Saturday, March 31, 2012

The House Which Wasn't Haunted by Purple Mark

With fears so vague and suspicions depending
upon small points, the very horror lies in

my situation: the House itself.

It is not that the House is haunted, which spoils the ghostliness of it,

but there is something strange about the House that I can feel.

It is in a village that has been abandoned
by the peasants for fear of Revenants

either of real or imagined pasts.

If I were of better means or had other options,
I would move away from the shadows that fall

almost imperceptibly awry,

too many shadows which have no source in anything visible, but as it is I am
forced to exist

with these uneasy intangibilities.

Were it Ghosts, I might have at least something
with which I could talk with, but they

are not even that concrete.

It is more like the House is at the center
of many worlds and their possibilities,

none of which have made up their minds

as to which will manifest and which will remain
unsatisfied in their hope of existence. It is

a difficult atmosphere to live within its walls.

I feel that I am only barely tolerated by these conditions as if they, not me
were in charge of

the House with its care and maintenance.

If I were not there, it might be that the House
would at least settle into one configuration or other, but for now it both is
and isn’t haunted.

---Purple Mark 03/17/12


Purple Prompts:                                                                         

  • All from The Oxford Book Of Gothic Tales edited by Chris Baldick, Oxford University Press 1992.

    1. The very horror of my situation lies in the fact that my fears are so vague, and my suspicions depend so entirely upon small points.” Arthur Conan Doyle. The Adventure of the Speckled Band, page 266.
    2. That spoils my ghostliness, I am afraid, but I don’t care - there is something strange about the house - I can feel it.” Charlotte Perkins Stetson. The Yellow Wall-Paper, page 250.
    3. At last the revenants became so troublesome the peasants abandoned the village and it fell solely into the possession of subtle and vindictive inhabitants who manifest their presences by shadows that fall almost imperceptibly awry, too many shadows that have no source in anything visible.” Angela Carter. The Lady of the House of Love, page 483.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Shark House by Purple Mark

                         If a
                         Shark built a House
                         It would be built like this one
                         like a giant fin, parting the waters.
                         It would have house guests
           such as a Moray Eel and an Octopus
    in a Garden of Corals, Kelp and Sea Anemones.
           It would have no need for doors or windows, the Weather
           didn’t penetrate often from this lone spire
                         from the sea above.
                         Yet it would have shafts of Sunlight to
                                Illumine the days and careful arrangements
                         of Lantern-fish and phosphorescent Sea-slugs
                         would give it a Glow to those dark water evenings.
           It might be safe to say the Shark House had a
    reputation and there were some creatures which
    wouldn’t stay because of the Shark Factor
           for a short time, much less an overnight or
                  Weekend Getaway, but all Sharks are not Great Whites.
                         “JAWS” had made a bad impression on many
                         even among the Sea Life which hadn’t
                  seen any of the movies in the horrific Franchise.
           However the Shark House idea had alreahdy been
    thought up in England where there was the appearance
             of a Shark stuck in the roof of an Oxford Don’s House
                     as a prank piece of artwork as though the
                                       Shark in question had fallen
                                                     from the sky and
                                                            crashed into
                                                                   the roof


    ---Purple Mark, 03/10/2012



    1. If a shark built a house it would be this pennant rock commanding the waves like a giant fin, partings the waters.” Tara Legresley from "Not Monet’s Haystack." Talking Raven Review: Winter 1999. (Lewis-Clark College, Lewiston Idaho) pg. 109. The Universe gifted me with the book provided from the top of a Broadway Post Office newspaper kiosk.



    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Noise Streams in Fractals


    In the world of words
    sounds fragmented
    into fractals of vibration.
    The brain recombines
    energy preserving
    the second law of thermodynamics.

    A river flows like a kaleidoscope
    through a web or neurons.
    Synaptic connecters
    decode bolts of electricity
    like the ground receiving
    a thunder of boots.

    ---William James, 03/11/2012


    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    In The Cards by Purple Mark



    The Black Octopus sits with a pen
    in each of its eight tentacles all waiting
    for inspiration to strike and release the ink
    onto the watercolor paper, but as yet
    it doesn’t have anything dramatic
    to write upon the blank page.


    Angel Fish swim by
    all heading North by Northwest
    it is not so much of a school
    as a private Fish


    Many nautical miles away the Titanic
    sinks yet again, but this time
    there is no evidence
    of Icebergs.

    The Joker

    The Joker is a Spider
    which has caught a Moth
    to wrapping it
    and locking it away.

    Ace ♦

    leaf with
    sides curled up
    into a diamond is a
    piece of Fairy Gold on the
    ground amidst half a wing-like
    seedpod, a snail, an red ant
    and a single Blue
    Jay’s feather

    8 ♣

    An Aardvark gazes morosely at
    its reflection in grooved puddles
    under the moonlight strong
    enough to blow most of the
    remaining leaves
    off of the twisted tree
    Autumn has arrived.

    2 ♦

    On a table in Richard Hugo’s House
    a petite-four of pink and white sits
    on a plate surrounded by six
    ceramic Parrots with blue teapots
    clutched firmly in beaks.

    Jack ♠

    Jack Frost blows darts through the
    open window with his icy breath,
    a Crow has walked its last steps
    and lies frozen by the assault of
    Winter; no more to comment on

    the world which goes on without it.


    Purple Mark, 02/25/2012


    Purple Mark's Prompts:                                                                         

    1. Tony Meeuwissen. The Key To The Kingdom: An Enchanted Deck. (Running Press Book Publishers, 1992).

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Found on a flash drive...


    Punctuated Equilibria and the Theory of Unintelligent Design

           Reading between the gaps skilled as any biblical scholar with only “stones and bones” as their text. The “hopeful monster” arrived not once, but many more times than probability possibly could allow. Thriving in a primordial ooze, it never laid a bone to rest. It disappeared, like Enoch, in a flaming chariot across the sky. “Gradualism is dead,” Evolutionary Biologist, Dr. Gould trumpeted, “Punctuated Equilibria is how new living things began!”
           It wasn’t how Darwin thought. Nor how Gradualists taught. Scales never turned to feathers. Legs never grew on fish. No archaeological evidence exists for those fanciful leaps in logic.
           Yet, out of fish eggs scrambled some frogs jumping, to and fro, over sultry mudscapes oblivious that its parents breathed water instead of air.
           Trying to hop, the hoped for monster, managed only a lilting crawl. Away from its parents horned toad and green frog. The lizard and his seven sisters scampered far from the confines of their rich soupy pond.
           Basking in summery spring warmth eggs incubated a moss eaten stump; creaking, rattling, then thumping they cracked Humpty hatched three birds, two snakes, and a salamander with a whap! Skittering away were iguana and dinoizard, the snakes slithered towards the desert, the salamander to the bog, and the birds flew out over the sea into a fog.
           Many more beasts, species of different sizes and varieties, crawled forth from this beach. Some functionally pragmatic others playfully imaginative. Punctually arriving in static equilibrium.
           Then one day, many cycles of moons later, two birds flew back. Bigger and more fair than the three who flew away. They settled on a mountainous dune far looking over the river flowing into the sea. The mother with a purple plume and crimson breast lay exhausted after birthing several mutant eggs. When they hatched mice scampered forth.
           Soon the land was teaming with mice adapting and coloring into pages of their environment. One day a giant brown mouse not quite a rat, burrowed into a bole next to the river, gave birth to two rats, three cats, and a beaver. Later the cat gave birth to the tiger and then to the dog. The land became full of living creatures, now there was much fauna for the predator.
           A pack of dogs and a wolf lone wolf made their home in the glade behind the beach beyond the river. Two dogs lay dead after birthing a cow and a bull. The cattle grew in numbers and varieties. The predators grew fanciful and huge. Gaining intelligence and cunning with each passing moon.
           The cow gave birth to the horse; the horse to the ass; and the ass to the monkey. When all the trees were swinging with chimpanzees’ apes mutated into form. Another age came and went, two balding apes standing upright returned to the beach. They made their home in a cave guarded by ferny trees. Finally, after much to-do, Homo-sapiens came into being.


    ---William James, March 3, 2001


    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    February by Purple Mark


    February always seems to get the short end of the stick
    when it comes to the months.

    Every other month gets at least 30 days, but poor February
    is lucky to get 29 days within its span.

    The thought that because it has the worst weather,
    it should be the shortest month seems unfair.

    Surely the year could’ve been divided a bit better,
    after all half of the months have 31 days;

    A couple less of those would bring February up to speed.
    However, that isn’t how it is

    For long-held unguessed-at reasons, it has always been
    this oddly configured Month.

    Even this year with its added leap-year day doesn’t
    make up for the paucity of its days.

    The name February comes from the Februars: the strips of hide
    which were used by those in wolfskins to strike the women

    who lined up along the Roman streets during Lupercalia
    to be blessed with a child in the coming year.

    Its Hallmark Holiday based on a mythical Saint Valentine
    caps off the ill regard the Month suffers from.

    At least January reflects back on the previous year while looking
    hopefully towards the coming year.

    February’s Groundhog almost always promises that Winter
    will be over soon, but then fails to deliver the Spring

    that the flowers wish for in their growing and suffer from in
    their eagerness when the temperatures plummet again.

    The Plum blossoms break off and litter the sidewalks
    leaving a lone bee confused: why isn’t it Spring?

    ---Purple Mark 03/03/2012


    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Craigslist Personal Ad--- Choir-Boy Seeks Goth-Girl


    for a recurring rendezvous, a blending of opposites:

    I’m seeking a cohort to romp through the crème de la crème all the way down into the cracker crust of local metal (or other eclectic) bands; to touch the shape and sound produced by the primal dance of drum and guitar and grinding flesh against steel. I’m seeking a collaborator to pretend to be wealthy, play dress up in fine clothes and share our body heat at a ballroom in a slow winding waltz. I’m seeking a partner to tear it up at a dive bar singing pop or country karaoke. I’m seeking an affiliate to squander our rapidly waning dollar on the latest bilge Hollywood produces. I’m seeking an associate to watch amateur leagues play ball at the park or join in on a Tuesday or Friday night dodge ball game. I’m seeking a companion to break bread—share a meal—discuss politics, films, poets, authors, oddities, art, music, the decline of our civilization, work, spirituality, anything—I can cook. I’m seeking an equal to simply share subtleties rambling through neighborhoods breathing in the ectoplasm of life as it is lived or not.

    I’m searching for a lissom energy signature I encountered vibrating through the seat of my soul before the turn of the wheel. I’m searching for somebody, I call “Black Nails,” the image of her hand appeared on that veil, which hangs between the unconscious and conscious mind. I know this all sounds crazy, to think that an a-priori connection could occur linking two strangers through that esoteric aether existing between here and there, you and me.

    Perhaps we’ve already chanced ‘cross one another: at the Harvard grocery, or Vivace’s, or strolling down Broadway, or at the Sureshot Cafe Sunday afternoon’s listening to potluck musicians spill fire out their guts, or on a bus, or at a metro stop in the morning waiting and not wanting to go to work—me trying not to drink you in, nevertheless intrigued by the sway of your gait and flit of your hair across your forehead.

    Maybe you’ve seen me and I haven’t you near the lake or at a park. A man sitting on a bench with a book or notepad frenetically scribbling delicious lines of verse or humming morose Hank Williams melodies or composing passionate lyrics that somehow appear to fall down from the heavens. Perhaps in your imagination you’ve encountered echoes of his pounding heart in thunderous applauds of silence—breathing in the now. Two souls meet, melt into one, a kaleidoscope of mind segmented into body, blended into opposing forces of light dark, yin yang, me you.

    Are you her? That star crossed lover I visit in shadow of moonlight sonnets splayed ‘cross the sky in mysterious swaths of passion: an open door, a free spirit, elfin, earthy, bottomless eyes, long white fingers—nails painted black….

    ---William James, February 5, 2008


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    Monday, March 5, 2012

    A Verve hides in a Stygian mood

    Sara beamed at the display of her children’s art on her refrigerator. She remembered when she was young and how she created art for her parents. She painted and colored with verve. As she grew older she was told to put away her daydreaming artistic ways. Instead, she was told to focus on her ABC’s and multiplication tables. With her joy of creation not acceptable she fell into a stygian mood. She hated it when her father trammeled her creativity by removing all of her color crayons and art supplies one day. She swore from that moment on she would never do that to her own children. She looked at the drawings again and smiled.

    ---by Sharon Meixsell, 11/29/2011


    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Within Cold and Warm Waters by Purple Mark


    The black pot went “Pah dah!” as I set it back down on its usual burner coil.
    The kitchen becomes a percussive polyphony with the squeak of washing
    adding to the swish of water, the brushwork of the plastic pad and the clang
    of silver-wear against the rubber-coated drainer in my putting away of the day.

    It has been a day of water, both cold and warming and a wind blowing mostly
    cold with both Chac (The Rain) and Ithaqua (The Wind) were working against
    my travels towards Ballard today in a blustery walk downtown, a chilly wait
    then the slightly warming Eighteen before again a blustery walk from there.

    The Sunset Hill Day Spa is barely started by the time I arrive after my added chilling. Lulu seems inured to the cold as she prepares the Lattes for which
    she is known, within the Cabana: a fancy name for a tent over a driveway
    from which the wind pushes continually in, as if it is also in line for Coffee.

    Back inside, I put on the kettle for my hot chocolate, I had decided on instead. While the water is being heated, I’m given a tour of the new water-heater
    which resembles a deluxe Artoo or Water-Vaporator unit, then upstairs again,
    I finally get my hot water and as the Theobromine kicks in, I can be present.

    As more people drift in from Canada, Bellingham and places closer in, the Spa
    is finally starting to manifest. Nail polishes are repaired in between bites of omelet and other brunch-ish nibbles. A Drum-land session starts up which clears the room of all non-participants. One guy is on shaker-duty and I’m on frog.

    At last, the Japanese wood-fired hot-tub is ready and the first wave of Spa-enjoyers, including me are soaking in the Tea: the nickname for the bamboo and other vegetative materials which are sharing the warming waters with us
    which we tossed out. The octopus is consulted: we’re at ninety eight degrees.

    As we rotate around the tub, so everyone gets the hot seat briefly, the water becomes even warmer, so that by the time I must get out, it is one hundred and three and rising. Once out of the water, the wind immediately chills me as I try
    to dry off and I go back inside to don my outfit of Hot Pinks once again.

    Gradually, the weather has been getting nicer, so I choose this time to leave.
    I return to downtown Ballard with another long , but warmer wait and at last the Seventeen arrives a short time later I was back in downtown Seattle which was sunny and almost warm when the wind let up: the reverse of this morning.

    Hungry and somewhat still chilled, I fixed myself spaghetti Arrabiatta and with a chunk of Ciabatta, I’m finally warm both inside and out. I had gone to the Spa and returned again having experienced a little version of Breitenbush without having to drag around the drag or picked up the nearly requisite communal crud.

    ---Purple Mark 021812