Where’s my prize?
how astonishing it is to think that your soul mate
the one for whom you were wholly meant
your one and only real connection
was a chinese peasant girl
who lived at the end of the fifteenth century
she liked rivers and she liked to sing
and you do not like to sing
but your fingers would have laced together
dark and pale
like the keys of a piano
(she has never seen a piano)
your lives would have fit together elegantly
your heartbeats would have always matched
things might have been easier
for the both of you
do you think that when she died
broken and shucked in a meadow
blood running down her thighs
she thought of you
with your pockets full of light
and your stubborn silence
and cursed her bad timing?
Books of 2012, #7: Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
The story of Baby, a young girl growing up with a drug-addicted father in a seedy part of Montreal. Baby behaves like a child in a world that has no place for her, and she must navigate waters far too deep for her—hard drugs, violence, and child prostitution.
While Baby was a very interesting character and a striking perspective from which to explore O’Neills dedication to crafting her environment, I just couldn’t quite get into this one. I think it had to do a lot with O’Neill’s prose. The reader is assaulted with bright, childish imagery in a constant effort to contrast the characters’ seedy surroundings. This is not a technique used sparingly, and it isn’t long before one tires of a pointlessly whimsical metaphor in every other line. Of course, that’s probably O’Neill trying to cram her story into the mind of a twelve-year-old, but since the vocabulary and syntax pay no mind to Baby’s age or mental state, why should anything else?
So—overall, a very dark read. If you like the style, you’ll love this book. If it didn’t grab you, as in my case, it’s still a lushly imagined world of danger with faint rays of hope.
This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: Over the weekend, troubling allegations have emerged of many Iraqi teenagers being stoned to death for dressing in “emo fashion.”
Scores of teens wearing skinny pants and graphic tees, and sporting a signature “emo style” haircut have allegedly been clobbered with cinder blocks [warning: graphic images] by members of the Iraq’s “moral police.”
Though the number might be lower — Reuters put the death toll at 14 — the terrifying trend appears to have at least a measure of consent from Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which suggests it could get much worse.
“[The Moral Police] have official approval to eliminate them as soon as possible, because the dimensions of the community began to take another course, and is now threatening danger,” read a statement from the ministry, which also compared “the Emo phenomenon” to “devil worshipping.”
When confronted with claims that it approved the slaying, an Interior Ministry spokesman said the statement was being “misinterpreted.”
The anti-emo movement, meanwhile, isn’t waiting for clarification. Fliers being circulated in Shiite neighborhoods include lists of residents identified as emo who are warned to change their style and stop listening to metal, emo, and rap music or risk “God’s punishment” at the hands of the mujahedeen.
Moktada al-Sadr, infamous leader of the Shiite militia known as the Mahdi Army denied being behind the threats, but nevertheless agreed with the sentiment that emo teens were “unnatural.”
The spate of violence against teenagers joins a longer bullying campaign against members of Iraq’s LGBT community. Hundreds have reportedly been killed in the last six years, and many are currently being targeted by death squads who abduct suspected gay men and women from their homes and slay them.
Ali Hili, a London-based Iraqi gay rights activist, claims to have obtained a document from the Iraqi Interior Ministry which, much like the statement on emo teens, orders the “elimination of the so-called homosexuals.” According to Hili, the Mahdi Army and the influential Badr Organisation are responsible for the violence, and they have the open support of the government in their actions.