That Girl

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I never planned to be that girl
she of the star-crossed love and burning desire

I would see her in the hallways at school
and scoff at her silliness
girl, please
control yourself

I would see her at a soccer game
cheering her man
instead of being out there on the field
dribbling the ball
outrunning the defender
scoring the goal

I would see her in the cafe
waiting

I would see her in the library
trying to focus on her Russian
because there was an exam tomorrow
and she wanted the best grade in class
but he wanted her attention

I would see her make excuses
for his rude behavior
his boyish antics
and wonder
when does she get to be girlie?

I never planned to be that girl
she of the star-crossed love and burning desire

Then I saw you

And I don’t know if I’m that girl
but as I sit here and wait for you
hours
dolled up like you asked
wearing the dress you bought

I kind of understand her
and I kind of hate her

Book Review: SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon

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Fantasy

Published April 2009


Look back again, she thought, and I will follow you.

I finished reading Cindy Pon’s SILVER PHOENIX around one in the morning last night – I simply couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened to Ai Ling and Chen Yong, her father and the evil Zhong Ye. Despite needing to work on my own book, despite needing to do some lawyering, despite needing to pay attention to the other humans in my life – the canine in my life does not allow for being ignored, so he is not on this list – my nose stayed glued to Pon’s epic tale of magic, mythology, and brutal love until the last word

which if you’re wondering, happens to be “twilight.”

Check out the notes I furiously typed at that late hour subsequent to closing the book, needing to get my immediate thoughts down on paper:

SILVER PHOENIX is epic and awesome and so freaking good. a journey reminiscent of The Odyssey and really, does it get much better than that?

the feels, the adventure, the friendship, the unrequited love. it’s too much but you only want more, more, more

the badass girl and the boy who lets her be badass, promising always to be at her side – swoon

the magic and evil and wonder

Chen Yong’s pain of feeling other, being spoken to as if a lesser being, always seeking a place to belong when it’s right under his nose, with Ai Ling – meep

I promise you I was not delirious – Silver Phoenix is just as fantastic as classics like The Odyssey and Lord of the Rings and as I turned its pages, it reminded me of the pure joy I feel whenever I read those tales – the escapades and intrigue, the danger lurking around every corner, in every face, the overall genius of the hero’s journey. Silver Phoenix is just all. so. good.

But for me, because I am an admitted sucker and fucking sappy ass romantic at heart – although please, please, please make my lovers total badasses to the end – even more moving and poetic than the journey is Pon’s underlying theme, that wicked slow burn she weaves throughout her novel, of unrequited love.

She had me stopping and taking notes several times throughout the book:

when Ai Ling notices Chen Yong’s eyes and immediately wishes she hadn’t

“I’m glad I followed you here.”

the LOVE LOST TREE – ugh – stop it! – please

“Besides, you always had my heart, I just never had yours.”

Ai Ling’s memorization of Chen Yong’s letter to her, “the curves and lines of his calligraphy” – dying

And this doozie

“Ai Ling realized then she would be willing to leave her home, her family, everything to be by his side – and the revelation stunned her…Look back again, she thought, and I will follow you. Instead Ai Ling watched him walk away, with easy grace, until he turned the corner. She shut the heavy wooden door…her chest tight with all the words she had not said…” – just kill me now because you already ripped out my heart

at one point, I got so brave as to tweet Cindy:

ChenYong

Based on her response, I think she enjoys that slow burn and our suffering for unrequited love. She damn sure knows how to write it.

I already had a huge girl crush on Cindy because of all the phenomenal work she’s done and continues to do to diversify our bookshelves – and the fact she was such an enthusiastic participant in my Getting Proustian With… interview series – but now my love for her is on a whole other level.

Silver Phoenix, Ai Ling, and Chen Yong are going to hold special places in my little bruised and battered heart for a very long time and already have me rushing off to Amazon to order the sequel. #Ididthat

Get the book, folks.

Now.

For real.

#thankmelater

#WednesdayFreeWrite – Oncoming

Leave it to me to take this morning’s Wednesday Prompt and make it just a tad bit dirty.

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Oncoming

There’s that moment
it can happen anywhere
anytime
And when it does
it floors you

The way she twists in the bar stool
and orders her drink
Neat

The curve of her neck
because you’re watching her from behind
The swell of her hips
that have you thinking of fifty different ways to fuck her blind

Her smile and her laugh
as she chats with the bartender
and you’re thinking, “shit, I should have taken those classes at Columbia”

Then she catches your eye
and busts you staring
and smiles
Because she’s confident like that
and knows what she wants when she wants it

And maybe just maybe
she wants you

But you’re not ready
and there’s no telling if you ever will be
for all of her truths
her honesty
her desire

So you look down at your drink
and pretend you didn’t see her
and the bar empties out
and you’re still sitting there
Thinking
Contemplating
Wondering
How does she smell
taste
feel
How does she kiss
laugh
come

You tell yourself not to think like that
Stop it
Behave
But her ass
her lips
the curve of her tits

Ha!
Everything about her is overwhelming
and oncoming
at a speed so fast
you’re blown away
by her and her sex
to the point where all you can focus
is
on
coming.

#WednesdayFreeWrite – CONVENIENCE

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I joined a writing group led by Jena Schwartz called Get Your Muse On.

I also mentioned that on Wednesdays, Jena sends around a topic and we are encouraged to participate in a ten-minute free write. It’s exactly what it sounds like: set your timer for ten minutes and write anything you want on that topic, no editing, no fussing, then post it for the group to read.

Although I skipped the first free-write, I took part in the second and since then, it’s become one of my favorite aspects of the group. I love those ten minutes where I empty my brain of everything and just flow.

It hit me today that these prompts make for a perfect blog series so from here on out, and with Jena’s blessing, I’m going to post what I produce for the Wednesday Prompt

and with no editing.

If you find errors or anything fucked up or maybe not so clear or perfect, it’s because I’m remaining true to Jena’s parameters of no tinkering, no toying. Which kills my inner perfectionist, but I’m going to do my best to keep her in check.

So on that note…


CONVENIENCE

100Steps

Convenience is walking out my front door at 8:20
hitting the Hundred Steps
which are really 96
but who’s counting
and zipping to the Path

Convenience is the grocery store four blocks away
the other grocery store four blocks in the opposite direction
the mega grocery store down the Viaduct
and the rip-off A&P down the hill

Convenience is the park up the block and overlooking the City
the other park past the grocery store where we played ball
the teeny-tiny park down by Supremo
and the huge, gorgeous park at the end of Webster

Convenience is the little man who dry cleans my clothes
and knows it’s going to take me weeks to pick them up
so he calls me on my cell to remind me

Convenience is the liquor store owner
who also owns the art space
who also helps with Little League and reminds me it’s almost time for sign-ups

Convenience is the pet store on Central Avenue
just a few blocks away
since I kill fish like no other motherfucker around

Convenience is the lady
who threads on Saturdays
in case I don’t have time to see my lady
in the city
during the week

Convenience is my beloved bodega
the one The Husband detests
because he’s convinced it killed our property value
but I love it
because I know all the guys inside
and I know the owner’s wife
and kid
so when it storms and I need an extra bucket
or when I’m a dollar short
he hooks me up

Convenience – and love – are my girls
the women I met and grew to love
my bitches
we’re tight and it’s fierce
and they live right down the block
around the corner
up the hill

Convenience is my past
The suburbs are my present