Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nightmare Fuel - Day the Second (and revisit the first!)

More writing today! Every day for the month? We'll see. Those looking for AV, fear not! I'll sandwich in another AV post hopefully by week's end.

Yesterday I gave you my first Nightmare Fuel entry, which I also shared with the other participants. I told them something I've not shared with you on this blog until now: that there was originally a second part which I deleted in one of my rare moments of brevity. Those who saw both posts uniformly considered the second to be the singer of the two, which shows once again that I have no idea how to judge my own work. Here it is for those of you who are interested. Compare it to yesterday's piece and let me know what you think.

On the Swing
by L Czhorat Suskin

It wasn't the story wanted, wasn't the part of the story I wanted. Too big, too sensational, too ... tawdry. You've heard about that poor girl by now. The mysterious disappearance, the slow fade from memory, the growing certainty that we'd never see her again. But this time you know we did, that if you can stop yourself from mourning the lost years of her youth, if you look past the damage outside and in, if you don't gaze forward at the decades of therapy she'll need... in other words, if you're willfully blind and stupid you can almost pretend that just maybe this is a happy ending. Or at least what passes for one in this screwed up world.

So this girl's not dead, the poor thing, and I get a job to do. Take some photos of the spot she was abducted from. Some kinda swing outside a crappy old apartment building. At night, like when she was taken.

I swear it was perfect when I took it. The empty swing at night, a perfect haunting fucking shot. But I get back home, and in every single frame there's this guy with a thousand yard stare. A guy I had to have seen. I gotta cut back on the sauce.

Fuck it. I'll photoshop it out.
I still don't know how I feel about that one. There's something literal and concrete about it.

Now, on to todays' entry. The picture gave me a clear mental image of a slightly unrelated scene that wound up being the final stanza of this poem. The initial question is one that psychologists ask on intake. This I know because my wife is a psychologist, not because I'm talking to anyone else about the voices in my head.

I wouldn't do that; it hurts their feelings if I talk behind their backs.


My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
How can I answer? Do I ask her?
Do I ask her if she hears them? 

My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
Do I? Does she?
Does she know? Does she
hear symphonies semi silent sussurations 
tremulous tides of timid tidings
deadlines and dinnertimes taxing travails and taxes and
does she?

My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
Does she know? 
Has she been searching, researching,
dropping eaves on my thoughts?
Did someone tell her?

Day 2 Prompt. Unattributed
My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
Should I? Does she?
What would they tell me? What do they tell her?

My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
I could barely hear her over the
screaming came across the sky into my head
the color of a TV tuned to a dead station

My therapist asked
"Do you hear voices that others don't?"
I didn't answer.
Hours later, a second martini.
glass table caresses my cheek
There they are.
That's what they're saying.

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