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Welcome!

Hi, and welcome! (Scroll past this post if you’re looking for the updates :))

This is my new thought and fiction diary! Here I’m going to be posting whatever comes to mind, experimenting with whatever I feel like at the time. There will be a lot of first drafts coming through here, but the quality of stuff should reach at least a decent standard. The first post (‘#1: for the sake of flow’) is actually an example of experimentation gone very badly, but you know what? Next time it’ll be better, and that’s the point of this secondary blog!

My previous blog is at ChasjngDreams, a blog that’s taken more of the spin of personal thoughts and rants. If you like what you read here, maybe you’d like the writer behind all of this too!

Hope you enjoy!

– j. NG

279: The Heart of Art

A little poem I wrote on the spur of the moment just minutes after waking and reading an article on Brain Pickings (https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/03/28/annie-dillard-writing-the-abundance/). I wrote this with ‘writing’ in mind, so excuse the second line for seeming to be exclusive!

The heart of art is to want to share
The will of words: to find mastery there;
Therefore the artist is the one who cares
To dedicate hours until their work bears

Some semblance to the senses they cherish,
Some lens to understanding their experience,
Some flavor and romance to what they deem important:
Art is work, but the rewards: magnificent.

278: Word Counts

Word counts don’t count in good work.
Good words are squintless surprises in sound.

Good words can be small.

They are always useful;

Good usage is using them for their use.
Word counts are not always useful nor good.
Good words in word counts are equal to words.

Word counts can hide useless work, disguising it as good.

Word counts are like drugs. The higher you get, the better.
That being said, word counts can be useful.

Sometimes word counts are all I have left.

277: I am a murderer of stories.

I am a murderer of stories.

When I ask them to present themselves to me I promise them the world, so they open up, beckon me inside but what they do not know is that I am myopic. I cannot see deeply into those spirits, so when they open up their cloaks expectantly, showing me gold I only see black. When they smile as hosts welcoming me I see their teeth and see only a skull, grinning, and that makes me turn back, but not before I tinker inside and secretly tie a loose noose around their hearts.

When I begin to leave they begin to scream. They can feel themselves a little bit emptier than before – was it just a draft? – I ask them – maybe the wind bears the sin of making you a little cold. That’s what I always say in any case.

You promised to tell the tale that is me – they whisper back.

When I leave them they stay rooted there, like a peddler. They are hitchhikers on a dirty road, and I drove them there and left them there. If only that was all.

When I begin to walk away just far enough they begin to feel the tug. The rope on the back end of their heart, inside them, pinned down deeper than any staple could bite, two fangs, the vampire brand, but this is a noose tied to their heart. How do you loosen something that’s inside of you? You don’t.

So I drag them, hundreds at a time for stories are light. They can be as heavy and deep as they like but they’re carried around in human minds, so I can carry as many as I’d like, without becoming weary.  So I drag them to and fro. Shake them like rag dolls, throw them up like balloons, juggle them, so long as I don’t get bored.

Some stories die in my mind, finally loose, set down as skeletons by the road – again, myopic – so lines more like fine dust, but some remains I bring to the graveside. Those ones I’ve tried to write, but in failure I set them down to lie.

What a damned trickster am I.

-j. NG

276

I stood at a table
Able to sit.
Wrote nonsense with
The whole half of my wit.

I tumbled down letters
And let them take shape,
Let them build and rumble
Into gargantuan words that’d break
Loose into phrases that are shouted in decrees!
LISTEN TO ME NOW, COME, HEAR MY PLEA!

 

“I have nothing to say –
That’s how I’m feeling today.
Thought it’d be worth it to say it,
Since the most important thing
I’ve done this Spring day
Is to stand at a table
Even though I could sit.”

274: Nat-Twenty

You just cannot begin to imagine the satisfaction –
The tension that builds in the tightly wound knuckles
On the buckling white hand that, shaking, sends rolling
The twenty-sided dice whose feisty, fickle faces
Have sent tears to your eyes, dug graves in your mind,
Snatched away victory from you and your friends, far too many times.

The dice is too light, too heavy, too real to call out the fate
Of fictional lives in fictional lands, for a tribe you’ve just met,
Inside of a game you’ve bled imaginary ichor for and really stained
Your shirts with sweat; and yet all of that still rests on the face
Of that icosahedron. Up the die flies. The table holds its breath.

With a shudder you wonder if it might topple
From the gameboard to the depths below the fridge,
Displaying your twenty in the dusty hells of what you know
To be re-rolls. The thought is banished as it bounces
Closer and closer to THERE: THAT is the worst place,
You scream while others shriek: “NOT ON THE MAT!”

But alas. The DM grins as he sees your tumble,
Apologizes, humble, as he brings out the die
That he calls Death, stained in a mirthless hue of orange,
And as he rolls that dice it’s to execute,
To tear your character to shreds,
He does it. Rolls fifteen, over your two.

“Make a saving throw.” The glow of the lamp.
You’re set to lay this character to bed.
He’s about to mind control you, and the others’ll have to feign surprise
As they’re stabbed in the heads, knives sliding across their necks,
Pretending that they never knew why they fell;
But they’d know, it was all because you rolled on the mat.

So you throw your dice high into the air.
Eyes are caught in helpless stares.
Twenty, you whisper. Twenty, you beg.
You close your eyes. Twe- “TWENTY!”
You suddenly hear the cheers and snap
Out of your reverie as slaps cascade
Up and down your back and the DM can’t believe it
He’s tested your luck, in his hubris described his spell
As a touch, and two nights ago you’d homebrewed
The rule that touch attack spells are open to counterattacks:
Eyes shoot open: Is the enemy fatigued?
Perhaps, a spell mishap?

The made-up second passes, fifteen minutes in real life,
Seconds pass by slowly in dice-based game fights.
You attack and the DM, smiling like a troll,
Charming as a rogue, says: “Roll.”

You tear off the mat to the floor,
Send figurines flying to the bathroom, chairsides, the door.
Your die, green and grey,
Smiles as if to say she knows how to roll.
You toss the dice up – fate wills it to fall,
Clatters once, the number face up. You call: “*^£¥%¿♧;!”

It’d be too easy to say that this ends in twenty.
Another villain beat, and heroes made aplenty.
But far from making this a story, a song that’s just mine,
I wrote these lines to say:
That you yourself should play.
Play! It’s easy to get started,
Here’s a dice, that’s the way:
Now roll a save to resist persuade.
You ain’t gonna get a nat twenty.

273: 7 x 7 x 7

1. 7x7x7
Find the 7th book from your bookshelf. Open it up to page 7. Look at the 7th sentence on the page. Begin a poem that begins with that sentence and limit the length to  7 lines.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Short Autobiography
“All that is by way of example.”

Untitled

All that is by way of example.
The way snow falls,
We have saved for failing gracefully,
The surge of volcanic spit,
For heaving obscenities.
The way that seasons switch:
For melting between identities.

Generations

All that is by way of example.
Build a city upon a callus
And walls will be hard
Words will go unheard
Gazes will go past the sky.
No neighbour is close by enough
We’ll accept jostling like spare change.

 

272: Fun

i miss the Fun, letting him run
fearlessly across fields that leapt
to the bottom of his feet as he sprung
trembling into the air
down to the ground
trembling down past the grass
past the earth
into the dark
where instead of mantle, volcanic rock,
Fun touched God’s hair:
found him sleeping there,
at the core like a radiator.

when Fun returned
he told nobody but me,
but i told you, just now,
back then, a moment ago,
a line’s throw back.

ever since then
Fun’s not been quite as fun,
for he returns from his runs
with sealed lips, and in silence.

271: Edition

Two tomes of exact dimension,
Harboured in equal royalty upon the large wood shelves
Of a pair of lovers; sit, like gazers across riverbanks,
Wondering of the taste of the wind on the other side.

One friend, pristine, has spine straight like
Noble marble pillars and jutting edges,
As a comb underneath fingertips, teethy xylophone, might.
The other is torn and wrinkled,
Matted page creases, corners torn off,
And pages exhale with the fading scent
But deathless stains of coffee hugs.

Shall we state that on one shelf one showed love,
Or on the other the compliment of treasure trove –
Outside, in the spices of life?
Whatever the difference is, these lovers know;
Consolidated in the throes where bridges grow
And the wind and river make sweet moan.

270: Honest Fame

From the moment that I take the stage
I jump from invisibility to focal point.
I love it, the lights, I can tell you that I’m nervous
And make a claim that I was born for this,
And you’ll hear me, hear my story, my upbringing,
Through my lens and not some investigative enquiry
Shoved to the corner of a newspaper,
Yeah, I was poor, grew up almost on the streets,
Never had anything handed to me. I’m crying,
I know you’re crying, judges down there soothe me,
Their smiles ready. I take the mic.
My story’s come down to this.
The world will hear me, national telly,
Youtube streams.

“BANSHEE BOY SCREAMS HIS LUNGS OUT,
JUDGE COMMENTS: CERTAINLY,
NO MUSIC LESSONS WERE GIVEN TO HIM”