LJ Idol Season 10: Week 19



Invitation

Take a little breath now child
Step into the world
Take a little step now child
Step into the world
Break a little sweat now child
Step into the world
Break a little bread now child
Step into the world

Should your crest fall
Don’t be crestfallen
Should the storm call
Let the squall in

Take a little chance now child
Step into the world
Take a little stance now child
Step into the world
Raise your little hands now child
Step into the world
Raise your little dance now child
Step into the world

Should you be trod down
Don’t be downtrodden
Should the storm sound
Let the thought in

Take a little breath now child
Step into the world

Written for: therealljidol

LJ Idol Season 10: Week 18



Topic: The distance between us

Impervious

Two steps ‘til we do the two-step
Hon, you know I’m on step one
You say take three rights to go left
Alright, for sure, sounds like fun

Voyager from afar
Said run away, jump in the car
Pull me in close, push them away

I don’t mean to be distant
In this instant
But you’re getting too close

Clothes are coming off quickly
I’m too sickly for this
Everyone knows

Chalk it up to talking it up
Up through when the cows came home
Such a noble thing to be alone

I am impervious
I am impervious
I am perfectly imperiously perfunctorily impervious to us

Five fingers away from freely
Lingering here next to me
Steal what you must
But trust that what’s real
Is under lock and key

Orbiting satellite
Said fly away with me tonight
Pull me in close, push them away

I don’t mean to be guarded
But my heart is something
You shouldn’t know

Got too good at defending
To be lending it
To you in one go

Blame it on
The game that we’re on
This crappy reality show
Such a better thing to be alone

I am impervious
I am impervious
I am perfectly imperiously perfunctorily impervious to us

Written for: therealljidol Partner: lordrexfear

LJ Idol Season 10: Week 17

Topic: Nevermind

**trigger warning**



On my way to the market I saw Jackie Chan
I went up to him and he let me shake his hand
I told my momma about the card that he signed
She looked away and to me she said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to the schoolyard I saw a big dog
He growled at me as I ran through the morning fog
I told my momma about the dog close behind
She looked away and to me she said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to the church I saw a spooky man
I left when he said I could ride home in his van
I told my momma and she said that I was fine
I looked away and to her I said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to daddy’s I saw the man again
He said that he only wanted to be my friend
I told my dad about the problems that I find
He looked real mad but to me he said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to momma’s I saw the van nearby
Opened the door and I saw him by momma’s side
She told me he’s my new papa so please be kind
I ran upstairs and to him she said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to sleep the man came into my room
He said I better get used to this really soon
I told him my mom and dad would not be so blind
He laughed a lot and to me he said “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

On my way to school I told mom about last night
She said it’s just a nightmare that had caused me fright
She told me he wouldn’t ever be so unkind
I ran away as I screamed at her “nevermind”

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind
nevermind nevermind nevermind nevermind

LJ Idol Season 10: Week 16

Topic: Thunderclap

A wilting mother
Once told her curious son
A worrisome tale

Of how a pure heart
Could receive the sky’s blessing:
A wish from the gods.

When her last breath left,
The child followed it swiftly,
Racing through the reeds,

Forging the river,
Crushing sakura petals
On the mountain’s face,

Up to the zenith
Where the breath floated skyward
Beyond the boy’s reach.

With nary a pause,
The youth leapt from the apex,
Arms stretching fully,

And before falling
Managed to clutch not the breath
But the swollen moon.

A blanket of clouds
Blocked the sight of the sky’s wound
While the boy tumbled—

The sky wept with pain
And shrieked with terrible wrath,
Unleashing a bolt

Of white agony,
Smiting the plummeting child
That fell back to Earth.

With staggering breath,
He lay at the mountain base,
But held close the moon.

A fog covered him
As the sky drew near and wailed—
Return what is mine.

In sputtering chunks,
The boy spoke before dying—
You must do the same.

----------------------------

When the sun arose,
A bird’s song was on the wind
Through the dancing trees.

His eyes fluttered wide
With a kiss upon his cheek—
Good morning my love.

LJ Idol Season 10: Week 15

Topic: Patchwork Heart

She left,
her small limbs
stiff with purpose,
while there was still enough water in the air
to moisten the back of your eyeballs
with a hefty inhale through the nostrils.

She managed to vanquish the screen door
towering over her
jeering in front of her
through some indignant scuffle
and plodded
with stiff limbs
into the vacant lot beside us—
heels sinking momentarily
in patches of soft mud,
toes hooking and catching
wet and gnarled
clumps of ragweed.

She marched until
her heels found the right mud
and she hurled the rest of her edges
into the shapelessness—
with her knees
and hips
sinking in,
she took to thrusting
the heels
of her palms
into the mire:
stiff to soft
swift to slop
thuck thuck thuck.

At length,
she found the right thuck
and clutched
the right lump of runny earth
and with a stiff lego hand
took to clapping
the lump she clutched:
fast to fist
slap to sift
clup clup clup.

She rose abruptly
from her makeshift atelier,
evidently satisfied
with the shift she’d made,
and with that shift
caged in curled fingers,
she plodded
with stiff limbs
to the pothole down the street.
Hips and knees dropped
as she tussled
with a traffic cone
next to the pothole,
lifting its base
and depositing
the shift beneath it.

Plump footfalls
beat their way
past the damned screen door
and back onto the porch
where she looked me in the eyes,
her own as serious
as mom's death,
and said,

“don’t touch.”

The next day
was hot as hell
and a hefty inhale
would scratch the back of your eyeballs.
Thudding footsteps on the tile:
she cornered me
in the kitchen,
looked me in the eyes,
thrust a cage of curled fingers up to me
and coughed.
Softly, I unfurled the bars
and took the shift from her.
An odd, brittle ball of dried mud.

“What’s this?”

“My heart. You better be nice to it.”

LJ Idol Season 10: Week 14

Topic: Campfire stories

Climbers’ campfire

The Asian girl is German
and is saying something
about research
and laboratory work
to the soft-spoken
buff guy
who descended the cliff
from seemingly nowhere,
undaunted by trusting
ounces of metal protection
in questionable limestone
yet unequipped to penetrate
our bedraggled band
of weekend warriors
without an explicit invitation.
Next to him
there’s the teapot guy
who’s been hitting on Amaia—
short, stout,
slowly layering
his subtle aggressions
into overt ones—
she, as usual,
does well at appearing
to pay him no mind,
flitting from one social perch
to the next, sewing
feeble threads between
the misfits of the cluster,
island-hopping
every few minutes
to the stranded isles
in the archipelago.
Jo is aloft in her cocoon,
jovial in her withdrawal,
polishing off a second pale ale
while issuing hearty chortles of approval
to the bits and ends of conversation
knotted beneath her in heaving tangles.
Philippe is standing, sitting, standing,
crouching, leaning, standing,
feverishly scrawling combinations
of English words
that none of us would think to say
into a well-worn notebook
by the light of his headlamp,
never missing a cue
to pierce the conversation
with the most ridiculous
and best possible punch lines
that have our abdomens
heaving.
Muscle spasms at the end of the day.
He’ll invert the levity
into poetry
in a short while.
Derek listens to Amaia
and listens to the German,
highlighting their insights
with appreciative recapitulations
and an oddly alto guffaw,
slapping Philippe on the back
with open palms
and mangled skin—
he is always
at the right level of buzz
like the fire
he’s cajoled for the past hour.

I am still
fear
bones
tissues
nerves
twitching in a flesh sack
rotting with adrenaline
so since I can’t
share catharsis
with my friends
I’ll just pluck these strings
and let them resonate
in ways I never will.

LJ Idol Season 10: Second Chance, Topic 3



Topic: Getting to Carnegie Hall

Fellow I’d done seen you goin’ up and round this here corner
Richie Rich you caught that itch best be givin’ me that there dollar
Hey man why stand there
Starin’ like you care for once in yer life
No sir just go sir
You can’t fool me like you can yer wife
Big man big shoes struttin’ down the avenue

Brother ain’t no other busker see through you the way I do
Yer the saint can’t none complain ‘cept all them boys dead thanks to you
Hey Drew what say you
To them hungry kids whose fathers died
Hey friend let’s pretend
Yer hands are clean though the blood done dried
Big man big shoes struttin’ down the avenue

Mister I’d done lost my sister in them waters rising high
Damned dam broke watched my ma choke
Guess yer steel ain’t worth yer pride
Carnegie, you gotta job fer me
Hear yer buildin’ us all a fancy hall
Good call, I’ll sing fer y’all
Let the country see yer legacy
Small man small shoes
The Big Man’ll come fer you

--------------------------------------------------------------------
The above is a woefully under-researched piece of historical fiction, crafted with an un-checked artistic license. It is based on some actual events that transpired but with no claims of approaching authenticity or accuracy. Take it with heaping spoonfuls of salt. Also, the affected accent is in no way meant to offend.

LJ Idol Season 10: Second Chance, Topic 2

Front Porch

A lark called out from a far-off canopy in answer to the strident tone buzzing from the grasswhistle between Jacob’s lips. Emily collapsed in heaving giggles next to him, his face a mask of surprise at the curious thing he had just brought to the world through his sister’s instruction. Twenty paces away, their mother and father chatted idly beneath a lemon tree, its golden prize hefty, its perfume swept across the field by a kindly breeze plucking a humble tune in its course through leaves and reeds.

Ernest drowsily surveyed his grandchildren from the umbrage of the porch, gently swaying in the same chair that his grandmother would take each night of his childhood to recount stories of simple folk doing right by their communities. He would pass one such story to Jacob and Emily this evening, he mused, but better to leave the two lights of his life some more freedom to rollick and dream. With the clattering of a door and a few creaky footsteps, he noted the arrival of Jane, the holder of his heart, the beacon of his life. She said nothing, but placed a warm hand upon his shoulder. Ernest gave a meaningful and weary look up to her precious face, then out to his child and grandchildren, then the vast family estate and the forest that flanked it. This was the happiness he had found. This was the treasure for which he had toiled. He noted a cooling shift in the breeze that had been caressing his face, and his lips drew wide and his eyes drew shut as the weariness of a long day took him.

---

“As you can see, my esteemed guests, it’s another resounding success.” Vera gestured to the slumped form in the chair behind her. “Ernest Galloway could have only dreamed of such a farewell.”

The attendant removed the syringe from Ernest’s arm, then the helmet enveloping Ernest's head, which rolled abruptly forward onto a feeble, concave chest. A few of the invited patrons gasped, as two more attendants entered to assist in the removal of Mr. Galloway.

“I assure you,” Vera continued as what had been Ernest was taken behind a pair of swinging double doors, “that this is the ultimate gift you can give to your loved ones. No pain. No struggle. Only love. Warmth. Acceptance. As you saw from the display screens, Mr. Galloway died a fulfilled man with no regrets. Instead of his last moments here being plagued with sickness and isolation, he was exactly where and who he wanted to be.”

Murmurs trickled from mouths to ears behind discreet hands. Vera raised a stern one, silencing her clients. “Here at Terminal Fulfillment, we provide the rarest, most gracious of services. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would be so kind as to step this way to where our Fulfillment Consultants are awaiting your loved ones’ needs. In fact, we are currently running a promotion for clients who would like to plan their own ideal departure...”

LJ Idol Season 10: Second Chance, Topic 1



prompt: Not Throwing Away My Shot

Hawaii

Now that you’re here
Let me bend your ear
You know I’m no good at this
Well, what I mean to say is

So baby
You’re off to Hawaii
Don’t deny we had something good
Someday be sure to tell me why we
Never had all that we could

I don’t mean to spoil your day
So many happy things are waiting on your way
I know I don’t have the right
Just let me call you this tonight

My baby
You’re off to Hawaii
As goodbye we could speak our hearts
Some way before you go just try me
Does it have to mean we part?

All of the waterfalls
Won’t follow where you fall the way that I do
And all of the ocean shores
Won’t show emotion on your search for the truth
All of the sea breezes
Won’t ease the wanting of your wandering dreams
So it seems

Baby
You’re off to Hawaii
How could I be such a fool
Such an indulgent fantasy
No way we could have been blithely
Hand in hand in love at sea

So baby
You’re off to Hawaii
Know that I believe that you’re
The closest thing to love I’ve known
Don’t hate me
Let your thoughts pass by me
Let the tide take you to home