1. wet mind
    spilled invisible liquid

    fiber body blotter

    paper misshapen

    pulped tongue
    bit teeth

    flesh jealous
    of the writing

    writhing inside

    without relief 


  2. how ever

    wearing the signs
    self hypnosis
    prickly sun beams drawn
    from a fiery orange core
    by a five year old hand splayed
    across the faces
    grossly interested


    a stand

    however wobbly


  3. entering

    my hands said
    less shaking held against

    my hands said
    here is my sweat

    my hands said
    i have been there somewhen
    then someplace else

    my hands said
    strength lives under skin

    my hands said
    who have you known how
    i met them

    my hands said
    please and thank you more
    then less hold and grip

    my hands said
    come in

    flesh listens
    in answers

    Tagged #poetry #jillc

  4. as strangers
    sharing language
    in an alien land
    truth speaking to

    listening too

    Tagged #poetry #jillc

  5. unwordly prayers

    beginning with the assumption
    regardless how false

    given that
    i will
    be enough

    proceeding with the confidence
    to tell my own truth

    given that
    i will
    be enough

    continuing with certainty
    to get through to you

    given that
    i will
    be enough

    finishing with selective few
    to let my body talk

    and listen

    Tagged #poetry #jillc

  6. envisioning {aristophane’s slice}

    A scene emerges central, critical, demonstrative and meaningful. Really three-scenes-in-one along with a zooming in and out in hypnotic teetering. Both music and voice over at different points along the way. It is a complicated set of shots, well-edited. The soundtrack big and bold, orchestral and pop-catchy at once.  A well of swelling music to dive in and float away to, too. A narrator who serves little purpose other than to give a pretty voice to the naming of the destinations we see on the screen. 

    One scene, the car scene, is really three merged and blended set of frames. Each of them as the driver of their own car, alone. Each as the driver of their shared car together, alternately in turn. The same scenery flashing by as they reveal how alike they look in this common necessary automatically performed activity.

    The second scene is them sitting together across from each other in a tall-backed old-fashioned wooden booth. The camera swings at severe and dramatic angles, slanting first up from under the table next down along one wall behind it. They are dressed identical right down to ancient scuffed Chuck Taylor’s, frayed jean hems, checked flannels. The lens swings and bends and glides back and forth and as it does they, through the magic of film, seamlessly switch positions and switch back again as the scene proceeds in a crazy mirrored mise en abyme of a conversation, complete with animated nonverbals.

    Finally, in the third scene they are floating and swimming, coaching and spinning, hair splayed skin glistening and water a reflecting assault of light back all around their bodies. They are in bright sunshine and in a crystal blue pool of water together and even in their buoyancy they move together, so similar. Matching. 

    All three components of the montage feel as if they are shot in slow motion but they are not, they are instead acted out with literal slow movements. Both actors, gliding, synchronized in perfect but, again due to film magic, seemingly unchoreographed unison, and all in perfect time with the music.

    These movements are primarily simple, uneventful, regular everyday gestures. This is obvious but so, then, is the point that they are utterly precisely, though still totally casual, exactly identical.

    When met, the desired effect communicates on all kinds of unspoken levels. It communicates about unspoken levels in unspoken levels. That’s what it’s meant to do; that’s its whole purpose. That and to be beautiful. And fun. Somehow both profound and intensely, inherently light-hearted. But not cute. Not one bit cute. 

    In a purely superficial sense, they don’t, or they wouldn’t look alike really, if it weren’t for the uncanny effect of their mindless casual exact sameness in movement. Their skin tones are remarkably similar but one is technically Caucasian, and naturally tan, the other Latin with darker hair and eyes. Both wear longish, but not extremely long hair, both push it back behind an ear habitually with their fingers in a distinctive gesture that is exactly the same as the other. Both have red lips and white teeth, one set full the other smaller and thinner. Both move sneakered feet in a similar manner under a similar posture. One has a trim beard, the other is a woman. 

    In sum, in the scene this is what we are seeing: A rolling surreally pitched view of them moving through and near each other in each of these settings, demonstrating in near live action slow-motion the way they move the same way. We see each set of hands move across the steering wheel identically. Rub their own head and loose hair in scruffley absent-minded patterns, twirling strands around fingers while singing or talking. They play with their ponytails the same way. They bite the edge of their cuticles the same. They prop their feet up on the heels and wag them on the booth bench of the other and we can’t tell which is which, whose feet next to whose hips. 

    The rest of the movie will include plotting and events to distinguish them, characterizations at times complimentary and at sometimes cruelly at odds. Their motives, outcomes, even their intentions will reveal their critical differences. But in this scene, in this bit It will be as if their everyday postures are dancing, unrehearsed, yet perfectly, always, together. 


  7. hands lent, chairs pushed in

    a yellow chair
    Tulsa by Clark
    or by George
    but not Boi
    the raw beauty 
    the human soul
    exposed before it 
    we fake better than others
    realized close
    friends have been sons 
    itches and my cat still
    thinks my hand is
    a spider

    and me?
    what of answers? 
    certainly not purity 
    no less truth
    my dog knows
    my hand
    is the jailer
    of us both

    a spontaneous collaboration in messages{modified}; by photographia & trixclibrarian


  8. passed back to the present

    I was a psychologist in my first professional ife. I had a clinical supervisor once, we’ll call her Hugh. She wasn’t masculine and that isn’t her real name but her real name was unusual and Hugh is close enough to be a good cue for me. 

    Hugh’s specialty was domestic violence and child abuse cases and she was the primary supervisor presiding over my work with several African American boys I saw for extended periods. She also deftly guided me through some really sticky marital therapy cases that involved the potential for dangerous violence.

    {Perhaps there is no such thing as violence that isn’t dangerous.}

    She was in a long term, live-in relationship with her lesbian life partner and I was too young to even contemplate her age. She was clearly a legitimate grown-up with a successful career and a house and several pets and that put her in a whole separate league from me. But I remember people remarking about her youthful appearance and energy. “Can you believe Hugh is…” was not an uncommon phrase associated with her in my memory. I think she was in her fifties, even then, but my memory of her is way younger than the present day me. 

    Hugh had a timeless quality. Being in the same room with her made me feel mothered in a way I had never known. She emanated not the least single bit of sentimentality and still I was certain she liked me. She felt no need or obligation to take care of me and yet I was totally certain she would. She left me with the distinct impression of friendship, bypassing my every instinct to calibrate us along some hierarchy. She felt like a friendly monk, the essence of wise patient interested engaged. Utterly, unquestionably trustworthy. 

    Her attention, her presence, and the natural relaxed wisdom she brought made it possible for me to be helpful to my clients in ways it would have otherwise been impossible for me to be. She believed in me and there was no room left over outside my reverence, awe, and respect for her, to dare to disagree. There was so much stable crackling unquestionable and safe power in her demeanor. You could feel the best you had to offer rising up in you automatically. With her leading me, it seemed impossible not to have a helpful impact. 

    Our most memorable collaboration was with a nine-year-old boy who was having night terrors in residential treatment. We didn’t often take such extreme cases for a variety of reasons, but the disruption caused by his screaming was highly motivating to pursuing regular appointments. The bloodcurdling nature of his dreams cascading through the population of other boys, jarred awake by the sound. So bone chilling and impossible to subdue was he during an episode that practically no-one on his floor was getting any sleep. Even if he was sedated and quiet for a night, the remembered sound of his fear reverberating in the ears of the other boys still caused nightmares to crop up daily - or nightly.

    {They transported him faithfully, to therapy two days a week to prevent the noise of his suffering from making them all crazy.}

    We’ll call him Nathan. He was the size of an average six-year-old, only much skinnier. His dark hair was cropped close and he favored colored shirts with white stripes going round him horizontally. His skin was darker than anyone I had ever met before, his arms thinner, and his eyes always shiny and almondy in shape and color.

    {They left a distinct flavor in my mouth and throat when he looked at me, expectantly. Mostly I savored it while trying not to cry.}

    My job, Hugh explained, was just to be me and be present in his company. Not to try to do or be anything other than me, she said. Just be yourself in the same room with him for an hour twice a week and everything that needs to happen will. She promised. I believed.

    It wasn’t just blind faith all the way, either. Hugh had the most uncanny ability to predict clients’ behavior from session to session. She might have made a million as a psychic on the circus circuit in another place and time or age. We’d listen to recordings and pour over the transcript of a session and then she might say, “Tomorrow Nathan is probably going to come in angry. He’ll probably call you names and refuse to play and…” Her predictions would play out with shiver-inducing accuracy. She would tell me what to do and, mostly, what not to say. How to find a way to be quiet. That was my major task. Be a present stable object for him to attach to and then… just keep doing that. 

    I didn’t really understand it, then. Or how it worked. Her predictions and all the underlying processes were a complete mystery to me. I felt like a deceptive fraud knowing all I could do was be there in the moment for him. To pay attention, bring my sense of the session back to Hugh and let her predict things for me, seemed like such a small and insignificant thing. By informing me about what I could expect, she would prepare me to return again the next time and just do more of the same, nothing. Being present, in the moment. She kept telling me this was the most important therapeutic thing I could do for him.

    And it all seemed to be working. After the first six weeks the night terrors became less frequent, a pattern that continued as long as he came to see me faithfully. After seven months there hadn’t been an episode for three solid weeks prior to the August hiatus. Then during my therapy vacation time they returned, only to subside again when we resumed in Fall. Something about the routine was working. 

    But I was not like Hugh. I had no ability to predict what was coming next. It terrified me and eventually, that terror led me to quit. I turned away from life in the moment, then, got serious about trying to predict better, finding a setting where the stakes didn’t so much matter. 

    {That’s left the part of me that is reaching constantly, since, struggling to get back to this minute.}


  9. time’s short

    there is a certain kind of
    sunglasses on still squinting
    brilliance in defying all standards
    judgement by claiming others
    lack what’s required to understand it

    like a cap a gown a hood
    it strikes a pose strong

    hurts to look at
    doesn’t mean much

    i don’t want to be
    but you won’t
    get famous
    making them fall in love with you
    one at a time

    i tried to tell

    Tagged #poetry #jillc

  10. two deep blue devils

    Eager at the end of something that doesn’t feel enough like a rope to even trust pulling on, with flailing fingers ambivalent as they alternate clutching at seaweed then flinging it away in spastic under the surface waves of wrists slung. She wants saved and freed by it at once.

    The gasping gulping coughing spitting spiting laughing hysterics that make up her facial expression map the chaos of her situation as she wavers. Hung and sagging some, like an electric wire or the shingles and window frames of an old house or the flesh of an ancient man, draped between the salvation of the boat and the emancipation of immersion in the sea. 

    To breathe with gills promising the dark cool quiet of the silent ocean floor, what a lovely place for resting in the constant vibration of water bathing each and all the creatures together in their wet, salt connection. Versus the words of spoken language waiting for her, already landed, in the bag, captured should she choose the dry alphabet of educated speech. 

    As if there exists any choice. Shame on her, for the details of what she has become attached to.  And for the settlements we all make.


  11. doom showing

    a slice knifed
    downstab strike
    through knobbed
    pealing paint pine
    trunk scabbed bark
    dark hovering bobbing
    branch seasickening wind
    torrents of slapping horizon
    night sky squinting wink
    glance off sharp cliffs
    bank on sap-sticky
    clouds scratch
    my soft wet

    needled shadows

    a shard of glass
    aimed to pierce
    open my chest
    slick with tacky
    clotted glinting
    death’s blood

    in the forest

    so telling
    even without
    moonlight glowing

    “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; 
show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
~Anton Chekhov

    exhalingcatalysts ladymycroftmansfield thornpuller prompt


  12. I.
    The tiny human, girl child, hand clasped over the heart of her mouth. The foreign fist named familiar and shoved in. Her breathing frantic gasping through the nose. Choked a hold and fingers gripping her neck.

    She gives her body up. Gives it in and hands it over, babbling and severed from her soul. She does not say so but she knows, she has been told, her own words’ lack of worth. 

    Thus, she pours and pours. She pours the words out waiting for the empty that never comes. 

    She learns to agree, her words and flesh have no significant independent meaning. They are a medium. A canvas for others to paint upon. She is a pallet used to color the evidence of others’ qualities. To stand for the desire she is not permitted. 

    She teaches her body to scream.

    To scream only phrases beginning with “You”.
    You are desirable.
    You demand passion.
    You are powerful.
    You command me.
    Alone, your need fulfilled makes me worthy.

    Until she fails.
    Then, she is finally empty.
    She is discarded.
    She is trash.
    She is voided.
    She finds herself.
    She finds the waiting lonely.

    Terrified, she blocks her eyes.
    Terrified, she stuffs her ears quiet.
    Terrified, she sews her mouth shut.

    In black silence.
    Her body refuses to die.

    It cries.
    It wails.
    It begs.

    In the mute darkness, her body  begins to speak.
    Her palm says I am open.
    Her sweat says I am cloaked and holding
    our fear.
    Her press says I made this space
    for us.

    There is no one left to listen.
    The world sits
    wide-eyed in the pitch


  13. w/out comparison

    once it is a complete story does it matter how it was built
    if the narrative stays hidden until the end does it count as more disruptive
    what is the absolute value of disruption
    when does noise serve cohesive functions
    can you say the voice of your own authority has been lost
    what is something you never knew

    Tagged #jillc

  14. tiny striking cold streams



    from fingertips

    pregnant round
    riddles inside
    riddles side

    tiny fairy
    curled abound
    a lima bean umbilical

    cross section
    sliced of life

    the comic relief
    of commercial
    cartoon characters
    like whiskey hard drinks
    and fried chicken legs
    distinctive in silhouette

    more sinister
    than metaphor
    braided symbols
    in rivulet


  15. slingshot.

    You were more naked when we were sitting in the bar. The louder the jazz band got the more honest you were. Your clothes and armor dissolving in the notes and the words of my story. Excited and invigorated and as a result devastated by the truth that life is unendurable and yet everyday endured. That no matter how exciting, it is still so full of requiring, demanding needs. Needs need boiling down to essences then needing scrounged through for what matters. Needing to make what matters. To make it first and then to make it matter. To let go of every anger that binds you to regret about your own choices. To find the voice of what you want. I might rub off on you, but only a tiny little bit.

    You were less naked in the dark, stripped of clothes and vibrating. Literally shaking with energy. Enough to almost take you away but not completely. You were thinking about what it might mean, continually. You were dressed in your own nudity. Wearing it like camouflaged armor. I saw you. I felt it. I was an embrace with what is your surface. The comfortable skin and the lost flesh of meaning within. It was the first reach of a hand out of darkness. But it had nothing to do with me. Much less sex. You are looking for abrasion to sand off the surface.

    As you said when we were sitting there, dressed in public. You said yourself you have no opponent. There is too much void. You reach out to attach. In hope of finding a place to attach to, a place to swing from. To launch yourself back out free once you are stronger. It is lovely, and a good plan. I am just not the stable framework necessary to sustain it. I am just a slingshot, my friend. 

    Tagged #prose #jillc