Watch Him Dance

Watch Him Dance
Phoenix B Meadows

He thinks to think apart
Is to be smart,
So he lets no facts support him.
As if they were crutches for broken wings and he must throw them to prove he can fly alone into the unknown where everyone already knows
Logic is not.

Logic is not his master,
Nor his friend.
He courts it with flowery words that drive it farther up trees
While he barks his facts
Mass produced at the manufactory of his mind.
Flawed and without reason,
Without punctuality, chivalry or equanimation to make sense of him.
It is his deflation.

A deflation of ego that he tries to correct
By blowing more hot air everywhere.
Pump it up like a balloon,
Watch it swell as you batter others into submission under your lawless logic and persistent belligerence.

No matter what he tries though,
What lies he says,
Knowing them to be just that, and nothing more,
We all can see him for what he is,
The fool.

He plays jester to the king,
Spilling out his words like golden coins,
Expecting us the leap to get them, stepping on one another in our hurry for his half-baked shit, gilded to glitter and disguise what it hides.

He dances fine, and puts on a show,
Pretending all the things he doesn’t knows.

The fool lives on forever,
Different body,
Different face,
You can find him all the same.

We watch him try to reign.

Advertisements

Write Right, Ya Ninnies #2

Write Right, Ya Ninnies:

Making That Character #1

Minor Characters.

First off, if anyone has ever told you you write wrong, tell them to stuff it. If they say it again, I’m obligated to pretend to fight them on your behalf.

Onward.

Some people say minor characters don’t really matter. Some people use them like scenery in the background, and that’s okay if it’s just something like your character walking through a busy square. Then, you wouldn’t want to describe everyone—that would be tedious and not fun to either read, or write (who wants three pages taking about every style of clothing and hairdo that are being sported in an airport? Okay, probably someone, people are weird though. Don’t be a people, persons.)

I say, they are extremely important, no matter what you are doing with them. From the shop keeper you Main Character(MC) robbed, to the guy who was drinking by them that one time in the weird bar with crumbs on all the stools. They’re important.

Why?

Because they’re still people, they have stories, we just don’t know them. They definitely have stories though. Just like me, and you, and the person who checks you out at Kroger (not the machine. It does not, in fact, have a story, it’s just annoying). We all have stories, lives. But if the people in your story world are too flat, and all sound, or look the same, it will feel like one of those video games that uses ten voice actors for everything—I’m looking at you, Skyrim. And while that might not be the end of the world, it’s unimmersive, and unimpressive to say the least—especially when unlike voice acting, imagination is free, if some work.

So whether it’s just a person my Point Of View character notices because of the way they dress, or move, anyone they truly “see” instead of just, “People milled about the square,” should have something that sets them up as unique. A visible tick, odd clothing, a weird accent, interesting lines. Something, anything, that hints at their story. Perhaps the innkeeper is wary of strangers, the main character may not find out for three chapters why that was, maybe even never, but it adds a layer of depth. And lets be honest, there’s something wrong, and interesting, about any innkeeper who is afraid of strangers. Something is wrong there. And where something is wrong, there’s conflict, and a story.

So before you spit out that next cookie cutter minor character, stop for a moment and ask yourself three questions:

1) Do they have a defining physical feature that makes them worth the main character’s notice? Clothing? An eye-patch? Gold teeth? A creepy dead-inside stare?

2) Are they in a situation that would draw the MC’s notice? A bit of conversation they pass on the street that gives them pause? A knife fight with a grizzly bear? Singing bawdily as they walk down the street? Just can’t stop sneezing (hey, I don’t know what kind of story you’re writing.)?

3) What sort of traits do they have? Are they nice? Mean? Shifty?

Then pick some from as many of those categories as you need. For our wary innkeep it might be something like this:

Defining features: A burn mark across the back of his left hand he keeps trying to cover with his sleeve which isn’t quite long enough to reach.

His relevance to the MC: He’s the one the MC has to talk to in order to get a room in the inn.

Traits: Twitchy, avoids, eye contact, is afraid of strangers (you can add a reason, it might help to flesh them out, bit it might not be needed).

For just some random person the MC notices in passing, there doesn’t need to be as much, just one of those questions answered can take a character not worth noticing and turn them into someone who feels like a part of the world, instead of a cardboard cut out in the back drop.

Remember, your only budget is imagination! Go forth and create words!

Write right, ya ninnies!

The Baby Blanket Squad

Well, it happened again–it’s Friday!
I hope you’re all doing well. Schools are starting to get out, it’s beginning to feel like summer, and it’s time to crack down on the writing.

So, I hope you like my story. Tell me what you think if you want, or just stare at the title and wonder what sort of crazy I am. Whatever.

The Baby Blanket Squad
By Phoenix B. Meadows

When I was small–and more than a little naive–I thought that hiding under the blankets would protect me from monsters. Even then, I found it somehow childish, in only a way a ten-year old can find a thing such.
I would hide, huddled in terror, hearing the words all mothers tell their children, “There are no such thing as monsters.” In every language, in every tone, those words are whispered, screamed, and and told to us–the babes–in every home.
A song of denial.
I break from the remembrance and take the manilla envelope she has been holding out towards me, for what I suddenly realize has been some time.
“Kill it,” the woman says, my fingers closing on the envelope. My brightly painted nails stick out against the dull color.
“I always do,” I tell her, a grim sort of resignation in my voice.
“And, Blake.”
I frown at the use of my first name, but make no comment.
“Be careful, those with the trueborn sight are rare–we need all of you.”
Naturally, it isn’t some warm sentiment Somehow, I’m not surprised.
I only nod and say, “I was born to fight what lurks under the bed, you think I’m stopping now?”

Dear Cleats, A Poem By Phoenix B. Meadows

Dear Cleats
By Phoenix B. Meadows

 

I don’t know how I feel about your shoes.

You use our souls as if they were your own personal
Doormat,
Wiping off a bit off this, and a bit of that,
Onto them.
And I would just like to say,
I don’t know how I feel about your shoes.

See, we were used to them before.
The ridges all worn down and smooth from time spent walking in those shoes,
But now you have new ones,
And correct me if I’m wrong,
But aren’t they cleats?

They bury deep,
Like thorns lodged in fingers turning into splinters as they break off inside tired flesh.

I don’t know how I feel about your cleats.

We could almost ignore you before,
When you came to the door after a long day,
Treading over us and wiping the mud off your shoes and into our souls like we were wet-wipes,
Only waiting for just that moment when you would come along.

People, are not we-wipes,
And if you think they are,
Then you my friend,
Are a dick.

Now you scrub your thorn fortified toes across us and grin.

Pain,
Makes you grin.

You look at the world and you see a playground built of people,
And a thrift-store made out of the half used skin of others.

You see things.

And I suppose it isn’t your fault,
Right?

You were raised this way,
Learning from before you could walk that it was okay to crawl over others,
And as a child,
You ran
Over others.

Whether with your car on the street as a bypasser passed by at just the wrong minute,
And the option was slow down,
And not win the race to nowhere fast,
Or hit them.
And so you hit them.
Or the girl you pushed over in school as you flew down the halls, pushing her face in the dirt so you could move faster with red-hot, double-blind vision that said only you mattered.

I suppose that was your parents fault.
You were raised knowing you were better,
And better meant perfect.

I say it’s your fault though.

Every time your new cleats dig in,
I tell you.

Because it might not have been your fault then,
And you might have not know better, and you might have been told it was okay to use the skin of another person like a sweater.
But I am not your sweater.

And you,
Are not a child any longer.

You are grown,
And grown means that if you haven’t learned then you won’t.
So your feet will keep walking across us on you way home like we’re nothing.

We are not nothing.

We are people.
And a person is a person no matter their shape, size, skin tone, speech pattern, sexual affiliation, who they love or what their favorite kind of soda is.
We’re still people,
And dear Cleats,
You are not.

A Shared Breath, A Poem By Phoenix B. Meadows

A Shared Breath

By Phoenix B. Meadows
We share a breath,
You
And I.

Lost in a moment of thick time,
In which it doesn’t matter that neither of us knows,
I’m about to blow this thing.

And for a single,
Timeless moment,
I don’t.

And we share a breath.

Then I pull back,
Because yours stinks like the reek of a dying world.

It’s the smell of a thing left out in the car during that hottest week of summer.
When it’s all you can do to drag yourself from that old Chevy LUV,
Whose AC broke the same year your brother gave it to you, because mom finally bought him,
“Something nice enough to have girls in,”
Never mind that you are a girl.

So it’s really no surprise you didn’t remember the half eaten sandwich sitting in the other seat as you clambered out,
Just wanting to escape the oppressive heat.

What is surprising, is I find myself breathing the malodorous perfume of festering wounds that came out the next time the door was opened,
A reeking,
Gagging scent.

Death smell,
Rot stench.

And somehow,
You have hidden it from me,
Until now, when I get close.

I find myself recoiling from it,
From you.

Dead inside.

That’s what it means.

The scent accompanies a soul that has decayed and turned into nothing more than a corpse,
Somehow escaped from the morgue and out to find others to hollow from the stomach out,
Till everything is the shiny blue-black of frostbitten fingertips.
Tainted.

When were you tainted?

How didn’t I see,
From the moment we met,
The blotch on your soul that makes blemishes
Look like butterflies,
And lies look like clever pros,
All the cons lost to the gentle rain that washes and weathers, erasing hard edges till they blend in, and only now begin to poke into the soft places of my skin.

Betrayal,
Tasting like shame,
At never seeing,
Never finding the dark lines inside you,
Until I was close enough to smell them.

Your words come out weighted thick, and full of tricks,
Blinding and deceiving,
Trying to tell me that I am the one wrong.

Wrong for judging your smudged and corrupted soul.

I waver.

Then,
Remember.
There is no light dimmer than yours,
Lost in the burning of others.

And I remember.
That mine is bright and clear,
And I have no reason for indecision or fear.

You blew it,
Not me.

Hard, A Poem By Phoenix B. Meadows

Having a good Monday?
*insert witty reply*
That’s great! I thought I’d share a poem I wrote a while ago with you guys. So, without further ado, I give you

 

Hard
By Phoenix B. Meadows

Another kick planted,

Firmly in my gut.

Another blow,

Breaking

Blow

Breaking

Blow

Breaking

Blow….

That snaps something once whole inside.

Breaking.

You speak your words meant to cause

Breaking.

Meant to make all pause and consider the wisdom

Of me.

Because one somebody who is a nobody thought up a lie that was something

Of a sensation,

Shattering all the expectations

Of your deceit.

And it was meant to be my defeat.

It was meant to make me sit by and weep,

While all the things I’ve been invested in constructing

Through the criticism and demolition

Of my existence,

Unravel.

Like socks with runs through the tightly knit stitches and sweaters coming slowly undone as you pull them out,

Bit,

By bit,

And I can’t find which end to pull back,

So I let you.

Your words are like kicks,

Causing broken bones as surely as those sticks and stones you find a way to throw,

As well.

With intentions born of a hell darker than the blackest night,

Where the shadows of your lost humanity alight.

But it’s hard.

Life,

Is hard.

And even with the pain you thrust into others,

Attempting to break off pieces of souls already chapped and flaking,

Like sun burns skin that fingernails persist in picking,

So that it breaks away and leaves red marks.

But your marks are so much deeper,

Than skin.

They twist and dig and bury themselves in,

Trying to form wedges where wedges were not and rifts into chasms, growing deeper and fat off your lies and breaking words.

Breaking words.

But I know,

Life is hard.

And the kid with the names,

Quick and biting,

Can still become someone,

Kind.

If only they can find

That inside them

Resides a child,

Both playful and sweet,

And as lost as those you tag with names and pull apart in the street.

Wrong Wish, Right Reason

Wrong Wish, Right Reason

I was going to die in here, I thought for what must have been the dozenth time in half as many minutes. I was going to die, and no one would even find me.

My hand trailed along the wall as I moved blindly through the dark. Sounds leaked through those walls, like the whispers of tortured drafts, chilling the air with their broken fingers and softly muttered moans. With every step I took deeper into the blackness, dread coiled tighter in my guts. I had already turned so many corners, I didn’t know which way was out. All I could do was continue, following the weeping and muffled screams that bespoke the intent of this place.

A scream raked over me, and I shuddered, feeling the sound against my spine like claws. It could be hers. I tried to make myself move faster, turning another corner in the hopeless labyrinth that was the Oakwald Institute. It was like the place was meant to confuse, it probably was.

Faint light trickled onto the floor ahead of me, spreading over the tiles and pressing back the inky darkness. My fingers closed over the pistol I had stolen from my father earlier that night. I pulled it free of my waistband, taking the safety off slowly so it wouldn’t click.

I held it with hands too steady for the way my heart was hammering against the inside of my chest, like an army of maddened construction workers.

Gun first, I slunk up along the wall, pausing to listen. What I heard made my stomach turn.

There was a soft snuffing, followed by a wet noise, then it repeated. A sharp, cracking crunch came a few moments later.

Steeling every nerve in my body, I turned the corner.

In the paleness of the light, all color was lost. A dark shape knelt over something on the floor. Around them, a black puddle slowly spread on the floor, following the paths between tiles and trickling away with sluggish progress. I stood frozen as the thing shifted, biting into the body on the floor.

The gun in my hands snapped up to aim at the creatures back, hands still held steady with an iron will alone.

The animal turned. Blood dripped thickly from an elongated snout. A forked tongue flicked out to lick something that almost resembled lips. It raked a clawed hand through shaggy hair, fixing all too human eyes on me.

I couldn’t move. My finger plead to pull the trigger, but something stopped me. Those eyes stopped me.

“Hello, Kevin,” she said in the voice of the girl I’d come to save. The voice I loved, full of honey and life that had been drained away into a raspy hiss that crept over my spine and made every hair on my body stand on end.

The gun clattered to the floor, an explosion of sound in the frozen silence following her words.

Monica’s eyes.

Once, I’d wished that they would be the last thing I’d see, hoping that that would mean we would spend forever together. In a way, that wish came true

Thanks for reading!