Tag Archives: excerpts

From The Trial of Nesorna


If far too often fate seems to be fixed
and all for nought, pray you remember this:
of our own choosing are these states of life,
both law and ruler from among us rise.

‘Tis in our hands, that much of being free
oft comes to nil, and so our apathy
determines how our democratic state
enslaves us with its silent, civil chains.

So, those who would be wise kings, please take note:
the clever word defeats the sharpest sword;
for those who rule the soul confine the mind,
and conquer silently the heart and hand.

Democracy holds promise great, if freed,
where liberty and justice count for all;
and though expressive right may tax the taste,
the alternate means none may choose their fate:

To choose the gods that suit one’s path and place,
may in the so-called pious cause alarm,
but free will gives this choice to each alone;
to interfere is to deny a right.

So tenuous is our hold on the truth,
that some may seek to have their will imposed,
and quench the fire in those who disagree,
while wand’ring lost themselves in faithless doubts.

Let not this trembling thought of fate unknown
breed trust in leaders boasting “sacred right”,
or you may silence longing in the heart
for principle, and thus destroy the state.

So stories go, and mine presents a time,
not past, not present, but of both constructs;
A fictioned tale, perhaps, but warning, too,
that our existence faces likewise tests.

For words divine, when jumbled, may distort,
and so confuse the heart and harm the mind;
converting honest fears and hopeful dreams
to damning, pure and simple ignorance.

Maybe a lesson is here to be taught –
that facts can quickly be repressed and scorned,
and that which passes for blessed and devout
may be manipulated and ill-used.

Without a warning, liberties we love
that thrive on the most tenuous of threads
may be no longer granted us from birth,
but lost to mem’ry in chasms of time.

A time when reason, logic and defense,
along with independence and free will,
may lose their place in definition books,
and be unknown to us who live in chains.

from The Trial of Nesorna, Act I, Prologue: Chorus Monologue

1990, 2004

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The Neighborhood from Otherhood


Lissen up, lissen up, I got a story to tell
It might sell, it might not; if it don’t, then oh well
but I’ll get right to it, make it understood:
I’m your low-down, funky home neighborhood.

Think somethin’s goin’ on? Hell, I’ve been thinkin’ for years,
and I’ll be sittin’ right here when the last smoke clears.
Get the point? I know every inch of this joint,
and every king of the hill you’ve ever tried to annoint.

You end up disappointed and ya’ll come back here,
thinkin’ you got the only definition of fear
but I was right here waiting, anticipating your hatin’,
race-baitin’, matin’, creatin’ and disintegratin’.

Lissen up, lissen up, now I’ll say it again:
close up your mind against change, and you ain’t got no friends.
Push comes to shove, and you know how the story ends
somebody dies; and it starts all over again.

So here’s the story of a brother and an other:
two boys growin’ up thinkin’ they hated each other.
Who is the pusher, and who is the shover?
Just sit back and listen, and you might discover

somethin’ real, somethin’ to make you feel,
somethin’ as hard as steel; but hold out ’til the final reel
before makin’ your judgments about right or wrong
and judge the singers by the words of the songs;

because who is the weak, and who is the strong
when the river’s still flowing, but the mountain is gone?


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The Secret Undertown Ministry

Once upon a time, although since as a dimension, time is a relatively unstable paradigm and cannot often be trusted to remain in the tense that one would expect, in a land far, far away [and distance too would seem but an illusion that our physical bodies must endure, but that our minds can easily dissolve with a modicum of effort], there was a very small planet that circled its medium density star – one tiny speck of dust in a mighty dustbowl of a universe.

It was a planet of contradictions. A planet of unusual propensities. A planet that called itself a world sometimes, but at other times felt like a planet.

The inhabitants of this strange planet who had an interest in such things at one point unanimously named it. Those who did not require a name for it seldom acknowledged such activities, regardless of how much circumstance their participants conferred upon them. They may have been thinking, “What’s in a name?”, but they also might not have even noticed. In the seventh-most widely spoken language of the inhabitants who populated (either by chance birth or through destiny motivated relocation) the most diverse range of climates, the planet was known as Arthel – well, the name was not actually a word in that language, but in a language that was used by a majority of the dominant inhabitants, a language no longer actively spoken on the planet, but revered as a way to escape the need to define things to the non-dominant inhabitants. You may already have begun to guess at some of the unusual propensities to which this planet was inclined.

The inhabitants of this planet, Arthel, were fortunate enough to have been able to develop, propagate and thereby populate it, thanks to a remarkable compatibility between their requirements for survival and the resources available from the environment in which they did these things. The significance of this fact cannot be overlooked – there were many other planets that would not have nurtured these inhabitants in such a successful manner. Many of these inhabitants marked this significance by embracing a sense of their own uniqueness, their innate skills; many others did not. Some of those who chose not to mark such things?were among those who had no “name” for their home – at least not one that was widely circulated or shared.

As one might typically expect on a planet that embraced contradiction and an air of “mystery”, the species of inhabitant that was most abundant on Arthel did not “control” Arthel. It may be that they did not wish to control it, or it may be that they simply had no conceptualization of control with which to apply that construct. In either case, the primary inhabitants of the planet were not the most vociferous planetary residents. There was far too much planet, it can be assumed, to cause much of a reason for worry about which inhabitants got which resources. Think locally, you can almost hear them saying. Work with what you’ve got at hand. Of course, many of the majority inhabitants did not have “hands” – hands were an evolutionary development that concerned only a small number of Arthelans. Most Arthelans enjoyed other physical traits that more than compensated for opposable thumbs.

But it is the Arthelans with opposable thumbs that concern us in this story. This is their history, more than the history of Arthel, although the two are intertwined so closely that few can see light between the threads.


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Hello Dali


andrew wyeth
pablo picasso
salvador dali
georgia o’keefe
francis bacon





. . . you don’t seem to understand, Andy. The world is not completely logical, nor is it able to be represented in non-abstract terms.

That’s all well and good, Pablo, but there seem to be so many quote artists out there that present what I think is nothing more than primer vomit on canvas; when you ask them what it they are capturing, they say, ‘this is a representation of my feelings about being raped by my father.’ You can’t argue with their experience, but is their expression, or rather, their exploitation of expression, valid?

It’s all bullshit. You guys are looking for symbolism in a world that is just raw, sensuous image. There is nothing in the world except violence and pain. Pablo, in your work you seem to understand; why is it when you start to explain yourself you end up spouting endless philosophical crap? I don’t think the nose is really in the guitar, but your head is up your ass!

And so on and so forth.


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A Novel Introduction

For one of a number of reasons, you have stumbled across this journal, and there is some likelihood that you are interested in reading it.

Perhaps the title intrigued you – a title that suggests to you a subject matter in which you have a level of interest. However, I must warn you that you are probably going to be greatly disappointed, if you are looking for some great answer, or if you are one that expects the single grain of sand that contains the key to enlightenment to somehow be sifted from the entire beach by someone else and handed to you as an unearned, but expected, gift. But before you abandon your quest for answers within these entries, before you click past this journal unread or send the link as a gift to someone you dislike, stop for just a minute and take stock of your situation. Remove, if you will, your greatcoat and hat of preconceived notions. Set aside your baggage, emotional and otherwise, that ties you to your current worldview. Then pause, gently close your eyes, and simply breathe.

Now, let us talk about magic.

Not legerdemain or slight of hand, nor “the science of modifying reality to your will.” Magic, true magic, will not in and of itself bring you love, happiness, wealth, fame or power, although some would suggest that these things are possible. It is not magic to get want you want, when you want it. Closer, perhaps, to a true definition is that magic is learning what you really need to learn and putting yourself in a position where instruction can be found. Further, Magic is not something “to be done,” in the sense that one can write a poem, sing a song or paint a picture, although there is a part of magic in each of these activities. Rather, magic is something to become, to be.

Please, if you think that you are in need of power over another, or that Your Will is the key to the unraveling of life’s mysteries, dark and latent secrets that may bring you dominion over the realm of senses and a private door into the treasure hall of truth, consider the content of this journal as the description of an alternative goal, and not a method for achieving such things. If you are not willing to believe that the greatest part of the destination is in the journey to find it, then perhaps our friendship and this journal is not for you. That is neither good nor bad – but it is probably the first and last truth you will be able to take from these pages and apply effectively.

But this is not a “how-to” journal, anyway. It is a “what-if and “why-not” sort of thing – which is probably not what you were looking for to begin with. In that case, bright blessings and good journeys to you. Our paths may cross again.

Anyone still here at this point? Wonderful. Then laissez le bon temps roulez.


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The Desert

The edges of his shoes were scuffed and nicked, and a layer of dust clung to them. The sound of a pebble as he scrunched it underfoot made him look down and notice, each step stirring up a small cloud of dust as his feet met the ground, one after the other. It was a dirt road, and he had been on it a long time.

He looked up from his feet and his gaze returned to the horizon, where the road ahead disappeared over the edge where the clouds met the now graying sky. Against the fading light of the day, there were a few trees dark and lonely seemingly scattered at random, breaking the long line of sight that extended ahead to the right and left, endlessly.

His legs were tired from the day’s journey, and his back throbbed slightly from the weight of his pack. Not too exhausted to walk another few hours, but then it would be dark, and harder to find a suitable place to make camp. Better to stop now, and start again before dawn tomorrow.

To his right, past the edge of the road, an endless expanse of flat land. On the left the terrain was pretty much the same, but he could see a few slight rises here and there, the beginning of hills that slowly gave way, in the far distance, to a range of low lying mountains. About a hundred yards off the road in that direction was a large outcropping of rocks that seemed like the head of a giant statue buried neck-deep in the spare and sandy soil. What might have been a nose hung out about halfway up the formation, giving a bit of protection from the sun In its shadow. If it rains tonight, he thought, that might be the driest place for miles.

As he picked his way carefully across the stretch of unpaved earth towards the rocks, he casually gathered what twigs and dry grass he could carry. Standing under the jutting rock overhang, he glanced back at the road, then lay down his bundle of sticks and weeds. Then he circled the rock formation, which was about 30 feet across, three times – looking for signs of animal or insect life, anything that might indicate other users of this spot. Seeing no evidence of recent activity, he returned to his stockpiled fuel, kicked a small circle of earth away to form a hollow in the ground, and filled it with the dry twigs.

04 AUG 2003

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Work on the Soul

Work on the soul is busy work – it is unstructured, free-for-all work, meaning long stretches of silence, staring at ceilings, talking nonsense syllables to listening walls and trees; it is caterwauling at unseen demons, driving all night to the Devil’s radio, running and stomping and stretching and rolling in a ball in the corner of the bathroom weeping.

It is about space and time precisely because it has no space and time. It is finding that quiet place despite the intrusion of the outside world, beyond the realm of the noise, of the clutter, of the trains and automobiles that ceaselessly interrupt the silence of humming lights and appliances and blood forced through stretching veins and arteries.

It is hard and laborious effort that requires concentration, yet not that concentration of mind locked onto a single idea (at least not our definition of single signifying one small isolated incident on a palette of far more colorful and homogenous choices).

The work of the soul is to encompass and devour the cacophonous interruptions of space and time and yet let them live on, unaffected by our presence. When we search to find that secret, dark, silent place, we find that it is not secret, for it is populated by strangers we greet by name – our illusions of self, of others, of the two intertwined and the two in distant mirrors; not dark, for it is bathed in light – not a light directed outward so the faces of our “oppressors” are brought into view, or so the flaws of our acquaintances and lovers can be more closely examined, but a searchlight, microscopic in its laser-like precision, where we are brought face to face with our own illusions, preconceived notions, and false and hasty impressions of our belief system, a system which compared to the new view we have encountered of the universe may be reduced to babbling, meaningless chaos; nor is it silent, for with our outer eyes closed, we hear the tick and clanging of the universal clock of time, the rasping of the hinges of space, which we can only eradicate with our own song – which we can scream or whimper, call or challenge, whistle, hum or orate, knowing that our voice is but a pin drop in the giant chorus of our existence singing from before our birth beyond time until now.

from The Secret Undertown Ministry, Pseudographic Xenophoria, 1994

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