Posts Tagged ‘character’

Big Barbie


Has black plastic trash bags

taped over the windows

in her single-wide trailer.


Three hundred pounds

of Triple D axle grease,

Big Barbie’s got a tattoo

of a dead cop on her ass,


short white spike hair

black boots, tunnels

in her ears; she rides

naked on her Harley

in the middle of the night.


Big Barbie knows pipes,

transmissions, belts,

better than any damn man.


She likes to play rough

with pretty little dolls,

knock off their heads


and leave them laying

in a dumpster behind

Angel Mae’s Bar.


She’s got the best acid

in Chatham County.

Don’t go to Big Barbie’s

unless you’ve got cash.


But once a month

when her pipes get funky,

she sits by the window


and thinks about how

her stepfather raped her.

She thinks about the baby

those bastards took away.


Big Barbie cuts her arm

with a rusty razor;

tweaks while she bleeds

into black plastic space.

-Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


This poem originally published in Don’t Call Me Plath.



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What do magic, mythical gods, and   the streets of New York City have in common?  You’ll find it all in          The Third Age, a webseries which is being launched today by Blip.TV.


Written, directed and shot by           Patrick Meaney and Jordan Rennert and produced by Amber Yoder (my daughter), The Third Age has been billed as a “psychedelic remix of classic mythology, telling the story of ordinary people caught up in an eternal war between gods waged on the streets of New York City.”


I love classic mythology, so I was instantly intrigued and happy to have a chance to preview the first seven episodes.  A war between gods and realistic scenes of gritty, city streets is definitely a modern twist on an epic story.  But the way the story is told is exciting and unique.  A god gets kidnapped.  A drug dealer finds himself simultaneously hiding from the cops and getting involved in the middle of a struggle between science and magic.  Fantasy meets asphalt.  I can’t wait to see more.


The Third Age begins with scenes from a laboratory and has an X-Files feel to it, which is excellent.  Then we are introduced to the main characters. Christopher Zinone is not your typical drug dealer on the corner—his clients are young and wealthy.  But Christopher is depressed and wants to change his ways.  Determined that he has made the last drug deal of his life, he heads home one night and meets a beautiful woman who is crying on the street.  Her name is Morning.  She is far from ordinary.


The laboratory scenes weave into the story well, and this background builds much suspense.  We meet a scientist named Jerrod Woolf who had a vision thirty years ago.  He dreamed of creating a drug that would one day save the world.  Jerrod Woolf’s world of science, the “real” world of Christopher Zinone and the magical world of Morning collide to make for a story that is keeping me on the edge of my seat.


As a person who spends her life writing stories, I am impressed by the richness of the storyline in The Third Age.  It is complex, not in a way that is hard to understand, but in a way that makes a fiction writer nod her head and appreciate the sophistication of what these filmmakers are doing.  Don’t get hung up on the word “psychedelic.”  There’s a very real story here.


The writers of this series respect my intelligence as a viewer and do not bombard me with obvious explanations, as some series do.  The characterization of Christopher Zinone is fantastic.  He unfolds with details that create a rich blend of character that is much more than meets the eye.


Obviously, I dig well developed characterization and an interesting story.  If you’re somebody who reads this site every week, you probably do, too.  I also know that many of you enjoy fantasy writing.  Of course, there are more elements that make the series excellent.  But I’d rather let you check it out.  The first season consists of thirteen seven minute episodes, and it will be released weekly, starting today.  A second season will follow with thirteen additional episodes.


The series has already been previewed at screening events in New York, including Big Screen, Little Screen and Industry Power Play.  It is produced by Respect Films, an independent production company that creates innovative content for the web and traditional media.


You can read about the making of The Third Age by checking out the website HERE.  The behind the scenes work is fun to read.  You think you have challenges as a poet or a fiction writer?  Imagine having to find real locations and good actors for your characters.  Then lug around equipment and film them in a way that is professional and true to your vision.  Oh, yeah.  And do it on a budget.  I know the genres aren’t the same, but the physical aspects of film make me really respect what they do.


The Third Age has already received great reviews.  Check out one by Tubefilter News HERE.   It also tells about Respect Film’s current work with ESPN.


Please take a few minutes to check out episode one of The Third Age HERE and bookmark the page.


I rarely turn on the stupid box (aka the television).  But I’ll be clicking on          The Third Age every week.  The story is a fantastic ride.


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Mr. Orrie’s Clamming License


Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


A man with a badge

pulls up in a boat

next to Mr. Orrie’s

bent back shack:


Have you got

a license

to clam here?


Mr. Orrie’s got

a Cherokee mama

and a great grandpa

buried three knots

beyond the beacon.


He’s got a brogue

thick as marsh mud


curly white eyebrows

and a blue birthmark

shaped like a crab claw

on his brown-red jaw.


He’s got his daddy’s rake,

boots, nets, hip waders

and a criss-cross of scars

on his long, thick arms.


Mr. Orrie’s got a sweet

round woman with a gun

and a kettle of home brew

on his saggy back porch.


He’s got salt in his marrow

and a leg that still aches

ever since that time in ’58

when a stingray got him.


He’s got a faded gray

pickup truck that runs

and a yellow lab dog

with an ear chewed off

by a fat black bear.


He’s got a rope

for every squall.

A hurricane lantern

that’s seen them all.


He’s got a hand carved boat

that’s fifty years older

than the man with the badge.


He does not have

a politician’s piece

of pretty legalese.


But son, you’d bloody well

better hurry up and believe


Mr. Orrie’s got a license

to clam anywhere

he damn well pleases.



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When someone I love more than life itself was seriously ill, he said two things I’ll never forget.  He said he hated it when people treated him like a prophet or a sage, just because he was sick.  He also said he could handle the days when he woke up in great pain, because the pain let him know that he was still alive.  

But wait…there’s a happy ending here.  He has been completely well for years now.  

I still think he’s a sage. 




Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

Waking with a disease creates edges.

Edges of light around closed curtains,

beneath my morning door, the promise

of hospital corners, angular faces

with masks, the knife.


Edges are safe.

Without them, there is bottom,

beneath a cliff no one has seen,

the other thing I must avoid

by breathing.


Edges can be lovely, a dull hum,

the gentle bleeding of a tongue,

waking underwater shades of gray

puddled voices in the hall,

behind dark doors

elbowing slow into my sleep.

On those days, I can tolerate

pointless conversations about rain,

the spin of earth, breath, sky.


Sometimes the edges are angry,

a thousand thumping veins,

the drip of drops

in the crook of my spine.

On those days, the edges bite

my ribs, blacken my eyes, shove

slow blades beneath yellow nails,

swell the glands in my neck like fists,

leave me on bended knees, praying

by the bloody toilet, panting

under sweaty sheets, loving

every thin blue breath.


On those days, I cannot stand

the petty crusts of burnt bread,

neighbors with toothaches

and complaints about my dog.

Only the edges matter.

Only the edges are real.


When the edges weaken,

the slice of sheets grows small

and I am floating face down,

a jellyfish drying in sun.

The day is a rendering of skin,

lines that sift slowly, broken feet,

stopping an elevator between floors

to be able to breathe alone, in peace.

The nights are bright in the bathroom,

mirror sharp, thickening

red stars on the floor, crescents

of moons beneath my eyes.


No one understands why I love edges.

The edges are always there

in the pillow, the glass, the jagged trees,

each deep sharp blade of green. 

The edges are mine.

So full. So full of me.


Life is not circular.

The earth remains flat.

The bottom, not so far away.


I can live with edges.

Edges are good, even those

that have eroded.

When I see splinters

of sky in the window,

when I taste the sharp

dark blood of my tongue,

when I hear the broken echo

crumble across the canyon,

I know the rocks have fallen

instead of me.



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They Bill Him Out


They named him Bird Dog

in Vietnam; he flew home

with silver rods in his arms

and a purple heart he won’t

talk about to save his life.


He started drinking

with a good stout blonde.

Dreamed of owning a hog.

Grew porkchop sideburns,

a garden full of greens

and six kids raised

in a lopsided trailer

on Credence,

macaroni and cheese.


Now he works Haz-Mat

Emergency Response.

24/7 he’s ready

with boots and a pager

and a face respirator.

He cleans toxic waste

with a half broke shovel

when the EPA calls his boss.


Each grease hot hour

on the side of the road,

in a tank, underground,

in the thick, black air,

they bill him to the client

for a hundred twenty bucks.

They pay him twelve.


Boss buys another boat.

Bird Dog goes fishing

on a muddy riverbank

with a cheap six pack

and ten grandkids

til the pager beeps and

they bill him out again.

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


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