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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2017. 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, February 28, 2015

Student Driver

You drive me batty when you're driving me
The way you hug that center line
Intimidating cars come right at us
Making their eyes go wide every single time

I think I'd rather walk
That's what I always swear I'll say
But then you give me those big eyes
Those big lonely eyes
And I give into what you want
Because that's what I always do

You're supposed to be man's best friend
But teaching you to drive
Was probably the worst thing I could do

So with one paw on the wheel
And the other resting on the sideview mirror
Your head stuck out the window like a train engineer
Lips pulled back by the wind
And your tongue flipped back by your ear

I should never have gotten a dog a learning permit

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lies In The Middle Age

He sidled up to the bar with a wifebeater shirt on
Next to a pretty woman ten years your junior
Keeping his middle aged arms flexed for show
And to minimize the underskin sag

He bought her a drink or three
While I watched the band and drank my one

During a lull in the music I heard one of his lines
As it found a quirk in the acoustics path to my ears
While touching his upper left arm
I heard him say
"Got that when a smuggler's bullet grazed me
While we were on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico"
Her pink pony painted fingernails came up almost reverently 
As her fingertip traced the small oval scar with a slightly raised center

My own right hand mimiced what she was doing
As I slid my finger up the left sleeve of my t-shirt
Tracing the small oval scar with the slightly raised center
That I'd had since the early 1970's

The smallpox vaccination gun leaves a very distinct mark on most people

I chuckled to myself and had another sip of my now British warm draft budweiser swill
Telling myself I should at least order a Guinness if I'm going to let it go all room temperature like this
But I can already feel the headache coming on
That even one beer can give me these days
So I stand and throw on my coat
Making my slow way through the crowded bar to the door
Passing right by my truth bending Casanova acquaintance

I feel my arm tugged just as I'm almost free of the area
"Fritz, Fritz!" he says with a half in the bag smile of way too friendly
Tell Amanda here about the monster truck I have in my back pole barn!"
With a wink, he expects me to back him up on this nightly poon tang quest

With a sigh, I do what I interperet to by my duty
"Oh yeah!" I exclaim with a mock admiring look towards him
"The fucking thing is massive! He's got harvester tires on the bastard
That he totes stole them from the farmer down the road over a gambling debt
And blackmailed the local mechanic into building up an awesome engine for it!
I heard it can go from zero to man-gasm in about five seconds
Hell, that truck is a monster every bit as impressive as his cock
(or so I hear)!"

He hadn't hardly listened to me
And she was still trying to process what I'd said properly
So with a gleeful fistbump to my faux buddy
I crashed for the door muttering
"What a douchebag"
To myself

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jesus Junkyard Land

The signs proclaim how to reach heavenly bliss
Quotes from the Bible writ big and hard to miss
Painted in a shaky paranoid hand
Upon wood stuck deep into Jesus Junkyard Land

The grounds are guarded by Holy Rottweillers
With small dagger crosses hanging from black spiked collars
They patrol in lock step pairs wearing robotic eyes
And mark off the territory by pissing holy water

A giant crucifix made out of old Chevrolet suspension bits
Standing ten feet tall and proud in front of the old house
Was hung with two giant eyes made of giant brake discs
A banner fluttering across the top bar declared 
"Beware Sinner! Jesus Sees ALL!" 

Old cars lay higglety pigglety all about
With seemingly no order to their madness
Not until seen from space does it all become clear
With scrap vehicles forming an Alpha in the front, and Omega in the back

I tried to get a picture to prove the place was real
And not made up whole cloth at the bar after two pints of beer
But as soon as I stopped my car out front and readied my camera
A militia man wearing rags burst from his peeled paint farmhouse
Waving one arm up over his flying long hair and beard
The other one holding an AK-47 leveled right at my head
I didn't stick around to hear his warning or sermon
Leaving twin trails of rubber trying to stay ahead of any hail of lead

Now I only have my words to show I was there
And spread the word that the end is truly near

Droopy Eyed Format Decide

Those crisp words and images
Song lyrics and musical melodies
Sit in stasis awaiting your return
To be pulled across the head and read
Converting the analog to something for senses to interpret

That real life that was recorded
Upon the new fangled magnetic type tape
Was surely worth preserving
At least in some kind of entertaining state

Now twenty years on
And everything has started to bleed a bit
A transfer of force from one loop upon the reel to the next
Until an echo is heard before every word
And even that fading as the counter ticks its way around

A pile of memories mouldering in magnetic disarray
Awaiting  the return of a forgotten format to play
Should we tell them they'll be waiting for a long time?
Since all the machines they fit into have been recycled away
To become the next great idea
The new shiny to preserve for posterity
The first time little Tommy shits in the potty

At least until that next new way
In turn has to sidestep to make way
Spinning a glass record 78 upon a cast plate
Plattering along driven by wound spring
Touched by a bamboo needle
With no nerves to feel it
Just grooves to ride upon
Some good vibrations
In some new old groove

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Safety? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Safety! (A Tale of Earth 52.5)

~Safeties Require Calibration~

~Safeties Require Calibration~

~Safeties Require Calibration~

"Shut up!"
I yelled into the faceplate of my helmet
"Shut up! Shut up!
I heard you the first hundred times, Betty!"

Bitchin' Betty was what everyone called her
A generic name for the female voiced audible advisory system
With history reaching back more than a hundred years
To the late Twentieth Century civil and military aircraft of the time
And the name just stuck

The more modern AI based systems were much more useful
And their users almost always chose a name for them at some point
With rumors of a few systems that had expressed a preference for a name themselves

And if this was one of those newer systems
I wouldn't be hunting for the power relay right now with my fingers
Because I could use all the brains I could get at the moment
Artificial or not
As my meat  brain was just about on the rev limiter for cycles and multitasking

And just like that
My fingertips found what they were looking for
The distinctive hexagon shapeed plug on panel J-5
Which had to be the most user un-friendly design I ever had the pleasure of working with
But whose layout and shapes were burned into my brain
Along with a lot of other details that I'd rather forget

I pulled gently
Popping the six prongs from their seats
Betty went silent
Her Bitching done for the moment

"I'll turn you back on after I figure things out a bit
I promise"
Reassurances for dumb circuitry spilling from my lips
(Unfit for duty!)

Shaking my head lightly
To clear the excess noise left over from Betty and a certain long dead C.O.
I picked my list back up from the seat and hopped down from the step winglet to the museum floor
The two foot drop causing my leg stump to throb
Which I ignored with a silent curse
And promptly stepped half on a ratchet handle
Almost sending me sprawling across the rest of the tools that I had spread across the left side of the roped off display area

I whispered angrily to myself
I wouldn't do myself or anyone........
And I stopped my thought at that
Because I still wasn't certain who exactly I was helping out by doing any of this shit

Dragging my ass all the way down here to The Hangar
Reactivating the jump drive in this old piece of Mk I junk
All to go where?
And why?

My lips craved the feel of a cigarette
Reminding of a bit of the why at least

No usable atmosphere equals no fire equals no fucking cigarettes for old Hank
And that just wouldn't do
No sir!

So with that slim bit of motivation moving me along
I walked past history
One awkward step at a time
Five all-feeling toes attached to an all-American foot held firmly in a combat survival suit boot leading the way
Followed numbly by a titanium claw teetering  inside the match to the first boot
Sending the almost feel of being on the ground along rods and swivel joints to thick leather cup and straps
Where the angry scarred flesh angrily worked to keep up with the mission
However weak an objective it may be

A rocket engine taller than a two story building
An unmanned solar glider
A space shuttle
A small case holding some charred remains that were once a space ship
Then a gift shop near the entrance with seventeen bodies laid out neatly
All with navy blue souvenir t-shirts squarely over their faces
Hands crossed upon chests
Just more history for the museum to mark at this point
Though without a curator to make an informational plaque
There wasn't any context anyways

Now that was a thought
And I hammered my gauntleted hand into the emergency exit door
Careful to step over the pet rock I'd placed to prop it open for me
And on to the still open back of my much too faded red for only being a year old vehicle to retrieve the last two items I needed

A twin pack of replacement oxygen generators for my suit
And the small yellow shoulder bag that I'd grabbed almost on instinct as I'd bugged out of the house
Grunting slightly as the forty pounds of O2 packs loaded up my left arm
And silence as my right grasped the two odd pounds of yellow bag

Greeted my gaze for the last time as I turned again to the building's South side
An only appropriate placard for an exit stage right
An ill planned tally ho into the nether from within

In search of a place more hospitable to cigarettes
And context for this dream of devastation

Through that door I strode for the last time
Under a sickly looking sun that peered all too hard at what I was doing

One Day On a Train

I met you on a train
Though our eyes they never locked
Hands that never touched
Thoughts that probably went in wildly different directions

You had a briefcase that was full to bursting
Or perhaps only had a few things in it
Which were disorganized into haphazard piles
Leaving corners of papers sticking out
For myself and the whole world to see

One was a child's paper
Labeled as 'Second Grade English Quiz 4.2'
With a red B+ marked diagonally in the top margin
Owned by someone named Susan Z******
At least I think it was a last name starting with Z
And I couldn't make out the rest of it
With my cursive reading skills so rusty
And child Susan being overly messy about writing

That Z could have been a cursive Q as well now that I think on it
Those thoughts making me peer sneakily at your face
As you sat watching the world blur on by us in the picture size window  between us
Little crow's feet crinkling the corners of your eyes
The left a little more moist than the right
And a lock of slightly curled brown hair drifted down across your furrowed brow
A soft diagonal across the parallel lines

Was Susan your child?
I wondered
Almost asking it aloud
Before composing myself by fiddling with my pocket watch
Yes, quite right, almost exactly ten minutes since the last time I checked it

But then another thought happened by
Saying that perhaps you were the sort of person who carried their own second grade quiz paper around with them
However after careful sideways glances
I decided you weren't the type

With that question dealt with
My bored eyes flicked to the window
Noting the passage of Hog Slaughter station
Marking the halfway point in my commute home
Before questing their field of view towards your elbow
Where it rested upon the cheap grey plastic interior that passed for decor in mid-grade public transit these days
Up the worn nondescript sleeve of a tan overcoat that cloaked you in mystery
To your shoulder
Where a large single button hung on for dear life with one remaining loop of thread
Doing nothing really to prevent the epaulet from flying about in a fashion faux rage
Were it given the slightest provocation by wind or movement

I thought I should tell you that the button was likely about to fall off
And the words were in my mouth just about
When I ate them
Awkward adverbs and all
Swallowing them whole into the silence

A particularly rough grade crossing rattled your briefcase
Which drew both of our attention
Me taking bets with myself as to whether it would fall over or not
You obviously concerned that it might
Seeing your Isotoner gloved hand grasp the top firmly
Rotating it slightly on the floor until it was in perfect position to grasp with your legs
One worn brown boot on each side
Topped by muscular calves that disappeared long before the knee into the dark mystery of that overcoat curtain

I couldn't draw my gaze away from the papers once again
Trying to make out what the new ones I could see purported themselves to be
One was clearly a receipt
From a deli that I happened to know had the best fresh baked bread sub sandwiches in the city
The date showing that you'd been there in March
Of what year or exact day I'd never know
Hidden as that information was by the tightly closed lips of burgundy leather

Staring intently at another bit of paper that was sticking its tongue out at me
Where there seemed to be a bit of logo that was legible as belonging to a life insurance company
I became aware of two holes being burned into the top of my head
Your eyes were tearing into me
Picking through my memories
Trying to determine what type of person this was that was showing such interest in......

Oh my god, she thought I was staring up her overcoat!

I quickly looked straight down and bent over
With a slight groan as if in minor pain
I untied my left shoe and slipped it off
Wiggling the toes clad only in a well worn navy blue office issue dress sock
Letting a little bit of air in between them
While rubbing my heel lightly

I felt the twin lasers of inquisitional accusation rotate away from my hidden red face
As you looked away in disgust from my foot display

I slipped my foot back into my shoe and picked up the newspaper
All in one staggered motion of thoughtlessness
Of slapping out the paper and a crinkle crinkle of aimless page turning lingering embarassment

Hidden from my view
The scenery outside stopped and started
Lurching the seat beneath me
My gaze flicking around the page
First a house fire in the local news
Only one survivor
A child who died from the smoke
Her name was Susan

My face went white and I dropped my paper 
A question determined to announce itself to the rail carraige this time for certain
But the scenery was speeding by again
Without you to gaze out at it thoughtfully now
Nothing to indicate that you were there but the quickly flattening out slight indentation in the old cheap seat cushion

I met you on the train
Almost touched your hand and said hello
Almost knew your story
And still look for you every single day

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't touch the brown lockers

Don't touch the brown lockers
With their multiple layers of paint
Stroked on by generations of janitors
Shoes crusted by clean-up sawdust
And the patience of a saint

Don't touch the brown lockers
It's where all the supplies are kept
The pink sawdust is for the pee
The green is for the puke
Incidentally that kid's lying about it never happening before
There's sick on the ceiling for Pete's sake!
He's a pro
This ain't no fluke

Don't touch the brown lockers
Some say they must be full of fudge
While others exclaim, "No, they're full of poo!"
Though I myself won't budge
From the firm belief that one of them is a Narnia pass-through
Because just the other day I saw the principal come out of one
With his good hunting boots tracking some foreign mud sludge

Don't touch the brown lockers
One of those flaking color layers is certainly full of lead
One of the kindergartners chewed on one for a year they say
Until he went mad with heavy metal head
Growing to a long haired teen driving a twenty year old van
With a shocking to the old people mural upon the side
Of a bare breasted Viking woman calling upon Wotan

Don't touch the brown lockers
They are where the secrets must be kept
Area 51 doesn't have anything on them
They glow at night through the vent slits
Making frightening noises with grey skin and almond eyes
Such that almost no one in the whole town has slept

Don't touch the brown lockers
That's where the bully keeps his lunch
Juicy hamburgers and Crème brûlée
He put a note on it so you wouldn't eat it
If you do you'll bare his bully brath
No doubt to suffer endless noogies ending with an atomic wedgie

Don't touch the brown lockers
Everyone loves a good mystery
Once you open them to see nothing but the odd dust bunny
Then it's all back to the plain old drudgery

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Yearly Training Bitchfest

This Human Factors class is far too long
I've taken the initial session
I've taught the class and created the lesson
I've been there done that and have the T-shirt

This Human Factors class is far too long

SHELL models and PEARs
I try to pretend that they take me unawares
But if they do
It's only because they snuck up on me
And I didn't see them through my veil of bored tears

Latent issues and distractions
Fatigue or mucked up conversion fractions
A Dirty Dozen with bad ergonomics
This annual training hurts my neck
From all the half asleep nodding that occurs

If I had my way
I'd throw a grenade up through those mystically aligned holes in that Swiss Cheese Model
Blowing it to bits
So that I'd never have to learn about it again

Oh thank god
It's time for the ten question quiz

The Green Just Isn't So Very Green Around Here (A Tale of Earth 52.5)

Gabriel looked to the ground
Hoping to see signs of life in the imported soil
Some tiny green fingers reaching for the sun’s rays
Parting their granular prisons to spread leaves of greenery

Sadly there seemed to be no activity from seed batch 433v
Which was made up of a strain of grain from India
And fertilized with a specific mixture of nutrients
In hopes of mimicking the taste of Earth for the nascent seeds

Looking around the yellowish haze that seemed to hang in the humid air
The lizard part of his brain still refused to accept that things from Earth didn’t want to grow here
Where the sun was X times brighter than on their home planet
And moisture was in abundance

But the science part of his brain squashed the lizard with facts
The ones that pointed out that the native soil was harsh and acidic in comparison to what was ‘normal’
And the much brighter light was filtered through the Venusian haze in such a way that much of the ultraviolet spectrum was blocked  
Not to mention the visible coloring of everything here……

The few plants that had made the journey from Earth to Venus
Were perfectly normal ones
Where back home their leaves had that lovely green color that humans love so much
But in this damned place they took on a blackish color
Making everyone think more of death than life

Then there had been the early suicides………..

Gabriel’s train of thought was interrupted by the appearance of Lina
Accompanied by one of the Venues

They appeared far down my straight line furrow
Where their approach had been hidden by the irrigators with their long appendages folded up tightly to cylindrical bodies
And began walking towards me while looking around
Probably as hopeful as I had been to see some growth activity

The Venu was glarking away in his own language with the accompanying hand gestures for precision emphasis
Lina's pendant near her breastbone chattered quietly providing relayed translation from Momma
Though the computer voice was getting louder by the moment
Which was when I realized the Momma had started piping the translation to me as well
In a steadily increasing volume as the pair grew closer to me

What I heard concerned me

Friday, February 20, 2015

The One Who Authors The Author

Ink splotters my fingertips
Somehow having drawn dots of ink upwards from the pen's tip
Defying gravity every bit as much as the central plot has eluded me
Through four drafts of this chapter alone
Pummeling characters into submission
Adding adverbs, punctuation, and description
At a rate that one would think I was paid on a per word commission

This guy right here
He has nothing centrally driving him
When hungry he eats
Tired, he sleeps
Horny, has sex
He isn't a complicated person
So something primal should be found to push him somewhere
A love, a death, anything

But he doesn't seem to want to
I throw an alien abduction at him
And he says he just doesn't have time for that kind of thing
The corner store has a special on steak
And his tummy is a rumbling

A long lost love from gradeschool contacts him
And he just shrugs it off
Muttering something about gas prices and a M.A.S.H. marathon
A box of Cheez-Its that'll go stale
And that relationships are hard so he'd much rather jack it off

A heart attack
And he says, "Nah, I'm fine"
A great flood from a busted dam
Only to find he's prepared for that too
With modified grades and sandbags
And a double wide fully stocked fiberglass canoe

Nothing fazes this guy
And I'm beginning to wonder just who is writing who
Because I'm acting a little more stressed and crazy every single day
I'm beginning to suspect that he is a writer too

I begin poking around my manuscript
Under mattresses and piles of trash
Until I find what I'm looking for
A pile of handwritten pages in a steamer trunk false bottom stash

It is a story of a writer
Who isn't really very good
That is trying to write a novel
And his characters just won't behave
Which is when I fully understood:

I am the character
These are my strings
And I'm only doing as I should

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teenage Love

T'was a good morning call
Of "Good morning to all"
With a response of bitter silence
And a glare that declared
"Get the fuck out of my room"

A far cry from those salad days
When each sunrise was greeted with a morning mouthed grin
And a springy little bounce from the bed
Without a hint of any darkness within

The hormones that work their maturation magic
At the same time draw feelings most tragic
The self doubt of the "Am I good enough"'s
Accompanied by the wearing of the black upon sunny days
Application of ten layers of eyeliner
And when all else fails
A messy bunker of a barricaded bedroom with which to hide from the world in

Someday a butterfly will emerge from that cocoon
But until that day
Just squint your ears really hard
Because it really means "I love you"
Whenever she says "Get the fuck out of my room"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

X Is Seemingly Beside The Point

Ok, I need to do X
What is X?
It really doesn't matter
Because whatever X is
It is certainly not getting done today

Reason being is that 
Or it could be something actually impor....
Shiny Penny!

Last night I tried to get to bed just right
I brushed my teeth and set the alarm
Let the dogs out one last time
Which was when my gaze fell upon my budding typewriter farm

I'm hoping to breed them you see
I have two Olivers set as close as can be
With candles and roast quail
Romantic music and champagne in an ice pail

One is a model number 9
And the other is a number 11
I'm hoping what will happen
Is some pollination magic to net me a number 10

Oh! and just past that are some pictures I've been meaning to hang
And I've got all the stuff right there too
Hangers and hammers with wire and brass eyes
With an old cotton apron that pokes vinyl corners into my thighs

I just need to set the level over here
And slap a chalk line just there
A measure and a mark
Then a whack of the hammer and....

Boy do the stairs need vacuuming
There is dog and cat hair all over them
I should go get the sweeper right now while I'm thinking of it
I could probably collect it all into a ball and knit up a pet sweater

I'll bet I could learn to do that online
Seems to actually be several more places than one
Aha, here is a place that even sells pet hair yarn premade!
And they've given it the name of "Woofspun"

Crap, what was it I was supposed to be doing?
Oh bag it, I'll go change the oil in my car instead

Driven to distraction by all the things around me
Until I'm miles away from where I started
And the one thing I set out to do

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mommy, Where Do Poems Come From?

When a daddy poem and a mommy poem love each other very much
And all the iambic pentameters have reached their monthly apogee
The daddy poem takes his A-B-A-B and gently puts it into the mommy poem's Haiku
In a dignified reproductive dance that ends with a cup of tea

I know you've heard other stories
Of slam poetry contests done in the open mic forums
But those are far too gonzo and frightening
With spotlight and quavering voice amplifying everything in a far too public porno display

Sometimes there can be two daddy poems
Both with aggressive stanzas
Or perhaps two mommy poems
Each an open interpretative style

In each case a mash of word DNA soup comes together
Producing something unique though all the words have been used before
Which continues to grow and change over the hours, days, and years
Nothing being perfect
And the Great Author is known to revise endlessly past the point of tears

That's where poems come from
The product of the marriage of words
Assigned and assembled
Parsed, carved, and molded until they resemble
Something almost beautiful

Though even that is only subjectively true

Won't You Be My C12H22O11 ?

Were my heart made of clay
I could remake it every day
There would be no risk to falling in love
As that sucker is just a plug and play throw away

I could step up my game
And carve a heart-like likeness out of wood
Safe in the testing of forbidden desire
Or the risk of someone throwing it upon a fire

A heavy metal heart would be a little bit harder
As I would have to break out some real skill
But with enough bending and milling machines
I could manufacture a new heart every day that would gleam

A heart of water could be easily replaced
With a few sips of water I'd be good
Full of all the love possible in H2O
Perhaps with bioluminescent algae glow

Even now with this beating heart of meat
I could fix everything with some semi-choice cuts of steak
Glued together in the kitchen of an almost gourmet restaraunt
With all the Elmer's brand meat glue I could want

My heart could be made of anything at all really
I can make it, bake it, assemble it, craft it, and paint it
Until the whole thing beats just like new
Capable of equal parts pumping blood and feelings too

The one thing I would never wish my heart to be
Is made of stone
For then I would never have fallen in love
And spent my days companioned by cats and otherwise alone

Life without you in it would reek of the dead fish of emptiness
Without your love the years could only ever be bittersweet at best
A sprinkling of saccharin upon my favorite sour fruit
Never knowing the sweet kiss of real sugar upon my lips

Yet with the sad madness of suspecting
As remembering a half forgotten desperate dream
That you were out there somewhere
A honeyed flavor that makes me complete

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sapphire Pain

How blue is thine window?
Does it reveal secrets only you can see?
Does sit reek of cobalt colour
In shades that only madmen and you and me can see?

How blue is thine window?
Does it serve to keep out the sea?
Does it tease the coloured coral
In how only a lonely anemone can hear its quiet plea?

How blue is thine window?
As it reflects the very close at hand stars
This porthole to the nothingness
Brought to you as easily as riding in cars

Though rolling down the window here
Will give a stiff breeze to THEM
And stifle everyone with you within


Every time I wind the old clock
I can hear the springs catch in protest
Each catch and release felt through the ears of the silver key
Turned with the old familiar ratcheting sound
Tighter and tighter
Until I feel that it's right at last
Or at least to the point where the spring will unwind for the week

Two holes for the winding key
One for the timekeeping itself
And the other for the sound of the bell
Four tuned rods in this case
Trimmed to different lengths
To give a poor man's version of the Westminster salute
Abbreviated and slightly off key
But recognizable
Giving a little dignity to the old crap house

Stowing the key in its clip at the bottom of the case
One finger gets the pendulum swinging gently
Marking out the seconds in halves
The two curved claws at the top of the shaft working in rhythm

One side releases
The other one catches
Over and over again
Allowing a round toothed gear to go its merry way
One halting step at a time
Transmitting movement through the works
Marking the progress around the face
With arms and hands of tapered grace
And horror movie ticks and tocks

Inspiring no more unease in me however
Than the simple realization that the only problem that really matters in the end

Is the equation of time

Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Hearts Decoupage

Tattered edge page brown with old age
Half crumpled photo of you in cheerleading attire
An image of relatives I don't know in front of your grandmother's casket
Unpaid bills from 1995 eating us alive
With papillon puppy baby teeth in a silk bag
Two ships passing in the night all through the 1980's
Serving nothing but high dollar ravioli's upon an overlook
While you wore a terrible biker onesie and Blue Oyster Bar leather cap
Snow froze my feet while you looked in wonder at blue ice
The doctor told us it was twins
I cannot believe the screaming didn't wake your parents
As I forget more details every day
Too much beer was drank to go to the sub shop
For there was a secret wedding on a anachronistic island in the North
When the poodle rode next to the corpse
Some memories I'm happier to forget

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Leaking Color Confinement

Colors bleeding to the floor
Puddling up in tie dyed patterns
Before rolling their way to the crack beneath the door
Entering the hallway in a tsunami of color

Grayscale was flattened in colorific hurricane
Battleship dull became paisley guns a blazing
Crazier than dazzle camouflage
Guaranteed to give a U-boat captain the shakes

Michael the now multi-colored Marmoset
Traced upon ten toned toes back up the color stream
Past the drainage troughs
Shimmying up copper downspouts
Into the cascadified open windowsill

Swimming upstream in an ancient brick lined hallway
All he can do to keep his snout above the tinted deluge
Finding an old delivery pass through to the apartment
The source of all this creamy frothy pigmented goo

Breaking the two rusty bolts
That held the small sliding panel secure
Michael Marmoset was aghast at the new view
A scene from a horror Saw Seven sequel

Hard up against the old chipped brick fireplace
Was an arched figure from the realm of the gods
Chained fast with bronze locks was a gallant double rainbow
Bent forward in despair weeping primary tears

Saturday, February 7, 2015


~Manual Scan Engaged~

The computer told me the information automatically
In a strange almost-human voice that fell squarely into the uncanny valley
Which was why
Despite the best hopes of the engineering staff
I hadn't formed any kind of relationship with her yet

Her being my Personal Computer Interface (PCI)
Unique to me in as much as this particular file of code only interacted with me regularly
Though she had started out identical with all the other PCI’s on board
I hadn't even given her a name yet
Though I was close

Her voice and speech patterns reminded me of a ‘Peggy’
Why I couldn't really say
I just pictured a brunette who was definitely named Peggy
Whenever my computer interface spoke to me

There was the added bonus to using the name ‘Peggy’ that I could make up a bullshit acronym definition for PCI
Good stuff to lay on a newbie who thinks they learned everything from their books

My attention was grabbed by the drifting monotony of my VR view
Which had up to that point been taken up by the irregular expanse of grey metal hull that made up the exterior of the ship
Sensors here and there
Some conduits
Reinforcement links
Viewer relays

It might sound interesting to the lay person
But I've done the hull inspections so many times that my eyes could almost feel every seam

This though
This was one of my favorite parts
And the reason I’d taken manual control of the maintenance probe

I adjust the x-y relationship of the probe to ships slightly
And there it came into view
As I virtually drifted in the temperatureless vacuum
White letters that were in such a large font size
Or I was so close
That I really only got to see the lower three quarters of each character

Slowly the ship’s name dragged across my eyes
Pretty level and square
From left to right
Just like I’d planned


I loved this because it felt like the beginning of an old movie
Where the camera is really close to something
Catching all the important details as the music builds
Until with a swell of sound
The camera pulls back to take on the whole picture

I’d actually always meant to make a soundtrack for myself to do these inspections by
With a special segment reserved for the name reveal
But I never seem to make the time

Maybe now might be right though

“Computer” I said clearly
Because you certainly didn't want to mumble to her
“Reassign PCI identity to respond and call self as ‘Peggy’
Spelled P-E-G-G-Y”

~Copy command, M.I. L06903~

And now having her interact with me using my title M.I.(Maintenance Inspector) and ship crew number felt kind of wrong
We were on a first name basis now

“Peggy, for all private interactions, reassign my crew designator to my given first name”
That should help a little I thought

~Copy command, Louise~

It’s been so long since I've heard that name said out loud
“Peggy, for all private interactions, assume informal protocol…..”
I thought for a moment
“…x-ray-seven-two, and refine crew designator to ‘Lou’ “

I wasn't certain I’d phrased it correctly
As it was seeming to take a few beats longer than usual for her to respond

But then it came

~No problem, Lou~

And just like that
The computer in my ear became Peggy the cute brunette
Someone I wouldn't mind having in my ear twenty-four hours a day

I smiled and brought a finger up close to my face
Reaching under the seal of the VR kit momentarily to scratch an itch

“Okay then Peggy, let’s put it back on automatic and get this over with”

With no delay and in tandem to her reply
~Confirmed, Lou, auto grid control reengaged~
The grid interface sprang back to life in my view
As the autopilot read every surface it could get its little sensors on
Measuring them down to the nanometer
Plus or minus ten

“Peggy, could you play me something from P05766’s Space Opera playlist?”

~Of course, Lou, just tap switch alpha for randomization~

A soft trilling of strings entered my brain
Seemingly bypassing anything as crude as an ear
Settling into me

Becoming the soundtrack to my life
As lived one meter above the Pythia's hull
Propelled at point 5 meters per second in layered rings around the sphere
Just a simple probe with sparkling starlight pressing down

Friday, February 6, 2015


The steady "squinch-squinch" sound of the snow
Clearly indicates that it is at least thirteen below
Where the snowflakes resist being crushed together
Retaining their shape and pushing back against the pressure

And in that same dream I found my son
Playing in the snow as children do
Without a hint of missing me
As much as I was him
But this was a dream I was having
And this was not my son here in the snow

Only a memory

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grimm Black Kitten

Black kitten
Laying in the knitting
Batting at balls of yarn in the sun
With frustration levels rising
Grandmother stabs at the kitten with a knitting needle

The kitten became enraged
Growing sixteen sizes and eating grandma
All crunching bones
Stringy cotton clothes and all
Licking herself clean again
Just as Red walked in the front door

"Oh, hello little black kitten,
Have you seen Grandmother?"

Little black kitten belches quietly
And shakes her head solemnly

Seventh Level of Holy Lack of Plot, Batman!

If I could fold in half
For convenience and space saving
I think I should travel for a discount
Due to the smaller places I could be

When I offered that option at the ticket counter
All I got was a crazy look
And a nice TSA officer told me
"Sir, please walk over this way"

I followed the nice man in the distinctive blue shirt
A way over yonder to the Seventh Level of Inquisition
I commented that I hadn't heard of anything past the Secondary level
To which he simply tossed me into a small cell with ten thousand other souls

"We the 10,000 of JFK International Airport
Would like to lodge a complaint regarding our confinement
No crime has been committed
At least none that's been admitted
And we demand to see your supervisor right away"

Everyone signs a note that said just that
Every day of the week except Saturday
Because most everyone here is Jewish
And while I am not
I let them do their thing
So whether it is a good thing or not
They refer to me as a "mensch"

This Seventh Level of Inquisition
Really doesn't live up to its name at all
For we all just hang around without much supervision
Keeping track of time with marks upon the concrete wall

The other day a guy left the cell door ajar after dropping off some pizza
But it was New York Deep Dish
So we looked at the door
Then at the pizza
And decided to eat instead of leave

That may have been some sort of a test
As the door suddenly remembered to shut
Right after we finished up the pie
Which was alright since I was too full to do much running

I decided right then to write a final note to the ether:

Dear Mom,
Send someone to help
As this story isn't going much of anywhere

Porcelain Infanticide

Falling porcelain babies
With sparkling geometric eyes
Mouths open in wild wonder
My brain only wonders which ones will die

Tumbling through the air
In some artist's idea of art
A snapshot for a screensaver or wallpaper
I picture them landing in a pile and breaking apart

It takes vision
To create a thousand porcelain babies
Throw them up in the air together at once
Shooting high speed shutter shots in tens and threes

Gravity grabs those delicate infants
Pulling them to her warm bosom
Shattering upon harsh impact
All sharp shard piled up at the bottom of picture chasm

Could even one porcelain baby survive that photo op?
Dream fingers blunt themselves raw at the screen
As not one breakable laughing baby seems to realize
The mortal danger that they are really in

It takes a monster to make such a photo
Whether real porcelain was harmed or just pretend
To taunt first with such whimsy and weightless joy
Knowing full well the places my brain will take it in the end

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Double Ugly - Elephant

Just like back in the Lead Sled days
Afterburners lighting dark skies over the jungle
Kept airborne sometimes by sheer thrust alone
With a motto tattooed upon metal skin and bone

"Thrust Is Life"

Never were truer words said
For once you slow down
You'll surely be dead
Whether by hot lead from above or below
Or perhaps just a stall warning pinging in the darkness
No lights to illuminate your final slow descent show
Unless its the flames from an on-board fire
For though that jet fuel is hard to ignite
Flames will propagate if you turn the temps up higher

Avoid all those problems and keep the throttles pinned
Hard against the firewall stops
Till the burner cans glow red and wear paper fucking thin
As long as the mach numbers keep climbing to the top
Speed will keep you from buying the farm
And your trusty sled away from the junk shop

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sneezeweeds Meet DDT

The sixty snarling sneezeweeds swayed in perfect sync
Bowing down on the inhale
And blown back by the explosive exhale
Clocked at sixty seven miles per hour
Back and forth
In and out
Varied disease vectors spreading incrementally
Floating god knows what to all the points of the compass

Achoo! Sounded all sixty snarling sneezeweeds
Who surely have cleaned out their nasal cavities completely
So "Quit it!" I shout towards them
Though my voice was muffled from the triple layer surgical masks I was wearing
For all of our protection mind you

"It's not our fault!"
Whined the sneezeweeds in perfect unison
Making me wonder how sick and out of sorts they could really be
Sounding more rehearsed than the synchronized sneezewort team
"We are allergic to sneezeweed!"
They cried in despair

Which was fair
Since they were sneezeweeds of the snarling variety themselves

Well it's clear that I have to save them from themselves
I think I have something here under these heavy bowing shelves
Aha, there it is
A half gallon can of leftover DDT from dear old grandfather
Who, god rest his soul, died of extreme DDT exposure

So this didn't seem smart
But I felt committed now
Loading up the aerial sprayer
Attaching it to the undercarriage of an aircraft
Because if you're going to do something
You should do it beyond all the way
And I had the plan to do a major over spray
There would be no greenery left anywhere
From sea to shining sea with nothing but dirt in between
It'll be the cleanest landscape anyone's ever seen