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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fred Robel and Fritz365 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Paul Is Dead

The grooves on the record sound something like this
Fine lines pressed in black vinyl
Labeled marked and sampled
Until the sound is found to be final


the grooves on the record sound something like sith
Strange to the ears with rhythm in reverse
Foreign tongues slide out some sly flattery
Spoken by the devil from that needle so chattery

When your dad slaps your ass for being so stupid
Wrecked a ten dollar cartridge hearing a devilish sequel
A sticker on the front of the album had warned you
Don't listen to the words squarked out in backwards time
It'll bend your diamond tip out of line
And etch new grooves to skip and robot dance too
All the while listening to your daddy whine

Saying you've defied the lord and broken the notes
All hooked up wrong
Same old song
With nothing really evil to say
Just the sound of borken-be-forkin gibberish number nine

The Common Brown Breasted Tip-A-Worry Finch

There was a call in the trees

And an answering call from inside the stone home nearby

A grey brown bird hopped from branch to black barked branch
Yellow orange scaled feet gripping and releasing in rhythm to the movement

A young boy with bronze skin and black hair appeared in the second story window of the home
Resting his hands upon the stone sill
Hands feeling the warmth of the sun still high overhead

Yellowed grey brown bird eyes met golden eyed bronze skinned boy's
And the bird ceased his hopping and spread broad wings
Falling forward into the air for a short glide to the same second story window the boy was at
Alighting a little heavily and cocking its head as it asked

The boy laughed with a flash of teeth before asserting

Retreating into the home and climbing down a wooden ladder to the main floor
The boy chatted with his mother
Telling her how the bird was back again after being elsewhere for the winter months
Expressing suprise that the bird still remembered the words the boy had taught him last year

Returning up the thick wooden rungs carrying a small dish in one hand
Boy met with bird at the window and told the bird

Who received this new bit of news eagerly
Attempting to lunge at the bowl with black tipped red beak half open uttering

With a chiding 'tsk tsk' sound the boy held the bowl away from the bird
Instead reaching into it with three fingers to grasp a few of the crushed morsels of grain
Offering them to the bird in an open palm

That beak moved almost too fast to see
Stopping a hair's breadth away from puncturing the skin
The skills of the hungry bird could not be denied
For no food would be forthcoming should there be an injury
With the boy putting one in his own mouth from time to time as well
Chewing thoughtfully as he watched the bird eat

This was same daily routine which had been established the previous year
Now resumed without any admission of time past
Punctuated by a call in the form of a question or exclamation from one or the other of them
"Twipperwoolree!" or "Twipperwoolree?"

Always with the same answer

There wasn't much variety to their shared language
But they managed

These days stretched into months
And the months into years
Broken up only by the changing of the seasons
And the bird travelling for the coldest of the months far away from the boy
Who was now more of a man

At some point the grown up boy realized that the bird was not the same bird he had taught to speak when he was small
The grey brown was a little more brown than grey
And the black tipped beak had a tiny yellow streak on one side
Though the intelligent yellow eyes still danced whenever they interacted
With insistent calls of

So the bronze skinned man with the black hair that had a tiny bit of white in it now
Answered as he always has

Time runs and rolls downhill like water from a spring upon a mountainside
Past rock homes and bronze skinned black haired men and boys
And all around grey brown birds with black tipped red beaks which gleefully called out

Until one day the sun rises upon a new spring day
Warming the same stones that used to line a certain windowsill
Though now they are part of a pile of rocks barely protruding from the undergrowth of the forest that has grown all around

There are still bronze skinned boys and girls, men and women
They no longer live in stone homes for the most part
Nor do any of them answer when any one of thousands of grey brown birds calls out
As they so often do
To the point that those birds have become known by that call they make

The call that was taught to that one bird so long ago
In a language that is no longer known
Which was taught to that bird's chicks
Who taught it to their chicks
Until all the grey brown birds with black tipped red beaks and yellow eyes called out
"Twipperwoolree!" to one another
No one bird ever wondering what it meant
Nor any boy, girl, man, or woman thinking there was any meaning to it either

A simple call of trust and friendship
To share a handful of crushed grain

A Misspelling

"Wither and die
Weather to try
Souls sand dry
Harsh as lye
Soak the tears she does not cry"

Wand tip taps upon the archive glass lightly
Then twice
And after a pause of looking around for results
A third time with a little more force and an audible "Clack!"

With a derisive snort
Grand Wizard Gilly Grundlestein rubbed his forehead and bent back over the grimoire
Re-reading the spell
Looking for an inflection he may have missed
For clearly he had missed something
As what he had wanted to have happen
Had most certainly not

Though half a world away
On a continent yet to be discovered by the depravity of man

A family of beaver  stepped cautiously out of their lodge
Onto what really ought to at least be wet muddy bottom silt
From the lower entrance of their home
That traditional home of all beaver everywhere
Which ought to be sitting in the center of a well stocked beaver made pond

The water was nowhere to be seen
With no trace to be found even if one were to dig down into the river bottom
As one intrepid river otter tried to do just now
Coming up frustrated and dusty
Like a refugee from the all-animal cast of The Road Warrior: The Musical

Salt water flowed backwards into the river mouth many leagues away
Till it finally reached the foot of a formerly great misty waterfall
Now just a rocky cliff face stretching up eighty-five feet
With a lone bear cub peering over the edge
Chewing on a dried up piece of salmon

While high upon the side of the tallest mountain in the distance
Goats walking sideways upon rocky flanks
Nibbling delicately upon mosses and lichens
A blue-white glacier stood literally frozen in place
All movement stopped mysteriously
The constant surfing of gravity upon the mountainside halted

Ice at the lower end down in the valley below stoically braving the sunshine
Weeping no more upon the smooth rocked streams projecting from it like veins to an artery
Cold and uncaring
Giving no more to the earth before it

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Carbon Black Dated

The book report I wrote in fourth grade
It reeks of disco
Like a smoke filled room of sweaty hairy men
Wearing butterfly collared polyester suits
Hitting on bohemian ladies under the glitter ball
Upon a light up dance floor in Studio 54

That paper I penned in eighth grade
Smells like Miami Vice
Old Spice soaked T-shirts under sport coats
Cocaine dusted Hungry Hungry Hippos and nothing else nice
Sidling up to you with wads of Wall Street money
Begging to be noticed not once but thrice

A certain five paragraph essay from my senior year
Wears an open flannel shirt over a tee that proclaims "Fuck the Man!"
Blasting out grunge music from its favorite garage band
Driving cross country in a land of make believe IROC-Z
That's really just broken down Astro Van vanity
That last gasp of childish glee before drowning in the ills
That come with grappling with grown up reality

Papers came and went with regularity
Sliding through greasy childish fingers at first
Pocked with almost legible pencil and then pen
Rolling next smoothly through the rollers of a grey Smith Corona
And then pushed pulled and daisy-wheeled by a serious BDSM Selectric IBM
Dot matrix and ink jets with cartridges refilled by the hippy down the street
All to illuminate pages with characters and their times and places
A rhyme here a plot device there with little substance to either

Dated by the times and technology
Ideas contained in each wood pulp time capsule
Doomed to crumble away along with each bit and byte in the ether
All forgotten by the end

The old rusty Oliver number 5 typewriter hanging on the wall mocked me as I wrote those words that day
Smugly rusty dusty and sure that nothing would ever come of anything I ever did
Just like every other time I swore off the booze or the women with fast cars and the gambling
Followed in short order and in no particular order by a long parade of faster women in quicker cars with their ruby red lips an inch from my ear as they leaned over my shoulder at the craps table tickling me with their whiskey sweet soaked breath "Let's go get another drink"

There's nothing worse than being a one trick pony in a no-ponies-allowed town
Looking for clues in the hues of the flickering ten position animated multicolored neon lights
Until you've collected sorted and decoupaged enough of them upon the walls of your rented flat's living room that everyone can see it but you
The image of an answer that a flatfoot from downstate like you just doesn't want to see
So you just keep looking

~Mist rolls in upon the forlorn figure in a disheveled suit and hat, as he slowly disappears center screen to the sound of his own fading footsteps on the concrete, credits coming up, and the house lights rise~

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Waypoint 17

Tumbling randomly in place
A slow motion demonstration of grace
Fragments of rock and metal orbiting lazily
All in dead silence at an empty spot in space

Merc*** **out keeps a sharp lookout
Words white emblazoned shouting an identity out
Specifics fractured forever by a chunk of missing tin
Five missing letters help to keep this mystery within

Five meters long with a sleekly designed nose
Empty sockets dotting a smooth fuselage
Length ending suddenly in a sparkling jagged rose
Surrounded in a sparkling halo of ragged metal bits
A beautiful curtain of vacuum suspended deadly snows

Sixteen meters further away gently floats a small contrast
A short section of structure that looks quite similar
But one end blunt with the other a now familiar flowery gash
Within the open end an empty half spherical area gaped wide
Tiny stenciled lettering saying "Caution: Memory Cache"

Nothing orbited this lonely piece except one long slender item
Glinting in the faint starlight as it went
No marks of any kind to identify kingdom or phylum
Unknown to any who would see it
Floated this shiny lost piece of a random tech system

Not far away taking up about ten square meters of space
Past a few ponderously moving bits of rock
Was a sight classified extraordinarily
Liquid and solid all at the same time
Organic matter and water coalesced tightly
Afraid to let go into the unknown
Though quickly outgassing quite mightily

A mysterious place seven light-years past sixteen
With soundlessly sucking surroundings
A simply terrible place for a rest
Waypoint 17 was no place for any race
Less rejuvenation and much more of a test

Thursday, December 4, 2014


~SCRIPT SECTION XXX - seven hours post collision- START~

Thankful for the dirt beneath me
Though it might not feel like dirt I'm told
More like crushed glass perhaps
But in the circumstances
I'll not be detaching my gauntlets to find out

Grateful that the asteroid did not kill us all
Only what senior staff has stated are:
"Acceptable losses"
I myself would like to hear what the captain might opine on the matter

From two hundred feet within the floating rock that has merged with us
He wouldn't hear me ask
And I'd not hear him answer

I'm beholden to a deity no doubt
For the fact that the ship did not blow apart
This being the first observation of massive object merger that has been recorded

When done in controlled experiments
The fold craft emerged upon an existing object with great force
Such that the only measurements taken were from one hundred kilometers away

I am much obliged that we are still here
However adrift in a vast emptiness we may be

Three out of five reaction engines are still operational
Food stores were untouched
Life support can be maintained now after some repairs

I am certainly appreciative for this chance to sit here
Wherever here is
For the four months it will take to go through our supplies

With us gone
That will leave the two thousand or so people on Venus
Who in turn have projected survival being a negative prospect after another eighteen months without Earth there to send crucial supplies

I release my hold upon the jagged ended tube I was holding on to
Letting inertia slowly tug my body out to the end of the seven meter tether

There I hung for awhile
Feeling bloody sorry for my species

Perhaps the Galaxy will give thanks when we are gone


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Days

Sharpened bayonets did not glint in the sun that day
As the sun hid behind condescending clouds
Keeping its warm rays to itself
Wanting no part of things such as these

Dirt caked rifles sported specks of rust
Despite cleaning twice a day
The rain that had hung unfallen in the air for months
Worked its way into every nook cranny and metal grain
Expanding everything
Making for ill fitting comfort
The wood handles and stocks
Dirty underwear and socks

A cry went up suddenly from down the line
But it was cut short mid-yell
And the message was clear

The enemy had infiltrated us

Lips curled beneath a once-waxed roaring mustache
The Sergeant's voice gave order with a mouse's squeak
"To Bunker Sixteen! Go!"

And he was up and out of the hole that passed for a trench these days
Pounding the mud with boots the same color as his uniform
Which was the same color as the mud
And it all matched the sky
Grey invaded our very souls as we followed him in a killing frenzy

The Hun ran next to the Brit
Not much to tell the one from the other
Except that each was trying to kill the other

Now multiply that by a thousand
With cracks of metal upon wood
An occasional gunfire shot
And the sound of boots in the muck
Pounding like angry winemakers upon the worst of grapes
The ones that deserve angry stomps to wring out their best
Leaving nothing but limp skins and seeds behind in flattened fruit meat

Bunker sixteen loomed large and near
Less than half of us left now
Still fighting and full of fear
There was no enemy or us anymore
Just a goal and people in our way

Hands on the prize at last
First Lieutenant Brandt turns
Showing a smile that is missing two more teeth than last time through split lips


Almost invisible puppeteer's wires pull up to the heavens
Taking our weapons and uniforms with them
Replaced by clean civilian clothing
Our skin scrubbed of that mud at last
As that memory becomes more of a dream than anything else

Harold Brandt's fingertips slowly left the box of the last flat screen television in the store
His bloody smile with not quite enough teeth returned to a grimace
The final lunge to the prize reversing in midair
As we all retreated from the prize at the end of aisle sixteen
All assholes and elbows in negative motion
My own fist flies away from a teenager's face
His hands going away from me
As I fall back up to my running position

Back to the front of the store we went
Mad jackals the lot of us
Whooping in unintelligible earsplitting noise
Sale flyers fluttering madly in hand
The fallen shoppers being untrampled as we went
A woman got unpunched in the ribs and started smiling again
Resuming her earlier optimism that she might get a cheap video game system for her son

An infant flew through the air feet first
Back to her mother's arms
Away from the soft bedding pile in which she had ended up
Until the fear left her little face
And mom clutched her closely
Assured that she could never be tripped up and drop her precious little girl

Back past the pile of doorbusters
Those same items that had claimed the unwary on the way through the first time
Tiny tin toys unexploding from boxes that came back together as they were unstepped on
With an  uncanny valley crying
The latest Peeing Peggy dolls cried like little foreign babes
Cries going in opposite pitch from what they should

Until we were all back through the doorways
Glass panels swinging closed upon us
A security guard yelled out that it was almost time
Hands and faces pressing against thick glass
Watching phones and wall clocks
Counting back from 6am
Noses pressed distended against glass
Snotting things up in steamy suspense
Wet slushy snow all around

All the frightened pigs in the early winter cold
Greeding for shiny things glittering in the grey of the predawn
Awaiting the start of yet another Black Friday