Friday, December 31, 2010

Decade in Review...(is it a year late?)

Decade in Haiku

2000

Snowed in one morning
With book sitting on my porch
White pages flutter

2001

Library at dusk
Wandering lost among stacks
Echos in Eco

2002

Don black regalia
Walk hard steps into the world
Sadly leave the Hill

2003

White orchids in place
light of the world in bride's eyes
Nuptial bells ring true

2004

Switching languages
Running the course of the halls
No peace til midnight

2005

Shimmering old road
Driving steady until dawn
Finally back home

2006

Rampant miracles
Name to launch a thousand ships
Embarked with new dawn

2007

Ivory labyrinth
Find voice by building with words
Lose myself in echoes

2008

Learned to not miss sleep
Running on a caffeine drip
Hope in November

2009

No more evening news
Rough ripples from weak markets
Sail on with my works

2010

Months of unpacking
And moving while standing still
Everyone growing

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best of 2010

Fav Film: Inception - felt like a big budget Memento...which is a good thing.

Fav. Actor: Steve Buscemi from Boardwalk Empire - never thought he could lead a show the way he does. Pleasantly surprised.

Fav. Director: Guillermo del Toro...for bridging media...now to wait and see what he makes

Fav On-Going TV Show: Boardwalk Empire - Who thought anything from Jersey (with the exception of Kevin Smith) could be so interesting.

Fav TV Mini-Series: Walking Dead - Lived up to my expectations and then some.

Fav. Helene Quote: "Arrrg, Matie!" Nuff said.

Fav. Martha Quote: "I'm sleeping in tomorrow" - Wifey really represented this year (mom/wife/graduate student/career woman/adjunct faculty/web designer)

Fav. Meal: Burger from GastroPod at Art Basel - seriously good stuff

Fav Book: Tie between The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason and Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel...the former blew my mind while the latter crushed my heart

Fav. Late Night Snack: Leftover Halloween Candy - Oh, why did we keep it...why?!?!

Fav. On-Going Comic Series: The Walking Dead - Kirkman keeps calming things down, only to shake it all up again.

Fav. Comic Graphic Novel: Asterios Polyp - This is a must read for any who seriously consider comics a literary medium...Dionysian meets Apollonian meets the end of the world.

Fav Song: Wasted Daylight by Stars - To be fair, Stars new album, Five Ghost, is a solid album...keep pumping them out, Canada.

Fav. Artist: Metric...for owning during the opening night of Art Basel

Fav. Music Genre: Chiptunes...especially loved Anamanaguchi's OST for Scott Pilgrim VS the World: The Videogame.

Fav PS3 Game: Red Dead Redemption - Seriously one of the finest games I've ever played. The ultimate homage to the Wild West.

Fav PSP Game: sadly...none played

Fav DS Game: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box - A gentleman never leaves a puzzle unsolved...even when the final puzzle requires a working microphone...and my DS's mic was broken :{ ...perfect excuse for my new DSi XL

Fav PC Game: It would have been Revenge of the Titans if I could get that damn thing to run on my PC...eeeerrrgghhhh.

Fav Ipod Touch App: Game Dev Story - I have pumped so many hours into this...if I'm using my iPod, I'm probably playing this...Words With Friends came a close second.

Fav. Thing to Watch at 5AM: Code Monkeys Season Two via Netflix

Fav Family Event: December Disney trip - Perfect end to a great year! Helene, M, and I had an amazing time.

Fav Tech Development: 4th gen iPod touch...now waiting for the 2nd gen iPad

Fav Starbucks: 49th Street near Red Road...they helped with the Cafe Cultura launch this year, so they rock!

Fav Online Troup: College Humor - The Empire State of Mind parody is a thing of beauty...also their Bleep Bloop videos are fun, too.

Fav Podcast: Smodcast - This cements why Kevin Smith is such a genius. He took one hilarious podcast and created a whole network of content.

Fav Late-to-the-Party Moment: Starting to watch Mad Men...Dom Draper is so Daper.

Fav Tea: Simple Black Tea from Lipton...for having the highest caffeine content...for tea

Fav. Coffee: ...none...gave up coffee...the withdrawals were a ...

Fav. Socks: gold toes gray dress socks...because they're comfy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

every...

every sound informs the next

word
sentence
paragraph
informs the next

paper
chapter
book
informs the next

day
week
month
informs the next

year
life
death
informs the next

fragmentation of time
plane of existence
dissolution of silence
informs the next

sound

Monday, May 10, 2010

Proust Questionnaire

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
(Just to give you an idea, Proust’s reply was “To be separated from Mama.”) That dark corner where any opportunity for hope is extinguished.

Where would you like to live?
Somewhere where the green outweighs the gray.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A cocktail of my child's laughter, a nice, sunny 65 degree day, my wife's luxurious hair in the wind, and a book that is light in my hand but heavy on my mind.

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
The kind that one pushes aside in hope that the universe will take care of them, which ultimately it does...but by throwing them back in your face.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Tyrone Slothrop, Septimus Smith, The Reader from Calvino's Si Una Notte, Jimmy Corrigan

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Robert Anton Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Aristotle, and Lao Tzu

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Hippolyta, Virginia Woolf, Amelia Earhart, and Helene Cixious.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Ms. Dalloway, Rose Walker, Death, Ludmilla, and Oedipa Maas

Your favorite painter?
Dave McKean.

Your favorite musician?
Matt Sharp.

The quality you most admire in a man?
The ability to fight even when there is no chance of success.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
The ability to not only give but also to nurture life.

Your favorite virtue?
Reliability.

Your least favorite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one?
Religious rectitude...just because of all the problems it causes.

Your proudest achievement?
Having bonded to a set of family and friends that truly add the gleam to my life.

Your favorite occupation?
Trans-versing the ground where ideas and words meet.

Who would you have liked to be?
Odysseus, Hemingway, and Don John.

Your most marked characteristic?
Loyalty.

What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty.

What is your principal defect?
Paranoid Calculations to the n-th degree.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
The unmentionable.

What would you like to be?
Someone forgotten over time, but whose words and works somehow live on.

What is your favorite color?
Purple and Bloodstone Red.

What is your favorite flower?
Waterlilies.

What is your favorite bird?
Finch.

What word or expression do you most overuse?
"Are you serious?"

Who are your favorite poets?
T.S.Eliot, Li Po, Basho, Sappho, Homer, Dante, and e.e. cummings


What are your favorite names?
Helene, Seamus, Antonio, Nathanial, and Petrocolus.

What is it you most dislike?
Self-Vindicated Ignorance.

Which historical figures do you most despise?
The whole Third Reich and any cruel Roman emperor.

Which contemporary figures do you most despise?
On a general level,Fox News commentators. On a really specific level, terrorists.

Which events in military history do you most admire?
The Battle of Thermopylae and the Storming of the Beaches of Normandy...oh, and the French Invasion of 1066ACE

Which natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to understand other people. I'm fine at reading books, but when it comes to other humans, not so much.

How would you like to die?
In sacrifice for others.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
This mass of stuff around my waist.

What is your motto?
“Omnia Mutantur, Nihil Interit”

(From the Latin, "Everything Changes, Nothing is Lost." Originally read in Neil Gaiman's Sandman.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Queen Bee Trilogy I - Proboscis

Queen Bee Trilogy I - Proboscis

"What are the bees doing, daddy?" his daughter asks, poking a small yellow and black carcass with a L-shaped twig. On the concrete slab by the kitchen sliding door, there are about six dead bees lying around. The father guesses that they must have spent the night smashing into the glass, feebly exhausting themselves in attempt to get to the kitchen night light.

Weighing the options of his answer, the father says, "They're sleeping, love, but be careful because they still have stingers." He is not really sure if the stinger can actually work after death, but one never knows.

"Oh," the child replies, still poking the insect, really unconvinced by the explanation. She knows that there is something wrong with it, that there is a problem with the word "sleeping." A person can be roused from sleep, shaken awake from their dreams. The father knows that his answer is tricky, too. "She's too young for the big D conversation," he thinks, looking at his child of three, whose braid is coming undone as nap time approaches.

The father himself didn't really comprehend death until he was about thirteen when his grandfather passed. He remembers it is a string of events, like pearls stained yellow with time. First a series of hospital visits that metamorphosed into a series to hospital stays. On the day his grandfather died, his mother picked him up early from school. Once in the car, she told him what had happened, sternly and directly, without the false folds of metaphor. They didn't say anything else for the rest of the drive home, only the glare of her white knuckles punctuated the silence.

The father looks back to his child, who still senses that something is not right with the bees. She is still anchored in the world of the literal while her father navigates the figurative, a cheap and unfair trick of adults. Maybe this is how children learn to negotiate the real from the symbolic; her dad has not lied, in the metaphorical sense, but all the while he had not really told the whole truth.

"Their tongues are sticking out," she observes. The father looks closely and sees that the other bees also have their tongues, technically the proboscis, out, too. He wonders why they would do this. Why this final gesture? Did all bees do this, as a death rattle of sorts?

"Come on, love, leave them alone," he says, and the daughter edges away, dropping the stick on the slab. She finds her little pink shovel and begins to dig a hole between two square patches of grass. As she scoops the earth from the ground, the father watches in wonder. She has no concept of burial, no framework for the placing of the body in the earth. But still, there she is, piling the dirt onto the deceased bee.

"What are you doing, love?" the father asks as the daughter places the brown dirt on top of one of the bees and shapes it into a mound.

Without looking at him, taking all the care in the world, she gently pats the top of the mound, leveling it neatly, and replies, "I'm keeping them safe."

Friday, March 5, 2010

scattered missives

31-3-2358
[inicipit_transmission]
manning the battle-station
if I don't make it to see the dawn
remember me to those I love
[end_transmission]

12-1-2343
[personal_log]
the shattered pieces of metal
reflex the light
of shimmering stars
[end_log]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

100 Pages In - The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason

Almost having Classics as my "third" major in college, my heart skipped a beat when I received a Google Alert about a new novel that revisits Homer's protagonist with a perspective similar to Calvino and Borges. Personally, I like revisionist history, partly because it nourishes my belief that history is more narrative than fact, mainly because it's just out right fun. For me, the stories I read did remind me of a cocktail of the Homer's Odyssey, Borges's A Garden of Forking Path, and Calvino's Invisible Cities, successfully decontextualizing, a la postmodernism, the Homeric tradition. So, as I approach The Lost Books of the Odyssey at 100 pages in, I am thoroughly entertained and find myself carefully, pleasantly navigating the Scylla and Charybdis of stories that composes Mason's book.
While most of what I've read is great, not all of the stories hit their mark. Some stories end just as they are getting started. Others keep themselves safe but remaining too closely docked to the Homeric tradition. But all in all, the stories work as a whole, offering an intellegent, creative, and well-researched look at Odysseus. While keeping Homer's epic thoughtfully in mind, Mason bravely arms himself with different styles and different voices to express a range of possibilities and permutations that the Odyssey, and our existence, might suggest. Because eventhough all the stories do not hit their mark, the narratives that do make it through the eye of the axe-heads are superb, resonating with the reader long after and urging the reader to sail on to discover new possibilities for Odysseus.
In recent years, I have lived with the understanding that the old patterns always have the need to reexpress themselves. Somewhere there is a besieged wife waiting for her husband to come home from a senseless war; somewhere there is a son about to discover a truth that will destroy his life; somewhere there is a minotaur raging in a labyrinth. Mason's Lost Book of the Odyssey subtly, beautifully reminds us that if we change these patterns just a little bit, maybe we'll work through it, maybe we'll find a way home, and maybe we'll finally be free.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lent 2010

This year instead of giving up one of my nagging vices, I'm giving up a debilitating behavior, procrastination. So, for Lent I'll write something a day, be it a haiku, flash fiction, or minimalist play. Let's see how I do this year.

1.

Teeth working slower than tongue
shoveling it all down
trying to fill a bottomless pit


2.

swaying back and forth
between leathery creases
and vacant screens
that separate the East from the West

3. Dialectical Dialogue - Lent Litanies

Adam: You only go where your lust takes you...
Lilith: And that's why you'll love me until the end of time...hating yourself every pristine, endless second.

4. How to win her back...

Dig for the puzzle pieces that will help you win her back,
Find a frame to help you start understanding what when wrong, where you failed,
Crumble bit by bit as the puzzle begins to take form piece by piece

5. Stages of Man - II

Big black book, small hands
Twain's prose sharpened the speartip
of my budding wits

6. 21st Century Rambling

auto-erotic asphyxiation as an aesthetic theory,
echoing busy signal in the distance as a declaration of being floored
by laundry list of last year's dirty innards
turning left on a right-turn only lane