Still from Tim Burton's short film 'Vincent'.

"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light.
If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls.
I will write always.
I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you."

- Henry Rollins

I don't always write about crime and serial killers, in fact I write about quite a lot of other things. The following is a way for me to share my other pieces, whether organized essays, disorganized rantings, or whatever happens to regurgitate itself onto the page. I plan on updating this section whenever I spew forth something I feel others might enjoy reading, (or something,) so check back often.

(To the center of the city where all roads meet, waiting for you...)
Out here there are places where one can drive for miles and never see a sign of life. Out here there are places where the night is so dark that the stars fairly blot out the sky, sparkling to infinity above you. Out here the coyotes howl and it is a lonely sound, because this a lonely place, passed over by the rest of the world. Telephone poles stand like huge crosses guarding the road to our own Golgotha.
(To the depths of the ocean where all hopes sank, waiting for you...)
Sometimes this seems like a dead place, acres of tall grass whipping in the wind, trees leaning over the road as if bending low to an idol. I think if you let it, this place will make you complacent and dull and angry, and rot you before you realized what was happening. It can also be a place of breathtaking beauty, untouched by human hands and human destruction. It can also be, as James O'Barr wrote in his dedication of The Crow, "indescribable beauty in absolute ugliness."
(I was moving through the silence without motion, waiting for you...)
I drive at night through the country roads, listening to Joy Division and thinking. This used to be something I did quite often, at times alone and at times with friends, eating up miles of asphalt, something dark on the sound system, trying to find where it was that I - we - fit. In my younger years it seemed that we were all pieces trying to in the wrong puzzle, and no matter how hard the player pressed we would not budge. I feel no closer to the people here now than I did then. Their life is not mine, their views are not my views, their morals are not mine, I do not go to their churches or their meetings or move in their circles. I don't envy them their closed minds and their placid stroll through life like cattle being led to the slaughter. I want something more, I want to live not for another world but exist fully in this one, for as long as I can.
( a room with a window in a corner I found truth...)
This is my truth: that beauty and ugliness can coexist in the same instant, that you do not have to bend to the will of others no matter how hard they try to crush you, that my voice must be heard and not drowned out by the others. You must find something that gives you joy, find friends who give you joy, and hold these things close to you and never let them go. It is a relatively simple concept, but one that can be infinitely difficult to accomplish. I only hope that all of you who feel there will never be a place for you can look up at your own night sky, can stand in the dark and see a million points of light around you, and know that though you are not alone. There are others out there willing to fight, but only one who can and will fight for you. Yourself.

All red type © 1979, Joy Division/'Shadowplay'/Unknown Pleasures

While surfing the Internet recently, I came across a photo spread of Mia Tyler, Liv Tyler's younger and lesser known sister. It was a series of artistic shots of Mia in various states of undress. She looked not only beautiful, but extremely comfortable with herself. This may not strike anyone as anything more than a bunch of photos of a pretty, half-naked girl. It is unusual because Mia Tyler is, in the vernacular of today, fat. Why is it that the female role models of today all appear to have come from the same cookie cutter? Why is it that full breasts and tiny waists and round hips are more valuable to society than a functioning, active mind? Is beauty easier to accept when it comes in a vapid, unintimidating - and petite - package? Where have the strong, intelligent women, the artists and muscians, of my early teenage years gone? Everyday I see young girls who have all become clones of one another, and they are all clones of the images they are bombarded daily with. There will always be perfectly cute and cloying women like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child and Jessica Simpson, who seems to have based an entire career on being the insipid counterpart to her older, apparently wiser husband. I see these young girls and I want to take them aside and open up a world to them, a world they've never known. I want to tell them that when I was their age, their were women like Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, Courteney Love and the women of Hole, (before Courteney became a drug-addled parody of herself,) Ani DiFranco, 7 Year Bitch, Four Non Blondes and L7. They were all strong, intelligent, proud, and had something to say. I want to tell these little girls that it's okay to be yourself, even if that self isn't what people refer to as 'feminine', that someday your youth and your beauty will fade and if that's all you rely on, you will eventually be left with nothing. I want to tell them that knowledge truly is power and that girls are just as powerful as boys, and that if you intimidate people with your mind and they run away, then those people weren't worth the effort anyway. Today's girls need to be told that it's okay not to base your life around a man and that not getting married and having babies is a perfectly acceptable decision to make. In this political climate, we are rapidly degenerating back into the 1950's, when Mom sat down and shut up and minded the children. We have to realize that women are not all the same, that we come in all shapes and sizes, that we have something to say. If we don't, I'm afraid that we'll slowly find our rights eroding, and eventually become a legion of automatons who strive to look, act, talk, and believe the same. We can't let that happen to anyone, women or men. So get up and scream, get up and make your voice heard, or you may one day find that you've been silenced forever.

Originally published in The Scatter.

Your sense of what I should be is skewed. Your ideal does not exist. I am not blonde, I am not tan, I am not a two-page full-color spread in a magazine. I am not a flat stomach and supple thighs and outsized breasts and whatever folly you believe a woman should be. You do not want a human, you want a perfect body and a vapid mind and a shell who is seen and not heard.
I am the one you cannot silence.
I am the one you cannot beat down.
I am the one who refuses to lower herself in order to lift you up.
I am valid.
I am real.
You don't scare me. I scare you because I am aggression, I am anger, I am female, and there are more of us than you care to realize. I will not be cheapened.
I am no one's whore and you will not treat me like one.
You call me a bitch because I have a voice that will be heard, and a will to speak my voice. You call me a bitch because I do not respond to your sleazy invitations and your catcalls. You call me a bitch because you do not know the words to describe what I am.
Your attempts to drag everyone into the mud with you are all in vain. I will cut you down each time and leave you to lie in your own rot. Equality does not exist in your world. There is another universe unknown to you where humans of all kinds are treated with respect. I hope the thought blows your atrophied mind.
And I. Am not. Your bitch.

"Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good." - Henry Rollins

Still from Tim Burton's short film 'Vincent.'