Monday, May 28, 2007

Great poem, not by me.

Our fathers took oaths as of old they took wives,
to have and to hold for the term of their lives.
But we take our oaths, as our whores, for our ease,
and a whore and a rogue may part when they please.

--Thomas Brown

I saw this on the following website. Frankly, I know nothing about Thomas Brown.

Daniel Mitsui Blog

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Del Hippian

"Their" Planet

The Del Ghattians had inhabited the cozy, little planet for approximately three millenia (for no-one, no-one living anyway, could remember exactly how long - their communal memory only tracked back about three generations).

Del Ghashia was a happy planet. It was populated with happy people. And they had happy animals.

Everything was happy about Del Ghashia.

They even had a happy God. He was always depicted as smiling (for what kind of creator could create such a happy place if he too weren't first happy?).

Everything in Del Gashia always went along, and went along just "swimmingly".

But a rain cloud was about to form, and their creator knew it (for he was an excellent programmer).

The code was about to hit its bug. The hour was nigh.

Their creator was "perched" in his usual position. When he "saw" his creation, he did not do it with 'normal' eyes, but rather, the creator's mind could picture everything without the need for input.

Think of him as a purely "digital" being...he did not require analog input to "see" the creation (for even the future was a function of memory for him).

The creator was old. Ancient.

He enjoyed all his creations, but especially Del Ghashia. Del Ghashia made him smile.

It was so pure there. The essence of the master's "giggle box".

But the creator's smile was always a wry smile (for he had that repressed memory of that bit of code he threw into the mix for good measure).

Marvel Del Ghattio, who it was said hailed from the clan, perhaps, of the original Del Ghattians - Marvel was a leader among Del Ghattian leadership. He was the Shaman. He was the man for whom the heart's of great, great leaders, at the very sound of his voice, would slow almost to a stop.

They hung on his every word.

For he was from the special people of Del Ghattia (spelling here was endemic to the area of the planet from which one hailed - some called it Goshia, some Ghattia - but all knew it as home).

Marvel had begun to feel his smile fade a little (for they all had perpetual smiles here). Oh, it was hardly perceptable.

Even his goo-goo had not noticed (and she'd been with him since the very start).

In Del Ghattia, you see, they fall in love as infants. The bonding begins as soon as they leave their Mother's ra-ras (the feeding sphere, or spheres (depending on her configuration - "Ra" if she is of the single nature..."Ra-Ra" of the dual...we could go into infinite detail on this subject, for there were a choice few who were configured with multitudenous Ra's and they were known as the "Hoo's", or "Hoo-Law, laws").

Some believed that the perpetual happiness begins with the "bonding" period...that fourteen weeks that the babies spend coming and going from the feeding sphere. Quite spectacular, actually. Difficult to understand why they would ever leave (especially the females)...but eventually they yearn for what is on the other side of the sphere.

It was possible that this was the very nature of Marvel's new-found "wryness" in his perpetual smile.

He knew there was a time to break from the spheres. He knew there was a time for bonding with the goo-goo's. It was the nature of the Del Gha.

They yearned to seek other smiles.

The unfortunate problem was that after all this time, he felt deep down they would soon seek to look upon the face of that dastardly grin...that wryless smile of the other. He who delighted in the things that would make even a Del Goshen forget the Master's smile.

They would soon, he felt, turn from happiness.

And thus the nature of a crooked smile (smiling, "in spite" of himself).

Marvel knew.

(see the continuing saga in "Levella Joppanian")

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yet another "quote du cuff"

"Arms embrace, arms divide...arms at once ensure both segregation and absolute compliance. May arms forever be free, and may they forever work (no matter to what end)."


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quote du Jour

"Had he the moment to consider, he would have, and, extensively so. But there was only time to act; and act, he did."

Standifer Evasto Visum

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Free-thinkers are neither."

-Xavier Martel, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Metered Soul

a It was just an old store
a in form, just a bore
b gone is its legacy
b done is its happening
c and in my soul, there's a hole

a No restful sleep when I snore
a No dreams to escape (places of lore)
a My lifedream, I'm afraid 'tis no more
b crumbs are my thoughts
b fun, just a memory
b love, it ain't no healthy place.

b Run, say my demons.
c somersault and roll!

a I am no bore.
a I hop not ruddy whore.
a My memory, God save it from lore.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Motion to Submit

I hereby make a motion that all Nikki Giovanni poems be submitted to the following "alliance".

Literary Awards

Poets Sheryl Hill and Rose Becallo Raney, both of Knoxville, shared the $500 Tennessee Writers Alliance Literary Award, which was given this year for individual poems. Nikki Giovanni was the judge.
The awards are open to all Tennessee writers as well as members of the Tennessee Writers Alliance, a three-year-old nonprofit organization for writers, teachers, and librarians; there is a $20 annual membership fee to join. As of this writing, it has not been determined if the 1995 award will be given for poetry or fiction; further information will be available in February. The deadline is July 15.
Literary Awards, Tennessee Writers Alliance, P.O. Box 120396, Nashville, Tennessee 37212. Amy Lynch, Interim Executive Director. (615) 383-0227.

Monday, May 07, 2007

PM 10: Introduction

I was shocked, my whole body jerked in revulsion. What was this thing that hovered above me?

"I assure you," she said sweetly "you look as revulting to me as I do to you."

I tried to sit up, but the weight of my body was so very great that I could not even lift my head.

"Steady," she continued, "let's not rip a muscle overexerting. Diot or someone will help you up in just a minute."

"Where am I?" I asked again.

"You are with the EARA. You were just unpacked."

"What are you going to do to me?"

"Well, we will do some training, indoctrination, acclimation as I just said. We also will outfit you for your new career depending on how well you take to the training. That's our main job in human procurement. But of course, we are just one group in a much larger organization. Take for example, this single station. We have a large semi-autonomous program management team here. There are about twenty-five full time assistants and associates whose whole occupation is to monitor commuication between various operatives. We also have an information coordinator and a Ninian Press Liason. These are all part of our Protocol and Internal Affairs Departments. We also have several actual operative divisions. Don't ask me to explain all their various tasks. Truthfully their affairs are no real concern of ours. We have a small hospital contingent, a fair sized mechanical technician lab, an armament recuperation officer, and an information coordinator. With all the incomings and outgoings of officers and operatives we also employ..."

I suddenly realized that she was going to keep talking unless I took action immediately. "I don't care, damn it! Just let me up!"
"As I said, we will let you up in a moment. I suggest just relaxing and being patient. You are a great deal overdue. This has put us into an unpleasant situation, and I can't tell you how much typework this is going to cause. We have to relist you and check on current assignments. The position we had you down for has already been filled, hasn't it Diot."


"Just send me back!"

"No, I don't think so. It would be a tremendous nuisance. The only options right now are to dump you or train you." She stepped away, "Diot, will you see to it that it is put back into the system? I have a few other affairs to take care of." She shuffled out of sight. I turned my head and looked at the far more attractive creature operating a console a few feet away.

Relatively more attractive. She was tall and thin and the head on her long neck drooped like a wilted flower. She had a wild mass of yellow-orange hair that seemed to stick straight up like a candleflame. Her elfen face was a little less than pretty and a little more than plain. Her tight fitting uniform revealed a rather asexual body with very little feminity. I noticed that it was the same kind of unifrom Bud had appeared in with a few small changes. The satin stripe down the leg and sleeve was white with a red square at shoulder and hip.

"What was that thing?"


"What was that thing?" I repeated, my voice becoming more desperately shrill and ragged.

"You mean Pamille?"

"Yes. Whatever. What was she?"

"She is a Ninian, Mr. MacLeinn. Please don't worry about the typework. It's really not that bad. Pamille just doesn't understand how the system works. She always thinks things she doesn't know about are so complicated. There, you're back in the system." She looked over at me giving me a reassuring smile. The anxiety on my face must have been quite obvious. "Try to relax, I'm checking your insulin response and a couple more medical checks and I'll help you up and you can get something to eat and drink."

I looked around the room. There were many more tables like the one I assumed I was on. Most were empty but several had bodies on them. Unmoving bodies. There was spotlight above each of the corpses, just like the one that had blinded me. "Why can't I move?" I asked. "I'm not dead am I?"

An enormous teeth baring smile split her face. Then she emitted a spontaneous barklike laugh and then snorted through her nose. "Oh... the gravity is always a little higher in the basement. No Mr. MacLeinn you're not dead, but for all anyone really cares you might as well be dead." She paused looking at what I took to be a computer console. Her expression became more serious and reflective. "And probably, soon enough you will."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New Blogs

Sterquilinium's Faithful Readers:

Please take a moment to visit the new blogs listed in the links on the right side of this page:

Inverness Fan Club
Summa Contra Peart


Friday, May 04, 2007

PM 9: Arrival

It is a strange thing unconsciousness, hovering between existence and nonexistance. A taste of death it often seems. My uncosciousness, unobserved by any, was of an even stranger sort. It did not merely encompass me, but everything else. It was a blankness in the universe. I was Schrondinger's cat.

Perhaps you are not familiar with that story from modern physics. Schrodinger came up with the experiment to refute the ideas of men like Heisenberg and Niels Bohr who believed that reality was the summation of various wave states which collapsed upon observation. The experiment Shrodinger suggested, if carried out, was a rather cruel exercise in probability; however, it was only a thought experiment. The cat is placed in a black box with a poison vile and a small amount of some unstable isotope and a radiation detector. The decay of a isotope determines when the vile of poison is released. Until the box was open and the cat seen again, the unfortunate beast was neither alive nor dead but both and neither. Half a cat, some might say. Shrodinger thought his opponents would realize that their arguments would have far reaching consequences. The cat subject to the whims of an uncaused event showed quite clearly that there can be no real distinction between the subatomic world (radioactive decay) and the macroscopic world (cats and scientists). Therefore, surely the idea of a half a cat would by its very absurdity prove to them that their interpretation of Quantum Mechanics was false. Shrodinger was naive to think the saner view would be the more pervasive. We now must accept only half a cat.

Yes, I was that cat, possibly alive, possibly dead in a black box somewhere in the Universe. My existence was even more questionable, for unlike the cat whose consciousness had it been awake would have been snuffed out, mine was simply not present. But if "I" was not in the box, where was "I." I was so dilute, even to myself, that I was for all practical purposes not really any place at all. I had simply fallen out of time. And more than that, there was no guarantee I would ever appear again. And even one step further, as it turned out when I did come back into existence, for the observor unaware of my history, I may have merely appeared out of the ether. I appeared ex nihilo, another uncaused event like radiaoctive decay.

Father Kindly objected to talk like that. He said it was silly and idle and I will have to account for it someday. But Father Kindly believed in causality. He believed in St. Thomas Aquinas's proofs. I myself am not sure. God, if he exists, being omnipresent, sees through all things. He is the observer extraordinaire and therefore, it seems to me all waves must collapse for Him. God does not play dice with the universe as Einstein said, but all evidence seems to say if there is a God then he does. How can it happen that a photon passes through both slits at the same time? If conscious shapes the universe and we know there is an unknowable, there can be no observor. I told Father Kindly this, but he always insisted on the metaphyiscal certainty of God's existence. Metaphysics and physics. I can comprehend neither. How can I choose between metaphysics, which I can't see but can percieve, and a photon, which I can't help but see but shall never percieve?

All the stronger argument seems to work against God. Why would God hide invisible behind his creation? Shouldn't he arc above it like the sun in the sky? I see and percieve the universe, its vastness, its emptiness. I see nothing of what is beyond it. The universe I can comprehend, measure, and describe. I can in a measure comprehend it. Father Kindly's God is incompatible with this universe. He is colorless, massless, sizeless. I can not see, percieve, or comprehend him. How than can I be at all understood to have been created in his image? This is too much to believe. It is faith that defies the probing of reason. Father Kindly said reason can not contradict faith, but my reason causes me to reject God. Only one thing keeps my mind open to the faintest possibility of His existence: the odd fact that I myself feel incompatible with the universe.

Of course these were not the thoughts I was entertaining when eventually the waves did all collapse down and I popped back into existence. I was thinking of how much pain I was in as I lay on a cold metal shelf. I felt so very heavy. I tried to open my eyes but was almost immediately blinded by the brightness of my surroundings. It was liking stepping out into sunlight from a pitch black cave. I blinked, but the light was so intense it hurt.

"Oh good, its brain cavity isn't going to burst." said a voice.

"His vitals are fine. Blood pressure is rising but still normal. I told you he would be okay."

"Yes, yes, yes, but you aren't the one who gets splattered when they go off." It was a woman's voice, soft and melodious. My one eye could make out a vague outline, a grotesque and distorted sillouhette. She prodded me. "Can you hear me? What's your name?"

I grunted.

"What planet are you from?"

Two grunts.

"A slow riser apparently."

"I'll pump in a little more adrenalin." Said the second voice, also feminine but by comparison quite a bit more gravelly.

"I say we just dump him. Why bother training such a useless glob of flesh. It will be doing it a favor. It doesn't stand a chance. Better to die out in the void than be ripped apart in some arena." She paused. "Besides, I'm over my short shift by at least 10%. "

"Peter." I managed to get out. my arm moved slightly, but it was so heavy. I curled my fingers and turned my head.

"Look, he's responding." siad the second voice.

"To which question?"

"He's telling you his name."

"Is that your name? Peedar?"

"Peter MacLeinn."

"Look him up will you Diot?" Said the soft voice. "Where's he supposed to be?"

"Nothing by that name." The gravelly voice replied. "Ask him where he's from."

"What planet are you from?"

"New York."

"Newyork? Diot what planet is Newyork?"

"Earth, he means Earth."

"Well how come he said Newyork?"

"New York is a big city there. Several recruiters work out of New York. Of course he could have meant New York the province."

As my eyes grew accustomed to the light the blur that was my inquisitor became more colorful and distinct. I could see now that despite the loveliness of her voice she was horrendously ugly. "You're not properly in the system. Who recruited you? We need to know." The word recruited brought me a little more back to the world.

"Where's Bud?" I said weekly. "Where am I?"

"Oh here he is. I found him." The gravelly voice exclaimed. "You know he was supposed to arrive ten long shifts ago. We had him down as lost in transit."

"That's impossible. Where has it been all this time?"

"Probably in a warehouse, or in one of the bays."

I was looking around trying to make out other objects in the room. The overhead lights kept drawing my attention. "Well, some have been known to endure twenty or thirty long shifts in stasis. Still it's amazing it survived. Most likely it has brain damage." She paused before addressing me again. "Did you say Bud Holligan recruited you?"

I licked my dry lips, my tongue was swollen. There was little saliva. "Where is he?"

The second voice, Diot, answered. "He's long gone. Don't worry, if you knew him as well as we do, you'd be grateful you missed him."

"Who are you?"

"Oh, I'm just the resident medical technician. This is Pamille the Human Resource coordinator."

I now could make out this woman who stood over me. Her bald wrinkled head, her huge lidless black eyes, her colorless lips, the flat nose and her long neck. She wasn't ugly, she just wasn't human. "Welcome to the Eternal Agressive Revolutionary Army. I'll be assisting you as you get acclimated."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ode to Adam Smith

O dark machine of capital,
conceived by Scots and Jews,
what you demand, I must provide;
no wise man could refuse.

For your laws are writ in stone;
the very laws of earth.
Thus I accept that I must be
a wage-slave from my birth.

You keep me clean and feed me well
and all that you demand
is every final part of me
from soul to busy hands.