A Camellia Blooms Into Struggle

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The polluted Yellow River remembers a time before time…

before her weeping implored for justice. 

As the huangjiu drips down their jowls

onto swollen bellies in celebration of her defeat…

Her tears become the Poyang now dry.

Her sighs become the winds blowing

the Quin Mountain’s feather-veined birch and oak spiraling leaves.

They want her speechless, still, and spiritless.

Despite torture, slavery, death, she will not be conquered.

She stealth speaks though her soul screeches for faith’s freedom.

Afraid her heart beats too loudly her dreams of a new liberation.

Her soft words become butterfly swords soaring and slicing.

Echos of her silent cries ring from the Manchurian Plain to the Cho Oyu mountains peaks.

She treads gently but forever forward as she seeks her lost husband–

He moved too quickly and conspicuously

for them to not sweep him away like broken trash into a Shanghai gutter.

Before dawn wakes the noisy crowds of Guangdong,

she meditates alone in her dark closet hoping she will not be missed.

She watches the light below the door’s crack for shadows.

Fervent and unrelenting, she breathes in Falun Gong and out her terror.

Now, she is love.

She burns pink and white then smoky pitch.

No tea today.

The muddy Yangtze flows carrying no memory.

 

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“A Real Life Nazi Fighter Finds Easter Egg In Biggest Movie of All Time: Avengers: Infinity War”

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*************SPOILER ALERT: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR**********************

Nazi fighter, Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh (see http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/Woman-arrested-for-assault-and-battery-on-the-Downtown-Mall-425720844.html), and future Doctor of Astronomy Jake Turner discover the meaning of Captain America’s phone number in Avengers: Infinity War.

Here is what we uncovered…

678-136-7092”

The phone number Tony Stark has for Captain America.

The first night we saw the movie, none of us were prepared to write the number down.

Turner saw the movie again and transcribed the phone number.

We called and received several beeps then silence.

We attempted to reverse directory the number on white pages and received no matches.

We googled the area code and discovered it was one from Atlanta, Georgia where a lot of the Marvel movies are filmed.

We googled the full number and found https://www.reddit.com/r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers/comments/8fifhh/so_i_called_captain_americas_phone_number/. Here we discovered when the phone number worked, it played The Eagle’s song “Hotel California.”

We looked up Hotel California and Georgia and discovered a Hotel California in the country Georgia. Turner thought it might be an allusion to the imaginary Marvel country Sokovia. 

We took a break.

Fitzhugh googled the lyrics to “Hotel California.”

One of the lyrics is: “So I called up the Captain,”

Also, we youtubed Hotel California and the ad for Marvel Contest for Champions appeared:

spider

Also, The Eagles released the single “Hotel California” in 1977, the year of Ms. Marvel featuring Carol Danvers. Captain Danvers is the captain who receives the final transmission at the end of Infinity Wars.

So, Marvel and Disney, where is our Mercedes Benz?

Night Into Morning: A Journey

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She walks in beauty like the night, because she cannot overcome her wild fire of insomnia.

Not tonight. Tonight, her mania overwhelms her best intentions pushing her into the dirty side streets of Tampa, Florida.

The city pulses with danger. Everyone looks at her with blue eyes of an impending cruelty. Everyone looks at her with blue eyes of an impending violence.

It’s Thursday late night, Friday early morning. The moon hides. The stars hold no empathy only more burning.

She stays in the shadows although she is afraid of what she may find in the dark.

She walks, runs, crawls, then exhausted falls.

They find her passed out in the isolated 7-11 parking lot among crumpled Slurpee cups and cigarette butts.

The siren’s red mimics the discarded cups’ colors. She never escapes the mean reds.

The siren’s wail reminds her of the shrill voices screaming in her head. She never escapes their sad cacophony.

She wishes to continue sleeping– too weary, too sick to wake once more.

Her angel whispers. “Come back.”

The angel’s voice is soft, inviting, and firm. Beguiled, she turns back. She knows the angel makes no promises of a better or easier life. The invitation is just to live.

She makes the choice to live again– one more time in a long series of one more times.

Maybe the angel was an EMT, a nurse, her mother.

Maybe it was just a self-preserving dream jolting her back into consciousness.

Whatever made the call, she decides to answer.

Fluttering then opening her tired eyes and releasing her midnight memories of madness, she slowly focuses on a new rising sun.

This piece was recently published in a new anthology the women’s initiative’s “Challenge Into Change 2017 Writing Contest.” You can buy it and support mental health services at New Dominion Bookshop on the Downtown Mall, 404 East Main Street, Charlottesville, Virginia. (434) 295 2552. Thanks!

Trauma

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fan

Ever since childhood, I was comforted by the whir of fans until I wasn’t.

The soft, white noise was interrupted one night.

I became dirty then– a teenage wasteland.

But, I cleaned up and found a man who wants to marry me.

We are supposed to be having a lovely time visiting vineyards and old barns to hold our reception.

And, now I am haunted by this huge, unexpected fan. It is as if its spun air’s weight is burning my head and shoulders and sucking away all the oxygen.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t speak.

I wake alone. Single. Sleep driven away by another night of PTSD.

(108 word count)

Photo by Yarnspinnerr

Prompt by Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers

https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/fffaw-challenge-165th/

waiting for my inlinkz activation email.

A Record Of You and Me

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among yellowing papers and cracked knick knacks,

you find where i was forgotten.

you find me still in my new plastic now dusty with a price tag of a dollar.

you take me home and break open my package slowly.

you always like to savor the good.

you remove me from my whiteness and examine my glossy obsidian.

no scratches— pure sound.

i sigh with the relief of being heard.

we are love together in the music.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sleeve/

The Giving Tree Revisited

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Stolen from our home, we forgot our tropical heat.

We thought we were so love thick rooted.

They carved their hearts on our pierced barks, and we denied the pain.

They firmly hugged us down, and we were transformed.

We were made of breakable oak instead of bendable palm.

One loud, windy day, we flew away and became a burden to lift and chip away.

Now, looking up at greater trees, they twist ankles forgetting and stepping into the hole of ghost us.

 

The Black Bird Of Happiness

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Ravens are the birds I’ll miss most when I die. If only the darkness into which we must look were composed of the black light of their limber intelligence. If only we did not have to die at all. Instead, become ravens.” 

 Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Why should I return, Mother?”

“To be a thing of beauty, my love.”

“But they don’t appreciate beauty there. They refuse to see.”

“Even more reason for you to go back.”

She is not a common raven. She is small and glossy and cunning.

She alights onto pale, parched ground feeling somewhere between goddess and raven and woman.

She releases her night feathers, the lightness of flight, the movement between airs.

And, the earth enshrouds her in opaque, rough black cloths. They flow almost weightless as she enters our ethers.

Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
That gives sweet tidings of the sun’s uprise?”

William ShakespeareTitus Andronicus

She tilts like spring flowers toward the rising sun soaking its heat and becomes real.

A dying man visiting North Africa sees her emergence from her swirling unkindness. His eyes at the end of a long life now see her and are almost blinded by her exquisiteness. Her unblemished, tight, white skin, her tallness, her curves, her way of staring fearlessly into his mind and heart and right through him.

She needs to feed and takes his failing heart.

He takes her photo and passes away before developing his last, departing shot.

His busy, responsible daughter no longer interested in trying to get her siblings to help organize and tired of sorting through his hoarded things takes boxes and boxes of unexamined junk to the Goodwill.

 

To read this story’s conclusion, please visit my Mother’s Day project @ http://judylit.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-blackbird-of-happiness.html

A Few Remembered Pivots of My Youth

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When the Challenger became a stripe of white smoke against a clear, azure sky, I never  looked at the stars the same.

The day I asked you if my blind grandpa now gone in his coffin could finally see me, and I realized you didn’t have all the answers that there were pieces of a larger world beyond your shadows.  I don’t think I ever forgave you for blocking the light for so long.

The first pierce of sexuality, when he told me he wouldn’t let me hurt anymore.  My eyes seemed older as I stared at myself in the mirror after sneaking into his basement and bed.

I clutched my battered calculus book to my broken hearted chest, when my mother told me she was leaving my father.  A former mathlete, I became bad at numbers.  Now, everything was fractions… out of one now stood three far, far apart.

The friendship, jealousy, depression, loneliness, mania, sunshine, stolen kisses in gardens at midnight…

All of it pushed and pulled me, danced and frightened me into now.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/astonish/

Introducing A New Literary Journal and Writing Contest

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Dearest Reader.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

I am beginning a blog dedicated to my late mother entitled “Judy.” The online journal will be an anthology of different poets and short story writers dealing with the topic of “mother.”  The works should be no longer than two pages.  Eventually, I hope to print this project annually. And, the best poem of the year will receive a cash prize to be determined soon.

I ask a love donation of at least $5 for each work sent.   If you cannot donate, do not worry!

If I choose not to use your piece, I will send a specific note of explanation.

This mother’s day I will donate any money received to Charlottesville, Virginia’s Black Mama Day’s Bail Out, a project to bring Moms out of the jail and home for Mother’s Day.

Please email your work to judyliteraryjournal@gmail.com.  The blog is at http://judylit.blogspot.com.

Thank you so much for your help in this project.

For more information about how you can donate, please see https://www.gofundme.com/judylit.

Love!
Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh

Why I Suck My Belly In When I See You

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“You talk a lot.”

“I am just being real.”

“You think your realness is based on your constant verbal vomit?”

“I think you are really mean.”

“I am just being real.”

You wouldn’t check my loudness if I were thinner.

You wouldn’t check my constant drone if I were prettier.

I don’t have the privilege of changing you.

So, I skip another happy meal, buy another glitter lavender mascara…

Why?

You don’t look into my starving eyes, anyway.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/authentic/