May Flowers – Indigo and Grey

I can still get credit for this shit until the end of June, as befits the month of rainbows, I suppose…

A Deep Darkness

Look into his eyes and you will see
The vast abyss of his sexual majesty
A place to be lost for eternity
Condemned to this eldritch ecstasy

I met him walking a railroad tie
Made a million locusts and cattle skulls sigh
Said this’ll be a secret between you and I
Said it won’t hurt but that was a lie

Tied to a willow with cottonmouth hide
Made love out of hate and ash out of pride
Wish I was you now, the demons all cried
Can’t much complain with that man inside

Condemned to this eldritch ecstasy
A place to be lost for eternity
The vast abyss of his sexual majesty
Look into his eyes and you will see

Cinereous Mourner

The shape of fire is a triangle trailing away to a stream of sparks
The shape of ashes is a triangle mounded hill of cremnant carbon
She watched the fire steal away all that made their lives complete
She walked away left something behind maybe she coughed it out
Part of it blew away in the stream of sparks part fell to the cremains
There she flattened the triangle to make her bed
The wind blew ash across her body and tucked her in for the night

May Flowers – a Bouquet

Have some more flowers, my peoples.

Make it Snappy

I sat in a haze of a half dozen cigarettes when she walked in, Violeta Magenta, six foot two in stiletto heels.  I could tell she was packing heat, but nothing could rouse me from the toxic torpor of that hangover.  Why did I live like that?  The only thing that could animate my sorry carcass was danger, and she wasn’t it.  Not yet at least.

She said, “Clive Cleaver,” through violet-smeared lips, “I thought I was coming to see a private dick, but all I see is a puddle of swamp water.  Should I take these hundred dollar bills across the alley to Navy Davey?  I hear he’s got a lot of pep in his step.”  No, I said.  I’ll take your money.  She said, “Find out where the thieves fenced my amethyst and diamond piece, and get it back.  Make it snappy.”  For a few lousy sawbucks? I asked.  “I’ll make it worth your while.  If you make it snappy.”

As it happened I did have a line on her jewels, and I could turn this around in no time.  I said yes ma’am and pulled on my shoulder holster to make it look like serious business.  But the only danger I was in came from that kooky dame.  Ya see, I was the one who snatched her necklace, with the help of Dissolute Capriccio.  We’d been working Violeta’s scene for months, and grabbed the goods during one of her famous trysts in the Donkey Room.

Me and Dissolute, we knew there was nowhere in town to offload rocks that hot, so selling back to Miss Magenta was always the plan.  Could I talk her up to six hundred?  She always loved purple.  I’d call her from my partner’s spot with some cock and bull about complications and extenuating circumstances.  Not a problem.

It was a whopping six blocks I had to walk.  Just to make it look like I was going through some stress, I killed a bit of time at Louie’s.  The Funny Girls were playing darts for dope.  Got so clumsy they sunk one in the meat of my right hand.  I resolved to get a tetanus shot with the payoff from Violeta, and kept on.

At Dissolute’s nobody was answering the door.  Had that rat found a fence with deep pockets somewhere in our petty little burg?  Not a chance, but maybe he was at the bus station for Chi-town.  I took the fire escape up to his broken window, peeled back the tarpaulin, and went in.  It was a bright day and the light through his curtains was this intense purple, bright like something alive but dull like something dead.  I couldn’t see jack until she turned on the lamp, already pointing a pearl-handled derringer at my grill-piece.

“Took your sweet time, Clive.  I specifically asked you to make it snappy.”  Where’s Dissolute? I asked.  “Pass me the roscoe, buddy.  No false moves now.”  Where’s Dissolute? I reiterated through clenched teeth.  “Clive, the roscoe, or this conversation is over now.”  I gave up my heater, but what did I really have to lose?  I just didn’t have to vim to put up a fight.  You were wearing them when you came to my office this morning, I said.  She opened her jacket with one hand, the necklace sparkled in the lamplight.

Violeta had asked me to make it quick, but I knew she was about to take her sweet time with me.  Better luck in the next life.

Horseness

Horse girls are the wildest.  Get a girl interested in horses and you never know where it’s gonna stop.  Drawings in the margins of all her homework?  Posters?  Insisting the parents get one, rent a stable, take her riding all the time?  Get with other horse girls and discuss the horse tea?  Look up in silence at the approach of human boys, unwilling to let slip their horse secrets?

Horse girls, I’ve seen ’em in school, in the fields behind the school.  I’ve seen ’em strap on the feedbag, or gather around a salt lick, or take an apple from a stranger.  I’ve seen their nostrils flare to the size of silver dollars, their manes growing down the backs of their necks.  I’ve seen the hooved legs come down out of their dresses when they don’t think anybody’s looking.

One time I fell in love with a horse girl.  Goddamn that was foolish.  But there she was, long brown hair and big brown eyes, always made me think of that Van Morrison tune.  By degrees I got her used to my presence, you know, standing around and not doin’ nothin’ when she horsed out.  No eye contact, but gradually gettin’ closer and closer, where I sat on lunch break.

We were out on the football field.  Nobody went there on lunch ‘cept to get away from anybody else.  Some kids were smoking, some were making time.  I was getting as close to Clarabel as she would allow.  The legs came down, but she didn’t pay me no mind, and I thought Yes, she knows that I know, and she isn’t afraid of me anymore.  I approached her with an apple in hand and a hopeful expression on my face, still careful to look more at the nape of her beautiful neck than through the portal of those long thick eyelashes.

But it was all for naught.  She caught wind of my intentions and was havin’ none of it.  Sprouted a dozen horse legs right down the middle, top to bottom of her body, radial formation like the bauplan of a sand dollar or a sea urchin.  One of the damn things came right out of her mouth and stretched her face out to so many rubber bands around the base of it.  I about lost my lunch and my heart.  She just cartwheeled away like that, down the fifty yard line, up the bleachers, and out into the farmland beyond.

Horse girls are wild, but don’t you dare fall in love with one.  Far as I know, she’s still rolling to this day.

Silverfish

What is that shining in the claws of a bird?
A six-pack of beer?  No, don’t be absurd.
Ah, I see now – a struggling fish,
Shimmering, glittering, must be delish.
Or maybe it tastes like some salty chunk meat,
Bloody and raw, not exactly a treat,
Which tells us not all that shines is a prize.
What more silver creatures bedevil the eyes?
Tentaculate beasts and chitinous ghouls,
Translucent fangs exude strings of drool.
Scaly and flaky but covered with snot,
Metallic in sheen more often than not.
Flashes of light like a shiny new dime,
A veneer for creeps suffused with the brine.
I once saw a silverfish the size of my thumb,
Jumped out of my skin and then went for my gun.
Nickel-plated semi-auto nines I did blast,
In hopes to annihilate the creepy-assed.
I didn’t quite hit the mark, not off by a mile,
But boy did I fuck up my poor bathroom tile.
So heed the warning that I now try to give,
Allow the gleaming and slimy to live.
Go ahead, judge all these books by their covers,
But don’t leave them bait in your basins and cupboards.
Keep a clean ship to sway detritivores,
And you won’t be tempted to destroy your floors.
Quoth the earwig, Nevermore.

MF – White and Antifa Chick Tract

This is more like it…

_Witness the Whiteness_

I had said a bunch of intelligent-looking things about race and ethnicity, but realize it’s all pointless noise.  I deleted it, replaced it with this.  It’s funny, the world is infinitely complex, but we’re always trying to reduce it to words, and then hammer reality into the molds those words create.  Stuff is liquid, it’s going to spill out of any shape we try to set for it.  We all know the racists are wrong about practically everything, especially the racists who expel a bunch of greenhouse gases talking around the fact that they’re racist, like Sam Harris.

But I think the rest of us get a lot wrong on the subject too.  Particularly when we try to treat cultures and ethnicities as discrete units for the purposes of discourse, when there are so many overlapping intersections and complications that the prevailing narratives have millions of local exceptions.  This creates easy gotchas for the opposition when you talk about racism, like “look at all these people who are perfectly fine with what you call cultural appropriation,” etc.

People are people, said the white person, why you gotta separate us with divisive rhetoric?  If we just forget about the past present and future of racism, it’ll stop existing on its own.  No, I say, the discourse, it’s gotta keep discoursing along.  For my part,

* insert honkey noises here *

I definitely feel some big feelings about race.  There are reasons racism personally offends me, though it isn’t pointed at me.  Still, what the hell do I have to offer to the discussion, from where I sit?  When it comes to skin tone, those in my end of the gene pool are the closest to mimes, and so I think I’ll make like a mime now, and shut the fuck up.  The end.

A few years back I made this comic, like a ten page Chick tract for some antifas.  Pro-bono job for a dear cause.  I didn’t post it, perhaps thinking of the background check for an upcoming job application.  Don’t remember for sure why.

I didn’t write the script, just injected some half-assed yuks, and you can probably think of a dozen reasons why the reasoning in it is flawed, even if you dig the spirit of it.  I can feel PZ and Mano cringing at the invocations of science; I personally roll my eyes at the notion a “blade of logic” could scratch the skin of the masters of double-think.

Just enjoy the last high-effort visual art I’ll ever make, particularly my rendering of the freaky Charlottesville sweatbeast.  And consider donating to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund.


May Flowers – Cyan

I might be overstepping the bounds of my own experience a little too much on this one, but if it sucks, we can just move along.  There’s more to come.

Where a River Flows

Up a mountain in Luzon, jade vines flow down the river banks. From unremarkable leafy vines grow great leis of exotic flowers and heavy green fruits. They grow and in time they fall down those river banks, past kingfisher nests and ferns and moss and rocks into the rivers themselves. Those rivers in turn flow out to the sea.  They say water is a cycle, that the water lost from a land is returned to it in the form of rain, but is it ever the same water, or have those molecules been lost forever to foreign lands or the abyss itself?

A family comes from the Philippines to the United States, like in that Neil Diamond song, to touch the hem of prosperity’s garment, to work and make their lives golden.  They have so much in common with cultural USAmericans – particularly a blithe acceptance of capitalism coupled with a sense of desperation derived from capitalist oppression which converts to hyper-participation in the capitalist system.  The rich are just better than us, unless I figure out the get-rich-quick scheme that will make me one of them, then I will be better than those who used to be us.  Get that bread.

The matriarch Vernita does the nail salon thing, the patriarch Rafael works his way up from day labor to contractor, and the family attains middle class.  Success.  The kids are so culturally close to America in the first place that they fit right in, become no different from any other kids here.  Except for being brown.  There’s always that.  There’s white kids, black kids, light-skinned Asian kids, and then… all the brown kids.  South Asian, Mexican, Native American, Polynesian, whatever, you all look the same to the majority.  The lighter the skin the more easily you can fit in with white kids, and get some measure of their privilege over your darker brothers and sisters.

This family is fortunate to be lighter-skinned, more from Spanish and Dutch ancestors than from Fujian Chinese, and one could almost imagine little Benny was Cuban.  That’s acceptable to US neo-nazis, even though it wouldn’t be enough in Australia or Hungary.  If he hates black and jewish people enough, he gets a white pass, and starts running with bad dudes.  Little Benny grows up a middle class contractor like dad in the day time, a wide-eyed bullethead proud boy by night.

His brother Donny always used to come around, used to be tight with Benny.  He even started down that path of darkness, doing cruel things that he would grow to regret.  But he was too socially awkward, too weak, not aggressive enough to fit in with the macho.  The nazis sensed his weakness and got Benny to betray him and brutalize him time after time.  Eventually, Donny realized he was gay, and went down a different path.  But without the resources of the rich, the cocktail of abuse and despair kept him from academic success.  Without Benny’s bad influence, Donny could have been a doctor.  Instead, he ends up homeless for a few years, before settling into a lower class life as a waiter and aspiring actor.

Sister Vicky is just doing her best to get by and keep her head low.  Be popular enough to be ignored by bullies, but not popular enough to attract competitive white queen bees exploiting her racial otherness to tear her down with rumor.  Success.  She gets a liberal arts degree and an office job, marries a law student, has kids, divorces, and marries again.  She stays close to the family, and is the source of whatever continuity the parents can feel with their ancestry.  The family is a river.

But Donny’s no breeder and Benny’s kids are doomed by his viciousness.  Vicky’s kids are part of that water flow, but for how long?  Getting that bread, pursuing individualized success, the community is left behind.  This droplet of the Philippines is atomized into the abyss of Anglo-America.  Perhaps it was already disintegrating before it left an island colonized and oppressed into a shadow image of the colonizer.  What would those islands have been without one conquest after another after another?

Does it even matter to ask those questions?  The most culturally Filipino members of the family, Vernita and Rafael, are an all-American success story, believers in medical woo and MLM schemes, creationism and Trumpism.  They have no idea why Benny’s kids are suffering, and hey, out of sight out of mind – not like they come around as much as Vicky’s kids.  Everything works itself out in the end, as long as you keep your head down and work clever and get lucky.  Jesus said.

Rafael has a fall and gets dementia and doesn’t remember English as well as he used to.  He wants the things of his childhood, and moves back to the Philippines.  It’s hotter, it’s filthier, it’s fascist.  But it’s alright.  We abide until we’re done.  He dies where he wanted to die.  Vernita goes back to Long Beach, California and dies where she’d rather be.

Up a mountain in Luzon, there are not as many jade vines as there used to be, and not as many kingfishers nesting in the riverbanks.  But there are some, for now.  We abide until we’re done.

May Flowers – Green

Here we go again.

Leaglize Maraguana

Noel had to make it happen, had to make his masterpiece a reality.  Homage to Tom Petty on his passing, or within a decade of his passing, please let it happen.  Also, homage to the plant that offered the only real meaning in Noel’s life.  He’d been smoked out since he was twelve, fuck what the people say about teens and marijuana.  Life before that was suckin’ down candies and pickin’ his nose, watching Spongebob but not truly understanding it.  Life after Mary Jane?  He could laugh at jokes, and laugh at the terrible things in life that really are jokes, when you get it.  Love was real, everything was real, if wrapped in green cellophane.

And so the project.  Tom Petty’s Last Dance with Mary Jane, the music video it should have had, not that starfucking bullshit that got on MTV.  A sexy 3d animated girl doing a pole dance on cannabis stems.  Religious icons and sex toys in oscillating colors.  A motion-blurred tour through the ferns and mushrooms and tree stumps behind his dad’s house.  Garter snakes and frogs getting peaced out together on the herb.  But the 3d animated girl was the central recurring image, the thing that tied the home video together, and it wasn’t happening.  The other guys were fucking slackers.

Boxhead and Colin were the first two.  Boxhead never learned to 3d model by any other method but spline modeling.  You’d think with his handle he’d know a thing about box modeling, but no.  One leaf was thirty-thousand polys, and that shit would not do for a forest of the stuff, for what Noel needed.  Colin’s solution was compositing – render it in front of blue, mask the blue out in After-effects – but getting the light right, making that work on a large scale?  Looked like ass, took a million layers, and still killed any computer they tried it on.  When Boxhead dropped out, he took the leaf model with him, and then Colin, and all that remained was a mediocre resolution .mov burned with a strangely massive file size on CD, and then the disc got corrupted when left in a hot car for a day.

Deonte was better.  Buddha gave him superpowers, totally cured his ADHD, and he learned all the 3d shit like a wizard.  But the later in the day, the more he’d smoked, his mind went to the mystical.  They would try to do shit extracurricular, but got lost in mutual excitement about religion, philosophy, politics – all revolving around the ganj, of course.  One time they mistook their mutual excitement for sexual excitement and had a moment of gay panic that they could never get past.  Why are we all kept in these chains?

Then there was Juggalo Casey.  That dude was not right in the head.  To him, spliff was just a way to connect the dots between harder trips.  He helped Noel shoot the footage behind his dad’s house, but lost track of time playing with a slinky, imagined he was throwing fireballs.  Acid.  He kept saying he could help with the 3d work, but it was never going to happen.

Pearla was the one.  She blew a tree with the guys on Ash Wednesday and Noel had a vision – she was going to be the face of the dancing girl.  Before Deonte had to part ways with them, he did the model, too.  It was spot on, looked just like Pearla, but more stretched out and curvy, like African sculpture.  Hot shit.  But while she was a muse, and she could move minds toward the greater purpose, that influence only lasted until she transferred to a four-year school.

After that, it was Jaden, Oliver, Diamond Nuts, Ollie, Ava, Caden, Joshua Ripper, Caitlyn, Henry, Bitchface, and Toledo Stooge.  He couldn’t remember what they’d individually done wrong, but he could feel their failures in aggregate, a hydra in his brain stem.  In his six years at the two-year technical college, the animation never seemed to pull together, out of all the strands of effort in hard drives and thumb drives and burned DVDs labeled with sharpie or never properly labeled at all.

But at the end of the day, if everybody around you is on the same page except for you, doesn’t that make you the wrong one?  The weirdo, the outlier, the misfit?  Noel wondered, at long last, if it was ever meant to be.  Life is a struggle which is ultimately all to the same end, and only a great fool would try to squeak an achievement past The Reaper’s mighty scythe.

A verdant day in early spring, before almost all of the flowers had started to grow, some trees still bare from winter but reflecting the brilliant foliage below them, green with promise.  Noel lay at the edge of a vast, mostly empty parking lot, across the hood of his dodge neon with a bag of funyuns and a mountain dew code red.  Piled between his back and the windshield were book bags full of the work – sketchbooks and CD books and thumb drives in baggies or floating loose, plus all sorts of other trash that found its way into the mix.  He had planned to haul the whole lot over to the digital arts building, but realized he’d need some kind of cart, and gave up.  Time to ponder life in an increasingly sober state.  What misery, on an otherwise beautiful day.

The brain stem shook with the hydra’s thrashing.  A rage built inside him.  Did no one understand beauty?  Did no one understand art?  Yes, it was great to enjoy leisure and creation passively, but somebody, somehow, needed to create those things one enjoys.  It had to be Noel, but how could he carry on, surrounded by mendicants and psychic vampires?  Fuck, he needed to get baked, right quick.

But he knew enough to not light up in plain sight.  The pile of bags was like a duck blind, where he could hide from campus police.  Perfect.  He got back into the driver’s seat, fished a lacy out of the glove box, and lit up.  He saw the dark, lumpen wall of his abortive magnum opus before him, sighed, and proceeded to hotbox that shit.

Eventually Noel’s eyes uncrossed, and he immediately clocked a pair of eyes looking back at him from the other side of that wall.  How had he not anticipated this?  From outside the car it looked like an unattended pile of possessions, something that attracted a sniffing little piggy.  The cop broke eye contact to head toward the driver’s side door.

In a panic, Noel scrambled to the passenger side, opened the door, and lunged out head first.  An explosion of glass behind him, and the cop snagged his leg, preventing his escape.

“Stop resisting arrest!  Get out of the car!”

“I’m trying, man!”

The cop wasn’t making sense, Noel wasn’t making sense, so it was business as usual on Mother Earth.  The gendarme clung to his leg, though in the thrashing his arm was dragged against broken glass, and he cried out in alarm.  This was not helping Noel calm down at all, and he finally broke free, spilling out onto the concrete.  The edge of the lot was spiderwebbed with mossy green cracks where tree roots fought to reclaim the land.  For a moment, the boy was distracted by the beauty of it, but the pig bellowed with blood in his voice, and the panic returned.

Noel was on his feet, but anywhere he might flee was open ground, where he could easily get shot in the back.  He froze.  Put the hands up and turn around slow?  He could still see himself getting shot.  As the cop lurched into view, he ran around the back of the car, on some Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy kind of shit.

“Come out where I can see you, punk!”

“Nope!”  Again, neither man was making sense.  The cop should have just stood his ground and bellowed threats, saved his energy, but he ran around the car, and Noel ran as well.  Ring around the rosy.

Suddenly, Noel found himself behind the officer.  The pig had tripped on the cracks, landed face first on the ground, and lost a grip on his gun.  Noel ran over the top of the man to reach his gun – just to kick it out of reach, keep it away from the fascist.  But he tripped on the belt and came down knee-first in the back of a skull.

He lost seconds of time as the terror took over again, and came out of it standing tall, looking down at his victim.  Noel had killed a cop.  It didn’t feel triumphant, like in the songs.  It felt like the end of the world.  He could load all the book bags back into the neon, pick up all the pieces of glass from the concrete, and drive away without leaving a fingerprint or a molecule of DNA.  He could do that, but they’d still get him, CSI style.  Zoom and enhance.  Isolate the genome.  Clever interrogations.  Frenemies flipping on you.

Noel lay down on the hood of the car again, and nestled into the pile of bags, staring up at the sky.  He let his cellphone lay heavy in his hand, waiting to dial 911 and write the last chapter of his young life.  The sky was blue and, as his heart finally slowed to a moderate pace, the haze over his eyes turned green.  At least now he had an excuse for never finishing his shit.

Green and serene.

May Flowers – Yellow

Here comes another one

It Was All Yellow

Anyone else remember when that song “Yellow” by Coldplay was big on the radio?  That was somethin’ else.  That shit was everywhere.  Car radios goin’ by, in the aisles of your local pharmacy and grocery store, blastin’ down on your bloomin’ onion at the Red Robin, ghost echo earbuds on the bus before sound-cancelling was a thing.

First it was the song, then the world kinda went nuts for yellow.  That singer from coldplay married a yellow-haired lady, said he did it because her hair was yellow.  It was in his vows, look it up.  That yellow-haired lady started drinkin’ her own pee, said the color yellow is good for you.  I shit you not.  Meanwhile, everybody was drinkin’ beer instead of liquor and wine.  They painted all the hospitals the color of buttermilk.  And yellow fever killed like a million people in the tropics.

Crazy times, when “Yellow” by Coldplay was big on the radio.  I gotta say, I was not immune.  Sometimes I’d sing it in the shower.  Not really sing, because I can’t carry a tune.  I’d just say the lyrics while talkin’ like the Coldplay guy.  You know, like a harmonica with cheeks fulla cottonballs.  Then I started talkin’ like that when I was at work, and then everybody else started doin’ it too.  I couldn’t stop, no matter how serious the situation got.  I was honkin’ and buzzin’ through the eulogy at my mom’s funeral, while makin’ sweet love and proposin’ to my lady.  And when she said I do?  You know how she said it.

It really came to a head when our kids were born.  It goes without sayin’ they were conceived while that song was playing.  You know, “Yellow,” by Coldplay.  But we all got sick of it eventually, and moved on.  The song wasn’t done with us yet, at least, not the color.  My twins were born with jaundice.  Poor little Chris and Gwyneth, they had to go on dialysis until they could get kiddie kidney transplants.

Anyway, glad that piss is over.  It’s time to move on, like dandelions in the spring, like canaries in coal mines, like the color that happens between green and red at the intersection, like the sap that hardens around a livin’ creature and preserves its death to the limit of eternity.  It’s sure over.  It sure is.

May Flowers – Black

I had a dream last night that included a song, which was kind of a feeble knockoff of the Gershwins’ “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”  It was being sung by a band leader in Cab Calloway mold, but more heavy-set and sedate.  He was wearing a black suit with bright white embroidered spider web designs on the lapels.  I just expanded the lyrics I remembered to a full length song.

Down the Drain

Woke up this morning feelin’ jazz
Felt like the world was up for grabs
Gambled and lost everything I had
Life’s goin’ down the drain

Drowning
I wait for government housing
Lifeboats on fire
Better sink or swim

Is the Great Depression all that swell?
From down at the bottom I can hardly tell
Sunday is Heaven and Monday Hell
Life’s goin’ down the drain

Falling
Tho I used to be balling
You’ll never catch me
Puttin’ on that Ritz

Ride the highs, watch out for lows
I used to get kicks right up my nose
Now you can say I’m truly hosed
Life’s goin’ down the drain

Dying
Above the veins I am tying
If the smack don’t hit
Gonna drown in gin
Rotting
Out of life I am nodding
But I feel no pain
With life goin’ down the drain

art by great american satan, using midjourney version 6.0

May Flowers – Blue

Allow me to hit you with a little Vogon poetry, just to notch one color and break my dry streak.  Seriously, I am shitting this thing out.  It is rank as an outhouse.

A Blue Forest

I came to the edge of a blue forest
The trees were green like brocc’li florets
I came to be whom the world ignorest
Bluebirds sang an electric chorus

The understory was a floral idyll
I came to lay down, to relinquish my will
Yet what time was it? The time to get ill?
Of beastie boys I had clearly my fill

Flowers were alive like a vibrating carpet
Bluebells battered me, the savagest mosh pit
Tossed and beaten ’til I just could not take it
If I had a bone left these petals would break it

You think to lay down, let the roots take you under
You think to escape from the tumult and thunder
But nature’s not gentle, is it any wonder?
The roar of the bluebirds will grant you no slumber.

May Flowers – Prompts

The damn writing events never end in my writing group, wtf.  This is part of a postnanopocalyptic restructuring.  Since nanowrimo the org has burned itself to sad ashes, people are no longer beholden to how they handled the event.  November is a novel writing month.  What else is there?

The org has “summer camp” versions of the novel writing, in April and July, but free of the nonprofit’s shambles, our group is going to space out the camps more evenly during the year, bumping April’s up to March.  This leaves a month’s space between the camps and May, so our overlord came up with an activity to do.  To quote him,

It’s gonna be May, and the start of a brand new event — May Flowers! This event is dedicated to writing short stories for every color of the rainbow, and is self-directed, so no word counts or deadlines.  You can write poems, flash-fiction, whatever you like!

MAY FLOWERS… RED
Today is the first day of May Flowers, and the first of our colors to be featured!  You may write your stories in any order you like, but I will post a color on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to help inspire you and give you some structure if you prefer it.  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO RED:  (Describe what makes your story red)
RED KEYWORDS:  (Include red related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a red flower you’d like to represent your story)  Post your discussions about ⁠red, as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates, feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Friday…

and because i’m not posting this til friday…

MAY FLOWERS… ORANGE Today is our second color!  Keep working on your reds, but here’s another one to inspire you.  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO ORANGE:  (Describe what makes your story orange)
RED KEYWORDS:  (Include orange related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose an orange flower you’d like to represent your story)  Post your discussions about orange, as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates, feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Monday… 

(EDIT for Change of Plans: I’m going to just edit all the prompts into this post and do the actual works as new blog posts.)

MAY FLOWERS… YELLOW New week, new color!  Here’s another one to inspire you.  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO YELLOW:  (Describe what makes your story yellow)
YELLOW KEYWORDS:  (Include yellow related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a yellow flower you’d like to represent your story)  Post your discussions about yellow, as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates, feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Monday… 

🪴 MAY FLOWERS… GREEN Today is nature’s favorite color!  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE: xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO GREEN:  (Describe what makes your story green)
GREEN KEYWORDS:  (Include green related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a green flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your discussions about green, as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates, feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Friday… 

🦋🪺🦋 FLOWERS… BLUE 🦋🪺🦋
A new color to bring you into the weekend…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO BLUE:  (Describe what makes your story blue)
BLUE KEYWORDS:  (Include blue related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose an blue flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your discussions about blue, as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates, feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Monday… 

🌃🪻🌃 MAY FLOWERS… INDIGO 🌃🪻🌃
A new color for a new week…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO INDIGO:  (Describe what makes your story indigo)
INDIGO KEYWORDS:  (Include indigo related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose an indigo flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your indigo discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Wednesday…  🪻

🍇🪻🍇MAY FLOWERS… VIOLET🍇🪻🍇
Today is our last color of the official rainbow, but there are still exotic colors more to come…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO VIOLET:  (Describe what makes your story violet)
VIOLET KEYWORDS:  (Include violet related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose an violet flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your violet discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Friday…🪻

🦇🥀🦇 MAY FLOWERS… BLACK 🦇🥀🦇
We move on now to the colors outside the rainbow… Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO BLACK:  (Describe what makes your story black)
BLACK KEYWORDS:  (Include black related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a black flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your black discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Monday…  🦇

MAY FLOWERS… GREY
It may seem like a non-color to some, but it can still inspire…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO GREY:  (Describe what makes your story grey)
GREY KEYWORDS:  (Include grey related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a grey flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your grey discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Tuesday…  🌧️

🌼🦢🌼 MAY FLOWERS… WHITE 🌼🦢🌼
A blank canvas, a clean sheet of paper; what will you create?  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO WHITE:  (Describe what makes your story white)
WHITE KEYWORDS:  (Include white related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a white flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your white discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.   There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Friday…  🌼

🦋🪺🦋 MAY FLOWERS… CYAN/AQUA 🦋🪺🦋
A new color for the weekend…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO CYAN:  (Describe what makes your story cyan)
CYAN KEYWORDS:  (Include cyan related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a cyan flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your cyan discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.   There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Monday…  🦋

🌸🌺🪷 MAY FLOWERS… PINK 🌸🌺🪷
Perhaps the floweriest color of all…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO PINK:  (Describe what makes your story pink)
PINK KEYWORDS:  (Include pink related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a pink flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your pink discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end. There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Wednesday… 🌸

🍂🐿️🍂 MAY FLOWERS… BROWN 🍂🐿️🍂
The earthiest of tones…  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO BROWN:  (Describe what makes your story brown)
BROWN KEYWORDS:  (Include brown related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a brown flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your brown discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  See you on Friday for our final color…  🍂

🪙⚔️🪙 MAY FLOWERS… SILVER & GOLD 🪙⚔️🪙
Our final colors…  You may consider this as one or the other, or do both!  Throw your hat in the ring by completing this little survey about your future story (or poem/essay/etc), post it, then get writing!
TITLE:  xxx
PREMISE:  (A brief synopsis of the plot, spoilery or otherwise)
RELATION TO SILVER/GOLD:  (Describe what makes your story silver/gold)
SILVER/GOLD KEYWORDS:  (Include silver/gold related words you associate with your story)
THE FLOWER:  (Chose a silver/gold flower/plant you’d like to represent your story)  Post your silver/gold discussions as well as your completed stories when you finish them!  Please include the above survey, and paste/upload/link your story.  They don’t have to be edited, just get to the end.    There are no due dates; feel free to work on your story as you like!  I’ll keep this event up for a while longer so you can keep flowering at your own pace…  Thanks for being here with us for this new event!  🌼🌹🌷🪻🌺

🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹🌻🌹

Anyway, this is how I’ll get blog content for a month.  Have at thee!

TITLE:  Acid Drops
PREMISE:  Girls do drugs.  One sees herself falling apart.  The other would put her back together.
RELATION TO RED:  Blood, of course.  The image and the idea of it.  Life and life lost.
RED KEYWORDS:  Scarlet blossoms, blotches and splotches, pools of red.
THE FLOWER:  The Rieger cultivar of begonia.  There are various colors, but these will be red.  According to the “Cyclopedia of Practical Floriculture” (1882) the proper floriographic meaning of begonias is deformity (this agrees with earlier sources), owing to the way the large leaves are inconsistently shaped.  If I got that right.  I got to scarlet begonias by way of Sublime and The Grateful Dead.

TITLE:  They’re Just Monkeys
PREMISE:  A man draws monkeys at the zoo.  Another man sees the art and is impressed.  The monkeys see it too.
RELATION TO ORANGE:  My monkey of choice is the golden lion tamarin, which is a very orange monkey.
ORANGE KEYWORDS:  Leonine mane, golden ruff, shimmering fur, glints of orange, tiny hands (amirite?).
THE FLOWER:  The common marigold, Calendula officinalis, maybe the most well-known orange thing besides the fruit.  There are various colors, but these will be orange.  Being a more common flower, it shows up in all the floriography references.  Some suggested meanings, from most common to least common: cruelty, grief, sorrow, despair, trouble, inquietude, contempt, chagrin, pain, jealousy, pretty love, sacred affection, caress.  I ain’t goin’ into all of that.

TITLE:  It Was All Yellow
PREMISE:  Remember when that song “Yellow” by Coldplay was on the radio?  Wild times, my guy.
RELATION TO YELLOW:  It is self-referential.
YELLOW KEYWORDS:  Malaria, jaundice, blondness, a pox, a plague on every house.
THE FLOWER:  The dandelionApologies to PZ, but these weeds suck.  I’ve read a few botany people talk about how majestic well-loved trees are so much bullying charismatic megaflora, blotting out the precious sun needed by other plants.  Dandelions are the trees of the lawn, devouring all the space that might otherwise host a diversity of lil’ cuties.  There are so many strange little plants on my lawn, but where the dandelions grow, there is no room for the delicate in-betweeners.

TITLE:  Leaglize Maraguana
PREMISE:  Named after some pencil graffiti witnessed at my high school in 1992, this is about passion for the plant.  Also, it’s an exercise in my usual bullshit as a writer – coming up with silly names for lowlifes.
RELATION TO GREEN:  Leafs needs green to photosynthesize, so I’m given to understand.
GREEN KEYWORDS:  Nugs, buds, baggies, the sticky, the illy, indo, cannabis, idk.
THE FLOWER:  Green flowers are hard to find.  I’m gonna do a different plant, if the admin will legalize it.  Man, I’m such a poser.  It’s not like I even do drugs.  I’m just on kind of a kick I guess.

TITLE:  A Blue Forest
PREMISE:  There’s probably a term for the genre of poem about laying down and dying, letting the plants take you under.  I know I’ve seen a few over the years, tho I don’t recall specific examples.  Definitely feel like one of them was Japanese.  Anyway, it never seems to work that in real life.  Like, turbulent times make you wanna turbo nap, but the turbulence won’t let it happen.  Maybe something about that.
RELATION TO BLUE:  Blue sad.
BLUE KEYWORDS:  Bouncing bubbling obliteration, can you believe?
THE FLOWER:  Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, because of that song by Babes in Toyland.  Please nobody tell me if those gals went terf or republican, thanks.

TITLE:  A Deep Darkness
PREMISE:  Ya know that Danzig song “Deep,” from Songs in the Key of X?  I love that shit, tho it is hokey.  Spooky cool mans made out of shadows, gonna have sexual majesty and work some hoodoo.  Gonna try to evoke that kind of thing maybe.
RELATION TO INDIGO:  A darkness deep but not quite black, a cold color that evades definition.
INDIGO KEYWORDS:  Vivid, deep, vibrant, dark, a hole in reality.
THE FLOWER:  False indigo, Baptisia australis, because that bitch has indigo in the name.  It’s a bean?  It’s a bean.  I know shit about fuck.

TITLE:  Make it Snappy
PREMISE:  The flower I chose seeds kind of explosively, looks pokey like ladied-up fingernails.  I’m picturing a noir type lady bossing people around with a snap of the fingers, making herself memorable, I dunno.
RELATION TO VIOLET:  Violet’s a girly name and sounds kinda like violent.
VIOLET KEYWORDS:  Plum-colored jacket with high, rounded shoulders, magenta lipstick, fuchsia nail polish.
THE FLOWER:  The common stork’s-bill, aka redstem filaree, aka Erodium cicutarium, because it’s an adorable little invasive all over my home town, and currently flowering near the end of my lawn.

TITLE:  Down the Drain
PREMISE:  The narrator of this song / poem type of thing is someone a kind of Mr. Jones cartoon of bipolar disorder, ruining his situation off a good mood, and spending the rest of the time in despair.
RELATION TO BLACK:  I had a dream last night that included a song, which was kind of a feeble knockoff of the Gershwins’ “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”  It was being sung by a band leader in Cab Calloway mold, but more heavy-set and sedate.  He was wearing a black suit with bright white embroidered spider web designs on the lapels.  I just expanded the lyrics I remembered to a full length song.
BLACK KEYWORDS:  Black spirits, black humor, the darkness of oblivion.
THE FLOWER:  The “Black Barlow” cultivar of common columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris, because it’s a sprightly little thing in its way, but looks feeble and morbid too.

TITLE:  Cinereous Mourner
PREMISE:  Whatever colonizer gave this bird its English name did a bang-up job.  It’s such an evocative phrase.  Ash grey, sorrow at death – two great tastes that taste great together.  Maybe it’ll be a poem.
RELATION TO GREY:  Named after a grey burd innit.
GREY KEYWORDS:  Cinereous cinders, ashen ashes, grey greyness all in your face.
THE FLOWER:  No flower, the plant is American Beech, Fagus grandifolia, which has grey bark.

TITLE:  Witness the Whiteness
PREMISE:  I tried to say something smart about racism and failed.
RELATION TO WHITE:  I sure am!
WHITE KEYWORDS:  White people.  Can I say wypipo?
THE FLOWER:  The common white clover, Trifolium repens.  Gotta keep it humble, with this European weed.

TITLE:  Where a River Flows
PREMISE:  Thinking about people from the Philippines, which is always a treacherous ground to step on, being a white person thinking out loud about people you aren’t.  I hope I don’t mess up.  Mainly going for this topic because the only cyan / aqua type flower I could easily find is from the Philippines, and is so specific to there that it just seemed weird to not include the place.  Also because I think our country has a very close and weird relationship with theirs, and it doesn’t get much mention.
RELATION TO CYAN:  This is the color of tropical waters, which is the clunkin’ metaphor I use for a family history.
CYAN KEYWORDS:  Jade vines, kingfishers, water molecules, water cycles.
THE FLOWER:  Jade vine, Strongylodon macrobotrys.  I cannot fucken believe there’s a real plant that color.

TITLE:  Rose Gold
PREMISE:  Remember MonsterHearts 2024 Day 12?  Isadora and Steppy are cyberpunks.  Steppy is known as Stuck Steppy because she keeps catching knives in streetfights.  Eventually Isadora catches the biggest knife and dies, but corporate paramedics notice her cells match a certain profile and route her corpse straight to Brycine Prosthetics.  They sustain the life in her tissues long enough to reanimate that bod – with experimental photosynthetic cybernetics.  I guess every cyberpunk has its rose thorns, just like every cowboy sings a sad sad song.
RELATION TO PINK:  Pink-ass flowers, son.  Cyberpunk likes pink too.  Neon babes with colorful hair.  Lesbianisms.
PINK KEYWORDS:  Cyberpink.  Does that word make you uncomfortable, Jeffrey?  Vagina.
THE FLOWER:  American wild rose, Rosa woodsii, because it grows at that bus stop not far from the Ballard Bridge where I saw that awesome fan rendition of Misaki from Junji Ito’s Anything But a Ghost, in sharpie on a USPS shipping sticker, slapped on a power utility box.

TITLE:  Horseness
PREMISE:  I’m picturing something like my lycanthropy idea from Touch Me, I’m Sick and Straightup Heckin’, but with horse parts.
RELATION TO BROWN:  Horses are brown.  Some horses.  And horse-mans.
BROWN KEYWORDS:  Bay, chestnut, pinto, palomino…
THE FLOWER:  The acorn of the pedunculate oak Quercus robur.  On a stem it wouldn’t look too out of place in a bouquet of flowers and leaves.

TITLE:  Baba Safia
PREMISE:  A centuries-dead Ruthenian sorceress resurrects herself through tumbleweed seeds.  By a twist of fate, they were accidentally sown in the USA, intermixed with imported flax seeds.  She’d just go her own way on the wind, but some christians piss her off before she gets a chance.  Big mistake.
RELATION TO GOLD:  Let’s say she likes gold.  It shiny.  Gold is a symbol of colonialism, one motivation behind the first New World genocide.  Baba Safia shows up in the wild west, an alien among aliens, and brings their destructive ways back upon them.
GOLD KEYWORDS:  Glint and gleam, sparkle and sun.
THE FLOWER:  Tumbleweed, the most common species known as such in the USA, Salsola tragus aka Kali tragus.  One of its names is “windwitch,” which sounds real fun.  Also known as prickly Russian thistle.  When tumbling, one could call it a sort-of gold color.  In the golden hour.  If you squint.  I swear, man.

TITLE:  Silverfish
PREMISE:  Maybe it’ll be a poem about shiny slimy guys, wrigglin’ and wigglin’.
RELATION TO SILVER:  It’s all nice and good that silver is symbolic of purity and light, but the silverest things in the natural world are fish and bugs and slimy freaks.
SILVER KEYWORDS:  Shimmering, flickering, glinting, sparkling, glistening, slime.
THE FLOWER:  Leucadendron argenteum, the South African silver tree.  Not as silver as advertised, but it can get ball-parkish.

I’ll edit my stories (or poems or whatever they end up being) into this post when they’re done.  Not the best approach to getting blog traffic, but it keeps things tidy. Change of plans: Will edit the prompts into this post, then do the actual works as new blog posts.