Burning Out

I saw a shooting star—
it did not travel far
before burning itself out
without a whimper or shout,
and I thought of Cobain
who blew out his grungy brain.
He said “Don’t fade away,”
which is a hell of a thing to say,
but he did get his final wish,
eating a hot slug dish
and now they all praise him
for not letting himself go dim.
But didn’t he, though?
I believe so.
A tortured star, he was,
or so says all the buzz;
the buggy buzz in his head
which was why he is dead
because he could not clean his skull
of the insects, all overfull,
and so chose a lobotomy—
brain-fuck sodomy
to cleanse the kingdom,
which, I think, a thing dumb
to do,
don’t you?
He had great teen spirit,
though I don’t hear it
in the repetitive chords
for the zombie hordes,
and he must have known
the seeds he had sown,
because if you live long enough
on counter-culture bluff
it eats you alive,
all that bitter beehive
of angst and sarcasm—
you can’t even orgasm
without being ironic
or, at the least, Byronic.
Why else name your band
“Nirvana” when manned
by someone so “over it”
as to be a perfect fit
for an eye-roll model,
a “Molly”coddle.
Ironic,
iconic,
iconoclast,
mic Mono blast
who kissed a whole generation
into Hole-hearted veneration
until the Love soured
to see himself so empowered.
He was a quasar
who emitted far,
but it all had to conclude
for the bleach-blonde dude.
When loved all around
even the grungy underground
will rise to the Pop peak
and become quite chic,
and atop that summit
he chose to plummet,
so the star burned himself black
before his Sisyphean back
stooped with old age
and was thrown from the stage
for becoming what he hated
as we all do when outdated.
Don’t fall behind…
Never mind.
Meteoric fame
and a meteorite name,
all in all
after the stars fall
a cold space stone
spoken with a fervid tone
in the mouth of a fanboy
who fans the flames to annoy
the rest of us,
blowing stardust.
Whatever, mop-hair—
I don’t care.
Sellout sob stories
also have their glories.
I won’t weep over his tomb
or mope in the after-gloom.
Have you heard the new Nine Inch Nails?
That pulsar really sells
on the radio waves
now and again, in enclaves,
being a downward spiral
that was once viral.
Reznor had some things to say
about the starfuckers in his day…

Blind Rage

No one knew who was truly at fault
when the truck and the car came to a halt,
bumping like bulls in the parking lot
in front of the grocery store, the spot
near the flock-cluttered cart drop-off pen,
a blind spot for the irritated men
sweating in the hot-as-hell weather,
backing out at the same time, together.
Whoever was at fault—no matter;
old man, young man, each mad as a Hatter
and balling their fists for brutal blows—
a contused chin, black eyes, a broken nose.
Their women begged them to let it go,
but the blindness doubled, blow after blow,
and each man saw nothing except red,
wanting nothing else but the other dead
till the old man got the upper hand—
that is to say, a fist packed like sand
which struck like lightning from a clear sky
so he fell to the ground, clutching his eye.
The young man had won, but still he fumed,
and his girlfriend screamed, and he just assumed
she was telling him to stop fighting,
but then came a bang, the world igniting
with a flash and smoke and a deep pain
centered in his chest, a crimson stain
spreading along his shirt, like the bloom
of a too-young carnation by a tomb.
The old man gawped, staring past the gun
with which he shot in his foe’s direction
and, as the blind rage cleared, dropped his jaw
for he had shot and killed his son-in-law.

Not So Super

Since Superman can travel to space,
why does he linger with the human race?
Is it to protect us from Darkseid
that Kal-El will remain here to abide
being among up-jumped simians
rather than with the New Olympians?
Perhaps it’s sentiment he feels still
after growing up in peaceful Smallville,
or perhaps he’s afraid Lois Lane
will find another beau, maybe Bruce Wayne;
perhaps all aliens revile him
for bestiality, though the same phylum,
family, and genus, ostensibly,
he’s not the same species; he just can’t be
since he was born of Krypton, not earth,
though greatly humanoid, so there is worth
in the suspicion that his mother
laid not with Jor-El, but another—
a human with more dominant genes
expressed in his anatomical means
because the Kryptonian descent
cannot be just like ours, or so recent
since they are so much more advanced
in tech, in culture, their bodies enhanced
by the super AI, Braniac
who condemned them, I guess, the maniac…
But the point of this is just to ask
why Supes stays on earth, and so, to that task,
we must think beyond our small planet
to space and all the big things that span it.
Such a small world for such a big man!
You’d think he would travel more since he can,
but maybe he is not really so tough
when he’s compared to scaled-up cosmic stuff
such as Lobo, that bully who may
give Supes an atomic wedgie each day
if Clark leaves his earthbound comfort zone
and tries to be a Space Scout on his own.
Who knows? Not me— Supes is not real
or else I would not mock the Man of Steel.

Game Of Thrones TV Character Critique Haikus

Arya
Edgelord supreme, you
killed many men, but died of
cringy dialogue.

Varys
Veritas varies,
but the truth heard in the flame
meant nothing at all.

Jon Snow
Dead from betrayal
by the inept screenwriters—
remained dead plot-wise.

Daenerys
I thought you would change
to a villain with time, but
also with reason.

Sansa
“The smartest person”
literally no-one says—
entitled yas-queen.

Tyrion
You lost half your nose
in your nosediving plot arc,
and half of your brain.

Bran
The Three-Eyed Raven
saw all, and did not one thing
except bait and switch.

Bronn
Shortchanging others
as the most frequent sellout,
now master of coin.

The Night King
Your hand shatters steel
and downs dragons, yet cannot
pierce Stark plot armor.

Cersei
All season in the
Red Keep—or in the red wine?
Just window dressing.

Jaime
Who would have thought that
the Kingslayer would be killed
by Lord Hightower?

Dothraki
Snuffed out all at once
in the dark, then stoked larger
in ashes later.

Grey Worm
Failing to avenge
his queen in court, he must have
no brains and no balls.

Euron
Having twice the eyes
he has in the books, he still
lacks half the vision.

GOT Story Arcs For Seasons 5-8
The Mummer’s Dragon
lost its stage curtain wings while
Winter came and went.

D&D
Hodor, Hodor, Hold
the door, Hodor, Hodor, Holed
up their own asses.

Necessary Evil

There was a full moon over the cornfield, lightening the night sky to a dark blue. Yet, the trees and houses and fields and valleys all lay in utter blackness. The headlights from two utility trucks pooled together in the center of a cornfield, cutting through the darkness as they met like a handshake. Two shadows fumbled in the cabs of their trucks, getting their equipment ready.
“Hell of a storm last night,” Earl said.
“What?” Henry asked, unable to hear him.
“I said it was a hell of a storm!” Earl said, raising his voice. “Imagine if Farmer Joe-Schmoe here hadn’t already cut his corn. It’d be a goddamn mess. Probably would have lost the Conduit in all of the shit.”
Henry had not heard half of what Earl said, but did afford the field a cursory glance, seeing the jagged remains of cornstalks in the haloed pool of the headlights. He pulled on his thick rubber safety gloves and walked toward Earl. To avoid looking at the Conduit in the pool of light, Henry stared up at the two power poles on either side of the field, barely discernible from the dark knobs rimming the horizon.
“Maybe if we had a stabler source of electricity…” he began to say.
“Don’t start that shit again,” Earl said, pulling on his own pair of safety mitts. His bald head gleamed in the light from his utility truck’s cab. “You know the boss hates hearing that shit.”
“It would not be so unreliable…”
“And I hate hearing it, too,” Earl put in forcefully.
Henry fell silent, helping Earl with the rolls of iron wire as he hauled them out of the truck. A lazy fog curled slowly up from a nearby creek, lounging over the field; glimpsed only where the headlights shone. Moonlight glossed the silver domes of the twin silos near the blackened house, burnishing them just enough to clean them of shadows and separate them from the sea of darkness all around.
The rolls of iron were heavy. Earl grunted, groaned, and let his end of the spool fall to the ground. Henry kept his end lifted, though the sudden imbalance jerked his arms and upper torso toward the ground, stooping him like an old man. He was eighteen years younger than Earl, but a hundred years ahead of him in other ways.
“Goddamn,” Earl swore, “I hate working out here in these bum-fuck boondock hick places. Can’t see shit, and everything smells like shit! And they are so goddamn pissy out here about their power! As if nobody else didn’t lose their power last night! Fuck, I pissed myself because I couldn’t see in the dark when I went to use the bathroom. So it wasn’t exactly paradise for me!”
Henry waited, still holding his end of the spool of iron wire, bent over and hoping that the sudden ache in his shoulder was not a pulled muscle.
“And they should know by now,” Earl went on, “that we get the city’s power back on first, then, eventually, if they are lucky and we feel like it, we get theirs back on. They should be grateful we don’t just let them live in the Dark Ages. Self-sufficient farmers, my ass!”
Henry did not say anything, but Earl gave him an outraged look as if he had.
“And don’t you start with your ‘Solar power and wind power is the solution to all of our problems’,” he said in an unflattering voice that was nowhere near accurate to Henry’s voice. “If we went to those, we would be out of a job!” Earl frowned, considering. “Probably.”
Henry waited patiently until Earl remembered what it was they were doing. With another grunt and groan and grumble, Earl squatted down and lifted up his end of the heavy coil of iron wire. They carried it— huffing and puffing—to the pool of conjoined headlights and set it near the Conduit. Earl squinted at the Conduit, a sour look on his face.
“Goddamn it,” he growled. “This one’s more than half-used up. It will need to be replaced soon, which means we have to come back out here again to stomp through cow shit. Probably in the Winter, by the look of it. Fucking hate this goddamn hick county…”
Henry did not like looking at Conduits, even if he had to install them everyday.
“We’ll have to order another one,” Earl continued, griping. “But for now we gotta use this one.”
The two utility men both knelt down beside the Conduit, the headlights at their back while they worked, readying the wire. Earl grumbled off instructions to Henry, even though Henry had been working for the company for more than two months now and knew the job as well as any of the old-timers. He was sharp to the uptake, even if Earl did not like to admit it.
“Don’t cut the old iron off until we attach the new iron,” Earl said. His wrinkled face was demonized by the headlights.
“I know how to do this,” Henry said, his blue eyes baffled by the white glare of the headlights. He kept his gaze to the side as he worked.
“Ouch!” Earl exclaimed, putting his finger in his mouth. It had been pinched between the iron coils as Henry unwound them. “Pay attention to what you’re doin’, dummy! What the hell’s the matter with you?”
Henry shrugged halfheartedly. “I don’t like to look at Conduits like this one,” he admitted.
Earl was apoplectic with disbelief. “Why the hell not?”
“They look like Cassie,” Henry said. “It just…just bothers me, is all.”
Earl raised his eyes to the heavens, shaking his head. “This Conduit’s a hundred years old. Likely even older! She ain’t some spoiled eight year old brat too mollycoddled by her momma to wipe her own ass. It’s just a goddamn Conduit. Jesus, man, try to be professional.”
Henry sighed heavily, then looked at the Conduit as he worked the wire. They unrolled the coil until they had enough, then cut it with a portable laser torch. Looming above them, the power poles stood tall, the old power line sagging between, snapped in two and laying in the cornfield like wet noodles. After a few moments, Henry sighed again.
“It’s just…it’s just she looks just like a little girl,” he said. “It doesn’t seem right.”
Earl was all utter slack-jawed disbelief.
It is not a little girl,” he said firmly. It is not a she. It is a goddamn fairy. All right? They’re not fucking human. I mean, she’s got goddamn wings. Have you ever seen a human with wings?”
“But they have feelings,” Henry said. “They are alive and sentient.”
“Whoa-ho!” Earl said. “Big word for a repairman to use. Don’t hurt yourself with it, now.”
“They can think, is what I mean,” Henry said. “Look at her! She’s scared!”
“I know what ‘sentient’ means, smart-ass,” Earl shot back. He shook his bald head like a dog breaking a rabbit’s neck. “But I can’t see that she thinks at all. Or that she’s scared. The goddamn breaker helm is covering her glitter-spitter face! Fuck, man, she’s barely alive anyway. She doesn’t even glow no more. Not like those that are used in the movies and shit.”
“I know she’s scared,” Henry said resolutely. He had stopped working the iron wire around the fairy’s willowy body. “I can hear her sobbing. There are tears on her cheeks! Look!”
“That’s dew,” Earl said. “This fucking fog is all clammy as three-day old piss.”
“They can sing songs, you know,” Henry said, rallying. “Beautiful songs, like a choir of children.”
Earl snorted. “Never cared much for songs.”
“But you watch the movies with them. You just said so.”
“Sometimes I do,” Earl said gruffly. “So what? I also masturbate to porn with them in it. Doesn’t mean nothing. Doesn’t mean I want to marry one and let it vote.”
A silence fell between them. The silence subsumed the entire county and its dark neighborhood. In the nearby house, on the other side of the field, the sound of fumbling and cussing could be heard. A flashlight split the darkness in the house, glimpsed through the lightning flash of an illuminated window. A fat face appeared through the pane, and a flash of fire as a candle was lit. The face was porcine and disgruntled, like a beady-eyed boar ready to charge with its teeth gnashing and its tusks aimed to gore. It disappeared into the darkness once again.
“Maybe we should just let it all stay dark,” Henry said. “All of it. Everything. Leave it dark for everyone so we don’t have to do this anymore.”
Earl laughed wryly— humorlessly. “And for little Cassie, too?” he said. “What if she needs surgery? What if she needs to have her appendix out? Use the old ways? No modern tools and anesthetic and all of that shit that saves eighty percent of the population from dying slow, miserable deaths by age forty?”
Henry wavered, not saying anything. He could only stare down at the fairy. He knew the wetness streaming from under the breaker helm was not dew.
“Not to mention,” Earl added with a rogue’s relish, “all those people that would start burning other people at the stake just to stay warm, or to ease their hearts, or just for a single fucking laugh in an otherwise joyless grind of existence. People do fucked up things in the dark when they don’t have electric toys to distract them.”
“It doesn’t have to the Dark Ages,” Henry said. “Just the 1700’s. Or the 1800’s. Before industrialization began to poison the earth…”
Earl rolled his eyes, and continued rolling iron around the fairy. “And how exactly is Farmer Joe-Schmoe over there going to process enough food to feed everybody? It takes a lot of electricity to plant a cob of corn, harvest it, and bring it to precious little Cassie’s belly. Power for grocery stores and trucks and processing plants. Fairies power it all. If they didn’t, we’d have to use Brown people again.” Earl grinned like the Cheshire Cat about to pounce on the White Rabbit. “But that’s a big No-No nowadays. We can’t have Colored people out in the fields, picking cotton. I guess we could use White people to do it. You and me, I mean. Why not? Every color’s been used throughout history. I’m a little biased in favor of the fairies, though, because I wouldn’t make a good slave, myself. I’m too ornery.”
Henry shook his head. “There has to be another way…”
“And Winter’s on its way,” Earl said thoughtfully. “How many people would freeze to death without power? Or die of pneumonia? Lot of lives on your hands, Mr. Crusader.”
Henry could say nothing else. The immensity of the dilemma overwhelmed him. The argument was too big for a single man to grasp, and the problem enormous beyond comprehension. After a few moments, he took up the iron wire and continued binding the fairy. When she squirmed or whimpered, he paused, exchanging glances with Earl— the former distraught, the latter sardonically resolute—and then hurried to entwine her in accordance to OSHA safety standards. After a while, Henry spoke.
“I guess fairies are kind of backwards,” he said. “Like Neanderthals. And they all died out because of it.”
“That’s right,” Earl said with a sly smile. “They’re not even Stone Age. It’s almost a favor to them, really. What would they be doing otherwise? Just playing around like stupid fucking kids forever. Totally meaningless. At least now they’ve got a purpose to their backward lives.”
“Yeah,” Henry said. “It’s…it’s a necessary evil.”
“Not even an evil,” Earl said. “Just necessary.”
The two utility men finished binding the new wire around the Conduit, then cut off the rusted and snapped strands of the old wire. They spread the Conduit’s arms out at its sides, spiraling the new wire there, too, then Henry climbed into the lift on the back on his utility truck and they began to string the new wire—and the fading Conduit— up between the poles. They worked efficiently and had no problems following protocols. Henry was proving himself a very competent utility repairman. Even Earl was impressed.
The sun rose hesitantly above the foggy horizon, as if averting its gaze. Inevitably it spilled its light over the knobs and farms and fields and sins and guilt. Before leaving, Earl and Henry glanced up at their work one final time—the fairy T-posed in the center of the power line—and Henry was reminded of someone. Who it reminded him of, he dared not say.

Sword And Sorcery Politics

Words can be as a sharp sword
grasped by the adept tongue
to cut down many a horde,
yet therein among
are foes defter at the thrust
when they fight you, those skilled
beyond your means, so you must
use truth as your shield
to deflect their subtle lies
and such black magic spells
that can kill heroes, likewise,
when a true tongue fails;
for such warlocks can conjure
phantasms of falsehoods
to overmaster hearts pure,
but lost in the woods.
Such conjurers breathe black smoke
to suffocate swordsmen
till they cannot see, and choke,
lost to dark lords when
they use the truth against you,
their alchemic spellcraft
warping facts until untrue—
a dizzying draught.
All you can do, then, is bow—
bow to truth’s fickle blade
and maybe survive, somehow,
perhaps by the aid
of a good PR wizard
whose power extends
to charisma points, his word
a spell that rescinds
the curse that has unmanned you,
whether from your false foe
or by your own false hand, too,
for he may well know
the coveted counter-curse
to restore your honor
or keep it from getting worse…
Nope, you’re a goner.