The pieces herein radiate the dark energy of fairytales. The good kind. The kind with sex and cannibalism, occultism and murder, awe and wonder. Horror. (Stephen Graham Jones, The Ones that Got Away, 12)
Fairytales, the down and dirty ones courtesy Black Forest campfires of ages past, are frightful correspondence with the dark, nightmarish communication from the primal wellspring. (13).
I. Fairytales of Hatred
He sees a hate that unites. It’s on the couch after they fight that it festers, sagging, as much a part of the fabric as its stained flowers—the loose threads that still manage to bind, hold it together. Knee to knee first they’ll watch the news, perhaps to feel its heat--to spark theirs. Genocide, terrorism, floods, fires, hate-crimes in bright successive flashes on the screen as her hand rests in his. It’s an awesome, scintillating hatred pixelating and percolating before their eyes. The microphones appear almost phallic, jaunty and mocking. Each is a torch passed onto the next—an amplification signal. It’s in this universal hate they’ll unite, after their own tears and broken worlds. Shards of glass, words wielded on the end of pitchforks rendered unbent by times advancing—blunt, archaic tools still stoic and tall. Tearing to shreds. It’s pleasant to watch together, the news.
She heard them first before she slept. A young girl in a scarlet cape is taken into a forest opacified by an inky darkness whose pines never thin but make a dense earth, soft enough to muffle the savage caress of her ruin--a red hood torn back by nature’s predator. A little mermaid relinquishes her voice in a desperate barter for the mobility of legs; enduring a pain of rejection so violent it reduces her to froth/foam at the mouth of a vindictive sea, trapped forever in its cosmic tides. A famine inspiring cannibalism threatens to eradicate Hansel and Gretel from within a house that embodies its own/our sweet, rotten decay. Entrapment, and obsession by an ugly beast forces Belle into a Stockholm Syndrome for her captor. Covetous stepsisters are reduced to beggars, sacrificing their extremities in desperation to adorn a glass slipper that cannot fit.
There is a restless wickedness that arises from tales and dreams—a rot that permeates the core of apples too read.
Hate bleeds black ink in books and lurks in corners, radiating out from a spine, of hate sewn together. Spoken of in literature as “a malevolent phantom,” (To Kill A Mockingbird) a Boo Radley taboo, as if it’s shrouded in darkness, but I can see it starkly here. “Maybe there is a beast…maybe it’s only us” (Lord of the Flies). It keeps me infatuated. My mouth can mirror his in their adulated, intellectualized language of hate. “Strange thoughts brew in your heart when you spend too much time with old books.”
The White Tiger
“These violent delights have violent ends.”
Romeo and Juliet
“Terror made me cruel . . .”
“I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it.”
One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. ”
“Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.”
V for Vendetta
“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
Of Mice and Men
“All right, then, I'll go to hell.”
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
II. The Civilized Hatred
I know hate that prospers without water, deep in the desert. It flirts with venomous snakes and untimely skulls barely covered by a layer of gritty sand, continually unearthed in my dreams. I’ve also seen hate with roots deep in a fertile earth from which I nourish. It defies forced law and (ac)claimed boundary favoring only to be natural. There’s a boy with a father who teaches him to hit and her to cower. They grow against the odds. It should stunt them, but they will grow, growing towards that hate.
I’m told there’s a psychology, a psychosis to my hatred. It can make me feel good. My hate and love inspire valor and malevolence. Both are passions, irrational extremes. I read somewhere they may utilize the same brain frequency, chemistry, circuitry—like a pre-programmed machine. It pervades then not as a virus nor a pernicious bacterium that infects my brain. No foreign body. No unrecognizable intruder disguised in shadowy subterfuge—in erratic attacks we continually, cyclically adapt to defend yet not prevent. There is a rot that permeates the core of apples too red.
I once learned Van Gogh cut off his ear in a hatred inspired by love. A tangible expression severed then mailed—shared. It’s beautiful and legendary—a bold, awoken madness, no longer carefully contained in dreams of horrible ruby blood. But an outpouring of passion surely more viscous—a dark, sticky molasses. Sweet. His work reflects a blurring of urgency and stress, paranoia and drama—a pathos that appears so vivid, obvious now with eyes open. the work of genius that we once collectively claimed to hate.
There’s a hate that multiplies in the spacious voids of silence. Yet, there’s a language of hate that allows me to communicate with you. It’s a fabric of stained flowers on a couch that sags, weighted. No longer soft, now threadbare. But it’s a place that still generates heat, where my hatred is consummated with you. There are tales whose brevity and supposed levity reveal to me their language of hate in words that form sweetly in my parents’ mouths, my mouth. There’s an obviousness, a stark evil to skulls unburied in sand, which belies the complication of my wakeful brain’s pathology. A love and hate that actively fire neurons together. Signals of perpetuation that stimulate constant regeneration. There’s a chemical heat, an electric beauty to this hatred that draws me to you.
III. Familiar Colors
When the flag is hung vertically
Our union is always on the left.
But what’s right?
Red drips down
Down to the floor.
Contained in its vertical lines
Confined by mirrors of white.
The good and the bad constrasted, reflected
Stitched at the bottom, hindered only by a hem.
The fabric of unity.
Why doesn’t it pool up in puddles, spill over?
Red is love and hate.