Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Baalist Tirade

As Phoenicia drifted bereft under New Laws, agents arose to foment the yearning for Old Ways. They chose for their nadir the village square, where people would pretend not to hear them.

One such, a baalist, by a name forgotten, ranted on into the night, afraid of no man. The yarns he spun rivaled a spider's. His barbs stung. He lashed out at men who lacked traction, mere mortals who would try to shape the gods to their will, mold these gods of stone. He swore oaths to the pious pushers of One God, the Dutiful One, to those blind to spirits in trees and brooks, birds and fish, in us, yes, you and me my friend, they're here, all around us in the wind and in the rain in the soil in the air we breathe, don't let the righteous deny life to earth, to banish the ghosts of our ancestors from our lands and our lives, this cannot be allowed, we must not...

And on he must have intoned past curfew had there been but ears to hear.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Drahma 2

He, excoriated by his peers, sought her out to assuage his wounds. She would have nothing of it.

He: I am flayed and scarified. My insides are out.
She: Yuck.
He: You don't understand...
She: Yes I do. Someone at work looked at you crosseyed and you took offense.
He: Would that it were that simple. I was evaluated by the team and came up lacking.
She: Lacking in what?
He: Leadership abilities. Managerial skills. You name it, I lacked it. They made an example of me.
She: You're an example, alright. An example of a perfect shlub. It's best you stay a shlub, too. Let the leaders lead.
He: But I could be jettisoned.
She: So could they. And have farther to fall. Besides, they're right. You are lower echelon. If you were given the power to hire and fire, you'd hire the likes of you and fire the likes of them. The stock would plummet and you'd be out on your can and back on the dole.
He: Ow, you're hurting me...
She: Just stating the obvious. Look, be glad you're anonymous. They'll always need shlubs. You're an asset.
He: I am? An asset?
She: An asset can't get a break.
He: (..whimper..)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Into the Crypt

It was a solemn and dignified affair. As solemn and dignified as it gets when you're shoving somebody into a box and then shoving the box into a marble filing cabinet. A few words were spoken. Unfortunately , they were in Esperanto, so I don't know what they were. But they were delivered with gusto and verve, and that's the main thing. Al would have liked that. He would have preferred they were spoken with bluster and nerve, but gusto and verve would have satisfied him. He'd have also been amused the guy speaking was at the wrong funeral.

Nobody came. But that's as it should be, given Al was just another unknown blogger. His mother and father couldn't make it. His seven brothers and sisters couldn't find baby sitters. His wife had a previous engagement.

Of course, I was there. I was there from the start and I was there... well, you know. I was one of his ghost writers. I guess I'll go on being one, since the will stipulated I must stay on indefinitely if I want to inherit my five percent of the estate. It also said I had to assume his identity, which I find a little strange. His wife thought so too at first, but she seems to be adjusting to the situation.

Al is in Eddie's drawer, to the south of his dad and to the north of Aunt Millie. When Eddie goes, they'll either have to make room for two (three, if Elliot returns), or it's ashes or dirt for Eddie.

I'll be keeping the crypt for the next 24 hours. If you need me after that, I'll be in the bunker. Blogging.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Al E. Yus Dead

It saddens me to report that Al E. Yus, the keeper of Hidden Missives, was found dead today, slumped over his keyboard in his secret bunker. While there were no signs of foul play, there were indications of a struggle, leading investigators to believe that Yus snuck up from behind and attacked himself while he blogged. The cause of death is as yet undetermined, but Yus is known to have a heart condition.

The fate of Hidden Missives is also as yet undetermined. Several ghost writers have come forward and have volunteered to maintain the site, although the executor of the Yus estate will have to make the ultimate decision. Stay tuned. Or logged on. Whatever. (from the Executor)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Let Us Bow Our Heads

Blessed victuals, we prepare to devour your life's essence with humble fortitude, having bred and raised you from fertilized cell and seeding. Scarf.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Jonah and the Wailers

Jonah's nights were darker than yours or mine. He lit fires to keep the beasts at bay. Something would always slip through and Jonah would wrestle with it. Sometimes he willed it gone and sometimes it did him. One ghost that visited often and usually stayed was Kit.

Kit was different from the other spirits, in that Kit had no desire to possess Jonah's body. After vanquishing him nightly, she would settle into a woman's form.

Kit was a dancer. More accurately, a marionette. She moved about on invisible strings which she'd snag on the furniture. Sometimes it seemed to Jonah the strings were also attached to him.

Jonah seemed to Kit a faun, so she set him up to be one. Instead of panpipes she had him learn to play the electric guitar. She brought out the dark poet in him, convinced him that everything he did was music, introduced him to her drummer brother, Urf.

Urf, more metal than goth, took over Jonah spasmotically. He was vindictive, was Urf. His beats would wrack Jonah silly. There was an invisible bassist who made it all the worse. Jonah soon found that heroin brought the volume down.

As you may have guessed, it was Urf pushing the smack and pulling the strings. At the peak of Jonah's career, Urf took control of the finances .

Kit checked Jonah into rehab and met Urf at the airport.

Anon, along came the bassist, Puck, recently made visible.

Kit and Puck kissed while Urf ushered them aboard.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

True Story 2 - Parks

There was a neighborhood not far from ours that was a world away. Our houses were large. Huge to a seven year old. This other neighborhood - where my friend Russell lived - was compact. Russell's home was a second floor apartment. Across the street was a park. Our neighborhood had no park. We had a golf course. Adults probably called it a country club. But Russell had a park.

I remember staying over Russell's once. We read riddles all night and laughed until it hurt. But there were riddles I just didn't get. Like that park the next day. It must have been a Saturday because it was filled with people. Families. Playing badminton, croquet, spinning hula hoops, spreading out picnics. It was positively joyous. Not at all like my neighborhood.

I spent much of my ensuing childhood looking for parks. I'd push the known limits, first on foot, later on bike, in search of sylvan glades. I may have been looking for Russell's happy family park, but I don't think so. Because I didn't want to find people there. I wanted pastoral and I wanted it for myself. Me. Only.

I found the ideal park. Tucked neatly away, it was small, just two conjoined hills with a stream dividing them. A weeping willow by the stream provided perfect cover. But no cover was needed as no one came to this park. It seemed unknown to all. How's this for disturbed? I stopped going there for fear that someone else would discover what was to me my own private park.

Funny, these two parks loom large in my life. Both were sources of wonder to me. In one, society was magnified, idealized. In the other, grades of schooling later, society was diminished, to be avoided. Go figure.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pauline and the Thespians

The year: 1965.
Pauline, Pete and Larry weren't exactly taking NYC by storm. The folk trio thing wasn't working anymore. You had to be part of the British Invasion to make it. And so they became Pauline and the Thespians. They affected accents. Pauline grew waifish overnight, took center stage bathed in green light. Sang in gutteral whisper. Pete played bass. Larry was lead . Their music was jangly strummed; their lyrics were bleakly hopeful. They caught on. Who knows how far they'd have gotten had the bus not crashed?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Diary Entry 3

Today was awesome! Billy the Squid got out after two years away. We hooked up and did the bars. He was fuming. Smoke was everywhere we went. This old trophy named Maggie latched on to him, tried to turn me loose. It wasn't happening, especially after the Iceberg made an appearance. He'd just gotten out, too, and was positively melting. Billy told Maggie to pony up some extra snatch and next thing we knew, we each had bouncing buns on our laps. It was sweet, let me tell you. Anyway, we all ended up in my Camaro, headed for Greenville for some reason. Only made it to the county dump, though. Just the natural course of events.. We left the broads there and now we're off to find a liquor store. Billy and the 'berg are joking about robbing the place. Least I hope they're joking. Man, it is HOT!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

It never even occured to Drucillia that her boy Kyle might mean her no good. Oh, she'd catch glimpses of him eyeing her suspiciously, but she attributed it to excess gas, not the evil eye. When heavy objects began falling off high shelves, Drucillia dutifully picked them up and put them back.

It was on Mother's Day when the china hutch toppled over. The crash roused the neighbors who arrived to find an ungodly mess and a barely conscious Drucillia under it all, babbling on about the baby. They reassured her the child was alright. In fact, he was bouncing joyously in his baby jumper, clapping his hands and laughing.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

True Story 1 - Flower Dream

Okay, dreampt's not a word. But when I dreampt, I shrunk in size to where I could enter a flower. The flower grew on a vine by a wall down the walk from our front door. The flower contained a shop with a counter with a shopkeeeper behind it. My mother was making a purchase. There was a back room where my brother and sister struggled with each other over control of a tomahawk. I dreampt all this early, early as in my first remembered dream. I wonder now, why a tomahawk? What made my underdeveloped subsconscious brain conjure forth a tomahawk inside a flower? And why did I wake in terror seeing them wrestle on the floor of that flower?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sedimentary Window

Mostly translucent. Contains agate, novaculite, found glass, nail, ceramic doll's head, and miscellaneous Arkansas stone.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


from Anonymous:

Shamed smiles crept across the faces of the citizens who were saved yet again by the bat-clown, but who secretly wanted to die.

Bat-clown, bat-clown,
Ooh ooh,
Bat-clown, bat-clown,
Ooh ooh

Anonymous 2:

We yearn oh hero not to waste away,
But to die right here in one fell POW!!!,
And yet you mock us with your heroic play,
And we must be grateful, we must, but how???

Monday, May 08, 2006

Drahma 1

Sir Thomas Larchmont could not grasp a motive. Either his son, Thomas Larchmont Jr. was in love or he was in debt. How else could it be explained? Sheer impudence, perhaps?
For his part, Thomas Jr. knew he was tugging against madness. There was a kind of gravity that held it all in check, but how long could he count on that? Lately there were whole nights gone unaccounted. His father knows something. Damn the fortune!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


What you need here to walk the street's an air of defiance. Learned that trick early on. A sideways bounce in your step says you might go off. Never be still. Shudder your shoulder, shift your weight, stomp out a cigarette, light another. No need to swagger but master a prideful disdain. Not a grimace or sneer. It's the whole package. Float a half inch above the sidewalk in a bubble. Draw a line that if crossed, things stop, temperature drops. They'll withdraw soon enough. You'll get by.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Tikticotl and Diaz

Tikticotl was the only known female ruler of the Aztecs. Her ascendancy was as rapid as her reign was short. So obscure is her memory in Indian and Spanish lore, her existence is often denied by historians. But live and rule she did about the same time Columbus began his third voyage. How, in 1498, she came to power will never be known, but it is said that sorcery and a close resemblance to Quetzacoatl played a role.

What is known (to those who choose to believe it), is that Tikticotl was bethroned in the newly dedicated temple at Tenochtitlan when a Spanish explorer-scout by the name of Francisco Diaz entered the Aztec capital. He was led to the royal chamber and laughed loudly when he beheld a mere woman in such a position of power. Through an interpreter, Diaz demanded she disclose to him the location of the copper mines. "Copper? Why copper?" Tikticotl wanted to know. Diaz, you see, did not overly aspire. Copper was good enough for him. He could make a fortune selling it to other explorers who used it to clad their hulls. "We have silver and gold, you know." "Not interested" came the reply. "Just show me the mines, bitch."

So, Tikticotl summoned her charge and led Diaz to the mines, and hence, to his doom. For it was to the mine within the legendary City of Gold that he was led, made to supplicate before the golden altar, forced to kneel before the golden image of Quetzacoatl and there he was sacrificed before the gods. His severed head was preserved in wax and asbestos and dipped into molten gold, so that he might aspire to something greater.

What became of Tikticotl is not known. Montezuma II assumed the throne in 1502 and the mention of Tikticotl's name was made punishable by dismemberment. The golden head of Francisco Diaz remained on display in Tenochtitlan for a good many years. It was on the wall of the throne room in 1521, when Hernando de Cortes lay to waste the once mighty Aztec empire. Cortes sent the golden head back to Spain and continued searching (alas, in vain) for the City of Gold. Somehow the head made its way to the Vatican, where it was used for centuries as an ashtray.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Secret to Creativity

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thomas Merton's Ghost

Most ghosts abhor dawn. Not Thomas Merton's. The dark is good, a manifestation of no-mind, the null and the void. But sunrise is the go-beyond, the tomb with the slab akilter. Bretheren and cistercians, it's raining; the fan wire's frayed and his spirit is finally free to travel.