stitch-and-hammer

Inside original sin I found the love of a mother/suckling wind grass/pulling life straight from the breast/“you have teeth now” she said/ “you have a tongue now "she hissed/ cover your wailing ears/ pour into the ground /lukewarm earth/ remnants of venus/ sun that whispers straight into my ear "you have a calling now” /she grappled down the streets/cloven hooves/ antlers dangled from her mouth/ there is flesh to sell & flesh to hold
will
you
hold
mine?


Inside the circle of rotten apples I sliced open my stomach/ held my womb high/ sang tragedies/ revolutions/ libations spilling/ from tips of fingers used to pull the stitches/pull the roots up/ hammer down planks/ wood to carry termites/ wood to box up freedom/ silhouettes of a distant moon/ “we don’t believe in that” the voices said /I spray my blood into the audience/ become guttural / arterial/ house beings with
no
parents
to
speak of .


What of this vomit?/ What of this filth /that crushes villages/ I’ve left my door off, hinged my head instead/ feasted on dirt from the garden/ shed myself/ lost my legs/ waded belly deep/ this ruin/these warnings / chewed
open
my
lip.


Mother said “if they say you are poison use it to your advantage ” /mother said “if they brand you a villian, live as villains must suck/ down the traitors/ cage the captors"/ mother said “you are not the victim ”/ mother said “do not be a victim ”/ mother crashed down forests/ writhed underground/ where the angels caught against themselves/mother banged/ broke/ screamed out/ ripped out her wings/ pulled teeth/crushed light to powder/ took it down in shots/ said “being a curse to this world doesn’t have to be bad”/ draped me in vines and/ the wares of scavengers/ pushed her fingers through my flesh and/ sent
me down
the
river.


Here I bask in glory/ here I catch the sun on my cheek/ rub mud against my gums/ sprawl into landscapes/ catch flies covered in vinegar/ spin around in webs/ cocoon inside branches/ come out wrapped in askew bandages/ come out smeared in berry juice/ talking about saints while/ the teacups spin./ Here I am covered in veils/ here I marry scorpions/ they kiss my neck/ I run through the streets at night/screaming warnings/ tug off my blouse/ lay in the cracks of the foundation/ here I become milk/condense against glasses survive/ against the odds/ stay up for centuries picking scabs/ here I have nothing/ to do with original sin/ here I foam in the bathtub/ electrocute in the cellar/ hold my hands above my head/
like
mother
said.


Here I keep the heart she gave me safe/ haunt shipwrecks/ return/ in tides/ dirty and holding the secrets/ of worlds I am a fugitive from/ shining gold/ not raising my head up/ saying:/ “god help me” but sitting/ neck deep in the sand/ with my mouth full/ treading land/choking on air/ not knowing what to do with my hands
looking
everywhere…


Just like in the beginning.

—  Genesis; R. A. M
My humble ideas for new fairytale-based Disney movies

1. The Princess and the Pea

According to legend, only a princess can tell that a pea is between that many layers of mattresses, and so the queen tests a lady professing to be a stranded princess by placing a pea on one of the mattresses she sleeps on. However, the prince is not interested in marrying any princess. The princess cannot fall asleep because she can feel the pea, and upon tossing and turning, decides to go for a walk. She meets the gardener’s son, tending to frosted roses, and starts talking to him. Eventually, they fall in love and although the Queen demands for the princess to marry the prince or be locked away in the dungeon, the prince saves the day by letting her free and leaving the castle as well in pursuit of adventure. The princess and the gardener’s son return to the gardener’s cottage in the woods where they grow flowers and food crops (including peas) and get to know each other. No wedding is shown.

1911 Illustration by Edmund Dulac

2. The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Twelve princesses sleep in twelve beds in the same room, and although the king has their doors securely locked each night, the next day finds their dancing shoes worn as though they had been dancing all night. A visiting soldier with an invisibility cloak gifted him by an old woman follows them each night on their dancing escapades. This tale is so delightful in itself that the only thing I would change is - for the soldier to fall in love with one princess (in the Grimm tale it’s the eldest) and attend a masquerade ball one night just to dance with her. Each of the twelve princesses are to have their own personalities - maybe there can be a pair of twins, or triplets to reduce the number of varying characters, and while the story is at its core a love story, it should also be as equally about revelry and that particular secret joy of bending the rules harmlessly for fun.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ruth Sanderson

3. Rumpelstiltskin

Can we have a version of this where Rumpelstiltskin seems to be the villain at first but is really a prince cursed by a witch, and he can only break the spell when a lady who loves him guesses his name? It brings such a poignant touch to the story because not having anyone know your name is so tragic and he just wants to be known. And instead of the miller’s daughter stumbling upon Rumpelstiltskin chanting his own name, she stumbles upon the king (who has been asking for gold in his greed) laughing as he counts his gold, as he is in cahoots with the witch who cursed Rumpel. She tells Rumpelstiltskin his name, and breaks the curse - Rumpelstiltskin turns out to be the rightful king, enchanted by the evil witch, and he throws both false-king and witch into the dungeon that previously held the miller’s daughter. As he has helped her escape death by the false-king’s order and got to know her, they are already in love. He resumes the throne Lion King style and they give the gold spun from straw to the poor.

Rumpelstiltskin by Anne Anderson

4. The Elves and The Shoemaker

This story I imagine to be in the style of Carl and Ellie’s love story from Disney-Pixar’s Up. A poor shoemaker and his wife have nothing to eat because they have not enough material or money to make new shoes. Elves help them and in return they make the elves new elf-sized clothes. I don’t think you can make this story more whimsical than it already is…Maybe this should be a short rather than a full-length film.

Illustration: Rie Cramer “The Elves Began to Stitch, Sew, and Hammer.” Grimms Fairy Tales. 1927

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