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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2015. 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.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Break Fast

Strings of wet shredded wheat cling
To the white porcelain bowl
Forgotten in the haste to taste
All the better more sugary bits

Waiting patiently
Gripping tenaciously
Drying constantly
Scraped expectantly
Chewed tastelessly

The best parts of you
Have already sweetened my soul
Sugared the milk
Making me fatter the goal

Leftover breakfast cereal
Flies in subdued disgrace
To land awkwardly in the stainless sink
Sinking to sleep with the fishes
Because nobody wants to do the dishes

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tree Study #4

Roots tear free in unbridled glee
Dancing across the lawn
This towering one hundred foot tall
Mad Hatter crowned tangoing maple tree

That's really not what's happening at all
It is only how I'm seeing things
Viewed through my peyote gaze
Clouded with that bitter spirit quest tea

A raccoon marries a squirrel in a solemn ceremony
As I stand witness and vomit my approval
Which is perfectly normal
This isn't my first woodlands wedding you see

As usual my skin crawls off of my body
In a slung off limp exoskeletal heap
Something for biology majors to find and debate
A bit of fin grain leather stock for free

From underneath my true nature is revealed
As a coarse bark layered thing from obscurity
A little too on the nose for a costume choice
But in my addled state this is what I'd be

Size ten rooted to air Ent feet
That's what I see when I look down
With stiff limbed arms swaying to the walk
Long twig fingers fluttering like banshee bees

The Postman comes by delivering the mail
Staring steadily to keep an eye on me as he goes
This is far from the first time I've been seen marching the front yard
Covered in muddy sticks and leaves

And it likely won't be the last

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tree Study #3

Strength is all I can see when I look at you
And my hands cramp as a result
While filing the teeth of my chainsaw carefully
So I can have a go at your heroic form

Even more intimidating when I step up
Looming high overhead
A predator waiting to pounce
Your canopy shades with ill intent

Earplugs: check
Gloves: check
Safety goggles: check
Chainsaw....pull....pull....pull....pull....pull....pull....started!: check

I'd carefully make my first cut
But trees such as you
Seem to fall wherever they want
So blade flat to the ground
Motor blossoms blue smoke

Newly sharpened teeth burrow eagerly
Cutting a trench in your fiber
First through that thick outer skin
Then finding layers of rot

All that towering and scowling
Was just a pose it seems
As you were propped up by next to nothing
Your insides decayed and hollow

Still it was with sad eyes
That I followed your fall
Arcing into the clearing
To land with a thud
Cracking you open along your length

Your insides eaten by parasites
Filled with decay and excrement
Open to the gaze of the sun
There to be seen by anyone


Monday, May 11, 2015


Orange fluttering rybbon
Fluttering in the breeze
Stuck and tied to anything for an reason
Not everything
But things

Rybbon streamered bicycle handles
Flying backwards in response to rapid forward motion
Pedalling like mad in a pair of worn out Keds
Shoelaces daring fate to tangle them in the chain and sprocket
As they go 'round
And 'round

Rybbon marked short survey stakes
Self importantly marking property corners and utilities
Telling you where you can or cannot build or put a fence
Or where to dig to blow a water main
To dance in the geyser
Clothes optional

Rybbon wrapped present packages
First one way then twisted ninety degrees to go that
A crazy crippled cross of security
Obliviating fingertips and gay festive moods
Keeping presents a secret
Since when?

Rybbon mummified trick or treaters
Shockingly safety orange and chasing Wolfman down the street
Peering out through one tiny gap in the wrap
Crying out
"I'm the MUMMY!!!"
At the top of her lungs
Alternately sprinting and staggering
Waffling in and out of character
Finally taking down that Wolfman
As if the orange rybbon wrapped She be the Wolf
And not He
Face first onto the lawn

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mark II (A Tale of Earth 52.5)

The Mark I had disappeared into the darkness
The fact of which I couldn't get out of my mind

It had been in there while I was finishing up the Mark II
Which had been about 61% complete at the time of the first test
Or so my wall flowchart told me
And I had no reason to doubt it
As there were professional algorithms involved and everything

Now floating here against my nylon straps
Sweat condenscing in tiny droplet beads
That neither ran down my skin
Or cooled me in any functional way
I could not bring myself to press the button

There in the space of my mind hung the 'Daisy'
The name I'd given the Mark I upon its completion
Writ in large white cursive upon the side of her nose
A small twenty centimeter painting of a white daisy next to it

Not a soul was in the cockpit
The pilot's seat eerily empty and wrong looking
Though the set of controls that had been in front of me
Where I sat on the chase ship almost made me feel that I was there


I've told myself since
That had I been allowed to pilot the craft personally
I would have known that something wasn't quite right
A vibration
Or a whine
Or chatter
Something would have given away its off center condition to me

I had not hesitated that day
Surrounded by a small group of fellow technicians and tracking officers
With some top brass, funding angels, and family members watching the live feed
My confident digit had flipped up the guard over the button almost jauntily
Stabbing the button in expectation of the fulfillment of years of work

The telemetry skewed radically the instant I activated the fold
I still didn't know exactly what
Though I had theories

When the high speed imagery was slowed down
There are two still frames of interest

The first
Shows a distinct wrinkle in the backbone of the small craft
Running across the span of the backbone
Just above the gravity engine compartment

The second
Gives the distinct impression of peering into a funhouse mirror
With the fore and aft ends of the ship about six meters closer together
As if someone had divided the ship into thirds
Removed the center piece
And pushed the two ends together
But with an odd warpage to the area that they were joined

A third still frame 
From immediately after that
Finishes the story for all intents and purposes
Showing the emptiness of space as far as you can see

For the record
What should have happened
Was that the entire ship should disappear
And then reappear exactly ten meters away from where it started

I had done that same experiment in the lab hundreds of times
Seven hundred and sixty two times
To be exact
Using the scaled down table top sized version of the gravity engine
Which sat in a simple titanium framework
With rubber feet
To avoid scratching expensive conference tables during presentations

Of which there had been many
Accounting for thirty two of those test runs
For paying audiences as it were

Right now it was almost the opposite situation

I was out of money
No, more than that
I was technically homeless after leveraging everything to finish the Mark II
Having been told that 
"The concept needed refinement"

Now there was no chase ship full of people
Only a small recording satellite shadowing me at 1000 credits/hr
And me
Sitting in the primer black painted "Bones"
With the obligatory chalk drawn skull and crossbones on the nose
Finger hesitant
As if it had all the money and time in the world

My brain replayed those two horrifying still frames again for me
Just because it clearly cares

I held my breath and pressed that button

Nothing changed
It didn't even appear that I had moved
Everything was still green across the board
And I was..........exactly ten meters further from the recording sat


Saturday, May 9, 2015

An Unpleasant Patter

Footsteps upon the worn cracked linoleum
A never ending reminder that I'm not alone
For some a reassurance
For me a torturous ennui

Never getting closer
Though always threatening to
Never growing distant
Though often almost about to

I've grown to hate them
Those disembodied feet
Slapping the shitty floor
Pacing from door to door

I'd remove them from the offending body
Mount them to a plaque
To hang upon the wall near my bed
A reminder of a rare triumphant attack

But the coward always wins
Sucking all the cocky courage back in
To an empty milkshake straw sucking sound song
Letting those feet walk all over me again

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Roethke Imitation Game: Android Edition

That is less a man and more a machine,
Or clockwork, or automaton
Hydraulic actuators and complex linkage convert into four axis motion
How he could identify himself in a mirror and not short himself out with tears
Is beyond my comprehension or even his own, if limits be drawn
Or perhaps he is deeply in love with what he has become
Or rages against the loss of humanity
Or secretly tries to remove all the metal bits
Or orders even more components from obscure enhancement catalogs
Or he once decided to live forever and regrets that choice every day