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Back You are here: Home Reports from Real Life Oh, The Things We've Seen! Reviews edward j rathke
edward j rathke

edward j rathke

Getting foppish since '96.

Thursday, 22 September 2011 04:23

Unaccustomed Mercy

--He hates the night because there is no rest--he hates the day because it moves towards night.--

 --'Have you hidden him in the past?'--

 --Old shadows descend on the room like a judgment. Something deeper than sadness washes over my body, and, for the first time, I can see myself as I really am -- a broken toy, a defective machine bent by a brutal hand. I know something vital has been stolen from me and there's no way I can ever get it back -- not with overpaid doctors, multicolored pills or sweet prayers to Jesus. For me, there is no redemption--no road home.--

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 03:30

The Part of Me I Leave Behind

You wake up three hours after lying down and the pain is excruciating. You open your eyes, blurred world, faint sun, but mostly pain. Pain that hobbles you to the toilet where you vomit five, ten times, cursing the kebab you ate just six hours previous.

Friday, 16 March 2012 19:27

Now Here is Nowhere

The air, thousands of blades rushing over the evershifting earth. I walk nameless and faceless through a featureless land beneath an unremarkable sky for I don't know how long or why. All white, the sky and ground connect past my sight and I walk in a bubble blaring with light. No edges, no lines, just billions of grains drifting past my shuffling feet. Every minute lasts the year and every mile takes me nowhere.

Friday, 15 July 2011 13:38

Aimless / Phoneless / Loveless

I suppose I wouldn't have it any other way, either. I've been in South Korea for almost eight months, which doesn't even feel real, but that also means I'm almost seven months late on my planned monthly update. It's something I meant to do once a month, make a proper post here, but, such is life, and so it goes. I've never been good at that, keeping people updated, keeping my life orderly.

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 18:38

Cannibal Cabaret

Have you heard?

Have you heard!

There's a new one in town, a new body to play, a new song to flay, and, for only today, all is for free, all given away! Oh, yes, the fate phantastique!

We run, now, much work to be done, much singing to be sung, much dancing yet begun. Ah, yes, here we are all gathered round the socialising sacrifice, the morning light revealing the hunger, the damage done and the artist's hand. The maudlin poets fester through, drinking already, whispering, gossips and charlatans ready to immortalise our bountiful feast. Ah, here the butchers then, the cutlery priests and the atavistic acolytes.

Saturday, 02 April 2011 20:06

My Brief Empyrean Sojourn

'I thought you were dead.'

Sharon shrugged, not looking up from Karen's book, 'Didn't last.'

Karen sat across from her, nibbled at the angel food cake, staring at her book and the way Sharon bent it in half, the dirt stains she left.

Sharon yawned, her mouth wide, teeth fungal green.

Karen's face soured, 'You smell awful.'

Sharon put down the book, the spine creased, stretched her arms, groaning. 'Feels so good.'

'You look filthy.'

Monday, 28 February 2011 23:39

Upon the Sons


'I think I'm being followed.'

'. . . Mark?'

'The weird thing, though, is that they're little girls. All these little girls everywhere I look and they're all looking at me, just, like, staring, comatose like, flat affect, just eyes trailing me.'

Monday, 31 January 2011 18:46

My On Fire Girl

My lady's story is one of desolation.

Everything turned to pyre. The kiss of her skin, the song of her lungs, the life she bled all caught in flames from the same fount.

She had a name but not the one I called her.

Her blood was the ocean of fire and her skin the smoke and steam.

Friday, 03 December 2010 14:44

The Road to Gwangju

Three planes, one bus, a trip to the otherside of the world that takes about thirty hours.

Looking at that sentence, there's not a lot to be excited about. Maybe the otherside of the world bit, but, and I think we can all agree [yes, we, you, too], no one wants to spend longer than an hour on a plane at a time, let alone over a complete day. 

The day before, it was snowing in Minnesota for the first time that winter, which, in many ways, marks the beginning of winter. Me, despite having lived all my life in Minnesota, hate the cold, so leaving sounded perfect. My bag packed, a final meal, breakfast--bacon and eggs--many goodbyes to family members, including my dog, Lily Belle [pictured above], I was at the airport for the final of many final goodbyes.

Sunday, 14 November 2010 20:19


‘Don’t hold your breath with your eyes open all night. Go to sleep, moonchild.’

Katerina loved the night and considered herself a member of the nightworld. She stayed up many nights gazing out her window at all the wondrous wandering stars and the paleglow of her friend, the moon. She knew a man never lived there, but she felt comforted by the soft moonlight. The first thing she remembered remembering was the first time she saw a full moon howling in a redorange light when she was still a baby. Just thinking about how the moon looked on fire that night sent all the breath out of Katerina in an exhaustive sigh, as if everything inside her released at once into a glorious feeling of calm. Her mother bought her a silver sicklemoon necklace for her fourth birthday, which she never took off, not even when she slept.