Mike Ball has recently started self-publishing short stories and longer work fiction. He is excited about exploring new publications and seeks your response to these first efforts. Bon Appetit!
Pain teaches us about ourselves It strips away our costumes Leaves us raw to the wind Like “Poor Tom” standing naked in a cave
Irony and The Mind of God
Confused and Fine with That It has long been my desire to understand the complexities and apparent chaos of the world I see around me. This is impossible. One cannot use logic to explain the illogical. But we can try. This is the central paradox that envelops us all: a desire for a coherent understanding of what appears to defy reason, to obtain a degree of Objectivity. To do this, I offer a simple truism: “The extent to which something is true, the opposite is equally so.” (1) This ironic statement on further examination reveals to us the one truth we can always count on when faced with the confusion and hopelessness of our journey to understand things that happen in our lives; when taken to its extreme, this truism can actually reveal to us a basic understanding of everything, and a complete understanding of nothing. And by embracing the emptiness of understanding nothing, we can start to feel connected to The Mind Of God. (2)
Forward: These past few nights I have been lying awake in my bed before dawn, thinking of so many people I remember from school. I feel a little sad at the fact that I don't have any of my high school yearbooks handy (or at all, I fear) so that I might see if I'm remembering them correctly. My apologies if not.
What’s Happened To “Me?” As an ex-English teacher, I am offended, more than most normal people, by the incorrect usage of words. I know that we don’t usually speak like we write, and that it’s OK to let words change with the times. Take the word “gay” for example: one cannot use this word in contemporary Western culture without directly or indirectly referring to something or someone homosexual; its contemporary meaning has replaced its traditional usage. Gay was once a nice, simple word with no political overtones but has forever changed. There is nothing wrong with that; our language evolves. From Shakespeare to Beat Poetry, to Rappers and beyond, artists depend on their creative use of language. But creative usage is not the same as bad grammar. The word “me” being replaced by “myself,” by virtually everyone today, is just wrong, and should not be ignored any longer.
The Truth about Drugs
If we are ever going to win “The War on Drugs” we have got to start telling the truth about ourselves. Our society would be much better off if we were to decriminalize all substances. That’s right, it’s time to wave the proverbial white flag; to end the war on drugs we must make them—all of them—legal. The truth is simple: WE DO DRUGS—a lot of them. We are the major market for every legal and illegal substance known to man (and more are being created daily to satisfy our ever-increasing appetites for mind-altering substances). The fact that many drugs are illegal has not stopped us from doing them, indeed, it’s a subtle encouragement. Half of the allure of illegal drugs is the very fact that they are illegal. They help us feel special and encourage the adolescent delusion that laws and laws-of-nature don’t apply to us. We feel like rules that limit freedom are for someone else to follow—it’s as American as apple pie (there’s my favorite cliche, again) which, by the way, is loaded with the biggest killer of all legal drugs: sugar. We are the great consumer-nation of all illegal drugs and we are the paying customers that enrich the worst criminals in our hemisphere. The drug cartels are not the problem; we are. By making all drugs legal, we would instantly put all these horrible criminals out of business. We would also protect ourselves from all the dangerous substances used to “cut” illegal drugs to expand their illegal profitability. People don’t OD on their drug of choice, they kill themselves with the cheap poisons their drugs are cut with. If all drugs were legal and regulated, they would be cheaper and safer, that is sure.
Escaping A Life Without Art
Never in his adult life did he wish to be famous On the contrary He wanted, more or less, anonymity It was his life’s philosophy
People always talk of How we affect The children in our lives But they have it backwards Their impact on us is greater
Mind and Body
Sometimes, mercifully, my mind Gets distracted With the business of the day But in the stillness of the night, my body