Drabble 10 – Nukekubi

Nukekubi

“Nukekubi” from the Bakemono-Dukushi Yumoto-C.

Whoops. After a night of not sleeping well thanks to a thunderstorm and thunderstorm-inspired nightmares, I spent most of yesterday in a haze. At 12:30 a.m., I woke up and realized I’d forgotten to post this, but decided for once in my life I would prioritize sleep over anything else. So it’s late, but it’s here.

I absolutely love ghost stories of all kinds. Somewhere on my list of blog topics to eventually tackle is one on my weird relationship with horror—specifically that I simultaneously love and crave it, while also being petrified of the dark, of weird noises at night, of mirrors.

Somehow I stumbled onto Japanese yōkai, a class of creature that falls toward the ghost end of the supernatural spectrum. When reading about yōkai, I learned I have a weird thing about long-necked people, the thing being that, for some reason, it completely terrifies me.

These long-necked spirits (calling them ‘long-necked’ defangs them a bit for me—I get more of a giraffe vibe than sheer terror) are called rokurokubi. They are one-hundred percent not okay, and looking at these old paintings of them gives me a serious case of the creeps. Somehow the word nukekubi ended up on my vocabulary list and hey, what do you know? There’s a creepier, more violent version of rokurokubi out there.

Anyway, a drabble.

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Adoxography

Drabble 9 – Adoxography

Adoxography

Someone’s handwriting, much nicer than mine.

I was recently the matron of honor in my best friend’s wedding. Leave it to me to forget, until a day before the wedding, that I had to write a speech.

Thankfully, poetry came to the rescue. Writing might be hard, but interpreting poetry is something I feel a bit better about, these days, and the final line from Jack Gilbert’s The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart has been haunting me since I first read it.

Rather than rehashing the entire speech, I’ll just say that I think love is expressed differently by every person who expresses it, and sometimes that expression is unexpected or, to outsiders, mundane. 

I feel pretty strongly about destroying genre boundaries and high brow/low brow distinctions, so the idea that anything is trivial just doesn’t resonate with me. Who is this grand arbiter of taste that gets to decide whether something is meaningful or not?

I might have some bitterness attached to this issue. Anyway, here’s a drabble.

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In Lieu of a Post

Pure evil, but she's my pure evil.

Pure evil, but she’s my pure evil.

I say this a lot–I don’t have kids, I have cats.

Some people laugh at that, as if they couldn’t possibly be the same thing. And I’ll admit that my cats lead shorter life spans, will never grow up to learn to speak, and certainly won’t be around to take care of me when I get old. But in the meantime, they keep me calm when I’m stressed, they have more personality than people give them credit for, and they’re cute, dang it.

Unfortunately, my cats also have health problems.  Continue reading

François Perrier's "The Sacrifice of Iphigenia"

Drabble 8 – Flaiche

François Perrier's "The Sacrifice of Iphigenia"

François Perrier’s “The Sacrifice of Iphigenia”

I’ve talked before about my intense love for Greek and Roman mythology, and here it is again.

For some reason, the story of Iphigenia really stuck with me. When I took a class on Greek literature, we actually didn’t read the story of Iphigenia–we watched the Michael Cacoyannis film version, which I think is lovely in its ambiguity.

For the uninitiated, Iphigenia is the daughter of Clytemnestra and the famed hero (not my hero, just generally heroic by Greek standards) Agamemnon. Before the Trojan War can begin in earnest, the Greeks have to sail to Troy. Unfortunately, the wind isn’t blowing (or is blowing too hard, depending on which version you read). Odysseus tells Agamemnon that Artemis demands that he sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, thanks to Atreus trying to feed all the gods his son, Pelops (that Atreus family, I tell you).

Some stories say Odysseus was lying to manipulate Agamemnon, some say it was true. Whatever the case, Agamemnon sacrifices Iphigenia, the winds begin to blow (or cease blowing so hard), and the Trojan War carries on.

In some versions of the story, Iphigenia is simply dead. In Euripides’ version, Iphigenia is whisked away by the goddess Artemis herself. I like that version better.

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Bitch Planet and Non-Compliance

Non-Compliant

There are a lot of great comics out there, but the one I want to talk about is Bitch Planet.

Bitch Planet is a sort of middle-finger love-letter to the women’s prison exploitation films of the ’60s and ’70s. If you’re not familiar with the genre, think of the kinds of things Quentin Tarantino is paying homage to. Cheesy, kitschy, exploitative messes that revel in debauchery and violence and sexuality and women, generally for the purpose of the male gaze. In the world of Bitch Planet, women who don’t fit the standard of the ideal woman are sent to the eponymous planet for imprisonment, re-education, or safekeeping–take your pick. These women are called “non-compliant.”

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Alex Alice's "Midgard Serpent"

Drabble 7 – Maricolous

Alex Alice's

Alex Alice’s “Midgard Serpent

When I was a kid, I had a serious obsession with whales. Some kids like horses, others like dogs, but I was into whales – huge, intelligent, graceful creatures that sing weird, haunting songs. What’s not to like?

I saw a humpback whale once in the wild. It’s kind of hard to appreciate how mind-bogglingly enormous they are until you see one, and even then I kept wondering whether I’d only seen a cresting wave or whether all that gray and white had really been an animal.

Dipping your toes in tide pools and picking up shells on the beach is all well and good, but there’s some seriously big stuff under all that water.

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