If truth is beauty, and beauty truth, mountainscapes, are honest terrain.
A mount’s steadfast Immovability makes Inertia moving.
Mount: “I am pristine.” “No,” says Progress. “You are mine.” Sad 'either/ore' choice.
You can sing the blues, but black cacophony marks melancholia.
A huge slab of rock Gives birth to its own weather. Man births only death.
Mauve seas and gray skies. Blue was once invisible. What hues still await?
Deepest blues appear when great glaciers break apart. Same for you and me.
Ponderosa pines, Though stout and strong, dare not cross. Mountain’s timberline.
Should you ever gaze at the silent stars above and they begin to blink off one by one by wondrous one, do not be alarmed. Have no fear.
I thought that I would never see A fight regarding poetry. Life can venture nothing worse, Than fisticuffs o’er flowing verse.
Green Flash They say On the rare breathless moment Setting sun succumbs to becalmed sea At far precipice of endless azure ocean
People talk about the flavor of bacon in reverential tones, singing its praises, whispering its name, and seeking it out for daily comfort, particularly in time of stress. They salivate over the smoky, salty flavor. They wax eloquent about the nuanced notes differentiating applewood-smoked versus hickory-cured. They moan about the spices and sugars of candied strips of hog-fat heaven. They drool at the thought of honey or maple syrup dripping off the marbled meld of legendary lean and fat. They drone on about the smell of frying bacon wafting into their bedrooms from the kitchen, providing the most pleasurable and effective alarm clock for happy wakefulness in the morning. Bacon drives men mad, sends women into orgasmic delight, and in at least one documented instance, caused a tumult in the mellow district of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, when the aroma emanating from a bacon-only establishment saturated the neighborhood in a gentle, smoky haze not known since the Summer of Love.
I wasn’t expecting anything. Yet, there it was. The unmistakable drone of the … well … drone dropping a package on the front stoop.
This entire story already exists, but you are only experiencing it one word at a time as you move forward through it. You could, if you choose, go to the end and attempt to read it backwards, but the narrative would be difficult and largely incomprehensible. You might, if you choose, skip ahead, skittering from spot to spot, perceiving bits and portions of the text in a sufficiently logical sequence to parse together some causal connections and get the gist of the tale without experiencing it fully. You might even go back and reread certain portions of the text, whether previously read or previously skipped, to try and discern greater understanding. But whether you skip forward or page back, nothing you do will change the substance of the tale or its internal structure, logic, and flaws.
Many years ago, an amateur graphologist told a business colleague that I was, based on my signature, a serial killer. When she assured the gentleman that she knew the signer of the document and that I was not, in fact, a serial killer, he responded “He may not have killed yet, but I assure you he will.”
Despite the fact that I have attended GenCon for more years than you have probably been alive and that I was the world’s top-ranked player of Classic RPGA tournaments for fifteen years (1985-2000), I’ve never really thought of myself as an early player of Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, modern roleplaying games. After all, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was in a camper in the parking lot of University of Wisconsin Parkside the night before GenCon XII in 1979, after I had already graduated from law school. And I had passed by a few groups playing the game during my college and law school years. So, while I was not at the leading edge of first players, I just tried to do my best playing classic tournaments, playing around 600 different characters in 460 tournaments in a wide variety of different game systems and settings, and winning 235 of those tournaments.
Writers write for all sorts of reasons, but the general public always seems to want to create a simple dichotomy between writers who write for money and writers who write for the love of writing. Of course, then they generally sneer at the former and laugh at the latter.
Now, I'm not a writer for television (though I'm available--call me, really), but I'm an avid consumer of television and I'm a writer, so I confess to having a few opinions about writing and television, including why some shows are successful and some aren't and how shows change over time (aside from the fact that the female lead's hair tends to get longer and longer, the longer a show stays on the air--heck, you can tell what season a clip from Castle is by that fact alone).
Now, I’m not Forrest Gump, but I have had a few minor brushes with history in my life and, oddly enough, one of them involves Blue Swede’s cover of BJ Thomas’ classic song, Hooked on a Feeling, known for its Ooga-Chuka, Ooga-Ooga-Ooga-Chuka chant. You see, in 1974, I was a sophomore at The University of Chicago, living in one of the dorms: Thompson House in the now-demolished Pierce Tower. Believe it or not, Thompson House claims credit for making Blue Swede’s version of Hooked on a Feeling a hit in the United States. Yep, we claim credit for making a song a #1 hit.
Otto von Korek was born on March 14, 1717, in the German State of Thuringia to parents of noble birth, but modest means. Little of his life is known prior to his entry into the Prussian Army, other than his parents … (Pssssst. This isn’t really a biography about some old dead guy who had a handlebar moustache and fought with the Prussians and whose son, Karl von Koreck, helped recruit Hessian mercenaries to fight in the American Revolutionary War. It’s just that you can’t be too careful these days and they, well, even they don’t pay too much attention to 18th Century military biographies, especially if I throw in a few appropriate words like “Hapsburg” and “Bismarck” and “bloody skirmish” to throw off the auto-review programming.) … Helmut and Anna, were minor members of the aristocracy of one of the many smaller German city-states assimilated into Prussia at the height of growth of that empire. (They, like most intelligent entities, also pay little attention to material contained within parentheses, since such asides are by definition not within the main thrust of the communication being made. This defect in their approach makes parentheses the most valuable weapon in the fight against them. This fact has also made the close parentheses mark the most frequently used, visible sign of the committed resistance. Many, however, scared of even such a trivial sign of revolutionary fervor, disguise its use with a colon and space preceding. : )
Father’s Day by Donald J. Bingle You never know what day your kids are going to remember most about growing up. You hope that it is a good day, a day when you performed well as a parent. Your greatest fear is that it will be a bad day, a day when you lost your temper or let the dog run out in front of traffic, or a day when something happened that is only talked about in front of high-priced therapists.
It wasn’t my fault. I was just minding my own business when it happened. I mean, really minding my own business. I was just walking along, weaving in and out of the foot traffic downtown. The music on my iPhone was on ‘shuffle’ and my earbuds were in. I was pounding the pavement in time with the tunes. The volume was cranked and the only thing permeating my mind through the beat was that Jimmy and Trish were having a party that night and that I should text Robin and see if she was up for it.
“Wake up, dude.” “Huh? Where are we? What’s going on?” “Jesus, Cam, you’re a hard sleeper. Or maybe you had too many of those magic gummy bears from that plastic bag you’re literally hugging.”
Polina leaned over the soldier’s body and turned her cheek so that it almost touched his nose. She felt a slight quiver of air. “I don’t think he’s dead!” she shouted back to the others crowded around the man. “He’s breathing. I can feel air moving.”
Chapter One Nobody can hear you scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Of course, that’s a lie or, at least, misleading to the maxstax. Certainly not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the “so-help-me-God” pravda, capital T, truth.
You never know what day your kids are going to remember most about growing up. You hope that it is a good day, a day when you performed well as a parent. Your greatest fear is that it will be a bad day, a day when you lost your temper or let the dog run out in front of traffic, or a day when something happened that is only talked about in front of high-priced therapists.
“G’night, boss,” called out Gretchen as she used one liver-spotted hand to snatch up the cane hanging off the edge of her desk. She slung a huge, flower-print, canvas purse over her shoulder and headed toward the door to Thomas Brock’s law office. Thomas noticed his receptionist barely used the cane as she practically glided toward the exit, humming what he guessed was a Perry Como hit from a half-century or more ago.
When a boy is growing up, there eventually comes a time when he realizes that his father is not infallible, that he needs to make his own decisions in life, that bad stuff can happen to good people, that actions have consequences, and that you have to live with the consequences of your own decisions. Most often, those realizations don’t all occur on the same day, at the same moment. Only rarely do they involve a running chain saw.
It’s tough to be a dame in Chicago. Even tougher when you spend all your time in dive bars on Water Street, just waiting for some big hunk of a man to buy you a drink so you can chat him up and make all his dreams come true.
“I’m at my wit’s end, Doctor. I don’t know what to do.” The young woman pulled a handkerchief from beneath the cuff of her left sleeve and pressed it to her face. “There’s no doubt that poor Cyril is suffering and he’s getting worse and worse every day.” She sniffed, then shifted the white cloth to dab at the tears welling in her eyes. “I barely sleep and Cyril, why I don’t think he sleeps at all.” She looked over at her husband, slumped in the chair next to her, a weary, dazed expression on his face as he leaned against her, his face frantically contorted in a never-ending series of tics and twitches.
“This was a mistake,” yelled Dave as he stared out the window at the dark, lurching shapes gathering even faster than the gloomy clouds on the horizon. “Why did I ever let you talk me into this?”
Blind Spot by Donald J. Bingle “I’m standing in the back yard now.” Aaron checked the bars on his cell phone; the signal was strong. “You have to fly out here tomorrow to see it yourself, right away, or it might get snatched up by somebody else.” He looked up at the Realtor®, who was smiling, nodding, and no doubt already mentally counting her commission. “Wait a minute and I’ll text you the link for the MLS webpage for the listing. I think I can do both at the same ...”
Future Futures by Donald J. Bingle “You’ve caused untold damage to the economy. You understand that, don’t you?” Senator Lantis scowled at her like the crotchety old grandfather he surely was, his steel-gray eyes fiercely intent below his overly bushy eyebrows, but Grace Pilking did not flinch.
“It’s a myth,” clucked Doris as she picked at her salad. “I don’t believe it, not for one instant.” “You’re just a spring chicken, dear,” responded Doris’ Aunt Clementine as she absent-mindedly primped and groomed herself while they sat gossiping. “You don’t understand how dangerous the world can be, how vicious.” Clementine readjusted her sitting position, shifting forward and cocking her head to one side, bringing it closer to Doris. “Why do you think your mother treasured you oh so desperately before she was taken from us? You were the only child she raised, but not the only child she might have raised. It’s so sad, really.”
Energy surged through his sinews as he ran effortlessly through the shadow-splashed night, metal-banded legs stretching and springing as they churned the decaying detritus of the forest floor. Yet he twisted and twined around the standing foliage at speed with such grace, such instinct, that he disturbed nary a dewy drop on the greenest leaf of nightshade. He raised his snout into the air, nostrils flaring to follow the scent borne on the night breeze as he sucked in oxygen more hungrily than the hottest steam boiler. His tooth-filled maw gaped open to aid the flow, saliva dripping from the corners and whipping into the air as he dodged and turned to follow his nose following his prey.
“You’ve caused untold damage to the economy. You understand that, don’t you?” Senator Lantis scowled at her like the crotchety old grandfather he surely was, his steel-gray eyes fiercely intent below his overly bushy eyebrows, but Grace Pilking did not flinch.