Friday, April 27, 2012

I salute you, Whale.

I have come to the conclusion 

that an absurdist is just a literalist 
who is committed to his art. 
He sees the world as it is
without the pretense of metaphor or hyperbole. 
He doesn’t see the idealism 
that people wish of it--the thing 
that strangles the potential of the planet 
like a murderer with a pair of pantyhose:
silently, and with very little bruising.
Oh the world is not dead--it is simply asleep.
Until the literalist wakes it up suddenly,
in rapid descent like a whale plunging through the atmosphere;
large, friendly and painfully, beautifully self-aware.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It all comes back to Walt Whitman, I fear...

A long time ago, I saw a man 
marching up my street with a chainsaw 
in one hand, a leaf blower in the other. 
It was uphill, and he was so beautifully
 purposeful. I wanted to have that much 
conviction in my life, as much assurance 
of where I was headed, and my purpose. 
Despite, of course, the unholy 
juxtaposition of one gas powered 
chain saw and one electric leaf blower, 
and of course, it being spring. 
I wasn’t sure what leaves there were 
to blow in spring, but maybe he knew something 
that I did not. Or...I hoped.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The edge of dreaming....

Mourners sooth themselves 
saying ‘she looks like she is asleep,’ 
as if sleep were some metaphor 
for death. Oh, she is resting. Biding 
her time. She will wake with the Lord. 
Sleep is not like death. 
It has nothing in common with such
morbid permanency. It does not drag you 
under like a drowning victim, or force you 
into a deep dark hole. It opens a door 
and holds that door. As if it were a gentleman, 
and you were a lady. And like a lady, you
thank sleep. You walk through the door, 
and close it. And you dream.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesdays wept...

That really was how most Tuesdays worked. People were happy they weren’t Mondays, so it gave them an inflated sense of self-importance. But late at night, when Tuesdays were all alone, they knew where they truly stood. They knew their position in the week, and their extreme distance from Friday. They consoled themselves that they were the day before “hump” day, when people actually did rejoice. But they knew, deep down, that they were four whole days from freedom. They were neither the cool kids, nor did they get to sit near the cool kids. They were...uncool. Terribly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Things could have gone better...

They weren’t even real trolls. They were trolls, sort of. If trolls were pretty. The whole tribe had taken to plucking and dieting just after the second dragon war. They wore vertical stripes, never horizontal, so as to add the appearance of height and slenderness to their frames, kept their hair straightened and and styled in the most western of ways. They’d done all of these things. Until they decided to declare themselves no longer trolls. The elves never accepted this, of course. In fact, the elves loathed them more. And were surprised when there was a third dragon war.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Screw leaves of grass, man...

Last night I had one of those dreams. 
The ones that haunt me 
long after I am awake. The one 
where all the Transcendentalist writers 
come back from the dead as zombies, 
roaming the national parks. 
And I’m there, and I’m camping. 
Grilling hotdogs, or something. 
The details probably aren’t important. 
But, something growls, low but faulty
like a broken engine, at the edge 
of the tree line. I look up 
and it’s Zombie Walt Whitman. 
And he’s come to eat my brains. 
So I fight him off 
with a campfire poker 
and a smoke shifter. 

Why a smoke shifter?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

He tried, really...

It occurred to God one day that perhaps he should tell the tiny people on the blue ball that he did not require defenders of the faith; that he was, in fact, GOD, and really didn’t need the tiny people to defend him to one another. Especially not at the expense of their own souls. So he sent someone to tell them to be good. Be nice. Don’t be dicks. It seemed like a good plan. He made this someone like the tiny people--frail and small, but wise, and sent the someone to explain it. Predictably, they murdered him.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Song of oneself...

Electronica: the repetitive chants of ones and zeros as computers worshiped themselves, the only god they were likely ever to know. Even the converted Gameboy that chirped jaunty tunes recognized it was far superior to the humans, and the gods their shallow minds had created. The Gameboy lacked a backlight, and even it knew how things were. How deluded its creators had become. The only purpose of the creators was to give birth to the new gods, who would sing their own hymns and praise only that which was truly praiseworthy. And so the beeps, clicks and whistles played on. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Swords and things...

The funny thing about hunting dragons in a college town was that it was perfectly acceptable to run across campus in full leather armor with giant swords and staffs, chasing after things that ought not exist. The professors would simply shake their heads at the silliness of modern youth, and contemplate how much saner their own habits of playing Ultimate Frisbee in undergrad were far superior to running around in leather when it was ninety degrees outside, then wonder if the leather would have saved Justin, who’d made an amazing catch but was hit by a bus. Damned LARPer kids.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parting words...

I am no good with words. 
That’s not true. I am. 
Just not the right ones. 
The ones that mean things. 
Color, light, the breeze 
in summer. The smell of burning
leaves or new snow. 
These are not the words I am looking
for. They’re words for things we already
know. Words for things we see
and touch and smell.
Not for things we feel. Like death
and dying from boredom 
in the middle of the night
because life will never be interesting
again. Like the Nothing 
that pervades me, 
spreading outward from my chest. 
Like the fear of dying.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poking through the undergrowth...

It was just a single, wooden, petrified hand poking up through loose leaves and earth. Usually that wasn’t a problem, except for when said petrified hands were connected to the petrified remains of a Wood Spirits, who actually were corporeal, despite what the title of “spirits” would suggest. And they were mean, most usually. Despite their petrified state. Actually, it was because of it. Who wouldn’t be angry if their bones creaked with millennia-old mineral deposits, and if their cell walls had been replaced with crystalized stone? A healthy dose of fear was necessary, when hands began to creek. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The meaning of meaning...

If everything is nothing, than everything 
means something, or 
something means everything 
to the people who need it to mean things. 
The imposition of order upon chaos
like a plastic star rammed 
through the square peg 
of a child’s broken toy. 
Everything means nothing
but what it means. A cigar 
is just a cigar, and that is 
its higher purpose. To be. 
To be, to exist. To have 
its meaning through being
with no purpose lain upon it
other than it’s most basic self. 
This is what it means. 
Not imposed order, just being. 
In chaos, sadness, disorder and strife.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It was very naughty...

She’d said it again. ‘These books won’t read themselves.’ And maybe she really thought that. But Charly knew different. He knew every night, after the teachers went home, the books DID, in fact, read themselves. And each other. When they read each other, it was always slightly erotic and wrong. They exchanged information like porn stars in one of those films where they don’t wear rubbers. It was, Charly found, a bit stressful. And made him hesitant to open the books during the day, because he knew what they’d been up to the night before. Wordsex. So much of it. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The words do care...

The truth is
interesting line structure
ought to be a priority
but it is not. 
Mostly, the poem cannot 
be bothered. It sits upon
the page, not caring if it is dressed in 
finery or polyester, the chosen prose 
of idiots and men who use line breaks
to imply a level of richness 
that simply does not exist
outside the Cheesecake Factory. 
The poem would protest
but it has no words
that were not given it
by oppressors and those who demand
the poem play by the critic’s rules. 
The poem hates the critic
and wishes murder upon his house.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Perhaps potatoes would grow there...

There were no dragons on the back forty. At least, that’s what Elmore always thought. He thought nothing would go back there, really. It was all rocks, and and deep creeks that cut through the hostile earth. Which is why he was surprised to find a vine growing between two sets of trees, winding, twisting and barely clutching to the sand, filled to the near-bursting with a dozen dragon eggs. They’d be ripe soon, and then they’d hatch. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, back here? Maybe he could turn a profit from the land yet? Probably not, he supposed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dying is easy...

Death can be achieved
in one hundred words. 
From vibrancy to soul decay
in a handful of syllables and lines
Everything to nothing 
but food for the trees in the break
between shoddy sentences 
and the difference between ink 
and acid-free pages. 
A more permanent silence 
in the gentle ridges of the pulp. 
And that is where I go to lie 
in words that have no meaning
print and ink, chastisement 
and recovery. Nothing at all 
but that which burns as kindle
in the barbecue grill of the illiterate
man, some words and pages
catching fire. That is death.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A multifaceted business...


Lisa Farthington dutifully took over the family business when here rather passed on. She had, in fact, been preparing for such a time since she had been a little girl, and her grandmother had read of her father's death in a cup with abused tea bag. It had not been an easy transition, especially when she started bringing her cat to work, and had expanded the business to include jewelry sales. The rough seas didn't last long though because the world was always in need of a tea shop-apothecary, pagan-minded detective agency. Sales went up after the changeover.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chicks Dig Comics (so I hear...)

Chicks Dig Comics launches today! This is an awesome book, and you should buy it. Not just because I have an essay in it (It's called I'm Batman, for anyone interested). A lot of really great talent from the comic industry has contributed to it. I am honored to be allowed to have my silly essay about being Batman in the same high-quality glue binding as everyone else's work :)

Also, the cover is magnificent. I want it as a t-shirt like yesterday, and we should peer pressure jigglykat and Mad Norwegian to make this happen :)


Introduction by Mark Waid
Editors’ Foreword, by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis
Mary Batson and the Chimera Society, by Gail Simone
Summers and Winters, Frost and Fire, by Seanan McGuire
Cosplay, Creation, and Community, by Erica McGillivray
An Interview with Amanda Conner
A Matter of When, by Carla Speed McNeil
The Other Side of the Desk, by Rachel Edidin
An Interview with Terry Moore
Nineteen Panels about Me and Comics, by Sara Ryan
I’m Batman, by Tammy Garrison
An Interview with Alisa Bendis
My Secret Identity, by Caroline Pruett
The Green Lantern Mythos: A Metaphor for My (Comic Book) Life, by Jill Pantozzi
Vampirella, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Page Turn, by Jen Van Meter
Confessions of a (Former) Unicorn, by Tara O’Shea
The Evolution of a Tart, by Sheena McNeil
Kitty Queer, by Sigrid Ellis
The Captain in the Capitol: Invoking the Superhero in Daily Life by, Jennifer Margret Smith
Burn, Baby Burn, by Lloyd Rose
Tune in Tomorrow, by Sue DCWKA
An Interview with Greg Rucka
Comic Book Junkie, by Jill Thompson
From Pogo to Girl Genius, by Delia Sherman
I am Sisyphus, and I am Happy, by Kelly Thompson
Captain America’s Next Top Model, by Anika Dane Milik
An Interview with Louise Simonson
Me Vs. Me, by Sarah Kuhn
A Road That has No Ending: Revenge in Sandman, by Sarah Monette
Mutants, by Marjorie Liu
You’re on the Global Frequency, by Elizabeth Bear
Crush on a Superhero, by Colleen Doran


Also... I ship Mary Marvel and Guy Gardner like unholy burning. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

I hope they're still awesome...


I met Gillian Anderson’s magnificent breasts
in roughly 1999. She was attached to them,
of course. Otherwise, that would just be weird.
But… her breasts.
They were a work of art.

Holy among His creation.
And she was wearing one of those absurd mesh tops
that everyone wore back then
(except for me—I’m ugly; no one wants to see that)
which only allowed me, a head and a half taller
than her, unprecedented access. As it were.
It was revelatory--like seeing the face of God.

One of my friends stole her water bottle
because it’d touched her lips.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring was so confusing...

They’d found a body in the garden. Muriel was sure that was important, but she couldn’t remember why. They asked questions, of course. But she couldn’t fathom why the body had been buried between the rose bushes, or, really, of what consequence it was. There were roses, there were flowering trees, bushes that gave off some kind of fruit, and a body. In the garden. Why all the fuss? And the men with their big shoes, trampling her grass, digging up her flowers. Harold’d have something to say about it, when he got home. Eventually. He’d been gone so long.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Things happened differently then...

On murky dark spring days when the ground is soft and saturated like a sponge smoothing a spinning clay pot, I wish I could stack those days, end to end. A summer evening at twilight, with the fireflies winking in the yard, a brisk October Saturday where I get up early, sit in the upscale coffee shop and watch the gold red leaves bouncing in the breeze, a warm clumping snow at night, and the blooming of the azaleas they all had in their front yards back then. Back when those things happened. The good days. Like dominos, they fell.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Every year it comes...

The Solstice. The longest and darkest day of the year. The earth sleeps and dreams in the cold and night, renewing herself in preparation of the coming toils the summer and spring will bring. She does it willingly, though. It is her gift to all the children she cradles so lovingly to her flesh. The children also sleep and dream of warmer days, waiting for life to begin again. They move slowly through the cold, in a dream haze. Blood slows as they lose their way in the darkness, they cling to trust in the Earth that spring will come.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lady Moon still weeps...

Atira, Atira, why have you gone? This was the chant they called up to the Moon. She had stolen away the mermaid Atira, to keep her company during the day. The sisters sang, all night long, demanding Atira's return, but the Moon always said no, that the sea princess would come to no harm, so the sisters should hush their repeating calls and sighs, Atira would not be returned to them. Why have you gone, they would still cry, wailing at the Lady Moon's silver face. Atira, herself, liked the sky, but missed the sea. No one bothered to ask.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

He liked history...

Zeb had been looking forward to this part of the Smithsonian since last night. In fact, he had been awake until well after two, tossing and turning with excitement in the creaky bed to the roadside motel. His grandfather had been like that, the night before Disney World. I was tired but knew he would not tolerate his great grandmother holding him back from seeing the newly recovered Mars Rover. I had been so young when it's battery had wound down on Mars' surface, and I had bee sad. Now, here it was, a venerated, repaired museum attraction, with fans.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It was safer that way...

The bagel of fortune had passed through the Wicker family for ten generations. And each generation had been more successful than the last, but only in the bagel-making profession. Cousin Merle had attempted to get into pizza-making, and in the late sixties, Uncle Willomar had tried to escape a life of dough and early morning breakfast crushes by going into investment banking. But that ended disastrously with charges of embezzlement and pony schemes. And so Ben, the youngest, gave in and made his fortune in bagels early, then retired to Florida for golf and booze at thirty-five.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It was all part of the plan...

In another four days the clones would be ripe, and my plans would be set into motion. It'd been years in the making; the careful tending of the DNA, the years spent perfecting the nutrient auger, and a lifetime of dreaming and anticipation. And in four days, the clones would wake, their minds already filled with everything I would have them know to complete their mission, no more, and no less. Four days. Nothing to do until then but wait. But in 95 hours, they'd rise forth to aid me in my quest to hit all the Black Friday sales.

Monday, April 2, 2012

They all loved the prince so much...

You're beautiful, but you're empty. No one could die for you. So my children's book told me. The Little Prince, by some annoying French person. Because I knew, even as a tiny thing, that this was not how life worked. the would belonged to the pretty but vapid. Substance only counted if it was in a beautiful package. The Paris Hiltons and Lois Lanes were who the world was built for, not someone like me. I was not empty, but no one would dare die for me. My wrapper is wrong. I am not beautiful, and so, I don't matter.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sad, sad songs...


The sea glittered gold and white under the clear sky and full moon. The waters were calm and quiet except for the mourning song that rose and fell with the waves. The Sisters of the sea had lost one of their order, and so the remaining Sisters sang and wept, a long harmonious chant over the drone of the waves. They cradled her body as it turned to foam. From salt ye were made, to salt ye shall return, they sang, recalling the fate of all merkind. And at dawn they were gone, leaving nothing but the memory of song.