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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Roz Kaveney's LiveJournal:

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    Sunday, January 19th, 2014
    12:14 am

    It is outside. You go there. Things occur
    that you can not imagine. And you change
    scale wet rocks without falling, cure wolves' mange
    and make them loyal. Stronger than you were

    through crystal mountains, hungry trees you roam
    unscathed save for the fingernail you lose
    to shrewbite. Feet grow harder without shoes.
    You dream of love and wealth, but not of home.

    What was the outside is inside you now.
    Its briars fill your brain, discordant song
    pounds heartbeat, blood tide, intimate yet wrong.
    And then it's over, leaves you. Curtsey, bow

    to all the gods of Wild, with fur and horn
    peeling away, go back where you were born.
    Friday, January 17th, 2014
    10:34 pm
    Today's fairy tale prompt

    Each inch of her a dancer. Ear to tail
    language of moving gesture strut and stance.
    She runs and darts through space swift as the lance
    or arrow she avoids. One day she'll fail

    but not today. A single hunter runs
    through briars after her. She smells his sweat
    and keeps on running. Sometime, but not yet,
    this won't be fairy story. He'll have guns.

    Or hounds or falcons. When he strikes her down
    She won't get up a princess. She will bleed
    and cough her life as blood. A hero's deed.
    He will parade her skin and guts through town.

    No magic princess, twenty pounds of meat.
    She pirouettes, flicks ears, high steps her feet.
    Thursday, January 16th, 2014
    8:12 pm
    This one after Hans Christian Andersen

    Kay's eye was sore; yet what he saw was real.
    He had no special gift for mundane life.
    The Ice queen's kisses cut him like a knife.
    He climbed aboard her sledge. She does not steal

    but knows her own. And leaves them on their own
    to solve her icy puzzles. Find a way
    to write eternity. Perhaps they pay
    for wisdom with their death. All that is known

    has costs. And Gerda's journey had its price,
    ignored what flowers could tell her, cast aside
    the robber girl and princess. Who both tried
    but love no more than puzzles gives advice.

    Gerda and Kay were happy. There deaths came
    from boredom, every mundane day the same.
    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
    11:19 pm
    Another fairy story

    The small toes calcined first. Black as burned twigs
    they cracked and crackled. Sweat poured down her face
    and then steamed off, with salt tracks as its trace.
    And then her eyes swelled, burst, like rotten figs.

    Her daughter watched. Her heart as cold as ice
    skin white as snow. Round her the little men
    capered in glee. The prince kissed her again.
    No mercy. There would be no dying twice.

    Destroy your rival's beauty, then you win.
    The apple poison did not gray black hair
    burn skin or lips. Just left her lying there
    asleep in glass forever. Murdered kin

    damned both the women deep. The demon glass
    laughed in its empty room at beauty's farce.
    12:59 pm
    The Bear's Daughter

    She walks on two legs, but her feet have claws
    Not nails, enough to gut the man who tries
    to harm her. She is fair but has dark eyes
    whose stare can drown you. In her sleeps she roars

    sometimes, her sleeps are long and last whole weeks.
    She gluts on food before and wakes up thin.
    Awkward for wardrobe. Furs against the skin
    draped and not grown there. Loves the thin high shrieks

    of small beasts as she flays them. She will eat
    them later raw and whole. And pick her teeth.
    She wears her father's head; but underneath
    is beautiful, men say. In wind and sleet

    she dances solitary and alone.
    Don't love her – she will chew you to the bone.
    Friday, January 10th, 2014
    1:05 am
    A birthday present

    So. welcome, sister. Strut it, shake that hip.
    Everything's different. Most things are the same.
    You change your skin. Perhaps you change your name.
    You'll sometimes feel that you have lost your grip

    on what comes next. Ignore that. Plunge right in
    to life. What came before seemed bright, was shade.
    Bedazzled now. Amused that you delayed
    anxious. And now, more than you've ever been

    A fragment of some goddess.There is power
    among your sisters, breathe dance feel it flow.
    You hoped and wished and now you make it so.
    This year, this month, this week, this day, this hour.

    Your feet are lighter. Glitter, paint enhance
    your features and your life becomes a dance.
    Monday, January 6th, 2014
    1:08 am
    We need to deromanticize that bloody war

    Came back and could not bear the feel of mud
    under his feet. Would walk paths in the park
    and never cross the grass. Sat in the dark
    for random hours. A quickness in the blood

    that told him horses, pulled him to the card.
    It raced so fierce. Whisky would make him sleep
    like the best pillow. Echoed lice would creep
    across his skin. He got his life back. It was hard

    To live. He stumbled. Bootlace was untied.
    The bullet glanced his helmet, and his face
    down in the stinking mud. And in his place
    his best friend, who was right behind him, died.

    He went there to pull teeth. Over the top
    they made him go. His scream would never stop.
    12:47 am
    Awards Eligibility
    I had a novel out in November, which means it is eligible for awards for 2013. It's the second volume of RHAPSODY OF BLOOD - REFLECTIONS and it's available in print, e-book and Kindle.

    I would be really grateful if people who like these books push them here and elsewhere - small publisher, late in the year, I seem to be being ignored a bit...
    12:47 am
    First Poem of the year

    I am the great detective, follow clues
    through my own past amazed, retrace the dance
    of steps. Go backwards, then again advance.
    No sound except the echo of my shoes

    tap-click against the pavements of the years
    I thought I wasted but in fact I learned
    so many fingers that I thought were burned
    were building something, and so many tears

    that left their traces here. Crisp on the page
    words that I spoke in anger or in lust
    that seemed absurd a while, but now are just
    seen focussed through the burning glass of age

    All mysteries solve themselves, unfold reveal
    Time compensates for all that it will steal.
    Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
    10:17 pm
    Definitely a sequence

    Children learn subtext even as they read
    those first few sentences of family.
    They're angry, there is something wrong with me.
    Shoelace I can't quite tie; door-knobs that need

    grasping in some way I don't know. I talk
    too soft, too loud, too musical. My chair
    rocks when I giggle. Hold my teddy bear
    as if it were a doll. Learn to stick a cork

    in everything I like. And when they burn
    a book for telling lies that were half-true,
    I watch the flames too hard. The things that grew
    in me were all a subtext in their turn

    I learned to hide, lie better. Found in shame
    home more myself than face or given name.
    Monday, December 16th, 2013
    11:08 pm
    A new sequence maybe?

    A hand that's stuffed with straw won't wave or flop
    around when I am talking. Changeling hair
    that I can't flick. They stole me, left me there
    in my own place. I think there was a shop

    they bought me in, one with a changing room
    lost me in mirrors reached out pulled me back
    love that withdraws you.Somewhere there's a crack
    left in my soul. We weave self on a loom

    made of the stories that our parents tell
    yet we don't hear. The mistress of my soul
    harshes the changeling. Yet I can't be whole
    until I save his straw and weave it well

    I cannot be unjust. I must shed tears
    That wizened thing protected me for years.
    Sunday, December 15th, 2013
    11:28 pm
    This comes from some traumatic discussions on Twitter

    I sometimes think I am my sisters' ghost
    wings out of limbo undead since unborn
    we jigsaw pieces out of half lives torn
    the edges fit to join. I think I'm most

    of a real person. If I tell the tale
    over and over I will get it right.
    And sometimes cry a small child in the night
    must get the puzzle done. I will not fail

    Lovers watch over me. Find bits of sky
    fragments of carousel. Take them aside
    and link them up. In gratitude I've cried
    whole buckets. These solutions that we try

    in every trial these are our best defense
    optative mood and future perfect tense.
    Friday, December 6th, 2013
    12:27 am

    Some eulogize him who will never learn
    from words or deeds or what he did not do.
    -Six window bars, a sea more grey than blue.
    White choke dust lime pit, where bright sun would burn

    necks, and in winter hands numb from wet cold.
    Told him the son he did not know was dead.
    He wept. Three decades sitting on his bed
    he taught young comrades still his comrades old,

    who walked with him to freedom. Heard his voice
    stern gentle. Helped him build. He gave his power
    away and let successors have their hour,
    yet bound their wills to this most anguished choice.

    He was prepared to put men in their grave
    whom, once they dropped their weapons, he forgave.
    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
    11:05 pm
    The saddest thing is kindness. When we're done
    are almost strangers. Maybe meet for tea.
    Did you decide its end, or was it me?
    Relationship over before begun

    And never heartbreak, just the sort of pain
    that comes and goes. That wakes you in the night.
    Sour aftertaste of what was not delight
    but just a hint of promise. We remain

    obedient servants of the other's time.
    Small sorrows' patient auditors. So far
    from where we were last year. And here we are.
    Thought better of it. That is not a crime.

    I think sometimes of what we might have had
    Better not risked, yet very faintly sad.
    Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
    12:56 am

    Voices seduce by harshness in the dark.
    Something of silk, but something too of nails.
    Threat of the freighter with its bloodblack sails,
    between the songs. A casual remark

    might cost you much if singers take offense.
    They pardon less than poets do; their rhymes
    and tunes together crystallize your crimes
    so do not cross them. Music rhythmic tense

    zigzags across the keys; it's barrelhouse
    or ragtime; almost Chopin for a while.
    And then she laughs a sharp. The toothy smile
    not insincere but mocking. She'll arouse

    your lust or grief a second then move on.
    Music that tugs your heart most when it's gone.
    Sunday, November 24th, 2013
    4:48 pm
    My poem for Wotever

    There was one time, wax hot tight on her skin
    cracking a little as she squirmed beneath
    my sharpened thumbnail, breathing through her teeth
    a little harshly. Pausing I sipped gin

    the lemon slices bright, the bottle blue
    as sky; she feigned a struggle with her chains.
    I let her sip then pulled it back. The pains
    we take with lover's needs. I took her shoe

    red patent leather used its heel to score
    small puckers on her thigh. And heard her moan
    and sometimes felt more truly on my own
    with her than when alone, could not ignore

    that she'd forget and cry in ecstasy
    on other's names that she loved more than me.

    And yet she came to me, knocked twice, slipped in
    using the key I gave her. Love has been

    less kind to me than being used I fear,
    when unrequited. Better to face facts
    perform perverse and quite delighful acts
    than sit hope lust weep know my sweet my dear

    would never love me. Better be her whore
    her backdoor lover and at least get laid.
    Told her to kneel before me. She obeyed.
    Because she did not love me. Passion's claw

    sharp in my flesh. No scream, a poker face.
    Cruel ingenious hands, coldness of heart.
    Act well the torturer's not the lover's part.
    Play hunter, be the chaste prey of the chase.
    Friday, November 22nd, 2013
    10:20 pm
    You lift the phone for days to hear their voice
    which does not know they're dead. Asks you to speak
    and leave a message. “You've been dead a week
    and love, I miss you.” Always there's the choice

    to do it one more time. Until the whine
    of disconnection answers. Then they're gone
    forever. It's the same for everyone.
    Eventually we're lost. Your voice and mine

    gone into silence. Then our bones are dust,
    our books are food for worms. So let's embrace.
    You feel my last breaths warm against your face.
    Flesh that is not yet pulp not much to trust

    better than nothing silence. If we come,
    our gasps drown out that empty silent hum.
    Sunday, November 17th, 2013
    11:36 pm
    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
    6:49 pm
    Clapham Junction
    A bad thing happens fast. I can't recall
    the order. Can't grab handrail. Skull slaps stone.
    Quiet precise twig snap of some small bone.
    Foot slips from edge of step. Dizzy. I fall.

    Blood on my shirt, and in my eyes and hair.
    Bag broken open, the sollicitude
    of passing strangers. Others though are rude
    step over me, resent my being there

    Fear going round would make them miss their train.
    Pain and confusion. This is why we say
    we fall in love, our heart good sense betray
    and down we go. A stumble in the brain

    that leaves a scar. Love trips our feet. We break
    our bones. Love gives a sweetness to the ache.
    Monday, October 28th, 2013
    11:47 pm
    For RG after a year
    Eyes watch me from the screen. Upon the page
    is it my ink or is it tears are wet?
    A poet's always in her muse's debt
    her poems never quite the living wage

    a muse deserves. Who unannounced arrives
    back in imagination, drags my pen
    back to that old familiar pain again
    from which each time a different joy derives.

    A poem's a puzzle that we solve in time
    to feel a consummation in the heart
    better than lust, or Cupid's savage dart,
    We stretch out sated, we are stroked by rhyme

    And send the poem to our chaste, sweet muse
    who does the same thing, only with smart shoes.
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