An Original Poem

Once Upon

She stands against the pale blue light
As the ticking and dripping of moments whisk by.
The glass weighs down her hand
Wet and biting with the smoky rebellion of age.
Her thoughts drift through the late summer cattails
Breezing above, over, under
Before toppling, crashing beneath the myth of truth

A fleeting image, a spark of meaning.

Sighing, she moves backward through her life
Wondering when the ending opened around her
Desperately savaging her illusions
The berries and blossoms of youth.

In the distance, beyond the now
A child laughs menacingly, the sound melting
The plastic frame she binds around herself,
Her frailty and her coarsened heart
Sharpened against a blackened tooth.

She exhales. The light extinguished.


(If you steal this I will hunt you don’t mercilessly and cut you. Don’t be a douche. Love, Brooke)


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

11297Haruki Murakami. Just writing those words evokes so many feelings and ideas. Readers in Japan treat his release dates similar to the release of each new Harry Potter novel, lining up outside bookshops at midnight. He’s a BIG DEAL. And he pissed me off.

Norwegian Wood follows, Toru, a young man going to college in Tokyo who is dealing with the aftermath of his best friend’s suicide. He weaves in and out of relationships with various women, including Naoko, the ex-girlfriend of said best friend, and Midori, a vibrant fellow college student who’s dealing with her own loses.

And that’s pretty much it. Murakami’s only straightforward and traditionally plotted novel was written merely as an experiment to see whether or not he could do such a thing. At best, it’s a beautifully written character study and exploration through the mind. At worst, it’s an ass-backwards misogynistic romp led by literature’s most boring male protagonists of the all times.

First things first, I loved the writing something fierce, and I can’t wait to explore Murakami’s other works no matter how problematic his gender renderings can be. I loved Naoko and Midori both as strong, yet different, female characters. Naoko’s internal emotional and psychological struggles were realistically drawn. Midori, my favorite character, was full of life: bright, bold, brash, and beyond clever. Unfortunately, Murakami couldn’t  just leave it at that.

Instead, we see these amazing women and many more of Tokyo’s young female population tremble and succumb to Toru’s irresistible sexual force. All of the women in this novel sleep with Toru. All of them. And for what reason? I can’t find a single damn one. He’s dull, without personality, and barely even speaks to them half the time. He’s no James Bond, that’s for sure. Even Naoko, who was never even able to sleep with the supposed love of her life, gives in to Toru during a particularly emotional scene, and I ain’t buying that. AT ALL.

I’ve heard this kind of ridiculousness continues in Murakami’s other endeavors, and that worries me. But I’m willing to push onward on the strength of his writing. After all, if Toru had disappeared from Norwegian Wood’s narrative (or even just the sex), the book would have been fabulous. And I like sex as long as it makes sense and serves a purpose. The only purpose I found here was a male writer’s wish fulfillment. Oh well.

Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn

17131869If my post a few days ago didn’t convince you to read Saga, then allow me a brief moment to explain how the second volume is even better.

I laughed a couple of times during volume one, but was mostly just highly amused. The second volume had me giggling, taking pictures of panels and bits of dialogue to text to friends, and my stomach hurt afterward. Alana is like the comic version of myself. I love her so much.

Volume two directly follows where we left off. All of the various bounty hunters are still out looking for Alana, Marko, and baby Hazel. But there’s just MORE of all the best things. I didn’t even think that was possible.

I’m not going to write much more than this because it’s the second book, and I don’t want to spoil things. Volume three is coming out in April. I’ve preordered the damn thing and can hardly stand to wait. I could just go to my local comic book store and buy the individual chapters, but then I wouldn’t have a reason to own the lovely bound editions. I’ll wait, but it’s a struggle.

The Walking Dead: “Still”

9451268_600x338It’s almost zero dark thirty as I write this so I’m a little drunk with the need for sleep right now. Tonight’s TWD episode (and yes, I skipped the Oscars for this) centered solely on our oddest post-prison pairing (OMG, the alliteration), Beth and Daryl. And I loved every single beautiful disaster of a second.

I just finished reading a long article that discusses how TWD deals wonderfully with class issues that seem to stick around even in the zombie apocalypse. Daryl is clearly a have-not kind of person as he moseys around that country club. Loved it.

But you know what I loved the mostest? Beth fucking Greene. I’m so glad the writers of the show finally gave Emily Kinney a chance to shine. Even if it’s only so that she can be killed off in the next couple of episodes. I’m not actually certain she dies, but TWD seems to have a formula for major character deaths that revolve around big existential conversations and life-affirming moments. Am I right?

Anyway, I loved that Beth just wanted a damn drink. I loved that Daryl resorted back to season one Daryl all night. I loved that Daryl wouldn’t let Beth drink peach schnapps but suggested moonshine instead (but seriously though, Beth would have been on her ass if she was drinking moonshine on little nourishment and little water). I loved that Daryl and Beth both called each other on their shit and went a little bonkers. I loved that Beth was able to pull all of that out of Daryl when no one else, thus far, has. EVER CAROL. Sorry, I’m not a Caryl shipper.

I’m also not a Bethyl shipper. Although I might have softened towards them as a pairing during the episode. They fit together wonderfully in this complex and interesting way. It’s unpredictable and strange and a little wrong. DON’T HATE ME.

Moving on, I hate that Daryl thinks he’s nothing. I hate that Beth questions her survival. I just want them to find their family again, dammit. As for burning down the cabin/house/whatever, it was almost a bit too much – a little overplayed – but I won’t begrudge this nonstop horrorfest a lighter moment or two.

Next episode looks super intense, y’all. Like maybe death is going to happen. Bob? Sasha? Beth? But surely not Daryl. RIGHT? RIGHT?

P.S. Did you see Daryl and Beth holding hands in the preview? Why does this make me so happy even if it’s just this platonic bonding thing that is epic and wonderful and gooey and filled with chocolate, sunshine, and unicorns?

Oh, show.

February 2014 Wrap Up

PicMonkey CollageThe days of the week always feel like they drag by so slowly, but when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture time moves amazingly fast. I can’t believe February has come and gone. Let’s not even talk about how I went from being 16 to 30 nearly overnight.

As of the day I’m writing this (the 25th), I’ve read nine books total this month. I just started A Discovery of Witches, but I probably won’t finish by Friday. Because I’m not actually reading that much right now. Taking a break, if you will. That was one of my resolutions: to read less. So I’m taking that to heart in this last week of February and only reading a few pages before bedtime if at all. In lieu of reading, I’ve been hanging out with friends and doing birthday activities. And watching True Detective.

As far as my other resolutions are concerned. I’ve ignored most of them this month except for one. I’ve bought myself a new pair of flats that I love from DSW and three new tops. One top came in my stitch fix box, the other two were impulse purchases from Nordstrom Rack this weekend. I love all of my new finds.

On tap for March, I have a TBR of eight books. Included are my book club’s selection, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, and the classics club spin selection, Neuromancer by William Gibson. I’ll also be reading my first James Baldwin novel, If Beale Street Could Talk. My movie project, The Watch List, which I recently blogged about kicks off, and I’m excited to dive into four movies I’ve never seen before. There will be more True Detective and The Walking Dead. I’m also hoping to watch the last seasons of Game of Thrones and Mad Men so I’m ready for their 2014 premieres.

Best Book of February Award: St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

How was your February? Any favorite books, movies, or television recommendations? What are you most looking forward to in March?