Time slowed as metal shards enveloped her like shattered glass. None pierced her of course, but it seemed as though she might be able to reach out and pluck one from the sky. She settled for stretching out an imagined hand, palm upturned, and letting a shard fall through it untouched like the ghost she had become.
Upturned face. Parted lips. The good-night kiss he couldn't leave without. Only, Megan's lips were stiff and unyielding. She didn't pull away. It might almost have been better if she had. Instead, she'd allowed the kiss to occur, taking it with the same cool detachment offered in her words.
Mira Lyn Kelly
O smile, going where? O upturned look: new, warm, receding surge of the heart-; alas, we are that surge. Does then the cosmic space we dissolve in taste of us? Do the angels reclaim only what is theirs, their own outstreamed existence, or sometimes, by accident, does a bit of us get mixed in? Are we blended in their features like the slight vagueness that complicates the looks of pregnant women? Unnoticed by them in their whirling back into themselves? (How could they notice?)
Rainer Maria Rilke
Uncle Jeff insisted that I also take a tray of unseasoned barbecue, so I could see for myself that what's going on here at the Skylight Inn does not in any way, shape, or form depend for it's flavor or quality on "sauce." That is a word he pronounces with an upturned lip and a slight sneer, suggesting that the use of barbecue sauce was at best a culinary crutch deserving of pity and at worst a moral failing.
And the earth under your feet, the rain over your face upturned, the stars spinning all around you in the brazen glory: this is for you, you, you. These are for you-gifts-these are for you-grace-these are for you-God, so count the ways He loves, a thousand, more, never stop, that when you wake in the morning you can't help turn humbly to the east, unfold your hand to the heavens, and though you tremble and though you wonder, though the world is ugly, it is beautiful, and you can slow and you can trust and you can receive each moment as grace.
I knew that people said love should be unconditional, given like a dog gives to its master, but what Being could give that way? What could love though it had been kicked and beaten? What could go kissing the hand of its tormentor with upturned eyes? I didn't know. Perhaps Jesus, perhaps the Dalai Lama, but I couldn't. I had a condition, the way life has conditions to live, the body must have certain conditions to grow, and Cristien had to meet mine or I could not live. I could not.
Candice Raquel Lee
Begin with the soft smelted upturned heart-shaped mouth made for smiling a smile kept for kindness, tenderness, incapable of malice. Am I going too fast for you? The almond eyes see out through their sleepy epicanthic fold. Trusting and calm, if a flicker from slowness, a further flicker from stupidity. Settled in slow-motion beauty, heart-breaking beauty.
Cam held her closer. "Marry me, Amelia. You're what I want. You're my fate." One hand slid to the back of her head, gripping the braids and ribbons to keep her mouth upturned. "Say yes." He nibbled at her lips, licked at them, opened them. He kissed her until she writhed in his arms, her pulse racing. "Say it, Amelia, and save me from ever having to spend a night with another woman. I'll sleep indoors. I'll get a haircut. God help me, I think I'd even carry a pocket watch if it pleased you.
The grotto itself comprises its own slick universe, and inside this universe spin countless galaxies: here, in the upturned half of a single mussel shell, lives a barnacle and a tiny spindle shell occupied by a still smaller hermit crab. And on the shell of the crab? A yet smaller barnacle. And on that barnacle?
Real isn't what they try to tell you. Time isn't. Grown-ups hammer down all these markers, bells, schedules, coffee-breaks, to stake down time so you'll start believing it's something small and mean, something that scrapes flake after flake off of everything you love till there's nothing left; to stake you down so you don't lift off and fly away, somersaulting through whirlpools of months, skimming through eddies of glittering seconds, pouring handfuls of hours over your upturned face.
It's a fact: black people in this country die more easily, at all ages, across genders. Look at how young black men die, and how middle-aged black men drop dead, and how black women are ravaged by HIV/AIDS. The numbers graft to poverty but they also graph to stresses known and invisible. How did we come here, after all? Not with upturned chins and bright eyes but rather in chains, across a chasm. But what did we do? We built a nation, and we built its art.
The Gods on the death of his wife Yang Kai-hui I lost my proud poplar and you your willow As poplar and willow they soar straight up into the ninth heaven and ask the prisoner of the moon, Wu Kang' what is there. He offers them wine from the cassia tree. The lonely lady on the moon, Chang 0, spreads her vast sleeves and dances for these good souls in the unending sky. Down on earth a sudden report of the tiger's defeat. Tears fly down from a great upturned bowl of rain.
I agree. To me, it [galloping on horseback] is the essence of freedom-the power of the beast beneath you, the wind in your face, the thundering of the hooves. It is a great elixir for the soul.' 'And does your soul need healing, Benjamin?' she asked quietly, gently running her fingertips across his bicep and down his forearm. He turned away from the view of the pond and looked at her with clear, blue eyes, his expression serious. He captured her fingers in the palm of his hand. 'My healing started the day I met you. You are my elixir.' 'Then perhaps you need another dose, ' she whispered, her face upturned as she leaned closer to him.
They began to come upon chains and packsaddles, singletrees, dead mules, wagons. Saddletrees eaten bare of their rawhide coverings and weathered white as bone, a light chamfering of miceteeth along the edges of the wood. They rode through a region where iron will not rust nor tin tarnish. The ribbed frames of dead cattle under their patches of dried hide lay like the ruins of primitive boats upturned upon that shoreless void and they passed lurid and austere the black and desiccated shapes of horses and mules that travelers had stood afoot.
Will!' He turned at the familiar voice and saw Tessa. There was a small path cut along the side of the hill, lined with unfamiliar white flowers, and she was walking up it, toward him. Her long brown hair blew in the wind - she had taken off her straw bonnet, and held it in one hand, waving it at him and smiling as if she were glad to see him. His own heart leaped up at the sight of her. 'Tess, ' he called. But she was still such a distance away - she seemed both very near and very far suddenly and at the same time. He could see every detail of her pretty, upturned face, but could not touch her, and so he stood, waiting and desiring, and his heart beat like the wings of seagulls in his chest. At last she was there, close enough that he could see where the grass and flowers bent beneath the tread of her shoes. He reached out for her -
Brush snapped. The stag shambled forth from the outer darkness. It loomed above Scobie, its fur rank and steaming. Black blood oozed from gashes along its flanks. Beneath a great jagged crown of antlers its eyes were black, its teeth yellow and broken. Scobie fell to his knees, palms raised in supplication. The stag nuzzled his matted hair and its long tongue lapped at the muddy tears and the streaks of drying blood upon the man's upturned face. Its muzzle unhinged. The teeth closed and there was a sound like a ripe cabbage cracking apart.
For his lunch break, Alex decided to sit outside for a smoke. There was no break room to speak of, just a backdoor that led to a neglected parking lot and an old payphone. There was an upturned crate by the door used to hold the door open or to sit on if one so desired. But Alex couldn't sit down, even though he had been standing for the past four hours, his anxious mind kept his feet moving. He paced back and forth, smoking his cigarette with the speed of an anxious drug addict. The cool but faint breeze pushed the smoke away from him and dissipated it into nothing. He still felt angry about the run-in with Gonzalez. It had consistently poked at him like a curious sadist with a pointed stick ever since he walked away from the door slammed in his face.
His feet went banging down some stairs. He closed his eyes. They went through cinders and dirt, his heels gathering small windrows of trash. A dim world receded above his upturned toes, shapes of skewed shacks erupted bluely in the niggard lamplight. The rusting carcass of an automobile passed slowly on his right. Dim scenes pooling in the summer night, wan ink wash of junks tilting against a paper sky, rorschach boatmen poling mutely over a mooncobbled sea. He lay with his head on the moldy upholstery of an old car seat among packingcrates and broken shoes and suncrazed rubber toys in the dark. Something warm was running on his chest. He put up a hand. I am bleeding. Unto my death.
The night of the fireworks changed the course of many lives in England, though no one suspected the dark future as hundreds of courtiers stared, faces upturned in delight, at the starbursts of crimson, green, and gold that lit up the terraces, gardens, and pleasure grounds of Rosethorn House, the country home of Richard, Baron Thornleigh. That night, no one was more proud to belong to the baron's family than his eighteen-year-old ward, Justine Thornleigh; she had no idea that she would soon cause a deadly division in the family and ignite a struggle between two queens. Yet she was already, innocently, on a divergent path, for as Lord and Lady Thornleigh and their multitude of guests watched the dazzle of fireworks honoring the spring visit of Queen Elizabeth, Justine was hurrying away from the public gaiety. Someone had asked to meet her in private.
When I felt I was dying, these past few days, things were no longer anthropomorphic. The telephone, which looks like a sort of upturned black snake, was merely a telephone. Every thing was just a thing. The couch, which looked like a big square face drawn by Rubens, with buttons on the cover like wicked little eyes, was just a couch, rather shabby but nothing more. At such a time things don't matter to you; you don't bathe everything in your presence, like an amoeba. Things become innocent because you draw away from them; experience becomes virginal, as it was for the first man when he saw the valleys and the plains. You feel you are set in a tidy world: that is a door and it behaves like a door, that is white and behaves like white. What heaven: the symbolism of meanings loses all meaning. You see objects which are comforting because they are quite free. But suddenly you are flung into a new form of suffering because, when you come to miss the meaning of, say, a stool, reality suddenly becomes terrifying. Everything becomes monstrous, unattainable.
I like the disaster of the night sky, stars spilling this way and that as if they were upturned from a glass. I like the way good madness feels. I like the way laughter always spills. That's the word for it. It never just comes, it spills. I like the word 'again'. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again. I like the quiet sound a coffee cup makes when it's set down on a wooden table. So hushed. So inviting. Like morning light yawning through the window and stretching out onto the kitchen floor. I like the way girls' lips look like they're stained with berries. I like the way morning light breaks like a prism through the empty wine bottles on our dusty apartment floor. Glasses empty except for the midnight hour. I like the way blueberries stain my fingers during the summer. I like the way light hits your eyes and turns it into a color that doesn't exist anywhere else other than in this moment. I want it all. I want the breeze to call my name as it rushes down my street, looking for me. I want to feel grass underneath my bare feet and I want to feel the sun kiss freckles onto my cheeks. I want to hear you yell hello as you make your way towards me, not goodbye as you have to go. That's just a little bit about me.
Start by pulling him out of the fire and hoping that he will forget the smell. He was supposed to be an angel but they took him from that light and turned him into something hungry, something that forgets what his hands are for when they aren't shaking. He will lose so much, and you will watch it all happen because you had him first, and you would let the world break its own neck if it means keeping him. Start by wiping the blood off of his chin and pretending to understand. Repeat to yourself 'I won't leave you, I won't leave you' until you fall asleep and dream of the place where nothing is red. When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it. Oh, when you used to sing it to sleep. Here are your upturned hands. Give them to him and watch how he prays like he is learning his first words. Start by pulling him out of another fire, and putting him back together with the pieces you find on the floor. There is so much to forgive, but you do not know how to forget. When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you are the reason it has become so mangled. Here is your humble offering, obliterated and broken in the mouth of this abandoned church. He has come back to stop the world from turning itself inside out, and you love him, you do, so you won't let him. Tell him that you will never know any better.
And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up, ' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours, ' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.