In Awe of Chaos

Jan 27

An Intermission between Rampancies

There has been steely resolve and herculean exertion, and, despite this, there was subsequently still unmistakable glimmers of grand disappointment. There are deliciously cyberpunk esque experimental adventures. There will be redoubled efforts and an unwaveringly fixed gaze towards the delightfully impossible end goal.

In the meanwhile though, I’m absorbingly eager to get back to writing. Really get back to it. To be subsumed and consumed by it in equal measure. Fully. Wholly. Insanely. However, there are still some troublesome anchors which weigh on my mind a great deal whenever I try to start something new. Perhaps the most pertinent such burden is the various works I haven’t published anywhere, that have languished unattended and unexhibited. So I have been, and will continue (as best as is possible), to finally post such things - so to free up my increasingly beleaguered mind for future projects. And believe me: I have ideas.

The piece I intend to post next is my current magnum opus, and it has been gestating for a decidedly long time. Do things like this improve with age? Perhaps. Regardless, this work in progressunfinished’ (surprising nobody) piece of writing has been party to staccato visitations from my concerted attention for quite some time, and so it has, in some ways, captured a snapshot of my creative mind at various times. The ghosts of my past selfs rattle their awful chains as they drift to-and-fro within these words.

Hounds bay impatiently and ravenously somewhere close, somewhere unseen. A gargantuan leviathan winks awake beneath the waves and indignantly observes that its mighty kingdom is no more. The storied stone colossus senses a great horn bleating its mournful song, calling for his return, and begins treading with grandiose authority towards the horizon.

Something wicked this way comes…

Jan 24

A Sniper’s Perch [Redux]

[This is a redux version of a short story I wrote some time ago. The additions and improvements aren’t overtly colossal, but they are really quite significant in how they change the reader’s understanding of the protagonist, and so I feel that they tangibly improve it a great deal overall.]

Bang, the rifle fires, and with a resentful forcefulness its butt violently shudders backwards into his tensed shoulder.
Clink, the bolt is stiffly yanked back, which ejects the spent casing from the breach, and it wildly spins into a descent toward the floor.
Somewhere inside the weapon, the firing pin is cocked.
Dink, the casing ricochets off the floor and rolls around.
Click, the bolt is pushed forward firmly and it locks in place with a satisfying snap.
A new round is automatically stripped from the magazine and then chambered in the breach

He performs this routine without thinking. Jerking about with such deliberate, efficient motions, he mechanically carries out the sequence in barely a second’s span, demonstrating supremely well practiced precision.

Patiently watching the telling aftermath of his kill, he silently mused ‘Hmm, a couple deliberately wide potshots to spur his confidence and daring, to entice him into poking his head out of cover and he doesn’t disappoint. He stuck his head out so tauntingly, so foolishly. The more experienced of these German bastards are so brash and arrogant. The gung-ho Americans are just as bad of course: they also have a marked tendency to needlessly dice with death at the whim of their egos.’

The shot had wrought open an unsightly hole in the soldier’s helmet and, entering through the forehead, his head. Immediately afterward, the unexpected impact had awkwardly spun him around, spraying blood and gore in a spiral as he fell. The body had crumpled to the ground, tangled and pathetic. A long moment then passed as his comrades exchanged shocked glances and drank in the full horror of the situation. Finally they unceremoniously reached out and dragged the corpse back behind their cover. Dejectedly slumping down beside it, the panicked yelling of expletives began in earnest.

Neglecting to even pull his eye away from the rifle’s scope, he groped at his belt and unsheathed his blade, then he disinterestedly scrawled another line on the tally: a diligently maintained running count scratched into the wooden windowsill ledge that the rifle’s stock was resting on.

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Jan 06

The Last Bard’s Tale (Part I) [REDUX]

[This poem is a redux version of the original, combined with the fragments I had already written for its sequel, a fair bit I wrote for it now, and radically revised versions of my Under Exalted Heels poems. I amalgamated it out of, let’s say, necessity, and though the two universes seem incongruent, I’m proud of how the poems all ended up melding beautifully. So let’s just pretend I meant to do this all along. The virtue of this poem will dictate whether I get to do what I really want to do; it’s that important, and I’m (theoretically) that confident in it.]

Prologue: Grandiose promises of yarn-spinning

"Come traveler, and let me tell you of a forgotten realm trapped in yore
Fill that chair, and into your mug this flagon’s fine mead will duly pour
As this is a tale best enjoyed in good company, food and drink galore
This hearth’s fire will warm us and ours minds shall drift, and explore
a land that many bards the world over once came to longingly adore
For, not least, inns all across this land would fill with countless score
of eager simple folk, a stoic sort so rarely inspired to cheer and roar
in appreciation of a poet’s well-spun tale, one deserving of ‘encore!’

This is such a story, though sadly one no longer held in such ardour
No, it’s been relegated to dusty tomes, whose perusal is quite a chore;
most libraries ‘cross the continent rarely hold a volume in their store
So it has now become a victim of obscurity like so many have before
How is it that rich worldly legendry could be considered but a bore?
Historians dig for paltry earthly trinkets but tend to so woefully ignore
that real treasures are found in that, since oft pored over, elder lore

Wait where was I? Oh yes! This fable which has not its existence nor
its story widely known, thanks to our mythos forsaken age of sorry war
Were its preservation to be deserted it may thusly be lost forever more!
At least if not for the few tales still told of it, ones fiercely embossed for
drama’s great effect: ‘Adventurers lo! Heed this tale you must not ignore’

Chapter I: The dystopia fosters a champion

In a distant kingdom, whose birthright was forged in the paupers’ fear,
a tyrant ruled over his people with an iron fist and a righteous sneer
His state taxes were exorbitant and his laws were so unfairly severe:
the punishments found therein were such that one wouldn’t volunteer
them upon even a most hated enemy, so brutalizing were they here
Whilst the King lived in glowing luxury, his subjects were kept austere
Peasantry in nature were they mostly; rarely could one name a peer
whose new status as a yeoman was long lived inside of this frontier

The sovereign’s inner-circle was composed of supposed cavaliers,
who, in reality, merely acted as the despot’s worldly eyes and ears
Ironic, in its way, as, amongst the people, their hollow kind veneer
fooled absolutely no-one, for all knew that their gifts were insincere
Each was retasked from spy to under-thumb, uncontested profiteer:
greedy land barons who met any tenant’s pleas of lacking with a jeer

The King also had a standing army, whom none would greet with cheer:
for even though their coat of arms bore a nobly valiant soldier’s bandolier,
these mercenaries did nothing but obey his tyrannical whims each year
See, outside of the realm’s borders there stood no equal who’d persevere
against this oppression and seek to invade, and free, this forlorn sphere
Thus, the situation was grimly hopeless or so it would outwardly appear

Yet, there was a heroic champion whose coming the peasants did revere
A child whose birth was prophesied to happen with but a single loving tear
For his mother would soon thereafter be put to death at the point of spear
and in her lifeless arms this babe would not cry, to her bosom he’d adhere
till the soldiers tore him off her to, in awe, dutifully spank his newborn rear
His destiny was claimed to be, in the verdict of every single salt-worthy seer,
that when he came of age, this oligarchy, which clearly sought to domineer
every commoner, would finally be challenged, its blight would come to clear,
and its end, long since disregarded, would, on the faint horizon, surely near

Chapter II: The child born of death

And this boy! Oh this boy! How unseeming could such a special child be?
For were you to look upon him, a savior you would hard pressed be to see
Initially a weak, sickly lad who was adopted by a humble pig-farming retiree
and raised as was the custom: god-fearing, obedient, so inclined to agree
with any man of the cloth who should offer any divine directive or decree

It was also noted in his village that no others were as mild in manner as he
Not that he was meek, or even wimpy, just so unassuming was he in deed
Though twas not his nature in everything, in one field he was genuinely gutsy:
with other boys he would roughhouse if provoked (but to no severe degree)

Thanks to the adept tutelage of his ‘father’, long since a legionnaire draftee,
the boy had learned basic sword fighting with sticks from a gnarled oak tree
His grizzled sire taught him much of battle, imparting a considerable pedigree
In fencing no other local boy could match his skill or daring, his warrior esprit!

Chapter III: That which always changes, rarely for the better

Soon though, the boy became a man, in the cruel fashion of the land,
when his lowly father was abducted after tangling with the lawmen
over the tyrant’s always increasing taxes and their pitiless demand
As the boy was out at field, swiping and thrusting at the straw-men,
practicing his new found art, his papa was taken, shackled in remand,
and quickly sentenced to hard labour his old bones just couldn’t stand

The boy returned from his joyful frolics to find the village much abuzz
with harsh gossip of his papa’s unbroken spiritedness and imprisonment
The throngs treated the oddball boy with upright suspiciousness because
it had also spread that the farmer was some sort of political dissident,
whose child, it was said, was not merely unusual but in truth illegitimate

He rushed crying from the hissing accusations of the simple, fearful folk,
and then made haste back unto the family’s cottage frightfully confused
He saw, in the distance, the quaint little homestead billowing inky smoke
and ran as fast as possible till he came across a man leaning on the oak
With tearful steadfast gaze the man fast embraced the boy and then used
a shaking hand to draw from out his pocket a small book, when he spoke
he explained to the boy exactly of what his father had really been accused
and as the fire quelled, and died in bitter embers, without the wind to stoke,
he heard of his papa’s secret nature, and of boyish naivety was disabused
Upstarting, the man took in the awful scene, and tugged tightly at his cloak
which bore the same peculiar emblem as the book’s cover, which did evoke
within the boy images of his father’s ring, and thus served to have infused
the boy with trusting hope, so that the man’s offer of a new life did provoke
awkwardly falling tears as he voiced his acquiescence with a throaty croak

Chapter IV: An Ouroboros gestation - a tale within a tale within a tale

In the man’s stately carriage they did journey into the bustling city’s heart
The boy flipped through the pages of his papa’s pocketbook and so beheld
that it housed an arcane poem of his papa’s, one written hoping it impelled
the reader towards its decryption and thus the secret knowledge it’d impart:

A king bloated with undue power did tread roughshod over all the human race
‘My liege, but what of freedom?’ asked a courtesan still of unquestioned chaste
He thought hard, then did naught but slap her face, without a moment’s haste,
and reasoned “In my kingdom, treason is that word, for it will have no place!”

He claimed to be domineering for a purpose: to free a world of slaves
who’d otherwise usurp us rational minority with a tribute paid to knaves
that claim a measly worldly pittance must be the only just remittance
to meddling Gods who sit setting morbid wagers just beyond our graves

Our measure of plodding earth seems grand but Royal pastures so expand
far beyond what the eye can easily see, and if annexed for our due territory
We would earn that bold undying fame: a noblest legacy of hero’s acclaim
In Valhalla, a vanguard’s place; they’d erect our cenotaph in godly domain

Like you, I will not be circumscribed, the wretched King himself I’d surprise
I implore you brothers: join me in shaking off the humble servant’s guise
and ascend to meet that rotten bastard in his ill-begotten castle eye-to-eye
We must become the glorious champions of all our pure and honest kind
We must show all that the imperial beast can fall and this world we’ll redefine

Our people’s militia shall assemble, and then initiate our righteous campaign
against that evilest despot whom fate’s justice has not yet seem fit to arraign
We’ll seek to claim all his purloined spoils for the kind, docile men of this land:
to finally place our grass-stained hands beyond the modest arm’s short span

Our crusade started, adopt skyward glare, seek details of their towering lair
Probe our enemy sat in airy overlook; revolve round them with roving rook
Spread word of their coming ruin in every common ear as herald of our advent
The proletariat will disperse this omen; notched and fired, our first arrow sent!

Then, in the awful twilight quiet, we shall rend the Heavens from the Earth
and in this glorious hierarchical limbo we shall long be given a private berth
The chaos of newly free men’s joyous riot will constitute a debasing hearth
to cook and crack the damned chains of aristocracy in brashly mortal fire
We shall unleash the indignantly vengeful beasts who know the king as sire
Their adamantine hides will flow with molten rage and, honour-bound, anneal
'til they harden nigh-impenetrable, bearing a blazing crest of unbrittled zeal
In the grand aftermath of our emancipation the children of revolt shall rile
the dictator’s fragile union of underlings and minions, who we shall beguile
with promises of reinstation into power once the autocracy meets repeal
We’ll task them with sabotage: lend their filthy ears to fill with a subtle bile

Then we’ll douse our reverently enraged titans in the most potent hellfire wrath
'tis true the immensely rugged and stalwart resolve the amassed belittled hath
To convey this intrepidly lion-hearted army’s mission and direct our holy spear:
I’ll mount the regent’s statue to bellow ‘What is owed the oppressed mutineer?’

Our defiant force of valour all assembled, given sharp and flame of a finest steel
We the hallowed flag bearers as the common man charges ornate palace gates,
are blessed architects of a grandiose plan perfected whilst beneath a royal heel
Revolution cometh; the swine sat haughtily upon a wicked throne we will displace
The meekly downtrodden have arisen, and the King before us shall finally kneel!

He read in awe, struggling to comprehend as his schooling was but brief
It was clear though, from the poem’s frequent annotations found therein,
that in many of the words some sort of special second meaning lay within
The implication were startling, inspiring in the boy an astounded disbelief
for it seemed that his father, instead of farmer, was to a spy far more akin

For the poem his father had once penned was apparently being covertly printed
as pamphlets to be distributed to rally known political dissidents in that manner
of clandestine conscription by which dormant armies, via a single central planner,
are assembled and given their instruction by a cryptic code that the poem hinted
So that a secret plot may be dispersed and all gathered under revolution’s banner

The carriage bumped over cobblestone, and yanked the boy from his imagination
As the massive city came in view, an excitement flourished within his boyish mind
For he was his father’s son and now bequeathed leadership of rebellious design
The days ahead would see the boy learn even more about the vast orchestration
So that the very first step of the plan was absolutely clear: his father’s liberation!”

Oct 29

Why I’ve been ghost - or, the more somberly unglamourous aspects of poor mental health

[Be forewarned, this is a lengthy, but hopefully rarely rambling and mostly informative, post. There will be extensively metaphorical imagery and philosophical dictation ahead.]

I have not been writing enough, even, sometimes for shamefully prolonged periods, at all. In the wake of this negligence, it has become glaringly apparent that I’m suffering psychologically as a result.

Though I have long held an at least comparably related notion, after recent experiences of mine, and some considerable deliberation, I have recently come to wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that it is unendingly critical, and occasionally of unparalleled necessity, to your continued growth as a person that you be able to enact candid introspection. This includes the regular acknowledgment of uncomfortable or painful truths and, when appropriate, the concession that you may be to blame regarding their simultaneously perpetuated and circumvented existence. Such lingering, irksome entities are of your own design and creation, so you ought to take duly liable ownership of them.

Furthermore, to intelligently evolve is to critically examine your faults, shortcomings and flaws - performing improvement or excision where needed. This self-contained manner of personal betterment, as I have learned, is especially important to undertake if you can not accordingly divulge and relate these truths, whilst confessing your complicity in their concealment, to your loyal companions, or even a most intimately entrusted confidant.

In my case specifically, and in the interest of genuinely mending my troublesome hypocrisy in the matter, I must accept that many of the flawed and problematic aspects of my creative process were brought about by my own deficiencies and errors in judgment. To this end, I must conclude that, for quite some time now, I have been the architect of my own sabotage in that most wearying of internal wars; artistic endeavor.

More generally, identifying your problems is the first obstacle you will encounter each and every time you embark on the journey of self-examination, and it is one that will often prove difficult, if not outrightly arduous. It is a discovery that must be earned at great cost, but one that will bolster your resolve tremendously. You must then go about determining the cause of the hindrances, which is also a formidable quandary and as such can quickly and irreversibly devolve into childishly attributing any potentially blame extraneously, rather than maturely acceding and allowing yourself to be held accountable for your own mistakes. Either way, despite the demanding and exacting labour involved, with enough honest introspection, you will find the basis of your impediment

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Aug 11

The abhorrently treasured remembrances of abomination’s veterancy

Despite now being in bohemian refuge, poetry has nonetheless recently become very taxing for me, both mentally and emotionally. What once fueled my words is, somewhat thankfully, absent. Still, I apologize for the lack of output. I mean to write more.

Such vast and enduring foes I had sadly chose to carelessly amass
amid all of those fierce campaigns from a now fast embittered past
Clashes arose in bloodlust; a grievous but alluring sort of warring craft
and what of those once adoring claims? Only prose truly knows, if asked
Yes, remains of bloodied annals impartially disclose these awful facts at last
Damning evidence, now known solely to repose, of a genesis finally unmasked
Things wordlessly eternally resaid, in venomous soft eloquence, of a finery contrast
Proposed in trying elegance of undying aghast throes whence blood unjustly splashed

May 07

My Didactic Wounds

I’ve began to ponder, as my bedside candle flickers, fades,
if bonds now no longer shall persist as their bitter charades
For my heart launders their oft ugliness in hindsight’s grace
Am I made stronger to guard pain my mind might debase?

Sorrow reset, reinvented as regret is tempting, it must be said
Yet mistakes I forget always beget themselves thrice ahead
So I fret I must endure the awful debt of brave acuity instead
Missteps ventured are offset by their lessons and not retread
People I’ve met, and upset, can be excised I may have pled,
but their influences remain to abet a future threat to spread
Waking frenzied, wet with sweat, is what they’ve since bred

Apr 23

Crimson Wisdom

I am infatuated with death, especially those it leaves behind
They covet a breath which is their very loss perfectly defined
and if squandered degrades a prize lost eternally to the dead
Land wandered by ghosts; trails which are no longer truly tread
Words recounting oaths, dirges and tales cease to be duly said
Us living bear mounting urges to discount the wisdom of the bled
Puzzling it is to know you should meet repose yet silently implore
the spotter of your silent blue plead to return to how it was before
If you spy streams of florid blood seeping underneath my door
please now be relieved that you need not fret for me anymore
Sorry, I did a bad thing, a thing I shared I wouldn’t even dare
Still, it’s only gonna sting a moment, so I couldn’t really care