Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Spire for Bishop Clannad

Awash in the view of their great white cathedral
the vicar and minions were deeply distraught
One fine silken thread of their web of deception
had snagged on a sliver of freedom of thought

The weave, at a snail’s pace, unraveled by inches
until there were only a few random strands
They’d claimed there were heretics working against them
that they’d not absconded with good King John’s lands

Now most men would bow to the words of the clergy
If one said “I didn’t” then surely “he’d not”
A few though were classified drunken transgressors
and one could trade whiskey for truth from a sot

So armed with a bottle and charm from my mother
I treated a friar to sips of good cheer
and whilst he was tipsy I questioned “his plumpness”
about missing monarchs and church held frontier

He yapped like a bloodhound of classified knowledge
The king was imprisoned by Bishop Clannad
“Keep secret” he told me “this sad state of reason;
the Bishop was said to be ordered by god!”

By its common name this was treason in earnest
a grasp for true power, a vain mortal sin
Once they’d been apprised of John’s thoughts of conversion
the church dragged him off to their darkness within

I pondered the wisdom of trying a rescue
a mouse in a lion’s den might have no chance
Yet though if I failed I would face a new gallows
‘twas better to die than to live in a trance

So armed I made haste to the manse of a builder
where records were stored of the castle and yard
I searched through the drawings and found in the rubble
old cellars once used by the Church’s home guard

I sketched a quick outline, a catacomb puzzle
and left to confer with a strong, fearless friend
Once he had subscribed to my haphazard notion
we found an old entrance and made to descend

An hour of wading through cobwebs and spiders
an hour of sloshing through sewage I’d guess
our liege was encountered at last by good fortune
chained down to the floorboards in tortured distress

We soon were discovered while quickly escaping
my friend carried John while I fought with the priests
My sword was a-dancing through clerical collars
as we made our charge through the pastoral beasts

Once he had recovered the King made a statement
a Dire Editorial, from the High Crown
The Bishop would hang from his white spire of treason
and then the cathedral would promptly burn down

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fighting Fire with Dragonfire

I wish there were times when my mind didn’t wander
when focus was more than a twist of a lens
Then I could recall every answer I’d squander
while out chasing baubles, and all that portends

I wish I were linear for a few hours
to see an idea from here, get to there
If I could just gather my various powers
I’d be so much more than a silly old bear

I wish I could outline the sum of my talent
so others might run with the muses I’ve forged
Alas but my mind is a dragon ungallant
and I must spend all of my days as St. George

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The True End of Marriage as we Know It

Ok, here’s a big change I recommend which will contribute to world peace and a lessening of communal vitriol from sea to shining sea. The topic is Marriage.


As defined by various dictionaries, marriage is…

▸ noun: the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony ("Their marriage was conducted in the chapel")
▸ noun: two people who are married to each other ("His second marriage was happier than the first")
▸ noun: the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce) ("A long and happy marriage")
▸ noun: a close and intimate union ("The marriage of music and dance")

And according to the etymology dictionary, marriage is…

c.1300, from O.Fr. marriage (12c.), from V.L. *maritaticum, from L. maritatus, pp. of maritatre "to wed, marry, give in marriage" (see marry).
"When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition until death do them part." [G.B. Shaw]


Ok, we’ll skip the etymology except to highlight the words violent, delusive, insane and transient, asserting that they speak for themselves. Oh and, add the part about remaining in that state until the death of one participant. Good luck with that. Oh yea and one last one... it's French, which means (I'd bet) it was pronounced "Mayrazh", and we all know what mirage means!

So that’s the formation of the word, and in the dictionary you’ll note much of the same bent, as in (or until divorce) and the word “voluntary”, which as any charitable organization who has had people volunteer in droves and then just not show up would tell you, describes a fungible commodity.

Here are a couple myths. Marriage is love. A few years ago we all were bombarded with this cliché. Do you see the word love in anything copy and pasted above? No. Why? Because one is not necessarily tied to the other in any fashion save haphazardly. Surely some couples THINK it is when first they embark on the two-headed journey, but in the vast majority of cases they learn that love is a squirmy fish, and if that’s all marriage is about then marriage be damned.

Marriage is necessary for the raising of children. C’mon people. Look at Romulus and Remus! Not only didn’t they have a daddy, but mommy wasn’t even human! (At least the mommy that raised the little pups) And they did ok wouldn’t you say? Even the state can raise children, and let’s face it, no one but Stalin wants to be married to the state, and he’s dead. Anyone can raise a kid, old, young, male, female, married or never! (I forgot human or wolf... sorry)

What marriage is, succinctly, is a legal contract. Everything else attributed to it is just fluff. It is a way to delineate on paper who will accept whose debts, who will be able to visit who in the hospital and who gets to decide when to pull the plug. Marriage is really a boilerplate for worst case scenario, as in who gets what when who leaves who whether by winged heavenly creature or greyhound bus. So why the hell do we call it marriage anyway?

I get the usage as an adjunct to “nuptial ceremony”, but adjuncts are overrated (ask the vice president of anything) and nuptial ceremony sounds so much cooler it’s like saying “ant infested lumpy grounded mastication” rather than “picnic”. Add to that something I heard long ago when this fight over marriage was just beginning; to paraphrase “Over half of marriages end in divorce, so why do straight people think it’s so special anyway?”

Yes, why indeed. That very semi-quote only drove me to the next obvious train of thought, “since they are so laughable in their desire to keep it the way it is, why the hell would you want it too? If they all had these furry pets that late at night would burrow through their rectums and eat them from the inside out, would you be demanding access to their private stock? I think not!

So here’s the skinny; if someone heretofore feels a most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passion, tell them to see a psychiatrist right away. But if someone says they want to be “married” (shudder), correct them immediately! Tell them what they want is to be “Contractually Obligated ‘till Whenever!”

Yes friends, it’s simple really. If “Marriage" is the stumbling block to this happy and healthy society’s future, then (and one side will get this totally dudes) “if thine own eye offends thee, pluck it out!” Vote for the elimination of the word marriage, to be replaced by COWed!

I know, I know, the struggle is all important. This isn’t about marriage at all, it’s about complete acceptance. But sadly, those who would need to be convinced won’t be, even if and when those that don’t need to be convinced knock them down with it and rub it in their faces. So really, all the battle will do in the end is take a snide, nasty prejudice and turn it into a seething hatred because it’s IN YOUR FACE! (I grant there’s hatred out there already, on both sides, and has been for a long long time, so maybe a half dozen more generations of mutual contempt flaring into the occasional beatdown by and to both sides is just ok, especially if it’s not your personal ass that’s suffering the kicking; but I offer an opportunity to keep the crap where it is and still affect the desired result, or at least the stated desired result, which we know isn’t the real desired result but play along, it’s just satire.)

I’m more than happy to begin the switchover. I admit it here and now! I am not married to Linda, I am COWed! Once the concept spreads, what legislators would stand in the way of laws proclaiming being COWed to be an absolute human right? It’s a CONTRACT people, everything else is random! Could be sex, might not be sex, could be either doing chores, might be neither doing chores. All we know for certain is that when so and so dies, such and so gets all their stuff! JUST LIKE MARRIAGE, but without the icky name.

I know, this all seems too simple; but think about it, all things in life are really that simple. Hungry? Eat. Wanna be happy? Be happy! Wanna stop fighting? So STOP already! Wanna be COWed? Well who in the hell would stand in your way? It’s like signing mortgage papers, which (and I hate to be redundant here) are JUST LIKE MARRIAGE PAPERS. And think of the possibilities! Simple like no delineation of partner numbers! Want 3? 6? A bakers dozen? No problem! And for the gentle valley folk from the southern hill country, it's a CONTRACT! It says nothing about COWing COUSINS!

If the issue is truly equality, the rights that “marriage” provides, then change the name and get on with it. If that kid is eating a grape and I have a watermelon that I choose to call a grape, I see us as equals… in fact I think I got the better of the situation. But if the issue is truly making people accept something that they refuse to so that all distrust, anger, isms and vitriol will vanish from the planet, well then fight on my brothers and sisters, the fight is just and you’ll be long dead before it still doesn’t change as in my opinion to fix the ills of communal society the planet will need a reboot not an html fiddle. We are human. Too bad really, we could have been fish. You see fish worrying about homo and heterosexuality? NO! You see females drop a little egg mass and some random male will swim up and spit on it. Beyond that, all the little fishies in the deep blue see just go along to get along.

Of course, there’ll always be a few barracudas in the crowd, but with them at least you don’t need to argue or insult or inadvertently hurt feelings or take sides or not take sides and inadvertently hurt more feelings…. you just get eaten. Sigh. Wouldn’t life be grand as a carp.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Last Stop

The train jolted Ania awake. For a moment she was confused and afraid.

“Are we there yet Mama?” she asked as she tugged at her matka’s sleeve.

“I believe we are not there yet my darling. Let us hope we are never there and we ride this train forever.”

The pair dozed another hour until grinding wheels and tooting whistles signaled a stop in progress.

“Are we there yet mama?”

Krystyna held her little girl close and whispered “Yes dziecina, now do you remember all I told you?”

“Do not speak unless spoken to, do all I am told, be brave. Was that all mama?”

The train ground to a halt. Twenty six boxcar doors slammed open simultaneously reminding the passengers of the artillery shelling their village had absorbed only a week prior. As those aboard were rousted from their rest Krystyna said loudly “and always remember your mother loves you more than life itself. More than LIFE ITSELF!” she shouted as an SS soldier dragged her child from her arms.

“Please step to the ground and form a single line” came a loud cancerous voice from behind a group of snarling dogs. “Welcome to Buchenwald meine kleine Juden.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's 5:21, Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

There's something about the sound a digital watch alarm makes that makes hair grow on my palms; it's something in the pitch maybe, or in the fact that it just won't SHUTTUP!!!!!

At 5:21PM each day I'm treated to a 60 second chorus of beep beep beep beep while my wife acts as if I'm really not gouging my eyes from their sockets. Months ago as we rode in her truck the chime called from her wrist. After a dozen beeps I turned to her, quizzically cocking my head and waiting for the inevitable; for her to reach down with her left hand and shut the damn thing off!

"Well?" I said as a grin slowly creeped across her still staring straight ahead face. She just ignored me in her Linda way, saying nothing in response as if I had already read her mind and now we were square.

I let the mystery go as the watch stopped chirping and some Linda-like traffic move snatched my attentions elsewhere. But as we walked into the house I raised my hand and asked again..."Well?"

She laughed in her Linda way and fidgeted, giving me ample reason to pursue the answer with everything I had as it was sure to be mighty interesting at least, if it made her fidget.

She saved me the trouble of the inquisition. Like Stan Laurel when confronted by Ollie over some silly manuever, she started to speak too fast using too many words at a time in her squeaky Linda voice.

"Well the first time it went off I just started hitting buttons until it turned off and then I had to find the stupid instructions and the print is so small it was hard to read but after probably an hour I found out how to set the stupid thing and shut it off for real."

I was encouraged by this news. She had read the instructions and no doubt knew their location so she might peruse them again if necessary. But I was too clever to assume we were done; she wasn't finished quite yet.

"Then I bumped it one day and it went off again, at least I think I bumped it cuz I sure didn't set it and I couldn't remember how to shut it off but I knew if I just started hitting buttons I'd shut it off now but it'd just come on again some other time so now I just ignore it."

My lower jaw hung in midair while I tried to choose between laughter and good natured abuse. My head just instinctively rocked left, then right as it's done so many times since we've married, and I found myself speechless for the first time in a long time.

"You've got to be kidding" crossed my mind once or twice, but this was Linda, the woman that navigates by tall trees and other landmarks that change with the seasons; I knew that once she'd set her mind to something, it would beep until the cows came home.

Ever since I've badgered her at 5:21PM as often as we are together and within range of her fifteen dollar casio alarm, and we've had many a good laugh over her torture device driving me insane. I was extra proud that my wife, the woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with, was one of a kind; a most unique woman with the most clever quirks imaginable.

A few days ago she came home with a story to tell and just couldn't wait for me to settle into a chair before beginning. She'd taken a night's work at a county park to play a witch during a children's halloween party; And as she stood talking to the other characters, she heard an annoying beep coming from within one costume.

All eyes turned to the young girl who was sounding like an oven timer until the woman next to her laughed and said, "Don't worry it's not a bomb. My daughter bought this watch and somehow the alarm got set and we can't figure out how to turn it off....so we just let it beep every day at 7:17PM until it stops."

Ok, so I have the only wife who's watch goes off at 5:21PM-cst. That's still unique isn't it?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hola Poochito, Como Estas?

It was nearing four AM and whatever drives me to stay awake unto the ruination of my health and livelihood was waning; I was yawning violently, had lost my thirtieth spider solitaire game in sequence and every arthritic bone in my body was shouting "to bed moron, what the hell's wrong with you!" So I powered down and walked to the shack door, waiting until the computer's fan switched off before flicking off the lights. I knew it would be bitterly cold and near pitch black but it's a short walk to the house and the somber light of the moon would be enough to guide me there speedily. With a gasp and a flurry I rushed through the door onto the small wooden platform that serves as my stoop, gingerly closing the glass storm by hand so as to lessen its heavy-weighted clank. And just as my fingers were caught between the door and its frame I noted a shadowed figure a few feet to my right, the frosty smoke of its measured breathing hovering about a head as large as mine, though somewhat more pointed.

We'd caught each other mid thought, and both had blanked out for that moment; both succumbed to the combination of fear, elation, surprise and curiosity, a paralyzing brew of emotion shared by man and beast.

He was bigger than I'd truly thought his kind would be, yet smaller than I'd imagined in wakeful nightmares wherein packs of dogs would chase me through the sedge and lady's thumb and stinging nettle that rises six feet above our boggy back yard. A Lassie sized mutt I figured; fifty to seventy pounds of scrawny, flea bitten howler who at that moment was obviously hungry enough to search the grounds near my own marked scent, risking retribution for trespassing on my turf, hoping to find a jackrabbit or even a mole who'd blindly wandered from his tunnel.

It was frighteningly cold, a few portions of my skin lay bare to the north wind as I hadn't anticipated hesitation much less emulating statuary. Yet it was a moment I didn't want to lose, huffing in time with a wild animal, sharing a space if just for a minute or two admiring each other's power and grace. So I grit my teeth and stood still, as did my challenger, surely more nervous than I and trying to blend into the background more than sate his desire to be at one with nature.

He looked away once, then twice; gauging distance and mapping obstacles, memorizing track and choosing a waypoint. I shushed slowly, then whispered "it's ok, I won't hurt you" through my teeth, as if I knew he was a native coyote and not a recent transplant who only spoke Spanish. But I didn't know Spanish for "nice doggie" anyway, so shhhh was the best I could do.

The cold won the day, the cursed arctic express and its malicious screaming bent us both to searching for shelter and with what I choose to think was a knowing nod, my new friend backed up a step then turned and walked off, never looking over his shoulder. Either he trusted me at that point, or he was wishing I'd just kill him and save him from the rest of what will likely be a horridly cold winter.

Once in the house I had to catch my breath and let my flesh respongify. And as I stood there I thought...I don't have it so bad, I have a house to go to; a heated house and a wife and a dog and plenty of snacks and a computer and ether pals and more stuff than I could carry in a backpack. My hair isn't matted and I don't have to chase bugs to eat and I can catnap without fear of farmers shooting me (well I think I can anyway).

And then I giggled and thought that's all nonsense, there's no relationship between a human and a coyote, he and I have nothing in common. Except the pattern of our breathing, one winter's night under a half lit moon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The End of the Reign of the Platypus

So, if I have an aversion to witnessing bird sex would that make me a Hetroaviaphobe? Or maybe there is no recording of same gender bird love so it'd just be an ordinary Aviaphobe, though then some might get the idea I was afraid of birds and not just turned off to their rubbing their parts together. I imagine Aviacoitaphobe would get the idea across, though without a penis between them I'm not so sure coitus would be correct either. Maybe birdiedoingthenastyophobe, yet it'd be hard to make passionate a crowd of birds protesting to have the unhindered right to rub their parts together in public, if they had to repeatedly chant "down with birdiedoingthenastyophobes!"

I wonder if in 20 years I'd find the term in an encyclopedia under "the dangers of birdism", or in the newly Al Gore written U.S. constitution under the "species rights" clause which might state "Bird part rubbing is a natural phenomena and therefore to interrupt it in any way constitutes a crime against all birddom and by proxy, all other species including personkind itself. In fact to speak of it disparagingly constitutes the even more grievous crime of animal mocking, punishable by public shaming, the new paradigm of correctional science." (Al can be a little verbose you know)

I wonder if all that publicity would backfire, getting people that had never noticed birdsex before now, incensed that this kind of thing was going on in broad daylight. They might start non profit organizations, collecting donations in order to "Stop Openair Birdsex Before It's Too Late" or maybe they'd show educational videos on how to build little birdhouses with little shutters on the little windows so that anyone offended, or even anyone carrying small children high enough to see inside, might close the blinds on birdsex forever. Then they might hold rallies, standing behind police barracades outside city parks shouting "If God had wanted birds to have sex in public He would have given them the power to become invisible to young children and adults with discriminating sensibilities!" or something shorter that kinda means the same thing.

And then obviously the "hate the birdsex haters" crowd would have to stand on the other side of the street screaming "What do we want? BIRDSEX!. When do we want it?...." God, will they ever come up with a more creative/less stupid cliche?

Man, maybe if all that stuff would happen just cuz I didn't like watching birdsex and I made a big stink about it, instead of whining I should just look the other way. We could call it the "No peekie-no squeaky" policy, unless that's been copyrighted by the ratsex people in which case I'd come up with another just as clever I assure you.

Of course, being forced to turn my back whenever shamless birds begin their googly eyed frictional contact interrupts my God given right to look out the window any time I please, and my rights are at least as important as any freaking bird's as not only am I human, but male and American too; a superior combination in almost any culture save France's! It's a quandry I tell you.

It's not so simple once you see all sides of the issue, I can hardly say "sure birds, go ahead and hump in my windowbox" cuz it kinda grosses me out. (I'm sorry, I can't help it; I grew up in a house where the only animals having sex were in porn magazines) But on the other hand I can't yet bring myself to offer this compromise: "humans-sex, birds-no sex, dogs-sex (puppies!), platypuses-no sex (duh, like yuk!)." Like birds and platypuses would listen to me anyway.

While we're on the bird topics, ya think pigeonholing has anything to do with pigeons? Or is that just another phobia masquerading as a filing system.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Banality Bobby

I'd asked a simple question. His response was relentless.


“You know that pain you get when your heart is torn from your chest?

Don’t worry; it’s a temporary thing.

No really, time heals all, we choose our attitude, the only direction from here is up.”



“Sure, you feel as if you want to die, and you’ve contemplated suicide.

Don’t worry, it’s normal. It’s like bloat from eating too much, it’ll wane. You’re much stronger than you know. Don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow.”



“Uh-huh, it can have a physical manifestation, like an aching in your bones.

Don’t worry. Take a couple aspirin. Watch a favorite movie. The sooner you let it go the…”



I shot him before he could finish the next platitude. I was conflicted about it, needing the help to overcome my psychotic sadness, but at the same time being Chief of the Cliché Police I had an obligation…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Fly of the Manor

As Bragi reached for the cabin’s door handle, Desiree’ and Morden busted out laughing.

“What’s so funny” he asked.

“I just stole Baron DuChein’s invasion plan” said Morden. “When the liege army comes at last, King Erik will know exactly where and when and cut off the head of the brute!”

“I don’t see the humor in that son, in fact no humor at all.”

Morden and his aunt laughed again. “Don’t you want to know how I retrieved the information master bard? Auntie flummoxed me into a fly, and I spent the later part of the afternoon in the Baron’s dining hall where he and his commanders were hashing out the last of his strategy!”

“So you spied as a fly on the wall? Commendable no doubt, but I still fail to see…”

“Your bowels must be keeping you up at night my good bard” Desiree’ said. “He didn’t spend the entire time on the wall you see. He was also distributing a few select diseases with the fuzz on his underside to the necks of the assembled.”

“Yes” interrupted Morden, “and I managed to fly vomit in the Baron’s Crème Brulee!”

“Well done lad” Bragi chuckled. “Well done indeed!”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snake of the Grass



The long, thick strand of sawgrass poked it's head above the surface of the shallow but swift Namakogen river; at least 30 yards ahead but centered and so, clearly visible. It struggled a moment, opposing currents moving it left and right, as Linda and I paddled past a drifting canoe captained by a father and his young son.

As we zipped to the right of its position, the swirl of my J-stroke caught the blade full on, gripping it within a yard wide whirlpool and drawing it from the murky deep into the full light of day. A foot or more rose toward the sky before its own waterlogged weight bent the shaft to half mast, the grass now appearing more like a bird of paradise flower, its beak bobbing in the light waves.

"Snake! DADDY SNAKE!!!" The young boy was beside himself in terror, slapping his paddle in the water in a vain attempt to pull his bow to the shoreline and avoid the monster now turning to meet his gaze.

His father could do little but laugh, an odd reassurance that all was not lost. But the boy persisted; his warnings becoming full fledged screams of fright as his canoe drew closer and closer to the jaws of doom.

Smiling, I called out over my shoulder to soothe the young adventurer. "Don't worry son", I said, "there are no water snakes in Minnesota, and certainly none that are poisonous."

He snapped his face to meet his fathers, looking for the qualified nod of agreement that came immediately. "He's right Jimmy" dad said, doing his best to not chortle in his brave warrior's time of doubt.

Jimmy appeared calmed, for just a moment. But then a horrified look crossed his face as he again shrieked in fear. "But..but..This isn't Minnesota....IT'S WISCONSIN!!!"

"I stand corrected" I thought as I laughed aloud. "You've gotta point there!" I answered just as the monstrous denizen lowered it's head and dipped it's flashing tongue into the rippled surface before it, and then quickly sank to once again prowl for other little boys to terrorize.

"Men are so mean" Linda jibed, her grin in contrast to eyes filled with sympathy for Jimmy and his little nightmare. "WHAT!?" I cried, as any man worth his salt would say in answer to nearly any disparaging comment by the opposite sex.

But I had to agree. Poor kid. Damn snakes. Hehe

Monday, January 21, 2013

Discount

How long will I discount the depth of my living
How long will I crave for another at bat.
If I now were just to let go all the mystery
would I then enjoy life, or still smell a rat

There aren’t enough answers to suit every question
there’s not enough time to acknowledge them all
but still I keep asking to split all minutia
until every split has been parsed wall to wall

My brain disappoints me, there must be some purpose
to which it aspires that would not be so bleak
Perhaps I should write a short list of potential
and hope that my mind does much more than critique

You Are What You Eat

Morden stood atop the embankment searching the horizon in search of the enemy. He knew they were out there, he could feel a presence, and yet he could spot no movement at all. He tried to remember his aunt’s favorite scanning spell, and finally recovered the words. In a moment the young mage had recited the “Butterfly’s Eye”, and his suddenly he could view 12,000 pinpoints, each a focus unto itself. He took a new look at the space before him, concentrating on each facet in turn, and still discovered no creeping warg or camouflaged orc. He did though spot a delicious stand of beebalm in the near distance and began to drool ever so slightly.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Flight





A little picture prompt...



All my life I'd dreamed that I could fly, that I was specially endowed, or maybe just privy to some secret that no one else knew. Yea, dreamed; I never actually believed it. Once I was awake the whole thing seemed so silly to me; almost embarrassing, even though I never spoke of it.

Then one day I was walking in this field near Lake Phalen and I saw this girl crying and I walked to a spot nearby and offered to lend an ear, from a distance of course, so as not to scare her. She looked up and smiled, and then she said "that's very nice of you" and I said " not really; you know, it's just do unto others and if I was as sad as you I'd like someone to offer to comfort me."

Well then she stood up and cocked her head like she was listening to something for a minute and I strained to hear what it was but all I heard was the breeze moving through the heather. Then she looked straight into my eyes and said "I bet you dream about flying like I do".

Yea, weird, just like that. Sure it was a little creepy and I got goosebumps and all, but she was so pretty and her voice was so calm and her smile was so, you know, gentle, like my mom's when she was alive. So I just answered her without asking how she knew. I just said "yea, all the time, and in my dreams I actually do fly, sometimes by flapping my arms and sometimes I just kinda will it you know? Like I just think 'fly' and up I go, always slow and steady like I'm in no big hurry."

I half expected her to laugh. She had to think I was some kind of idiot or like a little kid or something. But she didn't laugh. She walked over to me and reached out her hand and once I'd taken it she gripped it real tight and said "close your eyes and think about raising yourself off the ground."

Well yea, my heart was beating a mile a minute and it was hard to concentrate what with her touching me and all but I did think as hard as I could about levitating like she said and then she said "fly with me" and I said "sure" like some dolt.

"Open your eyes" she said, so I did and wow, we were actually both floating in midair. I should have been scared shitless but the second I started thinking that she said "look at me" so I did and I calmed down right away. She said "cmon" and she bobbed her head over her shoulder like she wanted us to go that way and I nodded because it seemed like the only answer to have and we started moving forward. It was the coolest feeling, I almost wet my pants right there but I diidn't. I was flying. I was flying! Oh my God, I WAS FLYING!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Happenstance

There were incredible odds against my being there at all, much less within the range of hearing. Her cries were muffled, his commands whispered, and yet my flesh squirmed as if my veins were teeming with spawning minnows. Once I’d crept close and spotted the crime in progress, it took all the courage I had within me, and then whatever I could borrow from the ghosts of my faith, to interrupt the invasion with an assault of my own. Set free to run, she vanished forever while the perp and I danced among the black, gnarly trees of East River Road. I left him lying there, a snake in the grass, hoping I hadn’t killed him but too afraid to wait and see.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Johnny on the Spot

“Listen” said the fetus, “I’m not coming out until my demands are met!”

“But you’ll kill your mother” God said, “No child of mine would deliberately kill her mother!”

“Well there ya have it grandpa” answered the fetus. “Either I’m taken care of or I grow so big this woman explodes!”

God replied softly, “Alright, what is it you want exactly?”

“I want a guarantee that when I go through this life and then die and I’m reincarnated, I come back as a winged horse!”

“Kinda jumpin’ the gun aren’t you? Don’t you think you might change your mind one day? Besides, life is not about guarantees!”

“Still” the fetus said with a sneer ”it is what it is. Now write me that contract!”

“Well child, you have the wrong deity anyway; you want Buddha I’m afraid, but here, I’ll connect you.”

Somewhere a phone rang. (Atop a mountain most likely)

“Buddha’s office, Dalai Lama speaking, is this the angry fetus?”

“It is buster, now fix this problem for me or I swear I’ll…”

“I’m terribly sorry, or I would be had I done anything incorrectly or if sorrow wasn’t a wasted emotion; you see we’re all booked up right now, we’re not taking reincarnation reservations at the moment. I can though transfer you to a deity that can straighten out your crooked path if you would be willing to skip this lifetime altogether and jump directly into the winged horse aspect.”

“Well… HECK YES! I hate it in this sweaty womb. Let’s get the ball rolling! said the fetus.

“Alright madame, I’ll transfer you, and thanks for flying Buddha.”

Somewhere a phone rang. (Quite near a giant flying eye topped volcano if I’m not mistaken)

“Hello, Johnnygod Tolkein speaking. A winged horse you say? What a delightful proposition…”

And so the Rohan Pegasus was born…

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Have a Little Secret



I have a little secret, oh I spose it’s nothing huge
There’s lots of folks that share this thing, a dark self subterfuge.
I analyze and worry; I’ve dismal attitude,
so I need a medication, and that drug, I fear, is food!

If I’m smarting from embarrassment, an apple pie will do.
A bag of taco chips can help if I’ve been dissed by you.
For straight intimidation I need meat, like t-bone steak.
If stress consumes my being, I consume a carrot cake.

For anguish I need lots of stuff, like cinnamon on toast;
and chips and dips and jerky strips and crab cakes from the coast!
Rejection is a 6 course meal, divorce, a three day gobble.
A family death, a side of beef, two deaths, I start to wobble.

It wouldn’t be a problem save I’ve reached that magic place;
my scale’s run out of numbers, I don’t recognize my face.
I need to be more happy, I must crack the sadness code.
Cuz if I’m mopey one more week, I swear I will explode

Perils of the Thinkin' Thing

As I’d expected, I found my teenage son sitting on the stoop, knees near his chest, elbows on his knees, face in his hands.

“Ok, I give” I said; “what exactly is it you’re doing now?”

“Just what you told me to do” he answered without moving a single muscles besides the one that waggled his tongue against his teeth.

“I told you to mow the lawn” I said bluntly, “ and by the looks of it, not a blade has been trimmed so far.”

“No I meant what you told me before that” he said. “I’ve gotta do things in the order you tell them to me or I get confused.”

“Ok then, what was it I told you to do before telling you to mow?”

“”You said I should learn to think for myself! So I’m practicing!”

It was not exactly revolutionary that my son spent every farthing of his creative capital devising dodges. The neighborhood was full of adolescent con men and women.

“In a minute I’ll give you something you can really think about” I said with a tinge of Arnold Schwartzenegger in my voice.

“Alright, alright” he whined as he moved toward the mower; “but be aware that I don’t have this thinkin’ thing mastered yet!”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Ballad of Steven Allen




Oh the river has me in its grip, its channel is too deep
I canna' stand and canna' swim, and I canna' go to sleep
Oh the waters fill my achin' lungs 'till I'm shakin' like a leaf
I'm drowning here, I'll fight no more the river of my grief

His head was ne'er a bright balloon, but water filled, it's true
he'd been wrapped in his umbilical, unborn and turning blue
and we prayed for his deliverance, and we prayed that he might die
God save him from a life of pain, a shameless battle cry

But he didn't pass that summer's eve, he lived into his teens
my parents loved him as they should, my take was more obscene
when I'd hold him I could see his soul, the person trapped within
I knew that he was powerless, a thinking mannequin

The doctors said he had no thoughts, his smile was pure response
and his giggle just a nervous twitch; he'd needs, but never wants
yet I'd stroke his face and pierce his eyes, and feel his little mind
well I thought that I could drop it, leave his sentience far behind

But a weaker man has ne'er been born, I crumbled to the task
it would haunt me that my brother dear, had questions he might ask
so rather than ignore it, I ignored the boy instead
and I found some way to justify the wrongness in my head

Well I had a little brother, not so anyone might know
I was absent as he made his way, too busy eating crow
And I saw the error of my ways, and yet I stood aside
Said I'd deal with him tomorrow, and tomorrow still, I cried

Over time it got more comfortable, as if he wasn't there
though he looked a little like me with his stark white, silken hair
yet my heart would sink whenever we would catch each others eye
he was strong and I was nothing, just a useless passerby

Well he held on for my mother, but as she passed, so did he
it was past his time by ages, all that knew him could agree
and I know that he's an angel, if the angels do exist
and I know I'll not forget him, and I know that he's been missed

It's been nearly twenty years since then, and still I can't forgive
I gave up a little brother that my laziness could live
it's the sin that never leaves me and the story I can't tell
that if nothing else, for this alone, I've paved my road to hell

Oh the river has me in its grip, its channel is too deep
I canna' stand and canna' swim, and I canna' go to sleep
Oh the waters fill my achin' lungs 'till I'm shakin' like a leaf
I'm drowning here, I'll fight no more the river of my grief