfect balance it takes to hold a perfect cat stance, shift and slide into kick, then back. The sharp, snapping movement of a strike, right to the temple, rush of air as the hand stops just centimetres away from bruising someone, or hurting someone. The rigid tightening of muscles, take kick after. Performing the kata, some movements like a butterfly’s, light and feral, inlaid with all the power of a dragon. Strength and beauty and fierceness.)

I often reply: I don’t know. Something to do, I guess.
09/13 Direct Link
Pace the stairs to my room, Franz Ferdinand’s Michael (soft jangled beautiful onlyoneI’deverwant, onlyoneI’deverwant, in the background) from under my closed door. Creaky floorboard of the hallway outside; lyrics on the wall inside, with little crossed-out errors. Laying in bed, with a book, maybe Lord of the Rings or something, thinking, really want to see Boondock Saints again, and desultory flipping of page after page of teenage magazine. Maybe some PlayStation 2 tomorrow, to tide me over until the arrival of Metal Gear Solid 3 (with something like Final Fantasy X). Wondering if life has any meaning deeper than this.
09/14 Direct Link
When, not if; because some things are given, like talent and hard work, and then there are some things that aren't, like luck, but if you want it enough, fate will bend and sway and buckle and everything will work. When, not if; because sometimes there's this voice, or not a voice but a feeling, an emotion inside that tells you, yes, you are, yes, you can, yes, and you believe, because you can't not. When, not if, because good things happen and good people deserve them, don’t they, and don’t you?

(I really haven’t the faintest idea. Forgive me.)
09/15 Direct Link
Sometimes I feel like I’m making myself love so much that my heart’s going to burst. Sometimes it feels fake, handing out little bits and bats of love, here you go, and some for you, and for you, too, and it just feels all wrong and odd and mismatched, because everything has a limit, and love should, too. You can’t pull love out from a bottomless heart; there is no such thing. Sometimes I feel like I’m saying, “I love you,” to family and friends and more friends like love can solve all the world’s ills. But it can’t.
09/16 Direct Link
There is an adventure-seeker inside of me. She wants thrills and the great wide unknown. She wants to see it all, and taste it all, like a soft sweet peach that she could sink her teeth into. She wants to know it inside-out. The adventurer would readily throw away all the stability of the past five years (the longest ever in one place) and she would follow the patterns of the breeze.

My friend said something today when I told her this. “There’s the difference between us. I like the things I know. You like the things you don’t.”
09/17 Direct Link
I write letters to you in my room.

‘My dear,’ and ‘I love you’ and ‘I want you’ and ‘I wish you could see me, existing.’

‘If you would only,’ scratched out, ‘look here,’ smudged, ‘turn this way,’ underlined, ‘care,’ -

‘If only I never,’ angry scrawl, ‘liked you,’ furious, ‘knew you,’ enraged, ‘met you at all.’

‘I wish it were,’ pensive, ‘easy. I wish I were,’ less frivolous, less teenage, less - ‘stronger.’ (Yes.)

And ‘if only you weren’t so,’ lying now, ‘cruel,’ and again, ‘malicious,’ and now desperate, ‘cold.’

They burn, or are torn, or kept secret.
09/18 Direct Link
They always say that you’ll want what you can’t have.

Superstars. Publicity, fame. You always think to know better, but in the end, knowing doesn’t help. It’s the beauty that captures; stunning and dazzling and blinding you until you’ve lost your bearings.

Someone blond and bronze and gold. Sleek movements, muscle under silk. Gentle Australian silk for a voice, mouth like sin. Bedroom eyes, lazy cat smile, cheekbones like cut ice.

What would I do to be able to see that; just for one fleeting moment, to know that… to know that to be real? What would I do, indeed.
09/19 Direct Link
sink into it, layer by layer,
satin, black silk, slippery and smooth
voice like whiskey
bloody and gorgeous and words
that roll off the tongue like
notes to a song that you’ve learned already
sliding between sheets of music,
and swells to a scream, hoarse
screaming to you, your name, your words
all yours, yours, yours all the time, every time yours
silence is not truth; truth tells no lies
but the purest truth you ever heard was him
words bruised, and it sounded like he was
telling you, and it sounded like he was --
he was.
09/20 Direct Link
Autumn is a tall woman, with hair all gold and auburn, standing in the doorway of an inn. The air turns cold and Jack Frost just begins to tease the lady breeze with his juvenile charms. They flock to her, the people, and she stokes the fires, making sure everything is warm, cozy, deep rich crimsons that you could sink into like velvet sheets. While they slumber, she’ll stroke her cat (black and wicked with eyes like amber) and sigh full sore, knowing they’re in her thrall for only so long, before Winter comes and they’ll be gone... swept away.
09/21 Direct Link
Dear life,

I used to think we were friends. I used to think, you were okay. Sometimes you'd get all bitchy but I dealt with it. But you just, why now? Fucked me over three solid days in a row! Give me a break. I've been as unobtrusive as I could, didn’t want to piss you off, and this is how you thank me? By demonstrating your total power, or whatever fucked up idea it is you have this time? I'm your fucking
bitch, is that what you wanted to hear?

Eat me with a spoon.

Ever your loving,

Joanna.
09/22 Direct Link
French is the language of love, it is said. It flows off the tongue like fountain water. The trilled ss and throaty rs lend themselves to a language that sounds like silver bells pealing.

Speak English no longer -- speak in French! Your guttural English with their hard gs and your angry hs, you have lose the concept of romance. Only commanding, and conquering. Oh, to be able to speak French again, with the lightness of tongue that I used to have. Oh, to speak as I did when I was young...!

Peux-tu être aimer? Peux-tu te laisser être aimeé?
09/23 Direct Link
Someday, I think, I will tell them that I am sick of it all. I will gather my books and walk out of the classroom, and never mind the stares. They will forget me, then, and all will be well.

Someday I will finally open the door and step into the gold sunlight of the day. I will smile, perhaps half-apologetically, and tell them, I am sick of living half a life, the other half being not mine, but yours. You can write, but don’t expect regret; I'll be happy, and free.

But until then I’m caught in the grey.
09/24 Direct Link
And there are times when it all doesn't make sense, where you act like a child and you want to scream like one too; sometimes what you really want to do is stretch out along the floor and pound your fists and kick your legs and wriggle and writhe and cry. And there are times where you'll feel so small and useless, and people will say, it gets better than you know, dear and you will want to hurt them for it because in your heart of hearts, you know that it doesn't, and can't possibly -- not for you.
09/25 Direct Link
Warmth. Like summer and light on treetops, gentle loving breezes and blankets and sweaters. Lazy Sunday afternoons, honeysuckle and ginger, dust motes dancing slow ballads in the beams of the setting sun. Long stretch of gold. Miles of slick bronze. The scent of your skin.

Cold. Like winter and moonlight on snow, wisp of the night sky in voices like silver bells. Rainy Monday mornings, air thick with water, hairline cracks in a glacier rumbling half asleep, water dripping from iced stalactites. Wind like a whip. Fine polished silver. Blue so white it pierces. The slant of your eyes.
09/26 Direct Link
I know it's just not good of me to start a conversation when I've got so much to do. You talk and I feel like I should be talking back (well, hence the term 'conversation', a back-and-forth between two people. You talk. I talk) except I'm not.

It bothers you, I know; I see it, just a lurking shadow of doubt, right behind the backs of your eyelids. You're wondering, what's up with her, lately? But what you're asking is, are you ignoring me?

I'm not ignoring you, I mouth back. Hand already otherwise occupied, eyes elsewhere. I'm just busy.
09/27 Direct Link
Breathe. Gasp, arch. Flail, arch again. Buck and buckle, straining, sweat on the sheets and head twisting from side to side to side. Nightmare, the word comes to you suddenly. Trapped in steel bonds, darkness pressing up and in and around and snaking in your open eyes and mouth. Searing inside your skin, like you’re an empty shell and heat splashes around, white-hot. Scream, but you can’t scream. Scream, because you can’t not. Panic, flashing red lights in the back of your skull. Printing wild patterns all over your retina. This is not a test. This is not a test.
09/28 Direct Link
Who are you?

I'm lost.

No, what's your name?

There's no point in having one.

Where are you?

Where I am.

… you okay?

Yeah, I'm fine.

You said you were lost. Where are you headed?

Somewhere. Anywhere. I don't know. Why are you asking so many damn questions?

Just trying to help, I guess.

Don't. Oh, God.

What?

It hurts.

What does?

This thing... in my chest, I don't know what it's called.

Heart?

No, fuck, gave mine away ages ago.

What?

Never fucking mind.


You're not looking too great. Are you okay?

Yes. No. Fuck if I know.

09/29 Direct Link
Cyclones in the blood. Thunder down the spine. The hot, humid breath of rain in the air. Storms that make the electricity go out, taking away your electrical comforts one by one, and being trapped inside with your favourite cousin. Your grandpa turning up the radio to the song of the moment, while you and your cousin dance like madmen, mouth wide open with laughter; nature raging and venting. Sea storm-grey, clouds white with lightning. And you and Tracy (that's her name, your cousin) dance, and you dance, and your grandpa laughs and folds wontons with your mother and grandmother.
09/30 Direct Link
Letters you write. Letters you write and send, every other word crossed out. Letters you write, and send, every other word crossed out, and then hope for them to be lost, though they won’t be because you checked the address three times.

Letters he writes back. Intense joy; intense sadness. The former, because of the writing, which surely is a scrap of his soul in violet ink with splotches here and there. The latter, because he says, I’m sorry, but I’m not the same man you fell in love with anymore. I’ve gone, and I don’t think I’m coming back.