The Slush Pile (A Review)

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So without really even trying, it feels, I hit 35k on my current work in progress, Nowhere. It’s a dystopian Western set in the flat, wastelands of our Apocalyptic future. So that’s been a ton of fun, but it got me thinking. My slush pile, the stack of first drafts and half attempts every writer accumulates, is starting to look a little crazy, almost like it could just topple and spill all over the carpet. It would probably grow eight hairy legs, eat the asbestos tiles in my downstairs office, and just walk away to some other coffee soaked writer’s den. Oh if I could only be so lucky, anyway, so yeah I got thinking why not do a little review of the slush pile, to determine which of these monsters I should give my attention to and finally finish and distribute.

The Books

Pomegranate Lane-This was the last first draft I wrote, in November of 2015 for National Novel Writing Month (#Nanowrimo). It’s a murder-mystery novel set in the future. The protagonist Dorothy (ignore the hackery) is a detective, working the first real murder case anyone in decades has had, due to the impressive surveillance state which has been achieved. She wakes up the morning of the gruesome murder, alcohol drenched and one foot over the edge of an existential crisis. What was her job? Why did she want to do it? What is this strange world she took for granted? All these questions become compounded when there are failures in the security state itself, which provide ugly glimmers of a reality right next store, that threatens to overwhelm her secured world.

Interludes-I’ve been distributing this on here. I won’t go into too many details since you can just go read it if your interested. It’s a first person story, told by a version of myself, it unfolds in a place I call La-La-Land. There’s weird cults and rituals, a werewolf who sexually assaults me and tries to eat me, tricky mythical-poetical entities, and overall a deep and hopefully humorous study of Art itself. I am about three quarters of the way through the edit on this, and hope in the future to finish serializing it on this blog, so stick around.

Dawning of the Werewolf-This draft sits short of full novel, 45k words. I think I worked on it before Interludes, but I’m not sure. Overall, the slush pile gets a little scattered here in my own chronology. This story is a first person confessional about a guy who discovers he’s a werewolf. All I really remember is a lot of running, and this cool vibe of a man-beast racing up the edge of Lake Michigan. Oh, and I did like the ultimate hack move and had my creature help steal The One Ring, from Lord of the Rings, for some baddies. Again some cool stuff, but with that level of hack I think this one may be a dud.
Mech Suits (Totally working Title)-Science Fiction, first draft right at 50k words. This one may have potential. Basic story, in the future robotic technology is so far advanced that the use of machines suits, think the thing Ripley from Alien wears to kick that alien’s ass, is common place. There is an updated version of football which is played with these suits. The youngest boy gets roped into an international terrorist situation, through his connection to an very rich, corporate executive, who was aware of his skill, and had allow him free reign of his workshop.

 

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Something sort of cool about this one. The story follows three brothers. The youngest is a technical genius with machines (think Hephaestus), and his two older brothers are Mechball (think I just made that name up) all stars on the high school team. An interesting detail for me is when I wrote this book I only had two boys at the time, but now I have my own trio of sons. That personal relevancy definitely bumps this one up on the priority list. I also liked the big, entertaining story that took place. It was sort of like Golden Era 80s-90’s action flicks (think half Karate Kid, half Die Hard), mixed with a heady batch of Orwellian musings.

Sumer, previously Robot Academy Funtimes– I stalled out on the second draft of this work, a little over 66k words. Again there’s a personal component that makes me want to finish-finish. Basic plot came from my brother years ago, in a far distant future, robots rule the Earth, they have decided to begin reproducing humans, because they have lost their sense of humanity. My story follows one of these new-humans, a girl named Echo.

This one presents a number of critical and complicated issues. For one the story takes places in a holodeck/scientific lab of sorts. This sort of reeks of amateur hackery again because you end up in a sort of dream sequence explanation which isn’t very good. If it’s all a dream or a simulation then who really give a damn, the argument goes. Of course, traversing prickly fields of contradictions and ego destroying logical conundrums sort of destroys the pursuit of digestible narration.

More over, what was a stunning philosophical insight from my teenage brother, was a fairly well established Science Fiction trope. In my own reading aI have become more aware of this issue, via Asimov and others. That said, my draft was done with mostly clean hands, and since there really is nothing new under the sun, I don’t automatically discount this story. I feel like this definitely has the feeling of a fruit not yet ripened, so I continue on.

The Siege/Winterset-First draft, Speculative Fiction, right at 47.9k words. This is a weird one for me. What started out with the thought experiment, what would a people’s revolution look like in small town mid-West United States, led by a somewhat quixotic youth protagonist, similar to the idealized concept the Author has of himself. Think farm animals released on Main Street and the bouncy ball pit at high noon on a Saturday.
I didn’t like how it ended up though, in chaos and murder, and low-down outlaws. No one was supposed to get hurt…I thought about this book a lot later when I when I watched things like the Occupy movement, or the recent riots in Baltimore. I realized that the bullshit, Mayberry sense of revolution I depicted in the book was naive, in the meanest and truest sense of the word. This sort of development in my thinking leads to it having a permanent position in the slush pile.

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Tom’s Episode-I believe this is the first book I wrote, and it sits at a monstrous 95,829 words. Wow. It is sort of crazy to go through all these stories. They connect and bring back so many memories of when I wrote them. The basic idea of this story is what happens if someone became an atheist while in heaven. Again, just an awful, typical beginner’s premise, a story set in heaven. I wrote this over five years ago. I’d taken a class at University of Iowa, on Science and Religion around that time, and I remember I was deep into the Atheist, Creationism vs. Evolution, Dawkins, sort of stuff. Of course, Tom is an allusion to the so-called doubting Thomas of the Gospels.

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Strictly speaking I would label myself an Atheist, in the strict I have seen no evidence for the positive claim there is a God, but in all the ways that count I’m still a dirty old apostate Catholic. I pray Our Fathers then Hail Marys, am in dialogue with the Holy Spirit, and ultimately abide a messianic eschatology (and I am the one I have been waiting for). But yes, it’s those sort of Gnostic drenched ramblings that make up this book. I also recognized later that it’s Interludes Part One, but that seems to form some sort of psychological singularity which I don’t really care to deal with (we’re all writing the same shit over and over and over…). I encountered Tom Robbins, and Christopher Moore’s Lamb later, they do masterfully, what I did very shoddily in this one, but again know, I wait for the day I may have the capabilities to birth this monster. Consider yourself warned.

 

Novellas/Shorts Stories

 

Kill The Television-This is a novella right around 17k words. I consider this my Parvus Opus (Small Work). Simple story, thirteen year old, Ronald lives on his Grandma’s couch at her senior living center. One day, he decides to start head hunting flat screens. Cool little story, hero’s quest sort of thing, set in my home city. I love the themes of this one and definitely want it to have some readers someday. Hard to place it exactly, not big enough to hold its own as a book, think I would like it to make it the title work for a collection of other short stories. I got hung up finishing it on a pacing issue, there’s a break away story told during the climax, which interrupts the flow, but I love it too much to cut it. Why not just shorten it the mind pushes.

Story of Roger Meeks-Science Fiction, 14k words, again cool idea, but not enough for own book. Seventy something year old is a nobody, from Nowhere American. He works as a cashier at a local gas station, and lives alone in the same house he grew up in. When a spacefaring race shows up, it is Mr. Meeks they want to talk to.

I like this one a lot. Didn’t quite get over in the version I got now, but definitely potential in this. I love the original Twilight Zone, and this is my attempt at something like that. I would love to see this in a collection of short stories.

Gnomes. Or How Martin Gardner’s LIfe Was Ruined By A Clan of Gnomes with Big Problems-Fantasy, right around 22k word, this has got to be the strangest of all the slush piles specimens. The general idea I had was, sort of like in Toy Story, what if your garden variety gnomes were actually alive, and their owners formed a shadowy underground railroad of magic. Fun idea, silly story, but not really enough for a whole book. But again, it so sort of absurd and simple, something still gets me about this story. Might need to revisit it…then again maybe not, just remembered a bit of hackery taking place in this one too.

So the main character is named Martin Gardner. I’m pretty sure the Martin is ripped right from Stephen King’s man in black, Flagg-type guyand I had some idea of this being like an alternative origins story for that character or a character like him. Normal average person that got suck unknowingly into a magical world, and ended up powerful, ruined and corrupt in the process. I think this is so out there it could be good, but would need extensive rewrites and a commitment to the absurd.

The Last Virgin of Hollywood-Fiction, a little under 10k. The premise of the story is in the title, Norma a twenty something year old make up artist of the stars has somehow retained her virginity. The shorty story follows her as she tries to hold on to it. It was a rushed story, scattered with cliches, the overconfident rich guy, the hobo with a soul, the decadent evil Brad Pitt type. I like the idea, and sort of feel in love with main character. I think this one had potential to be a great story.

Jar of Kisses-Fantasy, 13k words, another story with a good premise and hook, but not enough to warrant a full book. This was a simple story. We have this little jar, with the words “Kisses” on it, that prompted the idea what if there was this magical jar, that if you took an invisible scoop from it with your hand, and took a drink from it, would give you the greatest kiss you could ever imagine. Ended up being a decent story, middle-schooler gets it, bully classmate discovers it, decent portions of horror and sentimentality. Definitely worth edit.

Formation of the White-God awful title, clearly Tolkien hackery. Very strange feeling, sits a little over 10k words and I have absolutely no clue what the story is about. No characters, no scene, no anything. Vaguely, I am prompted by the title, I think this was when I started wanting an intertextual thing with my books, like Stephen King and Terry Pratchett have done, where characters and story lines can pop up in different books.
I read an excerpt from it:

…“Oh come on, I swear you think everyone is a sexual predator these days.”
“He’s a lame.”
“I swear Claire. This is the exact problem we’re up against. Everyone is too worried about how they look, and being cool, and all that shit. A guy like Chris Davis, a good man, is seen as a schmuck. I think that’s just wrong. Now they asked for a light, and we are going to get them a light, all right? And Davis is our light.”
“Fine, lame it is.” She took a drink of her coffee.
Her brother paid the bill; he always paid the bill.
They sat in silence for some time. Connor hated silence and finally broke it. “What is it?”
“Nothing,” she said.

And it all comes back to me. Claire and Conor are angel figures, representing Intuition and Righteousness, the story follows them on a heroes quest of still murky specifications. I imagined some sort of occulted initiation ritual into the Good. The protagonist, not the lame in question, is a bastardly bookish type like the author himself. I think this story was a bit of wishful thinking, hopefully not conjuring, on my part. Anyway, this work gets a big question mark. Could it be an Interludes sequel?

Rock Art Salesman-This was another one in line for weirdest premises. Right around 8k words, story is about the greatest Rock Arts salesman in the world. He’s entrapped in the selling of an exceptional piece, to a odious and shadowy party. I liked this story, but felt it was part of a larger tale. I have another start of a story, which I feel has a connection to this story, but haven’t flushed the either one out yet. Liked the characters and idea though.Also weird synchronicity, but I was later encounter just such a Rock Art Salesman in On a Pale Horse, by Piers Anthony.

Scrubber Boys-This is probably my best and favorite short story. Right under 7k words, the main plot points and characters came to me in a dream. I woke that morning and took notes in my journal and had a draft fast. Definitely needs a rewrite and an edit, but if I ever have a shorty story collection this will be in it.

It follows two scrubber boys John and Pinto, who work as child laborers on a giant battery complex in a strange world. Surreal, challenging, this story runs out of the dream into reality and back. I love this story.

We Troll-Fiction/Horror. Another strong short story premise. 5k words. Set in the future, the story follow high schooler Roger, as he experiences a surreal amount of bullying. Exaggerating the trend of online trolling and abuse, I speculated what would happen when this behavior ingrained itself into a society and festered for a century. I imagined a website were bullies could get together and make a sport of the process. The result is this terrifying glimpse into a possible future.

Escape-Fiction/Fantasy, 997 words, spawned in early parent hood when 2nd child hopped out of his crib one night, about a toddler who sneaks out on his parents, to discover a magical world outside. Dense, exciting, and frightening, probably worth finishing.

Changeling-Fiction/Fantasy, around 3k words. Decent story, again produced in newly acquired parenthood. Tells a modern story of the ancient myth of “the changeling”, which is a surrogate fairy child, the fairy/gnomey people leave while they take your child and train it in their magical ways. This story takes place on the night the human child is returning to the home. Can you guess the ironic twist? Strong enough to be given further consideration

Agent or Standard Operating Procedure-Fiction/Speculative Fiction, 4.6k words, written in a 1st person perspective, confessional, telling the story of how this agent ended up violating protocol. Strong story, but overdone. Energy comes from the first person story, and with things like Interlude, I have gotten that urge out of my system. Strong enough to consider for the short story collection.

Arms in Ankeny-Short Story, Science Fiction, 6th draft, 5k words, this was the first piece I sent to a paid editor. I wrote about that experience here. Definitely has legs, and I need to work a final version. Would definitely be in a collection. This one taught me how hard it is to write a great short story. It was like overworking the dough, the whole thing began to crumble in my hands as I played with it. Still, I have the sneaking suspicion one day I will find myself in the perfect spot to finish it. Again, I am reminded thinking of this one, that my problem is letting of the bad parts in the story, the stuff that doesn’t work.

The Case of Bill Mimic-Fiction, 4k words, interesting story Kafka-like, basic premise what if a person had a condition where they lost their unique personality and merely mimicked whoever they came into contact work. Don’t remember if I pulled this one off, but think I need to go back and reread. Candidate for the collection.

Rich’s Autoland-2,850 word, a brief sojourn into a realist Fiction vibe. Story follows a newspaper writer working on a story about the National Wresting Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Ia, and a champion boy wrestler whose the focus of the story. That is the back drop, it takes a surrealist bent in the end, something I of course really like. It’s like I just couldn’t play it straight and had to let it out in the end…Don’t know the viability of this as a story, but definitely some potential.

3 Ways-7k words, Science Fiction, another one that could be expanded or chopped. Basic premise, in the future sex is highly regulated, you have to get a ticket. There are only three way to get it, everyone is given one to begin with, they can be bought (no one can afford them), or they can be given, and that’s it. Story focuses in on one man as he wrestles with this system. Strong story, definitely worth urther development.

Conclusion-

This was a great time splashing around in the slush pile. Though I have to admit it does leave an unpleasant after taste, and maybe a little gunk between your toes. Writing is an easy task for me, finishing writing is something else all together. I have to admit a sense of confusion when I look at my slush pile. So many half baked schemes, just sitting there, if I let my mind wander I could start feeling it was a waste, a byproduct of a desperate attempt for attention, and self realization. But I don’t do that.

Tomorrow, come heaven, hell, and high water, I will wake up and try to put up a thousand words, and add another layer to my slush pile. And I’ll tell you why, the secret if you will, it’s not because I don’t care whether it is good or not, or whether I will succumb to crippling debt, and my children will starve in the streets or not, no it is none of those earthly concerns, it is for the greater, heavenly concern, the desire to be great, to be great at creation…creation of what you could ask…a story for another time, I’d advise. Thanks for taking a dip with me. I would love to hear what in that mess sparks your interest. And I hope you stay paddling on top of the slush pile.

What Is Going On?!?! (Interludes Prologue)

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I had a very strange experience, and I don’t know why I feel compelled to write about it here, but I do. I anthropomorphized “The Muse” in previous posts. I did that as an intellectual tool, a thought experiment. For me to have written about the concept at all demonstrates how much time I had already given to it. You can imagine my frustration, when after the idea was out there, I did not get the usual relief I do in these situations.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hogarth_painting_the_muse.jpg

Instead, the whole thing of an anthropomorphized muse stuck with me. Anytime I had a free interior minute, like washing the dishes or before bed, I would find myself drifting towards the thought of the Muse, as a full fledged, living person.

Here is how the thoughts sort of went. What is really behind being in that artistic zone? How does the artist just turn over to this other force and have it produce such intelligent, cohesive products? If it is some sort of a power of the subconscious (thinking something like Jungian psychology), then how do we make sense of it being more creatively intelligent and complicated then our regular modes of thinking?

But further my mind would snap, and here is where the fissure starts, because I can almost hear a voice, her voice to be exact. Who says you have anything to do with it? So bold, right there, right smack between my eyes. The language and orientation seemed so strange. Why would I say such things to myself?

She always seems to have an answer, and be tired of my shit. She is also sick of me taking credit for her ideas, and wants her share of recognition and goodies. Now I know this sounds like I am losing my mind, but this is what happened. So I found myself down in the office this morning about to write. Now I have been writing somewhat seriously now for at least four years, and though I have days were it might have take longer to get going, I can always get the job done.

In other words, I had never known writer’s block. It also is important to note that I was in a fairly positive frame of mind, breakfast, coffee, free time, etc., but right as I hit my seat and started the computer a dreadfulness bombarded me. It was so strong and disorienting that I jumped up out of my chair, and in a panicked spastic response I flung my arms wildly around the room.

I was overwhelmed with paranoia. It was in there deep. I wanted to dig it out of myself somehow. I heard my kids playing upstairs. My wife was telling my oldest son that she just needed to finish the dishes and then they would all go outside. The normalcy of the moment snapped me out of it and I sat back down, but my hands were still shaking and I was so scared.

I opened up my work in progress and read the last sentence I wrote. There were a number of grammatical errors, which I tinkered with for a second. Somewhat disinterested, I went to write the new words and again a feeling of death and dread, and magnanimity overwhelmed. I felt stomach sick. I closed my eyes and laid my head on the desk.

An unending stream of existential crisis tore through me. What was I doing writing anyway? What did I have to say? I was a nothing and a nobody and just a loser like everybody else. There was nothing great in me. Compared to those before me, I am an inexperienced moron. All this obsession with art was so much inconsequential madness. It was sickening and shameful. A danger, to myself and others. I was a coward who had hide and ran and taken the path of least resistance and I would continue to be that, forever. It was over for me.

How can I describe the sensation of feeling that your thoughts are not you’re own? It’s like a person entering the room and beginning to talk to you, not quite yelling, but loud enough that you cannot ignore it. It’s an alien voice too, almost like reading words on a page, you have to sort of interpret character, inflection and tone.

It isn’t good at bluffing or bullshitting. It is just like the wind; it blows or it doesn’t.

The wind was blowing hard through my head. It was almost like drowning, but the nonstop stream of ideas filled the deadly world. I probably laid there for twenty minutes in this state before I popped out of my seat again, panicked. I was asthmatic too. I couldn’t get a deep enough breathe. The feeling of sharing the room with someone came back hard now. So hard that I grabbed my wallet and went running out the house, terrified that some physical or even metaphysical brain “popping” was about to occur.

It was a godawful hot humid day, and the heat and bright light just smashed me in the face. It was like I had ran right into a yellowish sweat bubble. The wet sickness pushed through my eyes balls and down into my guts. I could feel my morning breakfast gurgling there.

I should have gone inside and laid down, but I was too scared to go back into my house. I started walking. Everything wa cartoonish, blocky, almost lego-y. I began to hear what sounded like a choir singing, but I couldn’t find the source. I walked for a while until I came to a gas station. I stood outside, pacing, totally out of my mind. I was so worked up, angry and for what appeared to be nothing. I felt stupid about leaving the house like that, and I was sure my wife was wondering where the hell I went.

A woman pulled up in a white Nissan. I saw that it was an older woman, heavy set, and in business attire. We made eye contact for a second and I looked away. But as she walked passed, I looked back and now the woman was young, slim and shiny blond hair ran down seventies style lime green dress, which fit her perfectly. So weirded out, I walked around the building but was stopped by three youths. Two boys were on their bikes, and one little girl was standing on the curb, watching the others riding circles in the parking lot.

As I went passed them the little girl began to talk to me. “Oh professor ass dude, weirdo, lame type predator.” I couldn’t believe what was I was hearing. “Pussy,” she said. I turned around and they were all lined up staring at me. I felt like I should say something, but they were all smiling and what could I say? The oldest couldn’t have been nine, and the girl was no more than five. I couldn’t believe something like that coming from such a young child, but the way they were smiling told me they thought it was real funny.

I stared at them for a second so dumbfounded and weirded out that finally I just turned and walked away. As I got to the edge of the parking lot I looked back for them and they were gone. I kept walking, wading through this lingering dread. I walked until I came to a Dollar General. I had the urge to buy some candles, some candy, maybe even some flowers. I walked through the aisles and every person I went passed had some negative words for me. Vulgar, high school type trash. Pencil Dick. Faggot. Cocksucker. A Grandma in a red hat called me a cunt.

I got my chocolate bars and candles and headed for the checkout line, which was packed with people. I waited for an eternity. The whole time this voice in my head just kept going and going, like standing under a waterfall.

I couldn’t imagine another world existing outside of the pounding, pulsating, internal voice which was just having a freak out, in perfect, controlled, monotoned persistence. You suck you know that, you really suck. You sucks eggs. You suck dicks. You can suck a golf ball through a garden a hose. A carburetor out an engine block. You’re like black hole level suck. Bending matter to your empty black suck. Abortion vacuum suck…

I watched the checkout lady as the line crept. She was an older woman, late forties, early fifties. She had thinning hair and the look of a smoker. She had an air of a look of dignity though too, as she rang everyone’s crap up. Something told me she had some other career experience, like a horse trainer or something. But that was before, when she had something she loved, but that didn’t work out. She took this job out of necessity.

I finally made it to her, but right before, a viscous, emergency type, stomach pain kick in. I leaned against the counter and tried to close my eyes and take some deep breaths. When I opened my eyes, my things were being rang up and a voice broke into my head. “3.33, Sir.” I struggled for my wallet and when I brought it back up and looked the cashier in the face she had changed. It was the beautiful woman who was outside the gas station, but now she was in the Dollar General uniform. For the first time, I got a look at her face.

I love and am ever faithful to my wife, so I feel bad writing this, but she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Normally I am a burnet man, but her ocean waves of shimmering blond hair and lightening green eyes left me floored and overwhelmed with lust. It was her smell too! It was like cool wind on a warm day, through a lavender field, mixed with the earthy scent of woman.

She smiled and said, “3.33, you sick bastard!” As if she read my dirty mind. She said the last words full of both sexuality and insult. I dropped my wallet and banged my head on the counter as I went to grab it. I was full of apologies, even though she had just insulted me. All flustered and blushing, I opened my wallet and there was nothing in there! I was a ramble of sorries and she just kept smiling at me.

“You’re fucking great,” she said. “I can’t wait to get my hands on you Austin. You’re a screamer, aren’t you? I can always sense a screamer. Hemingway never broke; I hated that. You don’t have a fiver on ya? You broke, chubby, son-of-a-bitch. Take the candy asshole, consider it a last meal. Fucking candles.”

You know the phrase deer in the head lights? Now I literally know what that feels like. It was like a decked out, glossy Escalade appeared from the ether and was going to plow right through me. The sick, twisted thing is as I basked in her presence I was still aroused, seduced even by her destructive forces. For some (possibly profound) reason I began to think about the blank page back at home, and how I needed to be doing my words.

The whole word froze and the lights went dim. The store began to shake and drywall began to sift from the ceiling. I looked at the folks behind me, all lined up and waiting to pay for their stuff. They were now statues. Their still shoulders collected the falling dust.

I looked back at the new woman. She was frozen too, smiling like the sun. I had the most awesome realization. This was the Muse!!! Right in front of me. I could hear this indecipherable, yet oddly familiar hum emanating from her. Think it clicked in my head, I had heard this same effect, sometimes deep in the writing zone, when the words were just gushing out beyond my control.

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Félix-Nicolas_Frillié_-_Kiss_of_the_Muse,_c._1863.jpg

This was the source of that hum and she was standing right before me. I had the strange thought to try to capture her, bottle her up somehow and hide her back in my house. There was a loud boom of thunder in the store and a web of lightening broke out across the ceiling. With another boom, a giant appeared behind her in the next aisle.

The first thought that came to mind was Gandalf, because of his long white hair and robes, but the man was black, like deep of night black, so black that it was hard to even make out any features on his face, and he was a giant. I’m guessing probably twelve or thirteen feet tall, at least; his head almost touched the ceiling.

He stood there arms crossed for an awful minute. A chrome scepter, capped with a flashing diamond, was clinched in his left hand, and poised to obliterate me with one smack. Thankfully, there were no words passed between us. He just stood there, staring. Then I passed out.

I woke up back in my chair, a small Dollar General store bag with the candles and candy in it on the desk. It was like waking up from a nightmare. I felt so disoriented and insane. Worst of all, I looked up at the screen and all that you have been reading was already up there. As I reread it, memories of the whole experience came flooding back.

I think I might have gone insane. I need to talk to my wife about this, but I don’t know what she’ll say. Has anyone had an experience with this? Please share with me if you have. Thanks for reading. She exists!

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Next Chapter

Snippets #64

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee-Dee Brown

The free Kwahadis wanted no part of a civilization that advanced by exterminating useful animals. At the Comanche sun dance, a Kwahadi prophet named Isatai spoke of a war to save the buffalo. Isatai was a man of great magic; it was said that he could vomit wagonloads of ammunition from his belly, and that he had the power to stop the white men’s bullets in mid-flight. (265)

7-21-16

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7:42PM In the lab, sticky neck, dirty. It was hellish outside today, a hundred plus. After dinner watered the garden. Felt like a week or so since I was out there, with all the rain, challenging weather. I love working my garden, watering, pulling weeds, checking everything out. I’d missed it.

Got lost staring into a sunflower, setting sun cooking my back. Two fluffy bumble bees gathered pollen. I felt a kinship with the sunflower, the bees, the sun, the pollen. Realized how we’re all impressions, byproducts of the sun. As I sit here and think of it, I realize something must have imprinted the sun too, to make it like it is and do what it does, classic philosophical none-sense of the chicken and the egg variety. I know it’s heat and mass and gravity like forces, but how can mass, heat and gravity makes all these beautiful things, and self aware things that can note it, see how it all relates, love it until it hurts. Atoms. Molecules. Bubbling primordial proteins. Evolution. I know all that, thank you rationalist. It doesn’t explain a thing.

Just got done reading this exceptional blog post by Lawyer/Adventurer Andreas Moser. He’s the real deal writer-traveler. He reminds me of Hemingway or someone like that. A throwback to when men were still men, and there was epic adventures to be had. A real passion for life and the story comes out in his writing. This current piece had subterranean travels, world history, religious and cultural insight and detail. Even more, he masterfully demonstrates the key role of the writer as an assimilating, comprehensive viewpoint, which includes being entertaining. It’s also so great to see quality blog posts like that. It sort of validates the whole blogging endeavor in my mind.

Domestic bliss is upon us. Britney is on vacation until August 1st. No big plans, which is amazing really. Going to plan and develop some strategy and personal goals for the next week or so tonight. Car needs an oil change, new tire. Truck’s AC went out. Everything needs compost, fertilized in garden. There’s a much needed and imagined bathroom renovation which needs accomplished. And of course the real work, the words, that terrible bastard called editing. And wife, kids, an amusement/water park, hopefully some communion with nature…I need to reflect on these things, so much happening at one time. Need to improve that executive function. What is that glimmer of neon blue, that ripples at the base of my heart chakra? Who am I? What am I here for? How do we destroy the Lord of this world?

Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about. What are you thinking about?

Snippets #63

Captain_jack_1873

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee-Dee Brown

Captain Jack was hanged on October 3. On the night following the execution, his body was secretly disinterred, carried off to the Yreka, and embalmed. A short time later it appeared in eastern cities as a carnival attraction, admission price ten cents. (240)

7-20-16

800px-Keith_Haring_(1986)

7:22PM The dream of the country overtook us the last few days. Started compulsively hunting for properties. This compulsive need once a plan is decided on, to have it all settled is a character flaw. It leads to bad decisions, missteps. As usual, paradox abounds, it’s this same (manic) steadfastness which has lead to some of my greatest achievements, marriage, family, the slush-pile of first drafts. Too bad I can’t lock in on finishing a book…

I warned Britney as we talked about it late one night. If we decide to do this, it’s going to happen fast. You know how I am. The plan, sell nice city house for five acres and a shack in the middle of nowhere. What do you think?

Frankly, my heart is still there, but this morning, woke up with a dark cloud swirling around those parts. It wasn’t about the plan. It was a mixture of morning, routine, and domestic requirements. Now you might think that this would have provoked even more of a frenzy towards New Deal, but the opposite was true. And it wasn’t out of some woe-is-me, I can’t have it my way, but rather from that space of mature self reflection, that it was me, my mind-set which was the problem here. It’s a sobering thought. You are responsible for your state of mind. Not the place, not the agenda, not the dreams, not the failures, just you. Whatever you want to do with it you can.

I bucked up. Took my kids for a drive and a walk through the sculpture garden, before it got ridiculously hot. I say ridiculously because it was already plenty hot, and muggy. Been weird rains lately, bandit rains that sneak in the night. Ground was a lukewarm sponge. Don’t know who exactly picked the pieces for the sculpture garden. All of them are sort of morbid and weird. I like it though. A spider, a gurthy, stubby phallus, a demented thinking-man posed bunny, a White Ghost child. My favorite is a woman, stepping into a tub. The most overtly positive piece is iconic (read easily recognizable) work from Keith Haring, and he tragically died of AIDS (I highly recommend this documentary about him, The Universe of Keith Haring).

Came home, kept house. Made bean salad, brown rice and Tilapia for dinner. Stoked, picky eater Kein actually ate the fish and rice, after making Mom and Dad pick out all the diced carrots. Still a victory. So now I sit, 7:59PM in the lab, after cleaning up, dishes. Can hear family upstairs, going through night time processing, showers, pick up, sibling bickering. Been a lot of that lately between five and three year old. I could write it off as Brother stuff, but that’s the easy way out. Order of arrival in the world means a lot. First child gets total attention, second child a little less, third child a little less. Makes first the boss, second the follower, and third often left behind. Got to focus on team building, human building. That’s why the country dream gets slowed down, paused. We got to play the hand we got, not the one we think we want…

I need to finish these goddamn books. Artists friends, what are your dreams? How are you pursuing them? If not, why? Is everything okay? Would you rather have five acres and a shack or a lovely house in the city? Ever been up to your wrists in dirt? Or eaten a dirty carrot straight from the ground?

P.S. Also wanted to note. Possible source of sour mood, no new words. Tried to focus in on the editing over weekend, but led to existential abyss, wandering, malaise. I am addicted to writing new shit, what do you do with that?

7-16-16

Snippet from yesterday…

I practice stone heart during the dental session, attempting to leave my body, go to the higher plane. I have a little bit of a cold, and they use one of the latex dam things to isolate the area, so 3/4 of the way in I need to clear my throat, and the zingers are just lighting me up, can’t swallow right, feels like I’m on the verge of choking. A Law & Order type show is on the background, they’re talking about domestic terrorists. Neon blue steel heart seems to fail. I can’t get my mind to wholly forget what’s occurring, can’t let the moment pass. Then it does, it always does, and in reflection I realize it did work. It’s not to be free from the zingers that signifies you have acquired steel consciousness, it’s to feel the zingers and remain a step behind/beside the experiencer of the moment.

 

1:12PM Mom and kids on the way to meet up with friends at the park discovered this bug and its recently shed Second Skin, on the front wheel of the tricycle. They deemed it cool enough to come back in and get Dad out of the writing lab to see. I appreciated that. Excitedly I asked for Brit’s phone, snapped a few picture of the thing, laying on the concrete in my pajamas. She called it a locust, but I don’t know if that’s right or not.

 

IMG_2591
Second Skin
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Hello. I am greater than the sum of my parts.

 

Spent the morning, editing that recently posted chapter of Interludes, and Arms in Ankeny draft 7. Editing brings out the scattered, attention jumping vibe in the lab, but I am going with it, not fighting it, celebrating it. I like this sort of editing. Reading for a few pages, go do something else unrelated, come back rewrite/edit some more. Same thing with those heavy bag sessions, think I’m going to get a few rounds of that in today, maybe four or five instead my usual three.

I got little more than a hundred pages left on Patrick Rothfuff’s The Name of the Wind. I’m enjoying this book a lot. Reading Epic Fantasy like this makes me think how magical story-telling, writing is. The escape, time suck quality of reading. What is a Fairy-Tale? What are fairies? You should look into that.

This is when you’re story is done, when it can capture the reader’s attention and transports them to your world. I believe this phenomena applies to quality Non-Fiction as well. We should escape ourselves and the obvious external world, and enter the realm of the piece. This is what we mean by Voice. You assume the writer/narrator’s voice and thought pattern when you read. Here we think of advice that if you want to write well, you have to read well. It’s like learning to walk, you see others do it, you give it a shot yourself, you fall down, you try again.

Also sporadically reading John Man’s Ninja 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior. Introduced to term, Shugendo, which is a name for this ancient Japanese folklore. Going to investigate that some more today independently. I think it’s interesting coming off of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, that in this ancestral Japanese system that people are given names/titles with active tense in them, for example “Idumo the Brave, otherwise known as Many-Clouds-Rising” (17). I’m intrigued and endeared to this way of speaking/thinking.

I have studied the concept some, not sure exactly where, but what intrigues me is this clear difference in ancient speakers use of the active, and modern/English use of the past tense. For us, history is fixed, binary, on and off, you are this or that, forever, end of time. Versus, you are Clouds-Passing-on-a-Summer-Day, Rains-in-Autumn, He-Who-Dances-With Spirits.

It’s not about the poetry though. It’s about the mind itself, the world itself. What sort of people think like this, and what sort of people think like that. What do the differences mean, and how can we account for them?

I played a little poetry, past tense/active tense with my kid’s names. On the surface they are fixed, like my oldest Chay Robert McMulin. But with a little play and etymology, Chay Robert, reversed and explored, is King Bright Fame of the Place of the Fairy Folk. My heart has always known the active principal. That there was no real reason to buy into all these simple dichotomies, binaries, but that paradox abounds, there are limits and no limits, skin and second skins.

I’m going to go back to editing, reading, punching the bag. Hope you found some Art today, and maybe a little loving, a soft, warm body, resting against you peacefully, wind through an open window, setting sun on a worn back porch. Get your words friends. 2:07PM

Snippets #62

Captain_Jack

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee-Dee Brown

Black Jim accused Jack of being blind. “Can’t you see soldiers arriving every two or three days? Don’t you know the last soldiers that came brought big guns with them that shoot bullets as big as your head? The commissioners intend to make peace with you by blowing your head off with one of the big guns.” Other speakers supported Black Jim’s argument, and when Jack again tried to reason with them, they shouted him down: Your talk is not good! We are doomed. Let us fight so we die sooner. We have to die anyway.”

Believing it was useless to say more, Jack turned to leave the council, but Black Jim stopped him.”If you are our chief, promise us that you will kill Canby next time you meet him.”

“I cannot do it and I will not do it.”

Hooker Jim, who had been watching silently, now stepped up to his chief. “You will kill Canby or be killed yourself. You will kill or be killed by your own men.”

Jack knew this was a challenge to his chieftaincy, be he held in his anger. “Why do you want to force me to do a coward’s act?”

“It is not a coward’s act,” Hooker Jim retorted. “It will be brave to kill Canby in the presence of all those soldiers.”

Refusing to promise anything, Jack again started to leave the council. Some of Hooker Jim’s men threw a woman’s shawl and headdress over his shoulders, taunting him; “You’re a woman, a fish-hearted woman. You are not a Modoc. We disown you.”

To save his power, to gain time, Jack knew he had to speak.

“I will kill Canby,” he said. (235)

Interludes Chapter Twenty

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michele_Pannonio_-_The_Muse_Thalia_-_WGA15587.jpg

The Beginning

“At least you got a chance,”a voice broke in, loud in my head.

It’s a horrible feeling, like having your brain sucked out through you’re belly button. Last thing I remembered I was laying beside a tree next to the river, in some farmer’s field, trying to stay awake. I ran for probably five, six hours, until I stopped seeing cars all together. Only thing I saw were cows and horses, things that didn’t say much.

I had to take it slower at times creeping through these back acres. You never quite knew who might be kicking about, checking on everything.

It got cold, real cold. Sky was so big, so dark. My breathe came out in smoky streams. I began to shiver, and panic. I saw what looked like an empty church sitting far off the road. There were no cars, grass was over grown. I found broken windows and a busted in door around back, so I snuck in there.

Everything was gone from the place. No pews, no crosses, just empty. I was going to go to sleep there, seemed like a safe place. I laid down and started to freak out. What in the hell was I doing? I started to berate the Muse, demanding an answer, to why she was doing all this to me. When she ignored me, I turned to the big guy, the sky daddy. Why was he allowing all this? Couldn’t he help me? Didn’t he care?

The church was so dark. The shadows seemed to hide an eternity. I felt like something was watching me, from the hallway. Super creepy sensation. Instinctively, I jump up felt like I was drunk, sick. I stumbled out and caught myself on a nail. My arm was warm and wet, so I know I was bleeding. I rushed out, falling twice in the hurry, not wanting to discover what was looking at me.

I ran for another hour, until I came upon a large oak tree and decided to sit down for a rest. I was freezing, holding my legs, making myself into a little ball. I realized I was going to freeze to death like this. Best thing I could think to do was pile a punch of leaves and stuff against me. This must have worked, but the damp, dirty leaves added an air of desperation to the whole thing. I suffered under the enormity of my mistake. Why had I run from the hospital like that?

My best bet was to turn around and head back. Get some professional help. Clearly, I had lost it. Of course, the fact that my face was pressed against a cold, concrete prison cell slab confirmed this in spades.

“At least you got a fucking chance,” the voice taunted again. “My timeline went nuclear on 9-11. Everyone one of them are dead over there. You understand that. I left them all that day. Not even a goddamn phone call. You remember your sister’s shitty red neon you were driving then? I crashed it somewhere outside St. Paul. Just looked like a big storm. All I had was a fucking pack of camels lights and a lighter, hidden under the front seat, so no one would find them. You remember doing that type of shit?”

I had no clue what the fuck was going on. I still really don’t. At first I thought it was just some figment of my own mind. As I woke up, I discerned it was coming from under the steel door, but it was still my voice, and sort of my memories. It was harder too, something sick and twisted in there, grumbling, gravely.

“Just kept walking you know? You remember when we took the trip to the boundaries water? Fourteen or fifteen. Best buddies, right? Mike and Sully, right? Boundary waters, funny shit. You remember all the fun we had? Camping all night, roasting brats on the fire, going out on the fishing boat at night, smoking joints Sully smuggled in his backpack, being sort of ashamed and exhilarated that he had done that. All those stars? And how good it felt to be alone out there. Edge of the world. Well, I thought of that as I watched the nuclear winter approach from the East. I didn’t know until later, once the fucking spooks swooped me up, but the cyclical weather pattern kept this thing at a tortoise crawl to the West, you understand?”

I was sitting up now. There was a small concrete bench there, which suggested the exact opposite of relaxation. “Survived for years out there like that. Can you imagine it? Nah you can’t. I won’t bore you.” He burst out in a hysterical laugh and screamed.

When he calmed down, he started again. “They found me on a rock, somewhere around North Dakota, who knows. It’s funny how all those titles and shit, end up meaning nothing. Everywhere was Shitsville, that’s how I thought of it anyway. Found me under some rock in Shitsville. Came up on me all crazy, one stormy night. I thought they were aliens or demons at first. Giant fucking triangle floating in the sky–wasn’t the first time I had seen some crazy shit out there, but this was especially crazy cause it was totally real. The landed at the open base of the mountain. A tiny helicopter popped out of the top and flew right towards me. I was too scared to run, too scared to do anything. A man, first one I had seen in over a year, came repelling from the helicopter, as it hovered above. Without a word, he snapped this harness on me and we were both floating through the air, up to the waiting triangle. Gave me all shorts of shots and shit. World went blank. Then I was over here. Fucked up, ain’t it? How they get you? Somewhere in Shitsville?”

Total panic overwhelmed me. I would lay there and imagine none of this was happening. The words just popped out though. “Out of bed.”

“Out of bed? Squatting somewhere? Holed up? What city? DC? Seattle? Heard that was bullshit? Know I shouldn’t have trusted that wino bitch? She said it was all gone. For real though, where were you holed up, in case they send me back to Shitsville?”

“Des Moines.” It just popped out. The miserable truth. I could feel myself walking right into this man’s anger.

“Des Moines?” He said, full of hurt and disbelief. “Fuck that. It’s gone. Long gone. Unless,fuck that. Don’t tell me that. Oh no, no, no, no. No. Fuck that.”

At this the man began to scream and cry. I could hear his heavy body as he slammed it against the floor, against the door. It was a wet sound like a drenched blanket being slapped against the concrete.

I yelled at him to stop, but he didn’t listen. With a final horrible sound of a watermelon being split in two, all went quiet, and that was it.

I laid there on the ground for a while, trying to make sense of what the man had said. And what did it mean that he talked about we? And us? As if “we” were the same person? That was impossible. Didn’t it make more sense, my paranoid mind began to push, that they had some actor in there, playing the part of myself from some other dimension, which had meets its unfortunate apocalyptic fate? As a writer and a fan of Science Fiction I am well aware of the concept of other dimensions and alternative time lines, my own experiences in the La La Land have been proof enough, but still to hear yourself so clearly, and yet so differently, was a real challenge for my mind.

Honestly, I felt very tired, and sad, and helpless, so I resolved to just fall asleep there on the floor. A loud banging of a door snapped me right out of it, and I scurried to a corner of the cell. The sound of a number of boots slamming down the corridor alarmed me. I heard the cell down the way from me open up and the slimy streak of a leaking body being dragged across the floor. The was some muffled words, more stomping, until it was right outside my room.

I jumped up. Within instinct taking over, I realized it was time to fight. A slit in the door opened up. A pair of intense blue eyes stared at me, disseminating all my courage with one glare. “Mr. McMulin,” a soft masculine voice said. “I’m coming in. I want a word. Behave yourself or receive a sedative.” He raised a syringe to the viewing slot. “Understand? No more games.”

I didn’t say a word. The slot was closed and the door was slid open. The man was tall, skinny, sinewy. His face was set in lines of intensity. His dark brown hair, was greased and plastered to his head. He wore an Orange and Yellow Hawaiian shit, with short shorts. His legs were thin and pale, wobbly perfect al dente spaghetti noodles. “Hello Mr. McMulin. You may call me Mr Black. I will be something like you’re contact person from now on, understand what I mean by that? Contact person? Over here. In what you so childishly call La La Land. Aaru. Elysium. Caelum. Nirvana. Asgard. Those are what people of the past called it. In more beautiful and civil times. La La land has its own beauty, doesn’t it? Simple. Pleasurable to say. Somehow it manages to convey the true nature of this place. Mr. McMulin, I am going to give it to you straight, okay?

I nodded. “I don’t need this, do I?” He asked, gesturing towards his hand holding the syringe.

“No.”

“Good, good,” he said, handing it to a guard who stepped forward. They crowded the door way and hall. There was nothing I could do but listen.

He sat down on the concrete bench. “You have children, Mr McMulin?”

“Yes, I do, and I love them very much.”

“Of course, Mr McMulin, of course. Now these children I am sure there have been times, when you have been frustrated by their messiness? The thousandth time you scrubbed the table of breakfast syrup, or when you found that patch of permanent marker art on the wall, or the thousandth shitty diaper, some moment like that, you must have felt precisely how I feel right now. I feel hopeless Mr McMulin. Would you like to know why?”

“Yes.”

“You.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you Mr McMulin,” he said, pointing at me. “I am disappointed with you. You have everything over there, don’t you? A wife that still lets you hump, occasionally, three kids, three meals a day, and what do you do with it all? Piss it right down the drain! And for what? This shit? Me? Doesn’t make any sense!”

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“No, you don’t, you’re right. I don’t know what sort of alliances you have made in all this, though I have my suspicions. That bitch is no good. I hope it’s not her. That would be bad for you Mr McMulin. You don’t look like an Artist though. Not enough courage. Are you an Artist?”

What sort of question is that? My mind struggled to see what answer this crazy man wanted? I always thought in a real shake down situation like this that I would have the heart not to roll on anyone, especially myself, but now I couldn’t even begin to think how to front to Mr. Black.

“Yes,” I said. “I think so. But I didn’t make an “alliance” or whatever with that woman. She just showed up one day, I don’t know. It was weird.”

He looked at me like I just pissed my pants. I have never seen anger, hate and malice roll of someone like Mr Black. That’s when I knew I had made a bad mistake. “So it is the Woman of Many Names and Faces. I suspected as much. Well, easy in, easy out, they say. This is regrettable Mr McMulin. Truly regrettable.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I really am. I don’t really understand all this. I didn’t make any pacts with her. She just showed up and started torturing me.”

“Did you play music for her?”

“Yes,”

“Dear God,”

“But not very well,”

“She judged you harshly?”

“Very,”

“Goddammit!” He broke his composure, with a blistering rogue.

“I’m sorry,” I pleaded. “I had no clue what was going on. I’m so sorry. I just want this all to end.”

“Indeed Mr McMulin, indeed.” He said, through clenched teeth. “That is what I am here for, to clean up all your little messes. Now I have one more question. You have joined this woman in a walk through the Holy Forest of Remissions?”

“Yes,” I said, ashamed, knowing he was talking about the Pine Dust Forgetting Forrest.

There was a skin piercing tsk from Mr. Black, as he turned for the door. “This is all very bad Mr. McMulin. And exactly what I suspected. Termination will be my recommendation.”

“Termination will be your recommendation?” I yelled after him. “What does that mean?”

“Deletion. Ending. Abortion. Conclusion. Discontinuance. Stopping. Elimination. Termination.” He yelled all that over his shoulder as he walked out of the cell.

7-14-16 (Crouching in the Shadows of Tragedy)

Backyard Garlic and Potatoes (Volunteers)

7:47PM Just got down to the writing lab. Practicing the guitar, What I Got, the Travis picking exercise I know, goof around with some basic blues. Start reading about, investigating this Nice, France attack. Damn, it really is turning to a horror movie out here. What can you do? Read that in a desperate broken voice, not with a shoulder shrug.

I just got inside from picking my garlic crop, and planting 18+ straggler Green Zebra tomatoes. Got little smudges of dirt all over me. I love playing in it. Love how it rubs the skin smooth. I’ve been experimenting with the “Back to Eden” garden method, basically wood-chips and compost piled high. My soil is rich with dirt and bugs, smells so funky and wonderful. All great, but then you come in, read how some psychopath got in a truck, and mowed down a bunch of innocent people…

Fuck. Deep sigh. I wrote about this a while back, two types of evil. Evil as substance and subject. Pause. Pray. One Our Father, One Hail Mary.

My world view is broken. I can’t recall not having broken world view. If I plunge the depth of my memory bank, most of my earliest memories are sad ones. A step-sister left waiting in the driveway for an errant Mother, eating it no hands on a swing, sitting in my Old Man’s ride when I’m like 5, giving him that tape of me reading, knowing that I would miss something here forever.

When you roll in the dark side you can start thinking that way. Whose gonna make it right for all these victims? How does Karma work for them? The problem of Evil. The problem of Higher Intelligences.

Got three boys. I love them so much its hurts. Physically wrenches at my soul. I can feel it roll and almost tear away when I think about how much they mean to me. Think about those seventy some people being ripped from the mortal plane like that, the ripples of suffering that will cause. Evil has won. They have ruined it, spoiled it….I’m going to step away from this. I’m going to meditate, try to reestablish stone heart and steel consciousness. Then I will put my children to bed. And I will hug them and I will kiss them. And I will sit in the quiet and appreciate how special that is, to have peace and safety, Lord willing.

Who is the god of this world?

7-13-16 (In Between Punches)

800px-Telomere_quadruplex_without_fog

6:34PM Hitting a wall, think it might be the undercooked rice noodles. Time to do some heavy bag sessions, and put down thoughts for the day. Word of the day, telomeres.

7:12PM, after 1st round. Much better. Out of breathe. Heart beating. I’m alive. It was dinner, clogging the pipes. Was really thinking about what I wrote lat night, “eat from my dirt or die”. Something dramatic like that. It really is a goal though. Realized today I’m not waiting for another property in anyway. My home is my home. I’v plenty of dirt, space, and sunshine at my disposal right now. It’s not a matter of quantity, but quality. Quality in spirit. Being active, ideal, first principled.

Paradox, to dream big we must live big. In Iowan, whisper voice, “if you build it, they will come.” Fake it until you make it. The blog is descending into catch phrases, may only be half way through the noodles. We’ll do round 2 of Heavy Bag circuit.

7:46PM, after 2nd RD. Looking at the Wikipedia page for telomeres. Crazy stuff. Valuable, glue like material at the end of chromosomes. Hard to conceptualize stuff on the cellular level. Seems so inanimate, but it’s wholly animate. Key to real animation. I read, “Telomere length varies greatly between species, from approximately 300 base pairs in yeast[16] to many kilobases in humans…”. See my affinity with my wild yeast sour dough is not unfounded. Our chromosomes are in cahoots.It’s resting bubbly and peacefully in the fridge.

More half-ass Wikipedia synopsis, there’s a convincing argument that it’s the shortening of these telomeres, exaggerated by modern lifestyles and pollution (food) that leads to cancer and senescence. How’s that for a word, “senescence”? Had to look it up. Means, “the condition or process of deterioration with age.” Round 3.

8:21PM, after RD 3 I went upstairs to get glass of water. Chay, under Baker Mom supervision was baking a cake. Paradox abounds. Can we complain about cake? How do my telomeres feel about cake? I know what my Candida would say.

Earlier when I said, “dream big” that was sort of cliche and generalized. Dream big to me means like a dozen chickens, twenty plus grow bags in the front yard filled with carrots strawberries, peppers and tomatoes, wall of berry bushes, insane self sufficiency (bake my own bread, never eat out, beans tons and tons of beans), bettering the debt to income ratio, and big goal, buy like twenty plus acres of fruitful land to live in eternal peace and communion with nature, think Walden’s Pond. Cows. Chickens. Goats. Tree Forts. Howling at the moon. Salute.

What are your big dreams? What are you going to do get them?

7-12-16 (Late Meditations)

1024px-Bees_on_Water_Lotus

8:15PM Blue flame of the stone heart wanes. A bubbling ripple of red rage thrumming against its underbelly. I step beside it. Look beyond into it into the great blue sky, thick white wall clouds. Stopped, like I am.

I think about what to write to you. How to paint an interesting, attractive view of my reality. The blog is low-key enough I can say what I want, but public enough so not really. I hate that the bastard truth would be more entertaining, but I don’t have the courage.

Writing is a dangerous sport. It makes us hoarders of memories. Paradox abounds, because I suspect it is horrible memories which float the best. Writers are trained on the horse bits of their own suffering. Lead around by a cultural sadist, sauntering in the latest fashions. You are this because you were born here, by these people, this is your life.

You hear about this Pokemon Go business? Fuck, right? Billion dollar digital overlay of the world. Makes me think of Philip K. Dicks The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. That’s where we’re headed, twenty years. We’ll all swim in virtual realities.

Print

Not me. Think I’ma trade it all in for a patch of dirt. Give me some space to cultivate the blue flame of stone heart. Eat food from my dirt or die. Kill the Television.

It’s Babylon sickness, the roads, the concrete, the bad food, heat and sweating bodies. Everybody is so gassed. Rorschach tests from the sweat on the shirts of pot bellied old men. Diabetes leaning side ways, sweating at the bus stop. Skeleton chested woman in dated black jeans, and a stretched red tank-top. Three trash bags of diet cokes cans slung over her shoulder, making the three mile march to Wal-Mart, for what? A pack of cigarettes? The last five bucks she needs, for whatever it is she needs…

That’s god though, I’m sure.

Later, 10:26PM, kids in bed, post shower Dr. Bronner’s rub down. Everything is better after Bronner’s. So here I sit friends, 10:36PM, maybe an hour or so until sleep, then 6:44AM we do it again. How do we make it fresh? How do we make it original? How do we make it great again, and again, and again?

I think I’lll wake up and walk one of my dogs. Then do a loaf of bread. Made my best sour dough loaf today. Starter is about to take a break in the fridge. You could just keep feeding the starter, a little flour and water everyday. It could exists on your counter forever, I’ve learned. Fascinating when you stop to think of it. You cultivate a bunch of microorganisms that make your bread taste great and helps you digest it. Sigh. Babylon. You know they went to this ancient bread making process, stripped it down, dissected it, strained it, bleached it, reconstituted it with some preservative shit, and filled your grocery aisle with it, told ya it was good for ya.

Today I substituted honey for the sugar. Delicious. The honey for the sugar. I like the sound of the that. I love honey pots. I love bees. I like working in the field, simpatico with the bees. Pollinate these flowers. Float over here. Bring the good back to the hive, to the Queen. I get bees. Weird you can fit so perfect in one environment, so wretched in another. Seen retarded bees staggering from a shot of Round-Up.

It’s not good writing like this after a certain time, so I will sing you farewell dear reader. I hope you found your way to some Art today. The flame may spark red, but it burns eternally blue. I hope for you too. Get your words. Make someone else’s day. Stay in the space between yourself and the world.