Today was weird. Many thanks to Krislyn, Bianca, Mama, and Russell for helping me demolish unwanted roses in the parking lot. I know you have eyes, now use your ears.
New article up for the Boston Hassle, covering Tree AKA Tremaine Jackson’s album ‘Trap Genius':
“Tackling topics close to home, Johnson’s music is lyrically heavy, switching back and forth between protest and self-indulgence…Johnson’s music is deeply rooted in his community, illuminating others on the outside about gang violence, drug abuse, and the struggle of combating with a potentially racist policeman, a topic that obviously cuts deep. Tree isn’t afraid of sounding preachy.” – 5/13/2015
I drank several glasses of strong tea that were labeled ‘proceed with caution’ – I tapped my fingers and clicked my tongue. I fashioned myself an outfit made from dusty doilies and called it a day. My heart began to expand from the inside, with my chest tightening, I knew it would soon explode. I started snapping at children and felt eager to do it again, the numbness I had held for months was going by the wayside. High octane energy was what I needed – yes, yes, yes! It felt good to be angry for no reason and annoyed at the slightest thing – at least now when I would be awake (!) for hours on end I could say I did so purposely and with style (!) …And in the end, when the exploding of my heart would open up my chest cavity – I would be the one solely responsible – lest suffer a half-assed job done by someone else.
“Ya know,” I said to the air, knowing The Specialist was behind me, without having to turn around.
“Ya know, I could very easily burn The Woods down and build a mall while I have all this pent-up energy, just before my heart gives out…”
“I could just as easily let you and build one as I could whistle Dixie. It would just grow back though and eventually ivy would climb all over the architecture, consuming it whole, making a mockery of any and all man-made creation,” he admitted.
“So what now?”
“We could both light the match…” he began.
We made eye contact.
“…Or we could both run away, straight out of The Woods, promising not to look back at each other – ”
“Running out of here in opposite directions?” I prodded.
“Yes, I’ll take the left and you can take the right…”
“…And we’ll go about our lives in order to have some semblance of sanity in our daily routine – ”
“Because life is difficult enough – ”
” …And if we happen to run into each other on the outside, somewhere in the middle, perhaps we could share a chuckle or casually comment on the weather,” I smiled.
“It could be nice…”
“Yeah, I think it really could be.”
We both sighed, shook hands, took turns slapping each other across the face, smiled, and with our fingers crossed behind our backs, proceeded to run for our lives. It was a start.
Suddenly a wild yellow dog with a determined look in its eye, started nipping at our heels and ended up following me home. A swirling vortex of a black hole appeared out of nowhere, sucking calendars and farm animals into it. By way of no other alternative escape, I jumped in narrowly escaping its paws. I was then drawn into the past, ruining an otherwise poignant and dare I say, positive, ending to this story.
(ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE ENDING)
The dog managed to take me down and drew blood. I turned into a puppet only functioning with strong emotions.
(ALTERNATIVE TO THE ALTERNATIVE ENDING, ENDING)
My brain grew toned arms that jutted out of my ears. My other miscellaneous and vital organs patched themselves up with duct tape and staples. I bit the dog and everyone else real and/or imagined from the past, present and/or future that ever felt they could take advantage of me. I took a deep breath and journeyed towards something people call ‘inner peace.’
I had traveled a great distance without so much as a canteen of water to quench me. I had left The Woods in search of some deep and meaningful solitude. I had left no notes, no smoke signals, said no goodbyes, nor held any shards of glass up towards the sun – I wasn’t sure if I could ever, really, truly return to The Woods. I threw my hands up and embraced clouds that dissipated into nothing. My jaw tensed up and I bit myself forty-seven times. I continued my journey down to a beach where nearby trees grew beautiful and taunted the spring season, as if they were hurrying it along. My feet rummaged through hot sand as I got closer to the water’s edge.
It was an awkward way to say hello but I gave myself a pep talk and made my way over to two women chatting. The waves of the sea cascaded my limbs into an adolescent doggy-paddle and despite their noticeable laughter, I knew I had to be near them. The water was littered with letters in bottles and the current was getting stronger as my body grew weaker. I couldn’t construct a visual picture of their faces, they seemed to be floating further and further away, ever gracefully, submitting themselves to the caress of a nature that could just as easily consume them. Arms stretched out, back down, and with their legs lined up forward, they became the property of the ocean. I feared I would never catch up to them. Feverishly pushing past all the bottles and quickly disintegrating pieces of paper, I kicked my legs while I still had enough momentum. Just as I thought I was making progress, I caught a glimpse of an ornate bottle, covered in precious stones. Distracted by what I thought contained an important letter, I reached for it and drowned.
I opened my eyes to the contrary, surviving. Multiple vanity mirrored faces hovered above my now awoken body. They were people with arms and legs and torsos and genitalia but their faces became contorted reflections of mine. I screamed and backed away as abruptly as I could. I closed my eyes, begging for an eternal slumber where perhaps I could have more control over the situation. Blackness fell before me and the Mirror People all fell down into little bits and pieces, shattering their very existences.
A talkative man who looked a lot like The Magician, dancing with an unidentified woman in a red ballgown, scratched his head and made a copy of himself dancing with a copied unidentified woman in a red ballgown. They danced around in circles to a sort of trinket box kind of music, not particularly filled with glee or malice. The first version kept dancing, even as all my loved ones got stabbed in the face with forks. The second version stumbled in the darkness, stepping on toes and the second woman fell over. I stared from afar with my mouth agape as every single one of my teeth fell out. A man with a smile kept shoving bibs that read ‘Daddy’s Little Multiracial Lustchild’ in front of my face, grunting heavily, as a friend lingered close by. Somewhere in the distance a familiar face was giving birth to another demon baby. An attractive youth with a dry throat blushed every time he walked up to me, even as I continued to regrow teeth only to loose them, creating a faucet-like effect of blood, enamel, dentin, and pulp down my chin. It was all a lot of hullabaloo and I wondered where the actual love was.
I opened my eyes and eased my way up to my feet. The ocean was vast and sparkling. I took a deep breath, feeling muscles where muscles had never been felt before. I turned my back and headed back towards The Woods, I was sure I would die there but not without a fight. Besides, I had a few more lives to spare. I laughed at myself repeatedly.
Originally posted on The Lankville Daily News:
Sarah Samways is a contributing female.
DUMB BITCH CAN’T CONNECT
Dubbed the town’s “dumb bitch,” Abby Basic, 25, was seen running around town trying to plug cords and various wires into people as if they were wall sockets. Lifting up people’s shirts and pulling down their pants in local eateries and teen hangouts, Basic attempted to plug disconnected phone chargers, power adapters, and extension cords into patrons’ orifices. Chef and restaurateur of the popular 4 ¾ starred X86 Bistro, Mark Garabedian, was “…in complete shock” and had to restrain Basic himself with the help of an unnamed busboy.
“It was horrible. This awful woman barged in past the maître d’, covered head-to-toe in all these wires that weren’t plugged into anything and then was harassing all the patrons. She kept yelling ‘I’m trying to connect!’ and then proceeded to literally plug people. I ended up having to…
View original 595 more words
The blurry figure in black turned out to be quite the magician. He decided the best way to deal with me was to turn into a mallard duck and turn me into a fuzzy rabbit. With a wave of his hand, we could truly converse in that very strange way that animals do. He flew and I hopped up a short staircase and into a crowded house, in hopes of finding temporary shelter from the onslaught of rain out in The Woods. I stuck my tongue down his throat and knew that we would be friends from here on out.
“I don’t believe in love,” he uttered awkwardly.
I didn’t quite believe him but perhaps that was my own sweet, sweet naiveté. I paused and looked at him for a little too long, then shook my head. We would know more about each other in time.
“This beating, awful thing in our bodies is more than just an appendage! Yours went through a meat grinder and mine went through a paper shredder but these pieces can always be retrieved and taped back together!” I cried, trying hard to believe in my own words.
“Eventually, the process, once repeated, creates too many fragile and microscopic shreds and the tape begins to loose its hold. My mending tricks and healing spells can only work so many times, my magic diminishes as the years pass. I’m not saying this out of depression, really…it’s more of pure exhaustion,” The Magician admitted.
I silently acknowledged his position and the position that most hold at critical times in their lives. It made sense. I was young, but it made sense. I vomited unresolved issues in the corner of a dark room. Outside, tree leaves were glittering with dew. I looked behind me and just like that, he was gone.
Spring has sprung!
Originally posted on The Lankville Daily News:
I sat down with horticulturist extraordinaire, Sally Bolting, as she explained to me the ways in which to care for rare plants in a fragile ecosystem. Lankville, although most notably attributed with having vast and shiny malls, also contains sprawling gardens and intricately designed shrubs. I promise they’re there, right behind the malls and to the left. Yes, those.
BOLTING: The key to every garden is patience, persistence, and potting soil. I call ‘em the three Ps…
SAMWAYS: Is there a particular brand of potting soil that you would suggest to our readers?
SB: (long pause) It’s dirt. You’re missing the point, here. Now, shut up and listen. You see these bright, yellow Fidgetywhatsits? These crimson Welldontchaknows? They need sustenance every three hours; water and sunlight on their leaves is necessary on a consistent basis.
SS: Really? That seems like overkill.
SB: In order…
View original 310 more words
I got deeper into the darkness, chasing after that multicolored light. I basked myself in its warm and finally tangible embrace. I was safe from the cries of the misconstrued, Ol’ Bat, Teenybopper, The Specialist, and the whole fucking lot of them. I hid under a blanket of roses for awhile and refused to appear despite their calls to come out and play. When I was eventually found, all I could do was listen to what they had to say. The longer I laid under that blanket of roses, the harder it became to move – I knew I was slowly paralyzing myself. I gnawed my way through the increasingly tightening vines, blood dripping from my thorn bitten lips. I stood up.
“Nice to see you again!” they all shouted earnestly.
I was an emotional wreck that was behaving true to form but I silently chided myself because they all were too. They were giggling and puking and talking too much and not talking enough and crying and dying and living and learning and loving and dying…
The Specialist threw me a basketball and apologized for hitting me in the face with it multiple times before.
“You must think I’m the most gullible person here!” I shouted.
He threw himself on the ground and showed me his belly, as a sign of his vulnerability. I sighed. We played War, we played Manhunt, we played Hide-N’-Go-Seek , we played Poker, we played Chess. The Specialist had an arsenal of people and/or props and a tool-kit that dated back before I was even a prayer in my mother’s throat. I had just myself to rely on towards winning these games. Now, naturally it would be assumed that he would win for he had the advantage of premeditation, scholastic connections, and a penchant for hazing the new kid. But call it beginner’s luck because I held my own. When our final game was finished we looked towards the sky for our score cards. We looked back down and slowly met each other’s gaze upon the realization and the absolute horror of a stalemate.