Thursday, October 23, 2014

Poem published in 2014 Rhysling Award Anthology

Earlier this year my poem "Faerystruck Down" was nominated for a Rhysling Award in the Short Poem Category. Winners have not yet been announced, but an anthology containing all the nominated poems is currently for sale.

Paperback and PDF copies can be purchased through the Science Fiction Poetry Association website (you'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page). Paperback copies are also available at CreateSpace. Amazon and a few other places will be selling the book soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Leaving the Old Us

It’s a perfect time to release our birds,
Caged for far too long and submerged in dark.
Constant fright has hurt their eyes,
Trembled the beak and silenced the song.

It’s a suitable time to drain our home,
Flooded for years and unknown to breathe.
Rising water has wrinkled its design,
Drowned the art and soaked the dreams . . .

Birds spill from waterfall windows,
Ignite their songs and fill up the trees.
Bloated sharks writhe in the sun,
Cough up the tar and spit out the bones.

Today we sail in the wake of an albatross,
Colored by sunrise and bound for the sea.
It’s an auspicious time to leave ones past,
Desalt the eye and lift the anchor.

 


(From the book Wilderness & Love)


Girl with the Crooked Spine

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Not for Mortal Eyes

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Emily's Meadow

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Strings

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Red Icicles

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

The Unfortunate Heartbreak of Faritook the Earwig

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Penumbra

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

The Dead Man Who Appears

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY BEING EDITED FOR INCLUSION IN A FORTHCOMING STORY COLLECTION.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Poet

What kinds of pretty pictures do all you people want him to paint? What truths: The trials and tribulations of a struggling artist? Take home messages about true love? Our place in the universe? Fuck that. For that, see the philosopher. Angels don’t dwell on the poet’s shoulder. They shove him out the door with a bottle of whiskey and say, “We don’t believe in you. Good luck.”


First published in the September 2013 issue (#6) of Work to a Calm.

Phoenixes

The fiery skies
of a poet’s last days
are his final dreams
come closing in.

The train of his life
derails in flames,
the muse flies off,
he burns in his seat.

Smoke swirls high
through uncharted space;
a white-welcome heaven,
his heart is ash.

Yet nothing is lost;
what remain are the words:

And one day they’ll rise
to seek shelter
in romantic minds.



 (From the book Wilderness & Love)

Winter at dawn...

Winter at dawn:
Frozen coyote shit
on the trail
 
 
First published May 12, 2013 in a handful of stones.

I walk past laughing lovers...

I walk past laughing lovers.
No need to know
what was funny.



(From the book Wilderness & Love)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Collaboration story published in Schlock! Webzine

"Soulsucker," a sci-fi horror story co-written with fellow authors Gavin Chappell, R.M. Duchene, Todd Nelsen, and HG Towne, is now available to read in this week's edition of Schlock! Webzine (Vol. 7, Issue 2). While not a great story by any stretch of the imagination, it is a fun read.
 
Click here to read the story online.
Click here to download a free copy of the issue for your Kindle.

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Catbird

This might be the first poem I ever wrote. I was about 10 years old. In 2016 I added it to my book Wilderness & Love.

Will You Love Me Then? (old notebook poem)


Where were your thoughts... (old notebook poem)


Where is the ferryman... (old notebook poem)

Where is the ferryman to this empty boat broke on shore?

We have to pull the gap... (old notebook poem)

We have to pull the gap
between the common man
and his government

closer

until eyes meet.

Under the Horizontal Glare (old notebook poem)


To Deserve You (old notebook poem)


The tear that once cried itself dry... (poetic fragment from old notebook)


The tail-tip of night... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

The tail-tip of night
becomes the nose-tip of morning.

The Red-petaled Pathway (old notebook poem)


Silence Numbs the Bell (poetic fragment from old notebook)


She's so adorable when... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

She's so adorable when she contemplates kissing me.

She is Love... (old notebook poem)

She is Love
Love, is her--
Love is gone.

Pulling me behind her... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

Pulling me behind her
to her favorite place
like a kite on a string
I dance in the air

Plenty of Curious Hummingbirds (old notebook poem)


People (old notebook poem)

Mortar-faced,
sensitivity locked away,
dreams without color,
disappointment with God.

Pen writes the word... (old notebook poem)

Pen writes the word,
thought commands the idea,
spirit is the seeker,
I am the human vessel.

Painting (old notebook poem)


Outside I hear life going on... (old notebook poem)

Outside I hear life going on, but where can mine go if it's within these walls?

Oliver, Then Me (old notebook poem)


Not to Know (old notebook poem)


No Words Will Lift Her (old notebook poem)


My love emeritus... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

My love emeritus, what philter will turn your eyes to the path of my weeping petals?

More (old notebook poem)


Lately/In the forest... (old notebook poem)


I've wondered about Time... (old notebook poem)

I’ve wondered about Time, and when everything began.
Wondered about religion, wondered what’s wrong with it, wondered what’s right.
I’ve pondered how life became life, and how it has evolved and changed.
Pondered for hours on eternity and infinity, about life’s maze.
I’ve racked my brain about ghosts and UFO’s,
tried to understand how life experience is stored in our souls.
 
But all these giant mysteries, even when put together into one,
aren’t as mysterious as how I could’ve lost you, and why you’re gone.

Is Love... (old notebook poem)


If you're ever free to wander... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

If you're ever free to wander the seas in search of love,
consider letting your feelings drift over to me.

If there is anything impossible... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

If there is anything impossible you want me to do
I'll make it possible just for you.

I'd have been a beggar... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

I'd have been a beggar just to learn her name.

I Stand, Waiting (old notebook poem)


I should go explore the cosmos... (poetic fragment from old notebook)


I have no gestures for my story... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

I have no gestures for my story,
no lantern for its light...

I fumbled over my waking... (old notebook poem)


I am a flake off the scalp of insanity... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

I am a flake off the scalp of insanity.
The flower within an ugly vase.

...Early to Rise (old notebook poem)


Crumbling ships press on... (old notebook poem)


Counting stars... (poetic fragment from old notebook)

Counting stars without saying numbers...

Bird of Paradise... (old notebook poem)


Autumn turns me your favorite colors... (old notebook poem)


Another Reason I Love You (old notebook poem)


Acid rain drips off the unspoken tongue... (old notebook poem)


A rose, by candlelight... (old notebook poem)


A Real Cut-Up (old notebook poem)


A Man Lays Down (old notebook poem)


From my point of view...

From my point of view, this contemporary city, swollen with indifference and excess, is the true definition of ruin, and will continue to be until the day it crumbles to the ground.


(From the book Wilderness & Love)

A light is brightest...

A light is brightest while shining in the dark.

Friday, October 10, 2014

All these mindless wires...

All these mindless wires… they'll never replace those glorious branches outside the window.

Why would I put my faith...

Why would I put my faith into a book that doesn’t even proclaim, "Thou shalt not carve thy initials into trees"?

I highly recommend...

I highly recommend bringing a bottle of red wine with you on your next hike into the woods, especially if you’re with someone special. Share sips along the way.

My cat is...

My cat is totally ghetto. He has a gold whisker.

I'm going to form a rock band...

I’m going to form a rock band called “The Like My Own Facebook Posts.” We will clap after each song we perform. The members will sign autographs for each other. We will throw bras at ourselves.

If a person turns into a zombie...

If a person turns into a zombie, is it required to amend their obituary?

I want to be pagan but...

I want to be pagan but I'm bad with names.

I shouldn't have put...

I shouldn't have put my ant farm so close to the window. Now I have an ant farmer's tan.

I raise my glass...

I raise my glass to the people whose exclamation points turn into 1's. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111. They must be very excited. I'd like to see that happen in real life. "Hey man, that sexy blond over there says she wants to sleep with you." "YES-one-one!"

I figured out a new thing...

I figured out a new thing to do if you're bored: pick a friend, track down a 5-year old email from them, and reply to it.

I figured it out...

I figured it out. The reason fruit flies swarm our food is because it’s revenge for when we say, “Life is short!” Fruit flies hate that. It brings tiny compound tears to their eyes.

Everyone calls regular mail...

Everyone calls regular mail ‘snail mail.’ Let’s take it a step further and call the mailman ‘snailman.’ Next time you see him or her stuffing your mailbox with bills and junk mail just wave and say, "What up, snailman!" However, this doesn’t apply to when they bring you the Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog; for that they get a $2 tip and a high-five.

Factoid

One out of every sixty-eight million dandelions craves human flesh.

Factoid

Nearly every bug you’ve ever swallowed is still inside you. Stomach acid doesn’t always kill them either, which means a few of them are still alive.

Factoid

87% of hotdog manufacturing plants are run by the mob. You might be putting relish on a guy that just got whacked. Bon appétit!

You are the Sunset, I am the Sun (old unpublished poem)

Morning untangles her silver blue hair
from the sepia thorns of complacent night.
The moors, the mountains, the rivers, the seas . . .
All bow in the wake of her stirring. 

People throw open their shutters
and children run out to play.
All is well and time is kind;
our hearts have suddenly come to life. 

We kiss in the tall, wavy grass
as the morning light flows around us.
I am the sunrise, you are the sun—
We are one. 

Twilight pirouettes into the sky
and spirals beyond our curious sight.
My heart, my soul, my envious eyes . . .
They watch diamonds fall from your smile. 

People swing closed their shutters
and tired children saunter home.
All is well and time is still kind;
our love has suddenly come to life. 

We sleep in the tall, wavy grass
as the daylight flows quietly away.
You are the sunset, I am the sun—
We are one.
 

Usurpers Evil (old unpublished poem)

It's like a nightmare with all its           sound
            squeezed out. Colors melting like so much snow,
somewhere seeping into the unseen earth of dream.
            You’re naked and strapped down on a cold, old slate,
your eyes pinned open. They stand around you over you,
these your demons, your own.
            You scream in bad timing and cold hands smack
it back down your throat. Doors fly open and they pick you up,
push you over, push you through, into that time you knew yourself.
            There they beat you red and blue, throw you down and spit at you.
                        The commotion ends and you lay still. Roses are dropped over
you, there's an influx of light; of things rustling in the bushes; of birds singing.
They straighten their spines and the cracking wakes you.
            They march to the door, close it, and forget you.
You watch them go, but are too tired to think about them anymore.
Up to you now, to stand, to walk, to clean the wounds.
And to never, to never follow them again.

Tired (old unpublished poem)

Tired of waiting for a second chance.
Tired of holding my head in my hands.
Tired of looking out windows and thinking back.
Tired of hands in pockets and railroad tracks. 

So tired of the things that make me. 

Sick of having dreams that repeat.
Sick of taking every back seat.
Sick of analyzing all the maybes and what ifs.
Sick of not getting over this. 

So sick of the things that make me. 

Through seeking answers to pointless questions.
Through feeling alone from lack of attention.
Through with wishes that never come true.
Through trying to get over you. 

I’m through with the things that have made me.

Tiger (old unpublished poem)

We were at better days:
buckled down to the trenches,
uplifted like plucked flowers born inside a dream;
no façade—just pure truth at its fullest intent to invade.
 
Stealth mattered:
paws on the moist soil,
lucid stripes: orange, black; white belly low;
whiskers feeling their way,
brushing
aside
flowing
leaves.
 
In these intense green surroundings
and echoes of unseen life
nothing human ever saw, or wept.
 
I am a boy all over again:
buckled down to a world of possibility,
creativity tossing mother in the back seat;
full of strange questions,
seeking my own answers.
 
Mother doesn’t cry: I am partly her; she knows herself enough
to get it. Father never fully understood himself, but he’ll drink
enough to get over it.
 
Understanding only lasts until the voice changes,
until music is explored and girls abound; intensity heightens.
Then it’s “are you on drugs?”
 
I began thinking doors were made for slamming, windows for
staring out of—and always people are wondering, “what’s going on
in that head of yours?”
 
In the jungle: keen observer, predator, beautiful entity,
unexplainable countenance. Intense green surroundings,
echoes of unseen life; I’m seeing it all, I’m weeping uncontrollably.
 
But it’s good, and it’s beautiful—
it’s unchallenged.
 
I walk on all fours. I was never at war, I was just observing one.
My prey across enemy lines; my sleep anywhere I lay.
 
Lifting my head over the tallness of lush growth
I hear a sound—a chase ensues:
 
Some things are destined to die if I am to survive. In a flash of
orange, black, white; a blur—
a streak of energy going by so quickly, so quietly,
that nothing human will see,
nor have time to weep.

This One Heart (old unpublished poem)

What creates my insatiable need to love?
To linger around, to loathe my own trampled heart?
Contentment shines on the tongue tip of my destiny,
but chimeras and weeds flourish on its unlit path. 

Yet I continue to search out the possibilities for love.
I have built it a shrine but it does not come.
When I check for my reflection in the hearts that go by,
I search for the face of it, even just a trace of it. 

It’s not like a bird has never landed on my shoulder
or a flower not bloomed before my eyes,
but the songs and scents were not alike mine.
Too often, perhaps, I’ve sent good things away. 

Today I am here, once a lover, once loved;
but that was sunsets and sunsets ago.
The moon has wept a silky glow over this quiet night—
where one man sits, and longs for two shadows.

The Yeti (old unpublished poem)

Eddie the yeti
was quite a hairy sir,
with an abundance of leaves and twigs and berries
all stuck in his fur. 

He did a dance
and tossed flowers to the sky,
for he was in love with a girl—
one quite pretty to his eye. 

But ever so sad did Eddie become,
for his love was all in vain.
He was thought a monster, a pitiful monster,
and for this he thought his god insane. 

Till one night, one wonderful night,
as he watched her with a curious stare—
dancing and laughing beneath moonlight,
covered in a thick coat of hair!

The Heart Longs to Love (old unpublished poem)

The heart longs to love,
And to be loved,
By its fellow man… 

Yet in a world of Religion,
Consumerism, bad Politics and War
Is it any wonder that my heart
Lies shivering against the front door?

The Bite of Egomania (old unpublished poem)

We were face to face:
mosquito and man.
She was out for blood,
I was out for a walk.
I prepared my palm,
she readied her bite.
It was big thing vs. little thing,
then I thought, Is this right? 

Of us, it was I who had
premeditated something: to kill.
I was consumed by egotism;
I had puffed myself up as the better thing.
I thought, I can choose,
I can use this gift called a brain. 

And so it happened like that:
I made the decision to walk away,
and she got to live another day.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Bane of a Closed Man (old unpublished poem)

She came down
in feathery waves of light,
her electric-blue eyes
clearing the fog of his day.

Her hands opened,
fingers alive with music.
In that moment her touch
could have felled evil.

“I’ve come,” she said,
“to love you unconditionally.”

The man stood silent,
heart lifting in a dance.
A barrage of tears
huddled in his eyes.

Without judgment
she waited for his reply.

“Thank you,” he said,
smiling away the tears.
Then he turned
and walked away.

Stuck With It (old unpublished poem)

Manqué, this day,
left peerless, like the file clerk.
No man is a man until he buys a diamond first. 

Ugh, this lie has left me with a fishwife in the sack
with no way of throwing her back. 

So where from here do the exiled go?
How long live the shark without salt?
The oar afloat above the sunken boat? 

So plum at first glance was she
(unaware of the plastic surgery),
and how wild and alive were those eyes,
so much that I began to lionize. 

But the moon crumbled as layers peeled,
chunks of stale days landing on my time machine.
Maybe I shouldn’t have cast my line.
Maybe she shouldn’t have bit my bait.

Since Nothing of Us Remains (old unpublished poem)

Since nothing of us remains, and the angels have gone silent.
Since my heart beats regular, and the world’s much more plain,
I’ll live my days quietly and never speak her name. 

I made a fight where destiny prevails; my blood pumped with disdain.
And it may be assumed that good things are for good people,
but there’s a lesson much deeper than that, for me. 

Now, since my eyes are icy, and the landscape pulls my attention,
what’s left on the table is of no concern.
One thing I’ve learned to do is not provoke the pain. 

And to avoid pain maybe we should avoid love, or so I’ve often preached.
Yet my heart always cries NO—for it continues to seek, with or without me—
knowing that without the longing, we cannot appreciate the having. 

Moral is: life goes on, with our without the things we desire.
But we must always remember to leave open the door to our hearts,
for the heart is fond of sweet visits.

She Could’ve Been (My Constellation Prize) (old unpublished poem)

She walks beneath a starry sky
spewing about the latest trends,
and I, looking up with admiration,
do not hear a word. 

Annoyed by my waning interest
she exhales a long, dramatic sigh,
and so, digging her nails into the moment,
kills it. 

So I yank some inspiration from above,
forage a weapon of quick, romantic wit.
Hoping to turn the moment into momentous,
or at least something a little more surreal: 

May I say, your personality has moved me tonight.
It’s as sweet as nectar on a hummingbird’s beak;
honey on the breath of a sleepy bee. 

You’re the human equivalent of eternal starlight.
Just look up, and you will see,
a million reasons your beauty affects me. 

She smiled wide, bug-eyed,
like a kitten had licked her face.
I feigned innocence
and took her hand to enhance the moment. 

But she pulled away, a zealot of gossip,
when her purse began to ring.
And I knew then that our potential had fled;
that she’d never embrace the best of me. 

She never did see the stars that night. Or any other.
So I BS’d how I was the bitter and she was the sweet,
and how love doesn’t mix that way. And she,
unaware that the two mix well, agreed. 

And that goes without saying
that what I told her was a lie,
for I simply could not fall in love
with a girl who ignored the sky.