Stochastic Reveries

the (reasonably filtered) mind of jenica rose

ars est mortem

The artist left his work unfinished and went to bed. He was soon asleep, and while asleep he died and went to hell. Contemplating the dark aesthetics of the river Styx, the artist boarded Charon’s boat and crossed over into hell actual.

Brushing aside drifting ghosts, the artist trod the wide, smoothly paved road to Hades’ palace. There were no guards at the door, and the artist entered immediately, attempting bravado.

Good evening, the doorman greeted him politely.

Good evening.

Hades is waiting for you.

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All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken
A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
And the crownless again shall be king.


Dear L,

            Please at least try to be sensible. I am a little worried, if it makes you feel better, but not much more so than usual. No one is going to put you away if you take practical action and visit a doctor, and refrain from dashing through the streets proclaiming your madness. (And a doctor will prescribe something for nightmares—go see one.)

Yes, you ought to come back, and to stay. Cities are not good for you and I doubt being alone is either. We could go back to the old granary. Hurry, though, or they probably will take it down and build something new. They are always doing that kind of modernization. Not so much here as where you are, I guess. I picture you so easily! Surrounded by the bustle of life, aloof and Byronesque. Returning would be much healthier, but leaving was your idea. So don’t just complain about missing me, for I miss you too, and it aggravates me. (Now I’ve said I miss you, and I could just imagine the happiness in your eyes. I meant it, too, but I don’t think you really are going to come back are you? Instead you shall be content for now. I am not going to apologize for being frank.) 

As for me, nothing much has changed since you left. It is unseasonably cool, and there are geese everywhere. I actually did go back to the granary after I received your letter, and it smells just how it used. The sun was gleaming through the gaps in the walls. There are a lot more gaps now than when we were children.

As for the “new, very special person” (your words, not mine, and he does indeed have a name if you care to refer to my previous letter—I know you keep them! sentimental goose)…as for him, no need to make it sound scandalous. We get along well, that’s all, and since you left I am glad to have someone else to keep me company sometimes. I think you would like him as well. On Thursday we went fishing on the lake. I had a catch, and he did not. I might have gloated a little.

Well, this letter is getting overlong. Go see a doctor, and remember to breathe often—you know what I mean! Look here, I really am sorry you haven’t been well. All my love,


P.S. No more of this about me forgetting you. I hope I am a little more loyal than all that, and anyway you are hardly the forgettable type. 


            But I am mad, that’s the frightening part, so mad I have begun checking my pillows in the mornings in case some of my brains should have leaked during the night. I don’t know how I should react if that were the case. They shall have to lock me up soon. What do you think, should I go quietly? Don’t you think it would be fun to make a desperate bid for freedom, like in the stories we used to read as children?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back to when we were children—I still remember the smell of the old granary, though that too might be gone soon. I think the sun was lovelier when we were young. And everything was so much simpler then, yet infinitely more mysterious. But I think perhaps madness is like that, in a way.

I am so distracted lately. I often dream of birds, all their feathers bleeding and falling out, and they tangle in the telephone wires. What do you think it means? Oh, I long to see you. My stomach aches with it. Can I come? Or will you? Please say yes, I think soon something terrible may happen. And then probably you shall forget me.

I don’t know why I feel this way. But if doctors were gods, I don’t believe the world would be a better place. There is the most awful buzzing in my skull sometimes, and often even when the day is bright and the birds are singing I can feel nothing but anguish and emptiness. No doubt you think me a very odd one, and I agree. Wonder what will become of me.

But let’s talk of happier things, shall we? You must tell me all about yourself and what you’ve been up to. Don’t leave out any details, as they are the most important to me right now. Without them I should perhaps begin to float. I am especially interested in the new, very special person, whom you only mentioned briefly in your last letter. Cruel, cruel! I beg of you to tell me everything. Well, I suppose that’s enough for now. Always yours,


the strong live fighting

Big sister holds his hand, says

the strong live fighting.

She wraps uncombed snarls of hair around her

Drowns her ulcers in broken bottles

Swearing into the phone

Her arms scarred in Morse Code,

Points and dashes spelling

the gods are dead across her eczema.

White like a spider, black like the moon

Her yin eats her yang eats her yin.

Big sister holds the door open for him.

Little brother lives fighting,

Lighting his cigarettes in explosions

Burning rubber and skeleton bridges,

Radioactive hazard in a stolen Humvee

Smashing through Daddy’s bullet proof glass.

With dead grey eyes, crying ash,

Laughing ash

He staggers home bruised and bloody.

And big sister smiles, kisses his forehead

Holds his hand and says

The strong live fighting.


Author’s note: a modernization of Eris, goddess of discord, and Ares, god of war (Greek mythology.) I warned you to expect depressing writing…

apples and a.p. history

He said his name was Cu.
“Cue like a signal, or Q like the letter?”
Neither of those.
“A queue? A line?”
No, not that either.
His favorite class was history. Herod killed his wife Mariamne and a tear dropped onto Cu’s cheek. “He really loved her, you know, but he was afraid. I hate Discord,” he said.
“What do you mean?”
I watched him scribble poetry in his notebook and squish notes into the margins.

At lunch he sat with me.
“You like apples?” I said.
“Yeah, and seafood.” He ate apples while girls crowded around our table. Even though Cu had stolen an angel’s face somewhere on his way to being born (he had the blonde curls, the soulful blue eyes, the full pout), I still didn’t quite understand why even the girls who liked bikers and jocks flocked to admire him, to say hello and drop their phone numbers scribbled on scraps of torn notebook paper. Cu was quiet, he wrote poetry and ate apples and sometimes wore horn-rimmed glasses, and besides he looked very much like a little boy (even though he was in my grade.)
“How old are you, Cu?”
“A lot older than I look.” He was eating his third apple and abashedly tucking away the paper scraps. When he smiled, he had dimples.

Cu’s eyes sparkled when we studied Antony and Cleopatra. His poetry grew big and loopy, and he stopped taking notes altogether.
“They die, you know. Antony and Cleopatra.” I was sorry I’d spoken when his sparkles dimmed.
“Yeah, I know.” He looked like he might cry again, but then he smiled wistfully. “They were beautiful, weren’t they?”


Author’s Note: a bit of random inspiration written awhile ago. Modern reinterpretation of a mythological character. Guess who? I’m posting it now because I’m working on lots of scraps trying to write a myth modernization for a prompt, and ye gods, unlike this they are all very depressing. (Terrible pun very much intended.) I need to start studying some myths besides the Greek ones, I guess.  

In related news, there’s  a possibility of my posting depressing writing in the next few days. You are forewarned. 


a world without mobile

In a cell-less world

English remains unabused;

There are no LOLcats.

Reducing language

To an ungrammatical

Sludge of acronyms

Could very well be

Cell phone’s worst contribution

To this modern life.

imho lol

yeah its all good bb lol

but srsly, u kno?