Be Free, Gentle Soul

From above, she watches her body wheeled away. Blue and red circle, dance, and wrap the ambulance in bright swirls. One possibility, an exit, entertains her form white and invisible to mortality. She meets a maker and drifts through jeweled gates. Her robe slides along golden streets, and what she has is all she gave: everything, a smile, a lifetime, an unspoken but understood love. Here and there, she sends her heart, a subtle touch set against the slow nightlight glow. She invites me to one moment, and when she goes, I pour out blessings and thanks. Be free, gentle soul.

Virtual Champion Eulogy

Cyrus filled us with a sense of manic pervasiveness. Here, then there, then seemingly everywhere, he claimed omnipotence.

For the most part, he lived on a couch in his mother’s basement. He called it Old Plaid, that musty thing made from rotting wood and lumpy cushions.

Cyrus carried a constant stench: onions diced and thrown in the corner, boiling cat piss, sauerkraut sautéing for centuries. Despite his malodorous condition, he held much love in his heart. By that, I mean: he hated new ideas and despised anyone who contradicted his embarrassingly dim world view.

I’m sorry for lacking clarity, but please forgive me in this, my grieving.

Cyrus was known to forego showering and bathing for days, then weeks. You see, he knew Bowser wouldn’t willingly relinquish the Princess. Sonic couldn’t collect all the gold rings by himself. Link’s sword was mightier with the help of a mortal.

Cyrus died here, on Old Plaid, and today we gather to remember the powerful legacy left by our fallen comrade.

We all grew up, found spouses, started families, and found serious jobs while Cyrus lived off an inheritance, gained 245 pounds, and lost most if not all connection with reality. Does that make him lower than us? No.

Look at these crinkled Cool Ranch Doritos bags and Mountain Dew stains. Should we call Cyrus a video game addict and a slob? No.

Cyrus knew exactly what he wanted from life: not much. His reward was the next level, the next fantastical digital quest, the next trip to pixel-rich realms.

Excuse me, I…

Sorry. I can barely keep it together.

Cyrus was a virtual champion, and he will always be a champion in our hearts.

Thank you.

Punk Rock Phantasm

*Authors Note: This is an excerpt from a longer work titled Letters from the Tomb*

Punk rock phantasm arrives on a spiked wave, a rainbow Mohawk glowing sevenfold in its path.

“Red,” the specter says, “represents the heart spilled by Johnny Rotten in his fight for peaceful anarchy.”

Its bull ring, pierced through ghost nose, clinks against leather and chains.

“Green,” the specter says, “shines for Lemmy’s whiskey-soaked, nicotine-christened invincibility.”

Its guitar materializes white and weapon-shaped as out-of-tune chords ripple across stage.

“Blue,” the specter says, “is Ian Curtis, a beacon failing magnificently, a lost cause worth saving, a diamond without luster.”

The audience shuffles, drains drinks, waits for the departing opening act.

“Indigo,” the specter says, “curves to Jim Morrison’s royalty, his aura roaming deserts and settling inside homeless door frames.”

They throw change at the apparition’s threadbare Chuck Taylors, and a tossed can passes through its body.

“Yellow,” the specter says, “belongs to Keith Moon rattling unseen dimensions with cymbal crashes and snare beats.”

Punk rock phantasm disbands into gray clouds as riotous exorcist gangs chant rhymes petitioning cloaks and daggers, otherworldly matters.

Haiku Tuesday: Skullgrid

Skullgrid is an outlandishly technical and (sometimes) overwhelming album by Behold…The Arctopus, an instrumental/metal/progressive/jazz/avant garde band. Below, you’ll find a haiku corresponding to each song from Skullgrid.

I hope to have captured the chaotic, wonderfully baffling nature of the music.


I. Skullgrid
Sentient canines
trace the opiate chamber
awash in dharma.


II. Canada
Go, fascist Mounties,
toward budding brain glaciers
serrating Quebec.


III. Of Cursed Womb
Bright hive explosion
blisters her tender innards
chilled under Freon.


IV. You Are Number Six
Glory be to Six,
deviant traitor leader
wielding guillotines.


V. Some Mist
Drowning gastropod,
pass through breath, sodium fog
holding shells hostage.


VI. Scepters
Voiceless, dim monarch
condemns defenseless jesters
juggling chainsaws.


VII. Transient Exuberance
Fleeting phantasm,
flicker an anathema,
hated illusion.

Recovery Songs

It’s an understatement to say that Robin Williams’ passing is saddening. He was an incredibly intelligent individual with an unmatchable wit and an uncanny ability to incite laughter. Even though Williams was a classic ‘funny man,’ he lost a battle with demons that consumed and claimed his life. Sadly, the brightest artists often face the most severe challenges with mental disorders.

I’ve been to several dark places in my 28 years, and I’ve fought depression. Unfortunately, it took me quite some time to reach out and seek proper help, and I could’ve recovered much more quickly if I had addressed my problems.

If anyone reading this is struggling with negative thoughts or entertaining ideas of self-harm, please talk to friends, family members, or a counselor. There is hope, and you have the ability to overcome this adversity.

I’m fortunate to have a great support group, but when I’m unable to talk with someone, I turn to music. The following songs have helped me tremendously in troubling times, and if you’re struggling, I hope they’ll help you as well.

Haiku Tuesday: Inanimate

This week’s Haiku Tuesday entry is inspired by “Dig Me,” a song by King Crimson that assumes the perspective of a car trapped in a junk yard. The following haiku pieces look at the world from the ‘eyes’ of inanimate objects.

Inanimate

I. Blender
Feed my hungry blades.
Drain the liquidized insides,
my walls splattering.

II. Frisbee
Hover and rotate.
Land in the fingers outstretched,
pinching my edges.

III. Shoe
To the wall I go,
carelessly loosened and kicked,
bruising leather tongue.

IV. TV
I, always aware,
translate your atrocities,
visual warfare.

V. Knife
I’m not a weapon.
Hang me as an ornament,
a death testament.