race ink

10

While You Were Sleeping | ‘Mixed Feelings’ at Subliminal Projects (LA)

While you were sleeping, we stopped by Saturday night for the opening reception for Nathan Bell’s solo show ‘Mixed Feelings’ at Subliminal Projects.  Mixed Feelings’ will keep your eyes and mind racing from the various ink written and drawn tidbits to thoughts, word play and reflections, created by Bell over a two year span.  For more information, check out our Q&A feature: Art School with Nathan Bell.  ‘Mixed Feelings’ runs till May 20th.

Photographs by MCH

I can’t love you. I’m not myself right now. And I couldn’t stand the thought of you falling for a girl I’m not. I can’t tell you how I feel when I see you. How my heart starts racing and my hands keep shaking. I can’t tell you because you’re good and I’m not.
If ever in the midst of your running, you glance over your shoulder and hope to cling to what you must forsake, you will soon realize that you have a decision to make. Do you want Jesus or do you want the world? You cannot have both. But remember this: Christ comes to the threshold of your life, with arms wide open, shouting, ‘You must love me more! You must love me more!’ He knows the world will fail you in every devastatingly possible way, but He will never do the same. So, when the world tempts you, turn your head around to face the light once again. Abandon hesitation and replace it with haste. Run faster than ever before.
—  Ellie Johnson, Hold Out For No ‘Heroes’
You did not get this far into your race just to give up here.
Go ahead and adjust the pace
until you’re comfortable.
Feel free to take a break or two,
there’s no time limit
for accomplishing your dreams.
Just make sure that when you’re able to,
you get back to running.
Sooner or later,
you’ll cross the finish line.
—  NaPoWriMo Day 10 - Race. // Maxwell Diawuoh

XVI: temples of bell heather and sweat-soaked
sheets. you know how it goes. he was all
Gauloises and private rooms. asked what happened
to the fires of Rome when there was nothing left to
burn. I didn’t have an answer for the small sun
turning my skin scorched earth.

anyway, I pressed my lips to his and stole the
cigarette from his hand. told him, babe, I’m about
to find out. a prelude to years of healing burns
charted out like constellations and finding the brand
of catharsis that doesn’t leave you breathless.

Yves Olade, “XVIII”, The Race to the Swift

Jily Week- Day 3

Oh, Merlin.

Lily Evans was in trouble.

So much trouble.

Her chest was heaving as she leant over a desk, her hands gripping it so tightly it hurt. She wished the pain would make everything focus, make everything clear, but it didn’t work.

Of course it wouldn’t.

Her breath came out in gasps as she collapsed into a desk’s chair. She was alone in an empty Charms classroom, alone on a late Thursday afternoon as the sun gradually sank lower in the sky. Lily stared out of one of the large windows, trying to focus on something- anything- apart from what she’d just realised.

She was in love.

She had thought it was just a simple sex thing, at first. After all, she was a teenager, and James Potter was hot. Now that he wasn’t being a git, anyway.

Then, once she’d started to want him to take her on dates and hold her hand and kiss her, she’d decided it was a simple crush. It would go away soon enough.

It was just because she’d been spending so much time with him, that was all.

Then- well, then she knew she was in trouble when her feelings grew deeper. They were the sea; bottomless and deep and wild.

She’d only thought of the L-word twenty minutes ago, sitting in a meeting with him, watching the way he kept shoving his glasses up his nose as he talked, watching the way the sun caught his eyes and his hair and Merlin, he was gorgeous.

Gorgeous.

She had caught herself before he had noticed her watching him, thought causally He can’t know I’m in love with him.

Then she’d frozen.

Was she in love with him?

The answer was easy.

Yes. Yes, she was.

She’d gotten up and ran, ran out of that damn meeting into the nearest empty classroom and sat down and tried to figure out what to do next.

That was where she was now.

Sitting in a desk too small for her, glaring at the floor, and fighting back tears. A sudden wave of anger overtook her.

She’d managed to last years without falling under his spell. Years! And now look where she was.

In love with the boy at the one point where he didn’t love her back.

Because he didn’t. He didn’t.

He was gentle and kind and loving- but he didn’t love her.

Lily picked up an ink pot that was lying on the desk and turned it over and over in her hands, furious with herself and him and pretty much the whole damn world.

It wasn’t fair.

It wasn’t.

She stood and hurtled the ink pot at the wall, hands shaking, eyes burning, thoughts racing.

It shattered loudly, ink splattering on the wall like blood, pieces of ink pot bouncing on the stone floor and towards Lily.

She didn’t move, just covered her face with her hands and wondered what exactly she was doing.

She took a deep breath and wondered if crying would make her feel better. That was what her mum always said- that crying made you feel better.

Well, Lily didn’t want to feel better. She wanted to fix this. Fix her feelings for-

The door opened violently, and James Potter fell into the room. His face was lightly flushed along his high cheekbones, and he was breathing hard, like he’d been running. His hair, although usually messy, was even messier than normal, and Lily found herself wishing that she could run her hands through it and pull him close to her-

No, she didn’t.

She wanted to keep three feet away from him and never touch him. Ever. That way she couldn’t manage to embarrass herself.

He looked up at her, and his face just lit up, eyes shining.

Ten feet. She would stay ten feet away. Just to be safe.

“Lily,” he said, relief evident in his tone, and suddenly Lily realised how it must have looked, her running out of the Head’s meeting halfway through his speech, especially now, when so many students- especially Muggle-borns like Lily- were receiving letters with bad news about their parents or siblings or friends. “Are you okay? I’ve been looking all over for you.”

Okay, she was going to have to extend her minimum distance from him to fifteen feet when he looked like that. He looked…

He looked perfect. He looked like everything she had ever wanted in a boy, like every childhood fantasy her and Petunia had come up with.

“I’m fine,” Lily said hastily. “I just felt a bit faint, that’s all. I swear. Nothing’s… nothing’s happened.”

His shoulders slumped in relief, and he crossed the classroom in a few easy strides to stand next to her by her desk.

Okay, he was way closer than fifteen feet and it was driving Lily to distraction. She could smell him, quidditch broom polish and butterbeer and minty shower gel.

“Did you smash an ink pot?” James asked curiously, looking over at the mess behind her.

Lily thought fast. “Yeah, I knocked one over by accident. I tripped,” she lied, seeing the expression on his face. “Um, I should probably clean it up before a teacher gets here.”

“I’ll do that,” James said, waving a hand in her direction and moving past her to the shattered ink bottle. He brushed against her and she stiffened, not trusting herself. “You should get to the Hospital Wing. You’re obviously not well, you’re acting all jumpy.”

“I’m fine,” Lily insisted, feeling her stomach twist in guilt at the concerned tone in James’ voice. “I swear.”

“No, you aren’t.” He was busy picking up shards of ink pot, and Lily took the opportunity to admire him, admire the fluid way he moved, the way his glasses slid down his nose in the most adorable way she could imagine… he looked up at her, and she looked away, her face flushing. “You said you felt faint. You should go to Madame Pomfrey, and that’s final.”

“I’m fine,” Lily insisted, and then realised she should be helping James clean up her mess, not standing and admiring his muscles. “I swear.”

“Nope.” James stood up and pushed her away from the ink, and again Lily flushed, realising just how close they were. “You’re acting weird, Lily, and I’m worried.”

Lily shrugged. “Don’t be. I’m fine.”

“Lily-” he began, sighing, and Lily stumbled away from him, shaking her head.

Why did it have to be so hard?

Why did he have to make it so hard? She’d been hanging on by a thread these past few months, barely managing to stay friends with him. Barely managing to not grab him by the tie and kiss him senseless.

“No,” Lily said sharply. “No, James, please. Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” His eyes were alive with worry, and Lily hated it.

“Don’t- don’t be concerned!”

“I’m your friend,” he said slowly, stepping towards her. Broken glass crunched under his shoes.

“I can’t be friends with you,” Lily said. “I can’t. I can’t.”

His mouth was wide open, his eyes wide and hurt. “Lily-”

“I tried,” Lily said, the words spilling out of her in a flood. “I tried, Merlin, I tried. But I can’t stay friends with you when I’m in love with you, James.”

There was silence.

Lily’s heartbeat thrummed in her ears, and she blinked hard against the tears suddenly building behind her eyes.

And then- then James moved forwards in one step, so he was so close that Lily could see the flecks of gold in his eyes, and gripped her face in his hands. “Did you ever think,” he breathed. “That I stopped loving you?”

Then he kissed her, slow and soft and warm. It was everything Lily had imagined it would be, everything she had ever wanted- his hands were on her waist, her hands tangled in his messy hair.

“I love you,” he breathed as they pulled apart.

She smiled and kissed him again, her heart beating wildly in her chest. “Good.”

I don’t take your breath away, or give you butterflies. I don’t make you nervous, or your legs shake when I come near. God knows I want to though. I want to make you feel what you do to me every day. I stick around not only because I’m mad for you… but also in the hopes that maybe, maybe someday… I can make your heart race.
—  Midnight thoughts //
NaPoWriMo Day 18: When people ask me, “what ARE you?”

i say
milk-skin and
marrow-heart,
two parts
sailing ship and
one part Gaia
conquest.

i say
arm of compass
split open,
crossed-ocean,
tectonic-thrumming
plates in endless
mating dance.

i say
bluebrown,
hazelgold,
every shade
of mixed
and maybe
and in-between.

i say
cloud-dream float
and earthen hold
and fishtail
and birdwing,
witch-physics
and chemical-
everything.