Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blind Tom Wiggins

Blind Tom is one of my favorite composers. He was born a slave in the South in 1849 as an autistic savant. Unfortunately, the language at the time didn't have kind words or a shred of tolerance for people like Blind Tom. He spent his early life imitating the daughters of his master play the piano. Shortly thereafter, he learned to play the piano and could replicate any piece of music or poetry after hearing it once. I consider myself to have a poetic affinity, but I don't even memorize my own pieces, much less those of others after just one hearing. Blind Tom liked to play, and made his master very rich. In later life, the courts handed Blind Tom off to his mother, and eventually to her daughter-in-law. It's said that he refused to play the piano away from the comfort and custody of his former master. Mental disorders and illnesses don't care about skin color; racism is a poison society gives itself. I can understand Blind Tom's frustration and his refusal to play. Sometimes when I write, I think of Blind Tom sitting in front of the piano, doing what he knows best. I like to think I write in the same vein. Many schizophrenics fall to their disease, and can't pursue their talents for financial and social reasons.

My parents and my brother tolerate and encourage me despite our often conflicted past. Sure, I'd like to live a normal life by myself; however, I know I couldn't do it alone, and that my writing and happiness would suffer for it. My current situation allows for much writing, and poetry every day & night. I'm not a success by any measurement, but I'm doing what I feel I do best. The prejudice shown me is not of my own choosing: the rest of you want me this way. It's easier to put people in boxes, and shackle them to their bedposts when no name is attached. It's easy for society to say I need help and restrictions to keep myself and other safe. It's another thing completely to stand in front of me and say "our decision is to restrict your drivers license to a five mile radius, and mandate that you take the medications we prescribe you." I take my medication and drive quite safely on my own. Unfortunately, I'm in a group that's easily labeled a "them" not an "us;" my humanity rarely matters to people in charge.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


To introduce the Dragon:
The Dragon's made of dreams
That fly from love to fancy
And fly from there to madness

It doesn't have a form
That one can view as whole
But when its breath reveals
The sadness in his heart

The Dragon will begin
To offer up its service
And incarnate a world
Of pure feast and frenzy

A world that has no truth
Or honor, like our own
Just thoughts, and lies, and dreams
That wait there for the waking

The dreaming is dissolving
The will to conquer it
The dream will kill the Lion
While belching Dragon's breath

The Dragon's dream is flying
Upon the wings of fate
It's killing all before it
And slaughtering the wicked

He dreams the Dragon's triumph
Upon his feeble efforts
To feed the drowsy fire
With funny little pills

Draconic doom approaches
The pleasant lands of love
Without a will to wither
And not a shame in shelter

The pleasant part has passed
Beyond the mire of winter
The Dragon deems unconscious
The lion's little lie

Sunday, December 17, 2006

National Step Competition

I'm watching ESPNU, the National Step Competition specifically. Apparently it's a traditionally black college tradition among the various Greek fraternities and sororities. It's completely fascinating. There's lots of energy between the crowd and the performers; I couldn't even begin to score these dancers, or their dances. Dance is not even a good term for what they're doing; the music also comes from the performers. Each dance is original, and each fraternity or sorority has a unique style all its own. Some work with canes, sticks, and props; rhymes punctuate the dance steps, and the teams shout in unison. I haven't timed the routines, but each is several minutes long, with memorized dancing in elaborate patterns. I might not understand the scoring, or what the judgs are looking for in a good routine, but I can tell what I like, and I like them all. Each performance is so unique from the others that I can't decide who's better. Music is in the heels of the dancers, and in their clapping hands. I'm impressed. A team from Philadelphia wearing black won the sorority competition; they deserve the credit, but there was a lot of effort all around. A Phi Beta Sigma team from Michigan in blue won the fraternity competition. I will definitely watch stepping in the future.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I like them. Akin to most things in my life that attract my attention, I like them too much. My writing and thoughts are verbose. People around me know that, as do most readers of this blog. Plenty of people hate my wordiness; no matter how much I try, I will over write and over speak things. Most of those people end up, eventually, as strangers. Whether it's by a slow retreat, or by an outright statement like "I can't be seen with you," those people end up in good company. If I kept a list of those I made strangers by my obsession with words, it would be long. Many of them were friends or loved ones. They aren't bad people, or even wrong about me. They just can't stand to be around me and this of my many flaws. Who wants to listen to a crazy person go on and on about a subject that means virtually nothing to most people? Honestly, how many times could any of you listen to me talk about Hannibal Barca, or reference Petrarch? I love words; I love using them. That won't change, even if it means solitude. Trust me, I've tried to stop. Fortunately, I have my blog; I can pretend people read this. God goes about "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children" (Deuteronomy 5:9). My Dad had wine; I have my voice and pen. This forum suits me when most others fall woefully short.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Prepared to Take It

"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."

I've spent my whole life taking pain. The more I look at my history, the more I see that as my role. Every time I've tried to inflict pain on others, it comes back to me with greater effect. I talk a lot about "hating" so and so, "hurting" what's his name, and "defending" such what. Every time I try, it doesn't work. If I struck my brother in defense, it just intensified my pain in response. I've often said "there is no greater feeling in the world than hitting Michael Herway." He was a junior high school bully and popular kid that I drilled a few times in football practice. There is a lot in the world better than hitting Michael Herway. Among them is not staying awake at night in pain for thirteen years. I can take a good shot, ask anyone who's hit me. Pain is not something I fear; my knees still feel the long, slow aches from football practice. Maybe if I didn't play, I'd still have fully functional shoulders, wrists, knees, and ankles. As it stands, they're still weary from the abuse I put them through.

So what am I prepared to kill for? Not willing, or eager, the crucial word is "prepared." I don't have access to a weapon. My rifle is inside a 1000 lb gun case to which I don't know the combination. I can't use my body as an effective weapon anymore, due to my brief experiments with delivering pain to my adversaries. I'm not prepared to kill anyone. Perhaps myself because there's no one to resist me. I suppose I could use my car as a weapon; it's big, fast, and heavy. Those are valuable components to weapons. Unfortunately, there's little discrimination with a car as a weapon. Too many people apart from any target, even with the intent of suicide, would get in the way. Killing anything with a car is a damn waste, if only for the collateral damage.

So what causes am I prepared to die for? The specter of death looms over me. The most likely candidate is my own self-respect. I have the pills; I have the knowledge. All that's lacking is the protection of my tongue: I've told too many people that I wouldn't off myself. I don't know why I told them; it does nothing but cause me pain. I guess I'm eager to please, and not killing myself, along with not talking about killing myself makes people happier about being around me. To be honest, if I knew what my life would be like back in 1997, I would have no hesitation to pull the trigger again. However, my large capacity for pain continues to adjust to a world full of only more pain. I can't pull anyone into this misery with a clean conscience. Who would want to stay with me when all I'm expert on is pain? I don't even want to be here, and my threshold is huge.

In a world full of so much death, which to me would almost be a release, there is a lot of pain. I think I'm still around because I can take it better than anyone else. If there is a certain amount of pain to distribute, perhaps I should be the one to hurt. If I can take pain for friends and family, I do. I've taken a lot of pain to keep others insulated from it. My Mom wouldn't have been able to take the pain of knowing what my brother and my Dad did to me while she was out of sight, so I took it all. From fist to lash, I kept everything secret from the people I respected and loved. This is a practice I maintain today. Three years undiagnosed hurt a lot; that one I should have shared. Unfortunately, it's the only one I should have shared, including the hits on Michael Herway. I couldn't do what he did, and he couldn't live the way I do. Nick Benz knows pain. We're both entrenched against pain with no recourse. That's why he's my oldest friend. We understand each other. I put on a good show so people can't tell the pure desperation of my existence. Everything is arrogance delivered with a crooked smile. Inside, I hurt. From without, I'm the loudest, most arrogant, show-off any of my friends know. It's easier than explaining the intricacies of my psychosis, and more effective than open knowledge. I'll own my pain, thank you. Tomorrow is today, and I'm prepared to take it.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Solved, Never a Thief

One of my professors submitted my paper to a Florida account, instead of a Maryland one. Yay. Some of the worst days in recent memory caused by a mixup.

Redneck Alexander Pope

It's something I've said in the past when asked to describe my poetic style in three words. It's ridiculous, that's why I like it. Alexander Pope wrote couplets; I hate couplets. Rhyming in that fashion just irks the hell out of me for reasons I don't understand. I have a few other sets of three words I use on occasion.

Monster, trust me

These three words are another option I use when people ask me to describe myself in three words. I don't belong much of anywhere, except in Church. My life is turning into a haze very quickly. I can't remember much of yesterday, and I'm determined to make tomorrow something to remember. I might sound good here, in my arena, but I'm not much of anything. These are the sands where my blood flows for the crowd. I can be a hero here, even if my real life is only pain on a diet of barley and beans disguised as medication.

Not Worth It

Three words for questioning life. I recently fought off a plagiarism charge in one of my classes. I'm a madman and a failure, but I'm not a thief. Somehow, my paper was stolen and turned in elsewhere; a week after I submitted it for class, it showed up in a community college in Florida. I'm looking at a pill bottle right now and wondering if it's worth a go. If the distance between words could substitute for time in thought, I would space this out in long drawn out sentences with unnacceptable punctuation. Unfortunately, this is all I have. I'm taking one; I'll take more later if I don't knock myself out.

This damn lie about me stealing a paper took up most of my time since Friday. That's why I haven't posted much here or anywhere else. About all I did over the weekend was frantically try to clear my name and read "Ode to a Grecian Urn" by John Keats; he's one of my dearest favorites. Truth may be beauty, but I live very far away from both. My beauty is pain. She's a glittering angel in a dark world with hazy surroundings. I can always find her nearby; if I breathe correctly, I can even enjoy it. How wrong is that? The worst part is that enjoyment is often my reason for waking up.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Miranda July

I'm awkward. I'm also alone. I sit here with myself as my company, watching a movie called "Me and You and Everyone We Know." It's a wonderful little film I've seen before, full of awkward, lonely characters. None of them are carbon copies of me, or even close, but I feel I know them all away from the screen. Maybe that's the point of the movie, but it's not the point of this post. This post is about trepidation. My fears aren't based in pain, or power. I fear the open knowledge of my peers. It always seems the people I like the most expect me to be someone I'm not. I can't be anyone but myself: a socially and fiscally conservative guy who reads the Bible and tries to live it. I don't want to hurt anyone for simply who they are. I don't want any notches on my rifle, but I want to keep it. Most of all, I want love, peace, and understanding.

I think I understand this movie, "Me and You and Everyone We Know." I want to see more out of Miranda July, the creative force behind the movie, but I have the same feelings of fear. Right now, this movie is perfect to me. I see bits of me throughout, but lots more to explore in the characters. The last time I felt this way about a poet or an artist, I was thoroughly enamored of Naomi Nye. She had the best little poems, quaint and well-crafted. I thought that was her art. Then I heard her and met her. I learned what she's about. She's a highly-politically motivated poet who writes highly-political poems. I felt estranged, not only from her politics, but from her work as a whole. Before I met her, I bought a book of hers, and read it so much, it dog-eared. She signed it, I listened to her drivel, and I haven't touched the book since. I don't want to feel that way about an artist ever again.


Events turn on the briefest moments. I'm in the Void, but I see only flashes of it. When I close my eyes, they're all I see: hands poke through the hot, dry earth with teeth on their knuckles, as I hunt the obese ones upheld by the small with my spear balanced in one clawed hand. It's the same as it's been for over twelve years, but I always feel it more than your world, even when I can't see it. Today started out so well, too. damn. I hope I'm ok for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I'm just getting sicker. Most nights greet me the same way. They don't beckon me to slumber, they beckon me outdoors, where I can be anything I want to be, and be silent. I can't deal with it tonight, so I resolved to sleep. I'm tired of dueling with this all day, and long into the night. Some parts of me want to end it; other parts of me want to vomit, probably because of the pills, but also for the pain. How stupid is that? That pain leaves no marks. I know it well.

I'm going to sit here and blog until I fall unconscious. Maybe some of that will drip through my fingers and onto this page. I get lonely at night. It seems like I'm furthest from love and peace, but closest to understanding. I write, and some respond: most don't. I take from this only a few conclusions: I'm alone and it should probably be that way. I wish I was a phoney. I could espouse unthinking leftist dribble, curse God, have a stupid haircut, and do anything that comes to mind. I would be accepted. Unfortunately, I believe. I can't stop. My belief is strong enough to chain me in this cage we made for me, but not enough to keep me from wrapping it around my neck from time to time.

What does it matter, then, that I'm so miserable? It doesn't. The only one that hurts with me is me. They're all parts of me; you should know that by now. Every keystroke brings me closer to sleep, and I can only see dark clouds and light fingers ahead. I took one of those combination pepsid and tums to keep it all down. I can feel it gurgle up my esophagus. Time is on my side.

Click click click. When I punch the keys, my fingers feel enlightened. I think weight is on me now. I can't see straight, and my choir sings. Little do they know that I'm going to forget them soon. I don't remember my dreams mostly. The few I do remember seem far away, even if they belong to last night.

Everything seems to begin like this: I write, and words show up. They do me no good. Since I started writing, I don't think I've made any sense. That elusive understanding is a questing beast; I am Palomides. Percival will find what he seeks; I will stay in the forest. I love Isoulde, but am loved in return only by the hunt for new words and new understanding. Some call me crazy; others call me friend. What they all share in common, I cannot approach. I prowl and growl through the grasslands of my Void. Who wants to come with me? It's an open invitation which will never be read.

I'm tired, but I'm still awake. I don't know how long it will take, but I know sleep will come. Can you laugh now? Am I cross-eyed? I'm green-eyed, despite my claims for amber. I'm the lion inside, but from without, I'm a monster. You've heard that before. If I'm not a monster, what would you call me in its place? I know I'm different in too many ways. I feel the blood race to the outer layers of this epidermis I call home. Home is where the heart is; that's a cliche. My heart is uncertain whether it wants to be on the left side of my chest, and pump blood, or the right side of my chest and pump aether.

I don't need your alcohol, or your cigarettes, or your falsehoods. I wish I was a phoney, maybe then I could be more like you. We have nothing in common. I'm a madman, and you're the ones who hang around this cage of pills and pain. Taunt me. Buy pencils with my likeness at the gift shop. Buy cheeseburgers with terrible pickles in the cafeteria. Come look at me.

I said look at me!

Do you hate what you see as much as I hate myself? Probably not. No one comes by anymore. I don't think they ever did.

I don't remember much from my childhood, largely it's a streak of pain at the wrong end of a fist or lash. I do remember a time when a couple of people I barely knew, I think their names were Marie and Hillary, invited me to a birthday party. I thought it was a horrible joke; I didn't want to be there just to be laughed at. The party was real; I lost a swimming race to a friend. I still think some of them laughed.

Watch me the next time you see me. I'll be the one with the stupid grin, stupid laugh, and a stupid hair cut. Look closely, if you can. You'll see a carefully crafted lie. The easiest way to see through it is to watch my footprints, or to watch me cross a carpet on a slick floor, linoleum, tile, or wood. I torque my ankle in an odd way that upsets the carpet and leaves a little ring behind on my footprint. It's there to cover the ankle injury, and my history of bad toenails. If you've never seen my feet, that's by design. I baby my right ankle; if you want to hurt me badly, just attack the ankle. Any fight would be over in about five seconds.

Until then, look at my cage. It's a beauty. I have Jacob wrestling with God courtesy of Gaugin, an artist so dead and old that he can't object to my use of his image. I've got well over two hundred opportunities for people to learn. I don't use much Italian, so my readers aren't lost like with Ezra Pound. I use words and paragraphs to trap me in here. Look, the words arrange themselves like bars, and the spaces between them mark the holes. It's like chicken wire made out of English, but made strong enough to pin a lion. Don't miss out on a good thing, I highly reccomend the gift shop. It's next to the feet buitl to remain hidden on the way to the cafeteria. I hear they're terrible cooks, but they also serve ice cream novelties of me: I'm the diet double caramel.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Joshua Clottey

I'm impressed with Joshua Clottey. He fought Antonio Margarito, broke his hand on Margarito's jaw after winning the first four rounds, then boxed his way against the powerful Mexican slugger through all twelve rounds. On my card, I gave Clottey the eighth round, and the tenth to earn a draw. The judges saw it otherwise, however; two scored the bout closely at eight rounds won to four, and another saw it ten rounds won to two, all for Margarito. The eighth and tenth rounds were close, and I can understand scoring them for Margarito, but ten rounds to two is ridiculous. If Clottey doesn't break his hand, I think he reverses the outcome of the fight. As it stands, Clottey is the first genuine challenge taken by Antonio Margarito. It's all academic, though: they would all lose to "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Michael Mack

I saw Michael Mack a number of years ago at the first Austin International Poetry Festival I attended. He understands schizophrenia in ways most people cannot. Before he went on stage, we had a brief conversation about paranoid schizophrenia, and how it affects me in particular. We didn't have a long time to talk, but the words we shared were meaningful. He performed a small bit of his play, and looked at me as if to say "did I get it right?" I simply nodded my head to say "yes;" he nodded in return.

Pay his website a visit

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Religion, Not Politics

I found this on a friend of a friend's myspace. I went ahead and googled it, and found that this image is approved by more than one person. Needless to say, I was offended greatly. If anyone thinks this country is a theocracy, they should take a hard look at a genuine theocracy. I won't talk politics too much in this blog, but I will never shy away from religion.

The event pointed to by this link is a genuine violent theocracy. Notice the removal of individual property, and teaching religion as an exclusive alternative to secular philosophy.

When I was in high school, I went to bat for my Muslim friends. I was called an imperialist by self-conscious atheists, and on many more occasions, a Nazi. I defended the rights of Palestinians in a community with a large percentage of Jews. There were a lot of Christians who liked to call me Hitler Youth, too. That happened a lot after I publicly disagreed with a gospel prayer-concert held in the auditorium. They called it black history month; I called it establishment. I still do. That stand made me very unpopular, but if you know me, you know I'll stick to my ideals until I independently determine those ideals to be wrong. Hurt me, go ahead. By my fruits, God will know me. He will judge me, not the rest of you.

I changed my ideals on September 11, 2001. I was three and a half years removed from high school, getting over a C-Span addiction, and had just been told by my brother that they took down our towers. Immediately, I looked around the Muslim world. There was no outrage. The mullahs were not disgusted at the despicable acts of murder perpetrated in their god's name. They were leading celebrations in the streets. Until confronted with obvious evidence otherwise, I considered Islam to be a religion with some good ideas, but some very deep flaws concerning women's rights. I thought that when push came to shove, Islam would own its mistakes, and make amends. Instead, at the first sight of weakness in what the cartographer at the top of the page calls "Jesusland," they took to the streets in celebration. That was when I decided to take a longer, harder look at the Koran. Read the ninth Sura. It pretty much says it all. I don't need to put words in Muhammad's mouth; he poisoned his opinion himself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the law I live by. I don't make a complicated scoring system based on 1/40th of the incomes of my neighbors that follow a different path, nor do I have a list of contracts drawn up set to expire and coordinated with my firearm. Let me go to church, and I'm cool. Killing in the name of the Lord is not something I find tolerable. If someone with different religious ideas wants to live next door to me, that's cool. I'm not going to interfere with his journey to and from God. I am not a minister. I am a poet.

Back before the State of Maryland decided to limit my driver's liscense, I drove past a mosque from time to time on my way to my brother's house. I didn't honk my horn, carry around a crucifix in front of them, or burn crescent-laden flags for their displeasure. I just kept on driving. That's what free exercise is all about. We have it here in "Jesusland" whether a bunch of inconsiderate jerks want to admit it or not.

After my change in opinion, I get called a Zionist and an American imperialist pig. I also hear a lot of people call me a "fundie," whatever the hell that means, and they use the word "Christian" like an insult. As far as I'm concerned, that just makes things clearer. I don't want to be a warrior for God; he doesn't need my help there. I want to be a good person with a good heart; I want to believe in the fashion I choose to believe. I want transubstantiation, public confession, adult baptism by immersion, and a place that lets me do all those things. Right now, I have that. So if I love you, and you call me a bigot, so be it. I loved you before those words left your lips, and I'll love you afterwards. If you're a friend from high school who practices Islam with or without your family, you're still a friend of mine. I had to be born again myself, and I was raised in the surroundings I choose now. My journey to God would be a lot harder and a lot longer if it hadn't been beneath my nose the whole time.

So what of "Jesusland?" Take a good look around, people. It's getting near Christmas time, and the Salvation Army is collecting money in buckets. There's no gun, bayonet, or even a sermon behind those buckets; there's just a bell. You can choose to give, or you can choose to keep for yourself. By those fruits, the Lord will know you. I'm not going to break open the bucket to dust for fingerprints and count, not even in "Jesusland."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Three Blog Night

Keep this in mind.

Something I stumbled over

How anyone can see Eddie Vedder as an "iconoclast" is beyond me. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers his poser fans walking around in my freshman year of high school. They were so artistic, innovative, and original that they teased the baseball player who listened to country music. I was friends with the ball player; he didn't care much for those guys. Mostly, he just felt at home on the mound.

It's not just Eddie Vedder, either. Apparently there's a whole show of these phonies pretending to be iconoclasts. Fiona Apple? Quentin Tarantino? Dave Chapelle? These guys are the establishment, not the counter culture. I'm a guy that goes to Church, writes a blog, and wears expensive Portugese shoes because they're the only ones that help my knees get through another day. Even I can see through their self-promoting hype. None of these so-called iconoclasts have the courage to shatter icons of religion in the street. Every time they get close to upsetting the mainstream America that pays for The Sundance Channel, they back off and hide behind the first amendment. They have the right to say whatever they want to say, and even misrepresent their personalities to earn a buck. However, to be an outcast in America, you'll have to do better than irking a few bible-thumpers who themselves are a bit too eager to please the masses from the pulpit. We're a tolerant people. Making enemies with Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts might be enough to impress socialist friends in Europe, but it's a long way from gaining my respect.

I listen to Robert Johnson sing the blues. There's more devil in his dead left hand than in Eddie Vedder's whole body. I can respect Kurt Cobain. That guy had pain in every note, and pain in every word. We would probably never see eye-to-eye on anything, but I would love the chance to try anyway. Unfortunately, he's gone.

Eddie Vedder, however, is still with us. He's even cool enough today to call himself an iconoclast. Fame is wasted on him.


I hate this. I'd say that I'll control it in the future, but that would be a lie. All I have left is my honesty. I promised not to delete posts. Peace and Love seem very far away; Understanding seems closer.


Today is a haze. I don't know what the hell is happening. I'm not mute

yo0u should know that by now.
tomorrow is today

no sleep can pace this hunger hjeaving refuse dry and cholic. hope? HOpe is a weaponh against tomorrow without the certainty of now

Saturday, November 25, 2006

50,000 Rounds

Boxers earn what they're worth, not a penny more, not a penny less. Jimrex Jaca fights Juan Manuel Marquez as I write this. Jaca started in the Phillippines for a dollar per round, not a thousand or even a hundred dollars per round. He fought for a dollar per round. Tonight, he's fighting for fifty thousand dollars. This guy can take a good punch, and fights with great courage. We're getting fifty thousand rounds worth of heart from Jimrex Jaca; even if he loses this fight, he wins my support. The fight isn't pretty: two head butts caused two cuts on Marquez. Boxing is all about performance in adversity. This fight is full of adversity for both fighters.

Poems I Wish I Never Wrote - Vol. III


i see you never in my dreams
when heavy eyelids come to close
around my drenching drowning globes
without the fire they once had

for you, you were my love
you were what i desired
no sex or blood or tears required
just words, that's all, and simple smiles

to greet me in this world i made
when i was young, and acted so
your face above, my heart below
a stalking figure in the grass

but now the years erode my spirit
there is no hunt, or clear blue sky
no simple smiles, no reasons why
to make my mind remember then

just sleep and dreams and dreary days
no light can shine into my eyes
for far above me something dies
i keep my head tucked tight and low

and now i see you never

I wrote this poem as the first manifestation of the Stitches character. I kept the lower case nature of the line for the bulk of Stitches, but ditched the odd rhyming pattern in the center of every stanza. This piece just doesn't work on any level.



It seems so dead, with grief at night I still walk
Down darkened streets familiar to my feet
Where voices choose to sit as peers and eat
Each word with poison feeds the next we talk.
Though shoeless, hopeless, wordless, I stalk
My toes feel grass where there is only concrete
And masticate these words with mind made meat;
I choke in silence while the neighbors gawk.
Take it from me. Nobody wants to share
This Legion of voices that lingers inside;
Those that know nothing have nothing to bless.
Everyone out there who knows me, beware
If you choose to listen, and in me abide,
My pain still rules lonely my clingy caress.

This is the worst sonnet. The third line of the sestet is horrible; I never wrote a worse line. To this day, I reference this poem as proof that a form alone can't capture a poetic cadence. I was going to read this one aloud in Austin the last time I was there for reasons I still can't fathom; I chose to discard it at the podium with three words: "this is garbage." I made the right call.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful This Year

When I count my blessings, I count them in two categories: long term and short term. Long-term blessings are sources for reasons to get up in the morning, and the short-term blessings are those reasons to get up in the morning.

In the long-term, I'm thankful for much over this past year. I'm thankful for my return to church; I feel less alone now than I felt even a few short months ago. A key part of that has been the awesome people I've met there. Andrew, Ron, Quiong, Amy, Jen, Jessica, Isa, Barry, Kara, Dennis, Charity, and everyone else, you've made me genuinely feel closer to humanity in general; that is important to me. I don't fit in well anywhere, but church feels less awkward than anywhere outside my home. I'm thankful for my old friends, too. I'm better for having known them. I'm thankful for my family; you make life worth living by supporting me and loving me. If I didn't have my family's full support, I'd probably be dead. I'm thankful for my blog; it's a good place for me to express myself, meet new people, and provide an organized forum for inspiration. Other Realms is a good place to hang out, even if I'm not there as much as I was in the past.

Recently, I've got more short-term stuff going on than in any time in the past couple of years. I'm thankful for my friend Andrew, who has shown me true friendship and genuine concern. I'm thankful for my friend Karen Scuderi, who thinks I'm interesting enough to pour my blog into a song. I'm thankful for my Brother, Gary; he's got me thinking about good food this afternoon. Nick Benz, you're my oldest friend, and I'm thankful for your friendship; I'm looking forward to calling you later today to check up. We both know it's been too damn long. Kristyn, you call me from Tulsa, and keep me in touch with Jason. If left to his own devices, I'd probably never hear from him. Kris, you're the man. You understand me enough to call at 1:00 AM. Ron reads my blog; I know for certain because he comments. Thank you, Ron. Saturday should be good, Nikki and Jaime, even if I don't fit in well with your crowd. Chris Lyons, I have three words for you because I haven't mentioned you yet: Joseph of Arimathea; we'll never forget that.

Damn, I've got a lot going on. I should try to spend more time awake.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Reading Exodus for Insight

Exodus 32:14 "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."

So I'm reading Exodus again, not for laws to obey, but for insight into the nature of our relationship with God. I struggle with the meanings of my own actions, so I'm looking for a spark from the books of Moses. I take this passage to mean one thing in particular to me: the struggle with God is real. Moses helps God change his mind just as the Lord helps Moses change his nation. Every time I see an agreement between men, power is given by both sides of the bargain to a common end. We give portions of our livelihood for assistance with the other parts of our livelihood we cannot handle ourselves.

Covenants with God are a little different; God can handle anything himself, but his measures are often harsh. I think God makes covenants with us to avoid this harshness for our own sake by trusting us, particularly Hebrews, to attend to portions of our own punishment. God destroyed all flesh with a flood, but attended to his creations through the duties of Noah: we are now trusted with the animals. That's a lot of trust. As a manner of exposition, I feel compelled to at least mention the other covenants in Genesis. The other covenants in Genesis are with Abraham; his requests for family are realized in the form of descendents: Israel and the Hebrews. They are trusted with much, but have many more direct responsibilities to God. God demands, and Abraham acts; trust becomes more important with each passing covenant. This is obviously Grace.

But there's more in Genesis and Exodus than pious requests and gifts for obedience. Cain kills Abel for inequities with God, then asks "Am I my brother's keeper?" This is the beginning of my insight: God protects Cain from harm at Cain's request. Cain asks for his own life, and is given it. Why? In Exodus 32:7-14, God allows Moses to persuade the Hebrews rather than smiting all but Moses. Why? God forgives us our sins, including the murder of his son. Why? I think God gives because we ask.

Every night before I sleep, I ask. I perceive inequities between myself and the rest of you. It's pointless to decry those inequities: we all know them well. My request is simple: take me Home. Every morning, I awake under a warm roof, with food at my fingertips, and people willing to support me despite the inequities. What more can I ask for and feel insulted if it is not given? God provides always what I need. He doesn't provide what I need when I expect it, nor does he give me everything I want, but he does provide. When I ask for a trip Home, I want a quick death and and to be in the arms of the Lord as I was when I was a kid, before this thing struck me. I'm schizophrenic, but I'm Home. I hate it, but I comply. I only hope that my talents and dedication are enough to fulfill my nightly covenant. My goals remain as always: Peace, Love, and Understanding. Those virtues aren't in my hands, but most everything else is, including sin and the thirst for my own earthly demise. I cannot promise, but I will try in exchange for Home.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Body Parts

When I saw the latest episode of "Dexter" on Showtime, I thought immediately that they'd dropped Zeus on a rope. Then I remembered that we'd been informed that the sister's boyfriend works with body parts, not whole bodies. The Ice Truck killer does the same. Furthermore, Dexter and The Ice Truck Killer share damaged girlfriends. It's obvious, and I wonder why I missed it. I might have to review the episodes to date; I thought the sister was the only one close enough to Dexter to pull off some of the Ice Truck Killer's maneuvers. It's obvious Mr. Freeze uses the sister to get close to Dexter.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bobby Pacquiao

Kenny Bayless acted two rounds too late. He penalized Pacquiao twice for repeated and blatant low blows, then gave him two additional warnings. I hope Hector Velazquez is ok; that was one dirty fight on Pacquiao's side with low blows and head butts. We should hope Manny Pacquiao acts more professionally than his brother Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Going Back

I'm going back to sleep. I'm taking tranquilizers and doing what I have to for me to stick around as I promised. My claws are out; I can feel the breath of the lion on my neck. Everything spins, and all I can hear is the choir. If I sleep, I cannot plot my own demise, which is the only thing I want right now. If you're concerned, many of you have my number. I'm not waiting for you, though; that would be a fool's errand.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Persona Non Grata

I have my list. If you're on it, you probably know. There are three new members: an ingrate who brings pain to those he's closest to, an oath breaker who should know better, and a person I should have never let close to begin with. Cheers, this list is for me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006


Damn, I'm bitter. I need to force slumber upon myself before I post late. The blog is genuine, but the last post was unnecessary.

Not My Fault

Normally, I'd post a disclaimer of some sort up here. However, I'm so certain that the handful of people this entry addresses will not read that I've decided to pull no punches. If this post sounds like you, it probably is; I have a lot of former associates in the same category. After all, what is one of those associates going to do to me, bump it up from never talking to me to never ever talking to me?

I think I understand. None of it is my fault, but society, friends, loved ones, and lovers quite simply must treat me as though my symptoms are the most flagrant and intentional error.

What choice do they have? When I was in middle school, I was told "I can't be seen with you" on more than one occasion. That was before everything went mad. Who would want to be seen holding my hand at a shopping mall while I growl and prowl underneath the escalator? If you've witnessed me at my worst, you'd know this to be true. If mall security walked over to you while I am in the Void, how many of you would bear the shame of saying "he's my husband." Blood relatives have no choice; I am my brother's brother and my mother's son.

That's the difference between relationships and friendships, right?. We all have embarrassing friends; it's easy to write them off. If there's a relationship, we volunteer to a greater attachment. It's too cruel for friends and lovers to say "I can't be seen with you." What they can do is laugh about me when I'm not around, sharing stories about their crazy friend Thomas. It's all in good fun, right? The other thing you do is slowly back away when you get too close. Don't talk to me for a while. Slowly cut things off; maybe I won't take note if the increments are slight enough. It might take a few months, but I will surely be gone, and you'll think I didn't notice. You'd be wrong.

It's not my sickness, right? I've heard that many times, from many different associates. It's not the psychosis; it's not the depression; it's not the OCD. It can't be. Those aren't by choice. Instead, you always pick something that can remotely but exclusively be called voluntary. You can cite my Bible, my haircut, my clothes, my favorite music, my political leanings, even my poetry, but that wouldn't be true. All mentally ill people are ashamed of the things that separate us from the rest of you. However, the rest of you are far more ashamed of us than we could ever be of ourselves. Things would be much clearer through the mud in my brain if the rest of you were as honest with me as I am with you. I know the truth now: I am held responsible for my disease, and all circumstances surrounding it.

So what am I going to do about it? I'm too lonely to face the rest of my days alone, so I'll smile and nod. There's a new story about how crazy I am. Perhaps I'll tell you some day if you need a chuckle and a wild-eyed grin. I won't hold my breath.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rebirth of Jacob's Brother

I decided to bring back my gaming blog, Jacob's Brother. This time around, I'll probably update more frequently, and the subject will be mostly D&D. For readers of this blog, it will be insight into my distractions, the only events that keep me waking up in the morning.


I'm finding few reasons to wake up anymore. Here I am; It's one o'clock in the afternoon, and I've just emerged from a long slumber. The only course of action I want to take is to take tranquilizers, and return to sleep. I spent most of last night and early this morning fighting Legions; I'm still tired. The only thing that seems certain to me is pain. I'm sick of making every moment of every day pain management. Whether it's my ankle, my knees, my heavy heart, or my weary head, I just don't want to fight it anymore. I'm sick; I'm tired; I'm a damn fool for promising not to take measures into my own hands. Before I slept, Prester Bane taunted me. He begged me to go ahead and do it; he kept saying that if I did, that he would own me forever with no competition. What the hell am I supposed to do? I think I could deal with my struggle if I had an ounce of happiness, but that seems just as far away as sanity right now. If I had happiness, I could at least put some joy into my writing, and testify to love, but that path is denied to me. All I have to write, and all I have to live is pain. Who wants to hear more of that?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Desert Son

When stringing out the words
I weave about my verses,
A syllable goes wrong:
A word without its place.

My anger in the passing
Of yet another stanza
Leaves nothing more to say
Than stagnant little thoughts:

My love is worn and tired
To mimic my War Horse,
A cold and bitter stare
Too weary to bring fear,

A tired, old affliction
That struggles in the dust
While burdened with my Love
Unsought, unwanted, worthless.

I write too much these days.
I write until I'm dry,
A desert full of sand
And every grain: a poem.

So "Desert Son" they call me,
A rider through the dunes.
My horse is burdened down
With English that I use.

Verbose and lacking feeling
I just stick words together
Hoping for a difference
But knowing all the same

That heavy verbal hoof prints
Just trace my lonely path
Swallowed by the desert.
I'm sure that none will follow.

Uncertain of direction,
I know what stays the same:
I flee from presents past
To force my future shame.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I finally added a links list. If there's any friend I forgot, just send me an email, and I'll post a link.


This blog isn't a lie. It's all genuine. If you asked me how I feel, I would probably say something mildly dismissive like "I'm ok today." Unless you want to hear, don't ask; I have trouble sorting out those who genuinely care and those with a misguided sense of manners.

What am I supposed to say? What if I told you the truth: I lay awake every night searching for reasons to wake up in the morning, then I post them on my blog. Some of you might feign concern; more would probably be interested to see true madness intelligently described from the inside for the first time. For most people, I'm a sideshow act; the rest of you I call "friend." Friendship is wasted on me, I think.

I've yet to meet someone who can tolerate the same horror stories on consecutive occasions, much less meet someone who could hear them for the months and years on end that I deal with them. Like I said earlier: the same old wounds seek the same remedies. I'm interesting for ninety minutes; six months is quite simply too much to ask. Trust me, or trust the only one who tried; all roads lead to Rome, and they're all well accustomed to the bootheels of my Legions.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Is the silence from my readers from apathy or an uncertainty on how to respond? In the past month, I've gotten one comment from Ron; thank you, Ron. Anything is better for me than silence. When it's this quiet, the only voices I hear are the ones the rest of you can't.

My whole life, I've never connected well with other people. I don't fully, understand why, and never have. Every day for the past twelve years and six months, I've struggled with words for my experience. Until now, I've thought that the perfect words could free me from the shackles of my psychosis, and maybe loosen the flow of words headed towards me. For me, communication mostly goes one way, and alway has. Until tardive dyskinesia attacked my jaw, it was always oratory for me. Since then, I've developed my pen to the near exclusion of all else in what now seems senseless: the pursuit of understanding.

For now, I'll fight the Many Armed Knight for the slumber I crave. When I wake up, I'll fight him for comfort. I hope something comes back this way before I have to fight for slumber again after tonight's battle. Tell me anything


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Much To My Dismay

I woke up bright and early this morning. My claws are out, and I can't escape the Choir. The Many-Armed Knight's robes flow out of creases, the spaces in between books on shelves, and the eyes of people on television. I'm gonna take more tranquilizers shortly; perhaps they'll give me the numb slumber I desire. The long, slow grind is too much for me right now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Too Much

Tonight, the Choir and The Many-Armed Knight are too much for me. I don't want to deal with them anymore. I'm taking my meds and tranqs, a lot of tranqs. I hope to sleep numbly: I don't particularly want to deal with anything but my soon to be forgotten nightmares for a long, long time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Second Helping

I sit in my room, alone as always. I listen to needlessly silly music, trying to pretend that this doesn't hurt. Every day, a little bit dies, and I have to cover it up. At some point, exhaustion should set in; I've listened to too much Matthew Sweet, 4 Non Blondes, and The Cranberries for me to pretend I'm not down. My claws are out, and all I can hear right now is the music and Prester Bane's little voice telling me to make it all go away. They never like to share.

Everything on this page, and on this site is copyright Thomas Jackson 2006

More Philosophy of the Monster

I know what it's like to want, feel, and yearn. However, I also know that anything resembling love cannot behold me for long. It doesn't matter who is on the other side of my affections, no one can stare into the eyes of the Monster. The Monster isn't evil, or even particularly ugly; the monster is just different. He is too different to have friends, lovers, or any company for long. He lives in the deep water of solitude, so far down that only experts and fools will try to meet him. No one can stay for long. The Monster is used to the pressure, the darkness, and the cold. Anyone hanging on would just drown. If you take the monster out of the water, he will be out of his element: the Monster can only go so far from his watery lair. Every night, he returns to the depths to sleep. Who would follow? Who would love? Who would even care? The list is short. It resembles an empty chalkboard with years of hopeful names erased and written over. If you don't believe me, when was the last time you saw my face?

Friendship is ephemeral, especially for the Monster. His infamy looms large, but who travels to see him? He's in many stories, but is he ever close at hand? He's at the bottom of his watery lair, conversing with himself because he has no one to share a moment. He can write epistles such as these, but no matter how compelling his letters become, he knows that nothing changes Monstrosity.

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

My ghoulish white skin, and ghostly thinning hair hang off my long, injured legs to smash the walls of my watery lair nightly. You might hear me, but you might not. Just because you hear, doesn't mean you understand. Just because you understand, doesn't mean you witness.

Hope springs eternal for fools. Is honesty a virtue? I like to think so. Why ask a question when the answer is obvious? Sometimes, we thirst for understanding among witnesses so desperately that we create ideals and ideal situations to resemble our social needs. The Monster is one of these creations. He explains phenomena, and allows for a sense of self to me. No one else is around to help define me. I'd rather not think of myself as Prester Bane and the rest of my best friends describe me, but I'm left with little choice: The Monster puts me at the center of my universe. I must make the Choir, Prester Bane, the Many Armed Knight, The Scabbard Man, The Harvester and the rest revolve around me, not turn me into a planet orbiting them in madness. There are no witnesses to me but the people who read these words. How many of you would honestly call me "friend?" The answer is in the few that bother to reach me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

No Insight

Today, I felt tired and down all day for no good reason. The weekend was ok, but I remain a bit despaired right now. I'm thinking about things I shouldn't again, but I have no insight today. I'm writing a bit; it should be ready for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The only book I'm carrying to New York City is a Bible, and it's not even a King James Version. It's the fewest amount of books I've traveled with in a while. I will read the Gospel of Mark during the train ride, and hopefully post a blog entry from the hotel tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I'm taking all photographs of me offline. Who wants to look at the monster, anyway? I'm sick and tired of it. Paul Gaugin will take my place here, and Francis Bacon will take my place over on myspace.

NYC for a few days

I'm going to New York City for a few days starting tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Some people struggle for it. I struggle to get away without guilt or lies. My melancholy, and my sickness pile up around me. I don't want to wake up a few hours from now just to face another day in this Hell. Unfortunately, I'm given little option. I don't have anything left but pain. Pain is my life. I can't think or will my way out of it. My pain doesn't work that way. All the therapy and medication in the world can't change me. Every day is the same as the next, just add heartache and the blindingly obvious inevitabilities of living the way I do. So much of me just wants to take the bottle of tranquilizers in front of me. Truth keeps me from it: that's the only redemption I can claim. Truth is easily squandered. I cling to as much of it as I can handle. If I promise to not take that ship in the bottle through the night, I won't. Hope fights mercy, and mercy always wins. However, no matter how obvious the only solution to my problems remains, I can't seek mercy on a broken promise.

You're my corner. Help me fight or save me from more damage. I can't see out of my amber eyes any more.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Not Alone Today

I spent today with my Mom. She works for the Federal Government, and today is Colombus Day, the most worthless of all federal holidays. Even though the event is spurious, it's nice to be around other people. Mostly, I spend these days at either the gaming store, church, or totally alone. I have some other friends, but they don't call, write, or come around much. I can't get to them because the People's Republic of Maryland decided to restrict my liscense to a five mile radius around my house because of my schizophrenia. The whole state government is an association of power-hungry thugs. Anyway, if I can't get to my friends, they sure as hell won't come to me. It's disappointing, but that's my life.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


He can fight. He can't punch, but he can fight. I don't think he's hurt easily. His style is to land clubbing punches, lean on his opponent, and outlast anyone who wastes loads of energy trying to knock him out. A good boxer with a little skill could box him for twelve rounds, and win on points. No 220 lb. fighter in the world can knock Valuev out. However, he's so slow that he won't counter a sharp punch. Valuev is a sloppy fighter, but he has great stamina; he won't slow down. He throws a lot of punches for being so incredibly huge. Paper tiger? No. Definitely not. He won't be a pound for pound champ, but he doesn't have to be. Valuev's style fits his frame and his disposition: lots of jabs, rock-hard chin, and he leans hard in the clinch. Tonight, Valuev just plugged away for eleven rounds, and waited for Monte Barrett to fall from the fatigue of his ridiculous quest to throw big punches, and knock out the big Russian. Barrett landed some huge, perfect punches that did absolutely nothing. The other heavyweights should take notice: Don't try to stop him, stick and move, pile up points, and stay away from his heavy, slow punches.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

I lurk in the water with the faceless man well acquainted with my hands. He tells me secrets, and lies, and all the things that make me. When the rest of you sleep, we're alive in the dark places, the strange places, the places where no one ventures and no one would want to. Days pass by, and still the evenings belong to us, not me.

A friendly face and a kind word help me while the Sun still shines, but when the darkness falls over me like a blanket covers a child afraid of the monsters beneath his bed, we still speak. Once, twice, or a hundred times, we have the same fears, and the same well placed barbs, deceptions, and traps for myself in my own company. Tell me why no one writes! Tell me how I can be so strong during the day, and so weak in the nocturne hours.

My best quality is genuine honesty. It's usually a virtue, but it always seems to leave me alone. I can populate the late hours with hundreds of thoughts, characters, stories and poems, but I stay trapped in a hazy solitude some would call profound. I call it water. Down here, what some call breathing, I call verse: poems and water make drowning. Drowning makes for a good witness, and a compelling trip into the depths of my lair. As I drown, I struggle. As I struggle, I watch your faces through the first few feet of water. You seem interested, and for a while, you'll help me. Then you see my long legs, ghostly eyes, ghoulish fingernails and hear the drums of my heart in the night. You let go, and look away as I sink.

Pray for a separate deliverance. I am already lost.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Right now, I'm sitting down and looking at a lethal dose. I think about it too much these days. I want a cure, and I'm prepared to take any measures necessary. Living every day with the knowledge that I will not be as much tomorrow as I was yesterday is a slow grind I'm not willing to take any more. So what should I do? Will I sleep and wake up unable to write as I do? When will I notice the end? How much more of this will you demand I endure?

On Monday night football, ESPN did PSA on a little hispanic kid who has sickle cell anemia. He endures pain and anguish that seems beyond my imagination, and he does it with a smile. I admire his toughness and his courage. My little mental boo-boo injures me constantly. I don't know if I have the right to suffer as much as I do from this struggle. If a little kid can take sickle cell, I should be able to adapt to my disease. However, I continue to think suicidally. Sometimes, I see it as the only sure cure for what ails me. Sometimes, I only halfway notice what I'm doing, and count out a lethal dose for reasons beyond me. Other times, it's pure premeditation, as it is tonight. I'd ask for help, but I know none is forthcoming. These frequent epistles frustrate me: I type more than I speak, and no amount of virtue on my part can change that. I write in near anonymity, and see only a very few options: continue in anonymity, and write until I have nothing left, or do what I wish, and leave a bit of potential over which the rest of you may speculate. With the second option, the pain ends here. With the first, I might live another fifty years in hell.

Monday, October 02, 2006

So I Saw "Dexter" on Showtime

It's a weird show. Don't let kids watch it. The story has potential, but there's not enough of it yet for me to definitively watch it or hate it. There's not much middle ground with me and art, especially TV. I liked "Six Feet Under;" it was the last TV drama I watched regularly. For comedies, I watched "The Venture Brothers," but I lost track of the second season, and I can't find it anymore. Right now, TV for me is boxing and football: football's in my blood, and good boxing is the most compelling drama around.

I think the Ice Truck Killer is Dexter's sister.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tranq Out

I'm tired. Life is a challenge just to live. I have the choir in my ear with the evidence of Prester Bane before me. The Many-Armed-Knight stalks my late nights; I've given up on extended mornings. All I see are the products of my affliction: they are old. I'm taking the best way out: I'm taking tranquilizers. I can't stand being awake anymore.

Tranq Out

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have to shepherd my life through each moment. Some are good; most aren't. I have to connect the good ones with as few bad ones as possible. Lately, that's been hard, but my life was worse in the past. Friends help; I'm a lonely guy and you make me less lonely. I love to hear from all of you. This moment is good; I can make no promises for the next.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monster, Trust Me

When people ask me to use three words to describe myself, I use these: "Monster, trust me." I spend all day, every day alone. If I'm not playing Warhammer, I'm alone. I probably type more words than I speak. That's where I learned how to write. I read a rhyming dictionary, and found poetry. Poetry lead me to a bit of human contact through the written word. Chat rooms, creative writing classes, poetry and prose, all contributed to my writing. I thought for a long time that the product of my monstrosity would somehow lead me out of my own monstrosity. Needless to say, it didn't. Peace? I can bring myself peace, if I accept my monster. Understanding? Maybe it's ahead of me; it sure as hell isn't behind me. Love? Now that's a part of all of you that I can't have. I can try once, or a hundred times; none of that will matter. I don't think anyone could love me in a non-platonic sense. I'm interesting, charming, even compelling, if only for the first few hours you know me. I can write myself into anything. I can't live my way out of a paper bag. Once you hear all the stories, and all the inequity, my act becomes mighty stale. The same wounds hurt, and seek the same remedies. Old wounds, old cures, promise me anything.


Up Early

I'm up early, not late. I woke up two hours ago as part of my effort to make more of mornings and less of evenings. So far, it's ok. I thought I'd be able to escape the loneliness of late nights and the despair of looking back on a bad day. My demons haunt me still, though. This morning is full of the same kind of crowded solitude that pervades my evenings; I believe I've just replaced the positions of the clock's hands around my neck, rather than slapping them in the manacles of early light.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rough Going

Mornings are easier than nights. I spend too much time late at night, trying to get to sleep in pursuit of a better morning.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pills Are Bullets, Too

It's all lies, isn't it? Do you think I'm a fool? I notice. I notice everything. Understanding eludes me, but at least Prester Bane doesn't lie and say we're friends, or close, or anything else but be my prison guard and torturer. How long were you all going to keep the charade? I approximate human behavior and sensitivity, but in the end, the only thing I've learned from you is to keep my mouth shut, and my eyes closed. Prester Bane doesn't bear false witness against me. I'm getting used to his company again. For a while, he was truly my best friend. I could always count on him being around in my hours of need. Sure, what he has to say hurts, but at least he's honest. He tells me I'm a monster; I'm inclined to believe him. When monsters hurt, we hurt like everyone else. I know, trust me. The crucial difference is that when people hurt, they have an outlet, or a friend, or especially a loved one. When I hurt, I have to hide. You will all seek me out and injure me if I don't. That injury ranges from a tounge lashing, to a tired sigh of indifference and conceit, to forcing toxic chemicals designed to make me feel better on me, and all the way to four points and a vacant room. If you don't believe me, just remember the last time any of you let me lean on you. I always take care of my so called friends; they have my undying love and support, even now when I am most alone. I have no one left. My options are exhausted. How many times has a friend of mine called me at 3:30 am, and received an answer? How many of you would welcome a call from me at this hour?

I shouldn't be angry with you. It's all inevitable. Once I stepped out of reality, I should have known that I'd never be allowed back in. Every day hurts. Every long night hurts. None of you have endurance for me even close to the endurance I must have for Prester Bane. He exhausts me, and won't let me sleep, pray, or do anything else. At least he's here.

Give me my bottle of tranqs and a pistol. I can make this very simple. Pills are bullets, too; they're just slow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Poems I Wish I Never Wrote - Vol. II

The following poems are garbage from the youth that crawled down my throat and died:


Abandoning the silence
Of yesterday's address
Whose sound is heard unspoken
In effortless regress

A morning mist intruder
Is calling out for me
In excess I remember
Regretting what I'd be

"Improving what you're given
while fearing what you need
has made you an extremist
of solitary greed.

Impoverished by your actions
of fear, and hate, and spite
has left your voice abandoned
to raging at the night

your fear, unworthy yearning,
and unrepentant eyes
have made colossus larger
with truthfulness and lies."

If I could stop forgetting
And struggle to retain
Perhaps my eyes would open
And wash away the rain

If not a myth unspoken
If not a distant past
Perhaps an inspiration
Prolonging life to last

"A harbor's span of copper
alloyed with tin in hate
was wrought with contradiction
and hammering at fate

a massive strength illusion
it towers in the sky
a lie of strength and power
in rubble it will die

a raging summer tempest
a broken manly form
a statue rendered fallen
and broken by the storm."

I used to love that poem. What a fool I was. Arrogance and lofty wordplay can't make a poem.



Spin that cylinder
Pull that trigger
Burn that powder
Waste this life

I'm killing with a vengeance
This wasted life of mine
Not drunken-hearted madness
But madness none-the-less

When time becomes addiction
There is no other gun
But brandy in the bottle
And smoke upon the breath

My hatred comes to action
Against my hated thoughts
A gun against my temple
A song upon my lips

I took the steel for granted
And so I took the lead
I'm looking for the stranger
I see inside the mirror

His face is not expressing
The hatred in my heart
His address is unspoken
It's talking from the gun

"Hello my old friend
I see you've set me free
in letters on the page
the forces are in motion

"Your silence I will take
as your acknowledgment
that life is not worth living
except to feed the dead

"When everything is lost
but all my good advice
to take away your life
you'll know just who I am

"A cold blooded killer
and I'll get you in the end"

Yeah, he'll still get me. The end is closer every day. Spin that cylinder . . .

Old Wounds

An old friend of mine laments an Old Wound. Letting go is tough. I find my time frame for such things is not in weeks or months; I take years. At some point, I just have to stare myself in the face, pry the telephone pole out of my eyes, and realize what and who I am. The monster isn't in the fire of my eyes, but in the water, the deep water. As awful as I am with my choler, my melancholy is half again a measure worse.

My Old Wound never healed. The ankle gave out on me today, and the same voices that sang in High School invaded my ears. I'd almost forgotten the melodies in their laughter. Once broken in spirit or body, it's hard to reform whole. I find that the lingering threat of hurt never quite disappears. The fractions of my head seized upon a minor thing, and made my demons out of its aftermath. With as much stress as I put on my body trying to be the athelete I could never become, I should have expected an injury. As trivial as it sounds, my loss of that questing beast, my physical ambitions, ushered in my psychosis. I know that I probably would have lost my mind later, but the small things in life I always over-value like honor, truth, love, and strength, have always affected me inversely with their importance.

For now, the water deepens. On occasion, the burning furnace of my anger pulls me back out for a while, but the boiler is shackled to my feet. When it's done belching fire, I just fall back into my watery lair, no closer to clean air and happiness than I was in 1994, 1997, 1998, or 2004. Sure, I can write, but who reads? Sure, I can struggle, but who cares? In the end, I'm alone in this. I can write a canto to everyone I attach to myself or who lingers nearby, but all the words in the world never seem to do anything but pull me deeper.

Good writing comes with time. Think years, not months or weeks. The schedule of the pen is always outstretched by the demands of passing moments. Seneca cites Cicero as saying "that if the number of his days were doubled, he should not have time to read the lyric poets" (Seneca, Epistle LXIX). If reading lyric poetry is such a waste of time, think of the enormous waste of writing it. I aspire to epics, but in the end, I'm probably a lyric poet. Time isn't on my side. I can't meet the expectations of others or the progress of John Keats. I can only struggle with words, and hope for understanding after long intervals of time.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tonight It Comes Shortly

This weekend wasn't kind to my pen. I wrote nothing save this. It's frustrating in here with my thoughts; I get so damn lonely. My friends in Tulsa have it rough, and there's nothing I can do to help them. There's nothing I can do to help myself anymore, either. When the time comes -- tonight it comes shortly -- I take my medication, which is ineffective at best. Sometimes I'm so alone with my thoughts that they stalk me and hunt me down. I'm good at hiding the disease from onlookers, but I'm terrible at helping myself when I need to be strong the most: tonight it comes shortly. Every sentence folds into the next, and I can't get away from the circles. Repeating myself is all I have left. A day will come when I've said it all, and no one cares about any of it. I can't quit, but life is recursive; I can't fix the past, and I seem doomed to repeat it. My struggle ceased being interesting and compelling a long time ago. Now it's just a menagerie of terrors collected and recorded in this blog and my verses: anyone who cares to listen has heard it all. I express my feelings over and over again, and this is where they lead. I need to take a tranq. Tonight it comes shortly.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sleep as Defeat or A Comprimise to Forget

A friend commented on my blog recently about my insomnia:

Hey Thomas. I know what it's like to lay awake at night. Turn one way, you see a wall, Another, the ceiling, and maybe a computer. I've dealt with that a lot.

When I turn, I see Prester Bane, who has no face, The Many-Armed Knight, who wields many blades, The Harvester, his scythe, and feel the breath of the Scabbard Man on my neck as The Choir sings me away to the shores of Void. When I sleep, it's a further compromise. I have a feeling that my dreams are unpleasant, and have been for quite some time.

When I was young, I felt secure in slumber. I felt tucked in, and guarded. I clearly remember the beginning of dreams where I was in the arms of The Lord. He cradled me from before my baptism, and all through middle school. Every night I felt secure, like as long as I slept I was closer to God. Then everything changed.

I don't know if it was puberty, my disease, or both. Both manifested at the same time. No longer was I in the arms of The Lord; I was in the arms of women, girls really, my own age. At first, it was harmless: those kind of things were normal for boys my age. It wasn't long before the laughing followed me around, then a short hop to the man on the back of my hand. As the delusions and hallucinations intensified, lines between reality as you see it, as I remember only shards, and this hell I put myself through blurred. I started to drop time and gain time: time would pass in an instant, then I'd be locked into my hallucinations for eternities over thirty seconds.

I stopped going to church sometime in there. I felt distant, so distant that I don't remember when I stopped believing. I would claim a love for God in public; it was expected of me. However, I believed less. I can't say for sure, but it was lonely.

Now, I don't remember my dreams. I'm back in church, but it doesn't help me sleep. My nightmares are unpleasant, I'm sure. Sometimes, I wake up screaming, jumping out of bed and throwing punches. I made a bargain with my torturers sometime between the onset of my disease and my current state: the tormentors of my invention torture me about my Dad, my Brother, my weakness, my failed attempts at human contact, and my inability to escape the long, strong fingers of the hands that bind me. In exchange, I don't remember the nightmares. It's a far cry from a fair trade, but I need some time where I don't regret pulling the trigger again when asked if I wanted the gun to jam. I think things would be easier for me if I wasn't so trapped in my own solitude all the time.

Lately, I've tried to sleep in the arms of The Lord again. I don't feel warm, or protected. I feel cold and distant from those days. When I'm offered comfort, the hood of my comforter falls from his brow, to show a man without a face. The Choir sings me into slumber, as I mute their voices with painful songs I know could never be written for me. If I focus on Alison Krauss singing sweet words, and mix them with my conscious sentiment, sometimes I'm asleep quickly.

When the morning strikes me, I'm up and ready to face another day in this Hell I invented. I do what I promised, and try not to listen as Prester Bane and the rest taunt me into regretting pulling the trigger. I regret telling anyone sometimes. My feelings follow me. I wonder if I'd not written the note and made sure I wound up dead if the memories of my life in the hearts of others would suffer. I don't want to be the schizophrenic kid who suffers, and never lives up to the promise and talent everyone says I have. I want to sleep nicely. I want to feel closer to someone with a face rather than the bitter extremes of myself that usher me into the next moment.

The only prayers I can utter are pleas to "take me home." Every night, I go to sleep wishing to be home, and every morning, I'm back here in this compromise between my reality and yours. If this is home, I shudder to think what horrors await me as I turn inevitably inward into the shackles, dark rooms, and crowded solitude of my struggle. I sleep a lot.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blessing This Morning

I played around with my Myspace profile after finding a photo of Robert Johnson's crossroads. Tonight, I fall asleep listening to his damnation. Sometimes I feel close to his pain; he hurts like I hurt. His gifts are large, but he always feels wanting. I know I can write a bit, but it never seems to bear sweet fruit, only bitter berries of pain. When I lie awake at night, sometimes I wish to go quickly just so I won't feel any more. I don't think I'd be so down if I didn't feel totally alone as much as I do. Too much solitude is as sickening as none. We're social creatures, but it seems I'm not.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Up Too Late

I know why I'm up too late. I try to extend my waking hours to encompass two blessings. Every morning, I wake up for a reason. That reason differs from day to day, but usually centers around promises. If I promised my Mom I'd do something, I get up to do it. I think comforting my family with something positive each day helps them by showing I'm still somewhat functional. Mornings are easier than evenings for blessings. Usually, when I finally fall asleep, I fall from exhaustion, not peace. I keep writing until I'm too tired to keep a point going for more than a few words. Lately, I've felt the need for two blessings stronger than I did even a short time ago. I measure events and life in years, not days or months. I don't want to go to sleep out of necessity only to wake up out of more necessity with the gnawing fact at the back of my mind that the future holds only more pain. I'm looking for a blessing tonight, but I can't find one. My affliction rules me. In the end, I have only Prester Bane and The Many-Armed Knight for fellowship. Tonight, and for quite a long time, they rule the dark hours. I don't know what to do or who to address with my problems. The doctors can't do any more. There is no magic pill to take it all away: I don't have problems with taking pills. I have problems finding reasons to wake up, and blessings to guide me into slumber. I'm not the only one with problems or pain, but I remain the only one who knows about the shackles and dark rooms of mine.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Writing Before Midnight

I write before midnight tonight so I can claim to write this weekend. I could pen truths about hallucinations, delusions, or the conditions of my melancholy, but I've penned those before. No matter how much I express myself, I'm still lamenting my solitude and the increasing strangeness of my life from others'. I love my writing when it attracts readership, but lately even that seems absent. I suspect it's the circular nature of my sadness. It's profound at times, but that profundity takes the same shape in regular cycles. If it's not my disease, it's the same sad and solitary state or a host of other mental maladies: all I've said before. Perhaps I've found the fruit of understanding, but the taste remains familiar and bitter. Love evades me, and peace I suspect is something I take away from myself with the constant agitation of my repeating, recursive cycle of distress. Whatever the reason, I'm up late without happiness or its pursuit; the night is young, and more of the same is certain.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


It's autumn in the USA, and the year is evenly divisible by two. Elections are on everyone's mind. My effort in this blog is to reveal my poetry and my thoughts. I live just North of D.C. in Maryland, so I'm assaulted by politics every day of my life. For the most part, I'm perfectly willing to strike back with my own rhetoric. I haven't met a poet yet who even comes close to my side. It's frustrating, but that's life.

My main objection lies in separation. Lots of poets love to separate Trotsky from Stalin and Lenin. All three are in the same boat to me. I think the idea of Trotskyism as a clean form of Communism is a lie. I'm a poet and a dreamer, but I'm no one's fool. I write freely, and with only artistic constraints. I don't want a dictator, a theocracy, or an oligarchy telling me that I must write for them or not write at all. "If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant." That's Trotsky for you. I wish liberal poets at large would hold Communism to the same standards as Nazism. They would scoff at anyone who would seek to separate Ernst Roehm from his Nazi buddies. I like a system where I'm allowed to write what I want, and others are free to tell me what they think about my words in public.

I saw a young man at the airport wearing a hat with a hammer and sickle on it, and a shirt with some leftist attempt at wit. I was upset, but my father was furious. I guided his shoulders and mine away and intellectually reminded us both that we're supposed to turn the other cheek. He can wear whatever hat he wants to wear, but I think we should hold him to his choice. We should all be upset with such conduct, just as we should all be upset with some jerk wearing a swastika hat and a shirt with some racist attempt at wit.

This photo says it all. The symbols of red farm implements and broken crosses speak the same words to me.

Check this guy out, I think he's pretty cool. He owns his words, and doesn't mince them. I like to imagine myself as a man in his corner. Andrew Jackson's not my man. I'm not in a political party, and I don't want to be handcuffed to any particular group of idiots with a philosophy that pretends to know how to better run my life than I do.

My family got out of the Europe business in 1776, and I'm happy about it: Don't call me a European American. I think an honest mistake is better than a dishonest victory. If you wait around for a threat to appear, you've waited too long: wolves don't politely warn shepherds before taking a lamb. The laws of war only apply to soldiers. I think people should own their own statements, and not hide behind alcohol. Don't get lecture me on honor if you're an adulterer; if you break those vows, you don't have any honor left. You've got to start from scratch. Deion Sanders and Alexander Hamilton are good examples for a start. Jimmy Swaggart and Gary Hart are not.

Give me freedom to write and freedom to drive where I want. The state of Maryland denies me the latter. I want Christ in my life as I see him. I want transubstantiation and adult baptism by immersion. Give me public confession and the freedom to teeter between faith and works. I don't have a problem with saying "under God," but I respect people that genuinely do. I don't think we should outlaw flag-burning; it's a good way to figure out who's an ungrateful piece of garbage and who's not. I have an enormous personal problem with people who burn our Flag, and their supporters: art should be free, and so should art's critics. A ballistic missile program is an aerospace program is a ballistic missile program; those secrets are worth more than any campaign donation. Don't pardon your buddies because they lied for you. If a football player and his posse step into an alley to confront another group, and someone from that group winds up dead, stabbed to death by the posse, the football player and his posse are all murderers. Scale is important, especially when you're dealing with blood; therefore I'm more upset with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Tojo than the Baltimore Ravens.

Separation is the subject at hand. We can't separate liars, traitors, adulterers, murderers, and all other assorted scum from the ideas they create and spread. That includes me, the previous paragraph, and my pride. I own my poems, and I hold everyone to that standard. I'll bend, break, and throw myself aside for Christ, but everyone else save Enoch and Elijah gets to struggle with me.

The credit for the awesome t-shirt shot goes to

Pull and Blood

The pull is strong tonight. Every breath shows fangs. Every doorknob, key, cell phone, and clump of pillow I clutch in my long, sharp claws. I want to walk into the night, like I did before. Not only do I want to walk, I can't close my eyes. Anything longer than a blink accelerates me into a hunt for people in my life. Stalking, hunting, prowling after you comes in waves shunted only by my open eyelids and a split second when I'm covered in blood.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I'm up late again with problems. I don't want a tranq to fix it, either; I want a cure. I don't want to sleep perchance to dream and wake up in a pool of sweat throwing punches at phantoms just to erase my nightmares. Sleep makes time go by. It's not pleasant, but I don't remember anything from it. Deep slumber doesn't make my life less painful, it just makes my memories of each day smaller.

I forgot to take my meds on Saturday night until around this time Sunday morning. I barely made my way to Church, and almost fell over twice during services. I was so out of it, I think I missed the body of Christ in the Eucharist. During Sunday school (which doesn't stop at adulthood for Baptists), I was a zombie for almost all the class. I only snapped out of it long enough to argue that God's creation is imperfect, and that our existence is his primary mistake.

Global warming, acid rain, many mass extinctions, deforestation, pollution and a large bit of erosion are results of our activities that put the entire balance of his creation in jeopardy. All of that is a direct result of Noah's covenant with God. The Lord promised not to strike again with a flood, but we've done some awful things to Creation on our own, and perfectly fit them in Noah's covenant. When we exercise our free will, we don't just aggravate social ills that many see as Religion's purpose to cure, we do physical, and I fear irreversible harm to the very core of Creation.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I write this post to explain a specific few things to a specific few people, but it's good info for anyone wanting to understand me. Aside from temporary shines and fancies, I've only ever wanted to be with two women: Christine and Jaime. It's rare for me to fall. If you're not one of those two women, odds are I never even thought of you. I probably would feel more love if I weren't so familiar with my monstrosity, and the certainty of all results stemming from that monstrosity. My life and my psyche revolve around my psychosis, my medication, and very little else. I have a small cadre of friends and family; they are very dear to me. I don't fall for strangers, either. I only have eight people on my myspace friend list for a reason. If you're a recently deleted friend off myspace, it's because you've angred or saddened one of my true friends, and I don't want anything to do with you. That should take care of the specifics.

Old Poems Once Treasured, Now Trash

I wrote too much on one person. She was important, but not as important as the time I spent writing her. Like everything else in my writing, she became something completely different than reality. I thought I'd ended that style late in 2003. I thought my writing graduated from its infancy. I was wrong. This is her:


My days are spent deceiving
A love I couldn't be
A brightness that revealed
The light I cannot see

I knew that you were watching
Your eyes were wan with tears
A path to you was open
But blocked by petty fears

Regretting all that's given
With eyes not made to hate
A starboard wreckage plundered
A leap that came too late

In flying towards the answer,
The answer's turned away
I wrestled with my devils
And lost you in the fray

To love, to love my monster
While raging at the night
I wrestle with the wicked
Who struggle with the light

My nature has betrayed me
I howl at the moon
In high school, when I knew you
I dreaded every June

When waiting for September,
The summer Sun was grey
I cried July and August
To drown my days away

I know I knew I nothing
In wanting not but you
Whose soulful eyes avoided
The wickedness I knew

I smell my thoughts inside me
The residents in mind
The logic of the mad
The visions of the blind

I rage without protection
From time I let slip past
My anger buys me nothing
But memories at last

With tears of mercury
Reflecting on myfire
Of cinnabar and roses
Immortal in the mire

I thought I had more time
To deal with my madness
I see you with my visions
Through all my hate and sadness

With my own pen I scribble
The truth that I avoided
Our time was swept away
My cowardice destroyed it

I raged within my tempest
My eyes, I drowned in dew
I sat alone withdrawn
Away from what is true

I tried to pen a line
To dawning over lea
The way I wish I acted
And what I want to be

In iambs I have wandered
In rhymes I took a drink
Of time that I have squandered
Not knowing what you think

I wanted to approach
And rend my eyes to view
I lost my soul to fighting
And found it next to you

I want to know I loved you
But now I'm not so sure
I've squandered all my thinking
And thrown away the cure

I thought if I retained
The sorrow of our parting
I'd never be without
The madness that was starting

With thoughts that I could reach you
With thougths that we could fly
But reason in my wingtips
Absconded to the sky

In shame I had to crawl
Inside my own debris
A leap across the water
A drowning in the sea

The thoughts of light persisted
Unbreaking solar form
So blinding was your virtue
Unchanging in the storm

My view to you was fading
Inside my cage of pride
I stared into the ocean
And turned away the tide

I loved you in the morning
When I could see the dawn
I wished to crack the bars
Instead I sat withdrawn

I loved you in the evening
But strength was on the wane
I wandered in the grasses
While lost inside my pain

The bonds were cracked with feeling
I shed them with my blood
In taking up my armor
I swam into the flood

I caught you by the shoulder
Your face was bathed in light
The time was ripe for movement
And soon there would be night

I gathered up my anger
And set away my pride
I sat by you intently
And waited for the tide

I saw the new wind coming
And blowing towards the west
I knew that you'd be leaving
And never would I rest...

Goodbye my love forever

Bare sentiment can't hide my flaws as a writer and a person. Over a hundred lines of drivel, and all anyone can find out is that I can't write. What I thought was special was common. What I thought was exalting was simply pedestrian, and chiefly useless. I turned her into the object of two modestly sized epic poems: one I named The Amber Eye (go figure), the other I named Stitches. Stitches works, but it's a later work. I know my feelings are garbage now in Stitches. I've adjusted it similarly. I can't quite pull the trigger on a purge of my first epic: it has some gems in there. I fear my feelings will be largely garbage no matter who is the apple of my eye. My love inspires lies about the quality of my work, and the qualities of requitement. The pursuit of happiness for me seems to end up with me alone, typing cantos, correspondence, and this blog to an audience that will eventually see my flaws, and only my flaws. I know people get sick of me quickly, but I still have virtues. I'm faithful, kind, honest, and truthful. Truth is above all virtues to me. I'm also persistent and patient: I keep writing this type of post and this type of poem. All the posts are the same, and so are all the poems. All words from my pen only differ in proximity and scale. Only two questions remain. Who will spark my heart next? How long after the certain end will I hold on?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

So I took another look at the fight

Toney over Peter 114-113. I don't know what fight the two judges with 116-111 saw, but it wasn't this one. I looked hard at the twelfth round especially; it was a critical round. I counted punches, and examined the match; Peter did not win that fight. However, that should be moot. Toney took too many punches: way more than I've ever seen him take. He's a lion and a fighter, but he's spent too much time in the ring. I love James "Lights Out" Toney, but I can't watch him fight any more. I prefer to remember him at his best during the Jirov fight. He's the last of the truly great boxers.

In many ways, the Holyfield-Toney fight was the last clash of skilled heavyweights. I also think it's fitting that James Toney won that fight. The rest of the new heavyweights rely on weight to carry their huge frames over smaller fighters. Something's wrong with any weight class system that allows for fifty pounds of difference between legitimate competitors. I'm quickly becoming a fan of boxing outside of the heavyweight division. It's not even the fighters' fault most of the time: it's just damn hard to beat someone fifty pounds heavier in pure fisticuffs.

MMA is a little different: small guys can submit huge guys given appropriate circumstances. However, now that Pride gives out penalties for grappling for a stalemate, and the UFC is breaking stalemate grappling by standing the fighters up, the big men turn over more and more wins over smaller opposition, just like the huge boxers. Vitali Klitchko, Lennox Lewis, and Tim Sylvia always had more brawn than skill. Even a novice fan can see that. After about 205 lbs, sport fighting is fast becoming a yardstick and a scale more than a competition of courage, strength, and skill.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


"Stitches" is back in revision. I don't know why I feel I must make it shine. I polish and polish again; every revision makes it prettier. The last time I messed with it, I created a fourth and fifth character to help populate the book. Now, I polish what they say, and I fix a section that's irritated me for years. "Stitches" was halfway written in a single sitting; that was over six years ago. The story and theme stay with me through all artistic ebb and flow in my thoughts. Something about the black tower calls me back, just like it called back Stitches. I need to forget the struggles of the patchwork Stitches for another project. I like the appeal of The Philosophy of the Monster. I strain to express myself, no matter how unsuccessful effort after effort proves to be.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Play Golf Without A Driver

Play golf without a driver;
Just try it and you'll see.
The virtues of the iron
My Uncle taught to me.

A ball played off the fairway
Is better than the water.
A straight ball gives much more
Than ten more yards can offer.

Don't get me wrong, he owns one
And curses at the thing.
Don't play if it's not fun,
Or overthink your swing.

So next time when you hook one
With a driver in yourhand,
Remember straight beats distance,
And try to miss the sand.

My Uncle is straightforward:
He uses friendly tools.
A lower score is better;
The rest is for the fools.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Book Shopping

I just went book shopping with my cousins here in Bellingham, Washington. We had a good ole time at a nearby used book store. Sixty dollars later, we had quite a few books for one of my cousins, a few nonfiction books with lots of pictures for a younger cousin, and some Aristotle for the last cousin. If you want to succeed at an essay test, know a bit of the subject matter at hand and a lot of Aristotle; you'll be all set to write well in a pleasing, academic style. Aristotle is demonstrably wrong about many of his conclusions, but his approach to making those conclusions is still potent and worth studying.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

Barbeque Bigot

Some people like to call me a bigot. I've even heard it from a few people I call friends. I contend that the only bigotry in my psyche is over barbeque. I like Texas style. Grilling and charcoal don't count. I like my grilled meats, but I love my Barbeque. Texas style barbeque is beef brisket, beef sausage, and pork ribs in that order of importance. The key to Texas barbeque is the smoke. In Texas, when you want some barbeque, you go to the local barbeque joint where it's served on butcher paper with white bread or crackers. Some of the joints have sides and some don't. Basically, you take inedibly tough meat like brisket or shoulder, or maybe some meat that's questionably old, and you smoke it for twelve hours or so. What's left at the end is Texas barbeque. Some people like sauce, and some people don't. Personally, I prefer to not rely on sauce; it's more challenging to cook meat without it. If the barbeque isn't very good, pass me the sauce!

A quick note on sauce: I'll eat it if I like it. Vinegar, tomato, sweet, I don't really care what it is, so long as it's good. Kraft counts as good sometimes. It's better than most other brands; I add extra heat. Barbeque isn't about sauce, it's about meat.

If Texas style barbeque sounds like a meat market more than a restaurant, that's because it is. Restaurants serve steaks. Barbecue joints serve brisket. Up here in Maryland, you can't get good barbeque. It's all grilling, saucing, faux 'que. It's ok, I guess, but I tend to smother it with sauce. Some restaurants serve real smoked meat in the beginning, but by the time the restaurant catches on, they start cooking it in higher heat for faster preparation. They'll insist that the meat is smoked, and maybe it is. However, they don't tell you that it's smoked in an hour or less. Now, I just get fried fish and brunswick stew. I like fish. I like brunswick stew. It's not barbeque, but at least it's better than white ribs cooked too damn quick. I've even come to the point where I rate the restaurants around here on their brunswick stew. I still long for butcher paper and good, slow brisket.

Maryland has an interesting custom for eating crabs. They're served on butcher paper and in crates, and eaten with fingers and wooden mallets. I respect the crab; it's a lot like home. Unfortunately, they won't take the same care with the beef, and I'm not a big fan of crab.

For now, I get whatever is around. If I resign myself to catfish and brunswick stew, I don't get too upset with what they serve me. I need to go back to Austin sometime, if only for the meat.