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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How Many Ways Are There to Say It?

Hey all!

A bit of a different texture to the poetry today. It's been kind of a melancholy week, something I think a lot of guys experience around the holidays. I set out to write something upbeat and positive, but I couldn't get a good bead on that. I instead I just kind of let the poem go where it wanted. I am not sure how good it is. I wanted to use that first line as a hook throughout the poem, but I am not sure if all the couplets really flow smoothly, some read throughs are a bit stronger than others. That and it wasn't an easy poem to write, I could get sections of it really easy, others seemed like they needed a bit more forcing. Still I finished it and as its been such a hectic posting schedule this month, I thought I would leave it up. Enjoy the poem, and hope your holiday weekend is a good one.

How Many Ways Are There to Say It?

I love you.

So simple a thing to write,

Such a hard thing to say.

Each syllable such a fight,

Words that can't find thier way.

Yet still I love you.

With all the bounty in my heart.

Whether or not you're near,

It's tearing me apart,

The wishing that you were here.

How much can I love you?

Yet never say the words.

The fullness tempering the breach,

Though still my voice cannot be heard,

As my courage lays just out of reach.

Oh that I love you.

Or better yet if you felt it to.

Even if you but suspected,

Of what my heart could imbue,

If it wasn't so dejected.

Still I love you.

But you will never know,

All the ways I dream the dreams,

They are buried deep below,

Beneath the hurts my heart screams.

Sweetest heart, I love you.

If I were a braver man,

I'd rattle the sky and heavens above,

To tell the world how our love began,

A prayer I'd wish to be part of.

Oh God, how I love you.

Those lost moments when we embrace,

Or even that one lonly kiss,

It's shames me now in disgrace,

Of the oppertunities I miss.

But I love you.

How many ways are there to say it?

Without the truth coming out,

Why can't I just admit.

My heart is yours, devout.

That I say I love you.

An easy feat to most,

Yet my voice can't find the sound,

As so many lovers croon and boast,

For me the silence is profound.

I love you.

It's all I ever prayed to say,

To whisper in your ear,

Instead the price I chose to pay,

Are words you'll never hear.

End of Line.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flash Fiction: Noir Story

Chapter 24

I freed my Beretta from its holster and loosened my arms as I approached A22. Some soreness had started to creep in, I still wasn't in the shape I needed to be to pull this kind of stuff off after that fight the other night, but frankly right now I was beyond caring. I took one more breath and kicked in the door to the apartment, watching the bits of wood shatter off the split hinges. Barrelling into the room, I saw one guy sitting at the coffee table with a huge pile of blow on the table. His pants were off and the girl in red sat at his knees. She let out a scream as she saw me but I hurtled the coach and slammed the pantless fuck into the pile of coke face first.

The girl in red opened her mouth to scream again but I pointed the Barret ta at her and told her to shut the fuck up. Her eyes went wide with fright, but she stayed quiet. Good. Pantless man was still stirring a bit so I rammed his head into the pile of coke again for good measure. Turning, I knew that Horner was in the bed room, and he was in their with Annie. I tucked the baton back inside my sleeve and walked to the bedroom door, slowly pushing it in while I kept low.

Horner was inside, his pants were off, clad just in his underwear and a button down shirt. He had Annie by the throat, a gleaming .45 in his hand. His wild black hair was standing on end, and I could see the red rim of his bloodshot eyes even from here. I caught Annie's gaze and nodded. No fucking way was this going down. I knew it could get hairy, but I;ll be fuck damned if he was gonna hurt her. He was screaming, asking who the fuck I was, and what the fuck I wanted. I wasn't paying attention, my eyes only for Annie. I told her it would be all right. I told her I wouldn't let her down. I told her I loved her. Then I told her it was time.

Annie brought the spiked heel of her knee length boots down onto Horner's bare foot and pushed herself forward. Horner cried out and fired, his shot going just wide, though I could feel the heat from the lead as it thudded into the door jamb beside me. I squeezed the Beretta once, feeling it buck in my hand, and heard the boom of the hammer fall onto the bullet before the floor length mirror behind Horner was flecked with blood. I had hit him high, in the shoulder. Annie was on him before I could get close, driving her boot hard into the wound. Her face was lit with a savage glow, god she was beautiful. I pulled her gently off of the whimpering fool, and locked eyes one more time, learning everything I needed to know from what I saw there. I smiled and looked down, telling Roger exactly want I wanted him to say.

End of Line.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Word Balloon! Northlanders

Hey all,

Here we I am back with this month's comic of choice, Northlanders, published by DC/Vertigo and created by writer Brian Wood. Northlanders is another one of DC's great Vertigo imprint, which lets creators make comics outside of the normal spectrum of capes and cowls and offers a unique take on darker more mature comic books. Northlanders was created by Brian Wood, an indy author and artist who decided to make a book about Nordic life and times, set during the Dark Ages. It is a book unique in that it doesn't star a particular character, but tells stories from many different points of view, each story arc being it's own thing, un-encumbered by previous stories. Each arc also has its own artist, as Wood revolves through a series of different illustrators to create unique artistic flavors in each arc.

Volume One of Northlanders, entitled Sven the Returned, is the perfect place to start. Wood teams with artist Davide Gianfelice to tell the story of Sven, a self-exiled Viking warrior serving in the Byzantine Army who returns home to the Orkney Isles to reclaim his heritage and birthright. Sven returns to the island to find that his uncle, Gorm, has been leading the people in his absence. Gorm has oppressed and taxed the people, even outright killing dissenters to keep his reign secure. Sven must best Gorm and his champion, while also defending the island against invading Saxons, in order to reclaim the throne. Along the way he meets a woman named Enna, who lives on the fringes of the Viking society. Enna and Sven must pit themselves against Gorm, but are forced to realize a bigger threat when the Saxons arrive.

While the first part of the story is a basic revenge tale, it does grow as the story unfolds over its eight issues. By the sixth and seventh issue, Sven has to come to grips with the truth of the futility of his actions, and Gorm must decide how his clinging to the old superstitions and legends he has lived his life on, can work in a changing world. Wood draws on the parallels of the old versus the new, and elevates the book over that of a typical Viking tale of carnage and violence. Don't get me wrong, that is in here. This is a book that provides some really great subtext while delving into the popular action and swordplay that you expect from a Viking tale.

Artist Gianfelice really compliments the book with his artistic style. He has a heavy, dark approach that helps to capture the context of being a Viking. It's a cold dirty world, inhabited by hard dirty men. Fighters and scrappers, people who live by the sword, and Gianfelice doesn't disappoint. He brings a real visceral quality to the series, dark and angry, bringing to life an unpleasant world and not pulling any punches. Another bit that I really like about the series is that despite different artists for each story arc, cover artist Massimo Carnevale really holds the series together. The cover of each issue is painted in painstaking detail by him and are really visual treats. They provide a sense of consistency and continuity, yet really add to the books overall feel.

I have never been a fan of Brian Wood's books before this. He was always a bit to indy for me, a lot of his work containing social messages that i thought outweighed whatever else the book was about. Here Wood finds that nice balance of fun and action with the underpinnings of a bigger story. By the end of the first trad, you genuinely want more Sven tales and to see where the story goes. I will say that the book does do a great job of mixing up the characters and tales being told. Using a system of 8 issue arc, followed by a two issue arc, followed by another 8 issue run, Wood creates very big stories, then offers you a nice break in between long forms before moving back in. It works in a sense that the book can still grow, but frames the stories in a manner that builds on the overall narrative.

Northlanders is a fun book. It brings all the things about great Viking tales hat you want, blood and lust, and fighting and all the great elements of a good warriors story. All the while still offering some deeper undertones to the arc. Wood has done his homework on the topic to boot, really trying to capture Norse life. Wood spent time in Scandinavia, taking pictures and visiting many of the places he uses in his stories, all in trying to better capture the feel the what the world was like around 1000AD.

This book provides all the action and violence you want from a comic. While the artistic quality may vary from volume to volume, you are always guaranteed a great story and some truly spectacular cover art. Volume 1, Sven the Returned, is a great gritty story of revenge and justice in a cold dark world. This is a comic for people looking to see the black underbelly of life in a tough and unforgiving world. This is a book not for the reader looking to stay outside the normal trend and find something new and different. Check out Brian Wood's Northlanders from DC/Vertigo, I checked it out on a recommendation, so should you.

End of Line.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Hey all,

Yeah I hear you, another relapse. Work, work, work, it's has just drained away whatever creative juices I had this week. Work has just been agonizingly depressing this week. Long days, little reward, and what's worse my boss basically thinks I am doing a terrible job. It's so frustrating. He is one of those guys who motivates through fear and intimidation, but accuses everyone else of not being supportive. He just yells and pounds and pounds on you until he breaks you, then he realizes he has gone to far, tries to be supportive, just to pound you down some more. I don't want to say that its completely defeating, its just gotten old and tiring.

Its frustrating that when things go well, he still points out all of the things you are doing wrong, when things go bad he just does the same things. There is no reward, or hell at least some relief, when you are on top of it all. It almost makes me not want to care anymore. Ask anyone, I give a huge portion of my life to my job, I have sacrificed personal time and relationships to do what I felt was the right thing. If my reward is just to be treated poorly, why would someone keep doing that. I am not the kind of guy who quits things. I am a finisher. I like my job and what I do. I really do. Sometimes its hard to see the forest from the trees though. On weeks like this, when nothing seemingly goes right and everything is against you, its hard to be positive about what you do.

I think in the end that its good to just vent sometimes. You know, to get the feelings and emotions off of your chest and to try to keep it positive. I have just felt really burnt out and tired, really really exhausted. I have tomorrow off and I am going to try to rest ans recharge a bit to get ready for another week, hopefully a better week than the one I had this go around. Lie isn't always the easiest road to walk, and the pathway to happiness is often lined with many potholes. To tell you the truth though, I could use a clear stretch of highway right now.

End of Line.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Flash Fiction: Noir Story

Chapter 23

I lashed out with the baton, the metal un-collapsing in a blur beneath my sleeve. I caught the stooge across the jaw with a sickening crack and watched the blood spray against the door. I struck out again a second time, you know, just to be sure. The goon lay prone after the two hits and I pulled the keys out of his pocket, letting myself into the complex. I poked my head in and saw that no one was in the foyer, so I grabbed him by the collar and drug him in behind me. I could see the tattoo on his neck marking him as one of Sixx's boys and by default, marking this as one of Sixx's properties. Gonna have to stay on my toes. I muscles the goon into a storage closet and headed for the elevator, the baton still dripping blood behind me.

I thumbed the button for the elevator and stepped in, pressing the second floor key as the doors closed behind me. Th elevator starting rolling up and I tried to flex some of the soreness out of my arms and ribs, there was sure to be some rough housing ahead and I was gonna be damned if I wasn't up for this. I heard the door ping and watched it slid open, with two burly fucks waiting on the other side. Huge bastards in to small suits and necks that ended at their shoulders. Oh well, nothing worth doing is ever easy.

I brought the baton around across the first monkey's wrist, hearing the welcomes sounds of bones snapping. The second guy made a shot for my face, swiping his meat hook for my temple. Instead of backing out I stepped in to the punch. He scored a glancing blow to the back of my head, but nothing with any real force. That close I plunged my knee into his gut and brought the baton back around. The elevator was to small to get a good shot to I aimed low for his knee. After connecting I turned into a spin, rolling out the elevator door and into the hallway. I brought the baton into a brutal uppercut, catching the first guy unaware, still clutching his hand. His head snapped back and I saw his eyes go glossy in a spray of red. He tumbled into the elevator and I focused on the second guy, limping but ready for more. I struck out again with the baton, going high, but he forced his arm out to block the blow and came across with a counter punch from his left. This time I did move backward, throwing my whole body prone and reversing my momentum. His punch missed and I found myself on the floor, looking up at him.

I brought the heel of my shoe onto his toe and felt the heavy sole sink deep into the guys soft loafers. I then lashed out again at his knee. Once he groaned he lurched forward unsteadily and I rolled out, dragging the baton behind my body and catching it between his legs. One more pull and he fell forward, his legs twisted with the baton. I made one more lunge and cracked him in the jaw a couple of times until he didn't move anymore. Blood and bits of teeth still clung to my hand as I drug the two of them back into the elevator and clicked the emergency stop button, before levering shut the doors.

That just left one more matter. Beating the fuck out of Roger Horner.

End of Line.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cold as Snow

Hey all,

Got a bit of the poetry bug today so this is a little bit I sketched out over the course of maybe an hour. I didn't spend a lot of time or thought on it, I tried to keep it very stream of conscious and to let the words flow. The poem is sort of about the moments in your life when you feel like you have lost it all and are all alone in the world. Holding yourself and realizing that you have lost the things that make you, well you. Originally this poem was titled Days of Grey, but i thought it was a little close to the title of a poem I just wrote, called Turned to Grey. I re-read the poem though and while it is similar subject matter, I thought they were different enough to keep. I mean hell, a lot of my poetry I write is the same theme so maybe someone will like this one. I sort of think each poem is it's own independent work, not related to the other.

I once heard a quote that a poem is never finished, just abandoned. I think that works in my writing. I could easily tweak it to be more different than other poems that i wrote, but in the end it's one individual work, If one poem didn't strike a chord with you, maybe another will. Anyway, hope you enjoy the poem.

Cold as Snow

Pieces fallen to the ground,

Listen to the crumbling sounds.

Hurt and pain but broken shard,

Putting them together, far to hard.

Left alone in shattered state,

Each new sliver without a mate.

I look to the pile which lay amassed,

So much sorrow to get past.

I shiver in the naked cold,

Exposed to this world so bold.

It's so damn cool outside,

And all I wants' a place to hide.

Grasping at the sharpened breaks,

The scraps at which my heart forsakes.

Broken hopes and dreams now laid to rest,

A funeral for my heart-felt stress.

Bared of soul and marrowed bone,

My sins gone by without atone.

Once feeble flame has now been snuffed,

To be battered by a wind what roughed.

Though never one of passions grace,

Now I lay in solitude and disgrace.

And once I stoked my prayers to grow,

They're ashen now, as cold as snow.

So out beneath the sky and star,

The horizons stretches just so far.

I once saw hope in the future ahead,

Now the promises feel so dead.

It rests in a crumbled heap,

Of broken prayers and sorrows reap.

Each one I tried to put together,

Just left me the worse for weather.

How I wish I could be better,

And find the way to put me back together.

To stoke the flames of a wholly heart,

And not cut myself on the bitter parts.

At last I brace myself against the wind,

It's cutting bite my own chagrin.

I watch it blow the parts away,

And welcome in the days of gray.

End of Line.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Movie Time: Rewind : Frankenstein

Hey all,

So with it being Halloween (okay, sorry I was a little lat eon posting this) I thought I would take a look at one of my favorite Halloween movies, 1931's Frankenstein, by James Whale and starring one of the kings of monster movies, the indelible Boris Karloff. Next to Dracula, Frankenstein may be the most universally recognized monster ever put on film. I should point out that the only reason I went with Frankenstein this year over that film is that last Halloween I put the spotlight on Dracula's director Ted Browning with his film Freaks.

Universal Picture established the horror genre throughout the 1930's and into the early 1940's with it's stable of great horror icons, like Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and his son, Lon Chaney, Jr. Teaming these actors with their collection of great movie monster properties, like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Wolf-Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and so on, Universal was the pre-emanate studio for horror. What I loved about Frankenstein, and the other early 1930's films produced is that they are all pre-Hayes Code films, meaning made before they instituted the motion picture rating system. These films tend to be very sensational (for the time) and exploitative, the likes that won't be seen again until the independent film rush of the late 50's and early 1960's.

Let's dive deeper in to the story of Frankenstein, I think a tale we all know very well. Scientist Victor Frankenstein discovers the ability to re-animate dead tissue and decides to create life. Using a body salvaged from several different corpses, the doctor and his assistant (named Fritz in this film, though displaying all the qualities of the character of Igor that will eventually become ubiquitous with the film) they discover they still need a brain. Fritz is sent t get the brain of a former colleague of the doctor's brain who has passed on, but he damages the brain and takes a different one. Using the doctor's technology the duo re-animate the monster in one of the screens most famous scenes. Unfortunately they realize they have created a monster, and lock the beast away. Fritz mercilessly teases the creature, until he revolts and escapes, finding a young girl on the edge of a lake, whom he bonds with, then kills in the lake. Dr. Frankenstein tries to move on with his life and find happiness in marriage, only to discover that his monster still hunts for him. Frankenstein leads the angry mob of townsfolk after the monster, culminating in a final battle an an old mill.

Like I said, a story we all know very well. First off you have to look at the hype surrounding the film. The studio didn't release any photos of the monster and many people speculated that Universals biggest star, Lugosi, was set to play the monster. Frankenstein became the signature role for Karloff, which really launched him into continued success for Universal throughout his career. The make up and effects at the time were cutting edge, and I really think the make up still hold up on Karloff today. Designed by Jack Pierce, with input by director James Whale, they created the signature flat head and neck bolts that is now synonymous with the character. Pierce would also design Lon Chaney's Wolf Man make-up, as well as Karloff again in The Mummy. Legend has it that it was after the make-up tests, which where found to be disastrous, that Lugosi was removed from the project, opening it up for Karloff.

The impact of director James Whale can't be denied either. Whale directed several hits in the early 1930's, becoming one of Universals go to guys for horror. He made not only Frankenstein, but the sequel Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Old Dark House (which launched the haunted House genre of films) and a very off cast success for him, the musical Show Boat. While many consider Whale's sequel, Bride of Frankenstein his masterpiece (and most successful picture) I love the original. Unfortunately by the late 1930's and into the early 40's, Whale's career stalled, being relegated to a string of unsuccessful B pictures before retiring from film all together. You can really find a lot of Whale's personal life in his films, persecution, fear, and pain. Even loneliness and abandonment, issues he struggled with in life. Whale was a homosexual, forced to keep his orientation a secret, many believed that this was a contributing factor to his suicide in the 1950's. A movie starring Ian McKellan as Whale with Brendan Fraser called Gods and Monsters tells the tale of Whale's final days.

Whale changed a lot of the books original plot to fit his vision of the film. There are elements from author Mary Shelley's book that are skipped or truncated to fit into the film. Really I think Whale was boiling the film down to the base elements, using things from his own life to create a movie that wasn't trapped by the Victorian language and make it something that audiences could relate to. Shelley's beast teaches himself to read and rationalize his violent behavior by the treatment he has received. In this version the "bad brain" is the factor that makes the creature a monster. I also think that creating this silent and imposing creature really added to the mytholgy that Whale was looking for. For my money, Karloff is far more menacing barely speaking than delivering speeches.

This film, along with Dracula, really launched Universals success throughout the Depression. It helped to create a genre of films that are still prevalent today. Horror is not one of my favorite genres, but anytime any of the great classic horror films comes up, I watch them. Frankenstein is one of the best films sof its time, a classic that withstands the years because it's theme is something we all can relate to. My Halloween pick this year is Universals Frankenstein from 1931, by director James Whale and starring Boris Karloff. If you have not seen it, you are missing out.

End of Line.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Assorted Nuts!

Happy November All!

The first few days of the month have been packed with work and I had some significant car issues at home. I have just been in a really dark state of mind trying to focus on the things I need to do, I haven't really been in a good frame of mind to write. I thought last month was a really solid effort, I just didn't finish writing my Rewind pick, which I promise will come twice this month, and which should also be up in the next few days.

I also missed my regular Flash Fiction post, so be ready for a makeup post the middle of next week, probably Wednesday, to compensate. In good news I have started making some notes on a brand new Under a Dead Sun story arc. I haven't decided if I should tell it all disjointed like the last one, or work in a different milieu. I was sort of thinking about telling three separate stories that end up interlocking in the end, similar in theme to the first tale I wrote, but not using that style, then again I was not sure if I wanted to change something that I thought was successful. In the end though I want to get to a point where I am telling two flash stories a month, a Wednesday and Sunday tale, for readers to look forward to. Then do my other posts around that structure. I am going to try and launch that by the end of the month, but for sure by the end of the year. I am open to ideas on what you would want to read out of a Dead Sun tale, a more traditional story base, or the crazy hodge podge style of the first tale. C'Mon, both my readers need to weigh in!

Not as much planned this month in terms of activities, last month was just so full. This month its back to writing, fiction and poetry, though I am sure to slip in a few flicks along the way. So I hope you are ready for a month of writing, I know I will be!

End of Line.