United States

"the audience is only safe when the story isn't about them."

they/them - probably listening to sufjan stevens

Message from Writer

an important piece by outoftheblue- https://bit.ly/3dBxv5r

black lives matter & pride is over but the fight for lgbt+ rights is year round.

bio quote is from the magnus archives

every color bleeding from a blurry windshield

July 15, 2020


and if everything was bruised and torn and the sky sank its spoiled teeth into the earth and ripped like a dog, depraved and frothing, and if we were standing there, if we were standing there in the middle of it all, could you doubt for a second that it was beautiful? even when the earth is being crushed between a giant's fingers like blackberries, dark juice running in rivulets down swollen fingers. even when my ribs have been splintered and my lungs are heaving in the clogged gray air. even if we find ourselves at a house party at seven in the evening, rummaging through the medicine cabinets of people we barely know for anything to relieve a headache, and the next room over someone's yelling at their kids, and the stench of beer and someone's perfume steeps in the air, and you can't remember quite how you got there or how many days you've been telling yourself you'll find a way to get out- even then.

because somehow you are standing here. and somehow you are running through the parking lot at the end of your first concert, trying not to get hit by a car but mostly thinking about the euphoric numbness in your ears and the taste of cotton candy still simmering in your throat, and then you’re on the train and it’s past midnight and you have school tomorrow but there’ll never be this moment again. and somehow you’re sitting on a bench downtown, splitting ice cream with your crush, and she offers her earbud to you, and the sun is spilling through the trees like honey with the smell of almonds and jasmine wafting through the air. it's a fairly mundane way to spend your friday afternoon, but there's something a touch ethereal about it in the moment. 

once you read an article about the failings of modern art. the primary flaw, in the author's words, was that modern art sought to ask the question "what is art?", but of course there can never be a satisfactory answer to a question so broad and somewhat useless. you've been to the MOMA. you've seen the shapes and colors wrestling on prints, the wall-to-wall paintings that look like someone attacked the canvas with a knife, angry gouges of red and blue oozing out of the pale backdrop. there are sculptures of airplane chairs and solid slabs of color, and you don't want to think about what it must've cost the museum to display them.

but the article was wrong. modern art does not seek to ask "what is art?", it seeks to answer it, and the answer is "everything." every color bleeding from a blurry windshield on the rainy city streets, every half-ripe fruit that falls from the trees in your neighbor's yard, every tired face on the shuttle from the airport in a city that you don't recognize at 2:00 AM. every time you wade barefoot through the dewy summer grass; every time you see the morning glories braided through the fence in spring; every time you stand freezing on the pier and watch the sea calmly slapping against the wooden barrier, sending a spray of saltwater up through the air just as the clouds part and the droplets catch in the sun, and you think "oh" like you've had an epiphany, but it's not something that can be put into words. and yes, even the earth turned inside-out, bruised and torn and falling to pieces.  
me, using random lines from my pieces to title them because i can't come up with titles? more likely than you think.
so the inspiration for this piece was a prompt to write a piece about your favorite song, and i know you're probably thinking "....what?" but let me explain. the song is cage the elephant's "cigarette daydreams" and the first time i heard it was when it first came out seven years ago, and i was sitting in the backseat of the car, driving with my family somewhere late at night, and even though i was half-asleep, when it came over the radio it was like an epiphany for me, it just struck a chord that up until then music hadn't really struck for me, so i memorized the title and artist and downloaded it as soon as i got my first phone. then, last year, i saw cage the elephant in concert, and hearing this song live was like hearing it for the first time all over again. i just stood there, looking at all the people around us, and the sun had just gone down, and i had this epiphany. the closest i think i can describe it is an existential anti-crisis. so this piece was my effort to put that into words. i highly recommend listening to the song, and congratulations to anyone who read all the way through this giant author's note. 


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  • Dmoral


    4 months ago
  • elliem

    Also, three things: one, I realized I wasn't following you yet (not sure why, I thought I was) so I did that, and two, I LOVE your pfp!!! :) Three, this piece is SO GORGEOUS! I especially love this part: " and the sun is spilling through the trees like honey with the smell of almonds and jasmine wafting through the air." I can almost smell it in person. Love this imagery. <3

    5 months ago
  • elliem

    Reply: thank you for your comment on my piece! I love schitt's creek! welcome to nightvale is so funny (but a little creepy haha). I haven't heard of the magnus archives, but I'll be sure to check it out. Yeah, it's really sad how rarely Hollywood makes movies involving children characters with poor mental health. The one movie I can think of is "The Switch", where one of the characters is a child with hypochondria. Even then, they occasionally use his mental illness for jokes, which makes me sad. :( Anyway, I'd love to see more representation of children with mental health disorders.

    5 months ago
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: glad you listened to the song :) Also, ahawgsgageg this piece is beautiful

    5 months ago
  • erin!

    replying: a fellow bike noob! welcome to the club. by the way, you are a beautiful writer!

    5 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    your title caught my eye and I'm so glad. This is indescribable. I don't even have a way to praise it because it is too good for my meek little words to praise. Still, I love it beyond belief. I am totally going to go listen to that song now. This is so good, I can't even believe my eyes!!!

    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: Aw thanks I'm glad you like it I was nervous about telling you lol

    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    this piece, like everyone else has already rightfully said, is a goddamn masterpiece. this really does read like an epiphany, from the mundane experiences in the first paragraph, the underlying notion of beauty, to the philosophical question posed. absolutely beautiful. also yes i do the "using random lines as titles" thing as well (way too much tbh) bc i just cant come up with good titles haha, but in this case, i think it fits so well. "every colour bleeding" is a fantastic way of putting it :)

    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    So um this inspired me to write something

    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    I mean I'd quote my favourite lines but to do that would be a disservice to the heart wrenching, rambly sort of beauty to this piece. (and yay- cage the elephant!)

    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    I am completely dumbfounded by how stunning this is. I'll jump on the bandwagon saying it's a masterpiece because it truly is. There is something so special and intangible about this.

    5 months ago
  • Landofstories

    I cant even begin to describe how this made me feel... i was listening to cigarette daydreams while reading this and it felt like heaven on earth, for some reason this also made me hurt. just wow I've never really had a piece do that to me

    5 months ago
  • Anlee

    oh this is so beautiful <33

    5 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    oh god THIS. this is so fricking gorgeous like bleeding colors into a rainy after and wow bc your imagery and the entire 'mood' of the piece is just so.... immaculate? cigarette daydreams huh? i'll try to give that a listen next time i read this breathtaking piece ;)

    5 months ago
  • black_and_red_ink

    beautiful piece. Your opening had me hooked. just really great descriptions throughout the whole thing. I agree with naomi that this is a masterpiece.

    5 months ago
  • naomi ling

    aaaughhh this piece is such a masterpiece. it is art. i want to fold it up and stick it in a pocket to read and paint on my walls. i love the message. everything. (and cage the elephant YESS)

    5 months ago