Monday, June 29, 2009

[New Music] Throw me the Statue

I found Throw me the Statue's track Ancestors on Insomnia Radio --> and like, like the band.

Listen also here:

[From their label Secretly Canadian's website: I'm assuming, from my recent spate of music research, that that means they're Secretly Awesome, owning to the awesomeness of Canadian music.]

[Poetry Warp: Prose] Heart like a wheel (2001-2002)

Heart Like a Wheel

ed. note: Written for one of my judo partners in crime while at Toryo JHS in Hobara, Japan, where I taught English for three years. Over the course of a year, I watched one of my female students flirt, adore and worship one of my male students, who enjoyed the attention but was seeking greener pastures. It was hard to watch, but inspired this little vignette.

“Some say a heart is just like a wheel,

When you bend it, you can’t mend it.

And my love for you is a sinking ship,

And my heart is on that ship out in mid-ocean…”

When hearts are stung, no love can be won. I know it happens frequently. What I can’t understand, oh please god hold my hand…why it should have happened to me? And it’s only love, it’s only love that can wreck a human being and turn him inside out…

it’s only love, it’s only love, it’s only love…” these were the only words left to me, stuck, choking in the back of my throat, a mantra to the disposed. For those who want to be possessed. Or thought they were.

Dressed in the skins of man, with the gait of a natural predator, there are things you overlook when your eyes are clouded with fascination. And maybe there was something in the laying on of bodies, pressed intimately together in an imitation of lovers when the first rush of hormones attack the innocent. It was the first time I had ever seen a flat, male stomach, the taper of triangular hips, and felt the heat stain my cheeks in embarrassment for my half-concealed looks. I was only a girl when I met him, thin and shapeless, an interloper into this male world of half-naked boys playing as warriors and men. I was still cocky, the self-consciousness of womanhood just beyond my fingers. Cocky and strong, and immune to the sweet odor of boys and the uncomfortable feelings of loosing a hand and wrist between a boy’s legs.

It’s a bittersweet thought, believing that maybe I had him in the palm of my hand for three seconds. So much better to believe it than to know for certain that everything I did, that we did, was for nothing. I had the skirt at my thighs when the door slid open, completely, resolutely, and his eyes met mine…startled and the breath was stolen from my throat. “Sorry, sorry…” He stammered, and I could only stand there while he continued watching, making no move to leave. There was something in his eyes, something that I didn’t have the experience to read. Something that if I had been someone else, would have explained his distractedness during practice, and the strange, outright looks he’d press on me when he thought I wasn’t looking (boring into the back of my head, making me believe that something about me was aberrant). I knew he had a girlfriend. An unknown, faceless entity who I never really associated with him. If he hadn’t had been the one who woke me from girlhood, providing the essential ingredient to the toxic brew of chemicals in me, I would have never moved near him. I would have pretended he did not exist, that he was just a boy. But he wasn’t just a boy. And he always knew that he had me.

I felt the brunt of his radiance immediately, keeping me warm and making my stomach turn in excitement. It was intoxicating, and I slept early each night to run back to him every morning. From an awkward smile, to a quick look…even the times when he appeared to have not noticed me, just his mere presence electrified me. I was wobbly, I was unbalanced, learning how to walk and speak and move again under this new wonderment. I was blinded. I was completely happy.

We talked in long, moving prose. Things I dissected in a million ways afterwards, not allowing my eyelids to flutter close until I’d figured out his hidden messages. I tested the word ‘love’ on my tongue, completely bypassing ‘infatuation’ and ‘crush.’ Self-consciousness battering my strength, I passed him my love, handed him myself, handing him a letter that spelled out my affections.

Two hours later, I was cut. His eyes never found me, his radiance turned like the moon in the evening sky. I burned…no longer with his pleasant heat…but with abject shame. What had I done? Where had he gone? I went to practice, and he was surrounded by girls, moving around him, chattering, blushing, laughing. I called his name and he never even turned around. I felt the hot sting of tears before they fell and fled to the judo room, into the girl’s changing room, slamming the door behind me, so hard they ricocheted and crumpled, sobbing into my uniform.

It was almost sickening, the smiles and idle chitchat he offered me, the smell of the other girls still strong on him. I was cold. I was bruised more than bodily.

I had him underneath my hands, working along the heavy fabric, his only protection, feeling the skin of my fingers opening up beneath the course material as I moved against him. He was unprepared momentarily, my blood spotting the white of his shirt, my legs cutting his legs, his head as it jarred the tatami. It was unnatural the way he fell, I drew in my breath, still clutching his sleeve, as his head slammed against the mat, bouncing and then he was still.

“Open your eyes…” I said, nudging him with my knee, now kneeling on the tatami.

Dressed in the skins of man, the eyes of the predator were gone.

M.A. Allen

for: Takurou.

Monday, June 22, 2009

[WFOTM] Word Fact of the Moment #5


A term of reproach?

Halliwell-Phillips, in his elucidating and quite often unintentionally hilarious Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words from the 14th Century (1847) has some doubts upon the actual meaning of this sixteenth century zinger. He quotes Richard Maddox, MS. Addit. 5008:

1582. Feb. 22, we went to the theater to se a scurvie play set owt al by one virgin, which ther proved a fyemartin without voice, so that we stayd not the matter.

Quite outside of the matter of whether our narrator should have been attending a "scurvie play" or not (and in attending should have expected some sorts of hooligantry), exists Halliwell-Phillips' questioning of whether Fyemartin is a term of reproach in context.

As it turns out, a Fyemartin - or a "Freemartin," in less archaic and more earthy terms - is a sterile female animal with strong masculine traits, a hermaphrodite. Something that happens in mixed sex cattle twins and in for a long time in folklore was assumed to be the same in mixed sex human twins.

Dymphna Callaghan's Shakespeare without women (2000), clears this up, "the {aforementioned} incident is, then, not about female performance but about poor masculine performance and demonstrates that an inadequate voice in the matter of female impersonation might well result in playgoers quitting the theatre, or, as Marston's players suggest, the actor being hissed from the stage" (p71).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

[New Music] The Bloodsugars

While I would never, personally, vouch for breakfast on the BQE, this band is my newest find! Sweet Brooklyn goodness. I caught this on an Insomnia Radio Podcast (

Check out the tunes at -->

The aforementioned tune has a very sweet, lyrically loopy, poppiness that reminds me of Ra-Ra-Riot (which, being one of my favorite bands in the world with a new album out very, very soon, is not a bad thing at all).

And speaking of music craziness, this true event happened today:

My computer was cycling through the mangled vestiges of my playlist (most of my music is on an external HD, since mp3s and their assorted siblings multiply like madness when I'm involved) while I was getting ready for work. From the next room, I heard the Paper Route turn into R. E. M's Driver 8. There is no earthly way that my computer could have cycled through that particular tune, owning to its being on the external HD and the XHD was not plugged in at the time.

REM's Driver 8 was the song my Uncle Jace and Rich Henricks played at my Dad's funeral last September. My theory of the moment is that my Dad was complaining about my pseudo-electronic-rock and putting on something more pleasing to his ears. Supernatural critics!

[Poetry Warp] January 1, 1997 - William Cries

William Cries

and in the beginning
i can't ease your pain -
love dies by its own hand.
you say i cannot
i don't.
but between the stripper,
a friend of mine who
walks home to the early
morning moon
and the ghost who
sits on the edge of your
bed when you're hurting,
maybe the smile of a girl
you once loved in the
fluorescent lights of a
parking lot --
i have a lot to offer
once the novelty of coincidental love
wears down.
William cries.
and in the beginning, i can't ease your
handing you responsibility
for a name that breathes
so softly ... harder now, louder

i was never there when
you answered silence to
thirteen messages from
the dying girl,
i changed my mind.

no one knows
but the shadow of a dying man.
William cries
don't die unless you must.

but if you must,
in the beginning
you forget to breathe
to the disgust of the
ghost who sits on the edge
of your bed
glowing from fluorescent


Haven't the faintest who 'reg' was. This was my freshman year of undergrad.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[New Music] Twilight Sleep

I've been working on a couple of mixes for myself and my Mom rather diligently of late, and came across the band Twilight Sleep -->

I have realized that I have some deep, inchoate love of lyrical intensive electronica and have decided to just give into the desire. I'm glad I did when I stumbled across this (disregard the video itself, per favore, as its lameness is intense):

Tracy Marcellino has a wonderful breathy huskiness that pulled amazing things out of the simple, but intense lyrics. I am not usually partial to female lead vox, but I seriously had to reevaluate my stance.

Friday, June 5, 2009

[Poetry Warp] January 8, 1996: meditations on JPS

ed. note: I don't remember writing this, exactly. It's on Ramada Inn stationary and clearly dated 01/08/96. Senior year of HS. Probably for Josh*

* * * * *

meditations for JPS

I'm going to make a bust of
I don't particularly love
the man himself
but the emptiness of
his mind interests
philosophies outside of my
own are hard for me
to conjugate
where are you coming from?
mnemonic devices
if I begin to think your
thoughts where
is there room for my own?
I've already begun
dream your dreams & where has
that lead me?
Now there's a philosophy you
cannot endure.
I believe every sweet fragment
born within my
As mush as I believe in
Fate and
the faltering of
choice within the bounds
of love-
but sometimes
its so much easier, neater perhaps
to empty
into the bitter arms of
A hopeless romantic who was
crushed by Fate.
We may fear the
but we revile what we know
& understand the best.
Maybe that's why I
fear you.
That is not a choice.
Nor a given.


* I actually surprised myself by the unconscious rejoinder of 'that fucker' in my head after I typed this name (another long ago memory sprung to life. *sigh*). Strong mental image of rain, white skin (not mine, for once) and black silk boxer shorts. Interesting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

[Mixes] Werewolves & Convicts

I like to make music mixes.

Finding corollaries between songs is something I seem to do automatically- perhaps the downfall of having an indexing mind - and recently I've been working on a couple of interesting ones (to me).

Firstly: Werewolves

This would seem like a strange theme for mixes, and the tenor of what I'm working towards is always in the back of my mind (folksy, lyric intensive and earthy). Luckily, I ran across this song (from Secret and Whisper - who I LOVE) yesterday to add to the mix:

I also have Blitzen Trapper's Furr, which is a beautiful song -->

And Richard Shindell's version of Dar Williams' Calling the Moon. Richard Shindell has such a wonderful voice.

Secondly: Convicts

The second mix only has two songs, thus far (maybe three, if I decide on Blanche's version of Running with the Devil):

Johnny Cash's version of Nick Cave's Mercy Seat (it might be sacrilegious for me to prefer Cash's version, since I adore Nick Cave, but it's true. Especially his delivery on the lines, "And anyway I told the truth, but I'm afraid I told a lie" in relation to his not being afraid to die) -->

And Blitzen Trapper's (yes, one of my current music obsessions) Black River Killer. I'm sure my fellow passengers on MTA transit are probably less inclined to sit by me when I'm mouthing:

So you make no mistake
I know just what it takes
To pull a man’s soul back from heaven’s gates
I’ve been wandering in the dark about as long as sin
But they say it’s never too late to start again.

[WFOTM] Word Facts of the Moment #4


originally meant foolish, from the Latin nescius, ignorant, Chaucer has --

For he was nyce and knowth no wisdom

and he uses 'nice fare' for foolish to do. To be 'over-nice' still means to be foolishly particular, and 'more nice than wise' also carries the original meaning. Archdeacon Hoare*, however, derives the word from the French niais, simple; and speaks of 'That stupid vulgarism by which we use the word nice to denote almost every mode of approbation for almost every variety of quality; and from sheer poverty of thought, or fear of saying anything definite, wrap up everything indiscriminately in this characterless domino - speaking in the same breath of a nice cheesecake, a nice tragedy, a nice oyster, a nice child, a nice man, a nice tree, a nice sermon, and a nice coutry; as if a universal niaiserie (for nice seems to originally to have been only niais) had whelmed the whole island...'

Another meaning of nice is over-fastidiousness, or affectation of purity and delicacy, often employed by the most vicious people. It is in this sense that Swift said, 'a nice man is a man of nasty ideas.'

* Personally, I don't know how seriously I could take a sermon by Archdeacon Hoare.