Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.

Everything You Want

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Two glasses of wine and you don’t belong anymore. It doesn’t really matter if you’re actually talking louder, it’s the perception. You imbibed and even though you aren’t driving, the morality police are out. You’re just a step away from being out of control, even though you feel inside so good – and it’s not because of the alcohol. It’s because you’re finally relaxing. Maybe that’s the problem, because when you relax, you laugh a little too loud – you get a little too excited and it makes other people around you uncomfortable.

So they bring out the Bandages and the Stares. The Stares aren’t so bad, at least they’re side long. Fluttering looks of annoyance or shame at your company, brief glimpses of being irritated in the shadows cast by their brows. They play with their forks but they don’t want to play with you.

They don’t remember being that kid everyone used to laugh at that moment, because right then, they get to exercise that power over you. They get to have that control, and it’s that control that erases the pain and memories of what it’s like to be scrutinized and looked at under a microscope.

The Bandages are the worst. The Bandages are a step away from hand-cuffs, but since they aren’t actual police man they can’t use Steel ones. They tell you to stop and after the Stare they put the Bandage on your mouth and they put the Bandage on your hands. Now you’re much more tolerable, no one can hear your silly ideas or your dreams. No one has to suffer the whims of your imagination or wit. It never fit in anyways. The Stares and the Bandages cancelled your program.

You’re at home and listening to the dish washer. You’re wondering why no one would want you to save the world even though you try. You feel like if you can’t have success, the least you can have is perfection. So you try to make everyone happy, but no one is happy, no one can ever be happy and you are always clawing at those smooth wall wells to get to the top.

It’s not because you’re different in the ways that people recognize instantly, that animal instinct in all of us that senses the bleeding and wounded. Maybe what they know is no matter what they do, they’ll never destroy that stupid amount of love you have. The fact they can’t crush the absurd helping of hope you have, that you’ve always have, through everything you’ve gone through. It’s not the kind of hope that says ‘I can get through the day’ or the kind of hope that says ‘Everything’s going to be alright if I keep plugging away.’
It’s the kind of hope that says and has no need to scream: I am Hope that is Certain. I am Hope that needs no karma. I am Hope that has no shame. I am Hope that always becomes the hero.

They told you a long time ago that you’ll be hated because when They run from the flames roaring from the ditch, and you kick off your shoes and run right towards the heat – that you’d never belong. They’d always hate you for running back and never running away.

Two glasses lady, and you’re worthless. You’re almost thirty and you can’t be trusted.

They’d tell you to turn your cape in. Just settle.

But when your cape is your heart, you just can’t tear it out.

Comics are Up!

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Hawk and I have finally compiled the illustrated versions of some of these stories with more to come.

You can check it out here:

The First Bubble

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       I’m eight and I can’t wait to grow up. When I see my parents and their friends, with their towering legs and confident smiles; I really want to grow up. Those grown ups pile me into minivans and take me to my favorite sports and activities. I get to scream down a water slide, I take a chance on a three legged race and I throw my first frisbee to a teenager who is undoubtedly humoring me and my exuberance. I can’t tell his smile is fake yet, I’m not even aware there’s a scale that tips to the side of unjust behavior. Because, right then, I’m eight and everything is fair. Even when my sister gets the Red Ranger, it’s fair because my mother says so and I can accept that. My mother is an adult, and they have experiences I’ve never even cracked a book that alludes to them.

      Then I turn nine and I’m all legs, freckles and nose. I’m the kid with the big mouth, but it’s a big mouth with a smile. It runs like a child downstairs to a christmas tree, but I’m nine and all I want to do is share everything I just saw and know with everyone I just met. But, being nine and excitable it’s inventible that I’m clumsy as well. I get so busy wanting to catch your eyes, your attention, so we can share and enjoy this life together. Sometimes I knock things over, because when you’ve got a unstoppable mouth, it doesn’t give your brain much room to organize a space for coordination. So, to break it down – I’m nine along with being a furniture and porcelain collectable hazard.

      Then comes nine and a half, when I’m pretty darn proud of my new jumper. It isn’t a brand name, but I feel like a farmer and when I get home from school I’m going to go find a whole bunch of acorns and grind them into a paste that I’ve decided is just the same as flour. I don’t get to do it that day, because that’s the day I find out there’s a scale in my life that adults have already begun to tip out of my favor. I’m at my desk and playing with my jumpers buttons, just so I’m prepared to get out of it in the case of a bathroom emergency. Big mouths also ignore urgent bladders. It’s about then, when I’m fidgeting with my button and hook when I hear about one of my friends birthday parties. I perk up because I am nine and a half and birthdays are a real big deal, especially when its people that I’ve come to consider my friends. I start to listen in, sliding forward on my wooden seat to get closer to the two girls whispering. Between them, I see a little glimmer of a scale – because right then, I realize this birthday party has already happened; they’re talking in the past tense. As they continue, one cup of the scale drifted downward, holding a growing pool of an oil so black that not even light brings a blue glimmer across it. That cup had sagged lower because between the two of them, one of which was the former birthday girl, I had inducted that the entire grade had been invited to her celebration. Everyone but me.

      I still saw that scale, hanging there, but I didn’t know what it was for yet. It didn’t have the power to scare me, but it certainly unnerved me. A dozen thoughts ran through my head for awhile that never reached my usual motor mouth; had I missed the invitation? Did my mother not check the voice mail? Could I have forgotten to check my locker? I knew these girls, they were my friends and I was not afraid of the scale yet so I wanted to apologize for missing her birthday. I didn’t know what a cad yet was, but I felt like one. I eased out of my seat and came up to their desks. They went silent and now the whole scale looked like it had weight, it wasn’t a mirage anymore.

      So I gave them my smile, because even though their sudden silence was awkward, it couldn’t dim my faith right then. I loved them because we did crafts together, I loved them because we made forts to keep the boys at bay during recess. I would learn this word later, but if I had known it then, I would have called them my comrades. So I was going to make amends. You should never miss an opportunity to apologize to your friends.

This kid with the big mouth facing an eerie scale and silence held her hand out and apologized, “I’m sorry I missed your birthday.”

Birthday-girl was quiet and pushed her pencil into the crevice in the desk that kept it from rolling away, “You weren’t invited.”

      I don’t think my smile faltered, because even with the scale and her expression I didn’t believe her. Children played jokes, not adults. So I played along and asked her why I couldn’t come, so you know, I could make a joke about smelling funny or something – because the tension was like waiting to get your graded spelling paper back.

Then she and her friend looked up at me and the not-birthday-girl answered, “Her mother didn’t want you to come. She was afraid you’d break something.”

      If you could string together a couple of words to stop that motor mouth of mine, it was those ones. They could’ve even been said in pig-latin and I would’ve clammed up. I pushed my hands into my pockets and knew that scale in front of me was something that wasn’t ever going to get prayed, wished or bargained away. An adult woman had invited 51 fellow class-mates and left out a single one, not by accident, but by intention.

      I was nine and a half and that was the day I realized that being an adult is just a matter of how long you’ve been on this earth, not how long you’ve had to do good deeds and grow in character.

I grew up, but really after that day, I dreaded it.


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It may very well appear that this website is in a coma, but the writer is not.

Content to follow, shifting from the snippets to the Illustrated Snippet.


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There was a hum
white noise
of human whispers
something she could dismiss
but the sound sighed at her
and she knew it was something more
bigger than herself,
monstrously hushed
by the quick rotation of a fan
quieting, but rushing the voices
ever nearer

She clipped each earring on
and zipped the lace up
along her slender neck
feeling a vulnerability
of which there was no suspect
only her intuition, linked in
heart, mind and belly
yet she was of no resolution
to leave the room just yet

The rustle of her dress
an amplifier of this unknown terror
the voices, the humming
found refuge in her silk
intently, she listened
for now she was the holder
of unknown visitors
to the window she went
lifting it to invite the breeze
hoping desperately
they’d be carried away

Yet instead, the brisk wind
spoke even louder
and brought to life
the silk around her legs
creeping under the hem
pebbling the skin beneath
her pale nude stockings

It wouldn’t be long now
until the whirlwind of murmurs
covered her wedding dress
then the expectations
of her future nature
would become her own

She would need no gown
after the I do’s
the speaking dress
would crawl into her skin
only her mind would be spared
if she did this one thing
so before she went to meet her groom
she left her veil behind.

A sweeter silence.


I don’t know how to say this
‘cuz I’m speechless
I’m lucky I can even write it
it’s incredible I can sing it
what you’ve done to me
no other could ever do

It was always so easy
my words like a waterfall
now I struggle with my river
‘cuz all I wanna do
is spend time with you
every moment on paper
every time I say your name
I lose precious few seconds
of that higher state of consciousness
where all that I’m aware of is your love

So please don’t think I’m silent
or incredibly shy
when it comes to you
you are my sun
and I’m your planet
no words need to be said
to show that, by your light
I thrive.

Better I Swear.

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I’m smoking another cigarette
just like the five before
my jacket and tie on the floor
if you were still here
I’d take better care
I swear

when you went away baby
your suitcase just didn’t have clothes
somewhere under your favorite shirt
you stole my heart
and shut it away
the last I saw of it
it was heading the california way

I can’t hate you for
this hole in my chest
lady lonesome
like ghost conductor
taking my train of regrets
straight on through

Please honey
couldn’t you consider it
because I got nothin’ left
just open that suitcase
and pull the window up
doesn’t matter the weather
I know it beats so slow
but it can find a way back

Maybe then
like a blood hound
it will lead me back
to the place
I ought to be



“I messed up again, didn’t I?”

We sat on a grassy island, wrapped by a cold stream.

Keith stretched his legs until his heels almost skimmed the water. “Yeah, a little.”

I drew my legs up to my chest, wrapping my arms around my knees. “I keep taking it out on every one else, and when I’m not, I’m at my own throat.”

He smiled that lazy smile, rolling over onto his back and propping his head up with the palm of his hand. “You know there’s only one person who can judge you. You don’t keep having to weigh your own sins and kindness against one another.”

I rested my face against my forearms, nose tucked into the space of my left elbow. “I haven’t heard Him in a long time. All he does is reach down to earth and pull me away from disaster. Then He’s gone. I’m still without any answer to where I’m supposed to go.”

Keith reached out and wrapped his hand around my golden brown braid. He stroked it down until it ended at the small of my back. “You’re standing in front of yourself.”

The affection only pushed me towards a quiet weeping, tear drops dusting the fine blonde hairs on my arms. “I can’t see beyond myself.”

“Bingo, kiddo. You know you can. Maybe one day you won’t need me anymore. Maybe you won’t need any of us anymore.”

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Pearl touched her fan to her mouth, allowing each fold to pass over her lips. “Well, there’s no helping it then.”

Jasmine scrunched her fingers into her dress and leveled her gaze forward. “I wish there was something I could do.”

The fan snapped shut and touched Pearl’s throat, her smile indulging. “I don’t. This is how you’re meant to be.”

Jasmine felt her cheeks burning and worried the fabric in her hands, “I wish you had warned me about how love is. You gave me so many books with knights, princesses and pleasant endings. Each of them contained a little piece of a dream I wanted.”

Pearl arched her brows and eased back into her chair, folding one long length of her leg over the other. “My dear, there’s nothing I could have taught you about love outside of fiction and fairy tales. You talk to me like I should have warned you, prepared you, or given you instructions on how to experience it.”

“You should have! Maybe then, I wouldn’t have-” she holds a gloved hand just under her mouth, preparing to cover it at any moment. “If I had known I would have run away.”

Pearl closed her eyes.

Jasmine felt a sob building in her throat and swallowed it with a painful grimace. “Now I’m consumed. All I think about is the moment I see him again. I cannot even pin my hair without thinking of how he …”

“Unpinned it.” Pearl finishes.

Jasmine put both hands over her face, her fingers tight together as she covered her eyes, feeling her own breath rolling back against her cheeks. “Please don’t say such vulgar things.”

The chair creaked as Pearl took leave of it, kneeling in front of Jasmine. She began to smooth the wrinkles from the gauzy fabric. “You won’t think of it that way, in time. You’ll learn to appreciate those feelings, regardless of how they seem to have your heart in rough seas.”

Tears ran down Jasmine’s face until they stopped and soaked into her covered palms. “I don’t know what to do next.”

Pearl laid her head against the girl’s trembling knees, “That’s how you know it’s right.”


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An unsteady light flickered overhead, giving the illusion that the room’s shadows skirted towards her. Her naked feet were icy cold from the tiled floor. The old radiator was covered in a thick blanket of dust. But it didn’t stop her from peeling her shirt upward. It joined the lump of her jacket near her ankles.

In her mouth was pandora’s box, a miniature sliver of a coffin beneath her tongue.

It was all honey when she was untouched. She did so much good. But that didn’t matter now, not in this lonely bathroom. For as much good as she did, the bad always found her. She didn’t know how to do bad. So the box opened and swallowed the vile. The tiger would always eat her, for she was too fearful to crush even an ant in her flight. The coffin swelled when the bad men came.

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