Sunday, April 30, 2006


I used to wear gloves in High School. Then as now, they were a barrier to the aether. Now, they take a different form. Lately, my gloves are mine, so much mine that nobody else can see them. They cover my hands in something halfway between velvet and oil. As the evil spreads on my hands, the gloves hide the taint from my own eyes, but not the eyes of others. I want my old gloves back sometimes; they were real to everyone.

I see people avoiding me. I wonder if it's the gloves.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Zahir Raheem

I want to see more. He's awkward and slick. When Zahir Raheem steps into the ring, he gives it all he has. He doesn't slug and he doesn't brawl. Every moment of a Zahir Raheem fight is full of tension and indecision. Raheem's goal is to win those tense moments that can go either way. I have to admit, I like a hard-fighting style as much as the next guy, but this man strikes my fancy. He doesn't block punches with a good high guard, slip away like greased silk, or stand and counter punch, but I've never seen him hit square. Referees don't like his out of control, nervous style that invites his opponents to clinch. Judges don't like a fighter who doesn't bother missing punches just to show he's in the ring. Zahir Raheem fought through the adversity of coming up in Philadelphia, a city infamous for its gym wars. He fights obscurity in a sport for larger than life characters. Honestly, I have never seen him lose. I've seen him robbed by judges, and buffaloed by referees. I've seen him outfight Eric Morales, the best fighter to ever come out of Tijuana in dominating fashion, only to be passed over for a title shot in favor of the same vanquished Mexican warrior.

Saturday night, I saw him clearly beat an over rated Acelino Freitas only to be denied his victory again by judges who counted thrown punches instead of landed ones. Zahir Raheem isn't always pretty, and is rarely overwhelming, but he never quits. In a sport where willpower matters more than strength, speed, or size, Raheem just finds a way to win. His style is almost wasted on the casual fight fan, but I still want to see more. He has my respect despite the anonymity that follows him around like a shadow. Good Show, Zahir, good show

Friday, April 28, 2006


This post lacks elegance and efficiency in words, but I'm too damn sick to care. I spent this afternoon with my Dad. He's a cool guy, but doesn't know or understand my problems at all. Partially, that's because I haven't told him in a way he can understand. The blog is a big part of my efforts to explain myself, and maybe find some sympathy or friendship along the way. I don't write this just for my own satisfaction; everyone's understanding is important to me. I tried to explain the lines to my Dad today; it was a miserable failure. I also tried to explain how a hallucination or a delusion differs from just sensory input. Any description of a hallucination is a compromise between your reality and mine. It's not exactly what I say it is, but the rest of the world cannot understand the closeness of my psychosis or the undeniability of its presence. Seeing the Many Armed Knight isn't like watching someone goof off at the Renaissance Festival. He stalks me, not the rest of you, me alone. He's a part of me and knows that only I can see him, knows that only I can feel his breath on the back of my neck. He knows himself and me completely. Every fear, every uncertainty, every anxious moment, and every spare moment he is there. The choir is not like a church choir. It goes deeper than that. It's a group of voices all saying different things while holding a note. They don't sing for you. They sing only for me. The sound doesn't enter my ear, it comes around inside the ear, and occupies my hearing in the spaces the rest of you don't take. Prester Bane is more than a faceless man in my nightmares. He knows me better than any of you. In many ways, he's my best friend. He never ignores me, and we converse more than anyone else bothers to say to me. I made bits of him myself, and he's done the same. We're intermingled, just like all my delusions and hallucinations. I can't tell where they end, and I begin.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ends and Means

For a long time, I've hunted the Questing Beast. We never quite know the Beast when we start the hunt, and I doubt will never know its true nature. Some abandon the hunt when no meat is forthcoming for hunger as their motive: with food, they find comfort beyond the hunt. Some, like me, struggle for years with the hunt on borrowed means. Most people end the hunt with success that so often seems accidental. Some people find the Questing Beast in their first words! Others have to wait for a first true love, a first child, a first novel with their name on the cover, or even the scattered remains of a foe cleaved with an unlikely weapon that just feels right. In those words, loves, children, works, and victories we find a place, not often comfortable, but we find a place for our memory that fits.

I'm too much unlike you. I can speak, and be heard, but not understood. I can love true, to me but not to others. I can write a canto to everyone I know, but I feel I've written nothing. There are those like me who have maps detailing our hunts, stories oft repeated that seem to have meaning, and scars that many assume as signs of success. We are the veterans of the hunt; we pretend to guide, but we only have our meandering experience to show for our lifetime of labor. Truth be told, I despise many of you. You can abandon the hunt for a few days, a few years, or on your lunch break, only to take it up again after a quick jaunt in the field of questions I call home. As soon as you're finished slumming with the madman, the Questing beast waits on a silver platter. The more I hunt, the further I seem from the prize. There's no happy accident or gifted silver platter ahead of me, there is only the borrowed means to a questionable end justified by madness.

The more I hunt, the more I crave. I crave you. I need your success. I need you to validate me beyond the voices in my head that never relent. Please tell me you need me sometimes in return, no matter how useless I am. Your words can even be a lie, so long as I can believe it for a little while. Help me stretch moments together so I don't abandon the hunt for Hell in hope of peace at the tip of my own weapons. You mean that much to me. You are the Questing Beast.

Doubts About Another Wednesday

Everything is caving in. I'm trying to distract myself, but I can't get out of my own head. The flames constrict my vision, and the choir erupts in my ears. I don't want to be this way, I never wanted this. I want peace, love, and understanding; these things are no closer today than twelve years ago. My fate is measured and cut; I can't dodge fate. I try to keep my eyes and ears occupied, but they always find a home in my quiet moments and on the inside of my eyelids. I don't know what to do. Twelve years in hell give me no answer to the flames and no command of the choir; every day in hell, it gets a little worse. I would ask for help, but I don't want to get my hopes up against my troubles and my solitude.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Flows Into Today

What started yesterday flows into today. Questions haunt me as the choir taunts me. Their song is loud. I've only seen the Many Armed Knight once today, but I haven't looked for him. My efforts are simply to stare at my screen and the television; I can't seem to do much else without their interference. They even interfere with my typing. I have to check everything and read the lines I write twice: sometimes, I will read or type the wrong phrase. It takes effort to write this. No moment is quiet or quite my own. The rest of you can't see, hear, or smell them, but I can. Sometimes they're all I can see.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Today wasn't bad until just a short time ago. No day is without its struggles with madness. I'm through asking for miracles and portents. The end is not in sight; no divine authority intervenes. I'm left with demons not of my own choosing, but from my own distorted imagination.

Questions abound. From a simple "why?" to a more complicated "how do I deal with this?," my questions never seem answered. For now, the foremost question in my head is "when am I wanted?" It seems to me that once a person who knows my writing gets close to me, and sees the rest that I can't communicate with my pen, the reaction is always distance or flight. The few that know me first by my face or my voice never quite see the writing as a match.

Some might protest, but ask those who know me best. They will tell you I'm a nice guy, but I'm weird, I'm arrogant, I can't shut up, I'm sad too much, I repeat myself (again and again and again). They'll tell you I can be a good friend, but I don't understand anything about anything else; on that they are probably right. Those of you who know me by my pen would balk away from me face-to-face. Those who know me by my face, never seem to understand my pen. I raise my pennant as a poet, and watch it taken down as a person. I can write my way to hell and back, but I can't drive more than five miles away from my house.

I just don't see the upside to continuing like this. I am alone; if I am not, it seems that way. Verses flow to a wide audience and are welcomed. However, when I stop presenting the poetry as itself, and try to show Thomas the person in conversation or correspondence, I lose the ear, eyes, and understanding of all audiences. It leaves me back at the beginning: when am I wanted? Not in my verses, not in my blog, not in my writing, when is Thomas Jackson wanted? I ask those who know the poet and the person, when was the last time you thought to yourself I miss that guy, where is he when I need him? Blaise Pascal and I will play dice in the meantime.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Larry Merchant

I just saw the replay of Wlad klitschko vs Chris Byrd. Hats off to Wlad with the difficult last name; he knocked out Chris Byrd with a brilliant right hand after dominating the former champion for six and a half rounds. Wlad had a great fight, and showcased his talent excellently. Larry Merchant, the ringside HBO analyst, got on my nerves, though. He insulted the intelligence, and the courage of Chris Byrd. Chris Byrd decided to take on a natural superheavyweight, and one of the most powerful punchers in boxing; Byrd's olympic medal is for middleweights (160 lbs), while Wlad's is for over 220lb fighters. Larry Merchant derided Chris Byrd for this decision, saying that Byrd only took the fight for the money, showing more greed than guts. Chris Byrd could have taken lesser fighters for a few more defenses, earning more money in the process. Instead, Byrd showed the courage in his heart to fight the biggest and the best. Larry Merchant, no fighter steps in the ring against Wlad Klitschko, getting the worst beating of his life just for a bigger pay day. Chris Byrd had the guts to fight the best in a division full of otherwise questionable talent that would make for great, padded title defenses. The same cannot be said of Nikolay Valuev whose best opponent was John Ruiz, who previously lost his title in lackluster fashion against two former middleweights, Roy Jones and James Toney. Hasim Rahman's toughest fight in recent years was against the aforementioned former middleweight, James Toney. Where is Larry Merchant's venom for the other heavyweights, especially the 43-0 Valuev whose opposition is a line of stiffs and John Ruiz? Please, Chris Byrd is a brave fighter, a tough fighter, and a dedicated fighter who never shows up out of shape. He deserves our respect, not chiding derision from a self-righteous old man that likes to hear himself speak. Bring on Max Kellerman; not much could be worse than Larry Merchant.

Minutes to Hours to Days

The hallucinations and delusions show no relent. I can't stretch an afternoon or a morning into a good run; there's always something in my ear, it seems. Voices interrupt the quiet times, and the choir makes concentration impossible. To top it all off, I've acted like a total jerk to my friends. I can barely write this, how am I supposed to seize the rhythmn of my life into poetry when I can't even write this prose? I could use a friend, but I don't see any way into a more metered insanity or a scrap of happiness anywhere around me. Everything ends. I want the next end to be mine.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Week? A Month? A Year?

Everything ends. Last year, my birthday party sucked. I'll be the first to admit it. None of my friends share my passion for Samurai movies, and all I did was show one or two movies with hot dogs and ice cream. It sucked, but they were there; I was happy knowing that they'd endure my rather strange taste in art, and stick near me anyway.

This year, I planned the thing for a month. I wanted to start a Trojan War role playing game, in which they all seemed to be interested. I bought miniatures, made up rules, and constructed custom scenarios. After the game, we were going to go to the Peruvian restraurnt next to the game store, and get some good food. I was determined not to repeat the rather crappy time of last year. This year, my birthday happened on a Tuesday, so I scheduled the party for the following weekend, this weekend. They all bailed on me, with the reliable exception of Nick Benz. My oldest friend is still my best. Thanks, Nick.

I shouldn't be surprised. I don't drink, and don't offer it at get-togethers I host. In vino e veritas, no? Well, I think I'm gonna go take meds early. Maybe I'll take that tranq I've been longing for all day. Tranq up and tranq out; it sounds good to me.

Remind Me

Remind me to take my medication, maybe if I take it twice, it will go past damaging my short-term memory, and start taking out some of the old memories that still haunt me.

Remind me of 1997, maybe I'll remember why I set it down when Prester Bane asked me if I wanted it to jam.

Remind me to ask the odds, maybe I'll stop playing dice with Blaise Pascal

Remind me to lie, cheat, and steal, maybe it will work for me, too.

Remind me to not repeat myself, maybe it will stop costing me so much.

Remind me to hide my love poetry, maybe it will stop looking good to me.

Remind me of my distant past, maybe I'll remember how it felt to be human.

Remind me of each time I broke my knuckles, maybe the pain would stop seeming so sweet.

Remind me when I'm wrong to make it right, maybe then I would pay penance

Remind me what it feels like to pray, maybe then I'd be able to distinguish it from my demons

Remind me of fearing hell, maybe then I'll stop thinking about when I'd get out.

Remind me what if feels like to have a prayer answered, maybe then I would stop questioning my place in hell.

Remind me of peace, maybe then I could find it.

Remind me why I'm here, maybe then I won't want peace so badly.

Remind me of how scared I was the first time I wrecked a car, maybe it would stop tempting me.

Remind me what I did to deserve this, maybe I'll stop feeling wronged

Remind me how I lived through the pain of solitude, maybe then I wouldn't miss you so damn much when I'm looking for reasons to continue.

But whatever you decide to answer, remind me when I get out of control, maybe I could stop making stupid lists.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The bootheels of my Legion stomp the rhythmn of my life. I'd tell you how it sounds like a song you might know, but there isn't one. That's why I'm obsessed with classical meter. I've always hoped for a bit of understanding from the sounds of the words I choose. Unfortunately, I am a miserable failure. They march on, with no harmonies besides the dust of English that crowds around their Roman feet. I've lost much in my attempts to synchronise my readers with the measured pounding found only in my head. Nothing seems to work. I can't translate the thoughts I have into a meaningful format. Nothing is as quiet as the great cat, and nothing is louder than the screams of my youth under the Legion of bootheels. The accented quiet moments mean nothing to you, and you're all so far away from my Legions that you can't hear their approach or their retreat. You seem to sympathize with the pain of my dead and swallowed youth, but I can't seem to tell you about the masticated moments, when Legion's bootheels crush my memories like a thousand molars crush a two-dollar steak. I can only show you the pictures of my youth, forgotten and departed, compared to the chewed entrails of my present. I scattered those entrails over photographs because without the square, the blood, and the rest, all cameras lie. Reassemble my alterations, and you'll find me. I'm screaming to be heard, not even seen or loved, just heard. My poetry can't communicate the rhythmn of my Legion's bootheels that conquered my life.


I'm an official second-class citizen. The papers restricting my licence to a five-mile radius arrived. Coupled with that, my head is totally out of control today. The war is on, and my choir won't stop singing. I cover it well, though. My friend is feeling better, she did not deserve her stressors or the way some people treat her. Now that I think about it, all my friends are doing well, even the friends in Tulsa. I hope Kris is ok, I haven't spoken to him in a while.

I attended a lecture given by my Dad on the influential American cryptographer, Herbert Yarldey, on Tuesday. My Dad has a PHd from Georgetown in Government, and is defintely one of the smartest people I know. He's a sponge, like me; he's constantly gathering information and evaluating it against competing ideas. I got my thirst for righteousness from him, even if we disagree on what is righteous. His field is Military History and Political Science: both are a far cry from my comparative religion and Poetry obsessions. We both love ancient and medieval warfare, and seek to apply old lessons to new problems. Check it out:

He wrote an article and a brochure on the subject for the Department of Defense before those ideas were new. Links follow:

The article

the brochure

That's information security in late 1999 and 2000

And here's the government talking about it:

The executive order

Notice the heavy use of the word "enclave"

My Dad is awesome. We have our disagreements and old wounds, but he's one hell of a thinker, and I like to think I learned some things about writing from him, too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


One of my dearest friends is having a rough time. My care and attention will be with her, not this blog.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Silent Ben Hur

I'm going to watch the 1925 silent Ben Hur movie; it usually gets me thinking of things that don't hurt. I probably should have watched it yesterday, but hindsight is 20/20. I'm going to try to meet my friend, Nick to play test my rules for Bronze Age adventures in the Trojan War. Nick's awesome; his pain threshold is even better than mine. He has some gut pains and horrible migranes. I can tell he's in pain a lot, but he doesn't complain about it, not even just to show off how much he can take.

We were in 8th grade shop class together, and he cut a piece of wood for a CO2-powered race car as part of an assignment. As usual, I was slacking off, and bummed the other half of the piece of wood; I chose the fast piece. We were acquaintances before then, but when I won the race, I decided that he's a good guy to be a friend. I've been grateful for his friendship and generosity every day since then. Thanks, Nick, my oldest friend.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Know You

I know you, Blue. You dominated the horizons before the sunset, and in my imagination, before the sunrise. Where once you were framed in gold and a smile never meant for me, now your frame is a cage with me on the inside, not decorated with gold, red, brown, green, nor black with yellow. Your tint is darker, not like the sky, but like a deep bruise; all I see is you. No matter what demons haunt my nightmares or what Legion stomps my memories and perception, you seem always too eager to show me nothing but all of yourself. Stay Blue, and I will know you; the others will, too. Your fruits are in my poems as a road for the Legions. All roads lead to Rome and the Rock, but I can never seem to find anything but the inside of this cage. Yes, Blue is your name and our color. The other colors are too distant and hard to find; especially in the deep water of this home I make my cage.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Joe Frazier is my Hero

I'm watching Friday Night Fights on ESPN2; Joe Frazier is live in the studio. He knows the fight game, and disdainfully addressed the plug and hug style boxers use on the inside today. If someone got close to Joe Frazier, Smokin' Joe would never grab when he could punch. This man had the best left hook in the history of boxing, bar none, and he did it with his left arm shorter than his right. Fighters these days get into the danger zone of boxing, and agree to clinch rather than fight, and then quit in the face of real adversity. Joe never quit. His corner wouldn't let him go out for the fifteenth round against Ali in their last fight. Even now, thirty years later, the host of Friday Night Fights asked Joe to show how he hits the heavy bag. He didn't hit it hard, or even particularly well, but he didn't stop until the host asked the great former champion. I was alone in my living room, clapping and saying "We love you, Joe," even though nobody could hear me. I have to take Joe's example. I've got short tools like Frazier, and like him, I cannot quit. My corner is going to stop me, because I won't quit. I'm having a rough time these days, but if I quit, it's all over. I can't even complain about the crowd clearly against me. Why would anyone want to be around an ugly mug like me? I have a good corner, but the crowd wants me dead, even the so-called-friends who cheerd for me once, but ignore me in my hours of need. The crowd loved Ali, a bigger, stronger, faster fighter. However, Frazier had effort, even when the whole crowd cheered against him. Both my eyes are swollen shut, the crowd cheers for my opponent, and I need a miracle to win. I still won't quit. This might not be the fifteenth round, but I'm hurt and I won't quit. Thanks, Joe. Your courage inspires me.

Speaker for Last Night

Early this morning will speak for last night. I took a tranq because I can't sleep. Too many voices in a large choir sing while flames throttle my peripheral vision. I can't see a way around but sleep. Sleep cannot cure all ills, but it's the punctuation of my life: an intrinsically meaningless symbol that only makes sense as an abstract idea in the context of words. I think this early morning speaks for all late nights when it says "I'm lonely. I'm tired, and may yesterday's events not repeat after the full stop of sleep."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Five Miles

I went to the MVA today for a meeting with the doctor who decides medical limits on drivers' licenses. I can't drive more than five miles from my house. At least it's better than them revoking it completely.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I didn't sleep well last night. No music could relax me. No pain could exhaust me. Every moment, I was deeper into my world, my Void. Tomorrow, I've got to put on a happy face; I have an appointment to a meeting with someone from the MVA. They're talking about stripping my liscense to drive. I don't feel happy, and I don't feel well.

I could blame it on my friend in Tulsa, but that would be a lie. The real issue is what he represents. He has women hanging all over him, lies his ass off, and can use anyone for his selfish purposes, including me. I'm not as upset with what he's done as the way he uses me to wrench other people. He lies, cheats, and does drugs, yet somehow manages to have life served on a platter to him with my help. I love the friends he's left in his wake; I wouldn't have met them otherwise. However, this piece of crap has peace, love, sanity, and understanding heaped on his lap at every turn. Never mindful of this, as soon as he's done with one woman or friend, he's on to the next one.

It seems like I've told him a hundred times to straighten up and fly right, and he's agreed every single time. He's just wrenching me every time we talk. I gave him 24 hours to call me; when he does call me, if he wrenches me, he's persona non grata. If he decides to remain silent until after tomorrow, I fully intend to walk away and never look back. He doens't deserve my friendship or my assistance.

I won't keep putting the pieces of his wandering disaster back together forever. I've been a good friend to him for a long time, but he's never done anything but wrench me since high school. It all comes down to tolerance. I can't be around people I know in pain. I just can't do it. However, it seems the people around me have a near infinite tolerance to my pain. I'll always be crazy, but sometimes I wish for a little bit of happiness. None is forthcoming. Peace, love, and understanding make me happy. People throw it away and waste it on my friend in Tulsa, but in my hours of need, I am alone. When people need a wrench, they use me. When I need a hand, they pull back.

I know exceptions to these rules in varying degrees. You know who you are. I won't make a list of you here. This post is not an indictment of you, it's exposition of my general circumstances. However, there is no exception to what follows.

I've spoken before on my drowning man. It doesn't have to be an ocean to drown me: I can drown in a bowl of soup. Watch me.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Sometimes, it's safe for me to relax in music. People wonder why I pace and why I get nervous when I'm around people. It's because I can feel the Many-Armed-Knight's breath on the back of my neck, and if I relax, he and his liege will come to the forefront. Don't worry when I'm pacing or shooting my mouth off; worry when I sit or stay in one place and become silent. Silence isn't something I hear often. If I don't put something in its place, I will hear them louder than anything else. If I shut my eyes, it's often all I see. Right now I'm listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan and typing desperately to keep my eyes and ears occupied against the hell that fills all gaps and creases. Those gaps and creases will quickly become crevasses and lacerations if I'm not careful. However sometimes, the effort is too much to hold them off, and they come. I get tired, and pained, and sick to death of my misery, then I leave. I go to Void, which oftentimes seems the only place I'm truly welcome, and the only place where I am understood. The choir is loud, but right now, the music is louder. The Many-Armed-Knight is behind me, but his robes don't block my vision as I type, for now. I don't want to stop writing. Even as the black silk and velvet close in, the scent of sweat and sulfur surrounds me, and the choir screams in a language I wasn't meant to understand, I try to resist. Misery will join me on this side of my senses; why should I feel unwanted, unloved, and dirty when I can feel the smooth face of pain without the uncertainty of waiting for a new tomorrow that never seems to come? Stevie Ray Vaughan just sang "Voodoo Child." I know at least one way to take the rest of tonight.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Roman Time

Time passes, I change; my poetry changes with me. What was once beautiful is deadpan. What was once true, now seems foolish. I write until I have nothing left, then I look down and see a vast expanse of nothing spread over years of pointless thought and aggravation. Love is my banner, my Imperial Eagle, and the path of my Legion's bootheels. Now, it's all the same. Every word I write to chronicle the Void just makes it larger. Perhaps if I wrote and spoke earlier, things would be different, but now I feel lost. My soldiers of verse crossed the Rubicon, and can't find their way back. I chased Prester Bane's forces to the end of my exhaustion: no Zama lies ahead of me. Signs point to Cannae, from there to the Teutoburg Forest, into the sands of the Collosseum, and all the way past Garibaldi's Redshirts to the Lateran Treaty. My future is well established, but surrounded by a bald, bragging, arrogant tyrant with grand visions of my return to prominence. Eventually, he'll hang by his heels; most will approve, but I will never, ever be the same as I was in the beginning. Aeneas is a myth; Vergil wrote him that way. Caesar conquered Gaul, but is mostly remembered for how and why he died. A good thing came and changed all the rules for me: Lions don't prowl the sands as they used to, but my affliction remains, despite the old wounds now sealed. I have beautiful ceilings, and more gold than Croesus would dream possible, but I've lost the promise of a different tomorrow. Things for me seem sealed at one end: I can't go back. Aeneas could tell you that, but he's gone into myth with Vergil. The rest is a distant memory of greatness and what could have been. Now that the years since salvation outnumber the years before, I've even lost that feeling of normalcy. The same wounds hurt, and seek the same rememdies. Tomorrow is today seen through yesterday's eyeglasses, and obscured by the blinders that block the way back home.

Technically Sunday

Today is technically Sunday, but this is my Saturday update. My best friend in Tulsa continues to be a drug-addicted, irresponsible milquetoast, and a very dear friend here continues to put herself second behind someone who claims to love her. I let someone say "I love You" with a scourge in one hand and a bottle in the other for a long time, too. Violence from a father to a son is a little different than what she's going through, but changing how you treat someone based on how much alcohol you consume is a sure sign of bad things to come, particularly if tears are involved.

Here's how it plays out:

drunkard: "Do you think I like hurting you? I love you"

fool: "no, this is my fault"

drunkard: "I love you so much"

fool: "I know"

drunkard: "If you just #insert ultimatum, demand, or excuse here#, everything would be better, I promise"

fool: "ok, I shouldn't have pushed you"

#insert 24 hours#

drunkard: "I never said that"

fool: ". . . but"

drunkard: "that's ok, I don't think it's a bad idea. We'll talk about it later"

#insert 24 hours#

drunkard: "Do you think I like hurting you? I love you"

lather, rinse, repeat

This is the bottom line: whether it's a physical scourge, or an emotional one, point out the abusers, and recognize that alcohol, drugs, sex and the empty promises that go with them aren't good ways to solve problems with friends or loved ones. I'm not saying love isn't real with these people who use, I'm saying that it doesn't matter. When we use these substances and heavy emotional hammers to supress problems between two people who claim to love, love becomes a weapon, not a comfort. Don't put yourself third when you should be equal.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Dodge City

I'm watching "Dodge City" starring Errol Flynn with my Dad. It's a good movie, one of my favorite westerns. There are good guys, bad guys, and the best barroom brawl in any Western. Errol Flynn was a good actor, not a great one, and he's probably my Dad's favorite. I think he was a woamanizing drunken slug, but I like his movies.
"Dodge City" is a complete study of the Western genre, even though it stars an Australian and an Englishman. Technically, Olivia DeHavilland was born in Japan to English parents; my origins are much the same. My Dad was an army officer and my Mom is from Kansas City; I was born on Wiesbaden Air Force Base with a birth certificate from the State Department. It's a fun document to show the MVA when they ask me where I was born.

Thanks for the responses I got from my last entry. It means a lot to me. I'm glad to see this isn't a brick wall. You're all gentlemen, ladies, and scholars; I'm glad to call you all friends.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I thought I'd be able to write something profound or beautiful. Today, it's not in me. I'm hurt as I'm always hurt, alone as I'm always alone; I just feel plain. I keep checking my email, looking at my phone, and popping in and out of IM desperate to find some company. None is forthcoming, as usual. I don't know why I'm always looking to others; when I was in High School, I avoided people like the plague, and they avoided me likewise. Prester Bane, the Many-Armed-Knight, the Harvester, Scabbard Man and the rest were all the company I needed. It was like breathing twice, once for me, and once for the rest of them. Eventually, that changed. I don't know if I was bored or frustrated, or just tired of the constant conflict in my head. I found some things to fixate upon and write about, but every time I try to plug that hole inside me, I find out it's bigger than I'd ever dreamed, and my items of fixation are never true as I see them. However, partial truths give me hope sometimes, so if you want to IM me, or email me, just say "Hello Plain and Lonely." I'm not much for conversation, but I could use a friend.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Friend In Tulsa and A Question

I've known my friend in Tulsa for a long time; we were friends way the hell back in High School. That makes it a little over eight years. I've watched him go from a solid believer to a drunk and a drug user to an abusive, lying prick. Right now, he's walking out of a relationship on a second friend of mine. I would call it a troubled relationship, but he is the only one causing trouble as far as I can tell. He's done what he's doing before, and left me to pick up the pieces of a friend. His behavior is that of a drug-addicted, drunken user of women and friends. Sometimes I feel that if I'd done more while he was closer, maybe I could have persuaded him to act differently. I told him a long time ago that I wouldn't give up on him, but now I'm sorely tempted. He's putting me through an emotional minefield, and he's done it before. He makes my life harder than it should be. He has women hanging all over him, and damn near destroyed two of them I'm proud to call friends.

That brings me to my question: How the hell does that work; why do they cling to him? He puts nothing but vice, lies, and emotional extortion into his relationships, and a woman is always there to take him in and love him. I try virtue and honesty. I know I'm a monster, but is my monstrosity that profound?

Monday, April 03, 2006


Year by year, they take a little away. I wake up every morning with a little slice less. Look at me tomorrow, and you can't tell the difference from today. Track me over years, and you'll see. I saw the mountaintop. I could see the summit; I was so close I could smell it. I slipped a little to begin with, but I powered through, determining not to fall with willpower alone. It worked for a little while; I got closer to where I wanted to be. When I fell, I barely noticed. It's a slow fall; gravity outpaces me. I can flail and strain, but the base of the mountain approaches. The acceleration isn't measured in meters per second per second, it's measured in all things I thought I deserved before the first little slip lost per year per year.

Cezanne's onions grew sprouts. He tried to fix his still life paintings day by day. He didn't even realize that as soon as something out of place grows comfortable in anyone's artistic vision, it takes away from the original purposes of that vision. I wrote and I wrote; I wrote for ten years. The first seven were to explain myself. The next three years of writing tried to explain flaws in the first seven.

It's the slow fall that gets me. I'm furiously painting over onions that hide the rest of the canvas more every time I pick up a brush. I've done it for ten years as I fall with my back to the ground. I don't see the ground approaching; I can only see the sky I've lost in the process. On my way down, I meet you, greet you, and then you say goodbye. After all, who would want to fall with me?

The end of any fall is the ground. In my fall, my back will hit first: I won't see the ground coming. The rest of you will see and count the days until it happens with a litany of empty pill bottles, but I'll stay ignorant of the exact time I hit. Right up until the very end, I'll probably be painting with my poems. Most people will walk by my deathbed, my funeral, and my tombstone completely unaware of what went into my work. The informed few will pass me by and say "It's a shame, the circumstances of his death; he was a fine onion painter. A fine onion painter." The worst part is the knowledge that if a pretty girl asks me to paint an onion for her, too, I would do so happily. I would do anything for understanding, anything for hope, and anything for love, even if that means painting black and yellow onions sprouting stalks shaped like happiness. I don't mind the time, and I'm eager to explain the onions. After all, I want to smile as much as you want to see me smile. I would paint all of Atlas' burden with happily shaped onions for understanding, hope, and love; none of which is forthcoming for whatever reason you give me during every moment I wonder. So'll I paint onions with my pen in still life like this blog until I hit the ground, with a lifetime of sky between where I was headed and where I stopped; I'll be so far away that no one will believe how close I actually came to being the best.

Bronze Age Adventures

When I was a little kid, I studied ancient history with a vigor inspired by passions almost on the level of my inspirations to read the bible. I read about Heinrich Schliemann, Greek myth, and lost civilizations from before the time of Christ. I always had a fascination with Homer and the Iliad. Hector is my favorite character. He's an honorable combatant and the greatest of the Trojans. Unlike the Romans, who tended to villify their enemies rather than treating them as powerful antagonists, Homer had healthy respect for Hector and the other honorable Trojans. Paris is a different matter; we all think Paris is a selfish, cowardly rat. There's no Vercingetorix, Spartacus, or Hannibal, all brave commanders who met the Romans with success, in the Iliad. Sure, plenty of bloodletting occurs when the Greeks finally do sack Troy, but Odysseus was punished by the Gods he angered for his action with the famous Trojan Horse, as was Agamemnon in his homecoming.

I want to bring the feel of Homer to the gaming table, an environment usually soaked in ideas from Tolkien. Don't get me wrong, I love and respect the Tolkienesque feel of D&D, but I think Bronze Age adventures could be exhilirating: No longswords or steel of any type, no magic in the hands of mortals, direct interference from limited dieties, and plenty of chariots are interesting elements absent from D&D as it's usually played. It should be challenging, and it should be fun.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

So Far Today

So far today, I've felt pretty well. The morning wasn't great, but I got a call from a friend who read my blog and wanted to hear if I was ok, so that cheered me up. When a friend calls, I get a little boost in happiness to know I'm not completely alone. I've distracted and exhausted myself today with superflous stuff to keep Legion at bay. If I'm lucky, the lucid time will stretch into tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. I don't expect or try for sanity any more, that would be futile. A little part of me still hopes for happiness, though. Sometimes my melancholy seems invincible; I can't seem to find a way to break it inside me: I need help from someone who understands and can love me anyway.

Those of you familliar with only my writing might think that not unreasonable, but trust me, it is. The disrupting pressure of my depression and my flood of annoying habits tests anyone's patience. There's a scene from "The Simpsons" where Barney makes an independent film chronicling his condition. Several ladies in the audience lament his torment; one says "he has the soul of a poet!" When Barney introduces himself, the same woman turns to him and says "Did something crawl down your throat and die?" That's usually how people react to me. Something did crawl down my throat and die; most call it Youth.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

An Open Letter, You've been served.

The past few days were awful, if you couldn't tell by my posts. Not only am I dealing with my hell, I've had to deal with a friend in Tulsa's. He treats the people who love him like shit, and only garners more people lining up around the block to be with him. He's got the whole world eating from his hand; he has friends who won't give up on him, women hanging all over him, and abuses everyone who lets him lean a little more. Sometimes it seems to me the lesson I've got to learn is to treat the people around me like crap; perhaps then, things will turn around. The people who beat me get ahead and find happiness. I can't find it in myself to ignore my friends in their hours of need; it seems like the nicer and more considerate I am, the more people take me for granted, and the less they want to even be around me. I will scream, I will fall, and I will contend that I'm not mute, no matter how much I'm ignored, or how little people want to hear about it.

Do you hear me, Brick Wall? I'm sorry I don't ignore you. I'm sorry I never lied to you to get at your soft spots. I'm sorry I never beat you until you curled up in a ball and learned to just take it. I'm sorry I never let you beg for my attention while I ignore you, and treat you like you don't exist for months on end. I'm sorry I never took advantage of you. And I'm sorry I never berated you just to get my jollies.

I'll probably always be here for you to abuse. Tell me how much you love me, and tell me how much you want to be my friend. Lie your ass off, and pretend I'm too stupid to notice. Take yourself to the ninth circle, and I'll keep myself here in the seventh. Virgil won't be my guide; I'm too close to Petrarch. Trust me, we can all see from without what is obvious from within. "Cercar no so ch'amor non venga sempre, ragionando con mio et io con lui." That puts it nicely for Petrarch and Laura, but we all know how best to lie to me.

Maybe I would be more compelling if I were to be cruel. It works for my friend in Tulsa. Tell me how to mistreat you; I know I can be mean, too. This monster of me lives in deep water, and my demons don't sleep.