The Jivin' Ladybug

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Lily Cho

Another Thunder


i have no reason to be at my apartment or in this building

so doot doot doot




build a hovercraft



sure, maybe it'll take me to the moon or mars or arkham

i could pick you up with style and then sate your urge to go skydiving



arkham might be fun



i'll interview all the criminal minds, who will tell me i'm neither athletic nor evil enough to be one of them



im pretty sure they all work out a lot

but none of them started being particularly strong

plus i mean, you're locked up all the time, might as well do three things


try to escape

and work out



how nostalgic

i'm still that harley quinn, bound by an intrinsic desire to be loved and to destroy

or i guess i could go to the good guys, who would tell me that for someone who has parents, i don't appreciate them nearly enough

i used to have the comic book arkham asylum






walk on enough lines, and my feet will become bloody from the wires

it's not all that high i say, before i plummet

the ice does not make a good cushion



its snowing again



it's awfully cold everywhere, and the only space i hover is my mindspace

it's not snowing here

but it should be






there should be a snow cyclone, it can wrap the world in white

it can blow the school away, so i can blame natural disaster for my unwillingness to do anything

i miss my english major friends from umass

i can ramble at them for hours, and they will be amused, they might even call it art



haha ok



i can just talk, and then talk, run with whatever comes to mind

they can have their snobby little drums for a rhythm, what do you call em






and some hippie girl can belly dance and twist around the corner, or around me, to my words

they don't offer me the bong but the smoke permeates the room

like a half awake sandman who doesn't remember how to cook

and some hell bent couple will be making out on a couch in some other part of the room

their indiscretion veiled by the drugs

and the next minute, it's not you, it's me, he says

it's okay, she says

i understand that no one is worth the effort

as a single tear seeps into the blowtorch, and the room is no more





the ice is really cold against my back

the nuns call this training

but i probably just hallucinate all the time

the wind from the ice bed gets into my head, see

say that ten times fast

and i dream

supposed to be searching for some kind of truth, the inner self that can not be tarnished, the key to enlightenment

but i just dream

like the lizard scampering across the lake and making ripples, i dream

and fall, over and over again

uncertain of any awakenings

some kid says there is no spoon, and another voice asks me where my totem is

i know who has it, but i can't tell him how i can get it back

or if i can



Korea Impressions Haikus


as snow drifts downward,

a dry ache as a cold wind

through my chest, a cough


spicy of kimchee

raw red crunchy a bit wet

to go with fried fish


ne yobuseyo

sorry i can't speak korean

please don't call again


i do not exist

again hurt and unwanted

then resilience is me



hello goodbye to you

to all people i pass


where quiet pervades

at home, during the walk out

to see you and buy food


my thoughts are too loud

i have taken to talking

mainly to myself


anio, hachima!

silly kid doing something

he knows he shouldn't


furthest distance to

just everything, everyone

but still then i try


beautiful country

of farmers and fisherman

many small gadgets


so bright and poppy

they are afraid of the dark

like children to me


reading happenings

through context and gestures then

all the freaking time


nuclear missiles fly

this country is very scared

comfort us, strange girl


i bow every time

i see anyone older

back bend in habit


self containment is

no easy task. one's mind must

still, be in body


when they know i am

Chinese, they warily say,

"It is powerful."


when i am confused,

no one explains anything,

and they say i'm dumb


each time i buy food,

it's at least forty minutes

to walk to the nearest mart


middle of nowhere

barely existent, yet here

my voice reaches you


a word here, a word

there, i learn slowly again

like a reborn child


i get angry then

at the hierarchy

orders given, take.


the food is awesome

but they don't like sour or

bitter or salty


soju and raw fish

go not well for me at all

sorry, i can't drink


days of desk sitting

will be hard to teach again

to longer schedule


i hope to love him,

but i hurt, am sad, too much

so i watch him go


the way you challenge

me, foreign country, hurts well

hope i learn something



Centuries Past


Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. The muscle beat in her hand, strangely not struggling. Not bleeding or hurting. Just carrying on its usual useless mechanism. What would one need a heart for, when a member of the undead? No plasma runs through her veins save the little that she drinks for meals - after two hundred years, she'd gotten powerful enough to stand in the light of day.

When she was given birth by the late Alucard IX, it'd hurt. Instinctively holding onto life so hard was she, that the transformation refused to continue. So he'd caught her by the neck and wrenched out the fist-sized muscle. The change can't be resisted then. Afterward of course she must ask why - why had the vampires imprisoned her for four years before ending that human life? Strange as the situation is also the answer. "Your magickal properties as a human placated us temporarily, for you were a creature of the light. Moreover, had anyone of us tried to touch your skin instead of merely your garment, we would have burned." Then, she could feel.

She could feel everything intensely, ranging from mild curiosity to burning rage, up until the point where Alucard tore her heart out. Then he handed it back to her, those two hundred years ago. Since then, power was impulse. During a battle, she could lose limbs and not notice, keep on fighting. But yesterday, yesterday... sitting on a ledge on the other side of the fort, she was coolly reflecting on two thirty one years of existence. Valentine came up quietly, took her beating mechanism from her upheld hand and kissed it. Suddenly a teardrop fell from her left eye. She won't touch him, for she knew just one poisonous contact is enough to destroy him. "Remember me," he simply spoke and walked away.




Darkness the Second


She woke up in a forest at night. The moonlight barely illuminated a few birds of prey hunting for their meals - sounds of small critters running for life were heard. The Russian troops are mobilizing... They had just won a significant battle against Napoleon, driving him back. He should have known better than to fight the elements. Tis time for blood.

Launching herself off the ground, she took flight. It's very easy to swoop in on a few unsuspecting tired soldiers on the march. They think they're going home. Well, of course they are. Home to Hades. These are not worthy of becoming her kind. It took her slightly less than half an hour to drop them in a cave. She listened to their saturating screams as she sucked them dry of plasma, one by one. Perhaps she might even have felt sorry for the last one, for he had to sit and watch his comrades wither, had she remembered how. But it's too late now.

She finished off, licking her fingers. Not too bad, though certainly not the best meal ever. Her hunger was sated. She could now enjoy the night atmosphere. The wind envelopes her as she let go. A dive forward down a cliff followed by an immediate climb makes a most excellent natural high. But the rural areas lack taste. Paris, I beckon.

Halting her in midair was the unmistakable odor of a werewolf. She's not the only one bored in the neighborhood, it seemed. She turned to recognize, unsurprisingly, an old rival. "I've missed you much, Yelanos."




Idea Birth



(blank) ...
[zap] - [energy thread]
                  [e x p a n d i n g]

     (con sume) ... ba-bump
ba-bump gurgle ... ( f e e l )

                   [im perv i ate] ... (zip zip zap)
     smooth   th r ou gh [branch]
            [blood] [matter-fluid]

(pat tern ?)
     [texture sound taste smell image]
(f 0 r m)
     [energy effervescing
                             into        everything]

                             (organic alchemy) (...flow...)
             [absorb] .... [rad i ate]





“This pumping thing”


This pumping thing, a black crusted muscle of ancient parameters, resembles
nothing like a heart, and yet that may be exactly what it is. Oh, but what
is that to you? It beats on, giving me every impulse, pain more prominent
among them. Yet I ask not for death, choosing the more difficult and
colorful of paths, whereas the other would just give me a noble black. Oh
how it hurts me. I stare at the dreadful thing, the part of me that is
supposed to carry various emotions.

Lies. It feels cold in my hands, and Valentine is not near. He is making me
wait, punishing me. But I only stare mildly at the sky, blue in its
carelessness, wispy in its laughter. The crow threw its laughs at me with
reeling condescension. How can you take him? it sang. Such a silly masochist
- endless suffering for his sake... What a pity. I start peeling the crusted
black flakes off of the muscle in my hand, wincing as each separated. The
outer skin is not completely dead yet. I should make sure it doesn't bleed.
When I've rubbed most of the flakes off, I put it down upon the porch. It is
now night. The stars are beckoning.

Clouds cover the coy moon, exposing only her voluptuous upper half. I stand
up, spreading my ashen wings. As the wind caresses me merrily, she brings
also danger. I smell it. You dare challenge me, vampire? Alighting on the
shingles of a roof, I turn to confront my follower, who artfully flips
upright and crouches in front of me like an animal. Amusement pulls my lips
into a grim smile.



Scaling the Cliffs


Lost in reverie of the lurking not-yet -forgotten,

a door creaks open for a restless giant to enter

and I imagine an ominous end for another soul


when the souls of the world are chained

strapped to their own poison pouches

mine contains witches, princesses, and martians


stories unseen and unheard until that one time

told not by a fireside or hearth but in fearful rain

puddling at his feet to scoop up like his buttons


or penguins, marching into the horizon

like pregnant women in need of a bathroom

today the clouds of rain still lurk, so i get up


to look for the wind to blow them away

blow them up and away, i'll die another day

perhaps rock climbing the cliff of the Ring


envy of the Ring, envy of the grass

I find no support on the cliff as she said

"Not in a sexual way at all" and he defines me by it


or our love by it, mine is more obvious

I cannot lie even if I tried, his are unspoken

locked away in a little tin box not-yet rusted shut


I will be less green, someone must believe in me

like a flower that awkwardly blossoms late

in the face of her own spiritual adversity


He will open himself up too, unlike

a small mammal camouflaged in pretty colors

his not-quite tin box will soften, keep pumping blood



Recipe for a Super Villain

Before beginning, ambitious alchemist, you must design your supervillain on paper. Define his or her appearance, style of dress and proportions. Include any accessories and weapons.

1 fluid oz. cyanide (death dealing properties)
1 wooden mannequin of desired size (transubstantiation)
3 dead crows (darkness, intelligence, scavenger)
2 pomegranates (possessiveness)
5 anarchy symbols (impossible schemes)
4 apples (corruptibility)
0.666 drops grape Screwdriver (confusion)
8 pages Nietzche (loneliness, nihilist tendencies)
6 fist-sized volcanic rocks (despair)
5 cups yellow paint (anger)
9 fl. oz. stem cells (life)
1 taped appropriately evil voice

1 design or drawing of your intended super villain
1 cup of rain water
1 piece of purple sidewalk chalk (dipped into rain water and then dried)
3 black candles and matches
1 dark room, with no windows (where no one can interrupt you, or else there are dastardly results)
1 cauldron (big enough with room for the mannequin to fit in)
1 tattered broom or mop to stir your concoction with

Shall we begin?

Put your purple sidewalk chalk into the cup of rain water. Leave it there for 4 hours, in a place where it will not be disturbed. When you come back to get it, dump out the rain water, and put your chalk where it can dry without being disturbed, for 48 hours.

Find a dark room with no windows. Start this procedure punctually at midnight.

Use the prepared chalk to draw a perfect circle, then draw a perfect cross in it: one line intersecting another at a right angle. Arrange your black candles on the perimeter of this circle in an even triangle (not isosceles or obtuse) and light them. Put your cauldron in the center of the cross.

Put your design on paper into the bottom of the cauldron. Put the mannequin on it.

Pour in the yellow paint. Stuff in the three crows. Crumple the pages of Nietzche and throw them in. Pour in the grape Screwdriver. And now the four apples. Take your tattered broom or mop and stir, counterclockwise, until solution is brothy.

Now, add the rest of the ingredients, in this order. First, the pomegranates. Squeeze out the juice as much as possible. Now the volcanic rocks. Now sweep in the anarchy symbols. And lastly, the fluid ounce of cyanide. Make sure the cyanide melts the entire mannequin into your solution. Stir counterclockwise again, for fifteen minutes.

Then stir until the rest of your broom or mop is worn. Break it into pieces, and drop it in. Let solution sit for six days. Leave in total privacy. Time this well. When you come back, pour the stem cells into the cauldron. Within one and a half hours, your supervillain will rise and greet you. When it makes eye contact, play your tape, and it will sound like that evil voice, forever.

Let it be known that you are its creator, and if you did everything in this recipe right, it will try to kill you. Enjoy.


Go Go Go

ya never know how fast you can run, until
ya really, really badly have to have to go
jump the ditches down by the pond so
the ducks and geese jump you their fill
the wind hits your face, urging you on

the roads are your desert now and then
the grass impedes you with their singing
out of my way, you silently tell them
your legs running, your arms swinging

through the doors, down this hallway
up the stairs, through that hallway
round this corner, almost almost there

the final door stands in your way
you push through it, your will stays

finally, you're there, sitting down on the can 



"We sacrificed everything for your waste basket loving ass," came the longing and vengeful whisper. They were staring me down, and I could do nothing but succumb, except that when I fell on my knees, the floor wasn't there to support me. My surroundings spiraled like that of Alice in Wonderland, but thrice as dark and there was no white rabbit to follow, only the old Deku Tree cursing me for not saving it sooner. It didn't catch me as I fell almost into the pit of spikes, catching myself at the edge at the last second and climbing up. As I ran through the forest, almost dead trees tore at my skin like I was Snow White, but not nearly as pretty. I was looking for my Damsel in Shining Armor, Angela. She is not here yet, and the environmentalists threatening to crucify me on the right are not helping my cause. The squirrels throw nuts at me for stealing their habitats and curse my waste basket loving ass once more. Oh, the Purgatory and Hell of the American student, and other waster of papers.


Morning Thoughts on My Island
That's what home is, right? My
island. A place where I can be as
prissy and princessy as I want.
The electricity used to fuel and
generated from my PS2 can
probably light up a whole village
in a third world country. Yet I spend
hours on it, just for the pretty pictures.
I am eating oatmeal. It's good for
my skin. But it's tasteless. Maybe I
can somehow make it solid and
mold it into different shapes, then
I'd be eating sculptures, which is
more malleable than bread sculptures
and not nearly as classy.



"Whine at the wine"


Whine at the wine
for liquids limited to red
and clear cannot help
but listen. Concentration
is a farce made of sulfurous
eggs full of peep holes.
Pantomime my death under
the cliff where I watch the sky
darken and become void.
Other people are like stars,
so very very far far away
unreachable, untouchable
and I talk to myself and pretend
that they are all listening.



Recipe for a Hurricane


1 small 3rd world country of clouds (compressed atmosphere)

5 panicked birds (sentient fear)

4 sunset colors (cyclone mirage 2 days before)

1 trillion tons salt water (ocean)

7 windmills (move them air molecules)

1 calendar (time the beast)

50 tanks oxygen (air molecules)

75 tanks hydrogen (for the water/clouds)

1 giant undersea drain (to facilitate cycle shape/motion)

1 volcano (add heat to create humidity)





grey thoughts against an orange sky

cloaks a patient silence with chill

and an emptiness like hunger, not quite

held back by artificial light and icons

something's afire that shouldn't be


sticky memories and myriad dreams

make up the hours of unconsciousness

not tonight, but winter keeps company

like an honest bedfellow with a tirade

about desert mirages and hot sun


clouds hold up the heavens when

human strength cannot, a fine veil

against the Babylonians from ever

finding God, patience is another trial

and being understanding is painful


needles and nails eating at skin

a heavy feeling trapped in the bosom

only justified by being alive and only

rectified through rain patting on metal

so long, so long and without remorse


humanity doesn't speak for itself

the supernatural redeems nothing

take not these tendrils of emotion

for a lack of purpose, before they melt

so long, so long and without remorse


The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
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