Wednesday, September 27

Here & Now

Stay here now. It is all there is.
My mind will float to times of agony and bliss
In circumstances like hers
Full of life and facing a wide open world
Terrified but with no sense of terror
Ready for whatever happens
And money behind her to ease the way.

Stay here. I do more than dream.
I think about all the good things
In the windows of the people who played along
That I have never seen
Because I flew out the top of that system
I was far too good at everything
But I had no soul inside me.

Now I sit on a park bench being polite to people.
Now I am semi-wise. I know to watch the big ducks
Watch how they steal from the little ducks
I should have chosen one thing
But heaven doesn't give out prizes
And heaven doesn't exist in the real world
And nobody cares if your live or you die.

So live right now. Stay here,
Keep the silence loud.

I have not had the time
Time unends
Where do our lives go
Around the next bend or
Somewhere far away
Beyond the golden moon
To the central heart
Or to the open wound

Fire halos
Wreath our heads tonight
I am lame with anguish
I am damned by pride
In the outer spaces
Truths we found inside
Like the serpent's slide

I have not had the time
Time begins again
Where do our minds go
When it's time to go?
Along the avenue
Beneath the deepest grey
Hold your thoughts to you
Watch them burn away
Desert skies
Wind figures swoon and rise
Play in my eyes
Out beyond the shifting peaks
Fatal sleep
Death waits with patient teeth
Fatal distance
Out where the shimmers pool around
Chances fade
Rushing gusts make the only sound
Heaven bound
Flailing with frantic limbs
Day begins
Desert skies bring fire again.
Good and Evil.

They who seize the moment and find power there
They are evil
They who possess honest ambition
And a will to drive themselves onward
They are evil
To be happy everyday
And not care what anyone thinks about it
And not worry about the judgment time
Is to be good after all
And the soldiers of nice feeling
And happy time
They know what good is
Good is love above all else
And staying humble when the world around you crumbles
Good is what we are given
On the moment of our birth
And what we try so hard to destroy in our lives
The men who educate us
Into their corporate world
And praise our courage but encourage us on
Who raise the red gun but never the white flag
And who are only trying their best to succeed
They are evil
They look into you with their yellow eyes
Convinced of purpose
Never letting go
This is evil
It is the only sense of the word.

Is destiny written
does time as a concept escape definition
my mind wants to break my thoughts down
nothing lost
means nothing can be found
made from the rhythm of motion
acting like a wave in an ocean of space
allow me to answer your question
I say it with more conviction now
truth is stranger than fiction
last but not least let's erase the beginning
upside down and start from the ending
time ticks form in a circle
each time round when I reach the top
and fate
means different things to different people
I'm back to believing in good and evil.
Administrative at my heart
Lost in shadow left for dead and torn apart
There is apathy in the widest view a
Man can take in this day and age
Universal sufferage plays savage games
I balk at my own shadow:
Where have I been now, for how long, how?

Lining up the answers for a possible
Return to the living splendor of life
But left unbidden high and dry
Mathematically dying
These are the concentric circles
We label our lives, like the title game
Where three scores and a commercial break
A triumphant season can make
We lift our eyes to the horizon

Break now upon my rockiest shore
This is what encouragement is for
You take a heart stripped of all ambition
Force it to change its position
And leave the confines of your prison once more
Explore the shiny bits you haven't
Dared to speak of before, adoring.

Tuesday, September 26

CalgaryWell I'm off (soon) ... be back next week.
It's impossible to encapsulate the past. The past took up as much time as all the future will. Its moments can only be paired off against the moments trickling past us now, aligned in Cantor fashion.

And still, the fish swim, knowing they need air and food.
And still, the lizard on the rock warms his blood to survive.
And here am I. What am I?

I'm only the observer.

Monday, September 25

(photo by Philip Greenspun)
Rise sometime
Day's already gone by
Life is advancing
Drifting further away
Come what may
My eyes can't focus so I rub them
And time keeps passing
I can't escape the rain that falls I'm
Still staring down this lifetime sentence
These years of gloom and rage
Still feel a fight on my the tips of my fingers
No matter what I say to her
But weaker men than I have lived
To be as weak as they were.
Too much to ask?

All I want is a small but tidy, neatly organized home where I have a fireplace or wood stove, enough room for my books, and a small writing desk with a comfortable chair and a friendly lamp.

Wake me if you can I'm smothered in blood
Words seemed so unreal tonight under the cursed cover of night
You spoke, and some actor came in for me
Tore you down and made you cry so you'd feel what is was like
To be a mash inside, of childhoods bled of hope
Well look at me now I'm bleeding, look at me now I'm leaving
Spacemen walk into my house and soon the lights are gone
All I know is nothing, all I knew has gone

Wake me if you can I'm shivering in gowns
You seem so unlike yourself but my angel's face is there
And never leaves, she cries but only in kindness
You imposed the fear that night when you ripped her from my sight
My insides are dead. I know I'm only dreaming
How they keep us fooled so well is a trick I'll never know
Here comes doctor drain again with a fake smile and a poke

Wake me if you can I'm hidden from everything
I found a cave where soft things live and if darkness comes they die
But I have faith, that I will always loathe you
Safe within my bed of weeds, prick the blood I'm still surviving!
Let me die alone with dignity
Three people know my heart and they won't speak to me
Without it being unclean

Don't say anything now
Don't apologize
Or sympathize
Spare me your empty words
My life is gone
My mind is halfway empty
I did the right things....
I said the right thing....
I did the right things but
Twisted are the vows
That lovers take
Before they're shorn of dignity
And moved into the aisles
For shopping customers
The curious juveniles
Who must replace us
Who must re-face us
If the earth is to
Keep its hope alive
Of offering its life
To the other worlds
I feel so weightless
I'm alread halfway dead
I feel I'm halfway
To the stars my dear
Don't bother me
Don't tear me from my bed
My existence is gone.


It's too much of myself

that I give
when I wander from where I stand
in this guise of a man
there's no love
only ghosts of loves gone past.

It's too much of myself
that I lose
each time I choose another alley
disguising my folly
in a haze of love
and a past that never was.

So I pray that I go at last
till the sleep wears off my face
and I rise
from the ash
and my mind returns remade, I'm afraid.

Hard to believe it's been ten years. RIP. Still strugglin'. -JS

Dried Flowers.

Dry flowers in a glass vase
No more pull of water through withered veins
Sighed against the effort so long
Current lulled and eased the strain
Dead bird knows
That it can never fly again

As light beams turn horizontal
Possibility tree blooms less ornamental
Roots lie shallow, inconsequential

And now all is faded
No one is here
It is cold here
There is no love here
Everything you tried to be
Fell apart screaming
All your little plans
Turned to dust while you were dreaming.

Psalm 187

Most people are assholes. They're fine hanging out with you when you're invisible or if you're fun. If you have real emotions that go up and down, during the down times they feel unconfortable around you instead of concerned and supportive. If you have depression, nearly all friends and family disappear from your side in a show of blatant selfishness. Real friends stick together through thick and thin. They don't have to constantly entertain one another and pretend their life is totally normal. I don't respect the vast majority of people I've known in my life because of this. People abandon you or put you on the back burner when you need them the most. It's disgusting to me.
(photo by Sue Ballinger)

Cafe This.

When we fell together
A sofa bench felt softer than
The warmest sun
And all around the iron glow
Of currents traced to sideline
In a neon haze
That we could be so
Absolutely perfect
The rotary of pinpoint flesh
Electic thoughts
Inside they
Trail in swirls of simmering
Flash enigma craze
Float from heart to heart
Like fission
I never felt so simply
Undeniably alive
As that night
Beneath the cafe lights

Sentences were ruptured
Couldn't form that night amidst
A dream of agonizing peace
Ironically a spectral thing
Those four walls and plaster
Wearing colored bits of paper
And carousel and storms of
Lysergically dripped mosaic
Misty massacre
And nothing like the currents
Running through my head
Swimming circles in my mind
I was trained to be a martyr
But I don't know
The first thing about that

The whole thing felt so right and wrong
I love you but
I never thought you'd come
I felt like screaming out so long
For someone
Emptiness bulged beneath the moon
And you were so beautiful
I could feel the room
Get comfortably smaller
And draw you in
I never thought you'd come

No rain fell
It must have been the weight
Of all those twisted days
Those spinning phases that
Dazed with without warning
That started lifting
And letting love rush in
The vacant place
The hole that filled my heart
The tumult of a million crying
Atrophied white summers
A dozen things to do
When should I call you?
How best to follow up
That magical first kiss
I never knew a kiss
Could be so spiritual
It wasn't like people said
It wasn't like a movie
Your lips were so much sweeter
The waterfall
Of pent-up bliss erupted
And bathed my arid days

As the day
When we could see each other
Inched closer
My mind was racing so I hardly
Slept at all like winter
When bears shack up in shelter
And find
That they cannot unwind
Still turning
With thoughts of
Agitated active wonder
That frustrates sister slumber
I flushed
Full of buzzing bumblebee
Delight I heard you whisper
I love you
I never thought you'd come.

Saturday, September 23

I have nothing.

I walk
on the ocean
seems a decade has passed
since I saw you last
we were still shaking
on the horizon
of a future so strong
and then it faded

Talk to myself
whisper an answer
to a question that you posed
and the waves touched your toes
are we moving? or is the world changing?
fleeter now than before
I drift to the shore

Every dusk the red ball dips to the ocean
pauses to drink, then plummets from sight
every day a new sun lifts unsuspecting
from blue doomy waters of night

It's so very hard to keep on believing
crossing your fingers and living alone
tell yourself it's the logical option
afraid of the dark, afraid of the cold

into the river
that leads upstream in a valley
between grassy hills
and my hair sways
and I feel no pain
and you are crying
but you have something.

Everything is too sad
reviving dreams I once dreamed like a child
gardens and hikes and basket lunches
have turned into flavorless melon cups
in scrubbed auditoriums
all the good I wanted to do
split into two, thrown back into the sea
my friends have abandoned me
and my feet are moving
but I'm not going anywhere.

My electrical life.

I have no living,
sentient thing inside me
only a heart
and two lungs
and this business of surviving
is hardly ever fun
but when it is I hold onto it
reluctant to let go
knowing how things go

When I breathe I feel steel
in my veins when I seethe,
when I dream I know that
these things are just electricity
when we see the gates of heaven
it is just the laws of physics
and when we love
it is not love

So I type in front of my screen
watch the letters appear and recede
and every time I feel a scream
from inside I count to three
and wait for it to die
because nothing can ever make me go back
and nothing can ever try
to take away my electrical life.
Villain Father.

As spines of the beast pierce my eyes I cry,
Villain father
And my nightmares will never die.
As time erases the harshest of hates,
Shadow of shadows,
Mine for you shall ever increase.
And my body
And my mind
And my soul
Ground to a course soil in your hands
Hurt like the spires of Hell, shards of a man
Limping I fell to my knees
Age consuming me
Air sucked into my nostrils
Eluding me.
You know what this is all about.
As the sword of seven years cleaves my breast,
Wraith from the nether world,
Find what nourishment you can in my memory
Or bend another bottle back to forget.
As my throat splits with the fury of painful guilt,
Demon of demons,
Remove all traces of my obscene existence.
Right or wrong,
I want to be forgotten.
No one can ever desecrate me that way,
Rebellious me, wild as the wind.
Just hanging on if it be known,
Sharp to touch
And maiming to know.

I've been so terrorized
From all sides but I'm
Stronger now, stronger now
Stronger now
I will not let people
Destroy me on their own
It takes an army to bring me down
Or a soft whisper from my own mind
Sometimes I dream
But I've been so terrified
From the inside but I'm
Taking a longer view now
It will take an army to bring me down now
Or a single act from a pinpoint attack

I've lived in the hills where no one goes
Been down on all fours as the 'roast'
Taken my punishment with empty eyes
I've been shuttled back and forth
To whitened halls
I've gobbled pills like they were Pez
To erase the memories in my head
Now she comes along with love and dread
I cannot know what to say
Leave me to my inpatient
Leanings, darling if you love me,
And pray for my healing
I'm too afraid.

Friday, September 22

500th post. That was quick.

Thursday, September 21


In terms of your own enjoyment, rank the following elements that occur reguarly on my site. I'm not promising to do anything differently, just interested in what people read/view versus what they tend to skim over.

1. Prose discussions.
2. Original poetry.
3. Unoriginal but inspiring song lyrics or poetry.
4. Original photography or art.
5. Unoriginal but inspiring photography or art.
6. Original short stories.

You can comment anonymously if you want to, I don't care. To anyone who does take the time to reply with a quick number sequence - thank you! I do read all comments and this sort of thing helps.

Wednesday, September 20

The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel.
(Alonzo Cano)

(John Lennon)

People say we got it made

Don't they know we're so afraid?

We're afraid to be alone
Everybody got to have a home

Just a boy and a little girl
Trying to change the whole wide world

The world is just a little town
Everybody trying to put us down

I don't expect you to understand
After you've caused so much pain
But then again, you're not to blame
You're just a human
A victim of the insane.

We're afraid of everyone
Afraid of the sun

The sun will never disappear
But the world may not have many years

Tuesday, September 19

In Memorium.

Light a candle for Tess Eisiminger
Let it join the others, so many they burn
A light in heaven,
Crush back the dark with pain
Yet maintain their presence
On the coldest day of the year
When you look into the sky you may see
A bird or a tree, tranquil
Or in ecstasy
But do you really believe?
Light a candle tonight for Tess,
Let her rest where her heart can hear
Memories of laughter and not these
Ugly, ugly tears
Let it join the others, so dense they burn
A ball of fire in the sky
The lost but never forgotten ones
Wild flames we see as the sun.
New relationships.

Relationships are incredibly complex. This will come as a surprise to no one, but still astounds me from time to time so I like to reiterate the fact to remind myself, if for no other reason. In a relationship between two people, it is extremely exciting, nerve-wracking, and ultimately fulfilling to participate in advancing the relationship from stage to stage (this discussion may sound a bit clinical but I think it's important to occasionally look objectively at where your emotions are carrying you, not that you have to use a sociologist's language with each other).

At first maybe there is flirtiness, gentle teasing, one-upsmanship, sudden sincerity, shyness, inquisititiveness. Eventually as you get to know each other better, and assuming this brings you closer together rather than fizzles the whole enterprise, you get more relaxed, allow yourself to be seen as more vulnerable, and tell stories with less archetype and more literal truth. It is still a period of intense questioning, but much lessened posturing. There is more genuine laughter, and more willingness to disagree goodnaturedly. Finally, if things go well, you grow into a most satisfying phase, which is where you know each other well enough not to even have to ask many common things, can ancticipate moods or expectations, and develop a true gentleness and kindness toward one another, not so you can look like a good person but because you automatically react to protect him or her. This is the time of pillowtalk, letting silence linger without becoming uncomfortable, holding hands on long walks and not thinking ahead, just enjoying each other's presense. You don't need to be entertained; it is enough to simply spend time together.

The final phases of true friendship and even "oneness" or "soul-bonding" are something many people never experience, and I don't feel qualified myself to talk about them here. I've felt them come and go. Presently for myself, it has been exciting and then increasingly more mellowly rewarding to progress through these early stages and reach the point I am at with my current female friend. It is always important to never take anything for granted. It is always fundamental to put everything you have into the relationship, to communicate and work through or around obstacles, to develop trust. At what point can it be labeled "love?" That is a question for the poet, not the sociologist. I know on which side of that fence my own heart lies at the moment, though not exactly why. If love was explanable the way thermodynamics is explanable, what fun would that be?

Blood and the hair of beasts coat me, dried,

As I wade through faeces and urine and vomit
On my way toward the beginning of the circle
And start over gasping for air in the process
Pushing my stone all around but exhausted
Wondering whether I can keep my head above it all
Lost, wondering whether it will ever end
This is what it feels like to live with panic.
Jesus to a Child.
(G. Michael)

In your eyes,
I guess
You heard me cry.

You smiled at me
Like Jesus to a child.

I'm blessed
I know,
Heaven sent...
And Heaven stole.

You smiled at me
Like Jesus to a child.

And what have I learned
From all this pain?
I thought I'd never feel the same
About anyone...
Or anything again.

But now I know-
When you find love,
When you know that it exists,
Then the lover that you miss
Will come to you on those cold, cold nights.

In my eyes,

No one guessed
Or no one tried.

You smiled at me
Like Jesus to a child.

And cold,

With your last breath
You saved my soul.

You smiled at me
Like Jesus to a child.

And what have I learned
From all these tears?
I waited for you all those years.
And just when it began
He took your love away...

But I still say
When you find love
When you know that it exists
Then the lover that you miss
Will come to you on those cold, cold nights.

For every single memory
Has become a part of me
You will always be
My love.

Well I've been loved
So I know just what love is,
And the lover that I kissed
Is always by my side.

Oh the lover I still miss
Was Jesus to a child.

It was on the seventh day that Katy Nin visited The Hole. The air was full of car noises and electric wires and she had trouble making her way through the endless crowds of people. The rain fell in sheets and streaked her pretty eye makeup, though nothing could be done about that and after all... She simply had to see if it was true.

There is nothing like the smell of coffee on a brittle January air. Katy followed the vapors to a dense clot of people dressed in overcoats, gloves, hats. She felt a tightness in her stomach and wondered vaguely why she hadn't eaten that morning. A man swiveled his head to her and ran his eyes down her figure, neolithically, while she shoved past him and worked her way deeper into the knot. And all around, the scent of bodies.

And she found the culprit. He was holding a plastic mug and there were white trails of steam rising from it. The steams meshed into his exhalations and dispersed as it drifted away. Next to him stood a woman consumed by a great maroon parka, hands thrust in her pockets and her face barely visible inside the hood. She stared at her shoes, then briefly at the man, then into the sky with a squint and a mouth twitch of impatience.

"Pardon me." A tall figure brushed past Katy, having seen enough. She slid into the vacant spot he had just occupied. There should have been more idle conversation, she thought, in a crowd of this sort, a spontaneous gathering, but there was a near silence next to jostling sounds and the occasional grunt or sneeze. Maybe it was just all a big disappointment.

"Where is it exactly?" she asked of nobody, really, for she had the habit of doing that these days. And expecting no reply, she got one anyway.

"It's right over there, lil lady - past the guy in the motorcycle jacket. See?" It was an old farmer. She had no way of knowing whether or not he was actually a farmer. He seemed like a grandfather who had come out to see slaughtered cattle. He seemed unfazed.

Katy mumbled her thanks and pushed her slender frame further into the center of the knot of people of people that reminded her of a breeding snake ball and who had gathered on the Wind Terrace apartment grounds, west Santa Rosa. She strained her neck in different directions to see if she could catch a glimpse, but everywhere the someone was in the way. Where exactly was it?

And then Motorcycle Man leaned over to reach the pack he'd let drop, and she could see.


Lying on the otherwise-drenched pavement a few yards from where she stood was The Hole. It wasn't a physical hole at all. Rather, it was a patch of dry ground where, apparently, no rain had fallen and thus remained dry - a fist-sized oval with irregular sides that had remained untouched by the intense weeklong storm. It was a hole in the rain.

"It's absurd to think a thing could attract so many people," Katy thought. But at the same time, it was exceedingly easy to understand why it had. No one could explain this phenomenon and sound convincing. It was the talk of the town, it's popularity - notoriety - growing with each passing hour. It defied logic and yet there it was in front of her now: a place where the randomly falling droplets of water simply hadn't yet touched.

"Yet" was the key word here. Katy wondered at the microscopic probability of The Hole lasting more than an hour, and how much exponentially smaller that probability must shrink with each passing minute of its existence. Should it continue to stay dry? Absolutely, overwhelmingly, it should not. It should fill in this very instant, even as she watched. The odds against it surviving even the time she had observed it so far must be astronomical.

Here it was, though.

The guy with the motorcycle jacket had withdrawn a camera from his pack and was aiming it now at the dusty spot on the asphalt.

"Might as well get a shot of it before it finally disappears," he said in a whoa, dude tone of voice.

"Ain't gonna fill up now, not if it's survived all week," chimed a voice from the other side of the inner ring of observers. It belonged to a man perhaps in his fifties, who had a stark physical presence to him, as though he had worked outdoors for a good portion of his life.

The man with the leather jacket snapped a photo. "Why not? Couldn't it just fill up right now, and that's it?"

"Yeah, but if it's lasted this long, a whole week nearly, the chances of it filling in while we're standing here are really small. Why now? The time we spend here watching it is just a small bit of its overall life, right?"

Katy found herself instinctively joining the conversation. "No, that's not true. The odds of it being hit by raindrops are the same during any given minute, now matter how long it's been there. It's basic statistics. Just because it's lasted a week doesn't mean it has special powers against the rain that is falling right now. It's amazing, I agree. But it should fill in any second now."

"Yet it doesn't." This was a new voice, a middle-aged woman standing somewhat near the stark-looking man. "Is it a continuing miracle that this Hole remains, even though every second that ticks by demands, statistically, that it should fill in?"

"It's incredible, I'll grant you that much." Katy was now staring at The Hole mesmerized. There was a brief moment of silence, then the sound of the motorcycle guy putting his camera away.

"I think it's a sign," stated a young blonde woman to Katy's left.

"Of what? The Apocalypse?" answered Motorcycle Man. His tone of voice irked Katy, not because it amounted to some sort of blasphemy, for she had no religious convictions herself, but because, even viewed as a secular phenomenon, this was by any standard a very special event and he seemed to approach it as though he has found a couple of bucks lying on the ground.

"Maybe," said the blonde woman earnestly, but delicately. "Maybe not. But how can you deny it's a sign, since science obviously has no way of explaining it."

Katy spoke up. How can you assert that it is a sign, when you have no proof that it is?

"If you needed proof for everything, dear, there would be no need for faith"

Exactly, thought Katy, but she kept the thought to herself.

Someone else, however, took up the matter. A balding man wearing a green hunting vest and jeans with only a few white strings where the knees must have been said, to the inner crowd in general apparently, "Let's not get carried away just yet. It's certainly possible that it could be a sign, but we have no way of knowing that. Whoever wishes to adopt that view is free to do so, and none of us here can prove him wrong. Katy was struck with the sense that this man must be or once have been a school teacher. His grammar gave him away.

"However," he continued, "those of us who would feel more comfortable with a nonreligious experience can take comfort from the fact that just because science can't currently explain something, doesn't mean it can't be explained.

"In fact, that is the purpose of science, to keep searching for answers. How much do we really know about this Hole? I'm assuming none of us has been watching it for more than a few hours, at most. How do we know it's really been here as long as is claimed? Have we observed it firsthand?

The blonde woman said, "Yes, but why would a huge crowd have gathered here several days ago if there was nothing remarkable then, maybe some pranksters shielding some spot with an umbrella? Was it all a huge hoax which has only now, that we're here, come true? Because there's no umbrella, and it's still dry. That's even more miraculous than it having been there all along!"

"Michelle," said the balding man, who obviously knew the woman, "I'm not suggesting it's a hoax. I'm trying to point out that anything that can't be ruled out is at least possible. What do we know to be facts? What are we only assuming? In most normal situations, you assume a vast amount of information based on previous occurrences of similar situations. But here... well, this most certainly is not a normal situation, and I think it would be dangerous to assume anything at all concerning it."

Katy heard the man but was awash in her own thoughts. "The author of a book I read," she said out loud, "said something like: The funny thing about coincidences is, they do happen."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Asked the middle-aged woman rather rudely.

"I think it means that unlikely, even extremely unlikely events do occur from time to time. They are not impossible, mere unlikely. Just how unlikely they are is sometimes calculable, and usually determines whether we'll see it happen in our lifetime, but even the most extraordinary things do, from time to time, actually happen.

"Imagine the person getting struck by lightning twice and living to tell. He may think, "I must be cursed" or some such thing, because the chance of that happening to an individual are tiny, but it you ran a simulation of the whole thing on a powerful computer, including all the billions of people on earth and all the storms that generate lightning, and let it run for long enough, eventually some individual person would get struck twice. Maybe one or two every generation, I don't know.

"But you see, things are still happening on the overall scale according to the laws of chance, and of physics, it's just that when you actually witness them, when they happen in the tiny scale of your world, they seem impossible or miraculous."

"That seems like a pretty good analysis, Ms..." The man with the hunting vest beamed at her, obviously pleased that someone had taken up what he perceived to be his cause.

"Katy," she replied.

"Mr. Stevens," interjected the blonde woman, "I see your point, and I know what you are saying is technically correct, or theoretically correct, or whatever, but just look at what is before you! Open your eyes - this isn't a scientific oddity like the elephant man was or... or the face on Mars is. This is a near impossibility. Have you, any of you, ever seen so much as a quarter-sized area of ground not with soaked after five minutes of hard rain, given it was out in the open? Why is it easier for you to accept the indescribably small probability that this occurred naturally than it is to believe that is was caused supernaturally?

"I mean, who's actually being obstinate here? Scientists like to paint religious people as closed-minded, accepting on faith, but now you stand here and pledge blind allegiance to your theories even in the face of outlandish, obviously unexplainable events!"

"It seems to me," said the older, stark-looking man, "that we're getting nowhere by talking about it. You, sir, cannot convince this woman that random nature could be the cause of it, and you, ma'am, aren't making much of a dent in this guy's academic skull. So let's just drop it."

A practical man.

The motorcycle jacket guy piped up. "Maybe it's, like, some special area in the pavement that stays dry, you know - sucks up water like that shit you put on your driveway to lift out the oil."

Katy, again inexplicably annoyed at this man, replied, "I thought of that for a few seconds too, but look - no droplets of water are even hitting The Hole. Even if the water were drying up quickly, like on asphalt on a hot day, we'd be able to see drops of water hitting the area occasionally."

The downpour continued, neither intensifying not showing any signs of letting up. The crowd of people remained, shifting and twisting about as bored spectators pushed their way toward the fringe and new, eager faces wormed their way in.

The Hole continue to remain dry.


An hour later, Katy found herself still entranced by The Hole, even though her teeth has begun to chatter a bit from the cold. A few of the faces in the inner circle had changed. The older man and woman had left, as had the guy with the leather jacket. An oriental man wearing a Levi's jacket over a black hooded sweatshirt had pushed to the fore and was now standing next to Katy, silently observing the ground.

There had been snippets of conversation, but on the whole the "inner" crowd had seemed reluctant to start any more holy wars. In a way, it was just an event, like Woodstock or the Bed-In, something to be part of.

The balding teacher at last could contain himself no more. "Look at it! It's fantastic! An ongoing probability buster, a dark horse bucking all the odds. A once in a universe occurrence!"

"Or an indication from Jesus to strengthen your faith." The blonde.

The oriental man said in a bit of a monotone, "Sometimes you find what you look for."

After a moment Katy said, "I suppose that's true enough. But if this is a real phenomenon, if there's really no religious explanation for it, then it is the single most fantastic event science has ever seen. It would be like all the planets in all the solar systems in our galaxy lining up at the same time."

The oriental man, nonplussed, said "Well, what makes that fantastic? Just the low probability? Does that make it more meaningful than a normal, soaked patch of ground?"

"Does the rarity of gold justify it's price, in other words?" asked the balding man. "After all, it's a crummy building material. It's too soft. People just like the looks of it."

Levi's jacket: "It seems that people like the looks of The Hole, too, or at least the idea of it. They're witnessing what they consider to be either a miracle, or something on the extreme edge of science, and exception to the rule."

"And you suggest otherwise?" said Katy.

"We must ask ourselves: What is the nature of chance? We define the mathematics that we use to predict behaviors. If we start off by assuming all planets have life on them, we won't be shocked if the first one we land on does. But if the first one thousand planets we explore have no life whatsoever, then we deem it extremely unlikely that the thousand-and-first will. Yet that thousand-and-first planet would be the same one with life on it from the first example, which seem to be remarkable in its hosting of life when it was the first one explored. We define the probabilities. They aren't inherent to the universe. As long as I've lived, no cosmic voice has told me that the universe operates under such-and-such set of rules. I just assume it must.

"What if the universe operated across the board under the physical laws that we know today, all except for in this one spot, and only when it rained, and only for a week. What if, at this precise point for some reason unknown to us, things were different? Everything we are, as human being whose brains must categorize what they see in order to make sense of it, tell us that is impossible, but why? What if it simply is that way and there's no reason?

"But why here? Why this special place? Why us?" asked the teacher.

"Why not? If you were living in Romania, you wouldn't think this Hole had occurred in a special place. Somebody's got to be near it, no matter where it occurs."

The blonde woman spoke again. "Yeah, but it didn't occur anywhere, it occurred here. You can believe all you want about indifferent universes and chance, but to me, this means something. I'm not saying you all should think precisely how I think. But to me, there's no question this is a miracle, a sign. Everything inside me tells me so. Somehow within me I just know it's not random.

"Sometimes I wish I 'just knew' things like that," said Katy, and she wasn't being facetious at all. She was staring at The Hole, still, transfixed, not even aware of the frigid rain infiltrating her down jacket. Her nose caught a trace of something like bacon in the air and her stomach began to grumble. She knew she should leave but knew there was no was she could. She was caught like the magician's apprentice.

Just then a scary feeling hit her heart, making her question her desire to want to "just know." She had the feeling that The Hole would never fill, that it would it keep right on being dry until the rain stopped, or if the rain didn't stop, until the end of time. And even then she wondered: Is it natural? Supernatural? How does one tell? What's even the difference?

If it were natural it could possibly exist forever. The balding teacher would claim that path would require nature selecting increasingly more improbably, but still technically possible events. Maybe the oriental man would claim that whatever happened happened, and that there were no such things as odds because when some event did occur, the odds of that event having occurred would have been 100%, since it did happen. What was the use of predicting?

If it were supernatural it could last forever also, for the works of gods were beyond the realms of science, of human speculations. They were indistinguishable from magic.

This made Katy Nin feel no better as she stood in bleary silence over The Hole. The ring of people seemed, for all their pushing and shoving, to maintain a respectful distance from it, not wanting to let the water on their own coats and bodies drip onto it and ruin it. It was beautiful, fantastic. It was the most horrible thing Katy had ever seem in her entire life.

The oriental man button up his jacket and pulled his hood over his head, shrinking away from the storm's onslaught. The aroma of bacon once again perforated the air.

And then, suddenly, it was gone. The Hole was gone. It didn't happen all at once, but took perhaps ten seconds. First, a fat glob of raindrops struck the center of The Hole, then a second or two later a dozen finer drops obliterated the edges, and soon no trace of it remained. No mark left any indication that the ground where The Hole had existed was any different from all the square feet of asphalt around it. None whatsoever.

And now Katy heard the sound of her grumbling stomach. It had been gnawing at her with growing instance over the hours. This time, she thought as she turned to leave amidst the listlessly milling crowd, she'd listen.

Monday, September 18


The night of a thousand voices
Sirius B spoke volumes to me
Somewhere on a mountain in a desert on a plain
I thought I was crazy or claimed

Have you heard the secrets of the wind in the grass
Learned from the light in the moving trees
Have you ever known the true way
To make it from A to Z?

I have been to high school
And I have been to a higher school
But somewhere on that crazy mountain on a plain
The night first told me my name.
The Greatest.
(chan marshall)

Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
Stars of night turned deep to dust

Melt me down
Into big black armour
Leave no trace of grace
Just in your honour
Lower me down
To culprit south
Make 'em wash a space in town
For the lead
And the dregs of my bed
I've been sleepin'
Lower me down
Pin me in
Secure the grounds
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
Two fists of solid rock
With brains that could explain
Any feeling

Lower me down
Pin me in
Secure the grounds
For the lead
And the dregs of my bed
I've been sleepin'
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
Stars of night turned deep to dust.

Sunday, September 17

Saturday, September 16

To my Pumpkin.

If all seasons in their turn

Could stay majestic
If the apple in the fall tasted
As sweet as the flowers in spring
Smelled, and the ground was sloped
And dotted with cottages and the sky
Were the deepest blue you can imagine
And life was all around and everything
Shone with some internal radiance
And there were no steel or concrete
Or plastic, wouldn't it be fantastic
To be alive upon this planet
And not need pills to keep us happy
Nor gyms to keep us in shape
Inhalors to keep us breathing
Traffic lights to keep us alive
But when I walk to the store at night
There are lights all around that are not stars
Roars that are not from bears or lions
Smells of gasoline and nicotine
And I pull my senses in, withdraw
To a fairytale land within
A coloring book where everything good
Turns out true
And I think of you
Nestled in your bed up north
And wish there were somewhere we could go
To get away from all this artifice
Luhacovice, Tahiti, Alaska, I don't know
But I'd drop everything and go
I'd fly away with you
I'd fly away with you
In a Canadian second
Into some great unknown land
Face the dangers and wonders hand in hand
And learn a new life, make a new life
But only with you
Only with you as my companion
And my support and the object of my support
I could never face change alone
I don't need much in this world
Buy I need you, pumpkin, and I'll never cut the vine
Connecting you to the ground I lie on
I'll water you, and weed around you
But I will never own you
And if the time comes you need
To change back into a princess,
End the experiment and make your way home
Through the rain and snows
I will fit your glass slipper
And escort you to the golden ballroom
Or home, or wherever you want to go
And I will wait my turn for a dance
Or a kiss, an exchange of vows
To never lose sight of truth
Like the pages of my little coloring book
To stay true to what the water
And the wind are telling you
And leave when it's your time to go
But not without me, love-
I'll go away with you
I'll go away with you.
Wherever you go to find beauty and truth
In this shifting and burning world,
Darling I will go with you
If you want me.

Time ticks away

Never fast enough
What are we rushing for?
If I could live a happy life I'd take it
The flickering pumpkins in windows I see
Or icicles hanging from Christmas trees
Are enough to win me over
They make me feel a child again
If I have to live a life in pain
Fear and sorrow pressing my chest in
Taking my things away
Taking me somewhere with needles in my veins
I would rather be dead by far
I would rather be dead by far.

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