It may look beautiful but it certainly doesn’t smell it. Aptly named, the “corpse flower” grows in the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia, and releases a horrendous odour. The odour attracts insects which feed on deceased animals and lay their eggs in rotting meat. The plant requires 7-10 years of growth before eventually blooming for the first time. The odour is said to smell like a combination of limburger cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, human faeces, and a sweet floral scent.
ARIES Abandoned gas stations, beholders of tumbleweeds and roadside tales, filled with dead fuel yet frozen in time, eyes on the passengers with their hands and hair out the window, haunted by old desert songs and engines revving behind it.
TAURUS: Abandoned bars, stools turned over, a ripped flyer shouting BABES BABES BABES hanging off the bulletin board, a lost motorcycle tire, glass shattered, and the spirit of hell still living somewhere inside.
GEMINI Ghost towns, at the base of old mountains, houses with shutters like eyes and doors like mouths, swallowing stories whole, convenience stores still stocked with stale bread, cabins and headstones still peeking out from behind fairy wood brambles, nature stretching into steel, ready to come alive with a shift of the wind.
CANCER: Abandoned motels, empty pools filled with deflated flamingos, the sign out front screaming VACANCY forever, each room a different anthology of guest book tales, smashed television monitors and a love note ( or goodbye note ) caught up in the rust of the honeymoon suite.
LEO: Abandoned theaters, stages dented with the ghosts of performances past, torn scripts scattered across floorboards in a mess of Playbills and shattered eyeglasses, broken lights and tattered dress hems, mannequins poised at an eternal act one.
VIRGO Abandoned train stations, cars sprayed in a kaleidoscope of graffiti, drifters still starting fires in some of the shells, grass growing over old gears, ghost conductors with no destination, rails intersecting at odd angles like flowers and bones.
LIBRA Abandoned campgrounds, rattlesnakes and desert blues, dead hot and forgotten, a shelled-out RV and the dry lake where the kids used to play, swallowing up broken toys and flat tents, showers crawling with critters, vintage t-shirts printed with campground bears promising that it’s still “the happiest place on earth.”
SCORPIO Abandoned amusement parks, soggy coaster cars paused mid-ascension, cheap thrills and screams still stagnant in the air, ferris wheels trembling in the wind, clown faces distorted and torn down the middle, a mascot head smiling out from the overgrowth.
SAGITTARIUS Abandoned renaissance fairs, an acre out of time, fake pirate ships swinging, fairy wings trying to fly, dead flower crowns tangled with bright ribbons and peasant blouses shed by the lake, empty squares and old stage buildings, Arthur’s sword caught at the entry, still waiting to be pulled.
CAPRICORN Abandoned toy stores, broken pinball machines, ghost clowns, and popped balloons, playing cards stuck to the floor, a crooked house of childhood horrors, teddy bears bleeding stuffing, and a funhouse mirror distorting the distorted.
AQUARIUS: Abandoned piers, driftwood split down the middle, coastline the last alive thing, neon lights still calling Gatsby home from the horizon, but promising only the ghosts of mermaids washed ashore, tires and bottles filled with sand, dead trees spouting from old rocks, branches a wind chime of ripped dresses, forks, and seashells on strings.
PISCES: Abandoned waterparks, slides overlooking entire old cities, perfect for climbing, hoses and pools now scrawled over and used as skateboard ramps, kids climbing over the old towers and ladders in their bathing suits when it rains, pure want as their tickets in, yelling, “We’re still here, we’re still here, we’re still here!”