The Ninth Planet

The Ninth Planet
By Jacqueline Cioffa


I flipped on the tube to catch a break and drown out the white noise
Bam bam bam grenades, gun pellets, and machetes
Screams and blood puddles filled the streets
Respite in the eve
I think not
Danger lurks outside the front door around every corner
I used to carry pocket change when I was a naïve, young girl
Skip to the corner store for Bazooka Bubble gum and some sweet treats
Now I carry Mace and look over my shoulder
In the morning, afternoon and late nights
The time of day doesn’t matter much to hookers, haters and thieves
Killers strike at half past nine global time
While you grab a café or sunset rendezvous in Paris
Boogying to metal bands as bullets fly by your face ripping your cheek open as your exposed bones slam against the concrete in slow motion
Whyyyy meeeee drawls and dangles from your lip
Rewind please; change the channel
Where are the puppy dog lazy days in the park
By Le Tour Eiffel enjoying a baguette with salmon and brie
Splat your cheekbones exposed, bloodied muck boot brains splayed across your back as heavy bodies screech and crawl over and out
Breaking bones crack crack crack
Leaving pieces of flesh stuck to the fabric
Your white pea coat turns bleeding red as you hurl and gag
They can’t hear you, the groupies, the gunslingers, or the suicide bombers
You’re twenty-one, barely
Twenty-one-years old
With your funky bleach blond pixie, combat boots, and brand spanking new black skinny jeans
Hot shit, hot stuff you think you are
You’re toast now and you know it
Shit, never even got started
That’s not me
I squeeze my bicep, my leg, and my backache are all intact
That’s some other her I’m watching
On the tube from the comfort of a cushy, lazy boy recliner
Snug as a bug
I am not dying
To live another day on the vile, unholy earth
A one way ticket to the ninth planet
That’s what I’d like
Far and way from this place
The violence, hate, arrogance and rage
How does one turn away from the eyes glued onslaught?
Gruesome, and gory images
Happening on the hour
Of more, more blood detonated
An ordinary Cali workday in December
14 dead in varying shades of red
Holiday cookies, streamers and glitter
A man and a woman with a plan
Machine guns, pipe bombs, to spew hate
Bam bam bam more noise
Shrills and screams
“I got you,” the heroic voice whispers shrouding a young woman from the piercing fatal bullets
Pummeling his back
The ninth planet sounds better and better everyday
I don’t cry anymore, media men
Anchorman, you’ve washed up all my tears with your free-for-all, show it all, bad taste charade
Remember when a parade brought goose bumps of excitement and cheer?
Applause for the ginormous, funny balloons and colorful décor, drums and batons
Not today
Today, I avoid crowds like the plague
The 21st Century sophisticated epidemic where mass arsenal and El Chapo hang with the cool kid celebrities
Dude, I’ll take gonzo journalism to billionaire narcissists wearing wigs and coiffed gun toting Bible beating highfalutin dame masquerades
Give me a break
19 students and climbing died today by militants in Pakistan
Pakistan is so, so far away
Who cares, right?
This planet of ours is misaligned, misdirected, and miscommunicated
When did watching the evening news become
When did witnessing images of dead in the street, candlelight vigils and mass destruction become ordinary events of the day?
Turn us on, they say
Turn it off, I say
When did hate become all the rage
How did the dime store mom and popshop turn the corner to sell hand grenades on display
Instead of mouth watering Orange Push-Ups
That trickled down your hand before you could skip and hop merrily away
Greedily licking the sticky, sweet from fingers
Instead of salty tears and molten liquid
When did the image of a white coat from bloodied
footprints not scare the shit into you
How did Mace find its way into your coat pocket again?
And when, at what precise moment did you tighten your grip?
Until this planet is safe for all inhabitants
I’m booking my ticket
On the next galactic trip
To the Ninth Planet that has not yet been soiled, mucked and ruined
To find green peace and fields overflowing with white blankets of hope



Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in the anthology, Brainstorms, and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world.

Her poignant, literary fiction debut, The Vast Landscape, gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt. Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put the exciting sequel, Georgia Pine, down.

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
~ Georgia Pine by Jacqueline Cioffa

You can find her at and her column
Bleeding Ink with Feminine Collective.