Tuesday, December 31, 2013

J

you're almost nearly my type:
you surely like to flirt,
we share music taste and attitude,
we hate standing so inert.

you're just my type in form:
thin and short and cute...
if only you weren't straight
I'd keep my warnings mute.

we work well together---
independent or hand-in-hand,
double-teaming the job
so all gets done as planned.

we even have the banter,
making hours fly on by...
if only you weren't straight
I'd give us a try.

I wonder if you think
sex is high on the list,
if THAT's what turns you off
(not giving a guy a kiss);

I'd assure you you're mistaken,
nothing's further from my mind...
if only you weren't taken,
I'd show you what you'd find.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Architect

I found a world for us to live in
but you never visit me,
your excuses are uninspiring
and boring, tragically.

I built a world for us to play in
but you never want to try,
I've broken universal laws
but you don't want to fly.

I destroyed worlds where we suffer,
people who push us aside,
but all you do is mutter
and stomp upon my pride.

I made a world to jail you,
where you'll never break free,
but it's for you alone
and ever missing me.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Inside

let's get trapped together
in a box that holds the world,
clichély bigger on the inside
where our flags are unfurled.

let's get trapped together
on a raft that never sinks,
in an ocean with no tides,
with a creature that never blinks.

let's get trapped together,
burdened down by own dreams...
let's unlock the world together
and discover what it means.


Inspired by Box of Blurbs' "I am trapped" post.
 - 29 December 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mr. Nobody

I stood outside the junkyard fences when the Turtle first lifted his shell. I sat in the balcony when Tachyon first addressed the Senate. I watched behind the barricades during the first of the Jokertown riots.

I'm not an Ace. I'm not a Joker. I'm just a quiet little Deuce trying to get by.

When the virus hit me, I wasn't doing anything. I was sitting alone, hidden in a suburban forest, watching a river meander by. I passed out...

...and woke to myself. I peered into the sliding waters, and saw no change come over me. My bicycle still sat leaning behind a tree behind me, and I started to pedal for home. It wasn't until I arrived that I discovered it was no longer there waiting for me, as it always had.

Before the virus, I was a nobody in essence, and now I am one in body. I'll never stand out in a crowd, and even if you catch me standing alone, you'll never remember my face. You can't ever remember my face.

I'm unemployable. Even though I look normal, no-one can remember talking to me, let alone engage with me long enough to hire me. I suppose it's strong enough that even the Aces pass me by, again and again, discounting me as another faceless fan. Jokers have enough on their own minds to worry about another unfortunate soul.

I'm unlovable. Even hookers forget I'm between their legs. My anonymity is universal.

But I'm not invisible. That, perhaps, would be more useful. I can't walk through security checkpoints, I'll be detained; I can't trespass, I'll be imprisoned; I can't be locked up, I'll be forgotten and left to rot.

So I ride. I steal just enough to get by. I write, and only my words are seen and felt and heard... as long as I'm not around to get in their way.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

thirty thousand pennies

thirty thousand pennies
could turn my life around,
give me something to hold onto,
not flounder without a sound.

thirty thousand pennies
from thirty thousand friends...
I could hone my magic,
and finally contend.

thirty thousand pennies,
once every week...
I can live on that little money
never even blink.

those thirty thousand pennies--
better than the thirty-five
that I earn in retail
just to stay alive.

thirty thousand pennies:
so cheap is my soul.
drop your copper in the bucket
and I'll make sure you feel whole.


2013 November 13

Support DreamClassier.com as well as this and all my other projects by donating through Patreon, an ongoing, Kickstarter-like, independent-artist funding engine, at patreon.com/dreamclassier

Thursday, August 8, 2013

WSWM13: B08

I found Recte on my roof, not because he was actually trying to hide from me, because I never would have noticed him if he had, and that was the first sign that they were back. I nodded to him, and he nodded back. Then, because I was walking backwards looking at Recte, I tripped over Atrox still lying in his bedroll.

"Really, I'm not usually this clumsy," I replied to Atrox's disapproving look.

"Sure you're not."

I looked up, still lying on the ground, and saw Copia's sarcastic grin shining down on me. She offered me a hand up, and I took it, then returned the favor to Atrox. He accepted the courtesy, knowing we both knew I actually provided little aid.

"You guys look good."

"You look bored, Satis, as usual."

"Gee, thanks Cops, you're too kind."

She grabbed the end of her hair and shook it at me threateningly. "You know I hate that nickname."

"A thousand pardons."

"That will have to be enough, I suppose." She dropped her braid.

"Did you have a good war?"

Atrox muscled in on the conversation. "It was too long. It's good to be home." Recte signaled his agreement.

"Don't you mean, my home?"

"Same thing."

Copia peeked over Atrox's shoulder and stole the dialog back. "So, see any good quests while we were away?"

"Just one, a couple of days ago."

"Really? Details, details!" She finished climbing over Atrox and dropped to the ground in front of him.

"I found a sword in the woods."

"And?"

"And I left it there."

"Why would you do something like that? --Oh right, of course."

I felt a hand clamp down gently on my shoulder and realized that last part was directed to Recte, who was now standing behind me. I internally applauded myself for not jumping, before adding to Recte's comment, which I gathered was somewhere along the lines of "Remember who you're talking to" with "Well, yeah. And it was stuck in a large boulder."

"Once and future king again?"

"Looks like."

Atrox shook his head. "I am so tired of the motif. Pass?"

Everybody was in agreement, and again for his next suggestion:

"Shall we go grinding then?"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WSWM13: B07

Read episode one here, or the previous episode here.
--

Before I go too much further, let me get something straight. Though I preferred to be alone, work alone, train alone, live alone... I wasn't always alone. I wouldn't call them friends, they were friends of each other, but they were just acquaintances of mine.

And they were all nerds who took Latin in school, which meant I never had to explain anything to them; they understood well enough, and it made for a nice change.

Atrox was a biggish galoot, wide in the shoulders, narrow in the feet, and excessively tall. He preferred spears, staves, bo, javelins, the lot. Sometimes they had cross-braces and sometimes not; but when he joined in the ranks of larger parties, he was invariably elected to carry the coat of arms. It rankled him some, but few enough people could defend themselves with it.

He was also convinced that he was absolutely terrible. He wasn't, but that didn't stop him from moaning about it between engagements. From what impressions I got from the others, only a stern look from me ever shut him up, but he never stayed that way for long.

Copia was pencil thin and short, but she had a mane of flaming red hair. It was tied back into a tight braided bun whenever she was active, but otherwise, it was kept in a straight braid, whipping around often because she had a tendency to turn her head sharply. If you weren't sitting close enough, and someone opposite you caught her attention, you were due for an accidental whipping.

She preferred ranged weapons, bows, crossbows, slings, and the like; and would rather stand a few rows back from the front lines, all the better not to be trampled. She also had remarkable skill nailing targets during volleys.

Copia teased Atrox, goading him, and I once saw her climbing him like a jungle-gym set, but to my knowledge, they were friends and nothing more.

Recte, the third member of their crew, is hard to explain. He was quiet, not unlike myself, but never said a word. His specialty was stealth, and I can honestly say I have no idea what he actually looked like. He communicated exclusively through hand signals, which Copia and Atrox seemed to be completely fluent in, regardless how ridiculous the message they claimed he was passing on.

After a while, I gained a feel for concepts, but never could pick up on the degree of specifics that the other two could. Despite that, he never showed annoyance, or anger, and every time I asked how he joined up with Atrox and Copia, I got a different story.

I rather suspect Recte just showed up one day, and by the time they noticed, he had become a regular fixture.

Atrox, Copia, and Recte. And sometimes Satis. If nothing else, they never let things get boring. They tended to disappear off on long engagements, all signing up as mercenaries for the same side; I wouldn't see them for weeks or months at a time. But when things were feeling particularly slow, when I started to feel the least bit of boredom in my routine, they'd show up and hang around just long enough for me to start yearning for the routine, and then they'd be off once again.

Like I said, I'd never really call them friends of mine, but I think they considered me one of theirs.

--
Visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

WSWM13: B06

Read episode one here, or the previous episode here.
--

I was out walking in the forest earlier, picking herbs for health potions (yes, I often brew my own) when I found a unusually gilded sword. Now, I'm no stranger to finding strange things in my walking, but few swords were gilded like this one; the working was perfect, equisite, but not overdone, which is something of a problem in these parts.

I would have picked it up and taken it with me, but it looked rather firmly sheathed in a stone.

Now, I can fit a lot of things into my inventory--a lot more than most--and sure, they seem to lose all or most of their weight when I get them into my pocket, but before they get into my pocket, they weigh what you'd normally expect.

I didn't touch it. I've read my share of classic fiction, and also watched my share of quests. I knew better than to plunder willy-nilly into those sorts of things without reading the fine print first; a lesson learned by too few of those think-headed adventurer-types who like to hear themselves talk, which is a shame, really.

I don't think they ever learn.

I do learn, which is suppose is a shame in and of itself, because I don't get to go on wild goose-chases; I know better.

Ignorance must be bliss, because the lack of ignorance certainly isn't.

--
Read the next episode, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Monday, August 5, 2013

WSWM13: B05

Read episode one here, or the previous episode here.
--

In many worlds in many games, when you set up your character you select a class, right? So what's my class?

Well, here in... I really can't keep calling it Here, so let's start by giving this place a nom de plume. I think Anseo will do well.

Here in Anseo (wow, more repetition), it doesn't work that way. Sure, you build your physical likeness, but that's it. Everything else is how you play the game. As you grow as a player, it gives you options, opportunities to specialize, like getting offers to train under specific schools or masters. Actually, it's not "like" that at all; it's exactly that.

The offers I got didn't come in for the longest time, with my playing style. By the time they did, I was already adapted and comfortable playing as "undecided."

The only benefit to it is that I don't lose skill points by using off-class weapons. Since I don't have a speciality, technically, no weapon or equipment is "off-class." Of course, since I don't have a speciality, I don't get bonuses from any weapons or equipment that I use. You could say my sword has no name and no soul, if I used one, that is; the only heart in my cards is the one in my chest.

Now, in some games, if you use weapons that are off-speciality, you just fumble around with them and never gain any skill, but in Anseo, that doesn't hold true. Whatever you use, you gain skill in the using of it. Hypothetically, any class could gain enough skill in an off-class weapon to negate the off-class penalty, but nobody does; they find what fits their style and stick with it.

Why do I use two tonfas and three sais?

That's what I own and practice with outside the game. I supposed you could say I get some bonus from actual practice, but it doesn't work out that way.

--
Read the next episode, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Sunday, August 4, 2013

WSWM13: B04

Read episode one here, or the previous episode here.
--

I mentioned dungeons before, and I invariably will again, so I might as well explain what they are to those who don't understand.

They're like real dungeons, places where monsters are kept, and the more violent and dangerous are kept furthest from the entrance. That's about where the similarity ends.

For one, the front door isn't locked, and two, they're not all dark and dreary. The rooms themselves are sometimes locked, depending on the nature of the dungeon, and there's treasure. Lots of treasure of varying value; some of the quality I'm used to picking up during my work shift, and some I almost never see, mostly because by the time I get deep enough to see the pricier stuff, I'm overtaken by someone else doing a speed run and taking advantage of the rooms I cleaned out for them.

I get overtaken a lot, and while it annoys me a bit, I've gotten pretty used to it. That doesn't mean I exit the dungeon; by no means! I'll follow along in their wake instead, grabbing the loot that they decided wasn't worth enough to haul back to civilization.

But at the bottom (or top, or end, depending on which way the dungeon goes) there's an altar with an enormous chest, and the rarest and most expensive items in the entire dungeon are there. Well, usually. Sometimes the treasure isn't there, because someone made it to the altar first, and it hasn't reset set, or they were waiting in the bottom while it reset, took the items and ran off without anyone noticing, or the game could just be pranking you.

Behind the chest and the altar is a deep pit, rather looks more like a crater, and within that is a giant floating statue, more often than not mystical in some way, its face floating level or above the chest in front of it. It's mostly just there for decoration, but the left behind refuse congregates on the bottom of the pit, and only the garbageman has access.

Like I said, it's usually just refuse, but sometimes, something truly rare and worthwhile ends up there.

What causes that?

Well, speed runners don't always notice everything they should, and sometimes toss away items without actually looking at them first. Sometimes raiding parties have arguements about how to divvy up the spoils, and somebody gets the idea that if they can't have the item, then nobody can; they throw the item down where they think nobody has access: the crater below the floating statue. Sometimes, even the meticulous make a mistake, trying to decide which items to take and which items won't fit into their inventory slots, and they make a bad call.

So that's what I get to clean up. There's a small access door somewhere, usually near the entrance of the dungeon so I don't have to clear out the monsters to take out the garbage. It doesn't take a special key to open, just a knowledge of where to look, and access granted by administrators just in case someone did find it.

If you were hoping for a special artifact to open it, sorry if I disappointed you. Like I said, there's nothing special about me, or I'm not Satis the Good Enough.

--
Read the next episode here, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Saturday, August 3, 2013

WSWM13: B03

Read episode one here, or the previous episode here.
--

Welcome back. Or, well, I assume you're back, or you wouldn't be reading this, and see that I'm welcoming you. I'd be welcoming someone else instead. Unless I'm not welcoming you back because this is your first time here, so it's just a plain old welcome, in which case, go back and start from the beginning, and when you return, then it will be a true welcome back. Don't worry, it won't take too long; I'm not one of those god-aweful heroes who likes to hear himself talk.

Like I said yesterday, I'm not going to tell you what happened yesterday, because our session yesterday was spent regaling you about what happened the day before. Instead, I'm going to finish telling you what I was telling you yesterday, the part I left out.

I went to work.

Now what kind of work does Satis the Good Enough get? It's not like I'm good enough to sell myself out for mercenary work, or even built like someone who could; or assassination, either the doing or the being done (honestly, who would pay someone to assassinate me?). No, I do something that needs being done, that not many are willing to do.

I'm the local garbageman.

I really don't mind the work. Plenty of folks throw away low level items that aren't worth the time to sell or auction off. It's far easier just to drop them, to leave space in your inventory to pick up something more valuable.

Well, I've got the time, the patience, and one thing that nobody tells you until you've applied for the job (really, nobody applies for this job; you can get paid better being cannon fodder): extra storage and stackable weapons. Now I can't say that holds true for all servers, but here, it does.

No, I'm not going to tell you where here is, otherwise my job security just goes out the window. I may not be exceptional, but I'm certainly not stupid.

So besides my small paycheck of... well, suffice to say it's small, and I'm not on the dole like a spendthrift noob--I get to keep the payout of what I find. Not the actual items themselves--that's in the contract--but the payout. If they let me keep the items themselves, I suspect they think I'd just be moving the mess from one place to another.

Nobody wants a landfill cluttering up the city, and where do you think they'd put it anyway? They'd tear down the forest whre my hovel resides, that's where! I'd rather be surrounded by nature and too cold or too hot than perfectly comfortable and surrounded by refuse.

So I went to work, then passed by the auction houses on my way to clock out, swung by the bank on my way home, and as the daytime players started to come awake, I was having supper and then tucking myself into bed.

It's not a bad life.

--
Read the next episode here, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Friday, August 2, 2013

On Writing: What is WSWM?

If you're reading this, you've probably seen my last three posts, each title prefixed with the initials WSWM, followed by a strange code.

WSWM stands for WeSeWriMo, which probably sounds very similar to something else you might have heard of: NaNoWriMo, and indeed, they're very similar. I've personally participated in NaNoWriMo twice, and yearly in NaPoWriMo.

To the non-writers in my audience, I suspect this all sounds like gobby-de-gook and nonsense, but I assure you, it is anything but. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month in November, and is the most advertised and participated in of the three mentioned celebrations (it also tends to produce more terrible writing than the other two). NaPoWriMo is National Poetry Writing Month in April, and while I yearly participate, I do so in an unofficial capacity. WeSeWriMo, which looks rather different from the other two, is Web Series Writing Month in August; of the three, it is the most imformal, spanning more than just written work (though that's what I focus on), and leaves the setting of goals to each individual artist.

This will be my first time trying to write a web serial, and you can find all of the entries here.

Since I have a tendency to come up with some many ideas for stories, I've decided not to try to limit myself, which is what the A, B, and so forth are in the title, at least until I decide on a title for each strain. The number following the letter is the episode, and I hope that's rather self-explanatory.

Wish me luck!



My WeSeWriMo 2013 Progress So Far:
9.67% completed!

WSWM13: B02

Read episode one here.
--

When I rolled out of bed, I ended up on the floor. It happened every time, but it didn't bother me because I slept on a futon on the floor, and the reason I did that, well, a bed frame wouldn't fit in my hovel.

This wasn't in the early days of setting out, still on the dole and not yet established. No, this was yesterday. I did it this morning too, and will again tomorrow, but I don't have a story about today yet, and probably won't, since I'm taking today to explain what happened yesterday. While that would be rather meta, I doubt it would be particularly interesting, especially after you hear what happened yesterday, only to hear about me telling you what happened.

Anyway, after I rolled out of bed, and after doing all the basic things that everybody does after they wake up from a good day's sleep... Yes, I sleep during the day, at least while it's summer; all the better to save on cooling my hovel, while small, leaks like an open window. How I survive the winter is a different story; maybe I'll share it tomorrow.

I had breakfast while most people were having supper... Yes, it's still called breakfast because I'm breaking my fast! Would you stop interrupting me?

Anyway, I got dressed in my Good Enough jerkin, slipped my three Good Enough sais into my belt, and filled the two Good Enough tonfa holsters on my lower legs. One look at my equipment and clothes and nobody is going to be PKing me for any of this substandard equipment; no, they all want plus-five this and plus-nine that. Though, every once in a while a noob tries to come up on me, trying to ditch their minus-five this and minus-three that, but the day I can't take on a fresh noob is the day I'm no longer Satis, the Good Enough.

I have to walk into town. Most players live in town, but I have better things to spend my hard-earned gold on than rent or a mortgage. Well, actually, I don't. The most expensive thing I own is my third sai, nd that's only because I have to pester Game Management to let me wield it and leave the fourth at home. All of my other gold is sitting in the bank.

Yes, really, it's in the bank. What, did you think I'd bury it somewhere in the floor of my hovel? No thank you! The bank has insurance on their deposits. My hovel doesn't have insurance at all.

So, there I was walking into town, and sitting in the centre square was a plague of Russian ogres. Why are the orges always Russian and the Russians always orges? Okay, so maybe not all of them, but it certainly seems that way.

They were recruiting noobs for cannon fodder. That is one particular hazing tradition I avoided like the plague. Naturally, they see me, with my barely Good Enough equipment, and ask me to join them, as if it wasn't a dead give away what was going on, but as they say, there's a noob born every minute.

Before I go any further, let me get something out of the way. Noob is both kind and derogatory. It's a given for all player newly joined, regradless how knowledgeable they are to the world, and in that, it's used almost affectionately. However, when you've been around long enough to have figured out how the world works, but haven't, that's also a noob. The second kind is what these recruiters are normally looking for, though they invariably get flooded with the first.

They saw me and made an assumption. Assumptions are bad for a reason, and that reason is that I break them. They tried to goad me into joining their quest, and when that didn't work, they tried menacing me.

It's a shame they didn't recognize me, but like I said earlier, I'm no hero, just Satis, the Good Enough. Only the nerds who took Latin in school recognize me, and they remember enough of it neither to recruit me to cannon fodder nor to an equal share, they just leave me alone.

So I kicked the oaf in the armpit. It's not their primary weak spot, or the rarest, but it gets the job done without a minimum amount of embarassment. I don't exactly have the cajones to kick him in the... yeah. Or the jump height to kick him in the face, anyone who can jump that high is more than just Good Enough.

He didn't go down, but he flinched, and in situations like these, that pretty much counts for calling uncle. Not enough, though, for me to risk sticking around, or to try dodging the Kick Me sign one of his buddies stuck on me as I slipped away.

I'm no stranger to Kick Me signs, and if I was headed home, I would have used it to wallpaper my walls, along with the all the others.

And then I went to work.

--
Read episode three here, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

Thursday, August 1, 2013

WSWM13: B01

I walked into the light with no trepidation: the crowds had already carried off their heroes, each bearing their trophies and winnings, while I waiting in the dungeon's foyer.

I didn't have the broad shoulders of a conquerer, or the reflexes of the swordsman, or even the precision of the archer. I certainly didn't have the ingrained abilities of any mage. No, I had nothing to set me aside from the crowd, besides the fact that I avoided crowds at all costs.

I was Satis, the Good Enough. (Yes, I know that's repetitive.)

If you look back on those days of Alpha and Beta testing, you won't find me. Nay, even if you fast forward through the primary rush of the initial public release, you will not see me (unless someone steals my name, again).

Who would want to steal this name? All who play want to be the best, the top of the world, all who try dream of being The Best. Except me. I heard the music, knew the tune, and could hum a few bars (though they were hopelessly off key). I'd been there, done that, but had to pay regular price for my t-shirt because the sales had all ended.

I was Satis, the Good Enough, and you'll find me walking out of the dungeon long after the dust has settled, because, after all, who wants dust in their eyes for the long walk home? I mean, come on, let's be realistic here.

What I do is undervalued. I pick up the leavings, after grinding my way through long and arduous passages, too often finding myself being overtaken by someone with stars in their eyes. But I take those common drops, selling them for all the pittiance I can muster, and save every last penny away.

I am Satis, the Good Enough, and I've been waiting long enough to share my story. It's finally my time, not to shine, but to glisten with fond mediocrity.

--
Read episode two here, or visit the official webpage at dreamclassier.com/satis

WSWM13: A01

I woke up on a deserted... well, a deserted desert. Why does everybody else get a bloody island? No, I get a friggen desert. It's filled with sand, cacti, sand, little scrubby bushes, and more sand. And those little scrubby bushes just wither and crumple to dust if you so much as touch them.

I picked a direction and started walking. What else would you expect me to do? Can't exactly build a sandcastle without any water.

I brushed a cactus absently, and it was like my whole body flinched in pain, but no prickles came off. Kicking it in frustration a few times didn't hurt, strangely enough, just knocked it over. I managed to pick up the pieces and kept walking.

Night started to fall, and I considered stopping for a break, but the desert around me started coming alive. Hey, you'd be scared too!

With nothing else to build with, I surrounded myself with the cactus pieces, and tried not to move too much while I waited for sun and safety to return.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fiction: Eviction (Mature)

The following content may not be suitable for all audiences.
--

Eviction. I didn't have anywhere to go, any way to pay for it, but I had a week to get it done.

My books went on Craigslist, promising "to best offer" with requirement of "bring your own boxes." The same went for my video games and systems, my TV, my computer, my furniture, my car.

I found someone with a worn but hardy tent, a down sleeping bag, and a hiking back-pack, and he took my xbox as payment.

My notebooks of writing and all other other paperwork was shredded and trashed. Everything of import was digitized, on the internet or external hard drives, and those went into my bag, though I had no expectations of being able to access them again.

I perched myself carefully on my bicycle, and left my apartment more forlornly than I found it, and rode off down the bike path, pointed south.

~

Within the day, I was pedaling down paths I'd never visited, past cities and towns I'd never heard of. I passed business I would never patronize, houses I could never make into a home, people I'd never know and would never come to know me.

When dusk approached, I found an isolated strip of land, put up the tent, locked up my bike, and crashed into sleep.

~

I preferred riding in forests.

Light to see by, but not beating down on me. A reminder of days long since passed, when a man could get by on the strength of his back alone, and the land wasn't cut up, parceled out, and every scrap accounted for.

~

One morning, I found myself deep in an unknown wood, long since alone, and everything came crashing down on my shoulders:

I had nothing.

With quick, sure hands, I unlaced the backpack, letting my external baggage fall to the path. I tossed one end over a branch, tied off an ugly knot, and patted the seat of my bicycle.

We'd been through a lot together, and now...

I whispered words for the first time in days.

"Go on now. You're free. Thank you."

I tossed the cable and lock into the forest, unwound the harnesses and light-strings, and dropped them by the wayside, before climbing up the tree a few feet, and pulling my neck through the noose.

Then I set myself free too.

~

A body was found hanging in a local tree, this afternoon, and had clearly been there several days. Camping and bicycling gear was found at the foot of the tree, except for the bicycle, which was found mysteriously atop the branch holding up the rope. The rope itself was heavily worn by what appears to be the rear tire of the bicycle. 

The circumstances surrounding this incident remain unknown.

--
Written 23 July 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

On Writing: The Story Coaster, Fortress Race, and Where I'm Stuck

For those unaware, Fortress Race is my novel. Well, young adult novel. Well... novel in progress. I've been working on it and various reincarnations of it since high school. It's stuck with me, and though I've restarted it from scratch no less than six times (and possibly more), it's still essentially the same story, and in the past eighteen months, I've made more progress than all of the previous years combined. Until a few months ago.

So where am I stuck? Well. until today, I didn't have a good word for it. But thanks to Incidental Comics' The Story Coaster, I do now.

I'm trapped in the badlands preceding the denouement. Literally, the final battle and its resolution, and though it's raining in the story, here on the Plains of Inspiration, it is bone dry.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Poetry: No Exceptions

a glint in the shadows,
a small red flashing light,
a sense of eyes on me
in the day and the night;

a locket closet door,
an urge of fight or flight;
just 'cause I know you're watching
doesn't make it alright.

I won't wear a tin hat,
or build an altar to Faraday;
I won't fear going outside
or watch what I say;

I won't creep on the darknet,
or try to hide my name;
just 'cause I know you're listening
doesn't make it okay.

I password-protect my data,
I lock up my car and bike,
I deadbolt all my doors,
keep valuables out of sight;

I never run in fear,
I stand up for my rights;
just 'cause I play it safe
doesn't mean I have things to hide.

--
5 July 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Prose: HvZ: Odin's Game

I stood in the darkness, a shadow in the shadow of the night, watching and ready. My back rested lightly against the rough bark of my chose tree, and between my legs stood my broadsword. On the other side of the tree, Father Odin's eye glared down onto the earth with exceptional silver clarity: the Super Moon.

My eyes were well adapted to the shadows, but still they stared out unfocused, tuning all that fell under my gaze to the sensitivity of my peripheral vision.

-

A pack of zombies sprinted across the field before me, flashing through the zebra-hide shadows, before crouching together to hide their location and numbers. If I moved, they'd have a feeding frenzy, but I only readied my grip on the hilt and pommel, shifted my weight onto the balls of my feet, and waited.

The shape of fresh meat bounded through the silvery light, and they gave chase, flanking like amateur tacticians, leaving me to my post.

When they returned, they were greater in number, but all were panting heavily; at least one was injured. A grim grin flashed across my face, and still I did not move.

Soon enough, they left again to a more profitable perch, and left me to my shadow.

-

Suddenly, out of the darkness came two infected giving chase. They spotted me at the last moment, but only nodded good tidings as they passed, deceived by my darkened flag and missing fear.

They return scant minutes later, still hunger and seeking my companionship, but then at last they noticed my heath. I disabled one and outran the other, my strides taking me into the moonlight, then out of it once more, the eye above me winking in approval.

I settled down to wait once more.

-

They came around me in numbers, from the blind side of my tree, word of my deception and flight spreading. I injured two before they tackled me, and under Father Odin's watchful gaze I was infected, converted. Only once I became one of them did they release me back into the world.

Enough of my humanity remained, and I departed from their pack, taking up my post once more--though swordless now--to play sentry within my darkness.

--
Written 28 June 2013 as a fictional accounting of true events from the night of 22 June. Read this for context.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Poetry: 19 June 2013

I'm sitting here and waiting,
wishing I was part of something more.
My world is full of blandness,
nothing new knocks at my door.

I'm sitting here and wishing,
wanting skills to sell.
My fingers darting across the keys
have nothing new to tell.

I'm sitting here and wanting,
wondering what could change:
put a spin on all my greys
to add some color to my mane.

I'm sitting here and wondering,
waiting for that chance,
hoping that I hear the cue
to get my turn to dance.

--
19 June 2013

View this piece on lemonfingers
View this piece on dreamwidth

Monday, June 17, 2013

Poetry: I'm Sorry, But I Can't

I don't believe in hope,
that the world will ever change,
that it might turn out all right
just for wishing for the strange.

I don't believe in prayer,
that things come to those who ask,
that all will throw up its arms
because you wouldn't stand fast.

I don't believe in faith,
that is one leap I cannot make,
my world is grim
paper thin
and far too little is at stake.

--
20 May 2013

View this piece on dreamwidth
View this piece on Lemonfingers

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Untitled

Happiness is not having to take no for an answer. Or yes. It's not having to ask the question at all. So the world collapsed, so what?

Everybody left, and I'm still squatting at home, this one-room apartment like nothing has changed. The floor is still a mess, I still don't go out much, and hunger mostly remains my only motivation for getting anything done.

~

My building had fifty-odd tenants, but now it sits empty. Even the squatters have gone. There's a big ugly stain up one wall where a car collided with the building, though even that is long since gone, cannibalized for supplies.

When my neighbors, who I never knew, started leaving, I raided what I could, but found little. Scarce food or clothing was left behind. I pulled down or smashed up what mirrors I could and hauled the shards down; before walking, my landlord helped me board the windows, and then I strung up the shards with duct tape to periscope light into my indoor garden.

Before the city shut off the pumps, I filled every bottle I could find with water, my shoulders and back aching shuffling the gallons to precarious piles on the floor and along my walls.

~

Why should I move on?

I have all I need here, and in any of the bareback-makework camps that have sprung up, my only gift is an extra pair of hands. I don't need the community-feeling or the social construct, and I certainly don't want someone dictating to me my chores. Besides, I can't smell my own body odor unless it gets really bath, and washing clothes wears them off faster.

I'm better off alone.

~

Motorcycle gangs roar by about once a week. Early on some of them stopped, hunting for supplies or sport. My door got jammed up good and tight, and someone dropped some furniture in front of it that's too much for me to move alone. They'd climb over, shake the handle, rattle the boardings, and go looking for easier prey.

Now, though, we've had some right good storms. Branches and brush have littered everything, and the property looks like it's started returning to nature. Nobody suspects one little hermit living inside the midst, and I like to keep it that way.

Sometimes, I wonder about the bigger cities, like Chicago a few dozen miles east of here--of more homes than one gang can plunder in a week, more crime than one community can defend against, and possibly more mouths to feed than hands to make food--but most of the times I know better.

~

I keep myself busy.

My basic needs are far from labor-intensive, at least as long as the roof holds out and my food doesn't run low, so I divide myself between writing, reading, and exercising.

I don't expect anyone to be reading any of these things, but I do my best to keep my mind working and busy, and that's what's important. I've always had a surplus of ideas and now I have a surplus of opportunity to record them. Paper supplies are no concern--even before there were signs of collapse I'd kept a goodly collection. If anything, light is the greatest shortage; it sure does seem to get dark quickly.

I exercise enough to keep my body from atrophying, but it's all endurance work. If I lift any weight, it's liquid--I have no free-weights of my own, and they're hardly a priority when searching for supplies. I used to ride my bicycle a lot, but going out is hardly safe anymore. I still have it, propped up in the corner behind my equally unused electronics; I won't have it said I've let much go to waste.

Yes, I managed to keep my television and computer. The power has been off for ages, and not expected to come back, but why not?

~

The last news of my family came before the phone services gave out, while my batteries still lived. My parents had joined up with one cooperative and my sister and her boyfriend with another. They all sounded like they were getting by, and offered invitations to join them, but I left my denials unspoken.

The closest cooperative is over at Mooseheart. I stopped by, just the once, and stayed only long enough for them to try to enlist me. I remember the smell of home-brew gunpowder chasing me off their land too well to stop by again.

I don't like guns. I don't have any. I've got a nice assortment of staves, knives, and stakes; a few bamboo swords and one of steel; two pairs of nunchaku; and a homemade crossbow. I'm also teaching myself how to build an actual bow, completely through trial and error. If anything, I have excesses of wood and time.

~

I'm not looking forward to the first winter, but I'm ready for it. I can seal myself in nice and tight at the first sign of a lasting frost, and have my intake calculated into a science.

I hope it snows heavily, like I haven't seen since I was very little. I suspect the collectives would suffer for it, but I could use the added insulation.

In the meantime, the star seem brighter than ever. No power means no light pollution, and there have been a fair number of meteor showers as of late. Part of me wonders if they're not meteors, but satellites and debris falling out of orbit instead.

It makes no difference as long as nothing falls on my home. If it's going to hit here, it might as well take me out with it, because I sure don't want to go through all the effort of getting myself reestablished somewhere else.

~

If I'm the last person on earth, I wouldn't mind it so terribly. It might do me some good to spread out a bit. Don't get me wrong--I mean nothing lavish, and have no intention of encroaching on nature's reclamation of these lands more than necessary.

As for companionship, why, that's just another mouth to feed, another body to house, another nose to be offended at the smell, another critic to judge.

If there's anything I don't need, it's any of those things.

~

Winter's passed and I'm not worse the wear for it. Didn't get as must snow as I'd hoped, but more than I feared.

Come the waking for spring, animals have started to rove about, but we've got unspoken understandings. Who needs to share a language when you're both content to leave the other alone?

The north-bound geese have more to fear from the dog-packs than the cat-herds, and there's at least one of each in the neighborhood.

Coyotes and deer have become commonplace, but both are more skittish than the tame-turned-feral former house-pets.

~

I smelled smoke the other days and saw it welling up on the horizon south of me. Following the next storm, I snuck down for a look and found the Mooseheart collective fallen. Whether it was an internal dispute or an external raid, I'll never know. I picked up a few wheelbarrows of supplies and trucked them back home from the deserted compound.

A pack of dogs, scrawny and starving, found me on the way back. I fed them generously and treated them kindly, and found myself with an honor gaurd for the duration of the move.

~

I've found myself a fair hand at building bows, better than shooting them, at least. I assembled a workshop in the apartment next to me, entering through a hole between the defunct refrigerators, for making and storing spares.

~

The second winter is nearly upon me, and I'm doing spot-checking on the makeshift cistern I've built at the other end of the building. It's close enough to watertight, and has a tap at the bottom right over the sewer drain. I don't need the water yet, and don't expect to until spring, so if something fails, I won't be excessively inconvenienced. Unless I get flooded out.

It's camouflaged entirely by the disrepaired building, fed by troughs across the roof.

~

Upon the come of spring, I hope to relegate another of the abandoned apartments to food storage. My gardens have been producing more than I use, even with moderated sharing with my four-legged neighbors. What I don't eat gets canned, stored, packed away in cubby-holes and hiding spots. If it ever goes horribly wrong, I'll have something to fall back on.

~

Even still, my original suppy of paper holds out, though I'm writing with found and recovered pens and pencils.

I don't remember the last time I've opened my mouth to speak, though I still remember how. There isn't any need. Still, no caravans have passed, as the second spring fades into the third summer. Neither have I seen any humankind since the fallen dead at the Mooseheart compound.

My cistern held, wonder of all wonders, and it tastes better and fresher than any water I can remember since the days of buying it in stores. I'm not confident enough to injest it without boiling it first, but I expect it's only a matter of time.

~

I've finished clearing out debris from another apartment on the other side of my workshop for food storage, and installed makeshift shelving, not that there's much of anything here that isn't makeshift something-or-other.

Open the emptied closets, and instead of clothes, you'll find my collection of bows and weapons, hanging or leaning as works best. I keep making them, and arrows too, though I hardly expect to be equipping a passing army, improving all the time.

~

The days have long since begun to blend together, only counting the moons and passing of the seasons gives perspective of the time I've spent here.

I've relegated the cleanest and most intact wall of plaster to a calendar, tallying not days but moons, for both the sake of saving space and the lack of excessive caring.

~

Every night in good weather, warm or cold, I watch the stars. I've remembered the names of all the constellations I never could find, though have since while made up mine own.

They are my characters now, that wheel through the sky and weave through my stories, and some of which talk not of post-apocalyptic worlds, but of grand civilizations than span the continents, of cities full of people.

I do not find myself missing such things--people, in a word--I merely prefer to write of worlds that I don't live in, leaving that to the musings of my journals.

~

One is always tempted to build an impressive fortress around one's home when time and supplies are so close to hand, but I bstained. My greatest defense, especially with so few helping hands, was discretion: I was safest when my presence remained unknown.

On the inside, the years and my handiwork had been kind to the building, but without was nature growing wild. What looked like a building falling into shambles from disrepair was common enough that it was passed by without a second glance. And so I was saved from raids by the wandering discontent, who occasionally spent the night in temporary camps within bowshot, but never grew wise to my presence.

--
Date written: 26 May 2013
View this piece on dreamwidths.org

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Untitled

I sat in the church, listening.

"Now let us join in a moment of sustained silence."

I bowed my head. That was my church. They didn't call it praying, because not every member believed in prayer. They didn't call it meditation because not every member believed in meditation. So they just called it Sustained Silence.

I liked it that way.

One Sunday, many weeks ago, the Rev led the Sustained Silence with a suggestion, and I continued on with it, every week. It made me feel whole.

I pictured my feet sending roots down into the earth through the floorboards, my toes spreading, lengthening, to taste the rich dirt beneath the building.

Through the ground, my body drew sustenance, and with it, I reached upward. My body grew taller, my skin hardening.

My arms spread and multiplied, reaching for the sun.

I pressed up against the peaked ceiling, before it parted before me. The ceiling crumbling, dust raining down, and then light. It didn't collapse; it held.

The great earth rumbled deep below me and held all things fast: myself, my growth, and the building, though the roof had split in two.

I grew and reached for the sky, leaves sprouting form my fingers, embracing the air.

I was beautiful.

The members left me there, not in awe, but in appreciation.

I was beautiful.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm Sorry, But I Can't

I don't believe in hope,
that the world will ever change,
that it might turn out all right
just for wishing for the strange.

I don't believe in prayer,
that things come to those who ask,
that all will throw up its arms
because you wouldn't stand fast.

I don't believe in faith,
that is one leap I cannot make,
my world is grim
paper thin
and far too little is at stake.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sincerest Form of Flattery

only one person alive knows that move...
give me a dance with a 'ganger of mine,
twin to dopple' and move with in time,
no need to pound rhythm in the floorboards:
we'll pirouette in sync and ready for more.

give me a twirl with whom sharest my face,
together we shall rule this place.
no need for words--you think all that I'll say:
you'll whisper, I'll whimper, and never part ways.

give me a quickstep with this mirror o' mine,
take up my heart and give me of thine;
no need for rings or legal cer'mony
we'll create our own harmony.

I always wanted to do that. 


--
Italicized text from "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." I claim no ownership to these lines.

How To Know You're Living Right

if today was your last day,
and tomorrow was too late...

if the devil came and knocked on my door,
said, "You'll be given scant hours more."
I'd pack no bags, just jot a note:
"It's been fun, more than I'd hoped,"
and let it flutter to the floor.

if plans you make for your last day,
things you'd want to try and play;
if special times you wish you would,
you're not living as you should...
it doesn't matter anyway.

when the devil comes and knocks on my head,
"This day is your last," he said;
"Keep the change, let's move on out:
last day's ain't what life's about."
I'll race him to his vessel instead.

could you say goodbye to yesterday? 


--

Italicized text from "If Today Was Your Last Day," by Nickelback. I claim no rights to these lines.

Vengance

shapeless in the moonlight,
long since darkness fell,
shall the monsters perish
as they do so well;

a longbow on its backside,
a scabbard hung to cross,
a knife holster at the hip
ready to be tossed;

a mask pulled down low,
cannot tell if it has a face,
but if you stop to wonder
you'll lose track of its place.

don't go wand'ring in the shadows,
don't go treading in the woods,
don't go jogging in the forest,
lest you not be where you should;

don't venture into darkness,
don't go looking for what was lost,
what left you had a reason
and reclaiming has a cost.

it faces no resistance,
the monsters see no thing;
too busy cowering in the light
to see what nighttime brings.

the demons light their fires
to push away the dark,
hasten their own endings
by insisting on the spark.

it knows why they've come,
it knows why they will not go:
the mosters are a virus
and spreading's all they know.

don't go wand'ring in the shadows,
don't go treading in the woods,
don't go jogging in the forest,
lest you not be where you should;

don't venture into darkness,
don't go looking for what is ours;
what we hold in our embrace
is alone fighting this war.

the devils walk on two legs,
garbed in what they killed;
they know not what hunts them,
bring nothing like its skills.

the demons create more shadows
as they move within their light,
what they see as darkness
to it is plenty bright.

the monsters never expire,
filling up the world;
regardless how many die
more will come unfurled.

don't go wand'ring in the shadows,
don't go treading in the woods,
don't go jogging in the forest,
lest you not be where you should;

don't venture into darkness,
or nature's champion arrives,
by the time you see its face
you'll already have died.

it knows how the virus thinks,
it was once infected too,
until it found the cure...
and now I come for you.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Secret Rites

we're not going dancing in the moonlight,
we're not building a bonfire high,
we're not daring the stars to fall,
we're not praying at an altar's lies,

we're not wishing for something more,
we're not hoping for something less;
we're just going to keep doing what we can,
and not settle for second best.

we're not denying you did your best,
we're not refuting your hard work,
we're not asking for better next time,
we're not treating you like a jerk,

we're not gloating that ours is better,
we're not whining that ours is worse;
we're just doing what we know how,
and starting up on the next verse.

we're not garbed in robes of hemp,
we're not cloaked in shadows or light,
we're not painted with radioactive colors,
we're not infected with a blight,

we're not saying what you should do,
we're not saying we know the way;
we're just hoping that you'll listen,
and celebrate today.

we're not scouring the earth,
we're not knocking on your door,
we're not asking you to join us,
we're not begging from the floor,

we're not sitting in the pews,
we're not kneeling on the mats;
we're just living out our lives,
and not extrapolating facts.

I'm just a single man,
I just think the way I do;
my belief has no initiation,
just actions thrown into

a grand old mixing pot
and I'm serving up a stew.
I'd invite you all to join me,
but you've other things to do.

Try Hard Not To Die

knife holsters on my legs
and tunkwa on my hips,
a long-bow back one way
cross a sword that won't slip,

bolt throwers too
inside of my wrists...
when I start to dance
you'll pray that I miss.

chains down my legs
for shackles and more,
darts tied up in my hair
that I truly adore;

and this metal triangle
that keeps me on track:
my friend, my bicycle,
guarding my back.

but all of my arms
are tied up in my head:
the only one in true danger
is me instead.

It's Exactly What You Think

it's not just a panel with two chads punched through,
it's not painted or smiling or whoop-freakin'-do,
but it still hides away
what I really want to say,
and it's still something that hides me from you.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Paint The World

don't plant your soul deep underground,
only your fears will sprout.
let it soar in the blue sky high,
let it turn you inside-out.

seed the clouds grey and white,
and the colors will rain on down.
dip your brush in puddles wide,
or dance is your drab gown.

Doubtless

if you reach for the sun
but your wax wings melt
instead of plunging down,
try to catch yourself.

you flew because you wanted,
believed you truly could;
your wings were just idols
of wax, feather and wood.

if you open up your mind,
if you open up your soul,
you'll no more need those trinkets
to feel complete and whole;

if you believe it's really real,
if you forget they've melted away,
you'll find you've stop falling
and gravity disobey.

Friday, May 10, 2013

What I Need

a place to sit when the light does awake
and the world stretches and open its eyes.
a place to wait when day starts to dip,
and today says its tender goodbyes.

a wood of trees and branches and things,
and a carpet of orange, brown, and green.
with no would-if-I-could, just good tidings,
and the air is crisp, fresh, and clean.

a magic to come and take me away...
where I don't fear to fall asleep...
the knowledge that I'll come back, some day...
to know the memories will keep.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Untitled

if you could see what I see
if you could see how far I ride
and the horizon never grows dark

you would be ashamed.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It Is Too A Sport

give me a spade and give me the field,
give me a spawn and get me unveiled,
give me your boon bright handkerchief,
and I'll show you how I compete.

I need no helmet,
nor mud-caked boots.
I need no padding,
nor guard for tooth.
I need no balls,
nor dyed shirt.
I need just a direction
and people to hurt.

I won't attack you direct,
no, that's not the way;
I'll cut the ground out
from whence you stay.

Standing still is the worst defense,
and there's an audience upon the fence.

give me a spade and give me the field,
give me a spawn and get me unveiled,
give me your boon bright handkerchief,
and I'll show you how I compete.

I need no reward,
just standing tall
upon the field while
mine enemies fall.
I need no trophy,
just my trusty spade,
look down to see
where the bodies laid.

I won't take revenge
if I take a fall,
the world's too tiny for
everyone to stand tall.

Running around, eyes on your toes,
try to jump as high as the sky goes.

give me a spade and give me the field,
give me a spawn and get me unveiled,
give me your boon bright handkerchief,
and I'll show you how I compete.

give me a field and I'll give you a try,
give me a stadium to play and to fly,
let me bring my coat-of-arms and motif
and I'll show you how I love to spleef.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Invitation to Outer Space

I'm not trapped here on the ground,
but every time I spread my wings
there's something out there chasing me...
darkness bringing poor tidings.


I don't want to tear you limb-by-limb,
just catch and hold you close.
I want a flying companion
where the sky ever grows.


I can flit and flicker homeward,
I can dance across the sky,
I can suckle on poison trees,
but I dare not go so high.


I can hang up in the air,
don't need wax to hold me aloft,
but it's so lonely in the sky
and your flowers look so soft.


No, don't follow me down here,
nay, keep away!
I don't want-- what are you doing?
--Oh, wow! I never knew the world this way.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Her (Mature Content)

Mature Content
--

I pulled her into my apartment roughly, dragging her by the neck of her shirt, shut the door with a kick, and then shoved her against the wall behind it, pinning her arms behind her back.

"Do you know how difficult it is for me to... Continue reading on DreamCruder

Saturday, April 20, 2013

See The World

slow down and take your time,
see the world in a new light.
let skin manifest inside,
and life just could turn out alright.

turn and look another way,
see the world with new eyes.
check if your head matches your toes,
and maybe learn to fly.

soft and fluffy, clouds do seem,
see the world as if a dream.
stop wond'ring if you could juggle these
and please try not to sneeze.

weigh down so it can't waft away,
see the world's stubborn greys.
hold your place, watch your head,
in case something follows your tread.

change again, the norm returns,
see the world just as you've learned.
though the filters lie inert,
still does your mind work...
and differences you can still discern.

--
Inspired by Quantum Conundrum

Thursday, April 18, 2013

They Don't Make Lifejackets For This

I can turn off my editing brain,
I can turn off and let it go.
let the words come as they wish,
unedited, smoothly flow.

I can turn up the right side
and turn down the left;
I can dive into my dreamscape,
from a fully imagined cleft.

I can spin in ravaging circles
as the timer counts on down,
I can think about everything
as the world spins spinning 'round

I can list all of the reasons,
I can argue every cause,
I can plot out my own visions,
I can wander without pause.

I can turn my lonely circle,
as I walk within the crowd;
I can hunt and peck for answers,
inside me or out-loud.

I can do all these things,
but I can't turn it off.
my brain never stops working,
never stops tearing, never coughs.

I can rhyme to the end,
as apocalypse comes and goes;
I can keep the words on flying,
unstoppered, unslowed.

I can't make the words repeat,
I can't make them go away,
I can only hold them in
until I turn another page.

If I can't wave them away,
if they never stop,
I can't make them come again,
can't make them restart.

I can only blunder on,
through the drought and the rain,
I can only turn up the volume,
and pay attention to what they say.

there's a voice in my head always whispering,
and a thought always wanting to be heard.
there's something that won't be silenced,
not owned by dragons or by birds.

there's a voice that's calling me
to spin the words that I think,
every shout, every grumble,
every patter, every plink.

so when I set my fingers dancing,
there's a dam that opens wide
to a lake that's always filling,
while I'm drowning deep inside.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Don't See Me

you'll never admit it,
you'll never recognize,
you'll never look at me
with unjudging eyes,

you'll never consider
that there is some truth
when I say we're similar,
and got written proof.

you'll never believe me,
you'll never try
to understand these words,
but when we cry

both our tears fall
from the same sort of cause.
when you write those words,
you'll never pause

and realize that I'm out here,
feeling the same things too
since your world holds
no me, just you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Success and Death Are The Only Antidotes

how can I tell you what's wrong,
when I don't really know what's right?
I've got too many things moving,
something keeping me up all night.

I've got this deep burning hunger,
a thirst that rivals my throat,
a policy of trying to go higher
though trapped in a sinking boat.

I'm bailing and bailing and bailing,
but the water just keeps flowing in.
sometimes there's blood,
sometimes there's sharks,
so it doesn't matter if I can swim.

I'm sinking and I'm drowning,
because my gaze is set too high.
while my body's still treading water,
my mind is trying to fly.

I'm sick with this desire
to rise higher than most dare,
I'm infected with this feeling
trapped in a cupboard under the stairs.

but there's no magic in this world,
nothing new for me to bring,
just a selfish prayer
and a malnourished offering.

there's no god for me to worship,
no altar I can burn,
no promises I can make,
that will slow this twister's turn;

there's no way I can ever stand
among the stars over my head
because my ship's still sinking
and I'm trapped inside my head.

I'm solo and slowly drowning,
and I can't be good enough
for my own personal critic
that chokes me like a glove.

I'm sinking and rowing circles,
my rudder's bent to hell,
I'm convulsing with delusions
that this is all good for my health.

the ache that's got me choking
on the ever-present pain.
please put me out of misery
since you cannot cure me sane.

Careful, It Might Be Contageous

a hemorrhage that won't let me be happy,
it's an ache that won't go away,
a contagion that keeps me caring,
a debility for my every day;

it doesn't give me convulsions,
but it lives cancerously inside;
it's a malady of misery--
incurable 'til I die.

my stomach doesn't get upset,
my temp doesn't drop down low,
my joints don't get inflamed,
but when it attacks, you'll know.

it's an endemic of wishing,
a seizure of make-believe,
a bug resistant to catharsis...
I've got the dreamer's disease.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Untitled

how long can you wait
for the earth to let go,
and freely drift up into space?

how would you stand
unmoving but grand,
if you can't wait to leave this place?

pull up by your fingers
and push up with your toes;
try and gain every inch
to see how far it goes.

if you never take the chance
to take in a fresh new scene,
you'll never fall,
you'll never fail,
you'll never know another green.

I Don't Roar

Corner of no and where
We're very much alone out here.

This is my window out into the world,
thirteen by eleven, impossibly deep.
I sit and watch it all fly by,
you work and live, I wait and sleep.

It still gets very crowded,
though I've got no company;
thoughts always coming
and always clamoring.

I just wish I could reach through,
and touch with more than my words.
Or jack my hardline in
so my heart doesn't hurt.

I've wanted to be a lion,
a cat or a fox,
but instead I'm just wallpaper
trapped inside the box.

You might as well though,
I have a mighty roar. 


--
Italicized text from Jubal Early, "Objects in Space," of Firefly

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Futura Expectat

you turned me down and looked away,
didn't care for me to stay,
didn't hope for my return,
and made all those bridges burn.

now an ad to hire on
me, my like, upon the lawn,
me, my path, moves away.
I won't give you the time of day.

new chances will come to bloom:
I still hold hope, and it comes soon.
I need not you to keep me warm,
trust not you to do no harm.

you let me have a time to yearn,
a time to move on, to discern
breaking dawn of new days,
and a new place to stay.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Separate Peace

adrift in the deepness,
lost in the black,
floating forgotten:
they're not coming back.

my meter started flashing,
so I turned off the HUD;
I know what will happen--
it can't come soon enough.

in the meantime, I'm still here,
between the silence and the stars...
I can feel the universe breathing,
calming my pounding heart.

I don't mind that they're not coming,
because I won't die alone:
I found my peace in time;
I'm finally at home.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I've Already Won

come on and try to kill me,
but I know you really can't.
I know what will be my cause,
what fate held in what hand.

come on and try to best me,
I'll not get in the way.
you can try with everything you've got--
I will not die this day.

come on: dare to face me!
maybe you can throw me in the dirt.
maybe you can pin me,
maybe you can spin me,
maybe you can make me hurt.

but the one thing you cannot do
is try to break my plan.
one day I'll die,
and when I do...
it will be by my hand.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Little Writer That Couldn't

Before I am 18
I want to finish a novel,
have published a poem
in a book in a bookstore.

Damn.

Before I am 21,
I want to make progress on my novel,
have published a poem
on a brand art blog.

Damn.

Before I am 25,
I want to have
something published
in someone else's collection.

Damn.

Before I am 26 27
I want to finish my novel.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fraud

I've got no marketable skills,
'cept for holding a place
for someone better to come and fill,
someone who can run this race.

I've got nothing real to build on,
and no-where real to go.
no platform to try to reach the sun,
no tools to make it so.

I've got no faith to reach with,
no deity to reach for.
I'm just a lonely man upon a cliff
pretending he could be more.

Crime of Recognition

you say you've got nothing
that I can take from you,
but you forget I'm no Howard Roark:
your presence is something too.

I can steal the weight
of your eyes falling on me.
where to may others just look through,
and nothing do they see.

you say you've got nothing,
nothing of value to me.
but you forget who I am:
I'm Peter Fucking Keating.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Untitled

I can feel my lungs flooding with sound,
my heart acclimitizes to the beat;
people slowly filling up all round.
from here I can see everything

nobody knows my name,
nobody knows my face,
what they see is my hat,
delightfully out of place.

Friday, March 8, 2013

This Moment

consider the spinning of the earth,
and the passing of each wave.
there's little enough time for now,
let alone look back and say

it's what I've done
and where I've been,
my fortune doesn't change.
we're kings and pawns,
all said and done;
we're moving to a new age.

I've got no choice in the matter,
I'd rather sit here and wait.
but if I let myself crumble,
watch myself stumble...
I'll never get to meet my fate.

sit here a moment longer,
draw this minute out.
once it's gone, it's gone for good,
and never again come about.

I've been who I've been,
made all that din,
and wished I could take it all back.
I slipped and I fell,
and cried for a spell,
but now I'm standing, looking down the track.

soon, I'll move on,
feel the water and the sun,
but for now, the tides still abate.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Youth

lie back and let it linger,
capture the moments that pass by.
watch and wait for that spark
before it flees on the sly.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dancing With The Stars

go swimming with the fishes,
go running with the bulls,
go hunting with the archer,
until you've had your full

go in the footsteps of the lion,
go shopping with the scales,
go to bed with the virgin,
wake up feeling pale.

go sandsurfing with the scorpion,
go to the well with the 'bearer,
go charging with the ram,
until your goals are nearer.

go exploring with the twins,
go rockhopping with the goat,
snuggle close with the crab,
wake up and count your toes.

go dancing with Sol your Father,
while your cousins circle overhead.
upon the skin of Gaia your Mother,
while the stars wheel above your head.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Left-Right Lottery

stick 'em up and out and on,
hold 'em wide and hold 'em long,
give 'em a kiss and breathe in deep
while I decide which eye to keep.

perhaps your ears, you don't need both,
though one's not funny, just uncouth.

or maybe I'll aim lower still,
no more hands dipped in the till,
take off the shoulder, or just the wrist,
don't be afraid, I won't miss.

I won't point them at your feet,
but maybe somewhere in between...?

Monday, February 4, 2013

FuRthEr

reach out and grab the heat,
reach out and grab the light.
every break of the monotony
is very well worth the fight.

you can't hardly burn me
as I'm already dust and ash,
while I lived my future,
fire burned my past.

Untitled

you aren't coming back to me,
you're just on the other side.
I've got nothing left for you,
but still you're holding by.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Your Body Is The Basket

put all your eggs in one basket,
put all your money on the line,
put all your hope in one chance,
pray you've done it all in time.

put your wager on the table,
set down your savings whole:
the time's ticking every moment
you waste deciding on your goal.

it's not how you win or lose,
as we all die in the end.
all that matters is the journey
and the message that you send.

it's not about a photo finish,
it's not about a running start.
it's not about how fast you run,
but how you touch their hearts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Untitled

you can take all the words you know,
all the words spilling from my mouth,
you can try to shape them like I do,
but it won't be close enough.

I can give you all my words,
all my ideas, all my plans,
but no matter how you try,
they won't be written by my hand.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Work In Progress

give me a wire and a pipe and a node,
I need no schematics, no payments, no gold;
I'll build you a circuit that will catch the eye,
and when I'm done, you'll wish it would fly.

give me the sky, the earth, and the sea,
I need no payment, just air to breathe;
I'll build you a place to spread your wings,
and when I'm done, you'll wish you could sing.

give me the rumbling deep underground,
give me the stars, their silence and sound,
give me a promise I'll be undisturbed,
and then I will get back to work.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Adieu-n't Care

the devil kitty may die,
and never rise again.
he damaged my sweet kitty.
I shall not mourn him.

I told you not to do it,
but you could never listen to me,
I suppose it serves you right.
I bid adieu, heartlessly.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dream Journal: 27 Jan 2013

Emma is just sitting on my bed, casually, talking and watching me on the floor get ready. We're over at my parent's house. She starts to repeat a story about her mother that she's told me before, and I beat her to the punchline. She suddenly stares at me, surprised.

"You've told me that one before."

"Oh, have I? Sorry."

"No, not at all." I stand and walk over to her kneeling on both knees below her and take her hands. "You know what it means when you start repeating stories?"

"What?"

"Either we're seeing too much of each other and we have to stop, or you have to marry me."

Her jaw dropped. "Are you proposing?"

"Looks like it."

She nodded, and I took off the only ring I had with me, my spinning Celtic ring, and slipped it over her finger.

I laughed when I realize how loose it was, since I usually wore it on my thumb, and she joined me. Then I stood, pecked her on the lips, and hugged her. We walked down the hall holding hands to tell someone, while Mom was in the kitchen making dinner.

--
Vividity: 8/10
Control: 1/10

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dream Journal: 12 Jan 2013

the world ends when the ash trees fall,
bringing the oceans rushing down
out of the sky and onto the land,
a torrent of panic, a torrent of sound.

we sat in the amphitheatre and saw it begin,
two great trees falling without any wind,
the world's waterfall became a roaring wave
and we had no-where to hide or be safe.

with a great grating, the stands came alive:
old machinery awakened and kicked into drive.
the chairs scrolled into lines on forgotten tracks,
I was pushed into one as it rumbled past.

the caretaker was shouting for all to sit,
my classmates were frightened, standing in fits;
but I grabbed one as I passed so near,
pulled her in the next behind me chair.

to a column they swiveled around,
hooking, descending, away from the sound;
a safe room and silent, dark and so deep.
she shrieked "don't let me alone please!"

the ancients were understanding of fear
and locked together the two of our chairs.
the bunker sorted and split up my 'mates,
efficiently stored within the space.

water drew closer, ceilings did tremble,
dust shook down and worried did mumble,
but the builders built well, all was secured,
all who sat, who trusted, like her.

we laid in the bunker, side by side.
she, troubled by fear, shook and cried.
I knew not all made it, not near enough time,
but I held her close, comforting and alive.

--
written: 22 Jan 2013

I've had this dream, still as vivid as when I woke on the twelfth, unresting in my head, trying to find the best way to capture it. Finally managed to get this down, which was not the form I expected it to land in.

The girl who followed me was the only person I knew from the consensual reality, someone I went to middle school with, KM. All other characters were strangers, aged between 18 and 30. The dream originally had an unfortunate ending, but with WBTB, I was able to backtrack and correct it to something more pleasant.

The end of the world beginning by the falling of enormous ash trees was different, though symbolically appropriate for Pagans and Celts. Not far prior to this dream, I was doing some research into alternative zodiac signs, and discovered my Celtic tree sign is the ash tree.

Method of scrolling chairs is not dissimilar to locker/canoes in "City of Ember," though the chairs in my dream were more flexible, tightly woven cloth unfolding into cots as they descended into the bunker.

Vividity: 10/10
Control: 3/10
Recall: 10 days prior to recording, no loss in quality.