Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Better Balance

There once was a little girl, made of flowers and princess dreams. She would fall asleep in toy boxes and cry when she fell off her bike.

Then she was just a girl, made of mud and crushes on boys. She would play with barbies when she was alone and win all the races at the playground.

She grew into a young woman, made of steel and words spoken straight from the heart. She would smoke pot every day and study books until her eyes were sore.

Slowly, as she became just a woman, made of delicate paper and deafening mistakes. She would crumble under pressure and scream at her small weaknesses for days.

But then one day, she looked in the mirror and realized she still had the eyes of a little girl. She said to herself, "Let's put it all back together again. Let's see what kind of flowers that mud can grow now, what kind of ideas can be written out on paper to build a stronger, fiercer steel machine of a woman finding her way to a better balance."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't blow out the fire

You sit there, so logical and serious and all I can do is wonder where the February in you has gone.

The same way we can't wait to cut a hole in your wall, I want you to come from the corner with out your hands in the air.

Did I steal your smile away?

I want the key.

We can't control each other's happiness.

I just need to be unwound and soak up the sun so I won't hear that chill in your voice.

I'm a piece of beauty in your eyes.

I want to be the laugh in your thoughts and I am able to house your sweet pain in the spare rooms of my heart.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Coveting Summer

Under the stars
We lie on our backs,
side by side.
I let the cool sand
tangle my long hair,
you fold your hands
across your chest.
The moon
is so beautiful
that the ocean
becomes a mirror
and we soak up
the blue light of it
until our skin is
moist with lust.
We whisper to each other,
like there's no tomorrow,
about all our instruments
of might and demise.
You ask if I would trade
and I say only if
I will love you the same.
The tide is lower now
but the water still
touches our toes
and it's a surprise every time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Some new things

what's good fellow bloggers/blog readers? I started a new blog, it's called, The Worst Picture Blog. Ever and it's just a bunch of pictures. But who doesn't like pictures, right? So, check it out.

Also, I'm doing work on another blog (soon to also be a website), and it's called REPUBLICBrooklyn. Check that out too for art, music, and party events.

Part 1 of the Short Film Script



ALICE, aged between ten and twelve, sits in front of a dead Christmas tree with ornaments falling off. You can see the legs and shoes of older people moving in front of her. She looks up toward the camera and it pans to a black and white television. A New Year’s Ball drops into the year 1979.

EVERYONE: Happy New Years!

Alice’s father, FRANK grabs her arm and pulls her up.

FRANK (slurring): I told you to go to bed hours ago.

ALICE: Mom said I could stay up until the ball dropped.

Frank drags her through the crowd and pushes her up the stairs.

FRANK: You think I fucking care what your mother says?

Alice looks to her mother who chugs from her beer and takes a joint from a guest.


Alice gets out of bed, goes to the window. She squints at the sun glinting off the snow. She shivers and is startled by bottle smashing against a wall down stairs.


Alice walks over half-passed out people scattered across the floor and into the kitchen. Frank’s back faces Alice. Her mother, KAREN, is backed in the corner.

FRANK: Don’t lie, Karen, I saw you with him.

Karen: No, no, you’re wrong.

He slaps her.

FRANK: See what you make me do?

He punches the wall and walks out of the kitchen. Alice opens the refrigerator and there’s nothing in it but two beers, mustard, and moldy cheese.


Alice and LORA are tucked into bed, and Lora’s MOTHER lays Lora’s robe over a chair and sits on the side of the bed.

LORA: Please mom. Can Alice be my sister?

LORA’S MOTHER: If you two were sisters you would never get any sleep! And you would just fight over all the pretty dresses.

ALICE: I swear, we won’t. I can even do chores.

Lora’s mother stands and kisses both girls on the forehead.

ALICE: Please be my mom and tuck me in every night.

Lora’s mom gives her another kiss.

LORA’S MOTHER: Oh, Alice. I would love to have you for a daughter. But you’re parents would miss you.

Lora’s mother turns the light out and shuts the door.

ALICE: No they won’t.


Alice and Lora make castles in the snow.

LORA: You think they noticed you’re gone yet?

They look at each other when they hear Alice’s name called in the distance. They stand, and hold hands.

ALICE: Plan B starts tomorrow.

From across the alley between Alice and Lora’s house they watch Frank stagger toward them, red faced and ranting.

Frank: You no good…lying little bitch. You’ve got your mother all worked up. You know that only pisses me off.

The girls squeeze their hands tighter. Frank grabs Alice’s other hand and pries her away from Lora; he drags her back across the alley. She stumbles and Frank nearly falls over.

FRANK: Pick up your goddamned feet.


Frank has a letter in his right hand and his left over Alice’s throat.

FRANK: I told you ‘NO boys’ and here you are getting love letters.

Frank pushes her against the wall. Her lips quiver and tears roll in steady streams down her face.

ALICE (mumbles): I’m sorry…I’m sorry.

He opens the window and bends her backwards over the ledge, she screams.

FRANK: Shut up, you shut up! If I didn’t love you so much, I would just throw you out the window.

ALICE: I’m sorry.

Karen walks in the room and rushes to Frank and Alice.

KAREN: Let her be Frank. She’s a little girl. Please, please.

Frank lets his grip loosen around Alice; he pulls her back to standing position. Karen grabs his hand, and tugs him slowly out of the room.

FRANK (to Karen): Yeah, go get all gussied up now for the bar. I’m giving you twenty minutes.

Part 2 of the Short Film Script


Alice lies on the couch. The living room is scattered with garbage and the Christmas tree’s pine needles litter the floor. The clock above Alice chimes 3 a.m. Her parents fall into the living room from the front door, drunk. Alice sits up.


Her parents hap-hazardly climb the stairs, Karen stops and looks at Alice.

KAREN: What?

ALICE: I’m hungry.

KAREN (slurring): Well, eat something.

ALICE: There is nothing.

KAREN (slurring): Eat in the morning then.

ALICE: But what?

Karen hits the banister with the palm of her hand.

KAREN(slurring): God, I don’t know. Just go to bed.

Alice lies back down on the couch, her stomach growls. She cries and falls asleep.


Alice stands behind Lora gripping a composition notebook to her chest. Lora organizes a pillow, a blanket, a flashlight, books, sandwiches wrapped in aluminum, two shirts, and two pairs of pants in one of the larger cubbies.

LORA: I’ll bring you new stuff when you need it.

ALICE: Will you stay here with me?

LORA: My mom would get mad.

ALICE: I know. Don’t tell her about this, okay?

They hug and Lora shuts the door, leaving Alice standing alone.


Alice lies on her blanket, reading a book by flashlight. The light in the classroom comes on and she scoots as far back into the cubby as she can go. She clicks off the flashlight as the door opens and the JANITOR turns the light on.

JANITOR: What do we have here?

Alice tries to scrunch herself into a tighter ball. He steps closer.

JANITOR: A little girl, hmm. Who are you?

He walks over and grabs her leg gently to pull her out.

ALICE: Alice Burkholder.

JANITOR: Well, Alice Burkholder, let’s call your parents and get you home.

Alice frantically scoots back into the cubby.

ALICE: No…I’m fine here, really.

He bends down to her level and smiles.

JANITOR: I’m just going to have to call the police on you then.

Alice leans out of the cubby and snatches up her notebook. She flips through, looks up, and smiles weakly back.

ALICE: Yes, let’s do that.


Alice sits in the back seat with a raggedy bag of clothes and she holds a pretty dress, gingerly, over her lap.

FEMALE OFFICER: That’s a pretty dress, Alice.

ALICE: My best friend gave it to me. It’s for when I meet my new mom.

MALE OFFICER: Hope it still fits you when you do.

The female officer whacks him in the arm. The car pulls up to a sign next to a big building that resembles a school. The sign reads: Children’s Safe Haven. Alice is let out of the back of the car and she follows the female officer to the entrance where a tired looking woman, JOAN waits.

Part 3 of the Short Film Script


JOAN: It’s just such a pleasure to meet you Alice. You’ll settle in no time.

They walk down the hallway—as they pass certain rooms, yelling and crying can be heard from inside. Jackie, a girl with a shaved head and bandages on her arms runs into the hall and tackles Alice. The men who were following her catch up and yank her off of Alice.

JACKIE (yelling): This is hell, no one gets out!

She kicks and screams until she is no longer seen or heard.

JOAN: That poor girl there, lost her dad in Vietnam and her mom killed her self just because.


Alice sits on her bed with her dress laid out next to her. She cries and touches the faded bruises on her face and arms. Jackie sits on the bed across from her. Alice stares at Jackie’s wrapped wrists and rubs her own. Jackie stands and snatches up the dress and Alice jumps to try and get it back.

JACKIE: You better hide things like this. They won’t stay nice for very long.

Jackie gives it back and Alice hides it under her bed in a trunk.

ALICE: I won’t be here for long.

JACKIE: Yeah, okay. All those hippie foster care parents don’t like the pathetic ones.

Jackie pokes the bruise on Alice’s neck and walks away.


Alice sits alone at a table while the other girls dance and sing along with Blondie songs. She looks over to the television screen to see the ball drop into 1980. Jackie walks in front of the TV and lifts her skirt at the screen.

JACKIE: Fuck the ‘70’s.


Alice opens the trunk and lifts her dress. She holds it up and it’s been cut with a pocketknife. As tears stream down her face she counts twenty-seven.


Alice walks into the home economic office holding the tattered dress. She goes to a COUNSELOR who gives her a long hug.

ALICE: Can I get white thread and a needle?

COUNSELOR: Of course, but you need to find someone to supervise.

Alice looks around the room. Her eyes stop at a pretty woman, SHEILA, who appears to be a churchgoer with manicured nails. Alice points to her.


The woman notices Alice pointing at her.

COUNSELOR: She’s not volunteering Alice. She’s here to meet with a few girls.

ALICE: Well, why can’t she meet with me?

Alice walks to Sheila and extends her hand. They shake slowly.

ALICE: Hello there, I’m Alice and I need to have supervision while I sew. Would you want to join me?

Sheila looks around, as if she’s looking for someone to answer for her. Alice points to the counselor.

ALICE: It’s okay, that counselor knows where to find you.


Alice and Sheila sit on the bed, facing each other, mending the holes in the dress.

ALICE: Nope, haven’t talked to her since I’ve been here.

SHEILA: What if she came for you?

ALICE: I would want her to be a good mom.

Part 4 of the Short Film Script


Alice, Karen, and Joan stand before the judge.

JUDGE: And what have you done to try to be a fit mother, Mrs. Burkholder; during the eighteen months your daughter has been under the care of the state?

KAREN: I left my husband for starters. I’ve been going to AA, trying to stay sober.

Alice’s eyes don’t move from Karen.

JUDGE: Trying? How trying are you?

KAREN: Two months, your honor.

JUDGE: Joan, what’s your recommendation?

JOAN: It’s always my recommendation for the child to go back to the birth mother, but weekly check-ups are mandatory.

JUDGE: Then Alice will reside under the care of Karen Burkholder beginning June 16 and the first check-up will be exactly one week later and every week following.


Alice packs her belongings. Jackie walks up as she folds her dress. Jackie yanks it from her.
Alice stands and glares.

JACKIE: Look, I’ll hold on to this for you. You know, in case you end up back here.

Joan walks in the room and touches Alice’s shoulders.

JOAN: Don’t worry; you can come back if things get hairy again. Don’t worry.

Alice shakes her head up and down.


Alice washes a fork at the overflowing sink. The microwave beeps, she takes the TV dinner out and, walks from the kitchen into the dark living room.


She sits down on the couch and watches the 11 o’clock news. Karen walks in the door, dressed as Cher.

KAREN: Were there a lot of kids trick-or-treating tonight?

Karen takes off her wig.

ALICE: No. We didn’t have any candy to give. I had to sit here in the dark so they wouldn’t come to the door.

Alice looks out of the corner of her eye at her mother struggling to get her coat and shoes off.

KAREN: Oh yeah…next year then. But you should get to bed. You’ve go school in the morning.

Alice leans back on the couch aggressively.

ALICE: No I don’t, tomorrow’s Saturday.

KAREN: Well, bed time anyway, kiddo.

Alice gets up and follows Karen up the stairs. They each go into their separate bedrooms.

ALICE: Goodnight, mom.

Karen shuts her door.

Part 5 of the Short Film Script


Sheila stands at the front desk, holding bags of craft materials. The SECRETARY sits.

SHEILA: What do you mean she went back with her mother?

SECRETARY: Ma’am, I know you applied to be her foster mom, but I already told you, she went back to her real mother.

SHEILA: Can’t I just get the address? I have all these craft supplies for her.

SECRETARY: I’m sorry. I told you, that violates our rules of confidentiality.

She turns and walks, dejectedly, out the door.

SHEILA (to herself): But what if she’s not happy?


Alice and Lora sit on the porch steps looking at the red, orange, and yellow trees. They sip hot chocolate and eat cookies.

ALICE: I think she’s drinking again.

Lora stops dipping her cookie and looks at Alice, quizzically.

ALICE: Yeah, just little things make me wonder.

LORA: Tell the social worker.

Alice sips her hot chocolate and shakes her head.

ALICE: What if I’m wrong?

She leans into Lora and Lora puts her arm around her.

LORA: But what if you’re right?


Alice lies in bed and sits up when her mother opens the door.

KAREN: You alright for tomorrow?

ALICE: What do you mean?

Karen walks slowly to the blinds and closes them.

KAREN: You’ve got that presentation, right?

ALICE: No, that was a few days ago.

Karen walks to the door.

ALICE: Mom? Will you tuck me in?

KAREN: You’re too old for that.


Karen walks back to the bed, tucks Alice in and gives her a little kiss.

KAREN: Sleep well.

ALICE: Were you drinking tonight?

Karen looks at Alice, looks away, rubs the back of her neck, and looks back at Alice.

KAREN: I had a cocktail after work with Bonnie.


Karen pulls up to the school and Alice gets out of the car. She leans her head back in.

ALICE: Goodbye, mother.

Alice turns and walks toward the building. She turns around to watch her mom drive away. Then she crosses the field and waits for the bus.


Alice pushes the button, signaling her stop.


She departs the bus and walks around the corner to the Children’s Safe Haven.


Joan and Alice walk down the hall and turn into the communal bedroom. When they get to the bed Alice begins to cry and Joan holds her. They rock for a few moments.

ALICE (sobbing): She didn’t change much. She didn’t change enough. She didn’t change.

JOAN: It’s okay Alice, I promise. Sheila wants to be your foster mom.

Alice jerks back out of Joan’s support and wipes her eyes.

ALICE: What? When?

JOAN: Tomorrow Alice. I’m going to your mother’s to collect your belongings and Sheila will be here tomorrow. Now, you just need to smile.

Final Part of Short Film Script


Alice sits on her bed, in the dress that’s now too small and you can make out the slash marks. Jackie sits next to her.

ALICE: Thanks for holding it for me.

Jackie smiles weakly.

JACKIE: It’s the least I could do, I did ruin it.

Alice shrugs her shoulders.

ALICE: It doesn’t matter now does it?

There’s a knock on the door and the girls look up to see Sheila. Alice jumps up and walks to her. They hug. Sheila pats Alice’s long hair.


Alice follows Sheila up to her new bedroom. On the bed are the bags of craft supplies and a new very pretty dress.

SHEILA: Just make yourself at home.

She giggles.

SHEILA: Because, it is your home. I’ll be down in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Come when you’re all through up here.

Sheila leaves the room and Alice walks slowly around the room and touches the little, hand-made dolls and holds the dress up to her body, twirls and smiles. She sits on the bed and touches the bags of craft materials and leans onto her back. A tear falls while she smiles.


Alice sets the table for two and Sheila brings the food to the table. They sit. Hold hands and say grace.


Alice lies in bed and Sheila sits on the side, smoothing the covers over her. She stands and kisses Alice on the forehead.

SHEILA: I’m so glad you’re here. You’re a special, special young woman.

ALICE: Really?

Sheila stands.

SHEILA: Yes, really. Everything’s going to be okay now.

Sheila reaches the door, turns around, smiles.

SHEILA: Sleep well. I’ll get you up in the morning.

She turns the light out and is a shadow in the doorway.

ALICE: Sheila?


ALICE: Thank you.

SHEILA: Hush. Now, rest. We have church in the morning.

Sheila shuts the door, leaving Alice in the dark.

ALICE: See you in the morning.