cruella de bright

II

How formulaic my outfits have become. How predictable my eccentricity. With my reliance on ModCloth florals and nauseating prints, I’ve almost begun to bore myself. But I can’t stop: this is who I’ve been lately. Things dark and quiet revolt me. I’m in mad love with all things loud and bright, and I can’t resist sharing.

I

I don’t remember the last time I had a truly gothic sartorial urge. All brights all the time. I feel so out of place with my pagan friends and my haunt production team – clad as they are in goth boots and black lipstick. But rest assured that I haven’t lost the creepy edge. I still read about serial killers and fall asleep to creepypastas every night. I just don’t want – these days, anyway – to dress like it.

III

 

VI

IV

V

lawnmowers everywhere

I

I’m a seasonal creature. I’d like to blame the obsessive-compulsive disorder, but I can’t very well pathologize every quirk, every tic. Some things are features, not bugs.

I divide my life in four, in twelve, in fifty-two: wherever I can see dichotomy, I milk it. It’s spring. Time to do Spring Things. Which are worlds apart from summer from autumn from winter things.

III

II

Spring things are birth and agency and everything we’ve missed through our snowy shackles. Drama and fluorescence and heady breezes signaling heartbeats ever faster. Sequins, absinthe, and naked extravagance.

VII IX

Carbon Leaf, Celtic Woman, and medieval polkas.

VIII

jump

To life.

V VIII

XIII XII

 

young ‘uns

 

 

Because spring, because birth, because aging.

I

I swore it was just one of those in-between gigs –

a nice fiscal pick-me-up between my English B.A.

and my philosophy post-grad.

But there’s no demand for nattering Nietzscheans, it seems,

so here I remain,

making martyrs of the brats whose hall passes I deny,

and confiscating gum from the ones smarter than me.

VIII

In their skinny jeans and gangsta pants

those kids are brewing the next sexual revolution.

The boys – proto-Guevaras –

with middle fingers erected stiff,

fucking authority in the absence of any girl bold enough.

III

And the girls –

their bodies are still miraculous accidents,

still without seams dividing the end of childhood

from the beginning of self-hatred.

Each incipient breast,

not yet fraught with politics,

is blameless as a monk’s gleaming pate.

VI

 

For all the catcalls and mash notes

and terroristic exclusion campaigns:

those breasts are still pointy

and those fingers: all the boys

can actually get up.

IV

They’re playing at adulthood –

no, that’s not fair.

They are working at adulthood,

and that is more than I myself can say,

prizing education though I wasted my own

and thumbing my nose at troublemakers

while I drink my own self sane.

 

Their excuses are mine –

no, better than mine.

“Teacher dear, I am busy

pioneering this clusterfuck that is adolescence.

Please forgive me if my homework gets lost

somewhere between not-quite-wrecking-Dad’s-car

and the thrill of a first orgasm.”

VII IX

Half-grown but fully alive, they

are striving, as I

confront my own obsolescence.

Maybe that’s why they never meet my eyes:

in them they see themselves

only much more so.

V II

Words and photos by me.

may 2

I started fashion blogging when I needed a new creative outlet after scrapping my novels. Writing used to be What I Did. I was an anxious, mostly friendless child, so I made up stories to chug through each day. Writing was what everyone knew me for, but as I grew more comfortable with the rudiments of human society, I started leaving it behind. Flanked, as I’d become, by real friends, I could no longer summon the imaginary with such ease. But I have always harbored an overabundance of creative energy, and I needed somewhere to deposit it.

And hey, I liked clothes. I’d always liked clothes. My high-school dream was to own a costume shop and write in a garret above. I was also a theater kid coming to terms with how much harder university-level auditions were. I wasn’t good enough for the collegiate stage, but I needed somewhere to ham it up. So taking pictures of my wacky outfits became my new Thing.

Today, May second, it’s been two years. I remember considering the final papers I had yet to write, the books I had yet to crack, and deciding: I think I’ll start a fashion blog. I stayed up much of the night choosing a layout and writing introductory posts. That’s Skye for you, and a big part of the reason I dropped out of school: assignments, no matter how interesting, never seduce me as thoroughly as my own projects.

I remember being thrilled the first time a post broke 50 views. When I counted 435 total my first month. I get occasional urges to go back and delete everything from before I got my Canon – I cringe a little at having those shitty webcam shots attached to my name, you know? But I’d regret it. Gotta see where I came from. If I’m Jenny, those old posts are my metaphorical Block.

This blog has been an excuse to outdress myself every day. A conversation starter with cute guys at parties. What I expected to be a blowing-off-steam hobby has catalyzed many major victories in my life. When I applied for costume directorship at the Haunted Forest, I had a portfolio to show off with just one click. I’ve met and collaborated with other bloggers – Rachel, Marlen, and soon Polly. I’ve practiced modeling and photography and learned everything inherent in putting together a fashion editorial. It’s so much more than the clothes. It’s a whole world, and it thrills me. And it looks like my scrap of it is thrilling someone, because I got almost 5k views last month.

And? Being in the practice of writing every day has gotten me submitting to magazines again. I’ve been a columnist for the Prague Revue since September; in December I was published in elephant journal. My creative life is wonderfully syncretic. Look at me, wearing clothes ‘n’ stuff! And even writing about them sometimes.

You were probably expecting one of those “through the years” retrospectives, full of embarrassing old photos I’m brave enough to post only after a few drinks. Well, you’re not getting that – mostly because I’m out of drinks. But I thought I’d exhibit some of the photos that haven’t made the blog over the past year.

274

477

788

1390

715

coulrophobes’ worst nightmare

I

III

VIII

Clockwork children never sleep. We can afford patience, though: fear has no expiration date. Changing seasons bring us from the woodwork, from the corners, from all the places you forgot to check.

Think spring can’t spook you?

X

Think again.

VII

VI

V

Packed away again. Wait ’til next the winds change.

II