Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Poem: Blooming out of Place

In the garage you smoke a cigar
Outside there are several inches of snow
You look at the lemon tree that you stubbornly keep alive through the winter
By installing grow lights and a heater in the garage
Lemon trees do not grow here but neither have you
You've planned to move back to where you call home
But things and events conspire to keep you here
Like the tree, you resist putting down permanent roots
You see the beginnings of flowers, little buds of white
The tree has found a way to bloom out of place
But you have not.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Short Fiction: Luther's Long Locks

A fun challenge. Write a short using all of the words from (hover mouse for definitions):
Illustrations Of Unusual And Rarely Spoken Words

Walking slowly by a penny arcade gazing at the machines yonderly, Luther's neck was hurting, and he felt in a zugzwang. As an acersecomic his burden had become great, and was afraid that it would be his hamartia. He was trying to suppress scripturient feelings, but as he walked the ostentiferious clouds seemed to darken with each step. Even though he often regarded such machines as ultracrepidarian, on a whim he approached a fortunetelling machine and supplied it with a penny. In a glass container, the upper torso of a crone in the posture of issuing a jettatura, spit out a small slip of paper into a dispenser. With reservations, Luther retrieved the message and read, "Hair binds you. Cut it and be free." The words were a recumbentibus to his very way of life. Upon recovery, he rubbed his smooth chin and decided to take the advice and to take up pogonotrophy instead.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Poem: Binary Poem

01010111 01101000 01101001 01101100 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01101111 01110010 01101111 01110101 01110011 00100000 01101100 01101001 01101101 01100101 01110010 01101001 01100011 01101011 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01110101 01110010 01101001 01101111 01110101 01110011 00100000 01101101 01101111 01100100 01100101 00001010 01000001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01101101 01110101 01101110 01101001 01100011 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101111 01101111 01101100 00101100 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01101100 01100101 01110100 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101111 01100001 01100100 00001010 01000110 01110010 01101111 01101101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110011 01101001 01101101 01110000 01101100 01100101 00100000 01110100 01100001 01100111 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110010 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 01100011 01101000 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100101 01101110 00100000 01110010 01100001 01101001 01110011 01100101 01100100 00001010 01001000 01101111 01110111 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01110101 01110000 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110000 01101111 01100101 01101101 00101100 00100000 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110101 01100111 01101000 01110100 01110011 00100000 01110011 01110000 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100011 01110010 01100001 01111010 01100101 01100100 00001010 01010100 01101000 01100101 01101110 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100100 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101111 01101110 01100011 01100101 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01110110 01100101 01110010 01100010 01101001 01100001 01101100 00100000 01101100 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01101100 01100010 00100000 01100111 01101100 01101111 01110111 01100101 01100100 00001010 01010100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110010 01101000 01111001 01101101 01100101 00100000 01110011 01101000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110110 01100101 01110010 01110100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00100001 00001010 00001010

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book: Thwarted by Packaging - a preview

A recent book by a friend...
Purchase: Thwarted by Packaging

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Poem: The Torture of Less-Than

No one celebrates Salieri, the tragic hero of the less-than.
The man who wants more than he was given by definition,
who wants more than he can have through his own creation.
No manner of teaching or torture can gifts be gained or affinities acquired.
The genius of the naive is adored, and the work of the less-than ignored.

A cobble under the carriage of the mollycoddled, the ground wishes to be pure sky.
Those conveyed by gift's glory never know the jealousy of clay or the weight of air.
Just good enough to know that he's not good enough-
No one celebrates Salieri.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Haiku: On Extinction - I

Giants walk the earth.
Slow thoughts process blinding light.
Futures become dearth.

The red sky, it churns.
Food and breath are hard to catch.
Ow, extinction burns.

Scaly and hungry,
Earth has lived another life.
The product? Oily.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Essay: The Seat of Consciousness

I considered myself lucky; I could see the bus stopped down the street which would give me just enough time to park my car and be out at the next stop before it got there. I work at a university that has removed all parking near campus except for the disabled and the wealthier of the staff and faculty. Of course I don’t have a beef with the disabled, but as for the others...pure classism. I’d coined the term (not literally of course, I’d read about it somewhere) to address my and others’ particular situation in many conversations over the year with fellow staffers in the same predicament. Being a middle-aged Euro-descended male, monetary classism was the only kind of prejudice I’ve ever had direct experience with - and it pissed me off. I try to understand the plight of others, and I do my personal best not to participate or proliferate prejudice in the world that I have direct contact with.

With money so many of the drudgeries of daily life just become non-problems. If you think about it, it’s amazing. If you can buy more food than you can eat, then the worry of how will I feed my family; should I pay the electric bill or buy groceries; if we only eat every other day will we become nutritionally deficient; those are just non-issues for those with more. If I could park outside of the building I work in, I wouldn’t have to wait for and ride a bus; I wouldn’t need to think about carrying an umbrella; I wouldn’t have to limit my accourtre to the amount of stuff that I can comfortable carry. I could leave it all in my Denali, Navigator, Escalade, or Hummer parked outside, and pop out to enjoy the wet-bar in the car for a moment when my day became excruciatingly impinging.

If I lived in a big city, I could understand the situation. But here in the mid-south, there is plenty of land to clear and pave over for parking. When was the last time you went to Wal-Mart and couldn’t find a place to park? It just doesn’t happen. I pulled into the only spot left for staff, hopped out gather my laptop bag and my sack lunch, packed in a used Wal-Mart bag, and rushed across the street to await the bus. When I boarded, it was already half full. So as the bus began to jostle down the street, I held on to the rails near the ceiling and made my way to the back. Along the back wall there was a row of five seats and two groups of three seats facing each other along the sides. The three seats on the right were occupied by two guys with big backpacks. And along the back wall there were two students together against one side. But the three seats on the  left were unoccupied. As I shifted my gait to aim for the empty group of seats, I noticed that the four people there seems to be slyly watching me. I looked down at the seats and saw that each one had a puddle of what I assumed to be water in them. The middle one was the largest, maybe a full coffee saucer amount with a small dark, presumably oily, dot floating in the middle of the puddle.

Instantly, I understood the attention. They were watching to see if this old guy was going to puddle himself. I stepped past the seats and settled into a window seat along the back row. I slid on my sunglasses and pop in my earbuds and resumed listening to the short story podcast, I had started in the car. At the next bus stop there were enough students waiting to fill the seats and still have a few standing. As the students filed in, the empty seats in the front filled up first. Students made their way to the back talking and distracted as so many of them are. I was looking out the window when I noticed the first young woman to sit in a puddle. She sat in the seat closest to me, one of the smaller puddles, half the size of the saucer full in the middle. She was wearing shorts, of the rejuvenated style from the 70s (the runners’ shorts with the piping across the edges and the side seams) and was carrying on a conversation with another young woman in similar shorts who sat down next to her in the seat with the big puddle. It was difficult to remain expressionless. I wanted to say, ‘hey you just sat in a puddle!’ but I didn’t. I nonchalantly glanced around at the expressions of the other four who I know were also keenly aware that she just sat in a gross puddle of liquid with a little dot of greasy looking something floating it, and they too were stone-faced. This was one of those moments shared with strangers where you know absolutely without doubt what they are thinking but no one voiced a peep. It was a collective thought-shout of, “Gross!” that rang through the stale, shared air in the back of the bus, over the loud drone of the straining diesel engine and the munged, indiscernible words of twenty simultaneous conversations.

Even though we five played poker with our faces, we all frequently glanced at middle student with intense interest waiting for the moment of recognition. I think we each wanted to be the first to see her expression change. The reorientation of her attention to the growing wetness on her bottom. I suspected it would start with the realization of the wrongness of moisture; that would quickly translate into a fright regarding the source of the moisture. When she had completed a rapid bodily inventory and realized that she, herself, was not the source, the fear would morph into a list of possible amalgamations of liquid: water, a spilled drink, abandoned bodily fluid, and the list would continue.

But there was no recognition at all. No shift in posture; no questioning self-reflection facial expression; no bolt-upright jump accompanied by frantic butt wiping; there was no tell at all. I was astounded. How could someone be so disconnected with their own body as not to notice that their shorts had just adsorbed an amount of liquid equal to but not less than a full coffee saucer? For the next ten minutes of stop signs and busy traffic, the two of the them kept talking without any apparent notice.

I became increasing existential in my thoughts about the situation. In the relatively incredibility short time that we have been homo sapiens we have become amazingly cerebral. We can ignore much of the physical world around us and dwell more and more in the constructed space of our thoughts. We are becoming true spiritual beings; perhaps soon we can evolve beyond the need for a physical support system to house our personalities. As free-form thinking entities experiencing the world without physical limitation we could travel the universe and know all of existence.

The bus finally reached the main terminal on campus and the people nearest the doors exited first. The five of us who had participated in the same thoughts earlier waited to look at the empty seat for the confirmation of the liquid adsorption. As the two young women stood up and walked up the aisle to the exit door, we all looked at their asses. The dark color of the shorts and poor lighting revealed nothing. We looked at the seats where they were, also nothing. Perhaps we had a collective hallucination; maybe the previous puddles were a mirage caused by some solar anomaly projected through the tinted windows of the bus?

Walking out into the day, I blinked against the sun invading my eyes around the edges of my sunglasses, and I held my breath trying to avoid breathing in the awful exhaust of the bus' engine. I watched the group of passengers split into their separate destinations, and spotted the two young women walking. I saw the taller one, the one who sat in the middle seat with the largest puddle reach back and touch the lower middle of her butt with the palm of her hand. She twisted around trying to see it. Her friend looked at her butt and touched it with her hand too. Finally, they both showed realization and disgust. I Iooked around to see if any of my thought-compadres shared in the culmination of the situation.

I felt vindicated and disappointed; I would not be able any time soon to escape my body and exist as a free-form being of thought. Also I still wondered what the oily substance was.