and more web stuff

I wrote an article for The Toolbox on how web accessibility — i.e., the extent to which anybody, of any physical capacity, can use the Internet — helps more than just people with a disability.

If you’re interested, you can take a gander here: Why Web Accessibility For Everyone Is Vital For Business.

I might try—hard—if you asked me to describe it.

You’re a new kind of familiar, first, and second you’re just new, and third, I’ve run out of tricks. I inverted my magic bag to show you all the nothing that’s there. One more look from you and I’d confess I started with nothing, never added to it. No tricks up my sleeve—no needles in my haystack. No cat, all bag. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Didn’t you do that because you already knew that? Ask me to describe these things, I mean. Because you knew what might happen if you found the words.

I wrote a note for a love song and in a pinch I disappeared, matching the sudden ecstasy of something new with the protracted ecstasy of realizing  that it was all you. So I sprang from your fingers and I slipped back in a pinch. I’m a new kind of familiar, first, and second I’m just new, and third, I’ve run out of tricks. I’m still here spinning tales with my toes like walking in circles to describe it, I’m waiting for the story to whip its lash at my feet again.

command piece VIII

Imagine for me

A basement. Its only light source illuminates a thickness of dust on the walls. It needs to be cleaned. You resign yourself to scrubbing the ceiling, polishing the walls and furniture, mopping the floor. It’ll take a while. On the main floor they’re having fun without you.

You see the opening to a trap door at the ceiling’s right hand corner, just large enough for a man to fit through, but not so large that he’d hit his head on the beams. You secretly hope that someone from upstairs will fall in.

After a while you tire of cleaning and decide to play a trick on the guests. You rise through the trap door with your body draped in a white sheet. Instead of appearing in the living room, however, you find yourself in a different space altogether. It’s much larger than that room; its ceilings are twice as high. It seems to extend at least four times as far lengthwise as did the room of the house you were in beforehand, but since you can’t see the end, you can’t be certain of it. You’re not in your white sheet anymore.

Wooden thrones line the walls of this enclave and a red carpet bisects it lengthwise. This carpet is so narrow that two people couldn’t fit side-by-side on it. A timepiece showing four o’clock hangs from the ceiling. You begin to follow the carpet with the intention of finding the end of the room.

In a matter of time, you pass another clock. Six o’clock. “A long carpet,” you think to yourself, and keep walking.

And after some more time, another. Seven. “A very long carpet,” you think. You wonder how many more clocks and hours you’ll pass before you find the end. Eight comes without incident; nine and ten make you anxious.

At twelve, you find the biggest throne: the building’s end. A king in ermine furs reclines into it such that you have a difficult time discerning where the chair’s upholstery ends and the king begins. Before you dare to laugh, the king says

We brought you here because you’re a knight on a mission.

DO YOU

Ask the king where where you are?

Introduce yourself by your proper name?

Shoot the king?

DO YOU

Presume the living room’s taken on a particularly good decoration?

Agree? 

Back away?

CHOOSE WISELY

"I don’t know what the nature of the universe is, but I have a good ear."

Mary Gordon

https://sabinaspielrein.bandcamp.com/releases

all of my songs

in a logical order

in downloadable form.

謹進觸承事萬明當當本然眼火四闇色迴門執靈人竺 石

白歩目言存物暗暗明未於色熱大合本而門事源根土 頭

參非不須函自各中中須一耳風性上殊更一元明有大 參

玄近會會蓋有相有有歸一音動自中質相切是皎利仙 同

人遠道宗合功對明暗宗法聲搖復言像涉境迷潔鈍心 契

光迷運勿理當比勿勿尊依鼻水如明聲不迴契枝道東

陰隔足自應言如以以卑根香濕子明元爾互理派無西

莫山焉立箭用前明暗用葉舌地得清異依不亦暗南密

虚河知規鋒及後相相其分鹹堅其濁樂位迴非流北相

度故路矩拄處歩睹遇語布醋固母句苦住互悟注祖付

Read More

She told me the story of my first kiss.

(1)

A chessboard, mostly free of pieces except for a few pawns that towered over our heads, a fallen bishop. I on the queen’s spot at one end and he on the king’s at the other. We were worried we’d fall over the edge. The air was warm but I was shivering.

He crosses the chessboard, stepping only on the white squares to deliver it. I closed my eyes when I knew and I fell, couldn’t stop myself. I opened my eyes and had to wonder whether it really happened. My anticipation might have made it so that I couldn’t tell the difference. Since there’s no way of knowing, I figured, I’d assume it to be true. I closed my eyes again.

The air thins around my fingertips and warms halos around my bed

and the first black iris blooms at the top of the hill that hangs over my head.

That’s the sword of Damocles, you know.

(2)

A chessboard, mostly free of pieces but a few fat rooks that seemed to take up more space than was afforded them by their square. My hands fastened behind my back to a ball and chain that looped around the base of the centermost rook. He was perched on top of it like a gargoyle and jumped down to deliver the kiss, but he twisted his ankle in the process. So I dragged my ball and chain over to where he lay, unable to walk, brushed a lock of hair from his forehead, and placed the kiss there.

Bloom seam becoming—dead woman running, nature to nurture—a lover a murder.

The shape of a hymn of a line drawn elliptical, hot lash indelible, make the kiss edible.

(3)

A chessboard, mostly free of pieces but a knight and a pawn that were mismatched in shape and design. I folded the game board and replaced it in its box and put the box in the closet, but in just a few moments I became restless and removed it. This set is full of mispaired pieces. He is on the pawn’s square one left from the diagonal of the bishop and his face is expressionless, as one might imagine a pawn would look if they were human. 

This kiss I can’t remember, exactly, only that it thawed his expression and we woke up out of the kiss-state on our backs in the middle of the board with most of the pieces toppled over. That’s how I know it happened. He of the sloping eyes and thick tongue and the fingers made more pliable by my affection.

I wrote it after she told me the story to make sure his fingers stay supple, so he can hold these words and the page before him to remember the story. To make sure the blood flows.

Born in a house where the doors shut tight
shadowy fingers on the curtains at night
cherry tree blossom head high snow
a busy main road where I wasn’t to go

I used to sit on the garden wall
say hello to people going by so tall
hallo to the postman’s stubbly skin
hallo to the baker’s stubbly grin

Mrs. Thompson gave me a bear
Bridgit and some people lived downstairs…

For those of us whose vision is ineluctably drawn toward the mystery dimensions, life requires not explanation, but attention.

Stephen Larsen