poem, writing

A Goreyesque-ly Good Day

bloggorey2

The weather is savage.

Wind churns the bay into frothing whitecaps.

The waves batter against the bulkhead with force that resonates through the cottage’s foundation. Two feet of concrete seems like a flimsy barrier upon which to depend when salty droplets pepper the windows.

Leaves and pine needles fall before the gusty assault, turning into missiles that sting the flesh, scoring it with reddened welts.

You feel small and mortal and anxious before such force.

It’s the perfect start to Halloween weekend.

To make it even better, the online literary journal Goreyesque has published my poem ‘Ogre’ in their Halloween edition.

http://www.goreyesque.com/cat-jenkins

bloggorey1

Always a fan of the subtle, sublime, and unsettlingly brilliant author and artist Edward Gorey, I am honored.

Once again…

…Happy Halloween…

bloggorey3

Standard
Just bitchin'

Suddenly Strange

bloghalloween1_1

This morning there were bats silhouetted against ragged clouds tinted moon-orange.

Such eerie beauty catches your breath. When you remember to inhale, you breathe in the change that is gathering in the dark. This is the time of year when worlds collide…

…when the separation between superstition and logic thins, perforates, lifts…

…when it is rumored the faerie kingdom is on the move, changing venue for another year…

…when ethereal things solidify…

…when the current of strange energy that few can perceive, flares bright.

bloghalloween2

It’s candy and costumes and masked balls. It’s opening your door to strangers and taking risks.

It’s a feeling in the pit of your stomach that wavers between terror and anticipation. It’s the small hairs on your neck rising. It’s the fleeting image of something pale gibbering in the corner of your eye.

You are haunted.

You love it.

Happy Halloween…

bloghalloween3

Standard
Just bitchin'

Arachnid Syndrome

blogcobweb2

There exists a hitherto unsuspected offshoot of Stockholm Syndrome.

You know…that condition where you identify with your adversaries…where you begin to appreciate them and teeter on the brink of joining them.

Three things must be understood at this point: 1. I am a terrible housekeeper, 2. I live in a house where nature tends to encroach, and 3. I live mostly inside my mind and only occasionally emerge to the reality surrounding me.

I didn’t realize the severity of my possible-Stockholm condition until I decided to have some new windows installed before the bitter Northwest winter hits. Having set up a day for a crew to bring out my new, weather-worthy panes, I raised my nose from the keyboard and wondered…

…When was the last time I really cleaned this place?

Blinking at the sudden intrusion of a real environment as opposed to the one spawned by my imagination, I scanned a full 360.

Cobwebs.

Spider webs.

Gauzy, grey filaments draping in corners…depending from light fixtures.

blogcobweb

First reaction: disgust. I can’t let anyone see this homage to my domestic deficiencies. I turn off the computer, intending to embark on a cleaning odyssey from one end of the house to the other.

That was the plan.

But somewhere along the way, my dust cloth hesitates, hovering over the sticky strands spewed by my arachnid interlopers. I stare. My arm lowers to my side, duster disarmed. Wow. Look at that. Must’ve taken a lot of work. Maybe a few generations of spinners.

What?! Wait!!! What are you saying!!?? CLEAN THIS PLACE!!!

I stand on tiptoe, reaching upward… My hand stops short…

Halloween’s coming. Wonder how much it would cost to fake-cobweb everything to look like this? Probably a lot…

My arm lowers yet again. I return my dust cloth to its cupboard clean and unsullied.

Because I’m already thinking that after Halloween, it’s not so very long until Christmas. And wouldn’t it be original to decorate this year with a cobwebby, decrepit, Scrooge’s house theme? In fact, if I put up the tree right after Halloween, I bet by December 25th there’ll be a gauzy, sticky halo around each light. Kind of like the angel’s hair we used when I was a kid…

I turn the computer back on and retreat into my fictional world.

I’m not sure, but I think I’ve gone over to their side…

blogcobweb3

Standard
Just bitchin'

Mischievous Marcus and Jesus the Undead

tombforblog

Halloween seems an appropriate time for this tale…

When I first met my friend Marcus, he stared at the silver, fleur de lys cross depending from a chain around my neck, and gave me a mischievous grin.

“So. You’re really into vampires, huh?”

My brain processed his question on a few quick-fire levels…all literary.

Did he think I wore this charm because of the traditional powers attributed to it by folklore? A cross…and silver…. Both supposedly effective weapons against the undead? Or, was Marcus referring to the jewelry design which sprang from the French Quarter of New Orleans? Was he drawing on the vampire legends of author Anne Rice and her ties to the same area that crafted my necklace?

Since I wore it because it was a gift from a loved one, neither supposition applied. My cat-curiosity gave him a sidelong look, inviting explanation.

So Marcus took it a little further, and immediately planted a firm foot on the path to becoming one of my most intriguing friends.

“Generally, people who wear crosses are Christians,” he stated. “That means Jesus Christ is at the foundation of your faith. And…” His grin grew wider. “…Jesus was a vampire. In fact, Catholicism especially, is a very vampiric religion.”

My bemused expression and the fact that I didn’t walk away, encouraged Marcus to elaborate.

“Jesus rose from the dead.” He shrugged. “Maybe if they’d pierced his heart instead of his hands and feet, he wouldn’t have. And there’s that whole bread and wine thing. You know…drinking the blood of Christ so you’ll live forever in him?” He gave a sage nod. “Vampirism. Pure vampirism.”

I forgave him the contradictions in his theory…that the cross would then burn and repel those who partook of this vampire religion, because it was, as I said, intriguing.

The second encounter I had with Marcus, he had another take on Christianity; a commingling of legends that I’ll pass on next time… But for now…

Happy Halloween!

warningcat

Standard
Just bitchin'

Human Hubris

halloweentrickortreaters

I know a couple verging on senior citizenship. They are professionals. They are well-off financially. They are parents and grandparents. They are educated and well-traveled.

They send me cute, little e-mail greeting cards at the drop of a hat. New Year’s. Valentine’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Arbor Day. Thanksgiving. And Christmas…assuredly Christmas.

But not Halloween. Never, ever Halloween.

They associate All Hallow’s Eve with Satanism…Devil Worship…Eternal Damnation…

They worry about me. Because of my Celtic heritage and the way I embrace a night of costumes and folklore and imagination. They have recommended their church to me in hopes that I will join and ‘find the companionship that has so enriched our lives.’

But I know what they’re really saying. The poor girl with the Welsh ancestors needs saving. And being the good people they are, they will not shrink from the task of hammering out that pagan streak of innocence; replacing it with their own particular brand of Christianity.

I was raised Christian. I wear a fleur-de-lys cross . (I guess my French heritage passes muster with them, but I could be as wrong about that as I am wrong to celebrate Halloween.) I pray. I donate to charity regularly no matter what my financial circumstances of the moment. I cry when animals get hurt. I believe in things that are eternal and beautiful. And I have fun once a year in a shivery, fake-horror, too-many-sweets way.

And these people who cringe away from Halloween, who endeavor to live up to the standards they wish everyone would adopt, do things that horrify me. Most recently they confided that they were sorry they had to kill raccoons that trespassed on their newly-sodded lawn.

‘We spent so much to have it all made nice. We just couldn’t let animals destroy it.’

They trapped and killed the creatures themselves. ‘But we said a prayer for our souls with each one we put down.’

Well, I guess that makes it all okay, doesn’t it?

They believe such action is acceptable, because ‘animals have no souls.’

Ah, yes. The hubris of the human race. Like a story in the news some months ago. After extensive study of the electrical impulses in their brains and comparison to synonymous paths in those of humans, it was declared that dogs are indeed capable of feeling love.

Gosh, really? Did you really need to spend vast amounts of time with extremely expensive equipment to come to that conclusion? I could have told you dogs feel love. And cats. And pretty much any creature you take the time to know.

The hubris of the human race. Again.

Next thing you know, they’ll be announcing that animals…yes, even animals!…have souls. But first they’ll have to prove that humans do, so there will be something to use as a baseline comparison.

I’m not sure they can. At least, not all of us…. Must be that rebellious, Celtic streak.

 

halloweencat

Standard