AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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So this happening

I wrote a book, and now it’s edited, and has a cover, and is going to be a thing you can buy soon. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.

TCM-cover-web

 

This Charming Man by Ajax Bell

WILL SEATTLE MAKE A MAN OF HIM YET?

It’s 1991 and Steven Frazier has danced away half a decade in the Seattle club scene with his beautiful-but-poisonous best friend, Adrian. Two glittering princes against the world, too high above life to care about what they might be missing.

But everything changes when a chance meeting with older—not to mention handsome—businessman John Pieters, reveals a cosmopolitan world and possible futures Steven’s never considered.

Flashy club clothes won’t impress John, this charming man who knows so much about many things. Motivated by fantasies inspired by his crush on John, can Steven finally fight Adrian’s sick hold?

As he steps out into the larger world, supported by new friends, Steven must prove to John—and to himself—that he’s not a hedonistic rhinestone club kid, but a true diamond in the rough.

KINDLE: Amazon
PRINT: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  |  CreateSpace  |  Find other bookstores
EPUB: Smashwords


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What Spain Was Like

“She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.”

– William Gibson, Pattern Recognition (full quote here)

Yesterday morning (relatively speaking, to my current sense of time), I got on a plane in Barcelona.  It flew out over the Mediterranean, which was spectacularly blue, and then turned sharply and went directly over Sitges, a town I had visited just days before.  I wept copiously with a great sense of loss as the plane went over the entire length of the Pyrenees, until reached the Bay of Biscay and turned over the Atlantic, towards Philadephia.

I am presently too tired, too soul-lagged to tell you about it.  Indeed I may never getting around to writing a narrative of it, but I promise lots and lots of pictures as soon as I get all 500+ of them sorted and tagged and all that modern day nonsense that allows me to foist my living room vacation slide show on you.  For now my soul is still somewhere over the Pyrenees, perhaps, still dreaming of the Mediterranean.


What Spain Was Like

Spain was a taut, dry drum-head
Daily beating a dull thud
Flatlands and eagle’s nest
Silence lashed by the storm.
How much, to the point of weeping, in my soul
I love your hard soil, your poor bread,
Your poor people, how much in the deep place
Of my being there is still the lost flower
Of your wrinkled villages, motionless in time
And your metallic meadows
Stretched out in the moonlight through the ages,
Now devoured by a false god.

All your confinement, your animal isolation
While you are still conscious
Surrounded by the abstract stones of silence,
Your rough wine, your smooth wine
Your violent and dangerous vineyards.

Solar stone, pure among the regions
Of the world, Spain streaked
With blood and metal, blue and victorious
Proletarian Spain, made of petals and bullets
Unique, alive, asleep – resounding.

– Pablo Neruda


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Some salty goodness and some bitter horror

There is not ever enough poetry in the world.  Here is some for your (hopefully) warm spring day:

BIRD

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air –
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Pablo Neruda

♦♦♦

I have BIG plans for the 3-day weekend.  I don’t know what they are yet as the first thing on my to-do list for this evening is ‘make plans for the weekend,’ but I bet they will be great.  Hopefully they will involve home organizing/cleaning, sewing sewing sewing (embroidery included in this category), sleeping perhaps more than would seem normal for a human being, walking around in the out of doors (cicadas might limit this),  talking to my mom on the phone and generally relaxing and pretending the world doesn’t exist.  I will probably watch P.S. I Love You as an emotional outlet (and because it’s a good movie).  I will hopefully have plenty of time to read Deathless because so far I am enjoying it immensely (it’s like poetry in it’s own way).

What I will not be doing is work, returning your phone calls (unless you’re my mom or sister), or sewing anything that looks like this:

I did include a link in case you want to sew it.  But I will think less of you if you do.  I’m fascinated with it, like a horror movie you can’t look away from.


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April is surely not the cruelest month, everyone knows that’s February

April begins BIRTHDAY MONTH.  I would love to say it’s all a celebration of me, from beginning to end, but indeed many of my most loved friends share this month for their own celebrations.  I’d say a good dozen or so of you are already, or gearing up to celebrate your own births.  Let’s all do it together!  HOORAY!

The April birthstone is diamond and the flower is Sweet Pea. Which seem some how at odds with each other.  Like at what point is someone going to be like, ‘say, baby, I got you some diamonds and this Sweet Pea bouquet’? It seems simultaneously weird and actually just like something I’d want, so maybe it does make sense for April after all.  Though I prefer amethysts to diamonds, partly over the whole blood diamond and hideous over hype of them and mostly because everyone knows anything purple is superior to anything else!

March has wound down being grim and grey, despite some thrilling spring sun there in the middle and I have high hopes for April. A little more sun and fewer days I have to put on gloves in the morning to keep my hands from stiffening up on the drive to work.

April also brings an awesome surprise visit from my cousins at the beginning, a long anticipated visited from good friends at the middle and my birthday at the end, so I surely couldn’t ask for more goodness from this month!  It should be calm, wonderful, joyous friends and family love all the way through!  Everyone should have a month like this occasionally.

April is also National Poetry Month for which I shall share some of the poems I carry around in my handbag at all times:

Three Crepuscular Poems
Federico García Lorca

[1]
The evening is
penitent,
still dreaming about
noon.
(Red trees & clouds
over the hills.)
The evening, loosening green
lyric hair,
is gently trembling
… vexed
to be the evening having once been
noon.

[2]
Now the evening starts!
Why? Why?
… just now
I watched the day droop down
just like a morning flower.
A day lily
bending its stems
… just now …
the roots of evening
rising through the gloom.

[3]
Adiós, sun!

I know for sure that you’re the moon,
but I
won’t tell nobody,
sun.

You sneak
behind the curtain
& cover your face
with rice powder.

By day, the farmhand’s
guitar,
by night, Pierrot’s
mandolin.

I should care!

Your illusion,
sun, is to make
the garden
turn Technicolor.

Adiós, sun!

And don’t you forget who loves you:
the snail,
the little old lady
on her balcony,
& me …
spinning my heart like a …
top.


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Start at the beginning of time

Happy New Year!  It’s 1-1-11, so I am calling it a new beginning.  As with so many beginnings I have no idea where the end will be.  I am going to try and not burden myself with too many resolutions, too many stumbling blocks to trip me up if I fail at them.  Instead I will simply say that I am determined to end 2011 in a better place than I am beginning it.

And in the course of that I hope to exercise more, sew more, learn more about sewing, read more, sleep more, and smile more.  And, you know, floss regularly.

In lieu of anything deep or meaningful to say in my own words, I’ll start the year with some of my favorite poetry.  Frederico Garcia Lorca:

Clock Echo

I sat down
in a clearing in time.
It was a pool of silence.
White silence.
Incredible ring
where the bright stars collide
with a dozen floating
black numbers.

First/Last Meditation

Time
is in night’s colors.
Quiet night.
Over enormous moons,
eternity
is set at twelve.
Time’s gone to sleep
forever
in his tower.
All clocks
deceive us.
Time at last has
horizons.


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gathering the pieces

maters!

Cherokee Purple is my favorite. The weather hasn’t been great for them this year, but seriously, Tennessee has the best tomatoes I have ever eaten.  So many kinds.  So much deliciousness.

This cracks me up so much:  It landed only on you.

I can’t really guess how much these are manipulated, but these shots of Barcelona are INCREDIBLE!    Especially this fantastic shot from one of my favorite vantage points in the city on Montjuic.    I lost a good part of my morning to these pictures.  They are like perfect images of the fairytale Barcelona that exists in my head.  Or the Barcelona of The Shadow of the Wind.

The smocking on this dress is fantastic.  I doubt I’ll ever be that much of a seamstress. But wow, wouldn’t it be amazing to create something like that?

Emily on Poetry Daily.    Fantastic (both the poem and Emily).

Oddly enough I get a bunch of joy from this anti-drunk driving/speeding campaign: We’ll Be Everywhere, Man. Oh, Tennessee, never change.  (that link is the Windows version, click here for Quicktime.)


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if only it could be reconstructed by the sea

Ode to Broken Things

Things get broken
at home
like they were pushed
by an invisible, deliberate smasher.
It’s not my hands
or yours
It wasn’t the girls
with their hard fingernails
or the motion of the planet.
It wasn’t anything or anybody
It wasn’t the wind
It wasn’t the orange-colored noontime
Or night over the earth
It wasn’t even the nose or the elbow
Or the hips getting bigger
or the ankle
or the air.
The plate broke, the lamp fell
All the flower pots tumbled over
one by one. That pot
which overflowed with scarlet
in the middle of October,
it got tired from all the violets
and another empty one
rolled round and round and round
all through winter
until it was only the powder
of a flowerpot,
a broken memory, shining dust.

And that clock
whose sound
was
the voice of our lives,
the secret
thread of our weeks,
which released
one by one, so many hours
for honey and silence
for so many births and jobs,
that clock also
fell
and its delicate blue guts
vibrated
among the broken glass
its wide heart
unsprung.

Life goes on grinding up
glass, wearing out clothes
making fragments
breaking down
forms
and what lasts through time
is like an island on a ship in the sea,
perishable
surrounded by dangerous fragility
by merciless waters and threats.

Let’s put all our treasures together
— the clocks, plates, cups cracked by the cold —
into a sack and carry them
to the sea
and let our possessions sink
into one alarming breaker
that sounds like a river.
May whatever breaks
be reconstructed by the sea
with the long labor of its tides.
So many useless things
which nobody broke
but which got broken anyway.

– Pablo Neruda
translated by Jodey Bateman