Brandewijn

Oct 01

broken fang

Anything sharp will 
do. I can’t very well 
make hope if I fold this 
sheet of paper tightly enough, 
but I can make darkness, 
and darkness hopes for me, 
so it does better than nothing. 
Good listeners don’t come 
in packs of five at the minimart, 
you can’t put a bandage on 
nightmares, or put a lighter to them 
either, temperament cannot 
be treated with a soft candle. 
If I want to make it, 
I have to choose whether 
making it alive will do. 
The only reason I’m not 
open at the wrists yet is 
because I used to ask people not to, 
the only reason I’m not 
open at the wrists yet is 
because I’m ashamed of my own blood, 
the only reason I’m not 
open at the wrists yet is 
because I’m afraid death is worse still than a fearful life, 
the only reason I’m not 
open at the wrists yet is 
because I’m afraid death feels like 
sputtering and not knowing where to find breath, 
searching over and over, 
screaming for any little morsel of it while 
the rest falls out of me.
I’m just guessing at an 
answer for my feelings at this point, 
I’m too away from my head 
to even ask again. 
I put the broken fang away 
because I don’t want you to see me 
be a coward. But if there was 
an answer for this pain, 
then that would be that already. 
Any answer will do.

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Sep 30

so I can theoretically make things, yeah? 

and I’m laughing, so laughing’s not the problem. 

and for sure i’m sleeping well, maybe better than well. 

so what’s the problem, Brandon?

“The curse notwithstanding, Emma would have a hard time in a town, asking to be called ‘her’ in a world that doesn’t see anything feminine on her. Sometimes even Rinne’s own lips forget. She tends to speak slowly, carefully, to Emma for that reason. She’d also call her by her whole first name, to solve the problem in her head.” —

Rinne, her little sister’s identity, and gold, in the latest chapter of my jukepopserials serial, Rosewater.

You can start the adventure here.

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Sep 29

Charmed and The Difficulty of Getting the Innocent-of-the-Week to Listen To You

So I’m a big fan of Charmed. My brother is bigger so - so big that he used to borrow these, like, large guide books from the library, that had bestiaries of all the demons fought, breakdowns of all the major arcs, and even script printouts and episode stills. It did a lot of things right in the earlies - a small ensemble cast of family members, so the character development was never too much to handle; romantic plots that, at least in the first two seasons or so, were actually secondary to the action without feeling unimportant; the Halliwell sisters’ individually were interesting sources of power without ever being either imbalanced or less than formidable.

But one of the parts that struck me as a potential fault of the show, the one thing that often broke my suspension of disbelief, was how easily they often got people who still don’t know what’s going on to accept the help of three women who refuse to make it any clearer.

And maybe that’s a selfish nitpick about a show where, more often than not, people looked evil magic in the eye and we never heard them comment on it again, like the episode I’m about to mention. But this fact, on a whole in some fantasy stories (and even some other stories), is what makes moving naturally into the climax even harder.

In ‘The Wedding From Hell’, the sisters three all converge on a wedding that Piper is catering for when Phoebe has a vision of a demonic birth and Prue discovers that the ceremony’s first priest was found flung out a window with a ceremonial dagger used to kill demons. Blahblahcoincidenceblah - but really, this part seems to flow perfectly normally considering. Leave that be.

But let’s move backwards a bit. How did they put two and two together? When Phoebe first had the vision, she was worried that she was having a vision of Piper’s baby, since she got it after finding out that Piper had taken a pregnancy test. In order to ask her about it, like good siblings are wont to do, she barges into Piper’s place of work - the groom’s mother’s estate, at the moment - while preparations are still in full swing. While there, they notice two things - a woman shouting at the groom that ‘there’s still time’ for him to make the right decision, and the priest walking up the stairs toward the bride with a sharp knife in his hand. While Piper and Phoebe chase to the kitchen to get one of the estate security guards, they hear him go through the window.

So now they know about the girl, Allison, which strikes Piper as particularly odd since… all the reception napkins and wedding invitations have Allison’s name and not the name of the present bride, Jade (whole name: Jade DeMon… totally original, eh? Give it a break, this was less than halfway into Season One).

So Prue decides that the best way for their plan to vanquish evil and save the day is with Allison’s help. Yep. The help of the young woman who, by all accounts, simply knows that she’s never heard of Jade before, doesn’t know her then-fiance to be a cheater, can’t explain why he looks at her so blankly, and at this point silently suspects that it is just some really fucking weird and inexplicable but otherwise just-like-a-family-of-wealth-to-do (re)arranged marriage.

So… she asks Allison to come with them (on their mission to potentially make a demon woman explode).

And Allison… says yes? After only a couple minutes of wheedling about not letting the love of your life pass you by?

This is, at best, a stranger asking her opinion on crashing a wedding. And at worst being invited to tag along on the birth of pandaemonium. What about that sounded like pleasant weekday afternoon entertainment?
I don’t know what to think about shows that deal with the alleged real-world effects of seeing beyond the veil of the mundane and yet make it seem so simple to win people over without also casting the veil aside for them. Allison, like most humans would have, should watch Prue Halliwell and ask her why she seems so obsessively interested in the romantic goings-on of a girl she doesn’t know. But she doesn’t. A lot of people don’t, in stories like these. I guess forty-five minutes isn’t a lot of time to show people actually saying ‘this makes no fucking sense’ enough times before they do agree. But when I ask myself in similar stories I’m writing, ‘why would someone say yes to this so easily?’, I come up blank, and end up dropping the whole plot.

Magic could never be so easily sold that I can trust that something good lies beyond the veil without even seeing… the veil itself. And if it is so well-bought, I become afraid that such magic is cheap or bad.

Which isn’t true, even of Charmed, but when I see it, it makes me a little less impressed.

The level of magnificence that lies in wait for he who has good reason to doubt should be directly proportional to his level of trepidation, and vice versa.

Maybe because there’s this balance between saying no believably and saying yes in time for us to be satisfied by action that is almost impossible to strike. After all, from the little I know of Doctor Who, if I were approached to be his companion it’d take at least an episode and a half before I even consider a yes. But then imagine all the cool stuff you’d have to wait til Episode Two to see - by that point, you may already have given up.

Anyway, rant over.

[video]

Sep 28

narration perspectives

everyone wants to know 
about the voyager 
in his broad casket, 
whether it stays afloat, 
at what hour he sharpens 
his harpoon, what scribbles 
down in his log when it becomes 
dark and the beacon is far. 

no one asks the ocean 
how the old man on her back 
on bladed bark feels. 
does the voyager feel smooth? 
does the voyager feel hateful? 

and no one ever wonders 
about the wishes of the 
wind, and yet 
we wouldn’t have a story without her.

gays must wait (on the world to change): A Digital Literature Review on PM Persad-Bissessar’s Comments on Equality

Oh, hallelujah to the lamb
Down by the river
The Lord is on the giving hand
Down by the riverside
Oh, we’ll wait ‘till Jesus comes
Down by the river
Oh, we’ll wait ‘till Jesus comes
Down by the riverside…

- ‘Down By The Riverside’, a negro spiritual, as found in William Stickles’ Spirituals

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