Monday, October 27, 2008


stories from folklore and dreams I've had


One night all the sheets in the city rose up and slipped out the window. They fell slowly toward the street, never striking the ground but billowing up into ghostly shapes, growing large dark eyes. There were hundreds of them –a floating parade that absorbed nearly all the sound around them - no traffic, no humming wires, only the rustle of swaying fabric.

Ghosts have sewing circles whenever their sheets and shrouds are torn. They display their rips and tears and flutter together, needles in hand. They sigh and shiver with each stitch. Those who are not damaged huddle together doing embroidery, they clamp wooden hoops on each other and set to work. In black thread they stitch in words like “ Patient” “Drowsy,” and “Dumbfounded.”

Ghosts of the hanged gather for a bit of fun at the gallows tree. Taking turns they use a shabby old noose as a rope swing. They attain tremendous height and speed as they sail along, wail ing out the crimes and circumstances that brought about their execution at the old tree – Thievery, rapes, forbidden trysts, lynchings, failed escapes–all mingling with giggles and shrill cries of playground delight.

If you find a ghost alone on a city street, lift its shroud. Beneath the hem you will see night hills and a sparkling city under bright stars. The sheet will fall like a theatre curtain and you will never be content in this world again.


Your lover may be unfaithful or may be a witch. If you wake alone in bed at after midnight, check all around the house. If you find your lover’s skin you will know he or she has left it behind to ride the wind. Sprinkle salt inside the skin and your lover will never be able to get back inside.

If you shoot yourself in the head, and regret it, plump little witches will flock to the broken, pulpy mess of your skull. They will cry and carry on, but slowly rebuild your head with mud and straw. They will huddle together, wiggling their fat bottoms till their buttocks become the folds of a new brain. After your resurrection, the priests will tell you to find God but how can you with a head full of witches?

When you break an egg, toss the shell over your shoulder, crying “Witch, here is your boat.” When the floods come at the end of the world, a woman in a white boat with white sails will rescue you.

Be careful with your tears, witches collect them to make jewelry.


There is a werewolf at the end of every dark hallway and there is a werewolf in every part of your body.

There was a boy who had cancer and called a werewolf to eat it out of him. He had to be careful the wolf ate only the disease and not the rest of him. There was a girl who had a broken heart and also called the werewolf. He did not stop at her heart but hollowed her out completely, just as she wanted him to do.

Look for a wolf everyday. You’ll find one.


The Devil has a camera with a lens made from the eye of a suicide. No matter where you point it or what you see through the viewfinder, ghosts will appear in the photograph.

The Devil has a small jar filled with the night sky. Darkness floats in its center. At the bottom of the jar are two tiny golden wing-bones. This is the aborted fetus of an angel. It causes women to miscarry, sterility in men, and birth defects in the unborn.

The Devil loves to relax with his favorite book. This is a list of every scream ever uttered on the face of the earth. It is divided into chapters such as, torture, war, famine and pestilence, love, despair, and economics.

A Recipe From the Devil’s Cookbook:

Pearls before Swine.
Take ripe pearls,
boil them in a sow’s ear till they are soft and tender.
Season to taste with snobbery
Garnish with pretension.

Remember, if you feed the Devil, use a long spoon.