I believe in ghosts

February 28, 2019

In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.

Laurie Halse Anderson
Wintergirls

apprehensions of witchcraft

February 2, 2019

Our forefathers looked upon nature with more reverence and horror, before the world was enlightened by learning and philosophy, and loved to astonish themselves with the apprehensions of witchcraft, prodigies, charms, and enchantments. There was not a village in England that had not a ghost in it, the church-yards were all haunted, every large common had a circle of fairies belonging to it, and there was scarce a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit.

Joseph Addison
The Spectator, Volume the Sixth, No. 419

Dreams & Moonlight

February 1, 2019

Wednesday 30th January

Last night, misty moonlight in the window. Our duvet and bedroom furniture turned milk white in this strange, uncanny light – which makes me drowsy and dull, the same feeling you have after lovemaking.

In reality: I’m the ghost of a third rate Edwardian poet trapped between dimensions, here, in the snow, on this moor. It’s sad you should have to find out this way – but that’s life, as they say.

Now, for my next trick –

P

A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man woke in the night.

J.M. Barrie
The Little Minister

How to talk to the wind

January 12, 2019

1. If the wind falls silent, she is listening to you. Speak.
2. Always whisper.
3. In case there is a wind swirl carrying autumn leaves, step back. Let her dance.
4. Don’t go outside if the wind is howling. The ghosts are passing through.
5. She already knows everything about you. Never lie.
6. You may play the flute.
7. Listen to storms. Don’t talk.
8. She gives life to your words. Make them meaningful. Especially when you talk to her.
9. If she whispers in your ear, listen closely. It means she trusts you enough to share her secrets.
10. Words travel far and fast. Don’t say anything that could awake the spirits.
11. She has a strong temperament and gets angry easily. Make sure to always be nice to her, you don’t want to be on her bad side.
12. If she is talking to thunder, leave them alone. They don’t want you to hear.
13. When she greets you with a breeze the following morning, pretend you didn’t hear them.
14. A sudden draft is always a bad omen.
15. Never, ever, complain about her. She will remember.

HGK477

Artifacts

October 29, 2018

Exploring a dead relative’s dusty attic. Ghosts here crying over lost love letters, or the two porcelain dolls with putting red mouths, the ballerina shoes, the tinsel Christmas decorations from another age, the ancient travel brochures, and a broken egg-timer. Boxes of secrets. A chaos endured to maintain secrecy, these pieces of a life, of a soul, the hopes, the desires, the dreams unfulfilled and discarded here in the shadows. Christ, it is so disheartening.

Time for a poem instead:

A Faith, Rotting

She wore the kind of cross necklace
you would find in a bargain box,
the holy rejects of sacrilegious salesgirls,
their pearls undulating, effulgent.
She didn’t care that the gold shed
itself into a bastard green, branded
and belligerent against her pale
butterfly of a throat. To her, there
was a beautiful irony in the decay
of something so consecrated by
sadness. To her, there was no
religion without the ululation of
a mother’s lamentation, rotting
into romance, idolatry in the
immaculate inferiority: a necklace
losing sight of heaven faster than
she did the night God weighed
her losses, wrote them into being.

Megan Mealor

the slush of ourselves

October 9, 2018

Paint ghosts over everything, the sadness of everything. We made ourselves cold. We made ourselves snow. We smuggled ourselves into ourselves. Haunted by each other’s knowledge. To hide somewhere is not surrender, it is trickery. All day the snow falls down, all night the snow. I try to guess your trajectory and end up telling my own story. We left footprints in the slush of ourselves, getting out of there.

Richard Siken
War of the Foxes

summon ghosts

September 25, 2018

Of course, you summon ghosts at your peril. The sufferings of others can bleed into your soul. You try to protect yourself. Memory is inventive. Memory is a performance. Memory invites itself, and is hard to turn away.

Susan Sontag
Where the Stress Falls

Vulnerability Study

September 23, 2018

your face turning from mine
to keep from cumming

8 strawberries in a wet blue bowl

baba holding his pants
up at the checkpoint

a newlywed securing her updo
with grenade pins

a wall cleared of nails
for the ghosts to walk through

Solmaz Sharif

I am the unknown whispers of the dark hallways I tread, The darkness, how it disintegrates into a deeper one, leaving the world shallower, How many ghosts breathe inside my skin, how pale my veins beat, I have no idea if I can taste mornings anymore, as if I have been walking in an everlasting night.

Channing M
The Monochrome of Darkness

a boy ghost

The ghost boy was the colour of bone, of gossamer spider web, of salt trails of dried tears. He still had his shape, his outline. No one had said his name in thirty years, even though he’d scarred the house with it, carved onto a tree in the garden, scratched into the paint under the outdoor kitchen. Scars unseen, name unspoken. The house had stood for close to a century, waking to kiss the sea breeze decades before, still standing when the red dirt roads had hardened to dark tarmac and the state had stolen the sea from it.

The house called the dead unto itself, and so the boy persisted, him and the others, outnumbering the living. Walls skinned with the colour of the ocean meeting the sky, a driveway of parched and cracked stone, girded with the garishness of bougainvillea and the shyness of orchids. The newest owners had furnished the house with a television screen the same size as a car door, computers in every room, tiny bulbs the size of candles with the glare of lighthouses; ripped out the old worm-eaten flooring in favour of inky Burmese teak. Now, you can do that, strip a house down to the bone, flay the walls from it and pull tiles like teeth. But the marrow of the house remained, so the living never stayed and the dead never left.

On the thirtieth anniversary of his death, a new ghost came to the house.

L Chan
The sound of his voice like the colour of salt