Currents

  • Good Morning

    Cheeks rusting
    On the rooftop

    Pale skin red
    With ferric front

    Freezing morning
    Turning shingles white

    In a sweater crawling
    Out the window

    Carefree iris and
    A done-up bun

    Drinking in
    Nightsmashing sun’s

    Dawn over the
    Mountain chain

    Stars begin to
    Wane

    Replaced by the
    Light of day

    And then you say
    “Good morning”


  • Hijabi Seatllellites

    hijabi seattlites.JPG

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/5.6; 1/30; ISO-1600; 18mm. 1/12/2018 7:17 PM.

    On the prowl for Himalayan Curry and then lavender honey ice cream. Backlit by streetlights and hooded night. We four found it.


  • Letter Opener

    Another artesian
    Green tea frappe
    From Main St.
    In the admin
    Building

    Me up from
    An idle morning
    Through to an afternoon
    Of kissing you
    Past

    To two o’clock
    I’m receiving a
    Mixtape and
    A criminal’s
    Letter opener

    Opening up
    Some misdemeanors
    A few felonies
    And stuff that’s
    Shady

    Underneath this
    Sappy tree
    Holding your hand
    To songs from
    Soundgarden

    That his victim
    Listened to, a
    Deadbeat vagabond
    Far away from
    You

    Exotic and wonderful
    To my eyes
    Our sync and
    Sentiments will
    Survive

    Being opened
    And read
    Again
    And
    Again


  • Lakefair

    Walking among crowds
    Like we belong
    But we cast ourselves
    A different color

    As observers
    Outsiders to the fair
    To make fun of them
    And enjoy the scene

    Without being a
    Part of it

    Absent from bright lights
    We dim instead
    Dead inside beside living
    And the carefree
    Making fun of them
    Because they aren’t

    The two
    Of us


  • Trees of Silence

    trees of silence

    Shot with an iPhone 5s; f/2.2; 1/2053; ISO-32; 4mm. 6/25/16 4:28 PM.

    In the shadow of Mount Baker, there is a lake, and a river, and an outlet. In that outlet is a wide pond, with beaches below the surface of the water, where trees grow and mirror themselves as they mature.


  • An Alpine Air

    An alpine air

    Five-thirty-five
    Feet from here

    North hill across
    The way we can see

    Particles clear
    They’re spectacles

    Below on the map
    Looking across

    This cloudless canyon
    Full of footsteps

    Stepped past
    The last five years

    An alpine air
    In a clear sky

    Breaths visible
    Life vaporizing


  • Fireball

    Wandering on freeways
    80 miles every 60 minutes
    And every 30 seconds
    I laugh with the force
    Of knowing a month ago
    I was 120 miles away from here
    With other people like
    I was in a movie
    Just a cinema of nitrocellulose
    Powering internal combustion
    Now

    Drinking green tea where
    It isn’t meant to be
    Demystified cinnammon
    Whiskey in the cupholder
    Camera in one hand
    Steering wheel in the other
    Following maps
    In the peripheral

    Offering sacrifice
    To gods in the East
    Outrunning sunset
    And firing away
    With each V6 cylinder
    Into the horizon
    Ever further

    140 miles
    Away from home
    Getting further
    But not looking back
    Because the new is ahead
    Where we don’t belong
    Meeting night
    Like a warlock
    Waiting for us to
    Bring to it its power

    Mountaintops seemed
    So far away
    Before we fired that way
    And brought the light
    With us
    Without suspicions
    Or expectations
    We fire that way
    To the new and the cold

    To make it be so warm
    And
    Welcoming


  • No Pressure – Journal 1/7/18

    I woke up this morning and found that the internet was off. By morning, I mean 11 AM, and by off I mean “Comcast wasn’t up to snuff in my neighborhood today” (the danger of monopolies commentary is surely in the subtext). My first instinct was to think that this was it. People are taking to the streets at last, upset over net neutrality. Comcast killed everyone’s internet and this is how it all begins. I struggled to find a channel to tune into on TV, and by that point I had discovered that Comcast hadn’t been malicious in the way I had thought, no they had merely been incompetent as a corporation. So that’s good.

    My day started as it meant to go on.

    Today is one that’s been spent entirely in a funk. Lightheaded, dreamy, mopey, one of those aimless days that comes around every so often. I thought what might have caused it yesterday was that I was eating too much. It seems that may be the opposite case, I’ve discovered, as the things we have to eat around the household are mostly zero sodium. We started putting the pieces together yesterday, when we found that my blood pressure was reading 118 instead of 120. Not bad, but today was much worse.

    Today my blood pressure read 108. Bit of a drop, and that would most likely explain my not-great mood and constant lightheadedness. I never want to make a racket about when I’m not feeling well because no one likes a whiner, but man I’ve never felt this before. It started just when I was reposturing, but now it’s a constant stream of feeling like I’m dreaming, and that I’ll wake up soon.

    The chief suspect of this mood is the lack of sodium in my diet that is normally present in spades. So hopefully now that I know I should be eating more metals, I might sit up in bed after waking tomorrow and not feel drunk.

    So there’s the title of this journal. No pressure! Because I’m so laid back if I’m left in a natural state I will simply float away.

    And yes I wrote a poem about it.

    I write to you today from a laptop that has a newly-installed Windows 10 Pro OS on it, since I have found that it’s not going to be easy to translate 50 gigs of workable Radio Reality City into Linux formats. So that was abandoned quickly. I’ll only be touching Linux again for their server OS.

    With the new year in full swing, the goals which terminate in February are approaching quickly. I found myself sitting down to begin printing Abandon Ship to find that I was out of ink. “Alright”, says I. “I’ll just swing by Best Buy after work and grab some.”

    So I do that, get home, and it’s the wrong ink. Great, now I have to double check what my printer takes, come back, return this ink, and buy a new one. Fine, I can do that. Swing by Best Buy again, return the ink I had, and get the one I need.

    Get home, and find that I needed HP’s 62 cartridge ink, not 61 like I was currently holding in my hand. God dammit. Queue the Edgar Wright montage of me doing the same exact thing, returning the ink, and then actually getting the right ink cartridge I needed.

    I feel like the fact that this happened is an issue. They don’t have a consumer printer that comes with upturned bottles of ink you can just add to? I feel like that’s the easiest solution here. Anyways, I popped the ink in, and kept its packaging so I know what to get next time.

    That in mind, Abandon Ship has officially began printing. A few copies to take to those bookstores I mentioned a while back, King’s Books (which I had been calling King’s Row, for some reason. Probably vestigial Overwatch on my mind) and the UWT bookstore are on the list, as well as the Mad Cap Tea House and the Nearsighted Narwhal. Very Tacoma heavy.

    For Christmas I got a stapler that is very long, so I can finally get the binding of my chapbooks right on the center of the leaves. It’s a very simple, dumb thing to most everyone else, but that was exciting. That’s a gateway to slightly more professional publications! Something I’m proud of! Strategic and intentional!

    Also, on the sidebar and front page, you might notice a little video that popped up here at https://radioreality.city.

    I engineered the sound, the video, the editing, took the photos of the content, all that stuff. This is the first true multi-media piece of art that’s come from the station.

    I’ve gotten it in my head that I should start finding topics to “cast” to put the Radio in Radio Reality City, since this place is pretty much lacking any kind of audio. In the spirit of that, I made a short intro stinger for such a thing, and this video is that.

    Going forward, I’m going to mix samples from the Xilent Powerpack and various radio noises I get from my own devices to make the audio behind RRC. This video includes Xilent samples, and radio tuning sounds meant to mimic the chirping of birds. These are motifs I want to remain intact as I go along.

    I was really proud of the short 11-second thing I was able to throw together in about 5 hours. The goal is to make backing tracks that I can play and read my poems over, possibly releasing them as digital downloads. First, I need to see if my equipment can do that. Then we’ll see what we can do.

    I’m a chapter deeper into House of Leaves, having stopped reading today after hitting the milestone for chapter 4. It just gets better and better.

    And today I did something I haven’t done for a very very long time.

    When I was in high school, when all the angst and bullshit got to me, I would retreat to my bedroom where I had “Somewhere Else”. It was my happy place. In canon, Reality City is located in Somewhere Else because of this. I got to Somewhere Else by attaching my ropelights to an audio-sensitive receiver, and wiring all my speakers to play from one input. I would turn off my main light, turn on something to tune out to, and drop in when I wanted to clear my head. Often, this was a song like 1981 by Deadmau5. Just sorta let me get away, in its own special way. I haven’t had the setup active since maybe 2015.

    Today my weird sodiumless mood caused me to go into a sort of mania where I built the portal to get there again. Lightheaded, I laid back on my bed and had a good long think. Stared in the mirror. All that auture, weird shit you see characters do in movies when they want to look forlorn or something (e.g. I’m a badly-written character). It helped. So Somewhere Else is alive again and I feel like that should mean something.

    Poetry, probably. So I’ll be writing again tonight.

    In my struggle to get proper printer ink, by the way, I found myself trading in a bunch of PS4 games to get my hands on Horizon: Zero Dawn. I have not regretted it one bit. Like House of Leaves, I’m barely 10% in, but I highly recommend it!

    Man, I have consumed a lot of media since my last journal. Okay, here’s another.

    Black Mirror? Fucking fantastic. I thought the original Twilight Zone was good, no if you want a good “fuck with your head sci-fi” then most certainly you go to Netflix and you turn on Black Mirror. I’m two episodes in and it is possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever come across. Yesterday afforded the opportunity to sit down and watch it, after procrastinating it for nearly a year.

    That’s it for me tonight. I need to find sugary and salty things to eat to revive my blood pressure numbers.

    This is Jake Thomas Shaw, The Host of Radio Reality City, saying thank you very much for tuning in! A lot is happening, and I hope to fabricate something really cool in the audio spectrum soon!

    Consume reality! Radio Reality City!

    https://radioreality.city


  • Abandon Ship

    Branches like masts
    Of ships sailing on
    Ocean winds.
    Leaves like cloth
    Rigged to capture
    The gusts

    Billowing bravely,
    Wanderingly,
    Drifting yet rooted.
    So the sail itself
    Begins to rip
    Away from its bark,

    Tearing cloth and rope,
    Shearing stem with breeze
    Silencing wave sound
    In the leaves
    As they cascade
    To entropy.

    Breaking masts as they go.
    Toppling crow’s nests
    And shattering hulls,
    Pieces of fabric
    Lost and drowning
    In currents of air,

    Gathering someplaces
    And marking paths
    Of the ocean winds
    So the leavers can see
    There is still hope
    In a currence elsewhere.

    Their trees now islands
    Marooned in the sea.

    Leaf sails swirl
    Like destiny.


  • Look Back

    Nostalgia wanders
    Up the mountains
    And through valleys

    If only I can
    Bring you with me

    Just one more thing
    Look back at me
    Smile happily
    Through the regrowth

    We’re in ruins
    And evolving
    Broken down and
    Building up
    In our hands
    Spilled on the journey
    Onto the glass
    Through the outer edges

    Just one more thing
    Look back
    And smile at me
    Through outer edges
    Of the glass
    Streaking in silver
    Printed tracks
    Across the surface
    Waves spilled
    From an ocean parted

    To journey through
    Reflections in water
    Passify
    Walking by
    And evolving


  • Welcome 2018 – Journal 1/2/18

    Happy new year everybody. Anyone really feel that different? Anyone feel like an arbitrary gauge of the passage of time adds to the confidence you’ll have in achieving a ‘resolution’?

    Well, cool! Anyone wanting to take that away would be a not great person!

    I kicked off my new year playing Doom and having a pirate shot of Ciroc. As we here at Reality City do. Result: I’m still pretty amazing at Doom and nightmare difficulty hurts so good.

    Seeing as it’s the new year, I’m going to lay out some goals for myself to achieve over the course of 2018.

    I want to become more familiar with vertical integration when it comes to self-publishing, and have sold at least 100 chapbooks by year’s end. Now that I have everything I need to print, bind, and publish them, I should have no problem.

    I would like to kill Mount Si, solo or otherwise. At the summit, I shall play the song “Kill Me” and also take photographs of everything I can see. So I’ll be taking my new MOLLE camera bag with me.

    I want to finish another notebook. Because that’s always thrilling.

    Epics! I love epics so damn much, but I have yet to write a heroic tale that’s over 1,000 lines, with meter, kennings, and rhyme. Beowulf being no small inspiration as I say this.

    Write something grindhousey. Because I was going to do that last March but REALLY didn’t keep to it.

    Chief among these goals, though, I would like to publish an artbook. Not specifically about any kind of art, but a combination of everything I’ve got to offer. Photography, short stories, drawings, illustrations, plays, whatever I have. Flesh out Reality City some more.

    Some of these things are going to be much easier than others, but we gotta have some breadth to aspirations. Megadeth started my year with “A Tout le Monde”, and we have 363 days to see where that sentiment takes me.

    I am still pushing forward with a desire to do something in the audio-visual spectrum that isn’t me standing on a stage and swaying while I SLAM a poem.

    Also found out that I much prefer Turkish coffee and baklava to any other brunch. It’s the hardest tea to swallow. Reality!

    If you’d like to kick your year off right, why not start with Olympia Nights?

    So let’s talk stuff. Radio Reality City turned on ads yesterday in an unprecedented move worthy of nobody getting angry over. Neat. I also did some more coding around the site to make everything a little bit cleaner and switched the background back to the June 2016 one. Which looks much better in my opinion.

    This is in an effort to see what I can do here and have it work. Publicity is a difficult thing when you’re just a tiny little website that hosts poetry and stuff. One thing I want to do is do a sort of ‘Making 101’ series where I talk about things you can do in art that work well. Almost like a class curriculum, but without the curriculum. That word is the hellspawn of the Modern Language Association and Pearson. Let’s not use it in the future.

    I took to the twitter account linked to the site and updated it to more reflect what it is. It is no longer @shawestofjakes, but @RRC_PubBot because that’s all it is. A publisher bot. So if you’re on twitter and would rather be updated about what’s going on here there, follow @RRC_PubBot. The bots will get you what you need!

    I’m also on Instagram under the username jakefuckingshaw if you’re ever curious about what photos I pose on the bottom bar of the site here, that’s the most direct spot to see.

    Hopefully I’ll see some more interaction between you who reads this and myself! I’d love to see more comments pop up here and there, as always.

    I am very thankful for my core audience of readers, so those who have consistently participated in telling me what they enjoy at Radio Reality City will be getting a special something very soon once it’s all finalized. A free gift to start the new year!

    Alright, I’m out of time for now. Thank you all for carrying RRC into 2018 with over 10,000 viewers, and I can promise it’ll only get better as everything becomes more apparent.

    Consume reality! Radio Reality City!

    https://radioreality.city for more!

     


  • Photic Ray

    Grinding away

    Siege
    Breaking

    Surroundings
    By unending
    Magma bursts

    Atop sunspots
    Simmer heat
    Boils over this forge
    As sunshots

    Wear the plates
    Of metamorphic rock
    Punch through
    As a volcano
    Through clouds

    Thermite of dawn
    And mortar strikes
    Weaponize light
    As melting heat

    Fearsome
    Roaring energy
    As fast as the
    Speed of light

    Charging with fury
    Because they can’t

    Outrun
    The sunrise


  • 2k 4 KC

    2k 4 kc.JPG

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/11; 1/1250; ISO-400; 55mm. 10/21/2017 2:45.

    Two-thousand what?


  • Surge of Triumph

    Tension’s electric
    As it calmly builds.
    Building static.
    Running.

    Not looking back.
    This is over
    Coasts and
    Heartlands,

    Over mountains
    And fields
    Of grand design.
    It surges:

    Flash and thunder
    Alters flesh
    And bone into
    Light itself.

    Bands of tendons.
    Now gunsmoke
    As they action
    And fire.

    Time’s come
    To run,
    Unsure,
    Wayward.

    Peaceful woods
    Of fresh trails
    And elevated
    Old growth.

    It mantles triumph
    In exodus.
    Every misty
    Morning sends us

    Off in the horizon.
    A mountain chain
    Has been broken
    By a valley.

    Kinetic electric
    Adrenaline instruments
    Tireless seekers
    Still tense,

    Ecstatic to run
    To wonder with
    Fingers on the surface
    Of maps uncharted.

    A wandering
    Runner
    Pulse of a
    Spark.

    Thick forests
    Shot through.
    Dark maps
    Set to fire.

    Plains now grand,
    Blood in the hand
    Shed to scale
    Mountains.

    Teeming legs
    Of energy
    Stood to see
    Out to that valley.

    Across tracts in
    Grasslands
    And fearless
    Into flowing crystal.

    Rivers tracing
    Down the center
    Of this grand design.

    What might tension
    Find when it
    Sings
    Through the yard?

    Summitting its will
    With static grip.
    Wind in wisps
    Cause a cold chill.

    It sees a trail,
    Unmarked,
    It wishes to
    Wonder.

    Epic tension in
    The shoulders
    And
    Tired eyes:

    Frission of kinetic
    Energy
    Will scar this
    Grand design.

    Will never cease
    To wander
    By its will
    Staring out at

    Unventured lands.
    Tension creeps up
    The spine and
    Infects the neck.

    A spark
    Radiating through
    Arms and legs
    Built of light.

    Eyes drunk
    By the drink
    That is this
    Landscape.

    Running to it,
    Time’s come.
    This is over, so
    Don’t look back.


  • Goodbye 2017

    Shot with an iPhone 5s. No specs accessible. White paint on patch, machine-sewn to leather (done by not-me).

    “A tout le monde/ A tous mes amis/ Je vous aime/ Je dois partir”

    “To be picked clean/ Of impurity/ Receiving a guard/ Drawing card and sword/// ‘I will set you free'”

    Welcome 2018. Consume reality.


  • Thumper

    Does a beetle
    Feel pain
    When it walks on
    The carpet

    And is set upon
    By any blunt object
    I can find?

    When its legs are
    Paralyzed
    Does it know
    That it’s its time?

    As it writhes,
    Does it writhe?
    Does it know that’s
    What it’s doing?

    When it slows
    After it sustains
    Another blow
    Does it know

    It’s dying?
    ‘Will it be missed?’
    I ponder as I
    Hit it again,

    Observing its
    Legs tear in two,
    It leaves them behind
    Trying to escape.

    If it spoke
    Would it scream
    To protest
    At my cruelty?

    It doesn’t bleed
    But its shell is
    Hammered
    Viciously.

    Still squirming,
    “Writhing”,
    But ever so slowly
    Fading out.

    Fading away,
    And with this
    Percussive eulogy
    I say:

    Stay the fuck out of my house.


  • Bright (2017) – Criticism/Review

    The great thing about Netflix is that it is essentially an indie studio with almost endless liquid assets to finance shows and films alike. They’ve broken apart the cable stranglehold on what we watch on TV and now claim shows from Marvel’s cinematic universe as well as original titles like Big Mouth. In addition, this indie mentality with the finances of a major publicly-traded studio comes with the promise to execute strange ideas extremely well.

    This is going to be spoiler heavy, so you have been adequately warned.

    Imagine, if you will, a film similar to Rush Hour or Beverly Hills Cop III sent through a siphon of high fantasy. This is essentially what the writers of Bright have done. It’s a buddy cop drama set against a world where races from traditionally fantasy genres have existed since the dawn of time. Orcs, centaurs, elves, humans, faeries, all kinds of stuff. The immediate backstory we’ve been given is that these races are all coming off the heels of a very long war that has consumed their thoughts of each other for as long as anyone can imagine.

    Ding dong! Social commentary knocking! It doesn’t take long from startup to see where parallels between contemporary society and the world of Bright are evoked in the expressions of specism/racism.

    One of the protagonists, Jakoby, is an orc scorned by his race for not being orcish enough, and is disliked by humans because he’s an orc. Profiling aside, the general traits of the races from fantasy realms remain the same. Elves are highly intelligent, orcs are brutish and can take a lot of punishment, humans are humans, and centaurs are centaurs. Honestly, not a lot of innovation is seen here, but we do have the blending of genres that captivates enough.

    The driving plot point is the acquisition of a stolen wand, belonging to an elven mage who aligns herself with the cult attempting to resurrect the “dark lord”. The R & D team probably could have spent a little more time coming up with an actual name for this dark lord, and in fact if there is it was somewhat lost in one of the hectic exposition dumps.

    Right off the bat, we’re introduced to the metaphors of race when an orc criminal gets away from our protagonists Jakoby and Ward (who is a black human played by Will Smith, so he’s played this role before in Bad Boys but not e-x-a-c-t-l-y). Ward is upset, and an internal investigation attempts to get a confession out of Jakoby that he let the criminal go so they can give him the ax. You see, Jakoby is the first orc police officer, and being with the LAPD we see corruption at every turn from his perspective.

    Eventually we’re met with the plot device, the wand, and the secondary item of intrigue: an elf woman named Tikka. Together these two things serve to bridge the narrative from buddy cop drama into high fantasy kingdom-saving.

    In this world, not anybody can wield wands. If you’re not a bright, when you touch a wand it makes you explode violently. Wands also have infinite power, with notable examples being able to bring people back from the dead and level a city with the flick of a wrist and an incantation. The larger plot revolving around not-racism-but-still-racism begins when the two officers respond to a call where there is a safehouse full of corpses and the wand (which at this point we don’t know belongs to the elf I mentioned way up above). After the wand is discovered, all the officers on scene try to convince Ward to kill his partner and frame him for something or rather. I don’t quite remember, actually. Anyways, Ward proceeds to kill all four officers there in one smooth slowmo sequence with very little in the way of difficulty. Jakoby is shocked at this, having no awareness of the plot, and is eventually talked down from arresting his partner.

    They are set upon by a street gang, afterwards, who is led by a man paralyzed from the waist down. Having witnessed blue-on-blue actions and knowing there is a wand in their possession, a chase begins. The street gang becomes a perpetual bad force until about the midway point.

    Magic is governed by the federal government, and it appears to have similar regulations to firearms apart from the “bringing people back from the fucking dead” part. So when these events unfold and the officers find the wand, a subplot revolves around the FBI’s search for the officers.

    To recap, we have a number of different stories going on. The two officers and Tikka, the cult, the FBI, the LAPD, and a bunch of gangsters. This presents neverending intrigue as each faction wants some form of power from the wand…. just kidding.

    The officers want to be rid of it, the FBI want to contain it, the LAPD wants the credit, and the gangsters want it because it has infinite power. Also the cult wants it because technically it’s theirs. That elf lady. From the beginning. It’s her wand.

    Tikka reveals all of this when she is near death, interestingly enough, saying that because they’ve been through things together she trusts the two officers. Which is definitely a bold statement, considering the shootouts and car chases we’ve witnessed so far.

    In the larger context of the world story, Jakoby and Ward are part of a prophecy, where they are foretold to be the ones to put an end to the dark lord. After everything comes to pass, loose ends get tied up, the FBI gets their story straight and Ward very much agrees in an official “on the books” manner that there was never any wand. Nevermind someone being brought back from the dead, no one is supposed to know that there was a wand.

    The gangbangers get banged, the cultists all die, the LAPD gets to save face, the officers are commended, and the FBI closes the book on something that ultimately had no connection to magic whatsoever, or so they say. None of these things on their own are really original ideas, drawing from all sorts of inspiration ranging from Lovecraft to Grand Theft Auto, but put together it really does play a good balancing game.

    All in all, I think this was a pretty fun little piece of cinema. There was nothing overtly new about the writing or the base concepts, but the worldbuilding that went into it was stellar enough for me to see it as a new creation. You can find almost every trope of high fantasy and buddy cop dramas within it, but the writing blends them together and makes its social commentaries (not exactly subtly) fun to see develop. It’s a popcorn movie, for sure. You don’t need to get bogged down by plot threads stretching from the movie to the TV series to the comic to the licensed bags of fresh oranges. It is what it is, and if the initial premise is something you can buy into, it’s perfect for that meaning.

    If you’re a fan of either genre, this is for you. But if you’re like me, who enjoys the hell out of The Elder Scrolls and Lethal Weapon, this is only going to be doubly playing to your senses of taste.

    Verdict: I’d buy it on blu-ray. But I don’t know if I can do that, seeing as it’s a Netflix exclusive. Oh well.

    Also, if the VFX artists who put all that work into sculpting the different races’ faces could get credit, that’d be great.


  • Fuck Porgs – Journal 12/28/17

    See title, that is all. I’ve talked about stupid side characters before, so let’s not go there. I was only reminded last night that porgs were a thing that existed and then I wanted to die all over again.

    Let’s talk about going-ons around the studio. Christmas has come and gone! Which for me included a bunch of new camera equipment, calligraphy pen supplies, and plenty of inspiration to get cracking on a new poem that, for the time being, is being called “Yuletide Cyanide”. Cyanide is a trope I’ve had in my mind since about May and requires some further exploration, but it deals with intimate themes. Maybe “Cyanide” will be a poem of its own some time in the future when I finally understand myself what it is.

    In Yuletide Cyanide, I expand on the meaning of the holiday season. The process so far in making this poem has been sporadic bits of writing stanzas, stuffing them in my pockets, and then writing another poem chunk that occurs stanzas later. So I have a bunch of really cool stanzas that are loosely connected by an internal canon I have set up for the piece. Which is something I’ve never really done before.

    I do really good patchwork writing if I write something that is nearly identical to something I’ve written before. In the case of “Dumpster Livers” and “Tiers”, I wrote Tiers sometime later in a much more refined fashion, and decided that instead of having two poems covering the same exact things, I absorbed Dumpster Livers into the newer Tiers totally intact with no change to the meaning of the latter. It worked out!

    Yet, I’ve never began a poem in this fashion before. Right now Yuletide Cyanide includes three scraps of paper, and two pages in two separate notebooks. It’s shaping up to be a good follow up to the season, and that leaves me lingering with feelings over the new year approaching.

    Christmas was good to me, and then I woke up to an email popping on my phone this morning telling me that I was not the winner of the First-Published Book prize being offered by Copper Canyon Press. Disappointing, but I mean I didn’t expect to really win. Not after hearing that there were 800 manuscripts entered. All this does is reinforce the idea in me that no one is going to get me running besides me. So I’m going to.

    This also means that I get to put Lithium Autumn into an e-book format and put it on the market that way. I can have my success any way I want to with this relative behemoth of a manuscript. I’m used to printing things at 10 pages of front and back, but this one is 50. E-book seems appropriate for a thing named after the 3rd element on the periodic table. Might take some time to put it up, though.

    Now that the pressure over ISBN books has been lifted, I will be approaching bookstores in January to have them hold copies of Abandon Ship. Me making deals for me, instead of me submitted to be at the judgement of a bunch of people I’ll never meet. That’s my way of seeing the good in this rejection email.

    Sure, I’ll be submitting manuscripts still. But not for a “first-published” prize anymore. I’m a little let down, of course, but obstacles only make me seek value more aggressively. Success is relative, I’ve come to learn. This isn’t a failure, in my eyes, just galvanization to do better.

    Abandon Ship will see me walk the plank and dive for things rarer. Self-publishing entirely.

    So that’s the take from Radio Reality City. 2018, and Year V in August will have seen much expanding.

    Consume reality! Radio Reality City!

    Thanks for tuning in!

     


  • Coffee from Kirke

    coffee from my love

    Shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS; f/5.6; 1/50; ISO-400; 39mm. 12/5/2017 4:32 PM.

    In the midst of writing Arrhythmia.


  • Manitoban

    Unreal fields in a
    Matrix of terrain
    A watchtower

    Wheat crops unreaped
    And unmarked roads

    We come upon
    This scene
    When we sleep
    And go wandering

    When we’re in
    Trance by every
    Step pushing aside
    Soft tufts of grain
    We find our
    Own way

    Rendering hills
    In the distance
    As we approach

    Awake and lucid
    Dreaming of the
    Empty
    Small town
    We discover

    It’s ours

    Yet we continue
    Into the night

    Asleep but awake here
    In these peaceful fields