Ice Cream Cabaret|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Sunday, December 7th, 2008|
|Need his face, my man back home
Please come. Please please please please please. Come. Now. I need you here, but I'm afraid of what I'm calling you into. Better than Harlem, I'm sure. Most here are better than
our ofays, but there are some here, in uniforms, who'd do worse, to their own color. Imagine what they have for us. I don't know...
But I think...
But I think it's better here, for right now. just for a little while. Come. Please.
Look for the Kit Kat Klub...Find me. I'm sorry I never wrote before. Tell the other boys I love them, especially Ricky. But you, you come. Please.
|Saturday, November 10th, 2007|
|there's a balm in Berlin
You just follow the smell sometimes. You let it seep into your skin, you lick your lips and sort of feel it, tangibly, as it rolls invisible and glorious in the wind. You hold onto it, desperately, but careful not to chase it, not to seek to own its source. You just follow.
And, yeah, it's raining. And, yeah, you shiver like a motherfucker. But you're still going, gracefully anxious, and you penetrate the shadows where you find a moment of warmth. You feel as if you could die, then, as you find the source. Yes, you find it, but still can't touch it. But you touch her
, you watch in awe the movement, her movement, the slightest twitches of her muscles, the way drops of sweat slide across her skin in a way that almost makes you hear some dark holy kind of music. You hold her thighs, raise her legs high to rest on your shoulders with your cheek caressing her perfect calf-- and you smile down at her grimacing, you smile down at the tip of her tongue peeking out from her lips, you smile down at her arching her back, her neck, and the sounds... this musta been the way it sounded when God was being born.
...but like that, it's gone. You think you come so close this close
to what you've sought and never reach it. "Jeeesus!" rattles from your throat as you drive into it, into her, like that steel-drivin John Henry. And as you yank back a fistful of her hair, you bury a sob into her neck and hold yourself as you spill your strength on her belly.
And, no, you don't have enough compassion or courage to stay a moment with her, to fall asleep at her breast, to even dream of warm sheets and morning and breakfast. Hell no. Though she was an angel, was fuckin Mother Mary a moment before, she ain't shit now. And you roll from atop her, throwing a cigarette in your mouth, lighting it, and dressing yourself in the darkness which only the burning tip illuminates. Dressed, you do bend to kiss her forehead and proceed through the door.
You need a drink now. And a ticket to Berlin.
'Cause there's a hole in you, something eaten away, leaving a hunger unnameable, and you need to see a face that reminds you of before you weren't shit...
|Tuesday, December 26th, 2006|
|shotgun-- shoot 'em 'fore they run now
( paper and skin, words like bulletsCollapse )
I cried when I read the letter. Read it again four more times, crying more with every sentence. What had happened? How did I go so long without sending something, without reaching out to them? Some days it feels like I haven't been here long, other times it seems I've been here for years, sometimes all in the same day. I'm missing something. I'm afraid....
I listened to the record before I'd even opened the letter. Louis, he knows. He knows how to put to music our souls, exactly. Exactly. No words can even describe the accuracy....the things we can't tell anyone, the things we clutch in the dark with fever and shivers, that's what hides in that music. Ricky, he knows. He knows, poor kid. All about the fucking
music. I can't even say or even think anything else...My mind hurts. I have to write back. Soon. Today, later. Tonight. Please. I don't want to put this off for long.
....Christmas is coming. Frankie and Danny are leaving soon, that's how I know. Gotta find something for 'em. My head hurts. Feelin' so blue, slipping in, Black as I am, down into more blackness...sleep.
|Thursday, November 16th, 2006|
|recuerda me (or: the night off)
she started with the lips. lining them, glossing them perfectly. her eyes she always had ringed in black, the blackest black, sharp, jagged. hardness around the soft, though empty wells. she stood naked at her window, too lazy to dress just yet. she watched the city from between dirty, thin curtains that did nothing to cheer the small, beige looking room she'd been in. funny what she was used to seeing out her window days, nights. the uniforms, the meat line of girls, growing younger and younger and even, perhaps more horrifying, older and older. the vendors too. and regular citizens. speeding by, packed together like bacterium multiplying, worms growing and spreading on corpses. ha! walking corpses yes. for who was alive in Berlin? who had blood still in their veins? his lips she imagine on her collarbone. his cold fingers on her waist, her hips. she stepped into her stockings, pulling them carefully up her legs. then came the garters. no panties. bra-- the only one she had she washed nightly. perfume, sprayed like a secret into the air she swirled in, feeling the tiny drops on her skin. her shoes. high heels. she never felt like a woman until she stood in heels. their cold click on the ground. she liked that. it sent something through her, a validity, an ecstasy; gave her form. tangibility. where she's invisible otherwise. dress-- black satin and lace trim, stopping just above the knee. low cut and pearls. door creaked, growing louder and more insistent day by day, and she slipped into the street. hurrying she kept her hands in her coat pocket, head down to avoid the eyes of the brown suits and their red emblems. she reached the Klub, not pausing, passing bar and stage and stairs, ascending to his room. the nights were cold and she'd missed....perhaps she hadn't been missed-- lord knows he probably had much company these nights, and Dolores was probably dancing other tangos under some starts with Nita. Not that she resented either of them but tonight, tonight was just something she didn't feel like bearing. The empty bed, la cama fria
and the clenching of fists between shaking thighs and the bleeding, bitten lips-- they were wearing her out. And her terrible heart that was never still.....
She didn't want much; she'd take what she could-- a quick lay, or just an arm around her while she slept. She just wanted flesh, warm, beside hers. ...can I have your sweater cuz it's cold, cold, cold in my hole, hole hole....
|Saturday, March 25th, 2006|
...You're still alive, girl.
Home again. Finally. *Having changed back into the previous night's clothing before leaving Ophilia's, handing her back her nightgown, Chance slipped off her clothes now, article by article, as she crossed the room until she stood naked before the mirror. She took a moment to digest everything that had happened* Ok...I performed
, had a deliciously scary moment with O
, woke up at her place
, and...saw Dolores again. *A smile melted over her lips, thinking again of Dolores until a sick feeling came to her stomach, hoping again she was alright with Kost
.* That Kost... it's all so sad.
*Plopping herself down on her own bed, now seeming much smaller after a night in Ophilia's. Chance watched the ceiling as the moments danced before her...*
What have I gotten myself into? What would they think back home...all the things I've done, the people I'm "associating" myself with? I can just hear them now... But it doesn't matter. well, what does matter then?
Two things: Being Alive. And.....
a warm body, warm body, to warm me and, inside me, fill me with parts of himself
so large they'd squeeze out the ghosts swimming around my heart and there'd be no more room for this fear and questioning. If only I'd get lucky enough. He belongs to another...he belongs to everyone and abosolutely no one. What am I doing?
*Chance lays back on her bed, turning on her side and counting the seconds before falling asleep again, hoping to forget it all.*
*Upon waking once more, Chance resolves to go seek out the Emcee. She hadn't seen him the other night and actually hadn't thought about looking for him, so caught up as she was with Ophilia. But she'd wanted to. Oh, how she'd wanted to see him, to ask him if he'd seen her, to know if she'd done alright. Because maybe that's all that mattered-- doing something he thought was good and something she was proud of herself for. She doubted he'd come to see her...* I wonder if he was
looking for me. I doubt it. *she sighs* Guess I gotta go-- can't get no answers if ya don't ask the right questions. Can't get what ya want if ya don't go on after it. But what do I want? Love? A quick fuck? A few nights in his bed, more lies to tell myself, more delusions? God forbid a
relationship. Might as well set yourself up for the kill, girl.
*Slowly rising from the bed, Chance looks over herself once more in the mirror, whispering to the little girl there*...Where have you been? Where are you going?
*Bathing and dressing, she sets out to find him, little hopeful heart blazing, visible to the world beneath her breast*
|Thursday, March 9th, 2006|
|The Science of Things
*Chance pries her eyes open. Through the blur, she sees a bed. A big one. And....so soft. She listens-- the house is quiet. Except for...gentle breathing beside her...* Hold on, where am I?
*Chance turns her head then, BAM! It hits her like a baseball bat-- her head feels split in half, an intense wave of nausea overcomes her and she curls up quickly, eyes shut tight, willing it to stop. It subsides for a second and she turns, slower this time, to see Ophilia lying next to her. This must be her place....how did we get here?
And it comes back to her in tiny pieces. The bar, the singer, Frank...the bad, the little joints...the sea of flesh, the needles, the car...By some divine assistance, Ophilia and Chance somehow made it up two flights of stairs, changed into two beautiful-- and identical-- nightgowns, and fixed and ate a sandwich before retiring to this comfortable bed. If she could have, Chance would have laughed at the absurdity of it all but she lays ther for a moment, listening to Ophilia's breathing. Damn... that was a long night...what did I do?
**(OOC: continued from here
) Current Mood: groggy
|Friday, March 3rd, 2006|
|la vida de la rosa
*When Chance returned from Dolores's room
, she collapses on her own bed with a strange noise between a loud sigh and a choked scream. Shre rubs her temples for a moment before flipping over, sitting up to roll her neck, feeling tension still built up in her shoulders. She sits and breathes for a long moment and thinks over the events of the last few minutes, the wars-- external and internal-- that were currently held off, on a temporary truce...she realizes she does
smell the roses and a crack of a smile breaks her face, a whisper of a tear threatening to fall forth...*
*She lays back once more, closing her eyes, and lets it all play over again-- the fight, the horrid discomfort in Dolores's room-- as she falls asleep in her clothes, wondering if Dolores was really okay and if Kost was going to hate her for this strange first impression...*
|Tuesday, January 31st, 2006|
|*walking the halls, tearing down the walls*
*She paces in circles around her room, anticipating something... She is anxious to get back to the Klub, anxious to get back on the stage and drown in the cigar smoke and lewd whispers and applause and sin...she is anxious....herheart tick-tocks and there's a throbbing in her head because the walls of her room seem too close. Frustrated and, for the moment, claustrophobic, she wanders out into the hallway, pausing for a moment,knowing she wants to take a walk, meet someone but can't figure where to go...*
*she hums to herself, dragging her hand along the wall as she walks, listening as she passes the other boarders' doors, knowing the quiet means no one's home today*
|Saturday, January 28th, 2006|
**(OOC: let's pretend she's been here a little bit...not terribly long but already feeling the change)
I dreamt of the Emcee nearly every night, if it wasn't my mamma-- and the same dream, her on that stage, every time. I slept, holding myself, alone as I'd always been, and dreamed of the fires that blazed in his eyes and of those cold pale hands longed to have touch me in secret places.
But what is it? What magic he possesses, a little god, making luscious men out of boys and Sirens out of little girls, pieces of meat, blood roses on the street...turning them, us, into women that kings drunk enough would give their crowns for; women to bring them to their knees.
I knew it was only he who made me into this sinful, mystic creature. He formed me with grime and glitter, pulled down the moon and shot stars into me, filling my veins with jazz and liquor. He saw, with those haunting eyes, what I could be and he made me, ripping my frailties out of me. He turned me inside out, tore me open, guts tumbling out, glistening in the streetlights, clearing me out to pour his magic in.
Now I was hardened. Now I was rough, almost natural to the game. Now I was a shadow girl, all stealth and hidden knives, thriving in the night. On stages, in beds and alleyways-- I lived and breathed music and sex. No one said it was easy, no one said a price didn't have to be paid. But when you never had much to start with, didn't have much to give up, well then...
SO I loved him. In silences I measured carefully and in dreams, I loved him. Wanting him in my bed so bad I sometimes woke up thinking he really had been there, I'd only been wishin' too hard.
You a damn fool, Chance, I told myself. Ain't got a bit of sense walkin' around smellin' after that man...But how can I stop? How can I not adore this man of secrets, glowing in the dark, ruling this kingdom of decadence and desolation, making these ruins into palaces from his sheer will? How can I not love this man who saw through me to who I really was hidden under God knows what pretenses and turned me from "dat nappy head gal wit a sweet ass to get her nowhere" to a Star of sorts, a Somebody, a Goddess each night? How can I not love this man who's made us all into some sorts of People, not just things existing but Lives, even if just for a few hours each night in the Klub? How could I not want him and his power in my bed each night?
But yeah, I suppose I am just a damn fool girl...
|Friday, January 20th, 2006|
Imagine a birth of fire in a sack of darkness and depravity, warming, though not illuminating that darkness. Imagine a need, a desire, a desperate consumption of blood and sex and art and beauty, that desperation itself fueled by a repression of instinct and intellect and sensuality. Imagine flesh all around you, bruised knees and needle ravaged arms, layers of makeup and smudged lipstick. Imagine loud, brash music that courses through your blood and fills your being with leben und liebe Imagine breathing smoke that gets into your skin, burns your tired eyes. Imagine....Imagine...
I've found the place where I belong. After I went back tonight, I met the most wonderful people, saw an amazing show. There was this fine girl dressed as a man! Never seen nothin' like that back home....Frankie . And her man, Danny , this real cool cat from Harlem-- a white boy from Harlem, can't wait to tell Bo and Cliff 'bout it. Then this pretty lady, so tough and so wise...been through some awful things but she got a beautiful soul. Oh, and Herman...a lovely man, and quite funny...
They all made me feel so welcome and were so accepting. Gotta feelin' this is gonna be better than I thought...We'll see.
|Monday, January 9th, 2006|
|...in the house o f lies
Imagine eyes immensly deep, consuming all of you, but revealing nothing of the soul beyond them. Imagine an energy, an aura so intese, so fierce that you feel it, igniting within you a terrible ache of sensual need. Desire is it?
Lust? No, not really for him as a person, but the energy, the force he emits, the way he made me feel, not just about him but myself as well, how he changed me just with one look, a stare. I knew as I watched him watching me that my experience here, in this place would change me indubitably. I felt like running, yes, because I knew I'd never be the same girl here. Maybe this isn't the place for me, I thought. I was comfortable, I'd been that sad, shy girl for so long, I didn't know how to really change, not for any long period of time. So maybe this is for me, then. I need to be forced to change, maybe into a different person, maybe into who I truly am inside and I don't even know it's me yet. So...I stayed, knowing I probably wouldn't be able to turn back after this. I'd be drawn in, seduced by the darkness and the uninhibited, irrepressible self-indulgence this place encouraged. I already was drawn in. I know why that other man from my first night here said this was the place for me-- he saw it and now I do as well. And I did that moment.
So I spoke to him, offered my help, and he accepted. So Here I am....
If there was something unforgiveable, it would be here, all shadows and grace, tucked away in a corner of my heart. It would throb divinely, and ache terribly, bloody and self-deprecating, mangling itslef. Mutilating itself while feeding on the innocence, the fear, ripping apart the cords and threads of golden and chemicals that hold me, stitched, together.
If this unforgiveable thing, housed, kneeling and biding its time in a house of Sundays, were made for anything at all, it was made for this place... Something's bound to happen here, some alchemy in my blood, my soul. Can't stop what's coming...not even you...
**(EDIT: I thought this should move from where it was...it's better here, after the last entry, as opposed to preceding it as it was before)
|Saturday, January 7th, 2006|
Well, I've moved out of that horrible room. Staying now with this Schneider woman. In a boarding house. Start paying rent in a while, after I start getting income. Lordy, glad it's not like them ones back home. Ain't never liked those types... but that's behind me now. I need to be back at the Klub to meet eveyone else by 7. This should be swell. Everything's so exciting, it's all going so well! *giggles* Sounds like a song! *dances around, starts to sing improv*
Dreamin' days and Berlin nights,
leaving beds for spotlights
it's all so sinful and swell...
hopin there's a place for me
here where Somebody I can be
everything's going so well!
Tell ya momma, tell ya pop
This girl Chance sho' gon' be hot!
Dancin' in that swank and jazzy ol' cabaret...
mmm-hmm I'm singin'
mmm-hmm hips swingin'
lookin' for a man for the night
and a place in the limelight
and somewhere not haun'ed by my ol' home sorrows....
*now incorporates the words of her other song (Josephine Baker tune)*
yessir I'm gonna pack up all my care and woe
here I go, singin' low,
*stops singing and dancing, now stands in the middle of her room laughing, shaking her head at herself*
*goes to get ready for later*
|Wednesday, January 4th, 2006|
|sunshine in Berlin?
....I wish I'd inherited my mother's voice. But I suppose no one else could sing as beautifully as she could. I've never heard her, 'cept in that dream of mine, but most everybody says she sang crystal clear, like a bird, like I heard in my dream. Funny how I know my mother's voice in sleep, though she never stayed so's I'd ever get the chance to hear it in waking. Hell, if I'd never had that dream, or seen those pictures, I woulda never known her face. And a baby's s'posed ta know a mother's face if nothin' else in the world.
Well, here I am. Another country, another city, another world. Berlin sure ain't like Newark, Harlem, or D.C.-- and it's not even for the lack of coloreds here. It's the life here, the smells, the sounds, the way the people look, the way they walk, the way they dance....the sky don't even look like skies in America, let alone cities I've shuffled around. It rained my first day here... I wonder if that's a sign. Sky was just as grey, streets just as dark, gloomy, but even in the rain and doom, it still had a beauty to it, something lush and wonderful still peeking out from beneath the mud.
I remember another word from that old dictionary: asphyxiate. I means to suffocate, to choke.... America was a country held in a chokehold-- to survive there was to crawl on your knees, bowing and scrapping, caught by the neck in the fist of the System. The Rich. The Powerful. The White. Dreams deferred, as Langston said, and hope and faith asphyxiated, smothered till there was nothing left to hold onto, till all the life was sqeeuzed out.
Here, in Berlin it's not like that. You can live here, can breathe in the air, filled with jazz and cigar smoke, the sweetness of grit and grace, decadence and elegance. Yes sirree-- here in Berlin your color doesn't matter (much). I haven't had any problems. People smile when they pass, nod, speaking words in a language I can't understand yet, but it doesn't sound malicious. Sounds perfectly normal, like I'm a woman. Period. Not a black girl, not any of that trash from back home. I'll make it here, I know it. I'm going back to that Club one of these days. I pass by it everyday, but one day I'm gonna get the nerve to go in. Maybe next week. Maybe tomorrow. One day. Soon. I can't hide and cower anymore, I gotta get to the lights, the stage. Live the dream my momma had, maybe even acheive it-- to have talent and recognition that transcends race or poverty. Yeah, maybe I can do it here.
The song I sang when I left the city, goodbye blackbird-- America-- but also, goodbye to my mother, now a ghost, gone to glory I guess. The song was a goodbye to my life back home, coming to a new home in Germany, but also goodbye to my mother's memory. I never knew her anyway... Excorcise her, though maybe she is in my blood, her passion for song and dance, er beauty. Maybe I can't ever really send her spirit on away, but I'll sing the song anyway, not at the club, but here, alone in my room, hoping dead women can still hear:
blackbird blackbird singin the blues all day
right outside of my door
blackbird blackbird gotta be on ur way
where's there's sunshine in store
all through the winter you hang/hung around
now you'll soon be going homeward bound
blackbird blackbird gotta be on ur way
where's there's sunshine galore
pack up all my care and woe
here i go, singin' low
bye bye blackbird
where somebody waits for me
sugar sweet so is he
bye bye blackbird...
no one here to love and understand me
oh what hard-luck stories they all hand me
go and make my bed, light the light
i'll arrive late tonight
bye bye blackbird...
|Sunday, January 1st, 2006|
|Cold, cold sweat
I saw a woman in my sleep last night; a beautiful brown lady, just singin' and dancin' in front of those white people and they just smiled and clapped for her-- her, a black woman. I wanted to cry, 'cept in dreams you can't cry, you only watch or participate, detatched from yourself. So I didn't cry. But she was beautiful, with a right high voice. Pretty, yeah, and crisp as a bird's. She smiled at me in the dream when her song ended. Smiled broad and wide.
But then, as if suddenly shot in the back, her face twisted and her body jerked forward. Then she looked so sad, looked right at me, righ tin and through my soul, just as sad as you could ever be. And that's when I woke up, still smelling the cigar smoke and wine and laughter from the nightclub in my dream. That smell, but something else too. Something sweet and distant, something that wasn't tangible and incited in me a deep, deep longing...
At first I couldn't describe the feelings, not the way I just described it to you. But that schoolteacher, all her ever gave me, besides a black eye and a baby I had to abort, was a dictionary. And, boy, I teel you, I promised myself to read as much of it as I could. So that's how I found out there was a word like "incite" that meant that fire-in-the-belly feeling, that hurry-hurry pound your heart makes like some Congo drums. A word that means something was started, something woke up, too fast to stop. And a word like "tangible" that meant the realness of things, things you can hold and touch and caress, but also things that can knock you upside the head like that schoolteacher's fist when we were on that splintered wooden floor...
But that woman in that dream last night, my first night in Berlin, last night when I was still in that German's arms before he left me to wake up alone, that woman was my momma. I never knew her until 7 years ago when my daddy told me who she was, and by then she was dead. And my daddy wasn't my daddy none-- he was her uncle. She gave me to him to adopt so she could stay on the stage.
Florence Mills, "Little Blackbird" they called her. 5,000 people. 5,000 colored people at her funeral, as elegant a funeral a Negro could get in 1927. And a daughter she didn't want not even there to see the casket. I wonder if she ever did think of me on that stage...
Well, here's hopin' I get to be up on that stage and we'll see if I think of her-- or anybody-- with those bright lights blinding me and gin hazing everything over. And maybe, maybe I'll be in the movies later like Clara Bow....We'll see.
That German man, before he fucked me hard in the postage stamp sized room I've rented, showed me the Kit Kat Klub. Says it's the place for me. I'll check it out later....