We contradict one another;
a push and pull of tendons
and animated tongues.
I’m adamant in being right
about wrongs
and homeliness
and the higher value of nothing
versus something capable of destruction.

He pities me: my eyes, in particular.


Becoming Human

Something was not right.

Floorboards quivered, shaking specks of icy dread off its back — the sort to send stomachs lurching forward. Churning. Nightime, it had to be.

I heard then an endangered sound, a sound preserved in jars for nights such as this that are loss of compassion. Someone opened the lid so just enough escaped out and unapologetically slithered beneath the door.

That woman I only tolerate was muttering of a death. She customarily scattered about parallel to an eclectic mouse with urgent news to deliver, regardless of its true importance. This one was important.
Console. Go, hold him in that way he did when you were wrapped in terrycloth and afterbirth. Channel that same protection and buffer him from this ache. 

I failed him. He convulsed from a broken dam, released that gentle beast “vulnerability”, and nothing in life would be alright from then on.

Photographs, the ones that preceeded my sisters and I, wouldn’t make any logical sense now. There was someone in them that no longer held an outline on this Earth.

He purged up emotions that “3% alcohol content” was always so genius at blanketing, while my sister and I watched my father becoming human again.FernandoVicente-Quality-Image

Stockholm Home


I haven’t quivered beneath his shadow since I can remember because even that casted dark film has a gentleness over me.

I’m a school of fish swaying submissively in the belly of his current, but I’ve come to yearn for his order; for the straightening of my frantic lines; for the serenity he has to offer.

His thumb slides along my bottom lip to pull my eyes up, calculating. I’m sheepish. He angers at the idolatry of it all, swearing ungodly and feverish. That’s not love. That’s religion.

He knows it. And I know it.

I’m still restrained, and the locks alone are evidence we are both versed in what it isn’t.

“You’re never leaving here. Do you hear me?”

I know.
But I can’t reassure him for it will cement me here, should I utter it.

And yet there is a God in this basement with me, and I can’t reason with such a baseless faith.

Beneath Cold Filaments (a novel still under massive construction)


Chapter 1: Mother

I hope I’m like her. I hope that amalgamation of her and him was a tug-of-war and he ended up in the mud, with her victorious in my parallel mountainous cheekbones and general softness. And yet he is more here than I’d care to acknowledge. Here in my evading and ducking the world just outside, with its billions of moving parts. He is here and he is more powerful than her subtleties found in the morning mirror or my mannerisms. He is the spike that accompanies a tragic headline or some arbitrary connection to myself and a notorious killer, such as our shared left-handedness. He is that panic that is bubbling within my thoracic cavity, the tightness of my door hinges and the trust my locks will keep me away. She is the perceptible and concrete and he the abstract; infiltrating my brain, modest in his control yet the mind is an immensely powerful commodity.

But when you know a thing, you can never un-know it. The sand is no longer deep enough to cover your eyes or ears; no matter how you wish to bury yourself once more. And innocence is a fragile state that cannot be tampered with or it slips away entirely. And in this expedited growing up, seeds of fear planted themselves in between sheets of naivety and the newly laid of layers of premature exposure to the darkness of the world.

And there the seeds, and their extending stalks, have stayed, wedged, so that even years later I’ve remained hidden; as the innermost nesting doll.


“Your childhood trauma has led to your agoraphobia. And, unfortunately, we will have to root all of that pain back up before you can heal. Have you heard of exposure therapy?”

This was a looming inevitability: exposure therapy. I couldn’t, logically, hole myself up for the length of my slight eternity. And months had past so that my evasiveness was becoming a well-studied art form. But denying the existence of the outside world, and the causative exposure therapy that would kick me out the front door, was a passive aggressiveness towards the whole process.



“Well it’s a form of slowly facing your fear. We’d start with like you gradually getting comfortable near the front door, then just outside of it then, eventually, reintegrating you with the world. It will be frightening and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary”

“Well, if it’s necessary.”, and I knew for the continuation of my life it was necessary. My savings were becoming obsolete and the tiny aid from the government for my “disabilities” was re-evaluated and due to be stripped within 3 months. So there sat the newly appointed outsider on my couch, the one that had let herself in per my instructions and a rusting key under the doormat. A slim woman that looked to be in her early forties, with a knowing and enlightenment that demanded both respect and trust.


And I couldn’t stay hidden forever.

Red, Wretched Thing


I could fool you.

I could fool anyone.

You’d find a familiarity in my humanity:

We’d bond over cells and organs and the beating things that animate us, as though trust relies solely on those few intrinsic factors.

And I am not a threat, for I’ve the malleability and softness of a prey out in the open for consumption.

But there lies a sinister shadow behind my doe eyes, that your thumb affectionately brushes beneath. My eyelashes are a delicate twine and poorly constructed gate to hold back such a malicious force.

I inquire if I’m wretched and you swear otherwise, yet in the corner of my skull I think it could have co-inhabited that lightless womb with me; it feels so immovable.

But you take off my clothes and call me “precious” still, reminding me all darkness is only apparent by virtue of light.

Paying Respects to My Dead Inspiration

q9Before I informed him, he informed me, “Your cologne couldn’t cover your misery and you’ve got a pretentious, wordy mouth.”

The only tools a writer required in their repertoire. He had a knack for knowing except when he didn’t. Yet masqueraded about with a stuffy omnipotent air. These times I saw through the cracks of his heaven-high fence and watched him tumble from his throne in such a humanly manner he couldn’t genuinely be how he presented himself.

We fucked.

Possibly fueled by the taboo student-teacher scenario worn thin by porn, and given our natural tension as we butted heads endlessly. I prodded at his sexuality a time or two, and it became a philosophy lesson of fluidity and the caging human condition of today. He was married, so I assumed he was a proponent of many types of fluidity.

It wasn’t a relationship per se rather an abuse my unscathed intact-self craved for some unknown sadistic reason. I didn’t delve deep enough to answer my internal questions, including the ever-present throbbing and angry “why” that heated up my ears with blood.

He had an apartment and a house to stick his stupid money in. Two vastly differing planets this middle-aged cynic orbited. The modern apartment suited a modern me. He pressed me to the slate wall like a thumbtack then did things that made my knees unsteady.

I couldn’t hate him for his evil amidst the euphoria.

But his evil might have eaten at him. Three years of countless students, I was merely the first. Cool water he was testing with curious toes.

At his funeral, his family in grief black surrounded me as his scent lingered in my misery—a scent that burgeoned under his cultivation.

But I was making it as a writer, so I paid my respects.



Nicholas-Mottola-Jacobsen01I withdraw the tentacles and receptors that allowed for symbiosis,

then tuck away my body from the light that renders me so very homely.

I could never warm to the inadequacy,
regardless of how it frequents, peels me back and enthralls from the smallness of me that’s just inside.

He could press me out with his thumb, I’ve eroded so.

And now he’s to go forth with another, shoot up as stalks in a progression just as I turn in from a long-enduring decay.

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