Sunday, December 31, 2006

Storyline: The Mushroomy Transformation of Juan-Henri Mcgill.


Dear reader, you are a patient soul! Waiting vainly for the several authors of this tale to take up its reins anew, and weave its sundry threads into the fabric of resolution. We left you on the precipice, with Crystal Silverloin bursting into flame, and Da Bomb sinking toward a watery grave; a deflating end to his five thousand years upon this earth.

And yet, there is a thread that has remained unwoven, its flaxen dispersion tauntingly out of reach, until now.

For we must now take you back to April 3rd, 1987. Not to Sentosa Island, where Hansel Daggerfjord was rescued by his Malasian lover, or to where L'il Timmy Rompkins was counterseducing Angelista Rasmussen of the Central Twillings Oil Works. But rather, to a more prosaic location, to take up the unlikely tale of Juan-Henri Mcgill.

JH, as he was known to his friends, was, on April 3rd, 1987, on vacation in Piqua, Ohio. A strange place to take a vacation, for the only prominent feature of Piqua was the Lion's Club, and that was only prominent because it had working plumbing. Piqua was, indeed, nowhere. But it was just that nowhere that Juan-Henri sought to get away from the pressures of his job.

And what pressures! How could a man fall so low? Juan-Henri was no philosopher, though he held a doctorate in philosophy from Yale. In fact, he hated philosophy, having been bored to tears by every knobby-headed wise-guy from Plato to Kierkegaard. In fact, thanks to his doctoral dissertation on Kierkegaard's amusement at the stairway accidents of old-people, Juan-Henri would go into a violent rage whenever he was introduced to someone named Soren.

Yet despite this execration of philosophy, JH had recently come to two philosophical opinions. The first was that in life, as in fiction, one can only hear the word "pimento" so many times in a day before becoming mentally imbalanced. And the second was that Indonesians loved pimento cheese sandwiches.

Both facts were unfortunate realities for Mcgill. In his job as short-order cook for Taibachi's Nipponese Sandwich Shop & Deli in east Detroit, Juan Henri found himself slinging hash in the midst of the largest Indonesian population in the Western Hemisphere. Those damn Indo's (as he called them) would come sliding into Taibachi's day after day, leaving smeared stains upon every glass surface, and ordering platters of pimento cheese sandwiches. Mcgill wasn't due for a vacation. In fact, he'd only worked at this job for a week. But he couldn't take any more and he told old man Taibachi that it was either go on vacation or go crazy.

Crazy was an apt term for Taibachi-san. Perhaps the second richest man in Detroit (being the inventor of the under-head cam engine), Taibachi-san was eccentric. But in the one week of Mcgill's employment, Taibachi had come to love him as a son. He had advised Mcgill to either take his vacation or commit ritualistic suicide, and Mcgill had chosen the former.

So here he was in Piqua, staying in the Knight's Inn. The hotel room wasn't much: a couple of dingy twin beds, a curtain that didn't close, a fungal air conditioner, and a TV set that only played MTV's 24-hour marathon of Guns-n-Roses' "Paradise City."

Then the phone rang.


"Juan-Henri Mcgill?"


"This is Dean Clummox of Columbia Law School. I'm glad I reached you. I was hoping that you woudl reconsider..."

"How did you get this number?"

"Your employer told me where you could be found. Now, about our offer. Department Head is nothing to sneeze at..."


Mcgill hung up. Hell, if he'd wanted to be department head of philosophy at Columbia Law School, he would have taken the job the first five times it was offered. No thanks!

Then the phone rang again.


"Juan-Henri Mcgill?"


"This is special agent Curtiss Stone of the Central Intelligence Agency. I was hoping we could..."


Another job Mcgill didn't want. And so it went on. In the next hour, the phone rang a half-dozen times. Job-offer after job-offer. Everyone wanted Mcgill.

"Damn Taibachi!" Mcgill swore, and took the phone off the hook.


For the next four days, Mcgill avoided telephones. He wandered aimlessly on the streets of Piqua, smoking Magna-light cigarettes and swilling Genessee Cream Ale. Finally he had calmed down enough. Stepping into a telephone booth, he placed a collect call to Mr. Taibachi.




"This is Juan-Henri. I'm ready to come back."

"O! Hoolay! But befow you letuln I have ritter job fowl you..."


Juan-Henri could make no sense of it. In the week that he had been at Taibachi's Nipponese Sandwich Shop & Deli, he had gained an intesive knowledge of every recipe and dish that was offered. In none of them was the Loppy-tan Sentosan Mushroom a key ingredient. And yet Taibachi insisted that Mcgill return to Detroit by way of the Kalamazoo Mushroom Market to pick up a pound of Loppies (as the mushrooms were known in culinary circles).

So here he was, parking his Chrysler LeBaron in front of Wong's Fungi, having driven through Kalamazoo's sprawling mushroom markets. As he stepped out of the LeBaron, he was eyed up-and-down by three Taiwanese homosexuals in Def Leppard T-Shirts. He gave them the finger, and sauntered into Wong's.

It took him a while to gain the attention of a clerk. As the sour-faced clerk stepped up to the counter, Mcgill simply said,

"I'm here to pick up an order of Loppies for Taibachi's, Detroit."

Now, Mcgill was no student of human nature, although he also had a masters in Sociology, and another in Psychology, from Oxford. But he could tell that there was something odd about the clerk's reaction. "Old Sour-face" dropped the crate of portobello mushrooms that he was carrying. The crate broke and spilled out over the dirty floor, and the clerk backed out of the room saying "oh no.... Oh No!"

Mcgill stood there for a second, tapping his fingers on the counter. He looked up suddenly as another man came to the counter, a tall, muttonchopped blonde man wearing a khaki shirt with an emblem of a smiley-face being smashed by a hammer.

"Juan-Henri Mcgill?" the man queried.

"Uh... yeah." Mcgill replied.

"Come with me."

Barrett Greenfield Chapter 1: "Barrett"


Barrett looked down at his toes, just below the surface of the crystalline stream. His back was up against an aggressive willow, crowding the bank and leaving just enough room for someone to sit between the trunk of the massive tree and the grassy lip of the streambed.

For the briefest of moments, Barrett considered looking around, to see if he was being observed. But this notion passed quickly - a remnant of the days before he had learned to cloak his actions in acceptable, if deceptive meaning.

His mind played over his ostensible justification for lounging by the stream. No, he was not idling. He was observing the refraction of the water, and considering the wave pattern made by the flow of the stream past his submerged ankle. In no case was he simply contemplating the slivers of pure white light that glanced painfully from the surface of the water. In no case was he lost in reverie.

But he would not need these excuses. He was left to himself in the crook of land through which the stream played. He could hear occasional voices, calling across the fields, and an intermittent pulsing from the mill, just downstream, but apart from these welcome but disassociated sounds, Barrett was on his own.

And he preferred this feeling of isolation, given his circumstances. He had thought through his adolescence enough to know that there was no kindred spirit for him to share his musings, at least in this village. There were others he could debate with, talk with, or learn with, but it was an effort for Barrett to filter the ideas that wanted expression. He was still struggling to maintain the mask of detachment that had served him so well for many years. He had once thought that molding his mind would be a simple thing, like setting an arc into a piece of lumber; simply stretch your mind around some structure, infuse it with desire, and wait until the mind takes on the cast of the structure. Slowly the stress should release.

But he found that his mind did not work like this. Every time he released himself from the bonds of his detachment, he would spring back to the unnatural condition in which he was born.

After his first attempts at releasing the mental constriction, he knew enough to keep this testing to himself. The last few years of farm-school had been difficult, as he was well marked from the years before he learned to control himself. But he was so successful in adopting his proscribed behavior, that now most of the village of Grangier had forgotten his earlier defects.

Except for four people, and they were the worst possible choices if Barrett was to have selected his own tormentors. The first two were his parents, who had been first to recognize the strange sentimentality in Barrett, and were still suspicious that this trait might resurface, ruining what might have been an excellent eldest son. But Barrett was strong enough to fully conceal his malady in front of his parents. Only their constant presence caused him strain.

The other two were worse than his parents were. Both of them had known Barrett all his life, and neither had accepted his “conversion” as real. The first, the most insightful and devious child of the village, was Barrett’s true nemesis. When Barrett stole off to gaze at his toes in the stream, it was the image of Calvin’s face that prompted him to recite the defenses in his mind. Cal was always peering at him, seeking some crack in his armor, urging distrust in his companions, and recalling Barrett’s strange behavior. Cal was a year younger than Barrett, but already well regarded in the village. It was agreed by all that he would someday join the Court of Nature as an eminent member.

For all the Cal’s overt threats, the last of Barrett’s torturers was more insidious. While Cal sought for cracks in Barrett’s armor, Lydia was already inside, pulling the strings of Barrett’s heart with a tormenting indifference. Barrett had longed for this girl since adolescence awakened such desires, but he could not have chosen anyone more devastating to his self. Where Cal suspected that Barrett was concealing his true nature, Lydia knew that he was. She did not prod him publicly, nor reveal his secret to the village, but her eyes told him that she knew; that she knew he was not worthy of her, that she understood deeply how lost he was, and that she would never award the treasure of herself to an individual so deeply flawed.

Still, Barrett could not avoid her glance, and could not suppress his belief that he loved her. He recited to himself the many reasons that she was a poor choice for his affections, but in fact, he was betrayed by the reality that she was, in fact, a logical match. Her family was well established, as was Barrett’s. She was the eldest daughter, and he was the first son. Their families were on good terms, both holding large farms with plenty of land to parcel off a corner for the couple. Neither had expressed a desire to leave their village, and of unions such as this were often born natural leaders and responsible citizens. Their heights were proportionate to the averages, and they were both attractive, intelligent youths.

At seventeen years, Barrett was approaching six feet in height, and had light brown hair, deeply tanned skin, and blue-gray eyes that were unusual, but typical of his family, and thus, respected. His forehead was relatively high, and he was square-jawed with an even nose that slightly offset his brooding gaze. His body was muscular, and this, in combination with the telltale signs of an intelligent forehead and detached bearing, added to the perception of him as a “well-rounded man,” being both physically and mentally sound.

Lydia was fair-skinned, with light blond hair and soft features that belied the power of her blue eyes. She was just on the edge of being a caricature of the “good-breeding stock” woman, with large breasts and exaggerated hips, but her height (just a half-hand less than Barrett) cast these features in proportion and made her the pride of her family. As a couple, she and Barrett represented the best extension of their families, which were among the best of the village.

In fact, both of their families encouraged a friendship between Barrett and Lydia, so they were often forced together. He taking a bitter pleasure in their company, and Lydia remaining expressionless except for those penetrating eyes that seemed to say: “If it happens, Barrett, I will tell them, because I cannot marry one such as you.”

Barrett’s confused longing was thus coupled with his own eventual destruction, for not only would Lydia’s confession of Barrett’s secret terminate any chance of a union, it would end any respect the village might have for him personally, and damage the respect for his family. There would be only one course of action left to his parents and brothers: expel him from the farm.

Barrett cast a last, long look at his tanned feet, submerged in the stream, but the consideration of his possible fate was motivating him out of his complacency. He pushed up against the grass below him and rose with his back to the willow. Bending down to pick up his walking stick and pack, he turned and made his way back through the brush, toward the road.


The hill overlooking Grangier had always delighted him. Detouring from the deeply-rutted dirt road to climb the hill could be seen as something of a folly, but Barrett had told his parents that it was for the climbing, which surpassed the aerobic benefits of running or walking. Thus armored, Barrett could enjoy the panorama.

The village of Grangier sat in a protected dale, with verdant hills rolling up into the mountains. Behind him, the land leveled out into the tracts of rich farmland that gave the village its prosperity, but before him, beyond the whitewashed walls of the village, the hills piled upon each other until they became the vast range of mountains that continued, unbroken, from the frigid north to the frozen south. The contrast between the village and the mountains always amazed Barrett. This cluster of orderly homes and shops, centered around the village common with its solid rotunda, pasted into the sweeping grandeur of the colossal peaks.

It seemed unlikely that Grangier would have ever been born in such a place, stacked against the side of mountains that bred wicked thunderstorms in summer and deep snow in winter. But the village was ideally situated. The dale kept out most of the winds, which couldn’t be said of the exposed farmlands, and the hills that surrounded the village imposed an additional sense of isolation from the prison camp nearby, which had the misfortune of being mounted higher in the foothills, bringing an additional punishment to the convicts therein.

Indeed, Grangier wanted to push away the reality of the camp, while benefiting greatly from the largesse of its existence. The rich output of the farms found a ready market in the camp, and the tools and goods that flowed through Grangier on their way to the camp enriched the local wagoneers, merchants, hostels, and traders. Grangier had added a third mill only twenty years before, as the prison camp had demanded yet further flour.

The convicts themselves were rarely seen, which was a blessing. When they were seen, it was a boon yet again, for as part of their labors, the prisoners carted the broken rock from the Tunnel across the hills and into the fields, where they assembled the fractured mass into long, elaborate fences. Grangier was, in this, unlike any other village, for the cheap labor provided endless acres of impervious stone divisions, surmounted at regular intervals by well-built stiles.

All of this pleased Barrett’s eyes: the interminable fences, topographically defining the slight curves of the rich farmland (just now at the peak of its growth), the neat, ordered village sitting arrogantly in the dale, and the forested foothills rising tumultuously up into the snow-capped peaks. With a well-guarded sigh, Barrett began his descent from the hill, back toward the road. He needed to be at his family’s townhouse before the summer sun dropped below the hill he stood upon.

As he trudged back toward the road, he reflected further on Grangier’s unlikely prosperity. Barrett had always been an excellent student of history, that being his one great passion in world-school, but try as he might, he couldn’t make sense of the prison camp and the Tunnel.

Barrett’s defect did not usually manifest itself in his understanding of the reasons behind actions or policies. He was adept at mathematics, mechanically apt, and well-schooled in agriculture, horticulture, animal breeding, and militia strategy. But something about the historical arguments for the Tunnel didn’t sit right, though it seemed to bother no-one else.

According to the histories, the Tunnel was begun at the end of the Age of Restlessness, that long period when the men of the land abandoned reason and sought to breech either the endless sea or the pathless mountains. The conclusion of this long, futile struggle marked the beginning of the Age of Reason, and the Tunnel was often cited as the defining event in the final decimation of irrational culture. The Court of Nature had finally reached the conclusion that criminal behavior would never be eliminated. The great scientists argued that crime is inherently an irrational activity, as it benefits neither the criminal nor society. Given that crime is irrational, the criminal must be irrational as well. In the past, crime had been treated by punishment: public hanging, imprisonment, labor contracts, or other justified social responses. But, the scientists argued, was this not applying a rational measure to an irrational man? What use was seeking to teach a criminal the error of their ways, when that error was committed because the criminal was unteachable? Would they not have learned rational behavior were they capable? So what was the point of applying such measures to punish those incapable of understanding their punishment?

With great and noble restraint, the Court of Nature concluded that the punishment of the past must be done away with. Instead, they decided, the criminals must be separated from society for the safety of society, and yet must be given some purpose that would suit their irrationality. Some great thinker, his mind cast back on the recent activity of the vain (and clearly irrational) explorers, hit upon the idea of the Tunnel.

If (they argued), the irrational want to behave in an irrational activity, this was manifested best by the recent attempt to breach the mountains. As had been conclusively shown in recent geological studies, the mountains were truly endless, extending from their edge in the east of the land, all the way to the opposing shore of the endless sea. Thus, attempting to breach what was unbreachable was the most irrational of activities. Yet, this might very well be the cure for the criminal. Thus, it was decided, all criminals of the land would be gathered in one camp, in the foothills of the east, and set to work constructing a tunnel under the mountains.

This decision was greeted with admiration by the country and the King. The camp was constructed only months after the Court of Nature made its proclamation, and work was begun immediately. The villages, cities, and towns of the land reveled in this ultimate expression of criminal behavior, and the Tunnel became a great object lesson for children to be taught: first comes idle thought, then comes envy, hatred, love and jealousy, and finally, at the peak of it all, comes the Tunnel.

But for Grangier, the Tunnel brought not only The Great Lesson, but prosperity as well. Over the centuries, the supply of criminals never seemed to lessen, and feeding the convicts took more and more effort. Thus, Grangier grew and grew, and became richer and richer. As the convicts continued their pointless boring into the earth, Grangier grew softer and stronger simultaneously, exchanging its sweat for coin, and its coin for education. Grangier was represented to a disproportionate degree in the Council of Nature, with a full twenty Councilmen from a village of only three thousand individuals.

The initial promise of the Tunnel had been buoyed up further by a discovery of a lode of iron shortly into the Tunnel’s construction. Iron was precious, and almost entirely hoarded by the King and his Councils, and the discovery of the deposits seemed to proclaim the wisdom of the Tunnel. But the deposits played out within a month of mining, and further boring into the mountain yielded nothing but hard stone. The mountains were once more unyielding and taunting, yielding only little of the treasure of the earth. In the end, the land had to take solace in The Great Lesson, and forget the glimmering hope of metal.

Barrett was divided on his respect for The Great Lesson, and the strange concept of a rational society appointing an irrational behavior as a reasoned approach to teaching rationality to the irrational. He put his musing away as he approached the first houses of the village.


Grangier was evenly divided along two central, intersecting streets. The first road (the road Barrett now walked) ran west to east, through the town. The Northroad ran north/south, intersecting the Westroad in the center of town, where the roads widened out to form the village common, punctuated by a fieldstone rotunda at the center of the cobbled square. The square was dominated on the southern side by the King’s House, which contained the administrator’s offices where the mayor, the militia leaders, and the communication functionaries did their daily work. The eastern side of the square was the row of schools: farm-school, village-school, and world-school. The opposing, western side of the square was a row of shops, and the final, northern side of the square was a mix of inns and taverns. Originally, many of the shops, inns, and taverns had been residences. But as Grangier grew, its citizens left the square and moved further out into the town. There was a rough division by wealth into three quarters of the city, while the fourth quarter (the northwest) was dominated by craftsmen and the farmer’s markets.

All of the buildings were roughly uniform, with plastered walls, whitewashed, and roofs of gray slate. Most every house had a small yard or court, wherein fruit trees were grown, although this was mostly for the education of the young, as orchards made up the bulk of the fruit supply.

Barrett’s family’s townhouse was located on the first cross street behind the King’s House, a district of moderate wealth. Barrett approached the great door of the house with a mixture of relief and regret, and pushed the tab on the ceramic handle to swing the door open.

The foyer was silent, but he could hear the sounds of the house muted beyond the foyer doors. To the left, he saw the dining room with dishes set and prepared. He noted twelve places at the table, which indicated that there would be guests for dinner. The inside of the house was as uniform as the outside. The interior walls were plastered to a smooth finish, and punctuated only by the single paned windows and the regularly spaced oil lamps.

To Barrett’s left, the winter room sat quiet, its high-backed chairs empty, and its library full and undisturbed. This was where he would normally find his father and whatever brothers were home at the time. Knowing that they were probably busy in the kitchen propelled Barrett through the foyer doors and into the remainder of the ground floor of the house.

The sound of a full kitchen greeted him as he passed the stairs and made his way toward the back of the house. He placed his walking stick and satchel on the hooks under the stairs, and entered the greatroom.

Barrett’s father, mother, brothers and sisters were in full attendance, which implied that only the overseers were at the farm. Barrett tried to jog his memory for the reason for this evening’s feast, but he was mortified to find that he had forgotten there was a feast at all.

“Barrett!” his mother said, as he came through the swinging doors, “you’re late. Set to the sauce, quickly! You’re far behind!” Barrett’s mother Leda was a thin, graying woman whose slight frame belied her labors in producing seven children.

“You must learn to be more punctual.” Barrett’s father, Bartle Greenfield stated calmly from the corner of the kitchen, where he carefully sliced mottled green pears into paper-thin wafers. Bartle Greenfield’s voice resonated out of his massive frame. Well over six feet tall and barrel-chested, Bartle Greenfield shared Barrett’s complexion and eyes, but Barrett would never equal his impressive build.

With a will Barrett nodded and set to the row of saucepans with speed and efficiency. Keeping his mind fixed entirely on his duties, he mixed crushed berries with flour and sugar, pinched salt and pepper and lard into various pans, hurried each to the stove top and stirred in proper order. When he had finally arranged the various sauces, and he was busy only thickening them, he turned around to investigate more fully the scope of this dinner.

It was a rare occasion for his entire family to be together. His older sisters, Rose, Iris, and Clara, were married, each with children. They had left their children with their husbands for the evening, and now joined Barrett, Archer, Dell, and Dale so that the complete family was present, with the exception of Barrett’s grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Rose and Iris were working together stuffing a chicken. The two oldest sisters were constant companions, even now that they were each married. Rose had wed a village man named Dane Cooper, who was actually a cooper by trade, a rare thing in this town where ancient surnames seldom applied anymore to one’s trade. Iris had likewise married a townsman. Her husband, Tyre Breeder kept one of the inns on the village common, which had always been known as “Breeder’s Quarters,” arousing general amusement among the farm-school boys on the opposite side of the square. The two sisters lived in townhouses next door to one another, and their children played and learned together in their adjoining yards.

Clara was near her older sisters, mashing potatoes with a mallet. She smiled over at Barrett when she saw his gaze fall upon her. Of all of his family, Clara was most like Barrett. There had been something of a scandal when she had married her husband not in the village commons, as was customary, but at the prison camp under the officiation of the prison warden. Leda and Bartle Greenfield had objected to Clara’s choice in husbands: a small farm owner named Glen Tailor. For a while, Leda had refused to speak to Clara, citing her wild and frivolous behavior. When Clara had named her daughter after Leda, however, tensions eased. Leda declared that Clara had shown proper and expected behavior in seeking to perpetuate the Greenfield influence on her future family, and that whatever her past mistakes might have been, this gesture was evidence that there was no symptomatic problem with Clara. Still, her husband was rarely seen at the Greenfield townhouse.

Clara’s departure to marriage had been something of a loss for Barrett, for while he never discussed his strange malady with his sister, he always felt that she understood the pressures he was under.

Barrett finished the sauces, leaving them to cool and set in their lading bowls. He glanced up upon finishing and saw his father standing in the doorway.

“Barrett, we’ve just time to finish Dell and Dale’s lessons. Come along.” With that, Bartle pushed his huge frame through the kitchen door. Barrett followed him to the winter room.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Literary Announcement


Dear Colleagues and Contributors,

In an effort to resolve the timeless conundrum, the Sterquilinium is introducing the words "kelf", "gnelph", "telph", and "prelf", so as to provide poets and gadabout bards with several more words that they can rhyme with "self". Currently, english speaking poets are limited to the words "elf", "shelf", and, in desperate measures, "guelph". The new words may be used as follows:

"Kelf", noun, "a shiny object", plural "kelves"
example: "your love I place upon the shelf, gleaming and glinting like a treasured kelf"

"Gnelph," verb, "to see with great insight"
example: "If only I could see myself, with that same vision with which others I gnelph"

"Telph," adjective, "possessing inestimable qualities"
example: "Why do I feel like a love-lorn elf, when your so lame, and I'm so telph?"

"Prelf", adjective, "having lustrous hair"

I envy creatures oh-so prelf
like a sparkling diamond or glittering kelf
like a pearl sitting on a coral shelf
and yet at night, when I can gnelph
I often (sometimes) pride myself:
I'm not so dull as I am telph
akin to a pompous little elf

(Ingerstraum Blivins, "..lf", 2006)

Please do your best to introduce these words into general conversation and prose. In such a manner, you can assist poets everywhere, and put an end to debaucheries such as the following lyrics:

"Pardon me if I appear
to see beyond the now and hear
to try to save myself
I'm not the kind to dim the pain
but I can't take more of the same
living on your shelf"

(Kenny Wayne Sheppard)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Response to a limey atheist

(comment "under review" by the "free" press; publication at this time unknown-except to those free thinkers at Sterquilinium who do not restrict my free thought...YET!)

My exasperation is more infinite than snapshots of space itself for those who use science/nature to prop up a belief or disbelief;for the believer needs only his faith and a gasp at the handiwork for which attribution is obvious; and the atheist a better understanding of that stellar dust which he will undoubtedly one day become (his thoughts already seem like a choking dust).

I suppose it is some sort of comfort to know what your future holds in either case (although I have no idea of the latter).

As for me, I'll relish the beauty and take no credit for its creation other than my shared understanding that we were both somehow created; and for me and my feeble mind I prefer my faith in that warm-blooded God over a wire-meshed and mechanized modeling based on a theoretical happenstance of "nature" itself: and how devilish the nature of this "Mother"!

So here's to the Atheist and space dust - blow eternal across dark chasm and leave me and mine to God's warm and brilliant illumination.

Link to Article that should be titled "Worshipful Yanks photograph God's signature"

Friday, December 01, 2006


I remember the suits, and the proper fragrance of perfumed and gentile ladies wearing big hats with scarlet feathers and according to my Grandmother, far too much rouge.

I remember our pew, front and center.

I remember leaning way back against the curved and cold backplane and staring way up in the "sky" at that man, the preacher, way up there in that pulpit on high.

Rays of colored light would stab into the congregation through window pane stained in the colors of our Lord and His passion.

To a kid like me, he seemed like an angel, this preacher, or emissary from council-on-high - until, that is, he broke the peaceful reverence.

His booming voice would at times scare like a thundering blast, the fear causing me to wonder if, perhaps, it was sent from hell - but in hearing the word knowing not to surrender to such fear.

I remember respect. Reverence. An absolute decency, more pervasive than wafting sweet smells, or the chiseled and tensioning jaw line of an introspective patriarch.

Mother would hand me a mint to "quieten me down", or a firm squeeze at the nape of my neck from my Grandfather, which invariably would perch me back against the hardened, glass-polished wood of that flowing pew - my eyes again locking in death stare with that loud messenger far above.

It sends a chill to my spine even today.

We were a family among families. All like us in so many ways, and some, so many ways different.

Uncle Mick was always there, and sometimes his brood. Granddad and Mick, they looked so alike. In spite of the fights of their youth, I always knew they loved each other like brothers, so I am told, will do.

It seemed everyone was connected, if not by blood, then by a common desire to partake in it.

What I remember most, is the consistency.

Like the well-appointed clothing, there was never anything out of the ordinary here. You could count on it like you would a master tailor, a well-conceived sermon, or the tear that would invariably form in an old lady's eye.

I felt certain it was yet another response to that booming voice from on high, but today I wonder if perhaps that tear she brought with her from home. Either way, it must have been the word that caused it to well in eye.

I remember, so many times, walking out the front steps of that church feeling like my heart was about to explode...elation in the highest-there is no nirvana that could be better.

After church we'd see everyone at the "Sky Chef" was THE place to eat. Located in the glass cathedral that was the McGhee-Tyson airport terminal; you would sometimes feel as if you'd ascended from a preparatory session back at the sanctuary to a place that had the potential (after a good meal, of course) to fly you on aluminum wings to an angel's nest far above the cloud.

Here in this church I would be schooled in a kindergarten, tempered by a boy scout troop, and then sharpened to an actualized edge of sorts - fired as an acolyte, wrought as an usher, tempered as altar boy; there was simile to the ball-ping represented by that ringing chord from a hammered tune as choir boy or bell ringer ; and then this Master's sword would in final act be sheathed in a scabbard that was the church altogether - from administrator to leader and even laity minister in that same pulpit-inspired and divine conduit for booming voice that left me in such awe in my enchanted youth.

It was a scabbard that ensured peace while the sword itself rested in the sanctuary of that place.

There was a magic in the Sunday's of my youth. There was a mystery.

And there was God.

How I'd like to find that airport today, and like the song of old I know I would, fly away.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I do recall -
But with great difficulty now being as it is nigh fifteen odd year
Since the winds of fate blew me away from that land of inclement clouds
To the land of soft mornings where mist arises from the warm earth
A glowing shroud over the graves of thick skinned negroes
And white skinned fools who killed for harsh corn mash bourbon
And a fist of tobacco.

My eyes once were filled by a grey landscape of grey people with dark blue eyes
and wrinkled foreheads, thin lips and mustaches.
And my eyes which were as blue as any man's turned grey
When I crossed that cold river that runs through coal and iron
And I saw the flat lands of Mississippi and the long overgrown fences

The fallow ground, the derelict house, the old mule were my new companions,
The creek bed, my bed, where I dug with bleeding fingers and broken nails
Into the round holes of the crawdad.
I did work while I could, and for a time, I could
I retained some humanity. But I could not keep from fighting.

I found myself, passing through the tall grass, I was like any other beast,
Infested with ticks and fleas and lice and indifferent to the skeeter
Which plague the better sort.

All this - long time - until my heart started beating again
And I walked into the mission house in Jackson.
Lying in a filthy bed I began to read Faulkner,
And the old man died there in that mission.
I grieved for him a little, a pitied him beyond anything else in this world.
And when he was buried, and I was at last free,
I walked out onto the street.
And for the first time, I looked North.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Good Sir Reb

The mad dog in mad fashion howls,
and acid gut doth churn in the bowl;
this man of honor, he roams this earth
like the razorback in deep, mud-hole bearth.

He was raised like the pit bull,
with the taste of blood in his gullet,
welling hunger within not near full
yet with sharp eye and aim he places the bullet.

This man of honor, it was planted deep
Yes Sir, yes M'am, toss and turn, no sleep.
He'd open doors for the less polite
he'd help the stranger in the darkest night.

The Southern man with his rebel's cross,
roaming the Southland, his blood like the frost.
From clan of old country to kin of today,
his hands were all weathered, fingers they were splayed.

Much work, much agony but with it shagrin,
for some Yankee she-devil to beguile him again.
There is no pleasure in pain, it deep within
the pain does not surface for dishonor the sin.

So he roams the mad earth in the darkest of night,
he seeks only comfort from Eden's white light.
For this modern-day gallant, riding white steed
he thinks not of dishonor, for in it the soul itself would bleed.

With love of the country and love of the land,
this Knight of the valley who'd joined with the band.
The brotherhood of righteous, and in it delight,
for this man of the Southland, this modern white knight.

So onward and upward he travels beyond,
through dark northumberland, and rank, filthy pond.
Through Satan's veiled plight, and the craigs of the hills
he'd ride fast as lightning, chasing enemies for thrill.

Some say he's a ghost of long-past rivalry,
to others a haint of some misbegotten chivalry.
But the way of the man is chiseled in heart
like the mason or sculptor beauty in rock split apart.

While no sword could split him (for his soul already rent)
in living all the pleasure, and the pleasure now spent.
So hail to the enemy, as he runs and he flees,
this ghost of the Southland shall drive him to knee.

Will his honor secure him? Will mercy prevail?
To this Knight of honor, would he drive the nail?
With the Way as atonement, and the word as his bread,
He rides chasing heathens to that land of the dead.

Onward and upward, white knight, white steed
the enemy he beckons and plants evil seed.
Weak minds he will tangle in an intricate knot
manipulating their hearts in diabolic plot.

With the truth a rock for your foundation
you'll ride the wind, oh hope of haggard Nation.
With the enemy's dark lies still ringing in ear
let not evil talon pierce brethren heart with fear.

Of rising and falling, the waves perservere
and pound solid shoreline (as in constant arrear).
We owe lying beast his one final stroke,
to cut off his head and cast it afloat.

So stand for the righteous and stand for the true,
your heart beats with fire and will never be blue.
Rattle their cages and poke them with brands,
these, Lucifer's liars, misbegotten cads.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Black Prince


Three score years behind, perhaps
a dozen more ahead
The balance of my life now falls
Amongst my friends: the dead

The men I’ve sent to march to war
However just the cause
Stained the earth as they now stain hell
In Cerberus’ bloody jaws

To me was left a vast empire
The peak of mortal wealth
The promise of my father’s crown
Of long life and of health

Squandered that which was bestowed
On vain and feckless aims?
My empire shrinks before me now
And blackened is my name.

My folk despised throughout the world
My foes too bold and strong
My enemies win victory
Though ever false and wrong

Like a million rats descending
On storehouse and on field
The enemy, though base and weak
In numbers, will not yield

And now my friends all step aside
My people turn away
They feel betrayed; I sought too much
Their debt, my loss defrays

At last my end appears too soon
But leaves me with one claim
That all the evil that I’ve done
I did in God’s good name

Friday, November 03, 2006

Southern Rising


Where some see lost memosa trees
replaced by rows of bradford pears
and countless yankee restaurants
and yankee homes and yankee airs
those same declare: the South is dead
this South never to rise again
for how could Southern pride revive
where yankee emptiness has been?

But strange, as if the soil's a sun
whose rays, unseen, but still in force
do penetrate the yankee heart
and though are stained, yet fend off worse
Thus yankees, in their locust clouds
pave everything from field to fen
become, within a dozen years
akin to Southern Gentlemen

And so the brashest brooklyn cad
you plant beside Fort Loudon's shore
becomes somewhat acceptable:
civilized, if still a boor
His children, bred in Southern skies
Unlike their father, show it when
without hope of recompense
they open doors for fellow men

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I am a Leech Field

I am a Leech Field

A poem by Inkki Garibaldi delivered at the opening of the brand new Tater Holler Township Squash and Turnip Monument in front of a crowd of mainly four to five year olds. Inkki was later asked to apologize which she refused to do, saying that her art speaks for itself.

I am a Leech Field

I am a Leech Field
Rising up through me is all sorts of (expletive)
Across my soggy mud
The dogs chase cats and cats chase mice
I am a compost heap where the possums root
And worms and rolly pollys dig out
citizens together in the warm smelly earth
Showing the dry grassy wheat
what it means to be moist
I kept the ground warm through the winter.

I am an old rusty bucket
With holes so big
You can see right through
And tetanus growing on each metal tooth
Rutted turf
Discarded melon rinds
Cinder blocks
And a broken shovel

I am a dead bird
An old baseball
Dog vomit grass
A worm infested tomato

I am a roughly rectangular area of approximately 1/6 of an acre
I am a couple of broken plastic spoons
I am a half-buried tire
Half-filled with water
Birthplace to ten thousand mosquitos
Bringing rhthym to the garden each time it rains

I have watched the birds fly South in the winter
And fly north again in the summer
Crapping all over me both ways.

I am not a son of a (expletive) like the front yard
Mowed and aerated like a (expletive) prissy (expletive)
I will not use the color of my grass to cover the (expletive) underneath
I am not a (expletive) garden whore letting little garden gnomes (expletive) me in the (expletive)

I am a Mulch pile
Mouldering in peace

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Persisting Triumph

As I made my way through mire and bog
I thought of how that mighty Macree.
would cause the tremors in even Satan's dog
that Phaentom of the lowland lay.

Press forward, press forward,
while boot is mired in knee-depth peat,
press forward, yo! press forward ho!
for us there'll be no cowan's retreat.

Pray your prayers to heaven above,
pray God's hounds shall be at their heel.
Your prayers will be answered, they given the shove
be in this world er next, not for choice to seal.

While the darkness befalls that cold Northlund,
you'll find a glimmer o'er the East
in pale morn's light,
and with this advance, through bog and through peat.

So follow that morn,
from West to East.
Trust in your lead,
who'll keep at bay the beast.

Death's unfriendly hand
may soon deliver,
that knell from the North
that pales soul to shiver.

Press forward, press forward,
while boot is mired in knee-depth peat,
press forward, yo! press forward ho!
for us there'll be no cowan's retreat.

In regalia they are dressed,
in family coat they are wrapped,
this brave contingent
upon whom in all hope is trapped.

So wear that jewel with honor,
and tartan kilt so bright,
your clandaugh your birth-right
your broad sword the requite.

Press forward, press forward,
while boot is mired in knee-depth peat,
press forward, yo! press forward ho!
for us there'll be no cowan's retreat.

With blade in air, thy hand delivers
the cut unto archer, arrow and quiver
While heart beats like drum assunder
Your life-force delivers sullen death and plunder.

Press forward, press forward,
while boot is mired in knee-depth peat,
press forward, yo! press forward ho!
for us there'll be no cowan's retreat.

Into that eye, ice glance and glimmer
charge forward you, stabbing evil this sinner
Letting that blood from him now flow
Coloring crimson the river feeding soil for sow.

Press forward, press forward,
while boot is mired in knee-depth peat,
press forward, yo! press forward ho!
for us there'll be no cowan's retreat.

And into that morn, we'll pass like the Saint
travelling onward to bosom from this availing fog.
Into that eye's warm light sheilding heart from faint,
we'll travel to long home from this lowland's hell-bog.

Pressing forward, pressing forward,
one boot mired, knee-depth peat,
I press forward, upward and onward
for me there'll be no coward's retreat.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Early Fall, On a Winding Road


While driving on a winding road
I saw a wondrous tree
That may have seemed a joy to you
But seemed not so to me

Where one might see its scarlet flush
In a tower of autumn pride
I beheld its tumorous form
And the threat of life denied

And though its strength might show itself
To some less jaded eyes
For me its copper glory
Its cancerous heart belies

Friday, October 20, 2006


In the land of the ephemerie,
where the waters of Delphi flow
there the place of noble breed,
of men with purpose to few is known.

Ruled once by great King Richard
(of who's Knights, they were but poor)
it was a place of nobility
that would some day surely need shore.

For like the creature for which it is named,
(a life of slight instant, to be sure)
the life's blood of this place
would course but only for one measure, only for one frame.

Like Camelot before her,
the black Knight he would not tarry.
For Arture, Black was the lust,
in Briefington twas the Sir Teddy the lush!

To live but only an instant,
one breath, and only one beat;
they packs in the life before them,
before that life she is repleat.

The fate of this Nation,
its generations are untold.
Whilst breeding like wild banshies,
yet in that breath, nothing can grow old.

No knowledge is passed,
no ventures are gained.
No history for young-on's
for in one wink they are aged.

So drink merry knights!
Drink into this eve.
Thy temple not nagged by morning's bright light,
thy living not worried with such terrible slight.

With no need for religion,
no need for distress,
thy life is thy fortress,
thy life is thy death.

So live on merry gents,
(what living you do)
there'll be no morrow
so go on with your "do".

Fear not the wagging tongue
(for who will they tell?)
and that future generation,
is doomed the same hell.

If one soul is set free
from this terrible land,
let that soul be the one,
who'll build a future with plan.

Let his countenance be true,
and his writings be few;
but what writing is wrung,
let it be not in warning, but this "history" undone.

For no history exists in that raunchy, short life
That damned liberertine ephemerie
and forsaken, empassioned short life.

King Richard had wrought it
many ages ago
and lives just got shorter
with each passing new row.

The streams of sweet truth,
flow gentle, straight twine;
but for not the ephemerie
who drowns waters turned lie.

Their life is their reason,
their life is their proof
of what history of living
each life is a spoof.

So drink on poor ephemerie
till the spring is but trickle.
You drink up her soul,
yet the Father slings scycle.

Your libertine life,
in one instant undone.
Its Creator has ripped it,
from your fallow soiled fun.

When enough generations have come
and have gone,
the very existence you crave,
is existence undone.

Take NOT! down this Nation,
do not take it in strife,
for these hands that have worked it
your passions can't take ALL life.

Drink on short-lived Nation,
drink into this night,
your drinking shorts living
but ours is right, long life.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Treachery of the Swiss


Everywhere I go
I never fail to see
the two accusing hands
of the clock outstretched toward me.

From time to time I've torn them off
and left the clock-face bare
But then I find I can't abide
the dial's empty stare.

And so I damn the Swiss
(and their awful mortal lock)
that wretched race that gave the world
both Calvin and the Clock.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Red Bess of Inverness


Red are her hairlocks
(ach legh ach leigh)
Red is her necklace
(ach legh ach leigh)
Red are her freckles
(ach legh ach leigh)
Tho' she be freckless
(ach legh ach leigh-o!)

Bessie she's red now
(ach legh ach leigh)
And wears bright red slickers
(ach legh ach leigh)
Over her kid gloves
(ach legh ach leigh)
And red are her knickers
(ach legh ach leigh-o!)

Ach legh ach leigh!
Ach legh ach leigh-o!
Ach legh ach leigh!
Ach legh ach legh-o!

Red is her weskit
(ach legh ach leigh)
Red is her pigeon
(ach legh ach leigh)
Red is the rose
(ach legh ach leigh)
She calls her religion
(ach legh ach leigh-o!)

Red are her elbows
(ach legh ach leigh)
Red is her lace
(ach legh ach leigh)
Best not to mention
(ach legh ach leigh)
How bright red her face
(ach legh ach leigh-o!)

Ach legh ach leigh!
Ach legh ach leigh-o!
Ach legh ach leigh!
Ach legh ach legh-o!

Philo's Fall

While Black Philo can argue,
in white hall so stark,
his progeny cowers in memory
of his fumbling in dark.

This liar of yore,
like adopted kin of today,
an existence in snore -
flawed character our bane.

So accomodate and welcome
enemies visiting our heel.
Hugging jackals your nature,
causing truth's skin to reel.

True heirs to your blood
see through flawed lies.
They trumpet antithesis
thus vanquishing disguise.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006



Around about the time I learned that time was born to die
I learned what makes all things corrupt would suffer its own fate
For it’s not that trees lay as they fall but trees fall as they lie
For unlike angels fallen man may never rise too late

Though we damn our deaths and we damn this constant change
That weathers us and grows us but to let us go to seed
Our temporal natures save us from the permanent derange;
The very thing that harms us is the thing we dearly need

For were we like the angels who beheld the face of God
And never touched by death and thus permitted to atone
But let our pride’s dominion be our scepter and our rod
We’d be, like they, eternally, in prisons of our own

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Leper King


Whether or not he wears a mask
the Leper King must know his place;
upon a throne, and yet unseen
a paragon of sin and grace.

Anemia and ichor wrought
within one being's seamless heart;
power and weakness, visible;
death and life in equal part

The Leper King now rules this world
but pride replaces blood and pus
and dripping sores belie the crown
appealing to the worst in us

Friday, September 29, 2006

Icke's Pensees

This short reflective poem was written in Icke's later years during one of his "lucid" times. Icke had never been religious and his childhood could not be understood in any way as placid. In fact Icke's later life was quite tame compared to his early years. Most scholars believe this image of God must be understood metaphorically, but it is unclear what the metaphor represents. Some have suggested that God was his own artistic expression.

Icke only wrote several more poems before joining the Cognitive Artist movement at which point his pen necessarily grew ceased to move.


At first God was but a star, cold and remote,
Then I saw God twinkle and he looked playful to me.
He shone brighter and he danced like the planets dance in the sky
Always surprising me by his sudden appearance and disappearance
He seemed to laugh and I laughed back and he grew as I grew
Until he was bright like the moon,
Still cold it is true, but within his beams,
I began to see the world,

Creation looked soft and gentle, gray and shimmering like God.
I mistook it for God.
As I took it up and let it pour through my hand
It mesmerized me
And for quite some time I neglected to look up at all.
But God did not cease to grow.

Creation began to take on color
I delighted in this,
There was food.
I ate and still more came,
Nectar sprung from the Earth
I drank and more flowed up

But then the fountains dried
The world become hard,
I dug in the sand for the sweet Nectar and none came
I looked for the fruit but all had withered

I became angry,
Where was the soft earth?
Where was the earth that flowed?
I struck at the rock twice.
And I remembered God and I cursed him.

I felt his hot breath upon my back and my neck.

I looked up in horror and there was God
He burned above me fiercer than a thousand suns
His wrath fell upon me like molten lead
It consumed all about me
And I lifted my hands up to him
And his weight fell upon me even as he burned me

I began to bear his enormous weight
And it did not crush me
Even now I bear it
Even now it burns

The Virginia Bluebell

From Lime Hill to Three Springs
on steep ridges there this flower clings.

If brilliant beauty were a song,
this siren's color could sing it so strong.

This flower in beauty, it truly sings
of tall, blue ridges and wild mountain streams.

From Walker Mountain to Walnut Grove,
young men there seek her for to woo their beau.

This gentle siren of the blue hills,
she has the beauty, and the looks that could kill.

Like Narcissus before with locked-in stare,
or a Medussa who turns men's hearts stone-bare.

This mountain enchantress with color so blue,
will capture girl's fancy, and devotion so true.

From the Maple in Silver Grove to Holston Lake with its shimmer,
every eye in trance by this blue moutain Lady and her deep cyan glimmer.

In the town of Bluff City, there echos the tale
of the Evergreen Hills and that Virginia Bluebell.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Santuary -REMOVED

Due to the massive flood of negative e-mails concerning the work "Sanctuary", I as a synaptic artist have opted to remove it.

A few notes to loyal readers:

To Mr. Washington of Little Five Points in Toledo, Ohio - No sir, there is no such rap song - it was just a joke. I think it's time for Jerry Springer.
To "little Joe" of Lee Walla Wanna, Wyoming - no, pink cottages was not a metaphor for anything, and especially not bad cheese. It was actually a place I stayed when I was nine or ten years of age.
Haerve Michelleau writes "Mr. Visum, is it true that you were one of the youngest drunks in the history of East Tennessee."

No Mr. Michelleau, that title belongs to a country music star named Rhomba Jones. I was the youngest drunk in the ceded state of Appalachi.
One special e-mail of note from Mick Alliehaundrose- "(unintelligible drivel: republishing would require a beach towel issued to every reader) know where I can find that pink cottage?"...

Mr. Alliehaundrose, this was 20 years ago and my memory is a bit fuzzy but if it still exists it stands on a small stretch of sand on the island of Little Saint George just off the Appalachicola coast. Call Beulah and she can "hook you up".

And, as a side note, I know that they make "dribble cups" for those challenged by overactive "spittle glands" but if someone could engineer one to capture "drivel" overflow from the brain BEFORE it gets to the mouth/pen/keyboard ... WOW - what a gold mine that would be, eh Mr. Alliehaundrose?

Visum OUT
"my love is a pink cottage, palmetto bugs my disdain"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ode to Roger Whittaker


If I could go back in time
through entropy's clouds I'd pass
to execute my only wish
and kick Cat Stevens' ass

Don't you hate that hippy?
and all his maudlin songs?
that reek of unwashed sweaters,
and communal water bongs?

Storyline: Barbarossa's Teats


L'il Timmy Rompkins was born in the Summer of Affection, August 1966. One year before the Summer of Attraction, two years before the Summer of Infatuation, and three full years before the Summer of Love. L'il Timmy was, like everyone else born that summer, a sort of victim of zeitgeist. Had he been born three years later, he would perhaps have ended up being a commercial real estate agent with a summer house on Martha's Vinyard. But instead, like everyone else born that summer, he had become a research scientist, and a respected one at that.

L'il Timmy's first memories were of dappled green lawns, replete with metal toys in a time when metal toys were enjoying their great victory before the onslaught of cheap plastic shit. Some would say that L'il Timmy's mind was like a metal toy. But those shortsighted fools would be wrong. Dead wrong. For L'il Timmy's mind was far more like a spear of brocolli than any metal toy. Uncannily similar to a spear of brocolli, in fact.

He often thought that it was odd that his first memories should fixate on those robust Tonka trucks and metal robots of gears and wheels, instead of on his beloved older brother Big'un. For the remainder of L'il Timmy's childhood was lived in a sort of orbit around Big'un, an orbit that could not be described fully by the considerable impact of Big'un's physical gravity. And this was most unfortunate for L'il Timmy, for Big'un, while a genial enough fellow, had from an early age been afflicted with an affinity for the occult. Big'un's first real toy was a simalcrum of Thomas Edison's "spiritphone," a device that purportedly allowed one to dial into the phantoms of "Dimension X". In fact, Thomas Edison's "spiritphone" was an early experiment in toymaking by Platudinor Enterprises, and rather than connecting one to the spiritworld, it played a scratchy disk recording of "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" over and over again.

For hours a day, Big'un would ponder the meaning. What were the spirits trying to say to him? "Their tops are made out of rubber"... was this a metaphor for the elasticity of the mind? Did it refer to people wearing rubber hats (like the plastic helmets of hippy motorcycle riders or the American troops in Viet Nam?) And what about "Their bottoms are made out of springs?"

L'il Timmy, though, was content to sit in Big'un's presence as his older brother pondered these imponderables. And in that long detatched observation, L'il Timmy acquired the patience that would serve him well in becoming the world's foremost authority on biogenesis.



There is a spectre haunting the visible world. This spectre is Untruth, and it is the duty of the artist to banish Untruth. In ages past, men sought Beauty, likening it to Truth. But it is not Truth. It is Beauty. And for ages, Beauty was Art, and Art was Beauty. But Beauty was not Truth and thus Art was not Truth.

Then men arose who said in strident voices: "Let Art Be Truth!" And they strove to make Art Truth. They broke free from form, from line, from perspective, from skill, from talent, from melody, from rhythm, from meter, and most of all, from Beauty.

But Art was not Truth.

It is only now that History has ended that We may know Truth. But Art is still not Truth. For Art is Man's rendering of Truth via Media. Whether that Medium be tactile or visual, audial or olfactory, the Medium has linked the Artist to the Audience in the communication of the Truth that only the Artist may know.

And yet, all media are corrupt, for being physical, they are fallen. And being fallen, they are themselves Untrue. And being Untrue, how can anything transmit Truth?

And still yet, in the Artist's mind, Truth resides. For it is in the Artist's mind that Art is created.

Now, We ask, why is Art communicated? Why do we communicate Truth? There are two reasons. The first is to fulfill that vicarious pleasure that the Artist takes as Creator in the reception of the Truth. But this is not the True goal of the Artist. For the True goal of the Artist is Truth. And Pleasure is not a Truth. Thus, the reception of Truth by an audience, in addition to being impossible due to corrupt Media, is also a means to corrupt the Artist himself.

Secondly, the Artist may pursue renumeration, in order to sustain bodily needs while he continues to pursue the Truth. In this case, the Artist transmits a corrupted Truth (and thus Untruth), and in return receives corruption itself, for Material is the greatest Untruth.

And so We see that the only two purposes for communication (and media) serve only to enhance corruption.

And so We issue this Manifesto: The only True Art is Cognitive Art. Art that never leaves the Mind of the Artist. For in the Mind of the Artist, Truth may be found. Any and all media are corrupt, and thus are not Art, for Art is Truth and Truth is not corrupt.

And so We, as the COGNITIVE ARTISTS pledge to furthermore practice our Art only within the confines of our minds, never seeking to communicate that Art in any way.

Monday, September 18, 2006

To ponder the descent...qui custos es mei

To teeter, fulcrum's edge, feet like talon and steely eye clutching and surveying at once one precipice of a canyon of psychosis; yet with souls sheathed in the armor of God we are the broadsword of mental accuity laying waste with fierce and bloody dominion the black and featureless chasm of numbing instinctual thought which defines that ruin below.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Press Release



WHEREAS the nominally secular government of Turkey has allowed its official representatives as well as its political leaders to make inflamatory, offensive, egregious, and erroneous statements about His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,

WHEREAS a modern state is charged with maintaining diplomacy not only in the effort to maintain peace between nations, but to prevent bloodshed and the loss of life amongst its citizens of all religions,

WE RESOLVE that the government of Turkey should offer an immediate retraction of all official remarks that are demeaning to Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican, all Catholics, and all Christians.

FURTHERMORE, we demand that the government of Turkey make a further apology for the attempted genocide of Christian Armenians during the First World War,

THAT the government of Turkey apologize to the nation of Australia for their brutal treatment of Australian soldiers during the First World War,

THAT Turkey makes an immediate return of the basilica of Hagia Sophia to lawful representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church, notably the Patriarch of Constantinople,

THAT the Turkish nation cede all historic Christian territories back to their rightful occupants, namely the indigenous Christian peoples of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches who have suffered terrible oppression under the yoke of the Islamic occupiers.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Storyline: The Sole of Whitt


Warto McConkey stared in horror as his fiancee Crystal Silverloin burst into a pillar of flame.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Storyline: The Secret of Da Bomb

This entangled skein must now begin to be straightened, the knot loosened, the ball of paperclips unhooked piece by piece. Who could not have seen the eternal figure of Platu even in his modern guise and known we are dealing with one of the eternal figures, a living totem, and incarnation of the Sophic spirit? His alignment was with Ceres as indicated by the mystical representations of Greenback tower and the placement of one of the stones within his possession. The force of agriculture, the civilizing force, covering and growing upon Gaia.

The first mask is shed, the first face revealed.

Yet still the face of Da Bomb as it bobs about in frothy waters made turbulent by his own frantically beating arms remains unclear. Black and inky water, the void within, the eternal hollowness, this is the alignment of Da Bomb and the pit-temple, the bottomless grail, the pathway to the hidden telluric power, untapped within. Enigma, paradox, riddle and contradiction. His art is a half-smile, his number an endless sequence. Yet in itself an unsatisfying answer.

That was one of his many names.

His symbols are the wheel and the lever, coincidentally made flesh in his body now, as it was suspended, semi-buoyant, with arms and legs flailing in useless pinwheels, describing arcs and ellipses. His own words mock him "Epur si muove."

He was Dionysus, another primal force - art and culture and tradgedy. He was the madness that pulled Nietzche down to his grave, the hand that held David Hume's pen as it joyfully anihilated both God and the universe by narrowing the knowable to the infitessimal of immediacy. Da Bomb was god to the modern age, but a god who could not save itself from that dreadful substance that fills voids, substance that began to suffocate him.

Big'un had watched him for a moment with a silent curiosity. He reflected on how he had once seen a hummingbird whose legs had inhumanely pulled off. The bird had thrashed about just so as it tried to find a way off the hard earth. Big'un turned his back and walked off just as Da Bombs head slipped under the oily water and disappeared.

A cry from the guards, they brushed by Big'un as they sprinted towards the sea wall. It was deep there. Twenty-five feet of sheer rock to water at least again as deep. The guards wore body armor and were in no position to attempt a rescue. They called out desperately to the men of a nearby dredge. But the distance was too great and the sound of the BRU machinery too loud for their voices to reach the workers.

Da Bomb sank down into the murkiness, the overcast sky permitted no faint beam of light to reach him, yet looking up, the polluted water seemed to have the crimson cast of an ancient vintage he had once drank. That was of course, before he went out into the night.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Open letter to ABC news

Dear Support at ABCNEWS:

I'd just like to say that from what I have heard of your miniseries (9-11 commission report), you have hired technical consultants to ensure that it closely follows the findings of the 9-11 commission.

I am of the opinion that you should not be censored by the loud and boisterous cat-crying from the parties who might be shown in a less than sparkling light; also, that in editing your film you are giving credence to the (popular, I might add) opinion that the media is completely skewed toward the left.

I do not understand a group who cannot separate the parties from the individuals who formerly represented one segment of the Democrats (I know that not all Dems supported Clinton).

Now, I am a lifelong, proud member of the Grand Ol Party. My opinions are definitely, well, influenced at best, and shaped at my politics (although I do make an attempt at being impartial).

Which is what I am hoping you will do.

This much I will tell you though...facts should be presented. Conjecture should be left open to interpretation, but the findings of the report should be presented to what is basically a public who will most likely never read it.

You have the opportunity to stand for what is right and true. I'm not saying this in hopes that the Democrats will loose any ground in the upcoming elections (although that would not bother me) - I am saying it as a former journalism student and current writer (technical) - who believes whole-heartedly that the truth must be told and the consequences should be dealt with.

This is what responisble people do. They deal with the ugly truth. They stand tall in the face of adversity. They shy away from manipulation.

My journalism professors used to lecture me on integrity. Once lost, never regained.

Never rat out a source...stick to the facts, and just the facts - no lectures, no persuasion, no politics. Just the facts.

As a media-driven organization, I believe you owe it to the American people to be impartial and demonstrate to the world that you do stand for integrity; and trying your damndest to sort through the sordid detail and peel back the truth (not shaping it - exposing it).

I know that it is swimming up stream into the currents of Delphi, but it is an absolute imperative to the journalist (and this "docu-drama" is a necessary stand-in for a largely illiterate public).

Best of luck to you in your endeavor for the truth! I pray you stick to your guns and not cave to the obvious attempts at censorship by the radical left-wing.


Standifer Evasto Visum

For more, see the site:
Editor and Publisher

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Storyline: The Mobius Nexus

Hansel Daggerfjord looked into the perfect circle of his cup of espresso. The thin khaki froth had worn away to the very extremes of the cup, leaving a mirrored black surface that reflected Daggerfjord's eye back at him in a sort of masonic symbology that a practiced master of semiotics would have presumed meant that the Rosicrucians were on the warpath.

But Daggerfjord couldn't even spell semiotics. Nor had he ever read Kierkegard, Eco, or Percy, who seem to be the sole proofs that such a thing as semiotics is anything more than a farce-science used to pad the blurbs on obscure author's dustjackets. And it was a damn good thing Daggerfjord was not a practitioner of that most dubious of sciences, for it would have distracted him from what was, for him and for us, a pivotal moment.

For, you see, though only a character in a story, that Jagger-lipped gypsy somehow sensed the End of The Exposition, even through the thick curtain that divides fiction from creation.

And though he felt it as something of a brief ennui or even malaise, he had the strangest subconcious awareness that suddenly things would begin to come together, that a profusion of characters would begin to wane, and that many threads left dangling would either be snipped away by the shears of the merciless fates, or would be woven into a tapestry that would convert this chaotic panolpy into a semiotic panorama.

And thus it was, that at the very moment that Daggerfjord tore his eye away from the espresso cup, one of the collaborative authors of Storyline declared:


And so it was written, and so it was done.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Storyline: Some real dung, man...

You may now beckon from yon memory, yea reader of wall-eye and ice-pick wit, a vision of a time and a place that you may have confused with some other time and place (but then, it is really not your fault, the wall-eye and all)...but to wit...beckon if you will that memory of that place that is so blue, yes reader, blue!

Ah the connotations of that many meanings. One may be blue for the unrequited love, or blue from too much breath beheld (beheld?). One may be blue from reading too much Chaucer, or Capote, or Kerouwac... "blue in the face", that is.

Which leads us, reader with the far-away stare, to that place of the face of blue, that devastatingly handsome place with the mug (putz) of blue - that's right, numbskull, Putzenbleu (bethcha didn't see that comin', you wall-eyed freak, for what else am I to believe of one who digs in dung?).

Warto McConkey and Crystal Silverloin had first met here back in ought-ought. They were both in town for a convention having something to do with their respective occupation du jour, that is, they were both in the exciting employ of that thrill-a-minute industry, Cable Television advertising sales.

They were trying to work a deal to wire up everyone in Greenback, Tennessee with Cable TV. She had just developed a new gimmick for impressing Cable TV execs by wearing a catwoman costume to her sales pitches. The patent leather really showed off her more than adequate physique, and she had a quirky little way of punctuating her advert patter with a little game show modelesque move she commonly referred to as "getting the points across".

Of course, those pesky advert execs of the cable capitol of the world, Putzenbleu, France, were always receptive to any "œpoints" she might offer.

Little did she know that on this day she'd happen across the man who'd change her life forever.

Warto McConkey had heard about the â"interesting" costumes that some comely young Cable TV advertising sales reps were commonly using to get that almighty advertising dollar. He decided he'd get his share.

Donning a bow tie and form-flattering (for his manly physique truly resembled an hour glass, or perhaps a peanut), khaki outfit complimented by leggings that covered completely his stilt-like legs, Warto was quite the sight.

This time, this time he would woo them. Lester's Radiator Shack on Highway four-eleven was counting on it.

Lester really needed the attention of those six families in Greenback who were now wired with cable, to wit, the Sax family of Wiggle Planes, the Platudinors of Black Philo Hollar, the Ying family of Burmese Dachshund Way (who made their money dealing in Spider Butt Silk from that infamous nemesis of the silkworm, the Yongtze-Provence Butte* Spider (*Butte, in the Greenback dialect translates to "Butt"); the Boar-Dong family of Ham Head Hill, the Grinders of Sausage Flats and the Jones family of Common-Name Lane - all members of Greenback's elite, effite and always replete "Apex" society - a group of Greenback upper-crust.

Warto was pumped. He had it all over the rest of those maroons in the waiting room. One guy looked like Captain America, and another was done up like Art Linkletter.

With his "connections" back home, and his dynamite get up, he was sure to win an account for Lester's Radiator Shack.

Yeah, this khaki spandex was just the ticket. And the bow, a gentleman of upper-crust appointment (ee wuz I tell ya).

And if it didn't work out, he could always wear it as a disguise when he traveled.

It was about then that his bubble truly burst, for she walked out of that office with her account in cat's claw clutch, and his heart was forever lost only to reside behind that shiny, bulbuous breast, (ah, what the heck, BREASTS – this ain't a family show).

They were in love at first sight; it was a union that would be the pride of all of Greenback.

Menlo and Platu had just “gotten to the good parts” in watching the Democratic National Convention's tribute to the Roman Emeror Caligula entitled “Caligula: Blueprint for a Modern President” on the “Misery Channel” when the show was interrupted by a special announcement from Lester's Radiator Shack on Highway four-eleven.

Lester, it would seem, was having a special come Saturday. REAL special.

Radiators were not the only thing on the cheap at Lester's. Radiators were the front for the real operation out back in the junk yard. You guessed it reader. Ol' Lester was selling stink bombs, and a certain family from Ham Head Hill was buying them up left, right and center (did we really have to put the right in there with those “other” two?).

Anyhow, it was about this time that Menlo turns to Platu and says,

“Did you ever hear a rumor that ol' Lester was kin to the Boar-Dongs?”.

To which Platu replied,

“Uh, yeah. Intersting you should ask. Lester changed his name after becoming involved in some nasty infringement case with a national supplier of electronic parts and gadgets. Seemed he truly sensed that their high-priced corporate lawyers really had him on the ropes, so he changed the name on his business license from “Lester” Baby-Nap Dong to Lester Grinder's Dong (Grinder being his Mother's maiden name), to thus throw off the scent of the Federal investigators involved in the case (for this was back during a less than intrepid administration). It was all quite sordid, and difficult for most, but the really super-genius (albeit horrendously naive) or completely stoned (but real sharp when it comes to coupon clipping)consumers of news to really understand. The typical consumers of news. Pretty much everyone who watches/reads/ingests news. Why do you ask?”

“Of course, of course...Platu dear boy...has it not occurred to you that our man Lester Dong (whatever), or rather, Lester (whatever) Dong, is actually none other than our dastardly nemesis, Sultan Zphat?”.

“Of course not Menlo. It would be preposterous for me to jump to such a conclusion. Zphat is of some foreign descent. Definitely not a name that is from around these parts.

Dong is a really, big, family in the Southern United States. I'll pass this off to your upbringing, Sir.”. Obviously, once again a proof that "thee ain't from 'roun chere".

“But Platu, really. Do you not see that his mannerisms are those of a Sultan? Sure, he's all black with radiator grime and all, but scrape that away and I'll bet you'll find the heart of a nomad, or a really big bird.”

“Nah, he just knows radiators...he don't know no Sultan-in. Scrape it away and you'll just find more Lester. Leave it alone Menlo. Your powers of wizardry are failing you,” replied one final, exasperated time our Mr. Platu.

“Well, he looks like an oil sultan with all that black grime on his face”.

“Trust me, he is a simple man, our Lester Dong,” and with that, Menlo and Platu went back to sipping their whiskeys and watching more of that timely classic “Beaujangles Hyde: Terror of New Orleans, Hero of the Left-Wing” on the “Educajin Channel”.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Storyline: Metanoia

Alas, humble reader, for the vicissitudes of a rambling tale are akin to literary whiplash, in which the mind, like the boom of a small vessel daring the foaming peaks of a raging see, darts now one way and then another. And yet, so must it be, for in no way can the modest authors of this tale impart to you, the dear reader, that TRUTH which lies at the base of this narration, without resort to the perambulations which now beset you.

And so, let us merely due our duty without more apology, but, without delay, let us recall to your mind all that has passed, and all that is to pass.

For, as Pierre Saint-Barnabas reflected upon the heavenly disturbance and pungent fungal aroma that drew his mind back to the Howard Metzenbaum Ball Room in Singapore, just at that moment, L'il Timmy Rompkins reclined on his couch with the amiable Melanie Lustiger at his side. His mentor, Professor Klimmingstock, was not far away from Saint-Barnabas; south of Bretagne, he was lifting the manhole cover from the Parisian sewer, carrying his dissapointment like he carried his unused camera - that is, on a string. Hansel Daggerfjord lay in the hold of a storm-tossed tanker in the North Sea, while Bigoyle and Sultan Zhpat looked down upon the emerald maelstrom they had created. Colonol Snack was likewise nearby, leaning against a grafitti'd wall in Ivry-sur-Seine, taking the report of a flustered Corporal Ying with his passel of Singaporean gendarmes, who voiced their humble protestations at their failure to capture Winky. And Elsa? Elsa McConkey lay in the brush of Greenback Tennessee, her love-child Warto beside her, who in turn was beside his fiance Crystal Silverloin (who had only been able to come with a black catwoman outfit on short notice for this reconaissance mission). Behind them, but unnoticed, perched high in a Bradford Pear, was Lt. Frank Corky, who was handcuffed to Herve Quisleau (a distant cousin of Pierre Saint-Barnabas, on his mother's side). Corky watched Elsa as she trained her binoculars on Greenback Tower, his unbendable legs sticking out starkly on either side of the bough that supported him, unaware that he in turn was watched by Shimmy Platudinor. Shimmy turned his own binoculars onto the green windows of the tower, to the observation platform, where he could see his uncle Platu dangling a nervous man by one ankle over the edge of the 1000 foot drop.

And behind Shimmy, disguised as a morbidly obese Kentucky Polecat, was Druppins Patinki, the brother of Ragnar "Fats" Patinki, the Hungarian Assassin dispatched by Big'un Rompkins at One Pickle Place in Cincinnati Ohio. Patinki could see almost nothing out of the tiny eye-slits in his polecat costume, but he had a vague impression of someone being dangled from the observation deck of Greenback Tower, which put him in mind of Lucky Luko, the Czech assassin who had been slain the same night as his brother Ragnar. This caused Druppins' body temperature to rise considerably as he thought of revenge, which unfortunately caused a resonant heat condition inside the polecat suit. This, combined with the entire turkey that Druppins had consumed for lunch, sent him into an immediate coma - a coma from which he never awoke, for Earl Platudinor's groundskeepers found him the next day, and presuming that they had the redolent carcass of an unusually large polecat to deal with, dumped him unceremoniously in the Greenback Tower incinerator, from whence fine particles of Druppins Patinki later descended on the residents of that sleepy little town.

All of these divergent facts were known only to you, the reader, and to a sinister man dressed in a nutter-butter suit, who sat in a darkened van nearby, watching everything from the broadcasts of his army of microbot camera-flies.

And yet, though he could see the present, and in some sense predict the future (whether based on some unknown mystical ability or simply a mastery of the syllogism), he was unable to see the past, unlike your devoted authors, who now, for the purposes of clarity, must take you back to the year 610, in a dirty hira near a scrubby desert town...


Da Bomb smiled as he remembered that day, and his unwitting protege Mo. Mo had accomplished all that Da Bomb had wished, and more. And now, centuries later, all was falling into place. The first stone was securely in place in Da Bomb's secret hideout in Mecca. The second was surely in the sea-cave temple that Roger Bacon's girlfriend "Mollie" had created for it, and which Da Bomb, Sultan Zhpat, and that infernal Texan Bigoyle now sought with increasing urgency. The third stone could only be in the hands of his nemesis, Plato, or whatever farsical name he had chosen. But Da Bomb now knew, thanks to the carelessness of Darkins and the idiot accountants of the Central Twillings Oil Works, that Plato was living in the South of the United States of America, that place of last resort to which he always fled. And Da Bomb would be dealing with him shortly.

Or so he thought, for as he turned to walk along the seawall, he was drop-kicked from behind, staggering under the blow imparted by the massive frame of Big'un Rompkins.

Storyline: Bigoyle Refining Unlimited

The inhabitants of that rough coast were not sentimental and so they had little qualms in selling out to what appeared to be a large international petroleum company Bigoyle Refining Unlimited. There were some raised eyebrows however, when their new neighbor erected an eleven foot high wall that snaked about the countryside separating the BRU property from the rest of Bretagne. The fact it was bejeweled with the skulls of various animals, including humans, cattle, and sheep began to give them some consternation, and the fact that now at night, the dark sky seemed to be awash in the reflected red glow of some enormous conflagration within the BRU property had them soon talking in hushed whispers and warding off demons with their own druidic incantations. What was, after all, going on?

In the following months a few fishermen ventured close to see if they could discover some clue as to the apparently demonic machinations of BRU. They came as near to the coast as to determine that an enormous tower was being constructed within a sea wall a good five hundred yards or so off the shore. An enormous fountain spewed water continuously from within the walls out into the Ocean.

Not long after, the fishermen’s nets became choked with dead things: eels, squids, all sorts of mollusks, and putrefying fish that not even Parisians would eat regardless of how much mayonnaise was employed to cover the foul taste. Sick black ooze formed a deadly skin over all the water and charcoal gray smog covered all the land, completely hiding the activities within the wall of skulls as the locals began to call it.

When men started to disappear from the surrounding villages, a deadly fear seized the rest, and one after another the villages were abandoned, the fields became fallow, the paths and trails choked with brambles. Wild dogs ruled the streets, and derelict cars and homes became warrens to hordes of enormous red eyed rats.

Only one road remained open, the road which led from the BRU property to Roscoff and along it a seemingly endless stream of trucks brought more and more supplies. They passed through the black gaping gates, over laden with cargo, and returned empty. Along this road, seven miles from the BRU property, a small tavern and inn eked outa pitiful existence. The proprietor, one Pierre Saint-Barnabas, was a man of great curiosity and learning. He happened to be a self-taught expert in biochemistry and biophysics who specialized in exotic and rare mushrooms, especially those of Southeast Asia and who had also toyed with various modern Nerve Agents. In fact he had recently been in Singapore attending a conference and had witnessed some unusual events which set his mind to rapid electric pulsation. The strange odors carried on the breeze towards his disintegrating business made him wonder if he had not, perhaps, stumbled on something more sinister than the Dantesque inferno that had sprouted from the verdant terrain might at first suggest.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Storyline: The Second Ring

Dusk in the early fall of 1201, two peasents were gathering in scythed wheat from a bumpy field along the track that lead from the town of Agneash to Ballaragh on the East coast of the Isle of Man. These hearty fellows were rather non-descript save the flaming red hair which grew long down their backs and marked them of Norse stock. They were third generation Manx; their grandfather had been one of the landless high birthed who had sailed across with Loof of the Crimson Fist, but a storm in the Irish Sea had driven him ashore on Man and he was forced into servitude by the local Viking chieftain.

Their task was still far from complete when they heard the sound of a horse being driven fast and recklessly up the narrow track. Such a sound was a wonder compared to the gentler plodding of Oxen. Horses were rare in this part of the country seeing as they were far from the wealthier provinces and the cost of keeping horses was prohibitively expensive even among the chiefs. Moreover, the potted ox-cart road was no place to take a horse to a gallop, and at dusk disaster was inevitable.

Indeed it was, for no sooner had horse and beast appeared as strange silvery figures against the strangely white Eastern sky, but the horse stubled and fell in a sickening thud, throwing up straw and turf. In its agony the beast rolled over upon the rider, crushing him under its vast weight. The rider let out a horrid cry, then moaned as the horse attempted to regain itself kicked its hind legs striking him in the chest.

The two peasents were upon him in an instant. One, the taller of the two noticed the strange leather and whicker constructions strapped to the horses hooves, which had been beaten to shreds in the rapid flight of the horse. Acting bravely, he took his wooden stave and struck the beast on its head, cracking its skull and ending its life.

As the other peasent dragged the rider aside, he noticed the red cross on his breast, the well oiled leather armor and a strange reed tube, bent into a shape like a J and strapped to the riders neck.

The two peasents knew about the crusades, its successes and failures. A brother of theirs had joined one of the English crusades in the hopes of finding land for himself in distinguished service, but had died of a fever on Cyprus before he could distinguish himself. But this creature was something entirely knew to them.

In the final glistening light of that day, as the two brothers bent over him they could see dark blood welling up from the knights mouth with every pained breath. It was clear that the knight was trying to speak. The sound of other hooves now came to their ears and the knight's eyes widened with fear. Clearly this brave man was not afraid of his own death which was certain but of something else. He gestured towards the dead horse, and the tall peasent went over and saw the waterproof saddle bag. The knight nodded. The peasent brought the bag back and loosed its contents. There was some food for the journey, some coin, an extra cloak, a wineskin and a waterskin, a leather bound book (valuable whatever the contents) and a black stone set in a bronze ring. With an unworldly effort the knight managed to sit up, then stand. He grasped the book and the stone and shoved them into the arms of the smaller peasent. Then with his last effort he pushed the peasent aside, away from the track and turned to face the unknown riders.

This smaller peasent, notable only for his profoundly large lips, found himself running, driven by a fear he could not comprehend. The sound of conflict and shouts rapidly faded behind him, yet he did not stop. He ran all that night and all the next day, stopping only when he reached the monastary of St. Colm, a tiny chapel and dormitory of rock and wood in the rugged terrain surrounding Snaefell. There, he hid the book and the stone without anyone's knowledge within the wreckage of a fallen hermitage at the edge of the compound. He rested for two days under the care of the kindly Monks.

Having mastered his fear he returned to his home, a journey of some three days, but before reaching his village a relative told him that his brother, the taller of the two peasents decended of Vilek from Dagger Fjord had been found dead on the road and it was assumed that he was the murderer since he had disappeared. Quietly, Janik the shorter of the two peasents with the enormous lips, retrieved his family and moved back to the monastary of St. Colm taking up residence in the ruined hermitage.

Janik lived another 65 years after these events never saying a word about what had happened and relating this tale only on his deathbed to his son. That was in the year 1266, the year of the Treaty of Perth.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Philo Platudinor's Campaign poster from 1863

Philonius Platudinor was also know as "Black Philo" for his role in undermining republican efforts to gain a foothold on the South after the war. Most of the more conservative side of the Platudinor family considered him a black sheep, and some attribute the monicker to the major players in the family and their attempt to distance themselves from him.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Storyline: The first of the three rings

Upon Greenback tower, just barely visible from the street below, there is a small helipad, several radio and microwave transmission towers and a small observation platform. Upon this platform projecting out towards the warm, soft, green, and oddly motherly mountains of Tennessee was a metal rod 99.45 cm long, upon which a ring has been mounted. The ring is precisely 1.1 cm in diameter and 1 mm in thickness. One could, if one were so inclined, by leaning far enough over and twisting one’s neck slightly look through the ring and stare down upon one of the many pear trees that ringed the tower.

Yet that is not the purpose of the ring. To understand the purpose of the ring one would need to know that it, like the entire superstructure of the tower was composed of a special Beryllium Iron Nickel alloy with quite special properties. Virtually infinitely stiff, virtually zero coefficient of expansion, virtually transparent to high-level radiation. One then might notice that the axis of this rod projected backward would intersect the axis of the tower precisely at a point marked by a smoothed stone of some strange mineral polished to a near mirror like finish.

But the stone was not perfect. One would find, if one was quite careful was not quite spherical but was, in fact slightly ellipsoidal, with major axis 975 mm and minor axis 909 mm. Its coloring was far from flawless rather it was mottled and streaked, in some places quite rough and dull and in places seemingly polished and bright. The rock was held fast by a ring segmented by twelve small blades or vanes twisted as to catch the wind. This ring sat upon a special non-linear friction bearing so that the stone would turn under the influence of the prevailing winds of Greenback, but regardless of how weak or powerful the wind, it moved at precisely the same speed.

Depending on the direction of sunbeam or moonbeam and the cast of the shadows, the stone would reflect quite differently so that the color was ever changing. But almost always visible was an unusual bright spot ten degrees below its northern pole and several darker shadows which seemed to creep across its surface. In fact, were one to consider quite closely the two shadows, one might be inclined to think of them as two snakes locked in battle encircling the brighter spot, but it almost seemed as if the shadows were of forms within the stone itself and the bright spot an internal glow.

The observation platform was on tracks and itself moved, but quite slowly, so that it took 110 hours, 22 minutes, and roughly 49.86 seconds to complete a single revolution about the tower.

Considering again the rod and the ring, if one were to drop a measure from the ring to the street below, (quite possible due to the conical shape of the tower) one would find that the distance was not quite 1500 ft but in fact roughly 1466 feet, or in actuality 446.818 m.

The inhabitants of the tower, all but one of course, would have been quite indifferent to these facts seeing as the eccentricities of its creator were as numerous as they mysterious and none seemed to have any particular impact on their ever-present task. But their meaning within the pantheon of forces shaping our story is important, indeed could be considered essential for there were in fact two other places where such similar numerological constructions could be found. One Platu knew well, and it was the thankless task of the army of engineers to return him thence. The other, was its antithesis. The dreaded pit-temple which at that moment Sultan Zhpat under the hidden power of Da Bomb was entering.