valentine my friends stitched it up with golden thread like a red satin pillow they gave me other whole ones too roses and charms and red candles milagros to repair the real one they told me i was no longer allowed to give it away a pretty pin cushion a piece of mexican folk art a hundred beating poems left unanswered like a thing to wear around the neck they said you must heal we will protect you but i sat weeping at the computer forging ahead anyway with the small stitched thing struggling in my chest it knew that it had needed to be torn so that it could recognize and receive the hundred kindnesses traveling across three thousand miles at the speed of light a storm of petals and beautiful words and tiny hearts to keep it company
Francesca Lia Block
I was attacked by two dogs when I was three and a half years old. I'm lucky to be alive. My face was stitched back together and here I still am, gratefully so. I believe that experience shocked me into a deep alliance with the animal world, its beauty and viciousness and terror.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
She squinted at his nametag. Her eyes weren't quite working. "What's your name?" "Stig." "Stick?" she asked, half ready to believe it. He shook his head and pointed his long index finger at the name stitched on his uniform. "S-T-I-G. Stig." Harriet's breath caught. "I can't believe it. I've been looking for you.
Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds. Withen 5 minutes of the transfusion he declared her out of danger. Chucking her under the chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? Your not even old enough to know how bad life gets." And it was then Cecelia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a 13 year old girl.
For ten years I had been protected, wrapped up in something like a blanket that had been stitched together from all kinds of different things. But people never notice that warmth until after they've emerged. You don't even notice that you've been inside until it's too late for you ever to go back-- that's how perfect the temperature of that blanket is.
No, no, it's not the books you are looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, in old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
It seemed that unbeknownst to her father, the lecherous bishop had chased Clio for the entire previous week and had foolishly cornered her on the staircase, where he stole a kiss and squeezed her small breasts. So when it came time to doctor him, she had smiled sweetly and stitched up his wound in the shape of three sixes, the sign of the devil.
You know those nights where the day has unfolded in such a way that now, in the night, you can feel all the gaps in your body and you can see all the reasons you're not who you wish you were - you know those nights where the only sound is of you drinking and the people outside who have each other to drink with - those nights when you're unable to think or be or do because of the paralyzing loneliness - it feels like a hundred of those nights - stitched together and squared - and they come to me in a blush.
Pi is not merely the ubiquitous factor in high school geometry problems; it is stitched across the whole tapestry of mathematics, not just geometry's little corner of it. Pi occupies a key place in trigonometry too. It is intimately related to e, and to imaginary numbers. Pi even shows up in the mathematics of probability
Life had been a suit I'd only put on for special occasions. Most of the time I kept it in the back of my closet, forgetting it was there. We were meant to die when it was barely stitched anymore, when the elbows and knees were stained with grass and mud, shoulder pads uneven from people hugging you all the time, downpours and blistering sun, the fabric faded, buttons gone.
I'm wearing black leggings and a loose top festooned with a Menger sponge of empty pockets stitched out of smaller pockets and smaller still, almost down to the limits of visibility woven in freefall by hordes of tiny otaku spiders, I'm told, their genes programmed by an obsessive-compulsive sartorial topologist.
You couldn't be more wrong," I said. "You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it." "You're a hard person to comfort," Augustus said. "Easy comfort isn't comforting," I said.
Is this Prior?" "In the flesh." "Why's he bleeding?" "Because he's an idiot." Zeke offers me a black jacket with a factionless symbol stitched into the collar. "I didn't know that idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose." I wrap the jacket around Caleb's shoulders and fasten one of the buttons over his chest. He avoids my eyes. "I think it's a new phenomenon.", I say.
His gut was stitched up good and tight, but that didn't prevent it from flopping. He wiped his damp palms on the legs of his jeans and stood up shakily, leaning heavily on his cane. He called himself a masochist for putting himself through this torture day after day. He braced himself for the disappointment of having to go home alone. He braced himself for happiness like he'd never known in his entire life. He watched the door they would come through.
Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades' underwear?
Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment,as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades' underwear?
I am always behind the shopper at the grocery store who has stitched her coupons in the lining of her coat and wants to talk about a 'strong' chicken she bought two weeks ago. The register tape also runs out just before her sub-total. In the public restroom, I always stand behind the teen-ager who is changing into her band uniform for a parade and doesn't emerge until she has combed the tassels on her boots, shaved her legs, and recovered her contact lens from the commode.
Stored away in some brain cell is the image of a long-departed aunt you haven't thought of in 30 years. Stored away in another cell is the image of a pink pony stitched on your first set of baby pajamas. All it takes to get that aunt mounted on the back of that pony is to eat a hunk of meatloaf immediately before going to bed.
Steve Sailer gives us the real Barack Obama, who turns out to be very, very different - and much more interesting - than the bland healer/uniter image stitched together out of whole cloth this past six years by Obama's packager, David Axelrod. Making heavy use of Obama's own writings, which he admires for their literary artistry, Sailer gives the deepest insights I have yet seen into Obama's lifelong obsession with 'race and inheritance,' and rounds off his brilliant character portrait with speculations on how Obama's personality might play out in the Presidency.
Over the vistas broke a cold gray light, such as seen in those false dawns that are neither night nor true morning, when the world and all its contents seem but shapes of mist, formed in vain hope and desire... If you awake from troubled sleep at such a time, you can only sit by the window and think of those that have been lost to you, those that followed your parents into those cold and heartless regions below the grass, silent and dark. Eventually, morning comes and the world resumes its solidity, but another tiny thread of ice has been stitched into your heart forever.
You're a hopeless romantic, " said Faber. "It would be funny if it were not serious. It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the 'parlor families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios, and televisors, but are not. No, no it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type or receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what i mean when i say all this. You are intuitively right, that's what counts.
To my amazement, miraculously, the lid suddenly loosened and slid all the way open, revealing its hidden cargo: A stack of small paper booklets. Dozens and dozens of them. Booklets made of ordinary sheets of white writing paper, folded in half, and hand-stitched along the spine. Booklets in remarkably pristine condition, all covered in a small, neat handwriting that I instantly recognized. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I could hardly breathe.
Butterfly Kisses Aged imperfections stitched upon my face years and years of wisdom earned by His holy grace. Quiet solitude in a humble home all the family scattered now like nomads do they roam. Then a gift sent from above a memory pure and tangible wrapped in innocence and unquestioning love. A butterfly kiss lands gently upon my cheek from an unseen child a kiss most sweet. Heaven grants grace and tears follow as youth revisits this empty hollow.
Try telling the boy who's just had his girlfriend's name cut into his arm that there's slippage between the signifier and the signified. Or better yet explain to the girl who watched in the mirror as the tattoo artist stitched the word for her father's name (on earth as in heaven) across her back that words aren't made of flesh and blood, that they don't bite the skin. Language is the animal we've trained to pick up the scent of meaning. It's why when the boy hears his father yelling at the door he sends the dog that he's kept hungry, that he's kicked, then loved, to attack the man, to show him that every word has a consequence, that language, when used right, hurts.
The brain, he writes, is like Kublai Khan, the great Mongol emperor of the thirteenth century. It sits enthroned in its skull, "encased in darkness and silence, " at a lofty remove from brute reality. Messengers stream in from every corner of the sensory kingdom, bringing word of distant sights, sounds, and smells. Their reports arrive at different rates, often long out of date, yet the details are all stitched together into a seamless chronology. The difference is that Kublai Khan was piecing together the past. The brain is describing the present-processing reams of disjointed data on the fly, editing everything down to an instantaneous now. How does it manage it?
Using my own hand as a base material, I considered it a canvas upon which I stitched into the top layer of skin using thread to create the appearance of an incredibly work worn hand. By using the technique of embroidery, traditionally employed to represent femininity and applying it to the expression of it's opposite, I hope to challenge the pre-conceived notion that 'women's work' is light and easy. Aiming to represent the effects of hard work arising from employment in low paid ancillary jobs such as cleaning, caring, and catering, all traditionally considered to be 'women's work'
I felt that the magical people must be in the hidden back roads and dusty cubby holes of life; on highways, in hostels, and in shabby, smoky cafes. These enchanting people are in trees, around fires and under hand-knit hats and street lamps reflecting gold on rain soaked pavement. They dance while others dangle; they vibrantly sing the songs that get jumbled and stuck in the subconscious of others who only wish to catch tune. They are the rare ones whose uncommon experiences touch your heart through just a wink of their eye, the stories stitched in the holes of their shoes, invoking a longing for the unknown, taking others to a place of missing what they've never even had - they do not settle, they do not compromise.
The doubts, strong as they were, were rousing more than hesitation. Her eyes drifted closed, fingertips sliding over the silk and lace panties she wore. Larry could never know how many times they'd been pulled aside in a rush of unbridled lust, how the side had been carefully stitched after they'd been ripped from her in a bar bathroom a few years ago by a man whose name she didn't even know. She found her fingers at the seam, her breath shallow and shaking as she remembered the way his rough, callused fingers felt inside her, the ache of his teeth at her shoulder, the sound of his growling moans as he gripped her hair and plunged deep into her throat. She could still smell the whiskey on his breath, the stifling cloud of smoke that permeated every part of the hole-in-the-wall bar
So they trust in the deity of the Old Testament, an incontinent dotard who soiled Himself and the universe with his corruption, a low-budget divinity passing itself off as the genuine article. (Ask the Gnostics.) They trust in Jesus Christ, a historical cipher stitched together like Frankenstein's monster out of parts robbed from the graves of messiahs dead and buried - a savior on a stick. They trust in the virgin-pimping Allah and his Drum Major Mohammed, a prophet-come-lately who pioneered a new genus of humbuggery for an emerging market of believers that was not being adequately served by existing religious products. They trust in anything that authenticates their importance as persons, tribes, societies, and particularly as a species that will endure in this world and perhaps in an afterworld that may be uncertain in its reality and unclear in its layout, but which states their craving for values "not of this earth" - that depressing, meaningless place their consciousness must sidestep every day.
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets. The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip... The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies. The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.
THE BLUE DRESS Her blue dress is a silk train is a river is water seeps into the cobblestone steps of my sleep, is still raining is monsoon brocade, is winter stars stitched into puddles is goodbye in a flooded, antique room, is goodbye in a room of crystal bowls and crystal cups, is the ring-ting-ring of water dripping from the mouths of crystal bowls and crystal cups, is the Mississippi river is a hallway, is leaks like tears from windowsills of a drowned house, is windows open to waterfalls is a bed is a small boat is a ship, is a currant come to carry me in its arms through the streets, is me floating in her dress through the streets is the moon sees me floating through the streets, is me in a blue dress out to sea, is my mother is a moon out to sea.
Did you know that the Russians sent dogs into space? My mother told me this when I was a boy. Nobody knew the effects of space on a body, you see, so they sent dogs first. They found two little mongrels on the streets of Moscow. Pchelka, which means Little Bee, and Mushka, which means Little Fly. They went up in Sputnik 6. They were supposed to get into orbit and come right back. But the rockets misfired and shot them into space. Whenever I look at the night sky, I think about those dogs. Wearing these hand-stitched spacesuits, bright orange, with their paws sticking out. Big fishbowl helmets. How... crazy. Floating out and out into space. How bewildered they must have been, dying from oxygen deprivation. For what? They would have happily spent their days rummaging through trashcans. For all anyone knows these dogs are still out there. Two dead mongrels in a satellite. Two dog skeletons in silly spacesuits. Gleaming dog skulls inside fishbowl helmets. They'll spin through the universe until they burn up in the atmosphere of an uncharted planet. Or get sucked into a black hole to be crushed into a ball of black matter no bigger than an ant turd.
Imagine you are Siri Keeton: You wake in an agony of resurrection, gasping after a record-shattering bout of sleep apnea spanning one hundred forty days. You can feel your blood, syrupy with dobutamine and leuenkephalin, forcing its way through arteries shriveled by months on standby. The body inflates in painful increments: blood vessels dilate; flesh peels apart from flesh; ribs crack in your ears with sudden unaccustomed flexion. Your joints have seized up through disuse. You're a stick-man, frozen in some perverse rigor vitae. You'd scream if you had the breath. Vampires did this all the time, you remember. It was normal for them, it was their own unique take on resource conservation. They could have taught your kind a few things about restraint, if that absurd aversion to right-angles hadn't done them in at the dawn of civilization. Maybe they still can. They're back now, after all- raised from the grave with the voodoo of paleogenetics, stitched together from junk genes and fossil marrow steeped in the blood of sociopaths and high-functioning autistics. One of them commands this very mission. A handful of his genes live on in your own body so it too can rise from the dead, here at the edge of interstellar space. Nobody gets past Jupiter without becoming part vampire.
Little Red-Cap At childhood's end, the houses petered out into playing fields, the factory, allotments kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men, the silent railway line, the hermit's caravan, till you came at last to the edge of the woods. It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf. He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud in his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw, red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears he had! What big eyes he had! What teeth! In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me, sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink, my first. You might ask why. Here's why. Poetry. The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods, away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake, my stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes but got there, wolf's lair, better beware. Lesson one that night, breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem. I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for what little girl doesn't dearly love a wolf? Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws and went in search of a living bird - white dove - which flew, straight, from my hands to his hope mouth. One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said, licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books. Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head, warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood. But then I was young - and it took ten years in the woods to tell that a mushroom stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out, season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe to a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon to see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf as he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw the glistening, virgin white of my grandmother's bones. I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up. Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone.
Carol Ann Duffy
What was she thinking?' muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania. 'She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her, ' Ina said. 'She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you-' 'Where did she get it from?' 'Herself, of course.' Ina smiled. 'Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.' Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut. Ina continued. 'The doctor told her she couldn't give any more, and she said a liter wasn't enough, and he said, 'Yes, but you don't have more to give, ' and she said, 'I'll make more, ' and he said, 'No, ' and she said, 'Yes, ' and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.' Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound. He was barely breathing. 'The doctor told her, 'Tania, you're wasting your time. Look at his burn. It's going to get infected.' There wasn't enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so low.' Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. 'So I'm making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She's sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won't believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.' Ina's eyes bulged. 'I watch her draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, 'Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You're siphoning blood from yourself into him?' She said to me in her calm, I-won't-stand-for-any-argument voice, 'Ina, if I don't, he will die.' I yelled at her. I said, 'There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don't you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?' And she said, 'He's not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.' Can you believe it, Major? But that's what she said. 'Oh, for God's sake, ' I said to her. 'Fine, die yourself. I don't care.' But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn't following procedure, told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.' Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. 'We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, 'Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?' I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage, to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That's when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, 'Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him, ' and she said, 'You think so?' ' Ina tutted again. Paused. 'Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?