Something inside had died

They raped the forests of my youth for old growth lumber, their saws buzzing all day, every day with the foul diesel exhaust overwhelming the smell of loam and ancient pines that lingered before. A summer of wanton destruction, as they stole my secret wild gardens and ravaged them to truncated penis stumps all waist high.

I cried.

No more meandering trails to lose parents lacking internal compasses. No more sudden blur of tawny brown as a doe decided she’d stood still enough. No squirrels making stomach-churning jumps from branch to branch. No grouse, no snakes, no frogs, no lizards, no life. Worst: no birds. Just rolling hills of severed pine, aspen, birch, oak, ash. No fey.

And, still, they were not satisfied with the pillaging they’d wrought, so they brought in their bulldozers and earth-movers and leveled each offending piece of wood that remained in the ground, treads tearing the earth, obliterating habitats, homes, and burrow. Drained some swamps, or filled them in.

Then the final blasphemy as they planted quick-growing pines in rows and columns (only pines), little saplings that could be harvested again in thirty years. No diversity. No esthetics. No nature-building. No wild berries. No soul. It felt as if they’d murdered all the spirits in that place; I think I heard those spirits crying with me as they drifted away.

Just scrawny saplings with a few needles attached to the center. Sterile and almost dead.

I cried again, hoping the tree-house I’d build years before, hidden away in the depths away, my refuse against the bullying of cousins, aunts and uncles, broke their fucking machinery at least once. But I doubt it.

It’s about that time that I think part of me died. It was about the time I’d become an honest to god teenager when it occurred, about the time the lingering depression in me woke and has never left since.

Since then, the closest I came to finding the same sense of joy and wonder as I did on those winding, overgrown paths through ancient woods was when I did hit some urbanx, exploring forgotten and abandoned places in the downtown. But then they took those away, too, and barfed up yuppie condos to take their place.

Both things were atrocities committed in the name of progress and greed.

There is no end to this story.

Collab

I’m not 100% certain it is a good idea to foist what is likely to be an episode of Hel meeting Hades and them two not getting along at all, but I’m putting myself out there as interested in doing some kind of small-scale collaboration. I know it is usually the other way around, where I approach the person I’d like to work with, but where’s the fun in that?

Media/Art + writing? Two or more folks writing a loose- or free-structured poem? Something on the order of an epistolary short bit of fiction? Standard two POV short fiction? Graphic “novel” with a page or three of panels? I dunno, whatever floats your boat.

I’m not interested in anything more time consuming than a few nights worth of effort, so novels and the like are straight out. Scripts might require style help, but I would mind a One-Act or shorter if that turns the crank — I did a few scripts back when I was in high school and only one was remotely decent.

The point is, I haven’t done any collaboration outside music writing in the past 30 years or so, so you might have to hold my hand as I figure out how it is done these days (no passing folded bits of paper to hide previous lines of poems, I’m guessing).

I’m afraid I’ll get crickets on this post — but, well, it is what it is if that’s what happens.

Postmortem: “Dust”

Yesterday, I’d posted an old bit of orphaned writing that was never finished, written back in 2006, called Dust, An Introduction. I had stated in the forward that, while I acknowledged my debt as a writer to The Gunslinger, by Stephen King, the first in an epic series about Roland (a gunslinger) seeking the Dark Tower, I hadn’t at the time considered it a direct influence on Dust.

A little mouse I know posted the following comment:

This is good, but it is very close to the gunslinger. The last law like figure chasing a mystical nemesis across an open unforgiving desert.

Original Comment Link

Honestly, without having the context that I have for the story, it is a fair criticism. It certainly looks like a bit of fanboi writing, an ode to Stephen King, on the surface. I certainly won’t deny that the Dark Tower series hasn’t left it’s mark on my own writing — it is perhaps my favorite set of books by King, although I lean more towards the first three or four than I do the latter books. And, as much as I like Wolves of the Calla, even King will admit that it is basically a rip-off of the Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven themes. He did his own bit of borrowing for that one. To go back, however to the original point that Dust is a bit too similar for comfort, I feel a valid point was made and it is up to me to defend my original statement that the influence is less than it might seem. As life would have it, I have additional information that I didn’t present in the forward that might modify such criticisms.

But first — let’s go in depth as to the similarities.

Continue reading “Postmortem: “Dust””

Obsessed

I have recently become obsessed.

I can’t seem to move beyond it, which is okay by me. But…

For the past year or so, I’ve become increasingly enamored with minimalism when it comes to poetry, to the point that I get extremely annoyed with myself if the poems go past ten lines (and ten lines is looooonnnggg in my mind) and I can’t find a way to pull out my scalpel and cleave off a few words, a few lines, a few dirty little syllables.

Word murder.

Continue reading “Obsessed”

Song.

Something splintered in her head. Shards, onyx, bursting outwards, daggers and knives, feeling as if they poured from her eyes crisscrosscutting, the soul in the ocean blue, eviscerated.

Likewise, the birdcage where she kept her heart shattered like broken glass, shredding it like so much meat, crushing pressure inwards — she was sure her chest had collapsed in the train-wreck twisting rail singularity.

Continue reading “Song.”

Arcana

One of my OCD “skills” is comparison buying. If you want to buy something and you want to quickly compare features across different iterations of the same thing to make sure you make the best purchase for your money — go elsewhere. You might be waiting several days as I compare a given product to death.

This is especially true when it comes to electronics. But, as an example, I spent likely over six hours looking at panini grills, comparing features and reviews and quirks embedded within reviews, then cross-checked it and tried to find something else to make sure I wasn’t overlooking a better deal or more features for my buck, or less chance at getting a paperweight shaped like a panini…

And typically, I get progressively more frustrated because I can’t find anything that quite meets my expectations right away, and that grumpiness increases as I comparison shop to force something that appeals to me, but is somehow lacking, to not be as lacking as it appears to be.

Continue reading “Arcana”

Postmortem: we, wendigo

we, wendigo is an experimental poetry piece (as noted in the tag). Normally, I don’t mind doing these postmortem self-evaluations on prose, but dislike providing too much explanation to poetry because I think that poetry should have some mystique surrounding it and room for the reader’s interpretation.

But, in this case, I think some background is warranted.

Continue reading “Postmortem: we, wendigo”

Funnel writing

This is a post where it’d probably be best if you tune it out, especially if you consider yourself a writer. It’s bound to be filled with elitist, holier-than-thou assertations which have no basis in reality outside of my own warped brain.

One of the thinks [sic] I’ve been having of late about writing is going back to a lesson that I received somewhere around the age of… somewhere in the area of 1983-84 [whew, dodged that bullet]. I had a humanities teacher (which is really a fancy way of saying he taught us something other than all the part of speech normally assigned to “English” classes, but still fulfilled that requirement). George, I think, was a hippie back in the day — a published poet and insisted on being called by his first name and always grimaced when you slipped and called him by his surname appended with the common honorific of “Mister”. He ended up in later years being my creative writing teacher for two hours a day, something that I still wonder how we got away with (two hours a day of largely free creative writing and getting credit for it? OMFG!).

Continue reading “Funnel writing”

Day Two Progress Report

Well, my earlier powers of prognostication were wrong and I was able (barely) to generate the absolute bare minimum of writing required to make par for day two. It exhausted me and, after doing so, I required a long and fitful rest filled with more visitations (maybe I should see a doctor about that) and strong urge to tell the world to sincerely fuck off and slumber for the rest of my remaining days.

Alas! I was called once again to play master chef and, with tears in my eyes, I dragged myself out of a not-quite-dead-yet state to wrangle up some grub for the resident monsters.

While I am proud of my commitment to the cause to write a truncated day’s worth of writing (about half of what is required and a third of what I wrote yesterday), I am loath to note that my creativity has left like a wet fart out of my brain cavity and left me with just cantankerous dwellings on life in general.

Continue reading “Day Two Progress Report”