Once there was a little girl made of paper, with a hollow space in the middle that ate the world and never had enough. The space howled and whined and ate and ate, not just food, but love, and kindness, and pain, and anger, and courage, and all the things that make up a little girl, or even a big girl, until all that was left was what other people saw and said and stuck on. Then one day, the little girl had enough. She held on to her last story, holding until her fingers were on fire, until her tears melted in the fire, until her anger turned back to ice, and the last story came to be a strong, solid shell around the hole. The hole whined and snarled, but no matter how hungry it felt, how empty, the girl knew that it would never be filled. So she built her shell with the food, instead. She took the kindness, and the courage, and the words and words and words that everyone threw at her, and she used her pretty eyes to make them as pretty as she could, and pasted them into bright places and patterns on her hard, strong paper shell. Sometimes the hollow was stronger, and a few pieces were lost, but she always managed to find new ones, sometimes even better ones. And maybe she lived happily ever after, in her own way, and maybe she didn’t, but either way, she had a new name, and it would keep her safe. She was no longer the paper girl…she was the Paper Mache Girl!
frightened flower in the dark,
silent, cold, and trembling,
feeling every bite and bark,
each angry word, dissembling.
the glare of disapproval, shame,
searing unprotected skin,
a creature formed of guilt and pain,
that burns and burrows deep within.
fragile flower, tender child,
know the world is bright, and wide,
come out, come out, to gardens, wild,
and taste the sunlight deep inside!
Little girl lost, I fell through a hole,
my sanity serving to pay the toll,
my name they took to serve as well,
and all that’s left is an empty shell.
They call me “girl” and stroke my hair,
they strip my soul and body bare,
they feed me lies and pretty words,
and filter past in nightmare herds,
the faces blurring in my head,
mourners for the not-quite-dead.
my casket is as soft as silk,
my skin they keep as white as milk,
they brush my hair and whisper lies,
they turn their heads, avoid my eyes,
they pose the body carefully,
the pieces that are left of me
perform throughout the endless night,
and then lie still at mornings light,
a battered doll with broken strings,
a bird with torn and shackled wings.
crazy is as crazy does, sanity is immensely strained,
turns and twists of clever thought and pointed bits of pain
a straw-maze of impulse, instinct, and ugly gator-mind
tail-mind, the bit they left in when the model was redesigned
the bit that says do this, do that, hurry-hurry-quick
touch this, run from that, feel-feel-feel, it’s a trick!
hurting mind, frightened mind, shuffled dark and deep inside
curled around the tiny self, with nowhere left to hide
the missing why, the awful who, the stabbing pain of what
sliced away, the where and when, with many a jagged cut
acid pain of complicit how, engraved forever on the soul
world seen through filtered lenses, from the bottom of the hole
what did i do, what did i say,
what can i fix to make it ok?
i want to do better, i swear that i’ll try,
i won’t act too crazy, i won’t tell a lie,
i’ll do all my homework, every last bit,
so there’s no need to yell, and no need to hit,
i’m sorry i’m clumsy and lazy and loud,
i’m sorry i’m naughty and evil and proud,
i won’t think i’m smart, and i won’t act too dumb,
whenever you call me I’ll be sure to come,
i won’t get too dirty, i’ll wash my own clothes,
i’ll take my own bath and wipe my own nose,
i’ll wash all the dishes, and make you some tea,
i promise i love you…please, mommy, love me!
“I think it’s because I’m clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it’s because I’m crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
After that you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway
I guess I’d like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown”
My Name is Luca, by Suzanne Vega
This is my best try at making concrete a project that was born a month ago as a vague wish/plan with no real knowledge, and turn it into a living breathing book that will hopefully be a force in raising awarenes of the prevalence of abuse, and give the silent ones a voice that they seldom have.
Bones of Ash, Heart of Glass will be a free e-book aimed at people currently unaware/uneducated about abuse.
Many books have been published aimed at directly reaching the abused, survivors and those still hurting. Our target audience with “Bones” is those who may be aware of the problem, peripherally, but don’t know how to recognize it or to help. I want to write a page or two of signs of abuse, and resources for those willing to help, or at least reporting it. I also want to make it clear that it is a book for adults. The graphic images, portrayal of violence, and possible angry language, while necessary to show the true horror of abuse, is not appropriate for children.
I am making it a free e-book because I feel that it maximises the possibility for distribution and thus helps in fulfilling our goal of spreading awareness. Also, an e-book is considerably less stress than a published paper book, no worries about dealing with a publisher, cost, distribution, etc.
I will be making a separate post with the exact submission guidelines as they are firmed up, but for now: any and all types of submission are welcomed. poetry, prose, picture, photo, etc. length of piece is one of the things I need to firm up. since it’s an e-book there’s less limit…but in order to keep the readers attention, they shouldn’t be novel-length 😉 as stated above, graphic images and language, uncomfortable/triggering situations, and depictions of violence will be included. we need to show the true horror of abuse, not the sanitized version the television or a published book can. on the other hand, a story that is all violence or graphic imagery with no feel for the facts of what is actually happening, will be carefully considered, but may not be accepted.
Hopefully this helps clear up the confusion I inadvertently caused. I have a tendency to assume people can read my mind. It’s a bad habit that working with all of you is helping me break! I really want this book to work, and will be putting as much of myself as I can into it…and all I ask of you is your visions/imagination. *hugs*
She pulls her sleeves below her wrists
to hide the marks of angry fists,
and checks her face for signs of age,
puts makeup over signs of rage.
Her eyes are sad, her face is bright,
as she walks, smiling, to meet the night.
He meets her at the bottom stair,
the guests…his guests…already there.
An eyebrow raised, he takes her hand,
painfully, so she’ll understand.
His eyes meet hers with hate so real,
she shivers at the ice she feels.
She pastes a smile on, lady of the manor,
her expression proud as any banner.
The guests all see the beauty there,
holding hands upon the stair,
they cannot see the room inside,
where her dead heart must run and hide.
They cannot see the silent eyes,
the graveyard where her lost hope lies.