Tuesday, April 20, 2010


There are times when someone's actions are too much for a simple "thank you" to cover. There are moments that etch themselves into you, at a level you can barely comprehend. These are rare occurrences, but when one of them happens to you, you realize that you are changed. Forever.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Elmo is a Stalker

Dear Elmo,

I thought I would send you this message before the lawyers got involved. I am writing to you as a courtesy only. You have stepped far over the line this time, my furry red nemesis.

But before I discuss my WTF moment from today, let me give a little background information:

- My given name is Michael (which you obviously know).
- My dislike for all things Elmo is well known.

Burden the Begging

Burden the Begging

Image elastic
Considers the straw, the sight
Passivity against the black
Against the two dimensional
Chill of contrast. It
My mind most
Mournings maligned,
Most evenings in 
The hold of veils
Has never 
Slowed nor shown
A trust beyond
The failing page
The edges and off-
Center. Transitory tales
In the lighting
The stolen
Words of unending
Fear standing alone
Facing the hurt. Once
Past the real
To the shadowy din
And heartbreak, delirium
Dances its frozen shame in

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Among the Clarity Cracks

Among the Clarity Cracks

A day alone
If I'd known the beginning - 
The unseen silence of kaleidoscope ache - 
This would have remained within my chest
Where the windows are cracked - 
Over and over and waved over another - 
Giving the illusion of fractured frost.
Distortions as such are broken rails
Disruptions of vision and violent ends,
We creep through the shatters of instinct glass
To anger out eyes on the wavering stand
Anchored in the shine refracted.

Others, outside, the uninvited,
They trespass mercilessly along the edges,
Their moaning calls to the inside
Echoed broadly to push obtuse,
Yet not sharp enough to slice
Through the air with their piercings
Of whistled intrusion.
Strength is its friend and ageless enigma
But with the slightest shift
The breaks betray its trust
To become sadistic and slicing,
To become as enemy
Inside this paned prison.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Everything I Know About China I Learned from Kai-Lan

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan,

Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I find your show to be very educational and I wanted to make sure I have some things correct. Sometimes I get distracted by your giant eyes and don't know if my notes are 100% accurate. I tried to double check things on Wikipedia, but I thought it might be better to go straight to the source.

To make things easier, I will list the top 20 things I have learned from your super happy show. Please respond to me if I am mistaken.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My GPS Doesn't Recognize This Sesame Street

Dear Children's Television Workshop (or, as you like to be referred to now, the Sesame Workshop),

Can we talk? Do you have a moment? Your franchise show, Sesame Street has been on my mind this morning, and I have a couple questions.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lyricism - Part 1 (Wildfire)

Growing up in the 80s, I was a fan of lots of different music. But towards the end of the decade, hair metal ruled my car's cassette player, my walkman, and my boombox. Having no actual musical talent, or vocal ability, I decided to focus my interest in music towards writing lyrics. Of course, I was a teenager without a band, a partner to write the music, or any rhythm, so the lyrics turned out to be pretty pathetic.

On a related note, when I went to college, I realized that all of my short stories, poems, plays, etc. were awful. If I wanted to advance my writing skills, I could not afford to try to expand on the work I had done previously. I needed to break clean from the bad habits I had developed and think in new ways. So all of that work was purged in order for me to learn and grow.

Somehow, the lyrics I wrote avoided the fire. Every few years I would uncover the folders of lyrics, laugh about it, and then put them away again. Why? Was I hoping that one day Bret Michaels would call and beg me to write lyrics for the new Poison album?

Well, they have resurfaced again. Underneath several empty notebooks (notebooks and pens tend to be my guilty purchases) were three folders, falling apart, looking pretty ragged, but distinctly titled "Lyrics" on the front.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Toast of Blue

A Toast of Blue

Twist off
and lick the under-
side of the cap,
mixing the metal taste
with the bleeding insincerity
inside your mouth.

Set the bottle down
and find that Skip James album
you tend to play in the dark.
Begin with his voice -
that wild, howling scream - 
and sink in the rhythm
of the guitar or piano
or his feet pounding the floor.
Sip with each lurch
of your soul.

Lift the liquid to a drop
on your tongue then read
the label four times in tune
and place it back,
clinking the table with its
glass serenade breaking you.

Your head slumps
chin to table,
you view the top
through tinted refractions,
overturned in its disgrace,
its humbled example.
To finish the drink
your eyes repair
their known motion,
aiming the tilting
of the empty
from stomach to mind,
from mind to mouth,
from mouth to glass.

And in this present
the ancient sounds slow
allowing these words,
in this place,
on this fault,
to cry myself true.

Portrait of a Blog

I did not start this blog to be a journal or diary. I did not start it to be therapy. This blog was started as a way to incorporate my rantings, ravings, and writings all in one place. However, I read something the other day which I want to discuss briefly. I am not sure if it would fall in the ranting, raving, or writing category, but maybe it is a combination of all three.

In the book, Homicide: Life on the Screen, author Tod Hoffman makes an argument for what impact art should have on the human condition. He states:

"Art isn't always pleasant to look at. Nor is it supposed to be. What it is supposed to do is touch us, make an impact on us. It has something to say, an idea to communicate. We depend on art to take us places we've never before been, and show us things as they've never before been seen. It can disturb, provoke, or enrage. So long as it doesn't leave us complacent. This is why escapist entertainment cannot truly be art - it deadens us rather than enlivens us. We turn to it when we want to turn off."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eat This

Like a lot of people, I grew up learning about proper nutrition by playing Four-Square on the playground. Actually, it was probably in a classroom and the four squares were actually the Four Food Groups.

You remember the Four Food Groups. They made nutrition fun. They made nutrition easy. They made the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse eat their peas.

Somewhere we went tragically wrong though and forgot our Four Food Group Friends. Instead of a giant square separated into four equal parts (Equality for all food!), now we have a giant Food Guide Pyramid. Where are we, Egypt? No Pharaoh is going to tell me what to eat!

That's Amore

Dear Chefs Creating "Gourmet" Pizzas,

There are only a few toppings that should go on a pizza. Chefs are putting all sorts of things on pizza these days, to the point that it doesn't even resemble a pizza any longer. This madness must be stopped!

In order to assist the next generation that does not understand that what all these chefs are doing is WRONG, I will list the appropriate toppings and discuss some of the atrocities being foisted upon pizzas today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Past Tense Love Story

Past Tense Love Story

I'm your yesterday's view
You're my death note end
Together we were.
Stops between
Serrated pages
Filled the cuts
Iodine wash
And stain the skin.
Met in melancholy
Faces pressed
Along the window.
Wat's next was
Motion or
Madness with
Methods once
No more.
Heat off option
To exist
Certain circling
New spiral alive
Then at once
No place, everyone
No one, everyplace
There but for the grace
We die.
I'm your deja vu
You're my suicide
Together we were.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When We're Cruisin' Together...

Cruises. All I hear about cruises is how romantic they are. How fantastic they are as vacations. How they have so many amenities that it is almost impossible to not have a good time. How they go to the best ports and you can do so many different things. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I'm here to set the record straight on cruises. Hopefully I can appeal to your logical and rational side before you book that ticket for passage on the next clipper ship heading out.

To be fair, I have never been on a cruise. Most likely, I never will be on a cruise. You see, I understand that vacation should not be able survival but enjoyment.

Following are the reasons why cruises are the worst excuses for vacations ever:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sensing Beauty

"Your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your nose,
Your arms, your legs, your heart, your soul,
Touch me, touch me, touch me, touch me,
My body craves your touch."
                                                 - from 'Crave' by Nuno Bettencourt

Your picture - 
Upon my lips
Speaks my words unstopped;
Upon my mind
Dwells in precious thoughts;
And it goes,
Rolling into vision.
Dream image
Of contours molded
Around a glorious sun
Heating the very burn
Inside cool blue eyes.
To kiss perfection's lips -
A joy I dare not know
In these humble thoughts.
But to just touch,
To trace the patterns of your skin,
To rest fingertips below your eyes
To follow you cheek to chin,
To glide the rear of my palm
Towards your ear, through your hair,
To memorize every inch
With a touch soft as breeze - 
The only way a beautiful woman
As you should be known.
Placing my face a half second
From your sight,
I caress your silk;
Inhaling the scent of your soul.
I lose myself in fresh intoxication,
And almost allow myself
To brush against you;
But stop and linger near.
Clear is your kindness
Which softens my ears with words
Of sweetness and joy,
And praise more cherished 
Than ever will be known.
Your voice is a halo's song
Which I bring with me
Through my dream and into day.
And as I start my ascent
Through the clouds of my mind
I freeze upon your visage.
My hand glances past your mouth
And I cup the back of your neck,
Slowly massaging, bringing me
Closer to your grace.
In an instinct of hope
I reach for you, gentle,
Placing my unworthy lips on yours,
A brief moment of bliss.
My dream, my pleasures,
This image of you,
Join me as I awake into light,
Savoring the sweet flavor
Of your beloved heart.

Gypsy Flowers

Gypsy Flowers

Petals within their bloom
Many culled to one blossom
Hues by degree
Swim by dew by dawn
Opening with sunrise.

False steps seem seconds
(Where firsts fresh child's eye
Still opposed the gentle
Wash alive in wind)
Here around a radiance
Of unimagined air
Breathes the day.

Preciously cradled in a palm
As delicate as shivered ice
Aroma enlivens and enters
At once the silent pains.

Luminous layering flows with light
Aloft the base
Of the viewer's veiled vision
Which holds the beauty
Of nightly stars within
The glory of its every day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Conversation With a Soccer Fan

(The following discussion took place between myself and a soccer fan several times over several years. It has occurred in bars, coffee shops, classrooms, sporting fields, gymnasiums, and once in the parking lot of a 7-11 during the World Cup. Enjoy.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010 - Fisher Price Announces New "Apology Elmo" Doll

Dear Elmo,

I am so happy to hear about the newest Elmo doll you have convinced Fisher Price to release! An "Apology Elmo" doll is a great idea! I can not wait to get one. I will probably buy them as gifts for everyone I know. I am impressed by your willingness to issue this "Apology Elmo" doll, as it is very much needed in the world today.

From what I understand, "Apology Elmo" stands behind a microphone and a podium which bears the emblem of Sesame Street. When you press the hand of "Apology Elmo," Elmo giggles ashamedly and proceeds to apologize for his crimes against humanity. The list of apologies include:

  • Teaching children incorrect methods of speech, such as referring to oneself in the third person ALL THE TIME!
  • Making children believe that goldfish can talk.
  • Associating with undesirable characters, who may or may not be peeping tom perverts or pedophiles who float outside second story windows (I'm looking at you, Mr. Noodle).
  • Ageism - by taking up so much time on Sesame Street, thus forcing more experienced and well-liked Muppets to seek residence in homeless shelters.
  • For turning Bert into a terrorist. 
  • For annoying small children everywhere with inane questions they can not answer.
  • For existing.
In a prepared statement issued by Elmo's agent, Elmo has agreed to the release of the "Apology Elmo" doll and is "extremely apologetic that his attempts at entertaining and educating the youth of the world has been twisted and manipulated by hateful individuals clamoring for attention. Instead of seeking legal remedies for such attacks on his character, Elmo has decided to take the higher ground and make amends. Through the help and support of his spiritual guide and multiple mental health experts, Elmo understands and apologizes for how others have misinterpreted and sullied his actions. None of this was intended, and Elmo is very sorry. Elmo has undergone therapy in an undisclosed clinic for his narcissism and believes it is now under control.

In addition, Elmo would like everyone to purchase another new Elmo doll, "Svengali Elmo." The proceeds from these sales will help establish "The Elmo Fund for Furthering the Betterment of the World Through the Teachings of Elmo" and also fund the "Elmo War Chest Designed to Bring About the End of All Humanity As We Know It." Elmo hopes you accept his "Apology Elmo" doll in the spirit it was intended."

The released statement concludes by saying, "Elmo still loves all of you. Elmo wishes that you will all continue to love Elmo through this trying time. Elmo would hate to have to exterminate all of you as he will have need for slaves in Elmo's World. Thank you."

Well... I guess true repentance is a process.