Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled (Black Skull), 1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Untitled (Black Skull), 1982

The trees stand without leaves, gathered close and deep. Their branches bare, shake, forsaken and angered. The wind whips through their spidery limbs like a lash coming down hard against the penitent’s back. The winds warn of the coming storm, howling in the night as they rush along. Hovering impossibly low, the clouds begin to mourn and a wail of torment sounds as the trees nod and groan. Small branches snap under pressure and are suddenly sailing free through the gales with no destination at hand, no thought or concern to where they may land.

Nino looks to the sky and sees nothing there as an eerie silence stills the air. His fists clench at his side, fingernails biting into his palms, as his jaw grinds forth, jutting out in determination. Taking one step forth, his boot casts upon a fallen limb and as his weight shifts, the twig splits angrily. He feels the earth give way under his foot as a bellow sounds. Slow. Low. Uncomfortable. His hands are damp and his throat begins to close.

It is cold, the kind of cold that is felt far below, deep inside the hollow of bone. It is the kind of cold that rattles and roars and sobs and moans. Nino begins to shiver until the shiver becomes a shake and then it is like the tremors of withdrawal. THe ait carries a woman’s laugh as the wind rumbles into a thunderous rage. Frozen in place, he is unable to escape as he feels something prickly brush against his face.

His hands tremble, agitated and afraid as he feels something within him start to break. It is deep in his chest, buried below the ribs, inside the center of his being that pumps life into his body. It is here in the seat of his heart that his body and soul finally split apart. He can feel the tearing of organ, the breaking of bone, the ripping of flesh as his spirit leaves his body, flees even.

A flash of white light strikes, illuminating a silhouette. Ling black hair sails through the air, spreading wide like a net. The net expands into a web, stick and sweet, and at the center of this trap is a woman he knows, the woman he hates. She is young and slim, almost starved, and her scarlet eyes feast upon Nino’s tremulous form. Ven aqui. Come to me, she calls softly, her voice as seductive as the sirens of The Odyssey.

A wave of desire sweeps through Nino’s spirit, suffusing him with warmth and where the sky was dark and foreboding, it becomes something succulent and soft, and he can taste this craving on his tongue and it tastes like a life that was never his. She calls to him again, this time silently, speaking the words he has longed to hear. He feels his spirit relax and release as she summons him forth, and he moves faster and faster now, flying to her side at once.

He lands in the web with deeply beating heart and he looks at her and she looks at him and he sees her eyes are voracious and dark. The sweet scent of innocence fills her with an excitement she can barely contain. Her mouth is wet, so wet that she can taste his flesh and as her pink lips spread slowly they reveal teeth of jagged edge.

She smiles in delight as Nino’s eyes widen in horror and she moves closer to him, closer and closer. She reaches for a little hand, a pale and delicate paw with sharp red talons on the end of each fingertip, talons sharp as claws as saws all the better to cut you in half and she carefully draws her nail across the side of his face.

A trickle of blood rises to the surface as a torrent of fear washes over him and in an instant it is over just as quickly as it began. His spirit is driven back into the body it had left behind, returning to the womb of his heart and crawling all the way inside. There is a pain, a kind of pain he knows too well and though he normally pushes it back down, this time, it is too much and he has lost control.

His mouth opens wide and a strangled gasp breaks from his lips and it is in this moment that a shadow rushes out of his chest. It is a small shadow, dark but not opaque, and it knows not except it must return to the universe from whence it first came. And as the shadow disappears in the darkness of light, Nino is empty and exhausted, wavering in the wind.

Stand! he commands, knees locking in place as his feet sink deeper into the earth. He feels himself sinking and looks down to discover his boots are submerged in a thick and viscous substance. The more he pulls against it, the tighter it hold until he realizes what is happening. He is standing in quicksand and it’s only a matter of time. If he could release himself from the boots that hold his feet… If he could just grab that branch over there and pull himself to safety… If there were someone, anyone, nearby who would hear his scream… But there is nothing, no one, not even She.

A panic rises in Nino’s chest as he realizes that not even he can help himself. He is now knee deep in the cold and clammy muck and he realizes that time, time is all he has left and time is running out. He looks to the sky and sees nothing there. The storm as passed and silence fills the air.

Nino feels himself sinking as the world rises up. Resolute, he knows the truth. He is trapped, held captive, abandoned and alone. Failure burns his flesh, his aching bones. His cheeks are aflame, ashamed, debased once more. Rage boils and bubbles and foams on his tongue. With the venom of the Furies, he cries out—


(this passage, since deleted, once began my novel)
The Kingdom of Eternal Night

And so it is, and so it has been that this blog has become a diary of sorts. It is a refuge, an oasis, a sacred space where I have found the integrity that had been stripped from me. It is an exploration of the dark and the light, the sick and the healing, the curses and the blessings that have surrounded me since I was born.

It is this blog that has given me a new sense of understanding of the Digital Age, not just what it means to speak freely to the world, but the courage it requires to sign my name to my word. I have no aliases, I play no games, I hide from nothing because I no longer fear my pain.

Once this blog became my diary, I discovered something I didn’t understand—that in being me, I do not need to do anything else. As this blog has taken hold, I have released myself from the illusions and lies that held me prisoner, and in pardoning myself of crimes that I did and did not commit, I have discovered that freedom is the only way to live.

I live to write. I write to live. I live for photographs. I take no photographs except those that I find. I am horrified by the idea of documenting my life as that which lies in my immediate purview for what I experience is so much greater than the small scope of my travels on earth. And to that end, the Internet has become my Oracle, guiding me to images of life that I know, even though I did not live them until the moment my eyes cast upon their form. The images I select tell as much about me as any words ever could—perhaps more in that they speak all languages. And, as you know, or shall soon discover, we are moving into a post-literate society.

Isn’t it beautiful and ironic and amazing to realize that we are returning to our essence, to a world of signs and symbols and oral history. Granted, that oral history is now video, but it remains worth noting that the death of print is the harbinger of this brave new world.

And yet… I could never give up words, nor give up print, even though I fully embrace the Digital Age. I have always felt that I was born at the turning point, and that I at once live in two worlds, the old and the new school, and I love them both for all their beauty and critique them both for all their arrogance, and I benefit by virtue of all that is possible because at no other time in history could I live on my terms and no one else’s.

I answer only to myself, and that is a blessing, for I know the curse that was implanted in me at birth, and I fear it not because my powers are granted by the Universe.

And one of those powers has been and shall always be the desire to communicate, to share, to connect, to create community. And I did not know, until I began, that what you seek is seeking you, and so it happens that I am.

As I consider the future is now, and now is the time, and time is an illusion, I create the world in which I choose to live. And that world is the world of my heart and mind and soul manifest. And that creature is both an essence and an existence, and they are complementary because what was done unto me is very dark and heavy.

And this darkness weighs on me and I accept it. For we all have our demons, and finally, now, I can give mine a hug. Because, two years ago I drew a card and the lesson was “Dealing with Demons” and the first thing I realized was that demons were sick energies that need love in order to heal. And I was disgusted and charmed and confused by this, because I couldn’t so much as wrap my arms across my chest and give myself a hug, let alone love the demons that dwelled beneath my breast. But I never forgot that lesson, even though I had no idea how it would become expressed.

It is both this blog, which is my daily meditation, and my novel(s) which have allowed me to express and accept and make peace with the darkness and to accept that who I am is not for everyone, particularly not those who are afraid of themselves. And that makes me sad, partially because I still possess the pathetic desire to be loved by all, but more than that, it makes me sad because I hate to see that kind of self hatred in anyone else. I feel it, with a kind of empathy that has no boundaries, in the way that spirits can enter my space without resistance. Because the boundaries around my ego were so completely violated, first by a shocking proximity to death, second by predators masquerading as parents, but no matter anymore.

All blessings are curses and vice versa. And the curse has blessed me with the ability to know things very few people wish to talk about. But then I realize, if only one person wishes to speak with me, I am a lucky girl. And there is at least one person, Miss Fitts, and she rocks my world. To imagine that we speak about suicide so calmly, so clearly, so deeply, so much so as to come to the knowledge of parallel universes, other dimensions, and things which mankind cannot prove but the brain can experience—ahh, this is why I am here. This is why all of this happened to me. This is why I don’t ever need to ask why—because I live in faith. I live fearless. I believe.

And so it is that something has happened and things have changed and I see that there are two forces working together at this time. There is the darkness and there is the light and both need to be expressed, but in order to become manifest and pure in their essence, I separate the two to develop in their own space, and perhaps the day shall come when they unite. But today is not that day.

Today is the day that I introduce my other half. The Kingdom of Eternal Night, my new blog, and the future of Miss Rosen, Sara, and me. Is that like the trinity? The Mother, the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit? God is so Good, there are no words for it.

The Kingdom of Eternal Night


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