Becoming Caligari

Beware the sleeper. Tonight his master
wakes him, places the knife in his palm,
points him to slanted corridors
bordering her fragmented window.

She, the queen, bestows her throne
to an errant knight, a somnambulist’s dream.
The director made her do it.
He is quite insane, you know?

I put the murderous monster
in his straitjacket cell,
but now he approaches.
Who set the madman free?

The town clerk, then my best friend,
died in this twisted affair.
I saw words traced in air:
“You must become Caligari.”

All Hail the Crimson King

I. Callahan
Cursed and defiled,
I take the strange temptation:
way station rainbow.

II. Pennywise
Come see my sewer.
Red balloons pop as my soul
devours your fear.

III. Grady
I might release you,
but we doubt your willingness
to pick up the ax.

IV. Flagg
Let the virus spread.
After the warhead explodes,
I will be worshiped.

V. Roland
Chase the man in black.
When desert turns to roses,
climb the Tower’s steps.

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.

It’s Friday, Let’s Jam: Utter Disgust and Unbridled Rage

Are you having the worst day ever? Is Abba’s Greatest Hits not doing anything to make you overcome your rage? Don’t worry, my friends, the following tracks are some of the heaviest, meanest, most bitter pieces of music in existence, and they’ll help you overcome your anger in a healthy way…or give you an excuse to start a one-person mosh pit.


Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a dystopian world where the government pays firemen to burn books. During one portion of the novel, the protagonist Guy Montag fakes an illness to stay home from work. His supervisor and fellow fireman, Captain Beatty, stops by his house and explains that over time, books became nearly meaningless to the public, because classic works were condensed to synopses and short blurbs to accommodate dwindling attention spans.

It is with solemn dignity that I present my own mutilated, abridged version of Fahrenheit 451:


It’s Friday, Let’s Jam: How to Own a Cover Song

In general, cover songs are incredibly average or exceptionally terrible. However, not all musical artists disgrace the material of the original bands. Here are some exceptional cover songs.

Botch: “Rock Lobster”
Original Artist: The B-52s
Description: Imagine the B-52s through a hardcore filter with screaming and angry guitars. Now you’re intrigued.

Mr. Little Jeans: “The Suburbs”
Original Artist: Arcade Fire
Description: I should probably hate this, but I don’t. It is an electronic/chillstep rendition of “The Suburbs,” and to avoid confusion, Mr. Little Jeans is a woman. Weird, right?

Nylithia: “Super Mario Castle Theme”
Original Artist: Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack
Description: This is an instrumental, death metal version of a theme from Super Mario Bros. Even Luigi gets crazy.

Type O Negative: “Black Sabbath”
Original Artist: Black Sabbath
Description: Type O Negative slow down “Black Sabbath” and manage to make it creepier and heavier than the original.

Deftones: “Drive”
Original Artist: The Cars
Description: Deftones take an acoustic, ambient approach to this ’80s classic.

Johnny Cash: “If You Could Read My Mind”
Original Artist: Gordon Lightfoot
Description: While not a radical departure from the source material, this cover is done so well that it doesn’t need to be completely out of left field to work.

Fantomas: “Rosemary’s Baby”
Original Artist: Rosemary’s Baby Soundtrack
Description: Mike Patton and company put a sinister, heavy twist on this movie theme.

The Dillinger Escape Plan ft. Mike Patton: “Come to Daddy”
Original Artist: Aphex Twin
Description: This further proves Mike Patton can do no wrong, as he and The Dillinger Escape Plan annihilate what is already a spastic, caustic song.

Sanctuary: “White Rabbit”
Original Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Description: What would “White Rabbit” sound like with some thrash thrown in the mix? Oh, here it is.

Nevermore: “The Sound of Silence”
Original Artist: Simon & Garfunkel
Description: Warrel Dane (also the lead singer of Sanctuary) really knows his stuff. This is an impossibly heavy take on Simon & Garfunkel’s folk classic.