Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fiscal Responsibility and Bloodshed

 Apparently, factions in this country believe the solution to the problem of guns in schools, is throwing more guns at school. Arm teachers with guns, which is not at all remotely an unsafe idea in the chaos of a classroom with an authority figure handling frustrating and complicated interactions. Put more police in schools, to really ramp up the illusion of securit. Do this because that’s more important than preventing a disgruntled 18 year old from legally purchasing two long guns, and however many rounds of ammunition, and charging a school and barricading himself inside of it.

If guns made us safer, why are we living in such a dangerous country?

Also, who on the side of fiscal responsibility thinks paying to beef up security in school is more financially responsible than just keeping guns out of hands of people who have no need for them.

Guns are just a tool, and they are not toys. They are treated like toys, and the will to keep them as toys to create an illusion of power is a profound brain disease in our country. Guns are tools, not toys, and should be treated like a tool that’s caused a major epidemic of violence and misery that’s changed the very fabric of public life. 

Except some people are afraid they will lose their toys.

Monday, May 16, 2022

If they had their own country

 Give the Xian white supremacists a planet and let them go to it. Let them hoard their weapons and count their coins and pretend they need no one else’s help but their fellow superior race.

Incest would destroy the children of the very few left alive in five years time.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sonnet #355

 They who do not work: they do not 


It says, but also says the book to feed the poor

Give the widow mercy, coin, the leper more

And throw to ceaser, let a pile be on the street

Also make your money work for you

So you can stop the work, retire, 

And spend your weary days at fires

Warm and fishing holes and maybe cruise

The book says much of slavery, so do we

The wage enslaves because the money does

Not work for you. Whose fault this is is yours

But if you’re poor receive the blessings, says

The book, of a spirit world that rewards 

More than any path of bankers pays.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Sonnet #354

 The plankton at the heart of life submerged

In endless waters must not feel too much

Except the briny flow of all they touch

Like breathing, in and out, a binge and purge,

We like to say there’s more to life than this

Diadems rise, and doges pound their fists

And angry men and women make their lists

Of all the sins of the world on the tip of a kiss;

The fog comes on little cat feet, and then

Feelings are first so no one pays any attention

The wind blows in the branches, I sit and then

I look, and then I walk a bit to ease the tension

And then, and then, all the senses binging

On the place I am, the where of it, no purging.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Changes and Cranes and Sorrow

 I’m off social media, so I can’t just casually post a link and pray it goes viral (not that it ever did, to be honest) but I am also going through some significant changes at home, and so I thought I’d mention that I have a book available for sale that you might have missed!

Sorrow of the Cranes is a great all ages book appropriate for any kid old enough for books with mikk no inal or no pictures, and adults as old as nearly dropping dead. It has received high praise already from some major review sites, but like all quiet, little books, I doubt the Kaiju Preservation Society will even know it exists. Unless, of course, you, fair reader, take a moment to investigate and share your thoughts on this title wherever such thoughts are beat and effectively shared.

I wish a dedicated fan would print up a QR code under a picture of the cover that links directly to a sales link, and posts them all over their respective town and country. I’d love to stumble one day to someone who loved my book so much, they printed up a flyer and posted on a lamp post and no one even knows I’d encounter it, at all. I have always wondered how much work I must do and for how long until people care enough to just put it on a piece of paper and post it out somewhere people will see, a graffiti lind of love, a rude and hurried kind of affection for an experience that is so personal as reading a book.

Maybe you could be the one whose little homemade billboard I encounter?

Sonnet #353

 The one who dips their bread in the dip

Will betray me, and who would dare

to do a thing like that? To stand before

the Son of God and place the tip

of some half-eaten crust into a bit of oil?

When the consequences come, this man who betrays

Will not believe how much blood is in the soil

How mobs run streets and hunt who prays

How everything that rises must converge

And empires fall, and kingdoms unkown merge

into empires, and a kid sits alone under a bridge

Feeling like they can never go home again

And all form and order breaks at the edges of time

and nothing rhymes, anymore, a man dies on a cross

And nothing rhymes anymore, dip bread into this

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Sonnet #352

We talk about the weather, about the sky

How it turns upon us as we turn 

upon each other, how it burns

to see the birds dead in gravel, try

not to see the weeds in the grass

to lean back and just see green

and let the sun take us, how we preen

each other, refuse the metaphoric task

that demands we see ourselves in nature

that demands a sign and portent here

and how we hold our proud stature

even when it hurts to stand, to bear

the weight of metaphor, the force of earth

that demands we know more of us and more

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Literary Awards and Lotteries

 I am getting very tired of this news story that keeps popping up around some important literary award. Someone, an author, is surprised by a major literary award or a surprise bestseller, and it turns out that they are a janitor, a waitress, a menial laborer, driving for Uber or Lyft or DoorDash, an adjunct contingent employee. And the award provides prestige, a cash prize, a boost in sales, and lifts the author out of poverty. Hooray for the artist.

But, the house always wins in games of chance.

The monopolists and pseudo-monopolists that sit at the heart of international media networks have created a system where the vast majority of creatives, more so than any time in the last fifty years, have no real path to financial security in the arts. Academia, perhaps, provides a cushion but that favors the academic authors who aren't really the same sort of author as the ones who write for money and all time instead of tenure. The rest are mostly working day jobs, for the benefits, for the stability, writing their lottery tickets, their hopes and dreams and all that. Winner takes all. They win the prizes, win the attention of the readers, the movies get made, and all good things come for winners who take the all. There are very few of them. The vast and overwhelming majority of writers read the news story about the prize that comes for the janitor, and wonder if someday that could be them. Then, they put on the rubber gloves and scrub the dang toilets, dreaming of a world that will never come in time to pay their rent, feed their kids, make good on their debts and obligations.

And the winners that take all make it all justifiable, the way we have built our whole economy around the dream of sudden, amazing transfers of wealth and prestige, that moment when the floodgates open in a burst after years of chipping away at the edges. This is the capitalist success story, the harbinger of generational wealth, and when it comes, when the work and the work and the work becomes the overnight success story, the work gets the credit, not the overnight luck.

Instead of working to build a sort of world where no one is ever truly left behind, we have built a world where the dream of winning the metaphorical lottery is the only thing that keeps us from screaming and marching in the streets.

So maybe we should be marching in the streets.

Metaphorically, of course. Who is there to even protest? The system has diffused the blame among so much noise and confusion, distributed networks, and pissing them off means losing access to the vanishing few channels that lead to meaningful success. 

March quietly. Shout quietly. Try not to make too much noise. Be noticed just enough, but not too much.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Roe V Wade V IVF

 I'm glad I'm not on social media, anymore, because today would be absolutely depressing and horrible.

People don't understand the full consequences of the overturning of Roe V Wade. The far reaching effects go way beyond women being treated like chattel and investigated for murder over miscarriages. That should be awful enough, by itself, to make this whole debate moot, but apparently women suffering horror is just not enough to get anyone to care. 

Fact: Catholic women have abortions at a rate higher than the national average, and it is mothers with children who are the cause in this spike, not unwed teens being promiscuous. Women who already have children and know that love... but also don't have access due to their religion to the kind of contraceptives that help them control their own bodies.

Fact: late term abortions are the ones most in need of protecting against this nightmare. Women who have bought the furniture, picked out a name, told all their friends and family, made so many exciting plans, go to the doctors' office one day and get the worst news of their life, and have to make a decision before their own health is impacted by the very real danger of late term pregnancy and childbirth. 

The effects reach even farther. The very way the laws are written can make fertility treatments legally unobtainable. The very foes of abortion are, for the most part, against real fertility treatments. Not only are they completely committed to saving unviable fetuses with chronic and terrible conditions from the mercy of a swift end, not only must the children of rape be carried to term without exception, but they are also going to relegate a whole generation of parents just like us, who had our kid through IVF, to the powerlessness and rage of knowing there is a cure that is never within reach. Lord knows it's expensive enough when you don't have to leave the country to get it. If it's removed from our communities, there's a whole million moms that actively want children, non-heteronormative couples that want children, cancer survivors and wounded warriors, who want to be parents but have a barrier that cannot be crossed through the power of prayer. And, the safe, effective, time-tested, tech developed in the 1970s to do so will be made illegal because a religion that is a minority in this country has stolen the power of the courts to win at all costs. 

There is no upside to this terrible decision. Women and men and children who are already here will be more likely to fall into poverty. Women will suffer and die because they don't have access to critical life-saving procedures. Families that actually want children, and make incredible sacrifices to have them, will be denied. 

I guess the GOP owned the libs, and now they get to live in the country they built until the libs are able to pull them back from their own stupid brain diseased horribleness.

My blog post means nothing, of course. 

It does mean I'm posting this little, stupid, useless rant somewhere not social media, since I've gotten off all of that, now. 

Sonnet #350

 Late night, restless, I listen to music and drink

Too much, remember when I thought I might

Be a musician, but the stage was never right

But the song flowed and I felt the vibrations sink

Into me everywhere I went, I felt the wind howl

I felt the birds screaming out their flutter hearts

I could have been, perhaps, so I listen to parts

Of albums that I wish I could have sewn

Into the fabric of your heart, and maybe 

Regret a little that I walked away, stepped back

And found another way to sing — we will see

When I am dead if god permits a bit of slack

To let me forget the feel of songs I never wrote

That sit on tips of tongues without a hum or note