Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Missed The Point And I Built A Machine

We Missed The Point and I Built A Machine.

It’s a lot like when we said
We miss you, we love you, we hate you, we forgot you

It’s a lot like when we started
Saying “we” instead of “I”

Rube Goldberg taught me a lot
About life, the taking of life and living.
But I also took his class on explanation
So I never really got to the point, did I?

Someday I’ll figure out how to connect
Two seemingly unrelated things
Today’s not that day
A causal glance to the beginning
Proves this well enough. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Explanation of My Definitions.

It's come to my attention that I may have been using a certain word wrong. In a couple of my previous posts I've used the term Northern Americana. Now, I know I got the northern part right. I know this because I can look at a map and clearly see that where I live is north of most other places in the U.S. The word in question here is Americana. Now I've long understood the word to be an encompassing term to describe culture in America. But according to a few definitions I've read, Americana refers more to physical objects that are considered part of American culture. The things I've discussed haven't necessarily been physical, but definitely more intangible.

But, there is a discrepancy. I have also seen a few definitions that describe Americana as simply American Culture. So, while I may be wrong in using Americana, I may also be right. I'm banking on the latter.

Basically, what I'm trying to do with some of my blogs, specifically Important Lessons From The Country Cafe, is examine some of the enjoyable,sometimes questionable, but always acceptable things I see while living in the northern U.S. I personally believe that the things that I've mentioned and will mention are pieces of what might make living here unique and different.

I hope this clears some things up, if it really bothers you that I may (or may not) be using Americana wrong, I apologize. I just really like how it sounds.

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 3)

In case there was any doubts that the fall was over, the snow a couple nights ago should’ve put those to bed. It’s still hard for me to imagine a place that doesn’t have snow in December, even though I have friends who live in those places. I guess I’ll have to go and experience it for myself to fully convince myself. I know there’s some who seek out these places every year because the concept of enduring the cold for 3-4 months is hellish. I just don’t think I could ever be one of those people. Below zero temperatures and multiple feet of snow is something I believe is engrained within me. So regardless of how much I complain, I don’t think I could live without it. It’d be like complaining about the color of my eyes. But that hasn’t stopped me from observing and dissecting the coldest of seasons.

Winter is strange. It comes every year. But it still tends to shock a majority of us, but we never admit it. But that’s just a trait of Northern people. Instead of letting ourselves get wrapped up in the wonder of things, we seem to get angry at those who do. I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who drive well under the speed limit during the first snowfall but then yell at those who do the same thing after I’ve gotten used to it.

There’s another trait that northerners have that really shines during the winter and that’s the belief that we’re all psychics when it comes to the weather. Everyone has their own little theory. If it was a particularly dry summer, then the winter will come with a bountiful amount of snow and vice versa. If it’s blue skies and sunshine on Monday and Tuesday, then you can guarantee that Friday will bring a blizzard. Perhaps it’s just luck, or a game of odds, but all these predictions tend to come true at least once. That’s all it takes for these predictions to become fact.

There are a few other things related to winter that I intend to touch on later. But for now I’ll leave you with just once lesson that I’ve just recently learned.

Lesson #1: A good server will insult you. In fact, they will say things that would warrant a fight back on the playgrounds or in the bars. But if they are quick with a refill of coffee, then all is forgiven and encouraged.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In .9 Miles Send Me Off A Cliff

In .9 Miles Send Me Off A Cliff

Guide me to the light
And I will faithfully follow
Speak to me without a hint of life
And I will gladly give breath away

Accurately reveal the turns ahead
And I will close my rumored eyes
Utter the legend of a home
And there I will reside

Scold me for my disobedience
And I will weep onto the dash
Calmly correct my mistakes
And I will erase what’s left of my pride

Turn angry and sentient
And I will promise to be unaware
Guide me into the sky
And I will swerve where no road exists. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

And Only The Song Ever Talked About Dying

It’s dead now.
You may have believed
That it had finished over a year ago
But for the first time in your prophetic life
You were wrong.

In a strange and wholly enjoyable turn of events
I came to the realization
That I could strip away the dead weight
Of my perceived mistakes and long list of shortcomings
All it took was two 3 hour drives.

I still listen to that tune
In fact it’s one of my favorites
Just the other day I stopped inches from that downtown deadzone
And backed up a long line of people
Waiting for their turn at the red light.

I had to hear that song,
But this time it was to hear the background vocals
And not the frontman,
The one you said
You’d die to meet.

I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance
To tell you my new story
Of how I dodged my way through a labyrinth
Just to see that band


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 2)

When I think about the idea of Northern Americana (remember, there's still a difference) I can't help but think about how intricate the consumption of alcohol is to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that we're all a bunch of drunks or that the only unique thing about the northern midwest involves alcohol. But there is no denying the fact that alcohol in some sort of form makes it's way into many activities while also being an activity in itself.
The problem is, when it comes to alcohol there's always a price. Sometimes it's minor, sometimes it's massive, but there's always some sort of price to pay. For most people, like me, it's a hangover the next morning. Now what's fascinating to me about hangovers is the nearly endless list of remedies that people have put together over the years. For me, it's a plate of biscuits and gravy with a side of hashbrowns and cheese at the Country Cafe.
Even in my injured state I was able to take my seat, order my food, drink my hot chocolate (they were out of coffee) and learn a few things about the world.

Lesson #1: There's something oddly welcoming about an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #2: There's also nothing quite as depressing as an empty cafe on a cool rainy day.

Lesson #3: Regardless of the large windows that reveal a nice view of main street, questions about the weather will be thrown at you. This isn't because the people asking you are blind or oblivious, it's a test to see what kind of person you are.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Important Lessons From The Country Cafe. (Vol. 1)

I live in a one bedroom apartment with low ceilings, a leaky shower head, threadbare carpets and cracked cracked tiles. There isn't a lot of space for all my things, and I'm afraid of saying certain things too loudly due to the thinness of the walls. But, even in the face of these things I love my apartment for a few reasons, most importantly though is its proximity to a little local cafe.
The cafe is a typical slice of Northern Americana (there is a difference, just ask Garrison Keillor). The coffee is served incredibly hot, or just not quite hot enough. The food is good, but leaves you questioning your life decisions as you stare into the little pool of oil left behind. The decor is inviting at first, then as you finish your third cup of coffee it becomes confusing. The walls are pink with green trim, the wallpaper border is this rustic looking pattern of apples in a bucket. This is paired with multiple wooden signs depicting sliced, whole, and quartered apples. But there isn't a single item on the menu with apples in it. The servers are polite and demand politeness in return.
The clientele is the most fascinating though. The cafe serves a wide selection of people. The usual helping of senior citizens with strong opinions on just about everything. Factory workers just getting off their shifts. Construction workers in the summer, hunters in the fall and just a few people like me who have motives, other than eating, for being there. The patrons of this cherished small town establishment have taught me a few things as I eavesdropped on their conversations. I have held onto these lessons for awhile but now I wish to share them. Here is a few nuggets of wisdom that I heard today. More will come as I hear them.

Lesson #1: Wishful thinking is something all great men possess. Apparently seeing 14 deer, five of which are decent sized bucks and not taking a shot of any of them because you know that the biggest deer in the world is still out there speaks volumes about how strong your character is.

Lesson #2: Nicknames are earned. Once you have earned your nickname you will tell every person you meet your nickname and how you received this nickname. Upon telling your story to someone you have now qualified them to receive there own nickname someday unless they already have one, if this is the case you must listen to their story as a courtesy. This process can be repeated multiple times with the same person.

Lesson #3: If you drink your coffee with sugar, you are a pussy no question. Cream is okay, only if you use it in an attempt to support the local dairy farmers. I support the local dairy farmers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

These Drums Go Clink Clink

I can hear it coming for me,

A thundering chaos.

The heat of clashing shields and swords

Is growing closer.

I can remember the last time I watched it approach.

The sound of young lustful eyes

And veterans of love

Both forgetting their nature

In order to ensure

The sensation of a gentle touch

For just one more day.

I will never forget the guilt

That swelled as I watched the mayhem pass,

I mourned for every broken piece of glass

And wept at the burnt remains of habits discarded.

I can hear it coming for me,

An army is rising

And this time I will join the ranks

And fight against sobriety and inhibition.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Deeds of Devils and Angels:Chapter 1 (blog)

So here it is. The first chapter of my crime story. In this chapter I introduce the main character, Jackson Lark, as well as some of the other characters that will be running around the city of New Constantinople.
Also, I remembered this software that I used a long time ago from Issuu. They specialize in publishing magazines and journals online. Some of it is really cool, so go check it out. But anyways, I feel that the format they put files in works really well here. I personally can't stand reading prose in a blog. It's clunky and it's really easy to lose your place. So I hope this format here works a lot better.
If anyone has any problems with it, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
But anyways, here it is, the first chapter. Enjoy.

The Deeds of Devils and Angels: Chapter 1

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Deeds of Devils and Angels (blog)

Here it is. This is the beginning of a writing project that I'm hoping will consume most of my creative juices and time for a few months.

This is actually something that I started almost a year ago. It was originally designed to be a novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, look it up). Fortunately I didn't finish it back then. I say fortunately because I don't think a standard novel is the proper format for this.

Anyways, onto what this is exactly. This is going to be my attempt at writing a crime story with the old 1940s serials in mind. Those who are friends with me on facebook probably have noticed my recent obsession with Noir styled things. From movies to books. I'll admit that the recent resurgence of my interest in this genre was sparked by the video game L.A. Noire. I've already explained the reasons why I love this game on Facebook so I'll refrain from doing it here. That being said, this will hopefully become my contribution to that fascinating realm of fiction.

Now I know that a blog isn't necessarily the best format for this sort of thing. I'm hoping eventually that I'll have a website devoted to this, but at the moment I'm trying to focus on actually writing the story rather than working out the kinks in displaying it. I hope you understand. Speaking of plans, I'm planning on this being a weekly feature. A chapter a week until it's conclusion. Yes, this will have a conclusion, I won't even attempt to try and make this an ongoing thing.

Also, as a little disclaimer, in the interest of actually completing the chapters on time and releasing them on time, I've told myself that I'm going to keep editing down to a minimum. So if there's some grammatical errors, or some sections seem awkward, I apologize in advanced, I'm simply playing this with my characteristics in mind. And when I say that I mean my habit of self-editing myself until I've destroyed what I've written and then eventually scrapping the whole thing. So once again, to avoid this, editing will be kept to a minimum. Consider this a rough draft, who knows perhaps when I finish I'll go back, clean it up and then re-release it.

Alright then, Enjoy the little prologue. I promise next week, there will be a much more substantial chapter next week. Also, expect little blog posts to accompany each chapter where I'll discuss the behind-the-scenes and various other fun things. I hope to get some feedback from you guys as I write this little story.

The Deeds Of Devils and Angels: Prologue

The sun was an oppressive sort of friend. It offered up its light, only if a person was willing to sweat for it. It offered up its heat but only if a man was willing to burn a little for it. Most of the people in the city of New Constantinople were smart enough to keep their time in the morning sun short, but some were forced into it by their callings in life. Or at the very least, by the thing that paid that month’s bills. It was well known that the city had grown dangerous. The night was filled with deadly threats but it was the daytime that revealed the gruesome remains of those treacherous nights.

Two uniformed policemen, Gurrero and Jimenez, stood in the city’s central plaza. A large fountain depicting a trio of angels holding up a replica of the earth offered a little relief for the men. A cool mist floated through the air as water poured from the angel’s eyes into the pool below. The earth upon their hands blocked the sun for the cops. At the feet of the cops laid the rotund body of a well known police captain. No immediate signs of foul play, in fact, if it hadn’t been for a letter delivered to the police station before anyone arrived claiming responsibility for the death, there was nothing about the body that suggested murder. But as it stood, the once well respected captain of police would join the nineteen other bodies, each with their own letter, in the morgue.

The body faced the sky. The sun poured into its blank and lifeless stare. The mist from the fountain had fallen on the body for hours it looked. The grey uniform that was standard for high ranking police officers was nearing a shade of black. Water streamed slowly down the well earned wrinkles on the captain’s face. His lips were slightly parted as if they were frozen in an attempt to say something important.

“My God, it’s the captain all right.” Gurrero said, wiping sweat from his brow.

“I guess we better call it in to headquarters. I’m sure they’ll want a detective on this.” Jimenez said.

“Don’t bother. Just call the coroner, those second floor pencil pushers aren’t even bothering with this anymore.”

“What? Why not?”

“Orders straight from the top I heard.”

“The top? You mean Patricio?”

“That’s Father Patricio, but yeah, the word is he has some guy, an American, coming in sometime soon and he’s supposed to get all this squared away with.”

“You don’t say.”

“That’s right, I don’t say, keep your trap shut. Trust me on this one friend. Just do your paperwork, walk your beat and hopefully soon we won’t be having to deal with this shit anymore.”

The policemen nodded in agreement and began the formalities involved with dealing with a murder victim that would never see an investigation.

The night is a dangerous time in New Constantinople, full of hidden threats, sensationalized villains, and paranoia. But it’s the day that reveals the deeds of devils and angels.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Come To You Buying Gifts (Blog)

There's a strange and scary practice we do in Western Society that I'm becoming rather tired of. That is of course, the practice of picking up people. When I say picking up people I refer to the act of trying to get someone's attention in order to initiate a romantic relationship with them.
In some cultures, relationships are arranged and the people involved learn to like and love each other. But here it's reversed. We think we know how to love and like someone we just need to learn the person. Now I don't think I'd particularly care for the arranged relationship thing, but I can see how some would think the pros outweighed the cons. The things some people go through to pick up someone is really startling. We buy people drinks, we come up with clever things to say, we put ourselves on the line in hopes that that person will bite plus a ton of other things. It seems like a really complicated set of things we have to do in order to engage in something that's really complicated.
The biggest problem about the whole dance is that there aren't any set rules or processes. Every time you get out on that floor trying to find a partner it's different. A different place, a different person, different words, different everything. All you can do really is pray that you can piece together the right words, looks and gestures from a 100 gallon drum and hope you have the things you need to put together something successful.
Perhaps I'm just bitter about it all because I've never been particularly good at picking up women. I've had a few successes but a whole hell of a lot more failures. I'd be sent back to the minors if my success rate was my batting average. Sometimes I think that little kids got it right. If you like someone, push them down and kick dirt on them. That'd be so much easier.

I Come To You Buying Gifts

A pack of gum
that shall remain a rectangle.
that will never burn.
A tire pressure gauge
that will never feel the breath of rubber.
One more book of poetry
than I have money for.

I offer up these sacrifices
so that, if you wish it,
you will caress my face
with ten divine digits.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Paint These Weary Dreams In Oil Based Paints (Blog)

I like to consider myself a pretty creative person. Some may argue this and that's okay. But, there's always been a jealousy I've held for people who can create visual art. I myself am not one of these people.
I remember the first real exposure to visual art was when I was very young. Sure I had seen drawings and stuff like that before, but it wasn't until I was around 6 or 7 when I decided that I wanted to be able to do that stuff too. My mom had bought me this painting of a whale, (I really liked whales back then) and it mesmerized me. The way the paint rose off the canvas, the way the painter had used what looked like 1000 different shades of blue to create the perfect colored sea. Everything about it captured my attention. It was after hanging this painting that I begun my fruitless journey into the world of art.
I tried drawing, painting, sculpting, pottery and everything else in between. But nothing I did looked good. Some of it was actually pretty laughable. Art class in school became a hell for me as I struggled with my grand clay sculpture that eventually turned into an ashtray, over and over again. I began to hate the other people around me and how easy images and shapes seemed to flow from their fingertips. This is not an exaggeration, they all made stick figures better than me.
I then made the mistake of growing close with a couple of artists. I found myself in awe of the things my friends had made and once again jealous that I could not. This jealousy actually lead me to start writing. Once I finally resigned myself to a life that would never involve a gallery showing off my work, I turned to words. I wish I could say that I started writing in order to explore the intricacies of the written word, but the truth is, I was tired of watching my friends create stuff I could not.
At this point in my life I'm comfortable with my lack of artistic talent. Perhaps it's because I've grown comfortable with my writing, or maybe it's something else like maturity, but that's probably not the case. Either way I know I'll never have a museum piece and that's just fine. But dammit if I still don't feel that green mist of jealousy flicking my ear when I see a really cool painting.

Paint These Weary Dreams In Oil Based Paint

I have envied the speckled Pollack minds
and the Guayasamin hands.
I have never tasted Warhol branded soup
nor have I tanned under Van Gogh's yellow sun.

My knees refuse to touch the dirt
in front of canvas churches.

Once I tried to hold David's pose
all moring into the Kinkade twilight,
I shook and cracked
in unattractive ways.

But my ears remain attached
and I haven't succumbed to wine.

Not yet at least.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Refresh the Howling Wolves in Digital Moonlight (blog)

I did something today that I haven't done in awhile, I picked up a Rolling Stone magazine. The fact that I bought a print copy of something itself is enough to warrant a blog post but that's not what I want to talk about. Inside this issue was an article called "The Girl Who Played With Fire". The article was about a girl who has an internet persona named Kiki Kannibal. It goes into detail about her rise to internet celebritydom and the horrific backlash she received as a result. This got me thinking about cyber bullying and the internet in general.
I myself have not viewed anything that Kiki Kannibal has done, nor do I intend to. Just simply the description the article gives doesn't really invoke any interest from me. But it sounds like typical vlog type things wrapped up in a fashionable candy shell. For this, Kiki has dealt with people who send death threats, pedophiles, stalkers, animal killers, amoral internet tycoons and essentially the entire rogues gallery of less than stellar human beings. It really is a sad story that broke my heart a little bit and left me wondering why does this stuff happen on the internet so much?
Unfortunately I really don't know for certain but I'm going to attempt to come to some sort of conclusion at the end of these thoughts.
I first started using the internet at home around 1999-2000. At this time I was 12 years old. It was a strange time indeed. The internet was still fairly young, most of its users were fairly young and it was chaos. The term "The Wild West" has often been associated to the earlier days of the internet and it's a surprisingly apt term (well, assuming you're thinking of the romanticized version of the wild west). There were little to no rules. You could essentially do whatever the hell you wanted and it'd be okay. Because at that time the internet just didn't matter. It was a fun little thing but it certainly didn't bleed into the real world. This provided a playground for everyone who wanted to release their personality flaws, pent up rage and frustration that they normally could not express in normal society. I unfortunately was one of them.
I remember pretty well some of the things I said on chatrooms. Hurtful, ignorant and at times downright evil things. I even remember being proud at times of the messed up things I'd come up with. That pride has faded away into guilt and sorriness but that doesn't change the fact that I participated in cyber bullying. Now I consider myself a fairly level headed and well rounded individual. So I have to ask myself, what drove me to be so mean? Like I said previously that the internet was (and still is) a place to be anonymous and release everything you could. But that's not the whole story. There's also this human compulsion to either want to be better or more popular than everyone else or if you can't, attack the one who is better and more popular than you. Both of these motivations seem to lead to the same course of action, bullying. You either insult, threaten or straight up act in a way to establish dominance or remove dominance from someone else. That's just how it works it seems.
This in itself is horrible. It's not how civilized humans should act. But it can get worse. We've all seen the special reports about how internet celebrities eventually get stalkers finding out who they are and coming into their life away from the internet. Let me be clear, I haven't done this. But there are many who have. At some point in their daily routine they lose track of their life. They forget that they're releasing their frustrations with life online because they can't in physical society and they let it all seep out into every facet of their life.
The internet isn't the same place as it was back then. But the same sort of people that made it wild back then are still around. Except now, the internet is almost a vital part of many peoples lives, so the access these tormentors have has increased. It's just masked well behind archaic rule sheets and promises to act properly.
So I suppose that's my conclusion. This sort of torment of other people exists because people in general want to let their anger be known. They want their dominance. They want their popularity and to get it someone has to be hurt in their minds. Then some are not satisfied with the torment they deliver via screens and broadband connections they need those things in person.
Also, I want to apologize to anyone I may have hurt with my own cyber bullying, I know this apology is useless considering the people I may have hurt probably don't read my blog, but it's an attempt. Also I want to wish Kiki Kannibal good luck with her continued presence on the internet and the sincerest hopes that the torment she received stops. That goes for anyone else who has dealt with the things she has.

Refresh The Howling Wolves In Digital Moonlight

The idols, false and attractive
have risen upon numbers and statisitcs
and equally attractive layouts.
They walk brittle lines
more fragile than a nail
severed from the finger.

They count their blinks
in frames per second
and when sleep draws them in
the fleshy world
filled with the hot blooded
knocks wistfully on their bedroom window.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Because The Spinning of The Earth Demanded It (blog)

I feel like the most recent poem below needs a little forward.

Recently, the state of Wisconsin has been plunged into a long debate about education. Whether the actual practice of educating or the circumstances surrounding it. The opinions on this are varied and divisive. But I don't want to go into the politics of it all, I simply wish to give my views on what education really is.
In my mind there are two types of things a person can learn: The sort of things that you learn from instruction, and the sort of things you learn from listening. Now I know that these seem like the same thing at first but let me explain.
Things you learn from instruction are things that you watch, you try and and understand the intricacies of what's around you and then you attempt to mimic them. These sorts of things teach you how to operate in the world. Whether it be social skills or instructions on how to do your chosen job. The world needs these sorts of lessons or else it would fall apart. We need people to know how to do things and how to learn to do new things.
Things you learn from listening are a little bit harder to explain. But basically, these are the things that you learn about yourself. These are the things that show you your reasoning, your motivations, your potential, your desires and personal philosophies. These sorts of lessons teach you what your role in the world is and why. But to learn these lessons I feel that we all need to listen more. Listen to other people, listen to your own thoughts, listen to the world as a whole as it moves around us, listen to a higher power if you believe in one and listen to the examples of those who have done this before you. As soon as you start actually listening to it all you start to process it in your head. You begin to make sense of it all and piece it all together and once you start to do that your opinions of everything begin to get clearer.
Both types of things are incredibly important. The things you learn from instruction are important to the society you belong to and the things you learn by listening are important to your sense of self. So with that said, it's necessary for there to be a place where people have access to both of these things. To me this place is an obvious one, schools. I'm not saying that other places don't exist because they do, what I'm saying is that schools are places that we all have access to in this country. We're instructed by our teachers on the things we need to know to operate, and we listen to everyone around us and learn how we feel about it all. In my mind, the things we learn are necessary to live, so having a place to learn these things is equally necessary. In fact, not only do these places simply need to exist, they need to thrive. They need to be constantly evolving and becoming better as the world changes. They simply cannot fall by the wayside or be sacrificed for some other purpose that may have importance today.
Okay, so I lied a bit and did go a little into the politics, I apologize for that. But in conclusion, there are things out there that we must know to live, and there's things out there we must know to understand why we survive. We can only become necessary members of the world when we attempt to learn both, and to learn both we need places that gives us our lessons.

Because The Spinning of The Earth Demanded It

I traveled East
from where I had previously traveled West
and as I made it through the thicket,
I met a company of dancers.
They twirled like the rain falls
and their feet shuffled like the tide.
They claimed they weren't angels,
or sirens, or spirits.
They said they danced
because the spinning of the earth demanded it.

They begged me to join them,
but I said i didn't know how.
So they directed me towards their fire
and said the licks of flame held the lessons.
With the dancers' urgings
I plunged my hand deep inside
and burned like a forgotten secret.

As my clothes fell away in ashes
I tried to join the dancers.
They denied me entry
and explained that I had not burned enough.
My legs hadn't learned how to bend like a storm
and my arms were unlike the moon.

I walked away cursing the willows around me,
upset that my ancestors had not been dancers.
That's when I found a company of singers
who sang like a rising mountain
and harmonized like the prairies.
Their song told me
that my forerunners had indeed been dancers
and that I would be too,
when I discovered the meaning
of a path across the world.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life Can Be Defined In Hops, Barley and Fermentation.

The other day a good looking woman reminded me (if you get the choice of who reminds you of things, go with the good looking woman) of a Hunter S. Thompson quote. That quote was "Good people drink good beer". I dig this, even if it's not 100 percent accurate. Some of the best people I know drink absolutely horrible beer. But that's not the direction I want to take this post. Instead of listing all the good people I know and their beer of choice, I'm going to focus more on the beer itself, and maybe a little bit of the romance surrounding it.
First things first I have to tell you all that I am indeed from Wisconsin. This will be important later on trust me. Okay now that's out of the way let me start actually speaking about something. Beer is great, it's old, it's traditional, some of it tastes good, some of it tastes great, some of it tastes horrible. The images surrounding beer though are what I find truly amazing. I remember hearing a story once that J.R.R. Tolkien decided to write The Lord Of The Rings while drinking in a pub with a few other writer friends. Whether that's true or not doesn't really matter, it's that image of creative people gathered with one another sharing ideas and bouncing new schemes and plans off each other while sharing a beer. In fact it's been reported that a good number of famous authors partook in the drinking of beer with their colleagues. Is it possible to be creative with others without beer? Sure it is, but I'd like to think that it's not quite as fun.
I can speak from experience here that it's not always easy to share one's creativity with others, sometimes you just need that social lubricant.
Don't get me wrong though, I don't think that drinking beer with intellectuals is the only time to drink beer. I enjoy sports. I'm not a fanatic like a couple of my friends are, but I do enjoy watching a baseball game, a football game, a soccer match, and from time to time a basketball game. Now I prefer to watch these live in the stadiums. To me it's the ultimate sport viewing experience. You're surrounded by people who are there for the same reason you are. You're watching the modern day gladiators put on a show for you, you're screaming and hollering and you have a beer in your hands. To me that's American. I know that that sounds ridiculous and that it's just dripping with blind patriotic goodness but I like it.
But sometimes you're not surrounded by friends, there's no game on that night and your mind is completely blank of any sort of creative idea. This does not mean that you can't enjoy a beer. In fact, one of my favorite times to drink beer is when I'm by myself, in an empty house. Some guidance counselors will try and tell you that this is a sign of alcoholism, but I disagree. Some of my most cherished moments are the moments when I can tune out from all the thoughts that plague me during the day, throw on some good music, put my feet up and sip a strong bitter beer. There's something about the rhythm of bringing the bottle, glass, can up to your lips, letting the liquid flow in and then swallowing the brew down, that seems to lull me into a strange hypnotic state.
So, what is the point of me sharing with you all those images that I think of when I think of beer? Well, the point is is that beer is one of those rare things that can be enjoyed by people from all facets of life. Whether you're a contemplative poet, a real man's man, or a quiet loner. Beer is something that seems to transcend social class, status, occupation and hobby. It's taste is something that can be appreciated by most pallets. It's the great unifier.
Now, this is where I explain how I came to appreciate beer. Like I said earlier, I'm from Wisconsin, more specifically, I was born in Milwaukee. Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general are places with a ton to offer. But let's be honest here people, beer is typically one of the first things associated with the state and the city. But this isn't a bad thing. It's a part of every Wisconsinite's history and culture. This state was born in the holes of miners, but it thrived in the concoctions of brewmasters. I've always been a fan of history, so when I look back through the pages of Wisconsin lore, I find myself smiling at the role beer has in it all. So now, when I drink a beer, I get this feeling that in a small insignificant way, I'm reaching back and connecting with all those who sat by the banks of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, The Mississippi River, The Wisconsin River, The Black River, before me. All those who traveled down National Ave. I-94 and I-90 are my friends and drinking mates for just a few moments.
So, cheers to the contemplative poet, cheers to the man's man, cheers to the quiet loner, cheers to the long dead residents of Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Bayfield, Green Bay, and everywhere in between.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't Worry, He's Just A Little Rough Around The Edges

We carved a stumbling path
of bribed bartenders
and jealous hobos
as we danced steps newly invented.

We ended up at your shell of an apartment
with three bottles of illegal booze.
Once they were brutally murdered
we spun those glass corpses
and kissed the ghosts between us.

You left me there
to find your boyfriend
and I woke in the morning
with my nobility still intact.

I don't think you've ever forgiven me for that.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lips Of Faith

I'll remember the day I crashed into lands unknown,
like a casually dressed avalanche
invading deserts filled with folk singers.
I expected to fall to ruin
with mud my only evidence.

I'll remember the arcs, the arcs,
funny little half circles
supporting the white of the page.
A strange reminder
of the flowers I never brought.
There they sit
waiting for 1 hundred and 80 degrees.

Friday, March 11, 2011

You Have 18 Songs To Change The World

I finally got myself a car a couple of weeks ago. Now, I'm not trying to minimize the awesome that comes with having your own car, but there's something that is missing from my car. A jack to plug an mp3 player into. Perhaps I'm a little spoiled, but damn, I love having my little mp3 player, filled with close to 1,300 songs at my fingertips during long drives, or hell, short drives. The last car I drove had one. But, my new car does have a CD player. Which means, if I want the music I want in my car I have to play things 03 style and make some CDs.
I grew up in a strange time in history. I was born in '88 so my teenage years were contained solely in the first decade of the new millennium; the decade of internet piracy, blatant copyright infringement and CD burners. Everyone knew that a standard CD had enough room for 18 songs, 19 if you were lucky, 20 if the songs were 1 minute a piece. Everyone had that CD case that would strap to their sun visors and was just packed full of burned CDs. I knew some very entrepreneurial kids who actually managed to make some extra cash by burning CDs for other kids.
Now I imagine that most people approached CD making with the shotgun approach, which in hindsight is the best approach. They'd grab 18 songs and bam, CD was made. I on the other hand tended to take the surgical approach. Every song had a purpose, the order of the tracks was done with a specific intention in mind. Every CD I made was like a concept album. I remember pissing my friends off by delaying trips for a half hour just so I could put together the perfect road trip CD.
There was something special about putting together the best CD you could. It was like sorting through the library of all the songs that have meant something to you, either emotionally, or just because you connected with the beat, then picking out those memories and gathering them in one place. Sure, there are still playlists for mp3 players, but there was something much more permanent about making a CD. Once you clicked that "burn" button, it was over. There was no turning back. Your careful consideration and tedious nitpicking about whether Semi-Charmed Kind of Life worked better either before or after California Love would soon be a physical object. Your contemplation on whether or not Matchbox 20 belonged in that "Romance" CD you didn't tell your friends about.
Speaking of romance. I know I'm not the only one out there who made CDs for girls. That was the epitome of CD making. This was the chance to show how awesome you were without having to say a single word. If you could put the right songs in the right order she'd fall in love with you right? You'd make sure some of her favorite songs were in there. Then you'd throw in one or two of your own. Then towards the end you'd get a little cheeky. R,Kelly Bumb n Grind, TLC Red Light Special, Spice Girls 2 Become 1, yeah because you know what you really wanted to happen after you gave that CD to her. Don't lie.
I know before the onset of CDs people made mixtapes, but I didn't so I don't care.
Well, I'm older now, but I'm back to making CDs. Funny how some of those skills never leave you. Now if you excuse me I have to go put together the ultimate indie rock/punk folk CD ever.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Fresh waters of the Michigan capped

in brilliant sprays, with rainbow webbing.

The cotton storms picked up on the lake winds

and in the twilight sun

Refused to burn, even when engulfed in fire.

I took a breath then and smiled

dizzy off of spiced apple wine.

On the island of the matriarch

the wildflowers shook anxiously,

preparing for their slumber

under the autumn sun.

I ran my fingers for a final time

along the sharp edges of the prairie grasses

and left behind what was created there.

The shimmering Mississippi

glowed like a vein of phosphorous.

It was violent with flood waters

and ignited under the noon sun.

Among the artists and cultured

I watched the river burn

while they painted the scene perfectly.

I’ve found peace a handful of times,

underneath a generous Wisconsin sun.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spilling Out In Panels Pt.2

A week or so ago, I showed you guys some of the character concepts (works in progress) that I've come up with so far. But to be honest, while they will be major characters, they don't really look all that interesting when just described. I wish I could draw something up for you folks, but the truth is, I can't draw. That being said, I've decided to go back to the well and share a couple more character concepts (also works in progress) that I've come up with. This time, we're doing superheroes!

Madame Breeze: Real name: Collette Jones, 5'8" short black hair with sky blue streaks in it and brown eyes. She has light mocha colored skin, comes from a mixed heritage. She has breasts somewhere in the B-range (sorry, this is kind of vague, but I'm not an expert on breast sizes...yet). When out of costume she's going to typically be in a sort of neo-hippie/tropical get up. Long skirts with colorful patterns, camisoles, and sandals. Costume: The main colors will be sky blue and black. Calf length pants, similar to capris. They have blue inner thighs, and black for the rest of them. Ankle high black boots. Her top is sleeveless and cut down to her belly button, in a sort of obvious male pandering way. The front of her top is light blue, as if it's a continuation of the blue in her pants. Then black for the rest of the top. She wears black leather gloves that are rolled down a little. (I'm thinking something like the gloves Rogue wore from the 90s X-Men cartoon). On the backhand portion of the gloves there's a light blue spiral design this is her personal symbol. Powers: Madame Breeze's powers are pretty simple. She turns invisible whenever she's in a deep shadow.

The Serenade: Real name: Rebecca Montag. 6'0" bleach blonde hair and grey eyes, white. She has much larger breasts than Madame Breeze, I'm thinking something in the D or larger range. Out of costume she's a fashionista. Trendy tops, skinny jeans, high leather boots, heels, manicured nails the whole 9 yards. Costume: Skin tight one-piece. It starts with a straight neck line and ends with a pair of short shorts. The main colors are white and a dark green. The costume is broken up into four sections. A green section covering her right breast that extends down to her midsection and then goes over halfway. A white section that covers her right lower section and goes up to meet the green section. On the other half of the costume the colors are just reversed. Also, when in costume she wears her hair in two long braids, and has green florets painted around her eyes. (Like the female night elves from World of Warcraft, yes I am that geeky). Powers: She has the ability to vibrate her molecules extremely fast then store up the kinetic energy that she can release in powerful lime green energy blasts. When she uses her powers she becomes blurry until the blast hits its mark.

* * *

There ya go, another two characters from my comic. Hopefully these two are a little more interesting visually speaking. I still have a few more characters to share with you guys. So if this interests you check back in the coming days. If you didn't catch my other post about my comic stuff here's a link. Spilling Out In Panels

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sex: The Consequences And Learning How To Forget Them

The short nights are approaching
and like the changing of the season
they will descend upon us all.
They will fight
in the long afternoon shadows
and the backseats of rusty old Chevys.
But for the first time,
I wish to enlist.

Spin that American Greatest Hits album,
the one I bought
the last time the levees broke,
because I no longer
want to be a constituent
instead I pray that someday
you'll legislate against me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I've Got A Little Story For You

Stories are powerful things. They define who we are, they are testaments to the fact that we have lived. I consider myself a lucky person for many reasons and one of those reasons is that I work somewhere where people have an overabundance of stories to tell. In fact it's my favorite part of my job. Everyday I have time to sit with my co-workers and share our stories. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain weird. But the fact remains, that everyday I get the chance to let people into my life, and in return they allow me into their lives.

I often think about the true power of a story. What about these little tidbits of our lives that we can vocalize or write down make stories truly great. To be honest I don't know if there's a true answer to that, but I can say that I have my own personal answers. Stories are powerful because like I said before, they define us. If we share enough stories with people, we're giving them the ability to track our lives all the way to where we are now. I have friends who have very specific personality traits, some of them pretty weird. But I can think back to the stories that they've told me and find a line that explains almost every quirk and trait. And once I understand these traits, I feel closer to my friends.

Also, stories are our marks on this world. They are our tiny little scratches into the big wall of history and the entirety of human existence. Now sure, my story about getting drunk for the first time and puking on my friends bed, may not make the history books. But, what it did do, was find a tiny corner in every person's brain that I told that story to. I can now feel comfortable that the fact of my existence will remain in that person's head. If I'm lucky, they'll retell that story to someone else. Maybe it'll stop there though, but I still find comfort that for at least a few days, there's someone out there who knows that I've had a past. Stories are our truest legacies. Some people believe that their children, and their children's children are their legacies. But that's not the case, because each one of those children will have their own stories and their own legacies to create. Our stories though, are ours they are things that we can pass down without any loss to ourselves, and without worry that they will fall off the counter and break into a thousand pieces.

Tell your stories, do things in your life that will ensure you have stories to tell. Let people into your life, pass on your legacy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1A Was A Lot Like 5B That Night

He lied to her that night

when she asked him if he remembered

the night when they crossed the line.

He said that he had lost the memory

of whether or not

there were any songs left

that could redeem them,

or narrate the consequences.

and like a goldfish

she forgot if that's what she wanted.

She satisfied him later

when he wanted her to remind him

of the events that led them away.

She tried her best to recreate

the dances she used to master

but no matter how hard she prayed

her hands refused

to press against each other.

and like a false prophet

he gave her blessings he had no right to give.

Then later down the hall.

She pressed her face to his

when he started dreaming of the southlands

just like his brothers had before him.

She told him that she needed the winter

but, perhaps if she pressed hard enough

her face would always be on his chest.

Even though she knew

eventually the tan would overtake it.

and like a proud captain,

he went down as far as he could.

He dialed the phone

when she started making proposals

that couldn’t survive the sunlight.

He knew a person

who’d appreciate the indecency of it all

and who wouldn’t mind the drive at night.

He’d be gone by the morning

but he couldn’t stand to leave his bed empty.

and like a dedicated writer

I scribbled through the phone’s racket.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Believe me when I say that I know that sometimes my poems can be a tad bit ambiguous and sometimes really hard to understand if you don't happen to have my mind, and the last I checked none of you did. So I thought maybe I'd share some of my meanings with you guys and in doing so maybe even inspire some of you to write something yourself once you see how someone else does it.

First off, let me discuss the set-up of this poem. This poem tells two separate stories with two different couples. The idea being that they both live in the same apartment building and these events are unfolding just down the hall from each other.

As for the technical side of things, I wanted to use a repeating format for this whole poem. The repeating format being one 8 line stanza starting with 2 lines, one line as one person's reactionary action, and the second being what they're reacting to. The next 6 lines are an expansion on the first two lines that are designed to build up to the next section.

The next repeating format I added to this was the 2 line bits that separate the major stanzas. These are basically 2 line similes. The first line explains just what the person is acting like, and the second line explains how.

The two times that I break this format is in the middle when I state that the next portion of the poem is taking place down the hall. The other time I break the format is at the very end. Instead of creating a simile about the person in the previous stanza, I break the 4th wall. I reveal that the narrator of the poem isn't a faceless voice, but someone who is actually a part of the world that this poem takes place in.

As for the imagery itself. Everything within the 8 line stanzas are for the most part, literal. These are things that the people in the poem are actually doing or thinking. Now that doesn't mean everything is straight forward and should be taken at face value. I played around with the language so that the things that have caused these people to do what they're doing is left for interpretation.


So there's that. I have to admit I'm not very good at explaining the things I write, it always makes sense in my head, but I think everyone can agree that the things in your head don't always make sense in other contexts. But I do enjoy pulling the curtain back a little. So I'm thinking that I'll do this with a few select poems or other things I post in the future. But definitely not all of them, because this was kind of exhausting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To The Bark Or To The Brick

There are two magnetic pulls in this world. One towards the country. And one towards the city. I came to this conclusion after a conversation with a coworker of mine. I tried to explain to her why I will always feel more comfortable in the city, but I left that little talk feeling like I hadn't explained myself well enough.

People are constantly drawn to things. Some people are drawn to a tune they hear off in the distance. Some are drawn to a light they see far off at the horizon. But the two things that draw the most people is the country and the city. Both of them pull people in in different ways too.

Like for me the country pulls people in with the promise of serenity. This idea that people are returning back to their roots, the primal surroundings of their ancestors. There's a certain level of peace in the woods or the country side. It's this strange silence that isn't silence at all. I've heard some people describe it as being able to hear the earth itself moving underneath you. Then on the less new-age side of the spectrum I've heard a lot of people simply say it's just pretty. I can agree to all of that. In a way I enjoy all of that myself. But I think my relationship with the country is much more like being a loose familiarity with each other. I take my treks into the woods from time to time. I've been known to enjoy a stream or river. I've taken my fair share of pictures of early morning dew covered fields. But that's it. Anything longer than a passing through and I loose my comfort, I find myself growing restless and I begin to see negatives all around me. So then I know it's time for me to move on.

I think you can probably tell where I'm going with this, but the other major pull in this world is the city. Now the way I see it, the city does this in a very unique way. It pulls in people with the promise of pulling in more. A city is nothing without people. Sure the buildings are magnificent, but they would not be there without people. Really, a city is simply a testament to everything a human being can accomplish. A city is like a trophy, for a grand competition between a person and their limits. For me, when I realized this I noticed a different kind of air in cities. Perhaps it's just the carbon monoxide, but I'd like to believe that the air I'm noticing is created by a single consensus by everyone around me that they recognize that in a small way they have created everything around them. A certain level of pride I'd say. But it's not an idle pride. It's very much alive, it almost forces people to seek out experiences, to create situations in their own life and those around them that force people to engage in something perhaps they don't understand. It's like walking down the street and coming to an intersection. You wait with a group of people you don't know, and you wait until the light changes. Then it finally switches and you all walk, together, all with the same destination, even if that destination is as mundane as simply being across the street, and just like that you have a connection. You've experienced what it's like to develop a connection with other people. Like I said, even if it's an incredibly mundane thing, in a small way you've just injected yourself into the human race. Connections like this form constantly in a city, and for me that's where the magnetism comes from. This idea that every moment, you're connecting with other people over and over again, like thousands of batteries arcing off each other, that's what pulls me into a city. Whenever I find myself in the city I can't help but watch all of this happening. The invisible pride of the people, the urge to move through the streets and buildings, the tiny sparks that errupt without anyone else noticing, if you pay enough attention to it, it's almost like watching fireworks.

Now don't get me wrong, if you are a country person, I don't think any less of you. In fact I'm envious of you, because you obviously see something out there in nature that I just haven't been able to see, and I'd like to. But I can see those invisible things inside a city, and that is what pulls me there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Back When I Could Still Time Travel.

Remember those days when smoky fingers

broke themselves trying to part your dancing skirts,

Like cats in heat running through the tall grasses

On a windy afternoon.

I’d laugh, you’d laugh,

then you would lay flamenco lies on their foggy eyes.

But when the callers finally left,

and it was just you and me.

We’d share that couch

like two neo-post-grunge-modernists

making love in new, rebellious and special ways.

You told them all that you were a Latin ballerina

and I told them I liked Nirvana.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby We Were Born To...

Yesterday was my birthday and like any self-respecting 23 year old Wisconsinite, I went out. I partied, I raised a little hell, but most importantly I had fun and lived. But I couldn't help but feel that there was something missing, an emptiness about it all. This void I felt didn't belong to me necessarily, but the weight of it, or lack there of, felt as if it was on this entire generation's shoulders.

Last night while I was already neck deep in the excitement and alcohol I had a thought. The whole night, the drinking, the dancing, the laughing, the horrible singing, it was all just so damn romantic. Now of course I don't mean the Valentine's Day sort of romance. But that feeling you get when you realize that you're doing something that could be a rock & roll song, and that in 10 years it will still be one of your favorite stories to tell. But that void I mentioned earlier was still with me and I began to realize just what it was. I felt like I was part of a species that was going extinct.

Now, I may be completely off base here. It's been known to happen. But to me it seems like that desire to raise hell, that rebellious want to be doing something you probably shouldn't be doesn't exist in Americans anymore. I feel this lack in everything these days. The music has no edge, even the popular music I like isn't really saying anything. The books are shallow and filled with interesting stories but no messages. It seems like we as a people have become very good at shrugging our shoulders but forgotten about raising a defiant fist. That we've forgotten that there is something good and important about making love, chasing girls and boys and learning just how far you can bend the rules, the values, the norms of society.

Now I know I'm not some masked rebel setting fire to the system. I'm definitely not some Lothario type guy, so perhaps I'm just flexing my hypocritical muscles. But I know that I'm in my prime right now, I want to enjoy it. I want to sleep with women, I want to drink a little too much from time to time. I want to cause a little trouble, I want to do all those things. I want to have fun, I want to live I want to do things that I can laugh about years later, I want to do things that will teach me things I can teach my family someday.

So, I guess I should say sorry mom, you're not getting your grandkids yet.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spilling out in panels.

To those who know me, know that I'm a pretty big comic geek. In fact earlier today I did a demonstrative speech about how to properly bag and board a comic book. Well, I'm also a writer, well sort of. So I suppose it's a no brainer that eventually I'd try to write my own comic book. I've already completed my first 35 page script. But I have a problem. I can't draw to save my soul. For those of you who might now know, comics have pictures. But, I do have some descriptions written up for the main characters of my comic.

Jordan Murdock: 5'11, 180 lbs, 21 years old. Short cropped brown hair, green eyes. He wears looser clothing, canvas shoes (converse style). During the series he'll be wearing primarily an olive green zipper hoodie, and light faded blue jeans. He will start out the series clean shaved but as the events of the series pile on, he will develop patchy facial hair. He has strong telekinetic powers, when these powers are in use a sky blue aura will form around whatever is being affected, the aura will have a sort of heat wave effect to it. While he's not necessarily a slacker, he has a personality that definitely lacks ambition and self-confidence. He looks down at his feet a lot, and keeps his hands in his pockets.

Sonny Hernandez: 6'2" 210 lbs, 22 years old. Black hair, brown eyes. He is of Mexican heritage, this shows with his darkly tanned skin. His hair will be longer than Jordan's and he'll keep it slicked back. He personifies a greaser style, with a white tight t-shirt, black pants, with black leather shoes with thick boot style soles. He has a muscular build and a childhood scar running from his right eye to the middle of his cheek. He has that look in the way he stands and looks at people that he's been in a few fights in his day. He's not cocky, but compared to Jordan his confidence and general optimism shows.

Rachel Polaski: 5'6" 140 lbs, 28 years old. Dirty blonde hair, blue eyes. Dresses modestly and comfortably. Things like camiosoles, cargo pants and tennis shoes. She has middle of the back length hair that she keeps in a pony tail or a messy bun kept together with pencils most of the time. She doesn't have an extremely slender build, she has some curves that come from eating frozen pizza and fast food most of the time. Her breasts are larger, but in a natural way. Her face shows a level of contemplation and thought at all times. Due to some of her actions bad things have happened and that guilt will at times shine.

Agent St. Pierre: 59 years old, 6'0" 150 lbs. Thinning grey hair, brown eyes. His face is covered in deep stress lines, especially around his eyes and forehead. Wears the traditional grey or black business suits. At the beginning he will be very trimmed, neat vertical lines in his suit. But towards the end, the suit will look more disheveled and wrinkled. He will try to keep a cold demeanor but it's apparent that he has an explosive temper, and sometimes he won't be able to contain himself. While he has a temper he himself is not violent. But has no problem ordering others to perform the violent acts he himself won't do.

So here's the first set of characters for my comics. I'll reveal the next set next week sometime. This is probably a little premature, but if any of you who might be reading this fancy yourselves artists, I'd like to see what you can do with these descriptions, go wild on them. Like a good man named Wil Wheaton likes to say, "Get excited and make something."

Friday, February 11, 2011

'Till Your Mane Turns Silver

The deepest color
ever granted to a wildflower
will soon drain away.
The gentle blossom
splintered and cracked, reaches for the slow winds,
like the granite holds
for temples long gone.
In an all or nothing salvation run
with hopes, chartreuse dreams,
and a wish that the life in its petals,
will fall to the mercy of gravity
and quench the faint roots,
that are loosely hugged
by the prairie silt.

This survivalist,
unseen passes by my field blaze pupils
as I snap the stem,
caress your face and place that pale pink bloom
in your deep hued strands.

Milwaukee Socialists

I was pleasantly surprised
at just what white lights could do
to rust covered towers,
like socialist angels
dancing tangos and sambas
up and down the sewers.

I was pleasantly amazed
at the stench of the ales and ciders
that weighed so heavily on my shoulders.
I clapped while fathers and the ambitious
draped themselves in the robes
that were once rightfully mine.

Working it out

So this is something that I've done in the past, just not in a public way. My intentions here are to try and post either a poem, a short story, an excerpt from some of my long form projects, or just thoughts. I've been feeling really creative lately, and I want to capture that somehow, just in case I ever get to a point where I've lost my ability or desire to create things I can look back on this and remember a time when I used to have a tormented creators soul. I'm open to any and all comments that you may wish to leave. In fact if you have anything that you have created that relates to something I've written I'd love to read or see it.

So, here's wishing me luck I guess, enjoy.