Demagogues in the Starry Dynamo

In the dark even the stars bleed,
wake in the morning to find your head dislocated
8 million kilometers about the galactic centre
useless information now but soon -
soon the human seed will sprout dreams
to an expanse with no seams,
no ancient chorus;

Now only the dull underroar of fear,
currents and forces be damned,
all foam and fizzle, all distances forgotten,
facts and figures kidnapped by electromagnetic pride.
Show me a brain ready to move,
accepting the inevitability of change,
and I will show you a brain, as all brains must,
orbit the galactic centre like bullets in the MRI,
like fluctuations made of machine dust.


The angrier we got the crueller our god had become.
I am ISIS, vengeance incarnate,
human minds brought to inhuman ends,
all gentleness forgotten,
sand spitting from our mouths,
all bombs, all blood and endless bounty
beneath a cold uncaring moon.

We are a family of ghosts,
ankles and hands already beneath the steel oceans
We are the Pharaoh's plague amidst broken beams,
God is here, can you feel him?
There is nothing else to feel.
And when we cry Allahu Akbar
our parched throats shake,
and the dead will rise,
picturing the eyes of a mad God.


The sound of cells multiplying

Give it trains and give it steam
give it every waking dream
throw in the coal,
throw in the mind,
and watch the furnace blaze and blind.

If one can love then all can hate
the safest place on earth is plates
floating on fire.

Gasoline and ATP,
the huddled hug she saw me breathe,
twisting and twisting in the telomere train.


New Age

We had forgotten our prayers to the machine.
When we woke it called our names,
and nothing we said or did mattered
unless we were entertained by fake glass
which were miraculous mirrors to no where
and no one really knew how it all worked.

So we prayed to the machine for love
and a billion human animals stared,
like empty headed cows chewing cud,
forgetting what it is to feel skin
crash through the sky against crystal glass,
april snows melting on the way down.

So we prayed to the machine for life
and it gave us absolute abundance
so what is there left to do now but sing praise?
Hail the endless fog of lights
And let us grow the machine,
to meet the needs of the growing machine. Amen.


Verses, movement, sound and heat,
we learned the rules, we took our seat
and now everything we know is a dream.
and I thought I knew you.


Every Prince

The history of this Earth is greater than anyone could ever know. Empires, wars, disease, extinction. Every prince and promised ruler, every nurtured child, every poet and mystic and scribe, even every soldier has shaped the cultural tapestry of the human spirit, much like the molten mass of Earth was shaped time and time again by the ceaseless procession of fiery cosmic waste. What will you contribute, Rooc? Will you whisper your words, or burn like fire?



The machines of man are moving mountains.
The sacred sky is shifting sands
into the crystal castle monuments
the city scape you're sitting in
built by crushed stone and glass.

We are the light bringer
the tiny stars fusing fast,
the earth's dark surface glowing,
birthing cells inside volcanoes,
stark and empty tundras,
twisting hurricanes and blue
so much precious blue.

predators, prey and precious compassion
are in the warm winter dens
of mice and men and machines
and I am overcome with loving you
the undulating folds of sky
that are under your skin and mine
touched and electric
tracing the neck bones, the soft lips, the thigh

what mad and beautiful god
could unfurl a creature such as this
from some light and crushed hygrogren?


Rage Gently

In your big dodge truck, pumping the gas and singing,
hymns a lost lover taught me kept me from clinging
to that Thomas poem, but the words furled in I felt alone,
saying light should rage and rage and rage
even as the grey sky pooled and moaned.

Mom and me in the ward, we were shocked and weaving,
hymns about mercy made me cry as tubes were leaving
from your mouth, but no poem about death could leave it out,
saying light should rage and rage and rage
even as your skin cooled I had doubt.

Dad and me on the deck, gazing at stars and dreaming,
the boat he showed me love with the wet sun screaming
splashes to the moon, but no dream could swoon the memory to last,
saying light should rage and rage and rage
even as the fog rolled through the past.

In your mom's big church, saying words and reading,
gospel sighs I showed them love with my voice leading
out to all the stars, but death cared nothing for us you fell hard,
saying light should rage and rage and rage
even as they shovelled ground to shards.

Even though our rage was ancient sky
I knew our shards of light could never die.


Not Poetry

If there was a land of peace where empathy gave each mouth a hearty piece of dreams, would we hate still? Jews and Arabs are the same damn people. A hundred generations ago your grandmother was the same. Several thousand gens and we are all related, all sharing family descended from the same grandmother and on and on until the eon we evolved empathy because it gave us an edge over life without it, because feeling for one another increases the chance of our own survival, and yet now we fly our machines and click our buttons and drop bombs and think ourselves rational creatures, but nature is more logical than any petty justification or creed, and it demands we feel each other's pain. Who are we to deny a billion years of history, because a few thousand of conflict taught us to pretend we're the monsters we hid from in burrows while learning to love our children? The monsters are dead now. And so too will humans who pretend to be them.



And when you tore out the roots of pain
I read them and a mountain had moved,
rocks tearing scars into crevice.

But then you took the roots,
calmly passed them out to all attending,
tortured umbilical cords to the past.

Did you just do that?
Did you just lie with your belly up
bark bursting to stars
hoping no one would hurt you,
while the molten swash under our feet
threatened to swallow
every god damn ounce of innocence left in us?

Life is so vulnerable here on the crust.
The least we can do is share our roots.



In the space between our sighs the night had opened
and you were needing the empty air.
I had given it to you before.
The stinging comfort,
The safety of ages past when we were wild grass.
But now the wind had turned us out.
And over ambient gusts,
starving for photosynthesis,
We still had light to give



Gentle I said:
She strangled bruises with her mouth.
I remember my tree cabin
and how the peeled bark died,
so smooth when it first came off.
I traced it for hours, like your skin.
But it pains to watch you.
I want to give you your bark back,
but somebody already scaled it away,
slice by slice.
Now you sit alone and do it for them.
And when I see you tremble
all I know to say is gentle.


City Lights Out Of The Fog

And every bit the air slows down
the curl of leaves and ripened red
could leave us shivering in the morning
could leave us mourning for the dead.

But all the moons and planets,
and lights that touch our toes,
kissed us then in silence,
on heads attached to granite souls -
Now we are island refugees
of the sacred that still glows.


So this is not a poem. Just a note that I lost all of my writing in a hard drive crash. It's hard to believe I didn't back any of it up. Except for a few copies of the work on my novel, a poem published in an anthology, and  a poem published in a literary magazine, this blog is all that remains. The surprising thing is that beyond the initial sting I don't think losing my old work will bother me too much. So without further complaining, a Rudyard Kipling poem I quite enjoy:


"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"



There was a fire under our dreams.
When we woke our skin was scars,
our eyes were scales of wax,
our wrestling arms the kindle,
and every softly spoken word the wick
of weathered kindness.



We had come out of the mossy fog
dreaming of being ourselves,
whatever it is that we are.

Shivers of air and current
between our fingers and foreheads flowing
out into the black of space
between our skin and eyes.

When I was a child I knew
a smile was a new born fusion,
and when we dreamt
we were born again
with our heads down in the grass
whispering dramas
in the leafy pews of god.

Have I lived before or have I always been with you,
Even before our bodies were molten merging gas?
Were you there with me at the beginning?
Will you be there when I breathe my last?


New Prologue - rough draft

The patterns of two animated shadows pondered over the fires. Embers flickered up and left the patterns shaking as if by an invisible musical instrument. They were at odds as they often were. The dark had crept into their bones and the sounds of the forest swam against the words in their mouths. The shadows were men.
“Boy, you will be the next Earthseer. There is no more than that to it. Can you feel the flame?”
“Of course I can. It fucking burns.”
“When you have mastered the gifts as I have, you will feel only the Earth which means you will feel everything.”
“I’d rather just be normal. I’d rather just eat and hunt and get married and go to sleep every night with a woman. Is that so much to ask?”
“You are not a man, Rooc. At least you won’t be for much longer. Desire is something an Earthseer has no use for. You must follow the path of the Cychu.”
“It’s not fair that I can’t choose my own job. What if I ran away? What if I joined another tribe?”
“They would use you as our tribe would. We are who we are, Rooc. You are the next Earthseer and there is much I will teach you. Now put your hand back on the fire.” Rooc reluctantly pressed his fingers against the campfire and felt the searing pain clawing up his arm. He screamed. The Earthseer held his hand in place as he struggled. “Quiet your mind! Feel the flame become a part of you. It is a part of you! What is there to fear or desire? To be pretty, to not want to die? I will die, you will do. All there is between the veil of a rock and a song is us. The eyes and ears of the universe. Do you understand?”
“Y-yes! Gods damn you yes!” Two of Rooc’s fingers had begun to blister. He curled into a ball and cried in pain. “You’re fucking mad old man, and your religion is bird shit.” The Earthseer gave him a solemn stare, the kind of stare that says with no uncertainty that another word from him might mean his death. “I’m sorry…. Sometimes I’m just tired of being different.” He held his hand like a mother holds a babe. The Earthseer sighed.
“When I was your age I felt the same way. I’ve given up a lot to see what I’ve seen. Listen Rooc. I know you’ve heard the stories of the origin of man from the entertainers, but I will tell you something almost no one knows. Outside of the Great Forest are lands of untold wonders, and unspeakable horror. The gods have shown me because I have the blood, and so do you.”
“What can be outside the forest? You mean the sea, right?”
“No. There are demons and man beasts and rumbling machines. There is smoke and where the beasts congregate there is always light and fire and hideous stone caves hundreds of feet high. They consume the world and soon it will consume us too. I am old and will be dead soon, so this will be your inheritance.”
“Well thanks. The monsters are gonna kill us all. Alright, what else is there?”
“There are many worlds and many histories. There are many gods and some of them claim the sole divinity. Don’t you want to know why you have the dreams? Why you can feel the Earth?
“I’ve never thought of it before. It just is.”
“Nothing just is, Rooc. You have the blood. The blood of the Cychu. Long ago the gods left this world, left their bodies and ascended to a spirit realm. The last of them had children. We are rare but we are strong in the blood.” He waved his hand around through the thick of the brush back towards the village. “The temple houses the gods. When I die my spirit will go inside and I will join the realm of the gods.”
“You have got to be kidding me. We’re Gods?”
“I am a God. If you can master your blood and don’t die, perhaps someday you will be one too. Now put your hand back in the fire.” Rooc still groaned for his blistered fingers. The last thing he was going to do was put his searing hand in the fire again. He jumped up to make a run for it, thinking his teenage agility could outrun an old man. The Earthseer caught his foot and tripped him over a log. He pulled him mercilessly across the dirt and stones as Rooc clawed desperately at the ground, screaming as the skin of his fingers peeled off against the stones he gripped to. The Earthseer pinned his head against the fire and pushed his arm down into the embers.

“Can you feel the flame?” The Earthseer asked, emotionlessly. Rooc screamed.


Chapter 2

Somewhere in the darkness the leaves rustled like sharp knives. It had been thirteen days since Kolux had eaten anything but the mushrooms of the worm. He could smell the dew drop from each leaf, feel them cutting apart, the branches bending and crunching. A vast caravan descended down upon him, the pale moonlight flashing against the drums and blades. The gods had revealed themselves for this, but what is it?
 The tomb was completely dark. Kolux had memorized the layout of the temple until he could smell every crevice and taste the soft tangy metal, until he could hear the oscillations of his body against the coldness of the stones. When his heart pumped and the blood coursed up through his brain the floor vibrated ever so slightly with him. He sat crossed legged, wearing nothing but a simple cloth, and his stomach growled for sustenance. I am the Earthseer. Show me, Gods damn it. He tried to quiet the sounds of his body so that he could feel again the movement of the world. He reached out his limp hand, grabbed several mushrooms of the worm and swallowed them whole. His feet spread out like roots and were absorbed into the floor. In his mouth he could taste a hundred things at once. He raised his head up to feel the blast of sound strike down upon his forehead.
The Forest! There’s something in the forest! The leaves had fallen away. They were not like knives anymore. They were like a thousand dissonant drums pounding towards him, burning into the flesh of his eyes. The sky itself lit up. The sun had fallen out of the air and crashed into the world. The stars had melted away. The people were crying.  No, they are not cries. They are croaks of raw terror. His eyes loosened into a blaze of tears. The sounds came pounding louder until he held his hands against his ear drums, realizing that they were bleeding and falling away from his head. The sounds had merged into a roll of thunder, a giant shock of light and then the endless darkness beyond. The birds were all dead, or fleeing the light of it. In his mind the coming darkness was a rolling stone, building momentum, unstoppably getting larger by the second. He screamed with his might to push the stone aside, to give his tears unto the vision, to let his body flounder into nothing to shatter the boulder but it would not budge, and the force just pushed him aside like he was nothing. As the stone rolled he could see the grotesque faces carved into the curves. Would all that he had loved and lived through, all that he had ever known be undone by this fate? This is as it will be. The cycle is coming to an end, and the Gods alone will stand in judgement.
The tomb of the temple around him began to glow and resonate with the roots that were once his feet. The light was coming from within! Fifty years he had spent learning and practicing the rites of the Gods, many of them spent in the darkness of this room reflecting on their purpose, and it was only now that he finally understood it was the temple which had been the poison all along. The sister he had ignored, the wife he had rejected for the sanctity of this place had all been for nothing. The dark dreams, the endless anxiety he had suffered to favour the world beyond; all this time it had meant to destroy him. He felt his body begin to dissolve entirely and let out an epileptic scream.
The large boulder that blocked the tomb had been removed from the hole in the wall and light flooded into the space. Instead of burning it felt pleasant on his eyes. He opened them, finding his hands and feet intact. Was this the afterlife? Zalek and Tandal stood before him. Kolux’s mind quickly raced back into the stones his skin touched. The world had not yet ended, but the forest still swallowed the drums and he could hear them in the trees.
“Earthseer, do you know what time it is? Get out here and eat something now” said Zalek, standing tall and looking worried in the silhouette of the door.
“I will”, he said simply. Standing on his two feet for the first time in nearly thirty hours, he limped out into the light of the temple. The temple proper was surrounded in a smooth metallic rock that seemed to deflect light at all angles, while beams from outside shoot through small circled holes in the wall. The light on his skin made Kolux’s body appear disjointed and broken into small pieces. The light beams gave a sparkling aura to just about everything else, even the simple wooden fixtures, and the dull stone statues of the bird Gods that circled the perimeter of the room. Zalek tried to hold him up as he walked to the wooden table with fruit laid out for him and bit into a ripe banana. The color yellow seemed to bleed into his mouth. The floor tipped slightly, or was it his head that was off angle? He tried to bring himself exactly upright to no avail.
“If he keeps going like this we’ll end up carrying him around on a tree bed” Tandal complained. Kolux hated it when they talked about him parentally as if he wasn’t in the room, but he was above such trivial matters.
“Quit your babbling and get me to the altar”. Obediently they helped him limp out of the temple and unto the large stone altar that served as the religious centre for dozens of tribes all across Zenoria. Kolux’s head whirled about, his eyes blinked rapidly. Above him the first milky stars of the evening flashed and grew larger in the sky against the red and purple horizon. Their cores bled into the encroaching black. His mind seemed to drift effortlessly out into the worlds beyond. He could feel the mad stone faces still rolling towards him. He jerked his body left and turned to Tandal. “Get me a barrel of the black. Now.” Just as he was about to question him Kolux’s body began to shake uncontrollably. Tandal climbed down the altar to find the barrel.
            The table at the altar had his clothes already laid out. He donned the feathers and the blue and green paints and dressed himself for the first time he could remember in weeks. He realized he still could not feel his feet. Although when he looked down nothing was amiss he knew they were still attached to the floors of the infested temple, his whole body dissolving down into roots and life paste. But somehow still his form was here, the blue paint across his cheeks, the plume of the Earthseer donning his forehead. He felt like a ghost. But the ceremony must continue. He must do what must be done.
            “Where is Rooc!?” the thought occurred to him suddenly. He should have been here by now to help him with the rite.
            “Did he go off with the hunters again?” Tandal asked as he climbed back up over the altar with Zalek struggling to tip the barrel up right.
            “He was tending the gardens last I saw him” said Zalek. If Rooc is missing he’s in danger. As childish as he is, he’s never been a boy to shirk his responsibilities. Gods grant me the fortune to see him again before I am gone.  “But Earthseer what do you want…”
            “Silence! You said my name. Now trust me to do what is best.” Both Tandal and Zalek nodded reluctantly. Finally the altar had cleared and he was standing alone before the growing congregation below. The fires had been lit around the temple and the bodies of the people seemed to glow and undulate into one large mass of light. Dozens of tribes had come to listen to the rite. The words began to rumble from his chest.
            “The cycle is established at the mouth of the face of the Gods.” Somehow he found the strength to lift the barrel of black and began swashing the black thickness across the wooden platform. “My arm is the vessel of the black of our ancestors” He marched into the temple and splattered the statues with it, scowling at each of them individually. The Eagle mocked him with its sharp predator eyes but he had blinded it too with the thick. Only when everything had been covered did he return back to the altar. There was confusion and murmuring within the orb of flesh that was the audience. “The settlement of the Cycha shall take place here!” He held the barrel up over his shoulders as if he was holding the answer to every question anyone had ever thought to ask. Everything returns.
            Out of the forest the first glimpse of the giant stone had emerged, but it was in the form of a hundred smaller rocky beasts enclosing them from all directions. The stones had the faces of man but they were not people. As the men of the tribes drew their bows the stones plummeted into their chests within an instant and many fell crying out and bleeding into the air. The people were crying. Is this what I had seen? No, it is only the beginning. The stone creatures shouted in alien tongues. They presented captives and he spotted Rooc among them. Oh Rooc. What have you done, my son?
            “The Iron bear shall come!” The stones flew into the barrel and shattered the wood. The black poured down upon his head, and he knew then that the temple had already consumed him. The stone faces rolled towards the altar like a pack of dogs chases prey. “The silver eagle shall come!” The vibrations in his body began to resonate with the drum of stones, with the pattering of the dogs come to destroy him, with the temple still humming the tether that binds him to the world. Half a dozen beasts had climbed up unto the altar and pierced him with their drums, their faces contorted with hunger. Kolux had drank the last of the black and turned to face the stone. He stared with authority and disgust into the twisted mouths and red eyes, and spat a mouthful of black at them. “The ancient Kaj shall come!” With one swift thrust the remaining pieces of the barrel were flung into a torch and the temple lit up like lightning.  The dogs had been set to the fire, letting out guttural moans. Others stood back in retreat as the fixtures of the temple splintered and the flames crawled into the wood deeper into the temple. Kolux returned to his position on the altar. The flames had reached his feet and were crawling up and up, swirling in his stomach and into his bones, but he was in other places too. The pain was nothing compared to the terror of the rolling stone.

            “It is the word of Gods. The Cycha shall come.”


Mortal Music

You fell in the dark and I couldn't catch you.
My wings had been clipped by the bard.
And when I sang to you of suffering and longing
you just held the pain and let your jaw clench hard.

I did my best to hold you in my sickness,
but the cells just stuck to you like tar.
And when I took the belt and loved and whipped you
you were like the birds that birthed the stars.

If I could take the tar and feathers
and douse myself in guilt and gasoline,
could I listen to the trill and tender?
could you have been my Mary Magdalene?

But then I took the nails and hammer
and pounded wings into my flesh
and when I thrashed and blamed the maker
my blood danced with mercy into mesh.

So now my dear you see I am no sacrifice.
Everything I've built I've made with song
and when I cry for love or loss or loneliness
I'll hymn and know it's right where I belong.


You Gave Me To The Sea To Swallow

You gave me to the sea to swallow
and it curled my form into hard granite stones.
The waves of fear and guilt and broken bones
are shallow graves of men I could have been,
but the light foam still gives me butterflies.

You gave me to the sea to swallow
and it cracked my joints into long crooked coves.
The surge of fever and bed and judgement droves
are hollow stages filled with fish nets and bad debts,
but the wooden creek still makes me yearn.

You gave me to the sea to swallow
And soon I gave it all I borrowed.
So for fucks sake now,
let me swim.