Crutch Diary

My friend who has had the broken leg sends this update to her crutch diary:

crutchdessert 001It has been almost 40 days and 40 nights since the bone break. The only excursion out of the flat has been one trip to the hospital for x-rays.

I’m parched.

Forty days with the horizon shrink-wrapped to my skin.

It doesn’t really get easier. I’ve learned all about fractures, including something  called ‘bone fracture anger’. It is good to know that anger and frustration at not being able to do normal things is, well, normal. The occasional mini-melt-down is delicious in its own way.

My former morning routine – getting up, feeding the cats, feeding myself, showering and dressing – used to take about an hour. Now I can’t do all those things in one go. For one, simple tasks that could be done in a few seconds, such as pouring juice, now require a string of staged steps and approximately ten times the amount of time, not to mention energy. I can’t persevere until the jobs are done, because after a few minutes in a vertical position the leg swells and the toes turn colour. I have to stop, sit down and rest with the leg elevated until it normalises. Only after a good rest can I carry on with the next task.

This means that it is not unusual for my morning routine to last until 1 or 2pm. It makes for a very short day.

There is also a fear that too much of the wrong kind of activity can knacker the leg by shifting the bones slightly out of alignment, breaking the still-fragile structure that bridges the gap. A hard cast that fits tightly when initially applied becomes loose as the leg shrinks inside it, so there is wiggle room – it is not true immobilisation. Stories abound of people who dramatically extended the time required for healing, by trying to do too much too soon.

It is obvious that most of my body’s resources are being directed to healing the leg, and not available for other things. Reading all those novels hasn’t been possible. I’ve only done a little reading – too much energy is required.

Of course, absolutely everything about my life has been put on hold. All of the holidays, the cultural and social events that sustain me, all of the things I have been looking forward to, have been removed from my diary. It is as if every event that I wanted to attend has been mysteriously relocated to Japan, leaving absolutely nothing except the Internet and precious visits from people bringing me manna in the desert (and occasionally bringing dessert, as well).

I don’t recommend this as a way to spend a couple of months.

Things that I appreciate are the comfort of my cats,  friends, and the occasional spot of sunshine on the floor.

Hopefully, I will soon be out of this desert and back into the world for a refreshing drink of sunshine.

And possibly some dessert.

Flarf Experiment 3 – Sand Smoke

created by Mary Jacob using an adaptation of the flarf technique. 12 February 2013

In Mars’ polar regions,
a drawing of a face at Coney Island beach
has a stack of
photos of the Red Cross.
Break the rules and
an 86-year-old former midget
as he carves grooves in sand dunes
up to 2 feet thick.
Unprecedented coverage
is expected near the
everywhere and water too.
Phone numbers for the best
play in silver
show you how to make a
with a clear lens focus.
This series of false-color
must be situated
exposure to the best emerging acts.

There is just something about
the dynamic nature of the Martian surface
that follows
basics to the brink.

Flarf experiment 2 – Scratch Window

Photo by Tom Scott, available on Flickr through Creative Commons

Photo by Tom Scott, available on Flickr through Creative Commons

Created by Mary Jacob 12 February 2013, using a variation of the Flarf technique

All types of damage.
Your nail hits
a science and education tool aimed at
a lightweight and highly configurable
The result is
all types of damage,
which stays open after
the intended behavior.
A shrinking
on today’s high street,
while functional,
is a result of
young customers’
DJ performance.
A blade that traces the arc of the
language for everyone.
You have at least the beginnings of the dreaded

Flarf Experiment – Pain Tapestry

Flarf experiment composed by Mary Jacob 12 Feb 2013


Well, it had to happen some day. It was inevitable really. Flarf is a method for composing poetry that is similar to Dadaist cut-ups but using Google , so it was a natural for Rrose. Choose two words that don’t have anything to do with each other and enter a search. Copy words and phrases from the results and paste them into a poem. Once you have done that, you can shape and change it as you see fit. Flarf started off as a joke, but then became serious. Here is my first experiment. I’ve adapted the method to produce something that suits my own aesthetics.

Pain Tapestry

Without pain our life is unthinkable.
The concrete could open up.
There are three
rolling in,
woven into our own bodies
for about a year now.
They are easy to stitch
in the deep recesses of
12 million other
that share our
Embrace the outward beauty,
the shock at losing
our designs.
How much pain can we endure?

more Harmony pix

I’ve just added some more images made with Harmony.

It is possible to do something representational. My usual mode of working is Surrealist, basically start drawing without any preconceived idea, following interesting colours and shapes, and see what emerges, When it starts to look like something, I then develop it.


7X7 Flash Fiction Missing Links

written by Mary Jacob, 4 February 2013, based on words provided by Tommy Baker

Photo by Muscapix on Flickr, available by Creative Commons

Photo by Muscapix on Flickr, available by Creative Commons

She gathered her courage and approached the cage with trepidation. She’d only been helping look after this menagerie for about a week, and she was still quite nervous with some of its denizens. This one was called an iguana but she couldn’t help but think of it as a miniature dragon. It was all green with a tail longer than its body, and lots of pointy bits all over.

She lifted up the wire mesh tentatively and threw in a handful of dandelion greens and dahlia blossoms. Ignatius rolled his eyes, still clinging, motionless, to his branch, and then darted out to grab a mouthful of flowers. His eyes were so complex! Layers of folds in every possible shade of green, all luminescent, and two eyelids for each eye. It was hypnotic just to look at him. He doesn’t seem that mean, she thought, just a bit skittish. She probably would be, too, if she were cooped up like this.

She filled his water bowl and refastened the lid, then moved on to the next enclosure, a pair of hamsters. They were infested with ear mites and needed to have drops put in. She picked up their pudgy little bodies one at a time, and gazed into their obsidian eyes as she administered the drops. They looked all around, as if uncomprehending, so different from Ignatius, who seemed to know everything.

She went back to Iggy’s cage, reached in and let her fingers run over his scales. This time, he eased forward and slithered under her touch. He looked straight at her and blinked, slowly.

Against all odds, she was beginning to like him. She lingered for a bit, and then began to sweep the dust and tidy up the animal room. For some reason, she was reluctant to leave work that day.