Monday, December 31, 2012

Do not expect to be hailed as a hero when you make your great discovery. More likely you will be a ratbag ... Do not doubt that in our enlightened age the really important advances are and will be rejected more often than acclaimed.

Sam Warren Carey, Theories of the Earth and Universe

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Underbelly

The blood buoying the Empire's throne.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Poem: Not There

Recently published in Pyrokinection, along with another (see my recent post).

Fly Well In the Dark,



Not There

noon found her frozen
in the snakes
of her own veins.

she had married her own medusa,
the fatal event.

to look inside
and turn to shocked stone,
could any pain

squeeze worse?

to show in eyes
a wound so bright
that blood reliquished fire?

to go down, to seek
a twin in a steep pool,
unaware she is dead

until she kisses you.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Acceptance: lingerpost

I’m honored and excited that my poem “Desert Cliff Prayer” was recently accepted by this absorbing journal. Reading an issue is kind of like opening a gift. The contrib’s names are listed as links, and you don’t know what will pop up when you click one. It could be a fierce serenade, or a solemn ode, or an startlish photo, or a psychedelic work of art ...

This technique fits well with the eidos of the journal, which revolves around its mysterious name. According to Editor-in-Chief Kara Dorris, the work in lingerpost:

exists somewhere between crossroad fingerposts directing travelers and the idea that poetry, as Emily Dickinson said, lingers and “makes [the] whole body so cold no fire can ever warm [it].”

This quality site lives up to its mission, providing adroit variety and a stunning new journey with every recherché signpost. There is a dark edge, too, validating Dickinson’s appeal to the frigid frisson.

The poem that perhaps best sums this up in the latest issue (#4) is Charlene Langfur’s “The Garden Seems Far Away Today,” which speaks with earthy sensuosity and yet ends “I know we are always in need of saving.” Dickinson, often inspired by her garden, would approve.

Be sure to give this fantastic journal a read or two--or twenty!


PS: The Assistant Editor has a cool name: Adam Crittenden :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two Sad Poems at Pyrokinection


Read "Not There" and "Heroins" at Pyrokinection, run by the diligent and resplendent A.J. Huffman.

In the Wake of the Latest School Shooting--

Humanity feels like a huge, dark ugly beast, gnashing itself, as it grows more restless and violent. Here's the thing: How many stories about good acts have received significant time in the media lately?

We reinforce our descent into the kingdom of demons, and dare not look at the stairway that could lead us into a dance with angels.

"We" ...


"We" is really complicated. It means a lot of us in slave houses, a lot of us playing the good obedient sheep, a thin layer of elites at the top, a bevy of dreamers and idealists, both wise and wrong--and all of this taking place in a petri dish of toil, war, greed, hope and love. All of us taking on multiple roles as we shift masks and routines.

The messy maze of 21st century culture runs amok, beyond any competent control.

It is impossble not to be sickened by how dreadfully flawed it all is.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Poem: Pinecones

Originally published in Offcourse, a zine associated with SUNY-Albany.

You can read this poem in situ, if you wish, along with another:

Go to Offcourse





a midden of fainéants,
progeny of giants
angling for soily wombs.

more skull than virile imp.
smirking little slits
that dream of susurral green
vocal chords.

but most won’t trade
their skullness for genesis;
won’t sink to succeed
with the grace of fetal tombs.

they’re too selfish,
freed from umbilicals,
on a pine needle bed.

fraternal dukes
whose heritage will never be,
sneering over their ruffles,
proud not to strive.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Release: Negative Suck, Winter 2012


Negative Suck zooms out of nowhere like a stalactite overbite to tug that collar or strap so dangerously close to your throat; and in you go, pulled by the mentalicious force, that inhale of spectral teeth fierce with dark pep. The attack was sudden, brutal, breathless. And now you have soul-sharpened poems in front of you, urging unavoidably from the void.

So many prisms in the slithery vortex of the negative suck. The key question is, Can you not be hypnotized?

Five of my best pieces in this wintery issue!

Fly Well In the Dark,


PS: See my review here:

Owl In the Void

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Acceptance: Jellyfish Whispers

Read one of the saddest nature poems I’ve written, “Glade Alone” and the frightening “Approach,” both of which are now live here:

Glade Alone and Approach

The journal is Jellyfish Whispers, one of the sister publications of Kind of a Hurricane Press. The person in charge, A.J. Huffman is storming onto the poetry scene. Submit poems to this talented poet and publisher now, before everyone finds out and it becomes impossible to get in.

Very best to you and --

Fly Well In the Dark,


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Face The Collapse With Dignity

Humanity is facing strong potentials for a ‘great collapse’ over the next several decades. It is highly likely that such a collapse will come about through a variety of mutually enhancing factors. One sketch: global warming increases through development, spurring environmental chaos that interferes with food supply even as population rises. Once things get tight and scary, anxiety swells and bursts into a downward cascade: riots, wars, reckless decisions that worsen the descent, sinking into mass starvation and barbaric breakdown of law.

We are already on thin ice (figuratively and literally). If just one nuclear bomb explodes anywhere, for any reason--terror, tyrant, negligence--stock markets could crash. Given all the other confusions, escalations, depletions, and aberrations, one such push could instigate anomie.

But this post isn’t about fear. It is about how to live well during our perilous times, and not be dominated by negatives such as fear, bitterness or hate. I’ve been thinking in particular about this picture: hatred boiling over between people on opposite sides. In the declining Empire of the USA, the Democrats and Republicans are already divided in rancor. The latter group claims that global warming is a hoax, concocted by the Dems to gain power. This is pure ignorance of course; but are you going to scream back at them when they scream at you?

Or are you going to step back and observe the hate wall with dignity?

Plausible scenario: the final phase of collapse takes, say, two years. During that time, people split into political camps that really loathe each other, blaming each other for the end. They scream and attack as they all sink into barbarism and die.

Do you want to be among the screaming people, even if your screaming group is right and the other screamers are wrong? Or do you want to distance yourself from the whole mess and act with peace and dignity. Seriously, think about how to deal with your anger.

I've decded I’m going to work on my patience. And my ability to be peaceful over the rest of my life. It’s going to be very very difficult; but I don’t want to be screaming and hate-filled. If there are gods watching us, or UFO’s, think how stupid and primitive we look yelling and blaming each other as we go down.

I don't mean I'm not going to feel intense anger or hate. There are better and worse ways to coexist with them. Channel them. Give them their say. You're going to continue to see plenty of rage on this blog.

Even if there is no god, we are always being watched by our own inner sense of the Good. Do we want to disappoint that part of ourselves? And there is something comforting in the idea that some humans, at least, can stay noble, stay calm, stay wise, when faced with the end, even though there is no expectation of reward, no pearly gate.

That is true dignity.

If just one human can be good, despite all the hate and hysterias, it makes a powerful statement about hope. It means that in the billions of years of existence of this Universe, at a certain fixed time a small and flawed creature managed to overcome great internal conflicts and urges, and stand for the Good. And that means the Good is possible on a larger scale.

So, my friends, if hatred and fear build, I urge you to be patient. Seek the Good. Make your personal statement, expressed through action as well as deed, a higher one. I’m not saying to give up the battle for what is right. I’m not saying let ignorance win. By all means, work to make a better world. We have to. And should. Maybe the big collapse can be avoided. Let's fight! But do it the Good way.

And by “the Good” I don’t mean to become a fanatic follower, close-minded and certain you will be coddled by angels. That is a victory for fear. The Good is higher than any religion (though it can manifest in all religions).

Are Republicans annoying and idiotic? You can say yes all you want, and maybe you are right--but many of them are saying the same things about you. I prefer to see Republican intransience as a psychological phenomenon, one that involves denial and a fear to open the mind to the truth, because the truth is painful. Not just pain but fear of pain can cripple us humans. We are all vulnerable to that.

Let your weapon be reason. Let it be artistic passion (poetry is a great way to channel rage). If civilization goes down, it doesn’t mean we are utter scum. There is plenty of Good in people. Seek the Good. You know how to seek the Good, even if, like me, you don't understand it well.

Carry on. Enjoy every day. There are miracles around you all the time. Always.