January 7, 2009, 11:42 AM
July 30, 2007, 2:16 PM
My name is China Davis.
July 25, 2007, 7:24 PM
Sometimes I make little characters. I sort out their gestures and hair lengths and nightmares and shove them in the tiny manilla folds of my mind.
Beth is the oldest. At least, in creation. She wears only chartreuse green clothes, and brushes her stringy bark-colored locks into bobby pins the size of my fingers. Instead of saying "um," she says, "em." Her freckles are few, but her wisdom unsurpassed. She would speak to me in the bathroom stalls of many elementary schools. Through lemon-shaped lips, she would always tell me "it could always be worse."
In 3rd grade, I decided that she went to a private school in another dimension. In her dimension, everything reflected as polar opposites, yet the settings remained the same. She would sit where I was and talk to the same people I was at that time, yet the conversation would differ.
Beth cupped her hands to wash her face in the girl's bathroom, while I flung sudsy water at my eyelids.
"Yes," my imaginary friend replied.
"It can always be better, too."
July 21, 2007, noon
It's an ice cream parlor on a busy street. My aprons are tie-dyed with slush juice and lemon syrup. My cones are castle chambers, and sprinkles serve as inlets for bows.
UNRELATED: Arielle's bat mitzvah present from Bubby and Papa.
July 12, 2007, 6:44P
איך שהלב נפתח
חובק את העולם
אימרו הכל אפשר
זה לא מאוחר
השחר כבר עלה
יחד לב אל לב
נפתח בתקווה לאהבה
ורק אם נאמין
ובלי שום דאווין
זה שיר לאהבה
יחד לב אל לב...
Mustard Packets and bleached skin. I'm coughing up soft serve. My boss likes to personify her utensils as woodland creatures. "Pick up the ice cream bag by the bunny ears!"
Today's a sad day.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
I was on the flat world, the only shelf in a beautiful bookcase. My Indian knees pressed against bookends as I teetered over Europe and Asia. "The world!" I said to Emma, and she closed her phone.
Friday, June 25, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Scores of Solitaire aquaducts spring from the screen, landing in my lap in a pathetic plop. I've been playing this game on my computer for days--both dulls and brights. Arielle morphs again, springing back from Hades's tomb, paving her walkway with avarice. She was once Persephone, goddess of the Spring, but now she is the Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.
I look at a dead girl's picture. I make envelopes. Life beats on.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Beneath my ceiling is a dusty fan, a dusty lightbulb, and a dusty June night. The planets spoke to me in their vacuous language. I lie on the fathom-wide floor as Neptune and Mars clink their ginger glasses and Venus draws longer shadows on the walls.
Thursday, June 14, 2:37 AM
Sorry I wasn't home. Story soon.
Monday, June 11, 5:11 AM
It's been an interesting eleven minutes. I'm watching a disgusting face paint and powder commercial; it will most likely last until 5:30.
"Elasticity and texture improved 46%."
"Overall facial satisfaction improved 78%."
How do they calculate this?
Thursday, June 7, 2007, 11:54 PM
I had to get out of the house of stagnant circulations. Emma and I drove to the Cookie Cutter Woods beyond Kroger and made those household voices.
Today I'm heading to the cemetery with five children's books and some wild flowers. There's a girl who died in 1904 out there who would like some stories.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007. 2:05 PM
"Compost!" Ari exclaimed as we both dropped our watermelon rinds into the soggy dirt. Her crackled lips stretched across her neat teeth. It is a rarity to see her smile nowadays.
I had to wonder, though. We both did, didn't we? We could be at Arielle's or Veronica's wakes. Donning our black tights and black mouths.
I went grocery shoppipng yesterday, and managed to buy only fruits. Mom won't eat solids anymore, so I made her some chicken broth. She downed tiny sips between the gulps of two Icehouses. Her cheeks are sinking and bruises are surfacing. She looks like Daddy when he was going through withdrawal.
Thursday, May 31, Yes, Josh, it does seem like too long, 11:48 AM
Withering, Withering, Withering. Mom's legs sink into the sandpaper couch, and my lids cling to each other. I don't want to see her waste away.
My Papa might not last long. His second brain surgery is today. There isn't any space near Daddy in the plot, so I guess he'll be with Lara and Edie.
Wednesday, May 30, 11:01
June 5, 2007, She'll be spinning from a Mad World of Icehouses and soggy eyes to clinging sheets and sweat-licked bangs. I don't know my feelings.
I've found it exponentially difficult to not see Josh on these bland weekdays. April spoiled me--since the ninth, he's been working downtown. Minutes of rainy anticipation later, the number 7 Harrison would bring me to his enveloping hug.
Words of encouragement help as well.
As for yesterday, Ari's set on her grades. I visited journalism yesterday to set up some make-up work for her and Mr. Steele-Iamawesome. Remnants of my stay in journalism slowly dwindled from Israel reports to the death of my old iMac. Emma was sick, and had I the gasoline, I would have brought her some soup.
Have you ever seen the picture of dead Marilyn Monroe?
The KKK killed a black man in Taylorville on Saturday.
Thursday, May 22, Two cent stamps, 9:14 AM
The bird fell a second time, and Arielle bolted to the house. Her hair clung to her freckled face in a sticky mess of gel and sobs, patterned skirt trailing behind her like withered zinnias.
We broke its little leg. Its throat thickened, and a tongue unraveled at the final, frightened chirp. Ari's sorrow spilled through the screen windows, and I trudged inside.
It felt surreal, like the replay of some memory I don't remember happening eight years ago. Ari would sob for three hours straight, letting few words sever her long-winded cries. I wanted to cry a little for the Bird That Fell Twice, but that would only make Ari more upset. I realized, at that point in time, that my household emotions only cater to hers. This must be why I'm so miserable, and why I cherish my ten minutes with Emma Outside-World. Yesterday's two minutes with sweetheart Joshua and his paperclip world. The World?
Also, Abe: "Benefits and drawbacks."
Wednesday, May 21, View as Digital, 3:06 AM
"I have to wake up soon," I said to Janis Joplin, as the dirt collected under my fingernails.
Red bulbs sunk to green bulbs at every stoplight. I dominated bottomless Taylorville for those few minutes between Market Street and Pawnee. Janis switched the topic of conversation, and I sang along.
I got back 19 minutes ago from Abe's, just in time to fetch some water from the rusted tap. Mom just stopped vomiting to take a quick breath from her inhaler. I really don't know if it's because of the booze or the cancer.
Tuesday, May 15, Boycott Gas Day [Night], 11:00PM
There's no place like home, that's for sure.
Plastered with cardboard dreamcatchers and garage-sale fans, I adjusted my eyes from visions of wide window panes and skyscrapers to ceiling fans lathered in dust and wall peelings stuffed with cobwebs. My house is a rotten wedding cake, crumbling at the altar.
Summer has been just hours wasted into black trash bags.
Mom has been camping out on the crusty couch, as it is closer to her precious air conditioner. She was scheduled for a 7:00 A.M. check for colon cancer today, but Stacy needed to watch Bonanza last night. Slurred shrieks ensued, and soon enough, Ari's face blackened with mascara. We backed Mom, a Derringer backed Stacy. Ari fled to the Dark Hallway, painting the walls black with her disheveled face. Mom lit up half a cigarette and passed out in Ari's room.
Ari and I shared The Rack (my dilapidated futon) and my mind seeped into feathered covers. Ari's shivering legs catalyzed a stream of misplaced foster care memories. I woke up to the title menu of FullMetal Alchemist and the blank engraving of Ari's body in floral sheets.
Monday, May 7: History Final
With a nerve-racking click, it was done. I washed my bile-painted tonsils with a swish of saliva and wiped black feathers of sweat from my palms. A rubber sole distanced me from my desk, but my dime-sized pupils never left those words.
"Thank you for completing your transfer application to Northwestern University."
April 24, 10:57
I watched a series on the badger on the Discovery Channel last night. I thought this was interesting.
"In their natural habitat, the blundering badger will devour the testicles of their mates. Initially, they will encroach on their territory, then slowly bridle their mate's independence. The mate will allow the badger into their nest, where they will disturb the nearby nestmates. Soon, the badger will sequester the mate and they will share a habitat. During this arduous process, the badger slowly nibbles all that is left of the mate's testicles, rendering him completely useless."
2:05 on April 20.
I've been composing a crown sonnet as of late--seven consecutive sonnets where the last line of a sonnet begins the next--and here are two and three. Josh helped me on the first one during our trip back to Chicago last weekend. (The first one is posted further down)
September dawn brought news that she was dead,
In lieu of flowers, blanketed by earth.
Lashes stapling eyes into their sunken bed,
Too few would come to mourn her wasted worth.
She vowed to drop the needle tomorrow
At ev'ry eve; that day could never be.
With ev'ry gram's a breath the girl'd borrow,
'Til her debt peaked, her death the only fee.
The western winds dried mother's salty cheeks,
Instead of father, who refused to go.
And sister's caustic vodka blurred the weeks.
Alas, destitute brother would not know.
Engraved: her birth from death: years, twenty-three,
A daughter, sister, and mother-to-be.
A daughter, sister, and mother-to-be,
her stagnant belly coaxed white powdered thread
through fettered eyes. Surrendering her glee
To sinking cheeks and skin molding lead.
And ravaged were her pregnant mind and womb
From septic drips and charcoal-colored bruise.
A heroic death that she would assume
Instead of heroine, her knavish muse.
Decay before the grave does often leech
Sporadic hours from canary's day.
Unto her notched needle she would beseech
A piteous plea to discharge its sway.
She'd attempt to alleviate her debt
With sterile clinics, cinder pills and sweat.
The break between 4/17 and 4/18. Don't breathe.
You are all what I call "convenients." A label because it's convenient. A CD. A persona, especially.
That aside, today was productive.
April 12, Registering for classes in another window at noon.
Hail prevented a picnic under Calder's Flamingo (a haven for color amidst the bleak and tall atmosphere), but Josh, grapes, and myself all scurried into a nearby cafeteria and opened our tin foil treats.
The LOLLAPALOOZA lineup is fresh, though the Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins header proved to only be a rumor. Pearl Jam, however, breaks the headlines this morning downtown, and I'm pretty sure the server will fail a few times due to the maaaaaaaasses.
EDIT: UNRELATED: Wow, wouldn't it be great to be treated like a human!?
Easter Sunday, 2007!
I finally put the Will Soundtrack in the mail. Today is a day for mixes. Though I'm supposed to be reading King Henry V, or perhaps revising that essay, I find myself making frequent bed-to-desk, three-step interruptions, scurrying to find the next "right" song for Ryan's request. Oy vey.
rances Cobain, I know what this day is like.
Estoy harta de l�pices que tengan gomas de borrar, pero no tengan mina.
Frustration at 9:34 P.M. (March 20something) give or take a few minutes.; Editing done due to a little inspiration.
PROJECT (RED)!!! YOU MAKE ME SICK!!!
Do not become a billboard to a multimillion dollar corporate industry!!
Edit: An article I wrote for independent mag rag "One World" on such:
PRODUCT (RED)��s avant-garde threads and innovative electronics are freckling Gap racks, Armani hangers, Converse shoeboxes, Motorola display cases, American Express cards, and Apple shelves. Swanky celebrities sport the (RED) brand�s apparel and accessories, acting as walking billboards for the chic products. Rouge iPod nanos, Gap�s trendy graphic tees, limited-edition Converse Chucks, extravagant Armani duds, and more (RED) products are adorning the fashion-savvy, and spreading fervently on a global scale.
Spreading in sub-Saharan Africa, however, is the ravaging AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Almost three million AIDS-infected people suffer excruciating deaths annually, and 2,100,000 of those deaths reside in the forty-two countries below the Sahara Desert. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts a reduced life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa from 59yrs to 45yrs between 2005 and 2010, and in Zimbabwe from 61yrs to 33yrs. Reports from the WHO also claim that more than 500,000 babies infected in 1999 by their mothers most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS is the leading cause of fatalities in Africa, and it swims through the bloodstreams of 25 million Africans, a sum eclipsing the to-date AIDS death count, and filling about 60% of the AIDS-ridden population.
(RED)�, birthed by panache U2 singer/protester Bono and DATA�s (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) Chairman Bobby Shriver, has misled consumers in a licentious advertising campaign targeted at the semi-activist youth. PRODUCT (RED)� Account Executive Rob Novickas affirms that the partnership-based �campaign� has allotted $18 million to the Global Fund, an organization aimed to halt AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This measly donation, milked from the high brow misers at (RED)�, only supplied a paltry 0.25% of the Global Fund�s total efforts.
Divulged by charming graphics on the website, PRODUCT (RED)� assures the customer that $10 from every (RED)� iPod surges into Africa. In theory, it would take 1,800,000 iPods to fulfill that �benevolent� donation. At $199 a pop, 1.8 million iPods could supply approximately $358 million, but only 5% will filter into medical treatments of AIDS in Africa. For the Global Fund to collect the meager $18 million, (RED)� had to see 12,857,142 Gap tanks sold, or perhaps the whopping revenue from 6 million �original� Chuck Taylors. Armani had to vend a staggering 4,589,743 �light urban destruction mini skirts� in order for the Global Fund to obtain such an income.
Launched under the brilliant AIDS-concerned fa�ade, PRODUCT (RED)� utilizes its star power and posh trends to create an outrageous cash influx, and leave the consumer blind. Eighteen million, although a hefty sum, is insubstantial for such a costly cause. According to the Associated Press (2006), the average AIDS victim will spend $25,000 annually, and $618,000 in a lifetime, on treatment. Conclusively, that �hefty� $18 million will supply the remedial care for a month to 8,571 people, about 0.4% of sub-Saharan Africans suffering the disease. In turn, it could prevent 714 from becoming death statistics, but only for a year. Only a scarce twenty-nine could potentially benefit on a life-long basis, or 0.0013% of those dying of AIDS.
PRODUCT (RED)� even emblazons its covetous ways in its MANIFESTO, located on the website; �(RED) is not a charity. It is simply a business model. You buy (RED) stuff. We get the money. Buy the pills and distribute them. They take the pills. Stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.� Manipulative (RED)� hotshots merely commercialize the ailing sub-Saharan Africans to market their expensive products, and even state these motives. The website also provides an �impact calculator,� which gauges a deceptive result to your charitable purchase. The modish site, blotted with the infamous (RED)� emblem, also supplies the results of the Global Fund�s efforts, coattailing its successes, and therefore misinforming its customers of the profit allocation.
Furthermore, (RED)� may conjure ignorant visions of aid in Africa, but they most certainly contribute to the growing sweatshop crisis sweeping the Pacific Coasts of Asia, including the downtrodden nations of Cambodia, Vietnam, and China--as well as other exploited regions, such as Egypt, Morocco, and the Persian Gulf. By partnering with Gap, PRODUCT (RED)� promotes unwarranted labor abuse. China manifests the largest scale of mistreatment; Gap holds roughly 423 there, and, as publicized by Sweatshop Watch, �between 25 percent and 50 percent of those Chinese companies don't fully comply with local labor laws� and 10 percent to 25 percent of them pay below the minimum wage.� Mexicans earn the highest salary of Gap�s 3,009 sweatshops, pulling in a minute twenty-eight cents an hour.
The numbers only verify (RED)��s fallibility�it engages in illusory marketing to lure wealthy customers and ignorant celebs into the belief that, by squandering a small fortune on an Armani clutch, they can also help a suffering baby in Zimbabwe. Not only is it fraudulent, but hypocritical in the cause to furnish Third World citizens with better standards; its support of thousands of Gap sweatshops nullifies PRODUCT (RED)��s falsely publicized endeavors.
For more information on labor exploitation, seek reputable organizations, such as Sweatshop Watch (http://sweatshopwatch.org) and the Global Exchange (http://global exchange.org). The Global Fund has equipped sub-Saharan Africa with $7.6 billion towards AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and you can donate at their website (http://theglobalfund.org/en).
March 22, 2007. 9:55 A.M., and breathing through one nostril.
Though I never fail to speak the diminutive details of the childhood none of you saw and that I did not have, I rarely mention how pathetic I was, as China Davis.
I had bangs that brushed where my eyebrows should be (they would gloriously darken in 9th grade) and glasses so large that they crept up underneath them. The red plastic bottoms of those infamous glasses rested under my cheekbones, and when I smiled, the nose pieces sunk into the bridge between my tiny, squinting eyes.
Overalls were the clothing of choice, folllowed by red t-shirts and Sketchers shoes. It had to be "The S." When my Aunt Lara died at 28 overdosing on medicine to get better, her Express, Gap, The Limited, and other swanky clothes were all sent to Arielle and me (we actually were living in Taylorville at this time).
While all those pairs of overalls, almost exactly the same in every aspect except for tearage placement, hung from our indoor clothesline, I rolled up Express khakis and donned Gap halters.
My awkwardness never began there. In fifth grade, I slept in the top bunk in a room of three girls--one in high school, and one in 8th grade. They talked about mary jane and sex, and I curled up in my plaid covers and listened to my tape cassette, my treasured Lynard Skynard. I lied to my classmates. A lot. I said my grandmother was on the Titanic, and that I owned a fairy. During Social Studies, I crawled under my desk and meowed. Anyone who wanted to talk to me had to press a "button" on a door mat I drew and placed by the chair. I carved my favorite words into the desk and was often sent to the administration. I once engraved wretched into a desk, in the most beautiful font. My teacher made me paint over it after school, and I missed my carpool. I was there until 7, when my foster parents came to get me.
I told them that they were b-i-t-c-h-e-s. Yes, I spelled it out. And yes, I received a quick smack to the face, pushing my glasses up and into my nose... much like a smile.
I would tell my teacher I couldn't do my homework because I had to watch "Growing Pains." When my father died, just weeks later, everyone in the tiny Hebrew Academy made me a card. My kindergarden buddy said he'd be my daddy. I put all the "feel better"s and "I'm sorry"s in an envelope and carried them in my backpack, to reassure myself that I had approximately 200 friends.
Two months later, my mom would tell us, in front of a Seurat, that we were going to Taylorville with her. I clutched my worldly possessions--a yellow tomagotchi, a birthday present I'd begged for; Silksome, the burnt pillowcase that had been mine when I lived across the street from Dairy Queen and across the hallway from Dad; a book, composed of ship wrecks; and a black cassette player, pregnant with Free Bird.
March 7, 2007. 9:39, a numerically satisfying time.
IAMBIC PENTAMETER AND ALL. I'm writing a crown sonnet for my English class... and it's basically about how the fates' strings would change had I followed my father into heroine.
On starch and sterile bleach�d sheets
of thin sleek heroine bleak eyes do lie--
that paint her veins milk-white with heart's weak beats
then lucid visions bridle her dead high.
Syringes speckle tiled kitchen floors
the blacks and whites she used to prance upon
while swabbing mud soles per her daily chores
bouncing square to square like a chessboard pawn.
Now she spends the ashen dusky hour
Tapping comatose and fallen veins
Her eyelids, saviors, help her eyes to cower
From caustic thoughts, by inner-elbow stains.
Eyes leaking and wide nostrils faucet red
September dawn brought news that she was dead.
February 26, 2007. 6:24, where I should be.
Since Friday's delayed takeoff, I've been catapulted into a phantasmal life of clicking steps and blouses with machined seams.
My neck has dried up like that Play-Doh sculpture you wish you hadn't left on the windowsill. It's crackling with every step that my disgusting black heels meet the hotel marble.
I'm meeting with a Senator, or more likely, his assistant, tomorrow about "the environment." Since the conference is being sponsored by a nonprofit organization, we can't push a particular bill. That's a bunch of bull, if you ask me. I'd rather be shrieking "VOTE ON HR 1000" to this godawful representative of a representative. (HR 1000 would include gender and sexual orientation inclusion in hate crimes. Didja know it's poifectly legal to fire someone because they're gay in 33 states? UGH.)
My keys are wearing down, and my fingerprints are practically embedded in the ASDFJKL; positions. Actually, I guess I type more at a slant... like the way I write by hand. My home keys are more like Shift S E R for the left and N J K O for the right.
Chilling with Will was far more worth the clams I smacked for this conference. He took me to the Holocaust Museum here, which is, just like others have said, better than the ostentatious triangle jutting out of a mountain outside Jerusalem (Yad Vashem). However, nothing will beat my trip to Auschwitz I and II. I remember scrubbing my shoes on the plane back, tearing up, and remembering that the dirt packed into the crevasses of my soles was the same that 1.5 million children had as they dredged to the gas chambers.
Wow, China, great way to depress the post.
We hit up a swanky, avant-garde Chinese tea house, where a tiny waitress with circular spectacles grew nervous and awkward upon Will's entrance. We sipped strange grapefruit iced tea as the skylights blackened.
Will, yet again in his infinite coolness, took me to beat club Black Cat, where the only song I recognized was "Where's Your Head At," by the Basement Jaxx.
Unrelated: I've also decided that I want to end world hunger with grilled cheese. (http://feelgoodworld.org)
February 19, 2007. 3:45 PM.
I've been quite the Howard Crick since Tongueuntied went comatose. (Although my narrations aren't in a British accent.) It makes me want a tape recorder and a pocket at all times.
Lynette walked by me at work today and said the usual "Hi, China Doll, how ya doing? Your hairrr looks like a strawberry shortcake," her Chicago accent slathers every "a" and "r." She leaned over the gray, frazzled cubicle wall, her tan shirt clenching her shoulders, and about a dozen files in hand. The sparkles on her lavendar lips relocated with every "mm-hmm."
I hadn't realized that the second hand fell off the clock at the office. The little red line looked like a string attached to paper cups for the 5 and the 7. 6 remained clueless to the prime conversation.
Lynette's raspy laughs perforated her sentences, as I smiled with closed lips and pressed white papers into files like guillotines.
I thought about how late the train was last night. I remember turning on my laptop and wondering if anyone on the train had their own wireless. There were two people, greedy as they were, with password-protected lines. I decided that, when I grew gray and responsible, I was going to have my own laptop line. And when girls with glasses on the train asked me if they could have my password, I'd say "absolutely." They'd wait for another response. But the password would be, "ABSOLUTELY." It was a perfect plan! I smiled and tore at my lips as I opened up Wordpad and tried to write a blog.
Hedwig (and I've loved her for some time now) prompted me. She said I should stop these fucking shennanigans and write.
How? I asked her. I don't know how. She asked me why I'd stopped, and instead of answering, I started narrating my moves, hoping that I'd finally impress myself.
It wasn't until I was scraping at a half-filled pan of grease, that I decided it was time. Emma'd never had a latke before, and though they halved every time I flipped them, I was determined to whip up a batch of crudely made latkes.
The back of my vest pressed to a peeling floral wall, Emma continued her Gregorian chant. Our tongues slowly swept Russian accents, as Francis loved Edith's. The solid spatula printed new fortunes in my palms. The latkes were (not entirely) ready.
I remember the very instance that the thought of buying a tape recorder came into my head. I was kicking snow on one of the corners of Racine and Harrison. The lights were so dim and the snow so blinding, I had no idea whether or not I could cross. I pressed a blue boot into a murky pile of slush. I thought about how Eskimos (who prefer the term "Inuit") have 26 different words for snow. I tried to think of as many as possible. Slush. Mush? Snow. Flakes? I missed the light and then the bus.
I pressed the delete button three times in the course of this blog.
I promise a new layout soon. The FMA one was better than the blog itself ;)