EXPLODE – The Writers Environment is a platform for curated and commercial content in an immersive and interactive meta-environment… and DREAMSCAPE is the landing. It’s an immersive environment that functions like a wikihole — and a literary Pokémon.
When content on Dreamscape tells a story about a beautiful woman swimming in a pool – we want you to see her. We want you to stumble for points on a link you cannot see, fall down a rabbit hole and land in an environment with a beautiful woman swimming in a pool, on the inside of a glass house – in Hollywood Hills…
Like Seth Godin’s Purple Cow — DREAMSCAPE is remarkable because it has to be. Or, it’s just another brown cow — an ordinary website — with ordinary content. But Purple Cows need Purple Cows to be Purple Cows. Dreamscape facilitates purple content, purple website design and development, and purple product placement — for purple people.
DREAMSCAPE is space for visionaries — Poets, Writers, Coders, Programmers, Filmmakers, Thespians, Graphic Designers, Artists, Musicians, Directors, Cinematographers, Designers, Educators, Historians, Actors, Conceptual and Performance artists, Photographers, Influencers, Virtual Reality Developers and Designers. XR and AI.
It is a platform for curated content in an interactive meta-environment that facilitates content and other stories – using digital media and art that redefines how artists, their audience and visitors experience real and virtual content on several levels — where every paragraph, period, and ellipses is space for discovery.
Dreamscape is what William Gibson described in Neuromancer, “A graphic representation of data plugging your consciousness into a digital world, while watching the physical realm evaporate.”
Partner with us! Help us realize an alternative reality… where presentation is myth, and space is a purple experience. Dreamscape is an Installation in a Digital World.
WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE REACH >11M
FOLLOWERS ACROSS SOCIAL PLATFORMS >354K
GENDER F: 47% M: 51% Unspecified: 2%
DEMOGRAPHICS 18-24: 41% 25-34: 26% 35-44: 13% 45-54: 9% 55-64: 6% 65+ 5%
LOVE DIVINE VIDEO IMPRESSIONS >1M
DREAMSCAPE will benefit humanity as an alternative to social malfeasance e.g., sexism, racism, classism, genderism, ageism, colonialism, colorism, persecution, oppression, violence and subjugation… It is space to dream unencumbered – immersed in dopamine and replete with points for discovery. It will also be a ton of fun that satisfies a generation that is increasingly becoming homebody consumers in a homebody economy. What we experience in RL, we can experience untethered in XR and AI.
© 2020 E Maria Shelton Speller
Author’s Note: The following excerpt is from the book titled, Yellow Tape [A Memoir] coming in the summer of 2021.
I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe in synchronicity.
We were meant to be – because we happened.
We took shelter in dark closets and screamed like tiny Sirens until our eyes were bloodshot and bulging, our ears ringing, our faces slick in tears and mucus, and our legs were covered in urine. Chaperones in an obliged competition for who could scream the loudest and longest interval — to stop MaMommy and MaDaddy from fighting again. We were toddlers.
When there was silence – except for the tinnitus in our ears, our eyes blinked for sound and with unclenched fists we dried our faces with the palms of our hands and the cuffs of our pajamas. Sometimes we looked to each other for muted answers – our eyes suspended like question marks.
I was two years older than my sister, and much taller. I reached for doorknobs above our heads — I slowly turned. We peeked through the crack of light in the door. If the crack was too narrow and my sister couldn’t see behind me, she would get down on her knees and look under the door for shadows. We had this routine, you see. If we heard our Mother moan, I would shut the door again — quietly. We squatted on the floor close to each other for comfort and embraced our knees like pillows against our chests and waited interminably. Twin hearts beating in sync.
I can’t remember when, or how, or who rescued us from the closets… we may have rescued ourselves, quickly scurrying on bare feet to the bedroom we shared. Success was silence, and when there was silence, we were safe. We never looked for our Mother. She didn’t want to be found.
The next morning, my cheerful Mother would fix our favorite breakfast. Pancakes and bacon and sometimes scrambled eggs. We loved sugar, so we smothered our breakfast in Aunt Jemima syrup. With care we looked for signs of injury to no avail. What were we crying about, after all? A tacit agreement that we were silly little girls worrying over nothing.
But we had so many questions. What happened? Why aren’t you sad? What can we do for you? Was it our fault? Did we do something wrong? Why was MaDaddy so mad? Did he hurt you? Do you love him? We always settled for, may we have more syrup, please?
I huddled over my breakfast once to hide the stain of a teardrop in my syrup. My Mother said, “Don’t cry.” as if crying was unnecessary, inappropriate, and a violation of her privacy. Strong girls don’t cry. So we colluded with our Mother and pretended the incidents never happened, and drowned our pancakes in syrup, swallowing quietly, staring straight ahead, wearing our happy faces, our lashes blinking in accord and swung our legs under the table. It was a quiet ritual and the feelings were always the same. My sister and I learned early to swallow our feelings like pancakes, smothered in syrup.
I know pain in a vacuum and how hollowness and emptiness can coexist, like a moon that blocks the sun. This morning was metallic like the quicksilver mercury a classmate shared on the playground in a secret show and tell. It was one uncontrollable morning that moved without impediment.
It was my sister’s 10th birthday. My mother was standing at the stove scrambling eggs in her night gown. Out all night, my Father burst into the kitchen. With five children at the breakfast table, he grabbed my Mother by the neck and at the same time pulled open the kitchen drawer grabbing the big knife without looking… as if it were placed there specifically for this one morning.
I bolted from the kitchen on the heels of my Father dragging my Mother out of the kitchen… but somehow, she broke free… running and begging, Honey please, please, I love you… she ran, but not far before he slashed her right buttock with the knife, and I saw white meat… White meat! I ran for help!
I left my Mother. I left my siblings trapped in high chairs, and screaming over bowls of Sugar Smacks… I felt my sister on my heels… we ran down the winding stairs, screaming… determined… pleading, the horror… the mortification! What is going on? What is happening? Call the police! Call the police! But my Aunt, my Father’s sister, called a sibling, a brother for guidance… Call the police! I screamed. I couldn’t stop him. What was I to do? My Mother never wanted to be found…
“Call the police!” I demanded over and over again. She didn’t. Instead she locked herself and her daughters in the bathroom… and my sister followed her there. They barricaded themselves… and I faced him squarely… Pugilists without gloves, without tape, without corners… “I hate you! I hate you! You killed my Mother! You killed my Mother! I hate you.” I screamed repeatedly.
He hit me. A Pugilist hit me in the head. My knees buckled. I didn’t fall. He hit me again. My knees buckled, but I didn’t fall. I would not fall. He reared back and hit me with a roundhouse punch a third time. Boom like Forman punched Frazier. My feet left the floor. I sailed across the room and landed behind a Settee… the back of the chair toppled over with me — and behind the chair I peed on the floor and it ran like mercury. I sat in it and looked up at my Father doe-eyed and mortified. With the back of the chair in my lap I thrashed like a deer hit by a car on the side of a road looking for grace. I don’t know why he came downstairs or who he was looking for. He found me. At 6’ 3’’ he loomed in the doorway like a dark ghost fading up the stairs with the footfalls of an athlete and the precision of his occupation: meat cutter.
I mustered the courage to follow him… Determined I climbed gingerly up the stairs that reminded me of every corner and crack in the doors of those closets my sister and I hid in when we were toddlers, but this time I was alone.
At the top of the stairs, I turned the corner, and my Father was in the mirror in the bathroom cocking a brown suede fedora on his head. He was wearing a brown silk walking suit and brown suede shoes. I didn’t know where my Mother was. I was awestruck. He was beautiful. Fate would have my Mother behind me watching me watching him. I wondered how he could be so cruel, so vain, so cold, so calm, so cool. He didn’t see me, or perhaps he did. I didn’t look for my Mother. She didn’t want to be found.
Quietly, I retreated back downstairs and waited for the Police. I left my Mother. I left my siblings. My sister and my Aunt were still locked in the bathroom, and my uncle had not arrived even though my Aunt called him for advice. Instead, he called the Police. The Police finally arrived, a paddy wagon behind them. A paddy wagon for my Mother! Not an ambulance.
At 12 years old I was indignant. I knew my Mother was not to be treated like a criminal and a paddy wagon was not appropriate for her! My Father should be in the paddy wagon! She was the victim, she needs a Doctor, she needs help, sympathy and proper care. How would they even secure the stretcher in the paddy wagon? They were in the house and up the stairs before I could finish my thoughts. My Mother was carried back down the stairs, and because she always wanted to protect her children, she asked the Police to cover her bloody head so her children could not see what would taint her maternal code of propriety, only her children understood.
My Father was escorted down the stairs like a hero… a god. He was a star. No handcuffs… It was as if the Boston Police knew and respected him, and were impressed with his walking suit, his fedora, and those brown suede shoes. The crowd cheered him! By this time, my Aunt and sister stood behind me. We peered through the curtains at the crowd that gathered to witness the death of my Mother and someone, a young woman pointed at me in the window and shouted, “Look! She looks like a monster!’ Quickly, we closed the curtains and retreated to our separate corners. My aunt gathered the bearing she hid in the bathroom, now on full display and my sister and I shared a gaze and we knew we would never share a closet again.
I had a concussion. No Doctor examined me. It wasn’t confirmed by the authorities. I bargained with God between crying jags until I fell asleep over and over again. My face, my eyes, and lips were swollen and lacerated. My family walked around me as if they would not see me — except to offer soup, and then I would remember why I grieved, why I lay in the same spot on the same couch and again I would cry myself to sleep. They left me there until my eyes were no longer swollen, no longer bloodshot, and my lips were no longer bruised. Traumatized. My eyes didn’t blink, and they left me on my own. That was perhaps the most generous thing they could do, sans calling the authorities to rescue the catatonic child, and putting the son and brother at risk. He was jailed without bond. I saw a snippet on page 10, or perhaps it was page 2, in a little box at the bottom of the page hidden in plain sight, “Colored Man Attacks Wife with Meat Cleaver.”
We gathered ourselves by degrees. I heard snippets of conversation. My Mother was alive… She lost so much blood she needed transfusions and they reached out to other jurisdictions as far as Florida. We had to go to the welfare office for assistance and were instructed by my Grandmother and Aunt to dress down to look poor and pathetic… We dressed in a manner that my Mother would never abide for her children. I overheard a constant refrain. My Mother “… must have done or said something.”
They said a man called my Mother on the only phone in our Victorian house – my Grandmother’s phone on the first floor. Another of my Father’s brothers, told my Father a man called my Mother and chided him to do something!
I was alone in an abyss of violence justified by hostility, doubt, and betrayal. I was convinced they didn’t like my Mother, or me for that matter. My breath was alien, angry, staccato. My Father slashed my Mother’s right buttock and left random slashes on her back. He broke her arm, he cut her skull… and finally, and this was a first — he scarred her face. A crescent moon on her cheek – the symbol for a new beginning.
Because of the institutionalization and practice of The Rule of Thumb, women in Massachusetts endured domestic violence. It was incumbent on women to press charges. The D.A. begged my Mother to file criminal charges against my Father. My Grandmother begged her not to file charges against her son. My Father begged her not to file and guaranteed he would never harm her again. My Mother did not file charges.
The yellow tape was removed from the door. We cleaned the blood and flesh off the floor and the walls, and discarded bowls of cereal abandoned and calcified in sour milk like the bark of a tree my Father fashioned into a lamp, and filled the space with children tethered and tripping over yellow tape that tangles as they grow taller.
My Mother came home wearing a shield of armor – a cast. White, clean, no graffiti. She was proud of that cast – a symbol of survival – of an accident. We were so happy! Our Mother was alive, and even more beautiful than before! I remember my Mother lying in the center of her bed surrounded by her children. One of my siblings ran his hands through her hair, and she scolded him, “Don’t do that.” The polar opposite of “Girls don’t cry.” Don’t make a girl cry. Don’t avail yourself to her body. Don’t break her skin.
My Father stopped by. They had an announcement. He was coming home. My sister and I were bewildered, and disappointed but always respectful; however, upon that announcement, I slowly rose from the floor and walked away without explanation or hesitation.
This time my sister followed me up the stairs to our bedroom in the attic. Not long after walking away from them my Mother did something she rarely did – she came upstairs to our bedroom. She sat on the edge of my bed and gingerly told me my Father said, he hit me because I was hysterical.
I am not a monster! I am not a monster… It’s more complicated than that.
Copyright © 2020 E Maria Shelton Speller
Edited by Brahidaliz Martinez
No nursing homes
No toilet paper
Copyright © 2020 E Maria Shelton Speller
My work explores the relationship between what is real, and what is unreal. With influences as diverse as Yukio Mishima’s Onnagata and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Where words are illusory and freedom is real, and brick and mortar is a wasteland — for mortal dreams and nightmares.
Where categories don’t matter, and you are god… the god of your dreams. My work is a journey – from the perspective of the young prince and princess in Hollywood, Dubai, the Great Caves, and Capote… Where freedom rings supreme and the fiction in your mind comes true — for real.
We launched Dreamscape in a glass cocoon — opaque me and transparent you. Content is buried there — over black people, white people, red people, yellow people, brown people, rich people, poor people, and melancholy. Inside pods power is fetish, and fashion is an avatar. My work explores the freedom to be who we are — dreaming unfettered in space — birds…
Copyright 2020 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
They knew who first
judged what out of dreams
came truly real*
and he was fastened to a rock
and they knew who
stirreth up the people and dippeth his hand**
in the dish with Judas
and he was nailed to a cross
And they read books within books
about wise and foolish virgins
and signs of the end
and love and judgment
and they heard God talk
through the mouths of men
who talked about him
his son and the holy ghost
When spectators provided the notion of reality
Christ and Prometheus
were objectified and subjectified allegory
spheres of hope and rebellion
courage and prudence
temperance and justice
and how they chose to read it
in the time before terror
depended on what level
they chose to see it
Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
They reused and refashioned the heads
of emperors in their own image
because they could
They reinforced power and authority
with legitimate political imagery
like the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses
and General Holofernes
They respected the classical past
in fertile crescents of greed
and rejected classical design
in the center of ruins
They housed the rock in the dome
on which Muhammad ascended to heaven
and hung the Virgin Mary’s blue robe
in Chartres Cathedral
When denizens of form said
Nothing is new…
The godforsaken asked
since the Lion Gate
since the Great Sphinx of Giza
since Doric and Ionic orders
since the Palette of King Narmer
since the Parthenon
They stood in the light of starry nights
in the drum, coffers, and concrete cylinders
of uninterrupted space in the Pantheon
and made no apologies for ripping off
master tracks from the past
and heard the hip hop train
sampling every post-hit
with unripe music and blood
and mounted the heads of gods
on the manifest
like the catalog of procreation
They heard his Mother
three blocks away
on parallel streets
You won’t take my child!
You won’t take my child!
at the vigil where transvestites
whispered how many times
her child was stabbed in the neck
Lord have mercy!
Who are these motherfuckers?
on the bottom rung of the Ladder of Descent
trying to climb up
on the backs of allegories
floating in fleeting and airy hope
part of the story
part of the sin
Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
that love ends
as it begins again
on rocks and crosses
in books and dreams
and politics and imagery
under domes and temples
in music and song
and blood and death
in stories and sin
and in the hands
The swallows are building.
Copyright 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
*Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound
** Matthew 26: V21,V22,V23,V25
For more purple content visit: https://www.trenchpeople.com/
The [Dollhouse with the Red Corvette] is a lateral, vertical, linear, horizontal, and spherical art installation. It is a poesy puzzle for verse or graffiti, with sublime imagery. It functions like a mnemonic, a telltale pastiche for found poesy — in a digital world. Some of the pieces fit, and some are misfits — that lead to other immersions… in this stained-glass heaven — this society in the machine…
Copyright © 2017, 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved.
Overture: Woodstock is an ensemble. There are two voices and the beat in this WIP… the Narrator’s voice, Hitchcock’s, and “That Yoni” by JuseBeats!
In a walk through Whole Foods like Hitchcock
In his magnum opus
about a world… full of extras
Beddo, Caprino, Dolce Sardo
Zufi, the Saperavi
Disappointed… in us!
[There’s no other way to say it — I can’t dress it up]
Caught between a slumbering scream and Vertigo
Cruising isles and isles of sweet and sour
People who think they are special
People who know they are not
People who wish they were
Beddo, Caprino, Dolce Sardo
Zufi, the Saperavi
Guess what we did?
A party of twenty
Three couples played before
winking and willing
shills playing in the round
Lovely trips on the Hill
in augmented VR
Baby boomers had their turn Woodstock!
Barefoot bell bottomed hippies
Denim sweeping the ground
Revolutionary hair — fists in the air
Dragging us back in the mud
Move on Woodstock!
Take your shades, caps, change and loose articles
Bombs in black holes!
[Where did you go?]
We should be sunning in the Bahamas
chilling on hemp swings and
chairs swiveling in immersive environments
Higher than kite fights
A soaring for points experience
Get off the ride Woodstock!
You had your turn — at freedom
Exit signs are easy to find — look
The dragon is in the window
Freedom is accessible
Wonder is a trip
with walk through assistants
Dreams of power and prizes
Fall out and Jack into
a walk through Whole Foods like Hitchcock
in his magnum opus
about a world… full of extra
architectonic loops and links, alliteration and reverie, force, ballast, fancy partitions, linear renderings, systems of reckoning — and more — of her… virtually surreal
Beddo, Caprino, Dolce Sardo
Zufi, the Saperavi
We don’t want to feel we’re high…
We just want to think we’re high
We don’t want to feel we’re high…
We just want to think we’re high
Copyright © 2016 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved.
*I’ve toyed with a conundrum, for too long. [Reserved][Reserved] functions like a digital art installation in Woodstock! (WIP (x Bars)). I could render [Reserved][Reserved] a mechanism – to catch That Yoni’s beat in perpetuity. I could close the brackets with bars that fills your loins with blood. I could leave redundant emptiness here — like tautology or romanticized art, or structural language — in this bifurcated space, like stars.
I could invite Poets to fill the empty bars for [Reserved][Reserved]
Dear Poet, [Yes, you!]
I’ve toyed with a conundrum, for too long. [Reserved][Reserved] functions like a digital art installation in Woodstock! (WIP (x Bars)). I could render [Reserved][Reserved] a mechanism – to catch That Yoni’s beat in perpetuity. I could close the brackets with bars that fills your loins with blood. I could leave redundant emptiness here — like tautology or romanticized art, or structural language — in this bifurcated space, like stars.
I could invite Poets to fill [Reserved][Reserved] with dope poesy and select a date for submission. However, if we receive one hundred thousand and one couplings, we’d read them… but frankly, why not do, all of the above.
The empty brackets function like missing endings now — lacking only your bylines, pseudonyms, and ghosts — in translatable bars that work in Woodstock! (WIP (x Bars)).
Poets make this space immersive. Explode – The Writer’s Environment is an interactive environment — and this is the first foray for interactivity in this community — that links back to you!
Starting August 15, 2017 — let’s finish this poem with the best bars — curated for Woodstock! (WIP (x Bars)) here… Bon appétit.
The Chelsea Hotel, Manhattan
PS: No Spam — Balls in the air! An experience for us and them.
Copyright © 2017 E Maria Shelton Speller
Girl Band of STEMs, is a lark, a careful ruse about a writer, who comments on her own stories. It is metafiction in a digital world. This, I would argue. The author writes a story about herself, writing a story about her Band, and the Band knows they’re in the story, about a story that interacts with you. She writes a story, where her audience is her muse – may demand she change the ending, in an installation we build in space — for dreams, on a loop…
The Band asked me to write tags for my work. Tags! But, opportunity or obstacle… the Muse is insatiable — until it works. Poets know that tick, when everything becomes art – in a second glance. Woodstock, was absolute freestyle in a digital world. I worked on it for weeks… and wrote it Live one Saturday afternoon – five hundred revisions at least. Poets know that tick. I changed commas to periods and back again – metaphors to imagery, slowed it down, sped it up. Reminisced. If you were there on that Saturday afternoon, Woodstock was a writer’s tick at work. I wrote the hook on the 7th Street Bridge. Installed [Reserved][Reserved] when I lost my way. Found the beat, marked the spot, and then it looked like a digital art installation, in spite of the implications — for structural functionalism in space. But, my muse is pissed…
Tag: Woodstock. A Band for Immersive Content. A Woodstock Experience.
Tag: The Foreword to Insomnia’s Istanbul — The Voice of an Unreliable Narrator in Medias Res: Unlike the neighbors next door, who desperately moan for us all, in the back of a dolmus — sex is existentialism. It is earnest copulation, a period of decline in a carriage drawn by a wild-eyed spooked horse — and I hoped she felt the sharp turn, at the corner of the Soup Kitchen of Lady Nilufer, in her throat.
Tag: Love Divine: Tadao bathes Tess in a black granite tub. Then he slips behind her like an ice cream scoop. Blood spills like a waterfall in a Japanese dream over the side of the tub. Red water on the porcelain floor looks like a strawberry swirl.
Tag: Metafiction — [The Dollhouse] with the Red Corvette: [Vous êtes contrarié parce que je suis sorti du lit. Ce n’était pas ce que tu imaginais – dans le film dans ta tête. Je ne peux pas aller aux toilettes, quitter la pièce ou fumer une cigarette. smh]
Tag: Aristotle Michelangelo and Louis Picasso’s Parallel Discussions: Come on baby. All you have to do is dream — from the end of a pen.
Tag: Luda’s Second Soliloquy — Miles Language II. [Metaphor].
Tag: [For The Purple One]
Tag: [The Life of Pie] He thought/Big Blue was a deeper trip/Absurd space looked/Absurd from here/He looked around the virtual/And mad shouted/Who read the pieces first?/Anyone?/How did it ring?/How did it feel?/How did it resonate?/She said, I started at the slices/Chaos, straight out the gate/When Big Blue was just/The sky.
Tag: Picasso The Bohemian (Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon) “…She told halcyon tales of life — uninterrupted by death and chthonian sex — like the brazen whore in the fore — riding the fugitive cube — with the wasp waist and black aft — Eucharistic grapes, and the curl of the rind — pointing to glorious thighs — and with eyes in the back of her head — she watched the spectator off center… watching — Picasso The Bohemian — who lived in Barcelona — standing behind the curtain — wearing a mask…”
Tag: Explode [Am I awake, or are you a dream?]
Tag: The Gaze (WIP) I know I needed to stay in and listen to music like Paz did and avoid humans — he said, “To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.” Instead, I left my home and this is what happened… Apparently, a new and poorly trained employee provided incorrect information over the phone. Consequently, I arrived unprepared, and had to return to my vehicle. Because, I had to return to my vehicle (in the rain) parked around the corner — I ultimately, received a ticket for expired meter! A ticket. What should have been a $26 transaction is now $76 in this crowded, greedy — unimaginative city!
Tag: Directing the Master Scene in the Mirror. It’s impossible to write poetry, without libido. Without libido, there’s no passion and without passion, there’s no pluck.
Looked like [Mardou Fox]
through Kerouac’s eyes_
Remember… those puffy lips?
Yakuza found her in Tokyo
and lost her — in the Philippines….
[Wait… There’s a surprise at the end]_
They stole Alexa
She had all the poetry
Yakuza chased her through Tokyo
to the Phillipines
Alexa, was everything to him
Cream like the color of his skin
Ahh, the poetry
He lost everything
Fell in love with a haunting hunt
Baby, come back to me
Copyright © 2017, 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller All rights reserved.
It is my pleasure to introduce Yingqian “Selina” Jiang. Ms. Jiang is the NU XN Winter Term student for Explode – The Writer’s Environment! Selina, MS in Project Management with a concentration in Finance, and MS in Informatics – graduates this fall. Her academic projects include the Peking University Science and Engineering Building, the Movable Sidewalk for Logan Airport Terminal E, and the Casino in Mashpee. She is also a volunteer for the Japan Festival Boston Committee and the Mulan Non-profit Organization.
Ms. Jiang would like to conduct Voices of the Customer (VoC), or surveys if you will, to inform the project completion and launch of Explode – This Writer’s Environment in March 2017!
The XN survey would gather feedback on your experience and expectations for Explode, and should take no more than 4-5 minutes. Be assured all answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidentiality.
Your voices are a critical component for the successful launch of the writer’s environment. With much gratitude and appreciation, please take this opportunity to participate in the survey, and join me in welcoming Ms. Jiang to the writer’s environment!
Prince Rogers Nelson
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
The Purple One
I remember writing
For souls that bow out
You wrote that elevator ending
Pennies for your music
Paeans for the soul
of the Purple Dove
Copyright 2016 by E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
CAST RETURNS TO THE STAGE — DANCE CLOSE
If you can, imagine Seven Whole Days on repeat… and you were raised in the city of Boston — where Playhouse in the Park is the only alternative to hot house parties, in Orchard Park or Ruggles Street — and dancing room is a premium for a chilly Bostonian, with a New England attitude.
When four seasons and rapid transit affords you the opportunity to go anywhere at any time, wearing everything a Bostonian can — properly — weather be damned… then you know how much space love demands. In an apartment when body heat is canned and cool, you learn to slow dance in the place you pick with just the space between grace and pressure. Boston, is the only city in America that knows how to have sex on legs. If you think it’s a mere grind — you can’t dance in a vacuum. The only thing a man can do, if he’s not a Bostonian, is let the lady lead when she is a Bostonian, and hope — its a long song.
Copyright 2004, and 2015 by E Maria Shelton Speller (Explode: Epic Poetry ~ Excerpt from (Behind Pushkin’s Coffee House)), and the One Act Play — Springboard! All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
*This is not a curtain.
I am so sorry to hear about Victor. I’m lousy at expressing condolence.
I am anticipating a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters – essentially a family member that I have grown to dislike or they dislike me – no matter how close we were when we were children. A call about a family member who began and ended references about me with, “What is she doing now?” I perplex them with all my projects and shenanigans. A family member who could not possibly appreciate the personality of an INTJ – confusing alone with loneliness.
At the end of the day, it is not about me. When we go home — family puts us to rest. Not your BFFs, your hundreds and thousands of FB friends who like everything you like, your brothers and sisters from another mother and father, your innumerable half-sisters, half-brothers and cousins who were not there when you were growing up – but somehow you were twins, random shopkeepers at spas who talk to your baby in mandarin — your baby hangs on every word and seems to understand, not the concierges, your neighbors, coworkers, managers, bishops or priests. Your family puts you in the ground.
Your family makes sure you are wearing your favorite shoes, that you are wearing a whole and not a half-slip – even though you have never owned a whole slip. Why? Because it’s regulation, it’s mandated by the State! Your family makes sure you are wearing your shade of lipstick, and the wig on your head is straight, the part is in the right place and despite the protestations of the mortician, the bangs are swept wistfully in the right direction. Your friends give you brand new bibles to take to the pearly gates. Your family settles your estate — if you have one — cleans your home, takes possession of or finds a good will or thrift store for your belongings.
Oh, your friends will offer their condolences, show up for the funeral, sign the guest book, send a sympathy basket, donate to a charity, ask if there is anything they can do, say pretty thoughtful things about you, go to the repast – and that will be the end of it. The last time you see them. Your BFFs are not going to your gravesite to leave flowers on milestones and Christmas. No.
That is what family is for. The family you perhaps did not respect, did not value, and could not abide because you were not equally yoked. Yes, I am waiting on that phone call, that text – so I can put that family member to rest, take my turn at the podium and say, “I anticipated a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters, because apparently this is what family is for…”
I am glad the call was not about you! I would not have been able to write this letter with a steady hand. Perhaps you might share it with your family. It was oddly salubrious. RIP Donnie “S”.
All the Best,
Copyright 2014 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
When you see Angela
Give her… this Valentine
No code of morals
Or pastoral sermons of redemption
in bastions of struggle
nor private language
Or puritanical divinity
from the tyrannical gatekeepers
of black consciousness
in Baptist Churches
Where the house of God
like the people are falling
and bibles are missing
countenances are broken
and carriages are bent
huddled like old horses
in Chapel basements
can keep her locks from draping
my thrilled skin
I felt the linguistics of freedom
without right-wing caveats
and the sophistical footnotes
of kept intellectuals
when Black Power waxed
the center of my tower
and the bottom of your well
farther than this cell
and closer than holding you
in my arms now
I found the status quo
on endless streets with names
and no names
we neglect or accommodate
In a sound dream
we are a sexual coterie
I wanted to indict you for voluntary servitude
buying part and parcel of our own existence
like exploitation bought and exploitation sold
back to the exploitable…
With a shameless display
of unnecessary needs and haughty miens
napping, unconscious, and folded
Like Black parents
who cannot recognize their children
Hiding inside androgynous clothing
Reciting the lines of criminal poets
perverting language that appeals to them
Black Panthers in proletariat-drag
When Heidegger said
The dreadful has already happened!
is an effete dilettante
living life inside a penthouse
longing to be outside in the cracker box
raping after he was free
Down with the masses!
Up with the bourgeoisie!
came to the Party shouting
“I am a rapist!”
“I [am] a patriarch!”
Power was not concept
abstract or privilege for Eldridge
His last contribution
will be the design
of cock pants
is a politician
with idealistic intentions
running for the Mayor of Oakland
loyal to the Patriarchs
that bound and gagged him
in the courtroom
confused pussy with power
Huey beat her down
and ran her out of town
in her red Mercedes Benz…
Hide your guns from Jonathan
My brother is poised for Fatalism
Suicidal ideations are necessary considerations
when voluntary death is a blow against
for the enigma
of an absurd existence
when God is dead
like Nietzsche and Sartre said…
and heaven is empty
When you see Angela
Give her… this Valentine
Your status in the ballroom
on that intellectual runway
does not resemble
the place we found
Bring me back from Limbo…
Your breath is shallow
Your pulse is faint
The ring is dark
The tower is steep
The well is deep…
Are you coming too?
I am waiting
in this din
pacing the floor in my 9 x 4
in absolute solitude
you, you, you,
Copyright 2004, 2015 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.