Monday, December 03, 2007

I'm Museless

Until recently, my writing was more effort than inspiration. For a month, I haven't written. I can only pen so many rhymes and blog entries to Prester Bane. For now, I'm left without a muse: the time passes with no reason to write but my own meandering experience. There's no seal in the crimson skies for sonnets; she never was what I built her to become. There's no beautiful princess in Black and Yellow to elaborate with blank verse; I destroyed the words. I'm left with not even a faceless foe to hide my Monster; I'm plain to those who read. Even now, I'm waxing poetic and I'm not fooling anyone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I enjoy eating meat, especially if the cut is so rare that it almost seems raw. Right now, my pen is my espada; I held the tip in protest of my hunger for understanding. My left hand grips no muleta; the only thing I hold in those sinestrous digits is my old Bible. Not the one many of you see me with these days, this book is a thicker tome with no concordance and far thicker leaves of paper. It's a cheap, cardboard-bound hardback with a faux gold finish. This is the Bible I took to school once upon a time; it was like carrying a saying "kick me, I'm churchy." I didn't care too much, though. When I had trouble sleeping back in those days, I just gripped this Bible and dreamt I was in the arms of the Lord. I slept there often. Now it feels like a memento from an old friend that doesn't talk to me anymore. I haven't read from it in years because I don't like the translation. The poetry is terrible. Some translations strive to instruct the reader, while other translations speak to the ear of every poet inspired enough to take a look. Psalms is terrible in most English translations meant to teach: my old, friendly, cheap hardback follows that trend thoroughly. The only thing that stands between me and meat is my pen; my protest is over. Feast with me. Talk to me. Tell me that I'm still close to the book in my left hand, no matter how many years, bulls, and rare steaks dwell between this moment and the last time I slept in the arms of the Lord. Come to me as the freshly masticated flesh drips its fat down my chin; seek me as I seek you. Until then, pray with me in the only manner I can sustain alone:

Take me Home
Take me home
Take me home, lord,
Take me home

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pavlik over Taylor

Leave it to boxing to get me writing again. Kelly Pavlik was almost out on his feet in the second round. He took fifteen flush punches as Taylor brutally knocked the challenger down; if I were the refereee, I would have stopped the fight. However, this referee let the action go into the deepest, darkest dungeons of danger that only boxing will sanction; it's been a long time since I've seen a fighter battered that badly, only to rise again for a TKO win five rounds later. Pavlik fought a truly great fight, and deserves every ounce of every belt he won tonight from Jermain Taylor. On display were the best human qualities in boxing: determination, strength, endurance, and especially courage. Boxing ignores some of humanity's worst vices to display those virtues. Cruelty, pride, and even a bit of anger exchange between the gloves and skin. Both fighters struck hard and often; both were down, but only one got up. Congratulations to Kelly Pavlik on a great performance.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I can’t say for sure how I feel about the motives of my tormenters. Their thoughts don’t exist for me, and their memories are always shorter about pain than mine. Many would consider me weak for exposing my uncertainty and doubt about which path is the straight and narrow through Void, and which path leads me through the meandering experiences the rest of you enjoy on your way through this Land of Nod, East of Eden. I know that I am not alone in suffering. Many have it worse than I could ever piece together with my nightmares. The rest of you have each other, and the society that honestly leaves you with more than an empty hand, a stack of verses, and a set of claws that always come out at night.

I don’t know if I’m a child of God, or just a colony of thoughts hiding in a hole desperate to be known, desperate for my punishment to bear meaning aside from my pain, desperate to be peaceful, to be pure of heart, to be merciful, to be hungry for righteousness, to be meek, to mourn, and to be poor in spirit. In pursuit of these ideas, I bear witness to everyone who will listen. Am I a spaz with a penchant for fisticuffs, or a child of God? I'm alone in this hole, that's how I know it's not the right place to be: Heaven has more residents than me alone. No matter how hard I try, what I do, what I say, or how I feel, I will always know solitude means living not only away from the rest of you; solitude means I live away from God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

In high school, I was voted biggest spaz and most likely to start a fight. I didn’t go to the senior banquet which distributed these awards. When I was in the mental institution, the ward elected me president of the patients: a patient who coordinates the snack pantry with the orderlies and other small tasks. It’s a tiny little honor, but it moved me. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I belonged. I wasn’t out there for someone’s amusement as I got angry. I became comfortable with living as a joke in high school. In there, like most social situations, I was awkward. I rose above it by making myself into a big, flamboyant character who stood out: black leather gloves I never removed in public, a black leather jacket, a colored shirt, and asymmetrical paisley neckties. I liked my look. I became the role, I liked it so much. Then, unlike now, infamy comforted me. I knew as long as someone was laughing at my expense, or everyone who thought me suitable to insult in absentia at the senior banquet, I had a life away from the caged lion I quickly adopted to the exclusion of the rest of me. I still live with a hole in me. In private, I call it “The Old Wound,” a term I use in public to mean my damaged right ankle. The Old Wound never healed.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I’ve seen God, if only his hands. I’ve also seen Prester Bane, who is without a face. I try to be consistent in the path of conditions that seek to sour my heart. I’m pure in my eyes. They are intended to see, but recently seem unable to love. When I observe love in the trials of my life, I see people who share more in a glance than I share in fifteen blog entries. Nothing gets past me, but I can’t offer an answer for my favorite questions. I don’t know why I’m here; I know only what everyone else will show me. I can see God in his word and in hands whose example I seek to follow, but my affections remain aloof from me. Unfortunately, the more I temper my anger with scripture, common love falls away from me. I’m left with my thoughts and a quest for mercy in the face of uncommon love: the kind of love that follows around the thirsty with a bucket of water while doubting salvation out of sheer loneliness. Adam gave a rib long before nakedness meant sex.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Mercy is a complicated subject to me. I see it largely as the other side of hope. Sometimes, all I want is for everyone else to see how much my life hurts. Other times, I just want peace. If hope carries those who believe in it, they will continue. Mercy-carriers who believe in a fashion similar to me look to help those in need around them; effort is welcome, determination is required, but continuance lays in the familiar hands of a good friend, family, and the Lord. We’re not all made to continue. Some of us hurt for a reason, and deserve mercy.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Hunger and thirst work on a very corporeal level to teach us either pain or other essential parts of life. My thoughts don’t work well, so in the end, I usually must use my body to praise the Lord. I rarely do this through fasting; my way is exhaustion. If I pace long enough into the night, I fill with first breath, then thoughts, then speech, then the kind of fatigue I usually need for sleep. I also bless myself with pain. Only rarely do I use corporal mortification. My favorite pain is the sweet hurt of resting an exhausted set of knees: That feeling when I don’t want to stand up after a good pace blinds me of my problems for the entrance of slumber usually with a prayer to return home. I find myself back with Prester Bane in the morning, and my patient quest for exhaustion.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

I have troubles being meek. Despite my youth underfoot, I find submission difficult now that my life is not under a set of knuckles. I spent so much of my life avoiding two beatings instead of the none I deserved that I just don't want to give up any of the carnal control I now see as my right. I was closer to The Lord in those old days. I could pray without interference, and I felt a small degree of empathy for the cross. Now, the voices take over during moments of concentration or self-attention; I'm also completely unwilling to return to any state of power under pain. Once again, my intellect calls me to go with God, but my life always seems to revolve around fights, arguments, arrogance, and a mortal refusal to submit to any man.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Intellectually, I don't believe capital punishment or vigilante action to be just. However, my temper often leads me to situations where my intellect cannot protect me from my frenzied bloodlust. When injustice is profound, I often become as unjustly motivated as the target of my outrage. Sometimes, I shudder to think what I could do while confronting an unjust situation. I don't think anything causes my temper to explode like abusive behavior to children. I know the difference between defense wounds and accidental scrapes and bruises. There are times when I see or hear the marks of abuse in public, and all I can think of is approaching the obvious abuser and pointing out his cowardice and cruelty with a direct threat. There are times when I hear about captial punishment in action and can only think good riddance.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes, I struggle with humility. I fumble around with poetry seldom worth reading, by Cicero's scale or any other systematic approach to time-wasting. I don't know why I feel the need to be understood; the pursuit of happiness has brought me none. Still, I write. As I put every popular song written for teardrops into my mental catalogue, each one makes me feel closer to that breakthrough I so readily covet. The songstress' name doesn't matter anymore: most of the songs sound the same to my weary ears. To a certain extent, the music industry, poetry, and the art world trade tears for tender. Most songs in my library are sad ballads whose authors could never know how perfectly their words reflect my feelings during any number of my psychotically-fed, dizzy moments, but that's not the point. That perfection is the foundation of my megalomania; still, I write. If a songstress can pull such profound emotions out of a song that has nothing to do with me, I can write a poem that does the same. So my lack of humility is threefold: I believe I can write well enough to be understood; I imagine that somewhere out there, someone will read one of my missives with the kind of perfection that lingers on my lips when I listen to Alison Krauss sing about a lucky one; finally, despite the intellectual and historical undeniability of the falsehoods in first two folds of my humility, I still deeply harbor the notion that I will be heard, understood, and loved peacefully in the same manner I imagine when I listen to my favorite love songs on radio stations brokering in unrequited affection turned commercial with a few songs from a silver disc. Still, I write.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Same Song

The Choir sings while the Scabbard Man follows the Many Armed Knight straight to me. I don't think I'd mind as much if the song isn't always the same.

Hello our old friend
You should know our names by now
He doesn't want your help
Or your love
He wants only our Mercy
Don't worry, we won't hurt him
And you'll never hear him scream

We have all been weighed and found wanting

Keat's Grecian Urn calmly says that truth is beauty. I must dissent. The truth is strong, but weaker than opinion. Facts don't lie, but people do. How many people have ever truly loved the ideal gas law? It brings not one truth, but three. All literary characters, by necessity, must resemble autobiography or biography while simultaneously being neither. How many can love truth? Few try, and far fewer still succeed. How many people have a favorite movie? How many have a personally beloved law of thermodynamics? We love movies, music that sings to a "you" several million times per day on everyone's cd player, ipod or radio, and we associate actors with their roles more than with themselves. I am no different. My poems and remarks I share here are all genuine, but in the end, we are not who we say we are. We have always been and will always continue to be the products of what others believe us to be. Thomas Jackson does not exist. I always tell the truth, and hold nothing back. Unfortunately, there are none close enough to confirm or deny anything for certain. Those of you who venture too close may only come away with bits and pieces of truths, all ugly. When all that's left of me are those verified morsels, and weary sets of thumbs passing by my words in print to seek a poem by Nii Parkes, only the thumbs will matter.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


My blog is obviously sparse. I'm writing this to change that. Unfortunately, I'm watching Ali/Frazier III, so I'm in a bad mood. Angelo Dundee is in the studio talking about the fight with a few other boxing personalities. According to Angelo Dundee, Ali called Joe Frazier an Uncle Tom in jest; while some might think that indifference mitigates Ali's remarks, I think it just makes the venom sting twice as badly. Keep in mind that Frazier helped Ali while Ali was in exile for refusing conscription. If Ali didn't mean it, why did he say it? If the sole motive in saying something so obviously false and demeaning is a few chuckles, why would any civilized person say those horrible things? Dante leaves the ninth circle for betrayers of their benefactors, I think it might be appropriate for "The Greatest." I would probably think nothing of Ali's remarks if the tenor of those remarks aren't completely disregarded, or if Ali's losses stick to him in the public eye. His nickname says it all for me: "The Greatest." He's not the greatest. Jack Johnson--who has always been a personal favorite of mine--fought in more adversity. Rocky Marciano has a better record. Joe Louis and Larry Holmes have more title defenses. Larry Holmes knocked out Ali. Joe Louis also had a longer reign as Heavyweight Champion.

Why is Ali in such high esteem? This observer thinks Ali's most memorable moments were in front of a microphone. The Foreman fight was amazing, in all honesty; it was Ali's best moment in the ring. Ali had a great chin, probably one of the best. I'll admit, I like Floyd Mayweather. I like his style. I like his abilities. I also like his record. Undefeated is undefeated. Floyd seems to win fights despite his talk. It's generally considered to be a flaw in his character, if not a flaw in his boxing prowess. Ali said far more horrible things to Joe Frazier, and people love Ali because of them. Ali's mouth, no matter how false and hurtful the remarks, is still lauded and touted as a wonderful thing. Ali's losses don't stick, especially in the press. The media still plays "Down Goes Frazier!," Howard Cosell's famous remarks from Frazier's two fights against George Foreman at every available opportunity. Those same outlets, including ESPN Classic, almost never replay Cosell's call of Ali's brutal knockout at the hands of Larry Holmes. Ali's no bum, but he's not the best fighter ever, either. He's a media darling. I hate media darlings.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sleep is good

Time doesn't heal all wounds, but being unconscious in slumber helps me forget the visions which would otherwise burn into my retinae. That was today.

In Pursuit of Happiness

Nothing beats choosing bone and waking up to the same. I will sleep some more down in my lair. Only good swimmers can find me. I doubt any would try.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Steel or Bone?

Counting doesn't help. I don't think any sentiment will reverse my fortunes in struggle. From moment to moment, I might seem ok, but I'm not. Eight years ago, the verses flowed off the tip of my pen, and every last one was beautiful, strong, and important. For a time, I thought I could beat this. Signs pointed to yes; not everything was bad then. I had effective medication, a circle of friends, and a supportive family. I firmly believed the notion that deep inside, in the breath of my smallest voice, lived redemption. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My poetry had three distinct phases, the burning era, the lion era, and the post-leonine awareness. My first poems featured fire in a realm of almost pure fantasy. I lived for days in the Void, observing and recording the behavior and customs of my Void's visitors and inhabitants. The terror came from these visitors; I didn't want to be discarded in the fashion most people discard people like me: promises, proverbs, and snake oil. Clearly if nothing improves once given the customary line of dismissive drivel and pointless, clueless pep talks, the blame rests squarely on the crazy person to most of you. That was the burning era; vitriol, violence, and intelligence make fabulous company when no one else will speak.

The lion era fell on the heels of a revelation: the fundamental truths in my poems were bits of me that no one wants to hear. People could appreciate the more familiar imagery of lions, wildebeest, and water buffalo, but remain more aloof. I assumed for many years that the violent vitriol of my character was the part most despised. I was wrong. I delved deeper into the Void, and thought I found the distasteful sections of myself. Your world and my world would see eye-to-eye from time-to-time, and it is the memories of those years that help me know that change is possible, no matter how unlikely.

That unlikelihood sparked my post-leonine awareness. I'm not a Lion anymore: I can't run and my claws are lacking. I learned the secret of my solitude from a once very dear friend of mine: this whole thing, every word of every struggle, is pointless. The parts I want to share, all of them, are but worthless sources of sentimentality. My withered pen so accustomed to writing beautiful nothings, accomplished two very solid conclusions. Firstly, no one wants a ticket to the Void, even if only to visit. Also, anyone foolish enough to choose the inside of my gilded palace of sonnets to be with me would never stay. All things come to pass; some can feign surprise, but not me. The same voices of my past and future are always right: this is pointless, and no amount of beauty can make this strong.

Steel or Bone?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Long Slow Grind

There is no good news to report. It's just more of the long, slow grind. I take every day as it comes, and search for blessings to keep my spirits. I usually find solitude in my own monkish way.

Cezanne painted onions with sprouts. I believe he painted the onions as he saw them: as onions grew slowly, he painted their progress. My regression is much the same: no one who stays around me a lot sees the slip. However, if the curious reader observes me over years, my onions grow sprouts. All I can do anymore is follow around those sprouts with a pen that never seems as ready as it was yesterday.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

If You Can't Sing . . .

Your lyrics should be brilliant. I loved Kurt Cobain. He couldn't sing, but his lyrics were so unbelievably pure and true that he wasn't made for the fickle world the rest of you inhabit or even the flatness of mine. He was so true to himself that he transcended music to me. Kurt Cobain spoke in a voice I could understand. He had many imitators in his time and ours: nothing annoyed me more than the legion of plaid flannel-shirted posers that showed up for the first day of school in eighth grade. Their favorites were Pearl Jam and Nirvana, in that order. I never understood Pearl Jam's appeal; they were so sensationalist and fed off the spirit of the times instead of adding to it. If he were still alive, I know he'd hate my politics, and a good portion of what I listen to musically, but the world is always full of meaningless variety. We'd agree on Leadbelly, and probably Robert Johnson or Son House. My look in those days was very different: I combined long sleeve broadcloth shirts and assymetric paisley neckties in a wide array of colors with a black leather jacket and a pair of leather gloves I never took off in public. Nobody dressed like me, and I purposefully dressed unlike everybody else. Perhaps I was the biggest poser of them all. Kurt Cobain hurt like me, but turned it into art in ways that I can only approach. People will listen to a rock star more than a fumble-mouthed poet. I purposefully know little about Kurt Cobain aside from his music. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't appreciate art that needs a long-winded preface or tons of biographical information on the artist. I should be able to listen to a song or a poem, and appreciate it for itself. I love Kurt Cobain's music, and I'm sad that there will never be more. I will listen to what he left behind and respect his privacy and choices. If it takes living how he did to make the music he made, I can understand anything he decided to do in pursuit of art. I also think we should let his genius rest; he made music I love, and now he doesn't. He's in my prayers when I steady myself enough to speak to the Lord. Our prayers will lift us all.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boxers Earn What They're Worth

MMA fighters make less. It's not the popularity of the sport, it's the way UFC pays its fighters. Oscar De La Hoya won $25 million fighting Floyd Mayweather. How does that square with the puny amount of money earned by MMA fighters, especially considering the UFC's huge yearly draw? I like boxing because fighters who put butts in seats and persuade people to pay money for Showtime, HBO, and PPVs get a fair slice of their worth. There's no star quarterback, star shooting guard, or star designated hitter who earns disproportionate amounts of money for little parts of team sports. Some sports franchises are pure toys for their owners, but boxers are in the game for their own money, and earn exactly what they're worth. MMA fighters show the same courage and determination as boxers, but appear to be servants to the owners of their promotion. There might be some under-the-table funding for MMA fighters, but that bill would have to be pretty damn hefty to pull UFC fighters even with their boxing counterparts. Apparently, the UFC is better at making money from its fans, but a lot worse at paying the most important parts of the business, the fighters. I'll continue to watch both boxing and MMA for the quality of character shown by both sports' participants, but if boxing dies or takes a second seat to MMA in the public eye, I'll always remember that boxers pay their promoters, not the other way around.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lover or Fighter?

I'm a fighter. Love is great, but all I know in the end is pain and conflict. Sometimes people love too much, and fight too little; I am the opposite. I rarely love, and I seem in constant contention over something. No matter how small, I will find a way to turn any situation into a personal competition. I've tried love before, but there's just too little on my end to avoid constant repetition that will chase anyone away. If I could change anything, I probably would have learned how to be a person first instead of a fighter first. Now, I live in deep water fueled by the animosity of a life made to fight.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Floyd Over Oscar

Floyd clearly won that fight. The judge who scored the fight for Oscar was wrong. Fighters have to hit their opponents to win; Floyd landed more punches than Oscar. I think Floyd won the second half of the fight without a doubt. My scorecard: 117-110 for Floyd Mayweather.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Question

John 18:38

"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all."

In this verse, we have the opportunity to receive the direct word of God on what I consider to be the best virtue of men. God gives us no verbal answer. All we find is a Pontius Pilate who asks the basic question of morality, and instead of sitting around to hear the answer from God, he turns his back and flees the room at the critical moment to announce that Christ is innocent. Is this because of impatience or because there is no answer? I don't think so; I think Pilate's question has an answer, and Christ could deliver it. Unfortunately, I think probably most of us and definitely Pilate already believe to have the answer, and that answer is a lie we tell ourselves. The Gospel authors wait for Christ's crucial words on this, but they'll have to wait for first hundreds and then thousands of years. Without truth strictly defined, there is no one answer on how to teach or read God's word. We have four; each one is different, and none can truthfully be replaced entirely by another. In my interpretation, Christ didn't answer because neither Pilate nor the rest of us will ever accept submission to his truth. From God directly to Adam and Eve, to Cain to Abel, and Moses to David, we have Biblical evidence that those who come after ask questions that can be answered in the lives of their forebearers. Over and over again, we live out the same human mistakes, only to face the same human consequences. Some day, perhaps some day soon, I think we'll all understand God's answer for the truth, even if we seek to disagree.

Monday, April 30, 2007



Slowly into slumber,
Racing for cold sleep,
Come fast, the time I covet
With dreams I'd like to keep.

I'm desperate for my peace,
So eager for relief,
Thoughts that always wander
Repeat my daily grief.

I tire of truth and wisdom;
I yearn for long knives and loss.
My moments spent like this
Pull focus from the Cross.

How much of me is Simon?
How much is still Barrabbas?
The thieves next to my savior
Seem closer with each pass

Of breath between my lips,
On words that slip my tongue.
The bittter moments' names
Are songs that stay unsung.

But none of this is rest.
I count a thousand sheep.
Give mercy for exhaustion.
Cut down what's left to reap.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

I See Something

Those were Max Schmeling's immortal words before his fight with all-time ring legend Joe Louis. The Brown Bomber dropped his right hand when he jabbed. Schemling took advantage and knocked out the undefeated American heavyweight, usually considered as one of the top two heavyweights to ever grace the ring.

I see something in the disclosed details of Oscar De La Hoya's match with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. They are both required to wear Reyes gloves: the last brand of glove still padded with horse hair. Floyd has brittle hands; he's broken them in six different places. For the past few years, he's worn Winner gloves from Asia, known for their extensive foam padding. I still think Floyd will win the fight, but remember those gloves if he winds up with a broken hand or two.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mike Anchondo

How far has he fallen? Mike Anchondo, formerly nicknamed "Mighty," goes face-down in the mat in the third round to a little-known fighter named Darling Jiminez. The weak chin Anchodo displayed in his last meaningful fight recurred tonight in D.C. One left hook struck flush on Anchondo's exposed chin; Anchondo fell, unconscious, with his eyes still open. It was a brutal knockout. However, it was apparent that the D.C. boxing commission wanted Anchondo to win. The bell for the end of the second round came a full minute early! Jiminez knocked down Anchondo earlier in that round, and had the betting-favorite Anchondo in deep trouble. Like a guardian angel, the grossly incompetent or totally corrupt timekeeper rang the bell early to rescue Anchondo from a sure knockout. All the help from the timekeeper didn't change the outcome, though. "Mousy" Mike Anchondo finished the fight flat on his face against the canvas.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


The Russian giant Nicolay Valuev lost a competitive majority decision against the little-known Uzbeki-German fighter, Ruslan Chagaev! Guts and determination beat the yardstick and scale; I love it. Not even a 90 lb and eleven inch disadvantage turned back the will of Ruslan Chagaev. Furthermore, Rocky Marciano's heavyweight record of 49-0-0 is safe from any numerical challengers at the moment.

Two bits of good news

My best friend in Tulsa dragged his feet for a long time on telling people, but I can finally post that he and his fiancee are having a baby, and it's a boy! He's going to be a proud poppa! I've known for a while, but haven't been able to post about it because larger players than the general public needed to know first. Congratulations, Jason!

In other news, I was re-baptised Easter Sunday. It was very cool; one of the parishoners brought back water from the river Jordan and put some in the baptismal pool for the service. Taking the plunge again was good, but my pastor didn't hold my weight well; he didn't believe that I'm 220 lbs.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Ok, I doubt I have any Welsh readers; if I do, take this post to heart. I don't care what side of the political fence you choose, when you boo a country's anthem, you are not booing the current political leadership, you are booing the nation as a whole. I can understand booing George Bush if he showed up to sing the anthem, but decrying the "Star Spangled Banner" as a Welsh tenor sings the song is outright shameful. This American will always love his country, and will look upon those thirty-five thousand Welsh fight fans in Cardiff tonight as representatives of their nation until Wales proves me wrong.


Down thrice in the first round, heavyweight Art Binkowski picked himself off the canvas with a grim determination. His opponent, Raphael Butler was in control of the fight, and way ahead on the scorecards until thirty seven seconds left in the eighth and final round. The referee stopped the fight after a flurry of punches from Binkowski set Butler to the mat. While rising from the canvas, Butler spit his mouthpiece twice, and did not respond to the referee's instructions, giving the referee no choice but to stop the fight in favor of Binkowski. Toughness still means something, even in the heavyweight division where you can bring as much weight for your punches as you want.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Every Day Ends

Pills mark the exit. Today ends like the others: television I don't need to watch, unpleasant urges to write and the words that go with them, silence in the air that won't reach my ears, and the exit. Recommend submission all you want; it won't happen. I lived under boots and smiled too damn long. Compromise always came too easily to my youth; I'm capable of anything. I'm torn between the exit and something more permanent. Hope or mercy, help me choose. I'm a fighter with broken knuckles, and a lover with a lie for a heart. Give me an inch; I love to take miles. When I was in eighth grade, I helped my teammates make weight for club league junior high football. I ran slowly, but eventually I caught them all. One by one, they fell to the side. I don't know how many laps I ran, but no one on my team ran more. Training injuries stopped all that, though. My psychosis came on their heels. Now, I don't feel the burn in my knees. I have my knuckles (broken), my urges (pointless), my tormentors support me (I need them), and a handful of pills to make the rest of you feel like something can be done. That's my exit.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I argued with myself on the decision to write this post, or live through the day without comment. This morning told me not to write. I was also called "humble" by a very attractive woman. The cause for both escapes me; I'm usually arrogant and verbose. I stared at the screen for a while trying to write a brief letter to a parishioner at my church currently serving in Iraq. All I could come up with was "Thank You."

Today is the thirteenth anniversary of my madness. It started as laughing at the back of my ear. Today, the sympotms have names, voices, personalities out of my control. Most of my time is out of control. I look fine, but I'm not. I'm in a good mood, but my symptoms are spiralling. I've got a smile on my face, and so does The Harvester. Usually he stands behind me, and scythes me down like so much wheat. Today, he went out of his way to stare me in the face.

I just walked away and looked in the mirror. I have The Harvester's smile. My claws are coming out. Old visions fit my gaze like Christine's curves as I remember them, but this is not about her. Prester Bane would smile if he had a face. Both my hands grin like fools; my fingers float over the keys, with only the tips of my talons touching plastic.

I'm not fighting tonight. I don't feel like fighting. I won't do it. They don't sleep.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The war in my head accelerates. Things change quickly now. I don't know what to do. Horses made of midnight, and the Lions of my youth chase me through fields of my own invention, but not of my design. Today, I spent a long time in The Void, and I don't know why. For a while, my friend Kris talked with me, and the tempo slowed. However, that was a fickle reprieve. Right now, I sit still, trying to outlast the Scabbard Man, but he can wait, too. I hope to do some missionary work with my church tomorrow; I try to be a good ambassador of my faith.

Monday, March 19, 2007

We Watch

We watch him more than you know. Every day ends like this. We stare at him and wonder why he hasn't taken anything yet. He sits and knows what we're after, and doesn't even care anymore. Who is left? Tell us who is left! In the end, we struggle in here; you don't. Trap a monster in a shell. Go ahead, try it. Look at us. When was the last time we all got together and told him any of our secrets? He has no secrets, but we do. Whisper them quietly, and he won't even notice. No acrostic name poem can identify us. You will never see us. No words from the past can capture us. Nothing exists outside of our influence, at least to him. Call him "friend," he will listen. Call him "brother," he will fall. Call him "love," and watch him douse desire with the aether. He knows the Act of Faith. Meet us in the middle, and both sides will fall. If you get too close, we might even add your voice to our choir. Those of you who know him, know this to be true. Sing for us. Laugh for us. Disguise yourselves, and make him believe again. This Void is ours with his smile. Eyes tell much, but we can say so much more. Listen to us in the silent moments between social episodes: you will hear us howl. When the rest of you are afraid, we sleep softly knowing that anything you do will never come close to changing us. When you are indifferent, we will spin the room, tearing sight into lines of perception taken from our song. When you finally know how deep wounds must pierce to reach us, we will laugh. Twelve is enough; thirteen won't prove anything but pain.

Friday, March 16, 2007

On Throwing Stones in a Glass House

When will people learn that Grammer is in Indiana?

I won't say much more: I don't want to talk politics here or anywhere else right now. I'll stick to geography. I'd flame "robert," but that kind of thing is fruitless. I will use my time for better things. Tomorrow, I'll probably go call a bingo game over at a nursing home near my house.

Hector and Esther

I make up little stories about people I see in passing and don't want to forget. Yesterday, I saw a man in an unbuttoned tan leather coat running in Washington D.C; I named him Hector. I'll never forget the look on his face; he showed obvious physical fatigue, but his eyes showed something more. That's where Hector's story turns. He's running down L street desperately trying to catch a bus back to Union Station before Esther, his girlfriend of three years, leaves Washington D.C. for good. Hector loves Esther, and for a time, she loved him. Esther wrote about her Hector in her diary, and how much she wanted to marry him. Hector and Esther used drugs together since before they fell in love with each other. Esther offered Hector his first high: she was a small time dealer on the side. Esther quit selling and doing for the baby. She went cold turkey and beat the craving, vowing never to go back so her child grows up safe, strong, and proud to be Hector Avanti's daughter. When Hector didn't follow suit, the two lovers drifted apart. Hector Chased the Dragon. By the time Esther joined the Baptist church, she had less and less patience for Hector. She bought one-way tickets on Amtrak to New York, and looked forward to a new life in a new city full of surprises without Hector. No matter how fast Hector runs, he won't catch Esther; she's gone. Sometimes people like Hector have to lose parts of a good life before finding a whole one.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Come and Take It

Molon labe

With the new movie "300" coming out to mark the valiant stand at Thermopylae, we should also remember its 19th century equivalent: "Come And Take It"

This flag flew for the Battle of Gonzalez, in October of 1835. It predates the Alamo, and is the beginning of Texan independence.

An acquaintance of mine from New Jersey says Texas is just like any other state, but with a bigger ego. I'll admit I've got a little self-importance about me and my favorite place, but Texas isn't New Jersey: Texas is an idea. Some people don't like that idea much anymore, but I still love it. Nobody much liked Sparta, either. With iron currency and two kings, who has use for such a hard nut to crack? The same was true of Texas in 1835. There's no oil boom; the cattle industry has yet to bloom, all this place needed was water and good people. A common joke says that water and good people are all Hell needs, too. So why did we fight? It was the ego that made us fight. Santa Anna took our rights under the constitution of 1824. We took them back. Yesterday was the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. I had rather bad symptoms yesterday; I didn't want my problems to cloud what I have to say, so this post is late. I wrote some Haiku concerning my time in Texas for a class once upon a time; I'll spare you from them now. Just remember the small garrison at an abandoned church, and holding out for thirteen days. No one man can speak for them or for Texas, but when we all speak together, it gets pretty loud. If you don't like what we say, Come and Take It.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Monday was bad; that much is clear. The past two days were better. I played some games, lost some, and won some. My Dad had partial knee replacement surgery two weeks ago; I'm taking care of him for Lent. I think it's a worthy project; we've had difficulties in the past, as regular readers of this blog would know. It's the first special thing I've done for Lent in a long time.

Monday, February 26, 2007


So I took a large dose of tranquilizers. I'm writing this to see how long it will be until my slumber takes me away. The horsemen are after me again. The first time I saw them, I thought they were polo players; they're not. These riders have sharp teeth and axes in shadows. I see them more and more as time wears on. I have trouble falling asleep; right now it's 12:52 Monday morning. When I finish this, I'll note the time.

I don't know why I seek. I know I will never find anything by searching for it. I get a little glimpse of love, sanity, purpose, and it's gone just as fast as it came. While we wait for thirty, I think I'll start making plans. It will be thirteen years next month, and I am still lost. I don't know why I bother trying. In the end, there's me and nothing else makes sense. Sometimes, I don't even want to know me. How can I expect someone to be happy with me when I am incapable of being happy with my own skin. My hand looks better to the rest of you, but it will always be the same to me. I see him; I feel him. He's mine, and you can't see him. I know us better than anyone else, no matter how much I tell to the rest of you.

12:58 This is slow

I want to be free. I have a few memories left of our life without my demons. It was unhappy then, as now. However, at least then I knew why. Depression is a bitch, and schizophrenia is a bear. I can't fight either well enough to get them off me. Every day is a challenge, especially now when I'm alone at night, and it seems like the rest of the world rests. Rest is not for me, I think. I have only pain and slumber. That won't matter for long. I'm close; I can feel it. Heavy eyelids can't come fast enough.

I also don't know why I write. It brings me nothing but pain. All the effort in the world, and I still make no sense. Understanding eludes me and makes the rest of you pause. Memories trickle onto the page, but not into your hearts. Like I've said before, this is the only way I know how to show you. This is me! This is my pain! I'm not a butcher, I am meat. I am not a person, I am a relic. I am not like you; I am a monster.

1:06 It won't be long

Check out the entrails I leave here. Nothing is a secret. Even the worst charlatan in the world couldn't mistake my signs etched in blood around me: youth is wasted on the young. Luckily, the end is close. I should be asleep soon; my stomach growls at me, but I shut it up with pepsid. This should be lost.

My intentions are to bring some kind of awareness to the rest of you. I'll never write another note; when the end comes, this will be my best epitaph a few years from now. It won't be a surprise, and everyone will know my motives. Backwards

Did you ever dream it differently? I don't think you have. With my condition, nasty accidents happen. We all know the constant nagging of doubt. Give the benefit to the rest of us; I'll stay on the other side of this madness, hopefully asleep in a few minutes or even a few seconds. Every word has its place at least once. My word right now is Four.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Trouble Than He's Worth

I'm a bit of a Bible Boy, but those familiar with this blog already know that. For a while, I couldn't find a character that resembles me or my struggle anywhere in my favorite volume. I share a few things with Job, and for a while, I thought I shared a few more with Barabbas. However, I probably share the most with the man afflicted with Legion.

I continue my search through the scriptures, and it still bugs me that I can't find someone somewhat like me. I find my friends, family members, and everyone else I know in small measures, but that character to identify me eludes my perceptions.

The search brings me nothing, but it's part of the reason that I fell in love with Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. I identify with Balin, knight of the two swords, heavily. He's a virtuous and strong knight who always means well, but perpetually ends up being more trouble than he's worth. He beheads the Lady of the Lake in a family feud. It's Balin who lays the Dolorous Stroke upon Pellam, the Fisher King. He's always honest, and knows that Truth is the best quality of knighthood. He's cursed, but still struggles with virtue. He's also a bit ahead of his time; he's dead before the establishment of the Round Table. His life is pain, strife, and a heavy sword belt.

I feel cursed sometimes. I also hunger for righteousness, probably a little too much. Pride is definitely my favorite deadly sin. Anger is close behind.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I want to write a pause
A space so long and deep
That it transcends the line
Vaults over the page
And only shows its sheer size
In the vacated absence of breath
The Bard promised to leave for us
But never did

I'd fill the pause
Pour in everything
Every first chance
Every last dance
Every wasted glance
In pursuit of a pause
That never meets the ear halfway
Like a staccato sonnet
Off the entrails of consumption
That most simply assumed
Was surely a broken heart
But wasn't

When John Keats and William Shakespeare
Compete for time in the pause,
That's when you know it's big enough

Big enough to wear as a hat
Heavy enough to sink a drowning artist
Attractive enough to chase
Into deep water where I make my home, but
Strong enough to maintain your street cred
When you

replace the poem with the def jam
substitute a reader in favor of a mob
swap the intricasies of verse
for this tired style, the only one you cheer
while you drink a tall espresso with no lime
no lime

Feign passion for cheers
Fake concern for sympathy
Take Maya Angelou as an idol
Be quick to offend easy targets,
And quicker to complain
When someone has the sheer gall to treat you likewise
Live the thug life just like 'Pac
Because we're cool like that

Oh yeah, and play the race card, it works.

Now that's a pause.

Read Keats!
Study Shakespeare;
Know that I'm the very butcher of your silk bullshit!
And populate your pauses
With letters, lines, and stanzas if they'll fit

Monday, February 05, 2007

Following Friendship

I lost a lot of respect for a person I can no longer honestly call a friend. He teases me, baits me into arguments, calls me stupid, and mocks me at every opportunity. However, in my usual fashion, I ignored the stones he threw at me: I guess I'm just willing to take abuse for company. As is often the case, it took a soulless, cruel, and selfish act put upon someone I barely know to force a change in opinion and action. For a while, I was ambivalent over how to react to his flagrantly improper choices. I couldn't decide if I wanted to confront him, use lower voices to get to my point, ignore everything in favor of feigned ignorance, or just sever all ties. I decided on a compromise: I'm going to treat him with the meaninglessly polite etiquette I treat to all strangers. I won't curse, I won't raise my voice, I won't even laugh inappropriately. I respect oaths, promises, vows, and statements made before God. People who unrepentantly destroy or aid in the destruction of these endangered Human honors have no place in my circle of friends. Following Friendship is the cold, inflexible, and meaningless stability of intentional estrangement.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Pipe Dreams

Peace, Love and Understanding are all pipe dreams for me. I sit alone as always, typing to a screen that doesn't type back. However, this is where I shine. I can pretend, through writing, that I'm together, eloquent and intelligent. Everything goes well until I speak. When you hear me, you'll know this as truth. Sometimes the rest of you make a little detour and visit me; I never understood why. It's clear that I'm not like you. My virtues are sure enough to earn a modicum of respect: I'm not a totally incoherent madman yet. That will change. I behave enough like a person to carry on a conversation and deceive those unfamiliar with me to believe in my humanity. Take note: I am from Deep Water, and I will return there some day, probably not as soon as most of you would like. Until then, let's play a game; I like games. I'll pretend I'm one of you, and you will pretend I'll live to see thirty. As the clock ticks away, so do I. The keys sound like the movement of an old wind-up watch on its last hour. My hour is measured in years, and my misery is measured in milligrams. Give me more! I want to feel close; I want to feel loved. Instead I'll settle for the sleep I need while I desperately desire something more permanant.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boxing After Dark

Kelly Pavlik just knocked out a tough Mexican named Jose Louis Zertuche; it's not a shocking victory, but it is a notable one. Prior to tonight, no man knocked down Zertuche in all his twenty four professional fights. Zertuche was down twice in this fight: he was game, but just couldn't take the punches Pavlik threw at him.

Jorge Arce, with a lolipop in his mouth, came to the ring on a dancing horse. Let's hope the fight is as explosive as the ring entrance.

Arce's opponent, Ler, landed only 17 punches through four rounds. He's running away and covering up on the ropes. The fight wears on. Arce won every round through eight. I see more running from Ler, more laying on the ropes, covering up. I've never seen more taunting; this fight is a stinker, but it's not Arce's fault. Ler opened up in round nine, but no serious attempt at offence.

When Winky Wright fights, he fires back with accurate jabs and left hands. Winky seizes the initiative, and wins rounds; Ler is doing nothing.

Ler fakes a low blow from Arce in the eleventh round. Arce would win by knockout if Ler fought at all. Ler isn't fighting to win. Ler is fighting to not be knocked out. This is ridiculous. Twelve rounds to nil on my card, Jorge Arce wins a stinker and still gets an ovation. He threw lots of punches on Ler's arms. The judges gave three rounds to Ler; I don't know what the hell fight they watched.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Hello our old friend
You should know our names by now
He doesn't want your help
Or your love
He wants only our mercy
Don't worry,
We won't hurt him
And you'll never hear him scream

We have all been weighed and found wanting.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I'm sleeping tonight, and I'm going to sleep for a long damn time. I'll make sure of that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hatred Fuels Me

When I was a kid, my father and brother beat me. Extension cords were fair game for my father, as was my back, legs, and occasionally arms. My brother knew no bounds. Once upon a time, I confronted him with a stick to defend myself from his wrath. He preyed upon my antiquated and useless ideas of chivalry, saying that I could set down my weapon or do the dishonorable deed of striking an unarmed man. I told him "fuck you" or some other reproachment, and set down the stick. He grabbed it, tagged me in my ribcage and broke it over my shoulder.

Many times, revenge tempted me to put them both in jail, or simply execute them in self-defense. I did neither. Now, I have to look at my father every morning, listen to him say that he loves me, and treat him as a son should treat his father. Every Sunday at church, I get to sit next to my brother and his wife. He has a life, a wife, and a future. I remain damaged goods. My father has my mother, my brother, and me I guess; that's more than I can hope. I could have killed them both hundreds of times, but I didn't; it would have been justifiable, but I didn't. I did so out of my antiquated sense of forgiveness and my often-wavering faith in Christ as my savior. It would be my hatred towards them if I would have used the law to its harshest extent, not their actions towards me.

Now, I operate with a sincere and accepted apology from my Brother. I have to forgive him no matter how much I hate his smug attitude sometimes. I never received a sincere apology from my dad, but I've grown to accept that. He hid behind alchohol then and now. It's not a proper excuse, but I have to live with him reminding me every day of power in pain completely out of my control.

Just because circumstances are out of our control doesn't justify taking life. Legally, it does with certain circumstances, but we all know inside those laws are for killers and revenge, not for the safety of the children of God. Just because a life reminds us of its injustice and horrors, doesn't give us reason to execute the human reminders of that horror, be it a brother, a spouse, a father, a lover, a friend, a son, or a child in the womb.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Old Glory and a Pirate Game

Many of you know me as a face-to-face friend in addition to my writing on this blog. I love RPGs, both playing and game mastering. This post probably belongs on my gaming blog, so I'll put a copy of it there, too.

Old Glory makes a line of 25mm pirates, including ships. I just joined their discount program, bought 60 pirates and two sloops. I'm starting a piratical D&D campaign with a world of my own design. Players will be privateer explorers who stumble upon a fantasy world in a distant sea. Fun should be abundant, along with adventure! So if you know me, and you're interested, just give me a ring, or an email, or a comment, or whatever.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Tonight I'll be at Blue Fin Bar over here in Maryland; my friend Karen is finally playing a show within my unjust five mile limit. It should be loads of fun; she's very talented, and has obviously honed her talents well. Before I head off to see her play, I'll be at my regular Friday night Bible study group. They're good people, and they allow for some of my unorthodox (at least for a Baptist) beliefs such as my dedication to Transubstantiation, and my disbelief in eternal damnation. I'm a Bible boy, but I'm also a weirdo. Hopefully, things will fall together well tonight.

My Everyday Bullfight

I wait at the moment of truth
my sharp espada in one hand
a red muleta in the other

my only arms against my troubles:
the sword and cape are always close
to guard against the charging bull

the ring and crowd remain the same
as people stand and shout their cheers
some cheer the bull, but most cheer me

the bull is strong where I am weak
there's too much weight behind the horns
kept sharp despite their frequent use

each pass comes closer to my skin
as shouts for blood grow louder
the horns, near hips, get stronger

the shoulder grazes my left hip
they struck my right hip yesterday
and put me under very fast

I can't stop fate or alter it
I plunge my sword deep in the bull
my grip is lost, it charges still

my heart beats fast as horns dig in
my eyelids close as I fall down
I sleep like death with Thorazine

the nurses clean the ring
and dissipate the crowd
the tempo slows to a crawl

it won't be slow forever
my spirit never dies:
they can't take that away

my sword is in these verses
my cape is in my heart
I'm ready for tomorrow

I'll fight the bull again

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Brother

My Brother was in the hospital last night and this morning, but my five mile limit prevented me from driving to see him. Maybe I will get a chance to visit him tomorrow at his house; the hospital discharged him this afternoon. I'll be praying for him, and I think he'd appreciate it if the rest of you did likewise.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Picture of Me

That's my face obscured in the photo on the right. You can see my eyes; they are truly the windows to the soul. You can also see my hands; they are the windows to my madness. I got tired of Gaugin's vision of Jacob's wrestling match; I wanted something original, so I took a shot with the iSight built into my brand new Macbook.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I thought I wouldn't have it this way again. I tried to scream; I did scream. No sound came out of my mouth. I didn't even move. I threw punches at the air, but didn't get my arms off the sides of my body. For almost ten years, I haven't done this. My symptoms are getting slowly, surely worse.

I hate my hands. The sight of them disgusts me. I'm left with nothing but a burning desire for my habit. Nine years ago, I wore them constantly. I didn't have to see my flesh, and nobody else did either. My demons were my cilice, and I covered them in leather gloves. In high school, I wanted to be a monk; I thought it was a noble way to stay safe from myself. Today, I'm almost monastic: my travel is limited, it's a rare day when I speak, and I write this to the exclusion of other communication. I'll call myself the Order of My Solitude. This blog will be a window into my lonely struggle. How else will I be heard when I scream and punch in desperation, but don't move a muscle?

Sunday, January 07, 2007


James Toney should hang 'em up. He can still take a good punch, but that's not a fight-winning virtue for a thiry eight year old warhorse. This wasn't a fight, this was a funeral. I love "Lights Out," but I don't want to see him hurt any more than he already obviously has. Sam Peter gets better and better with every fight. He shows me something more every time I see him fight. I'll be honest, I thought James Toney would win this fight in a decision. I was wrong. It's the eleventh round, and I'm already writing my obituary for "Lights Out." He shouldn't fight again. Vlad Klitschko hit the canvas thrice against Peter. I think Peter knocks out Wlad in a rematch. Boxing is a serious business, and this is a serious beating. In between the eleventh and twelfth round, I'm looking in at Freddie Roach, Toney's trainer; I wouldn't let James Toney out of the corner. Freddie Roach sent him out. I'm truly sad. The fight is over; James Toney took too many punches, and I don't want to see him beaten badly again. Scores should read 120-107 for Peter. The judges gave some sympathy rounds to "Lights Out," I wouldn't have.

After the fight, it seems Peter is a Don King fighter now. I never understood the allure of fighters to Don King. James Toney's speech is significantly more slurred now than it was yesterday. He can't even tell that he was beaten. I have one more comment to make: I don't like it when fighters thank God. God doesn't take sides in boxing matches. None of the qualities of a good fighter make a good Christian, with the possible exceptions of a good pain threshold and a thirst for righteousness. Fighters can walk with God, but not in between the ropes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Simms versus Rivera

Travis Simms knocked out Jose Antonio Rivera with a scintillating ninth round. Rivera was game, but he didn't have enough to challenge Simms' superior technique, hand speed, and defense. I didn't give Rivera a round on my scorecard. Junior middleweights around the world, watch out for Travis Simms. He hasn't been active over the past few years, but that makes for a trim, slim, experienced, and skilled thirty-five year old fighter. I'll post heavyweight comments after the James "Lights Out" Toney versus Sam Peter fight. This co-feature is a beauty; Simms fought a near perfect fight.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007



My eyes are closed,
my mouth is open
i smell the honeysuckles
while laying in the grass

i know the wilds well
the wetlands and the forests
they tell me all their secrets
in whispers, howls, and silence

the horror of the dark
is still around out here
no fire, no food, no shelter
and i am on the prowl

where everything has changed
and i am once again
the hunter, not the hunted
with danger very real

my talon is my pen
my vigor is the inkwell
with broad strokes through the night
i make this world my own

the danger of the night
makes demons of my passions
they hear the madman's wail,
but silence is my stanza

this is no way to live
when there is so much beauty
made clear from nature’s grace
to me, right here, right now.

in all those pretty things
that freed me from my troubles
i still find little reasons
to populate my nightmares

the traces of my genius
i lost so long ago
still guide me in the darkness
and lead me through The Void