Rotten Leaves

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Sitting in the woods on the bonnet of my car, the headlights illuminate a circle of trees and this is the stage.  Underneath me, the engine ticks itself quiet and smoke gently wafts from an overheated radiator.  I can smell wet trees, burned oil and dead wildlife.  A rustling and a snapping of twigs announces your arrival.  Swearing, you emerge from behind a curtain of ivy and it is showtime.

Your toe pokes out of your thigh high stockings and your white bra is covered in small brown circles where you stub out cigarettes on your breasts.  You dance and twirl around a thick puddle of soft mud, shards of bracken and the corpses of failed saplings.  The lace thong is perhaps an ambitious mistake – dark hairs curl around the gusset like trapped spiders.  But when you swing those hips, I am in a trance for weeks.

We usually fuck in fields of freshly cut grass to hide the smells; warm iron and bad breath, sweat and yellow fingernails.  But here in the woods, I ask you to climb onto me.  As you walk my way, your foot disappears down to the ankle in mud with a horribly graphic sucking noise.  You gasp with distain, pull your leg free and continue hobbling towards me with one brown, slimy boot.

Kneeling over my prone body, I feel the metal hood beneath us buckle and protest.  I grab a handful of your hair, flecked with pollen and little bugs.  The natural scents of the forest are replaced with cheap vodka and even cheaper roll-ups.  You kiss me with chapped lips and I feel my skin melting like pizza cheese onto yours.  We fuck so hard the lights go out… only later, as we cuddle ourselves into an amorphous gel, do I realise that the battery has died and we won’t be going home tonight.

So I was thinking. . . Musings about self-published and small press books

On Self Publishing and Self Promotion

Brave and Reckless

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Several writer friends of mine have recently self-published books or published books with small presses.  They often promote their books on their personal Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram, relying heavily on informal personal networks to sell their books. It crossed my mind this morning that there have got to be ways to grow these informal networks into a more powerful, formal network that connects people who read with great books they might not otherwise hear about and great writers with people who would buy their books and possibly even write reviews of them- really important if your book is available through Amazon.com.

This has planted a seed in my head that maybe I could partner up with a couple of other bloggers to create a site where readers could discover great new books and writers could leverage this kind of network to get the word out about their upcoming and…

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1.

samantha lucero

[one of mine originally posted on SD. for some reason, the reblog is fucking up.]

giphy-2.gifa city map is sewn in the scalp;
looped in the goat-milk, or spit out,
tongued in silky blades of stomped
down grass.

i’m crowned with high-pitched fingers
clenched in fur.
in octaves only shades can bear, i simmer
in their holy cradles.
i become the roughened corner of a mouth
grinning at its own joke.

there, the receding home in ranch-style polaroid’s of a dirty blond stranger and my mother squinting in the sun; some home not mine or yours.

ventricles, which
in a woman’s left grows tiny,
and in a man’s more supple.
i keep alive by milking goats.

some like lifelines, some like ulcers
the city streets are braided in my hair.

samantha lucero 2018 ©

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Nonsense about convenience (malice)

5 A.M Decisions

Just remember when you think you’re free
The crack inside your fucking heart is me

Sometimes I wonder what you did with the tickets. You know, those tickets you bought, for you and me, as a birthday present, for me. For that gig that you knew I wanted to go to; for that gig you had to know me quite well to know that I wanted to go to. That thoughtful gift. That thoughtful gift.

The date came and it went. And I wonder if the tickets stayed with you, unused. Or if they were sold. Or maybe you went. And maybe you took that girl you met on New Year’s Eve. I think maybe you did. You always were a cheapskate. Why waste money? Just don’t tell her they were bought for someone else and you’ve got the perfect Thursday night surprise, right?

Your confidant, your sympathiser, your…

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Sync

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Stroking your arm, I navigate my fingers over the hairs and goosebumps, trying to read your thoughts like braille.  There are no clouds in this night sky, so we lie alone on the beach sharing our moment with 4 billion years of chemical reactions, and a trillion unknown worlds.  Next to us, the remains of a bonfire quietly hisses and crackles, like a grumpy child reluctantly getting into bed.

I can’t read your arm, but I feel your breathing quickening.  I stroke your cheek and check your racing pulse and this is all I need to know.  You stretch a leg out, one side pale against the night, the other textured with grey sand, a monolith sending out a signal to distant tribes.

….like a monolith sending out a signal to distant tribes.  I think it’s a good line but when I say it out loud you pinch my nipple hard enough that I feel my calf muscles tighten and my ears involuntarily twitch.  Too much?  I ask.  You don’t reply.

In the harbour, we can see the lights of an approaching ship.  A small boat, one of the local fishing tubs that go out from time to time.  The quiet of the night is interrupted by Dancing Queen by ABBA blaring out across the dark water.  As if embarrassed, the stars begin to go out.

As the boat draws nearer, we see a small group of men and women gathered around a large beer cooler.  One guy is standing on the prow with a girl, trying to reinact the scene from Titanic.  It’s a sweet moment, and I feel you nuzzle close to me, until he downs a can, throws it high into the air and shouts BRING US YOUR RUM AND WHORES. 

The boat putt-putt-putts away past the breakwaters, to the sound of cackling.  I look up and say aloud; it’s safe to come out now.  You turn and look at me confused, but one by one the stars reappear above us.

 

Designs

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She’s like every autumnal daydream, but with hairier armpits and an infected toe.  The white bandage, yellowing in spots, pokes out like an eager tumour from open heels.  We walk hand in hand but yards apart, because I’ll interfere with her wings apparently…. oh fucking whatever, woman.  I roll my eyes so often I can feel Sisyphus struggling on my eyelashes.  On the bright side, we can swallow up a busy pavement, sending old people on mobility scooters into oncoming traffic; taking out little kids with no awareness of how hard two fists clamped together with love can be to break.

We eat ice cream in a seaside town, and she laughs at topless old men with pubes on their chest, skin peeling at the shoulders and scrags of chips in the nipples like savoury piercings.  We watch the gentle hiss of the sea as it approaches the bathers, waders, whales and grandmothers, encroaching and retreating like a threatened cat, scared of all this filthy humanity polluting the already brown water with Factor 50.

We pass the arcades where exasperated parents stand bored as little Tarquin and Emily blast the heads off zombies; Mum and Dad are preparing their lines for an earlier breakfast fight not yet settled.  Others wander around with tubs of coppers, like this worthless browngreen shit that you pass on the street is now precious suddenly.

We hear a strange noise, like the very Earth has indigestion.  Behind a row of bucket and spade shops, a ferris wheel is beginning to tilt and then topple.  The screams of the manicled prisoners gradually grow in intensity, starting with individual voices at the top, before being swallowed up in a hurricane wail as the Big Wheel slams down out of sight, in a deafening eruption of dust.  The screams silence immediately, followed by the roar of a laughing tide, and the gradual murmur of paralysed consternation, people on phones, people asking the person next to them what happened, people running to the scene, people rushing to film the carnage.

Huh, look at that she says…. she’s pointing to a blob of ice cream on her nose, and laughing.

Tangerine Eyes

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I’m always nervous when she is in a good mood.  She draws too much attention to herself.  And us.  I’m standing next to her but a few paces apart.  I can see a tree, and I can see her former boyfriend hanging from the tree by his wrists.  She’s wrapping herself back up in a deep, dark coat covering up the black lingerie she wore to entice this fool.  And then, with one ridiculous heel braced against the oil drum, she kicks it away and This Boy dangles like a trouserless pinata…. his dick already beginning to tumble in panic like a demolished tower block.

She has a knife in her pocket and it’s already out.  This is both good and bad.  If she shows the blade early it means The Boy will almost certainly return home with the rest of him, but on the flip side she is in the mood for fun.  And any second now a passing dog walker is going to stroll past and start asking questions.  And I have my own blade, hidden and considerably sharper than hers, to deal with intrusions.

Whilst they – whilst she – talks, I sit down on a nearby rock, like a grey island amidst the thistles and weeds.  The wind hisses and waves through the grass that seems to charge in unison towards this weird public execution.  There’s dog shit on my shoes, my jeans, under my armpits and behind my ears.  It’s been an odd day.

I should get out of this.  I tell myself every day.  But within her sphere life isn’t boring and sex is dangerous.  A sniff of her greasy hair flecked with pollen and dandruff and I’m hopeless.  To see her squatting, shitting in a field is divine.  People may laugh, but then they end up like This Boy.  Kicking and fretting about the loss of his insignificant sexual vegetables.

Her eyes are orange, thin black pupils over a pair of deep autumn suns.  She always has plans… and strategies and I wonder if she shouldn’t be in the military, or as a modern day Boudicca, riding a tank into a warzone with a sword in the air and a pair of goggles to protect from the diesel smoke.

It always begins like this; we’re going to do something nice and normal, like go and get pizza from Earl the street vendor, but we ‘happen’ to meet up with her ex; and for a while we sit and we eat pizza and she tells us stories about each other and our failings, and I haven’t even asked why a black trenchcoat in June?; and then she suggests a walk out to the fields and beyond to the wasteland, and by now I’m trying to mouth to her ex that this is a bad idea; but he’s cock of the walk right now, especially when she turns to me and tells me to fuck off but with a knowing wink that he cannot see; so I do go away to give her the five or ten minutes she needs to string up this silly boy and prepare him for the entertainment…

…and as I’m walking away, knowing I will return soon I think, there she goes again with those flawless Tangerine Eyes.