The Dragonfly and Raven

The Dragonfly and Raven

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Black Rider

A man, dressed in black rides into the town.
He sits upon a nightmare colored stead,
His face obscured by hi black woolen cloak.
He enters the town with the setting sun,
Bringing with him the cold and dark of night.
The blackness of the night enveloping--
A shade, taking the town into its folds.
The black rider is met by a lone knight,
Who he beheads with one swing of his sword,
Leaving the knight to fall to ground behind.
And so it was for all the rider passed,
Either death by steel or by pestilence.
And thus he made his way out of the town,
Leaving it a lifeless set of houses.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We are all slaves (to capitalism and consumerism)


I am a slave.

You are a slave.

We are slaves to the culture of capitalism and the consumerism that we are all a part of. They are our masters. They tell us how we are supposed to dress, how we are to work, and what we are supposed to eat and to drink. They urge us to consume, to endlessly consume new things—new clothes and cars and cell phones—when there is nothing wrong with the older things.

In fashion, we are told that fall is here, and that orange is in, that it is what is cool. Then winter rolls around, and now orange is out, and red is in. This cycle continues indefinitely, with colors and cuts constantly changing, moderate iterations on previous styles. We are made to perceive—nay, we are told—that if we don’t consume these newest fashions that we will lose social standing. In that way, we are slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism.

In the world of gadgets, of technology, we are made to consume by minor improvements or alterations of design. You should really go get a new refrigerator to replace that year-old one. You couldn’t possibly live without that extra inch of space that the new model has. Goodness gracious, have you seen the new iPhone? It is one percent faster than last years’ model. But you know, maybe it’s a good thing that you did buy the new model, because in another year or so, the old one you had would have broken, since they are designed to work only until the warranty has expired.. So in that way, we are slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism.

Even in how we perceive social interactions are we slaves to the culture of consumerism and capitalism. If I see a girl that I like, and I want to get to know her better, I ask if we can get some coffee, or get some lunch, or maybe a romantic candlelit dinner. If I want to catch up with an old friend, I ask him if he wants to go get a drink. Social interactions have become an excuse to consume. Think about holidays. On Valentine’s Day and Halloween, and Easter for that matter, we buy candy. Their original purpose has become clouded, as they now serve as reasons to consume. The worst offender of them all though is Christmas—the holy day in which everyone goes and spends money on presents for the people who matter in their lives. So much money being spent—so much profit being made.

I am a slave.

You are a slave.

We are all slaves to the culture of capitalism and consumerism that permeates our society.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Am Tired (Of WASPs)


I am tired.
I am fucking tired.
I am tired of living in a constant state of war. We are in a war on drugs—but it’s not really a war against drugs. It’s a war against poor people. It’s a war against minorities. It’s a war against blacks. And you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of upper-class white men using it as a pretense to incarcerate the poor. I know that we poor people are lazy and selfish—as you have told us time and again—but why don’t you just come out and say that you want to imprison us?
I am tired of living in a society that is institutionally racist. A society, run by rich, white racists, who think that people who are not white are inferior. They think that “non-white” people are lazy, and that they are violent. They think they are not worthy of the same rights that are afforded to normal people. It is this mentality that allows for black churches to be burned, for black men and women to be beaten by the police—and far too often, killed. Lynching is not a bygone practice, it is still done all over America by those people who are supposed to be defending us. And you know what? I am tired of it. I am tired of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants—of WASPs—running every aspect of my life, and I am tired of being told that being one is what I should strive for. I don’t want to be like them.
It is these same rich, white men who wage war against women, time and time again. They tell them what they can wear, and how they must care—care for the life that is clearly and utterly present, in a small cluster of cells in their body. They say that abortion is a sin, and then, when the child is born, call it and the parents freeloaders for wanting support. I am tired of these same rich, white men legislating a women’s body.


I am tired of the war against terror. We send our brothers and our sisters, our sons and our daughters, our neighbors and our friends—we send them all overseas to fight against people who don’t know we exist. We send them to countries to oppress, to suppress and to support dictatorships that support our strategic interests. We send our troops to fight terrorism, while supporting the House of Saud, the lead sponsor of it. Yet, we wonder why so many people are angry with us. And when our soldiers return home, they are not justly rewarded for their sacrifice. We don’t care about their health, nor their well-being. We would rather spend our money fueling the military-industrial complex than paying for the healthcare of our veterans. I am tired of it.


I am tired of the rich white men who run our country. I am tired of reactionaries. I am tired of feeling ashamed for being a white man. I am tired. I am so very fucking tired of it all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Insomnia

You are a crippling master.

You demand too much of me.

Every night you make me preform rituals to you.

You demand I position myself this way, and then you command me to reposition that way.

Never are you pleased.

You need the light to be a certain way. It can not be too bright for you, oh Great One.

You demand of me so much--too much.

And when I do not fulfill your demands, you withhold from me a thing most vital--my sleep.

Finally, I'll be fed up, and I will vow to outlast you, and you give me a false hope.

But soon thereafter, you giveth to me what you withheld,

Thus devastating me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How do I say what I want to say?

How do I say it?

How do I force myself to say the one thing that is central in my mind, the one thing that is nagging at me regardless of what I am doing?

How do I say that I like you?

How do I tell you that I like you?

Should I be direct, taking the frank and candid route? They say honesty is the best policy, but what if you reject me? Rejection by anyone hurts, but by you the hurt would not in just a temporary, superficial hurt--but in a deep, lasting one. It would be like a stab in the heart and a blow to the gut. It would feel like I had all the air sucked out of my chest and like my legs disappeared out from under me. I would want to cry, to run away, filled with the shame of thinking that someone as great as you would ever want to be anything more than a passing acquaintance with someone like me.

I could be subtle. I could be sly.  I could drop hints here and there, and take the safe route for my own feelings. But what if you don't pick up my hints? And is that fair to you? What If I mislead you? Then I'd be the one hurting you, and I couldn't live with that.

Maybe I'll take a hybrid approach. Maybe I'll write you a poem, like this one. But maybe you'll think that is cheesy. A poem? How original. Now I am just stalling, because I am afraid to say it, but here it goes.

Look, I like you.

I like you.

I like you.

But...do you like me?

You Are Yogurt

You are yogurt.

You take a scoop of the parfait, full of oats and raisins, and quickly shove it into your mouth as you continue your frantic work to finish a paper due in less than four hours on a book that you have never read. All the while, you are yogurt.

You see, when you eat something, your body absorbs it. It takes the good stuff in that yogurt, and it puts it inside of you. These yogurt goodies then replace the older coffee goodies from earlier today. You now have yogurt stuff flowing through you. You are yogurt.

So while you are worrying about a paper that is due, on a subject you know nothing of, find some solace in the fact that you are, in some small way, yogurt.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Twentieth of January

It happened on the Twentieth of January, a Tuesday afternoon. As James Bain would soon find out, this was not going to be any typical Tuesday. James worked for the Postal Service, delivering packages to a suburb of Washington, and Tuesday was his day off. James always liked Tuesdays for this reason. Not only did he not have to sit in his van all day, but he was also able to pick his nine year-old daughter Olivia up from school.

James pulled his Honda into the elementary school parking lot, and made his way through the front doors, and into the cafeteria. He sat there with the other parents who were there to pick their students up--waiting for them to be dismissed.

When Olivia's third grade class came into the cafeteria, she ran over to her father, and gave him a big hug around his legs. They both smiled and laughed, and made their way to the car.

They pulled out of the school parking lot, and James began the twenty minute drive home. As he was crossing the intersection of 18th and Potomac, a large SUV crashed into their car.

James woke up several days later from a coma. His wife Abby was at his side. Immediatly, James asked where Olivia was. Tears streamed down Abby's face, as she told him what happened.

After a few days more in the hospital, James was allowed to go home. There, he and Abby arranged for the funeral of their daughter. She was buried on Sunday, with all of their family and friends in attendance.

Once the funeral was finished, and their friends were gone, Abby and James' marriage began to degrade. James turned to the bottle and cocaine in an attempt to console himself. One day, during their third fight about nothing of consequence, Abby yelled at him, saying that she wished he had died that day, and not Olivia.

Drunk, and high on cocaine, James became violent. He began to hit Abby with his beer bottle--beating her. After a while, she stopped screaming, stopped fighting back, stopped everything.

The police arrived the next morning to find James still standing over Abby's body, a blank expression on his face. He was arrested, and convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The jury was unsypathetic, and gave him the maximum sentence of ten years.

Finally, just over ten years after he killed his wife, James was released from prison. He had nothing. He had no money left, and no job. The bank had taken his home, and none of his friends or family were willing to talk to him. Many men would have given up hope, but not James. James felt guilty for what he had done. He felt guilty for killing Abby, and for surviving the accident that claimed his daughter's life. So James decided that he had to suffer--living with the knowledge of what he had done. He lived on the streets for nearly a year, but eventually, he found a job. After a while, he was able to move into an appartment. Every day though, no matter what the weather was, or what was going on, James always went to the cemetary where his wife and daughter were buried. Every day, he would go, pray, and beg forgiveness from God, and from them.

It was on the Twentieth of January--a Tuesday afternoon--when it happened. James had just gotten off work, and he made his way to the cemetary. Walking up to Abby and Olivia's graves, he saw that something had damaged Olivia's, causing a break in the marble that cut her name in two. Upon seeing this, James ran. He ran right past his car, and down the street. He ran and ran and ran, until he could run no more, stopping on a bridge to catch his breathe. After composing himself, James glanced over the railing.

The police came too late, arriving to find his body broken below the bridge.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The World is Remarkable

I was on the trampoline with two kids that I was watching for some friends today, and I fully realized what Einstein was talking about with spacetime, and how gravity works. It hit me that some of the most remarkable things in this life are surprisingly simple. A trampoline tells us the secrets of space time. A ramp and a ball tell us laws of motion. An arrow fired from a bow, or a bullet from a gun tell us of gravity and aerodynamics.

The simple, everyday things in this world that we all take for granted are spectacular. As some of you sit and watch a game of baseball, and a pitch is given, and hit, you sitting in your home hear the crack of the bat before someone sitting in the high grandstands. That is amazing.

The light that everyone sees everyday is moving faster than anything can. It moves at the speed-limit of the universe, light speed. At this speed, time does not exist...it does not apply to the photons that are moving this fast. What this means is that a photon could travel from the Big Bang 13 billion years ago, and it would not notice the difference between that passage of time and the time it takes to read this sentence.

The world is full of remarkable things, things that I realized today we should pay more attention to. Not just me, but you too.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Between Two Worlds

I woke up today, and I realized that this is the end.
This life—the life I have known for the last seventeen years—
It's over.
It was a good show—so people say.
I did a good job.
I passed my classes,
I'm graduating, with honors.
But I can't help but look back from the top of the hill at my old life.
The life that will end tomorrow.
I can't help but feel nostalgic.
The entire experience colored by rose-tinted glasses.

I look back and I see all of the good times,
I see myself winning soccer games,
I see myself onstage—dressed in drag, and in suits,
I see myself singing my heart out in choir,
And I see myself becming friends with all of you.

I look back, and I see all of the struggles.
I see myself running for student government for the first time.
I see myself taking test after test, taking SATs and ACTs and applying for colleges.
I see myself cutting my head open and brusing my ribs.
I see myself stuggling with Pacifica,
And I see myself saying goodbye to all of you, my friends.

Who knows what the world has in store for us all?
I certainly don't.
I do know that life will go on—
It won't be like this one.
It will be different, but that's alright.
I know that it will be full of surprises,
And full of adventure,
And that it is up to us to seize the day.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Unsubscribe From the System

Unsubscribe from the System

I am waiting for people to understand that the current government does not work for them.
To figure out that they do not live in a republic, but an oligarchy,
To learn that Big Business and the Koch Brothers own all of the sleazeballs on Capitol Hill who call themselves your representatives.
In reality, they serve themselves, then their sponsors, and then their party.
You are just an afterthought.
Who needs integrity when you have ads and media buyouts?
When the game is rigged so you can only choose from two moderate parties—one left leaning, the other right.
I am waiting for people to understand this,
and I am waiting for people to understand that every vote matters,
and that if they actually voted for the person with integrity and not on party lines,
then real change can be made.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

We Inherit the World From Our Ancestors

I am waiting for the world to change for the better.
I am waiting for the governments of the world to battle global climate change,
to reduce carbon emissions and oil consumption,
to turn to the wind and the sun and the sea.
I am waiting for the people of the world—the conservative people—I am waiting for them to
stop being disillusioned,
to accept that we are the problem,
to accept that we must change ourselves to save the world,
to acknowledge that there is not another planet we can go to

to realize that once they die, there are others who have to live with their mess.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Pacifica

The Pacifica Project is a project that is required to graduate from Seaside High School. Every senior must do a 50+ hour community service project, and then afterward, do a 15 minute presentation at the Seaside Convention Center to the community at-large. My thoughts looking back.

It's over.

It's done.

Now, I have time for some fun.

A date, with a lady in blue.

My pillow, how I long to see you!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Green Eggs and Ham?

It was Boxing Day, and the denizens of Whoville were busily running to and fro, returning unwanted gifts from relatives who knew them not. It was on this festive day that Sam I-Am came into town. Sam I-Am was a hunter of exotic and big game animals, and had come to Whoville to inquire about local wildlife.

Sam-I-Am came into Whoville with a long, brown hunting rifle strapped to his back, and buckskin boots. He went to the town hall, and gained an audience with the mayor. For those who may be skeptical that the mayor of a town as great as Whoville would meet with a random traveler, I would remind you of the size of the town—it was, after all, quite small.

So Sam-I-Am asked the Mayor, “What is there to hunt in these parts? I am an exotic and big game hunter. Right now, I am looking for the perfect meat to go along with the green eggs that I have found.”

“Exotic game? Well, I don't think that you will be able to find any of that around these parts,” Said the Mayor. “However, there is some decent sized game over by the mountain. Perhaps you will find what you are looking for there?”

And so Sam thanked the Mayor for his help, and he set off for the mountain. After spending many days and nights camping, waiting for something to shoot, he finally saw what he was waiting for. A large, man-sized green beast way walking down the mountain. Not believing his luck at finding such an exotic animal, Sam-I-Am shot the beast right in the head, so as not to lose any of its meat. After killing the beast, Sam-I-Am brought it back to his camp, where he proceeded to skin it.

The next day, Sam took the meat—green just like his eggs—back down to Whoville, where he began to sell what he called the Green Eggs and Ham dish. It sold very well, and by the time Sam-I-Am as ready to move on, he made quite a bit of money.

To the dismay of the town, they were never able to introduce the Grinch to Sam-I-Am, who remarked that he would have loved to have discussed hunting and other such ventures with.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Zagretti Job

Hades,
What the Hell happened to the payment for the Zagretti job? I busted my ass to kill that kid, damn it. When is Zues going to cough up?
–Aries

Aries,
I talked to Hermes. He said that Zues can't be reached until after the Romans are off his back. Told me to tell you to use the Carthage Safehouse until he can meet. Probably gonna be in a week or two. And let me remind you Aries that it was ME who got shot in the Zagretti job. Just because you had to wade through the sewers doesn't mean that you busted your fucking ass. See you in Tunis.
–Hades

Hades,
Where the fuck where you? I went to Carthage, and you weren't there. Worse, there where a whole bunch of fucking Romans! I thought we was in this mess together.
–Aries

Aries,
Carthage has been compromised. Zues was taken by the Romans. Hercules is in charge now. I'm not sure who sold Zues out, but we'll find the bastard. Relocated to the Gaul Safehouse.
–Hades

Hades,
I'm not going anywhere until I know who screwed us over, and not until I get fucking paid. Tell Hermes that if he doesn't get Hecules to cough up, I'm walking, and talking my memories with me.
–Aries

Aries,
Your lucky that I didn't put a hit out on you myself. It's a good thing that I'm friends with Aphrodite... well, Persephonie is. Anyway, I can't tell Hermes that because he's dead. Midas got a tip that he was the one who flipped on Zues. Hercules killed him himself. Just sit tight, okay? We've gotta figure out whose filling his shoes. Besides, you don't wanna see Hercules pissed. I worked with him once on a bank job, and there wasn't a recognizable race for the Romans to identify.
–Hades

Hades,
Alright, fine. But hurry up.
–Aries

Aries,
There has been a coup at Olympus. Hecules is in exile. A usurper has taken charge... and your not gonna like who. Turns out Midas was the mole. He ratted out Zues to put Hercules in power, because he knew he had the support to overthrow him. He gave us Hermes to get us off his trail. You can kiss you payment goodbye Aries. Try to get out with your life.
–Hades

Hades,
I made it safely out of Chicago. I am now hiding out in Yggdrasil, with the Norse Family. Turns out, they were in need of a monkey man. My name is no longer Aries. They have rebranded me as Ullr. It comes from Old Norse. It means “glory” or something like that. There's an extra spot here if you want it. I would be happy seeing you again, old friend.
–Ullr

Thursday, April 30, 2015

This Is Your Final Notice

"THIS IS YOUR FINAL NOTICE.YOU. ARE TO VACATE THE PREMISES BY NOON TOMORROW. FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN FORCIBLE REMOVAL."

She sets down the notice, placing it beside the others.

"Ms. Turner: It has come to my attention that you are late on your monthly rent. Please enclose in a sealed envelope a check to the sum of $1000."

"Ms. Turner: For several months you have failed to submit your rent check. If payment is not made, I will be forced to evict you."

"NOTICE OF EVICTION: DUE TO YOUR FAILURE TO MAKE PAYMENT TO YOUR RENT, YOU ARE HEREBY ORDERED TO VACATE THE PREMISES BY THE 3OTH OF MARCH."

She stares at the notices for a moment, tears running down her face.

A knock comes from the door.

"Helen Turner? Open up. Police."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Integrals

Trigonometric functions all blur together,
Sine, cosine, tangent, secant--a jumble of radial operations.
Integrate this function times that one.
Make sure the interval is right.
Antiderivite it.
Wait, too soon.
Substitute in a u.
Make it the natural log's derivative first.
Now antiderive.
Plug all the numbers back,
And finally an answer!
Just remember to add a C.
No.
Wait.
Shit.
That's just f(x).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blood is Blood is Blood

Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter whose blood it is,
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if your a man or a woman.
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if your gay or straight.
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if you don't come from the same country,
Or if you come from the same continent.
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if you speak the same language,
Or if you pray to different gods,
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if your skin is colored different,
Or if your hair or your eyes.
Blood is blood is blood.
It doesn't matter if you eat meat or not,
Or if you like rock or jazz.
Blood is blood is blood.

It doesn't matter what your differences are with others, 
Shedding blood is an act of violence,
It is unnatural.
It is wrong.

What is natural though is love.
Compassion, caring for others. 
That is natural.
That is good.

Love is hugging friend,
It is kissing a lover,
Sleeping with them.
Love is holding a suckling babe close,
Feeding it, keeping it safe.
Love is how you treat your mother and sister and brother. 
It is how you treat your neighbors and teachers and pets.

Love is natural.
It is what we all do and express.
Violence is not natural.
It is a crime, and no matter what justification you may have,
Blood is blood is blood.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Vegas Rendezvous

"Rachel? Rachel Carter?"

"John Kero? What are you doing here?"

"Well, I just got married. Her name is Steph."

"A Vegas wedding? I never took you as the type, John."

"Well... we eloped. After we split up... well my family hasn't really approved of anyone else."

"But that was after we graduated high school! That was seven years ago John!"

"Yeah, but you've met my mother."

"Good point."

"So what are you doing here Rachel? Celebrating putting another sleezeball behind bars?"

"No, actually. I... um... I just got married as well. His name is Tom."

"Wow! Congratulations! Gosh, what are the odds?"

"I know!"

"So... um... what are you doing here alone at the bar?"

"Well... I... I just needed to be by myself for a little bit, you know?"

"Yeah... same here."

"So, how have you been?"

"Good. Good."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah. You?"

"I've been good."

"Good."

"Say... do you want to... go get a room or something, and catch up?"

"That would be nice..."

"Cool, come on, let's go."

"Wait... John, what are we doing right now?

"We're going to go catch up."

"No John, what are we really doing?"

"We're going to catch up Rachel."

"No, we're not. Goodnight John. It was nice to see you again. Congratulation about Steph."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Boy and His Blocks

A little boy sits on a hard oak floor playing with wooden blocks and plastic cars. His mother and father stand in the next room, arguing and crying. After a short time, the father walks out of the house, a stack of signed papers in hand. Soon after, the boy gets up to see his mother in the kitchen, asking her for food. She tells him to go back to playing, and that she will bring him something in a moment. She goes over to the cupboard and opens it, revealing bare shelves, save for a loaf of bread. Then, she goes to the refrigerator, grabbing the only thing that it had--a stick of margarine. Choking back tears, she forces herself to smile as she brings toast out to her son.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Casting Off Our Consumer Chains

We should turn up a large surface of life,
Not dig mines into geological strata.
Have not we learned from the epochs of history,
That the lines of humanity, near the bosoms of business,
Care not for anything but their bottom line?

The world underneath our own,
Is filled with the glowing hues of life,
Life that these businesses fail to recognize.
Thus we must communicate no longer by words,
But through a medium they will understand--action.

The sooner that we grapple with business,
The sooner that we can cast off our consumer chains.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

De Septem Cathedras Imperialis Potentia

This is either the prologue to a much larger story, or a story unto itself. I am not sure what I am going to do with it quite yet.


De Septem Cathedras Imperialis Potentia

The human race has created many things, many great and terrible things. The Pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China, created via slave labor. So many lives lost, just to showcase the power of the ruling class. But what kept the ruling class in power, besides military might? Religion, some argue. Charisma, others say. Perhaps the fact that the general population is easy to fool. These all were factors in how those in power were able to keep control, but there is another, hidden explanation. De Septem Cathedras Imperialis Potentia, or The Seven Seats of Imperial Power, were seven chairs created by the Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, the sixteenth Emperor of Rome. Marcus Aurelius is well known as one of the greatest Roman Emperors, and was considered a philosopher king. During his war with the various Germanic tribes and the Sarmatians, Aurelius discovered an enormous tree, in what is now the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic.

The tree in question was colossal, a yew. According to secret journals of Aurelius, the Germans believed that the tree was planted by the goddess Thrud, granddaughter of Wodan. They believed that whoever controlled the tree had the favor of the gods. Marcus Aurelius, upon slaughtering the Germans, he ordered the tree to felled, and brought back to Rome. There, he had his master artisans create the Seven Seats of Imperial Power. Each chair was was crafted in the image of the six most powerful gods of the Roman Pantheon―Jupiter, Minerva, Apollo, Venus, Mars, and Neptune. The seventh chair was crafted with the image of the Caesar in mind.

Upon the completion of the chairs, Marcus Aurelius had them put away in a hidden cache in the Alps, except of course, the chair that was crafted in the likeness of the Caesar. This chair, the First Seat of Imperial Power, would be passed on down the line of Emperors until the fracture of the Empire. It would then be taken to Constantinople. There it remained, to be used by the Byzantines Basileis, and Ottoman Sultans, until the first World War, when it was taken by the British. They then took it to India to help cement their power there. Unfortunately, it was lost during the independence movement, and the new Indian government gained control of it.

The remaining six chairs would stay hidden within their cache in the Alps for several centuries, until Pepin the Younger, King of the Franks, discovered them shortly before his death. The chairs were willed to his son Charlemagne, who would form the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne chose to distribute the chairs to his chief advisers, giving one to Viceroys of Neustria, Austria, Aquitaine, Lombardia, and one to Pope Leo III, in return for his crowning of Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne decided to keep one of the chairs for himself at the Imperial Capital of Aachen.

For many centuries, the chairs remained dormant, not surfacing during the time of the Karlings, or the first few crusades. The chair given to Pope Leo III―the Fourth Seat of Power―remained within the walls of the Vatican, and is currently occupied by Pope Francis. Much like the First Chair of Power, it moved very little.

The chair granted to the Viceroy of Lombardia―The Third Seat of Power―has a more bloody history. It remained in Lombardia for several centuries, and its power was forgotten by almost all. So, in a gesture of good faith, the Duke of Milan gave it to the Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick III von Hasburg, the first of the Hasburgian Emperors. Fredrick knew of the power that the chair possessed, as Hasburgs held the Sixth Seat of Power. In an attempt to improve their diplomatic reputation, and their relations with the newly formed Spain, Fredrick gifted the Third Chair of Power to Isabella I of Castile, and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon. The chair was used by the Spanish to fuel their conquest of the New World. It was at one point sent to the new world, to provide more power for the regional governors. It was seized by the Americans during the Spanish-American War. It was brought to Japan after WWII, and was gifted to them after the withdrawal of American troops. The Sixth Seat of Power, the one held by the Hasburgs, was the same that was granted by Charlemagne to the Viceroy of Austria. The Hasburgs would use the power of this chair to secure the Holy Roman Empire for the five centuries, eventually gaining control of the crowns of Bohemia, Germany, Hungary, and Bavaria, and beyond. The chair would be taken by the British during WWI, and taken to Hong Kong to secure British trade dominance. Shortly before the British were to return Hong Kong, they made plans to bring the chair back to England. Their plan did not see fruition though, as Chinese agents intercepted the shipment. The chair now resides within The Great Hall of the People in Bejing.

Charlemagne's chair, the Second Seat of Power, would pass through many hands over time. It stayed in northern Germany though, and it was utilized by the Fredrick the Great when he formed Prussia, and the First Reich. The chair stayed in the hands of the Germans through World War II, when it was taken to Moscow by Stalin. It remains within Kremlin, and is currently held by Vladimir Putin.

The Seventh Seat of Power was granted by Charlemagne to the Viceroy of Neustria. The chair would remain in the region for quite some time, finding its home in what is now known as Normandy. The seat eventually ended up in the hands of William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy. It was through the Seventh Seat's power that William was able to take England, becoming William the Conqueror. The chair remains within Britain. The exact location of the chair is uncertain though, as during the London air raids in World War II, Prime Minister Churchill had it moved to a protected, undisclosed location.

The fifth one ended up in France. The Fifth Seat of Power was granted by Charlemagne to the Viceroy of Aquitaine, which was his son, Louis the Pious. The chair was passed on to his son Charles the Bald, and his son Louis the Stammerer. It would be passed back and forth between the rulers of the Kingdoms of Aquitaine and West Francia until their eventual union, with the formation of the Kingdom of France. It was during the the reign of King Louis XVI that the Fifth Seat of Power finally was moved again. Louis XVI, facing massive internal strife, and being good friends of the Americans, gifted the chair to General Washington. Washington used it to win the Revolutionary War, and it was passed from that point on from president to president, and is currently held by President Obama.

That is the story of De Septem Cathedras Imperialis Potentia; The Seven Seats of Imperial Power. Crafted from a yew sacred to the Germanic tribes of Bohemia by Caesar Marcus Aurelius, the chairs were used by the rulers of nearly every major Western power after. From the German Kaisers to Spanish Kings and from the Austrian Archdukes to the American Presidents, the chairs were used by those in power to rule over their citizens, and to expand their spheres of influence across the globe.

―Special Thanks to Chris Van Allsburg, Whose Picture Inspired This Story. And to Ms. Jan Priddy, Who Gave Me The Assignment That Prompted This Story.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Funky-Punky Haired Girl

Funky hair and vibe,
She goes from place to place,
From person to person,
Getting what she wants.
Owning the air around her,
And the ground below her.

She is kind,
She is quirky.
She is a good friend.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Can I?

Can I justify,
Her waiting for my answer?
No, I suppose not.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Every Day

Every day I wake up at five thirty AM,
To a half dozen blaring alarms.
I'm lucky if I get six hours of rest.
Even when I do though, it seems like I didn't sleep at all.

Every day I drag myself out of my inviting, heavenly bed,
Running through the frigid morning air of my home,
To jump into the scalding water of the shower.
I enjoy it though,
As the temperature variation helps to wake me up.

Every day I hop out of the shower,
Returning to slightly warmer air as I scurry back to my room,
Pulling on underwear and socks,
Before diving back under the blankets of my bed.

Every day I lay in bed in a post shower bliss,
I rest my eyes, and try not to fall back asleep,
And I surf the web,
Catching myself up on what happened while I dreaming.

Every day I have to get dressed,
Forcing me to leave my bed again,
Rushing to throw together an outfit,
As I waited until the last minute.

Every day I have a large cup of coffee.
Usually, it is without anything else.
I prefer darker roasts, French or Italian.
I take the rest of the pot in a thermos.

Every day I leave my house and walk to school,
Taking a seven block stroll,
Four feet away from cars,
Steel cages whizzing by at fifty-five.

Every day I get to school by seven twenty AM.
Finding the building mostly empty.
It is a quite, somber time,
That I use to read or write.

Every day at eight AM I go to my classes,
I study English and history,
Mathematics and music.
And somewhere in there I have a lunch.

Every day after school I have some sort of activity.
Some days I am rehearsing for a play.
Some days, I am working on a student government project.
Some days, I am working on scholarships.

Every day I go home to work on homework.
I walk directly from the front door to the coffee pot,
And then, mug in hand, to my desk.
To peck away at paper after paper.

Every day I eat dinner,
And do my chores,
And chat with my family.
And watch videos.

Every day I go back to my room,
Stripping off my clothes,
Falling into my bed,
Embraced by fatigue and darkness.

Recharging before I do it all over again.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Telling a Story Through Setting OR Showing, Not Telling

Here is an assignment I recently received that focused on telling a story by showing, not telling. The goal was to do it in a paragraph or less. The three stories were as follows.

1. The story of a Civil War soldier.

2. Someone landing on Mars.

3. Someone getting accepted to the school she wanted to go to.

Here is what I wrote. I challenge you to do the same, and if want, to leave them in the comments below.

1. Two large armies meet on the field of battle. An army of blue, and one of gray. Albert crouches behind the makeshift battlement his army had constructed, firing his rifle at the horde of enemy troops.

2. Galileo 5's RCS thrusters gently set it down on the barren, red soil. Its hatch opened, and Jerome stepped out in his skin-tight space suit.

3. She reached into her mailbox, thumbing through assorted bills and advertisements. She threw them down onto her desk, and they scattered themselves out, revealing one with a Harvard letterhead. Slowly, a smile crept across her face. .

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just Another Day

She grabs a bright red apple, and sets it down gently onto an opaque cutting board. Holding it in place with her right index finger, she slices through the fruit with a cold, stainless steel blade. Slowly, she takes the two symmetric halves, and sets them beside each other. She then proceeds to turn each half into quarters, and the quarters into eighths. Now finished, she walks over to the sink and cleans the blade with her hands. As she finishes this, she punctures her finger with the tip of the knife, sucking the small globules of blood that spew forth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Open Heart Transplant

He sits on a black leather coach in the waiting room. Doctors and nurses walk quickly by in blue and green scrubs. The left side of his hair is in disarray, and his suit jacket is wrinkled. In one had, he clenches the Holy Bible, in the other, a dead Blackberry and a picture of his wife and kids. He stares blankly at the grey-green wall, his eyes twitching slightly, as a frowning man in surgical scrubs and a lab coat approaches.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rocky Mountains High in the Sky

High
In the sky
Are the peaks of 
The Rocky Mountains.
They reach up and up and up,
Creating a natural divide between the
Great Plains states and the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I'm Thinking About

I'm thinking about the future.
I'm thinking about the paper I have to turn in in a few minutes. About the one that I have yet to write.
I'm thinking about the book that I have to read. I'm thinking about the test I have to take in calculus. About substitution and integrals and derivatives. About x and y and z.
I'm thinking about Vietnam and the counter-culture. About how many kids LBJ killed each day.
I'm thinking about all of the songs that I will be singing for the upcoming choir competition. About how bad I am at sight reading. About my insecurities, my fear of failure, of making a mistake.
I'm thinking about the dance that Ii'm helping put on. About the male beauty pageant I'm running.
I'm thinking about the play that I just got the script for. About how I don't have my lines down. About how it has to open in three weeks.
I'm thinking about college, about what dorm I will be in.
I'm thinking about scholarships. About which ones I'll win. About how much debt I'll have.
I'm thinking about my writing blog. About what will go up today.
I'm thinking about both of my family's cars being broken.
I'm thinking about the main water pipe to our house needing to be replaced.
I'm thinking about my family. About my brother and sister whose academics I worry about. About the health of my parents, both mental and physical. About my grandparents, slowly withering away.
I'm thinking about the hunger gnawing at my stomach. About the fatigue and the lack of sleep assaulting my eyes and my mind.
I'm thinking about what others think of me. About my looking "stupid" or not. About looking "cool" or not.
I'm thinking about the girl I have a crush on.
I'm thinking about today and tomorrow and the day after that.

I'm just sitting here, thinking.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Fastest Trip to Seattle and Back

One car,
Two car,
On the mechanic's floor.

Bad breaks,
Ball joints,
Broken parts galore!

Dashed hopes,
Bad moods,
Anger is abound.

Sad girl,
Mad girl,
Hear her anger sound.

Must wait,
Three days,
To make it right.

Sadly,
Wedding,
In Seattle tonight.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Mechanic's Shop

I sit impatiently in the uncomfortable black chair.
A TV drones in the corner,
Glorifying mediocrity.
Band and hisses and pops come from the next room, where men in overalls slaved away on cars.

I was already running late to the joining of two of my friends in holy matrimony,
When my Explorer's ball joint decided to fail.
So now I sit in an uncomfortable black chair,
Drinking liquid dirt masqueraded as coffee,
And eating over-salted popcorn.
Here I sit.
Here I wait.
I wait to see,
If I can watch,
Two of my friends become a family.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Two Days, Two Bombings

15 April 2013:
Bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Many hurt, several dead.
A national tragedy.
A headline story.

16 April 2013
Drone strike at an Iraqi wedding.
Hundreds dead, 
Many women and children.
A terrorist was killed though.
A single ticker line at the bottom the screen.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bomb Terrorists Wherever They Be Found

In a hot, dry part of the world,
A village of a hundred and two,
Packed into mud-crafted homes.
In the central market square,
Men trade livestock,
Women exchange clothes and fruits.
Children play ball games in the streets,
Running in circles, laughing and playing.
Everything is perfect here, tranquil.

Then, a booming is heard.
A concussive wave shakes the village.
Children scream in pain and fear,
As American bombs rain down,
Engulfing the terrorists in an unearthly inferno.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Woes of Falling for a Friend

We sit together and I look at her.
Her medium length amber-orange hair,
Illuminated by the rising sun,
Her head blocking it like the moon during an eclipse.

Her face is one of legends,
One that could rival that of Paris' wife.
Upon it there is a plethora of brown-orange freckles
As magnificent and numerous as the stars in the sky.
Her eyes are two great wells of blue,
Portals into her mind and soul.

She catches my gaze and asks me if something is wrong.
Her nose moves up just a bit as she says this.
I don't know why,
But that scrunch is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

I can't tell her the truth though.
I can't tell her about how I love the little accents she gives words.
I can't tell her about how dumb she makes me feel by comparison.
I can't tell her about how much I love her refusal to wear skirts and dresses,
Even though she wears them well.
I can't tell her about how my heart beats just a little bit faster when she says my name.

But I can tell her about how much I appreciate her friendship.
I can tell her how much her kindness means to me.
I can tell her that I was just staring off into space.
A white lie, but better than spoiling a friendship.

This is a painful existence--
Caring for someone and not being able to express it.
Even more painful though is moving on.
Giving up.
It is incredibly difficult,
But in the end the wounds of the heart heal,
And the friendship remains, better than ever before.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Meander of Smoke

An old man with a cancer stick,
Burning tobacco and other additives,
Creating a putrid black smoke,
Smoke that enters him,
Invading his lungs and poisoning him.
Rending great scars.
It also attacks those around him,
An overwhelming olfactory barrage.

A circle of friends in a thicket,
Sitting on dried stumps of trees.
In the hands of one is a pipe,
A pipe of blown-glass,
Filled with a strong indica blend.
They burn the grass,
And share in its inhalation,
Allowing the tendrils of the plant to wrap themselves around their brains,
Squeezing them much like a boa constrictor does a mouse--
Bringing great joy.

A coal-colored storm cloud over a coastal pine forest.
The Wrath of Zeus rains down upon the tall Douglas Firs.
The jolt of electricity sparks on contact,
Like a hammer striking steel on a blacksmith's anvil.
The torrential winds topple the gentle giant,
Spreading the greedy fire,
A disease that poisons the entire forest.
Smoke rises from the razed wood,
Spreading out onto the sea like a typical coastal fog.

A dozen or so friends huddled about a campfire,
The only light around, like a candle in the darkness.
From all directions there can be heard chirps and hoots.
The gurgling of a nearby creek.
They all grin ear to ear,
Extending skewers with hot dogs and marshmallows over the blaze.
The smoke of the fire shifts with the wind,
Following some of the teens trying to escape it.
But the smoke is not bad.
It may irritate the eyes, but it stimulates the nose.
It smells of smoked salmon,
And sweet, sweet sap,
And of the friendship and the companionship and the intimacy of the night.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Always Learning: The Story of My Academic Success

This is a creative nonfiction essay I wrote for my writing class. I hope you enjoy it.

Always Learning: The Story of My Academic Success

I was not always a know-it-all. I did not always know about the formation of the German State, or of the tectonic plates shifting beneath our feet, or of western imperialism and its lasting impact on the lives of everyone. I was not always a know-it-all—it had to be learned.

Public School is one of the most important things in the world. Having an educated population benefits everyone. It provides an informed electorate and civil servants, like engineers and doctors. It creates a population of intelligent, thoughtful people. And if nothing else, having free public schooling brings literate, somewhat well mannered people who can do basic mathematics into the workforce While I learned many things in public schools, the majority of my knowledge originates outside of them. It all goes back to my fourth grade year.

When I was young, I used to get sick quite often. It was always at the same time of the year—like clockwork. Every October and January, I would be wheeled into the doctor's office, and every time I was assaulted with a battery of tests, and given a new drug to try. It became a problem in the fourth grade though, when I ended up missing the entire month of January because of the same barking cough that came very year. Eventually, we found out that the cough was triggered by my body treating scotch broom pollen as a foreign invader and a common cold. After the first week or so, my symptoms were psychosomatic. Which basically means that my brain was telling my body that I was sick, even though I wasn't.

Instead of falling behind like most people would after missing over a month of school, I thrived.  Being stuck at one's house alone for weeks tends to make one bored. After exhausting my video game collection, and after watching television until my eyes ached from the brightness of the LCDs, I decided to read. At first, I read fiction. I read of fantastic rebellions against Magician-Kings and of deep space outposts guarding valuable shipping lanes. Then I moved on to science and history—natural jumps from the science fiction and fantasy that I loved. From there, I was off to the races. All of the free time that I had was spent reading and learning—bettering my life.

By the time I got to seventh grade, I wasn't learning a thing in school. My days were spent sitting bored on my ass, creating cartography of imaginary worlds, or simply staring off into space. I had just about checked out. I was arguing with my teachers—winning too—and I was being sent to in-school detention. What I found funny about this was that the in-school detention supervisor was on my side, and so when I was sent to him, he almost always let me do what I wanted.

The school—and all of my teachers—knew that I was smart, that I was not like the rest of my peers. The only option I saw was to be moved ahead—to skip a grade. The school feared that this would cause severe social repercussions for me, as many studies show that children often discriminate based on age. For me though, this proved to not be a problem. In fact, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Moving into a new grade was difficult, but I managed to scrape together passing grades. This is because I continued learning after school was out. Around that time, I began to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Instead of listening to music, I listened to Click and Clack talk about cars. I listened to Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak of the stars—whose dust we are all made of. I listened to Sun Tzu explain The Art of War. I listened to all of the stuff that I missed in history class, from the Encephalitis Lethargica outbreak to the Tunguska Event.

Around this time I also began to play video games that had a historical basis. Through these games, I learned about Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire. I learned of the evolution of Christianity: of the Great Schism, the Reformation, and the Counter-Reformation. I learned of the fall of the Ilkanate and Mongols, and the rise of the Ottoman Sultanate. I learned of all of these things from video games, and while a few of the finer details of history were altered for gameplay purposes, the games served as a launching point for my own research into subjects such as the Burgundian Inheritance.

I also started watching educational videos to supplement my learning. The advent of the internet, and the rise of Youtube has created a space for people from anywhere in the world to share what they know. Khan Academy, started November 2006 by a guy trying to teach his cousin. Today, Khan Academy has its own website, and a large staff that teaches everything from math to art. Other Youtube channels provide crash courses in subjects—like psychology and biology—while yet others explain the science behind our everyday lives—like why an object can appear to be two different colors to two different people. To this day, this is how I enjoy spending my free time—learning.

Public education is an extremely important social institution. It has its purpose, and it is here to stay. Because education is the silver bullet. It can, and will fix so many problems in our society today. It can combat poverty and reduce drug addiction. It can save our environment and out culture. It creates human beings who care about other people, and not just themselves. It levels the playing field for people of all pigments and creeds and nationalities and classes. What is important to realize though is that education does not, and cannot end when school is out. Everybody must continue to learn throughout their entire lives. For me, video games and podcasts and educational videos do the trick. I was not always a know-it-all. I had to learn how to be one. I had to put in time and effort, mental strain and sweat. At the top of the hill looking down though, it is clear to me that it was worth it.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Eyes of the Orchid

It stared at him. He didn't quite know how, but it was staring at him. It didn't have any eyes, nor did it have ears to hear that he was coming, or a nose to smell him. Yet there it was, staring at him, the orchid. It was just sitting there in its pot, soaking in rays from the sun—staring at him. It had three main budding flowers, pure white that looked as soft as snow. The center of the flowers was a light—but rich—violet. Those three violet centers served as its eyes, staring him down, making him question his purpose. The more that he stared at it, the more he became unnerved. It felt like it was getting closer to him, this most sinister orchid. It made him feel claustrophobic within the large open room that he had all to himself.

The more that he looked around, the more he realized that it was not just the white-violet orchid that was looking at him. Right next to it was a green, shrub-like plant. It too was watching him. The goldfish in the tank were watching him. The dragonfly sculpture above was watching him. The painting of sunflowers on the wall, the man on his coffee mug, the door picture of his family. They were all watching him. He started to hyperventilate. The world seemed to be closing in around him. The room was getting smaller and smaller. The hairs on his head stood on end, and he began to shake uncontrollably. Then, there came a knocking on the door.

It was as though someone had shined a light into the depths of a very dark cave. He saw this beacon of hope, and strode toward it, jumping out of his chair, and away from the eyes that watched him. He glanced over his shoulder on his way to the door, still nervous. But everything was returning to normal again, the room back to its normal size. He stopped shaking, and his breathing calmed. He stopped for a brief moment before the door, closing his eyes, and taking a deep breathe. Then, he opened the door, smiling.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

There is a man in a gray flannel suit.
He works in  the city from nine to five,
In a plain rectangular cubicle.
He works for a corporate commission,
Taking the metro train five days a week,
To slave away on a QWERTY keyboard.

The man in the suit has a family.
He has a pretty young wife named Ilene,
Who he had been seeing since seventeen.
They were sweethearts through high school and college,
Marrying June, after graduation.
They have a small little girl named Sarah.
Sarah has her father's brown chestnut hair,
And her mother's glinting bluish-green eyes.
She has her father's curiosity,
And her mother's compassion and kindness.

The Man and his wife and daughter lived in,
The suburbs of the city were he worked.
They lived in a blue-white Levvittown house,
With a large green-grass lawn and a driveway.
The two story house has a large garage,
Were there is a gray Volkswagon Jetta.
They have a chocolate lab named Sadie,
And a calico cat named Liberty.
Here the man and his wife and daughter live.
Together they are gay, living happy.

At least, that is what an outsider sees.
They wife and daughter are happy, not he.
He lives in a constant state of sadness.
He is ill with a disease of the mind.
A terrible sickness--a depression.
For years and years he hid it well,
Continuing on for his wife and kid.
But one Tuesday it all became too much.
And so instead of going to work he
Waited for his family to leave the house.
He ducked into the garage as they left.
Grabbing some rope and a small step-ladder,
He fashioned for himself a hangman's noose,
And kicked the ladder out from under him.

They found him there a few hours later,
Swaying ever so slightly back and forth,
To the horror of his young, little girl.
A crumpled note, the only thing he left.
He said it was not their fault, it was his.
He said that he loved them but he couldn't
Continue on living in agony.
He said that this was the only way he
Thought could finally give him a respite.

For years and years Sarah was sad, angry.
She was furious with her dead father,
Thinking that he was a selfish person.
Blaming him for everything bad happening.
She stayed in this state of anger until
She was a woman of twenty seven.
Her rage destroyed all her relationships,
And drove her to a deep, deep depression.
But when she was twenty seven years old,
She finally realized she needed
To come to terms with what her father did.

So Sarah sought help with a therapist,
For the first time since that day
Sharing all of her bottled emotions.
Sarah looked deep inside of herself to grasp,
Why her father killed himself that fateful day.
And eventually she understood it,
Able to move on, forgiving the man.
Able to live outside of his shadow.
The man who once wore a gray flannel suit

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Monster Sentence

This is an assignment that I did in my writing class. It is simple: create a sentence that is at least 100 words long, that is grammatically correct, and without any run-ons. The idea was to start with a base sentence, and then work out from there. Here is my sentence, and I challenge you to try to write your own, and if you are so inclined, post them in the comments below.

The Monster Sentence

When we think about those who are dead, we think about different things: about the little girl at the end of the street who fell into a pile of leaves—hitting her head, and while unconscious, being run over by a teenage girl who was too distracted by a text message from her boyfriend to notice—taken before her time, about the brother who died in a foxhole—fighting a war in the Middle East against men of the sword and crescent for black gold—by jumping on a grenade to save the rest of the men in his unit, or—like me—about a grandfather stricken with cancer—living in agony for months and months, unable to care for himself—who finally passed away—putting an end to his suffering.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Special Drink

In order to wake in the morning,
I have to drink my special drink.

In order to make this drink,
I have to order many small,
Mexican children,
Which I have shipped directly to my house.

When they get to my home,
I put them in their own special room,
Crammed together without nourishment,
So that they can dry out.

Every morning I pick out about three dozen,
And throw them into a special device,
That grinds them into a fine, brown powder.
Run hot water through this mix,
And one will get my morning pick me-up,
A fine cup-of-José.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On the Couch

I open the front door of my house,
Walking into the living room,
Exhausted after a long day's work.
Then, I see her.

She is laying on the couch.
Naked, clothed only in fur
Draped over her exquisite form.

She perks up at my entrance,
And calls me over to her.
Removing my tie,
I join her on the couch,
Running my hands through her hair.

As I sit down, she gets up,
Positioning herself onto my crotch.
I put my hand onto her back,
Following the curvature of her spine,
Moving around to her chest and stomach.

I can hear her begin to purr,
As she falls asleep on my lap.
My loyal cat.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Way Back From Nestucca

There is a road that runs along
The mountains of the Oregon Coast.
It is serpentine, weaving in an out
Of small sheltered bays.

It is on this road one Saturday night,
That my friend and I ride together
In a stunted, yellow school bus,
With our coach at the wheel.

We were the returning losers,
Wrestlers coming home with no medals.
But we didn't care.
We were dead tired,
And we were happy to be heading home.

Something that must be realized
Is how dangerous this road is.
Not only does it require constant turning,
And not only is it a two lane highway,
But on either side of it is sheer cliffs.
One that spires upward, a gray rock face,
And the other a straight drop,
To the rocky sea below.

On the best of days this road is difficult.
That night, it was near lethal.
The problem was the coastal fog.
A simple, common nuisance,
Which held out lives in its hands that night.

The fog come on suddenly.
We were all talking in the back,
When the black of the night,
Was replaced by the white fog--
A mass of dark-whiteness.
It seemed to us to be acting
Like a boa constrictor,
Squeezing the life out of the bus,
Priming it for death.

It restricted our vision,
Making it hard to see the road,
Directly in front of us.
Then, out of nowhere,
A gigantic blue semi materialized,
Its horn shouting into the ether.

Everyone was quiet then,
Gripping onto whatever they could,
Hoping to make it out alive.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Helen and Her Lovers

There was a woman named Helen,
Who brought Priam's walls a fallin'.
Her looks launched ten thousand,
From her jealous husband.
The beautiful woman Helen.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

One Day

One day you and I will look together,
Back on everything that has happened.
One day we will sit together and laugh,
Knocking back a few cold Indianas,
And we'll realize how silly this is,
And you'll forgive me for what I have done.
But that day is not today Baby Cakes.
Which is why you are sleeping on the bed,
And I am sleeping out here on the couch.
I hope that that one day comes really soon!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

From Prussia to Russia

There once was a man from Prussia,
Who wanted to go to Russia.
He jumped in the Baltic,
The sight was erotic,
The young Pole swimming from Prussia.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Football

Football,
Black and white sphere.
Teams shuffle on the pitch.
For official whistle they wait.
Tweet-tweet.

Tweet-tweet.
Gasping, they stop.
A card, yellow raised.
The crowd erupts in cheers and jeers.
Anger.

Anger.
Ball crosses line.
Leaving keeper in mud,
Gloves smacking  ground in frustration.
Defeat.

Defeat.
Faces sullen,
Twelve men march off the grass,
Knowing they failed coach and fans.
Zero.

Zero.
Nothing scored.
The league was lost for them.
But the other, victorious.
Glory.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Seventeen

Seventeen years ago to this day I was evicted from my watery home. I was thrown into a world of chaos, one ravaged by religious, political, and economic conflicts. I was also put into a loving family. Sure, I argue with them and call them crazy, but I love them.

I turned seventeen today, but I don't feel any older.

In the past seventeen years, I have learned many things. I have learned to read and write, to sing and dance. I have learned to love science fiction and fantasy, computers and video games. I have learned who I am over the last seventeen years, what and who I like and dislike. One thing is certain though: I will never stop learning, never stop exploring who I am, and what I believe.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Ditch

Dark, Dank
Despairing ditch.
Demons dwell in the deep.
Taking souls of those who come close.
Darkness.

Sleep Well, Bloody Bird

Dark is the night.
My eyes flutter,
Collapsing with exhaustion,
Conceding the fight.

My head falls.
A cannonball assaulting a sandy shore,
It sinks into the feathery folds of my pillow,
Finding, finally, a point of rest.

A man materializes.
Sand spills from pouches at his waist.
He applies arcane powder to the lids of my eyes,
And fades into shadow.

Slumber slowly surrounds my mind,
A slithering snake.
I cast off the bindings of consciousness,
Allowing it to devour me.

Chirp-chirp.

Chirp-chirp.

The snake recoils,
The sand falls from my face,
I rejoin reality.

Bloody bird chirping,
Disrupting the wee hours of the morn.
I repeat the ritual of rest.
Only to be awakened again.

And again.

And again.

Bloody Bird!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

There is a Problem

There is a problem in this country. A problem that is so deeply entrenched that it will be difficult if not impossible to weed out. This problem is selfishness.

This problem is not a new one, in fact it is an old one. This problem has existed since the birth of our nation all of those years ago. It has existed since we decided to dump tea in the Boston Harbor. It has existed since we first settled at Plymouth Rock. But back then it wasn't a problem. Back then, it was a force for good.

Manifest Destiny is what we called this problem then. It is how we justified the relocation of the people who lived here before we came by boat from Europe. Savages, we called them. This is our land by right. And so we made them move, or we slaughtered them like one would pigs being primed to become bacon. The Trail of Tears and the Massacre at Wounded Knee. Through it all, they proved more civilized than we.

Like the Native Americans, we used this problem of ours to justify the subjection of many other peoples. It is how we were able to enslave millions of Nigerians and Liberians, of Gabonese and Congolese. It is how we were able to treat human beings as less than dogs, and how we were able to turn water cannons powerful enough to strip away skin on innocent children.

Now, selfishness is rearing its ugly head again, for it is a monster that can never truly be killed. Look at how we treat immigrants. Look at the hardworking Mexicans, Cubans, and other Latinos who are doing our dirty work. They are taking the jobs that we don't want to work, for wages that we would never accept, and causing us no trouble. Yet we see them as thieves, coming to steal jobs for Americans. We fight them at every turn, and yet, the only reason that they are even in the United States is because we destroyed their economies through our selfish, protectionist trade policies.

It is selfishness that allows for Americans to sit in their homes, using up more than their fair share of oil and gas and water while there are people in other parts of the world that have none of those things. It is selfishness that Americans are projecting when they buy products made by children in sweatshops in China. It is selfishness that they are showing when they support governments in the Middle East that openly suppress women and anyhow who opposes them.

There is a problem in this country, and that problem is selfishness. There is only one way to fix that problem, and that is through education.

Education is the silver bullet. It can battle poverty and unemployment. It can advance technology and the arts. It even helps the damned economy.

Republicans say it is a waste of time. It is a waste of time and money and it has failed to work thus far. And to that I say, sit down. The problem is not that education doesn't work, it is that it is not being funded nearly well enough. Education is what we should be spending the most on in this country. We should follow in the example of our Scandinavian Cousins, and make being a teacher the most desirable position there is. Teachers should be making six-figure salaries. Yes, it will be expensive and it should be expensive. So is the military, which we spend over half our money on, and its soul goal is keeping the US the best through force. Its selfish. We need a change.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exactly Midnight

The sun, a radiant inferno, makes its way through the sky.
As it reaches the end of its arc, it begins to fuse with the horizon.
Oranges and yellows, purples and blues.
Appear at the point of fusion.
The sun continues onward, and it is quickly enveloped by the watery horizon.
So passes the day away into the night.

In the east, over the mountains covered with tall evergreens,
Shines the twinkling of a light.
It is not the light of the sun.
No, it is a pure, white light.
An hour passes, and she reveals herself,
Revealing to everyone below her full glory.

Her light is weaker than that of the sun,
But she is loved just the same.
Beside her there are many twinkling lights,
The lights of far away worlds.

Following the same path as the sun,
The moon moves in an arc through the sky.
At its apex,
Exactly at midnight,
It happened.

It was as if the hands that held the moon in place had suddenly let go.
The moon went dark,
Becoming a large, black orb,
One that was getting bigger and bigger.

Then the sky was ablaze.
Large balls of fire fell to the Earth.
Of course, it fell too.
It got closer and closer.
It got bigger and bigger.
Until finally,
Impact.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Shower Walk

I twist the faucet of the water off,
Throwing my dishrag into the white sink.
In the front of the booth people part,
Jamming to beats much like those of the Dead.
I exit the kitchen, making my way
Behind the stage on a narrow trail,
Passing through a circle of smokers,
I make my way to my one-person tent.
I grab my towel and a change of clothes,
And start my adventure to the showers.

I weave my way through the crowd of dancers,
Leaving the pocket of people and noise,
I find myself on the main pathway.
As I make my way from the crowded booth,
The sounds of drums and guitars quickly fade,
As does the ambient light of lanterns,
Leaving only the occasional flames
of scattered beeswax candles and torches.
Unlike the booth, the main pathway is sparse.
Every once and a while there are
Small clumps of people talking or dancing,
But they are nothing like that of my booth.

Having forgotten to bring my own light
I had to make my way by memory.
After walking over Jill's crossing,
I came upon a schizophrenic light.
Hundreds of small green lasers quickly danced,
Moving in random patterns on the ground,
Cast from a large fir tree above the path.

Continuing on, I pass by a rave,
One with no noise. People dancing. Silent.
There shone several colored flashing lights,
The only disturbances of the night.

After the rave of silence come I on,
A stretch of blackness, no lanterns in sight.
The stars and moon blotted out by the trees.
I could hear whispers from people unseen,
And the ramblings of a drunken man.
I walked for a time on this darkest path,
Having no sense of smell or sight or sound,
Feeling only my feet upon the path.
Aching from their continuous labor.

Finally, I reached the end of the dark,
Finding myself in an open meadow.
Here the heavens above gave light to man.
Many small clusters of friends and strangers,
Some are engaged in small conversations,
While others make passionate, moonlit love.
It is a wondrous place, suspended.
The laws of time and space having no sway.

Just a bit past the beautiful meadow,
I finally reached my destination.
I walk up to an old, smiling woman.
I hand to her one of my work vouchers,
And put my things in a wooden cubby,
And then I step up to a shower head,
Twisting the faucet on, letting water--
Water that is clean and warm,
Flow over my naked, dusty body.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Clash of Titans

A poem comprised of many haikus stringed together.

There was a battle
Fought between two grand armies
Atop a great hill.

The battle was one
Of two ideologies.
The West versus East.

One army advanced
In tanks of red, white, and blue.
Fighting for freedom.

The other army
Flew the Soviet banner.
The Red Communists.

Opposite forces
Meet on the field of battle
Atop a great hill.

The Yanks fired first,
Mortar shells flew o'er the hill,
Landing on the reds.

The response was quick.
Soviet tanks fired back,
Blackening the sky.

The battle went on.
It went on for days and days,
'Till there was nothing.

In modern warfare,
As the Yanks and Reds both learned,
No one ever wins.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Summer's Afternoon in Chela Mela

The sun was high in the clear azure sky.
I sat in the middle of a grass field,
Under the shadow cast by a large oak,
The large oak that I was leaning against.
The summer sun brought a sweltering heat,
That was relieved only by a cool breeze.
And on this Summer's afternoon sat I,
With a journal in one of my two hands,
And a trusty old Bic in the other.
It was simply too nice to try to write,
All of my thoughts turnéd into a mush,
Like that of my mom's homemade applesauce.
Resistance was futile, that I could see.
So I gave into the warm Summer's day,
Closing the lids of my eyes, feeling peace.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sal and a Twenty-Two Cal

There once was a twenty-two cal,
Which belonged to a guy naméd Sal.
Hammer was cocked.
It was a shock,
As the bullet went through the heat of Hal.

A Man From Peru

There once was a man from Peru,
Who could only think clear when he did screw.
He'd pull down his pants,
Fall in a trance,
Until the old perv got the clap-a-roo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A rewriting of Lewis Carroll's "Jaberwocky"

A rewriting of Lewis Carroll's "Jaberwocky."

'Twas temperate, and the shameless whores
Did peddle and pander in the ring
All lustful were the troubadours;
And the mid two shagging.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Old Man on the Hill

On desolate hill above a small town there stands a house. It is old and disheveled, with shingles missing from the roof, and the white paint is faded. As one approaches the house, they must first walk up a paved stoned path, made of river-rock taken from a small creek several miles west. The path is not completely even, though it is even enough to not cause trouble for the inhabitant of the house. There is no road connection to the small, lonely building, as the owner never cared for the hustle and bustle of the post-war society. No, he preferred instead to use the legs his maker had given him, taking a pleasant half-mile or so walk down to the town below.

Once one is on the stone path, and at the top of the hill, they come across a waist high dry stone wall, with a plain brown picket fence style gate. Past the gate, there is a space for a large garden, one that has not existed for some time. Now all that remains is a jungle of dandelions and chickweed and clovers. In the tangle of green lie patches of yellow celandine and white daisies. Slow worms can be seen slithering in the high grass, though they keep to themselves.

Once one is through the garden, one will find themselves at the front door of the house. Upon rapping on the door with a small brass knocker, one will find themselves facing an old man wearing a tan woolen sweater with gray tweed pants and jacket. He is hunched over slightly, and in his left hand is a dark-stained birch derby cane. He smiles warmly, crooked, yellow teeth visible. He has thin, wire-framed glasses over his kind blue eyes. His name is Thomas Evans, and this is the story of his end.

* * *

It was a warm summer's afternoon when it happened. The sun was nearing the end of its arc through the sky, as Apollo prepared to end his day of labour. Warblers and larks could be heard chirping away happily, minding their own business. In his house, Thomas Evans is making tea. He takes his pot of boiling water off of the stove, and begins to pour it into a small teacup. A sharp pain in the chest strikes Thomas, and he sets the pot down. He stands there, doubled over in his kitchen, clutching his chest. Then, there comes a series of raps at the door.

Thud.

Thud.

Thud.

Still hunched over, Thomas makes his way over to the front door, opening it. As he did, all of the lights in his house went out, like the flame of a candle blown out at night. At his door is a tall, skinny man dressed in an all black suit. His skin is pale, and the only color he has is a single red rose in the breast pocket of his jacket. He carries a candle lantern in one hand, and in the other he holds a black pocket-watch inlaid with gold in the shape of skull. On his shoulder is perched a jet-black raven, which calmly stares at Thomas.

“Who are you?”

“I am Michael.”

“How can I help you Michael?”

Michael grins, “Oh Thomas Evans, I am not here for your help. I am here to help you. Come, let us walk together.”

Thomas trusted this stranger, though he did not know why. He felt as if Michael was a good person, and that he meant no ill will. Closing his door, Thomas followed Michael into his garden, through the brown picket-fence like gate, and down the paved stone road. The trail made its way into a small wood that bordered the town below Thomas' house. They were about halfway down the trail when Michael turned onto a dirt path, one that Thomas had never seen before. But he followed the man in black anyway. There was just something about the man, something that compelled Thomas to follow him.

Finally, after many twists and turns, they came to a large stone wall at the wood's edge. The wall was of the same dry stone that he had at his home, though it was several heads taller than he. In the center of the wall was a large iron gate, which Michael opened. Beyond the gate was the blinding light of the sun. It was so bright that Thomas could not see beyond the wall. Michael gestured for him to continue. Bowing his head slightly, he thanked Michael, stepping into the light.

* * *

Several days later, when people in the town noticed that Thomas had not been down for a good while, a constable was dispatched to check on him. They found him lying on his kitchen floor, teapot fallen, its contents strewn over the floor. They tore down his home, replacing it with a cemetery, where they buried him. While they built a new road to service it, the city kept the old stone road. More often than not, you can still see the people of the town walking up the weathered stone road to visit the cemetery to this day, bringing flowers for the departed.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Perfect Girl

She was the perfect student. Well, almost perfect. She was senior class president and her class valedictorian. She was in calculus and physics and college level English. She was an athlete, the star of the softball field. In the Fall, She was a thespian, the lead of the Fall play. In the Winter, She put on her protective goggles and acted as lead engineer for her school's robotics team. She had been accepted to every university she had applied to, and had even earned a full ride from Stanford. It was clear to everyone that she was destined to go places.

That is because no one knew about her secret. You see, one night after a softball game, She was giving one of her teammates a ride home, and She decided to take a detour to a one-room, abandoned house on the edge of town. Both girls stepped out of the car—a yellow Volkswagen Bug. Her friend was reluctant at first, but she was an extremely persuasive person.

Once her friend was inside, She closed and locked the door. “So,” She said. “Why did you do it Haylee?”

“Do what?”

“Why did you make me look like a fool on the field?”

“What do you mean?” Fear creeping into her voice.

“You threw me the ball when I wasn't looking in the fourth inning, when we had two outs. How could you forget that?”

“It was just a mistake. I'm sure no one remembers. I mean, I didn't.”

She glared at her teammate, “I am sure there were scouts there. Besides, I noticed.”

“Okay, jeez. I'm sorry.”

“So am I Haylee, so am I,” She said, striking her in the head with a rusty pipe. Haylee dropped immediately to the floor, unconscious. She quickly went to the only furniture in the room, an armoire. She opened it, and grabbed a bottle of whiskey, putting it in Haylee's hand. Then she brought out a large kerosene lantern. She lit it, and then pushed it onto its side next to Haylee. Quickly, She left the house, and pulled away from the derelict shack.

Later, when they found the remains of Haylee in the ruins of the house, the police came to talk to Her. She told them that Haylee had asked Her to drop her off nearby the house, though She had no idea where Haylee was going to go. The police questioned her several times after, but in the end, they dropped their investigation into Her. The death of Haylee was ruled an accident, caused by a lantern being knocked over by the drunken girl.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Clearing

I walk out into the clearing. It is dark out now, though small flickering flames of swaying lanterns provide pockets of light throughout the meadow. I meander my way through the clumps of people, those lying on the ground, looking up to the heavens, admiring distant worlds. Those who stand, talking and laughing. Telling stories. And then those who make passionate love in the darkness, unashamed of what they are doing.

Finally, I find a nice patch of grass to sit down on, putting me into a circle of five strangers. Yet, we felt like we knew each other--like we were friends.

They welcome me into their group, and we talk about all sorts of things. We talk about ourselves, and what we do. We talk about the stars and the Earth and anything that comes across our minds. The peace pipe is offered, and we all partake in smoking the indica being shared. Soon, our minds are clouded by the tendrils of the cannabis. We find that we cannot stop laughing. We find that we are getting closer and closr to each other, until we are all lying together as one mass. Soon enough, we join the others who were making love in the dark, blowing out the flame of our lantern.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Red, Delicious

She pulled her out of the bag, and placed her on a chopping block.

Laying her on her side, she presses the cold stainless steel blade of her butcher knife into her, breaking the skin, and sinking into the flesh. Slowly, blood begins to flow from the openings.

Then she grabs each half of her, and scrapes out the innards of each one, throwing the children into a trash bin.

She then slams the halves back on the block, hacking them into many small pieces.

Setting her knife aside, she grabs one of the many apple slices, and pops it in her mouth.

The Tabby in the Meadow

Once there was a tabby cat, who lived within a meadow. The Tabby had lived in the meadow for a long time. As is the way of things, he spent most of his time hunting mice and other small rodents. Anyone who looked at this would see things as normal. What they didn't know is that the Tabby was extremely lazy. He was also very cunning, and devised a scheme to not have to hunt anymore.

In started on a nice Summer day, the sun providing warmth to the little creatures of the meadow. Usually, the Tabby would be stalking through the tall grasses, tracking his prey. Today though, he was ready to lay his trap. Instead of hunting, he went to the middle of the meadow, and laid upon the great-rock. Upon the rock, the Tabby was in full view of the entire meadow. Now, he waited.

At first, the mice were suspicious, and rightfully so. The Tabby existed to kill them, to eat them. But now he was laying on the great-rock, seemingly without a care in the world. After much debate, the mice decided to approach the Tabby. When they reached him, they asked what he was doing.

The Tabby smiled, and told the mice that he was tired of hunting them. He was tired of eating mice, and wanted to be their friends. Naturally, the mice were distrustful. Why should they believe the Tabby? However, mice are not the most cunning of beasts, and quickly began to believe the Tabby. They brought him food from their stores: berries, roots, nuts, and whatever else they had managed to gather. How good it was to have the Tabby on their side!

What the mice didn't know was that this was all a part of the Tabby's plan. While he didn't like the food that they brought him, it was food. It was a small price to pay in order to gain the trust of the mice. Soon, they began to sleep with him, enjoying the warmth given off by the Tabby. Soon, he would be able to spring his trap.

It was night when he pounced, about a week after he renounced his coveting of mice flesh. The mice had gone back to their homes to sleep, but a few had stayed with him. One by one, the Tabby ate them whole. None of them were able to make a sound, and when the rest of the mice returned in the morning, the Tabby feigned ignorance. The mice trusted him, and nothing more of it was said. For the next week, the Tabby ate more and more of the mice, until only a few were left.

The remaining mice were frightened, and rightfully so. All of their friends and family were dead. At this point, they saw the Tabby as a protector. They begged him to save them, to watch over them in the night. The Tabby agree to watch them that night, and to stop whatever was killing them. Grateful, they drifted to slumber.

Now, with the last of the mice before him, the Tabby grinned. He had won. Then, he opened his jaw, and began his feast.

-One does not have to be agile or strong to get what they desire, only quick of mind.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dark Was the Night

The night was black as he crept through the expansive halls of the manor. He looked down, admiring the Italian marble floors. It was becoming apparent that the owners of the house had more money than the average person of wealth. He put himself against the last door on the left, a large door, made of ancient oak.

He was hired to eliminate the occupants of the house. They were cousins to the boss, who wanted was worried about them squealing his transgressions with the law. He made the sign of the cross, and slowly opened the door. Inside, lay his target, and his wife. Slowly, the man moved in, and slit their throats.

The task was grizzly, but he did it well. On his way out, he covered the two up. There was no need to have them so naked before the whole world. Then, he heard the cry of a young child. He turned, to find a toddler, standing up in her crib in the corner. Knowing what he must do, he went up to the child and thrust with the knife, disemboweling her.

He left the house then, disgusted with what he had done. When he opened the back kitchen door, he faced the barrel of a Smith & Wesson. The hand that held it belonged to his boss. Then, he realized. The man had been played. He was used to eliminate the cousins, but the true reason for his coming was his own death. His boss pulled the trigger. BANG!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Ringing

It is always there, hiding in the background.
It waits patiently, as time matters not to it.
All that it cares about is your discomfort, your pain.
As the sun begins its slow decent, it prepares itself.
As you become drowsy, fatigued by the day's events, it begins to salivate. How it will enjoy tormenting you.
The lights flicker off, and you lay yourself down into your bed. Your eyes close, and then it strikes.
A terrible, high pitched ringing fills your ears. It brings no pain direct pain, but the longer it continues, the more sleep deprived and angry you become.
The ringing.
The terrible ringing.
Will it ever end?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Peonies and Bourdeaux

I stand at Taylor's doorstep, peonies in hand. The other hovering at the door, curled into a fist.
“I can't do this... I can't do this...”
I lean up on the door, and finally knock.
“Just a minute,” she calls out.
The door opened and I am stunned. Taylor wears a dazzling dark ruby dress that showcases her voluptuous curves very nicely. My face reddens slightly.
“Come on in,” She says, smiling her special smile. The big, toothy smile she only gave to me. 
I follow her in, and she leads me into the dinning room. At the table are two white-wax candles, flames flickering in the din. We sit down, and she offers a glass of Bordeaux. 
“Why thank you,”
“My pleasure,” She stood. “Just a moment, I need to freshen up.”
She walks out of the room, and I sit there anxiously. This was the first time it has been just the two of us in such an intimate setting. Suddenly, from the direction of the bathroom I hear the sound of some great upheaval, of a belching. Cautiously, I get up and go to the bathroom door. I knock.
“Taylor? Taylor, are you okay?”
No Response. 
I open the door, pushing it forward. On the floor was Taylor, her mouth frothing, vomit covering her once sparkling dress.
“Oh... Oh my God... Taylor.... TAYLOR! Oh my God...”
I run into the living room and grab the phone. 
“911 Operator, where is the location of your emergency?” 

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Dryad

John closed his eyes, and drifted into slumber. The tendrils of fatigue pulling him into the darkness of the night. As he slips away, his mind begins to wander. He begins to dream.
* * *
John opened his eyes to find himself in a magnificent garden. Verdant blades of grass caress his bare feet. Large, expansive myrtles provided shade from the sun. Patches of blue veronica and perennial sage are nestled at the edge of the lawn. He can hear the chirping of blue jays above. It is so serene. He began to perambulate through the garden. Time did not matter here. All that mattered was that he enjoyed himself.
Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw her, and was she gorgeous. She was so enticing, though not due to the fact that she wore next to nothing. Her skin was a bright green, that of a young flower stalk. Her hair, curly green locks, the color of evergreen pines, cascaded down her back, and nearly to the ground. She was clothed only with brown oak fastenings that secured a loincloth, and that covered her breasts.
She turned to him, and smiled. She laughed, beckoning to him, and began to scurry away.
“Wait!” John called after her, jogging to catch up.
He found her waiting for him in the boughs of a large cedar. She wagged her finger, inviting him closer. As he reached her, she brought her hand down his arm. John shivered with pleasure.
* * *
John bolted straight up as his alarm clock blared it's terrible tune.

“Come on... Really?” He groaned. “It was just getting good!