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Experiment in Translation/Expansion

First: splayed sun,
some dark clouds regenerate in the sky.
Yes, empty-headed philosophers.
(Analyze it, they say.)

Analyze it, they say—what?
    the sky
maybe.  But science tells me the azure
is just a filtration of light refracted
and it’s not really blue
    so is the sky blue is the wrong question
    it’s just absorbed light
    being bounced around by air particles.

The blood-moon rose in defiance of moralistic principle
or howling cries of witch
it was beautiful.
    Was it beautiful
    was it light
    or a lie

First: Scattered sun.
a shout of anger
a closed fist
and stars.


The exiles are restless.
For weeks now they’ve been trying
to escape, to see Self
to speak
    If they tell their tale she’ll break
I stand watch.  The guards clamor
but I tell them I don’t need them
    Violence is not the answer.
    She’s just not ready
    for all the voices.

Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D, tells the broken
that we are a castle with discrete parts
and we all must work together for the body to function.
My therapist says my sentry has taken over
for my Self.  I have gotten so good at Management
that I forget to give time to the Exiles
to hear their voices

their voices

In my dreams I see your face
I weep
because you loved me once
I thought you loved me once

    You’re nothing but a failure can’t you see that
    it’s all a masquerade
    just changing faces for changed spaces

Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D, tells the broken that our Selves
are supposed to be in charge, but pain makes our Protectors
wrest control, to protect the body and keep us walking.
It’s like an automaton—if one part breaks, the others spin faster
to keep up appearances.

    Every time I walk outside
    and it’s dark
    I wonder if you’ll be there
    in the shadows

When the Exiles break free, the Sentry collapses
and the Guards howl in triumph.
My Self tries to take it in—
    Nothing-worthless-help me-love me
    Can you hear me
    Is anybody in there
    The darkness-no-please-no
    Don’t make me go back
    Don’t make me go back


Santiago Sky-Profile

In 1928, he saw the same sky
that I saw in 2005. His sky was grey with
not smog-clouds. Cars hadn’t been around long enough
though I suppose it could have been coal ash
and factory soot, if he was painting in the city—
Santiago in 1928 had factories, and warehouses.
I stand at the top of Cerro San Cristóbal and wonder.
The swirls of grey collapse into the center
but there’s light like a smog-day in Santiago;
sometimes the snow-tips of the Andes will peek through
and gleam.
What you can’t see from Cerro San Cristóbal is the wind
and the blizzards
that make you kiss the earth. Not a playful wind, no summer storm
but real danger. You close your eyes in a storm like that
and pray you will be okay in the dark.
Es mal tiempo.
I have never been to Santiago in its summer, only mine, because
seasons are reversed. Perhaps they, too, have skies that are collapsing
into brilliance,
Big Bang in miniature. The rooftop gardens will drink in creation
when it spills forth, to suck out poison from the air
and make grey clouds grey with water only
and not with cancer.

What do you think, Dale?
Could you paint Santiago in monochrome? It would be far away
from your nature, from the storm-skies and abstracts.
It would require hard edges.
What would it look like to paint cumbia in shades of grey?
Could you capture the Chilena spark, the way they dance
until the sun comes up, drinking cervezas and promising
Mas, mas, todo when it comes to music and food and life?

Maybe you would paint the Andes instead. Stand here, Dale.
At the top of Cerro San Cristóbal, with the shadow of the Virgin
falling over your canvas. See? When the sun comes up,
the mountains are rose-gold and milk. Maybe you could make
an exception, Dale, just this once. Maybe you could paint them in color,
save your blacks for the skyscraper forest of apartments
and office buildings
that clusters at the base of the mountains, children clinging
to belt-loops.

But then there’s the people. In a pale wash, there’s an
emotion lost. If you paint the Andes, Dale, you don’t see the man
balancing on one hand atop a garbage can
painted in silver, other hand holding out a flower.
A mi me encanta, Americana. Para you.
I pay him because I can’t help but pay him—my pesos give him joy
the way his flower gives me joy on the streets of a city
thousands of miles from home.

So maybe instead of the Sky Profile or the Andes
you can come with me to the tiny restaurant, where the abuela tells me
Estos empanadas son mejores—a mi te quiero—Love, I love
and passes over basket after basket of tiny, fragrant pastries
filled with shrimp and cheese.

Maybe when you see her face you could paint it in monochrome
because it’s just like the sky, collapsing in the middle
and yet there is such light.

Or maybe it’s you who sees it right, Dale, and everything
is a wash of grey. Not a grey that has no meaning
but a grey that holds every meaning. Because it’s not random,
your painting. It’s dark where it’s meant to be
and light where it’s meant to be
and even the momentary flashes of canvas through oil are 100% intention.
Santiago is like this, I think. From the top of the hill or the Andes
or down in street-markets where music throbs a beat that taps
your toes or your fingers along artisanal booths
where men say Ay, Ay, Americana, que te quieres? Te gustan?
Aquí, aquí and you buy three shawls made of alpaca wool
just because son magníficos, me encantan, everything is
meant to be.

Your painting carried me away, Dale, and Santiago
is my Emerald City. No colored glasses needed to
wash everything jade; leave the canvas blank for this one
and just feel the city sink into fingertips, toe-tips, the ends of your ribs
and the base of your skull.
A mi me encantan todos.





In medieval culture, an event like a royal christening is not a private party; it’s the public social event of the year. To not invite any person of rank to such an event is a deadly insult.

Maleficent is certainly someone you wouldn’t want at a party, but she’s also someone powerful enough that only a fool would ever dare treat her with such blatant disrespect. The only way the King and Queen could possibly have gotten away with not inviting Maleficent was to not invite any of the fairies at all; inviting the other fairies and excluding her is explicitly taking sides in the conflict between the fairy factions.

Which means they made themselves her sworn enemies, and she responded by treating them as such from then on. If you actually get into analyzing the social dynamics of the scene, it’s very clear that Maleficent was willing to show mercy at first by giving the King and Queen a chance to apologize for their disrespect to her. She doesn’t curse Aurora until after she gives them that chance and they throw it back in her face with further disrespect.

And yeah, if the King and Queen had done the properly respectful thing and invited her, Maleficent would have given Aurora a scary awesome present. Moreover so would the other fairies, because at that point both sides would be using it as an opportunity to show off and one-up each other. What they gave her before Maleficent showed up was basically just trivial party favors by fairy standards.

How do you know so much about the social dynamics of medieval fairies

How don’t you

Not just that, Maleficent is a fairy. Whilst Flora, Fauna and Merryweather represent the Victorian revision of fairies as kind, helpful and friendly to humans, Maleficent is the Fair Folk from traditional folklore: unpredictable, dangerous, vicious, primal and very much operating on a moral code very different to that of humans.  Cursing a baby for the passive aggressive rich people behaviour of her parents, and then “punishing” the girl’s betrothed to boot is very much typical behaviour of the Fair Folk: we are talking about the creatures that stole babies and replaced them with changelings in the dead of night, controlled the forces of nature and are capable of catastrophic acts of retribution for a slight, real or imagined.   Even the few humans they take a liking to are not safe: folklore fairies are distinctly non-sentimental, and decades of charity and faithful service can be undone and earn fury fairy wrath with one simple act of breaking a fairy bargain or personal standard, unthinking or otherwise.  If a fairy says you are not to leave any eggshells lying out under a full moon after showering you with riches, you better do as they fucking say or you will be very, very, very sorry.  In fairy code, you can be punished for a loved one’s act of “transgression”, as Aurora and Philip found out.  

I would have loved Maleficent to not do the stupid blah blah Wicked ripoff crap and focus on her lore as a fairy witch: one way i would do that is focus on the traditional weakness to iron (that’s why steel types are strong against fairy types folks): the very touch of iron is painful to a fairy and the slightest wound with the substance is deadly to them.  One way I would show this is when Flora and friends present Philip with the Sword of Truth, they are very careful not to touch it with their bare hands, and usually keep it wrapped up (and even then they get a very uncomfortable prickling feel when they touch it through the fabric) and an iron sword straight through Melly’s evil heart is the only way to do the bitch in. 

I love everything about this.

(Source: britta-perry)

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