Front Page

Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

For V: Fare Thee Well

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

There is no more pain nor distress, except in our shell shocked hearts. There is only silence and the finality of the last moment. What becomes of the years walking the hallways and avenues of living? Is it just as meaningful anyway?  And for whom?

You said that you have chosen your tomorrow well.  You wanted us to be happy and to cheer you on.

And so, you put on your best face.  We did not think it was all a charade.

There is this space in our days where you used to be.  How do we fill it now?

Advertisements

For V: Turmoil by Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

She stared out the window with unseeing eyes, a cigarette between her fingers, suspended in mid-air.  Someone touched her shoulder.  She turned. “Oh hi, M.” She managed a wan smile.

“Hi, kiddo.  How’s it going so far?” M tried to sound cheerful.

“Well,” she paused, “I guess this is what crazy people like me have to do.”

“You’re not crazy. Stop saying that.” M admonished her gently.  “We all miss having you around.”

She struggled to find the words, while thoughts raced through her head in circles. “I’m so confused.”

M smiled reassuringly at the stranger who was her friend.

For V: The Catalyst by Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

“I don’t understand why you can’t. Or won’t.” She whimpered, acutely aware she sounded desperate.

He shrugged.  “I don’t believe in it.  You know that.” He continued looking intently at his laptop.

“But we’ve been together for 11 years now.  Why can’t we?”  She persisted.

Silence.  Outside, the distant drone of evening traffic hummed along.  The air seemed thick around them.  She felt trapped.  It was becoming hard to breathe.  She continued to stare at his immobile face.

Finally, he turned and gazed at her steadily.  “Look, if I ever wanted to, it wouldn’t be with you.”

“But I’m pregnant.”

Book Review

In by Chris on February 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Written in the blank verse of Paradise Lost, Jayden Wilson’s new work gathers the forces of modern culture into a new epic, a new archetype, perhaps even a whole new mythology. Tragically, because of its densely (perfectly) chosen words, it will sink into that very same morass of a culture and disappear with nary a gurgle. Its inspiration recalls the classic epics; its dealing in globalization, families, landscapes, warfare, comfort, and travel place it squarely within the world of today. But alas, alas! No one will read it. The very culture it depicts has no attention for stories like this.

Wondering Outwardly Regarding Descriptive Sentiment (WORDS)

In by Fannie on February 25, 2011 at 12:27 am

So many words running around me all day every day.  In the form of thought or verse, reading or writing…it’s just one long continuous and continuously varying stream of words.  It’s gotten to the point where I can’t possibly take any more in – I’m saturated, overflowing, practically bursting with words – and yet there’s ever more to read, digest, mull over, thesaurize and expound upon.  Is it one of nature’s cruelties to make the cure for too much word-ness be to write out words?   Maybe I have the wrong strategy.  Maybe I should take up meditation.  Others’ words have told me

If I only didn’t hafta pee

In by Fannie on February 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm

I always like working in libraries when I do, but even though after a particularly good library session, I think to myself that this will be the turning point, this will be the day when I start to work in the library all the time, well, it never pans out.  Libraries eliminate so many distractions, certainly not all, but a large number of small ones, which usually build up into uber-distracting noise.  I don’t munch or cook or get caught up cleaning or organizing.  Sure the computer’s alluring nooks and crannies is there, but that’s about it.  Biggest nuisance: peeing.

On God

In by Fannie on February 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Sometimes I write to God.  Though, I’m still not sure if I believe in him. He’s no cloud-dwelling dude with a long beard.  Instead I like the idea of him as someone who is greater (in the sense that he is a soul that hasn’t been compromised by being in a human body) and therefore someone who I can speak to and easily connect with.  I always feel better when I think out loud, and who better than someone who is there but not there there.  I wonder though, is God sarcastic? Sometimes I get the sassiest responses from him!

Re-frame

In by Chris on February 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

I believe he was a sage. In my life, anyway. A kindergarten school bus driver he had round jowls, thick glasses, and was smoking behind the school.

“Lousy,” I said to him, reaching for his lighter. “I feel like Sysiphus, going to work every day, dissatisfied for no real reason, you know. Wife’s busy too; we hardly make love.”

“You improving?”

“What? Me?” The pyramids unaccountably popped into my mind.

“A fellow can always be moving towards who he wants to be, even if he’s not there.”

“Like builders? Maybe I’m constructing my way. I guess it does take patience.”

Hubert

In by Lara on February 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Two days ago, I got a goldfish. He was magnificent — a metallic orange-gold body with a hint of silver and crystal clear fins and flippers. He was also a bit of a chubster. I name him, “Hubert.” Hubert has been swimming around in his little bowl happily. He seems to have developed a fundness for the fake plant since he swims around its leaves like a cat sidling up against your leg. And when he eats, he swims up to the top as fast as he can, gulps down a flake or two and lets out a big satisfied air bubble burp.

Square Dancin’

In by Fannie on February 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

In an old barn with cowboy boots, flannel and too much denim to count…it doesn’t matter your age, where you’re from or what you look like.  You swing with the elbows of strangers and jostle against neighbors as you doe-si-doe.  Grins emerge and shouts of joy abound. The temperature inside rises.  I’m holding the leather-gloved hands of a motorcycle punk as we promenade around the room; I’m “barreling” with a group of young hipsters who sneak outside the barn to have a smoke; I’m waltzing with the caller because why not ask an overall-clad character to dance?  This is home.

I Hate Surprise Sudden Noises by Merissa Ren

In by New Author on February 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm

It’s not a sign of weakness, I don’t think, because I’m generally really brave. Things I am not afraid of: spiders, snakes, blood, guts, (seeing or eating), falling or flying, the dark or heights. Geese used to freak me out, because I thought irrational fears were fun, but I mean how scary can something that delicious truly be? Failure has become less loom-y and staying static sounds pretty comfy, if there are pillows involved. The same goes for death (depending on the pillow stipulation of course). But man, I am as jumpy as a crackwhore on the fourth of July.

Sore Throat

In by Lara on February 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Today, I woke up to find that a little hairy gnome had jumped down my throat and had set up shop by my voice box. Every time I tried to speak, he would slam the box shut and stamp his feet around with glee. The little feet tickled me, so I coughed violently, hoping to bounce the gnome around so much that he’d get agitated enough to leave. But no. He’d cackle and stamp his feet more! Sometimes he’d slam my voice box shut just for kicks. I tried a lot of things to get him out. But no dice.

On a Writing Block

In by Sadie on February 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I’m on a writing block
Turned over, turned over six times in my mind
Somehow, it still seems to be on the same side.
This is what a gargoyle must feel like, stone
Stuck to the same surface, substance, stone
On the writing block alone
Because someone could not chisel it into snarls and bones,
Or a throne, some sorta home,
Or better yet, a body
Snarling, sexy, like its own.
Those who do not understand will say:
Hey, a block is not so bad,
At least you will not roll away
On roundness, at least a block
Is grounded.

On a Writing Couch

In by Chris on February 17, 2011 at 12:27 am

I’m on a writing couch.
It’s not mine.
But I’m writing.
Does she write better here?
Is it a magical writing couch?
Does it have an aura that calls forth poetic thoughts?
Does her butt ever fall asleep on it?
Does the aura get bored of her taking forever choosing the right word?
I heard genius comes from hard work.
I heard visions only become real when you spend hours on details.
Maybe it’s just a very comfortable couch.
Actually, it’s quite comfortable indeed.
Maybe she just needs her body to be content so her mind can build poems painstakingly.

Both Hands (song line prompt)

In by Lucía on February 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I am walking out in the rain, and I am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again.  It’s been three months.  I know you’re busy.  But I’ll keep calling for as long as you keep waiting to call me back.  I pull the phone away from my ear to stare at the old-school receiver that’s somehow attaching me to you via this strange, metal cord.  I’m still thunderstruck that I can reach you across a continent – still thunderstruck that “reaching you” means hearing your recorded voice roll back to me through the wires here in the rain.

Moonshadow (Song line prompt)

In by Sadie on February 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Yes, I’m being followed by a moonshadow,
He has many brides, all moths.
A groom tonight,
moonshadow has the spotlight.
A procession covered in spider web veils,
Wings- winking dirty little secrets
Only moonshadow knows.
Moths- dangling in the faint light,
Fainting in the light dangled
Before their eyes
Before he said they weren’t his moonlit brides
merely shadow butterflies.

Moon had acne as a child,
So he tried to be bright instead.
Moon, my friend,
don’t let the stars go to your head,
gassy and hot-tempered.
Not the light- but the reflector-
What the world needs in a leader.

The Professor’s Language

In by Michael on February 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

“A smart person should always strive to be precise,” said the philosophy professor.

The girl with pigtails raised her hand. Her friend sitting next to her turned her head, a little intrigued.

“What about poets?” she asked. Her friend smirked.

“What do you mean?” said the professor.

“Poets sometimes strive for ambiguity. It adds color. Ambiguity makes the reader’s imagination as much a part of the piece as the writer’s.”

The professor hadn’t anticipated this. The student wondered why the professor hadn’t considered this, and she wondered whether he indeed was following his own guideline of being precise with language.

 

Inspired by Tracy

In by Wyatt on February 14, 2011 at 1:00 am

Give me one reason to stay here, and I’ll turn right back around. I see you standing there, looking at me with an muddled expression. Drizzle equal parts hurt and longing into a saucepan, add a pinch of coy and a sprinkle of fresh nerves, a dash of adrenaline and the spicy warmth of an almost kiss. Stir gently, let simmer. That’s you, in your torn blue jeans and well-worn allstars. That’s you in the corner of building A and building B, leaning against the wall. That’s you in my eyes. I’m walking away. But I don’t need to be.

The Odd Things He Loved About Her

In by Fannie on February 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Sometimes her poo smelled like kitty litter.

She always ended up causing produce cascades in the grocery store because she tried to steer the cart with one hand.

She was in the habit of biting her top lip as she searched for exact change, exclaiming in triumph when she had it.

Her favorite color changed biweekly so she had acquired an eclectic mix of brightly colored stuff Craigslisters envied.

She wandered into used bookstores because she loved the haphazard arrangement of books found everywhere.

She collected all-sized jars without lids, to “keep herself open.”

She cried hard and laughed often.

 

A Dull Book

In by Chris on February 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

My friend says that the end holds nothing more.

I hope he’s wrong.

We’re reading a book full of dreary pages, all conversations in parlors between characters with impeccable etiquette and dreams of marrying each other.

I tell him that I still think it’ll all be worth it in the end, that an earthquake will shake things up or that aliens will show up with laser guns blasting.

He says he has a feeling that the last page will end with a whimper, that nothing much will change.

Well, why are we reading it then? We should just quit now!

Men’s Restroom versus Women’s Restroom

In by Sadie on February 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Constraint: only verbs- mostly (because men do things)

To shit, the verb

Swing open and wide-stride inside, or shuffle, or sprint, but never skip. Pushed comes to shoved. Inside. Zip, piss, zip. Look up. Double. Look down. Manhandle. Switch on, swish-swish, switch off. Look up. Shut up, shuffle, or stride, never skip.

Constraint: only nouns- mostly (because women are things)

A shit, the noun

Threshold of the door. Bathroom tiles, a chore. Water, on floor. Stall, deadbolt door. Toilet bowl. Zipper. Piss. Zipper. Mirror. Two of you. Sink. Soap dispenser. Fingernails. Mirror. You again. Silence. Threshold again. Bathroom tiles again.

Awakening by Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Consciousness gradually fades in as he slowly becomes aware of his surroundings, one sense at a time. The smooth sheets, the warm embrace of his body’s heat sequestered by the blankets. In the distance, a bird flies by. His eyes sense the daylight through closed lids. They slowly flutter open. He stirs, ever so slowly. Then the body stretches and unfolds, a muscle at a time. He looks around the room and takes a long deep breath. He rolls on his side and his eyes rest on her as she quietly sleeps. Her even breathing. How peaceful she looks. He knew instantly that the day would be all right.

Part of the Mermaid’s Story

In by Chris on February 13, 2011 at 11:51 am

So callously kicked out of the mermen’s retreat, she swam slowly away, the book trailing open from her hand. They had looked at it as if it were a piece of seaweed presented by a proud child, had made comments as vague as the form of the sun blurred by the water’s surface.

Another try and still the book clung to her. She wondered if she would ever have the courage to cast it away. Her fearful curiosity did not abate, even as she swam with a numb mind back towards the coral pavilions. The water held still around her.

Bridge-burner

In by Sadie on February 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

She sat working on her laptop, but really, she was working on her reflection in the screen. Eyebrows furrowed. Mouth quivered at chin’s edge like a beach-shack on a seaside rock face. Frown slipped down like an inevitable avalanche. A dangerous look, like critical analysis. Why asymmetrical? Academically, she was a civil engineer; socially, a bridge-burner. All kinds: cantilever, beam, cable-stayed and arch. To her, this face was an overhead bridge crane. Not a crane that grows up incorrectly and becomes a swan. Today, she is either building beautiful bridges by her own hands or she is dead by them.

Semi-dementia Anecdote

In by Sadie on February 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

[Scene One: Kitchen. Father, 71, sitting at the counter. Daughter, 17, frying omelet.]

 

Dad, are banks open on Sundays?

What the hell is that?

What?

A bay!

I said bank.

Speak up, goddamnit.

Are banks open on Sundays?

What the hell is a bay?

 

[Daughter walks around counter, writes B-A-N-K on a napkin. She imagines this will become a father-daughter inside joke.]

 

Are they open on Sundays?

[Father reads the napkin then gets off the stool and walks into the den.]

Dad, What are you doing?

I need the book of meanings.

 

*BIOGRAPHICAL ASIDE: Does not become a father-daughter inside joke

 

Also about the random naked chick

In by Sadie on February 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

The woman asleep in my dreams has scaly-elbows and webbed-feet because she evolves from saltwater, dissolves at dawn during my early piss. Sleep-walking is incessant lifting-off and her eyelashes are soft. They string her tears, scream the meaningless things, whisper the meaningful. Years pass, the tears collect in a little glass that sometimes lifts to my mouth, sometimes pours out & into a bowl below the sink

Lined with shells

Listen to their stories of same-but-different seas.

They stay up all night telling these stories in saltwater, but it’s hard to listen when I came in to take a piss.

My Keyboard is Sexist?!

In by Sadie on February 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Women are not techie, they say. Women are fuzzy, they type.

Computer Science, all about subtlety. iThis and iThat. I don’t work that way, I come first. I’d not fIt In. I’d stIck out.

Math started sucking around coordinate system time. Why do all the points in space gotta be (x,y)? Where my (x,x) at?

Why does the self-doubting question mark have to be all voluptuous when the ejaculatory exclamation point looks like an erect d00d?!

Looking down at my keyboard: i am next to u, and look! we share a shooting star * See how distracting this shit is?

Anagram Crackers

In by Sadie on February 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Legos are the coolest:

Let Logos create hoes

Taste her ole legs & co.

Ol’ Letter Goose Chase

— > To cee Loose, largest hoe

Eco-Gore: @ Least He Lost

O, Let go! He’s a loser, etc.

SLE ego: that’s so creole

E! Let Arse Close to Hog

Share goo, tell e-cost

Lose a letter- he’s coo, g

O, Closet es great hole!

Glare: stool, leg, hose, etc.

St. Toes, choose Real Leg

Galoshes erect looter (e?)

E.g. Leash locos to tree

Re-elect Hot Loose Gas

Lost Cher to ol’ age, see.

Legos are the coolest,

The coolest are legos.

 

For My Nerdy Homies

In by Michael on February 9, 2011 at 3:35 am

Life is a breadth-first search.

Meet lots of people, and get to know them a little bit. Before you get to know them too well, get to know some other people too.

Try new experiences, learn new things. Some things you won’t enjoy, some things you won’t be good at. If things don’t work out and you cut it off early, all’s well because you’re actively exploring other options.

Resist the urge to commit deep to the first thing that seems good. You won’t have the calm confidence that comes with knowing there’s a lot in the world to like.

 

The Summer Naomi Missed

In by Allison on February 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Naomi spent July and August with her parents on Cape Cod, while we all got jobs lifeguarding at the pool or working at Johnny Rockets. The days stretched long and heavy, humid empty time between things that mattered. One night, Greg stole a bottle of Southern Comfort, and we drank it by the lake. Jake said he and Katie did it on the dock that night, but no one believed him because Katie probably wouldn’t. Things like that, you know? Naomi wanted us to tell her what happened, and we tried to, we really did. But she just wasn’t there, see.

Random naked girl with all the Starbucks cups

In by Sadie on February 8, 2011 at 12:16 am

There’s a paper mermaid princess trapped in a tower with a round window, or looking into a submarine with a round window, or sitting on the moon (full). She has a star over her head because she was beat up and is seeing stars, or she is a princess (see above). She has two tails because she is an environmentally angry fisher-bitch holding two blackfin tuna, or her mermaid tail is splitting, or her human legs are mermaidifying and conjoining like twins. Fish twins= Pisces! Virgin =Virgo! Rorschach reveals that she’s a real fear: me (Virgo) becoming my mother (Pisces).

“Stone Soup” as an allegory for start-up soliciting venture capitalist

In by Sadie on February 8, 2011 at 12:15 am

Young fellow with a feather in his cap hops from giant-sized stepping stone to stepping stone, until he stops. Giant-sized door with fancy brass knockers, a foot beyond his fists. How should he knock? On wood. It is not brass he seeks, but gold. Gold?! He’s only 20, an undergrad. But he’s got an idea- a new recipe for Stone Soup. All he needs are the foods and fixings of a big person’s kitchen. Everything. All he has in his hands is a stone. Nothing. But in his head is a recipe, and by god, he’ll make those mothafuckas hungry.

Good, Ugly Sex

In by Sadie on February 8, 2011 at 12:14 am

Sensation of sinking into quicksand. Sleep in her eyes like pulpy maggots, drooling. Petal folds above her pelvis, unfolding. Like what? Can’t put my finger on it (or Can I?). Those purple grapes are so small I can smoosh a whole handful, so sweet I can only suck them one-by-one. They get gloopy at the bottom of your bucket but I love gloop-scooping.

Oh, don’t do that, leave it off, let them hang! That bra reminds me of those six-pack plastic rings ripped off soda cans and existing somewhere until a seagull uses it to hang itself. Let them hang.

Oh Goody

In by Michael on February 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm

What am I feeling right now?

I just got a letter from an old friend.

I’m intrigued. Too excited. I had to put it down.

I glance at it and speed read it. I want to swallow it whole, like the handfuls of jelly beans that I never eat one at a time.

I try again. The first words tickle, how lovely.

I think about how few words there are on the page and I think about how rare these moments are. The letter lies there, unbridled, full of potential to be sublime. Better not mess this up, it’s special.

I just like being a piece of furniture in your weird life

In by Poncie on February 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Andrew liked to photoshop. Namely, he liked to photoshop his life. First the photos off of facebook – places he’d been, people he knew… or at least he could say he’d been and knew. Then the removal of anything unusual and out of character for Andrew. One photograph of Andrew pasted in its place: smiling cornily with her lips against his cheek, standing proud atop of Mt. McKinley amongst his best friends from college, sipping a Corona on the white sands of Oneroa.

One photograph at a time, Andrew filled his life with shared memories that only he could recall.

Divergent Thinker

In by Chris on February 7, 2011 at 1:56 am

Three boys were each given a laptop and told to use it to change their school forever. Jerry went on Google and looked up “How to change a school”. The fifteenth entry told him to fire the principal. Ben put his laptop in the middle of his classroom and played Planet Earth continuously. Devon thought for hours, then traded his laptop to his dad for one thousand glow-in-the-dark stars. He put them up in all the hallways and rooms of his school, created a map of all the constellations, and imagined a whole new mythology and horoscope for his classmates.

Hello world

In by Fannie on February 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

Hello world,

How are you today?

Your kelp tassles tickle me and earthen beds plow me under.

And from what I’ve tasted, you have been oh so productive.

Your trees dance in the light breeze and puddles sparkle with joy.

If only on days like these I could be as vast and fulfilled as you.

My toes miss you on all this concrete

And my eyes are sore from the glory of your sunsets

But oh how happy I am to meet you each day.

With each new view, new smell, new thing you show to me, I am grateful.

The Idea by Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm

The apartment remained unchanged since I last visited her. Magazines and books were haphazardly stacked on coffee tables. On one corner were reading glasses, pens, some change, and old receipts. The paintings, model ships, sea shells. Still untouched.
“Have you considered clearing these rooms? Might be good to have your own home theater here, you know.” And your own things.
She looked at me tentatively. “Yes, I’ve been thinking of doing it. Lately, I’ve taken an interest in Indie films.”
“Great! Get your kids to help.”
She nodded slowly. But I knew, the idea would remain just that. An idea.

Night-flying by Sadie Zapata

In by New Author on February 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I’m Shotgun or Bitch, but I like it both ways. Our four ears are greedy, bottomless pits of slow-burning candle wax and radio waves. Look into any ear with high-beam or blinking turn signal, you’ll see through to our souls. Dancing! In the dark, the cement overpass we ride is the back of a blue whale; our speakers are blowholes. When she drives, I fly in the night. Blood welcomed into neglected places. I’m not a body, I’m the infinitesimal knots in the chain of white gold she wears around her neck. Clingy and delicate, blood clot dried black. Dancing!

No Time To Reflect

In by Chris on February 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Moments collide off each other,
sending me walking on one path
and thinking on another,
my rest reserved for nothingness.
If I could turn a mirror on each moment
and reflect on the reflection,
if I could stop time (for once)
and connect words to the images
splayed in space between
past me and future me,
cartography, philosophy,
motion frozen, balanced around
a silent isle of the mind,
perhaps I could restart myself
with seeds of premonition.
But I’ll never make sense of anything
if I can’t stop time,
twenty trains tied in a knot,
ninety stations with passengers waiting.

Untitled by Mary-Ann Ortiz-Luis

In by New Author on February 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I see a mere shadow of the person you once were.  Flimsy and fleeting. Wishy-washy.  Procrastinating. At times, almost catatonic.  This is not the person I grew up with, shared my room and toys with, played house and “Simon says.”  We planned the parties.  We paid the house bills.  We could not make enough cakes and pastries because everyone wanted them.  How could time erode all of who you are?  More importantly, how could you have allowed it?  Have you sold your soul to the devil to hang on to a farce?  Take it back.  Take yourself back.  Come back!

A Pastoral Scene

In by Chris on February 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

It was so goddamn peaceful, made me mad. You know how I get. All these green hills, nice enough, cows everywhere just eating their cud. Fine. Harmless. Then I see this kid on a four-wheeler, out fixing fences all day, and he takes a break by the road I was trying to get a ride on. Just sits there until this pickup pulls up, and out hops a girl, real pretty, and they smooch for a while, then she drives away and he goes on out of sight to work again. Made me so mad to see their little routine.

Across the Street

In by Fannie on February 2, 2011 at 12:39 am

I walked into the store today, scratched my beard and walked out.  Didn’t have whatever I wanted.  Across the street a homeless man with a mane of unkept beard beckoned.  I shuffled over.

“You got a light?”

I searched my pockets.  Couple bottle caps, loose coins and a crumpled receipt.

“Sorry.”

“You got any change?”

My hand groped back around the pocket.  I dropped some coins into his cupped hand.

“Wanna grab some food?” he asked.

I hesitated and thought about my afternoon plans.  She could wait; the waves would wait.

“Sure.  Don’t have but a couple of bucks though.”

Remains

In by Lucía on February 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

It got quiet, the way it sometimes got when you were allowed to play in your own room as a child, and your parent could excusably put you to the periphery to take care of an important call.  But this time, truly, no other is present as the light crossing in from the windows grows more dim, and the shadows in the room slowly invert through shades of gray.  The air seems to move with the light, becoming perhaps heavier and more still, but the sense of play, of malleability remains, a book resting on the floor by your side.