Monday, January 4, 2021

post traumatic perpetual

when memories stretch,

like a pillow over your face.

apologising to ghosts,

gangpressed (and powerless)

into some fucking wretched before.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

go to republican hell

 "I didn't always hate humans. The first time my father hit me, that's when I gave up on humans."

- Poison Ivy

Fuuuuuuck, yah, pretty much the same for me.

nothing to mourn

nothing to mourn

he killed whatever relationship we could have had again and again... until I just stopped bothering with resuscitation

he's been dead to me for ages. 

why should I care as he died choking on his own toxic beliefs?

beyond mild schadenfreude, of course

Monday, August 10, 2020

like a very patient spore

* at least I wrote down the important things, like "literary mathematics" and the thing about flaming hot cheezits. 

* but still, I forget. I forget to look so the message lies dormant, like, like one of those carboniferous spores.

* ...but, but the land was dry. the rain will never come.

* not before it's buried too deep, and its shell has begun to mineralize. Only then.

* the rain and the memory can only have come too late.

    the rain and the memory can only have come too late.

* worst of all, when, when I forget the key, to the lock, on my voice

    like a gorget of trauma, self loathing and shame.

    of course if I don't remember the ritual,

    in silence I'll wait


Sunday, April 26, 2020

content warning: self harm

without all the chemicals
(and just the right ones)
I am not a person.

and the zipper broke;
and the bottles,
orange and blue, rattled loose
and away
and I did not notice
because I was nervous.

and I am not person
just a void.
where a person should be

or I am sometimes a pacing thing
more animal than girl
clenched teeth have pressed
furrows into their match
how did that lighter, excellent fist pack,
make it to my hand

and I imagine again and again my violent death and again
sometimes silent scream

and I imagine the blood,
like a pleasant stream, exit me
in calm dark place somewhere.

I try to remember Aurelius.
I can't ask for help, my voice dies
from time to time.
So i try to remember
his oh so pretty thoughts,
specifically on the scale of things.
and that and connections to folx
but sometimes I can't remember

and so far I've remembered Aurelius
and the vast, nihilistic, beautiful scale of things
has, so far, been enough, to keep blood in my veins

because the size of the universe
is inside me, from time to time,
it's the only thing holding me together

Sunday, April 12, 2020

pony noir | the whole bloody tail

Hardy Sweets 
Stony Twinkle

     Celestia raised the sun too soon, Hardy Sweets was sure of that one. He rolled outta the hay and onto four shaking hooves. A cider hangover stuck like wet taffy. Through one big bloodshot eye, Hardy caught his reflection in the mirror.
     He looked like hell. Hardy’s five-o-clock shadow was a day or two late. His once deep purple mane looked positively lavender, so shot through with white. When had that started? At least his cutie mark still stood bold: two crossed peppermint sticks, ending in hammer heads.
     He needed a wash and hayburger. Instead, he ran a hoof through his greasy mane and choked down the dregs of a cider cup. With a practiced motion, Hardy tossed on his well-worn fedora. Biting down on a licorice stick, the gruff pony strode out into the angry light of day.
     The boss was missing. She’d been gone too long. It wasn’t like Stoney Twinkle to run off without notice. She was too careful. He didn’t like it, and tried to stop his thoughts just there. Like the grizzled stallion himself, Sweets’ thoughts rarely listened.
     Over the past few days, he had tried to float her whereabouts out of Equestria’s underbelly. All it netted him was overextended bar tabs and a terrible headache. So much for the peppermint stick, it was time for the hammer.
pony noir | part two: violent trails

     A long line of bruises brought Hardy Sweets from Foal Meadows to some dockside slum on the rump end of Manehatten.
     It began with Salty Sly and a bloody lip. Salty shouldn’t have run. That led Hardy to Yellow Feather, a wimpy sleaze of pegasus.
     Yellow was pretty small-time, really, a smuggler and conpony in one. He bought six bit train tickets to places all over Equestria, then sold ‘em for a single coin. He’d tack on a “Oh hey, could you drop this package to my uncle Hot Stars? He’s a unicorn, long story…”
     So far as Hardy knew, Yellow dealt in small stuff: bits and bobs of dubious providence, rare plants for mean little potions, griffon dust, and the like. He was also the best way to get a ticket somehweres on the sly.
     It was too bad because Hardy and the pegasus had a misunderstanding over a hoof of cards, long time back. Boss still dealt with him from time to time though. It made sense. Yellow wasn’t talking, though. He wouldn’t listen to reason. He wouldn’t listen to bits. He listened to pain. Hardy wasn’t all rough; he popped the asshole’s wing back into place when he was finished.
     Stoney Twinkle had dyed her mane and tail pink then headed east. Yellow thought she looked spooked and real mad all at once.
     Hardy knew who to look for then. A long series of hoof fights, criminals he knew by reputation, and dodging patrol colts got him what he needed.
     Stoney had bought some sorta antique book then left in the company Two-teeth Nectar, noted redrock molasses junkie and general sack of horseshit.
     So, there Hardy stood under the seedy yellow light of the Seahorse Lounge.
pony noir | part three: fade to black

     In a room full of manure it’s tough to find the right pile. Hardy reluctantly spit two bits to a mean looking unicorn hulking near the door.
     Inside, they all looked like desperate ghosts, too pale, too skinny. Above the bar bottles gathered dust. Each table drowned under old wax and melting candles. The barpony pointedly looked away whenever some scarce-lit hoof thrust a shaking spoon into a flame, cooking waxy stones into caustic syrup. Otherwise the clientele stuck to the shadows along the walls.
     For several minutes Hardy stood near the door staring daggers in every direction. The candles burned bright, hiding everything outside their circles in shifting murk. All Hardy heard was heavy breathing and needy sighs.
     With a snort, he clopped towards the bar. A sallow orange earth pony squinted at him from the other side.
     “Whadda ya want?” she demanded.
     Hardy put ten bits on the counter.
     She poured him a cup so watered down it wouldn’t foam.
     “Know a fella named Two-teeth?” he asked loudly.
     “Never heard of him,” she said with a pointed glance towards the far corner.
     All ten bits slid into her apron.
     A wan white pony clambered wildly out the door. Why did they all have to run?
Hardy wasn’t much on distance anymore, but lucky for him they didn’t call it molasses because it’s sticky. Slow junkies were Hardy’s personal favorite type. The white, shivering colt had dropped out of breath in a conveniently dim alleyway. There was just enough streetlight for Hardy to make out the faded form of a paintbrush on the poor kid’s flank.
     “Look I don’t plan to hurt ya,” Hardy spat out up front, failing to keep from sounding winded. “I just need to ask you a question about a book.”
     “Ah, shit, friend, anything but that,” Two-teeth stammered. “Somepony, else turns up out there, they’ll know it was me. You don’t understand.”
     “I’m just lookin’ for my friend.”
     “You don’t get it. They’ll kill me.”
     “I can get ya outta here, bud,” Hardy offered as kindly as the gruff old bastard could.
     “You don’t understand. They’ll find me!”
     “You don’t understand; I already found ya.”
     The kid clammed up tight, a sad quivering pile of nothing good. Hardy sighed and took off his coat. Turning sideways the old brute flexed his back legs.
     Cocking his head towards his own cutie mark, “Time was, friend, I could kick a brick to dust.”
Silence did all the talking for a bit.
     “How long it been since you painted anything?”
     “A while.”
     “I got thirty bits in that coat on the ground. That can buy you ticket far away and whole hell of a lot of art supplies.”
     Quiet overtook the conversation again.
     “Okay, fine!” the colt finally blurted.
     “I’m listening, kid.”
     Hardy didn’t see the surprise in Two-teeth’s eyes until it was too late.
     A splash of stars and fade to black.
pony noir | part four: a better vantage point

     Oh Celestia, the big galoot has always proved helpful, even when he doesn’t mean to be.
     Name’s Stoney, Stoney Twinkle, and this is my story, I guess.
     It started the way these things so often do, a worried mare walked into my office. It was an old yarn.
     Her colt got caught up with a bad crowd, with all the typical trouble that brings. He hopped a train to the big bad city. She hadn’t heard head nor tail since. It should’ve been a simple trick to turn so I just let Hardy sleep it off.
     Besides, I didn’t think the client could take my rates and my bruiser’s too.
I started with the young punk’s shiftless associates. When dealing with vagrant young fellas, it helps to be pretty.
     I’m still young enough to sparkle, wise enough to shine, as they say. Coat’s deep blue, and my mane’s a glossy black (at least up until the pink recent). Big jet-black eyes don’t hurt the equation, it all adds up to an easy time with most stallions and not a few mares. For some reason, they never seem to notice the brain behind my wink.
     Anyway, several winks later I got what I needed. The kid was into some bad stuff. Redrock’s nothing to sneeze at, but it was about to get weirder. It always does.
The kid hadn’t been quiet. He headed to Manehatten, somewheres dockside, to cut out the middle-pony and get his fix from the source. That’s some damn dangerous shit to do. I needed to pull him out quick, but I also had some enemies in the area. I probably should’ve tracked down Hardy, but instead      I colored my mane and rode the first train East.
I couldn’t quite put my hoof on it, but something about this was spooky. The kids seemed pale and shaky, even for molasses junkies. They were scared, too: almost too scared to care about my wink, almost.
     So anyways, there I was, hid on the roof of some clapboard tenement, watching my partner and my missing pony get drug off into the night. They finally came for the kid; surprisingly things were shaping up nearly to plan.
     Hold up, I jumped ahead again.
     So anyways, I rolled into Manehatten and found the kid right off… seriously, as easy as that. He was the junkie buying up old books. Which was weird, a damned weird thing to be doing. Quirk his mom forgot to mention maybe?
     I spoke to a few book dealers. Seems the kid was buying up the dream journals of some long dead unicorn named Neverhoof. The ol’ fella’s spell books were long gone, holed away in some secret Canterlot library. The journals were curios, traded by obscure historians.
     The kid somehow kept bringing in the bits, though he looked and smelled like a forgotten back alley. He had to be in deep with somepony , somepony wealthy, somepony dangerous, somepony going through a lot of trouble and redrock to not be seen buying these books.
     It smelled like bad hoodoo, and I began to regret not charging a bigger retainer.
     Trouble was, nopony can pull somepony else outta situation like that. It never shakes that simple.
     It could be that easy; that’s the annoying part. A short walk and a train ticket coulda got that kid home. I coulda collected my bits and suggested the reunited family move a ways South or West.
     Not nothing’s ever gonna be that easy, though. Kid felt trapped so he was trapped. That’s that.
     ‘Course, a few days after I started tailing him, that situation got fairly literal.
     I needed to act quick, but quiet. With a soft and less than feminine snort, I lit up the tiny horn hidden under my wavy mane.
     Horn’s so small, most nocreature knows I’m a unicorn. Don’t go flapping your fucking gums about it, okay?
     Only ever learned one spell, and with that tiny horn, it hurt to lift a feather duster. So catching all four shoes as I trotted off the damn roof, stung like biting flies inside my skull. It hurt and but bad, but my Quiet Hooves spell worked.
     I landed an inch above the ground, without a sound. It was a bit like jumping onto an old hay mattress; nothing broke, but my knees joined right in with the pain in my head. I silently galloped behind three beefy bastards hauling off my unconscious partner and my whimpering mark towards the docks. I hoped like hell they didn’t have a row-boat in mind.
     If their boat wasn’t big enough to hide in, my options got real short: let it go and walk away (wasn’t a real option), fight (I’d probably lose and might be left behind, maybe worse), or try to get myself captured (not ideal).
     Two stallions had Hardy tossed across their back. Stallion’s got that special vulnerability, especially from behind. Quiet Hooves meant I’d get a free shot at both of ‘em. Then I either kick down the third fella (unlikely), or let him rough me up and turn into a hostage. Of course, he might just leave me bleeding to death in this muddy back lane.
     I really, really hoped their boss-pony had sprung for a decent sized boat. At the very least, I could probably produce a few geldings before I went down.
     I shoulda asked for a bigger fucking retainer.
pony noir | part seven : thermodynamics

     When I was a li’l philly, Science was my favorite subject. It all made sense, made me feel better. If you could do the math, if you could think it through, you could control it. It was yours. Who the hell needed magic? I had Celestia-be-damned science!
     Almost became a research mare, actually. Until, I fell in with a… never you mind. That’s another story for another time, pony.
     Anyway, what I was getting at:
     The wind was teaching me a real hard damned lesson in thermodynamics. Heat exchange, ya know? See, everything wants to reach equilibrium. The fire and a cold kettle are trying to balance each other out, and in between it nets ya some tea.
     Well I’m guessing the choppy waves was just a hair above freezing, the wind just as rough. There science was, trying reach an equilibrium between my warm body and the hard, cold open sea. All the while, the wind bit like a drunk bastard mule.
     I was on a named, private yacht, freezing my flank. This told me a few things. The pony behind this scheme wasn’t very smart, and I shoulda dressed better.
     I had the whoever-it-was dead to rights. The boat sure as manure wasn’t stolen so the owner of record for the E. S. Plentiful…
     Assuming anypony believed the story of a two-bit detective from Foal Meadows with too many priors. All I had to do was survive the cold, the goons, whatever bad hoodoo was out there without getting arrested or stomped to death, and I was golden.
     Sad to say, pretty sure I’ve been in tighter spots, but I musta been too drunk to remember.
pony noir | part eight : float away

     It turned sour like a popping kumquat; the thought came too late. I played the safe bet, and unsurprisingly, I lost. Every steaming breath was one closer, one closer.
     I should've charged the door ten minutes before, but I held out. Now I was warm, warm and tired.      Hypothermia had me.
     I suddenly remembered work yielded heat, but it was too late. My legs were rubber, and I was about drift away. My muscles weren't mine any more. Took a tumble with the frigid air and lost it all.
     That same damn thought was trying to force its way through, but I wasn't really there anymore.
     "Work equals heat."
     "All work produces heat.'
     "All work..."
     I was too loopy to feel the deck beneath me when I drifted away.
     Cut to black, everypony.
pony noir | part nine : narration 
     So how come Hardy gets a narrator, and Stony tells her own tale?
     We’ll isn’t nopony that was gonna tell Stony’s story but her, and Hardy wouldn’t believe he had a story to tell anyways. Point being, you’re saddled with me again, everypony.
     Hardy awoke to the smell of blood, buckets of the stuff. Not everypony knows that smell, but the old bruiser sure as Celestia knew it. Rough mooring ropes cinched tight against all four of his legs.
     After a few reckless minutes, the stallion figured out his bones would break before the line. He quit fighting and suffered through some thinking.
     First he noted the kid wasn’t with him.
     Then a seasick stomach and rough dip aft (maybe fore) clued him he was on a boat.
     Moonlight filtering through the open top half of a door, along with the fact he wasn’t too thirsty, and didn’t seem to have pissed himself, told him it was probably the same night.
     There was something wrong with the stink of all that blood. Hardy decided it couldn’t’ve come from the kid. (Hardy’s always been a bit secretly optimistic.)
     Then the bottom door flung open revealing the ghostly outline of Two-teeth. The kid quickly slipped in a puddle of blood, crashing into Hardy. From there it turned into a gory slap-stick number until the big stallion finally got untied.
     “It killed them all! We’ve got to run!”
     “Woah, there pony-boy, can’t run in the water.”
     “We, we crashed into a dock…”
pony noir | part ten: a sudden storm

     It wasn’t a long jump, even on old bones. Hardy took it in stride, but the colt was fucking folly incarnate.
     Lightning struck.
     Kid slipped, fell short, and cracked his skull before taking a cold dip in the angry ocean. Only by a miracle succession of lightning strikes did Hardy manage to pull the pale pony out from a wine-dark sea. Nearly lost a tooth for his trouble.
     Still, damn kid had a swollen mound of trouble just above his eyes, lacerated and weeping blood too. With a tired snort and a bit of effort the stallion got Two-teeth onto his back before galloping away.
     The sullen glow of fire-light steamed in the sudden rain to his right so Hardy booked it headlong and half blind to his left. Lightning and luck conspired to hide the ravine until the two of ‘em were tumbling headlong into the muddy bottom.
     As he fought to regain his breath, a deep red unicorn appeared in a fiery flash.
     “Horseshit…” Hardy managed to cough out before spinning ‘round to kick the smirk off her mouth.
pony noir | part eleven: a bit more pain

     Hardy felt a satisfying snap beneath his bucking hooves. Spinning back around, he lost this vicious grin. The kid hung mid-air between Hardy and the Unicorn. Two bruising hoofprints stood out on top of the kid’s now shattered ribs. It even looked like Two-teeth had a shard of skull pushing out from top of his head.
     Before Hardy could comprehend, Two-teeth and the red unicorn disappeared with an echoing laugh into a sheet of flame. Somewhere off to the right, a bonfire flared high into the sky.
     The old brute just barely managed to pull himself out from the ravine. Had it been anypony else, they’d have taken a breather and tried to think, but it was Hardy. He charged towards the fire with every ounce of speed and anger he could summon.
     The kid sat dazed on the precipice of a burning pit. A white spine of bloody bone protruding above closed eyes. The unicorn stood close, foreleg around Two-teeth’s shaking shoulders. Her eyelids hung low above a wicked grin.
     Hardy barreled ahead. His lavender mane shone in a flurry of lightning strikes. He couldn’t hear the thunder of his own hooves above the thunder in the sky. He surprised even himself as he leapt smoothly across the ruddy pit.
     In a blink, something black and green blasted against Hardy’s flank. His momentum shifted, sending him careening into the pit’s sandy edge. His great hooves dug desperate furrows into the ground even as his tail caught alight. The kid’s glowing green eyes and wicked smile cut through Hardy like a knife made of bile.
     “Your almost back to us, love,” purred the red unicorn.
     “Just one, last thing, darling,” a voice like honey on sandpaper announced through the kid’s awkward teeth.
     Hardy fell. His eyes shut firmly against the overwhelming heat. All the air smashed out of his lungs, and he resigned himself to die. More than anything his heart sunk for the damned kid.
     Drawing cold, wet air into his lungs, Hardy looked up in time to see the screaming kid dissolve into a puddle of blood and shadows.
Nearby, Stony tangled gamely with a distraught red Unicorn. The frenzy did the red mare no favors. Stony ducked, jumped, bobbed, and weaved while Red built into a wild crescendo.
Finally, Red backed Stony up against the burning pit. Red charged. Stony dropped supine and kicked like a mule. That was that. The howling, red Unicorn arched gracelessly into the flames.
     Hardy stood with a grimace and a streak of muttered curses.
     “You owe me on this one, Stony.”
     She looked across the flames before tilting her head towards the puddle that’d been Two-teeth.
     “I’ll be the one to tell his ma.”
     “We’re square,” he agreed with a sigh.
     A few hours later, Celestia raised the sun. Hardy and Stony rowed rapidly away from the burning remains of Councilpony Sanguine Dreams’ yacht.
     “Her father was an historian so I’m guessing that’s the connection to Neverhoof.”
     “That still doesn’t make no sense, Stony.”
     “Magic, I guess, is the rest of the story,” Stony shrugged.
     She looked worse for wear than the big guy so he let it go. The two of ‘em gingerly rowed generally west. They hoped to hit the coast by nightfall and be back to Foal Meadows by the next morning.
     Stony snorted. There was no way she’d be charging the kid’s mom anything else. Bad news never pays the bills. It had been one of the hardest gigs she’d ever worked, especially to lose ten bits on it.
     She probably should’ve asked for a bigger retainer, but that was a lesson Stony wouldn’t never learn.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

for tomorrow:

(a prose poem

[and invocation to some deities of my personal figurative pantheon])

I call upon Aurelius! for the discipline, courage, and pragmatism I desperately need. Help me to reflect, as did you.

I call now upon Janeway! I pray: please grant me some of your poise and strength. That I might do what needs to be done, with the clarity to succeed. I love you, ma’am. (Oh, we’re in a crunch.)

I call upon Brody Dalle, remind me of the beauty possible even in pain, my goddess.

Also I call on Epicurus, ancient, straight forward, and wise. Help me remember, oh Founder of the Garden, help me to remember that pain can be a deferment for good things. It is a cost of continued living. In this too, Aurelius I ask of you, speak the scale of the observable universe into my soul.

And finally, I call upon Starlight Glimmer and Sunset Shimmer, my favorite ponies/pastel-magic-school-girls: help me to forgive myself of my past mistakes. (I work so hard to correct them.) Remind me to be open, pony-like.

I beg of y’all to aid me that I might survive this.

Evey <3

Saturday, January 4, 2020

video game noises

content warning: rambling personal essay

I don’t play video games. At all, really.

The last videah game I gave a continuous-fuck about was Kingdom ofLoathing: browser based, stick figure art, surreal stupid fantasy, a surprising number of They Might Be Giants references. It’s a game almost made for me visually and thematically. And now I can play it for maybe a few hours before just being done for a few years.

Video games used to be very important to me. Then, somehow, they became inimical to my identity for a long time.

B/c of course, being the excessive sort of bitch I am, I was loudly (and drunkenly) almost anti-video game in my twenties. Which is stupid. Jesus fuck, that’s dumb. Why was I so dumb?

No one answer that.

Anyway, I’m still trying to suss out what the fuck happened. That’s, I guess, the purpose of this essay. (Which I am writing to the sounds of chiptune punk.)

As a little girl, I cormorously consumed NES games. It was a reliable escape. It was a group(ish) activity my increasingly fat ass could participate in without revealing how out of breath I’d gotten so soon. (Or how dumb-fuckedly sweaty I’d gotten for no godsdamned reason.)

More than that, it’s something that lends itself to dissociation. Play that weird Looney Tunes game for a several hours. Remember maybe the first and last minutes with any more clarity that a half forgotten dream.

I got to be Princess Peach. I think she’s the only character I’ve actually beaten Mario 2 with.

But being Princess Peach was important in a way I couldn’t articulate at the time. I got to be a girl, with no one questioning or mocking me too intently for it. ALSO, her cute- ass, pink dress was a thing of power. I quietly loved her with an intensity. (I read so many Mario Bros books, drew so many Mario Bros, religiously watched that weird fucking cartoon...)

Then, I just didn’t care. It happened with comic books too.

My standard explanation was always, “...and then I found DnD so what the fuck did I need this shit for?!” It’s an assumption I had not questioned in a long time.

So what actually happened?

Some of it was probably that I’m not that great at them.

Some of it was almost definitely just, just one less thing to fight with my grandparents over. DnD, Magic the Gathering, etc.: all banned eventually, only ever weren’t because I fought tooth and nail to try in the first place. Video games were a precarious category, always on the verge of being banned. Comics too.

I gave up. To make it more bearable, I made their banishment my own decision.

outdated hierarchical thought (with commentary from the me that is now)
  • romantic era poetry > comics so fuck ‘em. (Not true. Not mutually exclusive states obviously. I named myself after Evey Hammond for fuck’s sake.)
  • ttrpgs > video games so fuck ‘em. (Excepting the “fuck ‘em”, still my assessment I suppose.)
  • dead inside > feelings (dumb)
I dunno.

Video games are an incredibly important part of my past. As I was reminded by the music on Unikitty!, 8 bit-ish video game noises are deeply good sounds for me. Pixel art often flips those same sort of switches in my brain.

Still some residual resistance to the idea of playing video in my brain, but I dunno I can recognize and appreciate them a bit more now.

So growth or whatever. I don’t have a point.

The mutable vagaries of my psyche still often surprise me.

And when I’m in the right mood, I play Scorched Earth.