Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best of 2012

Best of 2012

Fav Helene Friendly Movie: Wreck-It Ralph - Loved all the video game references plus loved how H got into the story.

Fav Film (that I found on Netflix at 2am): Pontypool...a quasi-zombie flick where language is the virus that in an odd way adheres, for the most part, to Aristotelian principles of unity... what's not to love..

Fav. Actor: Steve Buscemi on Boardwalk Empire- Buscemi's portrayal of Nucky Thompson was boss...in all kinds of way. Bobby Cannavale's performance as Gyp Rosetti was a close second.

Fav. Director: Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom...for giving me a whimsical escape for a few hours.
Fav TV Show (Cable): Game of Thrones - loved what they did for season two (even with the changes from the source material). The final sequence is really what good television is all about.

Fav TV Show (Network-kind of): None...liked Walking Dead, but caught myself on Netflix more often than not.

Fav Late to the Party TV moment: discovering how amazing Arrested Development is...seriously, how could a show that good get cancelled?

Fav Series from across the pond:
Doctor Who - Bow ties are still cool (again). Really liked how the Amy and Rory story lines were wrapped up...the "Last Page" monologue being a really moving touch (Note to Universe: if anyone ever feels the need to tell me goodbye, that's how you do it.)

Fav thing to watch at 5AM: Black Books...nothing says good morning like "sod off"

Fav. Helene Quote: "Are you kidding me, Dad?" Maybe...maybe not.

Fav. Martha Quote: "Did you leave work yet?" Nope.

Fav. Quick Meal when I'm too lazy to really cook: Kraft Mac n Cheese...H loved the Phineas and Ferb macaroni shapes

Fav Book: Sense of an Ending by Barnes...because our scattered perceptions/memories can only ever lead us to a shattered truth/truce.

Fav. Late Night Snack: chamomile tea with honey and milk

Fav. On-Going Comic Series: The Walking Dead - again...by default...not really reading anything else.

Fav. Comic Graphic Novel: Building Stories by Chris Ware - the fragments of the characters' lives come together in such a monumentally meaning manner. 

Fav Song: Pushing the Function Key by Oliver the Penguin - Love this song for reminding me that it is good to run away from the things we have come to care for.

Fav. Artist whose station holds the lion's share on my attention on Pandora: Explosions in the Sky...for putting the fight back in post rock.

Fav. Music Performance: Metric at the Fillmore, South Beach...second time seeing them live, and second time I was blown away by how great they performed.

Fav PS3 Game: Mass Effect 3...for helping me finish the fight...and countless hours on the multiplayer.

Fav DS Game: Alien Infestation...feels like an 8 bit game directed by James Cameron...and the score is spot on.

Fav PC Game: Home- so simple yet so terrifying

Fav Ipod Touch App: Hatchi...my virtual pet cemetery would make Stephen King cringe

Fav IPad App: Pencil...so simple and elegant...H and I love doodling.
Fav Family Event: Disneyworld marathon!  3 Parks × 1 day = infinite fun

Fav. Work Trip:
Tie between Tendai's Megacon Trip and Capture's Photo Expedition. Highlights: zombie walk. Robot Chicken panel, key lime pie on a stick, first sunset 

Favorite Moment when my mind was blown wide open: Ware/Kidd/Burns panel lecture at the Miami International Bookfair. Panels abouts panels about panels...like an Inception for us geeks 

Fav Podcast: We're Alive. Zombie podcast that got through the Walking Dead breaks...the writers were really using their braaaiiiiinnnnnsssss.

Fav Tea: Earl Grey with German sugar rocks and a splash of milk...add some biscuits, and I'm in heaven.

Fav. Coffee: Colada from Subs and Rock...I keep this up, and I'm just asking for another kidney stone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ramblings from last night's presidential debate

Things I'd rather be doing right now instead of watching this last presidential debate:
 
1.  File my nails razor sharp then pick my nose.

 
2.  Get into a head-butting contest with a genetically modified creature whose head is really a butt.

 
3.  Skinny dip in a mini pool full of half-starved piranha.

 
4.  Create a "five-step plan" that allows me to selectively go deaf, or dead, when Romney speaks.


5.  Burn every red tie in my wardrobe.


6.  Build a stage so that my cats can have their own debate.


7.  Work on my Romney smirk in a shattered mirror.


8.  Play pong with my feet...while blindfolded...against a dolphin.


9.  Lovingly hug a cactus...then high-five Edward Scissorhands.  


10.  Watch Gigli.


For another awesome point of view, check AJ's post!  Link below.

http://frodofrog.blogspot.com/2012/10/debate-what-debate.html 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dialectical Dialogues XXXI - XXXIII

XXXI
(At Hospital.  P.A. System announces "Code: Blue in Emergency Department.")
Me:  Somebody's day just went to shit.
Camus's Stranger:  Man, that's not even funny.
Me:  Wasn't trying to be...

XXXII
Sherlock Holmes:  What happened to your eye?
Groucho Marx:  My daughter poked it really hard.
Holmes:  That sucks.
Marx:  Nah, it just fulfills the axiom in my life that every female that I know will eventually hurt me.
Holmes:  You're such a drama queen.

XXXIII
Electra:  The least he could have done was text me on my birthday.
Eugene O'Neill:   Why do you even care?
Electra:  I don't...
O'Neill:  Then why are we talking about this?
Electra:  Because it would have been a nice gesture to show that I'm a blip in his life.
O'Neill:  The sooner you realize that you're nothing to him, the better for all of us.

XXXIV
Apollo:  I can't help but hate myself for having feelings for you.
Σελήνη: ...the sooner you forgive yourself, the easier it will be to forget me.

Dialectical Dialogues Archives (1-30 [minus 9-18])

Dialectical Dialogues I-XXX (more or less...lost 9-18 along the way)

I
Jill: Who the fuck do you think you are?

Jack: You remember those stories your mom used to tell you, like Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs?

Jill: Yeah, so...

Jack: I'm the Wolf.

II
Jesus: So you're telling me that everything that one says has already been scripted in their mind?

Buddha: Right.

Jesus: So ever word that's coming out of my mouth has resounded somewhere in my subconscious.

Buddha: Actually in the Universal Subconscious.

Jesus: That's bullshit.

III.
Achilles: Count Dooku is not Sith!

Hector: He is. He is the apprentice to the Sith Lord. Plus he has the red lightsaber.

Achilles: How is an old man an apprentice? Dooku is just a Dark Jedi.

Hector: Then why does he constantly addressing Darth Sidious as, and I quote, "My Master" ?

Achilles: Whatever...

IV.
Roger: So what do you want to do tonight?

Jessica: Whatever you want.

Roger: How about bowling?

Jessica: Nah.

Roger: How about drinks at Finnegann's?

Jessica: Not in the mood. Let's just stay home.

V.
Cloud: What do you get when you mix River Phoenix and Yoda?

Sephiroth: What?

Cloud: My Own Private Dagobah...

Sephiroth: ...

VI.
Stephen: What matters to me is the base level of sounds at their purest. What makes a dog a dog, a tree a tree, etc...

Leopold: But what really matters is the relationship between the words; the friction that these words create. Who cares about the source code of language? I only care about how we can use words to capture reality.

Stephen: The thing is that our words ARE our reality.

Leopold: So it wouldn't be real if I punched you in the face?

Stephen: It only matters because we can conceptualize the distance between your word HAND and my word FACE.

VII.
Antinous: I'm sorry. We tired our best to save him.

Penelope: Did he suffer?

Antinous: No, it was an instantaneous death.

Penelope: . . .

Antinous: I can prescribe something for you, something to help with the pain.

Penelope: No, I want the pain to burn away what is left of my soul.

VIII.
Romeo: The doctors tell me that I have a few months left.

Juliet: I heard. So what are you going to do?

Romeo: I'm setting everything in order. I just wanted to see you one last time.

Juliet: What do you think will happen after you pass?

Romeo: I hope there's nothing in death.

Juliet: Why?

Romeo: Because at least in that nothingness, I won't be able to think of you.

XIX.
Cicero:  Yeah, but I actually tried a murder case.

Snoop Dogg:  Whatever, I was actually tried for murder.

XX.
Clytemnestra:  You should do something horrible to him, like really embarrass him in front of friends and family or give him a pair of horns to match his ego.  Men hate that.

Sigyn:  No, as Atlas bears the earth on his back and as Christ withstands the weight of our sins on his shoulders, I will quietly endure the loss of my love in my heart forever.

Clytemnestra:  I still say revenge is a better path. Let me know if you ever want to make him really suffer.  I know three ladies with a real mean streak.

XXI.
Plato:  Just because the waitress is crazy doesn't give you the right to laugh at her right to her face!

Socrates:  Dude, I was completely cool until your wife started to cover her face in order to hide her own laughter.

Plato:  That's not the point.  The point is that you're the one that broke out in hysterical laughter while the poor girl was in the middle of her story. 

Socrates:  Que Horror!

Plato:  You know you're going to hell, right?

XXII.
Plotinus:  Life is like that last dance with your first love.  You know that you'll never see her again after tonight, so you'll hold on to her until that last note because you know that after tonight, you'll never see her again.

Turing:  Life for me has always been a changing cryptograph.  Everytime I get close to cracking it, by some miracle of nature or divine providence, it changes itself.  You can make a million machines and systems to decode, but they all will fail.

XXIII.
Kastor:  When I was living in North Carolina, I started to feel this numbness, this apathy spreading throughout me.

Polydeuces:  You're exaggerating.  Moderate detachment is not the same thing as full-blown apathy.

Kastor:  I think that I returned home because I wanted to feel.  Maybe by returning to the source, something inside me would stir up again.

Polydeuces:  I thought you came home because you missed us?

Kastor:  I did.

Polydeuces:  That doesn't sound like apathy, does it?

XXIV.
Super Frog:  So I came up with this prank to test my college roommate, Stewart. I call him up at work and tell him that I got into a fight with this guy who was hitting on my girlfriend in the hallway of the 4th floor of our dorm.  During the fight, we somehow managed to get to the stairway, and I tell Stewart that I knocked the guy down the stairs.  

Gojima:  What does Stewart say?

Super Frog:  He begins to ask a bunch of questions:  Are you hurt?  Did anyone see you?  Is the other guy conscious?  I wait for a second, you know,  a dramatic pause, and say, "Dude, I don't even think the other guy is breathing..."

Gojima:  That's good.

Super Frog:  It gets better.  I tell Stew that I going to go check.  With my cordless phone, I head down the stairs.  I make sure to make a lot of noise as I walk so that Stew can hear the echo of the stairwell.  I wait a few seconds when I get to the bottom.  Then I tell Stew that the guy is not breathing and that I can't even find a pulse.

Gojima:  What happens next?

Super Frog:  There is this prolonged silence over the phone.  Stew has to be running various scenarios in his head.  Suddenly, he breaks the silence, and, in an authoritative tone, tells me to get the body and go to the exit of the stairwell; he's getting his car and will be at the dorm in 10 minutes.  At that point we, my suite mates and I, lose it and start laughing hysterically.  But the beautiful thing is that I know that Stew was willing to go through those lengths for me.

Gojima:  That is horrible...funny...but still horrible.

XXV
Plato's Caveman:  I hate this.  I know it's been months, but I can't shake her memory.

Sappho:  Let's try something.  Close your eyes.  Good.  Now imagine her features, from how she looks to the way her hair plays in the wind.  Can you?

Plato's Caveman:  A bit.  I can feel the image slipping, but the problem is that when I just think about her, I'm inundated with waves of emotions, almost as if I were paralyzed by her loss.

Sappho:  Knowing you, my friend, you are, and probably always have been, more in love with the idea of the person than the person herself.  And the truth of the matter is that you will always have that if you really think about it.

XXVI
Warren Beatty:  So, does he make you happy?

Bonnie:  Sure.

Warren Beatty.  But do you love him more than you loved me?

Bonnie:  What I know is that he'll never hurt me the way you did.

XXVII
Morpheus:  It's just that I hate myself a little bit more after each time that I dream about her...despite the fact that I love it when I'm in those dreams; I mean it feels like what bliss should feel like when I'm in those dreams with her.

Macbeth:  Dreams are dreams; they don't have any base in logic, so why do you keep beating yourself up about it?  And don't these dreams only occur once or twice a year?

Morpheus:  About that much.  The thing is that I wish she had looked at me in real life the way she does in my dreams...or maybe she did, and I've just forgotten...      

XXVIII
Antigone:  And in this picture here, this shadow is my father.

Orestes:  You mean to say that the shadow belongs to your father, right?

Antigone:  Of course.

XXIX
Cassandra:  See, you’re doing it again.

Tiresias:  What?

Cassandra:  You’re not paying attention.  I mean, yeah, you are looking at me and hearing me, but you’re not listening to me.

Tiresias:  That’s not true.  I was listening to you.

Cassandra:  So what did I just say?

Tiresias: ...

XXX
Oedipus:  So what do you think?

Sphinx:  It has been my experience that whenever the Gods smile down on us, it always ends in tears.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Transmigrating Dream - July 18, 2008

...you pray for rain...I pray for blindness

"We are things made of wonder."

Night:
  In the beginning, there was water, lots of it.   Rushing in over fences, through windows.  Water penetrating as only water does, and the whole time I can't save anyone.  I strategize, first to go high, top floor if possible...it doesn't help.  The sea rises, the wave crests, and we're all washed away.
  The second time I tell them to head for the vault, which is waterproof.  This time we feel the water hit, but instead of a mad rush, this time the water trickles in through the cracks, slowly filling the room.
  The last time doesn't make sense, I'm on a trolley that is acting as a boat; I can tell from the rocking side to side.  There's only one other person in it, and I am offered a choice.


Day:
  In the bookstore I'm trying to keep up with Helene, and for some reason the song "What the world needs now is Love" is playing itself in my head.  My little one is yelling, "Corri! Corri!" as she runs through the labyrinthine aisles of books, and the world feels perfect to me at the moment.
  Twenty minutes later I'm in line at the cafe when the synchronicity kicks in.  The girl behind me starts singing "what the worlds need now is love, sweet live." Then girl in front gives her name to the barista, the same name as the passenger of the floating trolley.  The pronunciation is uncanny; it reverberates exactly how it did in the dream, in a sing song manner, going from high to low to middle.  In between the singing and the name, I find it funny that it is raining outside.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sin of Diffculty

IX. The Sin of Difficulty the cartographer of the heart needs a piece of caramel parchment course but constant the size of the universe with all its creased edges and an obsidian inkwell austere not obsolete holding the silky volume of the night with its lingering litany of stars

Best of 2011

Fav Film: The Muppet Movie - it brought back all the joy I felt as a child...I'm so happy that I got to share the experience with my daughter!


Fav. Actor: Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones- his depiction of Tyrion Lannister is something truly amazing.


Fav. Director: Tarsem Singh ...for his use of color and sweeping establishing shots in The Fall


Fav TV Show (Cable): Game of Thrones - Few shows, and narratives, have the guts to cut off the head of the protagonist midway through the season...Winter is coming, and we are so not ready.


Fav TV Show (Network-kind of): Walking Dead - the ending of the midseason finale left me stunned...literally...few shows pull that off.


Fav Series from across the pond:
Tie- Doctor Who and Luther - Bow ties are still cool, and Idris Alba owns the titular role as a damaged DCI.


Fav. Helene Quote: "Actually, Dad,..." She's way too young for the back talk. I'm in so much trouble when she becomes a teenager. O.o


Fav. Martha Quote: "So, what are you going to work on around the house while you're on vacation?" - We need to work on the definition of vacation. Love you, wifey :)


Fav. Quick Meal when I'm too lazy to cook: Burrito Bowl from Miami Lakes Chipotle closely followed up with frozen yogurt...or cupcakes...then naps.


Fav Book: I've been insatiably reading the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin since watching The Game of Thrones


Fav. Late Night Snack: chocolate covered cashews with a spoonful of Nutella


Fav. On-Going Comic Series: The Walking Dead - again...but I'll admit I didn't care much for the last story arc of the year.


Fav. Comic Graphic Novel: Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine - Short, sweet, and it perfectly captures what feels like to plan a wedding, for better or for worse.


Fav Song: The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie - H and I have been singing this nonstop since I first played it for her.


Fav. Artist whose station holds the lion's share on my attention on Pandora: Matt and Kim... so infectious and upliftiing that they have kept me zoned in during long work days.


Fav. Music Performance: Stars at the Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale on October 16th...to be fair, this might have been the best live performance I've ever seen since seeing Tori Amos at the Kravis center.


Fav PS3 Game: Portal 2 - The writing on this game was spot on...hilarious and exhilarating. The final moments were pure lunacy...oh, and "Sppaaaccceeee!!!"


Fav DS Game: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future...because a gentleman never leaves a mystery unsolved.


Fav PC Game: Anything in the last Humble Bundle...my PC pile of shame is...well, shameful...


Fav Ipod Touch App: Jetpack Joyride - Seriously, how do you not love a game with a protagonist named Barry Steakfries?


Fav IPad App: Groove Coaster - infectious and pulsating rhythm game from the people who made Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. It's like a rave in my iPad, minus the glow sticks and the grabby hands.


Fav. Thing to Watch at 5AM: Modern Family on ABC app while having breakfast. I can watch Cam all day!


Fav Family Event: Morikami Trip - Peaceful start to the year! Helene, M, and I were joined by Kenni, Paul, Danny, and Lu Lu. Good times!


Fav. Work Trip:
Cafe Cultura's trip to CMA's in Orlando. Don't think I've laughed so hard in ages...plus my students taught me two important life lessons: 1. My job as a father is to mainly say, "it's going to be alright." 2. People who drive Nissans are jerks.


Favorite Moment when my mind was blown wide open: Jorge Volpi's lecture at the Miami International Bookfair where he presented on how the human mind is really a fiction generator...I've been thinking about how I wear my fiction suit ever since.


Fav Tech Development: Nest Learning Thermostat...it's by the designer who worked on the iPod, and it's oh so slick...even for a thermostat.


Fav Online Troup: Auto Tune the News...refreshing and catchy way of capturing the absurdity of the 21st century...you know, so we can all sing along to the collapse of western civilization.


Fav Podcast: The Comedy Button - Their podcasts and movie commentary are the bee's knees...oh, and so NSFW... seriously, if you are easily (or, to be honest, moderately) offended, stay away. Everyone else, enjoy!

Fav Tea: Matcha Green Tea from Teavana...yummy stuff...and it's good for you.

Fav. Coffee: cortadito from Versailles...perfect mix (I think they used condensed milk!)

Fav. Socks: Brown Argyles...now if I could only pull off wearing my argyle sweater.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sin llama


ink in clusters
black
like little spiders
tangled
fumbling out of my month
backward weavings
which I pry apart
bleeding black, elastic words
festering foul in their gesticulations
spelling out the one thing that I want
even though it will burn me
until I taste of ashes
and wistful wasted webs

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nihil (2004)

Note:  This was written between 2003-2004 and was an attempt to fuse some motifs from David Lynch and Thomas Pynchon.  At best, it's an exercise in auto-erotic asphyxiation between Love and Death.  At worst, it's a waste of time.  Either way, my apologies in advance.  
I.
 He never really wanted this, this simulacrum, this dust on the mirror, this wet kiss on parched skin.  He wanted nothing.  He wanted an empty stage that echoed this life.  He wanted a shifting of feet, pattering around under empty eyes.  He wanted a cry to relinquish the void, to cast away the light and force the line to break.  He wanted vows to hold as a torch.  He wanted to establish a false dichotomy, a false solipsism.  But he never really wanted this.
 II.
 There is a distance between visions, a gap that forces us to mourn the reality of space, of tears, of false names.  She dances in this space.  She does this because she knows that God lives here.  She dances to recall him, to force him out, to force him to illuminate this night.  There is something behind this space, this darkness.  This something moves behind the curtain, reaching with wire nails, luminous and sanguine.  As her feet move, she hears it gurgle and gasp and wheeze and rise.  She dances faster hoping that it can't keep up, or that God will awaken, or that he will really want this, although he never will.
 III.
 There is a nightmare of the New World that creeps through our night, forcing us to sweat and scream ourselves into the waking world.  The nightmare keeps a beat, a rhythm, a pulse under heaving breasts.  The nightmare lives on our beaches, under umbrellas, sipping mixed drinks.  It sits and waits because it knows that is not really a nightmare.  It knows it is truthfully a prophecy whispered behind the curtain.
 IV.
 The letters never ended.  They kept coming and wrecking our world.  Their tone was academic.  They were facts, at least they appeared to be.  They promised happiness and everlasting peace while being written in the blood that crashes on our coasts.  The words were forming a revolution.  The letters were their vanguard and battered us day and night until they were all that would slither from our lips.  It was only when the letters stopped that the nightmare was born.
 V.
 At times he felt more like a machine than a messiah, as his fingered blazed across the keyboard, pounding away vision after vision as the television blared.  He would stare at the keyboard as his typed, trying to connect the keys with the words they constructed, trying to connect those words with ideas.  It was over, all over.  He's buried himself in this room filled with humming processors.  He knows that they know something we can never really connect to, that their electric circuits process more than just numbers.  "They are building their world while ours is slipping way," his fingers hammer out in seconds.  He knows that the circuit will be his crucifix, but isn't quite sure what he would harrow.
Last night he spent himself in the dessert of an empty document, just watching its whiteness weave and waver.  He just glared and let the visions come.  They would rise up out of the white ocean of nothing, of silence.  Maybe their world would be a world without words (or maybe it's a word without worlds), of beautiful crystal silence. "No…," he mutters.  They are their language, their binary code, their yes and no, 1 and 0, all or nothing, control or the void.        
 VI.
 She has cameras everywhere and watches us at all times.  She knows that only she can solve our problems.  Her room is cluttered with televisions.  She memorizes all the lines, the slivers of language, in order to get a complete picture.  She is starting to understand that the nightmare is our nightmare, that we made it, that we, at the end of it all, must destroy it.  She cannot have visions, only memories…of men fleeing balloons and talking horses and towers falling.  She no longer remembers her life, her time in the sun, under the placid glare of the television and the electric humming of our death.
 VII.
 He's no longer really human, just beige latex and blue scrubs holding a silver blade.  He knows how to cut, how to end things, allowing others to come in and reconnect things.  It's not that he's arrogant, just indifferent.  He knows that we are machines made of flesh, gyrating around this world, blood and guts oozing to and fro.  So he went to school and learned how to cut.  First it was the small stuff, cutting away bad habits.  As his life progressed, he cut out the larger aspects, like wife and kids, family, and friends.  He focused on cutting the flesh, of severing skin, revealing rushes of red and purple.  
 VIII.
 He doesn't deserve this, any of this.  He has found his way in life through cowardice and deceit, mainly out of fear.  The voices tell him this.  He hears them all the time, leathery voices that now make up his life.  The voices knock and enter and leave secrets about empty streets at night or about how his life has fallen together.  The voices want out.  They conspire at night.  His dreams give them form, a parliament of sounds holding judgment.  Some voices say they are devils, some are angels, some are the people that cross you on the street or just ignore you in person.  "You don't deserve this, any of this," they whisper as they pass him by.   
 IX.
 His stylus runs across the screen.  He taps Date Book.  Then taps on Friday.  He holds the stylus in the air, selects a time, graffiti's in "Kill Myself" into the slot and shuts off the PDA.  Monday he will go to meetings and as others talk shop, he scribbles notes in the Memo part of his PDA.  He writes of the different methods he will use, from hanging to electrocution.  Tuesday is spent in lunches, he writes obituaries for himself.  As he chews, he imagines the wake, suits in suits all sitting around, all discussing this deal or that one, or how his financial finesse leveled one town, ruined countless lives, but saved the company a few hundred thousand a year.  Wednesday and Thursday are really the same day, more meetings, fixing spreadsheets, Hotsync-ing data.  His PDA is like a 3rd arm, a 3rd arm with a nihilistic streak.  Friday comes as if it was Monday.  More work, then happy hour, then home after a few martinis.  At his IKEA home, the alarm goes off in his darkened apartment.  He sits and thinks about his empty life, hopes to find some redeeming factor, some light to hold his hand.  In the darkness, he can think of nothing, slowly he gets up off his couch, reaching for the PDA, clicks on Reschedule and shuts it off.    
 X.
 I've sat here on the shore of the Rubicon and dreamed of paths covering paths and how my life will end a million times.  I see myself biting the red dust under my feet as flies gather, little legs rushing across my eyes.  I see my body grotesquely thrown onto a stage over and over again.  I heard words like justice and vengeance inbreeding into an ocean of new words.  I keep coming to this point on the river, one which I've crossed a million times, listening to the cacophony of drops rushing from my veins because it has been my choices that have lead me here to this place.  I have crossed this river, taken the city, and died a million times for this peace.
 XI. 
 He floods the room with lights and saturates it with Paul Simon as an attempt to hold the darkness at bay, as an attempt to reconnect to himself, to who he was, to what he was.  He sits with his eyes shut and lets the rhythms dance in him, resonate in him, penetrate him.  It helps, but only as a temporary fix because he knows that tomorrow will come to push him around, because the night is insatiable.  So for now he sits and rocks slowly to and fro because something is not quite right in him anymore, and it's starting to get dark.
 XII.
 I've covered the floors with wax paper to capture her imprints.  She no longer walks, at least not here.  And I don't know what to say.  There is just this silence that I've gotten used to and the crackle of the paper that protects the steps she stepped, and I miss her more than anything or nothing or both.   I'll sit in the corner and imagine her walking, with her small feet, almost Japanese like.  I can see her through my sleepless caffeine haze.  I am all darkness now.  No more dancers or curtains or anything else.  I am void and voided at the same time.  The wax paper protects our past as I writhe inside, inside my blue stomach full of blue pills.  And I wish that she was still here to step all over me.
 XIII. 
 I have been shell shocked into this MTV bunker for too many years, suffering from a spiritual overdose of consumerism.  The next generation will be born with corporate logos as birthmarks.  They will be educated in commercialized universities.  Their uniforms will all be trademarked.  Copyright law will become more important that criminal law.  Television will be all commercials.  Movies will be purely funded via product placement.  Even the bullet with which I will blow out my brains will have a Nike swoosh on it, whispering "just do it…"    
 XIV.
 They dance together in this celestial ballroom.  Her face radiates a light and warmth that counters his cold, bare visage.  I can see them at times.  I watched their steps as they move.  At times she leads.  At times he does.  I know that deep down they've been dancing like this since the beginning.  To us she is the surge that drives us into his embrace.  But there is something in her eyes that tells me that she is so much more.  She is the pulse of light that travels vast distances.  She is the energy that fuels the atoms.  She is the vibration that shatters the silence, even when we only hear static.  I can't read his eyes completely.  I know that he must love her by the way he caresses her hands.  But there is also a sadness that I sense.  He knows that this dance must end someday, and he will stand alone on the white marble dance floor.
 XV.
 "It will end one day," the nightmare tells the dancer, "All the words will fail us. They will cease to be uttered from trembling lips.  Testaments and manifestos will be seared off the face of the universe.  There will be a profound and eternal silence.  Only then will the war end.  Only then will we lay down our pens and begin to rejoice without making any sound.  Only then will we forever rest in this quiet peace."  Her delicate, small fingers rest on his chest, and she whispers, "maybe..."    

The Anatomy of Regret (2006)

  The chicken lays stretched out on the cool grey morning pavement of the turnpike. Its white ribs are exposed to the new sun, and its still eyes uselessly stare at the violet and azure sky filled with multi-tiered clouds. Five minutes from now Willie will drive past the chicken. He will slightly jerk his steering wheel to the right to avoid the chicken because he a) doesn't want his wheel to touch dead flesh and spatter remains onto his undercarriage. . . b) someone somewhere told him that santeros (or is it brujeros) leave chickens on the road to transfer the sins of a client onto the person who touches it. If Willie would have been paying more attention, he would have recalled that someone somewhere specifically mentioned that the dead chickens are always left at intersections or crossroads. He would also recall the importance that crossroads have been given. It is on the crossroads that you decide where you will go with your life. It is there that, when you were Oedipus, you met with a stranger that was really your father. And as Oepidus, you fought your father and murdered him and casually continued on your way to Thebes to marry a stranger who was really your mother and have children with her. And years later, as Oedipus, you learned the truth of the path you'd chosen and gouge out your eyes as the audience looks on in horror.
  Willie will think of the chicken and the crossroads. He will try to really picture this someone somewhere more clearly because it has been years since he has seen her. The chicken will be vanishing in his rear-view window when he will insert his favorite 10,000 Maniacs CD and select Track 5. This song has always reminded him of her, and listening to it serves as his daily masochistic meditative ritual. He will hear the song, think of her, and try to piece together what happened to them. His mind will uselessly try to pry at events, stretching out memories of times spent together. On the shimmering asphalt, he searches his lifeless heart in hopes of at least some sort of transfiguration (at best some sort of resurrection).
  Was it August or September? Not that it mattered. Facts are only really hanging ornaments on the Christmas trees of our past. He wanted borders, something solid and square from the early 20th century. Someone somewhere wanted their love to be open like a grazing pasture growing green in April. Willie will think about how this need for definition is really a manifestation of his desire to control his life and hers in turn. Years from now he will believe that her ultimate goal might have been to allow their love to grow without restrictions, making it ever-changing so that it would endure. He will blame this contrast in ideologies for the casual, slow disintegration of their relationship.
  The truth was that she simply did not love him. The chicken knew it; the glistening asphalt knew it; even Track 5 knew it. He had spent (and would continue to spend) years alone trying to dissect and comprehend why someone somewhere was with someone else somewhere else so far away. He would wonder if he should have called again, or maybe he should have written a letter. He would contemplate what he could have done to keep someone somewhere close to him. None of which would have actually changed anything. Ultimately, he would construct dreams of a fictional life together. And as his love for her would logically fade, his love for the fictional construct of her would grow.
  Years from now he will accidentally run into her in line for coffee. They will chat a little about their careers and friends who've passed away. In the spaces between the seconds he will try to muster up the courage to invite her to dinner, but he will fail. His fear will convert itself into silence and ultimately inaction. After their brief chat, she will pick up her chai latte, give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and tell him that it was good seeing him. As she walks out of the cafe (and his life), Willie will carefully watch her leave. For some unknown, Willie will remember the Cumean Sibyl's Greek answer in the epigraph of T.S. Elliot's "The Waste Land."
  At 7:33 AM on this warm Thursday morning, a white Honda Accord abruptly swerves a bit to the right to miss the carcass of a decomposing chicken. Its opaque eyes beg the question: Sybulla ti theleis?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rumination at Year's End

[Note:  Something I drafted 12/31/2011 but forgot to post up.]

I was going to write something about how the highlights of 2011 really gave me new perspective on life and my place in the world, how they taught me that at my age I was still capable of change, and how joy and happiness could still find new places to take root...and conversely about how the low points of 2011 had the potential of etching a shadow on my days to come, a shadow that I'm not sure I'd ever be able to cast a light on.

...but I wanted to avoid the sentimental, so I thought I'd try to write something punny, with airy alliteration, like
"titular trappings tend towards troublesome times" or
"linear lunacy lends life limited longevity"...

...but I didn't want to sound too frivolous, so I went with something more stoic, something to do the old gods of the North right:

"In this last year, my head didn't end up on the tip of a spear, and my heart didn't end up nailed to the Wall, so I guess it was a pretty good year."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting Room

a splatter of empty chairs
  outpace a pattern of voided steps
hands hold up my head up
          hold up a gaggle of gasps
              grasping oily, unwashed hair

I want to outpace it all
     all the tremored sighs
     all the wash-cloth stares
     all the hands silent

                outpace the fuck of it all

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blogging for Soup (AJ's Picks)

Here are the three picks that AJ selected from last month's blogathon.  Enjoy:

1.  Scald

  It all happened in one second.  I was getting my strainer ready to drain the pasta when the pot slipped and I got a good splash of near-boiling water on my left hand.  Funny thing is that it took me a few seconds to realize what had just happened, but once my mind wrapped itself around the pain, I immediately ran my hand under cold water.  
  Once I had dinner ready for Helene, I put my hand in a bowl of cool water (after reading that it was not good to ice the hand as it hinders the flow of blood).  The burn was not too bad as long as I kept it in water, but the moment I pulled it out of the water the pain kicked in.
  Helene looked up from her dinner and asked, "daddy, are you going to lose your hand?"
  "No, love, it'll hurt for a few days then heal up," I replied.
  "Oh, if you had lost it, you could have gotten a hook like Captain Hook."
  "True." 

2.  Bacio Vacio

 (This was something I have been meaning to write ages ago.  There is an actual "kissing play" out there...I've spent years trying to find it...to no avail...)

Scene:  Minimalism Studio Apartment.  Black futon sofa center.  Lamp to immediate left.  Fridge and sink to far right.

Cast:

    Boy:  White crew shirt.  Blue Jeans.  early 20's

    Girl:   Flowery summer dress.  early 20's

[Scene opens with Girl on futon reading.  Knock on door.]

Girl:  Thanks for coming over.
 
Boy:  Sure thing.  So what's up?

G:  I have have to practice a play for Drama I tomorrow...[she leans in and smells the air around the boy] are you drunk?

B:  only slightly...So what is the play?

G:  It's called The Kissing Play.

B:  Ok...and what's it about...besides kissing

G:  It's about two theatre students practicing a kissing scene for class.

B:  So we have it half right [B smirks]

G:  [G tilts head and glares at him a bit.  She hands him a photocopy of the play.  Both sit on futon.]

B:  [Boy flips through the pages] So you basically called to use me again.

G:  Don't be so dramatic.  I thought it'd be nice to see you, and I needed someone to practice.

B:  You're too sweet.  [Flips through more pages.]  So what's my "motivation"

G:  Your character secretly wants my character, but wants to hide it.

B:  That might be a stretch for me, might need to work on that.

G:   I doubt that.   I'll start.  [She leans in and kisses him.]

B:  Whoa...you want to stick to the script.

G:  I am. [She points at the script.]

B:  Oh,...[reads...finger runs across page]  guess we should start again.

G:  [Giving him a glance, she leans in and gives him another kiss]

(to be continued)

3.  Ice

  She didn't expect to see her old boss here.  But that was the way of these things...weddings and funerals, we only come together at weddings and funerals.  The boss commented on how amazing she looked, how the little one was so big, how it was great to meet her husband (whom the boss had already met twice before).  Before the end of the night, the old boss asked her, "so, what are you doing now?" Maybe it was the open bar, maybe the blue hue of the banquet room,  but whatever it was, all she could say was, "I'm saving the fucking world.  You're welcome." 


Friday, February 17, 2012

Jim Simmerman's 21 Little Projects Activity

[In my Creative Writing 2 class, I had students do the Jim Simmerman's 21 Little Projects activity in class.  As they were writing, I decided to jump in and write with them.  Here's what I came up with.]

folded
an avalanche of angles
numb to the glue
smelling of shimmering shivers
Betty Davis in blue
unwrapped
blaring over a speaker
¿Sak pase?
Mailed under the table
"Because he did"
Sloppy brick of acceptance
laying a disjointed foundation
Betty Davis in blue overalls
"Vitico no oye"
"You're going to get lost in that mess again."
squelchy pen mark
ergo: all barks are just ripples
"N'ap boule"
the paper reclines and naps
lulled by its lupine ways

Friday, February 10, 2012

Zombie Haiku

Zombie Haiku 1

Crimson leaves flutter
rotting flesh still walks on earth
our autumn begins

Zombie Haiku 2
Atlanta at dusk
Their empty moans fill the streets
Can't wait til winter