wolfskin

November 11, 2017

you pull on your wolfskin
and escape into the arms of the night while
your adopted family sleeps in a house
far too small for them all.

you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget the way they called you a witch,
malice dripping from their tongues.
you pull on your wolfskin
and dance with death under the stars
while the fae keep watch.
you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget that after the night
the morning always comes.
you pull on your wolfskin
and sing with the grey wolves in the oak groves
until your throat bleeds.
you pull on your wolfskin
and run and run and run
until your legs collapse under you.
you pull on your wolfskin
and try to forget the boy who wouldn’t open his mouth
to say a single word to help you.
you pull on your wolfskin
and pray to the gods that it’ll keep you safe.

h.c.r

The nature of love

November 11, 2017

Sex with him is wonderful – but afterwards, when he’s finished with me, I find it hard to walk…

Just fear me

November 11, 2017

Labyrinth

Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.

I may have thought about this offer a bit over the years. Yes, yes, all right: I’ve spent hours of my life on it. I know from talking to other women who first saw Labyrinth in their mid–teens that I’m not alone.

Sarah, on the other hand, didn’t think about it at all. She didn’t even listen, reciting her memorized lines instead. I couldn’t forgive her for that. It’s been nearly 30 years since I first heard those words, and I’m still angry, though no longer at her.

With the benefit of some growing up and some time spent writing fiction, I realize it isn’t really her fault. The movie was never set up to let her consider the question. Jareth’s love was never going to be more than the framing story, the necessary element to set the plot in motion, the final obstacle for Sarah to conquer. That doesn’t make me any less angry that the offer was made and thrown away.

Let me say right now that I don’t think she should have accepted the bargain — probably. Even without goblins, there’s a lot to consider in that statement. What kind of fear are we talking about? Does it have to be real, or does everyone have their roles to play? What do you want me to do, and what are you willing to do for me?

Stephanie Zvan
In the Hands of the Goblin King

Perhaps that had been one of the ineradicable faults of mankind – for even a convinced atheist had to admit there were faults – that it was never content with a thing as a thing; it had to turn things into symbols of other things. A rainbow was never only a rainbow; a storm was a sign of celestial anger; and even from the puddingy earth came forth dark chthonian gods. What did it all mean? What an agnostic believed and what the willowy parson believed were not only irreconcilable systems of thought: they were equally valid systems of thought because, somewhere along the evolutionary line, man, developing this habit of thinking of symbols, had provided himself with more alternatives than he could manage. Animals moved in no such channel of imagination – they copulated and they ate; but the the saint, bread was a symbol of life, as the phallus was to the pagan. The animals themselves were pressed into symbolic service – and not only in the medieval bestiaries, by any means.

Such a usage was a distortion, although man seemed unable to ratiocinate without it. That had been the trouble right from the beginning. Perhaps it had even been the beginning, back among the first men that man could never get clearly defined (for the early men, being also symbols, had to be either lumbering brutes, or timid noble savages, or to undergo some other interpretation). Perhaps the first fire, the first tool, the first wheel, the first carving in a limestone cave, had each possessed a symbolic rather than a practical value, had each been pressed to serve distortion rather than reality. It was a sort of madness that had driven man from his humble sites on the edges of woods into towns and cities, into arts and wars, into religious crusades, into martyrdom and prostitution, into dyspepsia and fasting, into love and hatred, into this present cul-de-sac; it had all come about in pursuit of symbols. In the beginning was the symbol, and darkness was over the face of the Earth.

Brian W. Aldiss
Greybeard

He [Nabokov] also reminds us of the main reason it is so hard [for us to notice that other people are suffering]: we all spend a lot of time inventing people rather that noticing them, reshaping real people into characters in stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, stories about how beautiful and rare we are.

Richard Rorty
Introduction to Nabokov’s Pale Fire