Thursday, December 17, 2009

RoboPope: The Prequel (Part One)

The day started out normal enough. I got up, brushed my teeth with my Jesus toothbrush, and went to the Vatican to see if I could get a glimpse of my hero, the Pope. I had all of his posters, and a special bobble-head doll that I managed to find just outside of Vatican City. I kissed it, as always, on my way out.
I whistled as I walked, clutching my folded poster under my arm. I chuckled at all the people around me, busy either working or going to work. Poor things. I was lucky. By the Grace of God, and the international market for frozen pizzas, I never had to work a day in my life. I was free to spend all my time devoted to the Pope, and praying to Jesus. Oh, that reminded me. I had a poker game later that afternoon. I would have to cut my adoring admiration short that day.
Approaching the massive construction of the Vatican, I entered the courtyard, and felt positively giddy. My heart started racing, as it always did when I got there, and I found myself suppressing giggles of excitement when I saw the guards in their fabulous attire. I had a hard time keeping myself from running the rest of the way. Finally, I got into the chapel. I took my customary place by Jesus' disintegrating foot, and held up my sign.
Every hour or so, I have to take a break and stretch. However, I make sure to only do the most holy of stretches there. Squats are, of course, expressly forbidden.
As I was going through my third hour lunges, I heard something strange. After a moment, I recognized it as laughter. I stood up from my lunge, and put my hands on my hips. Something was definitely wrong here. I picked up my sign, and started following the sound. I came to a door, hidden expertly within the church (though I, of course, was able to discern it) and discovered the laughter was coming from behind it.
My hair stood up on end, as it only did every other day, and I knew I had to do something. Counting to three, I threw my shoulder against the door and yelled. It had been quite painful, but the door hadn't budged. I counted to three again, but took a few steps back first. I ran toward the door with all my might, but, just as I was about to shatter it to pieces, it opened. My shoulder connected, instead, with the surprised face of a guard. Having achieved amazing momentum, both my shoulder and myself followed him to the ground.
Looking up, I saw a group of shocked guards standing in a semi-circle around a card table, quickly becoming quite angry. I stood up, and before I could eloquently explain the courageous reason for my intrusion, I strangely found myself fleeing the scene, my poster still tightly clutched in my hand.
Naturally, they followed. I took as many doors and turns that I could, and soon found myself in a completely unfamiliar part of the Vatican. I sneakily managed to trick the guards into running past me while I hid in a doorway. I sighed with relief. I though about it, and chuckled quietly to myself.
The hallway was long and quite unadorned for the Vatican. There must have been only two or three priceless treasures there, and only the ceiling was gilded. I put my hands on my hips and pursed my lips. Now how would I get out of there? I wandered around for a while, opening various doors (slowly, I had learned), trying to find a familiar area. However, I just seemed to get more and more lost. Honestly, that was all right with me--I was getting into the Inner Sanctum of the Vatican. How cool was that!
Finally, I opened one door, and saw some people inside.
"Oops!" I said. "Sorry!" And closed the door.
I stood there a moment, my hand on the doorknob, as my brain processed what it had just seen. I blinked. And blinked again. Then I slowly opened the door back up, and peaked my head in. The door opened the rest of the way almost of its own accord.
"Wow," I breathed. "Your Majesty!" I yelled, and bowed down to the Almighty, the Pope Himself! I heard a grumble, so I stood back up. "I'm so sorry to bother you, Mr. Pope sir! I'm just--I'm such a big fan! I love what you do!"
Then I noticed the fire burning in the old-fashioned wood-burning stove beside him, which was covered in diamonds and rubies, and the man seated halfway across the room from him. He was tied to a rather plain chair, and gagged. He was clothed in a white dress and looked remarkably similar to the Pope.
"Oh!" I exclaimed, seeing the desperate look on the man's face. "I didn't realize you were busy. Sorry."
I closed the door again. Then a thought came to me. I couldn't just walk away. I had to do something, consequences be damned. I flung the door back open.
"Mr. Pope sir?" I began, and swallowed hard as I noticed his eyes beginning to smolder. "I'm really sorry, but I just..." I took a deep breath, looked at the tied-up man, then looked back at the Pope. "Would you please sign my poster?" I grinned and held it out. I unfolded it and showed it to him, doing my best to look adorable and forgivable at the same time.
He stared down at my I LOVE U, POPE! sign, and then he emitted a deep, grinding, grating sound. My heart froze with fear.
"Right," I said, as beads of sweat began to form on my forehead. The man in the chair was wildly trying to gesture at me for some strange reason, his eyes wide and wild. He jutted his chin up in my direction, then in the direction of the Pope, and seemed to be trying to say something. I squinted at him, unable to make out any of the words. Then I turned back to the Pope. "Maybe this isn't the best time," I said. I began to close the door, then opened it again as I added, "Sorry again." Once again, I started pulling the door shut, then remembered what I had always wanted to say to him.
"I love your hat, by the way." Then, the Pope growled: a huge, monstrous roar. I slammed the door and walked away. I guess he has a sore spot about the hat. Go figure. I'd always thought he liked it.
Oh, my God, I thought. I just met the Pope! I squealed with delight, and continued on down the corridor, trying my best to keep my skipping to a minimum.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

End of NaNoWriMo, End of An Era...

Okay, so the era only lasted one month, but it felt like a long time! Actually, it felt incredibly short, but it DID feel epic, like any worthy era should.
And guess what?
I DID IT!!!!
Despite never having even attempted to write a novel before, having no idea what I was going to write about, and having virtually no ability to write a comprehensive outline for my fiction writing, I won!
I started late, was in a play, got the flu, dealt with life crises, but I did it.
I am so proud.
Now, the next questions the novel any good? What now? And what's it about?
Interestingly enough, I find all of those questions pretty equally difficult to answer.
So, for now, I shall try to read back over my novel (my NOVEL!) and do some editing. Then I'll try to determine if it's worth anything.
Who knows? I may even take a wild, boyish fling at writing (short fiction again, that is, to post on this). Confused why I said "boyish"?
Watch Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Sorry for the extremely long silence here. I was dealing with sickness and death (not mine, obviously) for quite a while, and wasn't able to get myself to write anything.
Now, however, though there are definitely no guarantees that I'll be posting a lot here, I am doing Nanowrimo, which for those who don't know, is the National Novel Writing Month, in which writers join an online community, and do their best to write a 50,000 word novel, all in the month of November. I got started a little late, and am currently up to 8,000 words. *Phew* I hope I can do it. Maybe I'll keep this updated with how that is progressing, and what it's like for me, considering I've never done this before. In fact, outside of college papers, I can't remember the last time I strung 8,000 words or more together. So, it's a test to see if I can write long-form fiction. Weee! Here we go! Let me know if you want to hear updates about this..

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Painful Discovery

She discovered, for the first time, what it means when someone says, "I already miss you." She never took it seriously, and scoffed at those around her who used it, who told her. "But how can you miss me, I'm still right here," she would retort brusquely; she never paid much attention to how they reacted, once she had handed down her sentence.
And now, she can understand. She can feel it, though she can't explain it. He shrinks, she can see, ever so much a day, a week, a month--and life is filled with hills and valleys: some improvement today, a dip tomorrow--but she slowly understands what it means; what it always must mean.
"I miss you," she says to herself, though she cannot bear to put it into words, afraid that they'll become too real, too true, and that she might risk hurrying things up by forming them in the air. "I already miss you, even though you're still here."
She is starting to understand--too much. She wishes she didn't. She thinks about how it'll be, without his things around. She imagines the cleaning-up process of his medicines, his food, his IV. Will they do it right away, or will they wait, not wanting to face that kind of elimination immediately? What will it be like, without him around?
She cries. She cries, knowing there is not much she can do; not knowing what else she can do; not knowing, barely hoping but secretly, deep down, wishing...maybe he will last, maybe he can get better, if she just does the right things, the right amount, the right amount of love, of medicine, of food, of water. Maybe, contrary to everything she's known and seen, maybe there are miracles. But she doesn't dare to really believe.
She melts. After he has been yelling and crying while they give him what his body needs, her knees turn to jelly, and that same weakness travels up, down, throughout her body, until she collapses, without a strong bone left anywhere inside of her. She melts and stares ahead, until her strength leaks, pouring, out of her eyes.
She is strong and in charge, taking care of his medicines, his appointments, dictating what needs to be done, what he is currently liking, what he is currently needing and life continues, day by day. Life is normal, medicines and IVs become routine; she, even, feels stable. Until another one falls, or somebody trips. They walk away unharmed, but she has collapsed into a puddle, and will not rise again for a while.
"I miss him. I miss him, he's still here, but I miss him. He could live longer, he's strong, he could gain weight back, he could do it. I miss him and I love him and I want him to be okay. Please, be okay. He's dying and I can't stop it. There's only so much I can do. Why can't I do more?"
She tries and tries and doesn't know how much of her is given over to this, to him, to fear, to sadness, to pain, to loss. She doesn't know and can't know and almost doesn't care. As long as she can do something for him, it doesn't matter what she feels. She is young, she reasons, and healthy, so it doesn't matter how much of her is being consumed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why the 10 Days Exercise Failed

Well, it was a random assignment for myself, and I was hoping that it would inspire me (force me, rather) to write a little every day, without getting overwhelmed or intimidated by the word count. One of the biggest problems was that I didn't give enough thought to my first day's writing. I figured that it would develop, day by day, and change (which it did), and become interesting (which it didn't). And there's the problem...I quite simply got bored. I was happy to be occupied with other things, because it didn't seem to be leading anywhere, and, frankly, it was getting cheesier by the day.
I was (am always) horrified to start writing like I did in middle school and high school again. Basically, aside from the stories which I call "shy girl fantasies," (stories in which the cute, possibly popular boy sees the quiet girl and starts to like and think about her, because she is mysterious, interesting, and attractive), and the stereotypical dark and morbid poems, I wrote "inspirational" poems and stories with horribly obvious morals and supposedly uplifting messages of hope, etc. They're really quite dreadful. So, I was worried that this exercise was starting to turn into THAT kind of writing.
Don't get me wrong: one of my ultimate life goals is to write things that inspire people, that help promote change in the world, that makes the world a better place (and there's the cheesiness!). However, I believe that in order to do any of that, the writing itself must be beautiful and inspiring. Blatant moral messages can be seen anywhere, and tends to effect few, if any, people. It's too easy to acknowledge, then ignore, if not downright mock. In truly wonderful writing, though, the message doesn't have to be obvious. A masterpiece must present the ideas, then let the reader make the decision on her own, as the ideas, the passion to do something, blooms inside her, moving her, as a result of her own thoughts, to action.
Grand ideas indeed, especially for someone who is only occasionally moved to action, then slows down; often stops. That's why I'm hoping I can achieve this through my writing: combining my passions of writing to phrase it? changing things, helping people, helping silent voices be heard.
Perhaps that is why I have such a difficult time getting myself to write, to finish stories. I know that I am not there yet (indeed I'm terribly afraid I never will be), and that I have so much to learn. And, of course, the biggest, most terrifying, and probably most common question:
Can I Do It?
Can I be a writer, am I any good? Will I ever be?
I suppose the moral here (haha) is that I think too much. But there you have it, the first insightful into-my-life-and-head blog post.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Days 7-10

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I dive headlong into life, and follow my own direction. A look into the past, and then I'll jump, breath held, arms out, praying that I have the courage to look at what I face, and smile. The wind whips through the desert, where I have been sent to face my worst fears, to see if I can come through on what I have proclaimed. My guide will be here soon, and then I discover what I am capable of doing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Day 6

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I dive headlong into life, and follow my own direction. A look into the past, and then I'll jump, breath held, arms out, praying that I have the courage to look at what I face, and smile. The wind whips through

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Day 5

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I dive headlong into life, and follow my own direction. A look into the past, and then I'll jump, breath held, arms out, praying that I have the courage to look

Monday, September 7, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Day 4

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I dive headlong into life, and follow my own direction. A look into the past, and then I'll jump, breath held,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Day 3

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I dive headlong into life, and follow my own direction. A

Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days: Day 2

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show me how they think this world should work, before I

Friday, September 4, 2009

10 Words for 10 Days

Here I stand, waiting for someone to come and show

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reverse Alphabet Exercise

Zack could hardly stand to look at the reflecting pool of water anymore. Yesterday's events were still rolling through his mind, and the water did nothing to distract him. Xenophobia seemed to surround him on all sides and he had no idea what to do about it. Without much help or offer of friendship, he was a one-man protest against the scowling population. Vindictiveness was a quality Zack had never possessed, and so could not understand it in others. Unless he decided to give up everything he had worked for, he would have to learn to deal with the locals. To many people, he represented an encroaching difference, which they did not know how to abide. Sewn together in a web of distrust, the people nonetheless grudgingly accepted and counted on his services. Quietly, they would thank him for his expert advice, then run off quickly before they were discovered doing so. Perhaps it was this contradictory behavior which led to yesterday's actions.
Open until the last rays of sun faded in the valley, Zack closed his office in the dark. Never before had he encountered someone after he closed his doors, but as he turned, there stood Suzie Johnson, staring at him intensely. Moving toward him, he stepped back from the recklessness in her eyes, but she closed the gap swiftly and planted a kiss on his lips. Little did she realize that someone else was walking by, so when she saw the startled man, she turned back to Zack and slapped him, hard, across the face. Knowing the likely outcome, Zack pursed his lips with anger and looked at the ground, waiting for Hell to fall upon him. Just before the potentially fatal moment of the furious man's approach, Zack's eyes flitted up to Suzie and he saw the confusion, anger, and fear flit across her face. Instead of following through with the role of victim, she flung herself at Zack, screaming, "Wait!"
His heart was pounding, uncertain what anyone would do next, as the all stood, frozen, in the wake of that scream. Gaining a moment of perspective, the man stepped back and appraised the situation.
"Forever getting herself into trouble, little Suzie. Even for an educated man, she sure can do a lot of crazy, confusing things," the man muttered, looking at Suzie before nodding slightly to Zack as he walked away.

Donning a half-grin, Zack looked out over the water and wondered where the crazy girl had gone after she, too, had run away. Counting on the xenophobia to win out, he did not expect to see her again and was frustrated that she would never explain herself. Before he walked away from the pond, he felt a hand flutter at his shoulder and felt an answering stir in his heart as he turned to find Suzie standing, flushed, beside him. Any other time, he would have been shocked and suspicious, but now he could not help but smile as she dove into his arms and held herself there, cheek against his chest, tears soaking his shirt.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Return from Oblivion

There was a planned hiatus, and then the beginning of new challenges, which comprised the last three weeks. So, I have returned and will, hopefully, return to prolific creations. Or start being prolific, depending on your definition. If you want to see more poems, more stories, more...something else, let me know. I just might oblige and, regardless, it'll encourage me to keep posting.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Work In Progress: Part 1

Forward into the unknowing minds, he felt himself slip so easily. No wonder no one knew a thing about him, since he did not know it himself. As haunting as an empty cave, his sense of self lacked substance and definition. Only through following what he saw in others could he suitably play his part in life. Slipping forward, as he thought of it, to lose his emptiness and fill himself with thoughts and feelings and personality--that was all that made living worthwhile. It was the only time that he felt, knew, that he was a complete person. It was as if he had discovered himself every time he slipped into another mind. Every time, it felt right, like home. But it never was, and he always had to pull back to realize he was still no one. His wavering reflection did not help as he tried to fill the space he was expected to inhabit. Maybe he was the only one who saw it waver in the glass, or maybe other people didn't bother to notice.
Standing in the afternoon sun, he avoided his reflection and became a part of humanity. Only a moment longer before she turned around and noticed him standing there, twisting and untwisting a candy wrapper, sucking somewhat noisily on a Werther's caramel. He liked being her; he liked how she thought and the funny way she looked at the world. She turned and glanced his way. He quickly averted his eyes and hurried away. He knew what she had seen. He didn't want to see himself through her eyes. Turning a corner, he breathed a sigh of relief. He wished he could remain with her, as her.
As always, though, he had to keep moving. Staying in one place for a long time just made him feel--uncomfortable, almost like he didn't properly fit in his own skin anymore. No matter how much he adjusted his clothes, his position, it felt like his own body was just too confining. So he moved on, went somewhere new, and either the moving or the being in a new place made everything feel like it should again.
The next morning, he found a cozy little coffee shop and settled in. Coffee shops were always in his morning routine. He drank coffee, not because he had any particular desire or need for it, but because that is what people do in the morning. No sooner had he begun doing this than people started being, in an off-hand manner, more friendly. They could understand a man in a coffee shop, drinking a cup of coffee. He fell into some wonderful minds in those coffee shops.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Abandoning the thoughts within
so the feelings will not show.
Time to take a stand, defend
the things I wish to know.

Forever in the muddied darkness,
I hear it calling true
beyond the doors the world would keep
to find my soul anew.

No more of taunting, deadened eyes
and watchful, bony grins;
no more of hearing myself lie
to know no more within.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Story of G. Serbo

The figure in the hallway shambled along, feeling his way through his own dusk with his hand along the wall.  His hand was there only for support.  His eyes could still, barely, make out the vague shapes that loomed and wobbled in front of him, but his despair that the beautiful world was fading away made him more unsteady.  More and more often, images from his mind would overcome the dim picture in front of him and he would be overtaken with momentary panic that he had seen his last of the outside world.  His memory, at least, was rich with images that would maintain his sanity and imagination.
One of his favorite images to recall was that of three construction workers standing in the dirt next to a large fire, green flames flickering between the yellow and orange.  Behind them was a large, open parasol, made of delicate cream and fringed with lace.  It was like something out of a dream, yet had appeared one tired evening before his eyes as he was heading home.  No explanation was needed, nor did he ever receive one.  It just was what it was.  Sometimes existence was beautiful like that.  
He eventually found his way to the door of the library.  Not only did he have this place memorized by heart, but he could smell when he was at the door.  Bookstores had a similar smell, but it wasn't quite the same: he preferred the library.  It was a deeper, heavier scent, enhanced by history and time, the experience of having been read over and over.
The expansive space that existed in even a small library was nearly impossible to comprehend.  Pages and miles of adventures, lives, emotions and tragedies existed in the span of only a few bookshelves.  He entered the space, made his few greetings, and took his accustomed place next to a nameplate which, he supposed, was meant to make him feel important.
After a couple of hours, he heard and saw the vague outline of a girl sitting at a table near him, reading.  He walked over and put a hand on her shoulder, partially out of kindness and partially for balance.  She jumped slightly and turned her head.  Gazing down at her, he could make out the mass of deep brown that was her hair.
"Tell me, Marie.  How are the clouds today?" he asked.  She paused for a moment before answering and, he supposed, she smiled.
"There are some large ones spanning the top of the sky.  They are thin and spread out, like melted whipped cream."
"Lovely, lovely."
"There are also a few on the horizon like shining, fluffy pillows," she added.
"Are they really like pillows?"
She thought for a moment.  "No.  More like cotton balls."
"Ah, I see.  Thank you.  Please, don't let me keep you from your friends."  
She glanced down at her open book and smiled, resting her hand briefly on his before turning back to her story.
He moved to return to his desk, but decided to walk through the shelves instead.  The past few days had been particularly shaky for him and he needed the balance of the literature to calm him.  A beautiful young woman walked in front of him, a question posed on her lips.  The most startling thing about her was that he could clearly see that she was beautiful.  His eyes seemed to have returned to him: her inquisitive smile, the individual strands of dirty blond hair.  He smiled widely.
"May I help you find something, miss?"
"As a matter of fact, a rich, beautiful Brazilian man has decided to marry me, and I know nothing about the culture at all!  Well, darling, I thought that was just dreadful, so I decided I need to brush up!"
He chuckled quietly at her enthusiasm.  "Books on Brazilian culture, then?  Come with me, we have plenty over in this section."  He walked purposefully, although not certain of his footing.  He did not want the young woman, whom he saw so clearly, to know that he was otherwise mostly blind.  He depended on his vivid memory and the slow counting of shelves with an outstretched hand at his side.  When they reached the appropriate place, he gestured to the shelves where she could find all the information.
"Well, look at that!" she exclaimed as she reached up to the bookshelves, pulled out a few books and disappeared around the corner. 
There had been something about the girl that he had found startlingly familiar.  He was puzzling it over as he rounded a bend and choked on a scream.  There, standing in front of him, was a gigantic insect.  He was about to turn and get away as fast as possible when he noticed an apple sticking out of its side and the its pleading face as it drew slowly closer.  He could see this insect just as clearly as the girl.  He then realized why she had looked so familiar.  This one he knew all too well and murmured, "Ah, Kafka.  Finally we meet."  He did not, however, know which book it could possibly want, so he walked away.
Heading to the front of the library, he realized his vision was becoming increasingly clear.  As he approached the open area in the front, he heard many murmurs and voices speaking, which were clarified as he walked into view and saw various characters all over the library.
'There he is!" one particularly tall man in rusted armor shouted, and they all turned towards him.  They walked over, some asking for books, others engaged in conversation with him and each other.  He wondered how they all could have come to be.  He looked up at the various characters wandering around and grinned softly.  What did it matter?  He could see.  And he was among friends.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harold Says Hello

I know you see me.  I know what you think about me.  I really don't care.  I sit here, like a rock in a river--no one pays any attention, they just rush around me.  And every day, a woman walks by--long, flowing brown hair, or those startling blues, or even just a whiff of the right perfume--and I think it's her.  I know it can't be, but, God, do I wish it were.  I try to drown myself in whiskey--my poison of choice--and I think that it'll dull my memory of her.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll forget about her for a while.  I've been thinking that for five long years.  You'd figure I'd have learned by now.  But I haven't.  I guess that some people just learn habits, and then--well, can't unlearn them. 
Ah, you don't need to hear all the sorry details of the story.  I mean, I started trying to forget, and I couldn't, and then I stopped caring.  You know, good job down the tubes, my family gave up after a while, and my friends...well, they never did get it, anyway.  So, I kept pouring the whiskey.  I kept looking for her.  Heck, I still do sometimes.  And I am, the star of 19th Ave.
But God, was she beautiful.  And I don't mean the knock-you-down-with-a-stick model-type chick.  I mean an honest-to-goodness beautiful, quirky person.  She had her faults, but when she walked into a room, BAM!  You couldn't see anything wrong with her.  Heck, you couldn't see anything BUT her.  That was the love of a lifetime.  Unbelievable, that one.  I couldn't see it, though, you know?  I mean, what in the world was this beautiful woman doing with ME?  Yeah, well, I guess that after a while...she couldn't see it, either.  Just...up and vanished one day.  No note.  No stuff.  No nothing.  
You know, this stuff just knocks you right out.  You can't remember a thing in the morning: no dreams, no nothing.  And sometimes, it's just too cold out here to sleep.  No dreams that way, either.  I don't mind.  I don't dream, I don't see her.  I don't see her, she can't leave me again.  Listen, I know it's time to move on, but sometimes the heart just won't let go.  What can you do?
Oh, and...if you happen to see a tall, stunning woman named Vanessa with long, flowing brown hair, startling blue eyes, with the scent of lavender dust around her, just tell her...Harold says hello.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Waiting by the Sea

Her hair is made of saffron silk
and sand is in her song.
Her laughter rings with morning's birds
and I'll be there ere-long.

I live among the memories--
she dances with the waves.
I sit; I wait so patiently
and know I must be brave.

My darling, how I miss you still
but know I'll see you soon.
I feel this old heart slowing down
and then--oh, and then
           we'll fly together to the moon.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Yesterday, I went to the Vatican to have lunch with my good friend, the Pope. I met him many years ago and we now have lunch together once or twice a week. After lunch, the Pope and I sit together to drink some whiskey, play poker, and talk about old times. Once the doors have closed, the Pope tends to relax, shows his sweet side, and is generally less annoying and disturbing than his public persona. But this time, that didn't happen. He was acting stranger than usual, and I knew something was going on. Then I noticed the metallic seam along the side of his ear. I jumped up out of my chair.
"RoboPope! It's you! What have you done to my dear friend??"
RoboPope responded, but spoke in a creaky Latin, so I couldn't understand him.
"But, I thought that we had gotten rid of you! I saw you die in the Mouth of Fire after you tried to take over Catholicism!"
Again, he spoke, and I was frightened.
"Well, I guess that means you didn't. But where is my friend? I know it was you that offended the Muslims! The real Pope would never do that! You, sir, are an evil robot!" My eyes widened when I saw him reach his hands beneath his robes. I knew what he was going to do. He pulled out--the Bible of Doom! I had, unfortunately, encountered this deceptive device of doom before. Once opened, this common-looking Bible spits out a ball of fire. RoboPope began to open it and I jumped and rolled under a statue of Christ. The fire just skimmed the edge of the statue, and I couldn't help myself. I poked my head out.
"You can't do that! This is a Michelangelo!" I heard a horrible, screeching mechanical noise and I covered my ears. I then realized that it was RoboPope laughing. I shuddered. Then I remembered where I was. The Official Papal Staff was behind me. This was an emergency. I turned and broke the safety glass, pulling out the Staff. I rolled in front of RoboPope and his Bible of Doom and, using the Papal stick, I managed to push it into his bellybutton, which also happened to be his Off button.
I knew I had to find my friend, the Pope, fast, because RoboPope doesn't stay off for long. I looked into his bedroom and screamed for him. What could RoboPope possibly have done with him?
I had an idea. Of course! The cabinet where the real Pope kept the whiskey, cards, and the irreplaceable Catholic treasures. I was one of the few people who knew about it. I ran to it and sang Ave Maria six times, and the door opened! My friend, the Pope, was curled up.
"Are you all right in there?"
"Yes, yes, I'm okay. But there's something awfully uncomfortable behind my back." I helped him out and we looked inside. "Eh, it's only the rest of the True Cross."
"All right, so what do we do with RoboPope?" I asked.
Returning to the room, the Pope looked around and made a decision. We would wrap him in a priceless tapestry he'd had lying in the corner.
"Are you sure this is all right? This looks like a fourteenth century piece, " I said.
He snickered. "We're the Catholic Church! We can replace it. He glanced out into the hallway, looking both ways, then turned back to me. "All right, let's go!"
We carried him out in the tapestry, past all the dozing guards, and heaved him into the Popemobile. We drove through a secret underground passageway which connected the Vatican to an ancient fortress, which served as a prison for heretics and other people the Vatican didn't like for hundreds of years. Unbeknownst to local authorities, it still is.
The Pope and I stopped near the river, and pulled RoboPope out, throwing him, and the tapestry, into the depths. Interestingly enough, no one recognized the Pope. It might have been his ducky pajamas, though I would think his Pope hat would have given him away. He never does take it off, except when the bishops make him for certain functions. After we had finished catching our breath from throwing RoboPope, we turned to each other and sighed. The Pope put his hand shakily on my shoulder and turned me around toward the Popemobile.
"Lunch?" he asked. I agreed, and we headed back.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Out of My Senses

My eyes mock me, refusing to reveal what must truly be there.  The Gates of Hell rise before me, tears and sweat dripping off the creatures falling down, falling up the doors.
I can smell their fear; or is it my own?  It tingles in my nose and the sweat standing in the air makes me freeze.
The drops touch my forehead, an ironic blessing, and tickle my arms on their way to the ground.  The caress lingers and they laugh in my ears.
It is so silent: too silent for this scene, this place.  Only the trickling of raindrops breaks through the invisible sound barrier and I open my mouth to scream, to crash into reality.
I taste the metal on my tongue and I can't help but swallow.  It is sharp, acidic, and cruel.  It bites me back and I can taste the horrors.
My senses tell me yes, but this cannot be true.
The bronze sculpture stares back, mocking.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Conversation

"What do you think?"
"I'd never do that."
"Can you believe--"
"No I can't."
"What did you expect?"
"Something more--"
"Than what she already gave?"
"Yes!  Of course!"
"You can't be naive."
"You are!"
"Who are you mad at?"
"Her.  Sorry.  Not you."
"I know, but still..."
"I'm sorry, ok?"
"Ok, fine."
"I'll never forgive her."
"Believe me, I know."
"I'm better off, anyway."
"Damn right."
"That's humble."
"Come kiss me."
"You wish."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Apology to My Craft

I knew you were disappointed in me, as was I.  I could tell you that life got busy, that new things came up.  I could tell you, and it's true, that I still thought about you.  A lot.  But that will sound like an excuse, because it is.  And if that isn't valid, I'm left without reason.  
Yes, I was avoiding you.  I didn't want to face my failure.  I'm sorry.  
Life is going better, though!  You get to be involved in another part of my life, something that might go somewhere!  That doesn't justify leaving you behind in the truly important capacity, though.  My stories have been lonely and my poetry, silent.  
I'm sorry.  
I will try to do better and I will do my utmost not to avoid you again.  I cannot promise, for promises are too easy to break and too hard to forgive.  But I can try.  
If you will take me back, I am ready to start again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Another way of looking,
no better way to go
in the midst of darkness falling
more here than you can know.

again, I see hearts pounding
like my footprints through the snow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There's an angel up above
looking down at me:
she smiles oh-so-sweetly
from her perch upon the tree.

Nowhere else to wander,
I stand and gaze above
she swings her legs with childish glee:
an angel truly made of love.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dance Contest

A slip of the tongue
and she stumbles
to the pavement
as her universe rumbles,
growling, beneath her feet

Her sole interest divided:
it cracks, lets the good times
seep through and bruise.
Dancing is no crime,
but now she feels defeat.

The contest is over--
stupid old shoes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gray Film

A gray film floats on top
Resting, awaiting its judgment day.
Its essence gurgles as a light breeze
  thrills it across the water;
It jumps in surprise when a fish
  nips at it from below.
It doesn't know where it came from,
  but it's happy.
In the sun, it almost glimmers
  --almost beautiful
In the shade, it's barely there
  --almost belongs.
Ingrained in the film,
there's a moment
Entranced by the film,
I am there.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Writer's Process

"Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail; how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair; had his good nights and bad mornings; snatched at ideas and lost them; saw his book plain before him and it vanished; acted his people's parts as he ate; mouthed them as he walked; now cried; now laughed; vacillated between this style and that; now preferred the heroic and pompous; next the plain and simple; now the vales of Tempe; then the fields of Kent or Cornwall; and could not decide whether he was the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world."
Ladies and gentlemen: Virginia Woolf!  This comes from her infinitely engaging novel Orlando.  
I must say it makes me so happy to read these words, not only because of the accuracy, but because it reassures me that I am not alone in my process.
Yet, this does beg the question: is it better to feel comforted and know there are others that experience things as I do, it better to feel alone and know that I am unique and thus, might be able to say something original?
But then again, how can you ever know if you are unique?
Which does, of course, lead to other questions about the meaning of "unique," the possibilities of individuals vs. products of certain societies...but I think I shall leave that be for now.

Diamond Glimpses

Dizzying spirals convinced him that his seat was the most comfortable place to be.  His frozen hands were as immobile as if they'd been tied behind his back.  He was, theoretically, free to go.  However, his body didn't seem to agree with that.  He sat and watched his world twirl and spin.  Shimmering pinpricks of light appeared, first in this corner, then over there, then in the center of the spectacle, all over, like peaking at diamonds in a separate, yet desperately close, dimension.  The effect deepened and moved from his body on into his mind.  He reeled with the possibilities and endlessness of the abstract.  He floated, free from constraints, expectations, social dictates.
Alone in his room, the beige walls sighing, he experienced something spectacular.  A once and unique expression of what was happening in his head was allowed to appear before his eyes.  The straight lines of reality blurred and fell away, leaving--everything else.  Underneath the golden circles forming in front of him, he began to see without needing his eyes, and envisioned his life, that of his mother, his barber, some child in a distant country.  He saw them all coming together, overlapping in certain areas, parallels developing along their memories, their thoughts, their joys.
His long-forgotten muscles began to move, to strain and twitch: the corners of his mouth headed north and his eyes borrowed some of those other-dimensional diamonds.
He could see so much more than he ever could before.  And the straight lines in the world fell away, completely, to reveal the web, pulsing, alive, connecting him to the chair, the chair to the tree it came from, the tree to the earth, and the earth to the stars.
He fell away, inside that web, into what he could now see and the borrowed diamonds in his eyes found their way down into his soul.
No one else in that web, those who saw in straight lines, ever figured out where that sad old man could have gone.  All that was left was the chair and the sighing beige walls.

In addition to general comments, I would love to know how people interpret this piece.  What do you think is going on?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alphabet Exercise

All along, she knew that he was ready to burst.  Before she could do anything about it, he had taken his things and left.  Could she have known that, she would have locked his door.  During his long months in therapy, he never seemed to change or open up.  Even though the doctor said he was making progress, she could only see the circles growing under his eyes. 
Finding out later that he had taken a boat to Europe made her anguish both better and worse.  Getting the news that he was doing his own thing, finally taking charge, was wonderful.  Having to realize that he never wanted to see her again, was awful.  Instead of being able to be happy for him, she decided she must follow.  Just in case he wouldn't be able to see her without blowing up, she donned a disguise.  Kindly old gentlemen, she recalled, had always made him grin: their shaky legs slowly taking their wisdom from place to place.
Leaving behind all that she had known, she flies after him, occasionally scratching at her itchy new beard.  More than once did she think she saw some knowing, amused faces staring at her.  No one could really figure it out, she reasoned, but that didn't make her any more comfortable. 
 Opening her nose to her new location once she stepped out of the airport, she discovered that this scent felt like home.  Protecting the newly acquired identity, she joyfully hobbled along the cobblestone streets.  Quietly muttering her thoughts to herself about how silly the whole thing was, she bumped into a tall stranger.  Resisting the impulse to wrap her now-old arms around the first human contact she'd felt in long while, she looked up to bestow a kindly apology to the man.  Strangely enough, this was another old man whom she had walked into, and she could see faint signs of his beard wisps hanging off of his face at quite unnatural angles.  Though she knew the chances, she ventured a guess.  Using the cane as support, she looked up at a steep angle into those eyes surrounded by wrinkles.  
"Vernon?"  While she watched the shock on his face reverberate through his fake wrinkles, hers crinkled and started jiggling with laughter.  "Xerosis got you already; I can see it's so bad that your beard is coming off."   
Young in heart, as in actual years, they laughed together, staying more or less in each other's company for years, as their new, wrinkled selves.  Zinging each other, they would sit in parks, chuckling at the young kids and the foolishness they got into.

Finding God

I found God.  He/She/They was down at the corner store, trying to steal a Snickers bar.  That poor cashier.  He just didn't know what to do.  Was God allowed to steal?  After all, to some extent He/She/They did create the Snickers.  But on the other hand, if He/She/They didn't perform a miracle to square up the cash register, that cashier would be blamed: maybe even fired. And if the cashier let God take the Snickers, might he then be deemed a saint?  It was so confusing that both the cashier and I, having just walked in, blabbered incomprehensibly in God's general direction while He/She/They smiled at the both of us and walked out, pretending that there wasn't a  Snickers stuck in His/Her/Their pocket. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fantastic Breakthrough!

I've been having problems with figuring out how to finish one of the short stories on which I've been working.  (Speaking of which, aren't dangling prepositions about to be okay due to their common usage in everyday language?  I'm waiting for that to happen, cause I know it will.)
I've been beating myself up because I figured I just don't know how to finish stories, looking to some of those writing books even for guidance, deciding I really don't know how to write. 
Today, I had an epiphany.  I knew what to do.  I knew there was a new character who had to come into the story, which promptly found an ending.  
Now, it's far from being finished and polished and perfect, but damn, it's done!
I am so happy!  I can't believe it finally came to me, and I don't even know how.  I wish I could figure out how to make it happen, but it's that Inspiration thing that just happens.  And no one has ever been able to explain it.  Amazing.
I just know now that I have to keep a story in my mind, turning it over, thinking about it, in order to be able to eventually find out how it is supposed to unfold.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What I Want: A Declaration

I want to write.
I want to discover and learn.  I want to learn how and why the world works, and how and why people work.  I want to discover through my writing.  I want my writing to be beautiful, inspiring; I want to learn something from it every time.  As I write, the words and the story reveal themselves to me and teach me so much.
I want to know everything.  I want to learn and have other people learn alongside me as my words flow out.  I want to learn how to finesse and caress my words, my stories, my characters, until they are sublime.
I want to change the world.  I want to challenge established authorities and question the natural order of things: common knowledge, common sense.  I want to learn and teach how to make the common extraordinary, unnatural, bizarre.  I want to show people how the world is, how it could be.  I want to make people think.  I want to illuminate, mystify, tease and teach.
I want to discover unknown worlds.  I want to understand other people, other perspectives, other lifestyles...other creatures, other consciousnesses.  
I want to see the possibilities.  I want to show the possibilities.  I want people to know.  I don't need them to know me, but I want to show them things.
I want to write.  I want to create.  I want to learn.  And I want to share.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Now we return to our regularly scheduled programming

After a very unfortunate incident which involved a brutal fight between a glass of juice and a laptop computer, my Internet access was sadly limited.  Now that I have paid with my soul to renew my access and former lifestyle (in the shape of a strikingly familiar-looking, yet entirely new computer),  I have returned.  
Just a short explanation for my sudden disappearance shortly after starting this blog.  

Monday, January 12, 2009


Words set in ink, set in pixels and set adrift on the currents of melody fascinate me.  
Significant words on significant tongues capture and delight me for hours.
I am consumed as I consume ideas and beauty.

Literature is serious, but words are fun.  
Both, in the right hands and the right situation, can be dangerous or liberating.
Both occupy my mind, my time, my world.  

Literature is not as simple as stories in books.  When written and used properly, literature encompasses and teaches us about life.  Literature is the study of the mind, people, the world, politics, philosophy, culture and so much more.

This is a blog about life, literature, and dreams.