Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


Color Runs Through Him ( for Kent S. on his birthday )

December 21, 2011

He sits
in a milk-tea skin,
spider-fingers pulling
words from his darkest eye.

A blink of black and white
A long, sharp shape
of a man,
he straightens his spine
and fools us all.

Color runs through him.
He calculates the curve of scarlet,
sets his compass due indigo
holds grey in his palm,
spider-fingers untangling
unnamed colors.

He breathed on green,
made it purr
like a girl,


Scribble: Lunar

December 11, 2011

I stood on a roof
nose pressed through clouds
to see the lunar eclipse.

“I don’t get it,” I said.
“Isn’t there more?”
The moon a limp bride
in a dishwater veil.

I had wanted a monster.

Later, on the street,
the moon, she caught me.
She pressed me tight
to the neighbor’s wall
and whispered:

“Hide the drunken light of your eyes behind me.
Glow halo-like behind the softer shadow.”

I lifted my veil.

Later, I stood on tiles
nose pressed to the bathroom mirror
to see my lunar eclipse.

I had wanted a monster.

I saw swirls of steam
softening glass
and a smoky lip print
behind which I hid
and glowed,


Scribble: Carina

November 20, 2011

A Star-veined rope,
his Sagittarius arm
curves near
the still sparking bottoms
of extinguished matters,

Spirals through
undressed eyes
and a night sky opened
even as I sweep up
the starbirth.

Unspooling further
from the almost,
he hushes,
his pocket full
of collapsed secrets.

I go wondering,
pressing my ear to
burned out star carcasses
listening for the rush
of his voice.


Scribble: Walking in Corner Brook

August 15, 2011

I could walk her wrinkles blindfolded,
So sure my feet were of her one-way ways.
She curved around me like a bowl
protective as the swans
swimming in her center.

I rolled up and down her hills
Feet faster than my heart,
Too full of her summer green
To feel anything else
But beautiful.


Out of Gas (Interview with a procrastinating blogger)

August 13, 2011

Q: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit with us today, Shelley.
S: You are most welcome, but there’s another episode of “Say Yes to The Dress: Atlanta” coming on soon, so let’s try to get this done quickly, ok?

Q: So, what have you done today that’s worth writing about Shelley?
A: Well, I made a fantastic pot of coffee for myself this morning. After that, I ….. When I was a teacher of Korean kids, there was a joke that the students would sometimes play on me. I would ask what they did on vacation, where they had been. Some little wisearse would answer “Bangkok”, and I would begin to ask detailed, feigning-interest questions about the trip, while all the other little wisearses would start to giggle and giggle until they burst out into side-splitting fits of hilarity. Apparently, in Korean “Bangkok” sounds a lot like a word that means “rolling around my room.” The kid hadn’t gone anywhere. He had just done nothing all day, spacing out and rolling around the room. So, that’s what I did after coffee today. I went to freaking Bangkok.

Q: You sound a little testy today, Shelley. Anything wrong? Aren’t you happy to be on vacation with absolutely nothing to do but write this blog?
A: I just spent an hour and half reading through a million blog prompt ideas. I started to write about my favorite 80’s songs. I started to write about why I don’t want children. I started to write about things I’m grateful for, inspired by the best thing I’ve read today, Ms. Paulette’s Blog. I even decided to do my version of a popular blog idea, “Wordless Wednesday” and call it “Shut Up Saturday”, where all I would have to do would be to post a photo, and let it do the speaking for me. Then, I spent 15 minutes wondering if I could pretend that I forgot to blog today. Then you appeared. So, yeah, I’m not drunk, yet I am interviewing myself. That, among other things, is pissing me off.

Q: What are the other things that are contributing to your bad mood? Let’s see how bad things really are.
A: My neighbors have no sense of noise control. It is raining yet again. The cat is shedding enough fur to knit ten sweaters. I can’t knit. I’m 41 years old. That’s about it.

Q: Not so bad, Shelley. Do you have your health?
A: Surprisingly, despite years of being much bigger than nature intended, I am a really healthy girl.

Q: Is your marriage happy?
A: It is a beautiful work in progress, with 95% contentment and 5% rip-roaring drama, to keep things interesting. We are cosmically destined to be together.

Q: Do you enjoy your regular job?
A: Absolutely. There is nothing more thrilling than a really in-the-zone, making-a-difference class. And just when the classes start to get tedious, I get 10 weeks of vacation. With pay. Twice a year.

Q: So, it sounds like you actually have a lot to be happy about?
A: Well, look at that. You tricked me into doing a gratitude post, after all.

Q: You seemed like you needed a little help. Anything you would like to say to our readers before we head back to watch Southern brides spend way too much on wedding dresses?
A: I’m so grateful that you are still reading, and didn’t press the “back” button when you got to the bit about the cat fur. Seriously.


Blue -“Flash Fiction”

August 12, 2011

Flash fiction is a genre in which a complete story is told in 1000 words or less . I am not sure if this qualifies, as it is not so much a story as a sketch. It is pulled from my journal in the early 2000’s. While my fiction of course, has roots in reality, and I did in fact, write this while sitting alone in a bar, it is still fiction. So, there’s your disclaimer. šŸ™‚


In a bar, somewhere South of the Han river, there’s a girl who sits alone drinking, shortening her life, cigarette by cigarette – five minutes of life knocked off at a time, so she’s been told. She wonders about the possiblity of the five minutes she’s smoking away right now.

Maybe she looks sad. Certainly, the music is sad – something in German. Imagine how this girl is, sitting in a Korean bar, listening to German music, drinking Cuervo Gold and smoking American cigarettes. Maybe she isn’t sad at all. Maybe she’s confused.

Everything feels sad though, when she’s smoking, because there’s something else she’d rather be doing with her fingers and her mouth – confused fingers, sad mouth.

She imagines a life spent kissing every sad mouth she can find. A life well spent, she imagines, and she’s already done her share. Her fingers have touched so much skin, of course she’s confused. Three bodies, she remembers, though.

She regrets the cigarette because she understands the importance of five minutes. She’s memorized those three bodies five minutes at a time. These bodies’ names are written in her fingertips. The touch of her fingertips to her lips makes her mouth sad.

Once, in another bar, an American soldier guessed her age by looking at her hands. She thought him sexy for his wisdom, his clever bar trick. He thought her sad and confused. “You seem sad,” he said, looking at her hands. ” I think you’re confused,” she answered, and he left the bar, leaving her fingerprints, for the time, unchanged. She guessed his mouth was married… too full of complaint to be properly, genuinely sad.

The girl in the bar is a little drunk right now. Tequila, being what it is, should be shared in an elaborate ritual of salt and lemon, licking and laughing. She tries out a laugh.

She thinks about the walk home from the bar, in the end-of-rainy-season drizzle, and how she’ll get home and wait for a phone call from one of the three bodies whose names are written into her fingertips. She imagines what she’ll be thinking as she waits, imagines the corners of her mouth being pressed down as she passes each minute, listening.

Imagining the possibility of five minutes, she lights another cigarette.



August 9, 2011

Dear Sir(s) and/or Madam(s);

Please excuse Shelley from blogging today. She has gone off to look for Summer, as it hasn’t come home for weeks now, and we are starting to get worried. We think that Summer may be holed up in a Goshiwan near Hongdae, depressed and drinking heavily. Shelley left home this morning with a backpack full of dry crackers and flat ginger ale, determined to track Summer down and coax it back to health. She probably won’t be back until sundown, as Summer can be a cranky, unwilling thing when it feels its party has been rained on. And rained on. And rained on.

I am sure Shelley will be back to blogging tomorrow, hopefully with Summer back at work, doing its job of brightening all this grey concrete. Summer probably won’t be at its best, but at this point, we’re willing to put up with a little hangover grumpiness, as long as it comes back home.

Thank you for excusing Shelley from the blog today.


The Cat



August 8, 2011

All the reading I have ever done about creativity insists that it is a habit. In order for the flashes of brilliance to come, you have to set up a routine and practice. My reason for taking on this August post-a-day challenge was to try and put some discipline into my writing and blogging. I run so hot and cold when it comes to creativity, as any of my regular readers will already know.

Today, I have nothing that needs to be said, or needs to be written. There’s a small typhoon happening outside, making this a dark, reflective and quiet day. I am a little skeptical of the value of taking to my blog to announce that I have nothing to blog about. Still, I’ve committed to the habit, and I hope there is some value in that.

And now, I’m heading back to watching reality tv, with a cup of tea and cat in my lap, content to spend the rest of this grey day in silence.



August 5, 2011

Here’s a strange little snippet of a story I started writing ages ago. Not sure if I want to revisit and try to finish it. I dug it up because it suits my mood today, when I feel like I’ve been messing things up in spite of my best intentions.


“Dirt sticks to me,” she thought, her 8 year-old brain summing things up more simply than she ever would again. Looking at her feet, she saw patterns made by the ground-in mud, and didn’t think the dirt was so bad if she could make clear the pictures she was carrying in her feet. She had her grandmothers’ feet – Both her Nans, different in every other way, walked around their worlds on feet that rolled in, leaving every pair of shoes looking like they’d been worn by a drunk. Laura knew she didn’t stand a chance agains the rolling foot gene, but she thought her arches were pretty and high, like a ballerina’s. Her arches always stayed clean. Laura twisted around in the bathtub, and picked up her leg, much heavier out of the water than in, and looked at the story pictures the mud had made. In her heel, she saw an elephant rearing up on its hind legs, apparently made frightened by the exploding sunburst on her big toe. She sat in the tub and giggled, not wanting to wash them away. Years later, staring at a clean arch not her own, she would wonder how many other stories, how many beasts and angels she had conjured from what had only been a mess.



July 31, 2011

Tomorrow, the challenge starts. I have crazily, stupidly, bravely committed to writing a blog post a day for the month of August. The theme at the Nablopomo website, ( the site hosting the challenge ) is “fiction” which is really appropriate. As an only child, I grew up creating whole fantasy worlds to keep myself amused. As an adult, I am given to creating fiction both on the page, and at times, in my real world. This is sometimes beautiful, sometimes disastrous. Still, as crazy as I am about the theme, I have no idea what the heck I am going to write about for 31 days. There are daily prompts on the Nablopomo website, and I’ll be relying heavily on those. If they don’t speak to me, I’ll be pulling stuff from thin air, old journals, grocery lists and the odd drunken rant. There will probably be a lot of fluff and a lot of crap. At least, though, I’ll be showing up to the page everyday. You have my blessing to take me to task if I don’t.

Oh, and does this post count? šŸ™‚