Friday, February 29, 2008

Gooba and Rextor

Here's a story I wrote:

Gooba and Rextor

Gooba got on his T-Rex named Rextor and strapped himself in the saddle and Gooba and Rextor fought a whole pack of saber tooth tigers because Rextor can actually breathe fire so he just roasted them all. There were 14 saber tooth tigers. Then a whole bunch of wooly mammoths came but Rextor and Gooba beat them up too. Then Rextor was thirsty because breathing fire makes his throat so thirsty a lot so Gooba and Rextor journeyed to the sea and Rextor almost drank the whole sea! It was crazy! Then all the fish were mad at Rextor because they didn’t have as much water as they used to so the fish were crowded. They still had a lot of water but not as much as they wanted.

The End

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Movies

I've seen a few movies in the theatres lately.

I saw Juno and I enjoyed it. It was very original. At first the obviously scripted dialogue bugged me and some other stuff bugged me too. But as the story went on, I ended up liking the movie.

I saw Jumper and it was super lame. Oh, it was terrible. So bad. Don't see it.

I saw Persepolis and it was great. Very interesting and thought provoking. Some of the parts bugged me, and it lacked a great plot flow, but the animation was beautiful and the subject matter was just great. Out of these three movies, I recommend Persepolis the most.

But none of these new movies compare with Spartacus or 2001: A Space Odyssey or Star Wars or the Wizard of Oz.

Oh yeah, I also saw Enchanted and really liked it. Every now and then I need to see a musical.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Judges 2:13-14

In my very first post on Telemoonfa Time, I said, "I'll try to write well and think well about important things." It occurred to me that a very important thing, if not the most important thing, is religion.

That having been said, I've decided to offer my own commentary on the Scriptures on this blog, at least for today. Keep in mind that I do not officially represent the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I do not represent the views of anyone divine.

Here's a verse in the Bible I just came upon:

Judges 2:13-14. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

One of the things I love about the Bible is that it offers both history and principles. (For example, the story of the exodus is history, and the Ten Commandments are principles.) It's interesting to read a proverb like “pride goeth before the fall,” and then to read about prideful kings or nations fall. Judges 2:13-14 is an example of history.

But sometimes the principles don’t match up so nicely with the history, though. Why don’t they? If God is perfect, why does there sometimes seem to be incongruities between what God says he will do and what He actually does? Good question. Many people have wondered about this. Here’s my answer: I think history and principles don’t mesh perfectly because history only covers this short mortal earth-life, whereas principles are eternal. A long long long time from now, I believe, we will all understand that the Judge of all the earth has done right.

Simply, though, Judges 2:13-14 talks about something easy to understand. When Israel is obedient to God’s commands, Israel prospers. When Israel is disobedient to God’s commands, Israel dwindles.

Another thing, though, the verse doesn’t just say something karma-ish and wishy-washy like, “Do a bunch of nice things and nice things will be done to you.” The verse describes the LORD as a being capable of action and as a being involved in the lives of humans. In Judges 2:13-14, God is directly, actively punishing the Israelites. The verse says that God “sold them into the hands of their enemies.” Thus we see that is capable of and has a history of punishing people. He’s punished others; maybe he’ll punish you.

I must warn you, though, it’s hard to pin certain things on God. It’s hard to say exactly what he did and didn’t do. There are some things that he actively does, and other things he just allows to happen.

Reading and thinking about the Scriptures is a good thing to do.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mr. Giroux

Sometimes I get tired of academic stuff. Here's part of an entertaining response paper I wrote for a class a while back that expresses my frustration with academic stuff. Enjoy.

Look, I Wrote a Paper Just For You, Mr. Giroux; Make Some Snide Comment About its Unprofessionalism, Why Don’t You?

Recently I read the article, “Reading Texts, Literacy, and Textual Authority,” by Henry A. Giroux. First of all, I found it difficult to understand...

Nice job using “Teachers of English” instead of “English teachers”, Mr. Giroux, you Latin-studying very very very intellectual gentleman. It sounds so academic; I’m sure your alcoholic father would be proud.

I don’t totally understand where you’re coming from, Mr. Giroux, when you say, “This means understanding the limits of our own language as well as the implications of the social practices we construct on the basis of the language we use to exercise authority and power.” But I’m sure, Mr. Giroux, that you must be a communist.

Giroux quotes other authors profusely. I’ve noticed that high-class academia-people usually do that, of course with always the correct citation form. How many years of graduate school did it take you, Mr. Giroux, Huh? How many years of graduate school did it take you to learn correct citation and get with the proper stuff and say the proper stuff? Quit hiding behind your PHD, Giroux. Confront me one on one, like a man! Take your shirt off and get inside the dirt circle with me! Hate to break it to you, Mr. Giroux, but they don’t provide vegetable trays and punch where I’m gonna take you!

Of course I really just wanna be like you, Mr. Giroux. What do you think I’m in college for? What do ya think I’m reading all these namby-pamby classics for? Cuz I like ‘em? Wrong! It’s cuz I wanna write a dissertation the way you wrote a dissertation. An’ I wanna move my tassel to the other side just like you moved your tassel to the other side an’ I wanna sit with high degree holders and get drunk off of expensive wine an’ complain that society is hurting everybody and I wanna get my name on a plaque n’ get my name on a certificate n’ communicate via very technological technology like an electronic video holographic web cast or something an’ I wanna slowly smoke and slowly sip booze just like you do an’ I wanna leave my wife and leave my kids and curse the day I was born, just like you do, every night, Mr. Giroux. Every night when you’re alone in a cashmere bathrobe, Mr. Giroux. When your alone and cursing, hanging your head down and breaking glass bottles on your living room floor an’ I wanna be just like that. Just like that, Mr. Giroux. Just like that.

You’re alone, Mr. Giroux. You’re alone and cursing and your textile-mill-working father is dead.

Feather Flak

This following is an idea I have for a zine!

Feather Flak: A ‘zine for ducks by ducks

Zine Theme:
Bunches of ducks talk, usually angrily, about duck life.

Zine Format:
Printed on water-proof paper. And if we can’t find water-proof paper, we’ll just print it on regular paper and then laminate every page. This zine needs to be accessable to our water-dwelling audience. And Feather Flak will have an authentic duck feather attached to every issue, along with a certificate of authenticity, signed by the governor of Arizona. And there’ll be lots of pictures of real ducks doing real duck things.

Materials Needed:
Real duck feathers.
The governor of Arizona. (to sign the certificates of authenticity)
Water proof paper, or, a laminating machine.
“Howard the Duck” on DVD or VHS
Several episodes of “Duck Tales”
Scientific duck magazines.
A duck call.
Candles, mood music, mood lighting, and duck costumes.

Preparation:
We’ll need to get in touch with nature. We’ll spend some time outside, associating with real live ducks. Also, we should read scientific duck magazines. Also, we should all watch the movie “Howard the Duck” and several episodes of “Duck Tales”, to help us see how pop culture has exploited and manipulated these majestic creatures of the once-peaceful pond. After the research, we’ll get into duck-mode by pretending that we’re ducks and then we’ll attempt to speak for the ducks. And, for some of the articles, we won’t even translate duck language, Quacklish, into English, to preserve the natural outcry of our friends of down. For example, the following poem, which was originally recorded in the wilderness and was performed orally by a noble turquoise mallard, will be reproduced in print form in the first issue of Feather Flak:

Quack Quack

Quaaaaaack Quack Quaaaaaack
Quack Quack Quaaaack
Quaaaaaaaaack Quaaaaaaaack
Quaaaack Quaaaaack Quack Quack
Quaaaaaack Quack Quaaaaaack
Quack Quack Quaaaack
Quaaaaaaaaack Quaaaaaaaack
Quaaaack Quaaaaack Quack Quack

Quack

And we’ll play lots of angry rock music while we write articles!

Boots Sure Are Good at Smashin’



Boots Sure Are Good at Smashin’

Boots can smash anything
Bugs twigs dirt pinecones branches mud ants leaves anthills snake holes
But especially cat tails, man-

I stepped on one the other day
smash MEOW!

huh huh huh

I don’t try to be cruel

but my boots’re big
And sometimes like now! they gotta smash!

huh huh huh

Rubric

I took a class at NAU called "Assessment of Learning". Now and then it was interesting, but overall, it was lame. For one assignment we were supposed to write a rubric. I was so tired of all the professional-sounding buzzword-using schlock the professor wanted us to write that by the end of the semester I wrote this sort of smart-alecky wise-guy rubric. I think it's cool.

Rubric

There are 5 points possible. One point is earned for every question you answer correctly. If you answer all 5 questions right, you get 5 points. If you answer 4 questions right, you get 4 points. If you answer 3 questions right, you get 3 points. If you answer 2 questions right, you get 2 points. If you answer 1 question right, you get 1 point. If you answer 0 questions right, you get 0 points. Your object is to gain as many points as possible.

Why, you ask, are we to seek so earnestly after points? I answer: points are good because they are intrinsically good. That is, even if no one counts a point, earns a point, or even possesses knowledge of the existence of a point, the point still stands unaided, in all its glorious value. Indeed, the point is quite unaffected by the perception of others.

Maybe a personal anecdote will show you what I mean. In the 1980’s I was an impatient, undisciplined boy. I wasn’t doing well in school, my father couldn’t get me to do much around the farm; I was generally listless. One afternoon, while avoiding homework and chores, I went into town and loitered around a convenience store. I stepped inside, slowly selected a candy bar, and waited in line to purchase my chocolate. Just then, while standing there, my eye was caught by a strange, wondrous and new thing.

It was a tall shiny rectangular contraption with a flashing TV screen inside of it. I went towards it. When I looked closer I saw that it had several buttons and a place to insert coins, and written on the top of it was “Asteroid Blaster 5000!” Then it came to me. “A video game!” I thought. “This is what they call a video game!” I put in my dime and instantly I was in outer space, saving galaxies.

Within a short moment, I was enthralled.

I twisted the joystick to spin my spaceship, and I pushed the red button on top of the joystick to fire missiles into asteroids. Alien invaders in enemy spaceships came too, and I would blast them with a fury of white dots.

But after a few minutes of playing, I suddenly fell into a deep anguish. “What’s the use of blasting away these asteroids, anyway?” I thought. “More just keep coming, faster and bigger. No matter how many alien spaceships I destroy, more spaceships fly by and try to shoot me. Death is the only real ender of this game. And,” I thought, “if I were to die, the asteroids and spaceships would still be alive in the machine.”

But my disappointment grew deeper. As I looked around at the racks of beef jerky and cigarettes, I realized that Asteroid Blaster 5000! wasn’t real anyway. I was not in space after all. I was very much standing in a convenience store in my boring hometown, thinking I was in space, deluding myself into believing I was some sort of intergalactic hero.

I had been duped, and I wanted my dime back.

I was just about to go home and do farm work when I noticed a large number in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. I don’t remember the number exactly, but it was somewhere in the thousands or ten-thousands. The number kept changing, too. It was getting larger. Fascinating.

Then I noticed a correlation between the change in the number and the asteroids being destroyed. Every time I blew an asteroid away, the number increased. Upon further experimentation, I learned that if I blew up a small asteroid, I got 50 points. If I destroyed a medium asteroid, I got 100 points, and if I destroyed a large asteroid I got 300 points.

How could I have missed it before? Points! They were giving me points! The game was in fact not futile, I had not labored in vain, - I was actually being rewarded for destroying those asteroids!

Empowered by my discovery, I launched back into space. With the nose of my spaceship aimed squarely at the oncoming asteroids, I shot them with a renewed vigor and purpose. I squealed with delight as I watched the numbers climb higher and higher. I was earning points! With the passing of hours and the spending of dollars, my score reached into the hundred-thousands, and I was euphoric.

From that revelatory afternoon until this day, I know, as I know the sun shines, that whenever I expend my energy for points’ sake, I have not toiled in vain. Indeed, I would gladly waste away my life in the pursuit of those great numbers, those divine digits, points. And if at the end of my life I find myself having no offspring, no loved ones to care for me, no attendees at my funeral, and if I am reduced to slavery and toil in the most wretched of all wretched slime pits, with a jagged rock for my pillow and the cries of whipped toddlers for my lullaby, at least I will know that in my lifetime I accumulated a lot of points.

And this, my students, is why points are valuable.

Where I'm From



Where I’m From

I’m from Rosarita refried beans,
White Mission tortillas,
Louisiana Hot Sauce,
And cheddar cheese
Rolled together, on a Brawny paper towel,
Put in the microwave for about a minute.

I’m from prickly pears, dirt,
Palo verde trees, road runners, clouds.
I’m from swamp coolers, bricks,
Windows, doors, walls,
And the rock I thought was a dinosaur tooth.

I’m from Street Fighter II, Mario Kart,
Super Metroid, Super Mario All-Stars,
Gradius III, the Uncanny X-men and
D.P.7. (Displaced Paranormals Seven)

I am from the Indian painting
Always on my bedroom wall,
An original oil- a chief in full headdress.
Turquoise, face-paint,
lips parted, chin upward,
a warrior singing.

I am from the church down the street,
And the park next to the church,
And the elementary school and the
middle school and the high school
just a bus ride away.

I am from Uncle Terry,
The hunter and potter and cherry harvester
Who worked in the steel mill 38 years.

Scholarships are Great

Here's a letter I wrote when I was trying to get a scholarship. I think it's pretty cool.

To Whom It May Concern, March 12, 2007

I would greatly appreciate a scholarship from the Northern Arizona University English Department. I plan to graduate in May 2008 with a double major in English Education and Theatre Education. After that, I’ll either get a high school teaching career or go to graduate school. I feel that I have demonstrated academic integrity during my collegiate pursuits thus far.

I needn’t enumerate my academic exploits; though, my transcripts, letters of recommendation, and sample writings should represent me well enough. But here I will simply tell you that I attend classes regularly, get good grades, enjoy reading, like writing, and enjoy the university environment.

The university environment- what an ennobling notion! The university is a place where we put off the requisite labors of the world. We lay aside the production of food, shelter, and marketable commodities to pursue enlightenment. We study because we want to. We learn for the sake of learning.

But without the means to establish and participate in a university setting, curiosities are squelched; minds dim. If we care about romantic ideas like education, we must give funds to those ventures (such as literature, art and philosophy, just to name a few) which are not easily exchanged for capital. Simply put, English Department, if you give me money to study, I will spend less time straining my muscles, and more time straining my reading-eyes. I would eat my bread not from the sweat of my brow, but from the wrinkling of it. Please, help me wrinkle my brow- give me a scholarship.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Mighty Adventures of Emu-Man!

Here’s another scene I wrote in high school.

The Mighty Adventures of Emu-Man!

Scene: A sidewalk. Weeber, a nerd, is walking along with his nose in a book. Three bullies come up behind him. The leader of the bullies is Jack.

Jack: Hey Weeber. Is the little nerd boy enjoying his nerd books?

Weeber: Why yes I am. This one is very fascinating. It’s about the process of cell division, called mitosis. You see, mitosis is a very complicated process, involving-

Roger: Can it, Weeber! Save your scientific words for your nerd classes and your nerd teachers at your nerd school!

Ralph: Hey I got an idea. Let’s beat up Weeber, like we usually do!

Jack: Yeah!

Weeber: Oh no! I’m being attacked! Who will save me now? (Emu-Man enters)

Emu-man: Don’t worry, my pint-sized unfortunate underdog, I’ll save you!

Jack: Who are you?

Emu-Man: I am Emu-Man! (bullies gasp.) Protector of good! Defender of purity! Advocator of Peace! I protect the city from no-good evil-doing villains! I patrol the streets of this city day and night and make them safe for the law-abiding tax-paying good citizens of America! (pause.) And I sell hot dogs on the side.

Jack: Emu-Man? That’s the dorkiest name I’ve ever heard.

Emu-Man: Those who make fun of Emu-Man only make fun of themselves!

Jack: What’s that supposed to mean?

Emu-Man: Those who ask stupid questions of Emu-Man are only replied with laughter. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (Weeber runs over to Emu-Man)

Weeber: Thank you for saving me, Emu-Man! You’re my hero!

Emu-Man: Being a hero is always my job, little boy! (to bullies) And so you see, no-good evil-doers, good will always triumph over evil! You playground bullies were no match for the mighty fist of Emu-Man!

Jack: Oh yeah, well as soon as we find out where you live, we’ll beat you up, too.

Emu-Man: Ha! The secret location of my hidden base will never be revealed to the likes of you!

Roger: You think youre all big and bad, but you’re wearing tights! Dizzamn! That’s wiggidy-
wiggidy-wiggidy-wak!

Emu-Man: I’ll have you know that these top-of-the-line latex leg-tubes are equipped with all the space-age technology available to modern man to allow for superhuman speed and amazing aerodynamics!

Jack: Oh yeah, well if your name’s Emu-man, then why do you have those stupid antennae balls on? Everyone know that emus don’t have antennas!

Emu-Man: Mind your own business!

Roger: You check this, fool! If you’re supposed to be some kind of superhero, then what are your wiggidy pizzowers?

Emu-Man: My what?

Roger: Yo check this: I said what are your wiggidy pizzowers?

Emu-Man: Excuse me?

Jack: He said, what are your cool superhuman powers, dawg?

Emu-Man: I don’t appreciate you calling me a dog, but I’ll have you know that I used to be a mild-mannered emu farmer. Until one day, as fate would have it, I was bitten by a radioactive emu! The emu’s radioactivity gave me the proportional speed, strength and build of an emu!

Ralph: (Pokes Emu-Man in the stomach) Looks like you have the proportional build of gumby!
Emu-Man: Hey, do you want to hear the rest of my origin story or not?

Weeber: I’m listening, Mr. Emu-Man, with great interest.

Emu-Man: Then allow me to continue. As I said before, I had great superhuman powers. I decided to use them just like any hero would- I made myself a costume and started protecting the streets. I moved down here because my emu-farm went bankrupt, with my superhero job getting in the way. (less heroically) My Mom let me move back in, so I live there now. I’m 44 years old, and I live with my Mom.

Jack: I thought you would never reveal the secret location of your hidden base!

Emu-Man: Uh… I mean I really don’t live with my Mom! I have a secret customized high-tech cave that you don’t know about! But I must be off! For Emu-Man has many other important things to do and people to save! Just remember, whenever a bully is picking on a kid, Emu-Man will be there! Whenver there is crime and corruption in the streets, Emu-Man will be there! And wherever there is free ice-cream involved, Emu-Man will be there! (Emu-Man exits)

Weeber: Oh Emu-Man, I want to be your sidekick and make myself a costume and I can be called Emu-Boy and I can use all my scientific knowledge to set up a crime lab and-

Jack: Hey, it looks like that dumb Emu-dork is gone! Let’s beat up Weeber again!

Weeber: Oh no! (The bullies chase Weeber off-stage.)

Curtain.

55 minutes of Terror: Mr. Fanny’s Class

Here's another scene I wrote in high school. I'm not really sure if it's intended for the stage or for the screen. It's based on real events. There's a lot of inside jokes in it. Enjoy.



55 minutes of Terror: Mr. Fanny’s Class

Setting: Mr. Fanny’s classroom. 1998.

Mr. Fanny: There will be absolutely no working on other stuff in this class. If you work on anything else it will be mine! Now get to work! Kelly?

Kelly: Yes, Mr. Fanny?

Mr. Fanny: Are you working on bettering your soul? You know like Mother Teresa or something?

Kelly: Well, I’d like to think I am.

Mr. Fanny: Come with me outside. (Full of doom. Scary music.)

Kelly: Yes Mr. Fanny. (They step outside)

Mr. Fanny: YOUR SOUL IS NOW MINE!!! (Kelly faints. Mr. Fanny laughs evil-like and then returns to the classroom.) Kelly had an accident. She went to the nurse. Sabonis, you’re not going to state, are you, you drug-using cheater and loser.

Sabrina: Look, Mr. Fanny, I don’t smoke. Those were just stupid little rumors by stupid little people.

Mr. Fanny: Oh that’s not what I heard from my sources. Why’d we lose last night?

Sabrina: Probably because you put in you worst pitcher instead of me.

Mr. Fanny: I don’t got time to discuss this. So I’ll come to your house later tonight because I know where you live because I stalk you. Now it’s time for a lesson. Wait a minute. The quote on the board is big and then it gets small! C’mon, Paige, you’re the student body President and you can’t even write the quote right? I am really really disappointed in this class. (Paige starts to get up.) Never mind. Go play Yatzhee. You’re not going to beat my score. And if you do, then… then… I’ll erase it.

Frank: (to Yuri) Whisper whisper whisper.

Mr. Fanny: No talking! You know, I don’t even know why I don’t know because you just know you know?! That doesn’t make any sense. That just doesn’t make any sense. I’m sick and tired of you guys being talking you know!

Frank: I’m sorry Mr. Fanny.

Mr. Fanny: It’s too late now my feelings are already hurt. Look how much time we’ve wasted because of you. Back to the lesson. (writes on the board.) OK. X squared minus four cubed plus one over seven equals… that. Does everyone agree that I am dumb?

Class: (in unison) Yes, Mr. Fanny.

Mr. Fanny: OK, get to work. (walks towards Frank. Gets big grin.) Frank, I think you
left something in my class yesterday. Is this your sweater?

Frank: Yes.

Mr. Fanny: You look just like my little caped avenger. Mmm? See your cape? (Puts sweater around Frank. Gets close to him, cheek to cheek.) I like your hair. It’s so spiky!

Emily: Mr. Fanny, can you help me on this problem?

Mr. Fanny: Sure.

Emily: Well I’m trying to get this on that side but (volume goes low.)

Mr. Fanny: (Thinking) football… football… football… mmm… peanut.

Emily: So is that right?

Mr. Fanny: Football.

Emily: What?

Mr. Fanny: Nevermind. Anybody mind if I listen to music? (goes over to desk.) No
Paige, how many times do I have to tell you to keep the sixes? Get off, I wanna listen to my Indian chant music. (He puts in CD and hums along. The bell rings.) Goodbye everybody. Have a nice day. See you later Frank, my little caped avenger. Sabonis, get back here!

Sabrina: What do you want, Mr. Fanny?

Fanny: I want you to know that today in softball practice I’m going to be throwing softballs at the girls faces and I don’t want you complaining about it. We need to practice getting hit in the face. And I might push some people around, too.

Sabrina: (whiny voice) But Mr. Fanny… (Mr. Fanny’s head gets big. Hypnotizing swirl behind his head)

Mr. Fanny: You are under my control. You will do what ever I say.

Sabrina: (hypnotized, robot voice.) Yes. See you later.

Mr. Fanny: Another good day. Soon I will have all their souls! Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Curtain

De-motivational Speaker

I bet some of my blog posts are boring. Especially the one with the essay I wrote about Animal Farm and The Soul of Man Under Socialism. I would rather have you read Animal Farm and The Soul of Man Under Socialism for yourself rather than reading what I had to say about it. Oh well. This blog post will be more entertaining, though.

By popular demand, here is my de-motivational speech I wrote in high school:

De-motivational Speaker

Scene: Dennis Brown, a de-motivational speaker, is speaking to a high-school student body in an auditorium.


Dennis: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. My name is Dennis Brown and today your parents and teachers have asked me to come here and speak to you about a few things. You see, university tuition costs are rising and the sparkly dream factory of Hollywood is raising kids to believe that 16 year olds have enough talent to make it in the big time. These kids don’t know what the big time really is, they just think, “yeah, I’m gonna make it big time!” or “Someday I’m gonna move out of this small town and take America like the Muppets took Manhattan!” Your parents were concerned that all these big ideas have gotten into your heads and set up camp there and that those big dreams are pushing out old useful things like history, religion, and dog races.

So that’s why I’m here to talk to you about a few things. Things that may change your way of thinking. Now I know there’s been other speakers speeding through this town filling up your brains with positive ideas about your potential and that all you need is some persistence and some of them might have even gone so far as to say: “You can do it!” Ha ha ha.

But really, I’m here to tell you a different message. A message that not everybody wants to hear. But it’s a little more truthful, a little more honest, and a heck of a lot more attainable.

Now some of you here in the audience tonight have big dreams like, “I’m gonna be a movie star” or “I’m gonna take the most beautiful girl to the prom,” or, “I’m gonna start up a website and become an instant millionaire.” I know, I know, I’ve heard it all before. But listen to me closely now I have something to tell you:

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL AS YOU WANT TO BE.

It’s a hard fact of life, but it’s a fact of life that you’re going to have to learn, and the sooner the better. You see, thousands of people across the planet try and try and try for goals that they can never achieve. And what do they get for all that trying? Nothing. Nada. Zip. They’ve wasted a lifetime trying to become something they’re not when they should have just stayed in their place on the mainstream American assembly-line.

You may think I’m wrong for assuming this about you. Granted, I don’t know you. But do I want to know you? Odds are I don’t. You’re probably not fresh, creative, interesting, and by looking at you I can tell that I don’t want to look at you.

Oh I’m sorry, that last comment might have gone over your head. Translation: You’re ugly people.

But hey, I’m not holding that against you. Most people aren’t interesting or good-looking. Most people aren’t intelligent and fresh, and you’re just one of the rest of them. There’s nothing wrong with that. You should be satisfied with your normalcy.

So remember, aim low. If you put your aspirations way down here, (motions by feet.) at least you’ll have a chance at relative success. Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with being a cashier at your local grocery store for the rest of your life. You may not like your job, but so what? Nobody really likes his or her job. Of course there are some genius rich professionals who are happy with their work, but those people were born geniuses. You, on the other hand, are definitely not a genius.

Point is, you’re not meant to like your job. How selfish are you anyway? You think that just because drawing or acting makes you happy that someone should pay you to do it? You expect to be able to do anything you want that supposedly gives you joy and that supposedly you’ve dreamt of ever since you were in elementary school, and you expect someone to pay your rent and feed you kids?

Well let me tell you something about the real world, sister! It’s not going to happen! This world doesn’t need arts and crafts, this world needs burger flippers, ditch diggers, and gas tank filler-uppers. So apply down at one of your local stores, get a low-rent apartment, and call it a life.

It may not be much of a life, but it’s a life someone like you deserves.

Let the talented people become pro football players and let the talented people become novelists. Let those talented super geniuses be happy with their work while you stay on the bench. Sorry, I guess you don’t get to be happy in this life. But it really isn’t about being happy, it’s about being content.

To further illustrate my point, I would like a volunteer from the audience. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone want to volunteer? Don’t worry, even though you’re vastly incompetent, this simple task is easy enough for a monkey or an antelope to do. (A teenage boy with a guitar stands up.) Ah, you there, you’d be great, come on up. (audience members clap.) Stop clapping for him! He’s not special! (boy gets to the stage.) OK, son, what’s your name?

Colton: Colton.

Dennis: Colton, I see you have a guitar there. Do you enjoy playing music?

Colton: Yeah, I play bass in a band called Exploding Death Iguanas.

Dennis: And what do you want to be when you grow up, Colton?

Colton: Well I kind of wanted to be a rock star.

Dennis: A rock star, ha ha ha. And now, after hearing me speak, what do you think?

Colton: Well I was listening to what you said and you’re right, I am nobody special. I mean, I’m not that good at the guitar. I know a lot of other people who are better than me. So now I think I’ll just be a janitor.

Dennis: Good, good, another satisfied customer of the Dennis Brown de-motivational series. But before you go, Colton, I have a parting gift for you. (Hands Colton a mop.) Put it to good use, boy. Why don’t you start by mopping the stage, huh? (Colton starts mopping stage.) OK, now how about another volunteer? You there, you look down in the dumps, why don’t you come on up and have a chat with me? (Another teenage boy comes up.) What’s your name, son?

Phil: Phil.

Dennis: OK, Phil, I’m sorry to get so personal, but how’s it going with the ladies?

Phil: Well Dennis, I just asked this pretty girl I’ve had a crush on since fourth grade on a date, and she said no.

Dennis: Well, that’s how it goes for people like you.

Phil: Yeah, I know. So I gave up on that girl and now I’m just going to marry that stupid fat ugly girl from across the street and abuse her the rest of my life.

Dennis: That’s the way! Thanks for coming up, Phil. (to audience) Did you see what’s happened here today? Can you feel the de-motivation? Colton and Phil have both latched on to the new de-motivational way of living. And it’s high time that you all start doing the same. Lower your expectations and realize how untalented and insignificant you really are. Well, thanks for coming everybody. I’m Dennis Brown, and remember, hitch your wagon to a snail.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A scary thing happened to me last night.

A scary thing happened to me last night. It was around midnight and I was short on sleep when I decided to take a shower. I needed one. I got into the shower and started thinking scary things. It sounds funny, but just wait.

I closed my eyes to put my head under the running water and I had the frightening sensation that when I opened my eyes there would be a demon/ghost/axe-murderer in the shower with me, about to attack me. I told myself that my mind was playing tricks, but I couldn’t get those creepy thoughts out of my head. I started humming church hymns, as I often do when I’m scared, but that didn’t help much either.

I put shampoo in my hair and started to lather it up. After all, I wasn’t going to let something as juvenile as scary thoughts keep me from showering.

The thoughts and feelings wouldn’t go away; I kept my eyes open as much as possible. I was afraid to blink, because I knew that in that fraction of a second when my eyes were closed, I would see the frightening face of an evil spirit. But I had to blink! I blinked. More horror-movie images came to my mind. I was seriously scared.

Panicky, I shut off the water, pulled back the curtain, and stepped out of the shower, dripping all over the bathroom floor. The shampoo was still in my hair.

I swung open the bathroom door and looked at my wife, who was already asleep in the bed. The sight of her slumbering body under the covers comforted me somewhat. I threw on my underwear and got into bed with her, my body still wet.

It took me a good while to get to sleep.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Essay I Wrote For School

I have not posted any posts lately. That's because I had to work on a writing sample to apply to graduate school. I just barely finished it. I hope it's good. I think it's pretty good. But don't take my word for it- read it for yourself! Here it is:


Technology, Evil, and Human Equality in Animal Farm and The Soul of Man Under Socialism

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at,” says Oscar Wilde in his essay The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1256). Oscar Wilde is one of many literary figures who thought and wrote about utopia. Another is George Orwell. Both authors had interesting ideas about the perfect society. Orwell wrote about Utopia in one of his classic works, Animal Farm, and Wilde wrote about it in his essay, The Soul of Man Under Socialism. These texts represent a radically different take on utopia. Animal Farm is generally realistic yet pessimistic, while The Soul of Man Under Socialism is generally idealistic and optimistic. In this essay I will focus on three topics that illustrate Orwell’s realistic pessimism and Wilde’s idealistic, impractical optimism: technology, evil, and the inherent equality of human beings.

Both the essay and the novel understand that there is menial work to be done in order for a society to subsist. Food needs to be produced, goods need to be manufactured, trash needs to be taken out, and a myriad of other unpleasant jobs need to get done. Both the essay and the novel express the view that technology could be used in order to better society to an extraordinary degree. Listen to the striking similarity between Snowball’s and Wilde’s take on technology: “Snowball conjured up pictures of fantastic machines which would do their work for them while they grazed at their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and conversation” (Orwell 64). Wilde writes of a future where technology will serve humans. “Just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisure… or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work” (Wilde 1255).

But even though both The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Animal Farm address this possibility of technology improving the human condition, Wilde seems to believe in it, whereas Orwell does not. The reader can safely assume that Wilde believes in it, first of all, obviously, because he is the one speaking in his essay. In the essay there are no fictional characters; no ambiguous speaker of a poem; the essay is written by Oscar Wilde. It is put forth to the world as the opinions and beliefs of Oscar Wilde himself. Second of all, the reader can safely assume that Wilde believes that technology will improve the human condition because Wilde explicitly states this view. He writes, “All work of that kind [i.e. unpleasant work] should be done by a machine. And I have no doubt but that it will be so” (1255).

Orwell, though, is not so optimistic. He does not believe that technology will serve to work towards utopia. No doubt Orwell believes that technology could be used to improve the human condition, but he does not believe that it will. The reader may safely assume that Orwell’s position on technology bettering society is pessimistic, first of all, because Orwell is not speaking for himself. He is speaking through a fictional character he created, Snowball.

Second, through a series of plot events, Orwell expresses the fact that humans, being fallible and mortal, will mishandle technology. As the plot of Animal Farm unfolds, Snowball, the pig that came up with an idea for a windmill, is run out of the farm by rival leader, Napoleon. After Snowball is gone, Napoleon decides to have the windmill built, and it takes years and years of hard work to complete the windmill. In the final chapter, when the windmill is finally finished, it does not serve to give the animals leisure but in fact only serves to bolster Napoleon’s totalitarian regime. “The windmill, however, had not after all been used for generating electrical power. It was used for milling corn, and brought in a handsome money profit” (Orwell 128). From this quote we see that Napoleon used the windmill not for the general well being of Animal Farm, but for accumulating wealth for himself.

Thus Orwell, through the string of events he creates, expresses his pessimistic outlook on technology helping the human race. Orwell affirms that technology takes a long time to develop. Years and years of work, money, research and experimentation have to be expended in order to invent technologies that are intended to solve many societal ills. On top of the resources being spent, when the technology finally is invented, the technology has to be used properly. Because, according to Orwell, as long as technology is in the hands of corrupt leaders, it doesn’t matter how impressive the technology is, it will still be used for evil purposes.

Speaking of evil, George Orwell seems to believe in evil more than Oscar Wilde does. That is, Wilde thinks of all individuals as inherently good, while Orwell believes in the evil that naturally creeps up in the hearts of some.

Wilde thinks that all individuals, if properly civilized, and if placed in the proper form of society, would live peacefully, basking in the glory of beauty, art and pleasure. In The Soul of Man Under Socialism, Wilde describes at length how dreamy and pleasurable society will be when the individual will make what is beautiful and the state will make what is useful (1255).
So if humans are inherently peace-loving, artistic, and congenial, how does Wilde explain crime? If crime does not come from evil in our genetic makeup, or from Satan, where does it come from? Wilde answers: crime comes from the defects of society. He blames capitalism and the government of his day for what others call the manifestation of evil. Wilde sums up this idea nicely with, “Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime” (1254). Wilde further describes his view on evil when he writes of utopia, void of punishment. “When there is no punishment at all, crime will either cease to exist, or, if it occurs, will be treated by physicians as a very distressing form of dementia, to be cured by care and kindness” (1254). Thus Wilde views crime not as the symptom of humanity’s basic wickedness, but as merely the misguided actions of the lower classes. Put in another way, so-called “evil” acts are the byproducts of a society in which dishonesty and cutthroat competitiveness are rewarded with the bestowal of more property and more comfort.

In addition to his explanation for crime committed by the lower classes, Wilde has an explanation for white-collar crime. Again he blames a corrupt society. Even though rich people aren’t starving, even though they live a quite comfortable life, they still commit crimes because they are so obsessed with owning property, according to Wilde. A Monopoly or Risk board game mindset pervades the upper class, Wilde says, because the upper classes were socialized from their youth to compete. Wilde concludes, “The possession of private property is very often extremely demoralizing,” (1249). With these quotes and arguments taken into consideration, it is clear that Wilde does not believe in inherent evil, per se. Rather, he believes that humans are basically good.

Moving on to George Orwell’s views, Orwell sees evil very differently. Orwell thinks that no matter how philosophically sound and fair a society’s framework is, no matter how egalitarian the governmental or economic auspices appear to be, some people, having evil in their hearts, will find a way to mess it up. Orwell’s pessimistic opinion is evidenced by Napoleon’s rise to power.

In Orwell’s novel, after the Rebellion, all the animals rejoice that their oppressor, Mr. Jones, has been defeated. “They rolled in the dew, they cropped mouthfuls of the sweet summer grass, they kicked up clods of black earth and snuffed its rich scent” (40). All the animals seemed to be rejoicing together. The pigs, the horses, the dogs, and all the other animals had freedom, able bodies, and fertile soil. At this moment, with freedom and the promise of utopia, what reason does Napoleon have for stealing goods and oppressing others? Why does Napoleon choose to drink alcohol, sleep in a bed, kill other animals, and otherwise break all the commandments that he originally claimed to have been a proponent of? What prompted his bad actions? Nothing that I can think of, besides inborn evil, can explain his actions.

Napoleon could have worked his fair share and lived peacefully in an idealistic commune, where all animals are called comrades, where everyone received a fair amount of resources, and everyone did their fair share. Napoleon could have cultivated his mind. He could have created or enjoyed beautiful things, like Oscar Wilde suggested. Instead, the greedy pig hogged the resources, raised an army of dogs, set himself up as a master, and turned out worse than Mr. Jones had ever been. Again, the only explanation for Napoleon’s behavior is his innate evilness.
Finally, Orwell’s realistic pessimism and Wilde’s idealistic, impractical optimism are illustrated by how the two authors treat the final topic in this paper, the inherent equality of human beings. Wilde believes that all people are inherently equal, not in talent or ability, but in their individuality. In contrast, Orwell believes that humans are inherently not equal.

Certainly Wilde does not think that all humans possess the same aptitude for all the same subjects, or the same qualities of mind and body. He recognizes that some have an affinity for a particular subject or undertaking while others do not. Wilde enjoys the diversity of human experience; he would never dare to say that all people are equal in every way. But Wilde considers everybody to be equal because they are all individuals. Everybody, in Wilde’s view, has the potential to indulge pleasurably in their own personality and realize their own souls, (1254).

By “realize their own souls,” I mean that, in Wilde’s view, everybody can discover who he or she truly is. If relieved from the pressures of peers, social institutions and traditions, and if relieved from the menial cares of gathering material necessities, people are free to rejoice in their own awesomeness. In effect, in Wilde’s utopia, individuals will toot their own horns, whether or not anybody else is listening. Most of The Soul of Man Under Socialism is about individualism, actually; it is about how all people can realize the beauty that is within themselves if only a proper societal framework were there to support self-exploration. In light of these ideas about self-realization, Wilde sees all people as inherently equally valuable and special. It is only the defects of the milieu that keep people in such a state of social inequality.

Wilde also considers people to be equal when it comes to how much they need and want in order to be content. Wilde fancies that as long as individuals are provided with material necessities, space to create beautiful things, and beautiful things to appreciate, everyone will be satisfied. No one will miss owning private property or being better than his or her neighbor.
George Orwell, on the other hand, is skeptical of a universal inherent equality among all the people born into this world. Several elements of Animal Farm evidence Orwell’s mistrust of a universal inherent human equality.

First of all, the animals in Orwell’s fairy story are obviously different animals. There are dogs, pigs, horses, sheep, and others. Some are big. Some are small. Some are very strong. For example, Boxer is the strongest animal on the farm, and as such can do more work than anyone else. Some animals are very weak. The ducks are only able to contribute a very little bit to the construction of the windmill and the overall well being of the farm.

The animals on Animal Farm are not only different in size and physical strength, they possess differing amounts of intellect. The pigs possessed the most intellect. “The work of teaching and organizing the others fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally recognized as being the cleverest of animals” (Orwell 35). The sheep, hens, and ducks were the stupidest. “It was also found that the stupider animals, such as the sheep, hens, and ducks, were unable to learn the Seven Commandments by heart” (50). By creating a cast of characters composed of animals that differ in strength and intelligence, Orwell is revealing the inherent inequality in the human race.

In addition to showing how people have differing amounts of strength and intelligence, Orwell shows how humans are naturally different when it comes to their dispositions. Soon after the Rebellion, the text states, “Everyone worked according to his capacity… nobody shirked – or almost nobody. Mollie, it was true, was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof” (47). Thus, Mollie’s attitude towards work was different than most of the other animals. Most of the other animals willingly subscribed to idea of communism and equality. But Mollie slacked off. She kept ribbons and sugar for herself. Although the pigs tried to ensure that all comrades contributed equally to the well being of the farm, some animals were just stubborn. Likewise, although Wilde insists that everybody would be happy contributing fairly to the production of useful things, and although Wilde insists that everybody would be happy being himself or herself, some humans, according to Orwell, are just stubborn. Try as one might to lead the way to peace, some will not follow. In matters of strength, intelligence, and dispositions, Orwell claims that people are inherently unequal.

Overall, Animal Farm is a pessimistic, yet realistic book. First, an analysis of the plot reveals that Orwell does not think that technology will make a solid contribution towards the establishment of utopia, since humans with less than noble intentions can easily use technology to squelch others. Second, Animal Farm presents evil as an unprovoked, naturally occurring human attribute. Third, Orwell expresses through his novel the inherent inequality among humans.

In contrast, The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde is generally idealistic and optimistic. Wilde believes that technology will aid in the establishment of utopia, that people are basically good, and that humans are equal in the sense that they are all unique, beauty-loving individuals with the potential for self-realization.

It is interesting to see how these two great literary figures wrestle with the idea of utopia. By contrasting Animal Farm with The Soul of Man Under Socialism, we can see the very different ideas that George Orwell and Oscar Wilde generated. Perhaps somewhere between these two differing outlooks there is an attainable happy medium, a balance, a satisfying compromise. Perhaps, in fact, there is a way for everyone to be happy all the time. Or perhaps not.


Works Cited


Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1996.

Wilde, Oscar. Oscar Wilde - Collected Works - Complete and Unabridged. New York: Barnes
and Noble Publishing, Inc., 2006.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Allure of Shiny Stars

The following is an essay I wrote my freshman year at Eastern Arizona College for English 101. The story the essay tells is autobiographical and true. Enjoy.

The Allure of Shiny Stars

When most grownups hear about a fourteen year old stealing, they want to know why. They’re looking for a rational cause-and effect explanation that almost justifies a person’s actions. We always need a scapegoat, a bad influence that can be blamed. Often we’ll hear about how it was those rotten television shows or Jimmy the crack head from down the block that corrupted our innocent youth. Crusty old fingers have been pointed at rock music and smutty sitcoms for deflowering juveniles, brainwashing their previously precious minds to do evil. These finger pointers are well intended, but they fail to realize that not everything has an explanation. Sometimes natural disasters strike and people commit crimes for no reason. It has been more than four years since my first experience with theft, and I still don’t have any regrets.

The story goes like this.

My freshman year in high school I took Algebra One with one of my favorite teachers, Mr. McQuown. Mr. McQuown was a short, bald, volleyball coach who always talked very rapidly. He continually wore the same outfit: dress shoes, a polo shirt and blue jeans, held up with a brown leather belt. The classroom was decorated with motivational quotes, math charts, and, mostly, pictures of people playing volleyball. It was a feel-good family type of class filled with interesting characters and good times. Once we all turned the lights off and left early, leaving behind one slumbering student. I fondly remember Robert Higginson going to the front of the classroom to tally up how many times Mr. MacQuown said, “thanks,” to the class’s delight. (Mr. McQuown said “thanks” all the time. “Could you get off the table? Thanks.” “Could you start paying attention? Thanks.” “Could you stop yakking? Thanks.”) Many good people attended that class, too. Kyle Williams, a great chum of mine, would keep the class laughing. A few girls would update us all on makeup application techniques. Sarah, the chain-smoking pregnant pessimist, kept everybody grounded, with her reliable insults and negative comments.

So with the good people, excellent teacher, enjoyable atmosphere, why did I end up looting the teacher’s desk? Refrain: ‘Cause I felt like it. Sometimes there are no reasons.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. There was a reason I wanted to have all those stickers- although it definitely wasn’t an important enough reason to justify theft, and it most certainly wasn’t an important enough reason to satisfy my parents and church leaders. But these stickers were no ordinary stickers. If they were ordinary, they wouldn’t have interested me, since I was never much of a sticker fan. These were small, shiny stars the teacher put on your homework assignments if you got a ten, equivalent to 100%. Back when I was a freshman, I was a hardworking A-student, who prided myself on high marks. So, as immature as it might sound, I wanted those stickers really bad! It meant that I was a good student and that, although I would never say it out loud, I was a little bit better than the students who didn’t get stars on their homework. I liked those stickers so much that I started saving them and sticking them on the inside pocket of my math folder. The stars started piling up like war medals, pinned on the uniform of a general. Each star represented the story of studying, calculating, thinking, writing, working, and, most importantly, the story of a perfect homework assignment.

The more stickers I acquired, the prouder I became. I stuck my chest out further, held my head higher, and laughed at the less-skilled students struggling with their simple binomials and polynomials. Now I was an Algebra One math whiz with the stickers to prove it! The teacher liked me, my peers liked me, and I think that even the math problems liked me. I was the King of Graphing Inequalities, the Eagle Scout of Equations, and the Five-Star General of Formulas. Everyone knew it. I’m surprised the local paper didn’t do a story on me. People looked at me strutting down the halls and said, “There goes the best Algebra One student that this town has ever seen.”

Through the stickers, I could show others and myself how good of a mathematician I was. What I lacked in sports skills and fashion I made up for in star stickers. Soon I began to gauge my own self-worth by the number of seals glittering from the inside pocket of my math folder. My self-esteem was a colossus on the outside, but inside it hinged on my daily dosage of those flashy blue medals. Every time I got less that a perfect ten, and therefore no star, I cried myself to sleep. Where did I go wrong? Was I getting too cocky? Was I slipping? Well, I did know one thing: I was the champion, and no little smart aleck pip-squeak underdog was going to rob me of my title! No one would even come close to the number of stars I had hoarded away in my secret stash!

Eventually, my burning obsession for those shiny badges surpassed my desire to do well on my homework. The stickers were primary, leaving the scores to be secondary. Those stars plagued me like an addiction, and I needed my fix. I lost interest in video games, arts, crafts, and hygiene. Like a heroin junkie, all I cared about was getting more. So I decided to steal.

Of course, I had always been taught otherwise. The eighth commandment is, “Thou shalt not steal.” But then again, they didn’t have shiny star stickers in the Old Testament days. If they did, who knows? – We might only have nine commandments.

The opportunity to carry out my dastardly scheme came during a chess club meeting, which was conveniently held in Mr. McQuown’s classroom at lunchtime. My chess-playing friends and I frequently met there to challenge each other to matches of the classic board game. One fateful lunchtime while playing chess, my mind drifted from strategically positioning my pieces to the stickers waiting for me in Mr McQuown’s desk. After my match was finished, I quietly walked up to the treasure chest, gingerly sneaking up to the top middle drawer, where the riches were hiding. My chess mates were consumed with the games they were playing, not knowing what cunning thoughts were running through my devious brain.

I was behind the desk. My armpits started trickling with sweat. Carefully, I opened the drawer. In awe, I stared at the mother lode that was revealed.

Just as I was about to snatch the prize, an angel appeared, floating slightly above my right shoulder.

“Stop, Telemoonfa!” shouted the angel. “Remember what you’ve been taught since you were a baby? Stealing is wrong. You shouldn’t do this!”

I stopped for a second. Would I regret this later? Just then a demon materialized, crouching on my left shoulder.

“Ah, come on, Telemoonfa. Don’t listen to that namby-pamby angel, steal the stickers! It’s not like you’re stealing a TV or anything. I mean, come on, man, these are just a few stickers. You know you want them,” the demon said.

The angel jabbered on and on about sin and punishment, but I stopped listening. I grabbed the stickers, stuck them in my pocket, and rapidly fled from the scene of the crime. The deed was done.

That night, with my bedroom door locked and the shades drawn, I sat hunched over my newly acquired stickers and my math folder. I systematically removed each star from the sheet and criminally placed them on the inside pocket, camouflaging them with the legitimate stickers. With each passing placement, I cackled harder. The mad scientist had created his monster with stolen parts.

Now this is the part where I’m supposed to say that I felt bad, confessed, apologized, and returned the stickers to their rightful owner. I’m supposed to tell the audience that I learned my lesson and that I will never do it again. Then I’m supposed to offer everyone a moral, a plea, begging readers to shun the road of sin because it only leads to misery and punishment. That’s what any decent law-abiding, God-fearing writer would do.

But the fact of the matter is that I was never caught, and therefore, never reprimanded. Was it wrong? Was it bad? Would my mother have shaken her finger at me if she had known? Technically, yes, but none of that really mattered to me at the time. And honestly, it still doesn’t matter to me. I recognize that my craving for those sparkling little symbols of success overshadowed my sense of right and wrong, but I don’t regret doing it. Call me misguided or call me a heathen, but when I stole those stickers I got a thick, wet taste of the same feeling that drives convicts to rob and assault, and I think I liked it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Prose from High School

I was looking through some of my old files the other day and I found some of my old writings from high school. It’s funny to see how I’ve changed since then. Here’s a speech I wrote and delivered at a variety show at my old high school. Enjoy.

My fellow high school students, friends, at the beginning of this year, I was planning on running for student body president. I thought, “Yeah, me, president.” But then I thought, “The only reason I want to be president is to be called ‘president,’ the title, the name, the authority and superiority that demands respect and awe. But I didn’t really want to do all the things that a president has to do.”

That is why I suggest I be your… Grand High Death General!

As Grand High Death General I will personally see to it that everybody obeys my every command, that every one of my mere whims becomes law! You will be my servants. I will be your master, your leader, and your messiah! You will erect many temples in my honor! I will rule this school with an iron fist of power that’s really powerful and full of iron! You don’t have to vote for me. I’ll simply overthrow that flag-burning commie-spy you call a president with my legion of scary men! In a short time, I will be everything that matters to you! I will sit on my throne and crush you all with the heel of my boot! I am the Grand High Death General! The greatest person on the planet! Just remember, soon I will be in charge, as your Grand High Death General!


Apologies: First, I no longer throw around the term “flag-burning commie-spy.” It is very unlikely that you will ever meet a person who is: a) a communist, b) a flag-burner, and c) an actual spy. Second, I disapprove of mortal totalitarianism in all its forms.

In my files I also found this passionate thing I wrote. It’s sort of a speech, I guess, but I never delivered it. I’m pretty sure it was inspired by one of my favorite poems, When I Heard the Learned Astronomer, by Walt Whitman.

Hello science students. I am Mr. Brown, and I am quite an accomplished scientist myself. I understand that your class is learning about the solar system, space, and the stars. Here in the 21st Century, with all of our advanced technology and more intelligent ways of looking at things, we know all about the stars. The stars are no longer the mysterious anomalies they once were.

But imagine you are a caveman living in 6000 BC. You have hunted a buffalo or wildebeest all day without any luck. You are tired, hungry, and simple-minded. Your feeble brain could never grasp the concept of a telephone or an automobile, and to you, the stars are a complete closed book. You have no way of telling how close they are or how big they are or how much heat they emit. You walk many miles back to your humble campsite as the prehistoric sun falls over the untouched mountain range fading in the distance. You trudge over the cold ground until the stark blackness surrounds you. Then you realize that you have lost your way and decide to stay there for the night. So you lay down on the ground and try to cover up with some leaves nearby. Then your eyes wander up to the heavens where the tiny white dots hang in the vast abyss of the night. You stare at the mesmerizing twinkling of the mystical unmapped stars in wonder and your uncivilized primitive mind perceives them as awe-inspiring and beautiful.

How simple these cavemen were! Here in the 21st Century, thanks to all the scientific advances that have been made, we know that there is nothing magical about the stars. They are not mystical or mysterious, and to the intelligent and educated, stars do not inspire awe. Stars are simply large celestial bodies composed of gravitationally contained hot gasses emitting electromagnetic radiation, especially light, as a result of nuclear reactions inside the star.

And so, my students of science, I implore you to continue your study of stars with the aide of your textbook and your science teacher. Thank you for this visit.

Apology: All the astronomers I’ve talked to are awed by the stars and don’t feel like they’ve figured the stars all out. I doubt that there are many Mr. Brown type astronomers out there.

Here is an article I wrote for a newspaper class that I was in my senior year of high school. Oh man, I was such a bad student then. I was so bad I actually got kicked out of the class. I guess I was an angry teenager.

It has taken the life of my sister. It has scarred many others, destroying their brain matter, and it’s spreading like wildfire.

Originally spawned from Kentucky, it has moved outward, systematically conquering approximately a third of the planet. It especially targets the little towns, the small, pleasant communities.

But it’s not far away in some tropical rainforest. It has even infested Sahuarita, the place we all call home.


What am I talking about? A disease? Some deadly new virus? No, I speak of something far worse…

I speak of Wal-Mart!

You might be asking yourself, “What have you got against Wal-Mart? Why is Wal-Mart so bad?

Well I’ll you why Wal-Mart is bad!

Wal-Mart has no union. Therefore, they can treat their employees like dirt and get away with it.

Wal-Mart is so enormously humungous, it’s sickening. There’s millions in America, but Wal-Mart is widespread across the globe. I heard that about two years ago they bought the third largest department store chain in Europe. They’re in over 16 countries!! It’s insane!!

This morning in government class, I learned that S. Robson Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, is the 17th richest man in America. They’re making bookoo bucks while their brainwashed employees go on living off of Ramen Noodles and cheap booze.

Once, I saw these three little girls in blue Wal-Mart vests, getting a tour of the store. It was very disturbing. They’re brainwashing the children early! They go after the small and weak ones!

While I was in the toy section, I was appalled and frightened when my eyes fell upon a toy electronic cash register. Now, the average Joe might see it, walk along, and think, “What’ll they think of next?” and then pass by.

But I, and everyone else whose eyes are open, stare at it and cringe. An electronic cash register!! Do you know what this means? They’re training the kids early on to be cashiers at Wal-Mart!

Another thing, you know those scanning machine things that you use to scan the bar code of an item and get the price? Sure, it may seem like a new convenience, but it’s actually a conspiracy! They’re training you to scan items as a Wal-Mart employee!!

Please, I beg you, for the sake of Planet Earth, stop shopping at Wal-Mart!!

It’s evil and scary and taking over the planet!! Twenty years from now, we’ll all be living and shopping at Wal-Mart with bar codes branded onto our foreheads.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you!


Corrections and Apologies: First off, this article has way too many exclamation marks. Wal-Mart started in Arkansas, not Kentucky. There are not millions of Wal-Mart stores in America. The founder of Wal-Mart is Sam Walton, not S. Robson Walton. If anybody reading this shops or works at Wal-Mart, I apologize. Let me clarify my position. I now respect, admire and patronize Wal-Mart. I even worked there for a summer as an overnight stocker and actually enjoyed the job. Another thing: I really really think that “bookoo” or some variant of it, is a word, and it just means “a lot.” But apparently Microsoft Word doesn’t think it’s a word, and I don’t feel like looking it up in the dictionary.

OK, that’s enough for this entry. See you later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Technology, the Amish, and Wal-Mart

It seems that nowadays everything that can be automated will be automated. Computers are everywhere. Technology marches on.

I just hope that we will use the powers of technology wisely. If we don't use our powers properly, we'll probably enter a brave new world. (psssssst. Brave New World is a novel by Aldous Huxley about a nightmarish future in which technology is used very very badly.)

Sometimes I have a great respect for the Amish, and sometimes I think they're buffoons. I respect them when I think about how they've managed to keep their values relatively secure even in the face of so much modernity. I think they're buffoons when I think about how many more quilts they could make if they just started using computers and robots like everybody else.

Sometimes I have great respect for Wal-Mart, and sometimes I think they're soulless. I respect them when I marvel at how efficient and economical and successful they are. I think they're soulless when I think about how un-poetic they are.

Moral of this blog post, dramatically put: use technology wisely, or else the world will explode!

Mitt Romney, the Ocean, and Science

Hello readers. I hoped you liked the poetry. That was pretty much all my good poetry. I think I have some more somewhere, but if I don't find it I'll just have to write some more good ones to put on here. I have some good essays and miscellaneous writings that I plan to put on here in the future. But for now, it's time to whine about politics.

I was pretty bummed this morning when I found out how poorly Mitt Romney did yesterday, on Super Tuesday. All I can say is that I voted for him. Now if anything goes wrong during the next administration, I can say, "If Mitt Romney was the President, that wouldn’t have happened." But hey, you know what they say: you win some; you lose some.

Wicked soundtrack. Decorating. Academics. These are some of the things I could talk about. These could all be subjects for another blog post. But today I think I will focus on... the ocean.

The ocean is a very deep subject.

It's mysterious. The Titanic is down there. And giant squids are down there, too. And little creatures that look like a discarded hunk of glow-in-the-dark spaghetti are down there, excreting bright orange fluid. And those plants that look like human hands waving back and forth with spotlights for fingertips- those things are down there, too, probably eating microscopic algae stuff. Hmmmm… the ocean… there’s lots of stuff down there…

I read part of the introduction to a book the other day titled, "A Short History of Nearly Everything." by Bill Bryson. It was a really well written book on science intended for the common literate person rather than a scientist. It said something really interesting. It said, as far as I can remember, "If you could slowly pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would end up with a fine pile of atoms, none of which were ever alive, and yet all those atoms put together made you."

Strange, huh? Isn’t it weird to think that you’re made up of atoms and molecules? Have you ever seen molecules? I haven’t, but I've been told in science class that molecules consist of tinker-toy-looking-things, multi-colored balls and sticks, that break apart and swirl around and come back together. Strange to think that I, Telemoonfa, a being who is capable of feeling love, am made up of molecules. I thought I was cooler than that. I thought I was so cool, in fact, that I couldn’t be reduced to that level. I thought I was something more than a bunch of atoms that stick together for some scientific reason.

Speaking of science, I think my poems “A Botanist’s Love Poem” and “Mind the Boys you Date, Kathy…” are about the struggle between scientific thinking and emotional thinking. Let me explain.

“A Botanist’s Love Poem” is a silly poem, sure, but I would also like to think that it’s about a scientist attempting to figure out and express love. Funnily for us and sadly for him, his attempt just comes out wacky.

The speaker starts out in a stereotypical way by comparing a woman to a flower. It’s a nice start. Romantic poets have started this way before. After the initial simile, though, the speaker could have written about the grace and beauty of a flower, or the sweet fragrance emitting from both the flower and the lady, but instead he gets bogged down in the nuts and bolts. He focuses on the underlying systems that make a flower a flower. He focuses on the harsh reality of atoms and of molecules. He uses scientific terms, like, “stamen” and “calyx” and then once he uses those terms, he’s fascinated with them. He loves the meaning behind them. He loves the formulas and numeric tables that support their existence, that explain the nature of a flower, the invisible makeup of stem and leaf and petal. He writes about the underlying reasons, rather than the mysterious, unknowable beauty of a flower. Thus the poem becomes un-poetic. It becomes silly prose. Although, keep in mind that the botanist didn’t intend the poem to be silly. “A Botanist’s Love Poem” is a real attempt at love poetry. Maybe the speaker of the poem even thought that the object of his affection would be swayed by an injunction of science. Unfortunately, though, for our botanist, we may safely assume that the woman he was trying to flatter, upon the reception of this poem, laughed rather than blushed. But we who appreciate beauty, and we who write poems, know why this poem failed as a love poem. We feel and intuitively understand that no woman would be wooed by such an attempt as the botanist’s. We feel and intuitively understand that love poetry sounds more like Song of Myself and less like an encyclopedia entry on flowers.

Moving on to “Mind the Boys you Date, Kathy…” the speaker talks about his “certainty measuring instrument.” He fancies that he has some sort of machine that can measure his love. He keeps referring to the results of this instrument to prove his love. A more romantic man would have slain a dragon or dug ditches to earn money to buy an engagement ring, instead of referring to some supposedly scientifically sound love-rating machine.

(For more information on the clash between poems and scientific reports, I refer you to a fantastic book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. I also refer you to my previous blog post, "Art Cannot Scientifically Be Known.")

To return to my previous thoughts about me being reduced to atoms, I've thought about it, and I have decided that I am more than the sum of my atomic and molecular parts. I am a soul. The whole of what I call “I” is something that science will never understand. (Mortal science, anyway. I cannot comment on the science which is practiced by angels.)

I mentioned my previous blog post, "Art Cannot Scientifically Be Known." A comment on that essay here would be fitting. When I started that essay, I thought that I would title it, “God and Art Cannot Scientifically Be Known." I thought that I would explain how God, by definition, is out of the realm of scientific knowledge. But I started writing and I wrote so much good stuff about art that I thought I would just stick to art. Also, I thought that since I entered that essay into a writing contest sponsored by a secular, public university, it would be safe to stay away from the topic of religion. But in my conclusion of that essay, I mentioned alternative methods for figuring out the world, like intuition and faith-based systems. What I meant by “faith-based systems” was religion, basically.

OK. I went from talking about my poetry on Telemoonfa Time, to Mitt Romney, to the ocean, to a topic that often seems to occupy my mind, the relationship between science and just about everything else. That was just to sum up. Take care.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dr. Crazy's Mad Lab of Misfit Animals and other poems

Tell Me Mr. Owl, How Does Nature Operate?

Hey there, Mr. Owl,
what are you thinking about?
Are you thinking about me?
Well I’m thinking about you.
I’m thinking that you’re smart,
and I’m thinking that you’re wise.

I’m thinking that you’re thinking
about that butterfly, how he’s born,
how he lives, and, eventually, how he dies.

I’m thinking that you’re thinking
about the mysteries of the earth,
like how a rhino’s feet can
support the weight of his girth.

Or how a swarm of bees knows
how to get their pollen from lilacs,
tulips, and roses that have fallen.

So tell me Mr. Owl,
Do you know the answers?
Can you solve the nature’s puzzle?

Maybe you can connect the pieces,
but don’t want the answer to show,
because I’m little, and small,
and not ready to know.


Just Entertain Me

All I want is to be entertained,
not bullied, bothered, severely caned,
not annoyed, upset, or frustrated,
not flustered, not angered, not get my personality rated,
not beaten, not riled, not made into juice,
not executed, not burnt, not eaten by a goose.
So just entertain me.
Don’t make me study a bee.
I don’t care about that.
Just pull a white rabbit out of your hat
or turn a beautiful lady into a tiger
or show me a 14-legged spider,
but don’t bug me with math problems or dumb things like those.
Just show me a man with disfigured toes.
Turn on the TV, or the radio,
or build me a castle out of snow,
but just entertain me!


To Be Read by a Mystical Sunflower, with a Soothing Female Voice

Grasp on to your sense data and put it in your mouth.
Let it dissolve on your tongue and slip gently down down down into your soul.
Your sense data weaves around the obstacles until it fills fills fills your center.
Feel it… feel it… feel it…
Yes, you’re getting there… closer…
Yes… yes… feel it… feel it…
Two steps forward
One step back
Feel it…
Do you understand now?
Rinse, cycle, repeat.
The light mist deluges out and is sifted sifted sifted into motion… movement… consciousness awakening and our souls being drawn to the maple leaves lying softly on the forest floor…


TV

I fiddle with dials,
on my TV,
for my favorite show, the X-files.
I look at my clock,
on my big wall
I realize I missed Star Trek with Spock.
And to my dismay,
I think right then,
What about Whose Line is it Anyway?
I want to watch Bart
on the Simpsons
as I let out a big stinky fart.


Dr. Crazy’s Mad Lab of Misfit Animals

“Quack!” quacks the flaming flea.
“Bark!” barks the damaged dragon.
“Meow!” meows the gory goldfish.

MEOW DA QUACK PA BARK QUACK BA BARK MEOW BARK MEOW LA QUACK

Dr. Crazy pulls his hair, stabs a bear, flips a chair, SCREAMS,
“Noise noise noise- I can’t take the noise!
The noise the noise the noise-
I’ll stop the noise!
Slickity slickity slickity slice,
how do you like that little taste of my spice?”

“Groan,” groans the flea.
“Ouch,” ouches the dragon.
“Gargle,” gargles the goldfish.

Then… amidst the death,
The doctor mutters ‘neath his breath,
“Now it’s true, what I, the Mister Doctor said,
‘No more four-armed, flames-spitting, purple-eyed monkeys jumping on the bed!’”

Walking to the Gas Station to Get Chocolate and other poems


Walking to the Gas Station to Get Chocolate

I’m barefoot. The sidewalk’s hot.
I watch for broken glass and bird crap.
Sidewalk’s over and it’s dirt and grass for a bit.
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m barefoot.
I have shoes; they’re at my apartment.
But when I was a kid I didn’t wear shoes much.

How like a dog I was,
Sniffing at things and looking at things
and trotting.

I’m at the gas station now.
The man behind the counter is enormous
and counting money.


Highway 45, West Virginia, November 12th, 1987

I was minding my own business when
Jasper came along and
pushed me some.
Ended up I knocked him smack up against the head with this crowbar I had in my truck.
Looked like he was gonna die.
I done some things,
But I never killed a man.
So I went to a house nearby,
they called the cops and
I went home.

Jasper won’t snitch.
Jasper’s my buddy.


Happiness

Sausage, grease still on and hot,
cheddar cheese,
chopped tomatoes,
drippy red salsa,
chunks of mushrooms,
cold white sour cream,
avocado, sliced, not mashed,
wrapped in a warm thick tan tortilla,
put in my tired hands
by my son.

We’re on the porch.
It’s a nice night in July.


The Movie I Thought Up Last Night

It’s a comedy called Jack and Arnold about this loser
postcard salesman who goes to a petting
zoo one day and finds a talking goat, Arnold.

Jack buys Arnold and they have a bunch of
adventures together. Arnold bakes a cake.

Arnold eats the neighbor’s prize-winning flowers
and the neighbor gets mad. Jack is dating this ugly
lady named Popolou just for her money and
Arnold seduces her even though he doesn’t really
love her and a big romance debacle ensues.

Arnold gets hypnotized to try to figure out how
he got turned into a goat. (It turns out he was
bitten by a scientist-vampire goat.) Jack
and Arnold almost go to church.


Me vs. Tom Waits, My Favorite Musician

Tom Waits is cool in his picture,
the fingers hiding part of the mouth,
the pinky inserted,
fog behind the head.

He must have grown up cool,
in the exact center of a gigantic city,
with late-night early-morning
musicians, philosophers,
gamblers, smoke and bongo drums.

But I have my own self-soul,
and you have yours.

I am not Tom Waits.
I am less photogenic and
I don’t even play the triangle.

I grew up in the outskirts of
a small town, loaded with trees.

Here are some more poems from my old notebook. Enjoy.

Upon the Absence of My Girlfriend

She went yesterday to gather flowers
I stayed here to name the animals
She is on top of the hill
I am beside the stream

Soon she will return
She will tell me of tulips and periwinkles
I will tell her of sparrows and turtles


Pilgrimage

I walked through rocks just to get to this place,
pulled back weeds, talked to myself, slept cold.
I killed animals, too.

The stream will not tell me her secrets.
I put my stomach to the ground and clench dirt.


How I’ll Get Into Northern Arizona University

I’ll march up to the admissions office,
kick in the door and yell,
“Hey I’m smart! Hey I’m talented!
Hey I’m a fun guy to have around!
Look at me smile!”

Then the old-lady-receptionist will rise,
shake pom-poms and sing the school’s
alma mater: “Oh lumberjack, dear lumberjack…”
while highly trained chimpanzees give me
my class schedule, a campus map, my
dorm key, a shining and glowing everlasting
meal ticket, and 57 grand.

I will then say to the monkeys,
“You are to me like angels,
my little chimpanzee friends.”


Hooler Stooler Quiffer Yiff

Mom said do my homework
Mom said put on makeup
Mom said eat the vegetables
But that stuff makes me say,

"I don’t need to do my homework because in my pocket I have gum!
I don’t need to put on makeup because in the closet there are bricks!
I don’t need to eat the vegetables because in the backyard is my dog!"

And this stuff makes me yell,

My gum and my bricks and my dog, crash!
My gum and my bricks and my dog, yeah!
My gum and my bricks and my dog, crash!


I will not go to the dentist!
I will not go to the store!
I will not go to the store because I don’t want to smell the cantaloupes and wave at people and add three dollars and fifty-two cents and one dollar and thirty-nine cents together! And I don’t want to give the nice man the money so he can give me the things and then we can go home and then we can use the things! I will not even use the things anyway!

You know what I say about this?

My gum and my bricks and my dog, crash!
My gum and my bricks and my dog, yeah!
My gum and my bricks and my dog, crash!


Upon Snacking

Hmmmm… this taste doth not taste like it tasted before
Wherefore?
Did my teeth, throat, tongue, or cheek change,
Or did the taste of the taste change?

What is reality?
Taste then or taste now?
Methinks clocks distinguish neither time from time nor taste from taste,
Nevertheless howsoever I distinguish time from time,
And you do it too.

What- brains contradicting reality? Forsooth!

For do we not shackle lunatics
Set clocks and
Keep dinner appointments?

Therefore returning to this new taste,
I will not call it new;
I will taste the new taste gladly
And I will privately persistently silently taste new tastes.


Alawhutiest-Woo Really Isn’t That Woo

Swiffer liffer quiffer sap
Yiffer quiff
Click expression click mad click click click click
Swiff-loooooo. Swiff-loooooo.
Feelings of stupnoscity youpern swiff dun alawhut.

But yiff and luuuuhh and impusible
Makes it all swidersnappen and hapnacious,
Warming hearts and millaqwulming snoopens.


In Defense of Personal Pronouns

There are pronouns aplenty
like ‘they’ and ‘we’ and ‘she,’
but the only ones that I prefer
are ‘I’ and ‘my’ and ‘me’

Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself.”
E. E. Cummings said, “Since Feeling is First”
I said, “Me me I my myself Telemoonfa”
My wimper is correct-
My haloo is correct-
My fit of madness is rational.
I see subjectively,
I hear subjectively,
and Subjectivity is my reward.
For examples,
I was walking down my street when I heard a car alarm honking.
I was annoyed.
I was sitting in my house when I saw my favorite television program.
I was pleased.
And who does otherwise?
Who among you feigns objectivity?
On guard, you backbiter, you charlatan, you hater of your own flesh-
Debunk my skin-
Refute my tongue-
Argue with my nose if you feel so daring.
Come on you politician, you media spokesperson, you professor of popular opinion,
Come at me and I will scream at you:
Me me I my myself Telemoonfa!
Me me I my myself Telemoonfa!
Me me I my myself Telemoonfa!



Pencils Just Fall, and That is All

As I heard my teacher talking,
I dropped my pencil, accidentally,
I picked it up, and
put it back on my desk.
It fell again.
I picked it up again.
Semesters passed. I graduated.


My Fork is Useful

It scoots, pokes, divides, prods, sticks, stabs, and impales
my food.
my food, which, to fit my mouth, must change.

Let us take an egg.
To eat pleasurably, I remove the shell with
a quick smack on the countertop edge.
I pour her innards on the oily hot skillet
and grin as the embryo fries.

Think of me not as bestial.
You eat, and
you own forks.


Lines On My Very Private Infinite Moroseness Within My Own Introspective Depressing Musings

Blinking, yes, even ordinary blinking,
Reminds me of closing my eyes slowly-
down and unfortunately up.

Slowly closing my eyes reminds me of
leaving them shut longer, nightly.

Sleeping reminds me of death.

I blink profusely, you happy idiot.


The Thirteenth President of the United States of America

Zachary Taylor snuck into my dream,
crouched in the corner,
and commenced the recitation of the Declaration of Independence
“We, the Americans, in order to spread some common good and we want public tranquilizers, too, do hereby publish this Manifestation of Independence for America and say to King George the Second: stop it.”

Zachary Taylor then approached me with candy.
I ate the candy.
Much munch munch.

“I like this dream,” I think,
“It’s about history!”

Poems by Me, From a While Back

I have a notebook with a lot of my old poems in it. If I lost the notebook, all those poems would be gone. In an attempt to preserve some of my poems, I decided to type them into my blog, Telemoonfa Time. So, here are some more of my poems for my posterity's sake. On second thought, these poems are for anybody.

Mind the Boys You Date, Kathy; They Better Not Be Quackos: A Motherly Lecture for Dating Couples on Manipulation, in the Form of a Letter From a Man to His Honey, Which He Has Entitled To My Love, Who Hates Feeding Ducks.

My love, I love you.
I love you so much,
and I’m certain that I love you.
My love for you surpasses boundaries,
and I know that it surpasses boundaries.
My love for you engulfs me,
and I know that it engulfs me.
I’m 100% absolutely totally completely sure
that I love you, my love.
My certainty measuring instrument has maxxed out, my love, it cannot possibly physically proceed to the next notch of advancement, because there is no next notch of advancement; I’ve reached the last notch on my certainty measuring instrument!
That’s how sure I am, you hear me?! That’s how sure I am!

Now lets go feed ducks, or I’ll call the cops on you for that thing you did the other day.


1 Samuel 16:7

My sister says I’m ugly.
She says I’m stupid too,
But we will see on Judgment Day
What Jesus Christ will do.


TGIF

My body is a temple,
So I will treat it right.
All the time I will be chaste
(Except for Friday night).


The Solemn Responsibilities of Motherhood

My mother made me jeans.
It took her a few hours,
While I was outside playing
Among the purple flowers.


Excellent Poetry Dude!

Robert Frost was inspired when he wrote about taking the road less traveled by.
I wasn’t when I wrote this.


Life’s Really Really Really Important Choices

I’m writing with ink
that I found in the sink;
It was black and thick and heavy.
Black as a… uh,
Thick like a… uh,
Heavier than a… uh,
Maybe I should just write in pencil.


The Coach's Midlife Crisis

Jimmy bounce your basketball
Bounce it good for me
Show your father right away
How good your skills can be
He’s paid for you to practice here
He’s paid for you to learn
So I suggest you show the goods
Or frankly, kid, you’ll burn!
I’ll throw you on a pile of sticks
I’ll add some gasoline
I’ll do it yeah yeah I’ll do it don’t make me do it try me try me just see just see see if I’ll do it come on I dare you try it don’t bounce it don’t bounce it at all see what happens, Jimmy, see what happens.


What Tiffany Says When She’s Not Thinking about Starvation in Ethiopia

"I do wish they would make a pink M&M with a blue stripe around the middle.
I’m simply exhausted from eating plain ones everyday.”


Second Pillow Lying on Blue, Number Seventeen

Pillow, Pillow,
Soft and white
Pillow Pillow,
Start a fight
Pillow, Pillow,
Feathers fly
Pillow, Pillow,
Mix with the sky


Weapons in Times of Peace

This guy I met once had a big sword.
Boy it was big.

If I had one, I’d stand in front of the mirror and hold it up, act like a ninja or a samurai, and look in the mirror at the reflection of me holding my sword up.

Then I’d put it in the closet.


On the Remains of an Automobile

Rusty pale blue Oldsmobile-
Defunct and debunked.
No tires, no engine, no vitality-
Titled, jilted, stilted, wilted,
Something murdered it, so now it’s killted.


Sprinkler Spray

Water water wat
Like sprinkle sprinkle sprink
Drenchy drenchy drench drench
Misty misty mist mist wet wet wet

Dropple dropple drop
Like rainy rainy rain
Funny funny fun fun
Saturated saturated soaked soaked soaked


A Botanist’s Love Poem

You are like a flower, my love,
A beautiful flower that smells nice.

I love your petals and
I love your stem and
I even love the soil you are planted in.

I love your calyx, made with a number of sepals that protect your flower bud before blooming.
I love your terminal branch consisting of a modified stem, the floral axis with its one to four types of specialized appendages, or modified leaves usually arranged in circles.

Plus your pistil and stamen are pretty.


Yip Yip Sparkly Unicorn

One day I found
a unicorn on a pink
path of sparkles. The unicorn
twirled and gave me an ice cream
cone with sprinkles on it!
I adjusted my fuzzy red
hat and said,
“Thanks buddy!”


Faith

Think of what we seal in envelopes,
Invitations, birthday cards, love letters,
And send through the mail,
handled by postal workers, organized and shipped.
Hoping all arrives safely.

Think of what we pray,
Thanksgivings, confessions, pleadings,
And send through the atmosphere,
Handled by angels, lifted and delivered.
Hoping all arrives safely.


Sitting beside a good friend,

I notice what he wears-
Jeans, polo shirt, a gray sweater.

Then I see his watch-
Steel, mechanical, tightly attached to his wrist.

The watch is not a leash;
It is the rod in the outstretched hand of Moses.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Sword of Laban and Other Poems

The Sword of Laban

It's sharp and shiny
It's big and heavy
and the workmanship
thereof is exceedingly fine.
It's long and ready
It's cool and steady-
Oh man I want the sword of Laban.

The Snoopy Preacher's Sermon

You! You there!
You're a sinner!
You've grievously sinned and sinned some more and I bet you like to sin, don't you?!
I saw you sin!
Yeah, yeah, I saw you do it!
I saw you sinning and I caught you doing it!
Thus ends my sermon, you filthy sinner!

Punctuation- Gone Awry!

Brackets Periods Question and Exclamation
Marks Dashes Semi-Colons
Colons ExtraColons Confused Marks Underlinings Dots
Semi-Slash Smiley Face Frowny Face Spot
Spot Spot Spot Spot Spot Spot Spot Glyph-
Spot Glyph-Spot Glyph-Spot Glyph-Attack

Rocks Painted and Unpainted

Three rocks were painted,
But four rocks were plain.
Three flowers grew mightily,
But four flowers had no life.
I observed them all and grew to love seven more rocks and seven more flowers.

Hollywood, Between Comments about Hollywood.

Most of the stuff Hollywood makes is trash anyway.
Hollywood.
Kids nowadays think however Hollywood says life oughta be, that’s the way life oughta be, but that isn’t right.

Snapping Branch, Hiding Spider

Ouch that branch snapped!
Where’d that spider go?

Scrambled Eggs or Fried: An Experiment with the Doctrine of Predestination

What would you like today, self?
Some cereal, fruit, or pancakes?

101 Fantastically Wacky Things You Can Do With String!!!

1) Tie 100 knots.
2) Tie one more.

Sporty Sport of Sport

Sport this sport, junior!
Catch and throw now jab-
Sporty summersault, you sport!
Summersault summersault sporty
Sporty now switch it up now yes sport
Sportatious- Sportatious- Sportalicious!
Now hit it all up like a sportsman, junior
Baseball basketball football now yes sport
Sport sport sport sport junior! junior! junior!

Sprinkle-Rain

Rainy-rainy rain rain
sprinkaling sprinkaling sprinkaling all about
tapping on the ground
tapping on the dirt
tapping on my umbrella.
Thin rain thin rain
really really thin rain
misty almost
yes misty almost
mistaling mistaling mistaling, all about
misting on the groundmisting on the dirtmisting on my umbrella.

One Afternoon Lot Was in Sodom, and His Righteous Reflections, In Poetic Form, Were Thus:

Thin rain is misty.
It mists up the air,
Comes down on my hair,
within without witheverywhere
thin rain is prevalent.
It fills up the space
and moistens my face
within without witheveryplace.
Thin rain is sin.

Sure, Somebody Else May Have Written it, But I Have Applied an Essence of Poetry To It

This pack is

part

of a multi-pack

and is not labeled for individual retail sale.

Party Doors

There are two doors to this house.
One big, one small.
What are they for?
They are for a double party entrance when you are playing a monster double-guitar,
Chavez!
And the guitar is electric, Chavez, the guitar is electric!