Tangible Schizophrenia


Brotherhood of the Wolf
Boondock Saints
From Dusk Till Dawn
From Hell
Kill Bill
King Arthur
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Pirates of the Caribbean
Sin City
The Ninth Gate
The 13th Warrior

Q-sense ’verse

Greek Chorus

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: PG
Pairing: Implied Jack/Anamaria, Jack/Tia Dalma.
Feedback: Good lines, typos, etc.
Disclaimer: These characters were not created by me and I make no claims on or profits from them.
Notes: Small text quoted from Itylus by Algernon C. Swinburne, so it’s anachronistic by at least a hundred years *sssh.* References both the first and second PotC movies.
Summary: Experimental-form fic. Three voices on the topic of Jack Sparrow.


Dumb girl, dumb girl, ain’t she learned better by now? Jack’s a man and men lie, they turn their hearts inside-out at the slightest hint of a storm and they don’t never ride the fury of wind and wave if they can throw someone else before it. He’s lucky and he bring adventures, but he ain’t never got me my boat back, did he? What you thinkin’, trustin’ him?

Aye, Jack Sparrow’s an unsteady one. I give him sand, ‘cause him feet are sand when dey of de earth at all. He a sailorman, he go where de fair wind is, where de waves bring him. He know women, yes, he know them well ‘cause we all got some of de ocean tide in us, but he don’t linger, and he don’t return like dat do. Sea-spray, not water. You don’t drink deep o’ him, you want you thirst quenched

O swallow, sister, O fair swift swallow,

Why wilt thou fly after spring to the south,

The soft south whither thine heart is set?

They call me a romantic, when it’s them that gave me these books of poetry and tame love stories, with the woman fainting prettily at the first sign of danger and the men’s mouths full of these ridiculous speeches when they should be fighting. This is how I’m to act? And then I call a pirate a good man, when without him we’d all be lying dead on the seabed with fish picking out our eyes, and I’m a romantic, a dreamer. Well, my dream is realer, in that case.

You leave them when you can, make your own way in the world. I came back for Jack, back when he was captain of the ship, but he ain’t never been my captain, my mate, my nothin’. And it wasn’t my boat, was it? I got to get that all by myself.

They said a man tried to fly to the sun, got hisself burned down. ‘course—women, we don’t do that if we know what’s good for us. We squat and we stay to watch over our own fires, hearth be in stone houses on land or swinging lanterns at sea. Same fire’s as up there, is down here, so why go listenin’ to a foolish devil like Jack?

Why wilt thou fly after spring to the south,

The soft south whither thine heart is set?

Shall not the grief of the old time follow?

Shall not the song thereof cleave to thy mouth?

Hast thou forgotten ere I forget?

Thy way is long to the sun and the south;

But I, fulfill’d of my heart’s desire,

Shedding my song upon height, upon hollow,

From tawny body and sweet small mouth

Feed the heart of the night with fire.

while the hours and the wild birds follow,
Take flight and follow and find the sun.

It’s so dry and dull and suffocating on land, and when there are the skies and the sea. I can’t believe that these were created solely for us to turn our backs to them. I can’t believe that my heart sings when I look to the horizon only so I must stifle its cry.

…I’m not so young and empty-headed. I saw the dead men walk. I saw Norrington’s men scrubbing the red water off the decks afterward. I know there’s a price to be paid. But why doesn’t anyone let me decide for myself whether it’s worth paying?

Dis house of mine, I mek it on water and land. I mek it in de wild, beyond de hard hand of de towns with its soft white skin and sharp gold rings dat cut when it hits you. I ain’t livin’ where dey born chewin’ ashes and dey get up every seventh day of dem lives to hear ‘bout how dey goin’ be ashes till dey do die and be ashes. I put me blood in me house. I goin’ die in dis stinkin’ heat with swamp-water lappin’ me feet and I goin’ buried in dis earth that ain’t been broken, don’t like people, always tryin’ kill us. I ain’t goin’ be ashes.

For where thou fliest I shall not follow,

Till life forget and death remember,

Till thou remember and I forget.

Swallow, my sister, O singing swallow,

I know not how thou hast heart to sing.

Hast thou the heart? is it all past over?

Thy lord the summer is good to follow,

And fair the feet of thy lover the spring:

But what wilt thou say to the spring thy lover?

De price ain’t ever what you t’ink, girl. I goin’ be bleeding, and I goin’ be always wrappin’ it up meself. dey bring gifts, dey do. dey bring pleasure sometimes—ah, Jack and him wicked damn tongue, him hands that t’ink dey glory and maybe almost are—but dey is common who leave pain, and is rare who bring pain but give you joy.

You got to be ready to watch you’self. You got to be ready to take and hold for you’self and nobody else.

‘cause even if dey true, dey young and lovely like dis young man standin’ in me doorway with him soot-hands and him clear heart, dey ain’t immortal. Even if dey blackhearted and clever, dey like dis devil him I pulled from de water and him teeth cut me so me blood’s already drippin’ in him mouth, dey die.

You hold and be greedy, girl, and you have dem, but dey jealous and dey fight and dey kill, and you lose dem anyway. But you hold anyway. Be stupid if you let dem go ‘fore dey leave you. You lose little as you can, and hope what you got evens out with what hurt dey leave.

There ain’t no shame in admittin’ that I liked the man, slippery and twisty and clever as he is. And yes, Jack’s got his advantages. I reckon we ever in port the same time, he’d still sit down to a glass with me ‘spite all that’s flowed ‘twixt us. And I liked how he touched me, how ‘cept under the covers it was like anyone else on the ship. I’m a sailor out there, damn it, but I’m a woman when it stirs low and hot in my belly to be one. He ain’t ever forgot either.

My heart in me is a molten ember

And over my head the waves have met.

But thou wouldst tarry or I would follow

Could I forget or thou remember,

Couldst thou remember and I forget.

And you see, he saved my life before and he didn’t know who I was. He didn’t know who I was!

He knows who I am now. Perhaps he’s a pirate, but he’s a man as well and he must listen. We’ll help him of course, but he has to help us, and I think he will. Jack Sparrow’s got a long memory, and he will certainly remember us and what we’ve been through together. I didn’t dream then—that all really happened.

Jack’s a survivor. He maddens me, but I ain’t goin’ begrudge him that. Ain’t goin’ to let that slip my mind, either. He got blood on those sweet lady’s-finger hands of his, and he got deaths on his account. He always goin’ trade for his life, no matter how he likes you.

See, that’s why I left. Didn’t want him startin’ to think I’m worth enough to start figurin’ into his bargains. I ain’t gonna be sold, and never mind that the slave-block ain’t Jack’s way. Livin’ is, and that’s enough to tell me.

Good luck to him, with that. I’m away now on my boat with my life and peace, and I’ll raise my glass to him. Knowin’ him, he’ll need it.

O sweet stray sister, O shifting swallow,

The heart's division divideth us.

Thy heart is light as a leaf of a tree;

But mine goes forth among sea-gulfs hollow

To the place of the slaying of Itylus,

The feast of Daulis, the Thracian sea.

Last time I look at Jack, I see nothin’. You understand, child? I see nothin’ in him face, I see nothin’ in him hands. Black drowning nothin’ like when dey bury people in soft earth and de dirt just sucks dem down like it was deep open water.

I give him earth, girl, ‘cause I wantin’ him have at least a place to rest him head. Silly hope since Jack is all water, but de water’s a cruel bed to you, never lettin’ you be, grindin’ you bones long after you given up.

He reckons it’ll turn him back up someday, set him back on him feet. But he got to be taken by it, any way, and it goin’ mek him to nothin’ first.

It’s…it’s rather funny, actually. Because in the romances, the hero always has a…a test of faith. And he fails it the first time, because of some weakness in himself that he forgot about, or he’d hidden from himself, or he’d seen as insignificant. He fails and not only does he suffer for it, but others do as well.

I’m not going to live a romance. I’ve read them and I’ve learned the rules. And I’ve gone out into the world, and seen when they must be broken. I’m a grown woman.

I won’t be hurt. I won’t.

Oh, Jack.


I came back for him once already, didn’t I? Followed the fool’s way. And he was already in the water, waitin’ for us. Hangman missed him that time.

Aye, I miss him. He’s the kind, he shines back through mem’ry till you die, and never mind when is it that he finally follows out the last tide.

Who hath remember'd me? who hath forgotten?

Thou hast forgotten, O summer swallow,

But the world shall end when I forget.

God, I forgave him the moment he stepped back on the deck. But he left it so late! There was no time to come up with another plan, not if we were to have any chance. There was…no…time.

I sit here, regretting every lost second, and I cannot put him out of my mind.

I threw de bones hourly, watchin’ and waitin’ for days. Me stomach shriveled up to me backbone with hunger, me mouth dried out with thirst, and then Jack Sparrow didn’t mess with de bones no more.

We lighted candles for him. And I set one on a plank, and watched it float off over de edge of de world, and it still lit. He dead but he not gone.

It’s the Caribbean, ain’t it? You never know.

Spring, she born here over and over, and winter keep her distance.

The story doesn’t end here.

Romances abandon the people they’re about after they’re over.

I won’t this time.